Prologue Magazine

Voices of Emancipation: Letter of A. F. Burnley

Winter 2005, Vol. 37, No. 4

Document 2c
Letter of A. F. Burnley, Special Examiner, Vicksburg, Mississippi, to the Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, D.C.

December 28, 1905

Source: Civil War Pension File of Charles Washington, Co. E, 47th U.S. Colored Infantry, Record Group 15, Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

I have the honor to return the papers and submit my report in the claim for pension, No. 1,205,443, Charles Washington, Co. E, 47th U.S.C. Inf., whose post office address is Lake Providence, East Carroll Parish, La. The papers in the above titled claim were referred to the S.E. Division for special examination "to determine identity and whether he is the same man who filed the declaration March 14th 1898," and to me to make the initial examination. The usual notice was given and the claimant was advised as to his rights and privileges and was present when all the witnesses were examined except Emeline Anderson. I took claimant's statement, but could not find any one to witness his signature until I got to the house of Adam Shepherd. I had about concluded taking the deposition of Adam Shepher and Hance Stevenson, or Stevens before they had seen the claimant. They were not expecting to see him that day, but as soon as they saw him they recognized him. Claimant has lived within a radius of two or three miles of where he now lives ever since he was in the service. Pilcher's Point is not very far, not more than four miles from where claimant resides and has resided ever since the war. He has generally received his mail at Lake Providence. Mr. Gilmore has left Lake Providence and I could not locate either Allen M. Davis or S.W. Green. Claimant is old and ignorant, but from his statement I am satisfied that he filed a claim before Mr. D.W. Gilmore and that he is the same man who executed the declaration before M. Martian Hamley. I talked to Mr. Hamley and he told me, that claimant executed the declaration before him. He is personally acquainted with claimant.

Claimant insists that he is 89 years old, but he does not appear to be over seventy years old. I do not believe he is over 70 years old. It is seldom that a colored man, after he has reached the age of fifty, does not claim that he is older than he is. Most of them, after they are 50, claim that they are at least sixty years old. While claimant could not name many of the members of his company, I am thoroughly satisfied as to his identity and therefore submit the claim for the consideration of the Chief of the Board of Review.

Very respectfully,

   A.F. Burnley

      Special Examiner

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