Posts Tagged ‘farmers’

Before enlistment, the soldier worked as an oysterman. His sight and hearing were seriously impaired during his service at Brazos Santiago, Texas. After he was mustered out, he lived in Nansemond County, Virginia and worked as a farmer. 

Invalid — 707,863 / 542,833 

Declaration for Original Invalid Pension, William Elliott, 1 June 1889
“In the line of his duty at Turnpike near Richmond, in the state of Virginia on or about the spring day of May 1865, he was shot, the ball striking his breast plate causing him to be internally hurt from which he has suffered to present time and while at Brazos Texas became blind & deaf was attended to Camp Hospital by Dr. Grey, he still is very deaf and blind.”
“That he was treated in hospitals as follows: Camp Hospital at Brazos, Texas by Doctors Manly and Grey.
“That since leaving the service this applicant has resided in Nansemond Co. in the State of Virginia, and his occupation has been that of a farmer. That prior to his entry into the service above named he was a man of good, sound, physical health, being when enrolled an oysterman. That he is now 2/3 disabled form obtaining his subsistence by manual labor by reason of his injuries …”
“Also personally appeared Raphael Wright, residing at Norfolk, Va. … Geo. Tarrall, residing at Nansemond Co….”

Declaration for Invalid Pension, William Elliott, 2 August 1890
53 years old; partially unable to earn a support by reason of shock received from shot while in the service of the US
Witnessed by Jacob Ashburn, Norfolk County, Va. & Edward R. Pitt, Bowers Hill, Norfolk County, Va.”
[NOTE: Ashburn and Pitt both signed their names — Leslie]

Claim for Increase, Joseph H. Hunter, Attorney, 25 April 1896
Witnessed by Wills Baker, Bowers Hill, Va. & Henry Francis, Bowers Hill

Questionnaire (Form 3-173), William Elliott, 20 November 1897
[married] No, my wife is dead
[when, where, and by whom] I was married according to the manner of colored people
[record?] none whatever
[previously married?] no
[living children] Yes. Three. James Elliot, 36 years old; William Elliott, 25 years old; Victoria Elliott, 22 years old

Questionnaire (Form 3-402), William Elliot, 24 March 1898
[married] no, widowed
[when where, and by whom] —
[record] —
[previously married?] —
[living children] Yes. Five children. James born Dec 1863; William, born June 1873; Victoria born April 1875; Lovey born June 1878; Annie born May 1884

Declaration for Increase of Pension , William Elliott, 4 July 1900
“Also personally appeared Joseph Ridgeway, residing at M[illegible?], Nansemond Co., Va. and Albert Howell, residing at M[illegible?], Nansemond Co., Va.
[Note: The word might be “Melvin” but I couldn’t find a match in the Gazetteer of Virginia by Henry Gannett. However, the Greater Chuckatuck Historical Foundation website includes the following entry by Robert Archer and Lynn Rose, “Milner’s Town was located on the western branch of the Nansemond River, about ten miles north of Suffolk.  An inspection station and tobacco warehouse were located there.  One branch of the Nansemond River and tributaries of the Nottoway and Blackwater River led to Milner’s Town.” — Leslie]

Deposition, William Elliott, 29 April 1901
69 years old; occupation, laborer; residence, Churchland, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I was freeborn and never had any other name.
“I was born at Churchland, Norfolk Co., Va. and have resided there all of my life. James Elliott was my father and Sallie Elliott was my mother. I had two brothers, Wright and James Elliott. They were not in the Army. I had two sisters, Lovy and Mary Elliott.”

“I don’t know how old I was when I enlisted, nor do I remember what age I gave Capt. Schwartz when I enlisted right down Main Street here in Norfolk. I do know however that I shall be 70 years age on June 4, next if I live….I was an oysterman when I enlisted. I have never been employed as a servant.

“Garrard was my Col.
Major Seip was Lt.
Capt. Brown was Major.
Charles Schwartz was my Capt.
Garrett and Stearne were Lts.
Beverly West was Ord. Sgt.
[illegible] Elliott and Albert Taylor were Sgts.
James Brooks and James Gardner were Corpls.
Isaac Dean and Thomas Cuffy tented with me.”

“I contracted scurvy in Texas …. Dr. Rain and Dr. Ashman have been my physicians since the war. Daniel Wright and Dempsey Elliott were witnesses for me. I testified for them – that they had not been in any other army since the war.

“I am single. My wife, Huldy, died five years ago. I have no children under 16 years of age. Hunter, of Washington, was my atty. Barnes, Clerk of County Court, Portsmouth did the writing. I paid 50 c for each affidavit.”

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Shortly after the war ended, a woman was convicted of arson and sentenced to death. She served 16 years at the State Penitentiary at Richmond, Virginia before she received a gubernatorial pardon for good behavior. She married a Civil War veteran several years after her release.


Invalid — 470,210 / 509,663
Widow — 604,342 / —–, Martha Elliott


Disability Affidavit, Nixon Elliott, 28 September 1889
67 years old; residence, Kempsville, Princess Anne Co., Va.; post-office, Kempsville, Princess Anne Co., Va. … “farmer when I enlisted …  [since my discharge] I have resided in Norfolk Co. and Princess Anne Co. is the only change. …  [I contracted an injury] while moving a house at Getty Station, Norfolk Co., Va., March 1865. Frank Robinson was present and saw it … I never take medical treatment but wore trusal [sic] for eight months after discharge …”


For Officer’s or Comrade’s Testimony, Sandy Crag, 11 October 1889
residence, 247 Church St., Norfolk, Va. … “On or about April 1865 at Getty Station … I was present at the time of Nixson Elliott .
[Note: Document was date stamped by Pension Bureau — Leslie]


For Officer’s or Comrade’s Testimony, Cisero Hill, 11 October 1889
residence, 83 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.; post-office address, Kempsville, Princess Anne Co., Va. … “I was present at the time of Nixson Elliott became rupture on right side … I further state that his rupture contracted by moving a house and the same night … was treated by Manly the Surgeon Dr. … I further state that the claimant was discharged because he was not able to follow his regiment to Texas.”
[Note: Document was date stamped by Pension Bureau — Leslie]


Claimant’s Affidavit, Nixon Elliott, 4 December 1889
“I was discharged from the Hospital at Hampton, Va., 1865 … and I have never did any manual labor since I was discharged. But I do what I can for myself. But that is not much.
[Note: Document was date stamped by Pension Bureau — Leslie]


General Affidavit, Siserow Hill, 4 January 1890
50 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office, Kempsville, Princess Anne Co., Virginia …”I acknowledge that I no [sic] him and no [sic] something about his rupture on his right side, that he contracted in the U.S. Service near Getty Station, the county of Norfolk, the state of Virginia … I have been living as nabors [sic] ever since 1866  … Cicero [his mark] Hill …”


Claimant’s Affidavit, Nixon Elliott, 1 March 1890
67 years old; residence, Princess Anne Co., Virginia; post-office address, Kempsville, Virginia …. “I never had employed a doctor to attend me for my disease or these wounds because I was not able to. I alllways [sic] bought medicine from different advisors for my disease that I was discharged with from the hospital. I am suffering with that rupture of the right side …”


Marriage License (Virginia), Nixon Elliott & Martha Ford, 14 June 1892
69 years old and 40 years old, respectively; married 15 June 1892, Berkley, Va. Both had been widowed. The groom, a farmer, was born in Perquimans, NC to Pompey and Celia Robinson; he lived in Princess Anne Co., Va.  The bride was born in Norfolk Co., Va. to Jordan and Rena Miller; she lived in Princess Anne Co, Va.; the bride’s residence was not reported.  The couple was married at William Wilson’s house by J. Cuffey, Minister.”


Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Martha Elliott, 7 August 1894
42 years old; residence, Kempsville, Princess Anne Co., Va.;   “… declares that she is the widow of Nixon Elliott, that the discharge of said Elliott has been lost and she is not informed where he enlisted or was discharged … [he] died August 13th 1893; That she was married under the name Martha Ford … on the 15th day of June 1892 by J. Cuffee, at Berkley, Va. … claimant’s former husband and deceased’s former wife being dead; That she has not remarried since the death of the said Nixon Elliott … Also personally appearing James Davis, residing at Kempsville, Va., and Preston Cooper, residing at Princess Anne C.H., Va. [acquainted with Martha Elliott] 5 years and 30 years, respectively … ”


Letter from George R. Gornto,168 Main St, Norfolk, Va. to Hon. Hoke Smith, Secretary of Interior, 12 October 1895
“On or about the year 1870, the said Martha Elliott was tried and convicted in the County Court of Norfolk County, State of Virginia, for Arson and her penalty was death.  Gov. Gilbert C. Walker then Governor commuted her sentence to life imprissonment [sic] in the State Penitentiary at Richmond, Va.  After serving 16 years, 4 months and 24 days, Governor Fitzhugh Lee then Governor, for good behavior pardoned her and set her at liberty.  When she was convicted she was the wife of one Jordan Ford.  After 10 years confinement in the Penitentiary, the said Jordan Ford married another woman by the advice of his lawyers thinking that he was lawfully without a wife.  After the said Martha Elliott was released from the Penitentiary about two years afterwards, she thinking and believing by advice of her Attorney, she marries one Nixon Elliott a soldier in the U.S. Army during the late War.  The same Nixon Elliott dies about two years after this marriage July 1894.  The petitioner Martha Elliott claims to be entitled to a Widows’s Pension from the soldier Nixon Elliott.

“It appears to me that under the said circumstances she is entitled to a Widow’s Pension.  The proceedings of the said trial can be furnished if desired.  The petitioner is prompted in making this appeal to your Honor by the advice of the Special Examiner of this Section.  Please give this petition your earliest attention so in the event you should decide against the petitioner she can apply for relief from Congress through her Senator Hon. John W. Daniel and Hon. D.G.Tyler – who has promised to have a Special Act passed for her relief.

“Trusting to receive a favorable response at an early date.”


Letter from Martha Elliott to Secretary of the Interior, 2 November 1894
“Dear Sir — If required I can produce the record of my trial from the Clerk of Norfolk County. I did not deem it proper to run myself to an additional expense in the matter so if you are not satisfied with the particulars just inform me and what evidence may be required will be cheerfully furnished. Yours etc, Martha Elliott”

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A farmer with ambitions of becoming an officer joined a New York regiment as a private. At the end of that term, he enlisted in the 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry as a Lieutenant at age 19 [Company G] and was promoted to Captain on December 7, 1864 [Company I]. In Spring 1865 he returned to New York on furlough and got married. The war ended. Instead of reporting to duty at the end of his approved absence, he stayed in New York. Big mistake: Absence Without Leave and Dishonorable Discharge.
— 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 0014 – 1st United States Colored Cavalry: Tines, Archer – Wheldon, Charles M. (online at http://www.archive.org/details/compiledmili0014akesunit) Vandervoort’s Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR) can be viewed at n393-n427

Years later, a woman pleaded with President Woodrow Wilson on the soldier’s behalf.

Invalid — 1,291,842 / —

Declaration of Invalid Pension, David Vandervoort, 11 October 1902
58 years old, “resident of the town of Sydney, Delaware County, state of New York who was enrolled on the 22d day of August,1861, in Co. E. 3d Reg. NY Cav Vols as a private … honorably discharged at Newport News, Va. on the 8th day of January 1864 and was afterward re-inlisted [sic] and appointed captain of the first Reg. U.S. Colored Cav and assigned his commission on Mch 24, 1865 but never received a discharge; That he is now unable to earn a support by manual labor by reason of disability which he has contracted during his army service and said his discharge consisting of rupture and rheumatism ….  also personally appeared Alfred Phelps, residing at Franklin, Otsego, New York, and Rawson B. Hultz, residing at Otsego, Otsego County, New York, [acquainted with claimaint] 30 years and 25 years, respectively”


Letter from Mrs. E.M. Burghdorf, 24 Dean Street, Deposit, New York, to President Woodrow Wilson, January 1916
“President Wilson, Hon. Sir,
“I am about to ask a great favor of you. It will not be much for you to do but will mean so much for the person for which I plead.
“David Vandervort [sic] was enrolled Aug 19, 1861, served faithfully until March 1865. Was three times promoted on account of bravery and March 1865 rec[eived] a furlough, came home and married the beautiful young lady that had waited so long, and from whom he had long been seperated [sic].
“Lee surrendered, the war was over, & he did not report or go back to get his discharge. And in Oct 17, 1865 he was discharged by Special Order 551 War Department. Now the favor I ask is that he be restored to the rolls by special order so he can get a pension.
“He is an old man now and helpless, nearly, with rheumatism and has no means of support.
“It seems to me that a grand soldier, that served so long and faithfully should be forgiven & restored when he had no idea he was doing wrong.
Please go over the matter carefully & put yourself in his place, and restore him. He will not live many years but it would be such a comfort to him to know he was restored and to have a pension so he would not have to depend upon charity.
“I have just lately found out that he was dropped by S.O.  If he could be dropped by S.O. he could also be restored by S.O.
“If you could see him I know you would grant this request. Be merciful for it means so much to him.
“I shall in no way be benefited by this. Am only trying to get justice for a brave & noble old soldier.
Yours very truly [signature & address]
“P.S. David Vandervort [sic], Co E 3d Reg. N.Y. Cavalry private – corporal, 1863 commissioned as 1st Lieutenant in 1st Reg. U.S.C. Cavalry promoted to Captain Co. I same regiment.”
[Note: The letter’s author underlined several words in her letter to the President — Leslie]


Letter from E.C. Tieman, Deputy Commissioner to Mrs. E.M. Burgdorf, 24 Dean Street, Deposit, New York, 11 January 1916
“Dear Madam,
“Your letter addressed to the President has been forwarded to this Bureau and filed with the other papers in the claim 12911842 of David Vandervoort who served in Company E, 3rd New York Cavalry and Company I, 1st United States Colored Cavalry, and whose claim under the Act of June 27, 1890 was rejected in November, 1902 for the reason that his service was not honorably terminated, he having been dismissed the service because of absence without leave.
“So long as the law remains unchanged, he will not be allowed pension under the Act of June 27, 1890 or any act passed since that date.”

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Jacob Sugars was born enslaved in Southampton County a few years after the 1831 Nat Turner Rebellion in that county. Married twice, he had several children and died a widower.


Invalid — 952,121 / 790,368

Questionnaire, Jacob Sugars, 17 March 1898
63 years old; residence, Southampton Co., Va. …
[Married] Charlott Sugars, maiden name Charlott Broadnax … December 1893 at Jacob Sugars’ house by W.R. Mason …
[Previously married] Eveline Parker. Died in September 25th 1890 at Nathan Pope’s in Southampton, Va.
[Living children] Albert Sugars born Dec 1872; Sally Ann [Sugars] Born Aug 1874; Thomas Sugars born May 1876; Jesse Sugars born Dec 1877: … Cherry Sugars born June 1879 … Henderson Sugars born Dec 1881 … Percy Sugars born 4th September 1897.”


Declaration for Pension, Jacob Shuggars, 1 September 1908
“resident of Felts, County of Southampton …”


General Affidavit, E.M. Darden, 13 June 1911
[illegible] years old; resident of Newsoms, Southampton Co. …”has known Jacob Sugars since Feby 1866 … has gained above knowledge by living near him all this time.”


Questionnaire, Jacob Sugars, 20 March 1915
[born] Southampton Co, 1839 Sept …
[married] two times Evelina Parker and Charlot Artist Brodnax … 1st time in slave time by master Frank Ridly, 2nd time in 1898 Rev. Mason
[wife’s previous husband] Charlot Broadnax married to Robert Artist he died ….
[children living or dead] Peter Sugars born [No year reported — Leslie]


Deposition, W.T. McLemore, M.D., 15 October 1920
I have known Jacob Sugars … for 15 or 20 years, and have attended him professionally at frequent intervals during that time.”


Death Certificate [copy], Jacob Sugars, 30 November 1923
[place of death] Jerusalem, Southampton Co., Va.
[sex, color, condition] male, colored, widowed
[birth date] 1835
[age] 87
[occupation] farmer
[birthplace] Southampton
[father’s name, birthplace] don’t know
[mother’s name, birthplace] don’t know
[informant] Percy Sugars, Courtland, Va
[cause of death] parenchymatous nephritis and valvular heart disease (leaking)
[signature] W.T. McLemore, M.D., Courtland, Va.
[burial] Massadon [sp?] Church, 30 November 1923
[undertaker] Card [sp?] Ricks, Courtland, Va.

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Isaac Forbes was born enslaved in Camden County, North Carolina. During his military service he recovered from measles at Fort Monroe and likely witnessed a hanging: a comrade who shot and killed another soldier in the regiment was hung for the crime. Forbes described in considerable detail his experiences with pension attorneys, witnesses, charges, payments, and the voucher process. His brother Robert Forbes served in Company A, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry.


Invalid — 504,809 / 734,939
Widow — 951,657 / 715,349

Deposition, Isaac Forbes, 17 April 1902
59 years old; farmer; resident, near Deep Creek, Va. … “I was born in Camden County, North Carolina and was a slave; was owned by Walter Forbes. My father was Isaac Humphreys. I have never gone under any name other Isaac Forbes.”

“We went to Texas in June after Richmond fell and landed in Texas on the 4th of July following. We went by steamer and landed at Brazos Santiago, Texas. We were in Brazos and vicinity all the time that we were in Texas.
“I was in the following engagements: Chickahominy, That was the only regular battle we were in but I was in several skirmishes.
“We lost no men out of my company but Willies Scowers of my Reg’t shot F[r]ed Smith of the Regiment and he was hung for it at City Point, Va.

“Girrard was my Col. … We had no Lt. Col. … Brown was Major. … Seips was Second Major. … Schwartz was my Capt…. Garrett was 1st Lt. … I cannot recollect name of 2nd Lt. … West was Ord. Sgt. …  Porterlock [almost certainly ‘Portlock’ – Leslie] was a duty Sgt. …. Albert Taylor was also a duty Sgt. … I was a Pvt. … Peter Bush eat [sic] and slept with me in service.

“I was never wounded in service. Was never on detached duty. I was sick with measles for a week at Fortress Monroe, Va. That was the only time I was sick in service.

“McNulty, McNulsey, or something like that was my attorney. He charged ten dollars which was taken out of my first payment. Granville Towell [?] was my local attorney and his wife and a woman whose name I do recollect acted as witnesses for me. The witnesses charged me nothing.

“I am now paralyzed on one side and since February have been able to do no manual labor.

“I get a pension of six dollars a month under new law. I once put in a claim under old law but I do not recollect on account of what ailments I claimed pension and I have quit working on it. My eyes trouble me and I have a misery in my breast. My eyes have been troubling me for twenty years; my breast for five or six years…

“I have been married twice; my first wife Clarisa died in Camden Co., NC in three miles of the C.H. I next married in 1872 in Camden Co., NC.  I married Adeline Simmons. She was never married until she married me. We were married by [illegible] Burgess a J.P.  My wife and myself are still living together. We have no children under 16 years of age.

Mr. Johnson executes my vouchers; he always swears me we have never had vouchers exectuted before the 4th.”


Sworn Statement, T.B. Godfrey, 22 October 1910 
“I, T.B. Godfrey, Register of Deeds for Camden County, NC, do hereby certify that the Records of my Office show that Isaac Forbes and Adline Simmons were married on the 18th day of January, 1872, by Z. Burgess, a Justice of the Peace.”


Questionnaire, Isaac Forbes [undated]
[married] “I am married. Her name Adlin Forbes. Her maiden name Adline Simmons”
[when, where, by whom] Jany 19, 1872 at North Carolina by Zeke R. Burgess, Justice of the Peace
[record] [blank]
[previously married] “I was but she die[d] May 17, 1868. Name Clarsie Forbes .. date of her death May 17, 1868 at N.C.”
[living children] Louvenny birth Nov 1, 1872 and Robert birth [illegible] 1876 … Anne Eliza birth Feb 8, 1877 … Emma birth Nov 1 1879 … Samuel birth [illegible]


Sworn Statement, Betty Trotman, Bettie Hughes, L.P. Sharpe, 22 October 1910
“Betty Trotman, Bettie Hughes, L.P. Sharpe, being duly sworn, depose and say and each for himself deposeth and saith that Clarsy Forbes, wife of Isaac Forbes late of said County and State died sometime during the month of May 1868.”


Sworn Statement, John W. Daugherty, M.D., 28 December 1910
“Deep Creek, Va., Dec 28/1910
To whom it may concern:
This is to certify that Isaac Forbes died Oct 4, 1910 and that death was the result of paralysis.
Jno. W. Daugherty, M.D.
Attending Physician”


Sworn Statement, Lucy Wilson, 11 January 1911 [date stamped as received by Pension Bureau]
“[Wilson] make oath that she has known Adaline Forbes the widow of Isaac Forbes since she was a girl and before she was of marriageable age and the war was never married before she married Isaac Forbes and that Isaac Forbes was only married once before and that to Clarsy Forbes who died in North Carolina and that Adaline Forbes lived with the soldier until his death.”


Accrued Pension, Isaac Forbes, 14 January 1911
“Pensioner: Isaac Forbes … Date of Death: October 4, 1910 … Claimant: Adaline Forbes, widow, RR #2, Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Virginia … “

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Robert Forbes survived a gunshot wound to the head but suffered from its effects for the rest of his life. His discharge papers were lost during his attempt to be paid the $300 bounty owed to him. At war’s end, Forbes married a woman from Princess Anne County, Virginia where they settled on a farm and raised a family. Robert’s brother Isaac Forbes served in Company F, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry.


Invalid — 548,290 / 363,243
Widow — 1,004,529 / 761,372, Elizabeth Forbes 

General Affidavit, John Daniels & Henry Shaw, 8 August 1883
[Daniels], 50 years old; resident, London Bridge, Princess Anne Co., Va; post-office address [same]; and [Shaw], 56 years old; resident, Princess Anne C.H., Princess Anne Co., Va.; post-office address [same]; … “[P]ersonally acquainted with Robert Forbes for 35 years and 30 years, respectively … That previous to the war we knew Robert Forbes, we all lived in Currituck and Camden Counties, NC within five miles of each other. We knew him before his enlistment and as far as we knew he was a perfectly sound man; that since his return from the army in 1866 during that year and the years 1867 & 1868 we lived near him and saw him frequently, certainly as often as once a month. The wound as we saw it on his (Robert Forbes) return from the army in or about March 1866. [It] was a large sore on the left side of his head  about the top of forehead and hair about one inch above the ear. The sore was a large one and discharged at times. During this time from March 1866 to Dec 1868 we were all engaged in farming and lived as neighbors and we the affiants saw Robt Forbes as often as once a month and we knew on  hot days he suffered so with his head that he was unable to do more than 1/2 or 2/3 of a day’s work and at times he was confined to his house for a period of one week at the time. From Jany 1869 to Dec 1877, Robt Forbes dd not live near us and we did not see him oftener than once in two or three months but we know that had made the same complaint to us in regard to his suffering. In 1878 Robt Forbes was again our near neighbor and had so lived at the time to the present time and we know that he still suffers with his head and his unable to do work in hot weather and he frequently complains of his head and we know of our own personal knowledge that he is unable to do hard work in hot weather.”


Marriage Certificate [copy], Robert Forbes & Elizabeth Owens, 28 September 1883
[marriage] 1 October 1883
[place] Norfolk Co., Va.
[ages] both 34 years old
[condition] both single
[birthplace] North Carolina and Princess Anne Co., Va., respectively
[residences] both Norfolk Co., Va.
[husband’s parents] Robert Forbes and [ blank ]
[wife’s parents] Peter and Rutha Ann Owens
[husband’s occupation] laborer
[officiant] Richard R. Gowens performed ceremony at his home


Questionnaire, Robert Forbes, 4 June 1898
[married] Elizabeth Forbes — Elizabeth Owens
[when, where, by whom] 1868, Princess Anne Co., Va., Elder Gowans
[record] record filed in Clerk’s Office
[previously married] no
[living children] Wm. H., Aug. 11, 1869; Samuel J., Feby 4, 1879; Columbus A., Oct 2, 1875; Alice T., March 18, 1877; Sarah E., Aug 11, 1880; Carrie V., April 18, 1882; Ernest, September 29, 1884; [illegible], June 8, 1888


Deposition, Robert Forbes, 25 July 1902
“I am 57 years of age; farmer; & I live about 4 miles from Princess Ann [sic] C.H., Va.”

“I was born in Camden County, NC. I was a slave: was owned by Walter Forbes. My father is Isaac Humphreys. I have never gone under any name other than Robert Forbes. …
“I lost my discharge through Mr. Brown when I was trying to get $100 bounty which was due me. I got $200 bounty but was entitled to $300. It was the two hundred that I was trying to get through Mr. Brown. …

Jeptha Girrard was my Col.
Seip was Lt. Col.
Brown was Major
Chas. W. Dey was my Capt.
Ricker was 1st Lt. but later became Capt. of a Co. of my Regt
Brown was 2nd Lieut.
Joe Fuller was 1st Sgt.
Henry White was 2nd Sgt.
Primus Banks was 3rd Sgt.
I was a Private Soldier
Marshall Land, Joseph Mews, Joe Lamb, myself we were all in the same tent.

“I was on detached duty to drive a team in Brazos Texas but that night I was taken sick & had to go to the hospital. I was excused from duty for several days. Still I do not know what was the matter with me at Ft. Powhatan, Va. I was shot in head while going on picket & was in hospital several weeks on account of said wound.”

“I do not recollect the name of my atty. Personally, I paid him nothing.
Charles W. Dey & Joseph Fuller were my witnesses. They charged me nothing. I was not a witness for them.
Mr. Garwood executed my vouchers. He always swears me & I never have vouchers executed before the 4th. I have never pawned my pension ctf.
“I now suffer with wound of head, neuralgia & rupture – have been ruptured eight years. A plow handle struck me while plowing in new ground…

“I have only been married once — married Elizabeth Owens. She was never married till [sic] she married me. She & I were married right near here in this co. We were married by Rev. Goings. We were married soon after the war.
“We have one child under 16, viz [illegible] . She is 14 and will be 15 on the 8th day of June coming.”


General Affidavit, Robert Forbes, 18 February 1908
63 years old; resident, Lynnhaven, Princess Anne Co., Va. … “That he is unable to furnish any record evidence of the date of his birth; that he knows of no such record; that he was born in December, 1844, as far as he can learn from the statements made to him when he was a boy; that he was nineteen years of age at the time he enlisted in December, 1863, and was consequently sixty-three years of age at the time of filing this application; that being unable to furnish any better evidence of his age he must rely upon the records of the War Department.”


Death Certificate [copy], Robert Forbes, 7 February 1913
[place of death] Seaboard, Princess Anne Co., Va.
[sex, color, condition] male, colored, married
[age] 68 years old
[occupation] farmer
[birth date, birthplace] [death date entered on this line but then struck through — Leslie], North Carolina
[father’s name, birthplace] Isac Humphrey, NC
[mother’s name, birthplace] Lizzie Owens, Princess Anne Co., Va.
[informant] Samuel Forbes, Lynnhaven, Va.
[cause of death] pneumonia, paralysis
[signature] R.E. Whitehead, M.D., Norfolk, Va.
[burial] Piney Grove, Febry 9, 1913
[undertaker] J.L. Bell, Lynnhaven, Va.


Letter from M.G. Thompson, Postmaster, Lynnhaven, Virginia, to John R. King, Pension Agent, Washington, DC, 11 February 1913
“Sir — Robert Forbes, a pensioner whose address is Lynnhaven, Va. died Feb 7th, 1913.”


General Affidavit, Norris Ferebee, 1 April 1913 
70 years old; resident, Princess Anne Co., Va. post-office address, RFD Box 8, Lynnhaven, Princess Anne Co., Va.  “That Robert Forbes was never married except to the claimant Elizabeth (Owens) Forbes; That we — Robert Forbes and myself were boys together, he was owned by Isaac Forbes in Camden Co., NC prior to Civil War; and after Civil War both came to Princess Anne Co., Va. and we have at no time lived over 5 miles apart since war; That Robert and Elizabeth Forbes lived as man and wife until his death & were never divorced; and she has not remarried; and I have every reason to believe Elizabeth Forbes was never married except to Robert Forbes. I have known her about 45 years and she was then living with Robert Forbes as his wife but later they got married by a license, I understood.”


General Affidavit, Boston Cowell, 21 April 1913
76 years old; resident, Princess Anne Co., Va., post-office address, Princess Anne C.H., Va.; “That Robert Forbes and myself were boys together in North Carolina – He lived in Camden Co. & I in Currituck Co.; That I have continued to know Robert Forbes from his boyhood and know he was never married except to the claimant Elizabeth (Owens) Forbes; her maiden name being Owens.
“Robert Forbes and Elizabeth Owens lived together as husband and wife prior to their marriage to each other. They were then married to each other and continued living together as man and wife until Robert Forbes death. Claimant is a woman of good moral character and is considered a very good woman in her community.”


Death Certificate, Elizabeth Forbes, 5 July 1917
[place of death] Seaboard, Princess Anne Co., Va.
[sex, color, status] female, colored, widowed
[age] 68
[occupation] domestic
[birthplace]  Va.
[father’s name, birthplace] Frank Owens, Va.
[mother’s name, birthplace] Elizabeth Owens, Va.
[informant] Earnest Forbes, Prs. Anne, RFD 2, Box 16
[death date] July 5, 1917
[cause of death] apoplexy, arterosclerosis
[signature] R.E. Whitehead, M.D.
[burial] Piney Grove / July 7, 1917
[undertaker] J.L. Bell, Lynnhaven, Va.


Letter from Ernest Forbes to Pension Bureau, 18 July 1917
“Princess Anne Co., RFD #2, Box 16
Dear Sir:
My mother: Elizabeth Forbes is dead.
She departed this life on the 17th of July 1917. And please let me know if you will send me a toom [sic] stone to go to her grave as you did Papa, and will I get any money of her pension. I mean from the last you sent her untill [sic] the day she died. I will be thankful for her burial is all on me.
From her youngest son,
Ernest Forbes”


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Reuben Fox, Company F

Reuben Fox’s widow, Mary, was born in Perquimans County, North Carolina. Their children selected Sandy Holloman as their guardian.  Was Sandy Holloman the same man called Alexander Holloman, Company A, 2nd U.S. Colored Troops whose mother Winny Slaughter applied for a  pension from North Carolina? 

Widow — 544, 846 / —-, Mary Johnson
Minor — 548, 926 / —- , Sandy Holloman, Guardian

Marriage License [copy], Princess Anne Co., Virginia, Reuben Jefferson Fox & Mary Perry, 19 October 1868
28 years old and 18 years old, respectively; both single; both resided in Princess Anne County, Va.; husband born Prince William Co., Md. [sic] and wife born Perquimans County, NC;  husband’s parents were Henry & Hannah Fox; wife’s parents were Richard & Emily PerryThe marriage took place at Wise Farm, Princess Anne County, Virginia, 20 October 1868, Thomas Bayne, Minister.


County Court of Norfolk County, 1 February 1892
“The Court doth appoint Sandy Holloman guardian of Sarah Jane, Alice, Charles and Missouri Fox, orphans of Reuben Fox. The two last named being under fourteen years of age and the two first named being over fourteen years of age and having personally appeared in open court and selected the said Sandy Holloman as their guardian. Whereupon the said Sandy Holloman appeared in Court, made oath and together with James P. Carter, his surety, (who justified on oath as to his sufficiency) entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of Seventeen hundred dollars conditioned according to law, which bond is ordered to be recorded.”


Widow’s Declaration for Pension, Mrs. Mary Johnson, 4 March 1892
41 years old; “[That] her maiden name was Mary Perry, and that she was married to said soldier on or about the 19 day of October 1868, at Wise Farm in the County of Princess Anne and State of Virginia.
“She further declares that the said soldier, her husband, died on or about the 31st day of March 1882 at Princess Anne Co. in the state of Va. and the immediate cause of death was disease of lungs and pleurisy which were the result ofhis military service. That she has not remained a widow but remarried on the 26th day of Sept 1884 …

“The following are the names, dates of birth, and post-office addresses of all the children of her deceased husband who were under sixteen years of age at the time of his death; and name and date of death of such of said children as have died:
Emma J., born on the 18 day of March 1869, died Sept 21, 88
William H., born on the 30 day of Sept, 1871, died Sept 15, 88
Sarah F., born on the 3 day of Sept, 1873
Alice V., born on the 13 day of Sept, 1875
Charles H., born on the 1 days of Novr, 1877
Mary E., born on the 15 day of Mary 1879, died in 1882;
Missouri A., born 1 day of April, 1881;
Albert J., born on the 1 day of Novr, 1883, & died Jany 1, 87 …
“She remarried on the 26th day of Sept 1884.
“And that her post-office address is c/o 1311 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, County of Norfolk, State of Va.”

“Also at the same time and place, personally appeared Caroline Saunders and Jacob Riddick of Norfolk County, State of Virginia … have been for 20 and 21 years respectively, acquainted with the above-named applicant”


Declaration for Children Under Sixteen Years of Age, Sandy Hollomon, 18 April 1892
47 years old; post-office address 220 Church Street, Norfolk, Va.; “[H]e is the legal guardian of [the legitimate children of Reuben Fox … the names and dates of births of all the surviving children of the soldier under sixteen years of age are as follows: Sarah F. born Sept 3rd, 1873; Alice V. born Sept. 13th, 1875; Charles H. born Nov. 1st 1877; Missouri A. born April 1st, 1881 … that the father was married under the name of Reuben Fox to Mary Perry” … C.N Warden; [illegible], Norfolk County; have known [Fox] for 22 years … Mary Tansley, Park Avenue, Norfolk County; have known [Fox] for five years …”


General Affidavit, Mary Johnson, 18 April 1892
Post-office address 1311 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Virginia … “[S]he is the remarried widow of the said soldier and the mother of the minor children claimed for viz: Sarah Francis, Alice V., Charles H., and Missouri Fox and the child who was born Sept 3rd 73, is named Sarah Francis, as above stated and not Sarah Jane, as shown in letters of guardianship.”


Sworn Statement, James Brooks, 2 August 1892
Post-office address, 44 [“38” was struck through] Baltimore St., Norfolk, Va.; “Reuben Fox was apparently a sound hearty man at the date of his enlistment, that during his service in said coughed and spat up phlegm and contracted what he would call consumption, and continues to suffer with said disease during the balance of his service … [Brooks’] knowledge of the fact is from being a Corporal of Co. F, 1st Reg U.S.C.Vol. Cav … The claimant’s name and address is Mary Johnson, No. 1311 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va. The attorney’s Nathan Bickford, Washington, DC”
[Note: Brooks’ 1892 statement was noted in a document dated 29 December 1897.] 


General Affidavit, Marshall Land, 22 August 1892
44 years old, post-office address, Norfolk, Norfolk County, Virginia …”I certify that in September of 1885, I united in marriage, Mary Fox to Armstead Johnson, my record has been destroyed so that I cannot tell the exact date but I know the month and year. Very respct., M. Land, Pastor at that time of Ebenezer Baptist Church of Princess Annie [sic] Co., Va.
[Note: Brooks made the statement on 8 August 1892; the document was dated 22 August 1892.]


General Affidavit, Penny Poole, 4 February 1893
60 years old, post-office address, Flemmings Store, Princess Anne County, Virginia  “That she is thoroughly acquainted with the claimant and that she acted as midwife at the birth of two of claimant’s children both of which the above named soldier was the father. The two children which she was present and attended at birth their names are as follows: Alberta and Missouri … Missouri born 1st day April 1881; Albert born October 1883”


Letter from to U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pension, Washington, DC to [Attorney] Nathan Bickford, Washington, DC, 12 February 1896
“[Y]ou are informed that the claimant in her Declaration for Pension states that she was married to Reuben Fox on or about Oct. 19, 1868 but her marrige certificate now on file show that she was married Oct. 20, 1868 to Reuben Jefferson Fox. She al who performed the ceremony so states in her Declaration that she re-married on the 26th of Sept. 1884, but the Pastor M. Land who performed the ceremony states that the marriage took place in Sept. 1885. In her declaration she states that her husband the above named soldier died on or about March 31, 1882, but Dr. Chiles in his affidavit states that he died, according to his recollection, March 3d 1882. Further evidence should be furnished showing correct dates and the soldiers correct name and all discrepancies explained. The only evidence on file as to dates of the birth of children appears to be the affidavit of one Penny Poole, which is not satisfactory for the reason that she signs by mark and therefore could keep no record. If possbile record evidence of said children’s birth should be show as indivated in one of the accompanying circulars. Very respectfully, D.L. Murphy, Acting Commissioner”


Affidavit of Claimant, Mrs. Mary Johnson, 18 July 1896
Post-office address, 212 Goff St., Norfolk County, Virginia …”Her first husband’s correct name was Reuben Jefferson Fox; that she married him October 20th 1868, that he died March 3d 1882, and that she re-married in September 1885. Claimant further declares that the errors appearing in her former statement as to the dates of the soldier’s marriage to her, his death and her re-marriage were caused by the fact that she was then testifying from memory only, which was in fact as to said soldier. This affidavit was written in my presence from my own statement on the 18th of July 1896 at Norfolk, Va.”


Sworn Statement, Robert Brickhouse, 4 September 1896
65 years old; post-office address c/o Thos. Diesendorf, Church St. Norfolk, Va.; “I knew Reuben Fox very well; I enlisted in January 1864, I think, and Reuben Fox was in the army before I was; when he enlisted I do not know the date … “


James Brooks, 7 September 1896
53 years old, 38 Bottimore St., Norfolk, Virginia …”I knew Reuben Jefferson Fox well, he and I were in the same company. We enlisted at Camp Hamilton, Va. on the same day, namely December 3rd 1863, he was unmarried at that time, he never married but once and his widow is living now.”


Deposition, Beverly West, 17 January 1898
65 years old; post-office address, 9 Hampton Court, Norfolk, Va., brickmason …”I served as Ord. Sgt. Co. F. 1st U.S.C. Cav during the whole of its service but don’t remember the dates. I don’t know Mary Johnson the clmt, never did know her. I knew Reuben Fox, he was the Com. Sgt. of my company. I did not know him before enlistment. He was a sound man at enlistment, so far as I know. After he had been in the service about 8 months, and while we were stationed here in Norfolk, doing guard duty, he became sickly. I don’t know what disease he had, cannot say, was lingering and attending sick call. No, he was never sent to a hospital.
“No sir, I cannot remember the symptoms of his disease, do not recall what he complained of, it’s been so long … I was not his tent mate, but saw him every day when with the company.
“I saw him at times after discharge and he was still lingering. I never did know what his disease was.”


Deposition, Luther R. Chiles, M.D., 31 January 1898
60 years old; post-office address 570 Church St., Norfolk, Va.; “Yes, I recollect Reuben Fox, and I also recall that I attended him a number of years ago in Princess Anne Co., Va., during his last sickness. The cause of his death, the immediate cause, was dropsey, either the result of Bright’s disease of the kidneys or organic heart disease.
“I do not recall the date of his death, not even the year. I have made a thorough search for my old account books, hoping to find the date of his illness and death but hae been unable to find them.
“I am satisfied that he died at least 12 years ago. I think I treated him for several weeks.”
“I saw him at times after discharge and he was still lingering. I never did know what his disease was.”

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William Thomas Pitt was injured in friendly fire one evening when his unit set up camp for the night.  He eventually returned to duty but suffered from the gunshot wound to the ankle for the rest of his life. His brother Edward R. Pitt also served in Company K, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry.


Invalid – 532, 379 / 926,536
Widow – 418, 977 / 439,090, Lillian A. Pitt


Declaration for Original Invalid Pension, William Thomas Pitt, 9 February 1884
“49 years old; height 5 feet 3 inches; complexion, light; hair, black; eyes, black … in the line of his duty at Gloucester County, in the state of Virginia, on or about the first day of February, 1864, he was wounded in the ankle with a ball fired by the enemy while he was on the march near Gloucester Point in the County of Gloucester, State of Virginia, for which he was treated at the Hospital at Fortress Monroe, Virginia by Dr. Manley.”


Original For A Board, Board of Surgeons, 8 April 1885
“his height is 5 feet and 10 inches; he weighs 144 pounds, and states that he is 48 years of age.”


Deposition, Virginius Jones, 12 January 1897
49 years old; residence and post-office address, rear of 40 Charles St., Lynn, Mass …. The only time I have any recollection of him being disabled in any way was when I shot him accidentally about his left ankle. That was in the early part of spring of 1864, about breaking up of the winter.

“We had been in Winter Qrs. at Hampton Va. and were ordered to Yorktown, Va., and from there we were taken in boats to Gloucester, Va. across the York River and marched to some distance and then back to a point under cover of our gunboats. It was after dark when we got to the place where we were to make any big fires, only small fires and to scrape away a hole to kindle our fires in to cook our suppers. Our horses had been looked after and I was kneeling down building my piece of a fire when Serg’t Pitt came along and said the orders of Capt. Whiteman was that any who had discharged any shots from their pistols were to recharge them, so as to have their chambers full in case of necessity. We had no carbines only pistols and sabre. When Serg’t Pitt told me of the order he moved off amongst the other men and I took my pistol out of the holster to put in two new charges as I had fired out two. I was leaning over close to the ground so as to get the light from my fire and just putting the last cap on when the hammer slipped as I was lowering it and the pistol went off and almost immediately Sergt. Pitt was brought back to where I was and he asked me why I had shot him. I explained to him that it was a pure accident and some of the men around me who saw the way the pistol went off, explained it to him and he went away to hospital fully satisfied that it was an accident… [the wound] on the inside of left leg about two inches or may be a little more above the ankle. The ball had gone through his leg but did not break any bone because he was standing on that leg and some blood was running from it. It had not been bandaged then…. I was not even arrested for it but was made Acting Orderly Serg’t after he was sent to hospital.

“Q. Who saw the shooting?
A. Alfred Jones, Willis Council and Steve Riddick had their fires near me and saw it. I don’t know where they are now. No. I don’t know whether Serg’t Edward Pitt was near or not.”


Declaration of Widow’s Application,
“widow of William T. Pitt … who died at Churchland, Va. on 29 Sept 1889 … was married under the name of Lillie Ann Elliott … on the day of Jany 1862 by Elder Jones at Sicamore [sic] Hill, Virginia … names and dates of births of all the children of the soldier now living and under age sixteen years of age as follows:

Martha S. Pitt, May 3th [sic], 1877         James A.G. Pitt, August 24, 1883
Belle F. Pitt,  September 2, 1879            Richard R. Pitt, November 1st,
W.T. Pitt, Jr., Oct 10th, 1881                   he born deformity, he is [illegible]


General Affidavit, Miles Conner, 11 October 1892
58 years old, residence of “the village of Churchland, County of Norfolk … knows her to be the widow of the said William T. Pitt and the mother of the children Martha S. Pitt, Belle F. Pitt, William T. Pitt and James A.G. Pitt, children under 16 years of age of the soldier William T. Pitt at the time of his death.
“He states that he is knowing to the above stated facts from having known the claimant since childhood: that he was present at the marriage ceremony and saw them joined in wedlock in the year 1862 and having lived near neighbor to her and been intimate with the family ever since. He further states that he was present at the funeral of William T. Pitt on the 30th day of September 1889.”


General Affidavit, Edward R. Pitt, 11 October 1892
50 years old, citizen of the village of Bowers Hill, County of Norfolk Co…. “that he is well and personally acquainted with the claimant Lillian A. Pitt who was the wife of the soldier William T. Pitt who died Sep 29, 1889 of disease caused by a gunshot wound rec’d while in the service and in the line of his duty: … that he is knowing to the facts above stated from having been acquainted with both the claimant and the soldier since childhood, and from having been present at their marriage as groomsman and having served with the soldier in the same co & regt … and having been present at the funeral of the soldier in September 1889.”


General Affidavit, Sarah Ann Conoway, 11 October 1892
64 years old, resident of No. 1 Green St., in the City of Norfolk . . . “that she knew both parties well … her knowledge is obtained from having lived in same family and knew both from youth and had every opportunity to see and know her real condition, still know widow, know she has not remarried, and is now single and is entirely dependent on her own labor for support.”


 Affidavit, Lillian A. Pitt, 25 July 1893
“She states that the dates of birth of her children giving [sic] in her Application  were giving [sic] from memory and they are incorrect and that the dates herein giving [sic] are taken from the family record and are correct, and that she further states that she cannot write and that she was compelled to have her affidavit written but it was written by her own dictation. The following names and birth and death of said children: Mary E. Pitt born Jany 8, 1864 and died in 3 months same year; Edward born Jany 16, 1866, still living; Chestene born Nov 20, 1868, still living; Frances born Jany 15, 1870; Nannie born Jany 20, 1871, still living; Richard born Nov 15, 1872; Martha born May 15, 1877 still living; Belle born Oct 20, 1879 & died Dec 19, 188[?]; Wm born Sept 18, 1886, still living; Lucy Jane born Aug 1, 1883, still living.


Affidavit, William Baines & Henry Johnson, 5 March 1894
55 years old and 51 years old, respectively; both residents of Churchland, Norfolk Co., Va. …. “they are near and intimate acquaintance of the said Lillian A. Pitt the widow William T. Pitt having known her all her life … that said claimant has no property whatever real or personal except a few household effects but nothing from which she derives an income. That she is entirely dependent upon her own labor for her support.”


Widow’s Claim for Pension, Lillian Pitt, 26 March 1896
“[S]he was married to said William T. Pitt on or about the Fall of 1862 at Hattens [sic] Point in the County of Norfolk and State of Virginia by Rev. Peter Jones … [her husband] died near Churchland, Norfolk Co. … on or about the 29th day of September, 1889 of the effects of a gunshot wound in his left ankle rec’d in the service of the U.S. and in the line of his duty … The following are the names, date of birth, and place of residence of all the children of her deceased husband who were under sixteen years of age at the time of his death: Martha S. Pitt, born May 1877; Belle F. Pitt born Oct 1879; William T. Pitt, born 1881; James A.G. Pitt born Augt 1883.”


Index to Special Examiner’s Report, Claim of Lillian Pitt, December 1896
[Note: The Special Examiner “graded” the deponent’s credibility – Leslie]

James R. Wright Good
Louis H. Wilson Good
Willis E. White Good
Stephen Wright Good
Joseph P. Elliott Good
Edward R. Pitt Good
Jacob Ashburn Fair
Thomas Riddick Good
Nelson Elliott Not Good
Stephen Riddick Fair
Henry Hopkins Good
Peter Fentress Good
Samuel B. Humphrey  
James Norman  
Wm Henry  
Azariah Griffin  

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Lillian A. Pitt, 24 December 1896
56 years old, “a resident of Churchland, County of Norfolk, State of Virginia … [the soldier] who died 30 Sept 30, 1889 … that she was married under the name Lillian A. Elliott to said Wm T. Pitt … about Jany 1862 by Rev. Reuben Jones, at Norfolk Co., Va. …that she has not remarried … that all the children now living under sixteen years of age of the soldier are as follows:
Wm. Thos born Sept 18, 1880
Garfield born Aug 24, 1882


Deposition, Lillian A. Pitt, 18 June 1902
“I am 56 years of age; housekeeping … [my husband] died 12 or 13 years ago near this place of blood poisoning …
“My husband was a native of Nansemond Co. Va. and was a free man. He was the son of Benjamin Pitt. He never went under any name other than that of Wm T. Pitt….
“We had no regular marriage ceremony except as colored people had those days….
“My husband was a tall man – was of dark brown complexion – had black eyes and hair and always lived on a farm.
I know my husband was in the Army because I visited while he was there at Fortress Monroe in Newport News, Va., when I visited him he was wearing a blue uniform with yellow stripes on his arms and on side of his pants….
“After his discharge, he moved to Nansemond Co., I lived near Live Oak for 2 years and then moved here. I lived here till he died. Since his death I have lived right around here…
Mr. Reed was local atty I paid him fifty cents for each paper he wrote for me. I paid my Wash. DC atty nothing.”


Approved Pension File for Lillian Pitt, Widow of First Sergeant William Thomas Pitt, Company K, 1st U.S. Colored Troops Cavalry Regiment (WC-439090), Summer 2018
Last summer I visited the National Archives’ Innovation Hub and scanned William Thomas Pitt’s pension file.


See also 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 0010 – 1st United States Colored Cavalry: Moss, James – Polk, James (online at  https://archive.org/details/compiledmili0010akesunit/mode/2up).
William Thomas Pitt’s Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR) can be viewed at n1690 – n1711.

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Edward R. Pitt was my maternal great-great-grandfather.  I found his name and his brother’s name (William Thomas Pitt, Company K, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry) in the National Park Service Soldiers and Sailors System. There are other soldiers in the database named PITT but we aren’t related.

From a questionnaire dated 2 June 1898, I learned his wife’s middle name, the date, place, and officiant of his marriage. I also found the full names of nine children and their exact birth dates.  There was a specific reference to his death date that confirms the handwritten entry in the family Bible. Edward R. Pitt died during the period when Virginia didn’t collect vital records statewide.


Invalid – 867,287 / 623,474

General Affidavit, Miles Connor and Fulton Harris, 6 April 1891
59 years old and 62 years old, respectively; resident of Churchland, Norfolk County and of Bowers Hill, Norfolk County, respectively … “we are intimately acquainted with the claimant Edward R. Pitt and know rheumatism of the right side and arm from exposure etc while in the service of the U.S. Our knowledge of the above facts are derived from being neighbors to the said claimant and seeing him as often as every week or oftener and conversing with him in relation to his disabilities and we verily believe that he’s disabled from performing hard manual labor to the extent of at least one half.”


Questionnaire, Edward R. Pitt, 2 June 1898
“[Married? If yes, wife’s full name and maiden name]  I am; Jane Columbia Pitt; Jane Columbia Watts
[When, where, by whom?]  Jany 6, 1868. In Norfolk Co., Va. Rev. Thomas Washington
[Record of marriage?]  License and certificate returned to Clerk’s Office
[Previously married?]  No
[Living children?]  I have nine, to wit: Henry B. born July 20, 1870; Anna M. Jany 8, 1872; Sarah F. December 21, 1874; Claudius, March 18, 1877; Barsu, Nov 10, 1879; Moretta, Dec 7, 1882; John L., Sept 15, 1884; Barco, Nov 8, 1886; Della J. Oct 15, 1888.”


Deposition, Edward R. Pitt, 1 March 1902
“I am 64 years of age; occupation, farmer, and I live at Bowers Hill, Va.
“I was born in Nansemond Co, Va., and was a free born man. My father was Benjamin Pitt … I lost my discharge this year. It was destroyed by some of my children …
“I have lived in the same neighborhood where I now live ever since my discharge from the army and have always been a farmer.
“I never left Va., while I was in the army. I misunderstood you for I spent part of the time that I was a soldier in Texas. I was in Texas from August 1865 till the following March. I will now get it straight. I was discharged in February 1866, but did not reach City Point for final muster out till April following.
“I was in no regular battle. I was in a skirmish from Yorktown to Chicihominie [sic].
I never had a man killed out of my company but my brother Sgt. Thos. Pitt was wounded at Galucester [sic] Point, Va. He was accidentally wounded …
“I was in the hospital for about eight days at Newport News, Va., about Sept 1864. I had billious fever there …
“Thos. Pitt, my brother, was Ord Sgt. Virginias Jones was 1st duty Sgt. Albert Jones was 2d duty Sgt. Dallas Jones was a friend of mine in service. I eat and slept with my brother Thomas Pitt. I was quartermaster Sgt.”


United States Pension Agency, May 20, 1905 [card]
“Edward R. Pitt … has been dropped because of death … October 16, 1904”


Approved Pension File for Sergeant Edward R. Pitt, Company K, 1st U.S. Colored Troops Cavalry Regiment (SC-623474), Summer 2018
This summer I visited the National Archives’ Innovation Hub and scanned Edward R. Pitt’s pension file.


See also 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 0010 – 1st United States Colored Cavalry: Moss, James – Polk, James (online at  https://archive.org/details/compiledmili0010akesunit/mode/2up). Edward R. Pitt’s Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR) can be viewed at (n1650 – n1667).

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