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.

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