Claim of Sarah A. (Casey) Crow: No. 149171
Southern Claims Commission
Filed: 22 July 1871 & Approved: 14 June 1880 by Private Act of Congress No. 106
If you have ancestors or kin living in the South during the War for Southern Independence, you should spend time with the files of the Southern Claims Commission, created by an Act of Congress on 3 March 1871. Be sure to check for claims by neighbors because your kin may have been witnesses or provided testimony. Since these are original records, the signatures of participants are usually present. This may be the most personal artifact of an ancestor.
Sarah A. Crow’s file was obtained from Fold3.com, a subscription website that is free at your local Family History Center. The images of this file at the Fold3.com website are not in chronological order. This is probably due to the order in which the paper copies were found when the file was digitized. Most pages of the Crow claim are undated.
The St. Louis County Library has valuable online resources to aid in researching the Southern Claim Commission files. A guide in .pdf format can be downloaded at: http://www.slcl.org/content/guide-researching-southern-claims-commission-records . There is a link within the document to the geographical list of claims: http://www.slcl.org/content/researching-southern-claims-commission-records-resources .
Various petitions and testimony for this claim occurred between 1871 and 1878. The original list of questions created in 1871 was amended in 1872 and 1874; this probably required another interview with claimant and witnesses, which helps explain why the process took so long. There are links to the sets of questions in the first document linked to above.
Sarah Crow, claimant, was deposed several times, the most extensive testimony is dated 11 August 1877, and was taken at Kingston, Georgia. She gave her age as 43, and birth place as Gwinnett County, Georgia. The Special Claims Commissioner who took her testimony was Thomas J. Perry.
Witnesses [various dates]: L. R. Green; Shem Carnes; L. M. Fountain; Emma Green; Susan Fortenberry; Elizabeth Carnes; Darkis M. Dodd; E. M. Price; S. N. Mill—–. Supporting testimony was given by: L. R. Green, Shem Carnes, L. M. Fountain, Susan Fortenberry.
At the beginning of the War, Sarah and her family lived on a farm rented from “Old Man Barnsley” about seven miles north of Kingston. They had 30 acres under cultivation. In May 1864, due to strong support of the Union and threats by Confederate neighbors and scouts, the family was moved by the army to near Adairsville to be within the Union lines. While there, they took an oath of allegiance to the Union.
After the fall of Atlanta, returning troops took Sara and some or all of her daughters with them to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where they stayed until the end of the War. Some of the officers in Chattanooga invited her to go with them to their homes and they would care for her. She went as far as Kentucky with Union troops and stayed there for two years. [During their time in Kentucky, Sarah’s daughter, Emma (aka Dorcas Elizabeth), married Lewis Richard Green in 1866.2]. Sarah’s health worsened and she was given money and transportation back to Bartow County, Georgia.
The family of Miles and Sarah Crow were strong Union supporters, as was her father’s Casey family. Sarah tried to get members of her family to stay out of the War and she urged neighbors to do the same. A brother (William Casey) and two nephews deserted the Confederate States Army and joined the Union Navy where they served until the end of the War. Sarah aided the army by doing laundry, cooking, and sewing for the officers and soldiers during the time of occupation and probably during her time with the army in Chattanooga.
Miles R. Crow, worked for the Union Army on the Western & Atlantic Railroad as a track hand after he deserted the Confederate Army, into which he had been conscripted. When the Confederate enlistment/conscription officer, Newton [illegible first letter]now, came to get her husband, he told Sarah he would burn down her house if she didn’t cease talking against the rebels.
After conscription, Miles was kept in camp for two weeks and then sent to Dalton. As the Confederate troops fell back from Dalton, Miles deserted. He arrived home a few hours before General Wilder’s Brigade came to their home on the Barnsley place and began confiscating livestock and food supplies [this claim presents her case for compensation]. Testimony indicates that the date Wilder arrived and established his headquarters in the Crow home was 19 May 1864. Miles was sent to work on the railroad at the behest of General Wilder and was employed from May to December 1864, when he died. In other testimony, Sarah said he died during the year of surrender .
Names given by Sarah of Unionists who would be willing to testify for her were: Shem Carnes, Littleton Fountain, Isaac Casey, and James Harden. Additional Unionists known to her witnesses were: E. Green [probably, Edwin Harmon Green, father of Lewis Richard Green], James Casey, and Jas. Holly.
Confederates who opposed and/or threatened her family were: Old Man Barnsley and his two sons and Joseph Mooney. Several Mooneys and other Confederate scouts came to the Crow house one night and tried to get in but their dog drove them off. The Union army was camped nearby and the next day her family was moved behind their lines.
Family members named were daughters (Emma [Green], 24; Susan [Fortenberry], 23; Cyntha, 22; Martha, 20; Mary, 17; Avery, 12); brother, William Casey; nephews, Jackson Casey and William Crow; son-in-law, L. R. Green [the birth date he gave matches other records].3
- Sarah Crow (Bartow County Georgia) claim no. 14917, “Allowed Case Files, Southern Claims Commission, 1871-1880, Settled Accounts and Claims,” claim for property loss, digital images (49), Fold3.com (http://www.fold3.com : accessed 3 April 2014); Third Auditor; Records of the Treasury Department Accounting Officers, RG 217; NARA, Washington, D.C.
- Shelby County, Kentucky, Marriage Bonds Licenses Book 9, 1860-1869: no page number, L. R. Green and Dorcas Crow (1866), Certificate no. 3202; County Court Clerk’s Office, Shelbyville, Kentucky.
- Bertha C. Dempsey to Blanche M. Wallace, letter dated 25 September 2009, Files of Blanche M. Wallace, Green Family Lineage – page 2.