Sunday, February 22, 2009

Captain McLaughlin's Affidavit

The following is an affidavit by Captain Nelson McLaughlin attesting to the service and death of my great-great grandfather John Tipton (1828-Nov 18, 1863) during the Civil War. His widow (and my great-great grandmother, Martha Bailey Tipton 22 Sep 1830 – 22 Dec 1915) applied for Civil War Widow’s pension benefits.

The affidavit was written in longhand for Mrs. Tipton. She could not write (her “mark” X appears at the end of her application.) I have tried to transcribe the longhand as best as I could however, there are some areas I was unable to decipher. However, upon reading the whole document the reader will understand the circumstances of my ancestor’s untimely death in the cause of keeping the Union together in this country.

State of Tennessee, Unicoi County….This day personally appeared before the undersigned authority within and for Said County and State Capt. Nelson McLaughlin, late Capt. Of Company M. of the 8th Regt. of Tennessee Cav. Vols. In the War of the Rebellion who, after being duly sworn according to law, States that in the month of September 1863 he was authorized and empowered by Anderson Johnson Military Governor of the State of Tennessee to enlist a Company of Vols., for the Volunteer Service in the U.S. Army and that on or about the 15th day of September 1863 he enrolled John Tipton in Washington County, Tennessee. That Said Tipton was regularly enlisted by affidavit and was sworn into the Service of the United States at Greenville Tennessee by Lieut. Col…..Caps on or about the 5th day of October 1863 and under arms and was in line of duty until he was Furloughed at Mosey Creek Transfer on or about the 23rd of October 1863 he was not mentioned in the Service for the reason there was no mustering officer was with out Command and none had been sent to muster us in until after the Said John Tipton was Furloughed as aforesaid. Affidavit further states that he was within the Rebel lines with his Company and had no regular Enlisting Rolls or blanks with him at the time. Affidavit further states that he is not interested in the (can’t read the next word) or result of the claim of Martha Tipton for widows pension.

Nelson McLaughlin Sworn to subscribed before me this 1st day of April 1878 and I certify that I am personally acquainted with the affiant and (can’t read the next three words) that the name of John Tipton does not appear on the (can’t read the next words) that the name of John Tipton does not appear on the (can’t read the next two words) of M 8th Tenn. Cav. Or records (can’t read the next word) of the (can’t read the next word) on file (can’t read the next two words) reports no records 8th Tenn. Cav on file.

Nelson McLaughlin Capt of G.M. testifies that the enlisted Tipton ser. Over. That he was not mustered, that they were (can’t read the next word) Tenn. That said Tipton, with other recruits were furloughed to go into the Mountains and recruit men for the Union Army. That said Tipton was killed while on his way to join his command at Jonesboro, Tenn. John Miller testifies that he was a member of (can’t read next word) Tenn. Cav. Was with said Tipton on the 18th of November 1865 (note: should be 1863 but appears in affidavit as 1865.) That said Tipton was preparing rations preparatory to joining the regiment. That said Tipton was attacked by the Rebel Cavalry and killed. That affiant heard the shooting and went to the place of attack and found him dead, having been shot by the Rebels. That there were others shot at the same time or engagement at or near Rock Creek, Greacy Cove, Tenn.

Claimant testifies that, on the morning of Nov. 18, 1863 her husband went to gather up his men to join the Army. That she did not see him again until the next day when she heard he was killed, and with a neighbor (Mrs. Eliza Presley) went and got his body. That one Curtis Bailed (a cousin) killed at the same time of her husband, was brought to her home and buried in the same grave with him.

This is the end of the page of the original document form which I copied the above information. There are other affidavits attesting to the death of John Tipton and his widow’s right to claim for a Civil War Widow’s benefit. I will post the transcription of those documents in future postings on this blog.

Note: the photo that appears on this blog is of an actual Civil War widow (Margaret Fleming Stone) who also applied for a Civil War widow’s pension. It is not of my great-great grandmother. I only post it to give the reader a sense of the identity of an actual Civil War widow at that time of great turmoil, loss and sadness in our country. My great-great grandmother was left a widow with nine children from ages 16 to 1 year of age to care for on their farm land located on the mountain sides of western North Carolina. When she eventually received her pension (not until the 1880’s), it was for the grand total of $8.00 a month. Apparently $8.00 a month went a lot further in those days than it does these days.

Friday, February 6, 2009

John Tipton, Union Soldier

John Tipton was my great great grandfather. He was born about 1828 in Buncombe County, North Carolina. He died November 18, 1863 near Rock Creek, Tennessee. He was ambushed and killed by a Confederate Calvary while he was recruiting volunteers for the Union soldiers during the Civil War.

He left behind a 33 year old widow and ten children, all under 16 years of age. He was a farmer and thus the sole sustenance of his family which resided in the hills of western North Carolina, near the Tennessee border.

Below is a transcript of his Widow’s Claim for increases in benefits as a Civil War widow. Martha “Patty” Bailey Tipton was born September 22, 1830 in or near the Bailey settlement in Yancey County, North Carolina and died December 22, 1915 in Swannanoa, Georgia.

Widow’s Claim for Pension

The State of Tennessee, County of Washington.

On this 31st day of July, A.D. 1865 personally appeared before one J. F. Grisham, Clerk of the County Court, a Court of Record within and for said county, Martha Tipton aged 39 years, late a resident of ………………………, in the county of Yancey, and State of North Carolina who, being first duly sworn according to law, doth, on her oath, make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the act of Congress approved July 14, 1862………………That she is the widow of John Tipton who was a Private in Company M, commanded by Captain Nelson McLaughlin, in the 8th Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry, commanded by Col. S. K. N. Patton in the war of 1861. That her said husband died at Greasy Cove, in the State of Tennessee, on the 18 day of November A.D. 1863 of wounds received on his return to his regiment from home on furlough in an attack upon him by Rebel Cavalry while in the service of the United States.

She further declares that she was married to the said John Tipton in Yancey County, on the 19th of October A.D. 1848 by one Dobson Deaton, Justice of the Peace, that her name before her marriage was Martha Bailey, and that ever since the death of her said husband, she has remained a widow: as will more fully appear by reference to the proof annexed. (5) She cannot present the public record, was private record, but an affidavit of the magistrate that married her as the last proof and affidavit of two subscribing witnesses as to her widowhood, That during the existence of the aforesaid marriage there were born to her and her said husband the following named children who are now under the age of sixteen years, viz:

Sarah A. Tipton, born the 5th day of November 1851
Hiram Tipton, born the 5th day of March 1853
Lucinda Tipton, born the 24th day of March 1854
Elizabeth Tipton, born the 16th day of November, 1855
Tempe A. Tipton, born the 25th day of December, 1856
William N. Tipton, born the 29th day of July, 1858
Martha Tipton, born the 26th day of May 1860
Curtis Tipton, born the 28th day of July 1862
Trisca E. Tipton, born the 6th day of May 1863

All of whom are still living, and reside in Jonesboro, Washington County, Tennessee.

She also declares that she has in no manner been engaged in, or aided or abetted, the Rebellion in the United States.

She further says that her Post office address is Jonesboro, Washington County, Tennsessee.

Martha Tipton
(her mark) X

Martha also had an older son isn’t listed on her application for Widow’s Claim for Pension. His name was Baxter S. Tipton and he was born July 26 1849 and thus 16 years old at the time of her application and not eligible as a dependent.

The Hiram Tipton listed above is my great grandfather. He was the father of my grandfather, Fieldon Jacob Tipton, Sr. (born June 4, 1884 in Relief, North Carolina and died May 8, 1939 in West Chester, Pennsylvania.)

Fieldon Jacob Tipton was the father of my father Isaac Walter Tipton, Sr. (born April 18, 1920 in Pigeon Roost, North Carolina and died August 22, 2000 in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.) My name is Ronald Walter Tipton and I was born November 9, 1941 in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Of interest, Mrs. Tipton indicates the birth of the children listed on her pension claim one year later than other records indicate, including the headstone of Hiram Tipton’s grave and census records of that time. Perhaps this was an innocent error of a bereaved widow facing life with ten children to support on a farm without a husband. Or, perhaps she wanted to extend a year her widow’s pension benefits.

Mrs. Tipton was granted a monthly pension benefit of $8.00 a month.

In future blogs I will post Mrs. Tipton’s claim for an increase in pension benefits as well as testimonies of various witnesses that her deceased husband was in service for the Union forces during the Civil War. Although North Carolina (where John and Martha Tipton lived with their family on their hillside mountain farm), the area and nearby Tennessee was a hotbed of Union activity.

My great great grandfather John Tipton was killed returning home from furlough back to his headquarters just over the state line in Tennessee. John Tipton was not in uniform and thus a question was raised was he really in the Union Army. John Tipton’s job for the Union Army was to recruit additional mountain men (his relatives and neighbors) to volunteer for the Union Army to fight the Rebel soldiers. John Tipton and his Bailey cousins were ambushed and killed by a Rebel Calvary headed by a Colonel Wichter. He was only 35 years old.

Note: The source of Martha Tipton's application for Widow's Claim for Pension (as a Civil War widow) was taken from copies of the original application provided by Burkett Bailey of Powell Tennessee, a descendant of Martha Bailey Tipton's brother. My thanks for Burkett Bailey and his cousin Dr. Lloyd Bailey of Durham, North Carolina for their invaluable help in sourcing these references for my family history.