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Strobard, Bram. USCT Pension File Abstract, Company C, 33rd USCT, Beaufort, SC

Biographical Summary

Bram Strobard [also rendered Strobord and Strobert in file] was born on Binden Plantation near Pocotaligo, Jasper, South Carolina about 1837. He was enslaved by Ben Martin. Strobard stated that he did not know the year of his birth but was always told he was born the 2nd of March. Bram lost his right eye while in the service, when a gun cap exploded into his eye. After the accident, he was totally blind in his right eye. 

After his discharge from the service Bram Strobard did not return to his former enslaver’s place. He spent some time farming for an African American man named Jacob Simmons on Cane Island opposite Port Royal. He worked for Simmons 2 years then worked for Charles Nivers for one year. He then worked one year at grading the Port Royal R.R. At the time of filing his pension application, he was a porter in a store. The shopkeeper, Charles Armstrong, stated that Bram was disabled even for light duties. By 1902, Bram Strobard lived at 507 Duke Street and sold chickens for a living.

Bram’s father Paul Strobard and mother Louisa Strobard were enslaved by Ben Martin as well. He had four brothers living in 1902, Tim, Prince, Abel and Cain. His Freedmen’s Bank record also lists Dick and William as brothers. Cain lived near Gillisonville. He had three sisters living in 1902: Jane, Emma and Matilda. Emma lived at Gardner Corner. Emma’s husband was Toby Hamilton, a pensioner who also served in the USCT. Bram Strobard’s Freedman’s Bank record lists his sisters as Venus, Lydy, Minty, Jane, Matilda and Violet. He did not know from whence his parents derived their names, but stated that his grandfather was a Strobard. 

Bram Strobard was married first to Charlotte, who died August of 1883 at Coosaw Island in Beaufort County, SC. He had one child, Cato, with Charlotte. Cato was born in June of 1883.  Bram was married to Kate Maxwell in June of 1893 at the A.M.E. church in Beaufort, by Reverend Carolina. Together they had a daughter Charlotte, who was born in December of 1898.

USCT Service

Bram Strobard served as a private in Company C, 33rd United States Colored Troops. He enlisted at Camp Saxton in Beaufort, South Carolina on or about 26 Oct 1862 and was honorably discharged at Charleston 31 January 1866. At the time of his enlistment, his occupation was plowman.

Status of Pension Application

Bram Strobard applied for an invalid pension 29 June 1867. On 13 Feb 1869, he filed an affidavit stating that he was unable to furnish testimony of an officer who was present when his injury was incurred; they having all left that part of the country. On 23 March 1892, he filed an affidavit stating that despite diligent efforts to locate an officer or comrade who was present at the time of his injury, he was unable to furnish such evidence.

By 1893, he was able to locate several comrades who had seen his injury or heard about it. These comrades provided testimony for Bram’s pension claim. 

On 13 Oct 1894, his file was submitted to the review board by Jas. R. Fritts with a recommendation that it be approved. Bram Strobard’s application was assigned certificate #595203. Because there was variation in the witnesses’ testimony about the cause, time and place of Strobard’s injury, the file was referred to a Special Examiner J.A. Davis at Jacksonville, Florida for further review. His pension file was approved and he was pensioned at $12 per month commencing in August of 1900.

 

Summary of Testimony

Bram Strobert Statement Pension Application

Statement of Bram Strobard, Beaufort, SC, 12 Jun 1902:

Transcript of statement of Bram Strobard, Beaufort, SC, 12 Jun 1902:

I live at 507 Duke St., my P.O. address is Beaufort, S.C. I raise and sell chickens for a living. I put my age at 58 but I do not know the year of my birth, though I have always been told I was born on the 2nd day of March. I was born on Binden plantation, ½ miles from Pocotaligo, S.C. I was born the slave of Ben Martin and I never belonged to any other person. He lived on Binden plantation. He is dead. His brother George lives at Cotton Hall on the Haywood place at Pocotaligo. I don’t know of any children of my former owner that are still living.

My father was Paul Strobard (dead). My mother was Louisa Strobard, they belonged to my owner. My mother also is dead. I have four brothers, Tim, Prince, Abel and Cain, all living. None live in Beaufort. Cain lives near Gillisonville. I have three sisters living, Jane, Emma and Matilda. Emma lives at Gardner Corner, 12 miles from here. Emma’s husband is Toby Hamilton, a pensioner. I cannot tell you whence my parents derived their names. My grandfather was a Strobard.

I have been known as Bram Strobard all my life, but in slavery times I was also called Abram, but Bram is derived from the name Abram. I cannot tell you how old I was at enlistment, but I was not a fully grown man. I enlisted at Camp Saxon, near Port Royal. I cannot tell you when I enlisted, but I served 3 years and 9 months and Peace was declared when I was M.O. [mustered out].

I enlisted and served in C 33rd U.S.C.T., this is all the service I ever had in my life, military or navy. I was not stripped nor medically examined at enlistment. I was so young and prime and hearty and had “no way what you call pain” that it was not necessary to examine me. I had met Capt. Randolph here in Beaufort and he asked me if I wanted to be a soldier and I told him I did so that is the way I joined. He told me to come to the camp and I went the next day and enlisted.

Robert Truell, and John Brown, who live in Beaufort, enlisted at the same time I did. Cato Frazier, Gruber Riley (dead), Noel Frazier, all enlisted at the same time I did. They were in my Co. My officers were Col. Higginson who resigned and Col. Bennett took his place but he was made a General. Strobard was our Lieut. Col. but I don’t know whether I was M.O. under him or Col. Bennett. Major Strong who resigned and Major Whitney took his place. Capt. Randolph who was old and afterwards resigned and Capt. Jack took his place. He resigned and went home and another Capt. took his place on James Island just a little before we were M.O. and I can’t recall his name. 1st Lieut. Stockdale, from West Point. He resigned and Lieut. Hyde took his place. He resigned and Lieut. Child took his place. Orderly Sergt. Hyde, a white man, then Jackson, then Hodges who was orderly Sergt. when we were M.O.

Robert Truell, John Brown, Frank Higgins, Cato Frazier, Abram Martin, Solomon Major, Prince Wethers, Benj. Gadson, Frank Ancrum, Peter Brown, Peter Wagger, Joe Aiken, Aaron Porter, Cupid Haywood, Dick Scott, Paul Fields, [illegible] Johnson, Edward Teem, Sam Stephen, Daniel Simmons, Simon Primus, Stuart Primus, Adam Robinson, Andrew General, Tom Bryan, Sam O’Neil, Tom Brown, were all in my Co. Only two live in this town, John Brown and Robert Truell. Joe Smith, who lives on St. Helena Island, was also in my Co. and Regt. The rest of them for the most part live in Fla. My tent mates were Robert Truell, John Brown, and Solomon Major – four of us in a tent.

From Camp Saxon we went to Alberta Mill in Ga., then to Jacksonville, Fla. Then back to Beaufort, then to the Combahee Bridge, then back to Beaufort, then Morris Island. Then to Folly Island, then Coles Island, then James Island, then to Honey Hill, then across the Combahee Ferry, then to Charleston, then Savannah, then Augusta, then Aiken, then Anderson, then Charleston passing through Columbia and Newberry, then to James Island, then Charleston where we were M.O.

The first battle we were in was at Alberta Mill, down in Fla. We did not lose any men there but a man in Co. H was killed. I think we had a skirmish at Combahee bridge. We were in the battle of Honey Hill. We also had a fight on James Island in July. Samuel Washington, a Corporal in my Co. was shot there. A shell carried his head off. I was struck in the left arm by a minnie ball at James Island (scar exhibited). I did not go to the Dr. and it never disabled me.

I lost my right eye at Camp Saxon on the outskirts of Beaufort. I had come off picket duty and shot off my gun, as we were required to do when we came in from picket duty, so as not to have a loaded gun around camp. The cap accidentally went into my right eye and put it out. I am totally blind in the right eye. (Eye appears sightless and the pupil seems gone). I went to Dr. Miner[?] in the hospital, the Regimental hospital in camp, and I was there two months. The cap was in the eye about six months and finally came out itself.

The above are all the disabilities I had in the service. Otherwise I was sound and healthy at discharge. I have an old case pending, was for loss of right eye. The whole Regt. Knew about the incurrence of the disability and any of the comrades I have named would know about it. Richard Davis of Co. B, Cyrel Jewell[?] of Co. B, both in Beaufort, knew about the incurrence of the disability.

I was never detached away from my Co. I was discharged in Charleston S.C. and I think in was January. It was a good while after peace was declared. I was M.O. with my Co. My original discharge was lost by fire when Lawyer Bell’s office burned up. He had it to get me a bounty. I got a bounty of about $100 after I was M.O. and afterwards I got $90 more. The $100 was paid in Beaufort, S.C. and the $90 was paid in Savannah, Ga. (Pensioner appears to be about 5 ft. 10 or 11 inches high, as nearly as I can estimate his height by my own. No facilities for taking actual measurement. Right eye sightless. Scar on left arm between elbow and shoulder, apparently by a G.S.W. Hair and complexion, black. Read Hannah, Special Examiner). ([illegible] exhibited General Attest James Haynes

Bram Strobord X his mark

Deponent.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 12 day of June 1902, and I certify that the contents were fully made known to deponent before signing.

Read Hanna

Special Examiner.

Strobert Civil War Pension

 

Statement of G.G. Martin, Former Slaveholder of Bram Strobard, 15 Sep 1894

Transcript of statement of G.G. Martin, Tomotley, SC, 15 Sept 1894: 

“I have known Bram Strobard since he was a boy. He belonged to me before the War and ran off from my place and joined the service. He grew up a sound healthy young man and had no trouble with his eyes, so far as I know. I remember seeing Bram on one occasion while he was in the U.S. Service. He spoke to me on the streets of Beaufort some time in the year 1865. I do not recall that I noticed on that occasion that he had lost one of his eyes. It was perhaps two or three years afterwards that I first noticed his loss of eye. I have no personal knowledge as to the circumstances under which his eyesight was lost. I can only say that he had both eyes intact when he ran away from my plantation to go into the U.S. Service.”

Robert Truell

Statement of Robert Truell, 17 May, 1890, Beaufort, SC: 

Truell was Bram’s tent mate from enlistment to discharge. He stated that Bram’s injury was caused by a piece of the gun cap or hammer broke and struck him in the eye, that he was treated in the hospital after his injury and was blind in the right eye after he came out of the hospital. He stated he had been knowing and seeing Bram Strobard ever since their discharge from the army.

Daniel Bird

Summary of statement of Daniel Bird, Beaufort, SC, 28 May 1890:

Daniel Bird stated that he was in his 60s, and that he had served as a private and a teamster in Company C, 33rd USCT. On the morning Bram was injured, Daniel had been sent to Beaufort with a wagon to obtain rations. When he returned, he heard that Bram had been injured. He saw Bram some time after his return from the hospital and saw his right eye bandaged up.

Bram Strobard

Summary of the statement of Bram Strobard, Beaufort, SC, 4 Feb 1892: 

In his statement 4 Feb 1892, Bram restated the cause of the injury to his right eye. He stated he was then a night watchman at the Farmers Mines on Ladies Island. He could not work during the day in the warm weather because of his injuries. He stated that the loss of sight in his right eye was permanent, and that he believed the sight in his left eye to be greatly impaired, due either to his injury or to the loss of his right eye. 

Arthur H. Ezekiel and Samuel Gilliam were witnesses to Strobard’s statement.

Josiah Nowells

Summary of Statement of Josiah Nowells, Beaufort, SC, 27 Feb, 1892:

Josiah Nowells stated that he knew Bram Strobard while in the service. Nowells served in Company B of the 33rd USCT. He was not an eyewitness to Bram’s injury but heard about it after it happened. He stated that Bram’s condition grew worse and worse after the injury and that at times Bram could not see out of either eye due to the extreme pain of the injured right eye. He stated that he had seen Bram since his discharge and that he wore a blind over the right eye. He was sure that Bram was totally blind in his right eye due to his injury while in the service. He did not recall the month or year of Bram’s injury but knew it occurred in the springtime while they were stationed at Camp Shaw near Beaufort.

Daniel Grayson

Statement of Daniel Grayson, Age 58, Beaufort, Sc, 29 Feb, 1892:

Daniel Grayson, a veteran of Company B, 33rd USCT, stated that he first knew Bram in the service, and that he remembered well the time, place and circumstances of Bram Strobard’s injury, which he stated was in the month of March at Camp Shaw near Beaufort, SC. Bram had been on picket duty and was required to discharge his gun before bringing it into camp. Grayson and several others were standing near him, and when the gun cap exploded, Bram immediately threw down or dropped his gun. Grayson stated that he and several others went to Bram’s rescue, that he was in considerable pain and that they washed the eye with cold water. They took Bram to the doctor, who ordered him into the hospital. He stated that before the accident, Bram had never complained of loss of eyesight in the right eye.

Grayson stated that he knew Bram very well while in the service. After his injury, while they were stationed on Morris Island, Bram suffered much pain, especially when the heat of the day came on. He did not know if Bram was completely blind in the injured eye but had heard so.

He had seen Bram Strobard since discharge and he wore a green patch over his right eye.

Agrippa Riley

Summary of Statement of Agrippa Riley, Beaufort, SC, February, 1892:

Agrippa Riley stated that he was well acquainted with Bram Strobard, having served in the same company and regiment as Strobard. He stated that Bram’s injury occurred in March of 1864 at Camp Shaw near Beaufort. He had been standing a few feet away from Bram when he was injured. Bram was in severe pain and was admitted to the hospital, where he stayed about fifteen days. Agrippa visited Bram several times while he was in the hospital. He knew that Bram had sight in both eyes before the accident, and that to the best of his knowledge Bram was blind in the right eye since the injury.

William Jackson

Summary of Statement of William Jackson, Beaufort, SC, 20 Feb 1892:

William Jackson served as a sergeant in Company A, 33rd USCT. He met Bram Strobard in the service. He stated that he saw Bram frequently both  before and after his injury, which occurred in March of 1864 at Camp Shaw. He knew Bram to have sight in both of his eyes prior to his injury. He did not know if Bram was totally blind in the right eye, but knew that he suffered much and was in the hospital for a long time.

Paul Jones 

Summary of Statement of Paul Jones, Age 57, Ladies Island, SC, 27 Feb 1892: Paul Jones stated that he served in Company A, 33rd USCT. He stated that Bram Strobard was injured in March of 1864, when a piece of gun cap flew into his eye, and that he was treated in the hospital after the injury. He stated that he was only a few feet from Strobard when he was injured, and that he went to his assistance.

Bristol Eddy

Statement of Bristol Eddy, Age 58, Beaufort, SC, 5 Mar 1892:

Bristol Eddy stated that he served in the same company and regiment as Bram Strobard. He stated that he had seen and spoken to Bram the right before the accident, in the early morning. Bristol left camp for a few hours and when he returned, Bram had been injured. He knew Bram to be well and hearty when he spoke to him before the accident occurred. He signed his name to the statement.

Paul Fields

Summary of Statement of Paul Fields, Age 51, Beaufort, SC, 7 Apr 1892: Fields stated that he was a member of the same company and regiment as Bram Strobard, and was standing a few feet from Bram when his injury occurred. He saw the cap explode and saw Bram drop his gun and call for help, throwing his hands up to his face. He saw the eye about five minutes after the injury, and it was then bleeding. He knew that Bram was treated in the hospital for his injury, knew him to be totally blind in the right eye, and believed this to be due to the injury.

Richard Wallace

Summary of Statement of Richard Wallace, Age 39, Beaufort, SC, April 1892: Richard Wallace stated that he first became acquainted with Bram Strobard in the year 1868, and he was then blind in his right eye. He stated that he and Bram had worked together in Port Royal and in the town of Beaufort, and that Bram Strobard had told him that his eye was injured by a piece of gun cap while he was in the service. He stated that Bram often complained of the pain they eye caused him. 

Mack Mitchell

Statement of Mack Mitchell, Age 40, Beaufort, SC, 11 Apr 1892: Mitchell stated that he knew Bram Strobard before he went into the army, that he had sight in both of his eyes before he enlisted, and when he returned, he was blind in the right eye. He and Bram Strobard had worked together in several places in Beaufort County, SC since 1866 and he knew from actual observation that Bram was blind in his right eye. He stated Bram had told him that the injury occurred when a piece of gun cap exploded and flew into his eye while he was in the service.

Asa Childs

When contacted to testify, veteran Asa Childs said that he did not remember Bram Strobard or the incident in which he was injured.

Bram Strobard

Summary of statement of Bram Strobard, Beaufort, SC, 16 Nov 1893: He judged his age to be 55, he was a porter in Mr. Armstrong’s store. After his injury, he spent several months in the Regimental Hospital. When he returned to his company, he was put to assist the cook, but soon returned to full duty. After losing the sight in his right eye, he had to shoot left handed for the rest of his term of service. He did not experience pain in the eye after his discharge, until about 1891, when the pain commenced and became chronic. At the time of his deposition he suffered from constant pain in the eye and headache.

Agrippa Riley

Summary of statement of Agrippa Riley, Beaufort, SC, 17 Nov 1893: Agrippa Riley, age 55, a farm laborer and resident of Hanging Mans Swamp 6 miles west of Beaufort, testified that he served in Company C, 33rd USCT. He stated that he had known Bram Strobard from childhood, and partly raised him. Bram’s father and Agrippa’s father were first cousins. Bram was enslaved by Martin and Agrippa was enslaved to Heyward. They were raised on adjoining places. He testified that Bram was healthy, with good eyesight, before enlisting in the service. He and Bram enlisted together. He stated that he was a kind of father to Bram, who was a mere boy when they enlisted. He kept him in his tent in camp for awhile before he went out on his own and had another tent mate. He testified that Bram’s eye was injured while coming off o guard duty. He saw Bram immediately after the accident and his eye was running blood. He saw him often after they were discharged from the service.

Robert Truell

Summary of statement of Robert Truell, Beaufort, SC, 17 Nov 1893: Robert Truell, age about 60, occupation waterman, resident of Beaufort, SC, testified that he served in Company C, 33rd USCT. He knew Bram Strobard from his youth, and knew his parents. He stated that Bram was enslaved to Chaplin and he was enslaved by Bythewood on Beef Island. Bram was raised on Hutchinson Island right across from Beef Island. They enlisted together and were mustered out together. They were tent mates for three years while in the service. He stated that Bram was younger then him and he kind of took charge of him. He testified that he was present when Bram was injured, and he took him to the doctor immediately afterward. He stated that two months after the accident, they wanted to discharge Bram, but he refused, and returned to full duty. He stated that after returning from the service, Bram had been a watchman for the farmer’s mine, but was discharged because of his eye and had not done work in a long time.

Prince Robinson

Summary of statement of Prince Robinson, Beaufort, SC, 19 Nov 1893: Prince Robinson, age near fifty years, lived at Rhett’s on Broad River. He listed his occupation as “trying to plant.” He testified that he served in Company C, 33rd USCT. He was raised at Sheldon on the mainland. He saw Bram right after he was injured but did not know at the time how serious the injury was. He did not see Bram for 5 or 6 years after they were mustered out, but at the time of his testimony, he saw more of him. He knew that Bram had lost the sight of his right eye.

Richard Scott

Summary of statement of Beaufort, SC, 18 Nov 1893: Richard Scott, age 65, a resident of Paris Island and a farmer, testified that he served in Company C, 33rd USCT. He knew Bram Strobard from childhood. Bram was much younger than Richard Scott. He was on guard duty with Bram the day Bram was injured and saw his eye afterwards. He knew that Bram had lost the sight of his right eye.

Paul Fields

Summary of statement of Paul Fields, Beaufort, SC, 18 Nov 1893: Paul Fields, age 51 years, a farmer and resident of Port Royal Island, testified that he served in Company C, 33rd USCT and met Bram Strobard in the army. He stated that Bram’s eyesight was good until the injury. He testified to how the accident happened and stated that Bram was in the hospital for 3 or 4 months after the injury and when he returned, the eye was bound up. He was put to assisting the cook for about a year, then returned to full duty but was sightless in the right eye. At the time of his testimony, he saw Bram Strobard about once or twice a month.

William Jackson

Summary of statement of Beaufort, SC, 18 Nov 1893: William Jackson, age 61, born in 1832, a farmer and resident of Beaufort, SC, testified that he served in Company A, 33rd USCT and met Bram Strobard in the service. He was not present when Bram was injured, but saw him the next morning with his eye bandaged. He stated he had known him right along since the service and knew that he was blind in the right eye.

Josiah Nowells

Summary of statement of Josiah Nowells, Beaufort, SC, 20 Nov 1893: Josiah Nowells, age 49, a shoemaker and resident of Beaufort, SC, testified that he served in Company B, 33rd USCT and first met Bram Strobard in the service. Josiah Nowells enlisted in October of 1862 and was discharged for disability in May of 1865 in Savannah, Ga. He knew of Bram’s injury but was not present when it occurred. He had seen him off and on since his discharge and knew that he had but one good eye.

Bristol Eddy

Summary of statement of Bristol Eddy, Beaufort, SC, 20 Nov 1893: Bristol Eddy, age 57 years, a disabled soldier, P.O. Beaufort, SC, testified that he served in Company F, 33rd USCT. He did not know Bram before the service. When he met him, he had two good eyes. He knew of Bram Strobard’s injury and saw him the day after he was injured and saw his eye bandaged up.

Smart Chisolm

Summary of statement of Smart Chisolm, Charleston, SC, 23 Dec 1893: Smart Chisolm, age about 49 years, who lived at # Limehouse Street in Charleston, testified that he served in Company G, 33rd USCT. He first knew Bram Strobard in the service and was his tent mate. He testified to how and where the accident happened, and that Bram had lost the sight of his right eye as a result. He stated he had not seen Bram Strobard since Memorial Day in 1891.

Isaac Moody

Summary of statement of Isaac Moody, Charleston, SC, 26 Dec 1893: Isaac Moody, age 51 years, lived at #113 Coming Street in Charleston. He stated that for his occupation, he did a little bit of everything. He testified that he served in Company C, 33rd USCT and did not know Bram Strobard before he met him in the army.  He knew that Bram had injured his eye and has lost sight in that eye, but was not clear on where the accident happened. He last saw Bram Strobard in 1880 at Port Royal.

Zachariah McGill

Summary of statement of Zacharia McGill, Beaufort, SC, 2 Jan 1894: Zachariah McGill, age about 60 years and a resident of Beaufort, SC, testified that he served in Company C, 33rd USCT. He first met Bram Strobard in the service. He was not sure how Bram Strobard was injured, but recalled that he was injured and lost the sight in the injured eye. He testified that he had seen Bram often since the war and that he was blind in his right eye.

Samuel Johnson

Summary of statement of Samuel Johnson, Near Tomotley, SC, 12 Jan 1894: Samuel Johnson, age 54 years, a farmer and resident of Sheldon, SC, testified that he knew Bram Strobard long before he war, “He was raised up right on this place.” He testified that he knew of Bram’s injury and that he had lost his eyesight.

Frank Bryant

Summary of statement of Frank Bryant, Tomotley, SC, 4 Jan 1894: Frank Bryant, age 50 years, a farmer who lived on Buckfield Place, testified that he served in Company C, 33rd USCT. He stated that he knew Bram Strobard from boyhood as they were raised on adjoining places. Bram was enslaved by Martin and Frank was enslaved by Heyward. He was present when Bram was injured and helped put him in the ambulance to go to the Beaufort hospital, where he stayed for at least 3 months. He had seen Bram 3 times since the war.

Noah Frazier

Summary of statement of Noah Frazier, Tomotley, SC, 4 Jan 1894: Noah Frazier, age 50 and a disabled soldier, stated that for his occupation he did a bit of everything. He lived on the Heyward plantation near Tomotley. He testified that he joined Company C, 33rd USCT and was transferred to Company H. He stated that he knew Bram before the service as they were raised on adjoining places. Bram was enslaved by Martin and Noah was enslaved by Daniel Hayward. He stated that he and Bram joined the army on the same day. They left home together, and Bram had good eyesight when they enlisted. He did not know how or where Bram lost his right eye, he first saw him after the accident when he returned home from the service. He had only seen Bram once since their discharge from the service.

William Johnson

Summary of statement of William Johnson, Beaufort, SC, 9 Jan 1894: William Johnson, age over 80 years old, a farmer and resident of Beaufort, SC, testified that he served in Company C, 33rd USCT and met Bram Strobard in the service. He knew that Bram had been injured but could not recall when and where the accident happened.

Daniel Grayson

Summary of statement of Daniel Grayson, Beaufort, SC, 9 Jan 1894: Daniel Grayson, age 65, a disabled soldier who lived in Beaufort, testified that he served in Company B, 33rd USCT for three years and six months. He stated that he met Bram in the service and that he was healthy and had good eyesight. He remembered seeing Bram with his eye tied up with a bandage, and knew that he was blind in the right eye.

Charles R. Armstrong

Summary of statement of Charles R. Armstrong, Beaufort, SC, 20 Jan 1894: Charles Armstrong, age 43, a merchant in Beaufort, SC, testified that he had known Bram Strobard for about 15 years and had been Bram’s employer for about one year. He stated that Bram was incapacitated for even light duties around the store and that he kept him in his employ partly through sympathy and to help with light work in the store.

Adam Robinson

Summary of statement of Adam Robinson, given at Orange County, Florida 10 Feb 1894: He was then about 63 years old, living in Mandarin, Florida. Robinson did not remember his own enlistment or muster out dates but stated that he enlisted at Camp Saxby. He met Bram Strobard in Company C, 33rd USCT and did not know him before the war. He did not recall Bram’s injuries. 

John Hodges

Summary of statement of John Hodges, Jacksonville, FL, 17 Feb 1894: Hodges stated that he was about 70 years old, that he was raised in Virginia, and was disabled. He served in Company C, 33rd USCT. He did not recall where he enlisted or when he was discharged. He did not remember Bram’s injury and had not seen him since the war. John Hodges signed with his mark. Witnesses to his mark were Ella Hawkins and Page Sneed. 

Martin Dixon

Summary of statement of Martin Dixon, Jacksonville, Florida, 17 Feb 1894: Dixon stated that he was 46 years of age and a fireman. Dixon enlisted 1 June 1863 and mustered out 31 Jan 1866. He recalled that Bram lost his eye to a piece of musket cap while in the service. He did not remember which eye Bram had injured. He was present shortly after the incident and saw Bram’s eye bleeding. He stated that Bram Strobard was the company cook shortly after he came out of the hospital, then later returned to regular duty, that Bram’s injury occurred in 1864 at Camp Shaw in Beaufort, SC, that he saw Bram again in 1879 in Beaufort, SC and that his eye was sightless. He stated that he “used to go to the cook house and devil him and call him one eyed Bram.”

Bram Strobard

Transcript of statement of Bram Strobard, Beaufort, SC, 27 Sep 1894: 

I am Bram Strobard, who lost my eye at Camp Shaw on Beaufort Island while a soldier in Co. C 33 U.S.C.T. Inf., by the bursting of a gun cap on the tube of my own gun while the gun was in my hands, as herein before explained. I never did give any other statements to my writers as to how I lost that eye. If they sent on any statement about the eye having been lost at Morris or James Island I did not authorize it. I told them Camp Shaw from the first commencement. After my discharge I did not return to my owner’s place. I went to farming for a colored man named Jacob Simmons on Cane Island opposite Port Royal. Simmons is dead but his wife is living on Paris Island. I worked for Simmons 2 years then I worked for Charles Nivers one year. I then worked one year at grading the Port Royal R.R. I knew right after discharge Mr. Cooper, Mr. Duke, Mr. Friend and others in Port Royal. I don’t know where any of them are now. There are plenty I could refer you to but they have died or left the country. Mr. Charles Nivers can tell you about me right after the service and Mr. Hutson & Martin before service. I belonged to Mr. G.G. Martin and also belonged to Mr. Ben Martin, now dead. All the older set of white people are dead out.

Bram Strobard

Witnesses

Franklin Greaves

R.F. Greaves

G.G. Martin

Transcript of statement of G.G. Martin, Tomotley, SC, 15 Sept 1894: 

“I have known Bram Strobard since he was a boy. He belonged to me before the War and ran off from my place and joined the service. He grew up a sound healthy young man and had no trouble with his eyes, so far as I know. I remember seeing Bram on one occasion while he was in the U.S. Service. He spoke to me on the streets of Beaufort some time in the year 1865. I do not recall that I noticed on that occasion that he had lost one of his eyes. It was perhaps two or three years afterwards that I first noticed his loss of eye. I have no personal knowledge as to the circumstances under which his eyesight was lost. I can only say that he had both eyes intact when he ran away from my plantation to go into the U.S. Service.

G.G. Martin

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 15 day of Sept 1894, and I certify that the contents were fully made known to the deponent before signing.

J.G. Gibbes, Jr.

Special Examiner

Marion M. Hutson

Summary of statement of Marion M. Hutson, Beaufort, SC, 27 Sep 1894: M.M. Hutson, age 50, Collector of Customs at Beaufort, SC, testified that he remembered Bram Strobard as a slave of G.G. Martin, a neighbor. He knew Bram well as a plough hand for Mr. Martin. He stated that he saw Bram often up to July 1861 and knew that both of his eyes were intact at that time. “I understood, indeed, Mr. Martin has told me that Bram and another of his slaves, Ben, ran off and joined the Union Army.” He first noticed that Bram had lost an eye fifteen or twenty years before testifying. He had previously heard that he lost his eye in the service but knew nothing of the circumstances of the accident.

Lazarus Smith

Summary of statement of Lazarus Smith, Beaufort, South Carolina, 27 Sep 1894: Lazarus Smith was about 40 years old at the time of his deposition. He had known Bram Strobard since about a year after Bram was mustered out of the service. He was a boy then, living with his sister Nancy Simmons on Cain [also rendered Cane] Island opposite Port Royal. Bram came there after the war to work with Lazarus Smith’s brother in law Jacob Simmons, who died before the date of this statement. He was sure that Bram had only one eye when he arrived and said Bram had told them that he lost his eye in the service. He did not recall what Bram said was the cause of losing his eye. Lazarus Smith signed his name in his statement.

Solomon Major

Summary of statement of Solomon Major, Edisto Island, SC, 20 Sep 1894: Solomon Major stated that he remembered Bram Strobard as a soldier in Company C, 33rd USCT, and that he had lost his eye to a musket cap while in the service. Solomon signed his name to his claim.

J.A. Davis

Letter, Special Examiner J.A. Davis to Commissioner of Pensions: Davis reported that witness Martin Dixon bore an unusually good reputation and was employed by the City of Jacksonville Fire Department. He rated the credibility of other witnesses as good, and recommended that their testimony be considered.

Phaeton Thompson

Transcript of statement of Phaeton Thompson, age 57 and a blacksmith, SC, 29 Sep 1894: 

I belonged to G.G. Martin in slavery times. He raised me. I knew Bram Strobard from boyhood. He is younger than I and we belonged to the same owner. Bram grew up a perfectly healthy young man and there was nothing the matter with his eyes when he ran off to join the army. Bram, Solomon & my brother Ben all went the same time. Bram had his two good eyes when he left Mr. Martin’s place to go to the service. I next saw Bram in Beaufort in the year 1867 but what month it was I do not know. I met him on the street and noticed his eye was gone – of course I asked about his loss of eye and he told me a cap popped in his eye and put it out. His eye sight was certainly gone then. The skin was shrunk over the eye and it looked dried up. It was not tied up then but seemed well.

I have not seen Bram in over four years – He then had that same one eye. I am no relation to Bram only a fellow servant. Before I saw Bram I had heard he had lost his eye in the army – I have no interest in his claim.”

Phaeton Thompson

Nannie Simmons

Summary of statement of Nannie Simmons, Paris Island, SC, 4 Oct 1894: Nannie Simmons did not know her age but thought it to be over seventy. She was the widow of Jacob Simmons who had died six years prior to her testimony. She stated that she knew Bram Strobard right after he came out of the army. Bram came to her house and worked three crop years with her husband. They made one crop on Cat Island and two on Cane Island. Bram had one eye when he came to their house. It ran water but was not bound up. He could not see out of it at all. She stated that after Bram worked with her he went to Paris Island, and she had not seen him in many years.

Bram Strobard

Summary of Statement of Bram Strobard, Beaufort, SC, 15 Dec 1898: Bram stated that he was married to Kate Maxwell, that they were married in June of 1893 by the Reverend Carolina at the A.M.E. church in Beaufort. He had previously been married to Charlotte, who died in August of 1883 at Coosaw Island in Beaufort County, SC. His children were Cato, child of Charlotte, who was born in July 1883 and Charlotte, daughter of his second wife Kate. Charlotte was born in December of 1898.

T.O. Hutson, M.D.

Summary of statement of Dr. T.O. Hutson, Beaufort, SC, 15 Mar 1899: Dr. Hutson assigned Bram Strobard a 3/4 disability rating from loss of sight in right eye and neuralgia of the right side of the head, and that Strobard stated that the injury was incurred when a musket cap fired into his eye in the service.

Robert Trewell

Summary of statement of Robert Trewell, Beaufort, SC, 28 Feb 1900: Trewell stated that he was a resident of Beaufort, that he was well acquainted with Bram Strobard since boyhood days, having been raised in the same community and he and Bram were neighbors, that Strobard was a sound man before his enlistment, but that Strobard had been continually sick since returning from the service. He stated that he visited Bram often and had to help walk some days, and that his afflictions were incurred in the service and were not the result of vicious habits. He felt Bram was in immediate danger because he fell down often while trying to walk. Trewell signed with a mark that was witnessed by J.R. Reed and Richard Days.

Frank Bryan and Noah Frasier

Summary of statements of Frank Bryan and Noah Frasier, Sheldon, Beaufort County, SC, August 1900: Bryan and Frasier stated that they mustered in with Bram Strobard on 3 Jun 1863 at Camp Shaw, Beaufort, SC, and all three served in Company C, 33rd USCT. They stated that they knew Bram Strobard to be suffering from loss of the right eye and excruciating pain in the head, which were incurred in the service of the United States. They stated that Bram suffered continually from a fever and had a constant roaring in his head. They had known Bram Strobard all their lives, since boyhood days. J.R. Reed and Richard Days were witnesses to Frank Bryan and Noah Frasier’s testimony.

S.B. Thompson, M.D.

Summary of statement of Dr. S.B. Thompson, Beaufort, Sc, 10 Oct 1901: Thompson Stated that he had known Bram Strobard for 25 years, that he suffered from complete loss of sight in the right eye, and neuralgia of the cranial nerves of the side of the head, and is at times obliged to take narcotics for pain relief.

Bram Strobard

Transcript of statement of Bram Strobard, Beaufort, SC, 12 Jun 1902:

I live at 507 Duke St., my P.O. address is Beaufort, S.C. I raise and sell chickens for a living. I put my age at 58 but I do not know the year of my birth, though I have always been told I was born on the 2nd day of March. I was born on Binden plantation, ½ miles from Pocotaligo, S.C. I was born the slave of Ben Martin and I never belonged to any other person. He lived on Binden plantation. He is dead. His brother George lives at Cotton Hall on the Haywood place at Pocotaligo. I don’t know of any children of my former owner that are still living.

My father was Paul Strobard (dead). My mother was Louisa Strobard, they belonged to my owner. My mother also is dead. I have four brothers, Tim, Prince, Abel and Cain, all living. None live in Beaufort. Cain lives near Gillisonville. I have three sisters living, Jane, Emma and Matilda. Emma lives at Gardner Corner, 12 miles from here. Emma’s husband is Toby Hamilton, a pensioner. I cannot tell you whence my parents derived their names. My grandfather was a Strobard.

I have been known as Bram Strobard all my life, but in slavery times I was also called Abram, but Bram is derived from the name Abram. I cannot tell you how old I was at enlistment, but I was not a fully grown man. I enlisted at Camp Saxon, near Port Royal. I cannot tell you when I enlisted, but I served 3 years and 9 months and Peace was declared when I was M.O. [mustered out].

I enlisted and served in C 33rd U.S.C.T., this is all the service I ever had in my life, military or navy. I was not stripped nor medically examined at enlistment. I was so young and prime and hearty and had “no way what you call pain” that it was not necessary to examine me. I had met Capt. Randolph here in Beaufort and he asked me if I wanted to be a soldier and I told him I did so that is the way I joined. He told me to come to the camp and I went the next day and enlisted.

Robert Truell, and John Brown, who live in Beaufort, enlisted at the same time I did. Cato Frazier, Gruber Riley (dead), Noel Frazier, all enlisted at the same time I did. They were in my Co. My officers were Col. Higginson who resigned and Col. Bennett took his place but he was made a General. Strobard was our Lieut. Col. but I don’t know whether I was M.O. under him or Col. Bennett. Major Strong who resigned and Major Whitney took his place. Capt. Randolph who was old and afterwards resigned and Capt. Jack took his place. He resigned and went home and another Capt. took his place on James Island just a little before we were M.O. and I can’t recall his name. 1st Lieut. Stockdale, from West Point. He resigned and Lieut. Hyde took his place. He resigned and Lieut. Child took his place. Orderly Sergt. Hyde, a white man, then Jackson, then Hodges who was orderly Sergt. when we were M.O.

Robert Truell, John Brown, Frank Higgins, Cato Frazier, Abram Martin, Solomon Major, Prince Wethers, Benj. Gadson, Frank Ancrum, Peter Brown, Peter Wagger, Joe Aiken, Aaron Porter, Cupid Haywood, Dick Scott, Paul Fields, [illegible] Johnson, Edward Teem, Sam Stephen, Daniel Simmons, Simon Primus, Stuart Primus, Adam Robinson, Andrew General, Tom Bryan, Sam O’Neil, Tom Brown, were all in my Co. Only two live in this town, John Brown and Robert Truell. Joe Smith, who lives on St. Helena Island, was also in my Co. and Regt. The rest of them for the most part live in Fla. My tent mates were Robert Truell, John Brown, and Solomon Major – four of us in a tent.

From Camp Saxon we went to Alberta Mill in Ga., then to Jacksonville, Fla. Then back to Beaufort, then to the Combahee Bridge, then back to Beaufort, then Morris Island. Then to Folly Island, then Coles Island, then James Island, then to Honey Hill, then across the Combahee Ferry, then to Charleston, then Savannah, then Augusta, then Aiken, then Anderson, then Charleston passing through Columbia and Newberry, then to James Island, then Charleston where we were M.O.

The first battle we were in was at Alberta Mill, down in Fla. We did not lose any men there but a man in Co. H was killed. I think we had a skirmish at Combahee bridge. We were in the battle of Honey Hill. We also had a fight on James Island in July. Samuel Washington, a Corporal in my Co. was shot there. A shell carried his head off. I was struck in the left arm by a minnie ball at James Island (scar exhibited). I did not go to the Dr. and it never disabled me.

I lost my right eye at Camp Saxon on the outskirts of Beaufort. I had come off picket duty and shot off my gun, as we were required to do when we came in from picket duty, so as not to have a loaded gun around camp. The cap accidentally went into my right eye and put it out. I am totally blind in the right eye. (Eye appears sightless and the pupil seems gone). I went to Dr. Miner[?] in the hospital, the Regimental hospital in camp, and I was there two months. The cap was in the eye about six months and finally came out itself.

The above are all the disabilities I had in the service. Otherwise I was sound and healthy at discharge. I have an old case pending, was for loss of right eye. The whole Regt. Knew about the incurrence of the disability and any of the comrades I have named would know about it. Richard Davis of Co. B, Cyrel Jewell[?] of Co. B, both in Beaufort, knew about the incurrence of the disability.

I was never detached away from my Co. I was discharged in Charleston S.C. and I think in was January. It was a good while after peace was declared. I was M.O. with my Co. My original discharge was lost by fire when Lawyer Bell’s office burned up. He had it to get me a bounty. I got a bounty of about $100 after I was M.O. and afterwards I got $90 more. The $100 was paid in Beaufort, S.C. and the $90 was paid in Savannah, Ga. (Pensioner appears to be about 5 ft. 10 or 11 inches high, as nearly as I can estimate his height by my own. No facilities for taking actual measurement. Right eye sightless. Scar on left arm between elbow and shoulder, apparently by a G.S.W. Hair and complexion, black. Read Hannah, Special Examiner). ([illegible] exhibited General Attest James Haynes

Bram Strobord X his mark

Deponent.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 12 day of June 1902, and I certify that the contents were fully made known to deponent before signing.

Read Hanna

Special Examiner.

 

Bram Strobert Statement Pension Application

Statement of Bram Strobard, USCT Pension Application

 

Related Documents

Bram Strobard is documented in other records related to his service in the United States Colored Troops. Be sure to search for all these related records for your USCT veteran ancestor.

Freedman’s Bank Record

United States Colored troops veterans’ service was sometimes recorded on their Freedman’s Bank register, especially in the Charleston and Beaufort branches of the bank. Here we see Bram’s company and regiment just below the first line of the card.

Always be sure to check for a Freedman’s Bank record for your USCT ancestor veteran, as you may learn more details about your ancestor’s immediate family. Here we see the names of three sisters and two brothers that were not mentioned in Bram Strobard’s pension file because they were not living at the time of his statement in 1902:

Strobert Bram Freedmens Bank Record

Freedmen’s Bank Record, Bram Strobert

“United States, Freedman’s Bank Records, 1865-1874,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6SN3-65G?cc=1417695&wc=3MDR-L2S%3A1551794803%2C1551794801 : 5 February 2015), Beaufort, South Carolina > Roll 20, June 20, 1868-July 3, 1874, accounts 2732-5989 > image 41 of 684; citing NARA microfilm publication M816 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1970).

Compiled Civil War Service Record

The compiled Civil War service record for a veteran is a compilation of rosters, duty reports, medical records and other items pertaining to a veteran’s military service. Compiled information was list on cards that were enclosed in a jacket envelope. These records, available on FamilySearch and Fold3, usually consist of a descriptive summary (see example below), then cards indicating whether the soldier was marked present or absent for each month of service.

Strobert Bram Compiled Civil War Service Record

Compiled Civil War Service Record Card, Bram Strobert, aka Strobard.

 

United States Civil War Service Records of Union Colored Troops, 1863-1865,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JZD5-M9P : 12 December 2014), Bram Strobert, 1863; from “Civil War Soldiers – Union – Colored Troops,” database, Fold3.com (http://www.fold3.com : n.d.); citing military unit 33rd US Colored Infantry, NARA microfilm publication M1992, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., roll 45.

Civil War Pension File Index Card

The Civil War Pension Index card for a veteran states the company and regiment of service, the dates and claim numbers of any pension claims filed, and the pension certificate number assigned to that veteran’s pension application. Use the information on this card to order your ancestor’s USCT pension file.

Strobert Bram Civil War Pension Index

Bram Strobert Civil War Pension Index

United States Civil War and Later Pension Index, 1861-1917,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N4TZ-6YF : 24 March 2016), Bram Strobert, 1867.

Freedmen’s Bureau, Register of Bounty Claims, Beaufort, SC

Bounties were financial or land rewards paid the veterans for their service. This register of USCT bounty claims is among the Field Office records of the Freedmen’s Bureau, available on FamilySearch.

Strobert Bram Register of Bounty Claims Beaufort

Bram Strobert, Register of Bounty Claims, Beaufort, SC

 

South Carolina, Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-C5MM?cc=2127881&wc=MFHK-5PD%3A1017928501%2C1017970601 : 21 May 2014), Beaufort (subassistant commissioner) > Roll 61, Register of bounty claims, Undated > image 8 of 22; citing NARA microfilm publication M1910 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Freedmen’s Branch Records, Savannah, GA, 1866

The Freedmen’s Branch assisted USCT veterans with obtaining arrears of pay, bounty claims or USCT pension claims. The collection, which consists of correspondence and compiled Freedmen’s Bureau records, is available for browsing on FamilySearch.

Strobert Bram Freedmen's Branch Record

Bram Strobert, Freedmen’s Branch Records, Savannah, GA, 1866

 

United States, Freedmen’s Branch Records, 1872-1878,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99LD-YS2S?cc=2333780&wc=3VCB-6TL%3A1077250202%2C1077254401 : 9 June 2015), Savannah, GA (disbursing officer) > Roll 53, Confidential lists for the identification of claimants, 1874-1875 > image 614 of 862; citing NARA microfilm publication M2029 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Freedmen’s Branch Records, Savannah, GA, 1874

Strobert Bram Register of Bounty Claims Savannah 1874

Bram Strobert, Register of Bounty Claims, Savannah, GA, 1874

 

United States, Freedmen’s Branch Records, 1872-1878,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9LD-YWNZ?cc=2333780&wc=3VCY-16N%3A1077250202%2C1077251208 : 9 June 2015), Savannah, GA (disbursing officer) > Roll 52, List of claimants, Apr 1873-Jan 1875 > image 68 of 128; citing NARA microfilm publication M2029 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

United States Index to General Correspondence of the Pension Office, 1889-1904

This publication indexes two collections from the War Department. Records and Pension Office; the Document File, compiled 1889-1904 (ARC Identifier 300385) and Record Cards, compiled 1889-1904 (ARC Identifer 588796). This index covers only personal names. The collection can be searched on FamilySearch.

Strobert Bram Index to General Correspondence

Bram Strobert, Index to General Correspondence of the Pension Office, 1895

 

United States Index to General Correspondence of the Pension Office, 1889-1904,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939X-X81Z-2?cc=1834308&wc=M6Y7-DNG%3A162713201 : 22 May 2014), StP (St. Patrick)-Stro > image 1777 of 2506; citing NARA microfilm publication M686 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

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