The Service Record of Francis Marion Rawls

You can safely bet that any man of this era with the initials “F. M.” is named Francis Marion, after the Swamp Fox. On my mother’s side, there was F.M. Webb who served for the Union.

Indeed, all of the pension files that I have shared so far have been for Union soldiers. Now we deviate over to the other side. Lots of those fellows didn’t get a pension. They didn’t qualify for one reason or the other, perhaps the most important spoken or not spoken reason was that they fought against the government that they now hoped would give them a pension. It was worth a try.

Francis Marion Rawls was denied a pension because he owned a farm and had personal property which put him over the limit in worth as being considered indigent.

He was a captured as a prisoner of war two times that are recorded. His last name is spelled four different ways in the file: Rawls, Rawles, Ralls, and Rolls.

On July 13, 1864, at Covington, Georgia, he was issued one pair pants, one pair drawers, and one shirt “because F.M. Rawls is much in need of these articles.” The request was by Edward McDonald, Surgeon in Charge. “Major J.M. Thomson, Quartermaster C. S. Army, will issue the articles specified in the above requisition.” F.M. Rawls signed off at the bottom of the form that he received these items.

He had enlisted in September 1861 at Union City, Tennessee, by Capt. McWherter for the period of the war. (Capt. William McWherter was later klled at Chickamauga.) I suppose they thought they would win the war quickly and head on back home. It didn’t turn out that way for him.

On February 26, 1913, he applied for a Soldier’s Pension with the State of Tennessee. He states that he was a member of Co “H”, 33rd Tennessee Infantry. He was born in Weakley County, Tennessee, on April 5, 1840.

He was in battle at Shiloh, Perryville, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Franklin, and Nashville. He was not wounded in battle, but while on picket duty near Marietta he was shot in the jaw and was unable for duty for about two months. He states that he was “hid with spent ball in battle”. He was captured at Nashville in December 1864 and carried to Camp Chase, Ohio, then was sent to Richmond where he was paroled for 30 days dated March 3, 1865.

He stated that he had 3 grown sons, and 3 grown $daughters. The daughters were still in the home, and he refers to them as “girls”. He and his wife M.J. Rawls own a 98-acre farm, which he values at $1700, and personal property worth $500-600, and earns perhaps $150 per year.

He took the oath of allegiance on May 16, 1865 at Paducah, Kentucky.

Good night, Rawls people. We’re thinking of you.

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