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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Overlooked Info on a Pension Claim

Perhaps the best source to shed light on Marcellus Pointer's term of service with the 9th Miss Inf is his widow Willie's pension claim filed in Texarkana, (Bowie County) Texas, a few months after he died. Two witnesses who knew Marcellus while he was in that regiment deposed that he was in it for a period of one year, from March (27) 1861 to March 1862. One of those witnesses was the company commander of Old Company B. Willie Pointer deposed that Marcellus remained home less than ten days after that enlistment expired, then joined Wheeler's staff.

Relevant to this is the questionable service expiration date of June 3, 1862, on Pointer's records for the 9th Miss. Since no record of him serving with Wheeler covers the period before July 20 of that year, the gap is still a problem, whether he ended his enlistment in late March or early June. One unanswered question is, since the 9th Miss fought at Shiloh, could Marcellus have really sat at home during that great battle, given his martial ardor? We may never know for certain, still it seems likely that Marcellus was at home and not actively in the Confederate service from late March until late July 1862. It's also likely that some attempt was made by him and others, including General Wheeler, to make it seem as if he joined Wheeler within ten days of his 12 month enlistment's expiration. As a colonel of the 19th Ala Inf, Wheeler was allowed a staff, but there is no solid evidence that Pointer went with him to Shiloh in that capacity. It would not be until July 20, 1862, at Holly Springs, Miss., that Wheeler took command of a cavalry brigade.

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