wkoger.jpg (11187 bytes)
Photo submitted by: James David Durham
(William Koger seated left with son and daughters taken about 1900)

      William Koger     
Information provided by Alfred Ellis


No 4830 William Koger 5 miles N. of Valley Head Dekalb Co. Ala For Forage & Produce taken near Valley Head, Alabama Taken Sept. 1863 $370.00 Claims Allowed $225.00 Reported March 31, 1877 Returned April 4, 1877 Witnessess: Wiley Howell James Painter Elijah Bouldin A. J. Ellis Wm. Ellis Deposition of Wm Koger Who in answer to the questions deposes and says- My name is William Koger, age 39 years, residence five miles from Valley Head. I am a farmer and am the claimant. I had farmed all my life. I moved to the farm from which my property was taken in the spring of 1862. I was born in Wayne County, Kentucky, but I have been in Dekalb Co Ala about 25 years. My sympathies were on the Union side from the first to the last. I never did anything to aid the rebel cause, but was always ready and willing to do what I could to aid the Union side. I voted for the Union candidate in the succession contest and I have voted for them ever since and when a man that was for Union turns Democrat I quit voting for him. I opposed secession as I could and when the State succeeded I determined never to fight for it and I could not be persuaded or frightened into serving their cause. After the conscript law was passed, I taught school till I found that would not keep me out any longer when I quit that took to dodging around in the thicket and followed this closely for awhile. I then made an effort to go to the Federals, but with several other Union men was caught by the Rebels on the banks of the Tennessee River and taken under guard to Whitesides Depot and from there to Bridgeport and from Bridgeport to Chattanooga. I was held a week in prison at Bridgeport and two weeks at Chattanooga. I was nearly starved by them, but we had a little money. I could sometime buy a little something to eat. From Chattanooga I was sent under guard to Lynus(?) Station on the East Tennessee Railroad. I made my escape from Lynus(?) the night I got there and made my way to the mountains and through the mountains back home and lay out seven weeks more and then left and met the Federal Army under McCook, Jefferson C. Davis’ Division in Jackson County, Alabama and came back with that army. I went from this county which the army was here. I started to take my family across the Tennessee River into the federal lines, and got there to my fathers on top of Sand Mountain when I found I had left some business unfinished which brought me back when I found Capt. Alfred Long making up a company of Cavalry for the Federal Army. I went with this Company across the Tennessee to Stevenson and then enlisted in Company C First Regiment Independent Federal Cavalry on the 19th day of September 1863 to serve for one year or during the war and was discharged with the Regiment the 16th day of June 1864. After I enlisted I took my wife and two children to Bridgeport Alabama and after I was discharged I was employed by the United States Government in cutting cordwood and other works till the close of the war and came to my farm in the last of June or first of July 1865. I had three brothers in the Union Army and one brother-in-law. Their names were John P. Koger, Ebin E. Koger, and Granville Koger, and the brother-in-law Nathan P. Bouldin. John P. Koger was in the 12th Tennessee Cavalry. The others all belonged to the same regiment I did. My father was a Union man and had to to the Union lines to save his life and so did my father-in-law Elijah Bouldin and both remained till the was over. I have answered this question in answer to the 8th question(Did you vote for the Union candidate?- see answer above). I aided any Union man that I could and as much as I could with my little means- exception(?) of kinship. I took the Union side and held to it to the present time. I adhered to the United States and no defeats by the Rebels shook my faith or led me to desert the Union cause. I was always treated with friendship by the Union soldiers and officers and was never under arrest by any of them I took the oath of allegiance and amnesty and I think I also took the Ironclad. W. D. Crow, Allen & Wm Lea, Wm Ellis, John Lea, Wm Morgan, and Elija Bouldin were all strong and rather prominent Union men. I was repeatedly threatened by the Rebel delaits(?) that were hunting for conscripts. I was hunted after and shot at by the rebel murderer and cutthroat Sam Cason* who killed a number of Union men in cold blood. I was at one time wounded in the leg by him and I snapped(?) a double barrel shot gun in his face. They threatened to hang my wife because she would not tell where I was and for feeding deserters. I was injured and molested in many ways. I have stated about how I was arrested. I made my escape and did not take any oath or give an obligation. The Rebels took one horse and one mule from (?), one cow, several sheep, about a dozen besids(?), some wheat. They never paid me anything nor did I go near them to ask them for pay. To questions # 25 thru 35, he answer no. I had two brother-in-laws in the Confederate service. I had nothing to do with them in any way. To question # 37 & 38- “No” to each. To the 39th, he answers- “ I took them all”. To the 40th, he answers- “ I was not”. To questions # 41, 42, & 43, he answers- “No” to each question. I voted against secession and have voted for Union men each time. I never belonged to any vigilance committee or any other such of Rebel committee or association. I never was. I was not conscripted for they could not catch me. I never furnished a substitute. To questions # 44 – 50, he answers, “no”. I have shown what I did to former questions. I was honorably discharged from the army and here show my discharge to the special commissioners. The discharge shows that William Koger, private in Company “C” First Regiment of Independent Vidette Cavalry Volunteers was enrolled the Nineteenth of September 1863. Was discharged from service the Sixteenth of June 1864. Not objections to unlisting Stephenson Ala June 16, 1864. I was the owner and the sole owner of the property taken. It was taken from my farm about five mile North of Valley Head in Dekalb County, Ala. There was 80 acres of the farm about 25 acres near cleared at the time. I have filed no petition in bankruptcy. To the property questions, the claimant answers- I was not present when the Federal army under General McCook went(?) marched thru neighborhood of my farm, but I came in with part of the army. I had left my place when I was lying out but a few days previous and met them on Sand Mountain and returned with them. I had fifteen acres in corn that I had got well tended. The land was good fresh, the most of it and the rest had been maniured(?) in the hill and it was a good crop year in 1863 and my corn was good- and think the whole fifteen acres would averaged twenty bushels to the acres when I started to meet the army- a few days before it reached my farm most of my corn had been used or gathered and was ready to pull fodder. When I got back to the neighborhood I came to my place and found that the troops had already gathered the most of my corn the army wagon tracks was fresh in the field and a courier post was established in the wall of my gate and the troops had part of my corn cut and lying there for feed for the horses of the Post. The most of the corn had been cut and hauled out in the directions of the camp. It was all taken after that. But I actually saw but little of what was taken. But a brother-in-law and federal soldier, Nathan Bouldin, who was with the army, but who is now dead, told me at the time that he was present and saw my corn gathered, hauled out and also he saw part of my hogs taken and used by the soldiers. Corn was well worth a dollar a bushel in good money and was hard to get after the army was gone. My recollection is I had two killing hogs for that winter but I did not see them taken but I never could find but one of them after I got back. I am certain the army got five or more of them for there was neither citizens not other soldiers about who got them except the Union soldiers and the hogs were on the farm when I left but a few days before the army got them. These hogs would be averaged a hundred pounds each net. They were nearly two years old and pretty good order. I saw them almost every day up to the time I started. Pork was worth ten cents per pound. I had an Irish and a sweet potato patch- about a quarter of an acres each. There must have been near 50 bushels of the sweet potatoes besides a good many bushels of the Irish potatoes. The troops had them all dug when I first got back to the place and I got to the place the second day. The army was almost entirely living off the country. The officers were ? by giving orders to forage. I heard them. I did not ask for nor get any vouchers or receipts for any of the corn in this claim and I have never received any pay for any part of it. And further this claimant saith not. William Koger John W. Ramsey Special Comm. Depostion of Elijah Bouldin Who in answer to the questions deposes and says my name is Elijah Bouldin. My age 63 years, residence five miles north of Valley Head in t Dekalb Co. Ala. I am a farmer. I am the father-in-law of the claimant William Koger, but have no interest in his claim. I am called by him as a witness. I have known the claimant 18 or 20 years. He married my daughter sometime before the war and from that time we have been on intimate terms. From the beginning of 1862, the claimant lived till he went to the federal army in two miles of me and I saw him every week or at least on average of that often and often conversed with him about the war and its consequences, and results. I don’t recollect the various times we talked, or the particular expressions he used but I know that the whole course of his conversation and acts was in favor of the Union. I was an adherent of the Union cause and the claimant so regarded me, and talked to me with the utmost confidence about it. And of his determination not to fight for the rebels. He was opposed to secession and never to my certain knowledge did or said anything to aid or comfort the Rebel causes. After the conscript law was passed in the spring of 1862 he taught school for a while and when this would not help as man under thirty five years from this military service he lay out and dodged about till he finally went to the Union lines. The first time he attempted to get to the Federal lines, I learned that from others as well as himself. They caught him and carried him to Chattanooga or Lynus(?) from which place he escaped and came back home and lay out around my house for a considerable time longer and perhaps did not reach the Federal army till just before the army of General McCook came into this valley- about the first of September 1863. He came back to my house with that Army. He enlisted in Capt Alfred Long’s Company First Ala Vidette Cavalry, and served about ten months when he was discharged. I had a son in the same Company with him. I know that the claimant was threatened by the rebels for his union sentiments. Rebel details attempted to capture him and put him into their army. I saw them get after him once. They shot at him several times, but did not catch him. His public reputation was well known by all the Union men of this neighborhood of whom I passed for one. I have received my claim from the commissioners. Regarding claimant’s loyalty- James Painter, Allen and Wm Lea, A. J. and Wm Ellis, Alex Painter, W. B. Crow were prominent Union men of the neighborhood. I never heard his loyalty questioned, and further this deponent saith not. John W. Ramsey Elijah Bouldin Sp Comm Deposition of Wm Lea Who answer to the questions deposes and saying my name is Wm Lea, my age 44 years, residence Dekalb Co. Ala about three miles from the claimant. I am not related to him and have no interest in his claim. I am called to prove loyalty. I have been intimately acquainted with the claimant Wm Koger sixteen or seventeen years. I lived three miles from him till we were separated during the war. Until we was separated during the war, I saw him frequently and often talked with him about the war and knew his sympathies and principles and that they was all for the Union. I was an adherent of the Union cause and he knew it. I knew he never intended to fight for the rebellion and after the conscript passed. I had to hide out to evade this service and he was at the same business and was often lay out together both day and night and I had my opportunity to know his sentiments up to September the 1st 1863. About the 1st of Sept 1863 I left this part of the Country and went to Louisville, Kentucky and then enlisted in the Capt Rufus H. Jordan’s Company, First Regiment of Alabama Vidette Cavalry and came back to this part of the country or at least to Brideport, Alabama and then I found the claimant a soldier of Capt Alfred Long’s Company in the same Regiment and we both remained in the Regiment till we was discharged in the summer of 1864. I recollect that after he was mustered out and honorably discharged that he took his family to near Whiteside’s Depot and remained there till the war was over. His reputation was well known in the part of the country as a man loyal to the Federal government. I have never heard his loyalty doubted in this County. And further this deponent saith not, William Lea John W. Ramsey Special Commissioner Elijah Bouldin having been sworn and examined on the subject of loyalty, testifies further as to the claimant’s property. The claimant’s place joined my farm, and his wife was staying at my house when the army of General McCook came into the valley, and camped on and near my farm. I had helped cultivate his (claimant’s) crop in the year 1863, for the claimant had to be out much of the time. But he had got about fifteen acres cultivated in corn the year 1863. The land was fresh and pretty good and would I think average eighteen or twenty bushels per acres. The army or at least a portion of it lay here some ten or twelve days. The fodder was ready for pulling but had not been pulled. None of the corn had been used when the army camped. I came down to the field of claimant while the federal army was present and saw that they had gathered part of it and as soon as the army left I saw that his corn had all been taken while the army staid and although, I did not see them gathering it out of the field. I am certain they took it for their use. Neither citizens nor other persons except the federal soldiers about during the time to take the corn. Elijah Bouldin Deposition of Margaret J. Koger Who in answer to the questions testifies as follows: My name is Margaret J. Koger, my age 33 years. I am the wife of Wm Koger & have such interest as is natural a wife would feel. I was sleeping and eating at my father’s Elijah Bouldin’s about a half from my own house in the fall of 1863 when a part of the federal army under General McCook came into this vally and camped near our place and on father’s land. I was going back and forth almost every day to my own house and tending to our property as best I could when the army came and my husband the claimant came with it. My husband had been forced ……………?, to keep from being forced into the rebel army and I had been obliged to work out on the farm to help, raise the crop. I had never plowed before, but I did a good deal of work. My father and his family helped me some, and I hired a little help, and raised about fifteen acres of good corn. The ground was good and fresh and was well worked and it was well worked. It was a good crop for it was a good season for corn. It was real good replaced corn and I think would have averaged 20 bushels to the acre. I saw the wagons come by father’s from their camp and come towards our field which was the only one near in that direction, and they would soon be back loaded with cut corn for thats the way they took it and they kept coming till it was all gone. My husband had a nice lot of eight hogs. If I remember right they were intended for our bacon that winter that was around our lot between our house and father’s. They were in good order and would I think have weighed 100 pounds each net. They was there when the army came and gone when it left and there were no other persons about at the time to get them. We had both a patch of Irish & sweet potatoes, about a quarter of an acres each that was dug and carried off by the soldiers. They certainly would have made 40 bushels. They took my geese & chickens. And futher she saith not, Margaret J Bouldin John W. Ramsey Sp Comm * In a Southern Claims deposition for Pleasant Dallas Phillips the following statement was made by George W. Malone - ...."There were general threats made against all Union men. One Cayson, a Rebel, made a declaration that he would kill a number of Union men, and the claimant (P.D. Phillips) was one of the number. This man said he had special mission to kill Union citizens. He did kill five or six in this county, Dekalb. He arrested Union citizens and took them to the woods and made them dig their graves and then shot them. This was near Lebanon"..

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