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April 12, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Peter V. Foland, Part III

Need to catch up? Click here: Peter V. Foland: Part I

From the fall of 1862 until the fall of 1863, Peter Foland apparently took a break from defending the Confederacy.  In January of 1863, he turned eighteen and was soon subject to the Conscript Act, passed on March 3, 1863.

So, on September 15, 1863, at a place called Panther Springs, Tennessee, northwest of Morristown, Peter reenlisted for a term of three years. He now was described as 5’6”, indicating that his long-awaited growth spurt was behind him. This time his eyes were described as blue. Contrary to his previous discharge papers and his obituary published in 1915, this enlistment record stated that he was born in Scott County, Virginia. Again, his occupation was given as farmer.

He joined Company F of the 9th Regiment of the Tennessee Cavalry and, a month later, appeared on the October 15, 1863 muster at Knoxville. By November, something was amiss. On November 15, the record shows that Peter Foland had deserted his company, which remained in Knoxville. No other details were given. Apparently, either this was erroneous or something unstated in the record had affected Peter’s presence in his company.  Over twenty years later, on July 8, 1885, this charge was removed from his war record, documented in a notation from the War Department: “The charge of desertion of November 5 (or 15) 1863 against this man is removed.” Again, no further details were given.

Did a mature Peter Foland apply to have his record cleared? Was the charge of desertion standing in the way of a potential pension? If a Slate River Ramblings reader knows more about actions like this one, please comment.

Learn more about Peter V. Foland’s postwar life in Scottsville in my new book: Peter Field Jefferson: Dark Prince of Scottsville & Lost Jeffersons.

Coming next: Peter V. Foland, IV

3 Comments

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  1. Milton Campbell / Jul 23 2020 9:07 am

    The individual state of residence at time of application (often not the state from which they served) usually paid the pension for indigent or disabled Confederate soldiers, widows, and dependents.

    Most of these pension laws had provisions denying pensions to soldiers who served dishonorably or deserted and if those charges were not satisfactorily disproven, the pension would be disallowed.

    The Siege of Knoxville, which would have encompassed the period of time in question, was horrendously bad, even among the general awfulness of that war. My own great grandfather “walked off” from the army at the siege of Knoxville in mid to late November 1863 because he had no shoes and no weapon with which to fight and the ground was covered with ice and snow. He stopped in camp long enough to collect his younger brother and they went home.

    Fifty years later, when he was elderly and living in north Texas and eastern Oklahoma, that decision, although perfectly reasonable at the time, if you’ve ever been barefoot in the snow, came back to bite him and he was denied a pension.

    • Joanne Yeck / Jul 24 2020 7:34 am

      Many thanks for your comment. It helps put Peter V. Foland’s records in context.

      Joanne

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  1. The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part II | slate river ramblings . . . .

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