Archive:Civil War Pension File, William M. Pottle
From the Civil War Pension File of William M. Pottle
Alias Edward Mann
Catherine E. Mann, Widow
Co. H & I, 7th Maine Infantry; Co. B, 1st Maine Cavalry
Invalid Application #1041533, Certificate # 795812
Widow Application #308876, No Certificate
The National Archives Building
- I ran across the record of the marriage of one of the females, Shuah Hammond Whitney, daughter of Joseph and Jane (Bolan) Whitney of Phillips, ME, to a William M. Pottle. This was the only information I had about her, so I thought about finding out what happened to her. I checked the Civil War pension index, and sure enough there was a Willima M. Pottle who fought in two different Maine regiments. And, there was both an invalid and a widow's claim, so I fugured this would be a goldmine. Well, it sure was a goldmine, but more like a landmine for both William and Shuah.
- The index for the pension application said that it was for William M. Pottle, alias Edward C. Mann. Now, what would that be all about? Veeeeery interesting. It seems that before the war, William and Shuah had moved to a farm in Aroostook Co., Maine. And, they weren't getting along too well together, although they did have two children. Can you imagine being on a farm in such an isolated environment with someone with whom you were not getting along? Anyway, William went off to war, leaving Shuah to run the farm. When his hitch was over, he returned to the farm, but their relationship was still sour, and she was threatening to divorce him and move back with her parents. So, off to war he went again, but this time not planning to return, since he belived she was about to divorce him and sell the farm. He served in Virginia, Texas, and elsewhere. After discharge, he lived in Cambria County, PA for awhile, and then moved to Texas. When he got old, he ended up in a Soldiers Home in Togus, Maine. Eventually, he ended up in a soldier's home in Los Angeles, CA, where a daughter lived nearby. He, of course, had applied for a pension. Well, that's not the whole story.
- There came the day when another application came from a widow who claimed that she had married William in Virginia under the name Edward C. Mann. How she came to know he was really William M. Pottle, I still can't figure out. But, she did. Anyway, he had deserted her and her children in Texas, and she thought he was now dead. She had remarried after he left, but her second husband had subsequently died. She was now elderly, and in need of the pension money. Well, wasn't she shocked to find out that she was not the widow of William Pottle, since he was still alive and collecting a pension! We know that if the US government doesn't do anything else, it's good at investigations, so they had themselves one heck of an investigation!
- William was in complete denial. He denied that he ever met her, knew her, married her, or lived with her. He never used the name Edward C. Mann. After the war, he testified he lived alone in Cambria Co., PA, and had never remarried or lived with any woman after the war. Well, to make a long story a little shorter, William messed up, and the government investigator happened to be a sharp cookie. William had testified in one of his depositions in support of his pension application that he had broken his arm when he fell of a wagon while moving his family in Cambria Co., PA. Well, the investigator wanted to know how he could be moving his family if he had no family, and had never remarried after the war? Gotcha!
- As far as Shuah Hammond Whitney goes, William testifies that she did divorce him, and was married three more times. He says she was a very difficult person to live with. Who's to say she wasn't?
- This is a truely large file, and I would like to review it again sometime, just to see what I missed when my time was running short. Anyway, There are no descendants of this marriage that I can determine. The oldest daughter was killed in a fire in Aroostook Co., and I don't believe that the daughter in California had any children, but I could be wrong about that. So, I don't think there are any Whitney descendants to be amazed by this file!
Copyright © 2006, Kenneth L. Whitney and the Whitney Research Group