Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Civil War Pension File: Taking a step back to breathe

Since our move to the new apartment, I have been debating whether to post the next document in the pension file, or to take a step back to look at what I had. Taking a step back won out over forging ahead full steam.

In exploring Document #16, we became acquainted with Pvt. Sharper Williams through his testimony regarding his Sgt., Isaac Carter, in February 1865. His affidavit was sworn on June 3, 1890. A closer look at this comrade at arms revealed the following:

Civil War Service Records
Sharp[er] Williams, born in Bertie County, NC, enlisted in New Berne, NC at the age of forty years for a period of one year. He was a black farmer, five foot four inches tall on the day of his enlistment, February 17, 1865.

He was Mustered-In at Morehead City, NC on April 30, 1865. He was assigned to Company G, 14th Regiment USCT Heavy Artillery, and was due $100.00 pay.
He was present March & April 1865. First installment of bounty due: $33.33.
Present May & June 1865.
Present July & August 1865.
Present September & October 1865.
Mustered-Out December 11, 1865. Last paid June 30, 1865. Last settled: never. Drawn since: $109.11.
Due U.S. for arms, equipments, &c.:$6.00.
Bounty Paid: $33.33. Due: $33.33.

The Declaration of Recruit shows that he was sworn in at Plymouth, NC. and the recruiting agent was J.P. French.

The Volunteer Enlistment document shows actual recruitment took place in the State of Maine, Searsmont, Waldo County.

Freedman's Bank Records, 1865-1871
No. 4087, RECORD for Sharper J. Williams
Date, June 2nd 1874
Where born, Bertie County, NC
Where brought up, Bertie County, NC
Residence, Lanes Branch Newberne
Age, 54         Complexion, Dark
Occupation, Farming
Wife, Gatsey
Father, dead
Mother,   "  [dead]
Brothers and Sisters, Don't know.
Signature: Sharper J. Williams

No. 4094, RECORD for Gatsey Williams
Date, June 5th 1874
Where born, Wayne Co., NC
Where brought up,  "      "  [Wayne Co., NC]
Age, 40 odd         Complexion, Black
Husband, Sharper J. Williams
REMARKS: Should she die with money in the Bank it is to go to Gatsey Cole, Katie Cole. Gatsey is her mother and they both live at Goldsboro.
Signature, Gatsey  X  Williams

Courtesy: FindAGrave,
Added by, Phil Weller,
11 July 2011
Death and Interment Records
Name: Sharper Williams
Pvt. Co. G, 14th Reg't USCT Heavy Artillery
Death Date: 6 Jan 1891
Cemetery Ledger: New Bern National Cemetery
Burial Place: New Bern, North Carolina
Plot: 18
Grave No.: 3280

Civil War Pension Index, 1861-1934
Name of Soldier: Williams, Sharper
Name of Dependent: Widow: Williams, Gatsey
Service: G 14 USC H A
Date of Filing: 1891 Jan 24
Widow: Application No. 496956
Certificate No.: 308751
State from which filed: N.C.

Pvt. Williams had sworn his testimony on behalf of his 
Sgt. Isaac Carter on 3 June 1890. 

Who would have known that only 
7 months and 21 days later 
he would take his last breath. 

And, who would have known that only 18 days from his death, 
his widow would apply for a Civil War Widow's Pension.