Alexander Roberts, Civil War Veteran
My 2nd great grandfather, Alexander Roberts was born 191 years ago today on 16 January 1825. My greatest source of information about Alexander is the record of his efforts to receive a pension for his service in the Civil War from 12 July 1864 until 2 April 1866. According to the record, Alexander had suffered permanent disability as a result of illness suffered during his military service.
Alexander’s request for a pension was not quickly nor easily granted. The earliest papers relating to the pension are dated October, 1882, and the pension was not granted until 28 May 1912. He was required to prove that he was in good health prior to being drafted and that his health had suffered since his discharge, causing him to be unable to work about half of the time. He had to provide signed affidavits from neighbors, fellow soldiers and others who had known him, both before and after the war. Unfortunately, the doctors who had treated him during the war and following his discharge had died or moved away and so were unable to provide evidence in this case.
Alexander himself provided the following summary of his war experience as recorded in a General Affidavit dated 13 September 1884:
“My residence since my discharge has been Tuscola County in the Township of Kingston and Koylton my Post office has been the sam all the time namely Kingston. My occupation has ben Farmer from discharge to the present time. That I was first taken sick at Chatinuga before I had reached my regiment by contracting a severe cold from which I had a rum of Typhoid pneumonia from which resulted my lung disease and general disability. I was sent to field hospital Chatinuga in the month of October 1864. I remained there about 8 days. I then went to Nashville I think to the 2nd division hospital. From there I went to Jeffersonville, Ind. Where I remained about 3 weeks after which I found my regiment in about 8 days I was engaged with my regiment in the battle of Nashville, Tenn. After said battle our regiment was ordered to Washington from there the Regiment was sent to North Carolina. I was taken sick and sent ashore at Smithville on Cape Fear River where I remained for two or three weeks and was then sent to Wilmington, NC. When I was sent to hospital I think this was also called 2nd division hospital. I think I remained there about two months. I again joined my regiment at Goldsborough, NC and after a time was taken sick and treated by a surgeon of the 28th Mich. Vols, from there I was sent home on sick furlough. Dr. Wm Johnson (deceased) of Vassar, Mich. first treated me after my return on furlough.”
He continued his application for a pension on a form stamped PENSION OFFICE, 14 November 1885:
“Dr. Pepron of Newburg Mich. treated me for about fourteen years (lately moved to Kansas.)
“For the first year after my return in 1865 I was unable to perform any manual labor except once in a while a light chore for the following 5 or 6 years. I was able to do about 1/3 of a days work and for the last 12 years I have been prevented 1/2 my time from following my usual occupation by reason of my disability.”
It appears that Alexander received $27.00 each month until he died on 17 October 1916.