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On June 1, 1840 in Union County, Kentucky, a wedding took place.
The bride's name was Harriet Bealmear. Her husband to be was Leroy
William Burklow. They were both natives of Union County. Harriet's
father Daniel had served with Leroy's father, Pvt. Isaac Daniel
van Burkelow, in the war of 1812. Records indicate they both were
wounded at the battle of New Orleans. Ten months later the newly
married couple had their first child.
Their first child was born on April 13, 1841. They named their first
son, James William Burklow. The Burklow's would provide James with
many brothers and sisters in the future. In 1844 Henry D. Burklow
was born followed in 1849 by the first girl of the family, Mary.
In all they had nine children; James, Henry, Mary, Matilda, Susan,
T.S., Phebe (blind), Margaret and the youngest Manona. T.S. died
on April 28, 1855 at the age of two. A family of this size was probably
needed to help with the family's farm.
25, 1861 James enlisted as a private in Battery "K" of the First
Illinois Volunteer Light Artillery of the Union Army. The company
was under the command of Captain Franklin. He was initially mustered
in for a period of three years. At the time he was mustered in,
he was using his own horse and was compensated by the military
for the use of his horse. James was the Standard bearer for the
company. Around the time of James' enlistment, his parents, Leroy
and Harriet moved to Illinois so their sons would not have to
fight against each other. His military service started at Cairo,
IL were he was part of Grant's army. It is most likely this is
when James posed for his picture mounted on his horse. From November
of 1862 through January of 1863 he would be part of Grant's central
In May-1862 James was on reconnaissance from Lagrange, TN toward
Colliersville, TN. On December 23, 1863 he saw action at Ripley
MS. Ripley is located in NE Mississippi, an area James would see
often over the next few years. The next day found James in Middleburg,
TN where he saw action again. From March 8-13,1863, James was
on "Expedition" from Lagrange, TN. On the 9th and 10th of March
he was involved in skirmishes around Covington, TN which is about
25 miles north of Memphis, TN. It was during this time that James
was injured in battle and most likely lost his horse. The exact
date of his injuries vary.
According to 2nd Lt. James G. Helms, who also served in Battery
"K", James was injured in the line of duty near Germantown, Tennessee.
In a signed Officer's Certificate of Disability, 2nd Lt. Helms
stated that on or about the month of February 1863 James was thrown
from his horse while carrying the company Flag. At that time the
regiment was stationed at La Grange, Tennessee.
Other documents place this event in 1864. Based on the Battery
Muster Rolls and Regimental history the 1863 date is probably
correct. His injury was stated as a broken arm, "near the wish
joint (one bone) caused by being thrown from his horse...".
He was treated at General Hospital in Memphis for about three
weeks in March of 1863. James was then assigned to driving a cannon
wagon. From April 17, 1863 to May 2, 1863 James would be part
of Grierson's Expedition from Lagrange, TN to Baton Rouge, LA.
By April 21st they were south of Tupelo in Okolona. The expedition
continued south through Garlandville to Union Church and Brookhaven,
MS. By May 1st James was in Louisiana moving towards Port Hudson
where the Confederates were constructing defensive works so strong
that the siege of Port Hudson would last until the Confederates
surrendered two months later on July 8, 1863. Grierson headed
up a group of volunteers who's mission would be to work behind
enemy line destroying rail lines. They would be working in civilian
clothes which would result in being treated as spies if captured.
It is very likely that James was part of this volunteer group.
During the siege of Port Hudson, James' Company would move 20
miles northeast to Clinton on June 3rd & 4th. By the 20th
they had moved to nearby Jackson Cross Roads. After the siege
of Port Hudson ended on July 8th James remained in the area until
the 18th when Battery "K" was sent back to Memphis, TN. From October
of 1863 through the end of the year James would see action throughout
southwest, TN and northwest, MS. During this time he was involved
in operations to destroy rail services in the area. From November
25th until December 10th, James was part of the operations against
Robert E. Lee on the Memphis and Charleston railroad. The rail
system was important to both sides. The Union's efforts to secure
and maintain the rail system between Memphis and Chattanooga was
hampered by Confederate Cavalry raids.
The January and February Muster Rolls indicated that James was
sent to Vicksburg to join his command. During this time he was
involved in operations against Chalmers and Forrest who were in
northeast MS. near Tupelo. From February 11th through the 26th
James was part of Smith's expedition which went to West Point,
Okolona and Ivey's Hill, MS. James then went on furlough for the
months of March and April as a result of his discharge. At the
time of his discharge he was paid a bounty of $100. He re-enlisted
at Memphis, TN. on March 20, 1864. At that time he was described
as being 5 feet, 8 1/2 inches tall, with black hair and eyes with
a dark complexion. At the time of his re-enlistment he was a Private.
During June and July, James was listed on the mustering rolls
as absent on scout with Battery "E". During this assignment James
was part of Sturgis' expedition from Memphis into Mississippi.
During this time the Union suffered a defeat by Forrest's Confederate
forces at Brice's Cross Roads. The Confederate force was only
half the size of the Union forces involved. During July James
was involved in operations in the Tupelo area at Camargo's Cross
Roads, Harrisburg, Old Town, Tishamingo Creek, Oxford and Tallahatchie
River. At this time the Union army was in pursuit of Forrest's
Confederate forces. At some point during these operations, James
re-joined Battery "K" as they were operating in the same area.
In August of 1864, Battery "K" moved west along the Tallahatchie
River to Oxford. Four days later they would be south of Meridian
in a small town named Hurricane Creek. In September James was
part of an expedition into northern Alabama and middle Tennessee.
This was part of a campaign against Hood. This campaign started
on November 1st and went into December. James saw action along
Shoal Creek, AL and Campbellsville, TN. From there he went to
Columbia, TN and Duck River which is located at the beginning
of the Natchez Trace. On November 30, 1864 James was in Franklin,
TN just south of Nashville. Nearby Fort Donelson had fallen into
Union hands and would serve as a base for Union operations until
the end of the war. According to other records, James was married
on November 7, 1864 in Illinois. His service records do not reflect
an absence during this time. It might be possible that the date
was actually November 7, 1865 after he was mustered out.
On December 10, 1864, Battery "K" was mustered out. Veterans and
recruits were transferred to Battery "E". James re-enlisted with
Battery "E". In January of 1865 he received his first bounty installment
and was owed two more. In march of 1865 he was listed as a Corporal
on the Battery Muster roll. While in service Battery "K" lost
11 men by disease.
After James re-enlisted, Battery "E" had been moved to Duvall's
Bluff, Arkansas part of Waterhouse's 1st Regiment. The Battery
then marched north through Arkansas and Missouri. In July Battery
"E" came under the heading of "Reserve Light Artillery, Department
of the Cumberland". James was mustered out in Chicago on July
7, 1865. During its service Battery "E" lost 5 enlisted men killed
and mortally wounded and 25 men by disease.
When James' military obligation ended in Chicago he had drawn
$58.14 for his clothing allowance since November 20, 1864 and
had been paid a bounty of $60.00. He was still owed $340.00. As
I searched through the pages of James' military records I noticed
something that appeared several times on the Battery Muster Rolls
for his Company. Next to his name on the rolls, where he was listed
as present, was a small "x".
At first it was not clear what this was for. Finally, on one of
the Rolls it was noted, "His x".When James signed his DECLARATION
FOR PENSION his signature matched that of the witness. It was
also noted "His X." There is a noticeable difference in James'
signatures on his documents. This could have several explanations.
It appears that often James did not actually sign his documents
but only signed his "X" by his name if needed.
the war James married Elizabeth Jane Riley. They were married
at the residence of A.A. Riley in Harden County, Illinois. Their
first child, Julia Ann was born on July 19, 1867. Only a year
later on July 8, 1868 their first son, Lee Roy Lemuel, was born.
He was also known as "Lee R." Burklow. When 1870 arrived the next
Kentucky census was completed. At that time he listed personal
property with a value of $100 and listed no value for his personal
estate. His occupation was listed as "laborer". The family continued
to grow as more children arrived; Charles B, Laura F., Harriet
E., John Henry, James Thomas, Rita M., Florence E., and Alexander
By the time James was 39 the injury to his arm must have began
to affect his ability to work the farm. All records indicate that
his primary occupation was farming. According to various sources,
James and Elizabeth moved to Pinckneyville, KY in 1903 where he
took a job carrying the mail on the road from Pinckneyville to
Salem, Ky. After his death, his youngest son, Alexander Harrison
took over the route. Alexander died on December 14, 1931 and is
buried in the Union Church Cemetery along with his parents.
On June 28, 1880 James filed a Declaration for Original Invalid
Pension. The reason for the application for pension was given
as,"...he is now fantley disabled from obtaining his subsistence
by manual labor by reason of his injuries, described...".
Many years and pages of forms would follow as James attempted
to begin drawing a disability pension. This would include letters
from the War Department, Affidavits and documents from officers
he served under.
On January 15, 1898 James was sent a questionnaire from the Department
of The Interior. The following is the body of the questionnaire.
The letter was signed by the commissioner of the Department of
the Interior and asked the following questions.
FIRST: Are you married? If so, please state your wife's
full name and her maiden name.
ANSWER: Elizabeth J. Riley
SECOND: When, where and by whom were you married?
ANSWER: Nov. 7, 1864
THIRD: What record of your marriage exist?
ANSWER: Clerks office Elizabethtown ILLS.
FOURTH: Were you previously married? If so, please state
the name of your former wife and the date and place of her death
FIFTH: Have you any children living? If so, please state
their names and the dates of their birth.
Ann ..........July 19, 1860
L. L....................July 08(?) 1868
L. B. ..................September 18, 1870
Laura F. ......... ..October 27, 1871 or 72
John H. .............November 27(28), 1876
H. E. .................January 8, 1877
W. E. ............... .February 8, 1878
J. T. ..................January 11, 1881
R.M. ................August 7, 1884
L. E. .................October 8, 1886
A. H. ................December 14, 1888
(other records show A. H., Alexander Harrison, as being born on
November 14, 1888)
Several of the birth dates and the initials listed in the questionnaire
do not match other public records. Though much paperwork exchanged
hands, there is no evidence that James ever received any disability
On February 25, 1907 at the age of 65, James filed for his pension.
At that time he listed himself as a resident of Pinckneyville,
Ky. Not quite six months later James would receive his last pension
payment of $8.00 when he died of "Bright's Disease". He was officially
dropped as a pensioner because of his death on August 9, 1907.
Two months later James' widow began drawing his military pension
at the rate of $8.00. In April of 1908 that amount was increased
to $12.00 per month. James is buried in the Union Church Cemetery.
After James' death Elizabeth moved to Marion, KY where she found
living on James' small pension rough. Elizabeth was a large woman
and was known for always wearing an apron and a bonnet. When she
went to church she would wear white ones.
of 1915 Elizabeth became ill enough to require, "regular and daily
attendance..." according to her daughter's Application for Reimbursement.
It appears that she may have had a stroke about this time and
became and invalid requiring regular care and began living with
her daughter Florence Burklow Freeland. Florence and her husband,
W. R. Freeland listed their address as R.R.D. #3 Box 53, Marion,
Ky. She was attended by J. L. Hayden MD. from December 12, 1920
until her death on January 4, 1921. There is some discrepancy
as to her age at the time of death. According to the International
Genealogical Index (IGI) she was born April 4, 1841. This would
have made her 79 at the time of her birth. Some of the military
pension records list her age as 73 years old at the time of her
death. The (IGI) birth date is most likely the correct birth date
making her 79 at the time of her death. The cause of her death
was listed as a cerebral hemorrhage, paralysis and hemoflegia.
She is buried with James in the Union Church Cemetery.
At the time of her death her estate consisted of $125.00 cash
and no other assets. Ironically W. D. Tucker, the local undertaker,
agreed to take care of her burial for $125.00. In May of 1921
Florence applied for reimbursement from the government for some
of expenses incurred as a result of her mother's death. The expenses
are as follows:
Physician visit #5 (unpaid) $ 30.00
Medicine (unpaid) $ 7.00
Burial clothing robe $ 6.30
other clothing $ 9.60
Hired Help $ 17.50
Minister $ 4.00
This is also available in video - WATCH VIDEO
LDS - IGI
of the Civil war (map) - National Geographic
Crittenden County, KY Death Records LC# 976. 9893 v23c
Crittenden Co., KY Census (1870) - LC# f457 .c66 d730
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies in
The War of The Rebellion - U.S. Govt. Printing Office
Soldiers of the War of 1812 - LC# KSA# K973.5246
Tristate Online, Genealogical Computer BBS
National Genealogical Society computer BBS
Eastern Kentucky University, Townsend Room, Gerri Dimitrov
Mrs. Geneva Burklow
Mrs. Burnis Lee Burklow Butts