Yesterday, I found my great-great-great-grandfather (Andrew Mason “Sam” Caton) in the 1907 Alabama Census of Confederate Soldiers. While I had previously found evidence of a 1st cousin 6x removed that was killed at the Battle of Murfreesboro and a great-great-great-grand uncle who died at the Battle of Chickamauga (both while fighting for the Confederacy), this was the first time I’d found a direct ancestor who served in the military during the Civil War.
I also found an application to receive a war pension submitted by Rhoda Ann (Lee) Caton, Sam Caton’s wife. Sam died in 1908 at the age of 92, and the application states that upon her husband’s death, Rhoda Caton owned no property and all of her possessions were worth just $25. Two years later, she was living with the family of Emma Culp, one of her 14 children. It’s no wonder she was applying to receive aid from a fund set up to help needy veterans and their widows.
However, Sam Caton’s service was in Alabama’s Home Guard, and Rhoda’s application was denied because there was no evidence that Sam actually saw action in battle. From the dates on the application, it looks like it took 6 years, basically the remainder of Rhoda’s life, for her application to run it’s course and be denied, appealed, and denied again. About 5 months after the final rejection, Rhoda died at the age of 80.