Dec 2018 Story


Written By Angela Stout December 2018

Last month we explored the sons of Joseph Roberts and their Civil War service in the Union Army.  For this month’s story, we are going to review the impacts of the Civil War on the daughters of Joseph Roberts based on the supporting documentation I have.  Joseph Roberts had four daughters--Sarah “Sallie”, Marinda “Mandy”, Malissa and Violet.  All four daughters were married prior to the Civil War and three of the four husbands were called to service leaving their wives to protect their homes and children.  One husband was deceased prior to the war.  Survival was no doubt difficult on the daughters of Joseph Roberts.








Sarah “Sallie”

Benjamin Abbott Lee



None - dead prior to war.


Marinda “Mandy”

William Browder Lee

About 1843

4 Dec 1864

22 Jul 1865

Union Company I, 1st Regiment, Tennessee Mounted Infantry Volunteers

Military documents

Civil War pension application



William Alexander Cronk

19 May 1845

Killed enroute to enlisting

Union Company I, 1st Regiment, Tennessee Mounted Infantry Volunteers

Civil War widow application and affidavits


John Wesley Lee

1 Sep 1853

1 Feb 1865

31 Aug 1865

Union Company D, 8th Regiment, Tennessee Mounted Infantry Volunteers

Civil War pension application and widow application.

Military documents.

Tombstone application


Note:  I did not correct spelling in quoted material.  I maintained the original source.

Sallie’s husband, Benjamin Abbott Lee died prior to the civil war and she never remarried.

Two of Sallie’s sons served in the Civil War.  According to Civil War pension deposition, her son Joseph Richard Lee was forced to join the Confederate Army at gun point.  Joseph Lee says, “I served a while in the Confederate Army. I was conscripted and taken into the Confederate army. I went into the Confederate army in June, 1863, as well as I now recollect.I served in the Rebel army about 6 or 7 weeks…”  Joseph was asked, “How did you come to go into the Confederate Army?” to which he answered, “Sometime before they took me off they had been mustering us around here and had notified a lot of us to report to McMinnville for the purpose, we supposed, of going into the Confederate Army. That notice was given by the officers where we were mustering and drilling. They would have us all to meet at Cookeville and muster and drill and they called us home guards I think. And it was there that we were ordered to report to McMinnville. After they ordered us to report to McMinnville I began laying out in the woods, and lay out until they caught me. I had come in home to kill a hog for my wife the day they came and captured me.  Myself and my brother and William Shaulks who lives some place out West, had it arranged to run off and go to Kentucky when they caught myself and my brother. (emphasis added)

They kept me under guard after they caught me until we got to camps which was 2 or 3 days. The night we got to camps there were several men said they would answer for me not running away, and they did not keep me in the Guard House that night. The next day we were all sworn into the service, and given a few days furlough to come home, and instructed to report back to the same place at the expiration of our furlough.

I came home and stayed until my furlough was up and then went back. I went back of my own accord, and was not taken back. I may have been home and back a twice or two after that before I finally left them, I cannot tell now.”

Joseph was asked, “At time you went into the Rebel army would you have rather gone to the U.S. Army?” and he answered, “Yes I would, but after they got me I was afraid to try to run off.”

According to the rest of the deposition, Joseph Lee never fought with the Confederate Army and was able to flee the Rebels to enlist with the Union Army at Carthage, Tennessee on 13 Mar 1864.  He served as a Private in Company C, 1st Regiment of Tennessee Mounted Infantry Volunteers.  He was honorably discharged at Nashville, Tennessee on 1 Aug 1865.  Joseph Lee survived hospitalization in spring of 1864 for chronic sciaticrheumatism and typhoid fever at Carthage, Tennessee.  His tombstone says Jos. R. Lee, Co. C., 1 Tenn Mtd. Inf.

Sallie’s next oldest son, William Lowery Lee, was killed during the Civil War prior to the birth of his son, William Larry Lee, who was born 17 Aug 1863.  We know from his brother’s deposition above that William Lowery Lee and his brother were taken by gun point into the Confederate Army.  William Lowery was killed on15 Jun 1863 but we do not know the exact circumstances.  He left a widow, Malinda (McGuffrey) Lee with an infant and a three-year old.  We are looking for Malinda’s application for widow’s pension but have not located it thus far.

Mandy’s husband, William Browder Lee, joined the Union Army 4 Dec 1864 at Carthage in Company I, 1st Regiment, Tennessee Mounted Infantry Volunteers which was commanded by Lieutenant A.M.Jones.  William was mustered in at Gallatin, Tennessee on 7 Jan 1865 and honorably discharged on 22 Jul 1865 at Nashville as Private.  According to his pension application, he received a Civil War pension for rectum (piles) and liver diseases contracted about May or Jun 1865 at Murfreesboro, Tennessee. According to the affidavit of George W. Medley, this was contracted because of "wading water on a trip from Livingston to Murfreesboro, Tennessee and exposure to cold and wet weather." The affidavit of J.M. Stewart of Dowelltown, Tennessee said, "During months of Feb, Mar, and Apr 1865 our command was stationed at Butlers Landing on Cumberland River and thence at Livingston.  We were terribly exposed to bad weather" and Hardin Vickers added, "I was at Nashville, Tennessee when said Lee was discharged about Jul or Aug 1865 and I brought him home in my wagon.  On the way home he suffered and complained with pains…" Affidavit of William B. Lee claimed, "diseases originated from hard duty as a soldier and exposure to cold, wet and bad weather at and in the surrounding neighborhood of Livingston, Tennessee while our command was stationed there and from exposure in going from there to Murfreesboro, Tennessee in April, May and June 1865…"  adding "at the date of my discharge, I was unable to walk home and hired W.H.Vickers to haul me home. Also Samuel H. Maxwell was along." William Browder Lee continued, "I am not able to work on account of my age and general debility - I have nothing and have to sponge on my friends - which I do not like to do."

Mandy died prior to William and therefore, there is no widow’s pension application.

Malissa was married to William Alexander Cronk.According to Malissa’s widow  pension application, William Alexander Cronk was on his way to Nashville to be part of Company C, 1st Tennesee Mounted Infantry but was killed by confederate guerillas/soldiers on or about 8 Oct 1863.One affidavit said, “Capt F M Anderson has permition [sic] to recruit a company and did so in our vicinity and county.  Though during which time of recruit we all have to keep secluded in ___ to evade being killed or captured by those guerrillas being very numerous and having full possession of our part of the country.  Consequently we organized particully got up the best implements in the way of all guns we could get and started for Nashville to be mustered into the service.  So our movements were carefully noticed by the enemy directly after we started those guerrillas waylayed us on the road we have to travel fired into us we gave them the best fight we could for a time but finding ourselves out numbered by men and every advantage we had to take care of ourselves the best we could having no ammunition we could do but little but during the fight William Cronk was captured by the enemy and inhumanly slaughtered he was shot six or eight times killed dead upon the spot.  We then made our way to Nashville through very hazardous circumstances was received and mustered in the service of the united states.” 

Malissa was widowed with eight children.  She never remarried.  Because William Cronk died prior to being mustered into service, Malissa was denied Civil War widow pension.

Violet was married to John Wesley Lee.According to military documents, John Lee served with Union Company D, 8th Regiment, Tennessee Mounted Infantry Volunteers under Commander Capt R.B. Freeman.John Lee enlisted on 1 Feb 1865 at Granville and was mustered out on 31 Aug 1865.

Violet Lee filed a Civil War widow pension.  According to affidavits, John Lee died of rheumatism anderysipelas contracted at Nashville while in service. He was treated at Regimental Hospitals and at Carthage, Tennessee.  Affidavit of John H. McGuffey states that John "begin to complain of rheumatism about the time the command was sent to Nashville and while at Nashville said Lee got so bad that when we started back to Carthage which was in a short time, Lee had to have the aid of two comrades, one under each arm to get to the wharf where we went to get on a steam boat to go to Carthage.  When we arrived at Carthage said Lee was so badly afflicted he was put in hospital there and treated by Dr. King some three or four weeks when he was given a furlough and sent home."  John Lee’s furlough was about April 1865.  McGuffey further states that he, John Lee and Alfred Jones were together most all the time while in the service. The affidavit of Frances Marion Roberts states that "I walked by his side and held him up from the barracks to the steam boat that carried him to Carthage, Tennessee where he was carried to the hospital and he remained there about two or three weeks when he was removed by orders of the surgeon to his home in Putnam County, Tennessee. His hand was so badly drawed that he could not work.  He remained at home until he was ordered to Nashville to be mustered out of the service I seen him at Nashville, Tennessee and he was still suffering with rheumatism and did not get any better but worse all the time until his death." Affidavit of Alfred Jones states that "when he returned to be discharged he was very badly afflicted and in coming home just after discharge he give out and I procured a wagon and had him hauled home.  While said Lee was in the hospital aforesaid, I was detailed to wait upon him which I did during his stay there."

Ms Lois (Smith) Anderson relays a family tradition that tells that although John didn’t die until 1878, there was still much animosity between the union and confederate supporters.  John wanted to be buried on the Tucker Ridge but because of confederate sympathy against it, they slipped at night and buried John in the Roberts Cemetery at Hickey.

It is said that Violet (Roberts) Lee put every pension dollar towards purchasing Tennessee land.







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