Valley Southern Claims Commission Papers

Southern Claims Commission: Claim of Lydia Fishburn, 1876, Claim No. 17000

Summary: Lydia Fishburn filed this claim in 1876 for $1105.50, claiming Union forces under General Hunter took two horses, corn, sheep, butter, hogs, bacon, lard, salt beef, apple butter, sorgham, vinegar, and hay in 1864. Lydia was the widow of Philip Fishburne. One of her sons residing in Staunton, George, was in the Confederate Army. She had one son and two grandsons in the Union Army. The commission allowed $714.

Items Claimed:

Item Claimed: Amount Claimed: Amount Allowed: Amount Disallowed:
2 Horses $400.00 $280.00 $120.00
50 bushels Corn $50.00 $50.00 $0.00
2 Sheep $12.00 $6.00 $6.00
50 lbs Butter $20.00 $0.00 $20.00
6 Sheep $36.00 $18.00 $18.00
6 Hogs $120.00 $60.00 $60.00
550 lbs Bacon $137.00 $100.00 $37.00
75 pounds Butter $30.00 $0.00 $30.00
50 pounds Lard $15.00 $0.00 $15.00
300 pounds Salt Beef $45.00 $30.00 $15.00
20 Galls. apple Butter $20.00 $0.00 $20.00
30 " Sorgham $30.00 $0.00 $30.00
40 " Vinegar $20.00 $0.00 $20.00
100 bush Corn $100.00 $100.00 $0.00
3 1/2 tons Hay $70.00 $70.00 $0.00

Claims Summary:

The claimant is the widow of Philip Fishburne who died in 1865 and left all his personal property to her. She is a very old Lady and they have a very large family of sons and daughters. Some of the sons and Grandsons were in the Rebel Army but more in the Union Army. Claimant swears to her own and her husbands loyalty, and two or three witnesses give decided testimony to the loyal conversation and reputation of both as well as most of the family connection, part of whom had moved to Iowa before the war.

The Horses were taken by soldiers of Hunter's Command three days after the Battle of Piedmont, and seem to have been needed for the use of the Commad, as many were dismounted. The corn and sheep seem also to have been needed for Army use and were taken by Sheridan in Sept.

Items five to 15 in claim were taken by Sheridan's Command in March 1865 by Sheridan's Command. We do not allow for Pantry stores usually as Supplies for the Army.

We allow in full of Claim the sum of Seven Hundred and fourteen dollars on the testimony of Claimant and her daughter.

AO Aldis, JB Howell, O. FerrisCommrs of Claims

Testimony: Lydia Fishburn

In answer to the First General Interrogatory, the Deponent says: My name is Lidia Fishburn, my age is 77 years, my residence Clines Mill Augusta, in the State of Va., and my occupation a ; I am the claimant, and have beneficial interest in the claim.

2 Ans. I have resided where I now do for fifty years. I have 196 acres of land, about 100 cleared.

3 Ans. I never passed any military lines.

4 Ans. I never took any oath.

5 Ans. I have taken no amnesty oath.

6 Ans. No.

7 Ans. No.

8 Ans. No.

9 Ans. No.

10 Ans. No.

11 Ans. I never had anything to do with any services.

12 Ans. No sir.

13 Ans. I was not conscripted.

14 Ans. I furnished no substitute.

15 Ans. Never.

16 Ans. Never at all.

17 Ans. I had charge of nothing.

18 Ans. I never was in service at all.

19 Ans. I made no cloth or anything else nor interested in any manufacture for the benefit of the Confederacy.

20 Ans. Never.

21 Ans. I no way.

22 Ans. I did not.

23 Ans. I was not.

24 Ans. I was never arrested by either the Confederates or the United States.

25 Ans. Nothing except they stole Bee hives and butter.

26 Ans. I never was threatened.

27 Ans. No, not seriously.

28 Ans. I never contributed anything.

29 Ans. I done nothing except to feed some of the soldiers.

30 Ans. My son George Fishburn, was in the Confederate Army, he resides near Staunton. I never furnished him any thing at all.

31 Ans. I never owned any bonds, and done nothing to support the credit of the Confederate Army or Government.

32 Ans. I never give aid or comfort to the rebellion.

33 Ans. I never made raids.

34 Ans. No.

35 Ans. Never

36 Ans. No.

37 Ans. No. No.

38 Ans. I never had a pass.

39 Ans. I had no disabilities.

40 Ans. My sympathies were with the Union all the time.

41 Ans. I do solemnly declare that from the beginning of hostilities against the United States to the end thereof, my sympathies were constantly with the cause of the United States, and I never of my own free will and accord did anything, or offered, or sought, or attempted to do anything by word or deed, to injure said cause or retard its success and was at all times ready and willing if called upon to aid and assist the cause of the Union, or its supporters, so as my means and power and the circumstances would permit.

42 Ans. husband Phillip Fishburn, died in July 1865. I was married in 1818. My husband was thoroughly a Union man, I have nine children living. My oldest Abram Fishburn, is about 60 years old, he resides in the State of Illinois, one of his sons was in the Union Army. William Fishburn, is about 58 years old, he resides in South West Virginia. I do not know his Post Office. Ezra Fishburn, lives in Iowa, he is about 54, his son was in the Union Army. Daniel Fishburn, is about 52 he resides near Staunton. Levi Fishburn about 49, resides near Staunton. David Fishburn, lives in Iowa, about 46, he was in the Union Army. George Fishburn, about 40, he resides near to Staunton. Elizabeth McLeod, resides in in Rockingham Co.Va. is about 59, and Sarah L. A. Fishburn, is about 35 years, and resides with me. My son George was in the Confederate Army, he was there against his own consent. I hold the real estate in virtue of my father Abram Silling's Willdeed, and the personalty by the Will of my husband, both Wills& Deed are on record in the County Clerks Office at Staunton, Va. My children are only interested as my heirs, or at my own disposal. An extract of the will is hereto attached.

Taken in the Property

Deposition of Same.

1 Ans. I was present and saw the property taken.

3 Ans. One of the horses was in the field and the other in the Stable, and the Sheep were in the field, and the hogs were in the pen. The other articles specified were taken from the house, granary &c.

4 Ans. The horses were taken in June 1864 by soldiers belonging to Genl. Hunter's Army. I suppose there were two at the Stable and three in the field, but quite a number near by. I do not know whether there was an officer present or not. The two Sheep and Corn & butter was taken in September 1864 by soldiers belonging to Genl. Sheridan. I suppose there were 60 or 70 present. And from item 5 to 15 were taken in March 1865, by Genl. Sheridan's Command.

5 Ans. My daughter Sarah L. A. Fishburn was present.

6 Ans. I do not know whether there was an officer present or not.

7 Ans. The property was all taken by soldiers.

8 Ans. One of the horses was rode and the other was led away. The Sheep were in part butchered on my farm and the others drove off. Same as to the hogs. The Corn was carried off in Sacks and the Bacon & Beef was taken in sacks the Butter & Lard was carried away in Cans in which it was packed. The Apple butter was in Jars & Crocks, and the molasses and vinegar, in buckets, and the hay was carried in bundles. I think too they had a wagon and hauled some hay.

9 Ans. I suppose the horses were taken to Genl. Hunter's Camp at Staunton, and in September 1864. The Command marched on in the direction of Staunton, and in March 1865, the Army camped in about 1/2 mile of my house for one night. I did not follow and I saw nothing after it was taken away.

10 Ans. I only saw them take the horses + all the other articles, but do not know how or for what they were used. A part of the sheep & hogs were killed and the meat carried off.

11 Ans. I complained about my horses and the other articles, but the reply was that they needed the horses for Army purposes, and the Corn to feed and also the hay, and the provisions to eat, as they were out and needed provisions. They told me I would be paid for everything taken.

12 Ans. I did not ask for a receipt.

13 Ans. The horses were taken from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. Items 2, 3 & 4 were taken about 2 P.M. and the balance all taken between 3 P.M. & night.

14 Ans. Genl. Hunter was camped at Staunton, and had had a fight at Piedmont a few days before. In Sept. Genl. Sheridan was on a raid, and in March Genl. Sheridan camped on night near my house. I knew no officer.

15 Ans. The horses were very fine, young 8 & 6 years old, of good size and well broken. The sheep were fat and also the hogs. The Bacon & Beef sound and good, and all the articles were good. The most of the Corn was on the Cob. I did not measure it. From the quanitity of Bacon & beef I think there must have been the weight specified. I judged the quantity of hay by the amount put into the Mow. Every article was very valuable to me and I think worth all that is charged.

Lydia Fishburn

Testimony: Sarah L. A. Fishburn

Deposition of Sarah L. A. Fishburn

Answer to first question

My name is Sarah L. A. Fishburn, my age is 35, my residence near Clines Mill. The claimant is my mother. I have no interest in the claim, except by her disposal. I was present and saw the articles specified in the claimants petition taken.

3 Ans. The Horses were taken, one out of the Stable and the other from the field. the items 2, 3 & 4. The Corn was in the Crib. The sheep in the field, and the butter in the Spring house, and the other articles named were taken, the sheep out of the field, hogs from pen, hay from Stable Mow, Corn from the Crib and Bacon, Beef & Lard from the Smoke house and the other articles from the house.

4 Ans. The horses were taken in June 1864, by soldiers belonging to Genl. Hunter's Army. The 2 Sheep, 50 bush. Corn & 50 lbs butter, in Sept 1864, by Union soldiers. The commander's name I have forgotten, and the other items were taken in March 1865, by Genl. Sheridan's Command. There were 4 Soldiers engaged in taking the horses. There were a large number of soldiers, a short distance away. When the items 2, 3 & 4 were taken there were 200 or 300 soldiers around the house, and when the last items taken in March 1865. I do not know whether there was an officer present or not. I suppose each time they remained two or three hours.

5 Ans. My mother was present.

6 Ans. I do not know that there was any officer present or not.

7 Ans. The property was taken as I have described. They said that they had orders to take the property, and they needed all they took. They also told me to keep an account of everything taken, and we would be paid for all after awhile.

8 Ans. One of the horses was rode away and the other led. The two sheep were killed and the Meat carried off on horses, and the 50 bushls. Corn taken off in bags, and the butter carried in Cans. The 6 Sheep were also killed and also the hogs killed too, and the Meat carried away, and every thing else was carried a short distance where they camped for the night.

9 Ans. I did not follow, but could see them going with the articles to the camp. I mean all items from No. 5 to 15.

10 Ans. I did not see them use any thing at all. Only saw them taken and carried away.

11 Ans. I asked them not to take the property, and they replied they needed all, ad must take it.

12 Ans. There was no receipt asked for.

13 Ans. The horses were taken from 12 to 3 P.M. and items 2, 3 & 4, were taken in the afternoon, when they were on March, and the balance taken in March 1865, was in the afternoon. They camped for the night in sight of claimants house.

14 Ans. When the horses were taken Genl. Hunter had his camp at Staunton. He had a battle at Piedmont on Sunday before. The horses were taken on a Wednesday of the same week, and when the 2 Sheep, 50 bus. Corn & 50 lbs butter was taken the command was marching in the direction of Staunton, and then the last army camped one night in sight. I did not hear the name of any Quarter Master.

15 Ans. The horses were in splendid condition, good sized horses, one 6 and the other 8 years, both of them good riding horses and also worked anywhere. The sheep were No. 1, very fat + large. The hogs were good size and order. The hay sound and good, and from the amount put into the Stable I should think there was 3 1/2 Tons. We guessed at the quantity of Corn, by the bulk in the Crib, it was on the Cob. I do not think there was a pound less than 550 lbs Bacon, and 300 Beef. The Butter was in Cans, and also the Lard, Apple Butter in Jars & Crocks, and the Molasses and Vinegar in Blls. I do not think that there is a charge or item in excess of its actual quantity, and horses and every article worth all and more than the prices charged. I did not weigh any thing or count pieces, but judged the quantity by bulk.

Sallie A. Fishburn

Testimony: Samuel Landes

Deposition of Samuel Landes

Answer to 1st general question

My name is Samuel Landes, my age is 50 years. My residence near Spring Hill, Augusta County and my occupation is a Miller. I am not related to the claimant, nor have any interest in the claim. I become acquainted with the claimant and her deceased husband in 1857. At the commencement of the War and until May 1862 I lived adjoining farms, and then I removed about 3 miles off. We were intimate and I saw her and husband frequently. I saw her husband Philip Fishburn, at least twice a month. I dont think we ever met without conversing about the War. I was an adherent to the Union, and he was aware of that. I do not recollect any particular expression or language that he used, but I distinctly remember that I could always express myself freely and in confidence in his presence, and I have no doubt of his being a true Union man, and utterly opposed to the war. His reputation in the neighborhood, amongst the Union men, was that of a Union man. I never knew him to do anything in aid of the rebellion. I never knew him to do anything for the Union cause, except that he harbored and helped men to keep out of the rebel service. I do not believe that if the South had succeeded in gaining its independence, Philip Fishburn, could if alive, proven loyalty to it.

His widow, the claimant, was quite an old lady, seldom from home. I do not know anything about her sympathies, but in my own mind I believe she was in sympathy with her husband. I never heard anything to the contrary.

Samuel Landes

Testimony: Erasmus L. Houff

Deposition of Erasmus L. Houff

Answer to 1st general question

My name is Erasmus L. Houff, my age is 44 years. My residence near Mt. Sidney, Augusta County. My occupation a farmer & a U.S. Store Keeper.

I knew Philip Fishburn, the deceased husband or the claimant, for about 15 years prior to his death, and resided about 3 miles from him during the war. We were intimate I saw him frequently during the war, probably two or three time a month, frequently spent the night with him. We talked about the War, its cause and progress, and he invariably expressed his devotion to the United States Government. That he at no time expressed any wish or used any language in favor of the rebellion or its success. He said frequently in my presence that he had witnessed the War of 1812, and in that he could have fought with good conscience, but that he could not in the rebellion, for that was to destroy what the other was to defend. His wife, the claimant always agreed with her husband in his sentiments, stating what the people had suffered to maintain the Government, and the rebels were now trying to break it down.

I do not now recollect that there were any persons present (except their daughter Sarah) when we had conversations, but they were always very bold and positive in expressing themselves.

The Union men of the neighborhood, had full confidence in their loyalty to the Union cause. I was a strictly Union man myself, and consequently visited them because they were true, and I could converse freely and fully with them. I never knew them to do anything for the rebellion, but on the contrary they harbored Union men and helped to keep them concealed.

If the south had been successful they could not have proven by their neighbors any loyalty to the Confederacy.

E.L. Houff

Testimony: William A. Burnett

Philip Fishburn's Will Recorded in Clerk's Office of Augusta County Court in Will No 40 page 275, dated March 27th 1865, & admitted to record November 27th 1865.

"2nd. I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Lydia Fishburn all my personal property consisting of all the household & kitchen furniture, cattle, hogs, sheep, horses and all the farming utensils to her sole use and purpose and to be disposed of during her life time as she may think best."

An Extract Teste

William A. Burnett Clk

Bibliographic Information : Southern Claims Commission: Claim of Lydia Fishburn, 1876, Claim No. 17000, Source copy consulted: National Archives, College Park, RG 217, claim # 17000.

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