The following information was extracted from various papers in the pension files for James C. Slavens, then of Putnam County, Indiana, and his widow Sarah E. Slavens of Clay County, Indiana.
James C. Slavens enlisted on July 30, 1862, in Company C of the 6th Indiana Cavalry Regiment at Greencastle, Putnam County, Indiana, for a three-year term of service. The 6th Cavalry was in action at Richmond, Kentucky, on August 28, 1862, and was forced to surrender to the Confederates. James was paroled on September 1, returning to Indianapolis on September 7 and thence furloughed home to Filmore, Putnam County. (In the early days of the Civil War, rather than imprisoning captured soldiers, they were often paroled and sent home; there they would remain until they were "exchanged" for captured soldiers from the other side.) The regiment was stationed at Camp Dick Thompson near Terre Haute, Indiana, until returned to active service. Slavens served throughout the war with the regiment, mustering out on June 7, 1865 at Pulaski, Tennessee.
James filed for a pension in July 1875, when his residence was Morton, Russell Township, Putnam County. He stated that in camp during October 1862, he took the measles, spending 15 days in the hospital at Terre Haute. He was then sent home on furlough for three to four months to recover. From there he went Indianapolis, where he was sick and unfit for duty some sixteen weeks. After Indianapolis he went to Kentucky and then to Georgia, where he rejoined his regiment. James states that he had diarrhea for some seven months before the Battle of Dalton (Georgia) in 1864, and was laid up with it about a month before his discharge, spending several days in the hospital at Nashville.
James stated that since his return home from the War he has been bothered by diarrhea and... what looks like "a severe Cake in my left side caused by the measles and I have never been cleane of it and is growing worse every day." He sought a full pension as he had "not been able to labour much since I was discharged." His occupation, when he was able to labor, was that of a farmer. He signed the application with his mark rather than a signature.
In April 1893, James's widow Sarah E. Slavens made an application for a pension at Ashboro, Clay County, Indiana. Her application states that James had been pensioned for his disabilities, and that he died as the result of them on January 27, 1893. James had married Elmina Clodfelter in 1868, and she died on January 13, 1879. He was married to Sarah E. Fritz on April 1, 1880, by Samuel T. Waters at Ashboro, Indiana. They were the parents of John H., born August 30, 1881; Mary Laughlin(?), born May 18, 1887; and George H., born August 16, 1890. (Although not mentioned in the application, James and Elmina were the parents of Ollie Belford, born in 1872, and Bertie Solomon, born in 1875. Presumably they weren't mentioned as the application asks only for children under 16 years of age.) Her application was witnessed by H. Fritts and N.B. Slavens.
Sarah Slavens had a mailing address of rural Centerpoint, Indiana, when she died on December 24, 1924.
Copyright © 2003 Larry Slavens. All rights reserved.