~ IN MEMORY OF ~
In 1889, William Marion McDonald's mother filed a pension claim as a dependent of the deceased soldier who served in Capt Goldman Bryson's CO of Union Volunteers. Because the case and pension claims had been confused with those of his first cousin William Marcus McDonald, also of Hanging Dog, NC, the Commissioner of Pensions ordered a special field examination by A. B. Parkey of Atlanta, GA in 1896. Parkey collected depositions in Cherokee CO, NC and other places, Aug 12-15, 1896.
In her deposition, Lavina Deaton McDonald said she and her husband James L. McDonald had 10 children including William Marion McDonald, a member of Capt Bryson's Union Volunteers who was captured at Beaver Dam in Cherokee CO, NC in 1863 by Confederates and never heard from since. She stated that she had previously filed a claim in 1869 through Thomas G. Boyd and J. H. Kelso, claim agents in Monroe CO, TN; however, she never heard from them and after waiting 20 yrs had refiled.
Furthermore, she testified that her son William Marion McDonald and her nephew William Marcus McDonald, son of Jonathan McDonald, had enlisted along with James B. McDonald in Capt Goldman Bryson's CO and that they left her house together on 8 Oct 1863. Her son was then age 18. Soon thereafter, Capt Bryson's CO returned to Cherokee CO, NC on a raid where both William Marion and William Marcus McDonald were captured at Beaver Dam, eight miles from her present home. Since neither boy had returned to his family, both were presumed killed by their Confederate captors.
William Riley Dockery and Levi Dockery made affidavits on 16 Mar 1885 which verified the testimony of Lavina McDonald. Both claimed that they, too, served in Bryson's CO in 1863 along with these two boys who were first cousins. Again on 14 Aug 1896, William Riley Dockery gave testimony to Agent Parkey supporting Mrs. McDonald's previous claims. On 26 Mar 1884 before Parkey's inquiry, William R. and Levi Dockery had appeared before James W. Davidson, JP of Cherokee CO, NC and made an oath to an alleged muster roll of Capt Goldman Bryson's CO, which was then filed with the War Dept in Washington. This "Dockery Roll" showed the following men named McDonald: two James McDonalds, Jonathan McDonald, two William McDonalds, and William M. McDonald.
On 15 Aug 1896, Parkey took a sworn deposition from James Taylor, age 74, of Murphy, NC, a counsel for the Cherokee Indians. He stated that in Oct 1863 Hiram McAfee claimed to have orders from Gen. John Crawford Vaughn to execute the seventeen prisoners captured at Beaver Dam, which McAfee said he did across the mountains in TN. McAfee said that both William M. McDonalds were among the 17 executed. Taylor said McAfee was in Gen. Vaughn's detachment of Confederate cavalry. No record can be found of Hiram McAfee's service in either NC, TN or GA. James Taylor did not reveal that he himself was a capt in Thomas' Confederate Legion, nor did he disclose that his brother Capt Campbell H. Taylor of Thomas' Legion had killed Capt Goldman Bryson on 28 Oct 1863 in Monroe CO, TN and hanged John Ledford to a tree on the Murphy Courthouse Square in NC the next day. Ledford was captured when Bryson was killed near Coker Creek.
Both James Lewis McDonald and his brother Jonathan McDonald, whose surnames were sometimes recorded as McDaniel or McDonnell, had sons named William. James Lewis McDonald's son was named William L. or Marion and was two years older than Jonathan McDonald's son, William Marcus McDonald. Parkey's report to the Commissioner of Pensions showed that Lavinia/Lavina McDonald had a son William Marion McDonald who served in Capt Bryson's CO in 1863 and was captured at Beaver Dam and never heard from again. However, since only one William M. McDonald was listed on the Payne-Boyd substitute roll, the only roll accepted by the War Dept, and since Jonathan McDonald was already drawing a pension of $12 per mo for this deceased son's service, the Board of Review and the Commissioner had to determine who would get the pension. It was then decided that there would be no change in the pension; Jonathan McDonald would continue to receive a pension based on William Marcus McDonald's service. Jonathan's pension claim for his own military service was denied. His widow Catherine received a widow's pension for $8 per mo from the service of William Marcus McDonald, her step-son. Lavina McDonald's claim was rejected, and she was denied a pension.
Sandra Ratledge, gr-gr-gr-niece
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