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James William Burklow
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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.

James Enlists

On September 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 Mississippi campaign.

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.

After The War

After 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 Harrison.

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 or divorce.

FIFTH: Have you any children living? If so, please state their names and the dates of their birth.

Julia 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 compensation.

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.

In February 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
Undertaker $125.00
Burial clothing robe $ 6.30
other clothing $ 9.60
Hired Help $ 17.50
Minister $ 4.00
Total $199.40

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Battlefields 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
National Archives
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

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