Monday, February 3, 2014

Amanuensis Monday: Confederate Pension Application for Thomas Nelson

Pension affidavit, page 1 of 2, Thomas Nelson
source: Georgia's Virtual Vault

When Thomas Nelson first applied for an indigent veterans' pension, his request was denied.  About a year later, he reapplied, making the following sworn statement.  This 2-page document is part of the Confederate Pension Files, State of Georgia, accessed online through Georgia's Virtual Vault.(1)

Georgia, Bartow County
In person appeared before me, Thomas Nelson and for amendment to his former application, on oath says that he was left in charge of Pinkney Hasty and Billie Murphy, two comrades who were wounded in The Battle of Jonesboro GA fought Aug 31st 1864; that Major Jackson ordered him to take charge of said comrades and care for them until they got well or died.  In a few minutes afterward Major Jackson was killed; that he took charge of the wound men, carried them to a private house in the country; staid (sic) with them and waited on them about one month when they got so they could ride on the train and he sent them to the hospital in Augusta that by this time or rather before this time Gen. Hood was on his march back to Nashville; that he started on his way following Hood’s Army with the intention of rejoining his company; that when he reached Atlanta Major Proctor advised him to fall in with his command, as it would be imposs’le to reach his (Nelsons) command; that he told Major Proctor that if it was all right he would do so, and he then was put in charge of a commissary in Atlanta by Major Proctor.  This was as he now remember in October 1864.  In the meantime Gen W T Wofford came to Atlanta with his command and took charge of all the command that was stationed in Atlanta; that he remained in this command under Gen W T Wofford till the close of the war.  That he surrendered at Kingston, GA May 12th 1865.  Applicant states that all those who knew him who could testify to the foregoing facts are dead so far as he can learn.  Both of the wounded comrades with whom he was left have long since died; that applicant served faithfully in the army for three years with the exception of a furlow of eight days; that he is now old, poor, weak – no means of support – all gone but his old woman.  Has to live hard with no comforts but the presence of his old woman who is old and feeble but who shares his poverty and want.
Sworn to and subscribed before me. Sep 4th 1907
G W Hendricks Ordinary
Bartow County Ga
[signature] Thomas Nelson

This affidavit contained some interesting information
  • Although he had signed an oath in 1863  to no longer take up arms for the Confederate cause, Thomas indicated he was part of Company B, 34th Georgia Infantry for at least another year and did not surrender until 12 May 1865.
  • Pinkney Hasty and Billie Murphy, the soldiers he stated he cared for, were also members of Company B, 34th Georgia Infantry.(2)
  • Gen W T Wofford was William Tatum Wofford of the Georgia 18th.  "Wofford's Confederate soldiers were the last significant troops east of the Mississippi River to surrender to the union." Their surrender took place 12 May 1865 at Kingston, GA.(3)
Thomas' statement was apparently enough to secure his Confederate Pension and the subsequent Confederate Widow's Pension received for a number of years by Hannah Hillhouse Nelson.  

My favorite part, though, is Thomas' references to Hannah.  Thomas stated that he had "no means of support – all gone but his old woman (Hannah).  Has to live hard with no comforts but the presence of his old woman who is old and feeble but who shares his poverty and want."  Hard not to smile at these words.

(1)  "Confederate Pension Applications." Database and images.  Georgia's Virtual Vault.  Georgia Archives.
(2) Henderson, Lillian.  Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Georgia , vol. 3.
(3) "W. T. Wofford", New Georgia Encyclopedia,

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post, Mary. Enjoyed so much your analysis, too!