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Those Who Served


Pension Paperwork for Colonel H. Catlin, blacksmith

Co. A, First Battalion Nebraska Vet. Cavalry
& Co. A, First Regiment Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry

contributed by Jerelyn Leinweber


Background Information:

            Per the suggestion of Wendy at the Cass County, Nebraska GenWeb page, I have transcribed the following information from the Civil War pension paperwork of Colonel Hooker Catlin, obtained from the National Archives. It is hoped that this information can be included as an addendum to his entry on the roster of Civil War soldiers from Company A, First Regiment, Nebraska Veteran Volunteers.

            According to C.H. CatlinŇs pension paperwork, obtained from the National Archives, he was honorably discharged at Washington, State of Maryland on October 10, 1864, to be effective October 10, 1865. According to his file, the charge of desertion arose when he sought medical assistance. The desertion charge was later removed by the War Department, resulting in an honorable discharge (see pages following).

            Wendy also suggested that if I typed the information from C.H. Catlin's pension file and made it available as an addendum to the Cass County roster of soldiers, other researchers might discover how helpful military pension paperwork can be to family historians and amateur genealogists. (As a side note, we do not have any photographs of C.H. Catlin. Can anyone tell me if photographs of the soldiers in this battalion exist?)

            A small amount of background information will clarify the following pages. C.H. Catlin was given the name —Colonel Hooker Catlin… at his birth circa 1839. I have found two other —Colonel Catlins… in U.S. records, the first born prior to 1770. His middle name, —Hooker…, took on an unfortunate meaning during the Civil War when prostitutes were allowed to follow General Joseph Hooker#39;s troops. They came to be knownas —Hooker#39;s Women…, and later simply as —Hookers….

            According to his pension file, C.H. Catlin enlisted as a blacksmith in Company A of the 1st Regiment of Nebraska Vet. Cavalry on January11, 1864 in Omaha. [Note: The Cass County web site indicates that he enlisted January 14, 1864.] This regiment was commanded by Capt. Lee P. Gillette. He was transferred to Company A, 1st Regiment of the Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry on July 10, 1865. He was reported to be a deserter on October 9, 1865 while seeking medical assistance. However, C.H. Catlin was honorably discharged at Washington, State of Maryland at a later date to be effective the 10th day of October 1865. At least one of his brothers and one of his brothers-in-law fought for the Union. Another brother-in-law, who was also his good friend, fought for the Confederacy.

            C.H. Catlin and his first wife, Elizabeth Crisping Smith, from whom I am descended, were married in Harrison County, Iowa on June 15, 1861. They had four children, and it has been passed down in the family that they named their fourth child —Grant Catlin… because of their admiration for General U.S. Grant. After homesteading for years in Kansas and spending time in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Missouri, Betsy Elizabeth Smith Catlin passed away on October 13, 1902 in Harrison County, Iowa. On August 3, 1904 C. H. Catlin married his former sister-in-law, Louise Whipple-Smith-Smith in Washington County, Nebraska. After his death on July 31, 1908, she was married for a fourth time to a Daniel Legan; however, this marriage was subsequently annulled. It is interesting to note for family history buffs that most of these details were obtained from C.H. Catlin's pension paperwork. His widow, Louise Whipple-Smith-Smith-Catlin-Legan had to provide a great deal of information when she applied for a widow#39;s pension.

            I have typed first those pages referring to C.H. Catlin's military service, and secondly those pages most helpful as examples to family historians. The asterisks centered on the pages indicate a break between documents. I sincerely hope this information will be of some assistance to the readers at your web site, and hopefully inspire others to request copies of Civil War pension packages for the purpose of family history research. I would love to one day attend one of the Cass County Civil War reenactments!

View Colonel Catlin's Pension Papers*

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*Please note that this is a text file residing in the USGenWeb Nebraska Archives. You will need to use your BACK button to return here.