Posts Tagged ‘court-martial’

Dallas Jones, Company K

A freeborn 21-year-old boatman from Williamsburg, Virginia became a Corporal after enlistment but then lost his rank. While confined in military jail he wrote a letter to military officials professing his non-involvement in “the confusion.” His widow suffered at least one stroke and though she was close to being sent to the Almshouse, her application for relief was denied. 


Widow — 513,610 / —–, Mary Jones


Letter from Dallas Jones to [illegible] & Captain Whiteman, Dallas Jones’ Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR), 22 June 1865*
“Sir — I am not guilty of what I am confined for. At the time of the confusion I was sick in my bed & not able to be up. Did you ever know of me disobeying any orders that were given to me by my superior officer? Did you know me to be disagreeable or raising disturbances? Have or haven’t I done my duty as a soldier since joining the Regt? Do you recollect of asking me if I wanted to go to Texas and I told you I was willing to go as well as any man in the company? If I was only released I would do my duty as a soldier as I have done before.”
[Signed in his hand]
Note: This letter is in the soldier’s CMSR not the pension application. A CMSR includes details not found elsewhere e.g. changes in rank. There’s a link to this CMSR at the end of this post. — Leslie


General Affidavit, Mary Jones, 13 October 1891
46 years old, 10 McLane’s Lane, Norfolk, Va … ” … that she was married to Dallas Jones in Richmond, Va. on or about 1860 … [that her husband] was originally, from what she could learn from him, Williamsburg, Va.; that at the time of her marriage she belonged to a Mr. Stratton in Richmond; that Dallas enlisted in some regiment, she did not know which at the time, after his return she learned it was in the 1st US Col Cav and she was under the impression it was Co F and so told her atty but after inquiry among his comrades found it to be the K Co 1st US Col Cav …”


General Affidavit, Hilleary Willson & Andrew W. Anderson, 16 October 1891
[Wilson] 45 years old;
[Anderson] 47 years old;
“[They] knew Dallis Jones while in service and know that claimant often called to see him as his wife … that at close of war both came to Norfolk to live … [They] were not present at marriage. [The couple] had several children all of whom died quite young, both were well known in this city.  Dallis Jones died in Norfolk, Va. in 1887 … [Willson and Anderson] present at his funeral”
[Note: The address on the form is “95 Liberty Street” but it’s not clear which man — or if both — lived there. –Leslie]


Deposition, Mary Jones, 13 June 1893 
50 years old; housekeeper; residence, 9 McLane’s Lane, Norfolk, Va . … “I was married to the soldier in Richmond before the war at my master Mr. J. Stralton’s house.  We began to live together by our master’s consent. He had never been married before and I had never been married before…My husband died on Cumberland St. in this city in the summer of 1876 when the centennial was in Philadelphia


Deposition, Andrew W. Anderson, 13 June 1893 
49 years old; laborer; 95 Liberty St., Norfolk, Va. … “I served in Co G 1 US Col Cav.  I knew Dallas Jones from the time we were together in the army until he died.”


Deposition, John Binford, 15 June 1893
55 years old; laborer; 31 Scott St, Norfolk, Va … “I served in Co G 36 US Col Inf …The only Mary Jones that I know lives on Scott St. near me and her husband died in Baltimore some years ago.  I never knew what the husband’s name was …”


Deposition, Hillary Wilson, 15 June 1893 
47 years old; peddler;  Broad Creek Turnpike, Norfolk, Va. … “I served in Co G 1 US Col Cav … I have known Mary Jones widow of Dallas Jones about 25 years …” 


Letter from M. Whitehead, Special Examiner, to Commissioner of Pensions, 7 July 1893
“The claimant is an extremely ignorant woman, a paralytic and destitute but truthful as far as her memory goes. … Although the claimant states that the soldier died while the Centennial Exposition was in Philadelphia in 1876 I was advised by quite an intelligent neighbor of hers that he died while the Centennial was going on in Philadelphia in 1887 i.e. the Centennial of the Constitution.”


Correspondence from George R. Gornto, Attorney, to William Lochren, Pension Bureau, 27 February 1895
[The letter’s written on stationery of Dr. C.F. Newbill, 168 Main Street, Norfolk, Va., Phone 702] Mary Jones’s attorney begged the Pension Bureau to expedite her claim as his client was “stricken with paralysis” and would be sent to the almshouse if immediate action weren’t taken. “The evidence you have called for in a few days will be impossible for her to comply with. She was stricken with paralysis a few days ago. And will have to be sent to the Almshouse for support. If her claim was referred to the Special Examiner, he could obtain the necessary evidence to complete the claim. So if not against the rules of the Bureau, will you not act in her claim so that she can enjoy some benefits of her pension during life … [claimant’s address] 34 Bottimore Street, Norfolk, Va. … Yours, respectfully, Geo. R. Gornto, 168 Main St., Norfolk, Va.”


Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Mary Jones, 31 December 1895 
50 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 32 Bottimore St., Norfolk, Va.; “was married under the name of Mary Carter to said Dallis Jones, Jany 1856 by consent of owners at Richmond Va. .. that she had never applied for pension … Also personally appeared, Anna Robinson, residing at Norfolk, Va., and Carrie Clark, residing at Norfolk, Va….[acquainted with the claimant] 25 years and 25 years, respectively”


*His letter likely refers to the apparent mutiny described in “Insubordination of Colored Troops,” The Commercial Bulletin, 19 June 1865 that I posted June 17, 2019.

The letter’s in the soldier’s Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR) available for free at Internet Archive:
Compiled military service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served with the United States Colored Troops [microform]: 1st through 5th United States Colored Cavalry, 5th Massachusetts Cavalry (Colored), 6th United States Colored Cavalry (1997). Reel 0005 – 1st United States Colored Cavalry: Holt, George – Jones, Herbert Oliver (online at http://www.archive.org/details/compiledmili0007akesunit). Jones’ Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR) can be viewed at n1611-n1653.

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