Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Civil War Conjugal Visit?

Nashville National Cemetery, 12/2006
Well, that's not what the telegram actually says, of course.  But that seems to be what happened.

In researching a Union soldier from Kentucky, I found his compiled service record on (now  One of the items in his folder was a telegram from his wife, dated June 19, 1863, that said, "Please grant me pass to Nashville to visit my husband ... on important business."  There is no approval for the visit or note that it occurred in his service records online.  I reviewed his service folder when I was at the National Archives on my recent trip, and I did not find anything of the sort there either.

I also had requested the pension file for his widow.  I had found her in 1870 with three young children, apparently still a widow after her husband's death in 1864.  I thought she probably had received a pension benefit or she would have remarried.  In the pension file she stated (multiple times, on multiple forms; gotta love the government) that she had had two children, both of whom were minors, from her marriage to the soldier.  The birthdate of the younger child, her son, was consistently given as May 5, 1864.  That is coincidentally not much more than nine months after that telegraph.

I know there are many, many Record Groups relating to the Civil War.  I don't know if any of them might help me determine whether the request in the telegram was granted and find out if the woman was able to visit her husband, say around August of 1863.  But it should certainly be interesting to try to find out.  And now I'm wondering who are the parents of the third child in the household in 1870, who is several years younger than the boy ....

Sadly, the soldier died of smallpox on March 3, 1864.  He never got to see his son.  He is buried in Nashville National Cemetery.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments on this blog will be previewed by the author to prevent spammers and unkind visitors to the site. The blog is open to everyone, particularly those interested in family history and genealogy.