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This soldier was born in Accomack County, Virginia and grew up in Norfolk, Virginia. After the war he drove a buggy for a Congressman and lived in New York for a time. Robert Outten’s father James worked as a boatman for the Custom House and was well-known to many.  One of the witnesses described their duties as company buglers. Most witnesses lived in Hampton Roads; others were deposed in Arkansas, Mississippi, and New York. Mentioned but not deposed was a comrade who’d settled in Washington, DC.

Mother — 565, 334 / —-, Susan Outten

 

Deposition, Susan Outten, 16 August 1893
“66 years old; cook; residence, 23 Magazine Lane, Norfolk, Norfolk County, Virginia … “Robert Outten (he claimant calls it ‘Ootten’) was the son of James Outten my husband. I cannot say when James Outten and I commenced to live together but it was over fifty years ago near Onancock, Accomack Co., Va. I belonged to Col. John (?) Finney and John  Outten belonged to John Wise. They both lived near to Nancock [sic], Va. James Outten, my husband has been dead about twelve years I think. He died here in Norfolk, Va. He and I always lived together as man and wife from the time we went together until the time he died. I had six children by James Outten: Robert, Henry, John, Ben, Howard, and another who died at the age of about six weeks. The other children lived to be grown but are all dead but Howard. He lives here in town. Ben has been dead longer than nine years but I don’t know how much longer. Henry died before Ben. I don’t know when he died but he was 17 years old when he died. John died in New York but I don’t know when he died. I don’t know when Robert died but it has been a long time, about seventeen years, I suppose. Robert, the soldier, died with me here in Norfolk, Va. in Magazine Lane.”

“Robert was never married and had no children. He worked at little jobs about town and drove a buggy for Dr. Verdi after the war. Dr. Verdi went north somewhere. This working for Dr. Verdi was before the war and while he was a boy. He did not work for anyone or at anything after the war because he was not able, he was sick.

“My husband worked about the wharves here on boats and at the custom-house. Robert died before my husband. My husband was working at the custom-house until his last illness. His death was caused by cold. His lungs were affected. I suppose my other boys as well as my husband died from cold.  No Robert did not do anything for my support since the war because he was sick. His father supported him since the war. While Robert was in the army he sent me ten dollars once.”

“My husband bought a house. I don’t know how much he gave for it. The house was burnt last October. Yes the house was paid for. I own a small house now — two rooms — and the lot on which it stands on Magazine Lane, Norfolk, Va. The two-room house cost me about $100. That house and lot is the only property I have had since the war except the other house built on the same lot.”

“I do not know how long we had lived in Norfolk when Robert went into the Army but he was living here when he went into the army. Robert was born on the Eastern Shore and worked on a farm…. During my husband’s lifetime he supported me. He worked and got wages and was a lame man. He broke his thigh before the war at a saw mill and that made him lame.”

 

Deposition, Peter Fuller, 17 August 1893
51 years old; occupation, laborer; residence, Brown St., No. 1, Norfolk, Va… “I have known Susan Outten for 25 or 30 years. I got acquainted with Susan Outten and her husband John Outten in 1857. I think his first name was John but I am not certain….I got acquainted with Robert Outten during the war. I served in Co. G 1 USC Cavalry from Jany 4 or 5 1865 to 1863 to Mch 1866. I met Robert Outten first at Getty Station, Va. There Outten got sick [Brazos Santiago] and was left somewhere and it was sometime before we got home after discharge….He used to go out with his father in the custom-house boat and he would get tired and have to be carried home. His father was captain of the custom-house boat here at Norfolk 12 or 15 years.”

“I don’t think Robert was ever able to contribute anything to his mother’s support after the war. I don’t think that after that time he ever earned his board but was an expense to his parents.”

“I don’t know how many children claimant had and I don’t think there was but two living when Robert died. One child must have been born since Robert died. …I was not present at Robert’s death or the death of his father. I think I was at the funeral of both of them….He served under the name of Robert Outten but I know I used to call him Robert Houton and most everyone did too….There is some things in those affidavits that I did not say: I was not a pallbearer and I never knew Robert from the age of 4 or 5 as there stated.”

 

Deposition, William T. Webb, 18 August 1893
41 years old; Deputy Collector, Customs House, Norfolk, Va…. “I was acquainted with James H. Outten for 13 or fourteen years prior to his death which occurred, as shown by the records of the Customs Collector office May 24, 1883. He worked under the Collector of Customs at this place as Master Boatman from sometime in 1870 to the date of his death. I have been connected with the Collectors Office twenty-one years and knew Jas. H. Outten all the time that he was at work for the office. His salary for the first few years was $40 per month then it was subsequently raised to $50 per month and that was the salary he was getting at the time of his death.”

“I knew Robert Outten first about 1872 up to the time of his death….When I first knew him he was a driver for Col. Platt who was a member of Congress from this district about 1869 to 1875. I do not know where Col. Platt is but somewhere out West…. I do know that [Susan Outten] was taking in washing the most of the time that her husband was working here at the Customs House.”

 

Deposition, Howard Outten, 18 August 1893
about 30 years old; laborer; residence, 23 Magazine Lane, Norfolk, Va. … “I am the son of James H. Outten and Susan Outten and the brother of Robert Outten who was in the late war but I don’t remember what company and regiment he was in. I was living at home with my mother and father when Robert died … I was a good big boy, big enough to knock around and do certain things such as open oysters and salt crabs but I was not engaged in any steady employment. I had two big brothers John and Ben, who were living at the time of Robert’s death. They were both older than I.

“Robert for driving for Col. Platt when he lived here at one time, then he went to New York and Robert went with him. I don’t know how long Robert had been gone but he came back from New York sick and he lingered along seven or eight months I suppose before he died … Dr. Tunstall attended him and also Dr. Grineer [sp?]. Dr. Grineer [sp?] is dead….Robert was a coachman and worked at that altogether after the war as far as I remember, but he went away to New York. I guess altogether Robert was away from here in New York about thirteen years. The last time he went away he was gone two years.”

“When my brother Robert died my father and mother owned a lot 35 by 110 feet in Magazine Lane, this city, on which they had a house. Last October the house was burnt but since that I have built a two-room house on the lot. My mother owns the lot during her life and then it goes to me.”

“Yes, my brothers Ben and John contributed to my mother support along about the time of Robert’s death. John died in New York and I don’t know the cause of his death. The doctors said Ben had pneumonia at the time of his death.

 

Deposition, John Guy, 28 August 1893
63 years old; occupation, laborer; residence, 42 Liberty St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va….”I served during the late war in Co G 1 USC Cavly from Jany 1864 to Feby 7, 1866….I saw a right smart of him [Outten] in service and he seemed to be in hospital a good deal, rheumatism or something. He was mighty bad off, I knew that….I saw Robert Outten at Bermuda Hundreds, City Point, and Chesterfield Co., Va….. I can’t tell what he worked at after the war but I heard tell that he worked around the market here and at other things that he could get to do. I thought he was consumpted [sic] as he always had a dreadful cough.”

 

Deposition, Jonathan Sampson, 31 August 1893
about 59 years old; occupation, huckster; residence, 21 Magazine Lane, Norfolk, Va. “I have been acquainted with Susan Outten(I call the name Hooten) nearly forty years. I knew her husband James Outten and her son Robert Outten. James Outten and his family and I lived in Magazine Lane a street not over 200 yards long at the close of the war and we live in the same street now and have ever since the war. …{Robert] died of what everyone, as well as myself, considered consumption. I think Robert has been dead about 18 years. He was a coachman for a while for Col. Platt. I do not know whether he went away from here after the war or not. I cannot recall now that I knew Robert from the other boys of the family prior to the war.”

 

Deposition, John Boush, 25 September 1893
about 51 years old; occupation, dockman; residence, 6 Hull Street, Norfolk, Va….”I have known Susan Outten for about 20 years or more. I knew her husband but I don’t remember his first name.
“I knew Robert Outten in the army. I was in Co G…I knew Robert Outten before he went into the army. I enlisted in 1863 and served something over two years….Robert Outten had a cough and was kind of sickley [sic] before he went into service. …. You misunderstood me. I did not know Robert before the war. I got acquainted with him before enlistment but during the war. I had simply seen him before enlistment but I had no acquaintance with him. I don’t know whether Robert had a cough before enlistment or not….I came back to Norfolk and staid [sic] here two or three years after the war and then I went out in the country on Tanners Creek and I staid [sic] there five or six years I think before I came back to Norfolk, Va. I don’t know what Robert Outten worked at after the war.”

 

Deposition, John Brickhouse, 10 May 1894
48 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, P.O.  #7 Salter Street, Norfolk, Va. … “I enlisted at Eastville, Va. in Jan. I think of 1864 in Co. A of the 10th USC Vol Infantry and served as a private until mustered out in May 1866 at Galveston, Texas. We then came to City Point, Va. & were discharged. From discharge till this day I have lived here in Norfolk, Va.
“I never knew anyone by the name of Robert Outten or Robert Houton. I once knew a man who used to work in the employ of the Custom House here, as a boatman, named John Outten. I knew him tolerably well but was not acquainted with any of his family.”

 

Deposition, London Hurdle, 10 May 1894
63 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Lamberts Point, Virginia …” No, sir, I do not remember any member of the 1 USC Vol Cav by name of Robert Outten or Hooten. I don’t remember what company I was a member of in service. I am positive I never knew Robert Outten before service, nor during service. I have never known anyone by the name since service. I never heard of James Outten nor of Susan Outten anyplace, not even in Norfolk where I have been living ever since my discharge in Mch 1866.”

 

Clerk’s Office of the Corporation Court of the City of Norfolk, Virginia, 10 May 1894
“…[It] appears from the Record of Deaths of the City of Norfolk, filed in my office, that Robert Outten departed this life on the 23rd day of May 1875, aged 26 years; That the cause of death was consumption; That the death was reported by Susan Outten and occurred at Magazine Lane…”

 

Deposition, Susan Outten, 11 May 1894
nearly 67 years old; occupation, cook; residence, 23 Magazine Lane, Norfolk, Va….”In my statement of last August, the person named as Jno. Sanford is Jonathan Sampson & lives next to my house. I know no one named John Sanford. Jonathan Sampson is the one I referred to in my former statement. …There was a comrade of [Robert’s] named James Brooks but where he can be found I cannot say. I don’t know whether he lives here or not. …Witnesses: Delia Sampson, Louisa Sampson.”

 

Deposition, James Brooks, 11 May 1894
53 years old; occupation, laborer; residence, 38 Bottimore St., Norfolk, Va. …”During the late war I served as a corporal in Co. “f” of the 1st USC Vol Cav…. Yes, I once knew a man by the name of Robert Outten. I first met him while I was in the army. He enlisted I think along about 1865. I don’t remember what company of our regiment he belonged to. I know he was in my regiment however as I knew him while we were both in service. He was about my color (mulatto) and about six feet in height. … He and I were discharged together and came to Norfolk, Va. right after discharge and I knew him from then till his death. I knew his father during the war. His name was James Outten and his mother’s name was Susan Outten. I met these parents in about Sept 1864 when we returned here to do garrison duty. I did not know till after the war that Robert Outten of my regiment was son of James & Susan Outten. After I was discharged & from then till Robert Outten died, I used to see Robert Outten with his father James Outten ‘many & many a time.’ His father was employed for ten or fourteen years in the custom house here till he died. … I have heard both John and Susan Outten both say he was their son. Moreover he ‘had that same big mouth just like Susan Outten has and anyone can tell by looking at him that he was our son.'”

 

Deposition, Dr. Alexander Tunstall, 14 May 1894
51 years old; occupation, physician; post-office address, Norfolk, Va. … “I once knew a man by the name of Robert Outten in a professional way only. My books show that I visited him on several occasions but I am unable to state what the nature of his sickness was. My books do not show the nature of such sickness nor the character of prescriptions. The books show my last visit as May 17/75. Further than this I do not remember the case in question. I remember merely that one of the boys in the Outten family in Magazine Lane, this city, had consumption, I think, but whether he died from such consumption, or whether his name was Robert Outten I cannot say.”

 

Deposition, John L. White, 17 May 1895
50 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Red Fork, Desha Co., Arkansas … “I served during the late war as 1st Bugler, Co. L 1st USCCC. I well remember Robert Houten as a member of my company. He was the Second Bugler of my company…. I was mustered out of the service in the fall of 1865 and I left Houten with the company. It was down on the Rio Grande that we were camped when I left the company. I camped and slept with Hooten in service and up to the time I left there I have no recollection of any disease or disability with which he was affected. … Robert was not married. We were play boys together in Norfolk, Va. I think I knew his mother but I can’t call her name.”

 

Deposition, Daniel Keys, 3 September 1895
50 years old; residence and post-office address, 782 Main St., Buffalo, Erie Co., NY… “I am janitor of public school no. 17, City of Buffalo, NY. I have lived in Buffalo, NY over seven years. I enlisted in Co. L, 1st USC Cav, Feby 21, 1865 and was discharged Feby 4, 1866 at Brazos Santiago, Texas. I remember Robert Outten, he was bugler of our company. I knew him very well, he was sick at Brazos Santiago, Texas late in the fall of 1865. We were in barracks at that place and working to build the railroad from Brazos Santiago to Riogrand [sic] and often were prevented from returning to our camp because of the rise in the water. A great many of our Regt. died at this place and others were sick. I remember distinctly that Robert Outten our bugler was sick with diarrhea and a very bad cold. He could hardly speak for several days he was so hoarse, and coughed badly, our surgeon Dr. Gray, treated Robert and when we were discharged, he had not recovered from said cough. I stayed at City Point, Va. while Robert went down to Norfolk, Va. and I have not seen him since we were discharged. Our other bugler Archie Singleton and Archie bunked with Robert part of the time. I also bunked with Archie Singleton for a while. Robert Outten bunked also with Corpl Noah Carter, and Sgt Brown. I don’t know where they are as I have not seen or heard from them since our discharge. I assisted our Regtl Com Sgt while at Brazos Santiago, Texas. Our hospital steward was Henry Johnson. He lived on Meridian Hill, Washington, DC about one year ago. I think he will remember Robert Outten as he was quite young and a favorite in our company.”

 

Letter from A.B. Singleton to Mr. F.T. Maurice, Special Examiner, Bureau of Pensions, Vicksburg, Mississippi, 8 November 1895
“I knew [Robert Outten] very well. He acted as Bugler in my Company L. I don’t know anything about his disabilities but he was excused from duty several times at Brazos Santiago, Texas — But the cause I do not know.”

 

Deposition, A.B. Singleton, 21 January 1896
51 years old; occupation, cook; residence, Triumph Plantation and post-office address, Maxine, Miss….”I was a bugler… I served under the name of Arch Singletary from the early part to nearly the end of the year 1865.”
“I remember a man named Robert Outten who was Second Bugler in my Company. We bunked together during most of my service. I was not acquainted before the war with him and we have not met since I was mustered out. I don’t know the names of his parents or where he was from or any of his history prior to the time I met him in the army.
“At Brazos Santiago, Texas, I knew him to fail to go on duty several times but I don’t know what was the nature of his disability. He was never off duty for a long period at a time as we did not have much hard duty to do. The only duty the buglers did was to stay at headquarters to blow calls. There was twenty-two of us and each stood duty one day at a time. The other days we were off while there. We were not exposed to the weather at any time…During my service as bugler, buglers saw no hard service whatever. Bob was not a stout boy but rather delicate…. Bob was thin and might have had a bad cough or some disease of the lungs while in the service but if he did I know nothing of it. If he did I would have noticed it. …There were four of us slept in the same tent, Sgt Brown, Pvt Anton, Hooten, and myself, but I don’t remember that any of them were sickly. I knew Bob very well. We practiced together on our bugles every day and we were very intimate.”

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