Pension File for Henry S. Richardson
Henry S. RICHARDSON was the son of George W. RICHARDSON Jr. and Julia VOWELL. Henry was born in Wilkesville, Vinton County, Ohio, September 4, 1837. He was the second of three children. By 1860, the family had relocated to Mason City, Mason County, West Virginia.
Henry's may have had a wife, Nancy (last name unknown)but the fact or fiction is lost in the dustbin of history. He married Elizabeth THARP January 8, 1863 in Meigs County, Ohio but apparently she died some time after 1868.His next wife was Anna RINE, whom he married October 13, 1870 in Mason County,West Virginia. Anna died in 1883. Henry then married Mary Loviney MARTIN October 2, 1886 in Ironton, Lawrence County, Ohio.
Henry had numerous children, but I have never been able to sort out whether their mother was Nancy, Elizabeth, or Anna.
Henry served as a private in the Union army for less than a year before he was granted medical discharge. Henry's pension file from the National Archives is huge, over 200 pages long. Henry applied for the invalid pension, and every other pension offered by the federal government. This created a huge number of affidavits because the pension commissioners were very suspicious that Henry was not telling the truth about how he was injured during his time of service.
Henry, according to some of his contemporaries, was a shirker in the army, a liar, a heavy drinker, and quite clearly a disreputable character.
The wife at the forefront of the pension debate was Mary Loviney MARTIN, who filed a deserted wife claim to half of Henry's pension in 1917. Apparently Henry had filed for a divorce from Mary but never followed up on the paper work, so technically, as Mary claimed, she was still his wife. Mary's claim was denied. At the time of her death in Ironton Ohio in 1926 she was married to Harvey SEGO.
Meantime, Henry had clearly left his wife Mary and gone to live with his daughter by one of his earlier marriages. There was quite a tug of war between the families for Henry's pension, and a number of false affidavits were file to claim their part. and false affidavits filed.
Henry died in the home of his granddaughter Nell RICHARDSON, January 29, 1930 in Catlettsburg, Kentucky. He was 93 years old.
Pension FileHenry S. Richardson
Co. A 4th West Virginia Infantry
Soldier's Certificate No. 110597
Enlistment: June 5, 1861
Discharge: April 15, 1862 Honorable
Henry's file is too huge to post. If anyone is interested I will hurry up, otherwise I will post the letters as I get to them.
March 24, 1893
Department of the Interior
Bureau of Pensions
Appeal in the claim of Henry S. Richardon, co. "A", 4" W. Va. Inf., Cert. No. 110,597.
Sir:- In response to the call of April 4, 1892, for a report on the appeal in the above cited pension claim, I have the honor to state as follows:
The claimant was originally pensioned May 24, 1871, for inguinal hernia at the rate of $4 per month from April 23, 1870. The rate was subsequently increased to $8 from April 3, 1884.
November 27, 1885 he filed a claim for additional pension, alleging as a basis therefor ventral hernia, incurred while at Ceredo, W.Va., February, 1862. This claim was rejected March 10, 1892, on the ground that said rupture was not shown to have originated or existed in the U.S. service.
From this adverse action the appeal is taken through H.D. McKnight, who is properly recognized as attorney.
The records of the War Department show that the claimant was enrolled June 17, 1861, and discharged April 15, 1862, on a surgeon's certificate of disability on account of phthisis pulmonalis.
R.L. Higginbothom, a comrade, testifies that the claimant, while in the service, was injured as alleged. His reputation, it appears from the papers on file, is not good.
The claimant has been granted $12 per month under the provisions of the act of June 27, 1890.
The appeal and papers in the case are herewith submitted for your consideration.
Very respectfully Andrew Davidson, Acting Commissioner.
Summaries of affidavits
State of West Virginia
County of Mason
Feburary 2, 1880
Henry identified himself to Judge Stovey as the person who filed for pension claim no. 115971 and that he did not receive his rupture or "cannot read microfilm" while wrestling with a comrade at Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the Courth House yard in July 1861. Henry states that he received the injury for which he is drawing a pension about the middle of November 1861 while on a double quick march from Spencer-R.. County West Virginia to Ravenwood, Jackson County, WV for the purpose of meeting troops on the sir Silver Lake to go up the Kanawha river.
Letters in Pension File
Spencer Coon July 28, 1879
Department of the Interior Bureau of Pensions March 24, 1893
Letter of Commission of Pensions by Mary M. Richardson January 3, 1912 re: desertion
Commissioner of Pensions re: Robert Higginbotham February 29, 1892
Deposition of Henry Richardson February 29, 1892
Letter from J.J. Sayre re: Wrestling Issue July 14, 1879
Special Examiner Commissioner of Pension re: Thomas Dean Feb. 13, 1892
Depostion of Thomas Dean Feb. 13, 1892
Comissioner of Pensions January 15, 1892 refusal
Deposition by Henry Richardson January 1892