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Posts Tagged ‘National Soldiers’ Home’

A twenty-two year old undertaker. A built over cemetery. Witnesses from distant regiments. A sketchy attorney. “A man of sober temperament and good moral character.” A woman known as “Clotilda” and “Matilda” who “became accustomed to being known by either name.” Lives lived in Princess Anne County, Norfolk and Norfolk County, Virginia.

Invalid — 853,460 / 643,580
Widow — 1,075,249 / 818,917, Clotilda Randall

Marriage License [copy], James Randolph and Matilda Cuffee, 9 November 1891
Both born in Princess Anne County, Virginia. Both resided in Norfolk County, Virginia. The husband’s parents were Frank and Vina Randolph. The bride’s parents were Jesse and Clotilda Snowden. The license was issued November 5, 1891; the wedding took place on November 9, 1891. The officiant was Minster W.A. Butt.

General Affidavit, Emmerson Cuffee, 19 May 1893
about 69 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Berkley, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I have known [James Randolph] ever since the war. He was in the same regiment I was in but not the same company…. I was one of his identifying witnesses and Henry Sivils was the other. Henry Sivils wrote his name and I made my mark…..All three of us, Randall, Sivils any myself put our hands on a book and W.R. Drury administered the oath to us. There were no other white men present. “

General Affidavit, Henry Sivils, 20 May 1893
52 years old; occupation, gardener; post-office address, Berkley, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I have known [James Randolph] since he was a boy….W.R. Drury was his attorney. I went with him to witness …. I signed my name on his declaration … I was sworn by W.R. Drury.”

General Affidavit, Henry Boone & Lewis Warden, 8 November 1897
[Boone] 49 years old; residence, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Berkley, Va.
[Warden] 56 years old; residence, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Berkley, Va.
“That they are personally and intimately acquainted with the claimant and have been thus acquainted with him for 20 or 15 years, respectively, That they have known him personally much longer than 15 or 20 years respectively. That affiants have been near neighbors of said James Randall in Norfolk County, Va. for 15 or 20 years respectively … he is a man of sober temperament and of good moral character.”

Deposition, James Randall, 14 May 1902
occupation, farming
“I was born in Princess Anne Co., Va. … was born in 1842 a slave to James Bright of Princess Anne Co. My father’s name was Frank Randall and he was a slave to [illegible] Randall. My mother’s name was Vina Randall and she was a slave to my master. My full and correct name is James Randall.”
“I was honorably discharged in 1866 in March the fore part. Was mustered out at New Orleans, La. and Brazos Santiago, Texas and finally discharged and paid off at Point of Rocks, Va.
“Immediately after discharge I came back to this vicinity in Norfolk Co. and have resided here since.
“I lost my original discharge certificate as I had gave it to a man named Brown to get Bounty for me.”
“(Pensioner is now 6 ft tall … black eyes, hair and complexion. Has a bad scar from a cut across first three fingers of left hand done he states when a child three or four years old.)”

“I was detailed as one of ten men from Williamsburg, Va. to go to Grove Wharf to stand guard and was on such duty 15 or 20 days. This was in 1864 during the summer.
“Our Colonel was Jeffrey Gerard.
Lt. Colonel … didn’t have one.
Major ” Brown and Seipp also
Captain ” Bowen
1st Lt. ” Mack
2d Lt. ” Moss
Orderly Sgt. Ward
I tented with Geo. Floyd and John Keeling.
“I was in the engagement at Chickahominy but can’t give date. Monroe Tripp was killed out of the regiment there. Can’t give company.”
“My witnesses were Henry Boon and Primus Banks.
“I was last examined by a Bd of U.S. [Examining] Surgeons last October at Soldier’s Home, Va.
“I had lawyer Reed of Portsmouth, Va. ….M.V. Tierney, Wash, DC, was my regular attorney.”

“My pension voucher and certificate are in my possession and I never have pledged either for a debt, loan or liability. Have been married twice. My first wife Emma Jane Fuller died in 1888 at Norfolk Co., Va. beyond Berkley. Then I married Clotilda Cuffee at Norfolk Co., Va. 10 years ago last Nov 9, I think. She had been previously married to Lawson Cuffee who died in 1871 at Portsmouth, Va. I have no child under 16 years of age”

Declaration for Pension, James Randall, 20 May 1912
68 years old; residence, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Berkley Station, Norfolk, Va.
“born August 18th, 1843 at Princess Anne County, Va.

Death Certificate, James Randall, 14 July 1913
He died of malarial fever — Leslie

Sworn Statement, Matilda Randolph, 5 August 1913
“Also personally appeared Miles Freeman, residing at Providence, Va. and Samuel McCoy, residing in Norfolk, Va…. affiant Freeman is a son of claimant and affiant McCoy has known said parties intimately for about 25 years.

General Affidavit, Matilda Randolph, 2 May 1914
over 60 years old; residence, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, R.F.D. 2 Box 123, Norfolk, Va.
“I was never married but twice. First to Lawson Cuffee who died at Portsmouth, Va. in September about 40 years ago or more, as my son by Lawson Cuffee was born about three months after his father died, and this son is nearly 41 years old….I remained single after Lawson Cuffee’s death until my marriage to James W. Randolph and I lived with him until his death … James W. Randolph was buried in a private burial ground near Providence, Norfolk Co., Va.
“That James W. Randolph was once married prior to his marriage to me… That I am unable to furnish death certificates of death [sic] of ) Emma Randolph, soldier’s first wife) or Lawson Cuffee, my first husband) as no county records were kept here when they died.”

General Affidavit, William H. Fuller, 2 May 1914
about 60 years old; residence, Princess Anne Co., Va.; post-office address, Rt. w Bonney’s Store, Princess Anne Co., Va.
“That I knew Matilda Randolph before she was married, her maiden name was Snowden. That she was never married but twice. First to Lawson Cuffee who died in suburbs of Portsmouth, Va. about 40 years ago I saw his body after death but did not attend his funeral, but knew about his burial in Portsmouth where it is now built over. That Matilda Randolph was next married to James W. Randolph … She is a woman of good moral character That James W. Randolph was was never married but twice, first to my sister Emma Fuller Randolph who died three weeks before Christmas 35 years ago at Norfolk Co., Va. on the ‘Sharpe Farm,’ and was buried in Drury Branch Church burial ground in Princess Anne Co., Va. I attended her funeral and burial. James W. Randolph was next married to Matilda Cuffee.”

General Affidavit, James W. Fuller, 2 May 1914
55 years old; residence, Princess Anne Co., Va.; post-office address, RFD 4, Box 59, Norfolk, Va.
“James Randolph’s first wife Emma Fuller was my sister”

General Affidavit, Willis Goodman, 4 May 1914
22 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, RFD 4, c/o J.T. Forelard, Norfolk, Va.
“That I was the undertaker [associated as a part owner of the firm of H. Norfleet and W. Goodman] who buried James W. Randolph in July 1913. I can’t remember exact day of the month. I had his body embalmed and I accompanied his body to grove near Providence, Norfolk Co., Va. where I buried him. The above undertaking firm was located at West Murden near Norfolk & in Norfolk Co., Va. Said firm partnership was dissolved in September 1913 since which time I am doing undertaking business at same place under firm name of [W. Goodman and C. Perkins, Undertakers]. That I had personally known James W. Randolph for about 12 years.

General Affidavit, James Cuffee, 7 July 1914
70 years old; residence, Providence, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Berkeley Sta. Norfolk, Va.
“[We] were play children together … I served in Co. L 5th Massachusetts Cavalry, and as 1st U.S. Col. Cav. and 5th Mass. Cavy were brigaded together in Texas I saw this soldier often. In fact, our tents ran backs together … I have lived near neighbor to this soldier ever since the Civil War, and I helped shroud him when he died last summer.”

General Affidavit, Primus Banks, 8 July 1914
87 years old; residence, near Providence, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Berkeley Sta. Norfolk, Va.
“Since the Civil War we have never lived over one mile apart … I attended his burial about one year ago and viewed his body after death.”.

General Affidavit, Clotilda Randolph, 1 September 1914
about 60 years old; residence, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, R.F.D. 2, Box 123, Norfolk, Va.
“That my correct name is Clotilda but I have been known as “Clotilda” or “Matilda” for years. I don’t know just why unless because of so many colored people being unable to read and write and names sound similar, and I became accustomed to being known by either name.”

General Affidavit, Sarah J. Baines & James Cuffey, 9 January 1915
[Bains] 60 years old; residence, Providence, RFD c/o Joe Bains, Norfolk Co., Va.
[Cuffey] 71 years old; residence, Providence, Berkley PO, Va. Norfolk Co., Va.
“That we were both well acquainted with the soldier James W. Randolph from childhood”

General Affidavit, Clotilda Fuller, 11 January 1915
about 59 years old; residence Princess Anne Co., Va.; post-office address, Rt. 4, Box 59, Berkley, Norfolk, Va.
“That Clotilda Randolph and I were children & grew up together. “

General Affidavit, Clotilda Randolph, 15 March 1915
about 60 years old; residence, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Rte. 2, Box 123, Norfolk, Va.
“My first husband Lawson Cuffee never served in the military or naval service of the United States.”

General Affidavit, Matilda Randolph, 23 June 1915
about 60 years old; residence, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, R.R. 2. Box 123, Norfolk, Va.
“My husband James W. Randall died July 14, 1913. That if I stated otherwise at any time in my claim it was a mistake and not intentional.
“That to best of my knowledge my husband’s correct name was James W. Randolph. His name as James Randall in above service was no doubt a clerical mistake in pronunciation and spelling. This is the only way I can account for differences in names.
“I never knew soldier until after the war.”

General Affidavit, Jane T. Bain & Georgia Tatem, 26 October 1916
[Bain] about 59 years old; residence, Munden Town, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, RFD 3, Box 14
[Tatem] 41 years old; residence West Munden Town, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, RFD 2, Box 10
“That they have been well and personally acquainted with Clothilda Randall … for 30 years and 31 years, respectively, and that they knew James Randall, the soldier above named for 50 years and 25 years, respectively”

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A woodcutter before his enlistment, this man received a gunshot wound in his right hand during a nighttime picket duty. His application for invalid benefits was supported by members of his Company and those who convalesced with him in the National Soldier’s Home, Virginia. He was buried at Hampton National Cemetery which adjoins Hampton University founded in 1868 as Hampton Agricultural and Industrial School. His widow ‘s application was rejected on the basis of false claims.



Invalid – 342, 851 / 507,925
Widow – 305,101 / —– , Nancy Reddick

Declaration of Original Invalid Pension, Isaac Reddick, 23 January 1880
48 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 22 Nicholson St., Norfolk, Virginia … commanded by Col. Jeptha Girard … he was wounded in right wrist by a minie ball — the ball entering on the outer margins of his right hand and passing upward across the inner side of the wrist diagonally and emerging on the inner side of the forearm — He was on the picket line when wounded … his occupation has been that of a woodcutter … when enrolled a woodcutter …”

Widow’s Claim for Pension, Nancy Reddick, 4 April 1883
41 years old; post-office address, Norfolk City, Virginia
“her maiden name was Nancy Tailor, said that she was married to said Isaac Reddick on or about the 1st day of August 1865 at Southampton C.H. in the county of Southampton, and State of Virginia, by Rev. Berrem ….
“She further declares that said husband died … in the State of Ga. … and she hereby appoints William Ward 276 1/2 Queen st., Norfolk, Va. as her lawful attorney …”
“Also personally appeared, James Dozier and Margaret Johnson, residents of Norfolk County, and State of Virginia so far as they are known to me

For Officer’s or Comrade’s Testimony, Richard Webb, 13 May 1886
residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“late Sergeant of Company I, 1st Regiment of U.S. Col’d Cav. … June or July 1864, Wilson’s Landing, Charles City Co., State of Virginia — [Reddick] was wounded … while on picket duty during the night. [Webb] was in charge of a post on his left, saw soldier wounded, atttended to him, attended to and cared for him, and saw him when he was taken to the rear. That he has since his soldier’s discharge seen him at least three or four times, maybe oftener during each year…”

For Officer’s or Comrade’s Testimony, William Reed, 30 June 1886
“late Sergeant of Company I, 1st Regiment of U.S. Col’d Cav. … [Reddick] wounded while under the command of [Reed], who was Sergeant in charge of the detail …. and that [Reed] has seen him every few months since [Reddick’s] discharge in March 1866 …”

General Affidavit, Isaac Reddick, 5 June 1893
residence, National Soldier’s Home, Elizabeth City Co., Va.
“[He] is unable to furnish testimony of a Doctor Affidavit showing each and every disability… for the following reason. He had no doctor at the time when he made his application …”

Questionnaire (Form 3-402), Isaac Reddick, 15 April 1898
[married] widower, Nancy Ridley
[when, where, by whom] 1878, Southampton Co., Va., Dr. Brown
[record] Jerusalem C.H.
[previously married] no
[children living] no

General Affidavit, Oscar Jubilee and John Olds, 9 October 1899
[Jubilee] [no age reported on this document]
[Olds] 46 years old;
[Jubilee and Olds] “citizens of the Town of Norfolk, 111 Bank St., State of Virginia, that they knew applicant Isaic Riddick, that while at Wilson’s Landing the spring of 1864, while skirmishing with rebel gurillas [sic] he was shot in his right wrist from which he was disabled and sent to McClennan Hospital near Hampton, Va. and remained there about one year. Was sent Texas to join regiment 1865. And did join in Texas and served until discharged 1866. Soldier was never able to do heavy work and was kept on light duty until discharge…. disables him from doing manual labor and causes him to be idle 3/4 of his time. … [We] served in the same co and reg and knowing him ever since the war and living in same city with him as neighbors and seeing him very often. He now resides in this city on Liberty Street and is well known.”
[Note – Reddick’s address at this time was “Natl Soldiers Home, Elizabeth City Co., Va.” — Leslie]

Questionnaire Form (3-464), Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions, 7 November 1899
Isaac Redi also known as Redick and Reddick … born in Nansemond Co., Va; occupation, servant; Name of owner not of record.
“As Isaac Ready admitted to hospital steamer Wyoming Aug. 13, 1864; sent to G.H. Hampton, Aug. 14, 1864; as Isaac Reddick admitted to Gen. Hosp., Fort Monroe, Va., date not stated (no diagnosis), ret’d to duty, date not stated; as I. Reddick etc admitted to Conval Barracks, Fort Wood, Bedloe’s Island, N.Y. Harbor, Nov 15, 1865, (no diagnosis), disposition not stated.”
[Note — there’s a discrepancy in Isaac Reddick’s birthplace as reported here and on his Compiled Military Service Record (not shown) — Leslie]

Questionnaire (3-173), Isaac Reddick, unknown
[married] Nancy Reddick nee Riddle
[when, where, by whom] [blank]
[record] “about 20 years ago, by the Revd. Berum, called Doctor, Southampton County, Va.”
[previous marriage] “I was a single man, when I married my present wife, and so she was a single girl.”
[children living] “we had 5 children, and all grown up, supporting themself [sic]”
[Note: The form was dated “November 10, 1899” when it was sent to the soldier. The dates he completed the questionnaire and when the Pension Office received it are unknown — Leslie]

Questionnarie (3-493), Isaac Reddick, 14 November 1899 [date stamped received by Pension Office]
[address and residence] National Soldier’s Home, Va., as above
[residence after discharge] “I, after my discharge from the U.S. Army, came to my present place of residence.”
[nearest post-office] “always the National Soldier’s Home p.o. address”
[occupation] laborer
[other names] “Isaac Reddick is my name from birth, never altered.”
[in military or naval service under different name] “I have not been in the military or naval service, under no other name than as above.”

General Affidavit, Edward Haig and Alexander Lewis, 30 October 1900
[Haig] 56 years old; residence and post-office address, National Soldier’s Home, Elizabeth City Co., Va.;
[Lewis] 67 years old; residence and post-office address, National Soldier’s Home, Elizabeth City Co., Va.;
[Haig] “personally acquainted with [Reddick] who is a member of this National Soldier’s Home, Va. … since 1893 …
[Lewis] “also a member of this National Soldier’s Home, Va. for about 9 years, when I became acquainted with Isaac Reddick as a comrade in this Home …”

General Affidavit, William Reed and Isaac P. Patterson,13 May 1901
[Reed] 60 years old; residence and post-office address, National Soldier’s Home, Elizabeth City Co., Virginia
“do know [Reddick] over 35 years … and for 15 years I know him as an Invalid, totally unable to perform any manual labor whatever … totally deaf …
[Patterson] 64 years old; residence and post-office address, National Soldier’s Home, Elizabeth City Co., Virginia
“I’m a member of the National Soldier’s Home, Va. Southern Branch. I know Isaac Reddick personally and since I have made his acquaintance about 3 years ago I know him suffering [and Patterson lists a number of ailments — Leslie]

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Even an application for pension benefits as an Invalid can be a source of useful genealogical and community information.

 

Invalid — 729,437 / 531,419

 

General Affidavit, Thomas Riddick, 17 March 1890
50 years old; post-office address, Portsmouth …”That is well acquainted with Cyrus Washington being a member of the same company with him and while in the line of his duty at Texas he became effected [sic] with deafness and partial loss of sight which disability has continued to the present time and I believe him to incapacitated to perform hard manual labor to the extent of at least one half.”

 

General Affidavit, John Betsy, 3 January 1891
78 years old; post-office address, 709 County St., Portsmouth, Va….”I know Cyrus Washington well. We live near neighbors and see him every day. We know that he is a great suffering with his eyes and is also deaf.”

 

General Affidavit, Benjamin Jenkins, 3 January 1896
51 years old, post-office address, 709 County St., Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Virginia …. “I was in company & Regiment with Cyrus Washington. He was a sound man when he went into the army. I live near neighbor to him now and see him every few days. He suffers much. His eyes and is partially blind and almost deaf. At times he is unable to see or hear without using the voice very loud. His general health is fast going away and he is not able to work one half the time or to earn the half that a well man can earn.”

 

Statement, Thomas Riddick, 14 May 1899
“Shortly after we arrived at Brazos Santiago, Texas, Comrade Cyrus Washington was taken sick and sent to General Hospital at New Orleans, La. and did not return to his company till it was ready to be mustered out. We arrived in Texas in the summer of 1865, but I cannot tell the date that Washington became sick, or when he was sent to hospital. I know that he did not stay in Texas long.”

 

Deposition, Cyrus Washington, 19 June 1902
“I am about 70 years old; occupation, laborer; residence, cor of Godwin & Columbus Street, Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Virginia … “I was born in Sussex County as a slave to Spencer Pleagand [?] (dec’d). My father’s name was Cyrus Washington and he was a slave to a man name Wm. Harvey (dec’d). My mother’s name was Sylvia – but I can’t tell you her last name. I was called after my father. My full and correct name is Cyrus Washington and I have never been known under any other name.

“I was about grown but I can’t give you an idea how old I was when I enlisted. I enlisted at Fortress Monroe, Va. I can’t tell you the year or what time of year. I was stripped and given a thorough physical examination at enlistment and was sworn in at the Fort. I don’t remember the name of the recruiting officer for I volunteered.

“I was discharged at City Point, Va. after we came back from Texas, after the fall of Richmond along towards the Spring. I was mustered out at Brazos Santiago, Texas. I can’t give dates nor tell you how long I was in the service but I enlisted for three years. Don‘t think I was in the service quite three years.

“Immediately after discharge I went on the Bayes farm near Hampton, Va. and remained there a year, then I went to Bowers Hill for a year and have lived in this locality ever since.

“I have my original discharge certificate which should show you (Exhibited but ink on certificate is so faded as to render the writing thereon illegible.)”

“Q.  What was the title of the commanding officer of the regiment?
A. Colonel Cole. Major Seipp was next.

Q. Didn’t you have a Lt. Co.?
A. Yes, I think so but I forget.

Q. Who ranked next below Major?
A. Captain Whiteman
1st Lt. ranked next … Hart
2nd Lt. ranked next …. Ricker
Orderly Sgt was Thomas Pitt. I tented with Fielding Washington and another comrade whose name I forgot.

Q. Name some other comrades
A.  Squire Bright (Navy Yard), James Smith and Alfred Jones (decd), a sergeant and Beverley Whiting.

I was never in a battle but we went up in front of Petersburg but not get in any battle.

“My witnesses were Alfred Jones and Nelson Elliott. I gave each 50c. I didn’t testify for either of them.”

[At this point, he goes into great detail about impaired vision and impaired hearing, being hospitalized at Corps d’Afrique Hospital, New Orleans, and the attorney who executed his voucher … extremely difficult to read. – Leslie]

“I have been married twice. My first wife Easter Newsom died at Hampton, Va. about two or three years after my discharge. I was next married to Susan Martin at Portsmouth about two years I guess before I got my pension. She was married before to Reuben Martin who died at Hampton before I married her but I don’t know anything more about it. I have no child under 16.”

 

Letter from Cyrus Washington to Commissioner of Pensions, 15 August 1910
“… I have a claim for pension pending before you. Mr. Wills represented me but I can hear nothing from him now. Being an inmate of National Soldier’s Home, Virginia, my original pension papers are there and I cannot at this writing furnish the number of the claim.”

 

General Affidavit, Cyrus Washington, 1 July 1990
70 years old; residence, National Soldier’s Home, Elizabeth City County, Virginia; post-office address is Hospital Ward 7, National Soldiers Home … “I will state that I was a slave and had no means of knowing my age. The enlisting officer put down 27 as my age when enrolled which I think was in March 1864. I cannot procure any public, church, baptismal, bible or family record or record of any kind to prove date of my birth there being none in existence as that I know.”

 

Death Certificate [copy], Cyrus Washington, 13 October 1911
[age] 70 years
[birthplace] Virginia
[occupation] laborer
[death date] October 13, 1911
[cause of death] acute nephritis
[burial place] Mt. Cavalry Cemetery
[undertaker] Jno. T. Fisher & Bro., Portsmouth, Va.

 

General Affidavit, Hester Washington, 8 July 1912
post-office address, 1115 Richmond Ave….”That there were no cemetery expenses in connection with the burial of Cyrus Washington other than the bill of the undertaker, John T. Fisher & Co.; that the cemetery in which the soldier was buried belonged to the said John T. Fisher & Co. and is known as Fisher’s Cemetery; that any expenses which there might be for burial in said cemetery are included in the bill of said john T. Fisher & Co. already on file, and said bill shows all amounts due the said John T. Fisher & Co. for such burial: that she has applied to the Commander of the G.A. R. Post of which soldier was a member for a certificate that the Post waive claim for any expenses incurred on account of burial of soldier, but the Commander is a ignorant person and while he states that there is no claim on the part of the Post he refuses to sign any statement unless the Commissioner of Pensions writes him to do so, which renders it impossible to obtain any statement.”

 

Letter from U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions, 9 July 1912
[Includes a written note at the bottom that Silas Fellowes Post No. 7, G.A.R. have no interest in the claim – Dred Smith, Commander”]

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“I knew the soldier during the last five years of his life as a depraved and worthless vagabond …. I have thought it not necessary to lose and incur an additional expense of $3.00 to confront the guardians with the adverse testimony obtained. I thereby recommend the rejection of the claim as it now stands.”
Letter from H.P. Maxwell, Special Examiner, to Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC, 31 March 1897

 

Minor — 597,473 / —–,

 

Marriage License [copy] Stephen Balentine & Cynthia Jones, 11 May 1865
Norfolk, Va.; both, 21 years old; both, single; both born, Princess Anne Co., Va.; husband resided, 1st US Cavy (Cold), Co. G;  wife, Norfolk; husband’s parents, Stephen & Cloe Balentine; wife’s parents, Jack & Charlotte Jones; husband’s occupation, Private, Co G, 1st U.S. Cold Cavy; officiant, John M. Brown, Pastor, St. John AME Chapel, Norfolk, Va.

 

Death Certificate, Steven Ballentine, 30 June 1894
” … departed this life on the 21st day of September 1890, aged 50 years; that the cause of death was gangrene; That the death was reported by J.E. Riddick and occurred at the Almshouse …”

 

Declaration for Children Under Sixteen Years of Age, Daniel Smith, 16 June 1894
58 years old; post-office address, 262 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“[He] is the legal guardian of Mary F., Joseph, Magzner, Lucinda and Rosetta … [Stephen Ballentine] died Sept 22, 1890. That he left no widow surviving him, she having died April 16, 1890. That the names and dates of birth of all the surviving children of the soldier under sixteen years of age are as follows:

Mary Frances March 16, 1878
Joseph Dec 21, 1880
Magzener Oct 9, 1882
Lucinda Mch 4, 1884
Rosetta Aug 16, 1886

“That the mother was married under the name Sarah Smith to Stephen Ballentine … Also personally appeared, Abraham Elliott, residing at Norfolk, Va., and Thomas Willie, residing at Norfolk, Va. …”

 

General Affidavit, Daniel Smith, 14 July 1894
post-office address, 262 Church St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va. …
Sarah Jane Smith, which was her maiden name, was married to Stephen Ballentine after the custom of slaves on the 15 day of January 1876 by a Rev. William Lewis of Norfolk, Va. and the said William Lewis who performed the ceremony and [illegible] Anna Fentress the midwife who attended the births of the children of Sarah and Stephen Ballentine are dead. And there is no public nor church record of the births nor baptisms of the said children in existence. And it is not in my power to furnish the testimony of but one who was an eyewitness to the ceremony. Some have died and others have moved off to parts unknown to me but I offer the testimony of two who were not immediately present at the marriage of Sarah and Stephen Ballentine but they were intimately acquainted with [them] and lived near neighbor to them. And visited them soon after they were married and to the day of her death.

“And I further certify that the above statement was written by J.A.H. Armstead  in my presence and only from oral statements to him on this 14th day of July 1894 at his office #251 Bank St., City of Norfolk, Va. … ”

 

General Affidavit, Lucinda Smith, 16 July 1894
60 years old; residence, Princess Anne Co., Va.; post-office address, 262 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known and I have been intimately acquainted with Sarah Jane Ballentine from her childhood to her death …. I lived near neighbor to her all the time. I was also well acquainted with Stephen Ballentine for 35 years before he died. He died … at the Almshouse at Norfolk, Va. …. I am well and intimately acquainted with this family and I do well remember the dates of the births of the children….”

 

General Affidavit, John E. Bonney, 25 August 1894
54 years old; residence, Princess Anne Co., Va. near Kempsville
“I have known Stephen Ballentine for 40 years previous to his death, lived near neighbor to him all the time in Princess Anne County, Virginia.”

 

General Affidavit, Manda Hodges, 24 July 1894
45 years old;  residence, corner Scott & Jefferson sts., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I have been intimately acquainted with Sarah Jane Smith and Stephen Ballentine from 1870 to the day of their deaths … [hers, 16 April 1890] … [his, 21 September 1890] at Norfolk, Va. and that they left surviving the following named children: Mary Frances Ballentine born on the 16th of March 1878; Joseph Ballentine born on the 24th of December 1880; Magline Ballentine born on the 9th day of October 1882; Lucinda Ballentine was born on the 4th of March 1884; Rosetta Ballentine born on the 16th day of August 1886. I was present at each of their births in the capacity of nurse…. They are all living and I see them frequently.”

 

General Affidavit, Daniel Smith, 16 February 1895
60 years old; residence, Princess Anne Co., Va.; post-office address, 262 Church St., Norfolk, Va. … “that he was well acquainted with Stephen Ballentine … all of his life to the day of his death”

 

Affidavit As To Family Record Entries, Daniel Smith, 25 August 1895
58 years old; post-office address, 262 Church St., Norfolk, Va., 12 June 1894
“Their births and baptisms was recorded in the Smith St. Methodist Church in the City of Norfolk, Va. Said records was in the possession of Wm. Smith, Elder of said church and after his death on the 17th of September 1890, they were misplaced or destroyed, therefore there is no church record in existence. The name of Maglene are spelt wrong by the Clerk of the Court. It should have been spelt Maglene & not Mageline and Maglener….”
[Note: The birth dates in this document are the same as those reported above in Declaration for Children Under Sixteen Years of Age … 16 June 1894 except Joseph’s which appears in the Affidavit … 25 August 1895 as December 24th — Leslie].

 

General Affidavit, Daniel Smith, 10 December 1895
60 years old; residence, Princess Anne Co., Va.; post-office address, 262 Church St., Norfolk, Va. … “The said Stephen Ballentine was born and raised in Princess Anne Co., Va. His age when enlisted was about 23 years. His occupation was a farmer. His height was about 5 feet and 4 or 5 inches. His complexion was dark. His hair and eyes was dark. There was no marks or scars on his body that I know of. His discharge certificate was destroyed by fire by his house being burned down. Stephen Ballentine was admitted in the National Soldiers’ Home at Hampton, Va. on the 28th day of August 1890 and he died at the said home on the 21st day of September 1890.”

 

General Affidavit, Philip Bagman and Willis Quickmore, 10 December 1895
[Bagman] 52 years old; 26 Cumberland St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
[Quickmore]  64 years old; 62 Chapel St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
Bagnam “has known Stephen Ballentine for 25 years and he was he was the first sergeant of Company G with the said Stephen Ballentine … Quickmore was acquainted with the said Stephen Ballentine since 1856 and that he was a private in the company with said Stephen Ballentine …. {and they know that while in the service] Ballentine was frequently treated by Dr. Manley and Dr. Gray in the Regimental Hospital for misery in the head and shortness of breath….”

 

Deposition, Daniel Smith, 24 March 1897
65 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, 402 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“I am the guardian of the minor children of Stephen Ballentine. … I knew [Ballentine] from his boyhood. He belonged prior to the late war to a Mr. Land. I think Bennett Land although it may have been Horatio Land and he used to  drive a dray in Norfolk, Va. prior to the war. And I knew him well both before he went to Norfolk to work and when he was in Norfolk. … he was not married prior to his marriage to my daughter… They were married in Norfolk, Va. but I have forgotten the date. Rev. Wm. Lewis married them but he is dead. I do not know in whose house they were living at the time of their marriage. Nor do I know of anyone that was present at their marriage.
“[The five children] are all under my care and custody as their guardian but I cannot give the date of birth of either of the said children as they were born in Norfolk, Va. about five miles from where I live and from where I have lived all my life. …. My wife Lucinda Smith was present when each of them was born. …
“Q. What is the correct name of the minor whose name appears as Magzner.
A.   Her name is Magdalene Ballentine.
q.  Have you had the care and custody of said minors continuously since the death of the soldier Stephen Ballentine?
A.  Yes, sir, I took charge of them before he died as he was unable to take care of them on account of his physical condition.”

 

Deposition, Lucinda Smith, 24 March 1897
55 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 402 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“I am the wife of Daniel Smith, the guardian of the minors of Stephen Ballentine. The said Stephen Ballentine married my daughter Sarah Jane Smith in 1867 or 1868. They were married in Norfolk, Va. in my presence but I do not remember the date. They were married by license by Rev. Wm. Lewis now dead. The wedding took place on James St. near Queen St. but I have forgotten the no. of the house in which they were married. I knew the said Stephen Ballentine since his youth … Joseph was born in Rogers Ct., Norfolk, Va. on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1880. He was 16 years old the 24th of last December. Magdalene was born in October 1881. She was 15 years old her last birthday. Lucinda was born March 4th 1884, the very day that Grover Cleveland was inaugurated President of the U.S. the first time and Rosetta was born, also in Rogers Ct. August 16, 1896 …. I give said dates from memory. Manda Hodges of Norfolk, Va. was present when said children were born. She staid right with my daughter when they were born and she ought to remember when they were born.”

 

Deposition, Harriet Bearman, 24 March 1897
43 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, Kempsville, Princess Anne Co., Va.
“I have knows [Daniel Smith] for about 35 years. I also knew his daughter Sarah Jane Smith from her early childhood. She and I were near of an age. I lived right by the family and was very intimate with the said Sarah Jane Smith from her childhood until she died … [I knew Stephen Ballentine] from 1866 until he died. I was not present at their marriage but I remember very well when it took place but I cannot give the date.”

 

Deposition, John E. Bonney, 25 March 1897
58 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Broad Creek, Princess Anne Co., Va.
“I have known Daniel Smith … for the past 35 years …. I knew the said Stephen Ballentine for 40 years before his death. I knew him as a neighbor and as an associate from before he was grown until he died. I also knew his wife Sarah Jane from her early girlhood until she died …. They lived in Norfolk and I lived about four miles distant but I visited them frequently.”

 

Deposition, Henrietta Jones, 25 March 1897
70 years old; residence and post-office address, 190 St. Paul’s St., Norfolk, Va.
“I do not know Daniel Smith …. but I did know Stephen Ballentine who died in the Norfolk City Almshouse. I got acquainted with him on his return to Norfolk after his discharge from the army in the Spring of 1866.
Q.  Under what circumstances did you make his acquaintance?
A.  He visited next door to where I lived for a while and then he visited my house. He was then a single young man. When I first made his acquaintance he was visiting a girl named Lucinda Jones, my cousin who lived next door to me on East Main St. in this City and about two years thereafter he married this girl Lucinda Jones. I was not present when they were married as I had moved to Church St. and was living some distance from them when they were married. I do not know who married them nor do I know who saw them married. No, I don’t think they lived together but he used to visit Lucinda and she had three children by him viz. Alexander, James, and Eva — all living. No, Stephen Ballentine did not support said children. Their mother supported them until she died eleven or twelve years ago and then I took said children and raised them. The child Eva was only about a month old when the mother Lucinda died.
Q.  Where was Stephen Ballentine when Lucinda Jones died?
A.  He was living on St. Paul St. this city with another woman by whom he had the children for which Daniel Smith is the guardian.
Q.  Can you refer me to anyone from whom I may obtain the fact of Stephen Ballentine’s alleged marriage to Lucinda Jones?
A.  I don’t know for certain but I think Rosa Sparks and Susan Perry knew all about the marriage. They lived right by Lucinda when she and Stephen Ballentine were said to have married. They live on Suffolk St. near James in this city. Stephen Ballentine did not live and co-habit with his Lucinda Jones as a husband should do by his wife but he visited her occasionally and she had the abovenamed children by him. Yes, sir, Stephen Ballentine owned and recognized said children but he never provided them with any part of a support.”

 

Deposition, Henrietta Jones, 25 March 1897
70 years old; residence and post-office address, 190 St. Paul’s St., Norfolk, Va.
“I became acquainted with the late Stephen Ballentine in the Spring of 1866 on his return from the army. I was then living on Church St., this City. Prior to that time I had lived on East Main Street, this City, and a young girl, a cousin of mine named Cynthia Jones, not Lucinda, lived next door to me. Her parents were Jack & Charlotte Jones and were from Princess Anne Co., Va. This was about the close of the late war that Cynthia Jones lived next door to me, about the time Richmond, Va. fell, and I occasionally saw this man Stephen Ballentine visiting her (Cynthia’s) house but I did  not make his acquaintance for a year later. Yes, he, Ballentine was in the U.S. Army when I saw him at the house and I heard that they were married but I have no personal knowledge of that fact. … The night his wife died, my daughter (Rachel Jones) went after him and found him in bed with the Smith woman in a house in Rogers Ct. this City. He was not married to the Smith woman nor was he ever divorced from his wife Cynthia Jones. Yes, sir. Cynthia was known as Cynthia Ballentine, the wife of Stephen Ballentine until she died about 14 years ago. …. Cynthia Ballentine died at the corner of Hawk and Willoughby sts., this CIty.”

 

Deposition, Willis Quickmore, 27 March 1897
67 years old; laborer; residence and post-office address, 62 Chapel Street extended, Norfolk, Va.
“I knew [Stephen Ballentine] for at least five years before the beginning of the late war. He followed draying here in the city prior to the war and up to the date of his enlistment …  He and I enlisted about the same time [and served together through discharge and muster out] and came home to Norfolk, Va. together and we lived right here in the city together from the time we left the service until he died in Sept 21, 1890. I visited him at his home and knew him well. ”

 

Deposition, Phillip Bagnall, 27 March 1897
52 years old; laborer; residence and post-office address, 380 Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va.
“I knew [Stephen Ballentine] for ten years before he enlisted. He and I used to work together before the war. … If his name appears on the company roll as Stephen Ballenting it is a clerical error, as his name was spelled and pronounced Ballentine. There was no other man of the name of Ballentine or Ballenting in said company.”

 

Deposition, Phillip Bagnall, 27 March 1897
52 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 380 Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va.
“I served in Company G … I knew Stephen Ballentine of said company well, for ten years before his enlistment. … I do not know of my own knowledge where [Ballentine was born and reared] but I have heard that he came from Princess Anne Co., Va. not far from the Norfolk Co. line. I do not know who he belonged to nor do I know the names of his parents…. He married just before we started to Texas in the Spring of 1865. I saw the woman during service that he claimed to have married while in service but I do not know her maiden name.  I also saw her after our discharge from service and they lived together from some years and had some children and then he left her and took up with the mother of the children for whom Daniel Smith is guardian. He lived with said woman in an old house in Rogers Court and was living with her when his wife died. I think Jim Langley, Joseph Cornick, and Willis Quickmore will know of Stephen Ballentine’s marriage during service and will know of their separation. No, sir, he was not divorced from the woman he married while in service but just got wrong after the Smith woman.”

 

Deposition, Jasper Cornick, 27 March 1897
66 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 42 5th St., Norfolk, Va.
“I served in Company G … and [I knew Ballentine well]. I first met him at enlistment and knew him well from that time until he died nearly seven years ago….. He married in May 1865 Cynthia Jones, whom I knew prior to my enlistment. She was from Princess Anne Co., Va. and was owned by a Mr. Morris. At the time of said marriage our company was camped out in the edge of Portsmouth, just across the river from Norfolk, and Stephen Ballentine got a furlough to come over to Norfolk to get married and he did not return that night and when he returned the next day Capt. Wm. H. Carter put him in the guardhouse. I have seen the father of Cynthia Jones whom Stephen Ballentine married but had no particular acquaintance with him. His name was Jack Jones…. I do not remember the date of [Cynthia’s] death but she died here in Norfolk on Hawk st (St. Paul’s) near Willoughby st. She died about 12 years ago. I heard that Stephen Ballentine was living with another woman when Cynthia died but I have no personal knowledge of the fact.”

 

Deposition, Isaac Brower, 31 March 1897
60 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 45 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
“I knew the late Stephen Ballentine from his childhood. He was the son of Stephen Ballentine and Chloe Ballentine, late of Princess Anne Co., Va. I also knew his wife Cynthia from her early childhood. Her parents were Jack & Charlotte Jones, also of Princess Anne Co., Va. I was not present [when they married] but I know that he lived with and acknowledged her as his wife for several years next after he came home out of the U.S. Army. No, I didn’t serve with him as I was in the Navy. …. They lived together for a number of years and then he got careless about her and took up with another woman whom I did not know and would not notice his wife. I heard that he married the woman he took up with and I am sure he was never divorced from his wife Cynthia. Cynthia has been dead 14 or 15 years now. ”

 

Deposition, Isaac Kellum, 31 March 1897
74 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 165 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
“I knew [Stephen Ballentine] well. We enlisted at the same time and place. … I also knew his wife Cynthia, whose maiden name was Cynthia Jones. I know that he married her while he was yet in the army, and just a short time before our regiment went to Texas in June 1865. They had been married about a month before we started to Texas. The said wife visited him frequently while we were in camp in Portsmouth, Va. just across the river from Norfolk …

 

Letter from H.P. Maxwell, Special Examiner, to Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC, 31 March 1897
“I knew the soldier during the last five years of his life as a depraved and worthless vagabond…. I have thought it not necessary to lose and incur an additional expense of $3.00 to confront the guardians with the adverse testimony obtained. I thereby recommend the rejection of the claim as it now stands.”

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The soldier drowned in Texas before his service ended. His brother’s application for pension benefits includes inconsistent information about the birth dates and dates of death for parents and siblings. That same brother later resided at the National Soldiers’ Home in Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Virginia. The location was sometimes incorrectly reported in this application as “Elizabeth City, Virginia” or “Elizabeth County, Virginia.”

 

Invalid – 1,191,575 / —–
Brother – 326,938 / —–, Peter Minkins

 

Declaration of Pension for Dependent Brothers and Sisters, Peter Minkins, 18 May 1885
22 years old; residence, Soldiers Home, Elizabeth City County, Virginia;  post-office address, Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Va.
“That there was no legal guardian … John Minkins died by drowning while crossing the river near Galveston, State of Texas, while in the line of his duty, and properly detailed in carrying the mails … on the not known day of not known about A.D. 1865 … his mother lived until about the year 1875 and drawed [sic] about one hundred dollars on a/c of death of aforesaid John Minkins … [surviving siblings who were 16 years old at the time of the soldier’s death] were Nelson Minkins died about the year 1878 and Amie Minkins died in 1869; that said brothers and sisters were the issue of the parents of said soldier…
Ned Minkins, child of Malinda and William Minkins, born not known
Frank Minkins, Dec[eased], child of Malinda and William Minkins, born not known
Nelson Minkins, Dec[eased], child of Malinda and William Minkins, born not known
Junius Minkins, child of Malinda and William Minkins, born not known
“That the parents were married under the names William Minkins (Malinda’s name not known) at West Point, State of Virginia

 

Declaration for an Original Pension for a Brother, Julius Minkins, 16 April 1890
37 years old; post-office address, Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Va.
“He is the brother of John Minkins … who died in the service in Texas … he was partly dependent on said brother for support … Julius Minkins was born February 12th,1853 … Also personally appeared Warren Minkins … and Henry Rone …”

 

General Affidavit, Alfred Blow, 12 January 1891
50 years old; residence, Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Virginia; post-office address, Hampton, Va.
“That Julias Minkins was dependent on his brother John Minkins for his support when he was a boy. Johnie Minkins used to give Julias Minkins money for his support and lived near them.”

 

General Affidavit, Henry Roane, 12 January 1891
60 years old; residence, Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Va.; post-office address, Hampton, Va.
“That Julias Minkins was dependent on his brother Johnie Minkins for support since he was a boy. Johnie Minkins used to give Julias Minkins money for his support. I lived as near neighbour [sic].”

 

General Affidavit, John Miller, 27 January 1891
77 years old; residence, Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Va.; post-office address, Hampton, Va.
“That he knew about when Julias Minkins was born, that he is now about 38 years of age, that he knew that the father of Julias Minkins died in the year 1878  — I dug the grave for both his father and mother. There was about one and a half years difference in the deaths of his father and mother. His father died first.”

 

General Affidavit, Jacob Thornton, 6 November 1897
45 years old; residence, Hampton, Elizabeth County, Va.; post-office address, Hampton, Va.
“I know that Billey and Melinda Minkins, the father and mother of Julian Minkins died as follows: Billey Minkins died in the year 1873 and Melinda Minkins died about 18 months after …. I know this because I was at their house when they died and saw them laid out for burial. I recognized them when they were in the coffin.”

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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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The soldier survived a gunshot wound to the head at the Battle of the Crater in Petersburg, Virginia where he’d been detailed to the Ambulance Corps as a stretcher-bearer. He outlived one wife, was divorced from the second, and separated from the third. His cousin Peter McCoy also served in 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry, Company B and his brother Moses McCoy served in the 36th U.S. Colored Troops, Company E. Dozens of witnesses deliver robust profiles of the soldier and his widow and their struggle to persevere through the chaos.

Invalid — 635,663 / 671,117
Widow — 1,075,219 / 821,546, Delia McCoy 

Chancery Suit, Corporation Court of the City of Norfolk, Mary Jane McCoy by her next friend Edmund Ferebee vs. Humphrey McCoy, 11 April 1888
“… the court being of opinion that the charges of desertion and adultery are fully proved doth adjudge order and decree that the marriage heretofore solemnized Humphrey McCoy and Mary Jane McCoy formerly Mary Jane Wilson be and the same is hereby dissolved and the said Mary Jane McCoy be forever divorced a vinculo matrimonii from the said Humphrey McCoy.
“And the court doth further adjudge order and decree that the said Humphrey McCoy do pay to the plaintiff her costs by her expended in the prosecution of this suit.”

Affidavit for General Purposes, Isaac Kellum & Armstead Tucker, 16 July 1888
“[They know him, were in same company with him] and were engaged in the same action at the Crater when he was wounded, they state while they did not see the wound when he received it, they saw him in the hospital and know of the fact that he was wounded in the right side of the head by gunshot, that he was sent with us as invalid to Texas … we live close neighbors to said McCoy … both of these affiants were detailed as stretcher-bearers and it was their duty to carry wounded from the field of action … [Kellum and Taylor] carried him to the rear so as to be treated by Surgeon. Lt. Bradford S. Manley was surgeon of the regiment and attended the claimant in field hospital …”

Isaac Kellum, Deposition, 22 July 1889
63 years old; post-office address, 65 Queen St., Norfolk, Va.; occupation, laborer …  “He enlisted the same time that I did … I have known him ever since the war. I have seen him every day. We have worked together a part of the time.”

Sworn Statement, James Langley & James Woodhouse, 23 July 1888
“[Humphrey McCoy] while at the battle of the Crater and acting as stretcher-bearer and help to wounded at or near [Petersburg, Virginia on or about 30th July 1864] received a gunshot wound in right side of the head … we were in the same company as said McCoy, James Langley being 2nd Sgt in Co B 1st Reg and Jas. Woodhouse being a private in said company, that they live close neighbors to said McCoy and have known him since the war, that he is very much disabled from said wound and unable to support himself, they also testify that McCoy was treated in the field hospital and said wound affected him until his discharge and also until the present time.”

Deposition, Armistead Tucker, 25 July 1889
45 years old; post-office address, 22 Kent St., Norfolk, Va.; occupation, laborer … “I have known the claimant ever since 1863 … He received a wound in the temple. I think the right temple in front of Petersburgh, Va. July 1864 at the battle of the Crater … I saw him the next day after he was wounded. I saw the wound … It did not appear to be a very bad wound.”

“I have known Humphrey McCoy ever since his discharge. I have seen him very often, sometimes every day or so, and sometimes once in six months. He lives about a half a mile from me now.”

Deposition, James Woodhouse, 26 July 1889
“about 38 or 39 years old, I don’t know exactly”; residence, 300 [?] Queen St., Norfolk, Va.; occupation, laborer …. “I have known the claimant ever since 1862. He was in the service with me. … I think he received a ‘lick’ from a bombshell in front of Petersburg, Va. It was somewhere about his head … I was on detailed duty at the battle of the Crater. I don’t remember which duty I was on.”

“I have known McCoy ever since discharge. He has lived within a quarter of a mile of me ever since the war.”

Deposition, James Langley, 27 July 1889
54 years old;  post-office address, 17 Brickers Ave., Norfolk, Va.; occupation, laborer … “[Langley said that he asked McCoy how he had been hurt and McCoy said] that while he was with the ambulance corps, removing the dead and wounded, the rebels came upon them and he was burnt by powder about the eyes. I did not see him [illegible] as I was on detached service with the post commissary.”

Deposition, Humphrey McCoy, 31 July 1889
40 years old; occupation, porter in store; post-office address, 326 Church St., Norfolk, Va. “… I was struck by a minie ball. I think George Whitis was with me, carrying the other end of the stretcher but he is dead. No one else was with me at the time. My company was stationed in the rear.
“When I was struck I fell to the ground. Someone stood me on my feet and walked beside me to the surgeon who belonged to some other regiment. I never knew who he was.
“About the next day I was treated by the surgeons of my regiment, Dr. Manley and Dr. Gray. I did not go to hospital. I was off duty only two days. Captain McIntyre commanded my company at the time.
“Q. What members of your company knew that you had this wound at the battle of the Crater?
A.   Isaac Kellum, Armstead Tucker, and Jim Langley of Norfolk, Va. Edmund Jones at Hampton. and Jim Woodhouse of Company D, I think … while at Brazos I went blind. I was blind for about three months … I took pneumonia from swimming my horse across the Chickahominy Swamp, Va. about Mar or April 1863 …
“I was kicked on the left foot while drilling at Hampton, Va. about three months after I enlisted. It does not hurt me now.”

Deposition, Lewis Dawley, 2 August 1889
53 years old; post-office address, 379 Church St., Norfolk, Va.; occupation, truckman … “I was a sergeant of company B … [Humphrey McCoy] was a member of my co. … I did not know him before enlistment. I have known him ever since. … I was not at the battle of Deep Bottom or the Crater. I was on detailed duty at Warrenton Junction at that time.”

Deposition, Israel Armstrong, 7 August 1889
58 years old; 49 St. Paul’s St., Norfolk, Va.; occupation, laborer … “I did not know [McCoy] before he enlisted… I was present at the battle of the Crater. I was detailed as stretcher-bearer in the ambulance corps, at that time but I do not remember hearing of McCoy being wounded or injured at that time. I remember seeing him in camp. We were encamped on the left side of Petersburgh …”
“I have known him ever since discharge. He lives near me …. I have seen him about once or twice a week ever since discharge.”

Deposition, Isaac Moseley, 13 September 1889
44 years old; post-office address, 13 Wise St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; occupation, truck farmer … “I had been acquainted with him two years when he enlisted. … I lived at that time at Sewall’s Point, Norfolk Co., Va. and he lived ten miles from me at Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va. and I used to meet him often at church. We enlisted about the same time and were discharged and came home together.”
“I was on detailed service a good part of the time cooking for the brigade butchers and in the commissary department.”
“I was not present at the battle of the Crater near Petersburg, Va.  I was on reserve picket duty.”
“I have seen him about once a week ever since discharge.”

General Affidavit, Cornelius Gray, 1 May 1890
49 years old; residence, 80 Henry St., Norfolk, Va.; post-office address, 80 Henry St., Norfolk, Va. … “I was in line of duty at the same time when [McCoy] got struck with a piece of a shell … [McCoy] was carrying wounded men off the field on stretchers … I was a corporal of the ambulance corps at the time … he was under my command … ”

Marriage License [copy], Humphrey McCoy & Delia Cargo, 13 July 1892
Norfolk, Va.; husband, 44 years old; wife, 28 years old; both, widowed; both born, Norfolk Co., Va.; both resided, Norfolk Co., Va.; husband’s parents, H. and Hannah McCoy; wife’s parents, [blank]; husband’s occupation, driver; officiant, Rev. J.E. Lovitt

Deposition, Humphrey McCoy, 8 May 1893
45 years old; residence, 70 Willoughby St., Norfolk, Va.; occupation, express wagon driver “… my attorney was a man named Brown … I don’t know where Brown is now; he left here five or six years ago; I then made a contract with A.M. McCormack & Sons of Washington, DC … then Mr. W.R. Drury was my attorney …”

Deposition, John Binford, 9 May 1893
55 years old; residence, 31 Scott St., Norfolk, Va.; no occupation
Q. Do you know Humphrey McCoy?
A.  I only know one Humphrey McCoy. He belong to the 36th USCT, I believe….”

Deposition, Anderson Beasley, 12 May 1893
about 49 years old; no occupation; “I live at the new turnpike road at the Richard Oden‘s place …
“Q. Do you know Humphrey McCoy?
A. Yes, sir. 20 years.
Q.  How long have you known him?
A. For more than 20 years …”

General Affidavit, Louis Dawley & Isaac Armstrong, 29 November 1893 
[Dawley] 51 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 379 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
[Armstrong] 61 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 49 St. Paul’s St., Norfolk, Va.
“… Dawley says that he has known pensioner for 30 years … Armstrong has known pensioner for 40 years …”

Deposition, Humphrey McCoy, 8 May 1901
54 years old; post-office address, 506 Princess Anne Ave, Norfolk, Va. … “I am a member of the Hampton Va. Home.    I have never had any other name. My father’s name was Humphrey McCoy. My mother’s Hannah McCoy. Robert Casson was my owner. I had 4 brothers … Charles, William and Moses. Moses and I were the only ones in the Army. I was born in Norfolk Co., Va. and have resided in this county all my life. ”

“Garrard was my Colonel. Brown and Seip were Majors at different times. McIntyre was my Capt. Cass and Vandervoort were Lts. Lawton, Sayles, Langley, and Pearce were Sgts. Anthony James, Henry James, Enos Dennis were Corpls. Henry McCrea, James Pool, and Peter McCoy were my tentmates.
“We were in a skirmish at Chickahominy Swamp. I was then dismounted and made a stretcher-bearer and so continued until we went to Texas …. Armstead Tucker and Isaac Kellam were witnesses in my claim.”
“Delia is the name of my wife. We were married in 1891 in Norfolk by Rev. Goodman Bray…. My present wife had a former husband Shack White. They separated about 1885 and I don’t know whether he is living. They were never divorced to my knowledge.”
“My vouchers are executed at the Hampton Home. My pension certificate and discharge are at the Hampton Home.”
“I was only 16 when I enlisted  and had been working on a farm when I enlisted.”

General Affidavit, Robert Mosley, 14 July 1908
68 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 67 Star St., Norfolk, Va. … “That I am a cousin of Humphrey McCoy. That Humphrey McCoy’s first wife Mary Etta McCoy contracted smallpox during the epidemic of that disease in Norfolk about the year 1870, and died of said disease. I did not see her after she died but went to the house before she was buried and know the circumstances concerning her death …”

General Affidavit, Amanda Perry, 14 July 1908
52 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 16 Bonnetts Ct., Norfolk, Va. … “That I was well and personally acquainted with the late Humphrey McCoy and his first wife Mary Etta McCoy, and at time Mary Etta McCoy died, I was living less than one block from her. She died during a smallpox epidemic at Norfolk, Va. on Willoughby St. with smallpox not very long after the Civil War, not later than 1870 I think.  I did not see her after death but know well the day she was said to have died also the night she was carried out to be buried but did not see her carried out; and have never seen her since so she must have died as reported.”
[NOTE: According to the 1908 City Directory, page 472, Amanda Perry lives at 384 Charlotte St. and Andrew Perry lives at 16 Bonnott.
But in the directory’s reverse address index, page 770, Andrew Perry lives at “16 Bonnot [ — north from 18 Wilson’s av]. The entry just above is for “Bonney’s Court  [ — north from 238 Charlotte]. The reverse address index (on page 772) shows that the dwelling at 384 Charlotte St. is occupied (or owned) by Edith A. Halstead. Time to get a map! — Leslie]

Transcript from Record of Deaths, Department of Health, Norfolk, Virginia, Humphrey McCoy, 22 June 1908
Date of death: June 15, 1908 … Age: 62 … Social condition: Married … Occupation: Teamster … Cause of death: Cerebral apoplexy … Place of death: Norfolk Co., Va.  … Place of burial: Soldiers Home … Attending physician: [illegible] … Undertaker: Jas. E. Jones”

General Affidavit, Teney Gray, 20 July 1908
58 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 412 Princess Anne Ave., Norfolk, Va. … “… well and personally acquainted with Mrs. Delia McCoy since well before she was 14 fourteen years [sic]  old … claimant and soldier were never divorced but did not continue to live together during last seven years of soldier’s life … owing to soldier’s cruelty in many ways to claimant. Claimant was with soldier when he died, helping to nurse him. I live a close neighbor to soldier’s home …”

General Affidavit, Catharine Wilson, 20 July 1908
63 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 89 Goff St., Norfolk, Va. … “I have known Delia McCoy all of her life …”

General Affidavit, Delia McCoy, 20 July 1908
44 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 10 Wise St., Norfolk, Va.; “That the marriage of the soldier and myself was my first and only marriage and the third marriage of soldier … I was unable to continue living with soldier as he was a very cruel man, he whipped me and he was also living in adultery in same house with me … ”

General Affidavit, Randolph Green, 30 July 1908
58 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.;   “That I first knew Humphrey McCoy when he came home from Civil War in 1866 as near as I remember. I lived about 50 yards from him and know he was not married prior to his marriage to Mary Etta Land. This wife only lived about a year or two and died with smallpox on Willoughby St., Norfolk, Va. That he remained unmarried from her death untill [sic] his marriage to Mary Jane McCoy his second wife & that he did not again marry from her divorce from him untill [sic] he married the claimant Delia McCoy with whom he lived as husband and wife until about seven years ago when they separated. They were never divorced.”

General Affidavit, Tiney Gray & Sarah Jenifer, 28 October 1916
[Gray] about 70 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va; post-office address, 1002 Princess Anne Ave., Norfolk, Va.
[Jennifer] 50 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 713 Princess Anne Ave., Norfolk, Va.
“That they have been well and personally acquainted with the claimant Mrs. Delia McCoy for 30 years and 25 years last past; that they were personally acquainted with her husband Mr. Humphrey McCoy for 35 and 20 years before his death in June 1908 …”

Form 3-289c, Delia McCoy, 3 February 1917
51 years old; post-office address, 713 Princess Anne Ave., Norfolk, Va. …”[Humphrey McCoy] was buried at the Soldiers’ Home.
“I was married to him in this city under my then name Delia McCoy, by Rev. _____ Bray of St. Luke’s Church, at the home of Rev. Bray over 20 years ago. I don’t know the exact date. I cannot remember dates much.
“Q. A copy of the public record of the marriage shows that Rev. J.E. Lovitt married Humphrey McCoy and Delia Cargo, how do you explain that.
A.  I was married to Humphrey McCoy by Rev. Bray, I have my marriage certificate given to us shortly after we were married. [The Special Examiner noted that she produced the marriage certificate — Leslie]. … He was in the Soldiers Home for a while but died in his home on Maltby Ave., ext’d on Ocean View R.R. I was not legally separated from him … but we were good friends and I visited him, and if there was anything I could do for him I would do it. We simply could not get along, he was very cross. I worked out with white people, work out now, till I got sick last September. I was right there when he died. He fell in the street, they took him to his home, I was sent for, when I got there he was dying, did not recognize anyone after I got there, died in about a half-hour.
“I was born near North West, Norfolk Co., Va., close to a church called Bethel. I do not know the date of my birth or year. I think I am 51 years old …. My parents were Eli and Sylvia Cargo. I think my mother said I was born the year before the war ceased…
“When I was a small child I was brought to Deep Creek by my mother, my father died before I could remember. She cooked for a Mr. _____ Roper, about 5 years then my mother moved to Norfolk City, I came with her. I was about 8 years old when I came to Norfolk … I do not know where I lived in 1870 and in 1880.  I had the following brothers, Charles, died when I was a child; James Cargo, do not know where he is. Eli Cargo, lived near Burden Station, was there when last heard from, and Dan Cargo who is dead. All my sisters are dead. They were named Martha Ann, Caroline, Mary Jane, and Sarah. I lived with my mother on Freemason Street till she died, when I was about 12 years. After that I lived with Harriet Gould, on Newton St., she is living, on Wilson Ave. I was with her until I was grown. She took in washing and I helped her.”

“Q. Did you have any children [before your marriage to Humphrey McCoy]?
A. Yes, I had one child Chas. White by Shack White.  I don’t know if he is 30 or 27. He is away, went to New York 8 years ago. I don’t know his address.”

“Q. Where is Shack White? I don’t know, sir. he is living here in town somewheres. … [When Humphrey McCoy died] I lived at 10 Wise St., with a family, Fenton and Harriet Roberts, rented a room from them. I lived there about four years, when Harriet Roberts died, Then I moved here to this house with Jane Clark, now dead, and her daughter Nannie Young. Fenton Roberts is living at same house. Tiney Gray and Sarah Juniper have known me 25 or 30 years …. Humphrey McCoy has one brother living, Moses McCoy and one sister, Caroline Hodges.”

Form 3-289c, Lizzie Bright, 5 February 1917
50 years old; post-office address, 728 Princess Anne Ave., Norfolk, Va.; wife of Wm. Bright, works on wharf … “I have known the claimant Delia McCoy since she was a young girl … No, sir, she was never married to Shack White … No, sir, she was never known as Delia White… I know her brother, I called him Eli Cowan. His name may be Cargo, but I called him Cowan.”
“Q. Has she lived with any man as his wife since she separated from [Humphrey McCoy]?
A.  No, sir, she has lived as an honest widow since her husband’s death, has worked hard and supported herself by her own work, worked for white people stayed with them at night at times. She first had a room with Harriet Roberts and when she died she took a room with Jane Clark, and has been there ever since, across the street from here. Jane Clark is dead, and now her daughter has her house. All these people are and were respectable people.
“I knew Humphrey McCoy from my girlhood days, but know nothing about his wife or wives before he married Delia. I knew him from his driving on the streets. I knew he had children, lawful children, from what I heard before he married Delia …. I know Shak White when I see him, but I do not know where he lives or works, he told me last summer he worked at Ocean View.”

Form 3-289c, Caroline Hodges, 6 February 1917
about 62 years old; post-office address, 912 Dolphin St., Norfolk, Va.; widow of Alonzo Hodges, occupation, housework … “Humphrey McCoy was my own brother. He was married three times …. His first wife, Mary Etta, died at my father’s house on Willoughby Street, this city, many years ago … His next wife was named Jane, we called her Jane, not Mary Jane … she died long ago on Princess Anne Ave. I went to her funeral. His last wife is the claimant Delia McCoy … She was at his burial, was buried at the Soldiers Home, I saw him buried.”

Form 3-289c, Fenton Roberts, 6 February 1917
about 66 years old; post-office address, 1112 Wise St., Norfolk, Va.; occupation; working in planing mill … “I have known Delia McCoy for over 15 years. When I first knew her she was the wife of Humphrey McCoy … After he died she moved to this house, then No. 10, and rented a room from me about 4 years, can’t say just how long, soon after my wife died she moved on Princess Anne Ave., where she is now… She supported herself while in my house by working in service, she paid her room rent herself regularly.”

Form 3-289c, Moses McCoy, 7 February 1917
about 74 years old; post-office address, National Soldiers’ Home, Va.; no occupation … “Humphrey McCoy was my brother, he was about 2 years younger than I was.
“He was married three times only. His first wife died long ago, in my father’s house in Norfolk, Va …. He next married a big yellow woman named Mary Jane. They were divorced I heard. His last wife is the claimant Delia. He was separated from her, was over here in the Home, I brought him here, he was sick, but he died in Norfolk, Va., on Maltby Ave., ext’d. He was buried over here.
“I knew the claimant before her marriage to my brother ..she has a son by [Shack White], I think Shack’s name was White, Iknow his given name was Shack, a big fat fellow.
“I don’t know anything about claimant since my brother’s death, I have been in this Home all the time, and when I go to Norfolk I don’t go near her. Her reputation was not good before my brother married her….”

Form 3-289c, Teeny Gray, 8 February 1917
70 years old; post-office address, 1002 Princess Anne Ave., Norfolk, Va.; occupation, housework …”I have known Delia McCoy since she was wearing short frocks, over 30 years ago. I knew her mother, but forget her name, nor can I think of claimant’s maiden name. … She lived close to me nearly all the time I have known her. I am sure that she never married any man but McCoy. I was invited to the wedding when she married him … [At one time] she lived just around the corner with the Roberts family, after Mrs. Roberts died she moved with Jane Clark on this street, and has lived there ever since. She visits me, and I know nothing wrong of her since she married McCoy.

Form 3-289c, Randolph Green, 8 February 1917
nearly 63 years old; post-office address, 76 Courtney Ave., Norfolk, Va. … “I knew Humphrey McCoy from the time he came out of the civil war, about 1866 or 1867. I knew all of his marriages. He was married 3 times only. I waited on him when he got married the first time, to Mary Etta Land. She died in Norfolk, Va., of smallpox I heard on Willoughby street, years ago, I was boarding near there. I cannot think of his next wife’s name, but I knew here. I do not know if he was divorced from her, she is dead too. His last wife was the claimant, Delia. He was parted form her, but not divorced, not that I ever heard of. … I think Mary Jane was the name of his middle wife. She did get a divorce from him, I heard, I think.”

Form 3-289c, Shack White, 8 February 1917
nearly 62 years old; post-office address, 937 Winter St., Norfolk, Va.,  … “I have known Delia McCoy for 30 years…. She was single when I first met her. … I was never married to her, never lived with her as her husband. I visited her and she has a son Charley White said to be my son. … I have been married but one time. My wife was named Molly White, she is dead. I married her years ago, when I was a young man. …. I have not been visiting [Delia] since before she married McCoy. Her maiden name was Carver or Cargo. She was living with her brothers when I went to see her. They were nice people. She has lived in Norfolk ever since I have known her … She lived in Norfolk when her son was born.”

Form 3-289c, Eli Carver, 10 February 1917
about 49 years old; post-office address, 4508 Powhatan Ave., (Lamberts Point), Norfolk, Va.; occupation, butcher
“The claimant Delia McCoy is my sister. I do not know her exact age. She is about 51 years old, was born shortly after the Civil War closed, I think. The names of her parents were Eli Carver and Silvia Carver. … [At the time my sister’s son Charlie White was born]she was living in this city, on Princess Anne Ave., with my brothers James and Dan Carver, now dead…. Claimant’s son Chas. White is along about 29 or 30 years old.”

” … A. Either McCoy or the clerk made a mistake. The name is Carver not Cargo, and claimant never had any husband named Cargo. She never had but one husband and that was McCoy. I think McCoy is the one who made the mistake about the name. I did not know McCoy till about the time he married my sister.”

Form 3-289c, Delia McCoy, 8 February 1917
“Q. You gave your maiden name Delia Cargo in your declaration and before me, but it would appear that it was Carver, please explain.
A. Humphrey McCoy gave it in as Cargo, when he got the marriage license, it was so on the certificate, so Mr. Savage, now dead, told me and he said it had to go that way. I told him it was a mistake. I gave you my maiden as Cargo too because it was that way on the certificate, but my correct name before my marriage was Carver. My parents were named Carver, not Cargo, and my brothers were always known as Carver not Cargo. McCoy went with me long enough to know my right name .. .He knew all about my child, I told him about the child and who is father was before I married him. My child was about 4 years old when I married McCoy, but I am not certain.”

Form 3-289c, Harriet Gould, 10 February 1917
near 80 years old; post-office address, 1213 Bolton St., Norfolk, Va.; widow of Essex Gould, not able to work … “I have known the claimant since she was between 11 and 12 years old, I had not known her long when she came to live with me, and she stayed with me till she was grown. I lived on Newton St., then, this city. I have known her all the time since she left my house.

“Q. What was her name when you first knew her.
A.  Delia Carver, her mother was Silvia Carver, she died before the claimant came to my house.
….
“Q. Said Humphrey McCoy stated in his lifetime that the claimant Delia, had a former husband, Shack White, what have you to say to that.
A. She never had a husband before she had McCoy. She had a son by White but was not married to him, never lived with him as his wife. I saw her when her child was about a week old, and I know she was not living with White.

“A. Her brother Eli Carver also came to live with me when she came. She helped me to wash. I could work at that time.”

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The soldier, born enslaved in Mathews County, Virginia, was brought to Norfolk as a child and hired out to cart bricks. In adulthood, he loaded and unloaded grain at the wharves. The widow’s application contained several inconsistencies so the attorney (a female) and the notary (a Howard University student) were deposed. The attorney noted the difficulty in finding witnesses outside of Washington, DC who could read and write.

 

Invalid — 724,166 / —–
Widow — 506,855 / 407,149, Catharine Billups

 

Deposition, Catharine Billups, 15 January 1895
49 years old; occupation, housekeeper; residence and post-office address, 142 St. Paul st., Norfolk, Va.
“I have two applications for pension on file, one under the new law and one under the old law, in which I claim pension as the widow and as the dependent widow of Henry Billups, late of Co. G, 1st USCC
“Q. Where were you born and reared?
A.  I was born and reared the slave of Wilson Land of Princess Anne Co., Va. but I lived here in Norfolk eight years before the late war commenced. My maiden name was Catharine Webb. My mother (dead) was Katy Webb and my father was Jack Webb (dead).
Q.  Where was your late husband born and reared?
A.  He was born and reared in Mathews Co., Va. and he was owned by a man named Brooks whose first name I have forgotten. I know these facts from hearing my said husband relate them. I have never been in Matthews [sic] County, Va.
Q. When and where did you first meet the said Henry Billups?
A.  I met him here in Norfolk, Va. a year or two before the late war commenced. He was hired by his owner to a Mr. Noe who made brick at Norfolk. Mr. Noe died long ago. I was living at the time I made my husband’s acquaintance with Mr. Peter Whitehurst of this city, who died several years ago.
Q. When and where did you marry the said Henry Billups?
A.  I married him here in Norfolk on Chapel st. the same year that the war broke out. I was hired to a Mrs. Jones, a northern woman living on Chapel st between Cove and Holt sts. I don’t know what became of Mrs. Jones nor do I remember the number on Chapel st. where she lived. No, fighting had not commenced when we were married but soldiers were being recruited to go to war at the time we were married. We were married in the summertime, don’t remember the month or year. No, we did not have a license as license was not granted to colored people at that time. We had a minister or other person authorized to solemnize the right of matrimony to join us in marriage. We just got the permission of masters to our union and then we had a little supper to which we invited some of our friends. My aunt Charity Land gave us the wedding supper but she is dead.
Q. Give me the names and addresses of persons who were present at your wedding supper.
A.  I only remember of but one person now living who attended that supper and that is Mary Huggins who is now living in the state or city of N.Y. I do not know her address.
Q.  Where did you live from the date of your marriage until Henry Billups enlisted?
A.  We moved into the kitchen on Main st this city of a Mrs. Lizzie Jones and we lived there until Henry Billups enlisted and I continued to live there until after his discharge and return from the army. I had two children born there.
Q.  Had you been previously married or had you lived with any man as his wife prior to your marriage to Henry Billups?
A.  Neither …
Q.  How long did Henry Billups live with you after he came out of the army?
A.  He lived with me until he entered the Hampton Soldiers Home and after entering that Home he frequently visited me and my our [sic] daughter now Mrs. Mary Williams visited him at the home. I don’t remember the date we first visited him at the Home. We were living on National Lane, this city, when he went to the Home. Toler Bagnall can tell you more about the date of his going to the Home than I can and that we lived together as husband and wife from Billups came out of the army until he went to the Home. He also knows that my husband visited me after he went to the Home. The winter before he died my husband left the Home on his liberty pass and came to see me and the weather was cold and snow fell and the asthma from which he suffered became worse and he got money from me to pay his way back to the Home. This was within six months of his death.
Q.  Describe your late husband.
A.  He was about 5 ft 5 or 6 inches tall, dark complexion, black hair & eyes, and was about 48 years old when he died in May 1890. He was a year or two older than I. … I had 10 children by said soldier, all of whom are dead except my daughter Mary E. Williams.”

 

Deposition, Caleb Garrison, 16 January 1895
61 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 22 Lodge st., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant Catharine Billups since July 1867. I have known her well and have associated with her intimately since said date. In July 1867 her husband Henry Billups rented a part of the house No. 11 Allentown Lane, Norfolk in which I lived and which I controlled and they lived — I mean this clt and her said husband Henry Billups — lived in said house with me until 1871 when they moved into another house. During the time said parties lived in my house Henry Billups, the husband, paid the rent and provided for the clt and their children as a father and husband should do and he recognized this claimant as his wife and she was so recognized by all who knew them. After leaving my house in 1871 we visited back and forth as long as Henry Billups was in the city, and since he left the city to go to the Hampton Soldiers Home. The clt and my family have been on terms of intimacy.”

 

Deposition, Mary E. Williams, 16 January 1895
24 years old; occupation, laundress; residence and post-office address, 22 Salter st., Norfolk, Va.
“I am a daughter of the claimant … I lived with my parents up to the time my said father went to the Soldiers Home near Hampton, Va. and I continued to live with my mother, the claimant, until I was married three years ago, and then my mother lived with me several years after I married. My parents, the clt and Henry Billups, the soldier, lived together as husband and wife, and were so recognized by all who knew them, from my earliest recollection until my father became unable to work when he entered the Hampton Soldiers Home, and after his entrance to said Home, he visited my mother, the clt, and I at intervals until a short time before his death, and I visited him at the Home on several occasions, therefore I know from personal knowledge that the soldier Henry Billups who died at the Soldiers Home in May 1890 was the husband of my mother, this claimant. I have seen the certificate of discharge from service of my father, the said Henry Billups and I remember that he served in the 1st USCC, Co G. I have also heard him say that he served in said company and regiment.”

 

Deposition, Mary Wallace, 16 January 1895
53 years old; occupation, laundress; residence and post-office address, 17 Chapel Lane, Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant Catharine Billups for the past 30 years and for the past 20 years she has been in my employ at intervals every year as a laundress, therefore I have known her well, in fact, we are cousins.
“I also knew her late husband Henry Billups from the time of his return from the army in the spring of 1866 until he died ….”

 

Deposition, Phillip Bagnall, 19 January 1895
51 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 279 Cumberland st., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant Catharine Billups since in 1866 — the spring of 1866. I also knew her late husband Henry Billups who served with me in Co. G 1st USCC during the late war. I was a Sergeant in said company. I knew said soldier for nearly twenty years before we enlisted. He was born and reared in Matthews [sic] Co., Va. but was brought to Norfolk when a boy and was hired out in Norfolk where he and I worked together at carting brick. I knew from what the said Henry Billups told me that he had married this claimant but I do not remember to have seen her until he and I enlisted and were in camp near Norfolk & Fort Monroe, Va. when she used to visit him in our camp and on such occasions he recognized her as his wife and treated her as such. I did not however become acquainted with her until the said soldier and I were discharged from service and returned to Norfolk then the soldier Henry Billups and this claimant went to housekeeping and I visited them quite often. … I visited him several times [at the Soldiers Home]. …”

 

Deposition, W.P. Sands, 30 January 1895
52 years old; occupation, Adjutant Southern Branch National Military Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers near Hampton, Va.; post-office address, as above
“I am the custodian of the records of the Home above named. In the matter of Henry Billups the following appears on record viz:
Henry Billups, age 47. height 5 ft 6 in. complexion, dark. a resident of Norfolk in the state of Virginia. born in Matthews [sic] Co., Va. in service of the U.S. once viz: Enlisted Nov 1863 at Norfolk, Va. in Co. “G” 1st US Col Cav. Discharged at Brazos Santiago, Texas, Feby 4th 1866. Condition, married or single, not stated. Died in hospital 25th May 1890. Admitted to Home March 4th 1884.”

 

Deposition, John Binford, 31 January 1895
57 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 7 Byrd st., Norfolk, Va.
“Q. Can you read and write?
A.  No, sir, neither.
Q. Do you know one Catharine Billups widow of Henry Billups late of Co. G, 1st USC Cavy?
A. No, sir, I do not.
Q. Do you know one Henry Harrison who appears to have lived at No. 82 Henry st. this city?
A.  No, sir.
Q.  Where did you reside in May 1892?
A.  I lived at 31 Scott st., this city.
Q.  Have you ever signed and executed any papers for use in the pension case of Catharine Billups?
A.  I have not.
Q.  Were you in and about the temporary office in Church st this city in May 1892 of Mrs. Belva A. Lockwood?
A.  I have been at her office at that place two or three times. I have been there when R. Bagnall, N.P. was there. I went there to be a witness for a Mrs. Pines and that is the only case in which I testified at Mrs. Lockwood’s office. I have heard you read the application for pension of Catharine Billups dated and executed before R. Bagnall, Jr. N.P. May 11th 1892, in which my name appears as if written by myself as an attesting witness to the signature by mark of the applicant Catharine Billups, and as witness to her identity to said application and I pronounce both of said signatures to be and they are forgeries. I did not sign and swear to that application nor did I authorize Mrs. B.A. Lockwood or any other person to write or sign my name thereto.”

 

Deposition, Catharine Billups, 1 February 1895 
49 years old; occupation, laundress; residence and post-office address, 141 St. Paul st., Norfolk, Va.
“Q. Who prepared your application for pension under the old general laws?
A. Mrs. B.A. Lockwood of Washington, DC fixed it up for me when she was in Norfolk something more than two years ago. She wrote out said application at her office on Church st near Queen in this city. but I don’t remember the day, month, or year when it was done
Q. Did you sign said application by mark or otherwise?
A. Yes, sir. I was in Mrs. Lockwood‘s office at the time and she called my attention to it. That is, that I had put in for pension under the new law and that I could get more money under the old law so we were told to go to her for same purpose in connection with my claim for pension and when I went to her office she asked me to sign my name to an application for pension under the old law.”

 

Deposition, Henry Harrison, 2 February 1895
about 39 years old; occupation, porter; residence and post-office address, 110 St. Paul st., Norfolk, Va.
“Q. Do you know John Binford who resided until recently at No.31Scott st, this city,
A. No, sir. ….
“Q. Do you know R. Bagnall, Jr. NP?
A. I am not personally acquainted with him and have never been in his office. He has recently been pointed out to me but I have never spoken to him.”

 

Deposition, Robert Bagnall, Jr., 10 April 1895
38 years old; occupation, student; residence and post-office address, Howard University
“I was the notary in the case of Catharine Billups. Belva Lockwood was the attorney. I think the two witnesses whose names appear as attesting and identifying Henry Harrison and John Binford. I was personally acquainted with Henry Harrison, wrote his own name for I saw him write it. I think he was living on Henry St. not positive I know he is at present living on East North st, Huntersville, Norfolk, Va. I think the number 66. I built the house he is living in. I was the Secretary of the Association that built it and superintended the construction. Harrison is short and stout about 5 ft 3, bacon color, also known by the name Henry Jones. He served in the army under the name Henry Harrison. I think he was in Co. B, 36 USCT, I also knew John Binford. He was a soldier. Can’t give service. He was a pensioner and was dropped & he was employed. I think by Mrs. Lockwood as a runner. He was very obnoxious in his manner. No, sir, he could not write. Mrs. Lockwood wrote his name in both cases. I asked her as to the legality of an attesting witness signing by mark. She told me that it was alright so it was done in my presence as the notary Burford was present and said Catharine makes her mark but as he could not write I questioned it. Mrs. Lockwood being an old and experienced pension attorney I yielded thinking I may have been in error. I know that both of these men have been witnesses in several cases and Mrs. Lockwood always wrote his name. I know both of them claimed that they knew the claimant before I swore them. I have no doubt but what Burford has an idea that if he can thread the case in court he would be employed at $1.50 per day as witness he has done this before and several others. Binford is a name that is considered among the lowest and most unreliable of his race, Henry Harrison is a honest laboring man and general reputation good. I am not surprised that Burford says now he did not know said claimant that is the character of the man I was not interested.”

 

Deposition, Belva A. Lockwood, 12 April 1895
60 years old; occupation, attorney; residence and post-office address, 619 F st, N.W., Washington, DC,
“I recall John Binford but not Henry Harrison. I wish to say with reference to it that the declaration is in my own handwriting as indicated was made up by me as indicated in my own office in Norfolk, Va. with the claimant before me and perhaps a dozen other witnesses of none of whom could write except Henry Harrison. John Binford was present. Said Catharine Billups marked her x mark and I wrote his name opposite as witness to the cross mark X of Catharine Billups in presence of notary but in the hurry seems to have neglected to make the cross mark X to his own signature. Which I have duly made of the opposite side. In that locality which is almost entirely colored there is only about two persons in one hundred able to write their names and I found it very difficult to do business at all as the name is boldly written in my own hand without any attempt dissimulation [?]. It is evident that it is not an attempt at forgery but a clerical error; When the fee agreements were signed later in the day I secured two white witnesses. The requirement of the blank calling for two witnesses who can write their names is not I understand a requirement of law nor even an unusual custom but simply a construction of claim agents to their clients to prevent unauthorized papers.

“I also get persons who can write for witnesses to cross mark X when I can but sometimes at places outside of Washington it’s almost impossible. I recollect having some talk with Notary R. Bagnall, Jr. about these signatures and the difficulty in finding persons who could write to identify claimants. I do not believe that either of one of those persons whose signatures appear upon the declaration would deny anything if brought face to face with me. I am the attorney. My statement has been real and is correctly recorded. If they deny it is from undue pressure.”

 

Deposition, Henry Harrison Jones, 26 April 1895
51 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 34 East North st., Norfolk, Va., Huntersville mail.

Q. Were you in the army in the late war?
A.  Yes, sir, I was in Co. C., 37th USCT
Q. By what name were you enrolled in said company?
A.  I was enrolled under the name Henry Harrison. I am pensioned under that name by Ctf 668,604.
Q. Do you know John Binford of Norfolk and formerly of the 36th USCT?
A.  Yes. …
“Q. Have you ever signed and executed any pension papers with the said Jno. Binford?
A.  Yes, sir. In May 1895 when Mrs. Lockwood had her office on  Church st near Queen in Norfolk. …”

 

Deposition, Catharine Billups, 19 June 1895
49 years old; occupation, housekeeper; residence, 249 Cumberland st, Norfolk, Va.; post-office address, 22 Salter st. Norfolk, Va.
“Q. Where were you living when your said husband left the service in March 1866?
A. He was discharged from service at Brazos Santiago, Texas on the 4th day of February 1866 and the regiment was brought to City Point, Va. and were discharged then or about March 15, 1866 and I think it was on or about the 15th day of March 1866 that my husband reached Norfolk where I was living on Main st and I forget the number with Mrs. Jones. after my husband got back from the army in March 1866 we lived in a kitchen in the backyard of the premises occupied by Mrs. Jones.

“I suppose we lived there about six months after my husband’s return from the army and then we moved to a house in Allentown Cove st, in the city and we lived there six or seven years. I had smallpox while living there. From Allentown, we moved on Chapel st., near Holt st. and we lived there two or three years. After that we moved about from place to place and did not stay long at any place.

“Q. When your husband returned from the army at what did he become employed?
A.  He worked on the wharves about the city at unloading grain from vessels and at loading it on the piers. That was his regular work even after he came out of the army.

“Q. Who worked with him at loading & unloading grain?
A. I used to hear my husband speak of a man named Bush as one of his fellow workmen but I don’t remember his first name. Henry Pearce is another man that worked with him. Pearce living on Bute st near the Old Baptist Church. These are all I remember.

“Q. What was your husband’s physical condition on his return from the army in March 1866?
A. He was in good health so far as I could see and I heard no complaint from him for all of ten years after leaving the service and then he began to have a hacking cough and complained of pain or a misery in his breast and he kept getting worse & worse until he finally gave up and went to the Soldiers Home, Va.

“I do not remember where we were living when my husband first began to cough but I knew it was some two or three years after we moved from Allentown. Yes, sir, my husband had varioloid and these some time thereafter he began to have a cough. After recovering from varioloid he took down with chills and fever then the cough and misery in his breast set in and he kept going down rapidly until he had to go to the Soldiers Home for treatment and he died there from disease of his lungs. The Dr. at the Home called it consumption.

“I was all right during the further investigation of my claim. I understand the questions asked me and my answers thereto have been correctly repeated here.”

 

Deposition, Phillip Bagnall, 20 June 1895 
51 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 279 Cumberland st., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant Catharine Billups since about the beginning of the late war. I just know her as the wife of Henry Billups. They were living together as husband and wife when I became acquainted with her but I had known the said Henry Billups for several years prior to the marriage. He was formerly from Matthews [sic] Co., Va.”

 

Deposition, John Boush, 19 June 1895 
53 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 42 Howard st., Norfolk, Va.
“I do not know the claimant … but I knew a Henry Billups with whom I served in Co “G” 1st USCC during the late war. I became acquainted with him in service. I knew him also as an associate here in Norfolk from the date of our discharge from service until he went to the Soldiers Home near Hampton, Va. to live and I saw him once after he went there.
“Q. Did you know him to suffer from any disability?
A.  He worked at loading & unloading grain from the time he came out of the service until he got sick and had to go to the Soldiers Home. It was several years after his discharge from service before I knew anything to be the matter with him. He then took a severe cold which resulted in a bad cough. Some of the men who worked with him in hauling grain told him that the dust from the oats & corn which he was handling caused him to have that cough. Richard Grant (dead), Oscar Miller (dead) & Owen Sykes were his fellow workmen.”

 

General Affidavit, Frank Foster, 16 March 1898
post-office address, Norfolk Co., Va.
“that he and Henry Billups belonged to the same owner before the war and were raised together; that he was intimately acquainted with him; that he served in the 37th USCT; that Billups was discharged a short time before affiant and came back to Norfolk; that affiant came to Norfolk as soon as he was discharged; that Billups lived in Norfolk from discharge until short while before death; that he saw Billups often during that time; that when Billups was discharged from service he was suffering from what affiant believes to have been a.sthma; that symptoms of disease were shown by difficulty in breathing; that during his attacks of this disease he was compelled to quit work; that he suffered from this disease continually from his discharge to time of death; that at times he was completely disabled from performing manual labor on account of it so much that he was compelled to give up all work and become an inmate of the Soldiers Home where he died; that affiant often visited at Billups’ house and saw him laid up in bed from the effects of this disease; that Billups often told him that this disease came on him while in service and that he began to suffer from it before he was discharged; that he makes these statements from his intimate acquaintance with the soldier and with his physical condition; that he has no interest in this case.”

 

General Affidavit, Phillip Bagnall & Jasper Cornick, 19 May 1898 
[Bagnall] 2 North St. (Huntersville)
[Cornick] 62 Chapel St., extended
“that they served in the same company and regiment with Henry Billups; that they were well acquainted with said Billups; that they knew Billups before he enlisted … ”

 

General Affidavit, Phillip Bagnall & Willis Quickmore, 20 May 1898
[Bagnall] residence, 2 North St., Norfolk, Va.
[Quickmore] residence, 42 Fifth St., Norfolk, Va.
“that they were both well acquainted with Henry Billups and served with him in the same company and regiment; that they knew said Henry Billups before he was enlisted in the same service …”

 

General Affidavit, Willis Quickmore, 13 August 1898
66 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk County, Va. … “that he served in the same company as Henry Billups; that he also knew him intimately about seven years before Billups enlisted in the army … that affiant lived in Norfolk, Va. with said Billups from the time they were discharged until Billups went to the Soldiers Home; that during that time he visited at Billups’ house, worked with him, and saw him about three times a week …”

 

Deposition, Catharine Billups, 13 February 1901
about 55 years old; occupation, laundress, post-office address, 127 Liberty st., Norfolk, Va.
“I am the widow … I never knew him by any name other than Henry Billups, and I knew him long before the war. His owner’s name was Brooks. My owner’s name was Land and we were married by the consent of our owners here in Norfolk, Va. several days before the war and we lived together until he enlisted. We resided in Norfolk, Va.

“I never knew any of his relatives except a sister, Maria Smith, Liberty St., Norfolk, Va.
“I know he enlisted in the 1st Cav for I visited him in camp at Old Point and at Portsmouth. He enlisted in Norfolk, Va. and was discharged in Texas. I don’t know how long he served. I don’t know what he did with his discharge. He was paid some money soon after the war. I don’t know whether it was bounty or what it was. I don’t know when he was born. A man by the name of Bagnall and another by the name of Wilson served with him. He was not a pensioner. He died at the Hampton, Va. Home 10 or 11 years ago.
“He had been a resident of the Home 2 or 3 years. He and I lived together in Norfolk, Va from the time he came home from the army until he became a resident of the Hampton Home.

“I had two children by the soldier — Mary Williams and Cass Billups. Mary was married shortly after the soldier died. My son Cass has been away from town most of the time since the soldier died. My children were over 16 when the soldier died.
“I have supported myself by doing laundry work since the soldier died.
“I resided on Bank st., between Queen & Bute when soldier died and for a year afterward. Then on Liberty st for 2 or 3 years. Then in Queen st between St. Paul and Cumberland for two years and since then at 127 Liberty st.
“I have never kept any boarders or lodgers. I have never rented any of my rooms.
“I have lived with my daughter and with my cousin Mary Wallace, 100 James St., ever since soldier died.
“I have not married since the death of my said husband.
Lazarus Tate and Philip Bagnall were witnesses in my pension claim.
“I never had a former husband and my said husband never had a former wife. J.W. Morris, Washington, DC was my atty.
“A Wm. Gant, dead, did my writing for me and I paid to nim $10 for his service. ______ Warren, Bank st. executes my vouchers. I go to his office on the 4th and take two witnesses.
I have not been known by any names other than Catharine Billups since my said husband died.”

 

Letter from Catharine Billups [on letterhead of Hubard and Hubard, Attorneys-at-Law, 145 Bank Street, Norfolk, Virginia] to Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC, 25 September 1916
“… I am 72 years of age having been born 1844 at Princess Anne Co., Va. …  [residence] 423 Liberty St., Norfolk, Va.”

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John Reddick ran away from Nansemond County to Suffolk and hired himself out to Union forces. He worked in the Commissary for a year before he enlisted. Reddick got on the rolls under his mother’s name ‘Betsy.’  His testimony explains when he used his “government name” and when he used his alias. Reddick didn’t see combat: he was detailed as a cook and had his own tent. After the war, he settled in Portsmouth. He never received his bounty but he eventually received his pension. 

 

Invalid — 820,017 / 565,243

 

Neighbors’ Affidavit, Benjamin Jenkins & Cyrus Washington, 3 January 1891
[Jenkins] 51 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 702 [or is it 709? — Leslie] County St., Portsmouth, Va.
[Washington] 54 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 622 Glasgow St., Portsmouth, Va.
“… well and personally acquainted with James Brooks, the claimant for 26 and 27 years, respectively, and that they were in the same command during the war. They are farmers and laborers and work with claimant, and see him daily and live in close proximity to him.”

 

Questionnaire (Form 3-402), John Betsy, 2 July 1898
“[married?] I am, Delia Ann Reddick, Delia Ann Epps
[where, when, by whom] about 1856, by custom among slaves
[record?] none
[previously married] no
[living children] I have two children, to wit Stella, born about 1858; Nancy born about 1860. I was married under the name of John Reddick.”

 

Deposition, John Betsy, 22 January 1902
“I am about 75 or 80 years of age. I guess I was about 25 -30 when I joined the army. I am an invalid and can do no work.
“I was born in Nansemond Co., Va. I was a slave — was owned by Mills Reddick. My father was Edmund Reddick. Before the war I was called Joe Reddick but after enlistment I went under the name of my mother which was Betsy. I have never gone under any name in making out my pension except John Betsy but in paying my taxes I pay them as John Reddick.
“During the war we served in Virginia till Richmond fell and then we went to Texas. We went on the boat called the Dudley Buck. We took boat at Hampton, Va. and we landed at Brazos Santiago, Texas. We arrived there about 4th of July and we remained right there till they brought us back for discharge.”
“I lost my original discharge by giving it to Mr. Brown to get a bounty.”
“My Regt was in the following battles: Chichihominie [sic], Deep Bottom, Suffolk, Va. I was personally never in a battle. I was detailed as a cook was way I missed the fights.”
“I never slept with anyone in service. I had my own tent.”

 

Deposition, John Betsy, 22 January 1902 
“I did nothing but cook while I was in the army.
“I was never in the hospital but Dr. Gray and Manley our Regtl surgeons treated me a few times. They treated me for a rising on my finger and diarrhea. I had diarrhea in Texas. Those were the only ailments I suffered within service.
“I have lived in this vicinity ever since my discharge from the army except for a few months about 25 years ago when I lived in Princess Anne Co., Va.
“I have never gotten my bounty. Ward is my atty, that is my first atty. He got five or six dollars out of me & never got me a pension. Henry Clay got my pension. I only gave him a dollar or so.
“My witnesses were Isaac Bright & Bill Resfer [sp?]. They charged me nothing. I was never a witness for either of them.
“I put in under the old law but never got it though. I do not know what I claimed pension for under that law. All I was claiming was the $300 that was promised me when I enlisted.”

“Mr. Reed executes my vouchers. He comes to me to execute them. Charges me seventy-five cents — always swears me. I have never found my pension papers.
“I have no wife — was only married once. My wife Delia Ann Betsy died year before last in this house. We were married in slave tithe names ame.”

“I have no children under 16 years of age.”

 

Questionnaire (Form 3-442), Department of Interior, Bureau of Pensions, 29 March 1904 
“… Please furnish the names and post-office addresses of officers and comrades of Co. F, 1st Reg’t USC Vol Cav …”

Joshua Brickhouse  Dead   212 Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va.
James Brooks  Cpl.   44 Baltimore Ave., Norfolk., Va.
Isaac Deans  Pvt   411 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
Wm. Fuller  Pvt   National Soldiers Home, Elizabeth City Co., Va.
Frank B. Garrett  1st Lt.   Syracuse, Onandaga Co., NY.
James Long  Pvt   16 William St., Phelps Co., NY
Arthur Nelson  Pvt   Lamberts Point Rd., Norfolk, Va.
Edmund Proctor  Pvt   South Mills, Camden Co., NC.
Henry Sivil  Pvt   Berkley, Norfolk Co., Va.
Wm. Scott  Pvt   c/o C.H.B. Crosby, Bowers Hill, Va.
Luke Smith  Pvt   South Mills, Camden Co., NC
Beverly West  1st Sgt   National Soldiers Home, Elizabeth City Co., Va.

 

[children’s names & birthdates]

Nancy Dec. 16, 1868
Jno. E. Nov. 20, 1869
Sadie P. July 14, 1873
Maggie Sep. 9, 1876
Robt. H. April 4, 1879
Rebecca L. Aug. 18, 1881
Laura E. Mch 2, 1883
Mary S. July 27, 1885
Emma P. May 22, 1890

[There are discrepancies in the birthdates of some of John W. Webb’s children — Leslie]

 

Deposition, John Betsy, 2 August 1904
About 79 years old; had been farmer and lumberman; residence, Natl. Soldiers Home, Elizabeth City County, Virginia;
“I was born in Virginia in Nansemond Co. on the White Marsh Road. My owner was Capt. Mills Reddick. My father was Edmund Reddick and my mother was Betsy Reddick. We all ‘titled’ after our owner. My given name is John. I was called John Reddick before the war. No, no sir. I was never called Joe Reddick,
“I ran away from my master and went to Suffolk, Va. which was six miles away. Gen. Mansfield, a Union General, had charge in Suffolk, Va. I hired myself out to Dr. Albergate of a Union regiment. I was still going by the name John Reddick. My master made a report to the Union forces that I threatened to burn him up. They put me in jail then. That was the year before I enlisted. I was in jail about 4 weeks then I was carried before Gen. Mansfield who told me what I was charged with and advised me to go to Norfolk, Va. and work in the Commissary which I did under Capt. Emmerson and in about a year I enlisted in the army under Captain Charlie Swartz, a tall, slim, spare-built man. He was Captain of Company F, 1st USC Cav.

“Q.  Why did you change your name to Betsy?
A. I was scared, had no learning, and when I went to the Commissary I gave my name as John Betsy after my mother. She was named Betsy Reddick. I gave my name Betsy so I would not be known as well.
“Our first colonel was Girard. He was a short man, not so old. The 1st Sgt. Beverly West is a tall man, dark brown in color, he is right here in the Home, knows me well. He is the only member of my Co. here that I know of.
“Q. By what witnesses can you prove that you are the same man who served in Co. F, 1st USC Cavalry as John Betsy?
A.  By Beverly West. Jim Brooks, cpl. He was living in Norfolk two or three years ago, don’t know what street.
“Q. Name all the men you remember.
A. Sgt. Fox, Harrison Billups, ______ Peterson, Cpl; Albert Taylor, Sgt. I know a “heap” of privates but cannot fetch their names to me, except Isom Portlock, he is dead & Tom Smith is dead. I don’t know my age at all. When I enlisted, was somewhere about 30 or 35 years old. I don’t know my height. …

“After muster out I settled outside of Portsmouth City, Va. and made that my home. I was known there as John Redick, voted as John Reddick, and bought a house on Columbia Street, between Pearl and Pine under the name of John Riddick. I have only used the name John Riddick in government matters.
“I was company cook all the time. I am a widower. My wife, Delilah Ann, died in Portsmouth, Va. four years ago last March. My discharge was sent to Washington a year ago, by a claim agent named Brown, and last year it was sent to me, don’t know by whom.”

 

Deposition, Beverly West, 2 August 1904
72 years old; occupation, brickmason; residence & post-office address, National Soldiers Home, Elizabeth City County, Virginia …
“Q. Do you know this man now present (pointing to pensioner)?
A. Yes, that’s John Betsy. He was my company cook. It is the only name I have known him by. I did not know him before enlistment but after muster out I saw him at times in Norfolk and Portsmouth, Va. My home was in Norfolk, he lived in Portsmouth, I believe. When he came to this Home I recognized him as soon as I saw him. I am certain he is the same man who served in my company as John Betsy. There is no mistake about that. I don’t know what his true name is, never heard him called John Riddick. His name was John Betsy on the rolls.”

 

Deposition, James Brooks, 8 August 1904
[This deposition was taken at the “Navy Yard Portsmouth” — Leslie]
about 61 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 44 Bottimore St., Norfolk, Va. … “I served as a Corp’l in Co. F, 1st USC Cav, from 1863 to 1866.
“I remember John Betsy of said company very well. He was the company cook. I believe his home was about Suffolk, Va. He was a dark man, almost black, between 30 and 40 years while in the army, height I don’t know, average height.
“I have seen him since the war in Norfolk & Portsmouth, Va. I don’t know just where he lived, but in or about Portsmouth, he told me. I have not seen him in about eight years, don’t know where he is. I never heard him called John Reddick. John Betsy was the only name I ever knew him by.”

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Turner Peel died at the National Soldiers Home, Hampton, Virginia in 1918. His death was noted in The Hampton Monitor. His widow’s pension application included sworn statements from three people in North Carolina who testified that Lucy had “belonged to my family.” In 1920 Lucy was admitted to Central State Hospital. She died six months later of arterio-sclerosis.

 

Invalid — 904, 766 / 930,272
Widow — 1,116,658 / —— , Lucy Peel

 

General Affidavit, Turner Peel, 27 April 1891
54 years old; residence, near Windsor, Bertie County, N.C. …”[On] 27 of Dec 1882 was working in the lumber woods in Bertie Co. cutting down a tree to make boards the tree struck on other tree in falling and broke the top of it rebounded and in falling struck me on the shoulder and left side and broke a rib; I was laid up in bed three months unable to do anything”

 

Claimant’s Affidavit, Turner Peel, 9 March 1895
56 years old; residence, Bertie Co., N.C.; post-office, c/o Lewis Roulhac, P.O. Box 103, Windsor, N.C. … “I broke my ribs in left side on the 28 day of Dec 1881 near Sanssouci [sic], Bertie Co., N.C. while cutting down a pine tree for rail timber in the woods, the tree falling on me before I could get out of the way …”

 

General Affidavit, A.J. Hardy & Champion Pugh, 9 March 1895
[Hardy] 44 years old; residence, Windsor Township, N.C.; post-office, Windsor, N.C. … “I am well acquainted with the above named applicant Turner Peel & have been for twenty years; that the disease bone scurvy, broken rib, & general disability claimed by him is not the result of vicious habits on his parts; that I was present & saw him after the tree fell on him; I helped carry him home …. He is quite an old man & labors hard when able & is regarded as a good truthful citizen in the community in which he lives. My knowledge of these facts is derived from the fact that I live within two miles of him & have for ten years & that I am personally acquainted with him & that I see him four or five times every week.”

[Pugh] 60 years old; residence, Windsor, Bertie Co., N.C.; post-office address, Windsor, Bertie Co., N.C. … “I know the said applicant well and I have known him personally for twenty-five years; that I live in four miles of his house & see him every week … that I saw him when he was down from being hurt by a tree having fallen on him & said to have broken a rib in his left side … Said applicant is an industrious & hard-working man when able & is regarded as a good truthful citizen in the community where he lives.”

 

General Affidavit, Lewis Powell & Rhoden Cooper, 28 November 1896
[Powell] 42 years old; residence, Merry Hill Township, Bertie Co., N.C.; post-office address, Sanssouci [sic], N.C. …
[Cooper] 68 years old; residence, Merry Hill Township, Bertie Co., N.C.; post-office address, Sanssouci [sic], N.C. …

“We have known the above named [soldier] for twenty and twenty-four years, respectively … Our knowledge of the facts above testified is derived from our having lived within from two & a half & three miles ever since we have known him, worked with him, visited him, and even see him from once & twice each week. I know him to be a good, smart, industrious man & good citizen & that he is regarded as such in his community.”

 

Questionnaire (Form 3-493), Turner Peel, 15 June 1898
[residence, post-office address] Windsor, N.C.; P.O. Windsor, N.C.
[residence from February 4, 1866 until present address] Washington, N.C. until 1869; from 1869 to the present I have lived in Bertie Co., N.C.
[nearest post-office] from 1866 Feby 4 to 1869 my post-office was Washington, N.C. from 1869 to the present, my post-office has been Sanssouci [sic] & Windsor
[occupation since Feby 4, 1869] farming
[known by another name?] John T. Peel alias Turner Peel
[Claimant replied 5 June 1898 — Leslie]

 

Questionnaire (Form 3-173), Turner Peel, 15 June 1898
[married?] Lucy Peel, maiden name “Cooper”
[where, when, by whom] December 11, 1879; Bertie County
[record of marriage] Courthouse in Windsor, Bertie County, North Carolina
[previously married] Phillis Peel, died in Bertie Co., N.C., April 29, 1878 by Armstead Cooper (Rev.)

Bryant T. Feb 7, 1870
Dell A. Dec. 26, 1871
Elizabeth May 4, 1874
John R. Dec. 6, 1876
William T. April 6, 1879
Joseph W. Jan 5, 1881
Della E. Jun 15, 1886

[Claimant replied “7 July 1899” to a Pension Bureau form dated “13 May 1898” — Leslie]

 

Declaration for Pension, Turner Peel, 27 March 1907
65 years old; residence, National Home, Elizabeth City County, Va. … born August 6th, 1841 at Martin County, N.C. … [residences since discharge] Martin County, N.C. and National Home, Va. since December 18th 1899 … also personally appeared Edward Haig residing in Hampton, Va. N.S. Home and W.P. Dodd residing in Hampton, Va.  …”

 

Questionnaire, Turner Peel, 29 March 1915
[birth date and birth place] 5 August 1841, Martin County, North Carolina
[post office @ enlistment] Norfolk, Va.
[wife] Lucy E. Cooper Peel
[when, where, by whom] married in Windsor, Bertie Co., N.C. by Rev. Armstead Cooper
[record] courthouse at Windsor, Bertie Co., N.C.
[previously married] Phillis Swain, Sept, 1869. She died April 5th 1879
[living with wife] yes “and there have [sic] not been any seperation [sic]”
[names, birthdates, all children]

Bryant Peel February 1870
Delia Peel Dec 1873
Elizabeth Peel Dec 1875
John R. Peel Dec 1876
William Peel April 1879
Joseph H. Peel Jan 5, 1881
Delia Peel Jan 15, 1886

“Jos. H. Peel and Della Peel is my last wife’s children.”

 

Letter from Joseph S. Smith, Governor, Southern Branch National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers to Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC, 4 February 1918 
“Turner Peel … who died at National Soldiers Home, Va. on the 31st day of January 1918 … cause of death – chronic interstitial nephritis; social condition -married … next of kin, Lucy Peel (wife) …”

 

Certifying Statement, S.W. Kenney, Register of Deeds, Bertie Co., North Carolina, 9 February 1918
“[The] following is a true copy of the ‘Marriage Records’ as the same appears in my office:
“‘Date of issuance of license: December 9th, 1879;
name and residence of man: John Peele, Merry Hill Township, Bertie County, N.C.; age: 35; color: colored;
name and residence of woman: Lucy Cooper, Merry Hill Township, Bertie County, N.C.; age 30; color: colored;
name of minister celebrating marriage: Armistead Cooper;
date of marriage: December 12th, 1879;
place of marriage: Merry Hill Township:
witnesses at marriage: J.W. Heckstall, C.W. Spruill, H. Dempsey.”

 

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Lucy S. Peel, 4 March 1918
72 years old; residence, 114 Depot Avenue, Hampton, Virginia … “born October 1845 at Bertie County, North Carolina … she was married to said soldier December 12, 1879, under the name of Lucy Cooper, at Merry Hill Township, Bertie County, N.C. by Armstead Cooper; that she had not been previously married; that he had been previously married to Phyllis [illegible] whom I knew and who died in March or April 1879 – and I married him in December of the same year … that said soldier died January 31, 1918, at National Soldiers Home, Va. that she was not divorced from him; and that she has not remarried since his death … he left no children under 16; his youngest child is over 20.”

 

Sworn Statement, George Mason, 16 April 1919
Residence, Union Street, Hampton, Virginia … “[He has known Lucy Peel] for ten or twelve years; that he also knew her husband John T. Peel, alias Turner Peel, and further also knew him for many years; he also further swears that during the time he knew them they lived together as man and wife; that they were never divorced; that since the death of the said Turner Peel, the said Lucy Peel has not married again.”

 

Sworn Statement, James Lane, 16 April 1919
Residence, Union Lane, Hampton, Virginia … “[He has known Lucy Peel] for ten or twelve years;  that he also knew her husband John T. Peel, alias Turner Peel, and also knew him for many years; he also further swears that during the time he knew them they lived together as man and wife; that they were never divorced; that since the deal, the said Turner Peel, the said Lucy Peel has not married again.”

 

Sworn Statement, Washington Allen, 23 April 1919 
Residence, 2702 Warwick Drive, Newport News, Virginia … “[He has known Lucy Peel] for more than forty years; that he also knew her husband, the said John T. Peel, or Turner Peel, and knew him many years, having known them both in Bertie County, North Carolina, many years ago, before they were married in North Carolina in 1879; that these are the only marriages contracted by either of said parties, to the best of his knowledge and belief; that the said Lucy Peel, widow, has not married since; that she and the said John T. Peel lived together happily as husband and wife up to the time of John T. Peel’s death on January 29, 1918.”

 

Sworn Statement, Geo. B. Cooper, 5 April 1920
Residence, Windsor, North Carolina … “[He has known Lucy Peel] for 60 years; that she was owned by his family; that he also knew her husband, John T. Peel, or Tuner Peel, having known him since 1870 before they were married in 1879; he further swears that at the time of her said marriage to John T. Peel, or Turner Peel, the said Lucy Peel had not been previously married — she having been known as Lucy Cooper prior to her marriage; that the said John T. Peel, alias Turner Peel, had been previously married, to wit: to one Phyllis Swayne, who died in Bertie County, North Carolina, about the year — does not know ; that these are the only marriages contracted by either party up to the time they left North Carolina about 15 years ago …”

 

Sworn Statement, J.W. Cooper, 23 September 1920
Residence, Windsor, North Carolina … “[He has known Lucy Peel] for 45 years; that she was owned by his family; that he also knew her husband, John T. Peel, or Tuner Peel, having known him since 1870 before they were married in 1879; he further swears that at the time of her said marriage to John T. Peel, or Turner Peel, the said Lucy Peel had not been previously married — she having been known as Lucy Cooper prior to her marriage; that the said John T. Peel, alias Turner Peel, had been previously married, to wit: to one Phyllis Swayne, who died in Bertie County, North Carolina, about the year 1875 ; that these are the only marriages contracted by either party up to the time they left North Carolina about 15 years ago …”

 

Sworn Statement, J.D. Tadesco [or Tedesco], 23 September 1920
Residence, Windsor, North Carolina … “[He has known Lucy Peel] for 50 years; that she was owned by his family; that he also knew her husband, John T. Peel, or Turner Peel, having known him since 1870 before they were married; he further swears that at the time of her said marriage to John T. Peel, or Turner Peel, the said Lucy Peel had not been previously married — she having been known as Lucy Cooper prior to her marriage; that the said John T. Peel, alias Turner Peel, had been previously married, to wit: to one Phyllis Swayne, who died in Bertie County, North Carolina, about the year 1875 ; that these are the only marriages contracted by either party up to the time they left North Carolina about 15 years ago …”

 

Sworn Statement, Joseph H. Peel, 26 January 1921
Residence, 114 Depot Avenue, Hampton, Virginia … “[Says] that he is the son of John T. Peel, alias Turner Peel, and Lucy Peel, which said Lucy Peel is an applicant for a widow’s pension; that the said Lucy Peel, his mother, was committed to the Asylum for the Insane, Petersburg, Virginia, on the 20th day  of December 1920; that no member of her family served in the World War; that the said Lucy Peel is not receiving, nor has she ever filed a claim for compensation through the Bureau of War Risk Insurance; and this affiant further states that he is the son of the said Lucy Peel, that he is forty years of age; and that the true name of his father was John Turner Peel; that the marriage license filed in this cause shows what name he was married under; that during the Civil War the said John T. Peel called himself Turner Peel, as John was such a common name; that the said Lucy Peel always called him John; and by that name he was best known to his friends until his death in 1918, or his thereabouts.”

 

Letter from W.F. Drewry, Superintendent, Central State Hospital, to H.M. Vandervoort, Acting Commissioner, Bureau of Pensions, 12 April 1923
“Dear Sir,
“Replying to your letter of the 4th in reference to Lucy E. Peel, this is to advise that she was admitted to this Hospital from the Elizabeth City County, Virginia, December 21, 1920, and died here July 30, 1921, cause being arterio-sclerosis.
“If I can be of any further service to you, please let me know.”

 

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