Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial to a Veteran

  My husband and I both had several uncles that served in World War II.  His Uncle John Haden was a true hero and fought in two wars.  He was a recipient of the Distinquished Flying Cross.  I have seen his medal and his citation, but, alas, that was before the days of digital cameras and I have no photos.  I would like to remember John on this Memorial Day, 2011.

John Haden was born 7 Feb 1921 in Ladonia, Fannin County, Texas - the youngest of three brothers.  His oldest brother William, born 7 Apr 1910, was my father-in-law.  I have articles from The Ladonia News - John graduated from Ladonia High School in the Class of 1938.  The "socials" column notes that he was studying at the University of Texas in Austin in 1929 and 1940.

John married as Lt. John Haden of the Marine Air Corps in December of 1942, in Houston, Texas, and it was noted in the local newspaper that the couple would be living in Corpus Christi, where the groom received his commission and was stationed temporarily. 

On the same day of his wedding announcement there was a second article in The Ladonia News:
Friday Dec 11, 1942.
John Haden Wins Coveted Medal
John Haden, son of Mr. & Mrs. R. C. Haden, Ladonia, recently was awarded the coveted "Navy Wings of Gold" and commissioned 2nd Lieut. in the U.S. Marine Corps at the Naval Air Training Center, Corpus Christi.
Lieut. Haden received his wings with the designation of a Naval Aviator from Rear Admiral E. A. Montgomery, USN, Commandant of the training center, at an impressive class graduation ceremony.
Haden volunteered for flight training in March, 1942, and received preliminary instructions at the US Naval Aviation Base, Dallas. Upon successful completion of this training he was transferred to Corpus Christi for intermediate and advanced training at the "University of the Air" the world's largest naval aviation training center.
In addition to flight instruction, Haden completed a thorough ground school course, including navigation, radio code, gunnery, and bombing theory, communications, and other aeronautical subjects. He is a former student of the University of Texas.

During World War II, the Marines were part of the Navy.  John flew the bent wing F4U Corsair.  On 1 Jun 1945, he was shot down in the Pacific and flown to a hospital in Guam with a badly broken foot.   Family letters related that he was sent on to a hospital in Honolula and then eventually home.  He remained in the reserves and was called back into service during the Korean War.

He received the Distinquished Flying Cross: 
"For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight as Pilot of a Plane in Marine Fighter Squadron 214 during operations against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 6 October 1951. Responding to an urgent call for close air support when friendly ground forces were subjected to concentrated fire from a hostile battalion command post and four heavily defended artillery emplacements, Captain Haden skillfully led his flight over hazardous terrain to the target area in reduced visibility and initiated a series of daring attacks against the enemy. Despite intense hostile automatic-weapons fire, he continued to press determined bombing, napalm and strafing assaults, inflicting many casualties on the enemy and destroying the command post together with the artillery pieces. By his courage, skilled airmanship and devotion to duty, Captain Haden struck a damaging blow to the enemy and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
For the President, C. S. Thomas, Sect of the Navy.

John was the humblest of heros.  I was part of the family for years before I even knew he had served in two wars.  He was a delightful and gracious gentleman - it was my good fortune to have known him.  John Haden passed away on 12 October 2010; he had lived with his beloved wife Merle in Bedford for many years.  John and Merle had celebrated 68 years of marriage.   As of the posting of the Blog, his wonderful obituary is still available online and has a small picture of John in his uniform.  I have seen the picture at his home, but have no copy.  You can see it here

Except for some small family pictures made when John was just a boy in the 1930's, I have only a single photo.  This one was made in Dallas on the occasion of my second son's wedding, March of 1990.  The man on the left is William Haden, my father-in-law who died two years after the picture was taken ...the man on the right is Uncle John with a twinkle in his eye.  To me, this picture is a true portrait of a great man with a great sense of humor.  Our true American heros live among us as ordinary men, although they are anything but ordinary.

Clip Art

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Civil War Ancestors - Andrew Pippin

One should never say never...  I thought I had told the last of the Civil War ancestor stories, but that was not quite so. 

Another of my husband's great, grand grandfathers was Andrew Pippin, born 1 Mar 1825 in Jackson County, Tennessee, and lived there all his life.  Andrew married Mary "Mollie" Goolsby about 1845 and they had seven children born before the War, a daughter born during the War, and one more son in 1866.  Mollie died before 1870, and Andrew married again in 1871 to Lucinda Hutcheson by whom he had at least ten more children for a total of nineteen, eighteen of whom reached adulthood.

Andrew's Civil War story is told through his pension application.

Andy enlisted in Co. B, 28th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry at Murfreesboro, on 23 Dec 1862 [Stated 1862 in his pension application but the enlistment must have been in 1861 based on other events.] and served as a private. His Regt was merged with the 84th TN on Mar 8 1863 and designated as the 28th Consolidated; he was in Company K. His commanding officers were his his first cousin Capt. Alfred C. Pippin and Col. P. D. Cunningham. [Cunningham was killed 2 Jan 1862 at the Battle of Murfreesboro and Alfred Pippin died in a skirmish 13 Jan 1864.]

Andrew stated he was in the Battle at Murfreesboro, Missionary Ridge and Chickamauga where he received a gunshot wound in the upper right arm and was taken to the hospital.   [This may be an error as the Missionary Ridge battle occured a couple of days following Chickamauga; his unit was certainly there at the Ridge, but I believe Andrew was already in the hospital.]  He was released from the hospital as "unable for military service" by a nurse.   He was captured by the Yankees on the way home and imprisoned at Nashville and held there for about two months, very ill and growing worse.

Andrew received no medical aid and was advised he would die if he remained in prison. He was offered transportation home on Jan 3 1864, provided he sign the oath of allegiance to the United States.  He signed the oath, so he could go home.  After arriving home he was bedfast and helpless for sometime.  It was more than a year before he gained much use of his arm.  His brother Simeon "Sim" testified that he was with Andrew in the Battle of Chickamauga, and with him when he was released from the hospital, very ill with his wound.  He was with Andrew when he was captured and was carried with him to prison in Nashville and knew that Andrew grew worse while there.

Just as an aside:  Regimental history reveals that at Chickamauga, Pippin's unit sustained 34% casualties. Very few men remained to surrender by 1865.

Andrew was denied his Confederate pension for signing the oath.  A document dated, 7 Aug 1908 "War Records Report" says: Took the oath at Nashville, Jan 4 '64. The board hold a soldier had no right to take the oath, but must go to prison. Independent of this, he was on his way home when captured."

Examination of the file sent from the Tennessee Archives included a letter from Mr. T. C. Fuqua, dated 17 Dec 1914, stating that Mr. Pippin is dead [the cemetery record states that Andrew died 17 Dec 1913] and his widdow is "just to mercies of charity" He states further that Pippin was evidently entitled to a pension but lacked some in proving his claim and all correspondence has been lost; please send proper papers for re-application & instructions for doing so.

Application was first made 1 Jul 1908 and the letter from Mr. Fuqua about his death is the last dated document found in the file. Strangely the outside of the pension jacket is stamped "Accepted" - I believe Andrew was accepted as a pensioner but the notice arrived after his death.

Lucinda applied for her Widow's Indigent Pension on 8 Sep 1926. She was living with her son-in-law S. R. [Silas Redmon] Jackson and had no property of any kind; she was totally blind. She named all the children and gave their ages. She did not remember the company & regiment Andrew served in. John Tucker was named as a friend who would be willing to furnish more information.

D. B. Flatt and Willis Meadors were her witnesses. Flatt said he'd known her for 40 years and known her husband since he was a child. They did not know anything about his military service except what they'd been told. They knew he had been born in Tennessee and that they had cohabitted together and recognized as husband and wife. She had no property nor had conveyed any in the past two years as she had none to convey and she was blind.

Algood Moore, Clerk of the Putnam County Court, certified that the court house was destroyed by fire in 1898 and if the record of the marriage of Andrew Pippin and Lucinda V. Hutchison ever existed, it had been destoyed by said fire.

An inquiry was sent to see if Andrew Pippin had served in the 8th Regisment of the TN Cavalry. The reply came back that "one Andrew Pippin, who enlisted at Murfreesboro, residence Jackson Co., served in Co. B, 28th Tenn. Inf., C.S.A. which became Co K, 18th (Consolidated) Tenn. Inf. C.S.A.

Apparently her friend, John Tucker was contacted as there's a typed letter from him. His letterhead reads: John Tucker, General Merchandise, Coffins and Caskets. Double Springs, Tenn. It's dated 2 Oct 1926, and he offers to try to find old people who can testify to the marriage of Andrew & Lucinda by their living together, but says there is no one living who was present at their marriage. He is willing to assist her anyway he can at no charge as he lost his father in the Confederate Army.

The Pension card has the following note:  No proof of marriage. No Trustees certificate. Can't file. Perhaps this was all eventually corrected as it's also stamped ACCEPTED. The Tennessee pension records do not give the amount awarded.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Civil War Ancestors - William Franklin Haden

Today's post is the last of the Civil War ancestor stories.  William Franklin Haden was my husband's great, great grandfather, born 30 Sep 1817 in either Logan or Warren County, Kentucky.  According to dates passed down in the family, he was born about seven months after his father died from being thrown off a horse.  William had one brother about two years older.  The half-orphaned boys were raised by a stepfather with the guardianship of their Haden uncles.  William's brother, John, moved from Kentucky to Mississippi and then Missouri, dying there in Jasper County in 1852.  The picture was made in 1859 - it is a daguerrotype.

William married first Mary Martha Ann Gaines in 1837 and had two daughters.  The family left Kentucky bound for Greene County, Missouri, where cousins were living, probably about 1843.  It isn't known whether Mary Martha died in Kentucky or on the journey, or soon after their arrival in Missouri.  William married again to Mary Jane Perkins, 16 Dec 1845, in Greene County - he had known her back in Kentucky, as both of their families had lived in Logan County.

By the time the Civil War started, the area of Greene County where the Hadens lived had become Christian County.  Their home was near the Wilson Creek battlefield.  William was a bit old for the service - he was about 44 when the war began.  It is doubtful that he actually served as a soldier.    But William was captured by the Yankees and put into prison in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  For some years I searched for proof that this was more than a family story.  Then I came into possession of letters written by his son Joseph Benjamin Haden, who was my husband's great grandfather, and found the following letter written in 1924 to his older brother, James or "Jimmie".

Let me explain a bit more.  Joe B. Haden spent most of his long life in Ladonia, Fannin County, Texas.  He died in 1953 at age 93.  For many years he wrote articles both for his local newspaper and the Dallas newspaper; he also kept up correspondence with many of his friends and relatives.  He had a very old typewriter which I actually saw in the house some years ago and he made carbon copies of everything he wrote - both the articles and the letters.  The letter certainly confirms the family story that William was in prison, but does not say why.  Family tradition is that he was accused of spying for the Confederacy.  At that time in place in southern Missouri, the Union forces needed little reason, so likely "spying" was as good as any.  

Unfortunately, Joe didn't tell us which of his sisters made that incredible ride.  There are three possibilities.  One of the half-sisters, Sarah Mildred, was already married, the other half-sister, Elizabeth Margaret, was in her early 20's.  Joe's oldest full sister, Marietta, would have been about age 16.  Let me describe a bit about this journey.  It is about 175 miles and over the Boston Mountains, a range of the Ozarks.  Although they might have been able to travel on some roads and trails, including the Butterfield stage route, even today this area is heavily forested and much of it quite unpopulated.  Throughout the duration of the War the whole area of southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas was the haunt of bushwhackers and guerillas - it was a war zone.  Today it would take some three and a half hours in a good vehicle to make this trip through the mountains.  Although the Pony Express could cover 100 miles a day, at normal speeds and with no fresh horses along the way, the girls likely covered about 20 miles a day, which meant they surely had to sleep along the way.  Did they camp out?  Did they beg lodging from strangers?  What courage to have made this difficult and frightening journey!

And, yes, I have the postcard:

William's daughters were not able to get him released, so they would have had to return home by the same long, dangerous route.

The story doesn't end there.  Mary Jane was left in Missouri with her step-daughters and seven children of her own, ranging from their early 20's to an infant girl.  I have no choice but to rely on the family traditions about this time period, but remember that Joe B. Haden lived to be 93 and my husband knew him.  His mother, Mary Jane, lived to be 91.  They were around to tell these stories for a very long time.  Because the guerillas took horses, wagons, anything they might be able to use, the Hadens had hidden a horse in the woods and had dismantled the wagon and buried it.  Mary Jane had pity on any of the soldiers, regardless of their uniform, and fed all who came to her door, although she may have spit in the food of the Yankee boys.  Since she had shown kindness, the Union soldiers warned her that her home was to be burned.  Mary Jane and the older children dug up the wagon, reassembled it, and left for Texas, as did so many other Missourians.  Joe remembered looking out the back of the wagon and seeing the plume of smoke that had been his home.

William was still in prison, so Mary Jane stopped at every crossroads and country store to explain which way she was going, so that William could retrace their travels and find them should he be released.  He was released at the end of the War and did find them. The family settled first in Lamar County, then moved to Fannin County, where they would remain for the next three generations.  William and Mary Jane and several of their children are buried in the Ladonia city cemetery - I have visited their graves several times, as well as the house where Mary Jane lived following William's death in 1880.  I have the copy of the deed when she gave the house to my husband's grandfather.

Mary Jane outlived William by so many years and I do not have a picture of her when she was young.  This one was made circa 1895-1900.  I have one other remembrance of Mary Jane.  On my backporch in Florida is a cast iron wash pot - large and very heavy - it traveled with Mary Jane and children in that wagon from Missouri to Texas.  I wish that pot could tell it's story!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Civil War Ancestors - Holderness Brothers

Another of my husband's great, great grandfathers was Robert Charles Holderness, born 11 Oct 1827, in Caswell County, North Carolina.  He was a physician, having attended the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Holderness, his widowed mother, and all but one of his siblings moved to Calhoun County, Arkansas, just after the 1850 Census.  Robert married Virginia Elizabeth Thomas there in Calhoun County, 2 Nov 1854, but he had known her family back in North Carolina.  In October of 1863, Robert and Virginia along with three young children and a six-week-old baby [Elizabeth "Bettie" my husband's great grandmother] left Arkansas for Hopkins County, Texas.

Dr. Holderness joined the Confederate Army in Black Jack Grove (Cumby), in Hopkins County, and was attached to Company K of the 9th Texas Cavalry (Ross Brigade). However, because of the great need for medical service, he was assigned to civilian practice at Primm Hill (another small town that would be part of Cumby) and did not see any actual military service.

From Civil War Shadows in Hopkins County, Texas, by June E. Tuck, 1993:

p.38 "The 4th of March 1864, the County exempted the following doctors from military duty: Robert Holderness of Tarrant .... The Commissioners thought they were needed at home more than the military needed them.

p.90 "On June 24, 1893, Col. Dillahuntz of Mt. Pleasant, TX, met with ex-Confederates at Black Jack Grove (Cumby) Hopkins Co, TX to organize a new chapter to be known as "Dud Jones Camp, U.C.V. Dr. R. C. Holderness [was elected] Surgeon."

However, Robert had six brothers. 

His eldest brother William Henry, had bought out the shares of his mother and siblings and remained in North Carolina.  Documents on reveal that William worked as a sub-agent for the collection of taxes for the benefit of the Confederacy and received reimbursement for office space, pens, paper, glue, and the labor of a slave. 

When Presidential Pardons [Amnesty] was offered, William Henry Holderness was quick to reply:
"Case Files of Applications from former Confederates for Presidential Pardons [Amnesty Papers] 1865-67 M1003, NARA

Caswell Co NC
June 17, 1865
Dear Sir,
I was a citizen of Caswell County NC about 45 years. I was appointed Title Agent for this county which office I accepted for the Sole purpose of avoiding conscription in the Confederate Service As I was not able or willing to go into the Army.
I was very anxious to have Civil Government established in the State & see peace, prosperity reign over this Country, and I am now Very anxious to take the oath proscribed by your Amnesty Proclamation and to become a good true and loyal citizen of the United States. Upon a statement of the above facts I ask your Excellency to grant me a full and free pardon.
Very respectfully your,
Obet. Servt.
W. H. Holderness

A copy of a printed form with the blanks filled in:
I, W. H. Holderness, of Caswell County, State of North Carolina, do solemnly swear or affirm, in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder; and that I will in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves. So help me God.
W. H. Holderness
Sworn and subscribed to this the 23 day of Augt, A.D., 1865, before
A. A. Pattillo, J.P.

Two of the brothers, James and Thomas, born between William and Robert, seemed to have avoided involvement in the War.  James suffered from rheumatism for many years and may have not been physically able.  The next to the youngest of the Holderness boys, Jonathan Iverson, born 1832, also seems not to have served in the War.  All three of these men were Texas ranchers, James & Jonathan in Palo Pinto County, Thomas in Jones county.  None of them ever married.  It is always possible they did serve in the War and their records have been lost to time - none of them would have needed to apply for a pension, nor did they have widows that would have done so.

George W. Holderness was two years younger than Dr. Robert.  Chances are excellent his middle name was Washington, but that is not proved.   George was a merchant in Monticello, Arkansas, a single man.  He had remained in Arkansas when several of his brothers had moved to Texas.  He was enlisted in the Confederacy by Capt. J. A. Owens at Monticello on 8 Feb 1862 for one year, later extended to three years, or the War.  George served as Sergeant Major in Owens Battery or Monticello Battery (Light Artillery) of the Arkansas Volunteers.  This unit served East of the Mississippi throughout the War.  On 19 Oct 1864 he was admitted to Ross Hospital in Mobile, Alabama.  He died there on Nov 19th of acute diarrhea.  His effects were listed simply as "sundries" and he was owed back pay of $91.75.

The youngest of the Holderness brothers was Algernon Sidney Holderness, born a few months after the death of their father.  He, too, was a physician, also receiving his degree from the University of Pennsylvania.  Like his brother George, he remained in Arkansas.

Confederate records from National Archives state A. S. Holderness was enlisted 16 June 1862 by J. M. O'Neill at Hampton, AR to serve three years or the War, in Company B of the 1st Regt. Arkansas Cavalry (Monroe's Regt.)  Apparently following the battles in northwest Arkansas, A. S. was left at the hospital in Fayetteville to care for the wounded.  On 18 Apr 1863, he was detailed as Asst. Surgeon and left at Fayetteville with 1 horse. His papers include a Parole for A. S. Holdiness (sic) of Calhoun Co, Ark. aged 29 years, 5' 9 1/2 " high, eyes blue, hair light, complexion fair; dated 23 Apr 1863 at Fayetteville, Ark. He promises not to give information to the enemies of Government of the United States or harbor any spies of the so called Confederate Army or communicate to any members thereof. Handwritten on the parole is "and that I will not go beyond the Hospital Limits of the Town of Fayetteville, Ark., nor bear arms whilst on duty". Signed with his signature: A. S. Holderness, Ass. Surgeon, CSA, Monros Regt.

A biography in Biographical & Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas (1890) The Goodspeed Publishing Company, pp. 723-24, states this about Algernon Sidney Holderness's Civil War Service:   "He was nearly all through the war, in the Confederate army, as assistant surgeon of the First Arkansas Cavalry, and operated in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Texas. For a short time he held the rank of first lieutenant of Company B. He was discharged in Texas, May 27, 1865, and the same year was married..."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Civil War Ancestors - Andrew White

One of my husband's great, great grandfathers, Andrew B. White, was born 20 April 1820 in Tennessee, most probably the son of Thomas and Martha White.  Placing him in this family is documented by considerable circumstantial evidence.  The "B" in his name is a mystery - if I knew it, therein might lie a clue to his mother's maiden name.  [A nephew was named Andrew Burris White so that is at least a possibility.]  Andrew and some of his brothers moved to St. Francois County, Missouri, probably a year or two following the 1840 census. 

Andrew White married Elizabeth Sebastian, daughter of Martin and Mourning (Smith) Sebastian, on 17 Dec 1844, in St. Francois County, and they moved to Fannin County, Texas, with her family.  Andrew first appears on tax rolls in Fannin County in 1848 with 160 acres of preemption land.  In March of 1859, Elizabeth died, leaving Andrew with six young children.  He married again before the year was over, to Sarah Williams who had been a Missouri neighbor.  Sarah was a daughter of John Jefferson Williams and Nancy M. Bowles.  Andrew and Sarah had at least five more children, two born before the Civil War began.

Sarah applied to the state of Texas for an Indigent Widow's Pension, 20 Oct 1899.  According to her application, Andrew enlisted in the Confederacy at Bonham, Texas in the Fall of 1863 in Bolands Regiment, Company H, Anderson's Company, and served for about a year.  She didn't state his rank.  At age 43, Andrew was a bit older than most soldiers.  I believe the Regiment was actually Bourland's Border Cavalry Regiment commanded by Col. James Bourland  - two of Andrew's children by his first wife married into the Bourland family, but no relationship to the Colonel is known.  Sarah was then age 65 and said she had married Andrew White in 1859 in Fannin County and that's when she came to Texas.  Andrew had died in 1881.  [His grave marker has 17 Nov 1881.]

J. S. White - John  Sebastian White, my husband's great grandfather - and C. B. Bridges testified on behalf of Sarah, stating that she was the widow of Andrew White  and was unable to support herself by labor of any sort.  The pension was approved 20 Feb 1900.  The Texas State Confederate Pensions seem to have required a minimum of documentation - most of the files are only a few pages.

I have been unable to locate a service record for Andrew.  Online rosters indicate that an A. B. White served as a Captain in Company D of Bourland's regiment.  However, this man was Ambrose B. White and he was from Whitesboro, in Grayson County - just across the Fannin county line.  No relationship between Ambrose and Andrew is known.  Andrew's nephew of the same name - Andrew B. White - fought for the Confederacy in Tennessee and later applied for his pension from Titus County, Texas.