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.
George Clegg (Cleage) had two children with his first wife Martha and seven children with his second wife, Hulda. Yorkanini was the sixth of the seven children George Clegg had with his wife Hulda. She died between 1900 when she appeared on the census and 1902, when she failed to appear on the form George filled out naming his living children. He actually had been married three times, but forgot to mention the first wife and the two children that stayed with his mother, Sallie Cleage Marsh when he left for Mississippi. He wrote a second letter to correct his omission. Unfortunately, he didn’t add their names to that letter.
Department of the Interior
Bureau of Pensions
Washington, D.C., March 1, 1902
Co I. 1 Reg’t U.S.C. Vol. H.A.
Will you kindly answer, at your earliest convenience, the questions enumerated blow? Th information is requested for future use, an it may be of great value to your family.
Alcorn Co. Miss.
No. 1. Are you a married man? If so, please state your wife’s full name, and her maiden name. Answer: Yes. Miss Huldy Settle
No. 2. When where, and by whom were you married? Answer: July 6th 1899. Near Hightown Miss, Rev. John Dicky.
No. 3. What record of marriage exists” Answer: I have none – on record at Corinth, Miss.
No. 4. Were you previously married? Answer: Yes Rachel Garheart. Died Aug 16th 1895.
No. 5. Have you any children living? If so, please state their names and the dates of their birth. Answer: Yes. all by first wife no children by present wife. Marry Stovall born Aug 16th 1875, Corintha Willey born July 15th 1877 – George Clegg Nov. 16th 1879 Robert Clegg Dec 1st 1881 Clinton Clegg March 4th 1883 – Maudie Clegg born Nov 10, 1892.
Date of reply March 10, 1902
George (his X mark) Clegg
Witnessed H. Gammel
I mailed to you on the 10th of this month a blank executed by me in regard to my marriages, present wife and former wife. I did not execute the papers correctly. I omitted givig the name of my first wife, whom I married just after the close of the Rebellion at Athens Tenn. I only giv names of wives marriages contracted in this state – thinking that was all that was necessary. Please return said paper with another blank and oblige