The Civil War Papers of James E. Leftwich

Submitted By: Glenda McKenzie

(James Leftwich was born in Cumberland County, KY. His family moved to Adair County when he was a small child. He served in Co. D, 13th Kentucky Infantry. He moved to Missouri in 1874, where he was living at the time his pension claim was filed.)

Scanned originals of neighbors: George Keltner; John M. Wilson; Tabitha Roach; Thomas Coffey; William Willis

Case of James E. Leftwich, No. 547.628
On this 17 day of January 1898 at Pierce City County of Lawrence, State of MO., before me, H .B. Suraringru, a special examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared James E. Leftwich clt., who being by me duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to him during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says: That his ade is 59 years; post-office address< Pierce City, Mo.; occupation, _____
"I have been a stock dealer but am not doing anything now. I am a pensioner at $12.00 per month under the claim of June 27, 1890. I am pensioned for deafness and rheumatism. I served as a private in Co. D 13th Ky. Inft. I enlisted Oct. 1861 and was mustered out at Louisville, Ky. Jan. 1865. I have a claim pending under the general law for rheumatism & deafness which I contracted in the service. I never was in any other federal service, nor in the navy and never was in the confederate service. I lived from childhood to enlistment in Adair Co Ky  my post office was Gradyville, Ky part of the time and part of the time at Columbia, Ky.
I lived at my father's house until July 1859 when I married. I then lived at my own home till I went into the service. I was a stock trader and farmer. I never had had any serious sickness before the war. Had never been sick abed from my earliest recollection and never had any affliction of my head, never had been troubled with catarah and my hearing was perfectly clear until after the Battle of Resaca. I had never had any rheumatic trouble before enlistment. I could ride day and night hunting stock and never felt any serious effect from it. The only person residing here who knew me before the war and would know of my health is Elijah Deaten who lives here in town. Dr. Taylor & Dr. Fields and Dr. Estes were my family physicians prior to the war. They all practiced on our family but I don't think any of them ever gave me a dose of medicine. They all are dead.
George A Kemp of Columbia, Ky and Ga????? De H????, I don't know his P.O. James Hineman (ex Lt. Gov. of Ky) Ralston Price & Whit Flowers all of Columbia knew me prior to enlistment.
I was taken into the doctor office when I was mustered in but I can't recollect whether they made me strip off my clothing or not. The first disability I incurred was rheumatism. It was in the Atlanta Campaign. It was on the march from lauder Tenn to Resaca , Ga. I can't now recollect just when I first gave down but two or three times on that march I got so badly off that I could not travel. It was since that time after we started that march and I think we left Knoxville about March or April 1864. I went back to the ambulance and stayed a few days until I was able to travel and then went back to my rgt. I recollect that once after we got into Ga we had to wade a river and the pl sgt did not want me to get wet and he carried me across the river on his back. That was Sgt James W. Vanzant but he is dead.
From that time on I was troubled with rheumatism more or less. I had to go to the hospital once just before we reached Marietta Ga. I frequently had to go back to the ambulance and remain there until I got so that I could walk and would then go back to my command. I can't give the date of my going to the hospital but it was just after the battle of Alatoona Mtn. I was away from the company and just got back a short time before the battle of Resaca. I recollect that we went through a corn field and the corn was about knee high. I received deafness at the battle of Resaca. I was stunned by the explosion of a shell so I was told I was unconsious for some time. When I came to myself I was in the hospital at Marietta Ga. The last I recollect I was in line of battle and we were standing shooting. I heard a cannon and knew nothing more until I came to myself in the hospital. Lt. Hall told me that the shell passed by me and exploded just back of me. No sir I was not struck by any piece of the shell. James Skaggs & Lt Hall & Col Estes all have told me of the circumstances and they said I was carried off for dead. I was carried off by some of the ambulance Corps but I don't know who they were. For several days after I came to myself in the hospital I could not hear anything at all. My hearing gradually returned to my left ear but the hearing has never returned to my right ear. I can't hear anything at all if I close my left ear. No sir I have never been able to hear thunder with that right ear. The hearing in my left ear has always been badly affected. I can scarcely understand anyone even if they raise their voice very high and my hearing has never been better since that shock. I have been using a trumpet or artificial means of aiding my hearing for the past 10 or 12 years. I got one as soon as I learned my hearing would be improved by the use of it.
I was treated while I was in the hospital by the surgeon. I don't know his name. There after I came home I had first Dr. J.J. Tayler (died) then Dr. Fields (died) then Dr. Estes (dead) then I had a Dr. George Fields  who is now at Gainesville Texas and the last I had in Ky was Dr. Wm Bingham of Gradyville, Adair Co., Ky.
Since I came here in 1874 I have had Dr. Saunders (died) Dr. Wilson (dead) Dr. Anderson and Dr. HB Wovley. These men have all treated my ears but none apparently could aid me.
The rheumatism when it first appeared in the service began in my right arm and then came on in my left arm it then went to my back and from there to my legs. My legs got so bad on that march from Knoxville that I could not travel. James Skaggs was my tent mate on that trip and I think he will remember all about my rheumatism on that trip. I went to Dr. Ingram the regimental surgeon and he gave me a liniment and some medicine to take initially. Dr. Ingram is dead. I can't remember who I got to rub me but I think I had some of the boys James M & James W Vanzant were my most particular friends but they are both dead. They were both orderly Sgts. My tent mates were John Roe, Lawson Janes, John H Wilson, Jack Moor, Jesse T. Leftwich my brother (died) John Denton & Russ Fletcher. They were all in Adair County, Ky the last account I had of them.
After that shell exploded I was sent to the hospital and never did any more service. I rejoined my rgt at Marietta Ga. some time in Nov or Dec, 1864 and came on to Louisville and remained there until we were mustered out. I never did any duty whatever after the battle of Resaca. I forgot to mention John W. Demenburn as a tent mate. He lives in the same vicinity as the others. My hearing was very bad when we were mustered out. I went back to my home at Gradyville, Ky. I lived on a farm known as the Turner Hughes Farm. I lived there about 2 years. I had attacks of rheumatism after I got home. I was not able to do anything for some time after I got home. I had Dr. JG Tayler & Dr. Paul Fields both dead. Then I had Dr. George Fields who now lives in Gainesville Texas. I then had Dr Bingham who lived at Gradyville Adair Co, Ky. Dr. John Henry Grady was one of my neighbors also Thomas Grady. They lived at Gradyville but I think Dr John H. has moved to Columbia, Ky. George Wilson of Gradyville was another neighbor. Those men saw me when I could not go on account of rheumatism. Jim Skaggs also was with me frequently. After about 2 years I moved to a farm of my own. Arch & Jim Skaggs & Frank Dehaney were my friends. I think all of them will recollect my deafness and rheumatism. I came to this place (Pierce City, MO) in Aug 1875. I have lived in town since I have been here except one year I farmed. I drove team hauling and bought and drove stock. I worked for 10 years for W. J. Lindsay of this town. I worked for him from about 1875 to 1885 but had to give up on account of rheumatism. I was handling  stock for him buying and shipping. Since I quit working for Lindsay I have carried the mail for 3 years but frequently would have to get some one to make the trip for me. Frequently I would have to have some one help me down from my cart and frequently I would not be able to carry my mail into the post office. I have had severe spells of rheumatism from time to time ever since I have been here. Would frequently be down for a week at a time. Elijah Deaton and John Thomas can testify as to my condition since I have been hear. Capt Geo. A. Purdy the postmaster has known me ever since I have been here and can testify as to my disabilities during that time. When the claim goes to Adair County, Ky for examination of the witnesses there I should like about 10 or 15 days notice as I would like to be present to accompany the examiner when he calls upon the witnesses.
I forgot to mention one sickness I had when I first enlisted. I took measles at Nashville Tenn soon after enlistment and was sent to the hospital. While in the hospital I had pneumonia. I was not in the hospital a great while not over a month any how.
I have understood your questions & my answers have been correctly recorded.
James E. Leftwich.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 17 day of January 1898, and I certify that the contents were fully made known to deponent before signing
H.B. Suraringru