Skip to main content

Great Great Grandpa Peavy's Application for an Artificial Arm

[This post was originally published at my Lincecum Lineage blog. Since the topic for the current Graveyard Rabbit Carnival is Veterans Memorials, I thought it would be nice to add to and highlight this post here at Southern Graves.]

Michael Peavy was my great-great-grandfather. During the American Civil War, he fought with Company C, 54th Georgia (1862-1864). He lost his right arm from amputation 18 June 1864 at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia. Though you cannot tell it from his military gravestone, Grandpa survived the amputation. This is somewhat of a miracle, considering how many soldiers lost their lives from infections contracted during surgeries such as his.

At the top of Michael Peavy's gravestone is an engraving of the Southern Cross of Honor. His service in the Confederate States Army is noted, but no birth or death dates are present. This is the only stone for Grandpa Peavy visible at his gravesite in Bethany Baptist Church Cemetery; Washington County, Georgia. While the main reason for this is likely financial, I find it somewhat fitting since his time in the CSA had to be a series after series of defining moments in his life.

When Ancestry added the Georgia, Confederate Pension Applications, 1879-1960 database to their service, my first instinct was to search for Michael Peavy. I have other veterans in my family tree, but Mike is my most direct link to the Civil War.

Michael Peavy's pension file was over 30 pages. While there was no new information for me, I was a little surprised at how much information was included. At the very least, this file provided confirmation of some details and is another source for documentation.

Before I go further, I want to note: Georgia's online Virtual Vault also contains Confederate pension files. When searching for Michael Peavy, I only found a couple of pages. Those couple of pages were not found in the search at Odd.

The first image in the file was Michael Peavy's 1880 application for an artificial arm, valued at $60. Mike Peavy appears before the Washington County, Georgia ordinary and deposes that he was a bona fide resident of the state of Georgia; that he enlisted in the military service of the Confederate States as a private in Company C, Regiment of 54th Georgia Volunteers; that while engaged in such military service, at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain in the state of Georgia on 18 June 1864, he was wounded in the arm, and that the same was amputated above the elbow; and he has not received payment allowed him.

Something on this page that struck me was Michael Peavy's signature. I wonder if he had been right-handed, and without this hand, had to sign left-handed:

The next image contained AN ACT. To carry into effect the last clause of Paragraph 1, Section 1, Article 7 of the Constitution 1877:

Section I states that a Georgia resident and Confederate veteran who lost a limb or limbs during military service is entitled to money for an artificial limb ($60 for an arm extending above the elbow).

Section III states "that no applicant shall receive the sum allowed under this act oftener than once in five years."

Michael received another payment of $60 in 1886.

During the late 1880's and 1890's, Michael was on a "regular" pension roll. He received $100 a year. In 1889, his application was slightly more detailed. Michael says under oath that he has been a resident of the state of Georgia his entire life. He enlisted in the military service of the Confederate States during the war between the States, and served as a private in Company C of 54th Regiment of Georgia Volunteers, Mercer's Brigade. While engaged in such military service, at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, he was wounded as follows: "by a minnie ball, shattering the right arm above the elbow, necessitating its amputation."

9 January 1907: M. Peavy signed with a shaky hand one last time for his disabled soldier's pension. He died 20 November of that same year. The next year, his widow Sarah Ann Peavy filed the paperwork to receive Michael's pension owed him just prior to his death. An affidavit was supplied to prove Sarah was Michael's widow.

In October 1919, Sarah Ann Peavy submitted another application for a widow's pension. She had to answer some questions, have a witness answer some questions, and provide a copy of her marriage certificate with Michael Peavy.

Some information provided by Mrs. Sarah Ann Peavy 4 October 1919 in Washington County, Georgia:
- Mrs. Peavy was residing in Harrison, Washington County, Georgia.
- She had been a resident of the state of Georgia all her life.
- Sarah married Michael Peavy 9 October 1870 in Hancock County, Georgia.
- Michael died November 1907 in Johnson County, Georgia.
- Sarah and Michael were living together when he died.
- Michael was placed on the invalid soldier pension roll in 1890. He was getting $100 per year.
Mrs. Peavy also recounts Michael's Confederate military service. One additional note: Sarah Peavy always signed with an "X".

Some information provided by T. H. Waldon, "the witness," 4 October 1919 in Johnson County, Georgia:
- Mr. Waldon knew Michael Peavy from 1862 - 1907.
- Mr. Waldon was a member of the same company as Michael during the Civil War.
Mr. Waldon also recounted Michael's Confederate military service.

Michael Peavy's Confederate Pension application file also contained affidavits from a few individuals swearing to Michael's military service. Several attorney appointments and payment receipts were included, as well.


Fascinating story! Thanks for sharing it.
Stephanie, this is a great tribute to your G-G-Grandpa Peavy's service in the Civil War. I liked the way you listed the different information you gleaned from his marriage certificate and the pension applications. Sometimes I think lots of facts get lost in the recording of things. But, then as a genealogist, we look for those, don't we.

I think we owe all our veterans a debt of gratitude. Thank you for this post highlighting Michael Peavy's service.
S. Lincecum said…
Thank-you Dorene and Judith!

Facts do sometimes get lost when recording things, Judith. I can go back and re-read something I've read many times and find something "new!"
J. Shelley said…
This is a great entry. I am a decendant of Michael Peavy as well and I did not have quite all of this information. This is so special and has just made my evening!

S. Lincecum said…
So glad to hear that, Julie! Thanks for commenting. said…
Mike Peavy was my Great Grandfather. His son, Junnie Peavy, was my Grandfather. My Father, Ostine Peavy, son of Junnie Peavy and Minnie Bell Amerson, was born in Washington County, GA. This family is noted in the Washington County Census in the early 1900's. Thanks for this post. I will share it with other family.

Popular posts from this blog

Rocks, Rocks, and More Rocks

Why do people put rocks on grave stones? Some time ago, I learned that the rocks signified a visitor. That is true enough, but I decided to learn a little more about the custom and share my findings with you. Putting rocks on tombstones is most often described as a Jewish custom. There are many "Ask a Rabbi" columns out there, but I did not find one that knew for sure where the custom originated. They all agreed, however, that a rock symbolized a visitor and when put on a tombstone said, "I remember you." I also read that some people pick up a rock wherever they are when they think of a person that has passed. Then, the next time they visit the grave, they place the rock to say, "I wish you were here." Rabbi Shraga Simmons offers a deeper meaning: "We are taught that it is an act of ultimate kindness and respect to bury someone and place a marker at the site. After a person is buried, of course, we can no longer participate in burying them. H

Southern Cross of Honor

I'm late to this discussion, but it's one I'd like to join. :-) Terry Thornton at The Graveyard Rabbit of the Hill Country started with Grave Marker Symbols: The Southern Cross of Honor and UCV (link no longer available). Judith Shubert at The Graveyard Rabbit of the Covered Bridges continued with Hood County Texas: C.S.A. Veterans & Southern Cross of Honor Symbol . [UPDATE, 1 June 2009: Judith has moved this post to the blog, Cemeteries with Texas Ties . The link has been corrected to reflect this move. You may also link to her article via her nice comment on this post.] Wikipedia states: The Southern Cross of Honor was a military decoration meant to honor the officers, noncommissioned officers, and privates for their valor in the armed forces of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. It was formally approved by the Congress of the Confederate States on October 13, 1862, and was originally intended to be on par with the Union Arm

Thursday Link Love: EyeWitness To History

Yesterday, a link was added to the Genealogy Research Resources Group at Diigo. The link was to the website titled EyeWitness to History through the eyes of those who lived it . It's a great site, and I encourage all to visit it. Here are several items I found while snooping around. - Inside a Nazi Death Camp, 1944 : "Hitler established the first concentration camp soon after he came to power in 1933. The system grew to include about 100 camps divided into two types: concentration camps for slave labor in nearby factories and death camps for the systematic extermination of "undesirables" including Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally retarded and others." - Crash of the Hindenburg, 1937 : "Radio reporter Herbert Morrison, sent to cover the airship's arrival, watched in horror. His eye witness description of the disaster was the first coast-to-coast radio broadcast and has become a classic piece of audio history." [You ca

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)