Alice Overton Usher's Pleas for a Military Pension

Researched by Linda Durr Rudd

Alice Demeyers Overton Usher wrote letters to the United States Pension Board requesting her husband Dave Brown Overton's pension. Dave left the plantation to follow the Union Army during the Civil War. Alice believed Dave was a soldier but there are no records of Dave serving in the Union army.

Dave and Alice had one son, Richmond Overton. Dave never returned home to his family.

Alice was the daughter of Peggie Demyers. Various records place her birth year somewhere between 1830 and 1845. Alice often told her grandchildren that Mississippi was not the place of her birth. Census records show Kentucky and Mississippi as her place of birth. She married Elijah Usher 20 Sep 1866, in Copiah County, MS. They lived in Copiah County, Mississippi, near Hazlehurst. I believe Dave, Alice and her mother Peggie were the slaves of the Hezekiah Brown and Taliaferro families.


Here are a few of her letters asking for a pension.

Received Oct 5 1923 by U. S. Bureau of Pensions

Mr Gardner Dear Sir in regards of my husband Dave Overton or Brown I have witiness(sp) that he did go to the Yankee army so will ask you pleas(sp) send me your pension blank.

So I will close I beg to remain yours.

Alice Usher
Barlow, Miss


Received Oct 23 1923 by U. S. Pension Office

Dear Sir I am unable to tell what regment(sp) my husband enlisted in.

I have not heared(sp) from him sice(sp) he left.

Alice Usher
Barlow, Miss


November 21, 1923
Barlow, Miss

Dear Mr Gardner I received your message ok and answering the same my husband Dave Overton or Brown went to the Yankee army and never return enymore(sp) I dont no(sp) wheater(sp) he got kill I never did heare(sp) from him eny(sp) me I have one son by him I maried(sp) the man by the name of Elijah Usher I have been married about 49 or 50 years as near as I can think I am old and cant rember

My witeness(sp) is Bettie Toliver and Virginier Demyse

From Alice Usher


Feb 18 1924

I am unable to give the company, regiment where enlisted. Can't give commanding officer but I do know that he did go to the Yankee army dont know whether he got killed are not he never has return home. he left me and one child.

I will close

Yours truly
Alice Usher
Barlow, Miss


March 3 1924

Dear Sirs
In reply to your last letter my last marriag(sp) it has not been dissolved by death nor divorce.

Your very truly
Alice Usher
Barlow, Miss


March 30 1924

I am very ill my husband ill to. If I cant draw a pension. Can my son my son was not old enough to remember his father. I was making application for my son. I walk on a stick. I am very ill. Please let me not if my son can draw a pension.

Alice Usher
Barlow, Miss


Oct 16 1927

Dear Gentlemens and inquire of the lost soldier Dave Overton or Brown my early husband which went to the Civil War which entitle me or his son Richmond Overton

Your truly
Alice Usher
Glancy, Miss


April 13 1928


In regard to Dave O. Brown who enlisted in army in 61 he deserted & went to Yankees & he never returned I dont know if he was killed or discharged.

Would you please look over the records & see as I am old & unable to work & am entitled to a pension.

Resp't yours,
Mrs Alice Usher


Dec 3 1931

I am trying to locate an old soldier my husband Dave O Brown I am his wife I am old and blind I never was divoiced(sp) from him the last I heard from him he was in Vicksburg Miss he was in listed in the army in the Civil War

Your truly
Alice Usher
Hazlehurst, Miss


Alice's Census Records

1870 Census - MS - Copiah County - Hazlehurst - Pahe 323
Elizah Usher, 22 - Alice, 26

1880 Census - MS - Copiah - New Salem - Page 153
Elijah Usher, 30, farmer - Alice, wife, 26, keeping house - Richmond Overton, stepson, 23 - Hannah Furnace, 21, farm laborer - Ella Myers, 9 - Celine Clotz, 2 - Ferdinand Clotz, 6 months - Louiser Burks , 7, niece

1900 Census - MS - Copiah - Foster Crk - Page 190
Elijah Usher, 1842, 58 - Alice, wife, 1841, 59
Richmond Overton, 1856, stepson, 43, widowed

1910 Census - MS - Copiah - Ainsworth Pct - Page 226
Lige Usher, 63, Marriage 1, married 40 years - Alice, wife, marriage 2, married 40 years, gave birth to one child/one child living - Gertrude Overton, granddaughter, 16 - Malisa, granddaughter, 14

1920 Census - MS - Copiah - Ward 4, Hazlehurst - Page 69
Alice, 74 - R. E. Flowers, grandson, 14 - John Flowers, grandson, 10 - Annie B. Shephard, granddaughter, 7 - Maggie Linson, granddaughter, 4

Elijah Usher died in 1925
Richmond Overton died in 1928

1930 Census - Not Found

Alice Usher died in 1933


Dave Brown's Federal Military Pension Records
Alice Usher's Death Certificate
Richmond Overton's Death Certificate
Family Search International Genealogical Index

Remembering Their Names

Between the Gate Posts - Linda's Blog