Sunday, September 21, 2008

Henry Stewart -- Civil War Veteran

Our grandpa, Henry Riley Stewart, was a veteran of the Civil War. Henry was born and raised in the South, but when it came time to take a stand, he joined the Union to fight against slavery. On 31 December 1863 at Carthage, Tennessee, Henry enlisted in the Union Army as a private in D Company 1st Tennessee Volunteers, Mounted Infantry. His pension is File # 1244,834.  At the end of the war, Henry was discharged honorably from the army on 25 April 1865 at Nashville, Tennessee.

Henry was born 10 Dec 1843, the third child of Harrison and Sarah (Brown) Stewart. In his pension application, Henry states that he was born in Double Springs, Jackson County, Tennessee. Putnam county was created from Jackson county and it is in Putnam County that the records for the Stewart family will be found.

Sixteen year old Henry can be found living with his parents in the 1860 Census for Putnam county. His father, Harrison's occupation is listed as a mechanic. In other records, Harrison's occupation is listed as shop work or blacksmith. Blacksmithing is the profession that Henry followed during his lifetime. Below is the letterhead Henry used for his blacksmith shop in Mountain View, Oklahoma.

After the Civil War, Henry married Elizabeth Brown. Henry and Elizabeth are enumerated in the 1870 census for Putnam County, Tennessee.  In the census below, Henry, Elizabeth, and son, John M, are on the bottom of page 207, and son, Elijah is listed on the top of the next page 208.
1870 Census, Putnam County, Tennessee, pg 207B
Elizabeth died in 1871, just a few days after giving birth to her third son. It is not known who helped Henry with his sons after Elizabeth died.  Only records for John M. Stewart have been found.  It is not known what happened to Elijah and William after the death of their mother.

A year later in 1872, Henry married Bettie Medlin. Bettie's mother had died when she was just an infant and Bettie was raised by the Barnett Richardson family. In 1870, Bettie was living in Putnam county with the William Brown family. It was through these relationships that Bettie met the young widower, Henry Stewart. Henry and Bettie were married at the Brown's home by Rev. Jacob Stewart (Henry's brother.) Below is a copy from the Stewart Family Bible giving the marriage information for Henry & Bettie.

Henry Stewart Bible
Religion played a large roll in Henry's life. His grandfather, Jesse Stewart, was a well known Tennessee Baptist pastor, as was his brother, Jacob M. Stewart.  Henry's father, Harrison, was a clerk for the Mine Lick Church -- named after a creek by that name on the head waters of which the church was located. This church was situated some eight miles west of Cookeville in Putnam County on the table lands of Cumberland Mountain. In his later life, Henry was considered as lay minister and would often preach at revivals in Texas and Oklahoma. His grandchildren can remember hearing him preach sermons at church gatherings.

In 1880, Henry was a 34 year old a millwright living in Cheatham County, Tennessee with wife, Bettie, and their two children, Mary J. and Joseph.  Mary Jane Stewart is our direct ancestor. She married Allen Baldwin and was the mother of Grandpa Jess Baldwin.

Henry and Bettie had eight children: Mary Jane Stewart Baldwin, David Hargon Stewart, Jospeh R. Stewart, George Thomas Stewart, Henry P. Stewart, Evert Walter Stewart, Charles Vester Stewart and Mattie May Stewart.  Descendants of these children can be found throughout the western states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and California.

Henry's brother, John Calvin Stewart, moved to Texas around 1882. A year later, Henry also moved his family to Texas. In his pension record, Henry states that "I came to Texas Aug 1883." He was living in Young County, Texas in 1890, when he showed up on the 1890 Veteran's Schedule. Ten years later in 1900, the Henry Stewart family seems to be unsettled. In March, when Henry started applying for his Civil War Pension, he gave Round Tree, Baylor County, Texas as his residence. But several months later in June, when the 1900 Federal Census was taken, Henry was in Throckmorton County, Texas.

The family made another move in 1901. This time to Cloverton, Kiowa, Oklahoma Territory. In 1902 and 1907, Henry still gives Kiowa County, Oklahoma as his place of residence. The pictures of the Stewart Stone House were taken around 1907 or 1908.


Henry (in overalls & black hat) is standing to the far right looking away from the camera.

For some reason, the family was back in Texas for the 1910 Census, in Wise county. Maybe they were just visiting, because they are next found back in Oklahoma in the early part of 1912. Henry's health seems to be deteriorating. In a letter written to his brother, Jacob, in May of 1912, Henry talks about being sick for about 3 months and going to Hot Springs. According to Jacob M. Stewart, this is the last letter he received from his brother, Henry.

As Henry indicated in the letter above, he ended up going to the Army Hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  He died in the Army Hospital on 19 September 1912. Henry R. Stewart is buried in the Little Rock National Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas.

You can search the National Gravesite Locator on the US Department of Veteran Affairs website for your US Veteran: http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/j2ee/servlet/NGL_v1

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