Case of Louisa J. Fortner, No. 199154
On this Twenty-sixth day of April, 1885, at Near Oliver's, County of Anderson, State of Tennessee, before me. A. Carlisle, a Special Examiner of the Pension Office, personally appeared David Henry Fortner, who, behing by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to him during this Special Examination of aforesaid pension claim, deposes and says: His name is David Henry Fortner, age 48, occupation farming, Post Office Poplar Creek and Oliver's, Anderson Co., Tenn--sometimes one--sometimes the other.
1. What was your father's name?
Answer: David Henry Fortner, now dead.
2. What was your mother's maiden name?
Answer: Anna Jane Vickery. My father was married twice. The last wife was Louisa [Eliza is crossed out] Foy, who is now applying for a pension.
3. Is Anna Jane Vickery dead?
Answer: I do not know; she left my father in the 2d year of the war and I have not heard from her since two years after the war. My father got a divorce and married Louisa Foy in 1867.
4. When did your father die?
Answer: He died last August 13 years ago. In the year 1871. Died in the month of August. Do not remember the day.
5. What disease did your father die of?
Answer: It was said to be bronchitis.
6. Who said it was bronchitis?
Answer: Dr. Wm. A. Rogers at Gravestone, and Dr. Lewis, now dead. I heard my father say these doctors told him it was bronchitis; said so just a while before he died.
7. What was your father's age when he died?
Answer: He was fifty-six years old.
8. What doctors attended him during his last sickness?
Answer: Dr. Lewis now dead.
9. What doctors attended him at any time before his death?
Answer: Dr. Scott of Gravestone; Dr. Wm. A. Rogers and Dr. Lewis of Raccoon Valley 4 miles above Hassler's station in Anderson Co. These are all the doctors that attended him so far as I can recollect.
10. When your father died, did he leave any children who were under sixteen years of age by either of his wives?
Answer: No; I am the only child he ever had.
11. Has Louisa Fortner remained a widow since her husband's death?
Answer: She has; I know it by being acquainted with her son since his death.
12. What is the general character of Louisa Fortner--has she lived with any other man as his wife since her husband's death?
13 [sic] She has not lived with any other man; but she has not a good character; she is accused of immoral conduct.
14. Who makes such accusation against her?
Answer: One is Mrs. Presstel, on Copper Ridge; she had a fight with Eliza Fortner about Mr. Presstel; Elijah Norman, also on Copper Ridge, Knox Co., lived close to her and knows more of her immoral conduct. Her general character is that she is a lewd woman; I hear it of her ever time I go there--I go into her neighborhood every year or two.
15. What was your service in the secession war?
Anser: I was a private Co. F. 3d Tennessee Infantry. Enlisted in Feby 1862; mustered out at Nashville March 1865.
16. Did your father enlist in the same Co. and Regt. and at the same time you did?
17. Had you been with him for five years before he enlisted?
Answer: Yes. I had never left home; lived on the farm with him all my life up to enlistment; went away to Kentucky with him and enlisted at Flat Lick with him.
18. What had been the matter with your father before he went with you to Kentucky to enlist? What complaints had he ever made?
Answer: He was always a very healthy man until he went into the army. Was sometimes afflicted with Cramp colic but never had any other disease. Was subject to the colic.
19. Did he have rheumatism before he enlisted?
20. Did he have anything the matter with his throat before he enlisted?
Answer: No. If he did I never heard him speak of it.
21. Did he ever have any trouble with his lungs?
Answer? Not before he went into the service.
22. What doctors attended him before the war?
Answer: I don't think any doctor ever attended him during the five years preceding his enlistment. I do not remember any.
23. What were your father's habits during that five years?
Answer: He never drank--never followed drinking--he worked in a cooper shop and made wood-work for wagons; was regular at his work--worked every day--had no sickness.
24. What was his age when you enlisted with him?
Answer: He was about 47.
25. What was your age at the time you enlisted?
Answer? I was about 25.
26. Don't you think your father was over 47 when he enlisted?
Answer: I do not think he was.
27. Were you on duty with your father after you enlisted?
Answer: I was. On picket, "ring guard," and marches.
28. How did your father stand the marching?
Answer: He made no complaints at first--seemed to stand it as well as I could; about the time of the battle of Murfreesboro last of Dec. '62 and Jany '63, he complained while on the march to Murfreesboro from Nashville of a cough and said his legs hurt him; and that his breast hurt him. Made that complaint to me while on the march, and this was the first complain or sickness he had after enlistment as far as I know.
29. Was he excused from duty then?
Answer: He was for about 2 weeks before he was discharged.
30. Why was he discharged?
Answer: On the account of being unable for service.
31. In what respect was he unable for service when discharged?
Answer: From a hurting in his breast and a cough. Dr. Wm. A. Rogers, Brigade Surgeon, was the one who proposed to discharge him and worked it through.
32. What had caused your father's disability?
Answer: He told me before he was discharged that carrying his knapsack and hard marching had given him the disease he had.
33. What disease did he have?
Answer? He said to me while waiting for his discharge that the doctors had examined him and told him he had bronchitis.
34. While he was waiting for discharge what ...
[missing next page]
39. Where did you see him that time?
Answer: He came to the regiment at Love's Creek above Knoxville to see me. And I saw him every week or so till we went to Georgia in 1864--then I saw him no more till after I was mustered out.
40. When you last saw your father before your regiment went into Georgia, what was his condition and what did he say to you?
Answer: He said he was not able to do anything on acct. of his breast; not able to work. He told me this when we parted at Strawberry Plains, he to go home and I to go on Georgia Campaign with regiment.
41. When you were mustered out did you come right home?
Answer: Yes. Came home to Haskel's station in 3 days.
42. How far was your father living from there then?
Answer: He lived near House Mountain with one of my cousins--18 miles from Haskell's Station. I saw him about a week later--went to see him.
43. How was he when you saw him this first time?
Answer: He was better than when I went into Georgia--but still complained of his breast; not of anything else that I can recollect. He had a kind of a dry cough all the time. He so continued till he died six years afterwards. Did not then complain of diarrhea.
44. What was the immediate cause of his death? How did he die? Were you present at his death?
Answer: I was present the night he died. He had been bed-fast for near two weeks and suffering with a tightness in his breast and still had the cough. He kept wearing away--getting weaker and weaker till he died from exhaustion.
45. Was his death sudden? Had he been at any work requiring exertion a day or two before he died?
Answer: His death was not sudden; it was gradual; he had not been able to sit up more than five minutes at a time for about two weeks.
46. How long had you been with him when he died?
Answer: I was there off and on all the two weeks; attending to him. The last two days I never left him except a couple of hours to go to my own house and back.
47. Have you any prejudice against the claim of this Eliza Fortner for a pension?
Answer: No. But if reports are true, I don't think she ought to have it. I mean her known lewdness ought to stop her form getting a pension. I think investigations in her neighborhood now will show her to be alewd woman. But I don't care whether she gets pension or not.
48. What is her age now?
Answer: She is now near sixty; she looks right smart and gray; she is crippled from a white swelling but is a smart active woman yet.
49. Did you ever make an affidavit in this case or for your father when he applied for a pension?
Answer: I never did.
50. Are you sure you never did?
Answer: I am. I was never asked to make one.
51. The affidavit in the case signed David H. Fortner or David Folkner then is not yours?
Answer: No. It must be my uncles, or it is forged.
52. Had this Louisa Fortner the claimant in this case ever been married before she married your father?
Answer: No, sir; but she had children; one died before I knew her; there were two living when she and my father were married.
53. Were these the children of your father?
Answer: No. One was the child of Lieut-Colonel J. C. Chiles [witness in the case, see report of Examiner Jones] and the other was the child of a merchant in Knoxville by the name of Nelson. This has always been general report.
54. Are these children living?
Answer: They are--or were a year ago. Her son Jim is in Texas; wrote to her a year ago.
55. During your father's last sickenss did he have diarrhea?
Answer: I think he did.
56. Why do you think so?
Answer: I heard it talked of.
57. Who talked of it?
Answer: The family talked of it at the time he was sick.
58. Was he troubled with diarrhea before he got down sick in bed? did he have chronic diarrhea?
Answer: If he was I never heard of it. I don't believe diarrhea was the cause of his death. If it had been, I would have known it, as I attended on him enough to know it.
Witness: Peter Weaver
Deponent: David H. [his X mark] Fortner
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 26th day of April 1885, and I certify that the contents were fully made known to deponent before signing.
/S/ H. Carlisle, Special Examiner