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