Tag Archives: Pensions

PHILIP Born Dec. 21, 1857

This is my 7th year participating in the A to Z Challenge. In the 2015 challenge, I wrote about the Cleages formerly enslaved on the plantations of Samuel and his sons Alexander and David Cleage of Athens, McMinn County, Tennessee. Most of the people in these posts are not related to me by blood or DNA, however my ancestors were enslaved on the same plantations with them.

Late last year, I ordered the Civil War Pension files of the Cleage men who served in 1st Regiment, United States Colored Heavy Artillery (USCHA), during that war. Through these files I learned that their lives were much richer and more complex than census, death and other records can show. I am using the information from pension files and records that I found through the pension files for this years challenge.

State of Tennessee
Monroe County

On this the 2nd day of March A.D. 1869 personally came before me a Justice of the Peace in and for the county and state above written Rose Shurman and Eliza Wilson, persons whom I certify to be credible and who being by me duly sworn declare that they were personally present at the birth of the following children born unto Nelson Reagan now deceased and his wife Susan Reagan viz. Philip Reagan born the 26th day of December 1857, Sarah Reagan born the 20th day of June 1860, Mary Susan Reagan born the 20th day of June 1864. That they remember the facts from private record of which the above is a copy of the names and dates and also from being present in the capacity of fellow servants and nurses and also from an intimate acquaintance with said children up to present date. They further declare that it was not customary to make church or other public record of the birth of children at the time and place of the birth of said children. They further declaim that they do not believe Mrs. Susan Reagan can produce better testimony than this affidavit in support of the dates of birth of said children as no physician was in attendance at said births and that they make this statement from personal knowledge having no interest whatsoever in the pension claim of Mrs. Susan Ragan.                     

Rose (Her X mark) Sherman
Eliza ( Her X Mark) Wilson
Attest T. A. Boyd/ N. F. Spielman

Sworn to and subscribed before me and at the same time personally comes Mrs. Susan Reagan who is well known to me to be the person she represents herself to be and who being by us duly sworn according to law declares that the foregoing is the best witness she can present in support of the birth of said children for the reason no church or other possible record was ever made of the births of said children nor was any physician called to see her as she was in a state of bondage and she further discloses that in her original declarations she stated her husband said Nelson Reagan deceased was a private and that she is now informed her husband was in Co. “C” 1st Reg. U.S. colored artillery heavy and that she thinks she was led to make this error by the defective means of giving true information at the time and that this statement is made to correct the former affidavit as declaration.

Susan (her Xmark) Reagan
Attest: T. A. Boyd W. T. Spielman  

Sworn to and subscribed before me and I certify that the contents of the foregoing declaration were carefully read and properly explained before signing and that I have no interest in the Pension claim of Mrs. Reagan. T.T. Butter

State of Tennessee Monroe County Justice of the Peace

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Susan Rice Ragan gave birth to five children. The first two were born before her marriage to Nelson Ragan. My great grandmother Celia’s father was said to be a member of the slave holding Rice family. The only maiden name I had known her to have was “Rice”. Perhaps her older brother Henry was a Rice too. That is why they were not included in the pension, although they were young children, they weren’t the soldier’s children.

After I realized that this was my great great grandmother’s pension file, I checked to make sure that Susan Ragan wasn’t W.R. Sherman’s first wife’s mother. she wasn’t. I looked for “Susan Ragan” in the 1870 census and found her with five children. One of them was my great grandmother, Celia. I had been looking for my great grandmother as Celia Rice in the 1870 census for years but, could never find her. That was because her first name was Ann, which I did not know until I found her death certificate a few years ago. In this census the whole family was listed as “Ragan”.

The Ragan household was number ten on the census sheet in 1870. The number for the household of my Cleage 2 X great grandparents, Frank and Juda and their children, including my great grandfather Louis, was five.

1870 Census. Click to enlarge.

I next looked for Susan Ragan in the 1880 census, but was unable to find her. I found her in the 1900 census, but not in the 1910 census. Finally, I decided to add Susan Rice Ragan to my family tree as my great grandmother ‘s mother. Immediately, I found her in the missing censuses using the name “Rice”. Susan Ragan had come up as “Rice” after I added her to the tree because my great grandmother’s father was a member of the slave holding Rice family and so I had ” unknown Rice” as her father’s name. Ancestry attached the name to her mother as a former spouse. So Ancestry searched for her under both “Ragan” and “Rice”.

In the 1880 census Susan and two of her children, Philip and Mary (Mollie) were living in Athens, TN. On the same sheet was William Roger Sherman with his first wife and their children and Sallie Cleage and her children. You may notice that Susan’s age here is given as “30”, making her nine years older than her son Philip. In the 1870 census, she was listed as being “40”. Ages in census records are not to be trusted.

1880 Census. Click to enlarge.

By 1880 my great grandmother Celia was married to Louis Cleage and they were living in rural Louden County TN with four children. Henry Rice was no where to be found. Sarah/Sally was working as a servant in a white household in McMinn County.


ON this the 29th day of March…

This is my 7th year participating in the A to Z Challenge. In the 2015 challenge, I wrote about the Cleages formerly enslaved on the plantations of Samuel and his sons Alexander and David Cleage of Athens, McMinn County, Tennessee. Most of the people in these posts are not related to me by blood or DNA, however my ancestors were enslaved on the same plantations with them.

Late last year, I ordered the Civil War Pension files of the Cleage men who served in 1st Regiment, United States Colored Heavy Artillery (USCHA), during that war. Through these files I learned that their lives were much richer and more complex than census, death and other records can show. I am using the information from pension files and records that I found through the pension files for this years challenge.

Witnesses to the Marriage of Nelson Reagan/Ragan/Regan and Susan Rice.

State of Tennessee
McMinn County

On this the 29th day of March A.D. 1867 personally came before me, a Justice of the Peace in and for the County and State above written, Alfred Isabell and Lewis Isabell, persons whom I certify to the credible and who being by me duly sworn declare that they were personally present at the marriage of Nelson Reagan deceased with Susan who is now applying for an army pension on account of the services and death of the said Nelson Reagan deceased, late a private Co. “A” as they have been formerly informed but are now informed was a pic Co “C” 1st Reg U.S. Colored Artillery Heavy and who died whilst in said service that said marriage took place in the county of McMinn and state of Tennessee on or about the 10th day of December 1855 and that one Isaac Cleig, a colored preacher, performed the marriage ceremony and the same was according to the usual custom for the marriage of slaves at the time and place.

They further declare that said marriage was followed by a constant cohabitation as husband and wife up to the date said Nelson Reagan enlisted in the army that they have never had a question raised or doubt expressed as to said marriage or cohabitation. They further declare that it was not customary to make marriage records for colored people in state of Tennessee at the time this marriage took place. That they make the foregoing statement from personal knowledge of the facts having no interest in any claims in which the same may be used as evidence.

Alfred (his X mark) Isbell
Lewis (his X mark) Isbell

Attest
T.A. Boy
W. T. Hielman

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I regret that when I got to my ancestors file, it did not have the transcribed testimony of the later cases.

MARTHA Cleage, Widow of Charles A. Cleage

“Black woman working in an Alabama kitchen”

This is my 7th year participating in the A to Z Challenge. In the 2015 challenge, I wrote about the Cleages formerly enslaved on the plantations of Samuel and his sons Alexander and David Cleage of Athens, McMinn County, Tennessee. Most of the people in these posts are not related to me by blood or DNA, however my ancestors were enslaved on the same plantations with them.

Late last year, I ordered the Civil War Pension files of the Cleage men who served in 1st Regiment, United States Colored Heavy Artillery (USCHA), during that war. Through these files I learned that their lives were much richer and more complex than census, death and other records can show. I am using the information from pension files and records that I found through the pension files for this years challenge.

Deposition A

The Case of Martha Cleage, No. 898,476
On this 18 day of February, 1909, at Athens, County of McMinn
State of Tenn., before me, N. H. Nicholson

Special examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Martha Cleage, who being by me first duty sworn to answer truly all interrogations propounded to her during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says:

I am 65 (?) years of age; my post office is Athens, McMinn Co. Tenn. I am claimant for pension as the widow of Charles A. Cleage late of Co. A 1 U. S. C. H. A. He never had any other service. My husband was sometimes called Charles A. Evans, because his mother was an Evans, but he was owned by David Cleage and took the name of his owner when he enlisted in the army. My owner was Judge Alex Keith and I married this soldier, Charles A. Cleage, two or three years before the war. I can’t remember just what  year it was. We were married by a colored preacher named Gillent Crawford and the marriage was with the consent of our owner. I lived with Charles A. Cleage as his wife until he died. I have never been married before I married Charles A. Cleage. I have not remarried since his death.

Charles A. Cleage had been married before. He had one wife before he was married to me. His first wife was Amy Cleage. She was owned by the same man who owned him. I knew her. I lived about a mile from them and knew her and visited her while they were living together. She died about three miles from Athens Tenn.

I was at her funeral. She died as near as I can remember a year or so before Charles A. Cleage and I were married. I know that she died before I was married to Cleage. I visited her while she was sick and was at her funeral and a year or two later Charles A. Cleage and I were married.

Charles A. Cleage and I lived together from our marriage until he died and were never divorced or separated. We always regarded our marriage as binding and never remarried after we became free. Charles A. Cleage died here in this house at Athens, Tenn.  June 16, 1908.

Yes Sir, I have only been married the one time and that was to Charles A. Cleage. We were living near Athens when he was enlisted in the army and I staid here awhile and then went to him at Knoxville Tenn and staid there while his regiment was stationed there. After his discharge we came back here and lived within three miles of Athens until his death.No. I never heard of him having any wife except Amy before he and I were married. I am satisfied he was never married except to Amy and myself. I knew him from my childhood. He was living with Amy when I first knew him. I am not sure of the name of the colored preacher who married us. It may have been preacher Robert McDermott who married us and it may have been Gilbert Crawford. I am not sure which it was. I was young at the time and I don’t remember positively but I know we were married at my master’s place. I can prove that I was never married before I married Charles A. Cleage, by Sally Cleage, Edmund Sherman and Jerry Cleage. I can prove by the same parties that Charles A. Cleage was never married except to Amy and me. I can also prove by my sister Sarah Smith that I have never been married but the one time. Also by my stepson Hilyard Cleage and by Jerry Cleage, who belonged to the same family my husband did (name “Jerry” erased and Hilyard” line 67 underlined before signing) All of them also know that I have not remarried since the death of Charles A. Cleage.

My attorney is John J. Jackson, Athens, Tenn. There has been no agreement between Mr. Jackson and I about his fee and nothing has been said about it. I want him to have whatever fee the law allows if my claim is allowed. I have not paid him anything. I have not paid the notary Public for swearing me or my witnesses to the papers in my claim. I do not want to be present or represented by my attorney during the further examination of my claim and waive notice of all further examination I have understood the questions asked me and have heard the above read and my answers are correctly recorded.Martha (her X mark) Cleage deponent

Witness
Rosa M. Pettill
No other available.

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Sarah IDENA Cleag

This is my 7th year participating in the A to Z Challenge. In the 2015 challenge, I wrote about the Cleages formerly enslaved on the plantations of Samuel and his sons Alexander and David Cleage of Athens, McMinn County, Tennessee. Most of the people in these posts are not related to me by blood or DNA, however my ancestors were enslaved on the same plantations with them.

This year I ordered the Civil War Pension files of the Cleage men who served in 1st Regiment, United States Colored Heavy Artillery (USCHA), during that war. Through these files I learned that their lives were much richer and more complex than census, death and other records can show. I am using the information from pension files and records that I found through the files for this years challenge.

Today I will share some information and a few newspaper articles about Sallie Idena Cleag, Abram and Amanda‘s only surviving daughter.

Abram Cleag answers question about his marriage and children. Click to enlarge.

Sarah Idena Cleage was born in 1876 near Austin, Texas. She was named after her grandmother Sallie Cleage Marsh. She learned to read and write, something her parents never did, and moved to Los Angeles, California with them in 1888 when she was twelve years old. Two years later, at 14 she married Richard Pierce, a house painter nine years older than she was. They had a daughter, Avalon, when she was 18 and a year later she gave birth to a stillborn son.

The family continued to live with Abram and Amanda. Their relationship was a troubled one, more than troubled. Twice husband Richard took shots at men Sarah was intimately involved with. They were finally divorced. Sarah left Avalon to be raised by her parents and went to San Francisco, where she died in the earthquake of 1906.

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The articles are from newspapers.com

George Cleage X 2

This is my 7th year participating in the A to Z Challenge. In the 2015 challenge, I wrote about the Cleages formerly enslaved on the plantations of Samuel and his sons Alexander and David Cleage of Athens, McMinn County, Tennessee. Most of the people in these posts are not related to me by blood or DNA, however my ancestors were enslaved on the same plantations with them.

This year I ordered the Civil War Pension files of the Cleage men who served in 1st Regiment, United States Colored Heavy Artillery (USCHA), during that war. Through these files I learned that their lives were much richer and more complex than census, death and other records can show. I am using the information from pension files and records that I found through the files for this years challenge.

Note in the pension file, where both applications reside.

In 2015 I wrote about George Cleage. I thought I had his life figured out. He had served in the United States Colored Troops and had applied for a pension. I sent for his pension along with the others, thinking I would find out more about him. And I did.

When the pension file arrived, it contained the applications of two different men. One George Cleage applied from Athens, Tennessee in 1893. Another George Cleag applied from Corinth, Mississippi in 1894. At first I thought that two George Cleages had served, however there was only one military record so only one of them had served.

From the military records of George Cleage. He is described as “complexion yellow; eyes black; hair black. Click to enlarge

The quote below is from testimony given by Amanda Cleage during her widow’s pension hearing in 1908, gave the names her husband, Abram Cleage’s brothers and sisters.

“The soldier had four brothers, Isaac, Charley, George, Jeff and Jerome Cleag and two sisters Kitty and Sarah Cleag.” Amanda Cleag

This was the George that applied from Athens, TN. He lived his whole life in Athens. He filed his pension application but never followed up on it. He did not appear on the Veteran’s Census of 1890. He was described as “black” on all the U.S. Censuses he appeared in. On the other hand, the military record to the left, describes George Cleage as having a “yellow” complexion.

When Sallie Cleage Marsh gave testimony in Katie Cleage‘s Widow’s Pension case, she mentioned her son George Cleage, who lived in Corinth, Mississippi.

Philip slept in my house upstairs, until he went in the army. He slept with my oldest boy. My boys name was George Cleage, I don’t know whether he is living or not. The last I heard of him he was at Corinth, Mississippi.” Sallie Cleage Marsh

That was the second George and the one that I didn’t discover until I received the pension file. This George appeared in the Veteran’s Census of 1890 living in Alcorn County, Mississippi. He was always designated as “mulatto” in the census records. He filed all of the papers for his file and continued to file, including information that he had an arm amputated because of a war injury. He and his lawyer pursued his case until 1914.

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General Affidavit

State of Mississippi County of Alcorn. Personally appeared before me a Justice of the peace within for the County and state aforesaid George Clegg aged 52 years, a resident of the town of Hightown, County of Alcorn State of Mississippi, who being duly sworn according to law, deoses and says:

That he served in the United States being in Co. I First (col.) Artilery and that he was shot through the hand when on a march between Greenville and Ashville N.C. and about six months afterwards was struck by a piece of shell near Athens Tenn. and Dr. Elic Zander (Alexander) taken his arm off at Athens Tenn.

This is to certify that I requested J. R. Bumpass to write the above in the presents of B. G. Taylor and R. C. Cleagg. I was not prompted in the matter by any other person and did not ??? sign a previously prepared statement.

I further declare that I have no interest in said case and am not concerned in its prosecution.

George (his X mark Clegg Affiant

Attest:
B.G. Taylor
R.C. Clegg (note – George Cleag’s adult son)

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I pick George Cleag from Hightower, Alcorn, Mississippi as the true veteran. Neither man ever received a pension.


EDMOND Shermon -“Charles A. Cleage was married twice.”

This is my 7th year participating in the A to Z Challenge. In the 2015 challenge, I wrote about the Cleages formerly enslaved on the plantations of Samuel and his sons Alexander and David Cleage of Athens, McMinn County, Tennessee. Most of the people in these posts are not related to me by blood or DNA, however my ancestors were enslaved on the same plantations with them.

This year I ordered the files of the Cleage men who served in Co. I, 1st Regiment, United States Colored Heavy Artillery (USCHA), during the Civil War. Through these files I learned that their lives were much richer and more complex than census, death and other records can show. I am using the information from pension files and records that I found through the files for this years challenge.

Below is testimony given by Edmond Sherman in the widow’s pension hearing for Charles A. Cleage‘s widow, Martha Kieth Cleage.

U.S. Colored Troops 1st Heavy Artillery Regiment, Knoxville Tennessee. I like to think the men I studied are pictured here.

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Deposition F
Case of Martha Cleage

18 February, 1909
Athens, Tennessee.

Edmond Sherman

I am about 74 years old. Laborer, P.O. Athens Tennessee. I have known Martha Cleage and Charles A. Cleage ever since Charles was young and ever since Martha was a baby. Charles A. Cleage was married twice. His first wife was Amy. He and Amy were living together when I first knew him. Amy Cleage died some years before the war, but I don’t remember what year it was. I was at her funeral and know she died some years before the war.

A year or two after Amy died, Charles A. Cleage married Martha Kieth. I was not at their wedding but I know they were married for I heard of it at the time and have often been at their home since and know that they lived together and recognized each other as husband and wife until he died.

I know that Martha Keith was never married before she was married to Charles A. Cleage for I had known her from her babyhood and she was young when she was married. I know that Martha has never been married but the one time and if Charles A. Cleage was ever married before he was married to Amy, I never heard of it, though I did not know him until after he and Amy were married. But I know that he was never married after Amy died except to this claimant Martha Cleage.

Charles A. Cleage belonged to Co A 1 U.S.C.H.A. and I belonged to Co. C of the same regiment. I have lived near Charles A. and Martha Cleage ever since they were married and I know they lived together until his death and that she has not remarried since his death.

I have no interest in this case. I have understood and heard above read and am correctly recorded. I cannot write.

Edmond (his X mark) Sherman
Deponent

Wittness
Chifford Shoffeitt
No other available

DEADRICK & DIVORCE

This is my 7th year participating in the A to Z Challenge. In the 2015 challenge, I wrote about the Cleages formerly enslaved on the plantations of Samuel and his sons Alexander and David Cleage of Athens, McMinn County, Tennessee. Most of the people in these posts are not related to me by blood or DNA, however my ancestors were enslaved on the same plantations.

This year I ordered the files of the Cleage men who served in Co. I, 1st Regiment, United States Colored Heavy Artillery (USCHA), during the Civil War. Through these files I learned that their lives were much richer and more complex than census, death and other records can show. I am using the information from pension files and records that I found through the files for this years challenge.

A women looks on as an African American Shoemaker repairs a pair of boots, ca. 1898. (Photo by R. W. Holsinger/Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

Today’s post takes us back to Amanda Cleage, who appeared in the “A” post. This document was used during her pension hearing to establish that she had divorced her first husband and was the legal wife of Abram Cleage and entitled to a widow’s pension.

Marriages between enslaved people were often looked upon by white people as worthless. And yet, Amanda Cleage and Lon Deadrick were able to obtain a divorce from a “slave” marriage. The contradictions within the system were innumerable.

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Deposition D Case of Amanda Cleag

23rd July, 1909 at Chattanooga, county of Hamilton, Tennessee

Lon Deadrick

I don’t know my age, but I was a young man at emancipation. I am a shoemaker at 602 East 8th Street, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

I lived in Athens, this state until long after emancipation. I married Amanda Cleage there just after emancipation and I was her first husband. Abram Cleage got in between her and me and got her away from me and they afterward went off with old man Tucker to Texas. I don’t know whether Abram and Amanda married or not. If they did marry, it was after they left this state. I know that they didn’t have time to marry while they were here in Chattanooga while on their way to Texas; I came on the same train they did because I heard Amanda was going off to Texas on that train and they were not in Chattanooga more than ten minutes; I went on a distance on the same train.

I don’t know that Abram had any wife before he went off with Amanda Cleage. In slavery he went with a brown skinned woman named Emma. I don’t know what became of her and I didn’t know him to have anything to do with her after he came out of the army.

I understood the foregoing as it was read by the examiner, and it is correct.

Lon (his mark X) Deadrick.

Attest –
J. A. Johnson
Charles Smith 

Click to enlarge. Transcribed below.

Divorce

Amanda Deadrick Vs. Lon Deadrick:  This cause coming on this 21st day of December 1867 before the Hon. William L. Adams Judge & C., to be finally heard and determined, upon the bill of Complaint answer of respondent and proof of witnesses introduced in open court from all which it appearing to the court that the cruel and inhuman treatment of the defendant towards the complainant – acts of personal violence, threat and abuse have been such that the complainant is entitled to the relief prayed for in her bill – that it is unsafe for her to cohabit and live with him as a wife. It is therefore adjudged and decreed by the Court that the bonds of matrimony heretofore subsisting between the complainant and respondent to be and the same are hereby dissolved, declared null and void and for nothing held. That the complainant be restored to all her rights of a single woman and to her maiden name Amanda Cleage; that she retain possession of their child. Deadrick according to law, that the complainant and William H. Howard her security in the prosecution bond in this case pay the cost of this cause in the final instance and that the complainant have judgment over against the respondent for the costs aforesaid for all which execution may issue.

Wm L. Adams Judge presiding
I.J.E. Tuell clerk of the Circuit Court McMinn C. Tenn.

Hereby certify the foregoing to be a true copy of the divorce in the foregoing case as same appears of record in my office this 22 day July AD. 1909  J.E. Tuell Clerk

CHARLES A. CLEAGE “I was a sound man when I enlisted”

Through the pension files, I have learned that their lives were much richer and more complex than census, death and other records can show. I am using the information from pension files and records that I found through the files for this years challenge.

In 2016 I discovered Thomas Allen, a previously unknown by me, uncle of my grandmother Pearl Cleage. Thomas Allen served in the United States Colored Troops. I used his pension file as the basis for my 2017 A – Z. This year I ordered the files of the Cleage men who served in Co. A, 1st Regiment, United States Colored Heavy Artillery (USCHA), during the Civil War.

This is my 7th year participating in the A to Z Challenge. In the 2015 challenge, I wrote about the Cleages formerly enslaved on the plantations of Samuel and his sons Alexander and David Cleage of Athens, McMinn County, Tennessee. Most of the people in these posts are not related to me by blood or DNA, however my ancestors were enslaved on the same plantations.

Charles A. Cleage’s Grave stone in Hammond’s Cemetery, Athens, McMinn County, TN

You can read the 2015 post about Charles A. and Martha Cleage at this linkCharles A. Cleage.

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Deposition D

26 August 1890
Athens, McMinn, Tennessee

Charles A. Cleage.

My age is 73 years. Occupation farmer. P.O. address Athens, McMinn Co. Tenn. I was a private in Co. “A” 1 U.S.C.H.A. Enlisted in February 1864 at Knoxville and was mustered out with Company at Chattanooga, Tenn, March 31, 1866. I was a sound man when I enlisted. Had never had any severe sickness before I enlisted. Never had rheumatism or palpitation of heart or shortness of breath before that event.

I claim pension on account of palpitations of heart, contracted in service and line of duty at Roane Creek Gap in Upper Tennessee after we got the news of the surrender of Richmond Va. In the Spring of 1865. I had no sign of the disease before that time. Had never attended sick call but one time before that date. Attended sick call one time at Knoxville Tenn. on account of diarrhea. Had recovered from diarrhea before the attack of palpitation of heart. I had the diarrhea for which I attended sick call in the Spring following my enlistment.

I was attacked with palpitations of heart under the following circumstances. Our regiment, with a number of white troops under General Stoneman (I think) were going to North Carolina. When encamped at or about, Roane Creek Gap, we heard of the capture of Richmond by the Federal Forces, and the artillery were ordered to fire salute in honor of the event. I was on guard duty on post, about from 50 to 75 yards from where the artillery fired the salute. I think there were twelve pieces of horse artillery in line, I don’t know how many rounds were fired. The first round was fired unexpectedly to me, and I was shocked to such an extent as to cause bleeding at the nose, a heavy roaring in my right ear and giddiness that has followed me ever since.

When the relief guard came, I was excused from further duty for the time and sent to my camp. I was not placed in hospital. We had no hospital at Roane Creek Gap. We only remained there about three days after hearing of the surrender of Richmond. We then came back to Greenville Tenn, remained there about a month and then went on to Ashville N.C. and again came back to Greenville. I remained with the Co. all that time. Marched with the Co. to Ashville and between, I was never in hospital while I was in the service, we were at Chattanooga from September 1865 till mustered out in March 1866.

I had an attack of palpitation of the heart a few days after the shock from the Artillary salute occurred. I had the palpitations of heart at Chattanooga Tenn, at times and was put on light-duty on account of it. I did not attend sick call at Chattanooga but Lieut Harrod of my Co. gave me a prescription to get some pills at a store in Chattanooga.  Yes Sir, he knew I had palpitations of the heart, knew it because I told him of it. He and the captain ordered me to be put on light duty. When I was discharged I was troubled with shortness of breath and giddiness of head. The first noted attack of palpitations of heart, that I had after my discharge was in the summer following that event.

Yes sir, I had an attack of acute disease after my discharge. Before that attack of palpitation of heart, I had the small pox here at Athens, Tenn in May following discharge. I was working at carpentering when I was taken with small pox. Was working for James Turner (deceased) Don’t know how I contracted small pox, had not been about where small pox was since my discharge. Yes I had a pretty severe attack of small pox, think I was in bed about six weeks with it.

Can’t say just how long it was after the small pox before I had an attack of palpitation of the heart, but it was in harvest time that summer. I went out to do some mowing, when the palpitations came on and I had to quit. The attacks have gradually grown more frequent. I want it understood that I had palpitations of heart while I was in the service as stated, but did not have an attack after discharge until after I had the small pox. I don’t know that any persons, or commands engaged in firing the salute on the fall of Richmond, but the horse artillery. Our regiment carried muskets at the time. We did not join in the firing. I think it was generally known in the Co. that I had palpitations of the heart after that salute was fired.

Yes, I had some pains in my shoulders and arms while in service, and also had pains in my knees when we had hard marching. Don’t know whether the pains were caused by rheumatism, I have these pains more or less ever since. I have never been able to do a full days work since I was discharged. Was partially disabled before I had small pox. Can’t say how much I was disabled before that time, but by the way I felt when at work, I think I was fully one fourth disabled for purposes of manual labor before the time I had small pox.

Yes, I have heard you read over the depositions of James Hurst, Thomas Bradford, Nelson Cate, Amos Jackson, Thomas Lillard, Catherine D.Keith, Charles F. Keith, and Mrs Martha M. Cleage. Don’t wish to introduce any other witnesses. I wish to be notified if the claim is further examined elsewhere. A.W. Bellew of Lily Band Ga. Is my Atty. I made no contract or agreement as to fee with him. Have paid him nothing, I have no complaint to make, as to conduct, manner of fairness of the examination of my claim. I understood your questions.  My answers are correctly recorded in this deposition.

Charles A. (his X mark) Cleage Deponent

Attest Joseph Matthews

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“Miss Kate Cleage of Chattanooga recently received…”

“Miss Kate Cleage of Chattannoga, recently received $3,000 pension from the government”
From- “State Capital” Springfield, IL This included back pension from 1866 forward

According to the inflation calculator, $3,000 in 1892 would be equivalent to $83,332 in today’s dollars.

$8 a month commencing February 20, 1866 and $12 month March 19, 1886. Thomas Giffe, recognized attorney receives a fee of $10.

There is no information about how Katie Cleage’s life changed after receiving her pension. She does not appear in any more news stories.

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Information from Katie Cleage’s Pension file. The newspaper clipping is from Ancestry.com

For links to the other posts in this series, click this link – Katie Cleage’s Pension Hearing

“and thus they were separated forever”

Claimant’s Appeal to the Secretary of the Interior

Atty Thomas Giffe

State of Tennessee County of Hamilton in the matter of claim for Widow’s Pension No. 288 -391 Katie Cleage claimant. On this Apr 6 1891.

Personally came before me Notary Public in and for aforesaid County and State the said Katie Cleage, Widow of Philip Cleage alias Klegg late a sergeant of Company A 1st U.S.C. artillery heavy volunteers a citizen of the town of Chattanooga, county of Hamilton State of Tennessee, well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit and who, being duly sworn declares in relation to the aforesaid case as follows:

That her claim or widow’s pension, having been rejected for the following reasons: that the evidence fails to show that she is the lawful widow of the soldier, or was ever married to him.

It has been shown that ever since the death of her husband that her sister-in-law and her brothers-in-law has been trying to supplant her and cheat her out of her just dues. And she believes that they have imposed upon the Hon. 2nd auditor by stating that the soldier had no wife and did they, perhaps, receive the pay, which was justly and rightly due to her. And she is willing and anxious to submit to the strictest scrutiny of this case. And therefore the Claimant appeals for a reconsideration of her Claim for the reason that gross injustice has been done to her in the rejection of this her claim.

As it has been shown that she was a poor ignorant slave, young and childish, about 14 years of age when Mr. Cleage, her master insisted that she should marry Philip, another slave and while Mrs. Cleage was absent home, he – the master – read something, or at least had a book in his hand, and told them that they were married. And as her master is dead and her husband is dead and she has been unable to find any person who was present at the time except other slaves.

She has proven that they were furnished by her mistress, Mrs. Cleage, with a cabin in which to live, that two children were born to them, that the soldier acknowledged her as his wife that they were recognized by officers and others to be husband and wife, that they were permitted to room together in camp when all women not having husbands in the Regiment were ejected and that she insisted on accompanying him to the pest camp to wait upon him and minister to him, but was denied that privilege and thus they were separated forever.

And she had remained his widow these 25 long years, and when at last she asks for her lawful rights she is asked to prove her marriage, a thing which was never at that time recognized by the white people or slave owners, except that it served to keep them at home, by making them believe that they were married.

She hereby appoints, with full power of substitution and revocation, Thomas Giffe of Chattanooga as her true and lawful attorney to prosecute her claim. Her post office address is Cedar St. Chattanooga.

Katie (her X mark) Cleage

*****

I found the information used in this post in Katie Cleage’s Pension file.

For links to the other posts in this series, click this link – Katie Cleage’s Pension Hearing