Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Mystery of Henry Lepley Civil War Soldier

Did you ever start researching a name on your family tree and think it was going to be simple? Well let me tell you from experience that its NOT. I have been bothered by the Civil War pension file of my great-great grandfather, Henry Lepley probably since the minute I got it in the mail several years ago. No, more like from when my order was confirmed.

Its bugged me simply because there's no real evidence provided within the pension file that Henry died during the war from any kind of injury. It mentioned him being 'wounded' but the specifics are to say the least contradictory. His 'widow' got a monthly pension because according the file he DID die. Unfortunately it doesn't specify WHERE he died, and when it does each location contradicts the one before. To top it off the Pension Office in January 1868 actually asked that they be furnished with 'official' evidence of the date AND cause of Henry's death. The problem with that is non of the documents in the file have ANY record OF his death. They request this TWO MONTHS after they issued the certificate to Mary Jane, his widow, granting her the pension of $8 per month.

Its just plain crazy and now when Henry's name is found on a website for soldiers from Pennsylvania, I wrote the webmaster and asked her about it telling her there are questions about whether he actually DID die. She replied that he DIDN'T die and was actually DISCHARGED in Harrisburg. She then sent me a Word document that shows NOTHING about Henry being in Spotsylvania or being wounded or even being IN the Civil War past 1863, which again contradicts Charles Lepley's diary entry that says he heard that Henry was 'wounded' (the entry dated June 16, 1864).

I'm creating a Word doc for the webmaster of the site (Helen, a very nice lady) of what was in Henry's pension file. I would really like her opinion since I am completely confused as to what REALLY happened to my 2nd great-grandfather. I guess I just don't want to end up finding out that he WAS discharged from the service and vanished, leaving his wife and THREE young children behind.

More Later.