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AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum Archive

Re: United States Colored Troops-MS

Pension files are indeed a wonderful source of info. I strongly encourage any one who can ID a veteran with a pension to order the paperwork. In the case of Jack Dansby, because he had to get affidavits from people who had known him, the pension package also contained information about some associates going back to slavery. There were wife issues to be cleared up as well.

Jack Dansby served in the 59th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
He was injured in a construction accident in the military.

The 59th was organized March 11, 1864, from 1st Tennessee Infantry (African Descent). Attached to 1st Colored Brigade, District of Memphis, Tenn., Dept. of Tennessee, to June, 1864. 3rd Brigade, Infantry Division, Sturgis' Expedition, to June, 1864. 1st Colored Brigade, District of Memphis, District of West Tennessee; to February, 1865. Fort Pickering, Defences of Memphis, Tenn., District of West Tennessee, to July, 1865. 2nd Brigade, District of West Tennessee, to September, 1865. Dept. of Tennessee to January, 1866.

I received the Pension file for Jack DANSBY ----186 pages of odds and ends and goodies! Here is an outline of the info. Some information is still confusing, for example he is already in Hardeman Co, TN in 1870, but claims his daughter was born in New Albany, MS in 1872 and his wife Mary Flournoy died there in 1874....did they return briefly to MS?

His eyes were black, blue, grey or brown; his complexion was mulatto, brown, white, or light; his height was 5'7", 5'8", 5'10" and weight fluctuated around 155 depending on which form you looked at.

Here is a rough TIMELINE for Jack H Dansby or John Henry DANSBY

Jack DANSBY born 4 July 1840, New Albany , MS (then Pontotoc County)

He married ("slave marriage") 1861 to Mary Flournoy in New Albany, MS

He enlisted USCT abt July 1865 (July 1, 1864)
He was discharged abt Feb 1866 (Jan 31, 1866)
He served most of his time in Memphis.

He is in Hardeman County TN, 1870 census. (Indexed under DASBY)

His daughter Mary DANSBY was born July 18, 1872, apparently in New Albany (She eventually married Pick/Pickens STRINGFELLOW in AR. She was his only child mentioned)

Mary Flournoy DANSBY dies 1874 in New Albany, MS

Jack moves to Saulsbury, Hardeman Co, TN, apparently with some other ex slaves. He is listed there in the 1870 census.

He lived in TN "11 years", in/near Saulsbury, Hardeman Co, TN

Jack married Jennie NORTHCROSS in 1877 in St Francis Co Arkansas(this is indexed as Northcrop--apparently a misreading of the elaborate old style double s at the end).

Jack moved to Lee/St Francis Co Arkansas in 1877.

Jennie NORTHCROSS DANSBY died Dec 23, 1884.

Isabella MAYFIELD marries his brother Taylor Dansby after 1884---she atated that she was at the death of the NORTHCROSS wife etc)

Jack married Flora GUY WILLIAMS in Memphis, TN Jan 27 1887. Flora may or may not have been married before, but had a son Charlie WILLIAMS whose father was a "Frenchman". One version is that she and the family had used the name GUY at some point because the "owner" in MS was a GUY family but the family switched to the name WILLIAMS after slavery, and she was never married before. Her sister, Callie JOHNSON, said she was married before. Jack originally desribes her as a widow with maiden name GUY.

Jack DANSBY died 11 Feb 1921, at a hospital in Memphis TN

Flora died the next year.

Witnesses etc....

Henry COMBS has known J H DANSBY since 1866 (statement in 1896 St Francis Co, AR 1894)

W T DANSBY ...has "lived with" Jack since 1871 (W T was 35 in 1894 when statement was taken)

Giles GUYTON... were "neighbor boys in slavery times" , moved in 1867 to Hardeman Co, TN and "stopped on a farm in one mile of Jack Dansby", then moved Lee Co, Ar in 1875, J Dansby "followed" 2 years later, (Statement taken in Lee county 1894)

Aaron NEELY , ...served with Jack Dansby in war, neighbor of his since then (Statement in Lee Co, AR in 1895)

Caleb GRAHAM...(67 in 1895) known him since "small childhood", in the war, and neighbors since then, (Statement made in Lee Co, AR 1895)

Felts ANDERSON(sargeant), & Henry CLAY knew Jack Dansby in the war..., Statements taken in 1895 Shelby Co, TN (Memphis)

Jack DANSBY did get a pension for a back injury that led to "rheumatism etc". Pension started at $6 per month and increased a number of times, eventually reached $50 a month by 1920.

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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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