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Adam Hiller, Southern Claim and Union Service
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Cross-referencing titles brings full story to light.
This is an example of how a Southern Claims Commission case can be cross-referenced to the Civil War Pension Index by using the titles within the Civil War Collection at Footnote to their maximum effectiveness.
This is the case of Adam Hiller, Victoria County, Texas, a rebel soldier who turned to the Union.
Case #4639, filed 31 July 1871, $1,301 itemized below. Allowed, then disallowed.
View the 45-page file, beginning here.
- 1,000 feet of pine lumber ........... 50
- 300 cords of wood .................... 900
- 45 large pecan trees, standing .. 225
- 8 Beeves ...................................... 96
- 10 Calves .................................... 30
This is a case of a claim that was awarded $160 of the $1,301 requested and then rejected after commissioners learned more details of Adam Hiller's service record.
Adam Hiller's property, listed above, was claimed by men in General Stanley's command during October, November, and December 1865. The "Standing Interrogatories," or questions asked of Adam Hiller are on pages 12-14 of this file. You can also view a list of the questions at the following Footnote topic page: SCC questions 3 - 1874.
Adam Hiller was born in Germany, naturalized at Springfield, Illinois, was a farmer in Texas, and was in the United States Army during the war, "On the side of the Union." His service record is detailed within his deposition on pages 15 and 16 of his case file.
Within the Footnote online publication of Civil War Pensions, there are two pension index cards for Adam Hiller of Victoria, Texas. One is for his service with Company D, and another for Company E, both in the 58th regiment of the Illinois Infantry. Both cards list that he died on 12 December 1930, in Victoria, Texas.
They can be found at:
Illinois Infantry 58, D: http://www.footnote.com/viewer.php?image=1560366
Illinois Infantry 58, E: http://www.footnote.com/viewer.php?image=861379
Adam Hiller "had a brother in the confederate army, to wit Michael Hiller who was forced to enter said service." He was not on his farm when the Union army confiscated his wood, trees, and livestock.
There is a note on page 25 of the SCC claim file that says Hiller's case is disallowed. On pages 27 and 28 there are notes "From Muster Rolls in Archive office" listing Adam Hiller as a Private in Company B of the 6th regiment of the Texas Volunteers in the Confederate Army, enlisting at Victoria, Texas, on 30 September 1861, and that he "deserted" in 1863 while imprisoned at Camp Butler in Illinois. He was released from Camp Butler in March 1863 "on taking the oath of allegiance & remuneration."
The case progresses through forty-five pages and includes a sworn affidavit by Hiller's father, Frederick, that Adam is his legitimate son (see image above). It also includes a reversal by one of the commissioners stating that the case was submitted to Congress in error because they were not aware of Hiller's Confederate record. They had originally allowed $160 in compensation for some lumber and livestock. Upon learning of Adam Hiller's earlier enlistment in the Confederate Army, they asked that the file be disallowed (thus the note on page 25).
On 13 July 1880, the an assistant secretary of the Treasury Department returned the papers to the clerk of the House of Representatives. In his letter on page 26, he presumes that "the said papers were inadvertently placed among the allowed claims, and that they properly belong to the files of the House of Representatives. I have the honor to return them herewith."
And, thus, the case of Adam Hiller, Confederate soldier under cover of Union service, is closed.