“They were kin to me by marriage.”

Deposition M
18 June, 1890
Thomas Bradford

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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