Lucy McCaury Questioned

Deposition U

31 July 1890

“The washerwoman” by Johnson, Clifton, 1865-1940

Lucy McCaury

Q.  Do you remember testifying before me the 16th day of last June, relating to the pension claim of Katie Cleage?
A. Yes sir.

Q. Have you any record of the death of your husband?
A. Yes sir, it is recorded in my family bible. He died Feb’ 14th 1858. I sent my bible down from Athens to Chattanooga Tenn. to the marble Works to have a tomb stone fixed and I don’t know how they got it on the tombstone. My husband was born in Augusta Co. Va. March 30, 1806. The date in my Bible was made a few days after he died. There was only the one Nelson McCaury.

Q. Are you a pensioner?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. On what grounds?
A. My son.

Q. What was his name?
A. William McCaury

Q. What is your certificate number?
A. 114849

Q. Did Katie belong to Alex and Jemima Cleage when your husband married her to Philip?
A. Yes sir, just a short time

Q. Do you know how old she was when she was married?
A. No sir

Q Was she a young girl, or grown up?
A. She was grown up right smart when they bought her and fetched her there

Q. Was she married during the war, or before the war?
A. Just before the war

Q. Who did your husband belong to?
A. To Col. James Bradford. He is dead. His sons name is James.

By Client’s Atty’

Q. How long has your daughter Minerva been married?
A. I don’t know

Q. You still insist that your husband married Katie and Philip?
A. Yes sir, because I was there. I was only at one wedding on the Cleage farm.

Q. Were you ever at their cabin when Katie and Philip lived after they were married?
A. Yes sir, I was there once.


Q. Have you fully understood all the questions and have I set down your answers correctly?
A. Yes sir, that is all correct just as I say I because I know it.


Lucy McCaury lived with her daughter, Melinda Evans on D Street in Peabody Row, tenaments. Here is a map and two articles sent to me by Sam Hall of after I asked for help in locating the street.

Peabody Roe outlined in red

Peabody Row Elevated in Smoke – It Was Incendiary

‘The “Peabody row” of dwellings on D. street alley, between Ninth and Gilmer streets, was burned to the ground early this morning. The row consisted of twenty-one tenement houses, or apartments, which originally cost Mr. C. H. Peabody, the owner, $5,000, and ere valued by him at $4,000 at the time of the fire. The houses were occupied by colored people, excepting one in which Ellen Swaney lived. Nearly all the occupants lost their furniture, on which there was no insurance. Mr. Peabody had $1,500 insurance on the buildings. He thinks the fire was incendiary’

Political Pointers

One of the best known colored residents of the Seventh ward is Tom Solomon, a miller by trade, who was one of the unfortunate persons who suffered by the fire a few nights ago in Peabody row. He lost all his kitchen utensils and clothes, and consequently since then his wife and two children have been in a condition of more or less suffering.

About noon Saturday Tom applied to T. W. Fritts, the democratic candidate for alderman in the Seventh ward for assistance. Mr. Fritts directed him to call on Police Commissioner E. S. Daniels, who, he said, was a member of a committee which had the necessary funds for relief. Solomon relates the story of his experience with Commissioner Daniels, as follows:

“I found Daniels in his office, and told him Mr. Fritts had sent me to him to get some money. After stepping aside and consulting several minutes with Jordan Williams, another colored man in the room, Mr. Daniels asked me if I had my registration certificate with me. I replied that I did not but I immediately went home and returned in half an hour with it. Then I found Mr. Daniels in his office alone, and he asked me how much I wanted. My first idea was that he wanted to identify me by the certificate. I told him my circumstances and then he offered to loan me two dollars if I would leave my certificate with him. I asked him if he wasn’t willing to trust me for that amount, and he said he must have security, and said that on the day of election I could get the certificate by refunding the $2. Then I saw his object was to get possession of my registration certificate, and I indignantly left his office, taking the certificate with me. I still have it and will vote it on election day. Although I have suffered gret loss, and am forced to ask assistance of my friends for a few days, I will not sell my right to vote to anyone for any amount.

“The colored man Jordan Williams is the one who directed me to go to Mr. Fritts, accompanied me there, held a whispered conversation with Mr. Fritts, then accompanied me to Mr. Daniels’ office, had a private conversation with him before the proposition was made by Mr. Daniels to buy my certificate, and left me alone in the office with Mr. Daniels.”

Solomon volunteered this statement to the PRESS immediately after leaving Commissioner Daniels’ office Saturday, and said he was willing to swear to the correctness of every word.

The public will not be surprised to learn the democrats have a fund for purchasing certificates, but some will be surprised that the headquarters of the purchasing act should be in Circuit Judge Moon’s law office.

“The intention of the law” is evidently being vigorously carried out.


I have been unable to find a pension file for William McCaury or William Bradford (slave holder’s name) or Lucy McCaury. We heard from Lucy McCaury before at “A Bit of Confusion”

I found the information used in, Katie Cleage’s Pension file. The photograph is from Digital Amherst

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

“I did not pay much attention”

Deposition T

28th day of July 1890

Jemima Hurst age 52

Jemima Cleage

            I am 76 years of age, the widow of Alexander Cleage, and my post office address is No. 114 Sycamore St. Chattanooga, Tenn.

During the war and prior thereto I lived at Athens, Tenn. My husband Alexander Cleage died January 4th 1875. The claimant Katie Cleage was a slave and belonged to me and was a house servant. She left me sometime after the war began, after the army came here to Chattanooga (Sept. 1863). When she left me she came here to Chattanooga. I saw her once after she left us. That was a short time after the war. She came to Athens to see her friends. I do not know whether she was married at that time. It did not seem like she was married. She did not have any man with her. When she left us during the war she was grown, I do not know how old she was. She was about thirteen years old when we bought her. It was before the war commenced when we bought her. I don’t think we owned her not more than a year – when the war came up. She was a seamstress and I took her in the house. She did not sleep in the house. She had a brother around, Charles and she used to sleep out in his cabin.

A girl named Sally and a girl named Jane done our cooking. We would change them back and forth. Malinda was the children’s nurse. Adeline was a nurse too sometimes. My daughter Mary married before Katie left us and I gave her Adeline. Mary married Alexander Brett, but I do not remember the name of the place in Mississippi where they now live, Mr. Brett is a railroad man and changes about.  Mary married February 22, 1860. After Mary married, Adeline, now Adeline Sherman of Athens, Tenn. never lived with us. Adeline and Katie never slept in my house together. Adeline belonged to another family and slept at their house.

Joe was the principal coachman but Philip Cleage used to take his place. Joe was quite an old man. He went back to Virginia and died there. Philips mother and father lived on the farm and Philip slept at their house. Philip’s mother died there on the farm after the war commenced. He might have lived with Sallie Cleage after that.

I knew Nelson McKaury. He used to preach some. I don’t know when he did die. He was a great man amongst the darkies. I remember hearing them speak of him. I do not know as to whether or not Katie and Philip lived together as husband and wife. Having so many, I did not pay much attention and never changed my mind. I didn’t know just how many slaves we did have, but we had about one hundred. I have no record of births on the plantation.

Yes, Katie had two children during the time she lived with us. Both children were stillborn. Both of the children were black, Katie is a mulatto and Philip was lighter than her. Dr. Atlee was our family physician. I think an old woman named Sallie waited on Katie when she was sick. Adeline Sherman was not living with us when the last child was born., I think she was when the first one was.

No sir, Katie was never attended by Dr. Atlee for any other sickness.  I always waited on the sick myself. Katie never had any other sickness that I know of. I don’t think Katie was ever confined in the quarters or for any punishment or any reason. She never was to my knowledge. I don’t remember whether there was any suggestion as to who was the father of her children. I can’t remember, I don’t remember anything about that. I had no recollection as to whether or not Philip was said to be the father.

I have never heard that the coachman Joe was the father. I don’t know that Katie and Philip associated together. They did not eat inside the lot and they did not stay there, only when called on to wait on us. Oh yes, they might have been together and I not know it.

If they had been given a room in the quarters to live together it looks like I would have known it, but then I might not. My husband never made a practice of marrying his slaves. He generally wanted to have something to say as to who they should marry. Katie’s moral habits were as good as the average slaves, she was not light naturally, but was good looking and passed herself off very well. We did not keep any record of the marriages of our slaves. I do not know of any man with whom Katie did live, she never lived with none that I know of. I have no interest in this claim for a pension. Katie was a truthful girl.

My son John was a boy 14 years old and was at home during the war. My Thomas was away all through the war and for two or three years after. He was cashier of a bank and was ordered to take the bank south and did so. His wife, Mrs. T.A. Cleage Sr. was sent south to him and was not at Athens. I have fully understood all your questions and you have set down my answers correctly.

By Clients Atty’

Q. Did you know of this old man Nelson McKaury going around and marrying the slaves?
A. He used to marry them. I don’t know that he married Katie, I know he used to go around and marry them.

Q. Katie says that you furnished her and Philip with blankets and a room. Do you remember anything about that?
A. Whenever any of our slaves wanted blankets, or needed anything they came to me and I furnished them and I would not remember whether I furnished Katie and Philip or not.

Jemima Cleage
26th July 1890


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

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

“I was nothing but a young girl”

Plantation house with causeway between house and kitchen. I imagine the Alexander Cleage plantation house looked like this before the fancy columns were added.

Deposition S

21 June 1890

Katie Cleage

I have heard read all the testimony that has been taken in my case.

I want to say that Lucy McCaury is certainly mistaken. Her husband did not marry me to Philip. I do not remember Nelson McCaury at all. I remember Lucy tolerably well, she had one girl named Minerva. I have not seen Lucy McCaury but once and that was at the church directly after the war.

Relating to the charge that I was locked up in the quarters with a disease, it is not true. I never was locked up and my old mistress does not give any such recommendation. Dr. Atlee did doctor me for a miscarriage but that was Philip’s. Both of the children I had were by Philip. Old Uncle Joe was a very old man and I was nothing but a young girl and he never had anything to do with me in his life.

Between the smoke house and the kitchen part there was a large shelf where we kept our bed clothes and Ad Shurman would go for them one night and I would go the next and it was when I went out after clothes at night that Philip and I got together. Old master said I was getting fat before I knew what was the matter and he whipped me terribly. There was a fellow around, David Johnakin coming to see me and master said I could not have any one but one of the home boys and I did not want one of them because I loved David, but master called me one day and told me he was going to make me and Philip marry. It was on a Sunday and a very warm day and master was laying at the far end of the porch and he got up and went and got some book and read something to us. I was very young and did not know and never did know what it was and then he told Philip he could just consider himself one of the married boys on the place. I disremember it has been so long, whether mistress was home or how it was. I just remember how old master made Philip and me have one another.

When we were refugeed off during the war Philip and I were together all the time and after they brought us back home, I had my other child. It did not live but a very short time after it was born. That is the child that David Bridges knows about. I never gave birth to a white child. I am light colored and Philip was three shades lighter than I am and he had almost straight hair.

Liddy was the cook in the big house and Ad Sherman and I had to carry water and I told Liddy I was sick and she told mistress, that was one Sunday evening later. Sallie never was in the room and never had anything to do with it.

I never was locked up out in the quarters and I never had any disease in my life. Julia Ann Evans was (crossed out) Hulda Hurst was my mother and she lived at the time some five or six mile from our place and any time I went to see her, Philip always went with me.

I have no further testimony that I desire to have taken.

Katie (her mark X) Cleage


I found David Jonakin living in Athens. He married and had a family and I will be writing more about him later.

I found the information used in this post on, Katie Cleage’s Pension file, and

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

“I talked with Uncle Charles today about it”

Athens, TN in the 1920s. Family photo.

Deposition R

20 June 1890

Adeline Sherman

I do not know how old I am, I can’t tell pretty near. Yes, I was grown up at the time of the war. I am a laboring woman and my post office address is Athens, Tenn.

I was formerly a house servant for Mrs. Jemima Cleage and lived at the Cleage house on the farm. Katie Cleage and Lydia Cleage were house servants. Katie was a seamstress. I did not leave the Cleage family until after the war.  Katie left there just before the soldiers went to Chattanooga she slipped off at night and went to Chattanooga. Katie was not married when she lived on the Cleage farm and before she went to Chattanooga. She did not live with any man as his wife. Me and her slept in the house together all the time.

Yes sir she had two children. She slipped out at night is the way she came to have these children. Old Uncle Joe Cleage was the father of one. The other child was a white child. I could not tell who was the father. I know Uncle Joe was the father of one because he was slipping around there and I see them together several times. Old Uncle Tom Louis claimed the white baby. No he did not tell us, the woman that was with her told that it was white. Aunt Juda Cleage was the woman, but she is dead. I never saw either of the children. They were born dead. No sir, Katie did not go with anyone else besides Uncle Joe. He is not living.

Yes she did sleep in the quarters back of the house. The white folks put her there. She had the disease and they did not want her in the house. They put her off in a room by herself and carried her provisions to her. I don’t know how she staid there, she staid until she got well. Oh it was nearly a month that she staid in there. She had a doctor. Dr. Atlee told what was the matter with her and he never came back no more. I didn’t know whether no more doctor came or not, they never would let us go where she was. Because she had that disease and they was afraid we would take it. I am sure it was on account of her being diseased. That is the only time she staid in the quarters away from us, only when she was sick and had her babies.

Philip Cleage belonged to our white folks then and worked out in the field. No sir, Katie never lived with Philip as his wife. I did not see Philip after he went in the army. She was not with him while they were up the road, up at Knoxville. She went to Chattanooga just before the soldiers. I do not know whether she staid with him in Chattanooga or not. I have not seen her but once since the war.

I have not talked with anybody about this matter. Yes sir, I talked with Uncle Charles today about it. He said you wanted to see us. He did not say anything about the case.

I never knew Preacher McCaury. I did not know Lucy McCaury before the war. I did not know Minerva McCaury before the war. I knew that Philip and Katie did not go together before the war.

I am not related. I have no interest, not a bit in this claim for a pension. I have fully understood all your questions and my answers have been correctly recorded.

            Adeline (her mark X) Sherman


Adeline Cleage Sherman was Sallie Cleage Marsh’s first husband’s child by his first wife, Jane Cleage. That is, she was Sallie’s step-daughter. Until Jane’s death sometime after 1900, she lived next door to Edmund and Adeline Sherman. Jane is mentioned in Alexander Cleages Will, written in 1860, as Adeline’s mother. Edmund Sherman served in the same Company as Philip Cleage. The Uncle Charles who she mentions, is Charles A. Cleage, Philip’s brother who testified earlier and who was one of the siblings who got Philips arrears pay.

I found the information used in this post on, Katie Cleage’s Pension file, and

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

“I was nurse girl”

“Mary Allen Watson, 15 June 1866”. Woman unnamed. Library of Congress

Deposition P
20 June 1890
Patsy Cleage

            I will be 44 years old in October, I am the wife of Amos Jackson and my post office is Athens, Tenn. I was a slave of Alex and Jemima Cleage from the time I was born until Sherman went through here during the war. I was a servant in the house. I was nurse girl. Katie Cleage was a house servant. She was a seamstress. I knew Philip Cleage.  He was my brother.

My brother Philip and Katie were never married. They never lived together as husband and wife. Philip worked on the farm. Sometimes they had him drive the carriage. Katie and Adeline Sherman slept in the dining room together. I slept upstairs with my young mistress in her room. Katie never had but the one room in the quarters. That was when she was shut out. Yes sir, I remember about their putting her in a room and locking her up an did not allow any of the children to go down there. I was small but I remember that, I do not remember about her having any children, only what I have heard the old people talk over since I have been grown.

When my brother Philip went in the army he took us with him to Knoxville and I washed in the hospital. Philip was all my protection after my mother and father died. I did not go to Chattanooga with Philip, he died shortly after he went there. Katie never was in Knoxville with my brother Philip during the war. I do not know whether she went to Chattanooga or not. I never knew Preacher McCaury. I understand that Katie and Philip never married or that they ever lived together. About nineteen years ago Katie and a man came to Athens from Chattanooga. She introduced him to us as her husband. His name was Moses Evans of Chattanooga. She just came on a visit and did not stay long.

I am positive Katie never staid with Philip when we lived on the farm. Philip when he came in used to stay at Aunt Sallie Cleage’s, my mother when she died left Philip to Aunt Sallie’s care and left us in my young mistress’s charge.

I am interested in my brother, I am not interested in this claim. I have fully understood all your questions and my answers have been correctly recorded.

Patsy (her mark X) Cleage Jackson
20 June 1890


Patsy says that she was much younger than Katie, but they were actually about the same age, in fact, going by the ages they give on their depositions, Katie is a year or so younger. Patsy was Philip’s sister.

I found the information for this post in Katie Cleage’s Civil War Pension file and

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

“I owned a servant named Nelson…”

Deposition O

18 June 1890
James F. Bradford

Listing of “property” in James F. Bradford’s father’s 1852 Will included Nelson, Lucy and their family. Click to enlarge
Henry aged about 60Nelson aged about 45
Lydia ” ” 43Lucy ” ” 42
Adalineb ” ” 18Caroline ” ” 16
Angeline ” ” 14Tom ” ” 12
William. ” ” 12Sarah. ” ” 10
Stewart. ” ” 9Minerva ” ” 7
Nelson jr. ” ” Bob. ” ” 2
An infant girl not named age about 1

I am 51 years of age, a farmer and my post office address is Athens, Tenn.

I never knew the claimant that I now recall. I never knew Philip Cleage. I owned a servant named Nelson McCaury and his wife and family. They went by the name of Bradford until after the war and then they took the name of McCaury. Lucy McCaury was the wife of Nelson and she now lives in Chattanooga. She is a very truthful, strictly truthful and strictly honest, I would take her word as quick as I would anybody, black or white, she was strictly reliable all her life.

Nelson was morally a good negro and a religious negro but if ever he preached any I don’t know it. I never knew that he performed the marriage ceremony for any one.  He died sometime during the latter part of the war. He must have died somewhere from 1862 or 3, probably later than that, but it was certainly during the war. I was away from home when he died. I was away from home all the time from 1863 in 1864 and until the surrender in April 1865 and he died during that time.

I have no interest in this claim. My answers have been correctly recorded.

James F. Bradford
18 June 1890


James F. Bradford is the former and final slave holder of the Bradford/McCauly family. Above is a list of the enslaved owned by his father, (also named James F. Bradford) at his death. Apparently they then passed on to the son.

I found the information for this post in Katie Cleage’s Civil War Pension file and on

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

“The white folks had her clothes locked up.”

Deposition N
18 June 1890

Sallie Cleage Marsh

I am 64 years of age, the widow of Richard Marsh and my post office address is Athens, Tenn. I was formerly a slave to Aleck and Jemima Cleage. They bought me when I was thirteen years old and I lived with them until after the war. I remember Katie Cleage very well. She was a house servant, a seamstress. I was the family cook in the house.

No sir, Katie never was married. She did not live with any man as his wife. She always slept in the house except a month or two she was sick and they put her down in an old house in the quarters while the doctor was taking care of her. She was diseased someway while she was there. Dr. Atlee attended her.

She had two children. These was neither born alive. One was a miscarriage. One was born at it’s time and the other before it’s time. We had Dr. Atlee with her. I was in the room with her. The first miscarriage she had, she had something the matter with her and we had Dr. Atlee and it did not come off then and a month or two after she was down in the yard and was taken with something the matter with her and she called us to her and told us. I went and told mistress and she told us to fix a bed in the dining room for her and send for Dr. Atlee. Dr. Atlee attended to it and I was the only woman in the house except my mistress when it was done. I don’t think this child was a white child, I know it was not. It was laid to old Uncle Joe, then on the place.

The second child came to its time and it was a white child, but I don’t know who it belonged to. Yes, I seen the child, but I was not present when it was delivered. Dr. Atlee delivered it.

Tom Cleage took it all but two of his slaves south during the war he left three. One ran away and the other two staid at the house to take care of the old lady. I went with them and Katie went along too.

I know Philip Cleage, he was a wagoner when we went south, he drove the wagon that I rode in. We staid south about three months and came back here about October and soon after that Philip went in the Union Army. He came home to see us while he was in the army.

When his mother died she gave Philip to me to take care of. 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.

I disremember whether Katie was on the place when Philip came home to see us during the war, but he did not see her if she was. They, the family, would not let the family servants out. Philip was here twice, once on his march from Knoxville to Chattanooga and once after he got to Chattanooga. Oh! Philip and Katie never lived together as man and wife. I was cook then. I was the oldest and the main one then and Katie never lived with anyone as his wife.

I could not tell whether Katie was in Chattanooga with Philip during the war. When she left home, there was a white man and a yaller man took her from here. I helped her get her clothes out.  The white folks had her clothes locked up. The next time I heard from her, she was at Atlanta and I never knew that she was caught up with Philip. I never see Katie again until she came here on a visit after the war. I didn’t think she ever was married, but she said she had a husband, Moses Evans.

I knew Nelson McCaury when I was a little girl, I don’t remember him since I have grown up. He was a preacher and used to marry people. He died before the war. I don’t remember how long before the war old Uncle Nelson died. I don’t know that he died before the war but seems to me he did. I know Katie was never married by her master Aleck Cleage. No sir, Katie was not grown when Nelson McCaury died, he never married her to anyone. She never lived with Philip as his wife.

I am not related. I have no interest at all in this claim. I have fully understood all your questions and my answers have been correctly recorded.

Sallie (her mark X) Cleage Marsh


You can read more about Sallie Cleage Marsh in this post -> Sallie Cleage. She was first married to Clint Cleage and after he died, she married Richard Marsh. All of her children were with Clint Cleage. Sallie Cleage Marsh lived a long life and testified in several pension files. Although she does not have one of her own, several of her children do. She will appear again. I also have to rewrite her original post because of all the new information.

I found the information for this post in Katie Cleage’s Civil War Pension file. The photo is from this blog 19c African American Women

For links to the other posts in this series, click this link – Katie Cleage’s Pension Hearing
The photo is from this blog 19c African American Wome

“They were kin to me by marriage.”

Deposition M
18 June, 1890
Thomas Bradford

click to enlarge

I am about 52 years of age, a gardener and my post office address is, Athens, Tenn.

            I remember Katie Cleage. I knew her here at Athens when Cleage used to live here before the war. I was pretty well acquainted with her, she was a young girl then. I knew Philip Cleage well. They were kin to me by marriage. Philip was in the same regiment and company with me. I was in Co. A. 1st U.S.C.H. Arty. No sir, Philip was not married at all, he was a single man. Katie was not married up to the war, after the war I do not know what became of her, I never seen her any after the war. Katie and Philip never lived together as man and wife before the war and I know they did not after the war because he died before the war ended.

I was with the company at Chattanooga the biggest part of the time. I was there when Philip took the smallpox and was sent to the hospital and just before we were mustered out my brother was taken and we left him there and after he got better he made Chattanooga his home. He died five or six years ago. When we were in Chattanooga Katie was not there at all, if she was I never heard of it. Her master took her off south during the war and I don’t know whether she had got back or not. I do not know whether Katie had any children, I think that she did have a white child.  That was very customary here in the south though. I am positive she was not in camp at Chattanooga with Philip.

I know Nelson McCaury, he kind of prayed at marriages. I don’t know as he was a preacher, he might have been too, the way darkies preached three days. His wife was named Lucy McCaury. Nelson McCaury raised me. I was a boy and was kept under his care. He died. I know it must have been between five and six years before the war. The war began in 1861 and it was five or six years before that. I am a little related to the claimant by marriage. I have not seen her since the war. I have fully understood all your questions and my answers have been correctly recorded.

Thomas Bradford
18 June 1890


All I could find on Thomas Bradford was his military file, his name on a Will as a member of the enslaved household of Nelson and Lucy and his gravestone.

Sgt. Co. A, 1st USCHA, USA Burial Cedar Grove Cemetery, Athens, McMinn County, TN
Enlisted Jan. 26, 1864 in Knoxville, promoted to Corporal Sept. 21, 1865, and mustered out Mar. 31, 1866

“…my interest is for his back pay and bounty”

Page one of Charles A. Cleage’s Deposition. Click to enlarge.

Deposition L

18 June 1890
Charles A. Cleage

           I am 73 years of age, a farmer and gardener and my post office address is Athens, Tenn. I was bred and born on the farm of Samuel Cleage, three miles from Athens. I remember Katie Cleage, she belonged to Aleck Cleage who was a son of Samuel Cleage. The farms of Samuel and Alecks were adjoining farms. Well, I knew Katie Cleage, but was with her only now and then. No sir, I did not see much of her. Well sometimes, occasionally I went to her quarters. She was a house servant for Aleck Cleage’s wife. She lived in the house all the time.

Well she was locked up in the quarters once, on account of a serious disease, it was considered “clap” or “pox” I don’t know which. I know she had this disease by the black ???? who lived there with her.  She was about fourteen or fifteen years old, not older than that. This was about a year, maybe two years before the war. She never was married as I know of. She recovered and went back to work in the house. She was attended by Dr. Atlee now of Chattanooga, Tenn. I never knew of her being with any man as his wife before the war. Yes sir, I heard of her having one child before the war. I do not know who was the father of the child, they said it was a white child.

Yes sir, I know Philip Cleage. He was a brother of mine. He belonged to Aleck Cleage. He was a farmer and coachman part of the time. No sir, Philip was never married. I saw Philip frequently. He lived in the quarters with the other slaves. If he had been married I would have known it. He never lived with Katie as I know of. I was in the same company with him in the army. He was a corporeal in C. A 1st U. S. C. H. Arty. I was with them when established at Chattanooga. Katie never was in camp with him, to my knowledge. Yes sir, I know Preacher McCaury. I never heard of his marrying Philip and Katie until just now. I don’t know as I have seen Katie since the war. I have not known anything about her.

            She never was in Camp with Philip, not to my knowledge. I would have known it if she had been there. Yes sir, I have an interest in this matter. He was my brother and my mother and father are dead and myself and Patsy are left and my interest is for his back pay and bounty as his heirs. Yes sir, we have received that. I have fully understood all your questions and my answers have been correctly recorded.

Charles (his mark X) A. Cleage
18 June 1890


Charles A. Cleage was the brother of Philip Cleage, Katie’s husband. I wrote a blog post about Charles A. Cleage and his life several years ago, before I ordered any pension files -> Charles A. Cleage. I will have to write another one when I finish this series about Katie Cleage, because I have his pension file also.

I found the information for this post in Katie Cleage’s Civil War Pension file.

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

A Bit of Confusion

Deposition K

Lucy McCaury
16 June 1890

I am 86 years of age, will be on the 4th day of July and my post office address is, D at Peabody’s Row, Chattanooga, Tenn. I have lived in Athens, Tenn. ever since 1888. I lived at James Bradford’s, near the plantation of Alex Cleage and Jemima Cleage.

            I knew Katie Cleage the claimant from the time she was a little girl until near, about the wind up of the war. I have only seen her once since the surrender and just spoke to her, that was about two years after the surrender. I met her at a meeting. Yes sir, Katie was married during the time I knew her, I knew when she was married. I was there the same evening that they were married. My husband was a preacher and I knew he married Katie to Philip Cleage. It was the first of the war when they were married I don’t think I can be mistaken, I know I was in the room when they were married, it seems as natural to us now as it did then. I do not know of but one Katie Cleage.  The Katie Cleage that I know was not a hand out anywhere. She worked in the house for Mrs. Cleage. Philip was a laborer on the farm.

The night they were married they had a frolic on the Cleage farm. I do not know where Katie slept after she was married, but before that she slept in the main house on the farm.  I frequently visited Philip and Katie and they had their own room in the quarters. They had two children, I don’t know whether they lived or not. Philip went in the army. I can’t tell how long after they were married. If Katie had any children before she was married to Philip I don’t know it, I think it was a short time after they were married she had one and then again after that I heard there was a birth. I never saw Philip after he went in the army. Katie never had any other husband besides Philip, if she had I never heard of it. She was quite young when she married Philip.

I am not related. I have no interest in this claim for a pension. I am sure I am not mistaken about my husband marrying Katie and Philip. It was in the Cleage house, in the cabin, in those days they did not marry as they do now. They just came in from the yard to the house. There were a good many present when they were married. I don’t recall now particularly who was there, but the room was full. Yes sir, there were white people there. I did not see, I never noticed particularly about whether any of the white members of the Cleage family were there.

Q. Katie says she was married on the steps of the mansion and by her master Aleck Cleage?
A. I think she is very much mistaken, I don’t mean to say only what is right and I think I am right in what I have stated.

By Client’s Atty

Q. Did the Cleage’s keep a family carriage?
A. Yes sir.

Q. You don’t remember who drove the carriage, whether they had a coachman or not?
A. Yes sir, Jerry was the real old driver from the start and then they had a smaller man come in to drive.

Q. Did you know anyone else on the plantation who performed the marriages besides your husband?
A. The master or missus sometimes said some sort of foolish ceremony and then they would go off to live.

Lucy (her mark) McCaury

Q. Each couple considered themselves married after ceremony and felt obligated not to marry anybody else?
A. Yes sir.


Q. Have you fully understood all the questions and have I set down your answers correctly?
A. Yes sir, I have understood it all

Lucy (her mark) McCaury


After writing this blog post, I realized that Lucy McCaury was the mother of Malinda Allen who was deposed yesterday. More on this and on Lucy McCaury’s family and life in the records later.

I found the information for this post in Katie Cleage’s Civil War Pension file, and any links above.

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