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, Company I

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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