A Murder in Pine River – October 29, 1898

George's Ranch 1895 NW Magazine

George’s Ranch 1895 NW Magazine

The mist was beginning to form, evening was coming.  It had rained on and off throughout the day. The leaves were falling and a nip was felt in the air.  It was late October 1898.  The train had come in that day.   It always came on Saturdays.  The crowd of passengers it discharged was unusually large that day.  By now, most of them had gone on their way.  Heading home to their farms in the tall pines or out to a logging camp to prepare for the winter logging drive.  The chore boy, McMahon was at the upper barn helping Bebo and his nephew, Deperrold, bed down their horses for the night.  All that remained was to close up the barn and lock the feed box.  A group of hunters had come in that day and were settling in at the station depot.  The smell of dinner coming from Amarilla’s kitchen was on the breeze.  The lights from the Barclay Hotel glowed brightly.  Darkness was settling upon Pine River.

The Barclay Hotel

The Barclay Hotel

George Angus Barclay settled himself in a chair, from this vantage point he could keep an eye on what was happening in his establishment.  He had been tending bar in the saloon while Yllander, the bartender had been on dinner break.  Yllander had returned to his duties.  Good thing, he thought, it would be such a relief to sit down and rest his aching muscles.  He was pleased there was a substantial crowd in the saloon this evening.  The liquor was moving and the profit would be good.  Several of the men were buying drinks for others. Talk filled the air.  He settled back with a good cigar and the smoke from it circled upwards. The evening was going along pretty much like any other Saturday night at the Barclay Ranch.

The Barclay Hotel had three floors.  In addition to the saloon and the kitchen, there was a dining room, a store,  and living quarters for the Barclays.  You could rent a room for the night or as long as you needed.  The gabled roof was black  with shingles – advanced technology for the day. The porch roof extended out and wrapped itself around two sides of the building. The front of the building had a facade with a small portion of gable roof and on each side it protruded out in a straight line creating a wing on both sides.  This gave the building a little more flair otherwise it would have ended up looking like a big huge box.  There was a balcony on the front side and from it hung a big bold sign “Hotel Barclay.”  On the first floor there were two large picture windows in the front flanking a door.  Around the corner and down the side was another door. White sideboards ran all around and it was affectionately called the “White Elephant  This was definitely a big step up from the log cabin George Angus Barclay had built on the South Fork of the Pine River back in 1873.  The Brainerd Dispatch called the structure “as fine a building (as) would be expected in a town of 500 people.”

ColdBloodedMurder - Copy

Clapp was arguing with Barclay about some national political issue and Amarilla, Mrs. Barclay, was in the kitchen going about her dinner chores when the report of the gun echoed out across the night.   Amarilla’s head jerked up from her task and then she heard the commotion in the bar.  Her long dress swished as she swiftly made her way to the saloon where she spotted her husband.  He was crumpled there on the floor.  Something was dreadfully wrong. Someone was yelling “Barclay has been shot!” The men in the bar were running here and there. The tension in the air was sharp.  Pandemonium reigned. Amarilla heard someone screaming and realized it was herself.  Running over to George she knelt down, blood was coming from his neck.

George Angus Barclay tried to raise himself but couldn’t.  The pain was intense, he couldn’t get his breath, consciousness was fading.  He tried to speak “Co…l” came from his lips.  Time had run out for George Angus Barclay.

This man had survived the bloodiest years in United States history – the Civil War.  As a fresh young recruit he an enlisted at Fort Ridgely, Minnesota at the time of the 1862 Dakota Indian uprising. Later he had traveled up and down the Mississippi as a wagoner with the 9th Regiment, Company I of the Minnesota Volunteers.  He had received an honorable discharge and returned to Minnesota to establish a trading post at Pine River.  He farmed with his brother Alexander for a while, but it was not what he dreamed of doing for his life’s work.  He married Amarilla in 1878 in Brainerd. They lost their son George Alexander at 18 months of age in 1881 and the following year 1882, he held his daughter, Grace, in his arms.

Now he lay dying at age 54 and at the top of his life, successful in all he had done since the war.  The Minnesota frontier had only challenged him and pushed him on and he had come to this end on the floor of his hotel on October 29, 1898 at about 7:30 p.m.  Within 30 minutes or less, he was dead.   As he lay dying, Amarilla applied a cold towel to his head, giving him the last few minutes of comfort he would have in his life.

Written by his great-granddaughter, the person writing this blog, in 2005 from court records, newspaper accounts and more.

John Barclay December 1897, George’s Father succumbs!

George’s father, John Barclay, passed away on 25 December, 1897.  I tried to find out if George attended the funeral but I did not have any luck with the newspaper gossip columns in Pine River and in Shakopee.  He is barely mentioned in the obituary.

The last time I posted on my 2nd great-grandfather John Barclay, I talked about his Civil War service in several posts and caught up with the happenings in Eagle Creek, Scott County, Minnesota.

There are many more posts on John Barclay that were done early in this blog so check on the Categories on the right side.  These were the most recent.

1.  Catching up with the Barclay’s of Eagle Creek Twp., February 12, 2012

2. The 1890 Census and Veterans Schedules – John Barclay dated February 25, 2012

3.  Rejected Claim:  John Barclay’s Civil War Pension!, dated March 11, 2012.

In 1894, John and his wife Ellen/Helen, sell land to a Charles G. Bowish of Shakopee, Minnesota.  They receive $1 from this person which might imply some relationship?

For the sum of $1.00 convey the following land:  The north half of the NE qtr of Section 23 in township 115 of range 22.  Except a mortgage thereon and on their lands, payable to Henry Hinds.  Witnessed by Charles G. Hinds and E. J. [Affolter] and signed by John Barclay and Helen Barclay etc.

Source:  John Barclay & Wife to Charles G. Bowdish of Shakopee City, Minnesota, 21 June 1894, Vol. 39 pg. 227 Instrument #1304, Scott Co., Minnesota FHL#1255725. 

In the Minnesota State Census of 1895 we find the family of John Barclay to be as follows:

Family #54:  Barclay, John, age 94, male, white, born in Scotland, Resident of state 45 years, 45 years in enumeration district, occupation none, mother and father both of foreign birth.  Barclay, Ellen, age 65, female, white, born in Norway, both parents of foreign birth.  Barclay Charlie, age 35, male, white, born in Minnesota.  In state and enumeration district 35 years, a farmer, employed 12 mos of the year.  Both parents of foreign birth.

Source:  Family of John Barclay, 1895 Minnesota State Census, Eagle Creek, Scott County, Minnesota, pg. 2, Schedule #5, Enumerated on the 10th day of June 1895. FHL#565810. 

In 1898 the Every Name Index to the Scott Co. Atlas of 1898 has Barclay listed and we find Helen Barclay and William Barclay are the owners of the land.

John is not there but Helen and William are? 1898 Plat Book

John is not there but Helen and William are? 1898 Plat Book

John Barclay appears in the Vital Record and Indexes of 1853-1972 for Scott County, Minnesota – Death Records. Vols. A-C 1871-1907, FHL#1379418.

Index: Barclay, John, line 25, Dec. 25, 1897, Book B, pg. 24, line 146.

Register of Deaths in the Town of Eagle Creek, Scott Co., Minnesota
1897 line 6 Dec. 25, 1897 John Barclay, Male, White, married, 96 years old, born in Scotland, Name of parents John and [Mary], parents birthplace Scotland, cause of death old age, Date of record Jan, 3, 1898. Copies of the register at the Scott Co. Historical Society, June 2007.

Much to my delight I did find an obituary notice on John in the Scott County Argus newspaper for December 30, 1897 page 4 column 1.  George is alluded to but not named like his brother Alexander.

John Barclay's Obiturary 1897

John Barclay’s obituary 1897

BARCLAY – At the home of his son Charles , in Eagle Creek, Saturday, Dec. 25, 1897, of old age, John Barclay, aged ninety-six years.  Deceased was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on the 18th day of March, 1801, and the first forty years or more of his life were spent in his native land.  By his first wife seven children were born to him; and in the 40’s the family, diminished by the loss of the wife and mother, came to America.  All these children are still living, one, Alexander, being a resident of Dakota county, another lives elsewhere in this state, three live in Connecticut, and two in the far west.  As early as 1848 John Barclay located at Fort Ridgely, in the then wilderness of the great Minnesota territory, and in 1853 he came to Eagle Creek and took up a claim.  Some years later he married Ellen Iverson, who with four children survives him.  These children are Charles, at home; William located at Pony, Mont.; Mary, at Butte, Mont.; and Annie, now Mrs. David Carter, of Marinette, Wis.  Of these only Charles and Mrs. Carter were able to be at the funeral.  This took place Tuesday afternoon from the Presbyterian church, Rev. J.B. Ferguson officiating, an the remains were followed to their last resting place in the Valley Cemetery by neighbors and may friends of the early pioneer days.

Note:  There was also a funeral notice in the Dec. 31, 1897 Shakopee Tribune under Local

“Died: — John Barclay died at the home of his son Charles, in Eagle Creek township last’ Saturday at the advanced age of 96 years.  Funeral took place from the Presbyterian church last Tuesday; Rev. Ferguson officiating. “

In searching the court Probate records for Scott County, I did not find a will or probate/estate file for John Barclay.  I did find one for his wife in 1907.  John had sold land to his wife about 1867 and there are deeds in which he sold land to his sons.  This means that he probably didn’t have enough money to have a probate; however, there should be a court record of  dismissal if that was the case.  So I am not sure what happened?

George Applies Again for his Civil War Pension

George tried again in April of 1897 for his Civil War Pension.  I refer you to the post I wrote on July 15, 2012 titled “George Barclay Seeks His Civil War Pension.”  In that post I did a list of the documents in the pension file that covered the time period of 1891 to 1895.  George’s first attempt at securing his Civil War pension.

1, On April 5, 1897 he again filled out the “Declaration for Invalid Pension” form

Soldier’s Application, George Barclay, I 9 Minn Inf. Pine River, Crown Wing Co., Minn.  Filed by H.D. Phillips Law Offices, (Stamped several times April 10, 1897, and April 20, 1897.)  Minnesota, Crow Wing, 5 April 1897 in the Dist. Court a record for George Barclay aged 52, resides at Pine River, County of Crow Wing, State of Minnesota, identical person who enrolled on the 15 Day of August 1862 in 1st Lt. M. Greenleaf’s Company I 9th Regiment, Minnesota, Infantry, as Wagoner in the war of the Rebellion and served at least ninety days and was honorably discharged at Fort Snelling Minn on the 24th of August 1865.  

That he is unable to earn a support by reason of Disease of Spine, partial Deafness, kidney trouble and weakness of lower limbs. Pension Application 1066560.  Signed in Pine River, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota by George Barclay and Attested by Louis [Zachering] and John F. [Frakes].  Louis [Doche] residing in Brainerd and John F. [Frater] also residing in Brainerd both knew claimant 14 years.  Signed by these men on 5th April 1897.  Prosecution of this claim by a Sam’l Parker, Clerk Dist. Crt, Crown Wing Co., Minn. 

2. On April 10, 1897 at the bottom another document has a big “ABANDONED” written across it.

NOTE:  Next in the file was the Timber Contract that I shared in the May 16, 2013 post, “Right of Way Brainerd & Northern RR October 1895 and the Timber Contract with NPRR in July 1897.” Why this Timber Contract was in the pension file I do not know.

3. A year later on April 28, 1898 a Department of Interior document was in the file.  Two of the same type of document.

1st form:  Western Div. Inv. Orig. No. 1066560 I 9 Reg’t Minn. Inf. April 28, 1898, Surgeons: 1st National Bank Block Sixth Str., Brainerd, Crow Wing Co., Minn. 10 o’clock am, every 1st and 2nd Wednesday of each month.  Signed by [H. Clay Evans] Commissioner.  Claimant:  George Barclay, Pine River, Crown Wing Co., Minn. Examined by [J.S. Camps], [Wemer Hemstead] and [A.F. Graves] 18 May 1898, signed by [Wemer Hemstead]. 

2nd form reads:  April 28, 1898 Mr. George Barclay, late a Wagoner Co. I, 9 Regt, Minn. Inf. Original #1066560, disease of spine, partial deafness, kidney troubles and weakness of lower limbs or any other disability.  Sign by W. Hemstead, Brainerd, Crown Wing Co. Minn. Claimant’s Post office:  Pine River, Crown Wing Co., Minn. 

George's Civil War Pension 2nd try 1897-98

George’s Civil War Pension 2nd try 1897-98

4. Followed by another larger document from the Department of the Interior asking questions of George.

Western Div. Inv Orig #1066560, George Barclay Co. I, 9th Reg’t. Minn Inf. Dated April 28, 1898. Mr. George Barclay, Pine River, MNN.  Signed by H. Clay Evans.  Are you a married man.  Answer: Amarilla Spracklen.  When, Where and by whom were you married:  Herbert Root. What record of marriage exists: married cerifect.  Were you previously married:  none.  Have you any children living:  Gracie A. Barclay Aprile 10, 1 o’clock 1882., Date of reply Af 6, 1898, signed by George Barclay.  

NOTE:  I featured this documents when I posted about Grace and her birth on May 23, 2011, “A daughter is born: Grace Amarilla 1882.” Since I do not have a birth record for Grace, my grandmother, this document serves as the acknowledgement that Amarilla was his wife and Grace (Gracie) was his daughter.  The document was in George’s handwriting  and signed by him.

5. The next month on May 18, 1898 he once again had a medical examination and the information was written on the Surgeon’s Certificate.

Surgeon’s Certificate, I, 9th Reg’t., Minn. Inf. Applicant for Original #1066560, Date of Examination May 18, 1898 Signed by J.S. Camp, Pres., Wemer Hemstead, Sec., A. G. Groves, Treas. (Board), PO:  Brainerd, County: Crow Wing, State Minnesota.

Original #1066560, George Barclay, Wagoner, Co. I, 9th Reg’t, Minn. Inf., Brainerd, Minn, Pine River, Minn. May 18th, 1898.  Disability:  Disease of Spine, Deafness, Kidney trouble, and weakness of lower limbs.  

Here is my partial summary of what was written on the Surgeon’s Certificate:  height 5 feet 4 1/2 inches; weight 130 pounds, age 54 years.  

a.  Disease of spine, no objective symptoms, no disability

b.  Deafness: can hear with both ears ordinary conversation at six feet, no disability

c.  Kidney trouble, no objective symptoms, no disability

d.  Weakness of lower limbs:  exaggerated knee reflex, no difference in measurement of legs, walks with difficulty and stiffness Rate 6/18.

f.  Disease of Urinary organs and other body parts:  he was given a rate of 4/18 and 6/18 respectively.  He had some problems that I am not going to share here.

g.  No evidence of vicious habits. 

Signatures of the 3 physicians at the bottom. 

There are no more documents regarding this attempt to obtain the pension by George himself  till November 21, 1898 and that one is under Amarilla’s name and called a Power of Attorney.

There will be more posts on this Civil War pension process from November 1898 to 1939.  All Amarilla’s attempt at securing her husband’s pension.

George Barclay Seeks His Civil War Pension!

George Angus Barclay was discharged with honor at the end of the Civil War on August 24, 1865. 

About October 19, 1891 he filed his first set of claim papers.  This would be a long process for George and Amarilla. 

Most Civil War pension files are housed with the National Archives in Washington D.C.  There is a sizeable fee attached to obtaining one.  I was lucky.  I sought George’s pension before the rate hike took place.  I filled out all the paperwork that NARA requires and mailed it.  My papers came back to me with a note that the pension was with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.  So I wrote to the Veteran Affairs in June of 2001 and they sent me the file which was a good 2 inches thick.  I offered to pay for the copies, but they didn’t seem interested. 

Lisa Peterson, my colleague at APG, has written an article and posted it on her blog.  It gives an explanation of how to obtain a Civil War pension from the VA, but be advised that you might have to be a direct descendant so check with them first: 

http://www.kinquest.com/usgenealogy/va.php 

George started the process in 1891.  It was to be a long and difficult one, spanning 49 years.  If seems that every time the laws were changed regarding the Civil War pensions, Amarilla would try again and fail.  I was told it was not always fair who received the pension and who did not?

This Civil War pension was a gold mine of information about my great grandparents.  Each time they submitted they had to resubmit their vital information.  So I have several copies of their marriage license and more. 

Summary of George’s Civil War Pension: 1891 to 1895:

1. Veteran Identification Data page:  This is a summary sheet of the file for the Veterans Affairs office and includes File No., location and more.           

2.  Application of Discharged Soldier for Additional Bounty, 18th day of June 1867 for $100.00 – At Eagle Creek, Scott Co., Minnesota.  The 3rd page was a Power of Attorney.

Application of Discharged Soldier

 

Page two of the Application of Discharged Soldier

3.  Soldier’s Application – Declaration of Invalid Pension “ Act of June 27, 1890, Minnesota, County of Crow Wing, 19th day of October 1891, George Barclay aged 48 years resident of Pine River, Crow Wing Co, Minnesota declares he is the identical person who enrolled on the 15th of August 1862, Co. I, 9th Reg., Minn. Infantry, as Wagoner.  Who was honorably discharged at Ft. Snelling, MN on the 24th of August 1865.  He is unable to earn a support by reason of weakness of both legs near the knees.  He has not applied for pension and never appeared before.  Attest:  [S.G.] Alderman and [A.S.] Trommald.  Appeared before Jno. F. Fraker residing at Brainerd, Minn. and Louis Fache, Brainerd, Minnesota, known for 7 years and 10 years respectively signed by both. Sworn this 19th day of October, 1891 and signed by [S.F. Alderman] Clerk Dist. Court, Crown Wing, Minn.

4. Circular Call NO. 7 – Department of the Interior Bureau of Pensions 23 November 1891. I believe it is a direction to George to report to a Green B. Raum, Commissioner.

5. Military Service Name of Soldier George A. Barclay Enlistment information 25 November 1891.

6. Memorandum, Pension Affidavit of George Barclay, 6 January 1892.  Showing that George was represented by a Henry Phillips, Attorney at Law and Solicitor. Two copies.

7. Surgeon’s Certificate February 2, 1892. The medical examination that is done by a board of physicians that report the claimant’s condition. John Knight, Pres., E.C. [Furan] Sec’y., W. N. Morel, Treas. Following disability incurred in service:  weakness of both legs near the knee.  

8.  Memorandum dated 6 February 1892.  George explains his military service.

“State of Minnesota, Crow Wing…In the matter of Geo. Barclay for Pension. Personally came before me a Clerk of the District Court. “I have not been in the military or naval service of the United States since August 24, 1865.  That I served as Wagoner in Company “I” 9th Minn Vol. Inft. For the period of 3 years and 9 days and was never in any company.”  No signature

9.  Pension Affidavit of George Barclay, September 5, 1892 in George’s own words his health condition.

“Said soldier:  George Barclay dully sworn declares…as follows: That I incurred disease of the kidneys and injury to legs prior to Oct. 26, 1891; that said disabilities are not due to vicious habits and are to the best of my knowledge and belief permanent.  Dates when contracted are as nearly as possible as follows:  About September 1890, I was making hay on the river and had to enter the water and got my feet wet nearly every day my kidneys became much affected.  In May of 1865 at Marian, Alabama, I was riding a mule and he fell over and I went into a ditch and he fell across my legs.” (Transcribe as best as possible.)

10.  July 17, 1893 – Law Offices of Henry D. Phillips for George Barclay:  Written on this card it reads:  “Please speed action.”

11. Surgeon’s Certificate May 23, 1894, George is once again examined.  This time by John Knight, Pres., J. M. [Glinnor] Sec’y., L. M. [Bobcout] Treas. Disability incurred in the service:  Injury of legs & disease of the kidneys.

12.  Invalid Pension for George Barclay – Submitted for rejection 28 November, 1894. “No disability from causes alleged shown in a degree ratable under the Act of June 24, 1890.

13. December 11, 1894, From the Law Offices of Henry D. Phillips for George Barclay it reads:  “Please send status.” 

As you can see it was a cumbersome process and I found it very difficult to figure out exactly what each piece of paper meant.  When I received the pension it was not in any date order and of course they copied and put the cover page behind so it made it hard to figure out what piece of paper belonged to another. 

Based on what I have summarized here it looks like this is the first attempt of George A. Barclay to obtain his Civil War Pension. George will try again before his death in 1898.  I will share more about this pension file in a later post. 

It is interesting he was examined twice and they started with the weakness in the legs to later change it to injury of the legs and kidney disease.  George was 49 years old at this time.  Remember he was not a large man.  According to the Surgeon’s Certificate  he was 125 lbs. and 5 ft. 4 inches tall at this time.

1890: Alexander Barclay, Awarded Civil War Pension!

Alexander Barclay, George’s brother, was awarded his civil war pension on the 20th of December 1890.  Alexander was living in Eureka Township, Dakota County, Minnesota at that time.

I sent for Alexander’s Civil War Pension file 18 April 2001 and it came 22 May 2001.  I filled out the National Archives Order for Copies of Federal Pensionor Bounty Land Warrant Applications which means I did very well and it came within a month.

NARA (The National Archives)  has an online order system now and it  works pretty well.   The other option is to hire a professional genealogist and have them go and obtain the documents for you.   There is a National Capital Area Chapter of APG  It is actually better to consider this option because they know what they are doing and will make sure you get all the correct documents.   The cost of ordering a Civil War pension went up a few years back and it is expensive to pay the fee.  I can recommend someone if you need help.  Just leave a comment. 

Alexander Barclay’s Civil War Pension contained the following documents:

1.  Soldier’s Certificate – Priv and Copr. Co. Ch. 4 Minn Vol. Inf. #14078, #31

The Cover Jacket to Alex’s Civil War Pension

2.  August 19th, 1890 – Invalid Pension – State of Minnesota, County of Dakota, 19th of August, appeared before a notary public Alexandria Barclay, 46 years, resident of Farminton, county of Dakota, State of Minnesota, …duly sworn and according to law is the Alexandria Barclay who enrolled on 1 January 1864 as Corp. in Co. C, 4 Reg. Minn Inf. Vol. and was honorably discharged at Louisville, Ky, on the 19th day of July, 1865…That he is unable to earn a support by reason of Rheumatism…That he has not yet applied for pension under application not yet given.  PO is Farmington, county of Dakota, Minnesota, Claimant’s signature – A.A. Barclay, Attest L.T. Fluke and G.S. Cable.  Also personally appeared L.F. Fluke residing in Farmington and G.S. Cable residing in Farmington.  …saw Alexandria Barclay the claimant sign…acquaintenance for 18 years – signed L.P. Fluke and G.S. Cable, Sworn to ….19th August 1890.  Leonard Aldrich notary public, Dakota County, Minn.   #38701 Soldier’s Application – Alex Barclay – filed by Travis and Brown.  Date of Execution Aug. 19, 1890.

3.  August 23, 1890 – Invalid Pension – Claimant Alexander Barclay, Farmington, Dakota County, Minnesota, Rank Priv and Corp. Co. C, Regiment 4, Minn Vol. Inf. Rate $12.00 commencing Aug. 23, 1890.  Disability Rheumatism and disease of heart and rectum.

4.  August 28, 1890 – Card – J.E. [Hust] Ex’r No. 944426, Alexandria A. Barclay P.O. Farmington, Dakota Co., Minn, C 4 Minn. Inf. Enlisted:  January 1, 1864, Discharged July 19, 1865, Application filed Aug. 23, 1890.  No other claims, Num. No. 380901, Attorney Travis & Brown, Crawfordville, Ind.

5.  December 16, 1890 – Soldier’s Application filed by John H. Mullen Adjutant General of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minn.  Declaration for Invalid Pension – State of Minnesota, County of Dakota, 16 December…appeared before a Notary Public…the aforesaid Alexander A. Barclay who was enrolled on the Twenty fifth day of September A.D. 1861 in Co. C of the 4th Regiment Minn. Vol. Infy. …was honorably discharged at Louisville, KY. on the 19th of July 1865…and he is now unable to earn a support by reason of Rheumatism.  PO address is Farmington, County of Dakota, State of Minnesota.  Signed by A.A. Barclay and witnesses are H. H. Williamson and C.G. Thyle.   H.H. Williamson resident of South St. Paul and C.G. Thyle residing at Farmington. …say they were present and saw Alexander A. Barclay the claimant sign…acquaintance with him for 20 years and 4 years respectively.  Signed by H.H. Williamson and C.G. Thyle.  Sworn..16th December 1890.  Leonard Aldrich Nortary Public. 

6.  February 5, 1891 – Delaration for Invalid Army Pension – Minnesota, County of Dakota.  On this 5th day of February 1891 personally appeared before me a notary public, Alexander Barclay, aged 47 years, resident of Farmington, County of Dakota, State of Minnesota….declares he is the identical Alexander Barclay who enlisted in the service of the United States at Ft. Snelling, County of Hennepin, State of Minnesota on the 25th day of October 1861 as a Corporal in Company C of the 4th Regiment of Minnesota Infantry Vols and was honorably discharged at Louisville, State of Kentucky on the 19th day of July 1865. 

That his personal description is as follows:  Age 47 years, height 5 feet 3.5 inches, complexion light, hair light,  eyes hazel…in the service…near a place in the State of North Carolina in the Fall of 1864 While on Sherman’s March to the Sea he contracted the disease of Rheumatism which was caused by the long march and the severe explosure.  Ever since to the present he has been afflicted with said malady, and he based this claim for pension upon Rheumatism. 

Since leaving the service he has resided in Minnesota…his occupation has been that of a Laborer…That he is now So disabled from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor by reason of his injuries…

He hereby appoints with full power …Travis and Brown of Crawfordsville, Indiana his ture and lawful attorney to prosecute his claim.  That he has not received nor applied for pension….Signed by Alexander Barclay.  Witnesses W. A. Gray and J.M. D. Craft…have known him for 15 years and his occupation has been that of a laborer.  Signed by Leonard Aldrich, Notary Public, Dakota County, Minnestoa. #944426 – Invalid Pension Original Claim of Alexander Barclay, of Capt. Rufus P. Wells, Company C, Reg’t 4, Minnesota Infty Enlisted October 25, 1861, discharged July 19, 1865. 

7.  Feb 9, 1891 – Card #944426, Alexander Barclay, Farmington, Minn, Service: Corp C, 4, Minnes. Inf., Enlisted:  October 25, 1861, Discharged: July 19, 1865.  Application filed:  Feb. 9, 1891, Attorney Travis & Brown, Crawfordsville, Ind.   Another card with not much on it.

8.  June 13, 1891 – Dept. of the Interior:  West Div., GEB Ex’r No. 944428, Washington D.C. June 13, 1891, It is alleged that Alexander Barclay enlisted Oct. 25, 1861 and served as Corporal in Co. C, 4 Reg’t Minn. Inf. and was discharged at Louisville, KY, July 19, 1865.  It is also alleged that while on duty during Sherman’s march to sea on or about Fall of 1864 he was disabled by Rheumatism.  Signed by [G…B. Raum] Commissioner.

9.  Jun 16, 1891 – #944426 War Department Record and Pension Division, Alexander Barkley, Co. C, Reg’t 4 Minn Inft. enrolled Sept 25, 1861 and d.c. July 19, 1865, From Aug. 31, 1864 to Feby 28, 1865 he held the rank of Corporal.  Other research furnish nothing additional bearing upon this case.  No medical records found.  H. Ainsworth, Captain and Ass’t. Suregon, U.S. Army.

10.  July 15, 1891 – Surgeon’s Certificate in the case of Alexander Barclay, Co. C, 4 Reg’t, Minn, Inf. Applicant for Original #944426.  Date of Examination July 15, 1891.  Signed by Board – H.O. Smith M.D. Pres., G.R. Moloney M.D., Sec’y, J.P. Caldwell M.D., Treas. P.O. Shakopee, County of Scott, State of Minn. 

Original Pension Claim No. 944426, Alexander Barclay, Rank Pvt & Corp. Company C, 4 Reg’t, Minn, Inf. shakopee, Minn. Claimant P.O. Farmington, Minn. July 15, 1891.  Cause of disability Rheumatism.  Says he has rheumatism in the past five years.  Upon examination:  Pulse rate 88, respiration 18, temperature 98 1/2, height 5 ft. 5 1/2 inches, weight 130 pounds, age 47 years. 

Body well nourished, skin healthy, tongue coated brown, gums healthy, conjunctiva congested, arcus senilis in both eyes, Pterygiun in both eyese, liver trudy on pressure, spleen tender on pressure, he has sciatica along the whole course of sciatica on left side, there is arthristic rheumatism of both shoulder & elbow joints with crepitation in all.  There is no enlargment of joints but much tenderness on pressure.  Motion of all said joints is limited about one half.  The rect muscle of back on right side are very much hardened and those on the left side are atrophied, motion of hip and knee joints on right side are limited about one half.  Motion of similar joints on left side is somewhat less, hearts action feeble with slightly stenosis of the Aortic valve apea beat about 1 1/2 inches below left nipple, pulse after coming up on flight of stairs registers 10 f. Rectum congested two pil tumors 1/2 an inche in diameter each.  No other disease found to exist. 

He is in our opinion entitled to a 12/18 rating for the disability caused by Rheumatism & 2/18 for the cause of Piles and 9/18 for the caused by other disabilities. Signed by Smith, Moloney and Caldwell – the Board.

11.  January 15, 1898 – #662988 Dept. of the Interior, Alexander Barclay.  Are you married? Answer:  I was never married and have no adopted children.  Date: July 4th, 1898, Signed Alexander Barclay. 

12.  June 9, 1906 – Pensioner Dropped, U.S. Pension Agency, Milwaukee, Wis. INVALID, Class June 27th, 1890, Soldier:  Alexander Barclay, Service Pri & Corp. Co. 4 Minn.  Paid at $12.00 to October 4, 1905.  Dropped:  Death 9 Dec. 1905, E.D. Coe US Pension Agent.

13.  Card June 9, 1906 – Cert No. 662988, Alexander Barclay, Issued Sept. 29, 1891, Mailed October 10, 1891.  Rate and Period:  $12, from Aug. 23, 1890.  Dropped Jun 9, 1906.  Dead.

In 26 November 1891 Alexander joined his local GAR Canby Post #47. This is the Grand Army of the Republic.  Wikipedia has an article with references about this organization which was very popular during the later part of the 1800’s and early 1900’s.  The records are hit and miss but still worth trying to find.  You may find them in the state archives or check in the local area at a genealogical society or historical. 

The GAR has a museum in Philadelphia that might be worth checking out:  http://garmuslib.org/  This organization concentrates on PA and NY but they might be able to advise how to find the local GAR in a specific area?

The History of Dakota County, City of Hastings, 1891 by Rev. Edward D. Neill and J. Fletcher Williams, pg. 380-381, North Star Publishing 1881, talked a little about Alexander’s experiences. 

“Alexander A. Barclay was born in Hartford, Connecticut, 1843. Came to Minnesota with his brother at the age of twelve years and settled in Scott county. In 1861, he enlisted in Company C, First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry and at the expiration of the ninety day’s term, re-enlisted in Company C, Fourth Minnesota, serving in the army of the Tennessee through the war; participated in the leading battles of that army, among which were the siege at Vicksburg, Atlanta, and on the “March to the Sea.” His command took part in the grand review at Washington in June 1865, and was finally mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, in July of that year. Mr. Barclay returned to Scott County, and in 1872, removed to his present home in Eureka township.”

Unfortunately I do not have a picture of my great great Uncle and I tried to find something to represent his journey and participation in this review.

Wikipedia has an article about the Grand Review.  It was the parade that took place in Washington D.C. at the end of the Civil War.  This article suggests other sources that have more photographs of this event.  I was told that it would be very difficult to find photographs because they didn’t have the expertise at the time to take pictures of moving objects.  Perhaps I should have kept digging.  The Library of Congress might be another possibility.  There is a great photograph of the soldiers on their horses riding down the street at this article and other articles with photos: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Review_of_the_Armies

 

Rejected Claim: John Barclay’s Civil War Pension!

The 1890 Veterans schedule was helpful in locating my 2nd great-grandfather John Barclay’s Civil War Pension file. 

I obtained a “National Archives Order for Copies of Federal Pension or Bounty Land Warrant Applications” back in January 21, 2002.  I filled out the form as best I could, using the 1890 Veterans Schedule page for John Barclay, and mailed it to the National Archives in Washington D.C.  NARA completed the processing on February 22, 2002.  So I didn’t have to wait too long for the package arrived in a month.  NARA now has an online ordering service.  I caution you that Civil War pensions are expensive. 

The file was not very big and contained only a few pieces of paper.  There were about 8 items.  The file included the following:

1. Soldier’s Original Card – #1000697, John Barclay, Carpenter, Q.M. Dept., U.S. Vol., #1144, 25

2. Declaration for Invalid Pension, State of Minnesota, Scott Co., 22 September 1890.  This is a summary of the contents: 

John Barclay aged 75 years resident of town of Eagle Creek, County of Scott, State of Minnesota, testifies and sworn…is the identical John Barclay who was enrolled first day of December 1864 as a Civilian Carpenter in the service of the United States, in the War of the Rebellion, and served at least ninety days, and was Honorably Discharged at Nashville, Tenn. on the 6th day of June, 1865. That he is wholly unable to earn a support by manual labor by reason of Rupture, Deafness and general debility. That he has not applied for pension ….paid fee of $10.00 Witnesses: Dennis Flaherty and Jno C. Lies. Signed: John Barclay

Dennis Flaherty and John C. Lies residing at Shakopee, Minn …they were present and saw John Barclay the claimant, sign his name….acquaintence with him for 20 years – Signed by Jno. C. Lies and Dennis Flaherty on 22 September 1890. Notary public: [J. W. Tencerbox]

3.  April 7, 1891 – Medical Affidavit – personally appeared before me Doctor H.O. Smith, resident of Shakopee, Scott Co., Minnesota.

I am a practicing physician in the City of Shakopee and have been for the past nine and one half years. That I have known said John Barclay for the past five years. That I have examined said John Barclay and find him to be suffering from the following disabilities which are permanent in and are not the result of his own vicious habits viz. nearly total diag.. in both ears – match with results. In to him you would be obliged to speak slowly and loud. Also hernia of right side size of tumor 3 1/2 by 4 inches. No is but it is easily have no interest in claim of applicant. H. O. Smith

4. Invalid Pension – Claimant John Barclay, Shakopee, Scott Co., Minn. Approvals: Rejected May 13, 1891 by Hayward, Examiner, Approved for rejection on the ground that clmt was a Civilian employee. No title under existing laws. H.W. Hall. May 23, 1891 – not pensioned under laws. Declaration filed Sept. 25, 1890, Rupture, Deafness, General Debility. Claimant was a Civilian employee and therefore not entitled under existing laws.

5. Card – Stamped REJECTED, Stamped ABANDONED, Hayward, Ex’r #1000697, John Barclay P.O. Shakopee, Scott Co., Minn. Service Carpenter, QM, Dept. U.S. Vols. Enlisted Dec. 11, 1864, Disch. June 6, 1865. Application filed Sept. 25, 1890. Any other Claim field No. #456202, Attorney Smith. Stamped May 15, 1891.

6. Back of card? April 2, 91, 1891 July 25 clmt. notified of rejection C.E.H.

7. Files Slip – No. 1000697, John Barclay, Carpenter, Q.M. Dept. U.S. Vols. Examiner Hayward

8. Letter: Shakopee, Minn Augt. 11, 1891

Letter of Appeal - John Barclay

Dear Sir: Your letter of 25th Ultimo advises that my claim #1000697 is rejected on the ground that I was a civilian employe and not entitled to a pension under existing laws. When I was sworn into the Service at St. Louis Mo. on or about Dec. 1, 1864. I was required to Swear to do and perform all the duties (if necessary) required of an enlisted man in the Military Service and while in the Service as a civilian under Capt. C. H. Irvin AQM was at all times in readiness to shoulder my gun if called upon in the defense of my Country. After taking such an Oath and being at all times in readiness to fulful my obligations why am I not entitled to the same benefit of an Enlisted man. While in the service I lost almost entirely the sense of hearing by reason of exposure in dragging wet lumber from the water and also became ruptured by reason of heavy lifting at Fort Morton, Tenn. rendering me in my old age wholly incapacitated for manual labor.

To The Commission of Pensions, Washington D.C. Respectfully: John Barclay.

Note:  Look closely at the different styles of handwriting.  I believe the signature is in John’s own handwriting. (Click on the photo and it will open to a larger window, remember to click the back button to return to this blog.)

Source:  John Barclay, Civil War Pension File, #1000697, Filed September 22, 1890, Rejected May 22, 1891, National Archives. 

In reviewing this pension file there are several items of interest to me:

  1. The dates of his service:  December 11, 1864 to June 6, 1865.  This is about 6 months of service.
  2. The process took from September 22, 1890 to August 11, 1891 which is almost a year.  They even tried after the official rejection of May 22, 1891 by writing a letter in August of 1891 but apparently nothing came of it.
  3. The pension claim was rejected because he was a “Civilian employee.”
  4. He had lost his hearing, had a hernia that was of considerable size and was not able to do manual labor. 
  5. That he is listed as 75 years old.  This is very interesting because I have his birth year as 1801 and here we have a year of birth of 1815. 
  6. It looks like he did sign several of these papers himself.  Most documents like the letter were written for him in a finer handwriting.

One of the witnesses:

Jno. C. Lies was b. 10 Jun 1854 in Buffalo, NY and died in Shakopee, Minnesota on 14 February 1907.  He was married to a Mary Flaherty b. 22 Mar 1864 in Marystown, MN d. 22 Jan 1914 in Shakopee, Minn.  This per the website at this link which might be him:  http://jstarks.qwestoffice.net/FamilyTree/n_4b.html  You will have to do a find using Shakopee to locate him. 

An an article at NARA in the Prologue Magazine for Spring 2010, Vol. 42, No. 1, “A Reasonable Degree of Promptitude,” Civil War Pension Application Processing, 1861 to 1885,” by Clair Prechtel-Kluskens.  This article discusses the laws up to 1885 regarding Civil War pensions.  It was not easy to obtain a pension.

http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2010/spring/civilwarpension.html

Additional Information of interest: 

Capt. C.H. Irvin AQM was apparently quite the builder.  I could find no biography of him online but more like bits and pieces of his service just by Googling him.  In an article in the archives of the New York Times he is listed as being in charge of corrals, stables, public animals, etc.  There is a PDF that had many references to this man one involved building a hospital in July of 1864 before John arrived.  Use Find to search for his name:

  http://www.artcirclelibrary.info/Reference/civilwar/1864-07.pdf

Fort Morton, Tennessee is long gone and is now a play field in Nashville.  Here is a link to a map of this historical location: http://www.rare-maps.com/details.cfm?type=maps&rid=850026