Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Booth Court Case M1892: Deposition of Richard H. Henderson 1834

CASE M1892
15th SEPT 1834

The examination of Richard H. Henderson, who being first sworn saith:
Q1: by Pltff Counsel. Do you know any thing of the subject of this suit? If so, state it in such way as to dishonor with particular interrogatories?
A: In October last an elderly man calling himself John Boothe, who stated to me that he lived in Jefferson County, Indiana. Called upon me for advice and aid in my profession; he told me that he was the oldest son out heir at law to James Booth. Who was one of the devisees of Robert Boothe, who had died long since in the County of Loudoun – that his father was killed by the Indians when he was about two years old – that John Boothe the Deft had called on him at his residence in Jefferson County, Indiana, and applied to him to purchase his interest in the land to which he was entitled as heir aforesaid. He stated other things which is not proper for me to repeat here. Because it is not ______ evidence what haped between me and the Defendant – he told me that the Deft offered him first fifty dollars and then one hundred dollars for his said interest; but that he refused the offers and that they entered into a written contract whereby the Deft agreed to purchase and recover his said interest for him – and he on his part agreed that the Deft should have on his part one half for the recovery of the other – that the Deft had paid some little matter to a member of his family he believed his daughter that he had been lately satisfied that the Deft had defrauded him, that he was not willing to abide by the agreement and was determined to assert his rights of he had any, and engaged me to serve him in that behalf.

On the 26th day of the month (October) after having found the Power of Attorney on record, said Boothe of Indiana having told me that there were such, and having found a deed for the Defendant in his Character of Attorney in fact for Boothe of Indiana, the Plaintiff, to John George, and another to James Boothe conveying him Sixty acres of good land for $100. I went up into the neighborhood in which John George and the Deft. Lived, with a view mainly to see George, whom I did not find at home – Boothe of Indiana being very poor apparently, and anxious to do something in the business, I went to the house of the Deft and found him at home – we sat in his porch and talked on this subject – he said he could easily satisfy me that Boothe of Indiana had no right – he admitted to me that Boothe of Indiana was the So and Heir at Law of James Boothe the devisee of Robert – told me that he had called on him in Indiana and offered him fifty Dollars for his interest in the Loudoun lands, and I think he then told me that he had offered him $100, but of that I am not certain – he then told me that he had a receipt in full from Boothe of Indiana, and several letters from him; but would satisfy me that he had no right – I told him if these papers were at hand and he had no objection to produce them. I should like to see them. – he said certainly he had none and brought out a receipt and a letter which he had rec’d from Boothe. The receipt was written in pale red ink – the body of it – the signature of the Pltff and of the attesting witness were all to my perception in the same hand writing – the attesting witness I think was named William Carpenter – the receipt filed with the Answer of the Deft, I recognized as the same shown to me on that occasion – the Deft told me that Carpenter the witness was a lawyer – he handed me the letter to read and said he had others – I think the letter was dated in June 1819 – it purported to be written, as Deft stated, by Boothe of Indiana and stated “you inform me that you could get but $300 for my land, this being the case. I am willing to take $150.” or words of that import, and then went on to point out the mode of remitting the money – the kind of money, and such like matters – the Deft then advised me with some anniety, to prevail on Boothe of Indiana to give up the pursuit of his claim – we then separated and I again sought John George on my way home and found him – told him what had haped between Deft and myself – or the greater part of it and had some conversation with him which it is not proper to detail – within three days of this, to wit, on the 29th Oct., I made a particular memorandum of my conversations with Pltiff George and with the Deft, which I have preserved, and am therefore am able to state with some accuracy and confidence what haped.

Q1: by Deft Counsel. Are you the Admn of Archibato Henderson, Jr decd? And was he not interested in the recovery in the case at the time of his death – and what was his interest?
A: I am his Admn, and he was interested at the time of his death – his interest is contingent – depending on the recovery.

Q2: by same. What proportion of the recovery was your intestate entitled to?
A: I am inclined to think that I am not bound to answer that question, and therefore I decline it.

Q3: by same. Was it an interest discernible to his personal representative? And was not notice given to Defendant that there was an interest in the intestate?
A: I consider it an interest __________ to his personal representative. It is probable such notice may have been given; but if it was, I have forgotten it.

Counsel for Deft objects to the competency of Richard H. Henderson as a witness on the ground developed in the answer, to the last interrogatories, he being interested as Counsel for Deft alleged. The objection was made before his ??????

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Booth Court Case M1892: Bill of Complaint by John Booth (Indiana)

CASE M1892
DATE ???

To the Honorable John Scott Judge of the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for the county of Loudoun.

Your orator John Boothe of Indiana, his bill of complaint against John Boothe of Loudoun County, respectfully shows that Robert Boothe the ______ grandfather of your orator and of said John Boothe of Loudoun owned a large tract of land situate in the German Settlement in said county of Loudoun. He, said Robert Boothe departed this life in the County of Loudoun on or about the ________ day of ________ in the year 1760 XXX having first July made and published his last will and testament, a copy of which hereto annexed marked D. your orator prays to have taken as part of this bill.
Amongest other devises in said will is one to his Son James Boothe, the father of your orator, in the following terms “Fourth I give and bequeath to James Boothe my son Price’s place with the remainder of my land” your orator charges that the land thus devised to said James Boothe consisting of about two hundred XX acres, and that in the year 1820 it was worth about eight thousand dollars – Your orator is now, 1833, about fifty-nine years of age; and his father having, when quite young, came to the Western Country was killed by the Indians when your orator his oldest son and heir at law, was an infant about two years. He died intestate and in the year 1776. –
The lands originally held by Robert Boothe the elder continued in his family for many years, ____ James Boothe, the father of your orator, was so _____ from it, and died so suddenly and at so early a period that the attention of his family was not particularly ______ to it; this was the more especially case as your orator was of such tender years when he lost his father, and have no friends or acquaintance in Loudoun.
Your orator farther ________ that he unfortunately at an early period of his life, formed the habit of drinking intemperately, so as to be an easy prey to the artful and designing: his circumstances too were nervous and disturbed. In this state of things in the year 1819, when the claim of your orator to the land thus _____ to his father was in full ______ John Boothe of Loudoun. This kinsman, came out to Indiana Jefferson County where your orator resided and now resides, and represented to him that he had some claim of uncertain character and trifling value to land in Loudoun, and presaited upon your orator to give him a power attorney to sell or compromise it; a copy of said power attorney where with ________ __________ & ; and prayed to be taken as part of this bill. Before he attained said power of attorney from your orator, he offered him for his claim $50 and them $100, which offers your orator rejected ---

Said John Boothe of Loudoun the kinsman and attorney in fact of your orator from whom and whom alone _______ he had secured information as to his interests, having ____ resented that said land was of little salice; and that after having encountered great troubles and expense he had only been _________ to sell it for $300., Your orator at his _______ of distance and unhappy.

Booth Court Case M1892: Answer to Complaint - John Booth Jr. of Loudoun, VA

10 MAR 1834

The answer of John Booth to a bill of Compliant exhibited against him in the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for the County of Loudoun by John Booth of Indiana.

This respondent making the usual and are copany reservations for answer to said bill says,
That having some business in one of the western states in the fall of 1818 and passing at one great distance from the residence of the Complt and understanding that he had a claim upon some land in the County of Loudoun devised by Robert Booth, deceased, to James Booth this respondent called on said Complt and communicated to him Complt the fact of said claim & its nature as well as the extent of the land on which the claim was and offered to assert the claim for a proportion of the recovery. The respondent decries that he offered to Complt the sum of $50 and then $100 for the Complt’s right. The offer came from Complt that he Complt would give his right for the sum of $50 or $100 but Respondent declined to acceed to the proposition.
A Power of Attorney was proposed in due form from said Complt to Respondent authorizing respondent to demand ____ for sale compromise or dispose of in any manner & to any person he might think proper all or any lands lying or being in the County of Loudoun to which said Complt was in any measure entitled. An article of agreement was drawn up expressing the terms of the contract between said Complt & respondent which article was left in the possession of Complt and is ______ no doubt in his hands a possession or in the hands or under the control of his agent as attorney and should have been produced as showing the said terms. To that this respondent refers as evidence of the original agreement.
Before this respondents return to the state of Virginia he proceeded to dispose of the right of said Complt in the tract of land lying in said County in the possession of a certain John Winner for which he was to obtain the sum of $300 at some future time on making the deed to Winner. In the fall of that year Nov 1819 this respondent went to the Western Country again called on said Complt and paid him Complt the sum of one hundred fifty dollars which it was then & there agreed should be and it was considered to be in full of the right title Interest claims and _______ of him Complt to any land in the County of Loudoun under the Will of Robert Booth, decd, and in evidence of that this respondent refers to the language of the receipt. Therefor now herewith exhibited marked Exhibit No. 1 and to the fact that upon this payment a new power of attorney was executed the one referred to in Complts bill not only authorizing Respt to sell & dispose of Complts interest in said land but to convey the same. The power given in 1818 & That in 1819 are herewith filed.

This respondent admits that after his return from the west the second time he did convey to said _______ & then for the first time ______ the sum which the said _______ stipulated to pay and that he released or conveyed to several others far very small sums in some instances without consideration at all That is without any ______ or other valuable consideration. Denying as he does the propriety of charging him with the amts ____ as he contends he was fully empowered at this time to sell & convey on his own account & for his own benefit he does not consider it necessary to detail the releases made The Bill itself substantially admits that there were or might be other small ___ considerable claims or rights in the contemplation of Complt at the time of _____ 1819 but ______ its claim to the interposition of the Court now on the ground of the gross fraud practiced by Respt in suppressing the fact that he respondent sold one portion of said land containing 83 acres & a fraction for upwards of five thousand dollars. By this portion is ________ the part released or conveyed to Jno. George.

In relation to this part or parcel of land the truth is that this respondent did not yet one cent for it. After his return from the west the second time advice was taken of counsel in regard to the title to said 83 a. of land and indeed of other parts of the whole claim when it was pronounced by the counsel _____ now represents Complt that the title of John Booth Sen & Jas. Booth of when Jno George purchased it to the said parcel of 83 a. was as unquestionable & incontrovertible as the title of any other man to his own property. This being remitted this respondent at the request of said George with a view as said George stated to make his title appear correct on the record as to enable him to deduce his title by the record from the patentee as for same ______ reason without any valuable consideration executed the deed to said George in the bill referred to.
In fact as this respondent has discovered & is advised the said Complt if he ever had title to any of said lands had none at the time of the Execution of the first power of Atty. In 1818. For as is admitted in the Bill and proven in the exhibits therewith filed Robert Booth must have died before March 1760 and neither said Complt nor his father James Booth were ever in possession of said Land. The said land was held adversely by others from the death of said Testator until 1818 a period of fifty eight & a half years.
In addition to this may be mentioned the fact that there is great doubt about the identity and parentage of said Complt & his father – if his father were the same James Booth mentioned in the will of Robert Booth there is then no great merit in the claim as he must have been the illegitimate _______ of said Testator if his child at all and there is strong reason to believe that the _________ ________ of this respondent purchased out the right of the devisee in remainder.

Thus this respondent has demonstrated as he thinks that said Complt has willfully & deliberately stated falsehood as to his having _______ of this respondent and that he has failed entirely in the allegation that respondent suppressed the communication of the extent and value of his rights and that it is almost a mockery of terms for him to talk of his birthright. Whether the history of his habits which he gives himself is calculated to win for him forever & __________ this respondent will not say but this respondent expressly denies that he this respondent ever contributed to his Complt state of Intoxication with a view to avail himself of any advantage and this respondent would be safe in denying his own belief that Complt. Was in such state at anytime when he dealt with him.
Taking into view the facts that said Complt. was out of the Commonwealth at the time had no right or a very doubtful & authigerated relies if _______ _______ for protections upon the statute of limitations which he that this respondent was here and gave deed of the character of those in same instances given that is with warranty That he conveyed to Complt in his own state free of expense & by anticipation the sum of $100. & other facts in the Cause this respondent denies that the conveyance or contract of said Complt was upon an inadequate consideration That This respondent denying moreover the fact that Complt has recently discovered the truth of the case as alleged contends that it is altogether a _____ _______ _______ is urging _____ this respondent
And he prays to be hence _________ & with his costs

Loudoun County to wit:
This say Jno Booth of said Cty John Booth by
Qualified in _____ ______ to the B__ Henson his Atty
Above answer _______ and Justice
Of the Peace for said cty this
10th day of MAR 1834

Booth Court Case M1892: Deposition of John George

CASE M1892
15TH SEPT 1834


The deposition of sundry witnesses taken at the office of F. H. Luckett in Leesburg on the 15th day of Sept. 1834 pursuant to the inclosed notice to be read as evidence in the suit now defending in the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for the County of Loudoun in which John Boothe of Indiana is Plaintiff and John Boothe of Loudoun is Defendant.
The examination of John George, who being first sworn, saith:
Q1: by Pltffs Counsel: Did you buy from one of the Boothes eighty acres of land or thereabouts? If so, from which of them, and about what time? What was the name of the father of Defendant, and what that of his uncle, who lived in Loudoun?
A: I did buy a piece of land of about eighty acres from John Boothe, an uncle of Def. I think it was in the year 1818. Defendant’s father was named James Boothe, the brother of John Boothe from Whom I bought the land.
Q2: by same. What did you agree to give for the land?
A: I think I gave Sixty five dollars an acre.
Q3: by same. Did you after paying 1/4 or 1/5 of the purchase money refuse to pay the balance and for what reason?
A: I did not refuse to pay the balance.
Q4: by same. After you had paid a part of the purchase money, what occasioned John Boothe the defendant, to go to the State of Indiana?
A: I do not know exactly; but after I had made the first payment upon which a deed was to have been made to me, Mr. Boothe from whom I purchased asked me to wait until his nephew went to the western country to get a Deed from his cousin, that he could then make me a deed and then would be no trouble.
Q5: by same. Who became bound in a bond for the title to you, given by John Boothe, the Uncle of Defendant?
A: John Booth the Defendant.
Q6: by same. Had you conversation with the defendant after it was understood he was to go to Indiana? What did he say about getting the title from John Boothe of Indiana to the land you bought?
A: I do not now recollect to have had such conversation with him, except in regard to some shares of land, distinct from this which Deft was to purchase for Deponant, from the Chambers or Stumps who held under the 'Will of Robert Boothe' the father of John & James and I was to give him $50 per acre for all such land as he could purchase.
Q7: by same. Did he afterwards go? And what became of the rest of your purchase money? Did you give bonds or cash?
A: He did go to the West. After he came back and made me ________, I assigned over Notes on Daniel Householder, to the John Boothe from whom I purchased, to the _______ of the balance of my purchase.
Q8: by same. Did defendant ever tell you what sort of man Plaintiff was in his habits?
A: We had some little talk upon that subject; he said he was a loose man, would drink rather too much and would not take care of what he had, or to that affect.
Q9: by same. Was John Boothe, the Uncle of Defendant from whom you bought, intemperate or not?
A: He was a man that drank a good deal of liquor too; though he was a very honorable man.
Q10: by same. After the sale of his land to you, had he anything of any account besides the Bonds you assigned to him?
A: I do not think he had except a little household furniture he might have had. About the time I assigned the bonds to him, I think he bought a small piece of Land, of perhaps about 12 acres.
Q11: by same. Is John Boothe, the Deft., the same who came twelve years ago brought in for proof, the Will of John Boothe his Uncle from whom you bought?
A: He is the same.
Q12: by same. Do you know ___ the land, sixty acres, sold by Deft. Atty in fact for the Pltff; to his father James Boothe? If so, what was it worth per acre in 1820, and what is it now worth?
A: I do know the land well. I cannot now undertake to say what it was worth in 1820, land had fallen at that time, but I can't recollect how much it is likely it might have been sold at about 30$ - and I suppose it is now worth about the same.

Defendant reserves all legal exceptions as well to matters of fact as substance.

Q1: by Deft Counsel. What time in 1818 did you buy of John Boothe Senr?
A: I bargained for it in June 1818 and then paid $50 – and was to pay and did pay on the 24th August 1594.93# in full of the first payment.
Q2: by same. About the time you bought of John Boothe Senr. Did you take legal advice in regard to the title of said John Boothe Senr., and what was the purport of the Counsel’s opinion? Was it not that John Boothe Senr. has as good a right as any man could have, what was it?
A: I did take counsel – from what was stated from Jno Boothe Senr. To the counsel, the opinion of this Counsel was that he had a good right and could make me a good deed – or whether Counsel was taken by John Boothe Senr. And myself in the presence of John Boothe Jr. – This counsel was taken at the time the 50# was paid in June.
Q3. by same. Who was the counsel? And was it said that the Statute of Limitation had barred any rights that the Plaintiff or his father ever had?
A: Mr. Henderson was the Counsel. I understood the Counsel that it was length of time that gave John Boothe Senr. a good right. I judged so, from what John Boothe Senr. had stated to him.
And further saith not,
John George

Thursday, March 09, 2017

John Booth of Indiana vs. John Booth of Virginia

Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for the County of Loudoun
Case M1892:
John Booth of Indiana vs. John Booth of Loudoun, VA

Before these documents are posted it will be best to give the reader an introduction. The parties involved in this Court case are involved in a lawsuit brought about by John Booth of Jefferson County, Indiana, son of Captain James Booth who was killed by Indians in 1778 in Harrison County, (now) West Virginia. On the opposite end of the lawsuit is his cousin, John Booth Jr. son of John Booth Sr. back in Loudoun County, Virginia. The Court case is concerning the Estate of Robert Booth whose heirs were Captain James Booth and John Booth Sr., sons, and Ann Chambers and Jane Stump, daughters. Capt. Captain James Booth’s heirs that are named in the depositions are John Booth (Indiana), James Booth (Jr.), Bathsheba and husband Alexander McClelland, and Sarah and husband Evan Thomas. The heirs of John Booth Sr. of Loudoun Co. Virginia are James, John Jr., and Frances Booth. The following document is what started the whole lawsuit. Robert Booth left land to his sons, James and John Sr. James left for Harrison Co. VA and sold his land to his brother, John Sr. Somehow not all of it was disposed of at that time, thus this lawsuit. John Booth Jr. of Loudoun County, Virginia went to Indiana to seek our his cousin, John Booth of Jefferson County, Indiana. He obtained a Power of Attorney to dispose of the rest of the property that belonged to Captain James Booth, deceased that was left behind in Loudoun County, Virginia.

12 OCTOBER 1818

Know all men by those Presents that I John Booth of the County of Jefferson and State of Indiana for diverse good causes we there unto moving, have made, ordained, constituted and appointed & by these Presents doth make ordain, constitute, appoint my true & trusty friend John Booth Junior of Loudoun County [VA] for my true and lawfull attorney. In my name and on my behalf to ask, demand and sue for Sale commission or dispose of in any manner or to any person he may deem proper. All or any land lying or being in the County of Loudoun the title to which may have been vested in me by the Last Will and Testament of Robert Booth deceased or in any manner whatever. Hereby notifying & confirming all acts or deeds of my said attorney relative to said lands in the testimony. I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my Seal at Ma did on the, 12th Oct. 1818.
John Booth (Seal)

State of Indiana
Jefferson County
Personally appeared before me the
undersigned a Justice of the Peace for the County aforesaid
John Booth who acknowledged that within Power of Attorney therein
to be his Voluntary act and did for the Purpose therein expressed
Given under my hand Seal this 12th day of October 1818.
John Meek , J. P. (Seal)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Will of Robert Booth of Loudoun Co, Virginia 1760

Connecting my 4th great grandfather,John Booth, back to his father, Captain James Booth, and then to his grandfather, Robert Booth of Loudoun County, Virginia I feel it is necessary to post Robert Booth's Will and all the depositions from a later court case involving his estate. Some of these court depositions can be hard to decipher who is related to who, but in the end it will all fall in place hopefully. So hopefully this will help you to understand the relationships by the end.


In the name of God Amen the one and twentieth Day of September in the Thirtieth second year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King George and in the year of our Lord God one thousand seven hundred and fifty nine I Robert Booth of Loudon County in the Colony of Virginia being sick and weak in Body but in perfect mind and memory praise be given to Almighty God for it and Calling to mind the uncertain State of this Transitory Life and being desirous to set things in Order Do make this my Last Will and Testament in form as follows. First I Commend my Soul to God that gave it and my Body to the Earth to be Buried in a decent manner at the Discretion of my Executor hereafter named, I give and Bequeath to my Son John Booth Sixty acres of Land adjoining around the Place he settled during his Life then to fall to the heirs of Thos. Stump and William Chambers and their Heirs forever. Second I give to my Daughter Jane Stump my own Plantation and two hundred Acres of Land to her and her lawful heirs Lawfully Begotten by Thomas Stump and so from heir to heir forever. Third I give and Bequeath to my Daughter Ann Chambers the Plantation where Wm. Maccough now dwells with two hundred Acres of Land to her and her Lawful heirs Lawfully begotten by William Chambers. Fourth I give and Bequeath to James Booth my Son Price’s place with the remainder of my land more or less to him and his Lawful heir forever. One cow I leave to Elizabeth Stump my Granddaughter Daughter of Thomas Stump, one cow I leave to Viallator Chambers Daughter of William Chambers {,} Choice of my Horses I leave to William Chambers {,} second Choice to James Booth{,} all the rest of my goods and Chattles to my Daughter Jane Stump only my hogs excepted to pay Funeral expenses --------
Alexis Jackson and his Wife Henrietta is not to be Disturbed, paying their yearly Rent six Barrels of Corn or forty eight shills currency during their natural Life or Lives of the longest liver of them.
As Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal to one Sheet of paper written one side and some of the other side the year and day above written, --------
Robert Booth (SS)
Signed Sealed and Declared in the Presents of us by the said Robert Booth to be his last Will and Testament ----
Wm. [(X) his mark] Maccoy, Henry [(H) his mark] Jackson, Alexis Jackson
At a Court Continued and held for Loudoun County, March the 12th 1760, This Will was proved by the oaths of William Maccoy, Alexis Jackson and Henry Jackson Witnesses thereto and ordered to be Recorded and no Executor being named in the said Will, John Booth heir-at-law to the Decedent was Summoned to take upon himself the Administration of the Estate of the said Decedent and refused so to do, whereon the Action of Thomas Stump who made Oath according to Law Certificate was granted him for in obtaining Letters of Administration on the Estate of the said Decedent with the said Will Annexed in one form giving Security on which he together with William Smith and John Davison his Securities entered into and Acknowledged Bond.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Lineage of John Booth of Indiana and Harrison County, West Virginia

I have been working on my Booth family for some 15 years and I have been fortunate to have come across many generous distant cousins that have shared what they have found. I know I have tried to thank each and every one of them, but I just want to put it in writing "Thanks so much to my Booth cousins." It's fortunate to have an historical figure in the family, Captain James Booth, because so many records and historical accounts have been left about him. Unfortunately though, it's been a little harder to find anything on his children and wife. When I posted on Captain James Booth's letter of 1777 on the August 2013 post that was my small part that I could share what I had found at the time.

My 4th great grandfather, John Booth was born about 1768, although there are other dates that have been given. He was the son of Captain James Booth and Nancy Stalnaker. Captain James Booth was killed by Indians in 1778. His story can be found in the book, History of Harrison County, West Virginia from the Early Days of Northwestern Virginia to the Present, Morgantown, WV: Acme Publishing Co, 1910, page 71. This book can now be seen on Google books. On page 20-21: "In the year 1771 Captain James Booth and John Thomas settled on Booth's Creek on land that was afterwards owned by the Martin family and others shortly followed. Captain Booth was afterwards killed by the Indians and his loss was severely felt by the inhabitants in his neighbor-hood." On page 35: "John Booth, heir of James Booth, in the forks of the Monongahela River, to include his settlement made in 1771." And these entries go on and on in this book as well as other books that we have come across detailing the history of this area.

John and James went to Shelby County, Kentucky sometime after the death of their father. Sarah Booth married Evan Thomas and they went to Jennings County, Indiana. Bathsheba Booth married Alexander McClelland and they settled in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Little is known of their mother. There supposedly were other older children of Captain James Booth, but little documentation can be found on them. When John went to Kentucky he married Sarah Kinder, the daughter of Peter Kinder and Dolly See. They finally settled in Jefferson County, Indiana where John applied for a pension for service in the Revolutionary War but was rejected. All of these documents along with the Court case back in Loudoun County, Virginia involving his grandfather, Robert Booth, gives us good genealogical material. As I make each following post I will be putting these documents on the blog for all Booth descendants to share.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

The Civil War Journal of John M. Laurie, Part 2

This is a continuation of John Laurie's Journal.

Near Chapmanville, May 3rd
Today we passed along the old route and are now near the scene of the first engagement our Regt. had with the Rebles Sept. 26th 1861. I hope we may be as successful on this expedition.

Logan Court House, May 4th
Our Brigade camped on an island in the Wyandotte River. This evening some of the boys found a dead Rebel Lieut. Half burried in the sand near the Ford. The citizens say that he was shot by our men while escaping across the river sometime last March. He had on a blue overcoat. One fellow took his revolver, another took his commission and about fifty dollar Reble script. Another robber of the dead, meaner than the others, took a ring off the dead man’s finger. I don’t mind the taking of the revolver, but I say God Damn the man that searches the dead. He is worse than the dogs and wolfes that eat them. We haven’t got a “hard tack” among us and will have to draw rations and forage before we leave.

Near Wyoming Court House, May 5th
Left Logan about noon after drawing rations and forage. We have had a very fatiguing march over mountains arriving here about 11 oclock tonight.

Foot of Indian Ridge, May 6th
The 5th and 7th Va. Cav. Left us at Wyoming C.H. to join the infantry under Genl. Crook. We are camped on Tug River. Some say this is Indian Ridge and others say the Backbone Mountains. We have been climbing mountains all day. Very hard on both men and horses. Arrived here about nine oclock this evening.

Abbs Valley, May 7th
Arrived here this afternoon. Surprised and captured the pickets without any alarm and succeeded in capturing a company of forty-five men and officers belonging to the 8th Reble Cavalry. This is the same place where we captured a company of Infantry when going to Wytheville with Toland. The roads that we came over today had been blockaded last July to keep us from retreating on them. The blockade had not been cut out yet. We went around them. It seems that we are again bound for Whytheville.

Near Jeffersonville, May 8th
We were in line of battle at daylight this morning expecting the Rebs to attack us. They were reported to be fifteen hundred strong and about five miles from us. While we were in line our old Chaplain preached a short sermon and had prayers. We left camp about six oclock and about ten oclock my Regt. Was dismounted and we began with the enemy. We drove them about three miles keeping up a desultory fire. We could do but little as we were skirmishing with Cavalry. And they would retreat after emptying their carbines and revolvers. Some wouldn’t take time to do even that. A squadron of the 2nd Va. Cav. Charged them at last and scattered them. My Regt. Had one killed and two wounded. I hear that the first Va. Cav. Had two killed wile on reconnaissance towards Jeffersonville, the County Seat of Fayewell County. We camped within three miles of the place.

Rocky Gap, May 9th
We left the vicinity of Jeffersonville last night about eleven oclock. Rode allnight and today on the Princeton Road. When about eight miles from the Cross Roads we captured a Reble train of five or six wagons, an Army Forge and traps. An old Darky showed our boys a cave where there was about two thousand dollars worth of Q.M. stores. We destroyed both train and stores. After getting to the Cross Roads, we took the road to the right and crossed East River Mountain. Cross Roads is the place where our Co. wagon was captured by the Rebs in May 1862. All of our knapsacks and Co. property was lost. We had some consolation by capturing the Staff wagons of the 51st Va. Reble Inf. Col. Pendleton lost all that he had in the way of traps. We are now camped on the Wytheville Road 30 miles from that place. The citizens say that Genl Crook’s Division of Infantry passed here yesterday evening and is now on the March for Dublin Station 20 miles from Wytheville on the railroad. I hear that a Lieut. And fifteen men belonging to the 14th Penn. Cav. Were captured while on picket last night. Also, that the enemy was in force at Jeffersonville where we left. Now it appears that the fastest wins the prize as it is as near to Wytheville this way as by way of Jeffersonville. Neither Averill or Duffie make as rapid movements as Jack Toland made.

On Guard at Ferry Over New River, May 11th
Well, we have got a thrashing. Thank the God of Battles that so many got away with their “Nappers” myself included in the lucky number. Now for a detail of what happened yesterday. Left Rocky Gap early yesterday morning. The first squadron of the 34th Reg. O.V.M. composed of Co’s E, F, and I having the advance for the first part of the day. In the afternoon we were relieved by a squadron of the 3rd Va. Cav. And our squadron was ordered to support them. We drove in the pickets at Wytheville about three oclock in the afternoon we followed them on the charge untill we run into a complete trap. The road was blockaded where it ran through a gap between two steep hills or mountains, the ridges forming an acute angle with the road. The tops or crests of the ridges were filled with the enemy and as we galloped round a sharp turn in the road. The Rebs pitched into us with a will. The foremost ranks of horses and men down at the first fire and those immediately behind falling on them completely blocked up the road. Added to this two pieces of artillery began sending in their compliments in shape of grape and cannister. Thank god they were very poor gunners.
(This ends Memorandum No. 1 in his Journal entries)

Monday, February 08, 2016

The Civil War Journal of John M. Laurie - Part 1

John M. Laurie an ordinary citizen that was put in extraordinary circumstances. He was born about 1839 in Pennsylvania. As with many of our immigrants from Ohio he arrived here in Brown County after the Civil War. John served in the Ohio Volunteers - Sept 28, 1861 to Oct. 12, 1864 Company F 34th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteers Infantry - Chapmanville, West Virginia. From his obituary it says that he served three years in the Civil War, marched with Sherman from Atlanta to the sea, and for a number of months endured horrors as a prisoner of war at Libby and Belle Isle. He was discharged at Columbus, Ohio.
After his service, he moved to Booneville, Missouri. John had a land-grant application for 40 acres in Booneville, Missouri dated 8 July 1885. Signed by Rutherford B. Hayes, President; William H. Crook, Secretary. He moved his family to Indiana about 1875 and resided at RR1, Mt. Liberty, Indiana near the Brown and Bartholomew county line.

John Laurie married Elizabeth Little in Missouri in 1867 and they had six children: Albert “Bert”, Maud, Frank, Clyde, Mary, and Annie. Some of you may remember Bert Laurie who was the animal caretaker at the Brown County State Park. Albert Laurie was the recipient of the following document written by his father. Known as “Bert” Laurie, he farmed and lived on Spearsville Road outside of Beanblossom for many years until his death in 1962.
The following document was given to his son, Paul, and after his death, since there are no children, his wife, Juanita M. (Pat) Laurie is in possession of the original document detailing a fascinating historical report about the Civil War and the engagements that John Laurie encountered. Since her father-in-law, Bert Laurie, was well-known in Brown County, she wanted to make a gift of this document to the Brown County Historical Society. Please note, the memoranda is copied verbatim (misspellings, etc.) as taken from the original hand-written copy. This is a transcription of his journal kept while on the march by John M. Laurie.


Camp Piatt, May 1, 1864
We left Camp Toland this morning about ten o’clock and arrived here about eight o’clock. Altho the distance between here and Charleston is but ten miles. Yet we, that is Duffies Brigade, had to be ferried over the river. A tedious operation lasting over four hours. Whiskey seems to be very plenty and not a few of the boys are mighty inebriated. We are in the first Brigade composed of the 2nd & 3rd Virginia Cavalry and 34th O.V., General Duffie commanding.

Peytona, May 2nd
Arrived here in good time. Had supper cooked before dark. I was one of a detail to remain at Piatt and get cartridges. The Q.M. wouldn’t let us have them. We got soaking wet while waiting for them. Then started to rejoin our Regt., and didn’t catch up untill well within two miles of this place. The Column didn’t leave Piatt untill late in the day and they rode fast to make up lost time. Rained last night, all day today and drizzling rain now. Very comfortable, it is.
Near Chapmanville, May 3rd
Today we passed along the old route and are now near the scene of the first engagement our Regt. had with the Rebles Sept. 26th 1861. I hope we may be as successful on this expedition.
(John M. Laurie’s journals go on for many more pages. More to come in later blogs.)