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Category Archives: Civil War

Ohio Genealogical Society Thank You

My article—The Croy Boys:Seven Sons Serving in the Civil War—is in the just-published OGSQ. Have ancestors from Ohio? Join the Ohio Genealogical Society! It is a fabulous organization, and you get access to so much—including all the Quarterly publications. Go to “Civil War” in blog categories in the right-hand column and find out more about these boys.

From the “Rolls” of Washington County: The last two “Croy Boys”

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civil war induction by Hank Cradduck at tt

credit: Hank Craddock

The photo taken at the OGS Society of Civil War Families of Ohio induction ceremony arrived a couple months back. At the time, I was elbow deep in the buckets of information from my trip to Ohio, so just filed it away.

I met Deb Root Shell at this meeting, a serendipitous gift. She pointed me in the direction of the Washington County, Ohio Civil War Rolls tucked away in a manila folder at the Washington County Library Local History and Genealogy Archives. She is in the process of transcribing all of the records into a book. I have already posted transcriptions of five of the seven Croy brothers who served in the Civil War. Today I finish my Washington County posts with the rolls of the last two brothers.

William P. Croy, late of Coshocton County, first bought land in Washington County on 7 February 1853 from Alexander and Sarah Johnson.[i] There were two parcels, one 40 acre parcel, the west portion of section 32, T 6 R 11 and another 5 acres near Cutler, Ohio. His father, mother, and family joined him there before late 1860. He had married Rebecca Jane Huston in Coshocton County on 14 June 1855.[ii] A child, Anderson, was born 12 July 1856.[iii] He was their only child. The information from the “Rolls” is recorded below.

“William Croy, son of Jacob & Margaret Croy, was born in Carrol Co. Oct. 4th 1836. Went from Fairfield Aug. 9th 1862 in Co “G” 92nd O.V.I. Never sick in Hosp, nor wounded, nor captured. Was detached as wagon master during most of the time after May 10th 1864, & was therefore not with the Regt in its subsequent engagements, and did not see it again till he was mustered out with it near Washington D.C. June 10th 1865 Married, & his one child. m. REBECCA J (?) son Anderson (or Andrew) b. ca 1865”[iv]

The last “Croy boy,” (our family still calls them that) was my great-grandfather, Calvin Harrison Croy. I have written extensively in many posts regarding him and included a few pictures, as well. He didn’t marry until after the Civil War, spending time living with his brother Nathan helping with the farm.[v] He then went to Coshocton to work in his Uncle David’s sawmill where he met Sarah Angeline Smith (more on her and her family in my postings as well).[vi] They married in Coshocton on 12 December 1872.[vii] (An interesting aside: I found a scribbled out intent to marry between Calvin and a Rebecca Huston date 6 June 1866…Don’t you wonder?) Here is what was entered in the Rolls right after the war.

“Calvin Croy, son of Jacob & Margaret Croy, was born in Coshoton Co May 13th 1848. Went from Fairfield, (1st) in Co. “F” 148th O.V.I. Was off duty but a day or two through sickness: Come home & was discharged with the Co. at Marietta. Enlisted (2nd) Feb 17th ’65 in Co. “G” 92nd O.V.I., & was transferred at the discharge of that Regt to Co “B” 31st O.V.I. Was never sick during service, excepting seasickness on the passage from N. York to Beauford N.C. Discharged July 20th 1865, Louisville, Ky.”[viii]

Next week I move back in time to what I discovered about the daughters of Alexander and Susannah Croy, the aunts of the Civil War “Croy Boys.” See you then.

[i] Grantee, William Croy; Grantor Alexander/Sarah Johnson; Washington County Court House, Deed book V 46 Pg 332.
[ii] William Croy/Rebecca Huston Marriage Certificate, 14 July 1855; Court of Common Pleas, Coshocton County, Ohio; Certified Copy privately held by Donna Croy Wright, Tollhouse, California, July 2015.
[iii] Soldier’s Certificate No. 695593, William P. Croy, Corporal, Company G, 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry; Case Files of Approved Pension applications of Veterans Who Served in the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain (Civil War and Later Survivors’ Certificates), 1861-1934; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, p 20 National Archives, Washington, DC
[iv] Handwritten Roll of Honor document, compiled by Charles Strong Perry, 1865, Washington County Public Library, History and Genealogical Archive, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH. Pg 8.
[v] Year: 1870; Census Place: Fairfield, Washington, Ohio; Roll: M593_1278; Page: 116A; Image: 136035; Family History Library Film: 552777 [accessed thru Ancestry.com 27 September 2012]
[vi] Year: 1880; Census Place: Keene, Coshocton, Ohio; Roll: 1003; Family History Film: 1255003; Page: 115C; Enumeration District: 048; Image: 0234 [accessed thru Ancestry.com 27 September 2012]
[vii] Calvin Croy/Sarah A Smith Certified Copy of Marriage Record, 12 December 1872; privately held by DeBernardi family. Photo held by Donna Croy Wright, Tollhouse, California.
[viii] Handwritten Roll of Honor document, compiled by Charles Strong Perry, 1865, Washington County Public Library, History and Genealogical Archive, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH. Pg 9.

Throwback Thursday: Emily Gassage Croy, wife of Robert Croy

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Emily Croy 2Most lives aren’t fairy tales; some less than others. Emily Gassage Croy was born in Jefferson County either in 1835 (death record)[i] or January 1838 (gravestone)[ii]. She married Robert Croy in Coshocton County, Ohio on the same day as her brother Samuel married Mary Croy, Robert’s sister, 27 March 1854. [iii]

Robert bought property in Coshocton County in 1853[iv] but by 1860[v] they moved to where his brother William lived near Cutler, Ohio in Washington County. Robert, a carpenter by trade, joined Union Army in 1862. Here is the information from the “Rolls” interview soon after the war.[vi]

“Robert Croy, son of Jacob & Margaret Croy was born in Carrol [sic] Co O March 25th 1832. Sent from Fairfield in Co “G” 92nd O.V.I. Aug. 5th 1862 Was never sick to be in Hosp. or wounded or prisoner–Took part in all the regimental actions. Was discharged with his Co near Washington D.C. June 10th 1865. Married & has four children. Stanton b. ca. 1856, Joanna b. ca 1858, Rhoda b. ca 1860 and ?”

More on his war history here.

Tragedy struck soon after the war. Robert, Emily’s husband, came home with severe hearing loss. Coping with his frustrations, while caring for four children, Stanton, Joanna, Rhoda, and Lorrain (born just before he left for duty), Emily took ill in 1870 as did her youngest daughter. Lorrain died 19 February 1870 at 7 years 7 months. Emily died 14 April 1870.[vii]

Robert’s life maintained its tragic trajectory. Robert married Mary Aikens Nelson on 23 March 1871[viii] less than a year after his wife’s death. They had a son, Arthur. It was a troubled, contentious marriage. Out of his deafness and obstinacy (as his wife reported), or because of her daughter’s loose behavior and dislike of him (as he reported), no one can know.[ix] But we do know his son Stanton drowned, likely in the Ohio River, in Belfre, Ohio on 16 July 1874. The boy was 18 years 5 months 12 days old.[x] Facing the death of three loved ones within four years (not including his father and brother), as well as living in a world of limited communication, might sour a man. He lived, moving through the years from his daughter’s home to his sister’s home, until he died 23 March 1908.[xi]

robert obit

[i] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 22 July 2015), Washington County, Death Records, 1867-1908, image 62 of 492; county courthouse, Ohio. [calculated]
[ii] Emily Croy, Decatur Presbyterian Cemetery, Veto Road, Washington County, Ohio [calculated]
[iii] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-22512-85444-76?cc=1614804 : accessed 24 June 2015), Coshocton > Marriage licenses 1837-1854 > image 17 of 71; county courthouses, Ohio.
[iv] Coshocton County Court House, 4 Oct 1853, Grantee: Jacob & Robert Croy; Grantor Andrew G. Woods Vol 30, pg 298
[v] 1860 US Census; Census Place: Rose, Washington County, Ohio;
[vi] Handwritten Roll of Honor document, compiled by Charles Strong Perry, 1865, Washington County Public Library, History and Genealogical Archive, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH. Fairfield Township, pg 7.
[vii] See “i” above
[viii] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-22512-85444-76?cc=1614804 : accessed 24 June 2015), Coshocton > Marriage licenses 1837-1854 > image 17 of 71; county courthouses, Ohio.
[ix] Soldier’s Certificate No. 679496, Robert Croy, Corporal, Company G, 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry; Case Files of Approved Pension applications of Veternans Who Served in the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain (Civil War and Later Survivors’ Certificates), 1861-1934; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Archives, Washington, DC
[x] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” Washington County, Death Records, 1867-1908, pg 104 #2266
[xi] Robert Croy Obituary; March 23, 1908 , Marietta Daily Times ,page 1, column 5; Washington Co. Public Library, Local History and Genealogy Dept, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH.

 

Thursday Throwback: Nathan Croy

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side Nathan Ida

Decatur Presbyterian Cemetery, Fairfield Township, Washington County, Ohio

Nathan Croy, the sixth child of Jacob and Margaret Croy, was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, April 1, 1844.[i] He moved with his parents from Coshocton County to his brother William’s land near Cutler, Washington County, Ohio around 1860.[ii] He was sixteen. By August 1862, all his brothers except the youngest, Calvin, then not quite 15, had enlisted in the Union Army. He stayed to work the farm. But by May of 1864, Calvin was turning 18 and decided to join as well. Nathan enlisted with him. It was a short tour of duty, 100 days.[iii]

Here is the account from the rolls compiled right after the war by Reverend David C. Perry.

“Nathan Croy, son of Jacob & Margaret Croy was born in Coshocton in 1843 [corrected to 1 Apr. 1844] Went from Fairfield in Co. G 148 O.V.I. Continued on duty through the term of service. At the expiration of which he returned & was discharged with the Regiment. [added…at Camp Marietta, Ohio, 14 Sep. 1864]”

While Calvin reenlisted after their return home, Nathan stayed at the farm. On March 1, 1868, he bought two 50-acre lots from his brother, Greer Croy, who was suffering from consumption.[iv] The land was near Vincent, Ohio, a stones through from Cutler, where his brother lived. His father and mother lived with Nathan until their deaths in 1872 and 1884 respectively.

Nathan married Ida Jane Nelson on January 16, 1875.[v] They had two children: Mary Ethel Croy (born 1881) and Wilford Nathan Croy (born 1888.)[vi] Ida died of heart disease on May 9, 1890[vii] when Wilfred was four and Mary was almost nine. Nathan never remarried. He cared for his children and worked his farm until his death from heart disease at 73 on the 17th of May 1817.[viii] His story is one of simple commitment, to a place and his family.

[i] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-21273-12400-36?cc=1307272 : accessed 22 June 2015), 1917 > 34201-37120 > image 2979 of 3299.
[ii] Grantee William Croy/Grantor Ales., Sarah Johnson; Washington County Courthouse; Deed Book Vol.46 pg. 332 and census records, 1860
[iii] Handwritten Roll of Honor document, compiled by Charles Strong Perry, 1865, Washington County Public Library, History and Genealogical Archive, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH.
[iv] Grantee Nathan Croy/Grantor Greer, Melona Croy; Washington County Courthouse; Deed Book Vol.69 pg. 94
[v] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18083-70146-21?cc=1614804 : accessed 22 July 2015), Washington > Marriage records 1864-1880 vol 6 > image 155 of 400; county courthouses, Ohio.
[vi] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-21273-12400-36?cc=1307272 : accessed 22 June 2015), 1917 > 34201-37120 > image 2979 of 3299.
[vii] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11678-154699-14?cc=2128172 : accessed 22 July 2015), Washington > Death records, 1867-1908 > image 309 of 494; county courthouses, Ohio.
[viii] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-21273-12400-36?cc=1307272 : accessed 22 June 2015), 1917 > 34201-37120 > image 2979 of 3299.

 

Throw Back Thursday Tribute:David Croy

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David Croy aloneDavid Croy was born to Jacob Croy and Margaret Pugh Croy.[i] He was their fifth child, likely born in Coshocton County, Ohio. The handwritten rolls, gathered immediately after the Civil War, tell us this.

“David Croy, son of Jacob & Margaret Croy was born in Coshocton Co Oct 4th 1841 (corrected above as Aug 16 1842?) Enlisted from Fairfield Aug 6th (corrected to 8) in Co “G” 92nd O.V.I Was sick first at Carthage Tenn. With a low fever, in April 1863, & lay in Field Hosp. there about two months. Followed the Regt in an ambulance. Taken sick again & off duty fifteen days, in the Camp ____ at Big Springs Tenn. Had the chills at Savannah Ga but remained on duty. Was never wounded, but at “Mission Ridge” one minie ball grazed his thigh, & another, glancing against his cartridge box packed with ammunition was stopped by his beltplate, which was dented deeply & saved his life. Was mustered out with his Cp near Washington D.C. June 10th 1865.”[ii]

His pension records provide this accounting.

“Took cold from exposure on a steamer being transported with his Regt from Nashville to Carthage, Tenn which settled in his throat and lungs, giving him consumption of the lungs…” [iii]

On 12 September 1867, he married Mary Moore.[iv] He bought an 80 acre farm in 1873[v] which he tried to work, though I suspect Mary, his brothers, and friends provided most of the labor as he was already showing the effects of TB including hemorrhaging.[vi] The disease completely disabled him and Mary nursed him during the last four months of his life. He died 10 March 1878.[vii] They had no children.

The text at the bottom of his original grave marker spoke to her loss.

A light from our home is gone

A voice I loved is stilled

A place is vacant in my heart

That never will be filled

Mary never remarried. She continued on her own, working the farm including an additional 70 acres purchased in 1883[viii] and 100 acres purchased from Nathan Croy in 1883.[ix] She died of pneumonia on 1 December 1899 in Vincent, Washington Co, OH.[x]

David Mary Croy

[i] The death certificate would indicate a birth date of August 1840. The origin marker in Decatur Presbyterian Cemetery would indicate 4 October 1841. The marker including Mary from 1899 indicates 16 August 1842. The Rolls show both birthdates. His death certificate says he was born in Fairfield but all evidence points to Jacob and Margaret living in Coshocton in the early 1840’s.
Washington County Probate Court: Death Certificate Vol I pg 104 # 3184 Received June 26, 2015 7:04:10 AM PDT From: Rachel Davis Deputy Clerk
Grave markers Decatur Presbyterian Cemetery, Decatur Township, Washington County OH
[ii] Handwritten Roll of Honor document, compiled by Charles Strong Perry, 1865, Washington County Public Library, History and Genealogical Archive, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH.
[iii] Soldier’s Certificate No. 679496, David Croy, Corporal, Company G, 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry; Case Files of Approved Pension applications of Veterans Who Served in the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain (Civil War and Later Survivors’ Certificates), 1861-1934; p. 7; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Archives, Washington, DC
[iv] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18083-62475-34?cc=1614804 : accessed 22 June 2015), Washington > Marriage records 1864-1867 vol 4 > image 360 of 628; county courthouses, Ohio.
[v] Washington County Ohio Court of Records; V 75 Pg 300, Grantor: Fleming; 7 April 1873: S 1/2 SE 1/4 S5 T6 R11
[vi] Ibid note iii pg 23-35
[vii] Ibid note i
[viii] Washington County Ohio Court of Records; V 89 Pg 68, Grantor: Clark; 20 August 1881: 70 Ac Lot61 T2 R10
[ix] Washington County Ohio Court of Records; V 93 Pg 291, Grantor: Croy; 5 April 1883: NE frac 18 T 6 R11
Note: 1880 census shows her with 182 acres, 5 horses, 20 Acres in hay.
[x] Mary Croy, Record of Deaths; Washington County (Ohio) Propate Court; acquired by Donna Croy Wright 31 July 2015

 

Throw Back Thursday: Greer Croy (1838-1872)

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Greer Croy 1

This is the first of a series of “Throw Back Thursday” posts highlighting individuals whose grave markers I found on my trip to Ohio. Because Memorial Day is near, I decided to begin the series with a veteran of the Civil War, Greer (Grier) Croy, buried in Decatur Presbyterian Cemetery in Washington County, Ohio.

While in Ohio, I met Deb Root Shell, a historian with deep connections to Washington County. She told me about an original, hand-written document from 1865 tucked away in the Washington County Library Local History and Genealogical Archives. She plans to transcribe these precious records, but until then I am lucky enough to have the pages referencing my family.

Here is the entry for Greer Croy.

“Greer Croy, son of Jacob & Margaret Croy was born in Coshocton Co. O. January 8th 1838. Enlisted from Fairfield in Co F 36th O.V.I. Oct. 12th 1861, & was made “color corporal.” Never disabled from duty by sickness. Was wounded (1st) in the foot, at Antietam, by a fragment of shell. Was in Hosp three months, & on recovery rejoined his Regt at Charleston W.Va. Wounded (2nd) at Chicamauga by a minie ball glancing on the back of his head, stunning him so that he fell, dead, or was supposed. He rejoined the Regt in a day or two. Was wounded (3rd) at Cedar Creek Va., Oct 18th 1864, by a minie ball passing through his hip near the joint, shattering the bone, & was sent to the “Cameron St Gen. Hosp.”, Baltimore, Md. Coming home on a month’s furlough, as soon as his wound would allow. On his return to Baltimore he received his discharge, Feb. 1865, as a disabled veteran being badly lame for life. He was shot while carrying the colors.”[i]

He never fully returned to active life though he purchased land[ii] in Decatur Township below Cutler along the West Branch of the Little Hocking River during the late 1860’s and attempted to farm it. As his brother William noted in a pension deposition:

“Greer Croy was very ambitious & I suppose he thought circumstances compelled him to work & frequently tried to work and did work more or less …when I am satisfied he ought not to have worked at all.”[iii]

Greer had three sons, Sheridan (1868-1953–named after the General who led him) and Jacob Sylvine (1869-1937) who settled in Oregon, and Joseph Ellsworth, (1871-1872–died of consumption at four months old). His wife Malona Basim Croy Place (1839-1916), is buried near Greer’s brother, William Croy, in Centennial Cemetery[iv] not far away. Two markers carry Greer’s name; one is old and worn, the other newer. Greer died of consumption, at the age of 34.Greer Croy 2

[i] Handwritten Roll of Honor document, compiled by Charles Strong Perry, 1865, Washington County Public Library, History and Genealogical Archive, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH.

[ii] Croy, Greer from Dunsmore, Alson V60, Pg 389; same from Fairbank, Elijah V 65, pg 94; same from Ballard PE V 70, pg 636. Records Office, Washington County Court House, Marietta, OH

[iii] Soldier’s Certificate No. 237291, Greer Croy, Corporal, Company F, 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry; Case Files of Approved Pension applications of Veterans Who Served in the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain (Civil War and Later Survivors’ Certificates), 1861-1934; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, p 20-21 National Archives, Washington, DC

[iv] find-a-grave http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSsr=1&GScid=2259906&GRid=129604447&

 

ON THE ROAD (Part 4) Honoring a Mother’s Sacrifice

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Donna Croy Wright at GGgrandparents graveHere I stand, next to the stone marker of Margaret Pugh Croy and her husband, Jacob Croy. In Jacob’s obituary, he is honored as a “true lover of his country” having had “seven sons in the Civil War at one time.” But on this Mother’s Day, I especially wanted to honor Margaret. Imagine her angst and worry, unable to read or write any letter–if one came at all. She bore them and raised them and watched them march away. Each one came back–with hearing loss, tuberculosis, a crippled leg, torn muscles, and torn hearts. But they all came back, though two would die before her, late casualties of the conflict. My heart goes out to her this day. And to the protective arms of mothers everywhere.[i]

[i] Not a post for citations really, but if you are interested, they can be found by searching “Civil War” found in the left hand column.

Richer Still: 4 (or 5) Reasons You Need Your Ancestor’s Civil War Records

Nathan sign williams sign Duncan signPreviously I examined the wonders found in Civil War Pension Records. Well, I just received the next and, for now, the last batch of records for the seven brothers I am documenting. My application to honor them through the Ohio Genealogical Society is in the mail. So with that monumental task complete, I want to review the reasons for anyone interested in family history to get those records right away!

Again, they proved to be a genealogy detective’s Mecca. Oh, you’ll fine the dates and some essential records like marriage and death certificates. In fact, I recommend getting pension records first. It might save a lot of unnecessary time and research. But the glory comes from the details, bringing these people to life: their appearance, their health, their service, and their struggles and temperaments. All good reasons to obtain your ancestor’s Civil War Pension Records; let’s look at these four aspects from the perspective of my own family.

  1. Appearance: Not only does a detail regarding the appearance of an ancestor allow you to picture him, (in this case, all ‘hims’) it also gives a little genetic insight. I know that William, Duncan, Robert, Calvin, and David all were at least six foot tall (well above average height for the time) with light hair and blue eyes. Greer was shortest at 5’8” with brown hair and blue eyes, while Nathan had grey eyes, light hair, and stood 5’10”. I witness these same traits popping up in my own family.
  2. Health: Medical information can also provide individual and genetic insights. William, Nathan, Robert, and Calvin all suffered from heart disease. And while it is difficult to separate out their service related ailments from those of old age, rheumatism (and lumbago, what a lovely old word) was a malady common to all the brothers. Service illnesses were also documented in the files. William had typhoid in April of 1863. Duncan suffered from Malaria for most of 1863. Contracted “near the Cumberland River in Tenn.”, the symptoms would plagued him his whole life, debilitating him by 56.
  3. Service: Details of their service experience, when they were sick or detached from their regiment, can help determine in which battles they participated. I provided some sense of four of the brothers’ service in my last blog. Now I know that William’s illnesses did not impact any battle dates but he was “absent detached with Div. train since May 20, 1864”. What does that mean, ‘with division training’ or ‘with division train’? I am not sure, so if you know please respond! I do know it means he likely did not participate in Sherman’s March to the Sea.
  4. Struggles and Temperaments: The government wanted to know whether any habits contributed to claimants’ conditions so documentation was required and sometimes family squabbles erupted in the claims. I know that Nathan had “no evidence of vicious habits,” that William was “a duly sober man of very temperate habits,” and that Duncan “never drank, used tobacco, and had only the best habits”. Then there is the huge argument that played out on the claims pages between Robert Croy and his second wife, Mary E. Atkins Nelson Croy. Robert left Mary twice claiming that she allowed her daughter (his step-daughter) to entertain men in an inappropriate fashion in their home. Both his brother William and sister Francis testified on his behalf, claiming she was unusually cruel to him because he couldn’t work, being deaf and lame. Mary claimed he tried to farm and failed, that they then packed up and moved so he could work as a wagon maker and failed at that, stole things from her when he left so he could sell them, and was one of the “most contrary and disagreeable Persons I know of.” Without resources, because Mary claimed half of his pension, he had his attorney write her begging her to let him “come back to live with you.” She never responded, and Robert died at the home of his sister Francis. A regular soap opera!

I haven’t even mentioned how following post office boxes for each claim found in the records (they were required to reapply often through the years) gives you a very good idea of where that ancestor lived over time. So I have given you FIVE reasons to get those pension records. Can anyone share some more?

All information from Soldier’s Certificates # 928135 (Calvin Croy), #695593 (William P. Croy), #679496 (Robert Croy), #200993 (David Croy), #825314 (Nathan Croy)#779773 (Duncan Croy), and #237291 (Greer Croy)Case files of Approved Pension applications of Veterans Who Served in the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain, 1861-1934; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs. National Archives, Washington, DC

Civil War Pension Files: A Priceless Significance

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With so much else, come those wonderful signatures!

With so much else, come those wonderful signatures!

I retreated like a green recruit from the prospect of spending $80 on the Civil War Pension files of my ancestors. It seemed an exorbitant cost, particularly since I faced a line of seven brothers, the sons of my great, great, great-grandparents, all members of two Ohio Volunteer Infantry regiments. But I charged ahead. Well, I didn’t charge but rather crawled forward, ordering four records. And, in the end, I found the sacrifice small. Through them I discovered far more than the surface reward of some genealogical win. I found humanity, and a cost paid out that far exceeded any charge to my account.

Their words, and those of friends, relatives, comrades, and doctors, revealed a landscape strewn with individual fortitude, pain, and heartbreak, one laid bare in the aftermath of war. Like an armchair traveler, I slipped each CD into my computer and travelled back, beyond birth and death dates, into the lives of Robert, David, Greer, and Calvin Croy.

Robert served with Company G of the 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) beginning on the 5th of August 1862, but it was in Georgia at the Battle of Chickamauga that he encountered his life long disability, as he stated in his own hand in the Claimant’s Affidavit (transcribed in own words with punctuation added for clarity).Robert's signature

“…on or about the 20th of September 1863 at the Battle of Chicamanga [Tennessee] I had my hearing of Both Ears affected which at the time was alright[.] Was not treated for it at the time … or Since By a Physician[.] the only treatment I have had was self treatment[.] I had not the means to Enploy Physicians. at the Present time my Right Ear is total deaf and the left Partial.”

A comrade, George L Camp of Seattle, Washington, provided the most vivid account of how Robert lost his hearing.

“At Chickamauga we lay about 50 feet to the right of our Brig[ade] Battery-which were 12 pound pieces[,] and they were double charged most of the time for the entire day of Sunday the 20th of Sept. 1863-and the concussion would nearly raise us from the ground…”

As for his feelings when he filed in August of 1897, he ended one of his affidavits this way.

“the Evidence Called fer July 16, 1891 I cannot furnish for while in Service I never Complained as Some did to get Excused But always tried to do my duty. It would have been Better for me if I had[,] for then I Could of furnished the testimony Called fer”

Arthritis and deterioration of knees, feet, and back were common pension complaints for those of the 92nd who marched on foot from Chickamauga to Atlanta and then up through the Carolinas to Washington DC. The regiment, with the rest of Sherman’s troops, marched approximately 1,500 miles and averaged 15 miles a day through swamps and rough terrain, performing heavy manual labor along the way. Often, even with evidence of hospital stays, the Bureau of Pensions deemed many of these applications invalid. The toll of these decisions impacted whole families.

Calvin joined the 92nd late, at Savannah, to march through the Carolinas at the beginning of 1865.  Still, he entered the field hospital for rheumatism from April 17th to April 30th of 1865. Standing tall at six feet one inch and 156 pounds, he filed for a pension in 1880 and finally earned it commencing in 1890 , not for rheumatism but for a ruptured hernia. This comment by J.B. Sands provides insight into the family’s burden.calvin sig

“He is a coal miner and incapacitated for that kind of work. I know personally that he keeps his boys out of school to help earn a support for his family.”

Tuberculosis, or consumption as people called it at the time, percolated freely in the confined environments where soldiers shared all. The lethal bacteria could lie hidden for years and early symptoms often mimicked other diseases. The close quarters, so new to young men use to open country, provided a perfect incubator.

David, also a part of Company G of the 92nd OVI, filed for a pension on June 27, 1877. The six-foot tall, light-haired, blue-eyed 36 year-old declared that he:david mark

“took cold from exposure on the Steamer being transported with the Reg[iment] from Nashville to Carthage, Tenn. Which settled in his throat and lungs giving him Consumption of the lungs and totally disabling him at the time.”

This statement by N.B. Sisson (?) of Porter, Ohio pleads for understanding of the conditions when determining eligibility.

“At Carthage Tenn, winter 62 & 63, Spring 63. The 92 Ohio Vols passed through a severe crisis of grave diseases-Measles, Scurvy, Typhoid fever, and dysentery and diarrhea; at which time for several months the sen[ior] & jun[ior] Surgeons were absent. The jun[ior surgeon] resigning, and so severe were the duties in caring for the sick of the Reg[iment] I am not certain I kept a record of every case of Even severe disease…Defective supplies of vegetables on that frontier caused much disease…These remarks are to enable the department to some Extent understand & appreciate the difficulty; Now of doing (?) justice to the suffering & their widows & orphans.”

Again falling ill and possibly missing action at Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge, David moved in and out of the field hospital from May of 1863 through January of 1864 with “catarrh, diarrhea, sore feet, typhoid fever, debility, and dysentery.”

David died March 10, 1878, aged 34, never receiving the pension for which he applied. His wife Mary received a Widow’s Pension instead.

David’s brother Greer also suffered from consumption but his story was more complicated and brief. Blue-eyed and brown-haired, at just under 5’8” and four inches shorter than David or Calvin, he volunteered for duty first of the seven brothers, joining F Company of the 36th OVI and serving until:greer sign

“On the 19th day of October 1864 at [the] Battle of Cedar Creek he was shot through the right hip with a minnie ball, from this point was taken to Camden hospital Baltimore & from there discharged.” Writing in strict medical terms, at the time of his discharge, George O. Heldreth, Examining Surgeon, noted[:] The ball entered the right groin and passed out immediately behind the neck of the femur fracturing the margin of the acetabulum, anchylosis of the hip has resulted. The leg is shortened, and in walking the heel does not touch the ground.”

But his brother William tells the larger tale, one infused with a level distress and awe.

“Said Greer Croy was wounded three times. I have seen all of the wounds. It is stated that he was wounded in [the] foot at south mountain which rendered him unable for Duty at the time of the wound. 2nd wounded in the Head at Chicamuga which I understood caused partial Insanity. 3rd Place at Cedar Creek by Gun Shot wounded in hip which made him a cripple for life[.] said Claimant frequently complained of suffering from cough which I fully believe originated in the United States service as I never knew him to be sick or cough Prior to his enlistment. I am an elder Brother of Deceased and know the facts as set forth above. Said Greer Croy was very ambitious & I suppose he thought circumstances compelled him to work[,] & frequently did work more or less at some kinds of Labor[,] when I am satisfied he ought not to have worked.”

Greer died October 28, 1872 of consumption, aged 34, a little over eight years after his injury at Cedar Creek.

Eighty dollars for some pension files? A small price to pay by comparison and invaluable for their insights into human cost of war, of far greater worth than an accounting of dates. I will update you when I receive the last three records of the seven brothers. I anticipate being richer still when I receive them.

My Seven Part Civil War Blog and National Archive Citations

https://croywright.wordpress.com/?s=part+one

https://croywright.wordpress.com/?s=part+two

https://croywright.wordpress.com/?s=part+three

https://croywright.wordpress.com/?s=part+four

https://croywright.wordpress.com/?s=part+five

https://croywright.wordpress.com/?s=part+six

https://croywright.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/the-aftermath-of-researching-the-civil-war/

Soldier’s Certificate No. 679496, Robert Croy, Corporal, Company G, 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry; Case Files of Approved Pension applications of Veternans Who Served in the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain (Civil War and Later Survivors’ Certificates), 1861-1934; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Archives, Washington, DC
Soldier’s Certificate No. 928135, Calvin Croy, Private, Company G, 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry; Case Files of Approved Pension applications of Veterans Who Served in the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain (Civil War and Later Survivors’ Certificates), 1861-1934; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Archives, Washington, DC
Soldier’s Certificate No. 679496, David Croy, Corporal, Company G, 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry; Case Files of Approved Pension applications of Veterans Who Served in the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain (Civil War and Later Survivors’ Certificates), 1861-1934; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Archives, Washington, DC
Soldier’s Certificate No. 237291, Greer Croy, Corporal, Company F, 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry; Case Files of Approved Pension applications of Veterans Who Served in the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain (Civil War and Later Survivors’ Certificates), 1861-1934; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Archives, Washington, DC

A Memorial Day Tribute

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Albert Lloydcroy ww1

On this Memorial Day, I remember Albert Lloyd Croy, the only extended family member to die in battle. He died at the World War I Battle of the Argonne Forest on the first day of the campaign, September 26, 1918. Commanded by General Pershing, the battle, on the notorious Western Front, resulted in 26,277 killed and 95,786 injured, the worst of the war. Albert had joined the army only one year before his death and left behind two children, Norvin Albert, and Margaret. He was 31 years old.

Other family members who served in war include:

Revolutionary War

  • Jacob Croy (about 1759-about 1806,)
  • Samuel Payne (1733-1813)

Civil War

World War I

  • Albert Lloyd Croy (1887-1918)
  • Gardner Lester Croy (1890-1920)
  • David Harrison Croy (1892-1944)

World War II

  • Ralph Lewis Croy (1912-2004)
  • Attilio DeBernardi (1919-1976)

…and my mother, still living, a member of the Women’s Army Corp (WAC)

To those currently unknown to me and not represented here, I give my apologies.

The pictures shown here are from The Oklahoma Spirit compiled by Welch and Aldride, Historical Publishing Co. Oklahoma City, OK 1926 and can be found here https://archive.org/details/oklahomaspiritof00np