Civil War pension files
of Dennis Weaver
Loudoun County VA
If you have found an ancestor who served in the Civil War, and who got a pension - you may be in for a gold mine of information.
Not sure if your ancestor served? Check the listings at the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors site run by the National Parks Service. If you think they were one of the many thousands of African-Americans who served - when you get to the search page - in the drop down box that says "State" (Or Origin) scroll down until you get to the selection that says "US Colored Troops". If you find them - send for their service record from NARA. Then check to see if they got a pension.
Ancestry.com has an easily searchable index of people who received pensions.
I received over 200 pages of information on my great grandmother Amelia WEAVER'S brother Dennis WEAVER who served in Company D, 1st Regiment, USCT.
Note : I had received this information from fellow
researcher Lloyd D. Smith (deceased): According to : Black,Copper &
Bright , The District of Columbia's Black Civil War Regiment, by C.R. Gibbs
Dennis Weaver is listed as Pvt., Co. D, joined at age 19, occupation , waiter, joined on 6/14/1863 at Mason's Island, Virginia and listed his birthplace as Alexandria, Virginia. Note: Masons Island has also been called Analostan Island, but is now known as Theodore Roosevelt Island, and is in the Potomac River across from Georgetown and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The Island was the camp of the 1st. Regt. The First Regiment had a distinguished record in battle at "Wilson's Wharf" (Fort Pocahontas), "Baylor's Farm" and others
His battle to get a pension involved him in legal wrangling for years. The amount of paperwork, bureaucracy, and persistent denials he had to face was enough to discourage anyone, but he persevered and finally wound up with initially six dollars a month, later increased to twelve dollars. Dennis was luckier than many, for he could read and write.
His history in his own words, and handwriting, including the surprise information that he played a cornet in the military band "my music teacher said to me 'Weaver I'm going to give you a piece of music to play that will either kill you or cure you"
His affidavit had a lot of useful information about his childhood - I wasn't aware that as a slave he had moved for a time from Loudoun to Alexandria.
final award letter for 12 dollars
testimony of Dr. Plaster and John Silcott that they knew Delia and Dennis to be married
1. a note from Dennis worrying about delay processing his case
2. affidavit of William Henry JACKSON (father of George Jackson of slave narratives ) and Christopher SCIPIO
3. affidavit of William SIPPY (I suspect this might be a cousin - Scipio is also spelled Sippy in many records) who served with him.
(not posted here) Also in affidavits are a Robert LOWERY - don't know who this is - am looking at census, & a J.D. THOMAS. Martha ROBERTS - my great aunt, who raised my mom also testified.
4. affidavit of Dr. George PLASTER, local physician in Snickersville, who is also the person who sold land to Dennis, and several other members of my family. Dr. Plaster's note includes an interesting piece of information which provides clues to his early life.
In the 1860's a young Dr. George PLASTER boarded with a widowed Stephen R MOUNT and his family, and set up his practice in Loudoun County VA in the town of Snickersville. I spoke with Dr. Plaster's grandson in Loudoun, and he verified this information. While living with "Squire Mount" (as he was referred to by Dr. Plaster's grandson), young George became acquainted with their servants
In this affidavit he stated that : Dennis Weaver, a young slave and his mother were employed by the family he was boarding with" in Snickersville. The only family George boarded with were the Mounts. I am trying to find a record of their employment - in order to determine who my gr gr grandmother Delia WEAVER was owned by in Loudoun. This is the first clue I've come across in these last few years of searching.
Many of the slaves in Snickersville worked for other families in the area - so I have no reason to suspect that Dr. Plaster was using "employed" as a euphemism for "enslaved".
Stephen R. Mount is mentioned quite frequently in will book indexes for Loudoun - but only as a purchaser of a variety of household items at local estate sales. I haven't found his will - probably because he didn't die in Loudoun (he died in Mississippi). There does not seem to be a will for his wife Elizabeth MONNETT, though she died in Loudoun, 6/25/1840. A will or estate account may have mentioned monies paid to their owner.
Since Dr. Plaster stated they were "employed by" and not "owned by" Mr. Mount, I was hoping to find them listed in the 1860 slave schedule with a reference to S R Mount employer - but no luck. This family of Mounts did own a few slaves, but none the ages of either Dennis (b. 1843) or his mother Delia, (b. 1808). Am now going to check other Mounts in the area who owned more slaves - and also see if they are related.
Affidavit of marriage Death certificate of widow Delia Weaver
The struggle continued after Dennis died 27 Jun 1911. Delia Fields Weaver had to then prove she was married to Dennis - in order to get a widows pension. The case was closed in 1935 when a check sent to Delia was returned, for she had died. Her death certificate was part of the files confirming the names of her parents - James Fields and Susan Thomas.
I encourage you all to apply for these files if you have someone in the family who served. And I hope you get as much out of them as I have.
Note - Though I have this elsewhere on this site I will repeat a section from a local history pertaining to Dennis and Delia.
From "The History of Snickersville":
"On This mountain side, James Fields**, a
free negro, already had
bought land . Now It was to become a haven for those negroes who
were just becoming aware of the privilege of home ownership. One of
the first to buy was Benjamin Franklin Young, who bought 17 acres
from Dr. Plaster in 1871. Later that year, Dr. Plaster sold Dennis
Weaver 6 acres. Dennis Weaver built a house on this mountainside,
on the narrow road that bounds the Carrington house, winds past the
old school, and twists up behind the breastworks of the war that
brought freedom. Dennis and his wife Delia cleared the woods for
lawn and garden and from This house went back and forth to the
village - Dennis to help the farmers bring the scorched earth back to productivity and Delia to care for countless of the households and
children. One of these children remembers today her spankings.
Aunt Delia cared for others until about 1923, when she herself
needed care. It was hard to persuade someone to live up in the woods,
so Delia, in return for her services which she had agreed to render me in waiting upon me and nursing me during my last illness I willed
Winifred Scott all her household and kitchen furniture and all her
money, except $100 which she bequeathed to Christopher Scipio.
Aunt Delia was healthier than she anticipated and by 1931 Winifred
Scott felt she could no longer render those final services (probably
got married) and the will was changed to name Glovia Scott as the
nurse. Delia Weaver lived until 1935 and now lies buried beside
Dennis, not on the mountain, but only a few miles away, looking back
to the village in which they lived in slavery and the home which they
built in freedom. "
**Note - James Fields was father of Delia Fields - who married Dennis Weaver.
Dennis willed the land to his nieces and nephews - who signed over the land to all of the nieces - as a sort of dowry - who in turn passed the land down to their daughters. My cousin and I now own this land which is a legacy from Dennis Weaver.
Recently was sent an interesting article, written by Shannon Sollinger about Dennis and his gravesite in Rock Hill Cemetery, and the man who is currently caring for the cemetery, Vernon Peterson.
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