William R. Henderson…Civil War Enlistment and Pension Application

I think he was very dashing in his uniform.

So for today, I sort of eeny meeny miney moed it to get which line I was going to post something from.  When it came up Tallman, I decided it should be something from William R (Robert or Redin…Have seen it both ways) Henderson, my Great-Great-Great Grandfather.  I have a confession, when it comes to the Tallman side, I am sort of obsessed with William Henderson.  It could be because he has one of the more interesting stories of my ancestors.  My family on both lines (and even on my grandfather’s side) are pretty much farmers.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being a farmer, but it doesn’t always make interesting research for those of us looking back.

William Henderson enlisted as a private for Company E of the Iowa 3rd Cavalry Regiment on August 17, 1861.  From what I have gathered, his company spent most of the Civil War fighting battles in Missouri and Arkansas.  There are a large number of battles listed that his company took part in, but I am not very well versed in military history so I don’t know how any of them rank in terms of importance.  Here are some websites that give much better detail and information on the regiment’s movements if you are wanting to know more.  Third Iowa Calvary, The Civil War Archive, and Civil War Reference can really give you some better information.

Henderson’s enlistment into the Iowa Third Cavalry.

The pension application for William Henderson. Filed by his widow Mary Elizabeth Henderson. I really love this document because Mary Elizabeth’s signature is in the lower left-hand corner. Somehow it makes the person more real when you can see something actually from their hand.

William Robert (again, not sure if it is this or Redin, but in my head I have sort of settled on Robert) was one of the lucky soldiers who managed to survive the fighting of the Civil War, but unfortunately, his luck didn’t extend to him actually

making it home.  He died of disease on the train on his way home to his family.  He was near Keokuk, Iowa at the time of his death and this is where his final resting place is.  It took us a long time to find out where he was actually buried, but thanks to the magic of findagrave.com we were able to discover that even though he was so close to home, he never actually made it back there.  He left behind his wife Mary Elizabeth (Atterberry) and three children, Frances Almeda, Thomas and Mary Elizabeth, who married Charles Tallman and is my great-great grandmother.

Well, somehow one document turned into two as well as two photos but, at least now you know a little more about one of my favorite ancestors.  Hopefully one day in the not to far away future (it is on my short list of genealogical places to visit) I will be able to make the jaunt to Iowa and get to actually see his grave and maybe learn even more about him.

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