12th LOGO


Submitted by T. Vernon Anderson

     Alexander Boils Riggs was born in 1836 in Grave Creek, Marshall Co, VA, the s/o Elias D. & Sarah Riggs. He was married to Lucy E. Davidson on 12 Mar 1857 in Marshall Co, VA/WV. Lucy E. Davidson was born in 1839 in Marshall Co, VA, the d/o G. W. & A. E.

#686 Marshall Co 1860
Riggs, Alexander B 24 VA, Lucy E 22 VA, Simeon W 1 MO or MD

National Archives Pension File
Transcribed by Sheila Smith.

Declaration of Widow's Army Pension
State of Iowa, County of Clinton

On the 17th day of March, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and eighty, personally appeared before W B Leffingwell, Clerk of the District Court within and for the County and State aforsaid, Lucy E. Riggs a resident of Clinton, in the County of Clinton, and State of Iowa, aged 42 years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth, on her oath, make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provisions made by the act of Congress, approved July 14, 1862. That she is the widow of Alexander B Riggs, who enlisted in the service of United States at Moundsville, in the State of W Va on the 6th day of August, 1862, as a Private in the Company A, commanded by Capt Tomlinson, in the 12 Regiment of W Va Vols, in the war of 1861 and who while in the service aforesaid in the line of his duty contracted rheumatism which caused his death at Clinton, in the State of Iowa, on the 6 day of July, A. D. 1879. She further declares that she was married to the said Alexander B Riggs in the County of Marshall, and State of West Virginia, on the 6th day of July, in the 18?? that her name before said marriage was Lucy E. Davidson, that her husband the aforesaid Alexander B Riggs died on the day above mentioned, and that she has remained a widow ever since that period, as will more fully appear by reference to the proof hereto annexed. She further swears that she has the following named children of her deceased husband and herself, under sixteen years of age, who are now living the dates of whose births were given below, to-wit:

Alexander born on the 19 day of October 1863 (dead)
Harry born on the 9 day of April 1866 (dead)
James born on the 4 day of November 1868
George born on the 6 day of April 1871
Lottie born on the 20 day or July 1873
Charles born on the 25 day of December 1877
Carrie born on the ? day of May 1876 (dead)

And that the above named children are the only legitimate children of herself and her said husband, now living who are under sixteen years of age. She further declares that she has not remarried since the death of her said husband, nor has she abandoned the support on any one of the children above named, nor permitted any one of the same to be adopted by any other persons as his, her or their child. And further, that her said husband has left no minor child by a former marriage.

She also declare that she has not, in any manner, been ingaged in. or aided or abetted the rebellion in the United States. She hereby appoints P H Fitzgerald & Co. of Indianapolis State of Indiana, her true and lawful Attorneys, with full power of substitution, to prosecute this claim for pension, and to receive the certificate that may be issued therefor. She requests that her pension be paid at Des Moines, State of Iowa. Her Post Office address is Clinton, County of Clinton, State of Iowa.

Signature of Claimant - Lucy E Riggs
Signature of Witnesses: J. Crittenden
M. Crittenden

Department of the Interior
Pension Office
June 12th, 1880

The claim of Lucy E Riggs widow of Alexander B Riggs No. 263648, for Pension, has been received, and will be examined IN ITS ORDER and the result communicated to you. In any communication you may find it necessary to address to the Office relative to this or any other claim, please indorse on each peice of evidence the full name and service of the soldier, and the number and character(whether invalid, increase,) of the claim.

Very respectfully,

Department of the Interior
Pension Office
June 28, 1880

You are respectfully requested to furnish official evidence of the enrolment, must, service, duty and discharge or death of Alexander B Riggs who was Private in Company A, 12 Regiment of West Va. Vols reported died July 6th, 1879.

If the above name is not found on the rolls of said Company, willyou so state, and reprt as to enrolment, in the case of any nam bearing a similar name, whom you have good reason for believing to be the soldier inquired for.

Please, also, to furnish any evidence on file that may enable this Office to decide whether the soldier's death resuleted from injuries received or disease contracted in the service and line of duty.

Please return this circular with your report

Claim No. 263648
Very respectfully, O P Gdeanke, Acting Commissioner
Adjutant General U S A. Present

State of Iowa County of Clinton ss:

Personally appeared E M McAffee whose Post Office address is Clinton County of Clinton and State of Iowa, who being duly sworn, upon his oath declares as follows: That he is a regular Practicing Physician of 25 years and that Alexander B Riggs, late of Co. A, 12 Regt. West Virginia came under his care and treatment on or about the 24th day of April, 1879 suffering as follows: from general rheumatism affecting his whole system. So that he could hardly walk or use his arms. The rheumatic trouble in his hips and back produced ------------and the result was Hydrocele. He was tapped and he recovered nicely from that, but the rheumatic trouble on chest and shoulder continues going to his heart and producing death and the sole direct and immediate cause of his death was Rheumatism of the Heart.

He died on the 6th day of July 1879.

Affiant has no interest in this matter. E M McAffe MD

Subscribed and sworn to before ne this 25th day of August, 1880, and I certify that the party whose name appears signed to the forgoing affidavit is the person he represents himself to be, a regular Practicing Physician, reputable in his profession, and a good and credible witness, and that I have no Interest in this matter.

Signed W B Le...............

Clerk's Office Marshall County Court
Moundsville, West Va Sep. 11, 1880

I Thomas F....Clerk of the County Court of the County and State aforsaid do hereby certify that the public records of marriage in this office show that Alexander B. Riggs and Lucy E. Davidson were on the 12th day of March 1857, united in Marriage by the Rev. A Stevers a minister of the gospel.

In Witness whereof I have hereunto in my hand and affixed the seal of said County Court at my office in Moundsville this the day and year first above written. Signature

War Department
Adjutant General's Office
Washington D.C, Oct. 16, 1880

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt from your Office of application for Pension No. 260.648, and to return it herewith, with such information as is furnished by the files of this office.

It appears from the Rolls on file in the Office that Alexander B. Riggs was enrolled on the 6th day of Aug., 1862 at Moundsville, in Co. A 12th Regiment of the W. Va. Volunteers, to serve 3 years or during the war, and mustered into service as a Prvt. on the 16th day of Aug., 1862 at Wheeling, Va. in Co. A, 12th Regiment of the W. Va Volunteers, to serve 3 years, or during the war.

General Affidavit for Any Purpose

State of Iowa, County of Clinton SS:

A statement from Eliza Ann Davidson stating she was well acquainted with Alexander and Lucy Riggs and that she was the nurse present at the birth of a son, James Herbert Riggs, on November 4, 1868. She also states that she has examined the family records and the dates of deaths of the following children are listed.

Alexander B. Riggs died December 30, 1863
Harry L. Riggs died December 10, 1866
Carrie Riggs died September 12, 1876.

Signed by Eliza Davidson, Oct. 16, 1883

General Affidavit

A statement from Perry Davidson stating he had been neighbors with Alexander Riggs and they were well aquainted from about July 1865 until May of 1879. During that time he was a constant sufferer from Rhuematism. Also during that time he was at least disabled 1/4 of the time from working due to rhuematism.

Signed Perry Davidson, April 25, 1881

General Affidavit

A statement from Lucy E. Riggs stating that she was unable to furnish medical records for testimony showing Alex's condition from date of discharge because the medical attendant has since died and the whereabouts of the other attendant were unknown.

Signed Lucy E. Riggs, April 26, 1881

General Affidavit

A statement from Clara Yeomans stating that she is a practicing physician and that Lucy E. Riggs came under her care and was delivered a female child, Leota B. Riggs about July 20, 1873. and the said child is living with Lucy.

Signed Clara Yeoman, May 5, 1883

General Affidavit

A statement from Wm. McGriggs stating that Lucy was delivered a male child, Charles B. Riggs on Dec. 5, 1878 and said child is living with Lucy E. Riggs.

Signed Wm. McGriggs June 8, 1883

General Affidavit

A statement form E. M. McAffee M.D., stating the Alexander B. Riggs came under his care on April 29, 1879 and that he died July 6, 1879 from Rheumatism of the heart.

Signed E. M.McAffee, May 8, 1883

Department of the Interior

Pension Office
Washington D. C. June 23, 1883

Sirs: In the Pension claim, No. 263.648, of Lucy E. Riggs, as widow of Alex B. Riggs, Co. A. 12th W.Va, the testimony of commissioned officers of the soldier's company having personal knowledge of the facts is required, showing definitely when, where, and under what circumstances he contracted any disease or received any injury, the nature and symptoms of the same, and the testimony of the surgeon or assistant surgeon of his regiment, showing treatment therefor while in the service.

If the claimant is unable to furnish any part of the testimony above indicated, the reasons why she cannot do so must be shown by her affidavit, when the testimony of other persons having personal knowledge of the facts will be considered.

All witnesses should state their ages, post-offic addresses, and means of knowledge of the facts to which they testify, and it must appear in the jurats whether they are credible, that they knew the contents of their affidavits, and that all erasures and interlineations were made before the oaths were administered.

The return of this circular with all requirements strictly complied with will insure early action.

Signed Wm. McDudley

A statement from F.W. Manning saying that he was not well enough acquainted with Alex B. Riggs and the facts of his illness to be of any benefit to the case.

Signed F.W. Manning July 30, 1883

A statement from F H Dalton saying he did not remember Alexander B. Riggs but that he know a Boyles Riggs, but that he could not help the case.

Signed July 30, 1883

General Affidavit

A statement from John H. Upton and L. H. Barter saying that they were well acquainted with Lucy E. Riggs and that she has not remarried since the death of Alex B. Riggs.

Signed L. H. Barter and John H. Upton - October 16, 1883

General Affidavit

Eva May Upton and Eliza Ann Davidson
A statement saying that Alexander B. Riggs was disabled due to rheumatism.
Signed October 16, 1883

Department of the Interior
Pension Office
Washington D. C. Oct. 27, 1883

Sir Will you be so kind as to inform this Office, by indorsement on the back of this letter, as to the general Reputation for truth and standing in the community of the following: Dr. E m McAfee, Dr. Clara Heomans, Dr. Albert Reynolds, L H Barton, and John H. Upton of Lyons, Iowa, affiants in widows pension claim No. 263.648 of Alex B. Riggs of Co. A, 12 Regt W. Va.

Your early reply will be thankfully received as substantial assistance to this Office in arriving at the truth and justice of this case.

Very respectfully,
Wm. W. Dudley, Commissioner

Department of the Interior
Pension Office
Washington D. C. October 27, 1883

Another request for finding out the reputation of the following witnesses: Perry Davidson, Susan and Elvira A Davidson, D. M. McQuigg

Letter to Commissioner of Pensions

To the commissioner of pensions:

Sir, I cannot send the Surgeons evidence as he died years ago and I do not know the name or whereabouts of officers or comrades. My husband never had a doctor treat him after coming home from war as we were too poor to pay doctor bills and he never had much faith in them. We would get medicine recommened for turhmatism and used home remidies and doctored him ourselves until he got so bad we did know what to do and them he went to doctor McAffee who treated him until he died. Since having some of the papers filled, I have moved to Lyons just north of Clinton as I could not get work there to support myself and children so please address Lyons, Clinton Co., Iowa

Yours, L E Riggs

Sworn and Subscribed to by the above named L E Riggs this 9th day of June 1883.
A L Schuyler, Clerk of District Court of Clinton County Iowa

Commissioner Of Pensions
Washington D. C.

Dear Sirs: Have the kindness to inform us of the present status of the claim No, 263.648 of Lucy E. Riggs widow Alexander B. Riggs late a member of Co. A 12 W Va Vols.

Very Respectfully,
Fitzgerald S. Powell
Indianapolis, Ind. July 17, 1884

Power of Attorney

Know all men by these presents, that I Lucy E Riggs, widow of Alexander B. Riggs have made, constituted and appointed and by these presents do make, constitute and appoint T. W. Tallmadge of Washington D C my true and lawful attorney for me and in my name place and stead, hereby annulling and revlking all former Powers of Attorney whatever in the premises to prosecute my claim No. 263-648 on file in the U S Pension Office for Pesnion under the general laws of the United States, by reason of death of husband from disability contracted in the service as a private in C. A 12 Regiment W Va Vol, War of 1861, giving and granting to my said attorney full power and authority to do and perform all and every act and thing whatsoever requisite and necessary to be done in and about the premises as fully to all intents and purposes as I might or could do if personally present at the doing thereof, with full power of substitution hereby tarigying and donfirming all that my said attorney or his substitute shall lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof, revoking all powers of attorney heretofore executed by me for the reason that I desire so to do.

My P O address is Lyons, Clinton County, Iowa

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 4th day of April, 1885

Signed L E Riggs

Articles of Agreement

Lucy E Riggs agrees to pay here attorney, T W Tallmadge $25.00 only if her pension claim is granted.

Signed April 14, 1885

Department of the Interior
Pension Office
November 9, 1885

Sir: I have the honor to request that you will furnish from the records fot eh war Deparmnent a full report as to the service , disability, and hospital treatment of Alexander B Riggs who it is claimed, enlisted August 6, 1863, and serves as a private in Cl A, 12 Reg't. W Va Inf Vol and was discharged as Wheeling W Va, June 16, 1865.

While serving in Co. A, 12, Reg't W Va Vols, he was disabled by rheumatism and was treated in hospitals of which the anmes, location, and dates of treatment are as follows: Regimental Hospital. Very Respectfully,
John C. Clack, Commissioner

War Department
Adjutant General's Office
Washington, Jan. 27, 1886

Respectfully, returned to the Commissioner of Pensions, Alexander B Riggs, a Private of Co. A, 12, Reg't W Va Vols, Regimental Hospital Records not on file.

The records of this Office furnish no evidence of alleged disability.

T D Tueder, 2nd Lt.

State Of Iowa, Clinton County, Iowa

I William Kreuier Clerk of the Districk Court in and for said County and keeper of the Records thereof, of which the "Marriage Record" is one, do herey by certify that the hereto attached matter, purporting to be a copy of said Record so far as relates to the marriage of D. B. Purinton and Lucy E. Riggs is a true and complete copy and transcript of said Record concerning such marriage, and of the whole thereof.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed the seal of said Court, at my Office in Clinton in said County, this 8th day of August 1888

William Kreuier Clerk
By D R Mankhaur Deputy Clerk
Attached: Date: November 27, 1886

Department ot the Interior
Bureau of Pensions
Washington D C Jan. 9, 1889

Gentlemen: Referring to the above described claim for pension of Lucy E. Purrinton, you are informed that testimony is required showing orgin and existence of rheumatism in the service. Testimony of soldiers employers, fellow workmen, or neighbors is required., showing existance of same from discharge to death. Testimony is also required showing whether the soldier left any other minors.

Very respectfully,
John C. Black, Commissioner

General Affidavit

A statement from Ella Laurderbaugh and Eva Upton saying they knew Alexander B. Riggs and that he suffered from rheumatism and was totally disabled.

Signed Ella Laurderbaugh and Eva Upton
October 19, 1889

General Affidavit

A statement from Thomas S. Magruder saying he knew Alexander Riggs. He knew Alex to be a stout hearty man when he went into service and when he saw him after the war he was "very much broken in health"

Signed Thomas S Magruder
November 21, 1889

General Affidavit

Ella Lauderbaugh and Eva M Upton

A statement saying they knew that Charles B. Riggs was a child of Alexander B. Riggs and that he was born on the 5th day fo December 1877.

Signed April 12, 1890

General Affidavit

A statement by J W. Buler answering question put to him by J F Allison, a special examiner of the pension office. Mr Buler says that Alex was in poor health and complained a good deal.

Signed J W Buler
March 25, 1892

General Deposition

Question and answers to Ella Lauderbaugh about the health of Alexander B Riggs. He was sick the whole time she knew him, from 1865 when he come to Clinton from the Army, until he died. He didn't work much. He had another problem which he was operated on for and that problem was fixed. He suffered most all the time.

Signed Ella Lauderbaugh
November 25, 1892

General Deposition

Questions and answers to Eva M. Upton, daughter, about her fathers health. He was not very well and when he found work, it was light work do to his rheumatism. She descibed his last day and night. He died at 7"00 in the morning of July 6, 1879.

Signed Eva M. Upton
November 25, 1892.

General Deposition

James Gilmore, T. W. Manning, James A. Watson, Joseph Wyrick, John W. McKnight,George Edwards,Geo A Jones, all stating the condition of Alexander B Riggs. - These were dated from March 25, 1892 until March 15, 1893.

Department of the Interior
Bureau of Pensions
Washington, D. C.
Minors No. 380.354
Widow No. 263.648
Cadillac, Mich. Oct. 30, 1893

Sir: Herewith, are returned the papers in the above entitled claim, It seems that the list of comrades have been exhausted as well as other sources. As Thomas S. McGruder has testified so positively, as to origin, I would suggest that a further effort be made, as pointed out by Special Examiner Gelwick, to obtain his testimony.

Comrade Simms, although willing, was not able to give any definite testimony.

This appears to be one of that class of claims which will have to be rejected on the ground that the evidence fails to show the facts as to the orgin. While this man may have had Rheumatism in the service, yet I fail to find any evidence except McGruder's to that effect; and it's very probable an examination of him will weaken his statement.

As I am unable to discover the names of other witnesses whose testimony would appear to help solve the question at issue, I submit the claim with the above recommendation.

Very respectfully,
W Harmsberger, Special Examiner


Statments by the following people trying to persuade the examiner of Alexander B. Riggs bad health after the war.

Thomas S. Magruder, Feb. 13, 1894; Dr E. M. McAffee, March 19, 1894; James Marshall, March 20, 1894; Mrs. Mitchell, March 20, 1894; Mrs. Mary Crittenden, March 20, 1894; Mr. J. Crittenden, March 20, 1894.

April 27, 1894 Sir: I have the honor to return herewith the papers in pension claim No. 380.354, Lucy E. Purinton, widow of Alex B. Riggs, late a private Co. A. 12, W Va Vols.

It is my opinion, based on the evidence which appears to the very best obtainable, that the claim is without merit and should be rejected and so recommended. Origin in the --------of rheumatism and disease of heart not shown.

Very respectfully, W. E. Ives, Special Examiner

Office of P.H. Fitzgerald, Attorney
Indianapolis, Ind 9-27-1894
Hon. John M. Reynolds, Asst. Sec. Interior, Washington DC

Sir: I have the honor to appeal from the decision of the Hon. Commissioner of Pensions in the rejection of the claim for Widow's Pension under the General Law, # 263.648, of Lucy E. Riggs, now Purinton, as the late widow of Alexander B. Riggs, late a member of Co. A, 12 Regt. W Va Inf. and also the Minor's Claim, # 380.354, on the ground that the cause of the late soldier's death, heart disease, was not shown to be due to his military service.

In this claim I have shown by the testimony of Lt. McGruder and others that said soldier during his army service incurred rheumatism and chronice diarrhea and it has also been shown by the testimony of friends, neighbors and acquaintances that the soldier was a sufferer in a more or less severe degree with rhuematism, which finally resulted in and caused disease of heart, the latter of which is an accepted result of long-standing rheumatism.

In this case I have every reason to believe that under a liberal construction of the General Pension Laws the applicant has shown that the cause of the soldier's death was directly due to his military service and to regect her claim on the grounds as stated, is doing her a great injustice and for the prupose of securing a re-opening and a further and more careful consideration of this claim, I file this appeal, restectfully asking you to cause a careful review of the papers in the case to be made in order to secure to this applicant his just rights.

Awaiting your decision, I am
Very respectfully,
P H Fitzgerald

Department of the Interior
Washington D C
October 30, 1894

After a special examination no evidence has been produced showing existence of rheumatism (death cause) in the service, nor at discharge, save the testimony of claimant and her daughter. It appears from the evidence taken on special examination that soldier was sound and healthy at discharge and for more than a year thereafter.

The Commissioner of Pensions,

Sir: Appellant filed a claim for pension as the widow of the above named soldier, April 21, 1880 which was rejected May 15, 1894 on the ground that the best obtainable evidence aided by a special examination fails to show that soldier's death from disease of heart was due to his military service. From this action an appeal is taken

Soldier was discharged June 16, 1865, and died July 6, 1879, of rheumatism of the heart result of rheumatism, according to the testimony of his attending physician.

Aside from claimant but one witness, a Lt. of soldiers company, testified in an affidavit that soldier complained of or suffered from rheumatism in the service, and this witness, on special examination, repudiates that part of his affidavit referring to said disease and says it could not have been read to him, and that he knew nothing to the contrary but what soldier was sound when he left the service.

Soldier lived in W Va for over one year after his discharge and those intimately acquainted with him testify that he was sound and healthy when he left there for the west. The testimony does not show existence of rheumatism at any time prior to 1871.Prior to enlistment he was a clerk, but after he went to Iowa he worked in a saw mill, firing on a railroad, and lastly as a railroad engineer.

The case was thoroughly specfically examined, and a great number of soldier's comrades were interviewed, but no evidence of existence of complaint or rheumatism or heart disease in the service nor at discharge was obtained. There is absolutely no evidence connecting soldier's fatal malady with his military service, and the rejection of his claim was proper, and is affirmed.

Very respectfully,
J M Reynolds, Assistant Secretary


Another letter from Lucy E. Riggs Purinton, dated August 20, 1908 asking for review of the pension file.
August 26, 1908; another letter reaffirming the rejection.
February 11, 1910 - A letter to Hon. M. D. Foster, House of Representatives, again reaffirming the rejection of the claims.