The information in these documents are as near as possible to the originals without editing the original punctuation or spelling. Some of the handwritten words and letters were not legible; therefore, a notation for the letter or word was made. Typist's Comments are noted, also.
Bowling Green, Kentucky
John C. Black
Commissioner of Pensions
Sept. 18, 1888
In answer to circular of Sept 7th, 1888. I have the honor of saying:
1st: That my residence has been with exception of two years, in the County of Warren, State of Kentucky & my P.O. (post office) address has been Green Castle, Richardsville & Bowling Green, Kentucky -- the two years refered to, I resided in Butler County & acted as P.M. (Post Master) at Quality Valley. During the most of said two years My trade is that of Saddler & Harness Making, but being a Minister of the Gospel I have devoted some of the time to preaching & indeed during all of the time I was able to travel.
2nd: That in Sept 1861, after My enlistment in the Service, in Co. "D", 11th Ky. Vol Inftry, I was detailed by Col. P.B. Hawkins then Col. of the 11th Ky. Vol. Inftry, as hospital Steward in which capacity I served until about the 18th of January 1862 - when I was struckened down with a disease of the bowels. At first resembling Flux - but which resutled in what was said to be Chronic Diarrhoea which with its ordinary results, Piles or disease of the Rectum, has continued to disable me up to the present time. I do not remember that I was treated by the Surgeon, though I know at the same time, that I was attacked with said bowel affliction, there were others afflicted in the same way, & I think I used the same Medicine for myself without consulting the Surgeon.
Since I was furloughed by Col. Hawkins some time in Feb. 1869, I have been treated for said affliction by Dr. Walsh late of Brownsville, Ky. This was in April 1862; Dr. Hodge, whose P.O. is Hays, Warren County, Ky, this was in Feby 1862; Dr. Hatcher & Dr. Gatewood who treated me in the years 1862, 3 & 4, both of whom are dead; Dr. James Barr (?spelling) in 1868 & 9 - who is said to be dead. Dr. John Taylor & L. Q. (?) Sanders whose P.O. is Richardsville, Ky. & by some others whose whereabouts, if living, are not known.
3rd: From the time I was attacked with said affliction up to 186_ (?1865 or 1869?) I was entirely disabled - & from that time up to 1876 - I was able to do a little work & preach occasionally & from 1876 up to the present time I have been entirely disabled.
John H. Harrod
Your Friendly Typists' comments:
This letter explains the charges of desertion leveled against John H. Harrod. Fortunately, the Colonel of Co. D, 11th Ky. Vol. Inf. was still alive and was willing to defend him against the erroneous charges. Colonel Hawkins explained that John H. Herrod tried on at least 3 separate occasions to report for duty, yet was too ill and, thus, was furloughed home each time. The official discharge slipped through the cracks when Col. Hawkins resigned and new officers failed to complete the necessary paper work. Thus, according to the Army, John H. Herrod was labeled a deserter. These charges were not officially rescinded until 1891. Glenda
Bowling Green, KY
April 23, 1890
Hon. Green B. Raurn
Commissioner of Pensions
I desire to call your special Attention to Claim No. 666379 of JOHN H. HERROD who enlisted in Co. "D", 11th Ky. Vol. Inftry on the 14th of Sept 1861 -- Mustered 9th day December 1861 & Charged with desertion on the 17th day of January 1862.
I was Colonel of the 11th of Ky. Vol. Inftry from its Muster, up to the 25th day of June 1863 when I resigned.
Mr. John H. Herrod was a Minister of the Gospel & always considered a good, Christian Man & at the time of his enlistment, there was quite a number of the 11th Ky, in the hospital & I selected him & appointed him as Hospital Steward - considering him the best Man to attend to the sick, particularly as to religious instruction.
He acted his part well, up to the last part of December, when he himself was taken sick, & became disabled to do any kind of Military duty - & in that condition I found him, when the Reg't was ordered up the River; we considered his condition so doubtful a one, that we sent him home, about 15 miles from our Camp at Calhoon, Ky, this was about the 10th or 15th of January 1862, with the order for him to return when he became able. A Regular Furlough was given him at the time - on the 15th of Feby 1862 we were ordered to Fort Donaldson Tennessee. In Sept 1862, on our March through Ky, after Bragg, Mr. John H. Herrod was brought by a friend in a buggy & reported himself to me, & I found him unable, even to walk - & of course I gave him another order to return home, & report to the Reg't when able for duty. Again in May 1863 Mr. Herrod reported himself to me at Bowling Green, Ky, when & where I again found him to be unable to perform Military Duty & ordered him to be examined for discharge & to return home & await discharge.
This was neglected by the incoming officers as I was soon to leave the Reg't.
I know that Mr. Herrod has not been able to do any kind of Military duty from the 10th day of January 1862 up to the present time. My sworn statement & affidavits of physicians & neighbors fully covering the disabled condition of this soldier were filed some years ago in the office of the Adj't Gen'l of the U.S.A.
Yet, I understand that he is still held & considered a Deserter.
This dear old Man is confined to his bed & room, very poor & depends on the charity of his friends , very small sum allowed him as a retired Minister, or rather super-anuated Minister.
I have no interest in the prosecution of this claim as an Attorney. Yet, I most respectfully pray that this claim be investigated & that he be allowed a pension at as early a period as possible.
With Strong hopes & Most Respectfully,
Late Col. 11th Ky. Vol. Infantry
Your Friendly Typist's comments again:
Some of the documents in the John H. Harrod Pension File give a brief physical description of him. He was a very small man. Height 5 ft. 4.5 inches to 5 ft. 6 inches. Weight 110 to 118 pounds. Emaciated & poorly nourished, somewhat stoop-shouldered. He was essentially bed-ridden the last few years of his life.
The next document that I'll type up and send to you gives John's own biographical sketch. In this he tells that he was a Methodist Minister. This is by far the most interesting document in the entire pension file!
State of Kentucky
County of Warren, SS
On this the 29th day of July 1888 personally appeared before me, Clerk of the County Court, within & for the County & State aforesaid, John H. Harrod, a resident of the County of Warren, State of Kentucky, known to me , to be respectable & worthy of full credit, who, being First duly sworn according to law, on his oath, States:
That my P.O. address is Bowling Green, County of Warren, State of Kentucky. That I am the identical John H. Harrod who, in good faith, in the war of 1861-5 on the 14th day of Sept 1861, at Calhoon, Ky, enlisted in Co. "D", 11th Ky. Vol. Infy & who is charged with deserting on the 17th day of January 1862.
I have been a Minister of the Methodist Protestant Church. I was licensed to preach in 1842 & joined the conference in Oct. 1843 & have been a Member of, up to the present time & have been considered a supernumerary chiefly since the War. I visited the Reg't first under the persuasion of friends with the expectation of being appointed Chaplin, & before my arrival another had been appointed, in the person of the Rev. L. P. Arnold. After my arrival I found a number of the soldiers sick & dying in the hospital at Calhoon & at the urgent request of Col. P. B. Hawkins I enlisted on the 14th day of Sept. 1861 & was attached to Co. "D" & on the 9th of Dec. 1861 was regularly mustered into the service of the U.S. & from the time of my enlistment I was appointed by Col. Hawkins to take Charge of the hospital, with the understanding that I was to be hospital Steward - yes & rec'd no commission, as to up to that time, no commissions had been given to any of the officers. I in the mean time appointed, with the consent of Col. Hawkins, Wm T. Beller, who was a private of Co. "G" 11th Ky. Vol. Infy to assist me in the hospital, under the name of Ward Master - who was not mustered as Hospital Stewqrd until the 1st of March 1863 & this delay was owing to my inability to return to the Reg't as I was informed.
From my enlistment in Sept 1861 up to the 15th or 20th of January 1862 I served, I think, as faithfully as a Man could - & on or about the 15th of January 1862, I gave way to sink under the influence of Chronic Diarrhoea, & finding Myself unable to attend to the duties longer, I turned over my hospital book & some articles that had been placed in my hands by the dying soldier, to the said W. G. Beller & took his receipt for the same - which receits - I have lost. Col. Hawkins, finding me unable to do duty & as he was expecting his Reg't to be called to the front in a few days, ordered me to be taken home, some 40 or 45 miles distance to await ability to return to duty. Instead of improving I grew woorse & worse as will appear from affidavits now on file in the office of the Adjutant Gen'l or Secretary of War of the U.S.A. which I hereby refer to & made a part of this. My Reg't remained off on duty & was never able to communicate with them, though I often tried, until March or April 1863 when the Reg't was stationed a while, at Bowling Green Ky. When I got a fariend to to take me over to Bowling Green, where I found my Reg't & I reported to Col. Hawkins, & after he saw my condition, & may inability so great, that I had to be aided by someone to walk - he gave me a furlough to return home & await orders - That furlough I have lost. For at that time my Rectum often came down & bowels came out & into my testicles, when ever I went to stool & they have continued in same condition only on the increase, up to the present time. Col. Hawkins in consequence of injuries read'd, soon after resigned & his successors not knowing the facts reported me as a deserter "which ought to have been at home sick'. which no doubt would have been the case had the Col. remained with the Reg't.
In consideration of the foregoing I hereby Most respectfully pray that My Name be placed on the pension Roll of the U.S. & as in duty will ever pray.
John H. Harrod
Also personally appeared before me W.T. Shields & J.M. Keown residents of the City of Bowling Green, County of Warren, State of Kentucky, known to me to be respectable & worthy of full credit who, being first duly sworn according to law, on their oath state - That their P.O. address is Bowling Green...