H.T. Linginfelter and wife, Lydia Margaret Hodge
Letter from pension file in the National Archivves:
State of Tenn Count of Blount
In the matter of Original Invalid Pension Claim Certf. No. 738004 of Henry T. Linginfelter of Co I 3rd Tenn Vol. Cav.
Personally came before me a Notary Public in for said County and State, Henry T. Linginfelter, aged 68 years whose Post Office address is South Rockford County of Blount State of Tenn, well known to me to be reputible and entitled to credit, and who being duly sworn declares in relation to the aforesaid case follows:
I cannot furnish the evidence comissioned officer, Surgeon, Assistant Surgeon, nor Hospittle Steward for the following reason, I was a Prisoner of War on my way from the Rebel prison Cahaba, Alabama to Camp Chase Ohio to be exchanged as I thought, when I received the injuries that I claim. I was put upon the Steamer Sultana at Vicksburg, Mississipi on the way six or eight miles above Memphis, Tenn on the 27th of April 1865. The said Steamer "Sultana" was blown up by an explosion of the Boiler. I was blown from the boat by the explosion and was in water several hours holding to somthing like a piece of a Cracker Box. I faintly remember of being taken from the water. I do not know who it was that took me from the water. When I came to conscious again- I found myself in a private house in the City of Memphis badly crippled in my hips and back with a roaring in my head which resulted in total deafness in one ear and partial deafness in the other. I was taken to the hospittle, stayed in hospittle two or three days, received no medical treatment while in hospittle except I was bathed with linament several times. A Michigan man by the name of Johnson came to the hospittle and told me that there was a boat going to leave shortlly with the Survivors of the wrecked "Sultana" and by his aiding me, I got to the boat and went to Cairo, Illinois then by railroad to Camp Chase, Ohio. Instead of exchange as I thought, By reason of General Order No. 77 War Department AGO, 1865, I was sent to Nashville Tenn and discharged and sent home. Commissioned officers, Surgeon, hospittle Steward were not with me when I received the above mentioned injuries. They were not with me afterwards from the fact that I was discharged and sent home. My first Seargent Tillman Howard was lost in the explosion of said boat. After I came home, I had no regular Physician such as I was willing to trust to take me through a regular course of medical treatment but I did at diferent times and from different Physicians get prescriptions. Doctor James Cown of Blount Co, Tenn whose post office address is Maryville Tenn is now dead, also from Doctor John Blanekenship post off address Maryville Blount Co Tenn. As I paid for the prescriptions when I got them he made no record of it and cannot recollect any thing definitley about it. I also called Doctor Bruce Mitchel post office address Louden, Louden Co Tenn. He told me he could not cure me and gave me not treatment whatever. Doctor Mitchell is now dead. I used several kinds of linament such as was recommended for Rheumtism none of which gave me only temporary refief.
I have the evidence of two comrades which I suppose is on file in the Pension office at Washington.
I had an ambition to live independent. I felt that is was not right to ask the government for help while I could live wihtout which I did not do. Waiting so long before I filed claim for pension make it very hard to get up the evidence asked for.
I have no recollection of passing one day without suffering more or less pain since I was blown up with the explosion of that boat and especially when trying to work. I have been often so that I could not put on or pull off my clothes myself and sometimes I could not get out of my bed without help, the result of the injuries I received while in the service of the United States.
Henry T. Linginfelter
Subscribed & sworn to before me this April 5th 1899