Friday, July 19, 2013

You never know what you'll find

I've just returned from a marathon of (digitally) copying National Archives (NARA) records in downtown D.C. For once I had time to pull a few records for myself and wanted to share an unusual  (I found it amusing) inclusion in an Indian Wars pension.

(click to enlarge)
To save space I've only shown the statement of Lemuel Tankersly accusing Thomas Highins of killing his dog.1 Below the statement is a warrant for Thomas's arrest. What does this have to do with Jacob's service? Nothing. Here's what happened.
Jacob Deal served with my ancestor in Price's Co., Georgia Volunteers in 1838 during the Cherokee Removal. You may be more familiar with this event as the Trail of Tears. Jacob (and his fellow soldiers) became eligible for bounty land in the 1850s but weren't eligible for pensions until the 1890s. Jacob applied for both but that apparently caused a problem. (FYI, getting the bounty land warrant application is a project for another day, today only yielded the pension.)
In his pension file, Jacob has to address the issue of "Jacob Dale" receiving bounty land for the service in Price's Company. The bounty land warrant application will hopefully reveal more but Jacob was a Justice of the Peace so he submitted the above document as proof of his signature (visible in the image above but also following the warrant). The warrant was accompanied by the following affidavit.
If this image is too small to read on your monitor, Jacob claims he was a "bad scribe" often having others sign for him. This is his explanation for the name discrepancy. He starts with a statement I wish I had for my ancestors, though, "I with Father [sic] came to Habersham county Georgia when about 15 years old..."2
You never know what you'll find in pension files.

1 Warrant on Thomas Highins, Gilmer County, Georgia, issued by Jacob Deal, 2 April 1848, in Sarah Deal widow's pension application no. WA 7095, rejected, service of Jacob Deal (Price's Co. Georgia Vols., Cherokee War), survivor's application no. SO 2058, certificate no. SC 2797, Indian Wars Pension Files; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
2 General Affidavit by Jacob Deal explaining 1848 Gilmer County warrant's inclusion, 12 January 1893, in ibid.