Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sorting Saturday: Civil War Pensions

My current project is collecting Civil War Pension records for some of my ancestors.  Fortunately, Alabama and Texas, where many of them lived, have digitized many of the records and they are a wonderful source of information.

The Chavers brothers of Franklin, Tennessee and Jackson, Alabama; Andrew, Samuel, John and Nathan, were all members of the 17th Tennessee Infantry, CSA, enlisting in 1861.  Samuel died in December of that year of disease at Knoxville.  Nathan and Andrew continued in service until the battle at Tullahoma, Tennessee in the summer of 1863.  They are recorded as being absent without leave after this battle.  In their old age, both applied for a pension; Andrew's was questioned based on being absent without leave.  Nathan's was initially approved, but later was he was summoned for a hearing about his apparent desertion at Tullahoma.  Both brothers maintained that they were dismissed, sent home because of the brown color of their skin.  They said that they were of part Native American ancestry, rather than African American, but their unit commander sent them home and they never returned.  I haven't found any records to indicate if Nathan was allowed to continue to receive a pension or if he was permanently dropped from the pension rolls.  John's widow applied for and received a pension after his death in Arkansas. 
Andrew Jackson Chavers
John Chavers

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