Knoxville, Knox Co., Tenn.
May 20, 1885
Hon. J. C. Black
Commissioner of Pensions
Washington, D. C.
I have the honor to return herewith the original and special examination papers together with my own report, in the claim for widow's pension No. 199154 of Louisa J. Fortner, Bull Run, Knox Co., Tenn, widow of David H. Fortner, late private Co. F., 3" Tenn. Vols. This claim was referred to me to determine the truth of the statements as to claimant's immoral character, embodied in Special Examiner Carlisle's report, and to take the deposition of Col. Wm. Cross.
Claimant was afforded opportunity to be present during the examination of the witnesses, and availed herself of the privilege, except as to the evidence of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Presswell and Col. Wm Cross.
Claimant states, Ex. A. page 9, that she had four illegitimate children, all of whom were born before and two of whom were living, when she married soldier, that she has never been guilty of any immoral conduct since her marriage, and that she never had any quarrel with Mrs. Isaac Presnell, on account of any illicit intercourse with the husband of the latter, and was about 53 years old when she staid at her house. Reputation fair.
G. Julian York, Dep. B., page 12, has known claimant, lived within three miles of her, and thinks he has known her moral character, during the past six or seven years. He "reckons" her character has been good; has not known or heard of her being guilty of any immoral conduct during the past 13 years and thinks he would have known if she had been. Reputation fair; unbiased.
Mrs. Mary Frances York, Dep. C, page 15, has known claimant, lived in the same "settlement" with her, and thinks her moral character has been good, during the past several years: has never heard or known of her being guilty of any lewd or immoral conduct during the past 13 years; thinks she would have known or heard it, if such had been the case. Claimant is a member of the same church as deponent, and would be "turned out" for any immoral practices. Reputation, fair: unbiased.
J. J. Cooper, Dep. D., page 18, was acquainted with claimant when she was young; and before her marriage: it was then known that she had some illegitimate children: has also know claimant for the past 7 or 8 years, and has lived within two or three miles of her for the past two or three years; thinks her moral character has been good, for the past three years; would have probably heard, if within that time she had been guilty of any lewdness or immorality and has not known or heard anything of the kind. As far as deponent knows, claimant has been a woman of good repute for the past several years. Reputation, good: unbiased.
James Heaton, Dep. "E" page 21, has lived almost in sight of claimant and considered her moral character good, during the past 13 years; never heard anything against it, during that time, and would probably have known or heard of any improper or lewd conduct during that time; if claimant had been guilty of such conduct. Reputation: good, unbiased.
Isaac Pressnell, Dep. F., page 24, has no personal knowledge of, and has known nothing against claimant's moral character for the past three years; never had any illicit intercourse with claimant; deponent's wife never had any quarrel with claimant on that account, but did cause claimant to discontinue her visits at deponent's house, because she was tired of "waiting on claimant"; they never had any quarrel, but got rid of claimant by "cool treatment"; claimant was then too old for any illicit intercourse; she then lived in Powell's station (where deponent resides) and her reputation was then good. Reputation: good, unbiased.
Mrs. Isaac Presnell, Dep. G., page 27, has never heard anything against claimant's moral character for the past three years. Claimant used to visit at deponent's house: deponent, by "cool treatment," caused a discontinuance of these visits, as she had heard that claimant had been immoral in her younger days, and as she did not have time to wait on claimant, who was "sponging" on her. there was not quarrel. Deponent never suspected claimant of any immoral intimacy with anyone or with any member of her family. Is now, and always has been, on good and speaking terms with claimant. Reputation: good, unbiased.
E. G. Fowler, Dep. H., page 30, has lived almost in sight of claimant and considered her moral character good, for the past 3 years; and thinks he would have known or heard if within that time she had been lewd or immoral. Reputation: good, unbiased.
Col. Wm. Cross, Dep. I., page 33, was Colonel of soldier's reg., but while he remembers the soldier, has no recollections now as to the state of his health while in service and his memory is not refreshed by statements as to time and place where alleged disabilities were contracted. Reputation good, unbiased.
Opinion and Recommendation
From all the evidence before me at the time of writing this report, I am of the opinion that this is a meritorious claim and I recommend that it be admitted.
/S/ J. H. Horah