I don’t know if this happens to you, but every so often when I’m researching for myself (or clients), I come across something that makes me giggle and have to share with my followers. This one was too perfect not to. This is the story of Daniel Goodyear who lived in Cumberland County, Pa. during the events of the Civil War.
In 1868, three years after the Civil War ended, Daniel Goodyear petitioned the state of Pennsylvania “…for recompense for damages to property and goods caused by the Confederate Army during the Civil War.” (Source). On his claim, dated the 16th of December 1868, his petitioned for damages of $150 for his “..dark Bay Mare, 8 years old…”
In this file, Daniel wrote a letter asking for compensation which reads:
To the Honorable, the Commissioner appointed by the Governor to assess damages under the Act of 9th of April 1868.
The Petitioner of Daniel Goodyear a citizen of Monroe Township Cumberland Co. Pa, respectfully represents that on or about the 26th or 27th day of June 1863, He sustained the following loss of property at the hands of the Rebel Army under General Jenkins.
The Dark Bay Mare. 8 years old. $150.00
The above mentioned was taken without my consent and I have in no way received any pay or compensation for the same nor was the animal been recovered by me.
What a fascinating piece of history right there. Even that lends a small window into what was happening in the years after the Civil War for some families. In addition to the letter that Daniel wrote to the Honorable Commissioner, we have more evidence for his case on recompensation.
In fact, two different petitioners spoke for him, two gentlemen by the names of George Morett and a John Pipher.
The transcript reads:
Well acquainted with the petitioner and know him to be a man of truth and veracity. That at the time mentioned in the said petition they were neighbors of said Goodyear. That they knew he owned the animal at the time, that the Rebels were taking horses in the neighborhood. That after they left they never saw the Mare, and are confident the Rebels took her. That she was worth (unreadable) one hundred and fifty dollars and that they are in no way interested in this claim.
After submitting this to the state, the state returned and responded with an answer of compensation for Daniel’s lost horse and granted him the financial gain of $150.00. I wonder if he bought another horse or if he used it for some other gain.
What sort of recompensation files have you seen?
Xoxo Becks Kobel
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Civil War Border Claims, 1868-1879 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.