Monday, January 6, 2014


Now that the holidays are over I hope to get back to my research and this blog. I didn't completely stop research over the past few weeks…I have just been lazy about writing anything. Lately I've been taking another look at my Cobb family. Today I came across some new information on Fold3 that I found not only interesting but also extremely sad. I am amazed by the things that people have lived through and have been able to survive. Women were not often recognized or even acknowledged in the past. I have discovered some amazing women in my family and the wife of Thomas Cobb is one. I am not related to her by blood but I am still proud to include this lady in my family. 

 My 5th great grandfather, William Cobb, had nine children. What I found today relates to his son, my 4th grand uncle, Thomas B. Cobb and his family. During the Civil War all four of his sons enlisted and only one survived with minor injuries. Two sons, Frances M. and James C. were both killed in action. Thomas’s wife, Virginia Mayhorn Cobb, filed for a pension after the death of her son Frances. She must have been a strong lady! I find her story quite sad and worth sharing. The year of 1864 must have been unbearable. After losing her husband April 19th she lost her son James near Harper's Ferry September 22 then Frances October 19th at Cedar Creek. 

I transcribed a few of the things I found and I'll attach a copies of the documents at the end of my post. 

            My husband Thomas Cobb (father of Frances M Cobb late of Co “A” of 13th Regt Va vols who was killed at Cedar Creek Va on the 19th Octr 1864) departed this life on the 19th day of April 1864. leaving me in a destitute conditions I had four sons in the army 2 of them were killed on crippled for life. One only returned safe and he has a family of his own

Signed in presence of                                                     her
WC Blaine                                                      Virginia (X) Cobb
Mary E Wells                                                              mark

 In other parts of the file I learned that before he died Thomas was very ill with a form of cancer and could not leave his home. So, Virginia was taking care of a very sick husband while her sons were off in the war. I cannot imagine how difficult her life was at that time. She also had three young daughters. Before his death Frances was the family main source of support. Statements in support of Virginia Cobb were made by several people including John Ashley, Sanford Williams, Wilson Jones, John C. Bird and Benjamin Hinsley, MD.

State of West Virginia
County of Kanawha SS v Roane
 On the 14 day of June 1866 before me a Justice of the peace in and fore said county personally appeared Dr. Benjamin M Hensly and John C. Bird residents of said county,s persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit who being duly sworn according to law declare each for himself as follows, They both declare that they have been well acquainted with Mrs. Virginia Cobb mother of Frances M Cobb dead and widow of Thomas Cobb dec’d father of the said Frances M the former for .10. years the latter for 23 years. And know that the said Thomas Cobb dec’d on or about the 19th April 1864. That for some years previous to his death he was unable to do any manual labor from the effects of a cancer in the breast of which he died and for the last 2 years of his life he was entirely confined to his house, that the said Frances M Cobb was the only male member of the family who remained at home and provided to a great extend for the family during his father’s sickness he being rendered almost to destitution by his long confinement that there were several other Brothers all of whom enlisted in the Federal army and all of whom were either killed or wounded severely but each of the others had a family of his own to provide for the know as stated above that the said Frances M was almost the exclusive dependence of the family – and that Mrs. Cobb is an old lady and still in great destitution they have no doubt but that the said Frances M. Cobb enlisted in the army for the double purpose of defending his country and for the purpose of providing for the support of his parents and they have been informed that he did so as far as he could under the circumstances but of this they know nothing of their own knowledge. The said Benjamin M Hensly declares that he has been a practicing physician in the immediate neighborhood of Mr. Cobbs residence for the last .10. years. That he attended Thomas Cobb during his illness and had an opportunity of knowing the facts stated above, that Mrs Cobb has always been decidedly loyal to the Govt of the United States all her sons have been in the army (as stated above) and 2 of them lost their lives in battle and 1 other maimed for life. They further declare that they reside as above stated and have no interest in this clam.
 B.M. Hinsley, M.D
John C Bird
 Sworn to and subscribed before me the day and year aforesaid and I certify that I have no interest in this claim and I further certify that I am well acquainted with Dr Benjamin M Hinsly and know him to be a physician of respectability and standing in his neighborhood The figure “2” was changed to “1” at the instance of affiants in ____.
Vincent Jarrett 

 The following statement is from Sanford Williams, Wilson Jones and John Ashley:

State of West Virginia
County of Kanawha SS
            On this 5th day of January 1865 before me John Slack clerk of the circuit court of Kanawha County personally appeared Sanford Williams Wilson Jones and John Ashly residents of Kanawha County the 2 first named at present being privates in Company “A” 13th Regt Va vols persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit who being duly sworn according to law declare that they are well acquainted with Mrs Virginia Cobb widow of Thomas Cobb decd and mother of the Francis M. Cobb decd private Co “A” 13th Regt Va vols.) and know that she is a lady of very indigent circumstances with little means of subsistence and that since the death of her late husband Thomas Cobb she has been almost entirely dependent upon her said son Frances M Cobb for maintenance. The said Williams and Jones being in the same Regiment and Company with the deceased know that he always gave his mother the said Virginia Cobb the largest portion of his monthly wages at each pay day. The said Wilson Jones remembers that one occasion when the full amount paid him by the paymaster at Hurricane Bridge and Valley was fifty two (52) dollars – he gave his mother fifty one (51) dollars of that sum. They all declare that Mrs Cobb had but four sons that the other three Wm H Cobb Plyant Cobb and James C Cobb are all married men all were in the US Army one of them was killed in the Battle near Harpers Ferry. The other 2 are both wounded one of them a cripple for life so that she has no near relatives in a condition to render her any assistance. They further declare that even before the death of her said husband (who died of a lingering disease of some years standing) she was principally dependent upon the said Francis M her son for maintenance and afterwards almost entirely so, that the said Francis M Cobb was an unmarried man with no children –that Mrs is still a widow in indigent circumstances (as above stated) with 3 young girls comprising her present family. That she is a lady of unquestioned loyalty. The further declare that they reside as above stated and are entirely disinterested in Mrs Cobbs claim for pension. Witnesses do not know the date of Mr Cobb’s death but think it was in 1863
 Sanford Williams
Wilson Jones
John Ashly

Sworn to and subscribed before me the day and year first above written and I certify that I believe the affiants to be credible persons and that I have no interest in ths in Mrs Cobbs claim for pension
Given under my hand and the seal of said court
Jn Slack elk

Virginia was allowed pension commencing October 19, 1864 at the rate of $8.00 per month and the $12.00 starting March 19, 1886. She died 12 September 1895 and was dropped from the rolls. 




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