Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Owen

He was conscripted into the Pioneer Troops.


Joseph Owen, being duly sworn, deposes and says that he was a soldier in the Confederate army and was conscripted into the service of the pioneer troops in the summer of 1864, and that he was a soldier in said service of North Carolina State troops from about the first day of June, 1864 until the surrender in April, 1865, and that he did service in the Confederate army in making breast-works at Fort Caswell, in Brunswick County, and was in the Confederate service at Wilmington, N.C. and at Goldsboro, and in moving the Confederate forces between Wilmington and Goldsboro;

That this affiant is 76 years of age, the 14th day of last January, and by reason of his infirmities from old age and from rheumatism he is totally disable from performing any manual labor. He further states that he is and has been for twelve months immediately preceding this application for pension a bona fide resident of North Carolina; that he holds no office under the United States, or any State or County, from which he is receiving the sum of $300.00 as fees or as salary annually; that he is not worth in his own right, or the right of his wife, property at its assessed value for taxes to the amount of $500, nor has he disposed of property of such value by gift or voluntary conveyance since the 11th of March, 1885; that he is not receiving any aid from the State of North Carolina or under any other statue providing for the relief of the maim, blind soldiers of the State; that this affiant has always been a free man and a citizen of McDowell County, and the State of North Carolina; that this affiant did faithful service in the army for the Confederate States as above set forth, from the time he was conscripted in June 1864 to the surrender in April 1865.   /s/ Joseph X Owens

Sworn to and subscribed before me, this the 26th day of July, 1915.  /s/ Thos. Morris, Clerk Superior Court


[Handwritten] “Will see about this” “Disallowed”

James L. Cowan of Dysartville, McDowell County testified that he had known Owen all his life, that Owen was a “colored man who was free before the War”; that Owen was conscripted to labor in the Pioneer troops; and that Owen was a man of good character and good standing in his community.

From the file of Joseph Owen, North Carolina Confederate Soldiers and Widows Pension Applications 1885-1953, Original, North Carolina State Archives.

Threatened me with punishment if I done so again.

Daniel Manuel filed claim #5535 with the Southern Claims Commission.  He was 54 years old and had lived 10 miles west of Fayetteville for the previous 5 years.  Sometime during the war, he moved about 30 miles from Bladen County, where he was free-born, to a place about 6 miles west of Fayetteville.  Before the war, he lived in Sampson County.  He was a farmer and cooper, but only farmed during the war.  

He worked for 4 months at the Confederate arsenal in Fayetteville “very much against my wish.”  He was “on the union side all the time but could not say anything being a col’d man not entitled to a vote or allowed to talk.”

He named Hardy West, Arch’d Buie and John Buie, all white men, as witnesses to his loyalty, but all refused to testify.  “So,” he said, “I have to call on my own col. for that proof.”

“While I was at work at the arsenal I was arrested and taken before the com’d officer and examined on the charge of talking in favour of the union cause with some of my own col. I confessed that I had expressed myself in that way the officer threatened me with punishment if I done so again.  He turned me loose and I went back to work” in the blacksmith shop.  His nephew George Manuel was also forced to work at the arsenal.

Marshal White, aged about 47, lived about 5 miles west of Fayetteville and worked as a cooper.  For the last two years he had lived on the the same plantation as Daniel.

Peter Owen, aged about 40, had lived 8 miles west of Fayetteville for 4 years.  Before that, he lived at 3 different places.  During the war, he lived with William Owen and farmed.  He had known Daniel since he was a small boy and lived on the same plantation as Daniel about 2 years before the war.

Richard Lovitt, 51, had lived in Beaver Creek, about 6 miles west of Fayetteville for over 19 years.  He farmed and distilled turpentine.  He had known Daniel since 1861.