My great-grandfather, Isaiah Hill, was born about 1835 in Garrard County, Kentucky. He was named for his father. Isaiah Hill, Sr., died during the Hill-Evans feud March 13, 1852. Isaiah’s mother, Lucy Murphy Hill, died two years previous. On September 25, 1861, he enrolled at Camp Robinson, and mustered in January 2, 1862, in Harrodsburg, a private in Captain Downey’s Company E, 19th Regiment Kentucky Infantry, Union Army. Isaiah made it through the war and with his company returned to Louisville in January of 1865 to muster out. The soldiers were kept in barracks in Louisville for a bit, and it was during this time Isaiah contracted small pox – along with several others from his company. Captain John Barnett took Isaiah to the hospital, where he remained until March 27, 1865. Small pox settled in his right eye, blinding him. His body was so covered with pox he was badly scarred for the rest of his life. Years ago I requested information from Washington, D.C. I was sent a package of papers 3/4 inch thick, giving all information about requesting a pension, updating information in subsequent years, and having the pension transferred in 1919 to Lydia Ross Hill, when Isaiah died. My grandfather, Jessie Delbert Hill, was their youngest child.
A list of children of Isaiah Hill and Lydia Ross, taken from the pension records:
- William Taylor Hill, born May 28th, 1871
- Randall Hill, born December 4th, 1872
- Rufus B. Hays Hill, born April 13th, 1875
- Lucy Jane Hill, born August 7th, 1877, died October 21st, 1881
- John Garfield Hill, born January 30th, 1880, died October 21st, 1882
- Bettie Ann Hill, born May 14th, 1882, died March 16th, 1917
- Isaiah Hill, born January 16th, 1885
- Louisa Hill, born March 7th, 1887
- Alpha Hill, born November 2nd, 1889
- Jessie Delbert Hill, born August 8th, 1893
On this 15th day of September 1877, before the undersigned clerk of the Mercer County Court, Kentucky, personally appeared John Barnett, late a captain in Co. E, 19th Regiment, Kentucky Infantry Volunteer, who being by me duly sworn, states that Isaiah Hill was a private soldier in his company, that he was intimately acquainted with him during their service of three years together. That his eyes were apparently sound as any man’s eyes previous to his attack of small pox, which occurred at Louisville, Kentucky, in latter part of February 1865 or in March 1865. That he (Barnett) remained in Louisville, Kentucky, in the grocery business for some time after his discharge, and that the said Hill took small pox while the regiment
was in the barracks at Louisville and was sent off to hospital before any of us were discharged. That he visited said Hill frequently while in the hospital, that he had a very bad case of small pox, his whole person being now deeply scarred. That he saw his eyes while very bad and when convalescent that a principle of small pox come in or near the center of his right eye, which to all appearance has entirely destroyed vision therein. That in his belief it certainly was small pox that destroyed his vision in right eye.
He further states that he has made affidavit heretofore in this same case and in that affidavit, it was not shown that the loss of sight was the result of small pox. That he could then have given all the information there that he now does. That he did not dictate that affidavit and that this one is made to supply the facts that were fresh and apparent to him then. That were not unbodied therein but intended by him to be so corrected. This affidavit he gives with other interest whatever in the case than that simple justice be done said soldier.
John Barnett, Late Captain Co. E., 19th Regiment, Kentucky Volunteers
Captain John Barnett
Sworn and subscribed to before me by John Barnett, late Captain Co. E, 19th KY Infantry, whom I hereby certify to be respectable and entitled to full credit and belief and that I have no interest whatsoever in said Hill’s claim for pension.
Ben C. Allin, Clerk, Mercer County Court
Categories: Family Stories