Belless, Amos—Enlisted 7 March 1865, 23 years old, as a musician in Co. I, 18th Infantry Cons.
Description at enlistment: 5’5” tall; dark hair; gray eyes; born in Shelby County, Indiana.
Mustered out 16 December 1865 at Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Belless, Amos—Civil War Pension Application, National Archives, Washington, DC: Son of
Joseph Belless, brother of Walter Belless. Married Mary Jane Azbell 18 April 1863 in Fulton
County, Illinois. They had two daughters. A medical examination in 1874 indicated that he was
5’5” tall; 116 pounds, and 32 years old.
Joseph Belless, his father, asked for an insanity hearing in 1877, and Amos was judged to be
insane and sent to the Illinois Central Hospital for the Insane in Jacksonville, Illinois. In 1879,
Walter Belless wrote from Duncan’s Mills:
To Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC
In reply to yours of May 16th, 1879, will say that Amos Belless is my youngest
brother. I enlisted in the Union Army 1862, was in the service 3 years. Before I
enlisted Amos Belless was a very healthy young man, he enlisted before I returned
from the Army. I can not find that he ever complained before he was in the Army.
Since he has been at home, during 1877 he was about one year in the Insane
Asylum at Jacksonville Ills. He was discharged a little over one year ago and was
able to work some but this spring his ability to work began to grow less daily until
he was again sent to the Insane Asylum at Jacksonville, Ills., where he now is.
Amos Belless is a respected member of society in the neighborhood where he
lived and there is a good deal of sympathy in his favor. He has a wife and two
daughters in his family. I believe his partial derangement of mind is caused by
his being afflicted with the piles, or hemorrhoids, as he states.
Dr. Henry Carriel in 1886 wrote, “The applicant is in a condition of chronic insanity, having
been admitted to the Central Hospital for the Insane in April 1877 and has not been of sound
mind since. Said if he drank tea or coffee would kill him—spent time gathering up small objects
and things—pieces of paper and all small objects and storing them in his room—never violent—
was restless at times—was discharged as improved and killed his brother-in-law—this not in
record but told to me by hospital physician, Dr. W. C. Cole. Readmitted 10 April 1882.”
At the time of his death, 28 October 1909, Mary lived in Mulhall (Logan) Oklahoma. Amos is
buried in the Smith Cemetery of Fulton County IL.