Mary filed for a Civil War pension as a helpless child. The following is from her pension file.
On this 23rd day of May, 1930, at Burnsville County of Tishomingo, State of Mississippi before me, Chester D. Bennett ,
a field representative of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Mary Blakeney , who, being by me first duly sworn
to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to her during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension,
deposes and says:
I am about 75 years of age, I reckon, I am not sure and cannot say exactly. P. 0. address Route 1, Burnsville, Miss. I
do not have any occupation, as I am unable to work. My health is not very good. I am always hurting, my back and side.
I remember that I was always told that I was born August 12, but do not know what year. I have lived in and around
Burnsville all my life with the exception of 2 years I lived in Hickory Plain, Arkansas, in 1920 and 1921. I never
attended school on account of my eyes. I would look at the letters and they would all jumble together,I could not tell
one from the other. I can not get around very well. My hands are all right but my feet are not, My feet have been in
this condition for 7 or 8 years. My eyes al- ways have such a fever in them that my lashes scald and come out. They
have been this way ever since I can remember. I can remember back to the time when I was 8 years old. I cannot read or
write due to the fact that I could not attend school on account of my eyes. I can see out of my right eye better than I
can out of my left. I have never been able to see anything out of my left eye. ( At this point claimant was requested
to cover right eye, which she did. She unable to count my fingers or even tell what object I was holding before
her.CDB) I can see a little better out of my right eye. ( at this point claimant was tested as to vision of right eye.
(She was unable to count my fingers at a distance of 4 feet. She called, the number but called it wrong. She said. my
fountain pen looked black but she did not know what it was at the same distance.CDB) I have never had a full set of eye
lashes since I can remember and the few that I do have grow in or drop out. The ones that grow in I have to pull out,
the result being that I do not have any at all.
Q. Why did you wait so long before filing your claim for your pension?
A. I tried to get a pension right after I got my first pension of $111.00. Mr. Formby, J.P. tried to help me. He did
not live very long after he wrote the first letter. I tried to get others to help me and when I would ask them about
it, they would say, "Well I wrote a letter but I have not heard anything". This was true of every one I asked to help
me. Mr. E. D. Blakeney helped me this time. He is a cousin of mine. He came here to see me and said. "You are entitled
to a pension, why don't you apply for it?"
Q. Do you remember your condition at 16 years of age?
A. Yes, My eyes were in bad condition then but of course they are worse now. I was living with my grandmother then and
was not able to make a living for myself. I have never worked for wages. I have never made any money by my labor.
Q. Who has taken care of you for the last 58 years?
A. My relatives, my grandmother first, Winnie Blakeney; then with my uncle, W.B. George the rest of the time, with the
exception of the 2 years spent in Arkansas,I lived there with my cousin
Onnie D. George.
Q. Do you know what brought on this condition of the eyes?
A. I do not know but was told by my grandmother that I had sore eyes when I was about a year old and never recovered.
My grandmother also told me that I lived in Illinois when I was an infant.
I have heard read this my deposition. It is correct.
Mary Blakeney (her mark)
Witnesses Sadie George Chester D, Bennett
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 23rd day of May 1930, and I certify that contents were fully made known to
deponent before signing.
Chester D. Bennett Field Representative1
- Benjamin Blakeney Pension File