Hannah M. Horr (wife of Harrison Z. Horr) — Pension Record

[The following is transcribed from the Pension Record Book at the Stone House Museum in Belchertown, MA.]

Case #118, No. 400.320 — Hannah M. Horr, Pelham, Mass., widow of Harrison Z. Horr who enlisted at Pelham, Mass. on the fourth day of November A.D. 1861 in Co. F, 31st Reg’t. Mass. Vols. in the War of 1861-65, who contracted fever and ague at Algiers, La. on or about July 20th, 1864, which disability resulted in Insanity and caused him to commit suicide at Pelham, Mass. on the 28th day of September A.D. 1876, who bore at the time of his death the rank of Corporal in the service aforesaid.

That she was married under the name of Hannah M. Smith to said Harrison Z. Horr on the second day of May A.D. 1867 by Rev. Wm. K. Vaille at Shutesbury, Mass., there being no legal barrier to such marriage; that neither she nor her husband had been previously married, no other marriage by either party — that she has to present date remained his widow — no children, and she has not in any manner engaged in, or aided or abetted the rebellion in the U.S.; that no prior application has been filed by either soldier or herself.

Executed July 6, 1889 at Belchertown before R. W. Lyman, Special Justice, District Court of Hampshire.

July 11, 1889 — Rec’d Application

July 13, 1889 — Sent to Washington, D.C.

Aug. 15, ’89 — Rec’d number of claim.

”       ”     ”  — Rec’d Record Proof of Marriage of Hannah M. Smith to Harrison Z. Horr, May 2, 1867, by Rev. Wm. K. Vaille of Shutesbury, Mass. Also proof of death of Harrison Z. Horr, who died Sept. 28, 1876. Cause of death, suicide by shooting.

”     ”     ” — Rec’d certificate from Dr. D. B. M. Fiske, Amherst, Mass., who examined said Harrison Z. Horr in Sept. 1866, which states that he contracted Intermittent Fever at Algiers, La. on or about July 1864 and from the effects which he is still suffering and that his present condition is one of partial disability.  He has enlarged liver and spleen — the results of malarial poisoning — and has occasional attacks of chills and fever.  Sworn to Sept. 24, 1866, before J. F. Conkey, Justice of the Peace.

”     ”     ” — Rec’d affi. from Dr. J. H. Taylor, Amherst, Mass. as follows — That he is a Practicing Physician and has been acquainted with said soldier for about 30 yrs. and that he knew Harrison Z. Horr well before his enlistment into the U.S. service, he believes, from the time he was two yrs. old.; that he was his father’s family physician.  Harrison was a healthy, sound, and rugged boy and he knows he was never insane until after his discharge from the army. Twice he saw him and prescribed for him — the last time, he believes, was about three weeks before his death.  His insanity, he then believed and now believes, was caused by chills and fever contracted and cultivated while in the service. At both times he prescribed for chills and fever and its consequences.  He remembers distinctly of his telling him that he had chills and fever ever since his discharge from the army — after his return home, his sister Rebecca was sick and under his care and, in going to see her, he passed the house where Harrison Z. Horr lived and often saw him and talked with him him and remembers his being insane at that time.  The insanity was always worse after he had had a chill. There was insanity in the family, but he does not hesitate to day that in his judgment this caused by chills & fever and his army life.  After his death, the neighbors talked very freely about him and he heard several who knew him well at the time, say there was no appearance of insanity about him until his return from the army.  The attacks were noticed and remarked upon, he remembers, by the family and the neighbors.  He does not believe from the time of his discharge from the service to the time of his death, he was free from the effects of the malaria.

”     ”     ” — Rec’d affi. from Claimant, as follows: That she is unable to furnish any further medical testimony for the reason that Dr. David Rice and A. E. Kemp are both dead who treated her husband after his discharge from the army and she respectfully requests that the testimony of neighbors be accepted in lieu of medical.

”     ”     ” — Rec’d Agreements for $25

Aug     “ — Rec’d Affi. from Myret E. Boynton, Pelham, Mass., as follows: That he has known Harrison Z. Horr for thirty years prior to his death, and that before his enlistment, he was intimate with him and never saw any signs of insanity until after his discharge from the Army. He came home suffering with chills and fever and this continued to increase year by year until about 1875 when he began to show insanity by his actions and conversation. He appeared to be more insane just after an attack of chills and fever. That in September 1876, he took his gun to go hunting and, as he did not return, we made search for him and found him dead, shot through the left side by his own hand. He had tied his gun to a tree and put a string on the trigger and held the muzzle to his breast and fired.

March 17, ’91 — Rec’d affidavit from claimant as follows: That she is unable to comply with the requirements of the Pension Office as to furnishing the testimony of surgeons who treated her husband while in the Army, for the reason that Dr. Bidwell and Dr. Clark were not at Algiers in July 1864 and have no knowledge of her husband’s sickness at that time. Also that Capt. L Fred Rice and the company men were home on furlough, so that they have no knowledge of her husband’s sickness while at Algiers, La. That during the absence of Co. F, Capt. H. F. Morse was in command of the non-veterans and the sick at Algiers, La. and that Capt. Morse is dead. She respectfully requests that the evidence filed be accepted to complete her claim, as it is the best she can obtain.

May 14, ’92 — Rec’d an old letter written by the soldier to his Sister Fanny, while at Algiers, La., camp of non-veterans, August 15, 1864, which states that he is sick with chills and fever.

”     ”     ” — Rec’d affidavit from George A. Goodwin, Belchertown, Mass., as follows:  That he served in the same company with Harrison Z. Horr, tented and bunked with him at Fort Pike, La. Remember of his having chills and fever there, cannot remember the dates, but thinks it was in the spring and summer of 1863, remember of his being sick at Baton Rouge in the fall of 1863, cannot say what ailed him there, or the date of his sickness. I know that he had chills and fever at Fort Pike from the fact that I had them myself, and he had the same symptoms that I did.

May 31, ’92 — Rec’d affidavit from Marshall M. Clothier, Goshen, Whatcom Co., Wash., as follows:  That he was a member of Co. F, 31st Mass. Vols.  That Harrison Z. Horr of said Co. and Regt., when doing garrison duty with his regt. at Fort Pike, La., during the spring and summer of 1863 was seriously and almost constantly afflicted with chills and fever, was pale, emaciated, despondent. That during the fall of 1863, at Baton Rouge, La., said soldier was afflicted with chills and fever, that affiant remembers the fact of said soldier’s affliction at Baton Rouge, La., but it’s intensity he cannot recall. That during the spring of 1864, when on the Red River Campaign, said soldier was in poor health, pale, gloomy and easily exhausted. By extraordinary effort, he kept with his command, fought bravely, won the praise of his superior and the [illegible] of his comrades.

That affiant believes, and thinks he has good reason to believe, that said soldier never recovered from the effects of his said ailment contracted in the malarial region at and near Fort Pike, La., and affiant further avers that several years after the closing of the war, he met said soldier at Springfield, Mass. and then and there noted his tendency to insanity, and an early death. Affiant further avers that said soldier, when enlisted in said service, was a man of powerful physique and sound of mind and body. That affiant’s means of knowing the above facts, is the fact that he was with said soldier nearly or quite every day during the time stated.

June 7, ’92 — Rec’d affi. from Charles O. Thomas, Fairhaven, Mass., as follows:  That he was in the same company with Harrison Z. Horr at Fort Pike, La. in the spring and summer of 1863. He was sick with chills and fever so as not to be able to do duty and, afterwards at Algiers, La. in August 1864, while the veterans were home on furlough, he was sick with chills and fever and was wholly unfit for duty. I should think the disease was contracted at Fort Pike, and he was sick some time both at Fort Pike and Algiers. In 1864 after the return of the veterans at New Orleans, he was also sick with chills and fever. I know these things from seeing him daily and giving him hot drinks to relieve him when the fever was on him.

Oct. 31, ’94 — Rec’d call for additional evidence showing the physical condition of the soldier from discharge to death, also testimony showing whether the soldier was in the military or naval service subsequent to December 23, 1864. If there was a postmortem held, a copy of the evidence should be filed.

Nov. ’94 — Received affidavit from Myret E. Boynton, Pelham, as follows:  Harrison Z. Horr of Pelham, Mass., was not in the military or naval service after his discharge, December 23, 1864, and I further state that there was no postmortem examination at the time of his death. I know this to be correct, as I lived near him at the time.


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