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James Sanches

African-American Civil War Pension


Deposition of James Sanches No 6201716 on 26th December 1901

I do not know my exact age but I think I was about 25 years old when I enlisted in the army; I am a farmer, PO Address Darieu McIntosh County Georgia. I am the identical person who was a soldier during the late war as a private in Co. D. 23d US Col Inf. My regiment was at first called the First South Carolina but was later changed to the 33 USC. I do not remember what month or year I enlisted. I was discharged during January. I enlisted at Beaufort South Carolina and was discharged at Charleston, South Carolina. I served past 3 years. I served as a corporal during the last eight months of service.


I had no other service in the US army and never served in the US Navy or Marine Corps. I am black 5 ft 8 in, was born at St Augustine Florida. I was a slave of Paul Arnau at St. Augustine. I never had any other owner than Mr. Arnau. My father was named Joseph Sanches. I have always had the name of James Sanches. Have no brothers living. I had one brother Manuel Sanches who was a corporal in my company and regiment. He died at Jacksonville FL 18 years ago. I resided at St. Augustine Florida until emancipated. I went from there direct to Beaufort South Carolina, where I enlisted. (June 17, 1902 Deposition says that Col. Strong come of my regt. come to St. Augustine).  Immediately after discharge I returned to St. Augustine where I remained six months. I then came to this county and have been here since. Have resided right in the community where I now reside. I had a discharge paper but my house was blown down and destroyed by a storm about 20 years ago and with it my discharge certificate. The discharge was a yellow paper and had the picture of an eagle on it. I received $12 per month as a soldier. I received no more as a corporal.  (2 deposition 17 June 1902 - Higgerson was my first Col. Strawbridge was my second. Col Strong was Lt Col.) My Captain was named Joseph Stevedore. Captain Stevedore was taken down with the smallpox and Mr. Randolph was then made Captain of our company. Our Lieutenant was named Furman . He was killed at Walhalla South Carolina before I was discharged. James Lang, colored, was our orderly sergeant. Julius Shumitilla  and George Washington were sergeants (2 deposition 17 June 1902 - Isaac Brown was also a sergeant). David Twine, Manuel Sanches and myself were corporals. Some of the privates of my company were Isaiah Braum and Pete Johnson. ? Johnson, Henry Slomau, Luke Wright and others including Jack Price. I have heard you read the list of comrades. I remember those with yes written before their names. I do not know a man in this county who served in my company. I have not seen a single member of my company since discharge. There are several members of my regiment in this county and they can identify me.


David Shaldiers, Tom Cummings Hector Pomul? Hackless Wilson August McIntosh and Jack Thompson served in my regiment and can identify me.


I have been married twice. My first wife was named Fyra Waters. She and I were married when I was 21 years of age at St. Augustine FL according to slave custom. This was about 10 years before I went into the army. First wife died at St. Augustine Florida while I was a soldier. I never saw first wife after my discharge. When I returned to St. Augustine at the close of the war. I found that first wife was dead. My second wife was Sophia Cummings. She and I were married the year of my discharge during the month of October. We were married at Darien by Rev F. Campbell by license. Second wife is yet living with me. We have never been separated or divorced from each other. We have two children living as follows:


John Sanches 24 years old. Celia (now Campbell) 27 years of age.  I had a slight attack of smallpox (June 17, 1902 deposition says stayed in the hospital for it). I also had pleurisy while in service and had been hopping on crutches 8 months at the time of my discharge. I do not remember that I had pneumonia while in service. I called it double pleurisy. There were pains in the breast.



I joined the regiment at Beaufort SC. We went from Beaufort to Folly Island, Charleston and were there some time. We went to Walhalla SC just before discharge. We were there some months. We were at Savannah and Augusta Georgia before we went to Walhalla. I think we returned to Charleston about 4 months before we were discharged. We had a little battle at James Island and another at Jenkins Neck.


(2 deposition June 17, 1902 - I was in the following battle viz ? Pine S C, Jacksonville, Fla, also in battle of James Island SC. We lost several men on James Island but I cannot name them. George King of my Co was killed at Blood? River. He was standing by me when he was shot.


1907 Declaration for Pension - His personal description about 6 feet complexion Dark, color of eyes dark, color of hair white that he was born about 1819 at St. Augustine Florida.  Wife's affidavit says that he died October 28th, 1911