Posts Tagged ‘alias’

This veteran served in the Union Navy before he joined the Union Army. Prior to his military service, he’d been enslaved in North Carolina. When the war ended, he settled in Mississippi. This pension application includes information about his wife, parents, and children as well as harrowing descriptions of his battle injuries and details about the enslaved and their enslavers. Last week’s post included research notes from documents dated 1895-1898; this week’s post includes research notes from documents dated 1916-1921.

Invalid –707,728 / 898,171
Widow — 1,085,609 / 830,632, Martha Ann Burr

Widow’s Application for Pension, Martha Burr, 26 October 1916
post-office address, 327 Broadway St., Greenville, Mississippi
“She was married to the said Benj Burr on the 19th day of January 1868 at Issaquena Co in the state of Mississippi… her name before said marriage Martha Young.
“Also personally appeared J. Henry Bevins, residing at Greenville, Miss, and Patsy Smith, residing at Greenville, Miss… know her to be the lawful widow of Benjamin Burr who died on the 23 day of Oct 1916″

General Affidavit, Harry P. Pittman, 2 December 1916
“I have known Martha A. Burr and her husband Benjamin Burr for many years here in Washington Co … they were married Jan 19, 1868″

General Affidavit, Martha Ann Burr, 12 December 1916
70 years old; residence, Greenville, Mississippi
“I was married to Benjamin Burr under the name of Martha Ann Young on the 19th day of January 1868 … but through some error his name seems to have been given as Burris but his name is Benjamin Burr”

General Affidavit, Paul Young, 26 March 1917
67 years old
“I have known Martha Burr for 51 years or more for I was born on the same plantation in Issaquena County … and I was present at the marriage in January 1868”

General Affidavit, Diannah Young, 26 March 1917
67 years old; address, Greenville, Mississippi
“I know Martha Burr and Benjamin Burr well here in Issaquena County … I was present at the marriage in January 1868 … I was at his funeral on the 24th 1916 … his death October the 23 1916”

General Affidavit, Martha Burr, 1 August 1917
71 years old; address, 327 Broadway, Greenville, Mississippi
“I was born on the Holly Ridge Plantation in Issaquena County, Miss. a slave and was owned by Mr. Duncans. My mother and father were all slaves and no records of slaves were kept in those days of slaves but my mother told me when I married in January 1868 I was in my 21 years of age and she in dead now over 35 years ago and my father died 6 years before she died and all the older people are dead that could tell anything about my birth. No book or other records are kept of slaves here.”

General Affidavit, H.H. Pittman and Alex Parker, 24 December 1918
[Pittman[ 55 years old; residence, Baleshed [?], Issaquena County, Mississippi
[Parker] 55 years old; residence, Mayersville, Issaquena County, Mississippi
“[Burr] while with several others was detailed to mend the telegraph wire running from Fort Powhatan to a place called ‘Flood’ or ‘Floods.'”

Application for Reimbursement, Dan Burr, 4 March 1921
“Dan Burr … 37 years … resident of Greenville, Washington County, Mississippi … in the last sickness and burial of Martha Ann Burr … on account of the service of Benjamin Burr …
1- pensioner, Martha Ann Burr
2 – relationship, widow
3 – n/a
4 – children under 16 years old, no
5 – still living, no
6 – sick or death benefit paid on pensioner’s account, no
7 – life, accident, or health insurance, no
8 – insurance company, n/a
9 – beneficiary, n/a
10 – beneficiary’s relationship, n/a
11 – premium – n/a
12 – premium by non-pensioner, n/a
13 – executor or administrator, no
14 – money, real estate, personal property, no
15 – character and value of property, n/a
16 – assessed value of real estate, none
17 – disposal of real estate, n/a
18 – unendorsed pension check, no
19 – relation to deceased pensioner, son
20 – married, yes
21 – cause of death, acute indigestion
22 – date last sickness began, December 12, 1920
23 – date when caretaking required, December 12, 1920
24 – name and post-office address of physician, Dr. J.H. Miller, Greenville, Mississippi
25 – person who nursed pensioner, Lula Johnson
26 – pensioner’s residence at last illness, Greenville, Mississippi
27 – place of death, Greenville, Mississippi
28 – date of death, December 19, 1920
29 – burial, Greenville, Mississippi
30 – additional request for payment, no
31 – expenses

NamesNature of ExpensePaid or UnpaidAmount
J.H. MillerPhysicianPartially Paid8.00
Taylor Drug StoreMedicinePaid3.00
NoneNursing and Care
Delta Undertaking CoUndertakingPartially Paid237.00
NoneOther expenses

32 – a complete list of expenses, yes; post-office address, 501 Peach Tree St, Greenville, Washington County, Mississippi; [claimant’s signature]

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This veteran served in the Union Navy before he joined the Union Army. Prior to his military service, he’d been enslaved in North Carolina. When the war ended, he settled in Mississippi. This pension application includes information about his wife, parents, and children as well as harrowing descriptions of his battle injuries and details about the enslaved and the enslavers. Today’s post includes research notes from documents dated 1895-1898; next week’s post will include research notes from documents dated 1916-1921.

Invalid –707,728 / 898,171
Widow — 1,085,609 / 830,632, Martha Ann Burr

General Affidavit, Geo E.W. Grant and James Barney, 29 March 1895
[Grant] 47 years old; residence and post-office address, Greenville, Washington Co., Mississippi … well and intimately acquainted with Benjamin Burr”
[Barney] 28 years old; residence and post-office address, Greenville, Washington Co., Mississippi … well and intimately acquainted with Benjamin Burr”

Deposition, Benjamin Burr, 14 June 1895
57 years old; no occupation; residence and post-office address, 219 Broadway, Greenville, Mississippi
“I was sergeant of Co E 1 US Col’d Cav. I enlisted at Newbern, NC, in Dec 1864 was mustered in at Camp Hamilton, 3 miles from Fort Monroe, Va., was discharged at Brazos Santiago, Texas, and was mustered out at New Orleans in 1866. Before that I had served in the navy on the sloop Granite. I enlisted at Portsmouth, NC in 1862 and was mustered in at Newbern and was discharged at Newbern in Dec 1864.
“I was bred and born on Ocries Island [?], NC and belonged to the Jackson family. They lived on the sea-coast and were fishermen and oystermen. Portsmouth, NC was 10 or 12 miles from our place. There is no one in this county who knew me in NC. Before I went into the army I had always followed the water as a boatman and fisherman.”

“The company was stationed on Fort Powhatan on the James River in Virginia and had 35 miles of telegraph wire to keep up.
[In Winter of 1865 in February, he and the company had been out – twice – to replace wire that had been cut] … were about 3/4 mile below City Point when we were fired upon by the rebels. At the second volley my horse became frightened and rode under an oak tree dragging me from the saddle. I fell on a stump on the side of the road. I fell on my left side The horse whirled around and walked on my left foot crippling one of my toes …. Bugler Henry Meekins and Corp[oral] Steve White are the men who wanted to assist me. I lay in the snow under a holly bush that day until sundown when I tried to make my way to camp but could not. By ten o’clock next day I had managed to almost reach the picket.
“Of the names you have read to me Noah Ballot, Amos Simmons, Ransom Sutton, Willis Warren, Henry Charity and Henry Miggins were with the company on that occasion. … [The doctor who treated Burr was from] a 90-day Massachusetts regiment which was camped with us. … I got the asthma and my feet were frostbitten … I was treated in Virginia … After we got to Texas I was treated by our own doctor, Woodland.
“I was given a medal by General Graper [?] through Lt Col Sites at Brazos Santiago, Texas the last year I was in the army. (claimant here displays his medal) It is a silver medal with the inscription Distinguished for Courage Campaign before Richmond 1864, and on the reverse side, Ferro 115 libertas pervenent [?], US Colored Cavalry ] This was given me for my conduct at Petersburg, Va.

“After being mustered out in New Orleans, I went to Shepperd’s Landing, Miss and lived on Mr. Richardson‘s Esperanza owned by Andrew & Fred Turbull and lived there 8 months next to Duncans‘ Holly Ridge place, I’m below Mayersville and lived there 8 years, from there to Turnbull’s Lakeside on Sterle’s Bayou, four miles from Skippers and staid [sic] 1 year, to Holly Ridge 2 years, and then to Greenville, where I have been ever since. Before coming to Greenville I was a farmer. After coming to Greenville I was a raftsman on the river for seven years and for the last five years I have been unable to work …. [was treated by] Dr. Blackman who lived near Glen Allen, Miss. He died about 1868. Dr. Farris was the next doctor who treated me. He lives in Mayersville. Dr. Winslow at Bend Lamond teated me next. He died 6 ot 7 years ago. Dr. Dunn was the next doctor to treat me, then Dr. Shackelford and then Dr. Pierce. These doctors all live in Greenville.”

“My correct name is Benjamin Burr. I don’t remember my parents but I know my father went by the name of Burr. Some of the people in fact a great many calls me Burl or Burrell and my true name is Burr. My children who can write always sign the name Burr. I never went by the name Catchings. … There is no other family in Greenville named Burr that I know. There are no colored people in Greenville by the name of Catchings that I know of.”

Deposition, Benjamin Burr, 18 July 1895
“I served thirteen months in the Navy … all my service was on the Granite. I lost my discharge in Virginia during the war. The Granite was lying about four miles from Portsmouth, NC when myself, Sam Neal and Jim Howard went aboard of her as contrabands We had been on the Granite about a week when the captain asked us if we did not want to enlist. We said yes and he told us to go on duty and when we went to Newbern he would have us sworn in. When we went to Newbern we went aboard the flagship the Hatzel and were sworn in. The Granite was a small sloop which carried only one big gun. She had three officers but I don’t remember their names. There were about fourteen in the crew. Sam Neal, Jim Howard, August Johnson, were among the crew. I received $14 per month. I served under the name of Benjamin Burr. … I was rated as a landsman or seaman … We lay at anchor at Portsmouth on the blockade nearly all the time.”

Questionnaire (Form 3-402), Martha Burr, 3 July 1898
[married] Martha Burr, Martha Young
[when, where, by whom] by Charles Lewis, Davis Place in Issaquenah Co., Miss;
[record] license
[previous marriage] none
[living children] Deala Burr, Nov 7, 1874; Mattia Burr, Dec 24, 1876; Alic Burr, Dec 30, 1877; James Burr, 1879; Ed Burr, Nov 30, 1883; Mary Burr, Nov 9, 1885

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A ‘recruiter’ encouraged his brother-in-law who lived in New Jersey to enlist under an alias in New York. A bridesmaid and groomsman from the couple’s 1857 wedding vouched for the widow’s application for pension benefits. Witnesses lived in Camden County, New Jersey and nearby Philadelphia, Pennsylvania located just across the Delaware River.

Invalid — 864, 877 / 616,988
Widow — 575,736 / 402,259, Sarah A. Brown

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Sarah A. Brown, 3 May 1893
residence and post-office address, 1026 So 10th St, Camden, Camden Co., NJ;
“She was married under the name of Sarah Jubilee to said Robert Brown on the 25 day of Nov 1857 by Rev. W.D. W. Schuman, at Camden, NJ … neither of them previously married
“Also personally appeared Sarah L. Gibson, residing at Camden, County of Camden, State of New Jersey, and Mary E. Wright, residing at Camden, County of Camden, State of New Jersey”
[Note: “Jubilee” is a very unusual surname. Oscar Jubilee served in Company I, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry (posted December 7, 2020) and his brother Samuel C. Jubilee served in Company K, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry (posted November 30, 2020). Samuel settled in New Jersey but more research is required to determine whether these men had a connection with the widow Sarah (Jubilee) Brown — Leslie]

Deposition, Sarah A. Wright, 15 September 1893
59 years old; post-office address, 1026 So. 10th, Camden, NJ
“I exhibited to you the Discharge he received, but you can see it has been mutilated, the name Robert Brown was erased and the name Isaiah Wright inserted. He must have done that himself.”
“I was married to [the soldier] in this house in 1857 … We had a small wedding party. Wm. Sample, Comfort Pool, Lizzie Mitchfield were present at the marriage and my sister Elizabeth Weeks saw the marriage. I have the original marriage certificate which I exhibit to you.”
“I did not know that he was going to enlist. I was sick and he left me in the morning to go to his work. He did not return that night and I was worried and I did not know for about one week where he was and then Isaac Silvey (dead) my husband’s brother-in-law who was a ‘recruiter’ came and told me that my husband had enlisted in New York. My husband sent me a letter from Harts Island and in that he mentioned that his name was Robert Brown and he instructed me to address him by that name … I have no letters that he sent me … He was a Sergeant. No one around here enlisted with him. I heard him speak of a comrade named Zach Green, and he has been here since the war. I don’t know where he lived but I think in Philad.
“No I do not know Edward Moore, a comrade who was with him when he applied for pension. Isaac Selvy advised him to take the alias Robert Brown so he told me. He got a bounty I think of $600. Selvy gave me $200 and the balance he put in the bank for my husband, but I never got any of the balance nor did my husband, Selvy got it.
“Because he served under an alias he did not join the GAR on that account. The State has erected a tombstone with his name Isaiah Wright … there was a space between [her husband’s] two front teeth … I earn my living by washing and cooking. I just returned from Cape May where I have been working all summer.
“He owned this house. I suppose it’s mine. It is worth probably $1500 but is mortgaged for $600.”

Deposition, Caroline Selvy, 3 July 1894
48 years old; residence, 1126 Ohio Street, Philadelphia, Pennysylvania;
“I am a widow. My maiden name was Caroline Wright. I am a sister of Isaiah Wright, late husband of the claimant, Sarah A. Wright. I had two other brothers, George and William. George went to sea about 20 years ago. During that time I have never heard from him. I do not know whether he is living or dead. William lives at Yorktown, Salem Co., NJ. He works on a farm at that place.
“My brother Isaiah Wright died April 6, 1893 at No. 1026 S. 10 St., Camden, NJ. I was at his funeral. … He was married to the claimant several years before the war. I was not at the marriage but I was present at the ‘reception.’
“While he was at the Army he wrote one letter to me in which he described his army life. I think the letter was dated ‘Hilton Head.’ I remember he signed his name just ‘R.’ His full name was Robert Isaiah Wright. I answered that letter and addressed him at Isaiah Wright.
“After I mailed the letter my husband Isaac Selvey asked me how I addressed him. I told him and he replied that the letter might not reach him because that was not his name, that he enlisted under the name of ‘Robert Brown’ and that he was known by that name in the regiment. The letter was returned to me.
“My husband Isaac Selvy was a ‘recruiting man’ and enlisted my brother at New York … I never heard my brother give any reason for taking an assumed name at his enlistment.”
“He wa a short stout man, black, has a small moustache. I don’t remember that he wore beard on his chin. No special marks. His teeth were very far apart, so far that it would look to some people that he had lost some of them … I have not seen Zach Green since last Fall. I saw him then on a wagon. I do not know if he is still in the city.”

Deposition, John Brinkley, 3 July 1894
52 years old; occupation, laborer; residence, Paschallville, Church ___, Philadelphia, Pa.
“I enlisted in New York in March 1865 in Co L 1 USC Cavy. … I knew two members of the company named Brown — Isaiah Brown and William Brown. Isaiah Brown was from Camden, NJ. I tented with these men and of course was well acquainted with them — with Isaiah especially … I never saw him since our discharge until about four years ago. I met him in Camden, NJ. I hailed him as ‘Brown.’ He then told me that ‘Brown’ was not his name … and that his true and correct name was ‘Wright’ … there was considerable distance between his teeth … I often noticed that he could spit clear through them without parting them.”

General Affidavit, Wm T. Sample and Comfort White, 13 May 1899
[Sample] 62 years old; residence, Camden, Camden Co., NJ; post-office address, 10 S. Chestnut St
[White] 62 years old; residence, Mt. Ephron, Camden Co., NJ; post-office address, Mt. Ephron, Camden Co., NJ
“We was well acquainted with Isiah Wright alias Robert Brown, and with Sarah his wife. We was perseant [sic] at there [sic] marriage at Camden Nov 25th 1857 by Wm. L.W. Schumann and we acted as bridesmade [sic] and groomsman.”

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This widow’s application did not hold up under close review by the Pension Bureau’s Special Examiner. Rejections were issued when a Special Examiner determined that there was insufficient evidence of identity or relationship.

Widow — 680,095 / —–

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Zilpha Carter, 4 June 1898
48 years old; residence, Windsor Township, Bertie County, North Carolina; post-office address, c/o Lewis Roulhac, Windsor, Bertie County, North Carolina
“died near Windsor, in the State of North Carolina, on or about the 14 day of Aug 1886. That she was married under the name of Zilpha Bond to said Robert Carter on the 9 day of September, 1871, by George W. Downing, at Windsor, NC”

“Also personally appeared Champ Pugh, residing at Windsor, County of Bertie, State of North Carolina, and Lewis Lathem, residing at Windsor, County of Bertie, State of North Carolina.”
[Note: “Lewis Lathem” appeared on the signature line as “Willis Lathem” who signed with his mark — Leslie]

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This soldier was swindled from money paid to his wife for nursing and taking in washing.

Invalid — 1,287,830 / —–

Bureau of Pensions (Form 3-442), 13 November 1902
Please furnish the names and post-office addresses of officers and comrades of Co. L, 1st Reg’t USC Cav

NameRankPresent Post-Office Address
Harvey W. BrownMajorDead
Charles H. Coburn1st Lt. & Q.M.793 Merrimac St., Lowell, Mass.
James E. FullerQ.M. Sgt.168 Queen St., Norfolk, Va.
W.H. GrayAsst. Surg.Dead
Frank B. GarrettAdjt.Syracuse, Onondaga, NY
John T. Hogue1st Lt & R.G.St. Johns, Apache Co., Arizona
London HurdleR.C. Sgt.Lamberts Point Road, Norfolk, Va.
B.S. ManlySurg.Dead
Nathan PondMajor61 E. Main St., Rochester, NY
Adolph C. WarbergLt. Col.Dead
Note: There’s a strikethrough in the line for James E. Fuller. Written above the address is “seen 11 3 -02” — Leslie

Deposition, Randall Lewis alias Johnson, 14 January 1903
about 62 years old; residence and post-office address, Rio Vista, Henrico County, Virginia; occupation, farming
Oscar Johnson, my son, and Joshua Robinson were with me at the time. I was born in Nelson Co., Va. near Howardsville but I can’t give you the date. Was born a slave to Zach Lewis. My father’s name was Reuben Johnson (dead) and my mother’s name was Minnie Johnson (dead). My father and mother belonged to my master. I don’t know whether Zack Lewis’s close relatives are alive or not. I left him at the outbreak of the war and have never since saw any of them nor have I gone back to the old place. His children were all very small when I left. I only had one brother Moses and he separated from me at the outbreak of the war and I have never since seen or heard from him. Have no other relatives except Rachel a sister. Rachel Granger, she is a good deal younger than I am. I don’t where she lives in Richmond. I think it is Gray she is married to but I never saw him and don’t know his first name. When the war broke out I drifted away from Nelson Co., Va. and got up with the Army — the Yankees at Masses Junction in this state. That’s what it was called. White Bridge was about five miles from it”

Deposition, Joshua Robinson, 14 January 1903
23 years old; residence and post-office address, Rio Vista, Henrico County, Virginia; occupation, laboring

Letter from Chief of Law Division, Bureau of Pensions, Department of the Interior to Chief of S.E. Division, 23 January 1903
“It appears that about June 1902, Sidney B. Webb, otherwise known as Sidney Webb, Harrison Webb, S.B.W. Harris, Harrison etc., impostor, who is now in jail at Richmond, Va., … went to Rio Vista, Henrico Co., Va. (the home of the applicant) and had a conversation with him, the substance of which, according to the applicant was that he the applicant had joined the army at Massas (presumably meaning Manassas Junction, Va.), had worn a uniform, carried a gun, and at times had ridden a horse, and had been turned loose by the Yankees after the fall of Richmond … The paper was filed and the report from the War Department disclosed the fact that the applicant did not perform the alleged service. After this paper was filed the applicant was systematically swindled by Sidney W. Webb, who did him out of about $34, causing him among other things to sell his heifer and his turkeys, and to turn over to Webb the money which his wife received for nursing and for taking in washing.”

Deposition, E.E. Clark, 3 February 1903
30 yeas old; post-office address, 312 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
“I am the Chief Clerk of W.H. Wills, a pension claim attorney, whose office is at the above stated address”

Deposition, George E. Chapman, 3 February 1903
45 yeas old; post-office address, 312 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
“I am a clerk in the employ of W.H. Wills, a pension claim attorney, whose office is at the above stated address”

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