Consanguinity: (kŏn'săng-gwĭn'ĭtē) , relationship by blood, whether linear or collateral.

Primarily concentrating on my Browning family from Harrison County, Ohio (and their subsequent move to Crawford County, Illinois) but I've got Plymell, Crago, Eagleton, Garrard, McConnell, Nichols, Swan, Nevitt, Huls, Markee, Depperman, Papstein/Popstein and Hamilton in there too. And that's just the beginning......

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Browning Series Part 3b, or Samuel Browning Hoy, the Young Soldier

Today I will share what I know about Samuel Browning Hoy, one of the sons of Julia Ann Browning and her husband, John Hoy. I hope you'll remember the Browning vs. Beck trial that I featured on my blog last year, but if you don't, take a look at the sidebar on the right. I promise you that you won't be bored reading the full case but just in case, here's a short summary: It was 1837. Julia was sixteen and had given birth to a son named Washington out of wedlock. She and her father accused James Beck and sued him for Bastardy, child support, and Trespass On The Case. It's a long case, with a famous lawyer (Edwin McMasters Stanton, later to become President Buchanan's Attorney General and President Lincoln's Secretary of War), likely a famous juror (Emanuel Custer, the father of General George!) and some fascinating insights into how differently trials were conducted then than they are now. It's a fascinating case and you should go read it now. Go, go, go!

Back now? Good! Okay, so some years after the trial (in 1843) Julia married John Hoy and their story was one I told here. This post is about their second child, Samuel Browning Hoy. Of all John and Julia's children, I know the most about him.

Samuel was born on the seventh day of July in 1848 in Harrison County, Ohio. He was living with his parents and his older brother William (b. c1846) and younger sister Josephine (b. Aug 1850) in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, in the 1850 census. Samuel's half-brother, Washington (the result of Julia's liaison with James Beck, b. Mar 1837) wasn't living with his mother and half-siblings; he was living with Julia's parents Samuel and Margaret (Markee) Browning.

Sometime between 1851-1855 the Hoys joined most of the rest of the Browning family relations and moved on to Crawford County, Illinois. The 1855 IL state census makes it appear that John Hoy had died, because Julia and her sons Samuel and William (by this time both Washington and Josephine were also dead) were again living with Julia's parents, Samuel and Margaret (Markee) Browning.

By 1860 Samuel's mother Julia had married again to James E. 'Melton' Legg and was living with him, his five children, and her nephew Elias Browning. You'd think she'd have her boys with her but that wasn't the case -- both William Hoy and Samuel Hoy, aged only 15 and 13 at the time, were once again living with their grandfather Samuel Browning and his second wife Sarah Ann (Bell) Gaddis Browning in Crawford County. (Samuel's first wife, and Samuel Browning Hoy's grandmother, Margaret, had died in 1856.)

The following year Samuel B. Hoy (perhaps along with his older brother William M.J.) moved with his grandfather and step-grandmother to Windsor in Shelby County, Illinois.  I'm not sure about William M.J.  If he did also move to Shelby County he'd returned to Crawford County before February of 1865, when he mustered into service in Company H of the 152nd Illinois Infantry out of he town of Palestine.  I'll mention William again in a moment.  Back to Samuel B.

When the Civil War started Samuel was thirteen and much too young to sign up immediately. He waited until 1864 (when he was 16) before he traveled to Mattoon, a city in Coles County about 15 miles northeast of Windsor. On 21 March 1864 he signed his volunteer enlistment papers, claiming that he was eighteen years old. He was assigned to the 54th Illinois Infantry, Union forces, and was told to muster in on the 30th. But on 28 March 1864, the veterans of the 54th Illinois Infantry were on furlough and had been ordered to reassemble in Mattoon. According to the Adjutant General’s Report, “an organized gang of Copperheads led by Sheriff O’Hair attacked some men of the Regiment at Charleston, killing Major Shubal York, Surgeon, and four privates, and wounding Colonel G. M. Mitchell. One hour later the Regiment arrived from Mattoon and occupied the town, capturing some of the most prominent traitors.” Copperheads were also known as Peace Democrats and were a group of anti-abolitionist Midwesterners.

Two days later, on 30 March 1864, Samuel mustered into Company F. His muster papers say he had sandy hair and gray eyes and was 5' 10".  That's pretty tall for a boy his age!  Anyway, his regiment was immediately on the march and the young Samuel could not keep up. During the march Samuel began growing lame in his left foot. The company moved to Duvall’s Bluff and Clarendon and fought General Shelby, and in time Samuel’s lame foot degenerated into a running sore with small bones working their way out of the upper front part of the foot. The foot prevented him from marching and he had to be hauled in an ambulance part of the way back to Duvall’s Bluff. He was given light duty for the remainder of his service. His regiment was then assigned to guard a section of the Memphis and Little Rock railroad. Many of his regiment were captured during a battle near the railroad, but Samuel’s company was spared.

I said I'd mention Samuel B.'s older brother, William M.J.  As I said earlier, William had also joined the war, mustering into service out of Palestine in Crawford County, IL, in February of 1865.  According to the muster and descriptive rolls of Company H, William was 6’0” with dark hair, dark eyes and a dark complexion.  His regiment was assigned to duty as a railroad guard for the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad until July of 1865.  A month before that, on 2 June 1865, William died of an unknown disease (most likely smallpox) in Tullahoma, Tennessee.  I haven't ever been able to locate his burial.

On 20 August 1865, two months before he mustered out, Samuel was hospitalized for chronic diarrhea in the General Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was released for duty on 28 August 1865. Samuel mustered out on 15 October 1865 and was discharged at Camp Butler on 26 October 1865.

Sometime after his discharge Samuel went to a party at the home of Cornelius Stephenson of Robinson. According to Charles F. Huls and Sarah Ann (Huls) Browning, the spouses of Samuel’s first cousins Margaret Ann Browning and Thomas Nevitt Browning (children of James Browning), Samuel did not dance because of his lame foot but walked with a cane. Samuel was employed by Martin B. Woodworth between 1866 and 1870 as a day laborer. Martin also employed Effie Emmaline Browning (Samuel’s first cousin and the daughter of Samuel J. Browning) as a domestic servant. Samuel worked for Martin out in the fields but Martin claimed Samuel would “frequently give out on account of his lame foot.”

Samuel married Emily Ellen McCarter, the daughter of Samuel G. McCarter and Polly Ann Cannon, on 11 September 1875 in Crawford County. Emily was born on 5 July 1851 in Crawford County. Samuel and Emily Ellen settled in Montgomery Township in Crawford County and had four children (John, Charley, Lillie and Oscar.) In the mid-1880’s Samuel pursued a soldier’s pension, which was granted, and Samuel and Emily spent the remainder of their married lives in Heathsville and Flat Rock in Montgomery Township.

Emily died on 2 February 1930 in Flat Rock and was buried on 4 February 1930. After Emily’s death, Samuel went to live with his son John William Hoy. John, who never married, took care of Samuel for the remainder of his life.

Here's where it gets interesting. When he took Samuel in to take care of him John William applied for an increase in pension for Samuel and during the filing, documents were prepared that seemed to support Samuel’s original statements to his recruiting officer that he had been eighteen years of age at the time of his enlistment. I have copies of Samuel's original soldier's pension files and one of the documents within is a copy of his enlistment papers. This document, signed in March of 1864, specifically states that Samuel was eighteen (which would place his birth in 1845-6.) These documents, along with Samuel’s typed state death certificate and the typed county clerk’s copy of his death certificate, give his year of birth as 1845.

However, I also have his original death certificate. It is handwritten. Take a look at the listed date of birth. Don't you think there is clearly a numeral "8" underneath that numeral “5”? I do.

While it is possible that Samuel had been born in 1845 there is stronger evidence to make a case for the 1848 date. In the 1850 census Samuel was two years of age; in the 1860 census he was thirteen. On the birth certificate of his second child, Charles (born in March 1879) he stated he was thirty years of age. At the birth of his third child, Amy Lillian (born in March 1881) he claimed he was thirty-two years old. As these birth certificates were prepared at the time of the event and not years afterward (as his pension documents were) only one conclusion can safely be drawn: I think that Samuel or his relatives desired to protect his youthful decision to claim lawful age at the time of enlistment (not to mention making sure that the government couldn't demand his pension money back for lying on his enlistment papers!) In reality, Samuel was not yet sixteen years old when he entered into service in the Civil War.

Samuel died on 3 April 1931 in Flat Rock in Crawford County and was buried on 5 April 1931. Both he and Emily are buried in the Robinson New Cemetery in Robinson Township in Crawford County, Illinois.

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