Pension File extracted by Joseph Romeo
Contributed 22 Mar 2006


Daniel Driggett

Company E
First Regiment New Jersey Volunteers

Following are excerpts from the pension file related to the service of Daniel Driggett (ca. 1838-1864), son of William and Charlotte Driggett. Daniel was reported to have died during the war, and the claim was filed by his widowed mother. Following his mother's death, the claim was ultimately rejected on the grounds of the "inability of the parties in interest to prove death of soldier."


No. 353319 Charlotte Driggett, New Boston, Wayne Co., Mich., Moth[er], Daniel Driggett, Pvt. E 1st NJ Inf. Died at Florence. N.C. Nov. 30 [18]64. Application filed: Apr. 13, 1887.


Mother's application for pension, Michigan, Wayne Co., 4 Apr 1887, Charlotte Driggett, age 79. She is the mother of Daniel Driggett who served in Company E of the First Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, enlisted on or about the -- day of May 1861 as a Private, died on or about the 30 day of November 1864 at Florence, NC by reason of Prison life.

This claim is made for pension as dependent relative of said Daniel Driggett. Claimant was married to William Driggett, soldier's father on the 10th day of June 1813 [sic]. That said father was disabled at date of son's death so that claimant was dependent on her son for support. William Driggett is now -- years of {illegible}.

Claimant's Post-office address is New Boston, Wayne Co., Mich.

Signature of Claimant: Charlotte (her mark) Drigget

Witnesses: Isaac Perkins, John Miller. residents of New Boston; they have personally known said claimant for twenty-five years.

Sworn to and subscribed before me, 4 Apr 1887, Samuel Adams, Justice of the Peace

General Affidavit: Seth C. Felt, M.D., New Boston, Wayne Co., Mich.: I have known Mrs. Charlotte Driggett & been personally acquainted with her during the past eleven years. When first called to treat her she was afflicted with paralysis of one side of her body, also her tongue & was unable to speak from this. She partially recovered about five years ago. She was stricken down again with paralysis & remained unconscious at least 3 or 4 days. She remained helpless for at least 3 or 4 months unable to sit or stand or move herself in bed. Since then she has been a constant care not able to prepare her food at the table. It has not been safe to leave her alone for a moment during the past five years. At the present time she is very feeble & not able to ascend one step without assistance. To walk across the room is all she can accomplish without resting. Furthermore her present condition is such as to justify me in saying that death may occur at any moment as a result of her enfeebled condition.

Signature of Affiant, Seth C. Felt M.D

{Sworn to and subscribed before me}, Samuel Adams, Justice of the Peace

Certified 10 Aug 1887

General Affidavit: Charlotte Driggett, New Boston, Wayne Co., Mich.: My Post Office address in the year 1864 was Therepin Neck, New Castle Co., State of Delaware; the Post Master's name was Thomas Denton. My next address was Centerville, Camden Co., NJ. My next address was Camden, NJ. My next address was Romulus, Wayne Co., MIch. My next address is the present one New Boston, Wayne Co., Mich. The following children of mine was living in the year 1864: Betsey Driggest born March 10 1823. {illegible due to crease in paper} Driggest born April 28th 1825. Levi Driggest born April 8th 1834. David Driggest Nov 6th 1830. Daniel Driggest born Jan 15th 1840. Hester Driggest born June 9th 1843. William Driggest born Oct. 10th 1845. Mary Jane Driggest born Dec 24th 1847. My husband was living when my son enlisted and he died June 4 1881. He was for thirty years prior to his death an invalid. He was ruptured. I have never married since the death of my son. My son never worked away from home. My husband worked a small farm on shares, therefore we kept him at home and we received all the benefits of his labor. I never owned any property or my son never owned any. I have always been to the mercy of my son to keep me.

Signature of Affiant: Charlotte (her mark) Driggest

Witnesses: Frank S. Miller, Perry Perkins

Sworn to and subscribed before me, 22 Oct 1887, Samuel Adams, Justice of the Peace

General Affidavit: Washington Greenwich and John Miller, New Boston, Wayne Co., Mich.: We [k]new the soldier Daniel Driggest, his father and mother, and all of the family. We have been acquainted with them for thirty-five or thirty-eight years. We [k]new him to work at home on a farm his father had rented until he enlisted. He was at that time the support of his father and mother. His father died in June 1881. We [k]new his father to be afflicted with rupture for thirty years. His father was never able to do any hard manual labor. The soldier never owned any property and we never [k]new his mother to own any. Her son has always been supporting her and today she is at poverty door.

Signature of each Affiant: Washington (his mark) Greenwich, John Miller

Witnesses: Frank S. Miller, David Adams

Sworn to and subscribed before me, 22 Oct 1887, Samuel Adams, Justice of the Peace

Medical Evidence: Dr. S. C. Felt, New Boston, Wayne Co., Mich.: {document completely illegible}

Sworn to and subscribed before me, 9 Nov 1887, Samuel Adams, Justice of the Peace

General Affidavit: William Durham and Henry Durham, New Boston, Wayne Co., Mich.: We knew the soldier Daniel Driggest and his father William Driggest who worked a farm of 60 acres on shares in New Castle Co., State of Delaware. He made about one third of a living for himself and family and the soldier worked at home all the time. He worked the farm in the years 1859 and 1860. We never [k]new the claimant or her husband since 1863 to own any personal property since 1863, and we never [k]new them to receive any benefit from such. And we know that William Driggest and Mrs. Charlotte Driggest have been to the mercy of their children that is living and the neighbors for their keep and living since 1863. Dr. Daniels of Smurnia [sic] treated William Driggest in the State of Delaware for the hernia and we know positive he is dead.

Signature of each Affiant: William (his mark) Durham, Henry (his mark) Durham

Witnesses: John A. {Hosner}, Nathan E. Outhwaite

Sworn to and subscribed before me, 14 Nov 1887, Samuel Adams, Justice of the Peace

War Department, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, Dec 3, 1887:

Daniel Dieggets (age 22), a private of Company E, 1st Regiment New Jersey Inf Volunteers, was enrolled on the 22d day of May, 1861, at Trenton, N.J., 3 yrs, and is reported: present on rolls to Apr 30 1862. May & June 1862 absent sick. July & Aug 62 absent with remark, reported as deserted since July 15, 1862 by order Med. Director Gen'l Hospital at Phila. Sept & Oct 62 deserted from Hosp'l at Phila. July 15, 1862. Sept & Oct 63 (next borne) absent with remark, under sentence of death per order G.C.M. [General Court Martial]. Nov & Dec 63 absent [sic] in confinement. Jan & Feb 1864 present in arrest. Mch & Apr 64 present with remark, to forfeit all pay and allowances due him up to date of apprehension Aug 31 1863. Muster out roll of Co dated June 23 64 reports him transferred to Co E 4th N.J. Roll Co. E 4th NJ Inf. May & June 1864 reports him absent sick since May 14, 1864, and so reported to Oct 31, 1864. Transferred to Co A 1st Vet Batt'n. NJ Inf and reported on roll for Nov & Dec 64 absent. Jan & Feb 1865 absent without remark as to cause or place. Mch & Apr 65 absent sick. Muster out roll of Co dated June 29, 1865 reports him absent sick in hospital. Also borne Daniel Driggets not borne Driggett. Prisoner of War Records, show him captured at Mechanicsville, Va. May 31, 64 and sent to Andersonville, Ga., June 8, 1864. No further information on said record.

War Department, Surgeon General's Office, Record and Pension Division, Washington, D.C., Jan'y 13, 1888:

Pvt. Daniel Drigits, Co. E 1 N.J.V. was admitted to G.H. [General Hospital] Broad and Cherry Sts,, Philadelphia, Pa., June 28, '62 with rheumatism and deserted July 6, '62. No evidence of his re-admission. The soldier's name is not borne upon the Death and Discharge records of this office.

Bureau of Pensions, Office of the Commissioner, Mar 22, 1888:

Action and Order: Clm't a sufferer from paralysis, helpless as a child, cannot prepare her food, nor is it safe to leave her alone. This has been her condition for five years. Death may occur at any time.

General Affidavit: Charlotte Driggett, David Driggett, and Levi Driggett, New Boston, Wayne Co., Mich.: {this document is mostly illegible; it apparently gives details of how the family learned of the death of the soldier}:

{We were with mother when Samuel Cline told mother that he} {illegible} {Daniel Driggett} {illegible} and {saw} him taken out to be buried. {illegible} {cannot} {illegible} {the day and date of} {illegible} {as} it is now over twenty-four years ago scince Samuel Cline told me and he did not state to me the day and date.

Signature of each Affiant: Charlotte (her mark) Driggett, Daniel (his mark) Driggett, Levi (his mark) Driggett

Witnesses: Isaac McGinnis, Robert Outhwaite

Sworn to and subscribed before me, 5 Oct 1888, Samuel Adams, Justice of the Peace

War Department, Record and Pension Division, Washington, Feb 27 1890:

Daniel Dieggets, Co. E 1 N.J. Inf'y Vols, was enrolled May 23, '61. From May 23, '61 to June 8, '64 he held the rank of private, and during that period the rolls show him present, except as follows: June 30, '62, absent sick; Aug. 31, '62, absent, reported as deserted since July 15, '62 by Med. Dir. Gen'l. Hosp. Phila., Pa.; Oct. 31, '62, deserted July 5, '62; to Aug. 31, '63, name not borne; Oct. 31, '63, present under sentence of death; Dec. 31, '63, to April 30, '64, present in confinement. Transferred June 4, '64 to Co. E, 4 N.J. Vols. Borne also as Daniel Driggett. "It has this day (Feb. 26, '90) been determined by this Dep't, from records on file, that this man was brought before a General Court Martial Sept. 17, '63, and tried for desertion, found guilty, and sentenced to be shot to death with musketry, at such time & place as the Com'd'g General may direct. Proceedings, findings & sentence approved and the sentence ordered to be carried into effect, and Sept. 25, '63, selected as the day of execution of said sentence. The sentence of Gen'l C't Martial was mitigated to imprisonment during the war, at the Dry Tortugas, Florida, by S.O. #166 of May 3, '64, from War Dept, A.G.O. Return of 4 N.J. Vols. for June '64 shows him 'absent, wounded since May 14, '64.' He was captured at Mechanicsville, Va., May 30, '64; confined at Richmond, Va., May 31, '64, and sent to Andersonville, Ga., June 8, '64. Investigation fails to elicit further information."


State of Michigan, County of Wayne, SS

On the 13th day of July A.D. 1891, personally appeared before me a Notary Public in and for the aforesaid County, duly authorized to administer oaths, David Driggett, who being duly sworn declares that he is the brother of Daniel Driggett late of Camden County and State of N.J. who was a private in Company E, 1st Regiment of New Jersey Inf; that this soldier was born at Newcastle in the State of Delaware on the ... day of ....1842; that he was 6 feet, 1 inch high, fair complexion, blue eyes, sandy hair, and by occupation when enlisted a farmer; that he died the service of the United States at Florence, N.C on or about the ... day of ....1864. leaving neither widow, child, father, nor mother.

That the father of said soldier was name William Driggett and that he died at Wayne Co. Mich. on the 22nd day of June 1881, and that the said soldiers mother was named Charlotte Driggett, and that she died at Wayne Co. Mich. on the 20 day of June 1889. That besides the above named who is the surviving brother either of whole or half blood and whose Post Office Address is correctly stated below, the soldier had the following brothers and sisters; Betsey who died at Kent Co. Delaware on the ... day of ... 18.. leaving five children, none of whom are now minors; William who died at Wayne Co. Mich. on the ... day of ... 18 leaving one children, one of whom are minors. There were eight other brothers and sisters all of whom with one exception died in childhood, and that one who was married had no children.

This declaration is made to recover all arrears of pay and other allowances due said deceased from the United States and the bounty provided by acts of Congress; and he hereby appoints with full power of substitution and revocation, Milo B. Stevens & Co of Detroit, Mich. his Attorney to prosecute this claim, to receive any certificate or draft issued in payment of the same, and to do any and all acts necessary to the full and complete settlement of this claim. His Post Office Address is New Boston, Wayne Co. Mich. There are two other brothers living and one sister.

Daniel (his mark) Driggett

Jas. J. Robertson, Rose W. Laidle

Also at the same time and place personally appeared before me David Durham and Jas. J. Robertson, of the County of Wayne and State of Mich., to me well known as credible persons, who being duly sworn according to law declare that they have been for 40 and 20 years acquainted with the above name applicant, and with the said Daniel Driggett, deceased, who was a private in Company E of the 1st Regiment of New Jersey Inf. and respectively know and believe said applicant to be brother and sister [sic] of said deceased and that he left neither widow, child, father, nor mother, and had no other brother or sister than those above named; that they have no interest whatever in this application, and their Post Office Address is New Boston and Detroit Michigan, respectively.

David Durham, Jas. J. Robertson

State of Michigan, County of Wayne SS

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 13 day of July A.D. 1891

Adler Benes, Notary Public

Treasury Department, Office of Auditor for the War Department, April 11th, 1896. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a correct copy of the affidavit in the matter of the claim of David Driggett, Brother of Daniel Driggett,private Co. E. 1st Regiment N.J. Inf. dated July 13, 1891, on file in this office.

Application for Reimbursement: {parts illegible}

I, David Driggett, do swear that {Charlotte Driggett}, late of Huron, County of Wayne, State of Michigan died on the 19th day of June, 1889; ...

{support and nursing} eight years $2920
{medicines} $25
burial expenses $35
{doctor} $24
Total $3004

Applicant's signature: David (his mark) Driggett
Attest: S. Adams, David Durham

Witnesses: Ruth Graden, Wm. H. Heywood, neighbors of Charlotte Driggett
Attest: S. Adams, David Durham

Sworn to and subscribed before me, 25 July 1891, Samuel Adams, Justice of the Peace

Certificate of Probate Court as to death, expenses of last sickness and burial, assets. etc.

I, Homer A. Flint, Register of the Probate Court, being the court having probate jurisdiction in Wayne county, Michigan, do hereby certify that satisfactory evidence has been produced to said Court that Charlotte Driggett, the identical person alleged to have been entitled to accrued pension, died at Huron,, county of Wayne and State of Michigan, within the jurisdiction of this Court, on the 19th day of June, 1889, leaving no widow nor minor children recognized as such by the laws of said State, and without sufficient assets to defray the expenses of her last sickness and burial, and that the same were borne by David Driggett and that the itemized accounts therefor herewith attached, marked ... , are just and true, and that there is justly due said David Driggett, above the assets of said decedent's estate, the sum of $3004.00 on account of the necessary expenses of h[er] last sickness and burial.

Given under my hand and seal of said Court this 7th day of August 1891.

Homer A. Flint, Register

Letter from David Driggett, New Boston, Sept 24, [18]91: {parts illegible}
{Samuel Kline was with my brother at the time he died} {illegible} {I do not know whether Samuel Kline is alive}
Respectfully David Driggett

Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions, Washington, D.C., October 9, 1891:

Respectfully returned to the Adjutant General U.S. Army inviting his attention to the Report of the Adjutant General of New Jersey relative to the death of the soldier, and requesting information as to whether the statement contained therein can be verified by the present records of the Office.

War Department, Record and Pension Division, Washington, Oct 10 1891:

Respectfully returned to the Commissioner of Pensions with the information that in case of Daniel Driggett Co E 1" N.J. Inf., the report from the Adjutant Genl. of New Jersey cannot be verified as there is no record of his death May 6" 1864.

Dependent Mother's Pension

Submitted for rejection, Oct 17, 1891

Approved for rejection on the ground of the inability of the parties in interest to prove death of soldier. Oct. 19, 1891.

Letter from David Driggett, New Boston, May 27, 1892:

Daniel Drigets [e]nlisted May 23d 1861 in E Co 1st N.J Infantry; was killed in action at the battle of the Wilderness, Va., May 6th 1864. The said Danl Drigets left a dependent mother, the expenses of whose last sickness and also of her funeral were borne by myself. And it is for a reimbursement of said expenses that I make a claim for a pension.

In my former declaration I stated that my brother died in prison at Florence N.C. I now have positive evidence that he was killed in action at the battle of the Wilderness.

I do not see how I can make any use of this Invalid blank. The number of my former claim is 353319. I want a blank for reimbursement claim.

Respectfully yours, David Drigett

General Affidavit, 27 Jan 1893, William Page, age 55, Nat'l Home, Montgomery Co., Ohio: That he was a member of Co. B. 1st N.J Inf. and was well acquainted with Daniel Driggett a member of Co. E. 1st N.J. Inf. That at the battle of the Wilderness, May 6, 1864 the said Daniel Driggett was killed in said battle. That he saw the body of the said Daniel Driggett soon after he was killed.

Signature of Affiant, William Page

Sworn to and subsribed before me, (27 Jan 1893), John C. Truesdale, Notary Public

Record and Pension Office, War Department, Washington, Feb 18 1893:

Respectfully returned to the Com[missioner] of Pensions with the information that William Page Co. B. 1 N.J. Inf. was discharged Jany. 10" 1863 on S.C.D. [Surgeon's Certificate of Disability]

Letter from William Page, National Military Home, Feb 23, [18]93:

Hon. Comr. of Pension

Sir I hereby respectfully inform you that I was intimately acquainted with Daniel Driggett Co E. 1st Reg. Inf.; that at the Battle of the Wilderness May 6 1864 the said Driggett was shot; I saw his body about 30 or 40 minutes after he was killed.

Yours respectfully, William Page, Co. B. 1st Reg.

Record and Pension Office, War Department, Washington, Mar 25 1893:

Respectfully returned to the Commissioner of Pensions. The rolls show that William Page Co. H. 37 N.J. Inf. mentioned in the preceding endorsement, was enrolled June 17, 1864, and M.O. [mustered out] a Pvt. Oct 1, 1864.

May 6 [18]93 {sent to} David Driggett, The provisions of law by which reimbursement can be paid.

Treasury Department, Auditor for War Department, Washington, D.C. April 10, 1896:

Respectfully returned to the Hon. Commissioner of Pensions. In the case of Daniel Driggett, late private Co. E 1" Regiment N.J. Inf. Volunteers, the claim of David Driggett, as brother of soldier, for pay &c. is undergoing examination. Copy of application, showing death of mother, is enclosed.

No evidence of soldier's death on file in this office.

April 20 [18]96 {sent to} David Driggett c/ M R Nowland, thro Hon J R Corliss that correspondence should be addressed to Aud[itor] of War Dept and Aud[itor] of Interior Dept for bounty and reimbursement.

End of File

Joseph Romeo's anotation to the pension file extracts above:

The U.S. military records, which I believe to be trustworthy on this point, indicate that Daniel Driggett was taken as a prisoner of war and transferred to Andersonville, after which there is no further information. The pension application indicates that he died in Florence. These two references are at least chronologically consistent with what is known about Andersonville and Florence. Andersonville Prison, in Georgia, was one of the largest Confederate POW camps. After Gen. Sherman captured Atlanta, the prisoners at Andersonville were relocated, many ultimately to the newly built Florence Prison (which is in SC, not NC as given in the pension application). Whatever records may have been maintained at that prison apparently did not survive the war, which would explain why the War Department had no further information about Daniel.

Some links about the prisons:

Andersonville Civil War Prison Historical Background
Florence Stockade Florence, S.C.
Florence Prison Stockade History

My conclusion is that Daniel Driggett was sent to Andersonville, as indicated in the military records, and then was transferred to Florence, where he died as alleged in the pension application. Samuel Cline [or Kline], mentioned in the affidavits, who served in the same unit with Daniel, survived his stay at the prison and later told the family what happened to Daniel. There are records in the pension file indicating that the Pension Bureau tried to locate Cline, but without success. Without any documents supporting the allegation that Daniel died in the prison, and without any witnesses, the pension application was rejected.

In contrast to the U.S. military records which indicate that Daniel was captured and sent to Andersonville, the Report of the Adjutant General of New Jersey indicates that Daniel Driggett was killed at the Battle of the Wilderness on May 6, 1864. It is not known what the source of this claim is. The Pension Bureau refers to the report in Oct 1891, but is informed by the War Department that the statement could not be verified. How David Driggett might have learned of this report is unclear. David recites the date and place of death as given in the report, but without citing the source, in his letter of May 1892. A witness to Daniel's death was located (either by David or by the Pension Office) but proved to be unreliable, as he had apparently been discharged from the service prior to the date of the battle in which Daniel was alleged to have died, and did not enlist again until after the battle.

Here is a web version of the New Jersey Adjutant General's Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War, 1861-65. 2 vols. (Trenton: Murphy, 1876) showing the information about Daniel Driggett [Driggits]

Charlotte Driggett (ca. 1805-1889), who applied for a mother's pension based on Daniel's military service, died in 1889 while her application for the pension was still pending. Another of Charlotte's sons, David Driggett (ca. 1831-after 1900), who cared for Charlotte during the eight years of her widowhood until her death, subsequently attempted to avail himself of a provision of law by which an applicant could obtain reimbursement from the accrued pension for expenses paid in the last sickness and burial of a pensioner. David pursued this claim for reimbursement, even after his mother's application for a pension was posthumously rejected (on the grounds of the "inability of the parties in interest to prove death of soldier"), by providing "evidence" that Daniel was killed in action during the war. The pension file does not indicate the final disposition of his claim. As the claim was handled by the Treasury Department's Auditor for War Department, not by the Pension Bureau, additional information about the claim and its disposition might possibly be found in a different series of government records.

Please let me know if anyone has any questions:  --  Joseph Romeo

To view some of the other
Civil War pension extractions, as well as an explanatory note, please see the following page of the Mitsawokett site: (Once on the page, scroll down below the Index to see the Overview).











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