October 8, 2015

William Burden Stevenson 1842 – 1926

William Burden Stevenson – Soldier, Sailor, World Traveler

Usually, when you begin researching someone in a family line you start at their birth and work forward, and backward as well to connect them with their parents and ancestors. With William Stevenson I think I began in the middle and worked both directions. I knew some people in his immediate had lived here in Washington State, but what really piqued my interest was that William had resided here in my town of Port Orchard and is buried in a local cemetery here.

William’s parents were John and Ellen Burden Stevenson who were both born in Scotland circa 1815. As an adult, John was an officer in the Irish Coastguard and as his career was ending son William, who had been brought up to also be a Naval Officer for Britain, was just beginning his time in service. William’s father John had retired sometime after 1860 and was awarded a land patent by Queen Victoria. John had his choice of British locations, but in the end he chose Canada. To be specific, on Lake Malcolm in Ontario. All of the family still at home, including the youngest, Jane Elizabeth who was born in 1860 when her father was still stationed in Killybegs, Wexford, Ireland set sail for North America.

I’m guessing that William, the oldest, entered his naval service before the rest of the family left Ireland. His entry paper states he joined 27 June 1860 and was on the 1HMS St. Vincent. At the time of William’s service on the ship it was primarily a training vessel for young boys. William’s designation was as an Ordinary Seaman. Later records (American Civil War) note that during his time on the Vincent they spent time in the Mediterranean Ocean.

1862 – William Stevenson deserts the Royal Navy

One can only imagine what life was like in the Royal Navy for nineteen year old William. In looking at the records for the St. Vincent it wasn’t uncommon for these young sailors to be caned or birched if the Captain deemed it necessary. I don’t know that William ever received that punishment, but perhaps there was a far greater peril on the ship: disease. 1864 Training Ship, Home Station, Portsmouth. 2Report of Fevers and Small Pox onboard. Number of Cases of Disease and Injury. No proof has been found as to just how and where William left the ship, but we next find him as new soldier in the American Civil War.

In William’s Civil War pension application records he states that about two weeks after leaving the Royal Navy as a deserter he made his way to Pennsylvania, and joined Company I of the 111th PA Infantry under the false name of Thomas Crawford.

To be continued…


1HMS St Vincent (1815). (2015, April 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:35, October 5, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=HMS_St_Vincent_(1815)&oldid=654963476

2(2015) HMS St Vincent. Retrieved October 05, 2015, from http://www.pbenyon.plus.com/18-1900/S/04400.html

© 2015 Carol Wilkerson. All rights reserved


Alonzo H Cushing – Medal of Honor Recipient Joins Our John Whitmore In Civil War MOH History

Today, the Medal of Honor was bestowed upon First Lt. Alonzo H Cushing by President Barack Obama for his conspicuous bravery during the battle of Gettysburg. See story at CMH News and Features.

I hope our Wilkerson family will take renewed pride in the fact that their ancestor John Whitmore was also awarded the Medal of Honor for his service during the Civil War. What makes John Whitmore’s Medal of Honor recognition so remarkable is that he was not an officer, but a lowly Private. It’s important because his courage and bravery must have been substantial in order for him to be recognized by his higher command. This is not meant to take anything away from Cushing’s heroism, but remind everyone that there were others who received the Medal of Honor as well.

iPentimento Memorial Day Remembrance 2008

Graveyard Rabbit Carnival – The Whittemores of Pleasant Grove Iowa

Tombstone Tuesday: The Wilkersons of Pleasant Grove, Iowa


Bean Family Civil War Veterans – Iowa


Bean Family Civil War Veterans – Iowa

Richard Lemuel Bean


From the Nashua, Iowa Library:

He served in Company C, in the 6th Iowa Cavalry

“I do not know the year he moved to Nashua from St. Lawrence County, New York, but it was very probably right after the birth of his son Holton who was born in St. Lawrence County in 1849. He did not move directly to Nashua, but lived several years in Lansing, Michigan where two children were born.

They were in Nashua when the Civil War broke out and he was determined to enlist with four of his sons: Henry, Levi, George, and Holton. He also wanted to enlist but the Board would not take him on account of his age. His wife told him if he did enlist, not to come back to her. He did anyway, by going to another county; cut off his beard, dyed his hair with walnut stain, and made it. He was discharged a year later with an injury to his hips in battle.

He returned to Nashua and built a home on some land he owned 2 miles north of town, and lived there for the rest of his life.  He owned and operated a saw mill before the war, but with his injured hips he could no longer do the work.

Before coming to Iowa he was a [I suspect he was a “sawyer” and [someone misread the writing on the census record–C] lawyer in Vermont and New York State. “


Levi Lemuel Bean


7th Iowa Infantry


Richard Rufus Bean


(GG-Grandfather of James A. Wilkerson)

Richard Bean was a Private in the Union Army, Co. G, 27th Iowa Infantry. He mustered in October 3, 1862 (maybe at Dubuque, IA). It says on the Company Muster-in Roll that he was 24 years old and that his occupation was as a farmer. He enlisted August 15, 1862 in Nashua, Iowa for a period of 3 years. the enlistment person was A. L. Rupe. It also says he had black hair and eyes and his complexion was dark. He was five foot, five and a half inches tall. On that date he was to be paid the sum of $25, and the premium paid was $2.00.

The battles in which he fought were: Battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, April 9, 1864; and Old Oaks, Louisiana, May 18, 1864; Ditch Bayou, Arkansas, June 6, 1864; Tupelo and Old Town Creek, Mississippi, July 15 and 16, 1864; Nashville, Tennessee, December 15 and 16, 1864; and the Siege and Capture of Blakely, Alabama, April 2 through 9, 1865.

June 1863 he went to the regimental hospital (Gayoso USA General Hospital) in Memphis, TN because he was sick. On August 24, 1863 he left at Memphis, Tennessee because he was sick. During the months of September and October 1863 he was employed as a guard at the hospital until he returned to duty. He rejoined his Company from the hospital December 10, 1863.

Richard’s muster-out date was August 8, 1865. At that time, he had last been paid to February 28, 1865. He mustered-out in Clinton, Iowa. At that time they paid him a bounty of $25 and he was due $75.

In 1896 Richard R. Bean applied for a pension from the government for his service in the Civil War.


George Willard Bean


Union Army, Co. G, 27th Iowa Infantry

George W. Bean was in the 27th Iowa Infantry, Company G, along with his brother Richard R. Bean.


Holton David Bean


7th Iowa Infantry, Company B

Holton Bean was in the 7th Iowa Infantry, Company B in the Civil War. His brother Levi L Bean was also in this unit.

Aged Anita man Hangs Self Sunday.   Holten D. Bean father of Leslie Bean takes life early Sunday Morning at L. D. Bean residence.   5 or 6 years resident of Anita.   Committed suicide early Sunday morning by hanging himself farm home of son Leslie Bean with whom made home.   Despondency cause of death.   W. L. Edwards who has room at Bean home arose Sunday morning about 7:00 a.m. and going barn to get car, saw in semi-darkness in 1 of stalls what appeared figure of man hanging from 1 of rafters.   Had used piece of uninsulated telephone wire as he hung toes touched ground.   Had made home Anita since wife died.   Funeral Bean home.   Interment cemetery Casey.   (Vindicator, Casey, Ia., Oct. 25, 1928)

Obituary Holten David Bean born Yorktown, Canada Nov. 27, 1849 and died home son L. E. Bean Anita Oct. 21 age 78 and 10 m. 24d.   Married Mary Jane Morrison 1876 and 2 daughters and 1 son.   Mrs. Bean died Mar. 1923.   Left Mrs. Dora Highland of Vancouver, Washington, Mrs. Georgia Witherspoon of Danville, Ill. and Leslie Bean of Anita, 9 grandchildren. Funeral Anita.   Interment Oakwood.   (Vindicator, Casey, Ia., Oct. 25, 1928)


Here was the greatest and most moving chapter in American history, a blending of meanness and greatness, an ending and a beginning. It came out of what men were, but it did not go as men had planned.
– from “The Coming Fury”

From An Odyssey Of Quotes

© Carol Yates Wilkerson 2011


John Breedlove Civil War Diary: Deaths 1864

It’s always a goal of mine to share information I think will be helpful to other genealogists and family historians. My cousin Kathleen and I recently received the gift of a lifetime: a scanned copy of our GG-Grandfather John W. Breedlove’s Civil War diary. As soon as I brought it in from the mailbox I sat down to read it and along the way I noticed he had written names and dates of men who had died in his unit, or as he learned of them.  By adding them here on this blog it enables the families to find them in a search.

Record of Deaths or Wounded from John Breedlove CW Diary – 1864

List of wounded of the 32nd MO at the late Battle of Jonesborough GA (as written)


Thomas Mathews, Lt. Co B

Joseph Kelly, Sergt Co G

Jas Norris, priv Co G

Jas Bier priv Co G

Thos Scrimpsher, priv Co B

David Boyer, priv Co B

David Elliot, Corp Co D


Lewis [Louis] Jelison, Co H

John Burgizer, Co K

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