Monday, April 25, 2011

Civil War Ancestors - Enoch Reuben Adamson

Although most of my Civil War ancestors were in the 5th generation, one of my great grandfathers was a combatant.  Enoch Reuben Adamson was born Feb 1840 in Indiana - he was, of course, a Union soldier.  His service record at the Nation Archives reveals that he enlisted 19 April 1861 at Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana, for three months.  The Union planned on a short war.  He was mustered in as a private in Company F of the 6th Regiment, Indiana Infanty - the company later became Company D.   He was mustered out at the end of the three months.  Enoch re-enlisted in Company G of the 57th Regiment and was mustered in on 2 Aug 1861, for three years.  He enlisted this time as a 1st Sergeant and attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant by the time of his resignation.

After the war, 18 Oct 1868, Enoch married Mary Elizabeth "Molly" Harmon.  They married in Holt County, Missouri, where her family had moved, but they had possibly known each other back in Indiana.

The pension file for Enoch and then for his widow Mary was quite a treasure when I discovered it.  The Adamsons are the family of my birth father that I never knew and the work I have done on the family has been without family stories or traditions.  Enoch and Mary moved quite a bit and I doubt that I would ever have been able to trace them had not the file detailed every move as Enoch applied to have his pension transferred.  I don't know that I would have found their marriage record, as Enoch's family was living in Iowa at the time he married Mary.  The pension file even contained a list of all their children with birth dates.

From the pension file, I found out that he was sometimes absent from his unt, serving back home as a recruiting officer.  Enoch resigned his commission and from the service on 22 Nov 1864.  A surgeon's certificate stated he was afflicted with chronic rheumatism causing enlargement of the right knee, disabling him for duties required of an officer.  A dispostion in the file by Hosea Tillson, surgeon for the 57th, said that Lt. Adamson's first attack of rheumatism was in 1863, while camped near Mufreesboro or on the the move from there to Chattanooga.  He frequently prescribed for him and excused him from duty until the time of his resignation.  The Assistant Surgeon of the 57th, also testified to treating him and stated the rheumatism was caused by exposure to severe weather conditions during Adamson's service.

Depositions document the residences of Enoch.  Nathan H. Beals of Bremer County, Iowa stated in February of 1883 that he had known Adamson since 1856 back in Howard County, Indiana.  In 1861, Beals had moved to Iowa and Enoch's family moved there in 1863, living near Shell Rock.  After the war, Enoch had joined his family in Iowa.  Beals knew that Enoch moved to Kansas about the first of the year in 1872.  He also knew that Adamson had never had rheumastism before the war, but had been incapacitated about half the time he lived in Iowa.

James H. Rodman and Thomas W. Walker, of Moline, Kansas, had known Adamson well since early 1872.  Rodman had known him when they both lived in Indiana.  In 1880, Adamson and his family went back from Kansas to Kokomo, Indiana, for a visit, but afterward settled in Pierce City, Missouri.  The years they knew him in Kansas he had suffered with rheumatism of his right leg - the knee and leg would swell until he was unable to perform manual labor.  

J. W. Tate of Pierce City, Missouri, had known Enoch R. Adamson since Mar of 1881, when he had first come to Pierce City to live.  Adamson had always suffered with rheumatism of his right knee and leg.

In 1898, Enoch was asked to complete a form detailing his wife's full name and maiden name, the date of their marriage and by whom married and where the marriage was recorded, and the names and dates of birth of all his children.  The form was fully completed and signed by Enoch R. Adamson.

In 1908, Enoch asked for an increase in his pension based on the fact that he was now totally disabled in his right hip and leg.  His pension was increased to $17 [the original amount awarded was never found in the file].

Enoch died 7 Jan 1910.  Mary wasted no time in making her widow's application, which was done on 19 Feb 1910.  The family was living in Rogers, Benton County, Arkansas.  Unexplainably, Enoch had died in McAlester, Oklahoma - he is possibly buried in Rogers near a daughter who had died in 1905.  Mary's brother, James N. Harmon, still living in Boone County, Indiana, and the postmaster of Zionsville, stated he was present when Mary married Enoch.  Solomon Foster testified he had known Mary since she was 16 - before she married - in Oregon, Holt County, Missouri, and had been there when she married Enoch Adamson.  Foster had moved to Benton County in 1892 and found the Adamsons already living there.

In the 1910 census taken on April 25th, Mary and her two youngest sons were living with the family of Elisha Harrison in Chester,Crawford County, Arkansas, about fifty miles away from Rogers.  The Harrisons apparently had a quite large house as they had five children still at home and there was a third family counted at the dwelling.  I have no idea how she came to be acquainted with the Harrisons in this neighboring county, perhaps she was simply renting from them.  Chester was a much smaller place than Rogers and I'm not at all sure why a widow and two boys would move there.  On 27 July 1912 her son Ray Adamson marrried Elisha's daughter, Mary May Harrison.  The Harrisons had been living in Crawford County since 1888 having moved there from Illinois - the families had not previously crossed paths.

Mary Adamson was dropped from the pension rolls on 4 Nov 1915, having been paid last on 4 Aug 1912.  Surely she had died and perhaps is buried in the cemetery in Rogers near her daughter and husband.  If Enoch and Mary are there, the graves are unmarked.

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