After receiving Milo Freeman’s Pension records I ordered some intake
records form the prison that had had been assigned to. I was not sure
that he had actually made it to jail but the papers I received
yesterday confirm that he did complete his sentence there. Milo was
admitted to the Ohio State Penitentiary in Columbus on 28 JUN 1865 and
was ordered released early by an order from the war department. The
order was received on 04 DEC 1865 and carried out on 11 DEC 1865.
assumption had always been that Milo changed his name to avoid this
sentence but now that we can see it was served there is no explanation
Some of the information submitted to me by the Ohio
Historical Society include his physical description and information
about his family. His intake form also included his age at the time of
arrival (19) and confirms his unit (9) and company (c) as well as his
place of arrest which we already know from military records was Little
The Register of Convicts lists his nativity as
Michigan and his occupation as a laborer, height is 5 feet 11 inches
and hair is light, straight, soft and fine. He has grey eyes. It looks
like everyone on that page is either a laborer or farmer and they are
all quite young. Under general appearance it lists his Complexion as
Common (the only other ones on the page were Light and Dark).
has narrow low forehead. Flat face widest at eyes, eyes sunken, heavy
brows, close vertical ears horizontal scar in left temple, very large
scar on right arm."
Under Habits it says he is a moderate drinker, some of the other men are temperate, very moderate and free drinkers. HIs
education is Common School although others on the page are categorized
by weather they can read or write. They claim he has no property but
residence of relatives says; “Has father Alva Freeman, mother Betsy, 1
brother, 4 sisters near Keokuk, Iowa.”
Now, in case you have not
really been following this, Milo (for everything we know about his and
his family and generations of his family) does not have 4 sisters. This
begs the questions, whose daughters are these? I is possible that he
has none and he has made this up. But that seems odd now, after he has
told the truth about his age on the intake form (19) when he joined the
9th Cavalry he gave is age as 18 and that was three years ago. So he tells the truth about his age and lies about siblings?
is no real way to know how many children a woman had, even now, the
only real record you can consider is your own birth certificate, which
should list how many children have been born to your mother. In 1867
there was certainly no information like that and while birth, death and
marriage records had just been mandated they were records and not
certificates and frequently listed no information other than the
parents names and child's date of birth, if the child had a name that
was also listed. However, in 1900 census enumerators were told to ask
how many children had been born to each mother and how many were
living. I’ll give you three examples of how this works.
(Powell) Cooper’s 1900 claim was 3 children born and 3 living and for
her we have, in fact, 4 children born and 3 living.Claud 1882, Cora and Cordy 1870 and only today Jennifer discovered that they had a boy in 1869 who by 1870 was no longer.
(Powell) Wilson Russell’s claim was 2 born and 2 living, but we know
from records that she had at least seven (we have conclusive
information on records on the following children JerryRueben Wilson
1862, Robert Wilson 1868, Minerva Wilson date unknown, Frank Henry
1872, Louis 1873, May 1879 and Cordie 1881) and we know that at least
one (Minerva) was deceased, although we suspect May also did not
Betsy (Hicks) Freeman’s claim was 2 born and 1 living
but we do not have an actual record that states Betsy is the mother of
Milo, according to Betsy’s other son’s death certificate she s his
mother, but we have no such document for Milo. In Betsey’s letters to
the pension office she certainly claim’s she is Milo’s mother and she
does mention her husband Alva and other son William but never anything
So as you can see the claims of maternity vary
wildly and I’d have to say accuracy is about 50/50. In all of the above
mentioned cases we have the same claims on paternity as far as getting
proof from records except for Milo, again because we have no official
record, unless we consider Milo’s intake record an official document.
those inaccuracies in mind it is entirely possible that Alva, not
Betsey, had four daughters. Milo was born in 1847 or 1848 and William
was not born until 1852. We know that Alva spent a lot of time
traveling and we’re not sure how much of this he did with his family.
In 1845 Alva is listed as a tax payer inLodi, Washtenaw , in 1850 he,
Betsey and Milo are in Wayne County and in 1856 they are enumerated
twice in the Iowa state census once in Mitchell and once in Osage. In
1860 they are in Black Hawk county and of course two years after that
Milo enlists in Marion county, Iowa. Betsey says to the pension office
that her husband went to Davenport, Iowa in 1865 to meet Milo but Milo
never shows. In 1867 (I think it’s 67) Alva’s father dies and leaves
him some land (I have not substantiated this claim with any documents
but I have spoken to someone who gave me that information from memory)
but Alva does not go himself toWashtenaw and instead sends someone else. In 1870 Betsey, William and Alva are in Geneso, Illinois. In 1872 Alva dies while in Berrien county but his death information is placed in the Washtenaw county death returns, there is not information about his will at the Washtenaw Probate Court. In 1879 Betsey marries one George F Hughes in Washtenaw
but in 1880 Betsey, William and his new family are in Kalamazoo Aurora
and in 1890 Betsey applies for Milo’s pension from Aurora, Illinois.
There is never any mention of Betsey's second marriage and Mr. Hughes
is not dead, he continues to live on with, Ibelieve, his daughter and her family, but of course his only purpose in adding himself to our difficulties is to be enumerated
twice but at least in the same county, once listed as widowed and once
listed as married. In 1900 Betsey, William and family are still in in
Aurora. Betsey never gets the pension and stops applying after her 1898
denial, she passes away at age 85 in in 1904 in Aurora. In 1910 William
and family are living in Chicago but in 1916 William, while a resident
of Oak Park, IL (not too far from Chicago) dies in Cleveland, Ohio.
I cannot list all the conclusions I am able to draw from this. So you’ll have to work on your own for now.
I still have not received the Court Martial Records from the National Archives.