Biographies

In February, 1867, Africa Bailey opened an account with the Freedman's Bank. The application provides the information known here. He was then a preacher for the Second Baptist Church (often referred to as "Africa Bailey's Church") at Fort Pickering in Memphis. He was born in Southampton County, Virginia. His mother and father, Aaron and Becky, were both deceased by the time of the application, as were his siblings Jack Times and sisters Ursula and Angelina.


Nathaniel Bailey was born around 1824 in Tennessee. He married Emily Toler on August 28, 1865, in Memphis, Tennessee; regimental chaplain George W. Richardson officiated. In December 1866, he was a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. In 1890, he appears on the veterans census in Tunica County, Mississippi. He applied for an invalid pension on February 9, 1892.


Joseph Hartwell Barrett was born April 15, 1824, in Vermont. Barrett was Commissioner of Pensions from April 15, 1861 to May 1, 1868, serving the administrations of Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. He was a close friend of Lincoln and authored four books on Lincoln's life and political career.


Finis Langdon Bates was born in Itawamba County, Mississippi. He was an attorney in Memphis, Tennessee. He is perhaps best remembered for his book, The Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth, published in 1907.


Ellen Benton was born in Hardin County, Tennessee, on October 18, 1855. She was at one point the chief of the Lillie Bell Lodge in Savannah, Tennessee.


Caroline Berry was a witness in the pension claim of Martha Hodges. In an affidavit, Hodges recalled that Berry said she was from Alabama. Berry died sometime before January 1874.


Selwyn Eugene Bickford was born circa 1833 in Massachusetts. Bickford served with the 6th Massachusetts Infantry during the Civil War. He was, for many years, clerk of the Elizabeth City County (Virginia) courts. It was during his tenure as clerk that he executed some of Adaline Askew's pension vouchers and made inquiries on her behalf after it was stopped. He died on December 17, 1887.


John Charles Black was born on January 27, 1839, in Lexington, Mississippi. Black was an officer for the Union Army who pursued a law and political career following the war. He served as Commissioner of Pensions from March 19, 1885, to March 27, 1889.


Elizabeth Watkins Blount (née Perry) was born on October 1, 1834, in Craven County, North Carolina. Her father was enslaver David Bradley Perry and her husband was Confederate veteran John Gray Blount (1831-1914). She died January 23, 1909, in Beaufort County, North Carolina.


John Gray Blount was born on December 31, 1869, in Beaufort County, North Carolina. Blount was a prominent physician and active member of the medical community in Beaufort County. He died on December 8, 1919.


Henry Bowen was born in Greenville, Pitt County, North Carolina, circa 1827. He was enslaved by Thomas Bowen, who took him to Washington, Beaufort County, North Carolina, when he was a young boy. He grew up playing with and working alongside Ephraim Crandall. Bowen left the plantation in 1863 and joined Company H, 35th USCT that June. He was a resident of Washington in 1893. Henry stood about 5’ 10” and was described by military records as having black eyes, black hair, and a light complexion.


Thomas B. Bowen was born March 13, 1829. He was a Beaufort County farmer who held fifteen people in slavery in 1860. He died on October 19, 1881.


Anna Box supported the claim of fellow widow Grace Deloni. Her husband, Nelson Box, served in the same company and regiment as Deloni's; both men were killed at the Battle of Fort Pillow. She seems to also have gone by the name of "Ann."


Robert J. Brown joined the 9th Vermont as a private on May 31, 1862. He served as a lieutenant with the 14th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery from September 3, 1864 to November 4, 1865. Following the war, he stayed in North Carolina for several years and in 1870 is enumerated in New Bern where he was working as a farmer. He died of consumption in Leavenworth County, Kansas, on September 25, 1885.