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Reconstruction Period Research Forum

Pension Deposition - Widow (Watkins)
In Response To: Re: Post Civil War Pension App ()

Widow's Deposition...


On this 24 day of July 1906 ... before me, M. Whitehead, a Special examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Martha Watkins, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to her during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says:

I think I am about 75 years old, ... [resident] of Thibodaux, La. I am an applicant for pension as the widow of Gabriel Watkins who was a pensioner and who was in the 10th Heavy Artillery - I can't recall his company.
He never had and was never called any other name ...
He was born in Alabama, but I can't tell what place. I can't say if it was Huntsville.
I was born in Ala, but left there by sale with my mother when I was two years old & came here to the Rienzi plantation opposite this town. .. I lived there up to the war. I was a field hand.
My father was Moses Green and my mother Sallie. My maiden name was Martha Green.
I first knew Gabriel Watkins when he and I were children together and we grew up together on the Reinzi place. ...
He and I came here from Ala - same time with our owners the Bibb family and we both lived on the Reinzi place till he went in the army.
He was a carpenter and field hand.
He was recruited here in town but was enlisted below here at Lafourche Crossing.
He was a few years older than I and must heve been 80 years old at death. He was very feeble for many years before his death.
He died in this city Oct. 15, 1905. ...
Doctor Meyer said old age helped to kill him.
... [we] were married long before the war on the Rienzi place by an old fellow servant named Essick who was a preacher - it was long before the war but I can't state the year - it was before the war that all our children were born - ten in all.
He was my first husband and I was his first wife.
After that he and I lived together up to his enlistment without separation or divorce.
I remained on Reinzi place all through the war except I made two trips of a week each to see my husband while he was a soldier in New Orleans.
On my first trip down there, soldier and I were married over again by a white man named Judge Israel - we married in the office of Judge Israel. I can't say if he was a chaplain or what he was except they called him Judge. We were given no license or paper at all but he charged us 10 dollars to marry us. No one was present except soldier and I and the Judge.
...
Some years after the war, soldier and I got married over again - well we did it because [Rev.] Hercules Smiley said we ought to get married with a license so we could have something to show we were lawfully married. So we went to the Court House and got [a] license. [We] had Hercules Smiley marry us under the license.
...
My father and mother came here same time with me - you misunderstood about my being sold here - our Ala owners, the Bibbs sold out in Ala and bought the Rienzi Place here and moved here from Ala with all their slaves.
...
I have understood your questions and heard this read over and it is correct.
[her mark]



18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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