Civil War, Free People of Color, Military, North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

Daniel Artis, Union soldier?

Daniel Artis’ pension file arrived today, and I was puzzled. Was this either of “my” Daniels?

As detailed here, Daniel Artis, allegedly went to war as a body servant for Confederate officer Christopher C. Lane. There are two Daniel Artises. One was born about 1820 and would have been well into middle age when he trudged off to battle. On the other hand, his nephew Daniel Artis, Sylvania’s son, was born about 1843, and was in his prime when the Civil War erupted.

What does the file tell us? It’s a slim one, as pension application files go. Daniel’s request for assistance was rejected summarily, so there was no need to interview his neighbors and kin to corroborate his claims. Still, it is useful.

On 2 December 1901, the Board of Review received an application from DANIEL ARTIES, G 14 USCHA, and assigned it claim number 1277226. Milo B. Stevens & Company of Washington, D.C., a firm of attorneys specializing in pension claims, represented the old soldier. Daniel gave his address as P.O. Box 5, Greenville, Pitt Co., NC, and stated that he had enrolled in the Army in an unknown date in 1865 and been discharged on 11 December of the same year. Despite the Pitt County address, Artis granted Stevens power of attorney on a form sworn to in Wayne County — specifically, Eureka — in the presence of W.M. Exum and Philip Forte. I’m not clear on Exum’s identity, but Forte was a prominent African-American in the neighbor and himself a Union veteran.  Further, Forte’s daughter Hannah married Daniel’s cousin Walter S. Artis, son of Adam and Frances Seaberry Artis. Simon S. Strother, the notary public who stamped Daniel’s application, was executor of Adam T. Artis’ estate.) At some point, a commissioner requested “personal description and name of owner” from Artis, but the response — which would have included an assertion of his freeborn status — is not found.

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Daniel’s supporting declaration for invalid pension stated that he was 68 years old, that he had been discharged at Fort Macon, and that he was unable to support himself by manual labor due to “rheumatism in back and hip and piles and affected in the breast.” Daniel signed the document with an X.

And then the downer: “Rejection on the ground that the soldiers name is not borne on the rolls of Co G, 14th U.S.Col.H.A., as alleged, as shown by the report from the War Department.”

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So, which Daniel is this? Several clues help eliminate Daniel the elder. First, he was born circa 1820, well before Daniel the applicant. Second, Daniel the elder owned significant property in Greene County and is not known to have lived in either Wayne or Pitt Counties. Last, and this applies to either, if Daniel served Christopher C. Lane during his time as an officer in Company A, 3rd North Carolina Artillery from about 1861 till his death in 1864, is it likely that he would have trudged home from Georgia, turned around, gone to New Bern, and enlisted in the Colored Troops in 1865?

My money is on Daniel, son of Sylvania Artis and Guy Lane. Here’s the little I know about him:

In the 1850 census of Greene County, next to white farmer John Lane, Silvany Artess is listed with her children Daniel, Mitchell, Meriah, Gui, and Penny Artess. Ten years later, John Lane’s household included Dannel, Mike, Penney, Dyner, Juley, and Washington Artis, who probably were his apprentices.  Next door was 40 year-old Dannel Artis, the children’s uncle.  On the other side, their mother Sylvania Artis.

Around 1861, Daniel went to war with John Lane’s son Christopher and returned home in 1864.  Surely it is he, and not his 45 year-old uncle Daniel, that enlisted in the Union Army in 1865. His service was short-lived, and he apparently returned to Greene County after.

Guy Lane and Sylvania Artis formalized their marriage a year after he was emancipated, and by 1870 the family had moved several miles west into Nahunta district, Wayne County. There, Guy Lane and wife Silvania are shown in the census with children Daniel, Mike [Mitchell], Mariah, Guy, Penny, Dinah, Julie, Washington, and Alford.

In the 1880 census in Bull Doze [Bull Head] township, Greene County, Daniel Artis appears with his wife Eliza and children Emma D. and James W. I cannot find him in any census thereafter. However, if he is the Daniel Artis who applied for a Civil War pension, he was living in Wayne or Pitt County from 1900 until at least 1904. The notice below also seems to indicate that he was alive as late as 1905, when Dunk Lane and “Miss Dickerson” used his house as a place of assignation. This is the last evidence I have of Daniel Artis’ life.

Gboro_Weekly_Argus_8_1_1907 D Artis

Goldsboro Weekly Argus, 1 August 1907.

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Births Deaths Marriages, Civil War, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

Confederate dead and wounded.

When the call came, Nancy Balkcum‘s grandsons answered. And paid.

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James Lucian Balkcum, born about 1839, son of Mariah Balkcum and William L. Robinson. Lucian was a Sampson County farmer when he enlisted as a private on 9 May 1861 in Company F, 20th North Carolina Infantry.  He was captured 20 July 1864 at Stephenson’s Depot, Virginia, and confined at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio, where he died of variola on 4 Jan 1865. He is buried in the Confederate Cemetery in Columbus.

Josiah Johnson, born about 1844, son of William and Mariah Balkcum Johnson of Sampson County. Josiah enlisted as a private on the same day and in the same company as his half-brother Lucian Balkcum. He received a disability discharge on 6 May 1862, but re-enlisted 2 Jan 1864. Josiah died from wounds on 9 Nov 1864 at Mount Jackson, Virginia.

Harman Balkcum, born about 1822 to Nancy Balkcum and an unknown father. A 5’6″ farmer, he enlisted 4 Jan 1862 in Duplin County as a private in  Company A, Wilmington & Weldon Railroad Guards (later Company D, 13th Battalion, North Carolina Infantry.) A month later, records note that he missed duty for five days due to parotitis. He died 8 April 1863, probably of illness.

William James Balkcum, born 1841 to Lemuel and Jemima Rackley Balkcum of Sampson County.  W.J. enlisted on 10 Sept 1862 in the same company as Lucian Balkcum and Josiah Johnson. He was wounded 1 July 1863 at Gettysburg, and his left arm amputated.  He was captured as prisoner of war on 5 July 1863 and paroled circa 25 Sept 1867.  He arrived for prisoner exchange 27 Sept 1863 at City Point, Virginia, and transferred to Company F, 20th Infantry on 16 Apr 1864. Nancy’s great-grandson was the only Balkcum to come home.

Lemuel Balkcum, born about 1823. He was named as a grandson in Hester Balkcum’s will and was probably the son of Nancy Balkcum.  In the early 1840s, Lemuel Balkcum married Jemima Rackley. They had at least eleven children — the youngest just months old — before his enlistment on 2 September 1863 as a private in Company E, 30th North Carolina Infantry at Camp Holmes, Raleigh NC.  Lemuel died of typhoid fever on 26 Dec 1863 in a Richmond, Virginia, hospital and is buried in Hollywood cemetery, Richmond.

 

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Civil War, Enslaved People, Free People of Color, North Carolina, Oral History, Paternal Kin

Daniel was always spoken of with respect and love.

I recently received a comment from a reader in response to my posts on the Daniel Artis family. She was hesitant to contact me because her ancestor John Lane had owned slaves — quite possibly some of the people I’ve written about — but was anxious to share a story about Daniel that had been passed down in her family for 150 years. I was surprised and excited to read her message and encouraged her to get in touch. Here’s our April 28 exchange:

Hi, Tammi! Please forgive my excitement and inability to wait for your response. I’m traveling to NC next week to meet some of my newfound Sauls relatives — descendants of Daniel Artis. I’m just beside myself wondering about John Lane — whom I believe apprenticed several of Daniel’s sister Sylvania’s children and might have owned Sylvania’s husband, Guy Lane. I know you’re busy, but I hope you’ll be able to touch base soon. Thanks again!

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Lisa, thank you for getting back to me! … Yes, apparently there were a few children apprenticed. I recall, I think, five or six on one census. The younger Daniel Artis was 17 years old on, I think, the 1860 census in my g-g-grandfather John Lane’s home. From my family’s handed down stories, the little Daniel was my g-g-g-uncle Christopher Lane’s body servant. Christopher was one of John’s sons and only about seven years older than little Daniel. So they kind of grew up together. The story is that when they both grew up Christopher went to War and Daniel was allowed to go with him as his servant because Christopher was an officer. Only officers could take a servant with them. Daniel was considered free before the war although an apprentice as you probably know. Well, Christopher was captured by the northern troops and taken to their POW camp at Fort Pulaski, Ga. He died there from dysentery. The thing that my family is grateful for is that Daniel went to the camp with Christopher and stayed with him until his death, never leaving his side. When he died, Daniel made his way back to Bull Head, NC to let Christopher’s family and his father John Lane know what happened to him. Daniel was always spoken of with respect and love for what he did for Christopher.

I thank you so much for replying to me, Lisa, because I’ve always wanted to thank his descendants for what Daniel did and for his devotion to our family in such a terrible time. I always wondered if the Daniel Artis next door who was older was related to little Daniel. I saw on the census that he owned property near John Lane, my relative. I hope this information helps some, and I wish all of his relatives happiness and blessings.

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What a pleasure to hear from you! The Daniel you speak of was the older Daniel’s nephew. “Your” Daniel was the son of Sylvania Artis, a free woman of color, and Guy Lane, her enslaved husband. My direct ancestor, Vicey Artis, was the sister of Sylvania and Daniel the elder. Vicey also married a slave, Solomon Williams. Most of their children were apprenticed by Silas Bryant, a close neighbor of John Lane’s. Daniel the elder’s wife was enslaved, as were their children.

Thanks so much for sharing the story about Daniel the younger. I had no idea that he served in the War. I need to look in my files, but I don’t think I know much about him, though I recall that he married Eliza Faircloth. I do not know of any his descendants either. I grew up in Wilson NC, but with no knowledge of my Greene County links. During a visit home this weekend, I’m going down to Bull Head to meet some Saulses and visit Artis Town cemetery, which is where Daniel the elder was buried in 1905. I’ll keep you posted on anything I find about Daniel the younger.

If you are willing, I would love to share Daniel and Christopher’s story on my blog. I so appreciate your coming forth with this bit of history. Researching African-Americans is generally incredibly difficult, and so much lies locked away with other families. I always dream that someone will contact me just like you did!

Best wishes, keep in touch, and thanks again!

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I’d be honored for you to use Daniel’s story, of course. I’ve also dreamed and wanted for years to find his relatives, as I mentioned, so I could thank all of them. To be honest, I don’t know if the younger Daniel was enlisted or just went along as an aide to Christopher. I’m only learning recently about the service of black troops both Confederate and Union. I don’t think Daniel was enlisted but I may be wrong. I’ve found the Saulses in many of my genealogy searches but not able to make a connection directly to the Lanes. I can’t remember if I mentioned but my genealogy research came to a brick wall with my g-g-grandfather John Lane. No one anywhere, not even Ancestry.com knows who his father was for sure. I have hints but nothing else. It’s all fascinating.

I can only imagine the difficulty there must be tracing African American genealogy, but I see DNA is being used which is great. It’s part of why I find Scuffalong so interesting. There’s so much information. I really love hearing about Vicey, Sylvania and the elder Daniel since their names have come up so often in my own research. And so happy to meet you, a descendant! Many of my Lane ancestors ended up in Wilson, NC after leaving Bull Head. I’m not sure why, but there were many there in my research including a great-grandmother of mine. Please pay my respects at the Artis Cemetery, to their memory, Lisa, when you visit it. Feel free to write me anytime, if you have any thoughts or questions or just to say hello!

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CCLane Page 2

Christopher C. Lane enlisted in the 3rd North Carolina Infantry on 23 April 1861 at Snow Hill, Greene County. He was wounded at Gettysburg on September 1863, recuperated at home, then returned to war. He was captured 12 May 1864 at the Battle of the Wilderness, Virginia, and sent to Fort Delaware. In August, in retaliation for the Confederate Army’s imprisonment of Union officers as  human shields in Charleston, U.S. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton sent 600 Confederate officers to Morris Island, South Carolina, to serve as human shields. Lane was among them. After 45 days, the men were transferred to Fort Pulaski, Georgia, and imprisoned in dismal conditions. Christopher Lane died there on 8 December 1864.

I have found no record of Daniel Artis’ service to Christopher Lane during the Civil War, which is not surprising. He was not a soldier; he would not have enlisted. The role of body servants in the early days of the War is the subject of intense debate, and Artis’ status as a free man of color, rather than a slave, further complicates any assessment of his motives (or volition) in following Lane to war.

Many thanks to Tammi Lane for reaching out and sharing a part of Daniel Artis’ life that would otherwise be lost to his family.

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Image found at http://www.fold3.com.

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Civil War, Free People of Color, North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

Confederate Citizens File: Adam Artis.

Adam T. Artis was 30 years old at the start of the Civil War, a farmer and carpenter who had already begun to amass relative wealth. Men much poorer than he lost stock and provisions to foraging Union soldiers, and I wondered why he had not filed with Southern Claims Commission to recoup any losses. Perhaps he had none, but the more likely answer is that, because he supplied fodder and other items to the Confederate government, he knew he was ineligible for reimbursement from the United States.

Form of the estimate and assessment of agricultural products agreed upon by the assessor and tax-payer, and the value of the portion thereof to which the government is entitled, which is taxed in kind, in accordance with the provisions of Section 11 of “an Act to lay taxes for the common defence and carry on the government of the Confederate States,” said estimate and assessment to be made as soon as the crops are ready for market.

Adam Artis by wife

Cured Fodder     Quantity of gross crop. — 1500     Tithe or one-tenth. — 150     Value of one-tenth. — $4.50

I, Adam Artis of the County of Wayne and State of North Carolina do swear that the above is a true statement and estimate of all the agricultural products produced by me during the year 1863, which are taxable by the provisions of the 11th section of the above stated act, including what may have been sold of consumed by me, and of the value of that portion of said crops to which the government is entitled.   /s/ Adam X Artis

Sworn to and subscribed to before me the 3 day of December 1863, and I further certify that the above estimate and assessment has been agreed upon by said Adam Artis and myself as a correct and true statement of the amount of his crops and the value of the portion to which the government is entitled.  /s/ J.A. Lane, Assessor.

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The Confederate Papers Relating to Citizens or Business Firms, 1861-1865 (NARA M346), often called the “Confederate Citizens File,” is a collection of 650,000 vouchers and other documents relating to goods furnished or services rendered to the Confederate government by private individuals and businesses.  The “Citizens File” was created by the Confederate Archives Division of the Adjutant General’s Office from records created or received by the Confederate War and Treasury Departments that were in the custody of the U.S. War Department. The Citizens File was created to aid in determining the legitimacy of compensation claims submitted for property losses allegedly inflicted by Union forces. The records were used by the Treasury and Justice Departments, Southern Claims Commission, Court of Claims, and congressional claims committees to determine whether the claimant had been loyal to the Union or had aided the Confederate government and thus not eligible for compensation.

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Document accessed at www.fold3.com.

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Civil War, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Other Documents

I will henceforth faithfully support, protect and defend.

The war is over. The Union has won. There is nothing to do but accept it and move on. Two months after the Surrender, his enslaved son now free, John W. McNeely swore his allegiance to the United States.ImageHalf-way across the country, in Iron County, Missouri, William B. McNeely had not waited for the war to end and beat his brother to the punch by nine months.Image

[Sidenote: Compare the W, M and N in John and William’s signatures. They clearly learned to write from the same instructor.]

Oath of Allegiance. Union Provost Marshals’ File of Papers Relating to Individual Claims, National Archives and Records Administration.

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Civil War, Enslaved People, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Other Documents

Total value: $7,600.

1863

Rowan County, North Carolina, 1863. The Civil War is dragging on, and the Rebs need money. In 1861, the Congress of the Confederate States of America had passed a statute authorizing a tax (at 50 cents per $100 valuation) to help finance the war effort. Taxable property included real estate, slaves, merchandise, stocks, securities, and money, and later agricultural products and anything else they could think of. In the 1863 assessment, for the first time, the North Carolina General Assembly required taxpayers to list their slaves by name. Assessments for only eight counties survive. Rowan is one of them.

Look in the bottom left corner. J.W. McNeely identified his seven slaves for the tax assessor, who duly recorded: Lucinda, age 47, value $750. Julius, 25, $1500. Henry, 22, $1500. Archy, 14, $1200. Mary, 13, $1000. Stanhope, 11, $900. And Sandy, 12, $950. Total valuation of Lucinda, her sons, and grandchildren: $7600. Remember Alice, the 3 year-old that Sam and J.W. McNeely bought with Lucinda? She was Archy’s mother, and Mary, Stanhope and Sandy were probably her children, too. Alice herself is gone — dead or sold — and John is not listed, though that seems to be oversight. Julius was born a few years after the McNeelys purchased his mother. His father is unknown, but was probably an enslaved man on a neighboring farm. Henry, though, was John Wilson McNeely’s boy. His only child, in fact. And worth exactly $1500.

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Civil War, Free People of Color, North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

Hillary Herring, Union man.

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#563,970. Claim of Kizza Harring, widow of Hillary Harring, Co. A, 37 U.S.C.T., for Widow’s Pension.

Hillary Herring enlisted in the Union Army in 1864.  At his enlistment, he reported that he was 23 years old, 6 feet 1/2 inches tall, light-complexioned, with black eyes and dark hair, was born in Onslow County NC, and worked as a farmer. (Census records reveal that he grew up in Wayne County.) Documents in Herring’s widow’s pension application file show that he was discharged from the army on 11 February 1867, making it likely that he fought in the 37th in battles across southern Virginia and eastern NC. (See a history of the 37th U.S.C.T. here.)  He married Kizzy Dudley on 18 December 1869 in Burgaw, Pender County NC. Rev. Elisha Boon performed the ceremony. It was Hillary’s first marriage, but Kizzy was the widow of a John Herring that she’d married in 1863. (Hillary’s kin?) Hillery Herring died 30 June 1876 in Bentonsville, Johnston County, of “disease of lungs.” Dr. Martin Harper attended him during his final illness.  Lewis Hood furnished his coffin and served as undertaker, and Rev. John James Harper, a white man, preached the funeral sermon.

On 21 November 1872, Hillery and Keziah Herring and my great-great-great-grandparents Lewis and Margaret Henderson sold two tracts in Wayne County totalling about 80 acres to John P. Cobb and Jesse Hollowell. The four had purchased the tracts from William R. Davis, but the deed was not recorded. Both Lewis and Hillery were born in Onslow County.  Were they related?  If not, why did they buy land together?

 

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