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U.S. Civil War Pension File
Herman Caples, Herkimer County, New York

Company E, 102 New York Volunteers
Company L. 2nd N.Y. Heavy Artillery E. 102nd Infantry
Compiled by Valerie Capels, October 2002

Below is a near-complete transcription of the documents contained in the National Archives Pension File for Civil War veteran Herman Caples of Redwood, N.Y. Documents that are not word-for-word transcribed are, instead, summarized. Text in italic indicates hand-written text. Text in [brackets] represents the compiler's notes indicating uncertainty as to interpretation or some other commentary.

The National Archives No. 375 855
Veteran: Herman Caples
Rank: Private
Service:
    Company E, 102 New York Volunteers November 15, 1861, under the name of Herman Kaples, and was discharged on Surgeon's Certificate of disability, July 16, 1862, on account of "Phthisis".

    Company "L", 2nd New York Heavy Artillery, on the 19th of December 1863, to serve three years, and was mustered out on detachment roll June 24, 1865. (1)
Died: August 26, 1906(2)


Deponents
Walter Caples (Com), Redwood, Jefferson County, March 1", 1893
Mrs. Pauline Caples, Redwood, Jefferson County, March 1", 1893
Dr. C. A. Catlin, Redwood, Jefferson County, March 1", 1893
Irving Caples, 40, near Redwood, Jefferson County, March 4, 1893
Martin Springer, 54, Town of Alexandria, Jefferson County, March 4, 1893
Elias Russell, 59, Redwood, Jefferson County, NY, March 1, 1893
Joseph H. Babcock, 46, near Redwood, Jefferson County, NY, March 4, 1893
Walter Caples/Com, Redwood, Jefferson County, NY, March 4, 1893
Charles J. Fiske, 67, Jordansville, Herkimer County, NY, March 23, 1893
Jacob House, 51, Richfield Springs, Otsego County, NY, March 23, 1893
Mengo [?] Petri, 56, Pages Corners, Herkimer County, NY, March 23, 1893
Homer Caples, 49, German Flats, Herkimer County, NY, March 24, 1893
Viola Miller, 33, German Flats, Herkimer County, NY, March 24, 1893

    Dominion of Canada }
    Province of Ontario } SS
    County of Frontenac }

         Herman Caples being duly sworn for himself says that he identity of his name may be hidden by the spelling That he can neither read nor write and That his name, in his last discharge from the 2d N Y Art is spelled Capales That possibly his name may be spelled in discharge or on roll Kable in 102 N.Y. Vols. That he enlisted as a sharpshooter but was transfered [sic] before any service was done to 102 N Y Vols the reason he thinks his name may be spelled Kable is he has an old St--- plate, spelling in which is Kable, and as he always made his signature with a mark or authorize someone to sign his name that the spelling of it was never taken into consideration whenever it was signed by him. That he never served in nay organization under any other name except his own with Caples or Capales or Kable, and possibly Kaples and maybe Kables. That the military service by him rendered was in 102 N Y Vols and 2d N Y Aty active service in the field---
    /s/ Dennis L. Babcock                               /s/ Herman "X" Caples   
                          /s/ John Taggart
    Subscribed and Sworn
    to before me and this
    12th day of July 1886
    at Consulate of the United States at
    Kingston, Canada

    /s/ MM Mitchell
    United States Consul
    no. 36(3)


    F.R.
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
    WASHINGTON
    Date stamped JAN 7, 1892 and JAN. -9, 1892

    Doc. No. 9026,            )             On appeal.
                                      )             ----
    Herman Caples,           )
                                      )             Increase and rerating.
    Co. "L", 2", N.Y. Vols.  )             -----
                                      )
    Cert. No. 375,855.        )             Action affirmed.

    The Commissioner of Pensions,
         Sir:-
                         Herewith are returned the papers which accompanied your report of the 4th instant, upon the appeal of Herman Caples, late of Company "L", 2" N.Y., Cavalry, Certificate No. 395,855.
           Appellant filed a declaration for pension alleging that he received a wound in left leg at Yorktown, Va., in April, 1862, and at Petersburg about the last of June 1864 on the left hand and side and deafness of right ear by exposure.
           In a subsequent declaration he alleged that his deafness was caused by the explosion of a shell at Petersburg, Va., and that at the battle of Bull Run he was injured by a shell in right hand and right leg.
           He was pensioned for total deafness of right ear, gun shot wound of right leg at $5 per month from discharge, and at $6 per month from April 3, 1884.
           In November 1887, and January, 1888, he alleged rheumatism and that his pensioned disabilities had increased. His rate was increased to $8 from November 15, 1887, on the pensioned disabilities, and the claim for rheumatism was rejected on the ground of "no pensionable disability since filing."
           February 4, 1889, his rate for the pensioned disabilities was increased to $14 from August 27, 1888.
           On April 4, 1889, he filed an application for increase and also alleged partial deafness of the left ear. The claim for increase was rejected and claim for partial deafness of left ear was rejected on the ground that the same was not accepted as a result of deafness of right ear.
           The case was reopened and again rejected June 13, 1890, on the ground that he was receiving all the pension he was entitled to for the pensioned disabilities and that no results could, from a medical standpoint, be admitted.
           In a declaration filed August 2, 1890, he filed an application for increase for pensioned disabilities and results of same, paralysis, rheumatism and heart disease, and asking a re-rating from May 30, 1889.
           The claim for re-rating was rejected February 18, 1891, but no action seems to have been taken on the claim for increase or results.
           From this action the claimant appeals.
           It appears from the records of the War Department that appellant enlisted in Company E, 102 New York Volunteers November 15, 1861, under the name of Herman Kaples, and was discharged on Surgeon's Certificate of disability, July 16, 1862, on account of "Phthisis".
           He enlisted under the name of Herman Caples in Company "L", 2nd New York Heavy Artillery, on the 19th of December 1863, to serve three years, and was mustered out on detachment roll June 24, 1865.
           The rolls of Company "E", 102 N.Y. Vols., for January, February, March, April, May and June, 1862, show Herman Kaples absent sick, but furnish no evidence as to the nature of the same.
           While he was a member of Company "L", 2nd New York Cavalry he was treated in Hospital as follows: "Depot Field Hospital 2nd A.C., City Point, Va., August 27, to 31, 1864, for sun stroke.
           Again admitted March 10, 1865, with scurvy and transferred to G.H., April 9, 1865; remarks, "State of Maine."
           At his examination September 25, 1889, he was given schedule rate for total deafness of right ear and slight of left ear and 8/18 for gunshot wound of right hand, and 2nd grade for paralysis.
           He was examined March 22, 1890, and rated 20/30 for deafness, 2nd Grade for paralysis, the Surgeon stating that as the paralysis ^was^ in the hand and leg which are the seat of the wounds for which pensioned, it was impossible to arrive at a definite conclusion as to what the disabilities would have amounted to had the hemiplegia not occurred, and that as it is, the paralysis makes a total disability, 2nd Grade, as well as total disability in the right hand and right foot, and recommends the rate he might have been drawing prior to the appearance of paralysis for the gunshot wounds.
           He further says: "I see no reason for supposing that the disabilities from the gunshot wounds had increased, neither do I suppose that the hemiplegia was due to remote effects of either, and there is not evidence of disease of heart of long standing which would favor the cerebral trouble."
           The medical examination next prior to the appearance of the paralysis, gave him a rating of only 2/18 for the gunshot wounds.
           As deafness of left ear is not accepted by the Medical Referee as a result of the injury to the right ear, he is only entitled to a rating of $10 for total deafness of right ear disability from the gunshot wounds alone is adequately rated at $4 per month.
           It is true that he is nearly helpless from hemiplegia of the right side, affecting his speech to the extent that he cannot talk, but this is not accepted by the medical officers of your Bureau to be the result of any disability alleged and legally established.
           However deplorable appellant's condition may be, it is clear that he is now receiving as great a rate of pension as the disabilities shown to have been of service origin will warrant, and your action is therefore affirmed.

    Very respectfully,
    /s/ Cyrus Bussey
    Assistant Secretary.(4)
Index to Special Examiner's Report
pp 3-6, Summary
A. pp 6-11, Claimant's Committee's Statement, Walter Caples (Com), Redwood, Jefferson County, March 1", 1893
B. pp 12-14, Mrs. Pauline Caples, Redwood, Jefferson County, March 1", 1893
C. pp 15-17, Dr. C. A. Catlin, Redwood, Jefferson County, March 1", 1893
D. pp 18-20, Irving Caples, 40, near Redwood, Jefferson County, March 4, 1893
E. pp 21-24, Martin Springer, 54, Town of Alexandria, Jefferson County, March 4, 1893
F. pp 25-28, Elias Russell, 59, Redwood, Jefferson County, NY, March 1, 1893
G. pp 29-30, Joseph H. Babcock, 46, near Redwood, Jefferson County, NY, March 4, 1893
H. pp 31-32, Walter Caples/Com, Redwood, Jefferson County, NY, March 4, 1893
Summary.

                                                         Ogdensburg, N.Y.
                                                                      March 4" 1893
Hon. Green B. Rann
         Commissioner of Pensions
                    Sir:
                                          I have the honor to return herewith all papers and to submit my report in claim Ctf 375,855 Herman Caples, Insane, Co "D" 2" N.Y. Heavy Arty.
       Soldier is pensioned at the rate of $1400 per month on account of G.S.W. and deafness.
Claim was referred for Special Examination to determine merits, as per slip of Reviewer dated January 26" 1893.
       The soldier' Committee is his brother, Walter Caples, upon whom the usual notice was served and his right and privileges were fully explained to him. He was present during the taking of all the testimony, and waived notice to an y and all further examination of the claim.
I saw the soldier, who is in a helpless condition and no information at all could be learned from him. The reputation of the Committee and witnesses is shown by index sheet.
       This is a very peculiar case, and it is doubtful in my mind whether soldier's present condition can be accepted as in any way due to his army service. It is shown by the evidence that soldier has been roaming from place to place ever since his discharge.
In order to reach a definite conclusion as regards the general merits of the case, I would recommend that it be sent to Herkimer Co N.Y. for the testimony of the following persons as to prior soundness and condition after service and also condition in service. Homer Caples and Mrs. George H. Miller, brother and sister Mohawk Herkimer Co N.Y. Geo. N. House, Benj. Sweet, Chas. J. Fisk and others at Pages Corners Herkimer Co N.Y. and then if necessary to interview original witnesses in Herkimer Co.
                                Very respectfully,
                                         Inos Fadler
                                                  Special Examiner(5)
Deposition A. On March 1, 1893, Walter Caples provided the following deposition to Special Examiner Inos Fadler, at Redwood, Jefferson County, New York, as recorded in Mr. Fadler's handwriting. Mr. Fadler listed his reputation in the Report Index as "Fair."
My age is 44 yrs occupation carpenter & P.O. Redwood, N.Y.
I am the duly appointed Committee of the above named soldier. He is my brother. His now making his home with me, near this village. He has been with me six years next fall. He has not resided any where else during this period. My brother is perfectly helpless as far as doing anything. He is able with aid of a support to move around the room. He is unable to prepare his own food. He is able however to eat. This condition has lasted since he became paralysed four years ago next May. His entire right side is paralysed. His right arm and leg are wholly useless. The paralysis has had the effect of destroying the organs of speech as he unable to say but very few words. Yes & no are about all he can say.
At the time my brother entered the service he was living in Herkimer Co, where he was born & brought up. His P.O. address was Pages Corners in the Town of Warren. He was a Cooper by occupation My brother was never married. After his army service he returned to Herkimer Co. where he remained as well as I can tell about a year or so. Then he moved here in this Co. and lived with Martin Springer. From the time he left Herkimer Co. after service until 1875 I knew nothing whatever about him or where he was but since 1875 I have kept pretty good track of him and I do not suppose there has been any time since 1875 but what I have seen him every five or six months. My brother is now in receipt of a pension of $1400 per month on account of G.S.W. & total deafness of right ear.
I am now endeavoring to prove that his present condition is due to his army service. My brother was draining the $1400 per month before he became paralysed and had been for sometime
             I have applied for an increase of this soldier' pension in which I allege that he was sunstroke in the service and also contracted rheumatism in service I got the information from the department that he was sunstroke but I have no other knowledge of it. Never heard my brother say or any one else say that he was sunstroke.
I dont know that my brother ever had rheumatism in service & base that upon what Comrades & others have told me. The testimony of the Comrades has been furnished showing he suffered with rheumatism in service.
Yes sir I was at house when my brother was there after his return from the army but after he left there I knew nothing more of him until 1875. He was then ^in 1865^ a walking skeleton and had rheumatism was not able to but little if any work at all. The rheumatism was in his hands legs knees, hips and moved from place to place about his body. Dr. Horace Manley who lived at Richfield Springs N.Y. treated him when he came home.
Geo. N. House, Jacob House, Benj. Sweet Chas. J. Fisk & others at Pages Corners knew my brother suffered from rheumatism when he came home. I dont now remember that anything else ailed him.
He lived in Canada quite a good deal. Cant tell where he was located or with or for whom he worked and lived.
Avery and Thompson, is the firm he worked for at [Sharbot?] Lake in Upper Canada I do not know how long he was there. The most of his time as well as I can learn has been spent here in this vicinity. He has pretty much always complained with the rheumatism whenever I have seen him.
The only evidence I can recall that I ever noticed he was mentally effected or that led me to think he was not right was his disposition to travel or roam from place to place. His habits has been good, whenever I have seen him what they were when away from me I dont know.
Q. When did you first notice that your brother's mind was effected?
A. When I saw him first after his army service I thought there was something the matter with him & that he acted queer. I thought by his actions that he was not right. I dont know that I can name any particular thing that he ever did or said that showed he was not sound in his mind.
I dont know that I ever heard any outsiders say he was not right but have heard my own folks say so. My brother Homer Caples at Mohawk Herkimer Co. & my sister Mrs. Geo. H. Miller also Mohawk N.Y. My father is dead, I dont know the cause of death. my mother is still living and is very old. She is very deaf and has an impediment in her speech which is due to her pallet being eaten away by scrofula sore of some sort. Neither my father nor mother had rheumatism. None of our family were ever mentally effected
I have no idea where my brother was in 1879 & 1880 unless he was around somewhere in this Co.
No sir I never noticed any signs of paralysis until he was taken & the stroke came upon him suddenly.
He has done little or no work since he has been with me about 1886 or thereabouts and prior to that time I cannot give a very definite account of him or his whereabout.
My knowledge as to my brother having sunstroke in service is from this letter which I show you from asst. Secy Bussey in his decision in the case.
I never heard him complain particularly about his wounded leg or arm but I know he had been wounded.
I do not care to be present or represented during the examination of this case anywhere except here in Jefferson Co.
I have no other witnesses than those who have already testified.
My statement has been correctly recorded in this deposition.
                         /s/ Walter Caples
(6)
Deposition B. On March 1, 1893, Mrs. Pauline Caples provided the following deposition to Special Examiner Inos Fadler, at Redwood, Jefferson County, New York, as recorded in Mr. Fadler's handwriting. Mr. Fadler listed her reputation in the Report Index as "Good."
My age is 37 years occupation housekeeper & P.O. as above.
       The soldier Herman Caples is my brother-in-law.
The Committee is my husband. I have been in the family between five & six years. Did not know the soldier previous to that time. The soldier has resided and made his home with my husband ever since my marriage. He has never been away from home any length of time.
       Either three or four years ago he was stricken with paralysis and since then his entire right side has been useless, and he has been unable to talk since he became paralysed. He says some words but not much, and he can hardly say anything. And he has been unable to get around at all. He has a support sort of cane & he can hobble along in a fashion but has been perfectly helpless ever since he became paralysed. He cant prepare his food but can feed himself with his left hand. Before he became paralysed he was working around here and there and I am unable to say anything as regards his condition except from the time I came in the family.
The morning he became paralysed he came down stairs to breakfast and I noticed that his voice sounded very queer and when he went to breakfast he did some things that led us to believe there was something wrong and finally he was unable to talk at all, and could not swallow. He laid on the couch & we sent for Dr. Catlin who came & pronounced it attack of paralysis & in the afternoon he became helpless just as he is now.
       I never noticed that his mind was effected before he had the attack of paralysis.
       I know that for the short time I knew him before he became helpless he would complain with the rheumatism and would say that he had the head ache The rheumatism seemed to be in his legs arms & in fact all over him and he would frequently complain that he was very sore
       I dont know that he was confined to his bed sick before he became paralysed.
       My husband has taken care of him. I cant tell anything more than what I have already done. I know nothing about his previous history.
       He is generally able to dress himself unless it is to change his underclothes.
       I am in no way interested My statement has been correctly recorded in this deposition.
                                        /s/ Mrs. Pauline Caples(7)
Deposition C. On March 1, 1893, Dr. C. A. Catlin provided the following deposition to Special Examiner Inos Fadler, at Redwood, Jefferson County, New York, as recorded in Mr. Fadler's handwriting. Mr. Fadler listed her reputation in the Report Index as "Good."
My age is 57 years occupation physician & P.O. as above.
I have known the soldier Herman Caples about 8 years, and during past five year I have known him more intimately and I was the physician who treated him when he became paralysed some four years ago. For a year previous to the stroke of paralysis I saw him quite frequently.
I never made an examination of him until he became paralysed except he would at times come to me complaining of rheumatism and I would sometimes examine the part he complained with He would complain with rheumatism in his legs arms and I examined these parts and found some evidence of rheumatism of muscular nature. I noticed nothing else as being the matter with him except he was peculiar which I concluded he must to have been born with the peculiarity. He was dull of intellect and difficult to get information from unless you kept asking him questions and then he would answer you. I also remember he was deaf in one ear.
He never told me anything about his army service when I was called the morning he was stricken with paralysis I made a thorough examination of him I found him unable to talk and his whole side paralysed He had no use of the arm or leg. The nerves of motion were paralysed but those of sensation were not. Of course his condition as it appeared to me then was clear but I may have forgotten by this time what his exact condition was.
His condition now is about the same as it was then with one exception which is simply in pronunciation He is now able to say yes but then he was unable to utter any word or words. I cannot say what the direct cause of the paralysis was except that I concluded that the rheumatism which he had suffered was a factor in it but never having had but little personal knowledge of the soldier I attributed the cause of paralysis to the rheumatism which I learned he had suffered with a long time. I am quite sure now that the soldier showed me wound or wounds he received in the service, I cannot now locate the wounds but think they were on his leg, and my impression is was
[sic] the leg that was paralysed but I cant be positive. If I had known the soldier for any length of time & he had been under my professional care I could probably give some information as to the cause of the paralysis but I have given all I as full a statement as I am in position to do.
Am in no way related or interested . My statement has been correctly recorded.
                                       /s/ C. A. Catlin
(8)
Deposition D. On March 4, 1893, Irving Caples provided the following deposition to Special Examiner Inos Fadler, at "near Redwood", Jefferson County, New York, as recorded in Mr. Fadler's handwriting. Mr. Fadler listed his reputation in the Report Index as "Good."
My age is 40 years occupation farmer & P.O. as above. The claimant is my brother I do not remember but little of anything about him until 1877 when I moved from Herkimer Co. To this Co. And then into Canada Since 1877 I have seen him from one to three & four times a year.
Since 1877 I have worked some with him around saw mill
[sic] with him [sic] This was at Escott Canada and worked around jobbing with him together. Some four years ago he had a stroke of paralysis since which time he has been helpless and unable to do anything.
       I remember he use to complain quite good deal with rheumatism in his legs & arms when I saw him in 1877 & so continued until he became paralysed. I never knew what the cause of paralysis was. the only evidence I have that he had rheumatism was his complaining and he would complain more in the damp weather than any other time Dont know that his limbs ever swelled and cant say that he ever was laid up unable to do anything. My brother has lived in quite a number of places since the war where or for how long I do not know.
Ever since I can remember my brother he was always looked upon as a queer man & was considered quite flashy at times He would get mad and get over it just easy. I dont remember much about him until 1877 & even at his condition was prior to that time I am unable to say I dont remember anything else he complained with well I use to hear him complain with headache especially in hot weather.He was told me that he was wounded in his hand & leg and I have seen the wounds, I dont remember he ever complained to me about the effect the wounds had upon him.
       I am in no way interested
       My statement has been correctly recorded.
                                      /s/ Irving Caples
(9)
Deposition E. On March 4, 1893, Martin Springer provided the following deposition to Special Examiner Inos Fadler, at Town of Alexandria, Jefferson County, New York, as recorded in Mr. Fadler's handwriting. Mr. Fadler noted his reputation in the Report Index as "Good."
My age is 54 yrs occupation farmer P.O. Redwood N.Y. I have known the soldier Herman Caples since 1866. I first met him at Pages Corners Herkimer Co N.Y. I came here to this Co in 1870 and when I came the soldier came with me. From 1866 to 1870 he lived with me most of the time at or near VanHornsville Herkimer Co. I kept him busy making sap buckets and working on the farm and when I came here he came with me.
I hired him to work on farm
[sic] in 1867 or 68 but he was not able to do the work, but I kept him at work making butter tubs. He came here with me and remained with me off and on for year or two, and also worked for a Mr. Babcock He has also lived in Canada some but the most of the time he has spent in and around this place and has worked some for me and I have seen good deal of him since 1866.
He was never married to my knowledge.
He never remained very long at any one place. He had places where he would go when he had no other place to go.
no sir I never knew him previous to his enlistment. He has complained a good deal all the time. In 1867 or 68 when I hired him to work on the farm I remember well that he was at times pretty well used up on account of rheumatism
The rheumatism seemed to effect him all over and he use to say that the rheumatism was over him & that he was sore. Ever since that time he has complained more or less with the rheumatism-- I cant now remember any thing else he claimed was the matter with him at that time. The only other thing I have any knowledge ailed him was that he was deaf in one ear but I cant recall anything further. I dont know that he ever received any treatment for the rheumatism. The only knowledge that I have of the existence of rheumatism was his own complaining Dont know that his limbs were ever swollen. During past three or four years he has been in an almost helpless condition. This is caused by his having a stroke of paralysis. No sir I do not know the cause of the stroke.
       I dont know that he showed any signs of paralysis whenever he was around where I saw him. I never knew the soldier to be injured since service. He also complained to me sometimes that he had been wounded in the army cant say where the wounds were
Ever since I have known him I have always thought him queer, but never thought he was insane or crazy but have always imagined he was somewhat lacking. I only concluded this from his talk and general way. I cant tell any of peculiarities but always thought he was odd in his ways. Since he has become paralysed he seemed somewhat idiotic although he is unable to talk. I never knew or heard what caused the paralysis. His habits were good. He was a great [cheese?] ??maker but an extremely temperate man and I would not say his habits were bad by any means.
I am in no way related or interested. Dont remember he ever complained to me with headache. My statement is correctly recorded.
                                      /s/ Martin Springer
(10)
Deposition F. On March 1, 1893, Elias Russell provided the following deposition to Special Examiner Inos Fadler, at Redwood, Jefferson County, New York, as recorded in Mr. Fadler's handwriting. Mr. Fadler noted his reputation in the Report Index as "Good."
My age is 59 yrs occupation marble works & P.O. as above. I remember the soldier Herman Caples as long ago as 20 years. When I first met he was here in this neighborhood and I understood came here from Herkimer County with a man named Springer who came here for the purpose of building a cheese factory which he Springer afterwards run and operated.
Springer & the soldier came to my house and remained overnight when they came here and after that I would occasionally meet the soldier and I have seen him off and on ever since. I should say it was over 20 years ago when they came. I know that the soldier went to Canada years or so afterwards but was back in this section off & on and I do not believe that there has been a period of two years go by but what I do have seen him
[sic]. Yes sir I have seen him since he became paralysed. I helped to build the factory and became quite well acquainted with the soldier who was also working around there. Well sir from that time to the present I have always looked upon this soldier as a droll sort of fellow, and very odd in his manner and ways. was a luckey go easy fellow. He was not by any means a crazy man or a fool. He also showed his droll odd way whenever I met him. No sir I dont know that I knew anything to be the matter with him until he became paralysed unless it was his deafness.
My impression is that he was only deaf in one ear and has been so ever since I knew him. His habits have always been good as far as I ever knew. No sir I cont remember that he ever complained to me of any thing ailment
[sic] except his deafness.
       No sir I dont now recall that he ever told me he suffered from the effects of rheumatism. He was always a man who was stout fleshy man
[sic]. I have no recollection that he ever complained to me of anything in particular.
       He was never a very rapid worker to my knowledge but I attributed it to his droll way and not to his inability to labor.
       I never knew what his paralysis was attributed to, & knew nothing as to the supposed cause.
       I am in no way related or interested.
       My statement has been correctly recorded in this deposition.
                                        /s/ Elias Russell
(11)
Deposition G. On March 4, 1893, Joseph H. Babcock provided the following deposition to Special Examiner Inos Fadler, at "near Redwood", Jefferson County, New York, as recorded in Mr. Fadler's handwriting. Mr. Fadler noted his reputation in the Report Index as "Good--Biased."
My age is 46 years occupation farmer & P.O. as above.
       I became acquainted with the soldier Herman Caples in the Spring 1866. Met him in Herkimer Co. NY.
       I remained there all summer & saw considerable of the soldier and then did not see him again until he moved here in this county in 1870 I think and from that time to the present I have seen good deal of him
[sic]. He has not resided here all the time but lived here and across the River in Canada He has worked for me some and has stayed here at my house considerable.
Yes sir I saw enough of him during summer 1866 to know what his condition was. He had hired out to a man named Martin Springer and on account of Caples not being able to do the work I took his place although I was at Springers all the time that Caples was. In the fall of 1866 I returned here to this Town and have been here ever since & recollect that few years after 1866 Springer moved here & brought Caples with him.
I remember he complained a good deal the final year I knew him or during the summer of 1866. He told me he had been wounded in the hand and leg I think & use to say that the wounds hurt him some. I recollect he use to complain with head ache and told me that a shell exploded near him once.
       He use to complain with the rheumatism in his legs & arms and I only he had rheumatism from what he told me. No I never thought he insane or acted queer Dont know that I ever noticed he was other than of sound mind. He was never able to more than half the labor of an able bodied man since I have known him. I have made an affidavit before. I am not related or interested My statement is correctly recorded.
                                                      /s/ Joseph H. Babcock
(12)
Deposition H. Below is a summary of Walter Caples' statements, as provided in Claimant's Statement (form 3-590) on March 4, 1893 to Special Examiner Inos Fadler, at Redwood, Jefferson County, New York:
    • Does not wish to be present or represented by an attorney if the testimony of other witnesses are required to further examine his claim;
    • If he changes his mind, he will at once address a letter to the Commissioner of Pensions;
    • Don M. Watson, Redwood, NY is instrumental in the prosecution of his claim for pension;
    • There is no contract for Mr. Watson's services;
    • He has paid nothing for Mr. Watson's services;
    • No others beyond those already named of all witnesses he desired be examined elsewhere;
    • He had no complaint as to the conduct, manner, or fairness of the examination of his claim;
    • He did not wish to introduce any more testimony before the Special Examiner.(13)
Index to Special Examiner's Report
pp 2-4, Summary
A. pp 5-6, Charles J. Fiske, 67, Jordansville, Herkimer County, NY, March 23, 1893
B. pp 7-8, Jacob House, 51, Richfield Springs, Otsego County, NY, March 23, 1893
C. pp 9-10, Mengo [?] Petri, 56, Pages Corners, Herkimer County, NY, March 23, 1893
D. pp 11-12, Homer Caples, 49, German Flats, Herkimer County, NY, March 24, 1893
E. pp 13-14, Viola Miller, 33, German Flats, Herkimer County, NY, March 24, 1893


Summary.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, SAR. CO, N.Y.           Mch 24th 1893
Sir,
       I have the honor to submit Report in Cert No. 375.855.
Herman Caples Co. L 2d N.Y. H.A. (Insane)
Walter Caples. Committee.
P.O. address Redwood Jefferson Co. N.Y.
       Is pensioned @ "14 per month for g.s.w. and deafness.
       Claims increase on account of paralysis resulting from sunstroke and also for increase of other disabilities.
       The claim in sent to me for evidence to soldier's condition for about four years after discharge while living at Page's Corners.
       George N. House is dead.
       Benj. Sweet was thoroughly stupid. He said he had heard of such a man but could not admit that he knew anything about him.
       I took the evidence of the other witnesses recommended.
       Jay [Whine?] original affiant is a habitual drunkard and was in that condition while I was at Richfield Springs.
       The brother is as deaf as a post and it was hard work getting much out of him. He cannot recall dates and could not describe symptoms very clearly.
       The sister was also somewhat deaf. She was only four years old at soldier's discharge and was of little account as a witness.
       The only other witness I could find was Mungo Petri who served with soldier and lived with him afterwards, but I found afterwards that he is not called reliable.
       I consider that this [ ? ] is fully covered by the evidence of Chas. J. Fisk
[sic] and Jacob House taken by me and of Martin Springer taken by E[?] Fadler.
       It shows that soldier came home badly used up and that he was after that absent minded and wandering in his thoughts. I do not see as anything further is shown to indicate that he was out of his right mind. It is also evident that he had a good deal of trouble with his head.
       My opinion on the medical question of origin of paralysis and whether due to service will be of no value. No medical evidence seems possible as for Manley who treated soldier is dead, and all that we have is the evidence of these lay witnesses who are not particularly bright. It is evident from Medical Examinations that soldier is entitled to an increase on pensioned disabilities and I therefore give my opinion that claim for increase in meritorious and recommend admission.
                                          Very Respectfully
                                                    Edwin B. Smith
                                                              Special Exam
Hon Andrew Davidson
           Act. Commissioner of Pensions
(14)
Deposition A. On March 23, 1893, Charles J. Fiske, 67 years old and a blacksmith, P.O. address Jordanville, Herkimer County, provided the following deposition to Special Examiner Edwin B. Smith at Jordanville, Herkimer County, New York, as recorded in Mr. Smith's handwriting. Mr. Smith noted his reputation in the Report Index as "Good."
I was a member of Co. F. 16th N.Y. H.A. and about Aug. 1864 at [Bermuda?] Front, a few miles from Bermuda Hundred. I met Herman Caples. At that time I was cooking for the Company And he came where I was cooking And said that he was used up and could not go any farther. His Reg't had been on a [reconnoisauer ? ] to [Deep Barton?] and was on their way back. I can recollect that he was sick and had pains all over him which I supposed to be in the nature of rheumatism. I cannot say whether he had any other trouble or whether he had been overcome by the heat. I know that he was completely used up and he stayed with me over night and I fed him and filled his haversack and he went away -- Afterwards I visited his Reg't and found that he had not gone back, but was in Hospital and I understood that he never returned to his Reg't.
       I never saw him in service at any other time.
       I knew him before the war and considered him to be sound. And he did not show any signs of mental weakness. He was quite an ingenious man before the war and appeared all right long way
[sic]. He was a handy man at most anything.
       I saw him quite often for three years or more after he came home. We lived near neighbors during that time and he often came into my shop and I would see him in other places.
       He complained of pains in his limbs and head during this time and was suffering in this way most of the time
       I cannot say that there was anything more the matter of his limbs except this pain and stiffness which I supposed to be rheumatism and I think he called it so at the time. I can not tell the nature of the trouble in his head whether it was headache or dizziness. I only know that he often complained of his head. I cannot recollect whether he spoke of any sunstroke.
       I could not see but was entirely rational during this time and did not see anything strange in his actions.
       I do not know anything about him since that time.
       I fully understand your question and my answers are correctly recorded .
       My former affidavit is correct.
                                  /s/ Charles J. Fiske
(15)
Deposition B. On March 23, 1893, Jacob House, 51 years old and a farmer, P.O. address Richfield Springs, Otsego County, provided the following deposition to Special Examiner Edwin B. Smith, as recorded in Mr. Smith's handwriting. Mr. Smith noted his reputation in the Report Index as "Good."
I have known Herman Caples ever since I was a boy and always lived in the same town.
       Prior to his enlistment he was a sound man and of sound mind. And did not show any signs of mental weakness or insanity.
I was living in the same neighborhood when he came home from the army and saw him right away after he came home and continued to see him about [every?] day till he went away from this part of the country.
       When he first came back from the army he was badly used up being very thin in flesh and suffering from rheumatism and some brain trouble.
       He was stiff and lame and complaining of pain all over his body. And he called it rheumatism.
       I recall that Dr. Manley treated him some after he came home and it was my understanding that he treated him for the rheumatic trouble.
       He continued to suffer from this during the three or four years time he lived about here and part of the time it was very bad and the pain was intense.
       I noticed that something was the matter with his intellect as soon as he came home and always noticed it afterwards. What I can recall is that the was absent minded and he would wander off from one subject to another and seemed to be somewhat foolish at times.
       He was complaining all the time after he came home of pain in his head. I did not understand that it was headache but he said that his head pained him all over.
       He continued in poor health and unable to do much labor as long as he lived about here.
       I never heard him speak of any sunstroke in the army.
       His condition which I have described dated from the first of his return from the army.
       I fully understand your questions and my answers are correctly recorded.
                                /s/ Jacob House
(16)
Deposition C. On March 23, 1893, Mengo Petri, 56 years old and a building mover, P.O. address Pages Corners (Cullen), Herkimer County, provided the following deposition to Special Examiner Edwin B. Smith, as recorded in Mr. Smith's handwriting. Mr. Smith noted his reputation in the Report Index as "Doubtful."
I was member of Co. L 2d N.Y. H.A. and served up to 1865.
I recall Herman Caples who was a member of the Company. I know that he was sick in [?] and went to Hospital i the summer of 1864.
I know that he had chronic diarrhea and rheumatism I not know whether he suffered from sunstroke.
After his return he lived in this neighborhood for several years and I saw him quite often. I did not Know of his having any particular trouble with his head and did not notice that he acted strangely during this time but he was in poor health and continued to complain of the diarrhea and rheumatism.
I can not tell what parts of his body was affected by the rheumatism.
I fully understand your questions and my answers are correctly recorded.
                              /s/ Munog
[sic] Pet-?(17)
Deposition D. On March 24, 1893, Homer Caples, 49 years old, a farmer at P.O. address Mohawk, Herkimer County, NY, provided the following deposition to Special Examiner Edwin B. Smith at German Flats, Herkimer County, New York, as recorded in Mr. Smith's handwriting. Mr. Smith noted his reputation in the Report Index as "Fair."
I am a brother of Herman Caples. Before the war he was just like any body else and had good sense and was not strange in any way. I saw him up to about the time of enlistment and he was strong and [well?] long way
       When he came home I saw him right away and lived near him during the time that he lived at Page's Corners.
       He was all used up when he came home and was nothing but skin and bones. He alos
[sic] seemed strange. I can't describe it exactly, but he acted as if he didn't know what he was talking about and would say strange and foolish things. He talked and acted in this way from the time that he first came home, but it grew on him year by year. I cannot say that I saw any thing strange about him at that time except that his thoughts were wandering and he seemed absent minded.
       I recollect that the winter after he came home and at different times afterward he had rheumatism There was pain and stiffness all over him. I recollect that he doctored a long while for this with old Dr. Manley of Richfield Springs, now dead.
       I cannot say whether he complained of any pain in the head. I recollect his saying that he had a sunstroke in the army.
       I cannot recollect whether he had diarrhea at discharge or after.
       I cannot recall whether he was deaf after his returning home.
       I lived near him for a long time while he was in Jefferson County and in Canada. I went up there the year after he did and was around where he was most of the time up to four years ago. He has always continued in poor health and his queer actions continued and he got moor
[sic] and moor [sic] foolish year by year and we considered that he was not right. After he left here he often complained of pain in his head and would sit up nights and smoke and say that his head pained him so that he could not sleep.
       I saw him shortly after he had the stroke of paralysis about four years ago. I do not know as I can say that I say symptoms of it before it came on except his strange actions and the pain in his head and body.
       I fully understand your questions and my answers are correctly recorded.
                                  /s/ homer Caples
(18)
Deposition E. On March 24, 1893, Viola Miller, 33 years old, at P.O. address Mohawk, Herkimer County, NY, provided the following deposition to Special Examiner Edwin B. Smith at German Flats, Herkimer County, New York, as recorded in Mr. Smith's handwriting. Mr. Smith noted his reputation in the Report Index as "Good."
I am a sister of Herman Caples. When he came home from the war, I was very young and cannot remember much about him but I can recall that he was looking very much run down and was always in poor health afterwards.
       I was not at home when he first went to Canada and I never was home much as I always worked out and only saw him once and a while so that I cannot tell much about his condition.
       I was married 16 years ago and have not seen much of him since.
       I can recollect that he often complained of his head and also of rheumatism or pain in his limbs and arms, and he has always acted strange and absent minded ever since I can first remember after coming home from the army.
       I fully understand your questions and my answers are correctly recorded.
                                      /s/ Viola Miller
(19)
Below is a type-written letter from Acting Commissioner D. J. Murphy to the Secretary of the Interior, October 18, 1893.
Law ^E^ Division.                                             DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
L.L.

                                                                                     BUREAU OF PENSIONS
                                                                                                   WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 18, 1893.
 
Appeal in the claim of
Walter Caples,
Co. "L", 20, N.Y.H.A.,                                Dept. docket, 18,591,
Cert. NO. 375,855                                                 29-26.

Sir:-
       In response to Departmental call of May 31, 1893, for a report on appeal in the claim for increase cited above, I have the honor to submit the following statement:
       This soldier was in receipt of a pension of $14 per month for total deafness of right ear and gunshot wound of right hand and right leg; when on March 21, 1892, he filed a claim for increase and to additional disabilities of rheumatism and paralysis of sight and partial deafness of left ear: This was rejected April 14, 1893 on the ground of "no increase", and the claim for additional disabilities rejected on the ground, that, there was "no ratable disability therefrom shown since filing claim". From this action the claimant appeals, contending that the testimony filed shows incurrence in service of the disabilities alleged and the continuance of the same from discharge to the present time, also that he is totally disqualified for the performance of manual labor.
       Under a special test medical examination made Aug. 15, 1892, upon this claim for increase a 20/30 rating was recommended for deafness, 6/18 for gun shot wound of right hand and right leg, 4/18 for rheumatism and 2nd. grade for that caused by hemiplegia and results.
       In deposing of the claim, the Medical Referee on April 3, 93, held, that, "paralysis and deafness of left ear cannot be accepted as the results of sunstroke in service, nor are there any disabilities which can be from a medical standpoint accepted as due to either sunstroke or rheumatism.["]
       The appeal and papers in the claim are herewith transmitted for your consideration.
                                                Very respectfully,
                                                         /s/ D. J. Murphy
                                                        Acting Commissioner.
To the Honorable
       The Secretary of the Interior. (20)

The rejection was affirmed on or around April 24, 1894. Below is a two-page, double-spaced, type-written document from the Department of Interior Bureau of Pensions:
N.R.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
WASHINGTON
Date stamped APR 20, 1894 and APR. 24, 1894
Docket No. 18,591       (            
                                   )             Appeal.
Walter Caples,             (
                                   )            
Co. L, 20th N.Y. H.A..   (            
                                   )             Rejection affirmed.
Cert. No. 375,855.        (

          Claim for increase.

     Held that no higher rate is warranted by the evidence.

     Rejection affirmed.

The Commissioner of Pensions,

     Sir:
          The claimant who was in receipt of a pension of $14 per month for total deafness of right ear, and gunshot wound of right hand and right leg, filed an application for increase March 31, 1892 and alleged as new disabilities sunstroke resulting in paralysis of right and partial deafness of left ear also rheumatism and paralysis of right side.
          The claim was rejected April 14, 1893 on the ground of no increase, no pensionable disability from the alleged new disabilities since filing the claim.
          From this action an appeal was taken May 29, 1893.
          Under date of April 3, 1893, the Medical Referee stated that "paralysis and deafness of left ear cannot be accepted as the results of sunstroke in service, nor are there any disabilities which can be from a medical standpoint accepted as due to either sunstroke or rheumatism.
          The Department concurs in the action of the medical branch of your Bureau. No higher rate being warranted the rejection is affirmed.
                           Very respectfully,
                                      /s/ Ino M. Reynolds
                                      Assistant Secretary (21)
Endnotes

1. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington: National Archives).

2. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington: National Archives).

3. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington: National Archives) photocopy of handwritten statement of M.M. Mitchell, U.S. Consul, July 12, 1886.

4. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington: National Archives), photocopy of 5-page type-written, undated letter to the Commissioner of Pensions from Assistant Secretary Cyrus Bussey, date stamped January, 1892.

5. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington: National Archives), photocopy of Summary from Special Examiner Inos Fadler, written in his hand, pp. 3-5, March 4, 1893.

6. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington, DC: National Archives), photocopy of Walter Caples Deposition A, pp. 6-11, March 1, 1893.

7. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington, DC: National Archives), photocopy of Mrs. Pauline Caples Deposition B, pp. 12-14, March 1, 1893.

8. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington, DC: National Archives), Dr. C. A. Catlin, Deposition C, pp. 15-17, March 1, 1893.

9. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington, DC: National Archives), photocopy of Irving Caples Deposition D, pp. 18-20, March 4, 1893.

10. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington, DC: National Archives), photocopy of Martin Springer, Deposition E, pp. 21-24, March 4, 1893.

11. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington: National Archives), photocopy of Deposition F, pp. 25-28, March 1, 1893.

12. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington, DC: National Archives), photocopy of Joseph H. Babcock, Deposition G, pp. 29-30, March 4, 1893.

13. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington, DC: National Archives), photocopy of Walter Caples/Com, Deposition H, Claimant's Statement, form 3-590), pp. 31-32, March 4, 1893.

14. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington: National Archives), photocopy of Summary from Special Examiner Edwin B. Smith, written in his hand, pp. 2-4, March 24, 1893.

15. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington, DC: National Archives), photocopy of Charles J. Fiske, Deposition A, pp. 5-6, March 23, 1893.

16. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington, DC: National Archives), photocopy of Jacob House, Deposition B, pp. 7-8, March 23, 1893.

17. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington, DC: National Archives), photocopy of Mungo Petri[?], Deposition C, pp. 9-10, March 23, 1893.

18. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington: National Archives), photocopy of Homer Caples, Deposition D, pp. 11-12, March 24, 1893.

19. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington: National Archives), photocopy of Viola Miller, Deposition E, pp. 13-14, March 24, 1893.

20. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington: National Archives), photocopy of typewritten letter from Acting Commissioner to the Secretary of the Interior, October 18, 1893.

21. Herman Caples, complete Pension Application file, No. 375 855 (Washington: National Archives), photocopy of typewritten letter from Assistant Secretary Ino M. Reynolds to the Commissioner of Pensions, date stamped April 20 and April 24, 1894.

Updated March 31, 2012