Civil War Pension Papers

Excerpts from Elston Wright's pension papers - A Private of the 123rd
(submitted by your host, Kim Torp)

"That at the battle of Perryville in the state of Kentucky on the 8th day of October 1862, he received a gunshot wound in the right thigh and was sent to hospital No 4 at New Albany, Ind to be treated for said wound.  The name of the surgeon in charge of said hospital this officiant cannot now recollect.  That about the middle of Dec. 1862 while in said hospital at New Albany, this affiant had the measles and during said attack of measles this affiant took cold resulting in hoarseness and weakness of lungs from which he still suffers.  That about the last of March or first of April 1863, this affiant not having recovered from either wound or measles was sent to Quincy, Ills. where was treated in hospital No. _ by Dr. Allen surgeon in charge of said hospital and that in about ten days after his arrival at Quincy, he had the small pox and that in Sept. 1863, he was discharged from said hospital and sent to his regiment in Tennessee and remained with it till about July 1864 when he was sent to Marietta, GA hospital to be treated for diarrhea and a few days later, he was sent to hospital at Columbia, Tenn. and remained there till October 1864 and was then sent to barracks or convalescent camp at Columbia and remained there till Oct 8, 1864 and then came home on furlough and reported to Regt. at Louisville, KY in Nov. 1864 and remained with the regiment till about the first of Feb. 1865 and was then sent from Gravel Springs, Tenn. to Jo. Holt hospital, Ward 10, Jeffersonville, Ind and remained there till about the 10th of April 1865 and was then ordered to Nashville and was discharged from the service at Edgefield, Tenn. May 25, 1865 and that he does not now recollect the names of any surgeons or physicians in charge of the foregoing hospitals, except as heretofore named.  That he has had no attack of acute disease since discharge except an attack of lung fever in Oct. 1876 and was then treated by Dr. R.A. Ferguson.  That said attack lasted a week or ten days.  That he has been able to do some work all the time since discharge except during the time just referred to, but has never been able to do as much work in a day as before he went into the service.  That his occupation since discharge has been farming.  That he has never been in the military service of the U.S. except in the 123 Ills. Vols. as herein set forth.
                                                                                        Elston Wright
                                                                                        24 June 1884

The Pension Board's findings:
Elston Wright, a private of Company K, 123 Regiment, Ills. Volunteers, was enrolled on the 13 day of Aug 1862 at Salisbury, Ills. 3 yrs, and is reported:   

On roll for Sept & Oct. 62, absent wounded in action at Perrysville, KY and left in Hospt. Oct. 8, 1862.  Same to June 30, 1863.
July & Aug 1863, present.  Same to June 30, 1864. 
July & Aug 1864, absent sent to Columbia, Tenn. sick, Aug 1, 1864.  Same to Oct. 31, 1864. 
Nov & Dec 1864.  Present.
Jan & Feb. 1865, absent, sent sick to Eastport, Miss.  Feb 14, 1865.  So ????? to Apl 30, 1864. 
Was mustered out on Ind. M.O. roll at Nashville, Tenn. May 25, 1865. 
Co. was in action at Perryville, KY Oct 8, 1862



Charleston, Coles Co., Ills. 
Feb 28, 1893

I called at the bedside of Elston Wright and he swears that he was a Pr. in Co. K 123 Ill Vol Inf (age 72) and that he draws four dollar per month on pension certificate No. 287628 and has no other means of support and that he is an object of charity, sick and in a helpless condition.  Subscribed and sworn true before me this 28 day of February A.D. 1893
A. Highland, J.P.
                                                                    (signature of Elston Wright)

We, the undersigned neighbors, certify that his (Elston Wright) condition is as stated in his affidavit above as to his health and means of support.
                                                                                          Edwin Ashby
                                                                                          Robt. Stewart
This is to certify that Elston Wright is totally disabled by sickness, being confined to his bed, and the chances are that he will never recover. 
                                                                                          N. Starr  M.D.


July 25, 1893                         
Judge Cochran, Commissioner of Pensions
Dear Sir:
Elston Wright, an ex-soldier and pensioner made application for an increase July 1891.  He sickened and died March 10, 1893.  A few days later word came that the increase in pension had been allowed.  The old gentleman was in destitute circumstances and the expense of his last sickness was about $150.  His son-in-law, a poor man himself, took care of him.  His wife died before him and he left no unmarried or minor children.  The son-in-law had a lawyer write to Mr. Wright's lawyer, a Mr. Phillips of Washington D.C. and endeavored to ascertain whether or not he was entitled to any renumeration out of the accrued pension and if so, what steps were necessary to be taken in order to get it. His name and address is G.W. Temple, Charleston, Coles Co. Ill.  I write you by his request and an early reply will be thankfully received. 

Respectfully Yours,
N. Starr.

Selections from the Pension Record of Joseph Bennett Nicholson
contributed by
Source #54


To all whom it may Concern:
Know ye, That Joseph B. Nicholson a Corporal of Captain G. W. McConkey's Company, ("E,") 5th Regiment of Illinois Cavalry, vol VOLUNTEERS who was enrolled on the 25th day of September, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one to serve three years or during the war is hereby Discharged from the service of the United States this 31st day of December, 1863, at Camp Clear Creek Miss by reason of Re-enlistment as vetran (sic) vol. No objection to his being re-enlisted is known to exist.
Said Joseph B. Nicholson was born in Coles Co in the State of Ills, is 30 years of age, 6 feet 2 inches high, fair complexion, Blue eyes, Black hair, and by occupation, when enrolled, a Farmer.
Given at Camp Clear Creek Miss this 31st day of December 1863. (Signed) G. W. McConkey Capt, Co. "E" 5th Ills Cav. Co, Commanding


To all whom it may Concern:
Know ye, That Joseph B. Nickelson a Sergeant/vet vol of Captain Lieut F. M. Webb's Company, (E,) Fifth Regiment of Illinois Cavalry VOLUNTEERS who was enrolled on the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four to serve three years or during the war, is hereby Discharged from the service of the United States this twenty Seventh day of October, 1865, at Springfield Illinois by reason of S. O No 70 Dated (???) Oct 6 " 1865 and S. O. No 75 Par III dated chief M & D. O Illinois Springfield Oct 18th 1865 No objection to his being re-enlisted is known to exist.
Said Joseph B. Nicholson was born in Coles County - in the State of Illinois, is twenty-eight years of age, Six feet two inches high, dark complexion, blue eyes, dark hair, and by occupation, when enrolled, a Farmer.
Given at Springfield Ills this twenty Seventh day of October 1865. (Signed) Charles (C?) Pomeroy, Capt 11th U S Infty, M and D Officer
(Note from C. Brummel: Joseph was actually born in 1833.)


WIDOW'S CLAIM FOR PENSION
State of Illinois -- County of Coles
ON THIS 8th day of April, 1882, personally appeared before me, a County Clerk of a Court of Record in and for the County and State aforesaid Nancy P. Nicholson a resident of Campbell in the County of Coles and State of Ills aged 47 years, who being duly sworn, makes the following declaration, in order to obtain the Pension provided by the Act of Congress approved July 14, 1862. That she is the widow of Joseph B. Nicholson who was a Sergt. In Company E commanded by Capt. G. W. McConkey in the 5 Regiment of Ills Cav. In the War of 1861;that her maiden name was Nancy P. Allison and that she was married to said Joseph B. Nicholson on or about the 23d day of Nov 1865 at Campbell Ills in the County of Coles and State of Ills by Rev. L. Jones
SHE FURTHER DECLARES that said Joseph Nicholson her husband, died as aforesaid at Coles Co, in the state of Ills on or about the 23d day of May 1873 of fistula - (Inanna?) - contracted in service of U. S. She also declares that she has remained a widow ever since the death of said Joseph B. Nicholson and that she has not in any manner been engaged in, or aided or abetted, the rebellion in the United States;
The following are the names dates of birth and places of residence of all the children of her deceased husband who were under sixteen years of age at the time of his death.

Joseph A. - born Oct/66 - Died Sept./69
Patrick L. -- " Dec./68 -- " Dec-/68
Harriet O. " Sept 28/70 -
Joanna B. " April/73

My Post Office address is Campbell, Coles Co. Ills. (Signed) Nancy P. Nicholson


Department of the Interior, PENSION OFFICE, Washington, D. C. Dec. 7, 1882
Respectfully returned to the Adjutant General U. S. A. Claimant alleges Capture June 26./63 - at Ellisville Miss. - parolled July/63, Exchanged and returned to his Regt. Sept. or Oct./63. Please furnish full military history report from - prison records & Regt'l Hospital Record. Alleged sunstroke July/65 & June/63.
Jos. B. Nicholson, E. 5. Ills. Cav.


War Department, ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, Jan 16, 1883.
Respectfully returned to the Commissioner of Pensions.
Joseph B. Nicholson, a Private of Company E, 5 Regiment Ills. Cavy, Volunteers, was enrolled on the 25 day of September 1867, at Mattoon, Ills, for 3 years, and is reported: Present, on rolls from date of enrollment to Augt. 31, '62. Roll for Sept. - Oct. '62 Corpl. Present, So (??) to April 30, '63, Prisoner of War Records show him captured in Jones Co Miss. June 27, 63, conf'd at Richmond, Va., July 9, 63, paroled at City Point, Va, July 14/63, reported at Camp (Parole?) Md, July 18, 63, sent to Benton Bk's Ms, July 19, 63. No evidence of disabilitys (sic) & no further information in said records.
The records of this office furnish no evidence of alleged disability. Regl. Hospl records not on file. (Signed) M Barber, Assistant Adjutant General, By (???)


AFFIDAVIT FOR NEIGHBORS' AND GENERAL PURPOSE
STATE OF Illinois COUNTY OF Coles
In the matter of Pention (sic) for Nancy P. Nicholson widow of Joseph B. Nicholson Co E 5 Illinois Cav (??)
On this 13 day of July A. D. 1885 personally appeared before me a Justice of the Peace in and for the aforesaid county, duly authorized to administer oaths John Morrison aged 46 years, a resident of Coles County Ill well known to me
(This next is handwritten and transcribed as is.) I was well acquainted with Joseph B. Nicholson before the war lived about 80 rods from him I know he was a sound healthy man he did not have fistula or piles or any trouble with his head the way I know this I was intimate with him and worked with him at farm labor, after he came from the war in 1865 we lived on the same farms we did before the war at about 80 rods apart. When he came home from the war he was suffering with a trouble of the head could not stand any heat on account of this trouble. He was allso troubled with fistula very bad I went for Dr. Freeman to get his fistula cut open. I seen the doctor perform the operation. I am satisfied this souldier contracted theas diseas in the late war. He was able to do about half farm labor when he came from the war and went gradually down till he died I was with him on an average - as much as once aweek from the time he came home from the war till his deth. He was a man of good habits.
My Post Office address is Campbell Coles County Illinois .
(Signed) John Morrison


GENERAL AFFIDAVIT (Undated.)
State of Illinois -- County of Coles
In the matter of Nancy P. Nicholson widow of Joseph B Nicholson late Sergeant in Co. "E" 5th Regt Ills Cav vols
(This next is handwritten and transcribed as is.) Personally came before me, a Justice of the Peace in and for aforesaid County and State, John W. Allison, aged 45 years and citizen of the Town of Arcola, County of Douglas, State of Illinois, well known to me
I hereby certify that I was personaly acquainted with Joseph B. Nicholson a Sargent in Co E 5th Ills Cav vols in the war of 1861 - After his discharge and return home in the fall of sixty five up to the fall of sixty seven worked with him at farm work often when he was suffering from effect of sunstroke when in the army also was troubled with fistula at times he was not able to work, often stoping and bathing to get relief which was only temporary. I certify that I have no interest in this claim. (Signed) John W. Allison


Drop Report - Pensioner - NANCY P. NICHOLSON, LERNA, ILL.
Mar 21 1928 The name of the above-described pensioner who was last paid at the rate of $30 per month to Mar 4 1928 has this day been dropped from the roll because of death, March 5, 1928. (Signed) O. J. Randall, Chief, Finance Division

From the Pension Record of Capt. James A. Balch
contributed by Source #54



Handwritten
AFFIDAVIT

State of Illinois - Coles County
On this fourth day of May A.D. 1868 personally appeared before me H. Clay Worth - am clerk of the circuit court within and for the county and state aforesaid James A. Balch aged thirty four years a resident of Coles County in the State of Illinois who being duly sworn according to law declares that he is the identical James A. Balch who enlisted in the service of the United States at Mattoon Coles County Illinois on the 25 day of September 1861 as a private in Company "E" commanded by George McConkey in the fifth Regiment of Illinois Cavalry in the war of 1861 and was honorably discharged on the 12 day of June 1863 that he was mustered into the service service (sic) of the United States as Captain of Company "I" of the aforesaid regiment on said 12 day of June 1863 in said war and was honorably discharged on the 7 day of March 1865 that while in the service as Captain aforesaid and in the line of his duty he caught a violent cold near Woodville in Mississippi in the Month of November A.D. 1864 did duty only a few days between that and the 1 day of January 1865 on account of said cold after the latter date he was not able to do duty any more till he was mustered out of service as aforesaid that the fold settled on his lungs and has taken the form of consumption that he has resided in Coles County Illinois ever since he was mustered out as aforesaid that he never recovered his health since, although during part of the summer of 1865 he did some work as a farmer. That the reason he never applied for a pension at an earlier day was that he had been a stout rugged man before he went into the service and all the time hoped to recover his health (Signed) James A. Balch

Handwritten
AFFIDAVIT, undated.

State of Illinois - Coles County
I Geo Halbrooks of lawful age being duly sworn according to law on oath depose and say that I have been acquainted Capt. James A. Balch for fifteen years past and up to the time of his entry into the U. S. Service. I had been his family physician and was well acquainted with his physical condition up to that time and know him to have been an unusually sound and hearty man when he went into the U. S. Service.
During the time of his said service he was at home on sick furlough and called upon me and consulted me professionally in regard to his condition and I recollect (sic) that he was in feeble health at that time. Disease I believe was of a pulmonic nature. And further that from that time to the present he has been sick continually and that I have no interest in his claim for Pension. (Signed) George Halbrooks, M. D.

AFFIDAVIT
State of Illinois - Coles County
On this seventh day of June 1869 personally appeared before me Patience A. Balch who, being first duly sworn according to law, deposes and says that she is aged thirty-five years, that she resides in the County of Coles State of Illinois and that she is the widow of James A. Balch who was Capt. of Company "I" of the 5th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, Cavalry in the civil war of 1861-3, for suppression of the Rebellion against the United States Government, and that she has not in any way been engaged in, or aided or abetted said rebellion. That she is not now in receipt of a Pension under any act of Congress, and that she makes this declaration for the purpose of being inscribed on the Army Pension List, by reason of the service and death of her said husband, under the provisions of the Act of Congress entitled "An Act to Grant Pensions," and requests to be placed on the Roll of the Centralia Ill Agency.
That her said husband was mustered into the military service of the United States as Capt on or about the 12th day of June A.D. 1863 and that he died at Home Mattoon in the County of Coles and State of Illinois on or about the 4th day of January 1869, by reason of consumption contracted in the service and in the line of duty received while in the service of the United States, and in the line of his duty.
That she was married to the said James A. Balch on the Twelveth (sic) day of October 1857 at (blank) by Joseph Wilson a Minister of the Gospel; that her name before her said marriage was Patience A. Nicholson; and that she continued a widow from and after the death of her said husband, up to the present time
That at the time of his death, her said husband left surviving him the following named children who were then under the age of sixteen years; that the residence and date of birth of said children as follows:

Mary A. Balch Born June 7th 1861 Coles Co Ill
Sarah C Balch " October 14, 1865 " " "
Emma H Balch " July 7 1867 " " "

(Signed) Patience A Balch Declarant.

PENSIONER DROPPED
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Pensioner Patience A. Balch
Soldier James N. Balch
Service I 5 Iowa (sic) cav.
the above-described pensioner who was last paid at $20, to Oct 4 1915, has this day been dropped from the roll because of death Nov. 11 - 1915.

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