Affidavit of Harriet Manual, Sterling William, and Leroy McGee, May 10, 1867

State of Tenn | SS
Shelby County

On this 10" day of May 1867 before me a US Comr D.W.T. personally appeared Harriet Manual who being duly sworn deposes that she is the widow of Jacob Manual late Corpl Co. A. 11" USCI. That she has made application for Pension from the United States as his said widow and now files, additional evidence in support of said claim. That she was married to said Jacob Manuel at Gravel Hill McNairy Co. Tenn by Bob Sharp a colored parson on or about Dec. 1/58 that the ceremony was performed with on the plantation of Leroy Huggins her master, that she cannot furnish the evidence of said parson who performed the ceremony he having gone to parts unknown, that no record public or private was kept of said marriage it not being customary to record the marriages of slaves as they then were, that Sterling William and Leroy McGee were present at said marriage and witnessed the ceremony and their evidence is the best she is now able to obtain to establish said marriage, that her said husband Jacob Manual died at Memphis Tenn on or about the 18 day of May 1865 of typhoid fever that said disease was contracted in the service of the United States and in the line of his duty as a soldier as she verily believes, that she cannot furnish the evidence of the surgeon who attended him during the his last illness or of any of the officers of his said regiment known to his death they having gone to parts unknown That she presents herewith testimony of his comrades which she trusts will be sufficient that she had by her said husband one child now living named James Robert Manuel born Oct 24 1859 and aged seven years, that ever since the death of her husband she has supported said child and has not suffered it to be adopted or abandoned its support up to the present date, That her said husband left no minor children by a former marriage, having never been married prior to his marriage with herself that since the death of her said husband she has remained a widow up tot he present date having never remarried since his death that she is at present residing in Moscow Fayette County Tenn and her Post Office Address is Moscow Tenn.

She further testifies that she cannot furnish any record evidence as to the birth of said child or any testimony from the physician who attended her at its birth as no record was kept of the birth of slaves and the physician has gone to parts unknown

Harriet Manuel
<her X mark>

Attest
C E Bent
T L Dean

Also personally appeared on the same day Sterling William and Leroy McGee who being duly sworn depose that they have been for over twenty years personally acquainted with Harriet Manuel whose foregoing affidavit has been read over and explained to them, that they have been for the same length of time personally acquainted with her deceased husband Jacob Manuel late Corporal Co. A. 11" USCI having lived for many years on adjoining plantations in McNairy County Tenn and having served in Co. D. same regiment and knowing him well and intimately both before and after entering and in said service, they know him to have been the husband of said Harriet Manual from having been present at their marriage which was performed at Gravel Hill Tenn by one Bob Sharp on or about the 24th day of Dec 1858 and witnessed the ceremony and know that from the date of said marriage up to the death of the husband aforesaid said parties lived together as and were reported and recognized as man and wife by all who knew them, that they were present at the death on or about the 15th of May 1865 and during the illness of said Jacob Manuel, he was attended to in the regimental hospital and they frequently visited him and administered to his wants, they know that his disease was contracted in the service as he was before enlistment and up to the time when taken ill, as healthy a man as could be found and they believe his illness to have been contracted in the line of his duty as a soldier he having always been remarkably temperate in his habits and they believe said disease to have been contracted by him as one of the diseases incident to the exposure of soldiers life, that said Jacob Manual left by his said widow one child named James Robert Manuel born on or about the 24 day of Oct 1859 to the best of their recollection that they were living in the near neighborhood of said parties at the birth of said child and have seen it frequently since and are acquainted wit it now and from the best evidence at their command, viz; their recollection of events happening about that date and from the present apparant age of the child they believe said date correct, that they have at all times known said Harriet Manual since her marriage with said Jacob Manual, having lived in the same neighborhood until about the time of their enlistment, when they got separated for awhile but finally met and served together in said 11" USCI that said Harriet Manuel and said child accompanied said Jacob Manuel in said service and after his death she and said child still continued to accompany said regiment until its muster out after which they have lived near her or been kept advised of her condition and affairs up to the present time and they know that she has remained the widow of said Jacob Manual ever since his death up to the present time and that she is now his widow, that she has also had living with her and supports said child ever since her said husbands death, that she has not at any time abandoned its support or suffered it to be adopted, that they are residents of La Grange Fayette Co. Tenn and are disinterested in this claim.

Sterling William
<his X mark>

Leroy McGee
<his X mark>

Attest
C E Bent
T L Dean

Subscribed and sworn to before [illegible] and [illegible] as above and I certify that I have read over and fully explained foregoing affidavit to the affiant and deponents before signing the same that said affiant is the person she represents herself to be that I believe said deponents credible & I am disinterested in the claim.

Reuben Daileys
U S Comr D. W. T.