Youngest Serving To Receive Pension? Sadie Bushman, To Gettysburg And Beyond

JPK Huson 1863

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#1
sadie Oakland_Tribune_Fri__Sep_10__1926_.jpg

Sadie Bushman of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, crowned " Most Beautiful Woman In Oakland ", California ( by anyone attending the meeting of her relief organization ), had a story about the battle and quite a few other things.

Sadie Bushman's civilian account of what happened when two armies collided and combusted all over the town where she lived is a little scanty so far. Like so many Gettysburg stories, hers was told as an elderly woman, a 1926 newspaper running a half page story. It's a little tough finding more. Since Annie Wittenmeyer confirms Sadie's account in her book ( who was no one's idea of a tall tale teller, she didn't have to make stuff up ), it's source enough for me.

There may or may not be a few items that fail the source test in the article written of Sadie in 1926. Hang on. It gets awesome.

bushman 1860 census.JPG


That's 1860, Sadie's father a chair maker and son of Henry Bushman and Catherine Anastatia Hoffman. Since her account includes being sent to her grandparents on their farm two miles from town it's unclear which. Hoffman or Bushman and if the latter , there would be Michael and his wife to consider, the residents there at the time. The Bushmans can drive you a little crazy- Lewis Bushman's house is where Strong Vincent died after his wound on LRT. Well Sadie was headed somewhere.

sadie paper pic 1926.JPG

Sadie in 1926, some family member cropped from her photo by the newspaper.

History frequently belongs in the head of whomever is telling the story at the time.
sadie 1.JPG

It sounds a little odd, having lain for two days across a woodbox. I haven't checked into Francis X. yet, he may have been on movie posters across the U.S.. John Henry's occupation is possible although later factoids give you enough pause to go dig up the facts.

sadie 2.JPG

This was probably the case, children sent out of harm's way, or trying to. Unclear where surging crowds came into it though.

sadie 3.JPG

The Michael Bushman farm was ( I think ) the 12th Corp hospital- was this also Henry's home? No idea and don't mean to imply it was Sadie's destination that day.

It does seem clear Sadie saw what she said she did, and also helped nurse wounded. At 10 years old it would have been a lot but children caught in the middle of a war could be astonishing.
sadie 4.JPG

I'm not sure what Sadie's " Appomatox " Relief Corps was- the part about being a former army nurse seems odd? IMO any woman who showed up at battlefields and hospitals to nurse, whether qualified or not, was indeed a Civil War nurse. Sadie was 10 years old, her service claimed on her pension file ( which she received ) says she was an army nurse, too. No judgement here, just confusing. ACW nurses had a heckish if not impossible task receiving pensions- the proof required was so extensive it became clear the object was not to provide pensions. How in heck did she pull this off? No quibbles here though. Anyone receiving anything for aiding wounded has my vote.
bushman sadie pension.JPG

" Nurse Medical Dept US Volunteers ".


The part about Lord and Lady Stanbury? Her mother's name was Hoffman and I can't find her origin. ' Stanbury ' was a Quaker origin family settling early Baltimore ( I know because they show up in our tree ) although it could be a different family. There's not a lot of problem with the Revolutionary War great grandfather- although it would be interesting to see if Michael was a colonel.

Sadie must have been a pip. Her heart ( said Sadie ) was weakened by her experiences as a 10 year old, an apparent but unspecified miracle of medicine saved her, age 73 from the heart failure caused by the shock of her brother's death.

Who knows, our Sadie, who brushed maggots from wounds and who must have seen more gore than Hollywood will ever be able to portray one hot July in 1863 might very well be the great grandaughter of peers, have a wealthy silk merchant brother, a nephew who was a famous movie star, been an army nurse and was indeed the most stunning female Oakland ever had the fortune to claim despite the battle that ruined her heart at age 10 toboot. There are odder stories.

That she was once a terrified child making her way through a town suddenly at war there can be no doubt. Go Sadie and thank you.
 

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John Hartwell

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#2
Wonderful story! But, did she get a pension. The card says she filed an application, but doesn't indicate that a certificate was issued.

Appomattox Post No.50, G.A.R., was in Oakland, her Women's Relief Corps chapter was doubtless its auxiliary.

This 1926 San Francisco Chronicle story (Sept. 13) agrees on everything, but makes no mention of the Gettysburg events.
San_Francisco_Chronicle_1926-09-13_4.png

Francis X. Bushman, here in "Ben Hur",
bushman.jpg
was a major matinee idol in the 1910s and '20s. Still acting up to the time of his death in 1966. "Hollywood's first male sex symbol," he has been called, mainly because he so often appeared in costumes that displayed his ample musculature.
 
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Tom Elmore

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Greg Coco, in his book, A Vast Sea of Misery, notes that Sadie, age 9 when the battle was fought, was at the George Bushman (her grandfather, age 53 at the time of the battle) farm, which was a Twelfth Corps hospital. At the time George was reportedly married to Anna (age 49, his second wife?), and they had three children. (Find-A-Grave indicates that George had married Mary Kepner, who died in 1839 - his first wife?)

One of George's children was Lewis A. Bushman (born July 4, 1833), who with his wife Caroline (Little) and son George Joseph Bushman (born July 1861) lived at a farm due east of Round Top and half a mile east of the Taneytown road. Caroline was pregnant at the time of the battle with second son Strong Vincent Bushman (born September 29, 1863), a given name that tells its own story.

Just where Sadie fits within the above family tree is not clear.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/14718646/george-bushman
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/14718713/lewis-a-bushman
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/33932572/strong-vincent-bushman

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In addition, a Michael Bushman had a residence in town on West High Street, near the intersection with S. Washington Street. He may or may not be identifiable with Rev. Michael Bushman (1812 to 13 July 1893) who served as the preacher at the Marsh Creek German Baptist Church, and who was twice married, although no children are listed from either union.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/15500982/michael-bushman
 
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#6
It appears that she was rejected for a pension. Normally, if the pension was granted, there would be a certificate number in the blank on the index card (reproduced above).

Nurses during the Civil War were civilians and, as such, rarely were entitled to pensions.
 

Mrs. V

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#7
View attachment 307123
Sadie Bushman of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, crowned " Most Beautiful Woman In Oakland ", California ( by anyone attending the meeting of her relief organization ), had a story about the battle and quite a few other things.

Sadie Bushman's civilian account of what happened when two armies collided and combusted all over the town where she lived is a little scanty so far. Like so many Gettysburg stories, hers was told as an elderly woman, a 1926 newspaper running a half page story. It's a little tough finding more. Since Annie Wittenmeyer confirms Sadie's account in her book ( who was no one's idea of a tall tale teller, she didn't have to make stuff up ), it's source enough for me.

There may or may not be a few items that fail the source test in the article written of Sadie in 1926. Hang on. It gets awesome.

View attachment 307117

That's 1860, Sadie's father a chair maker and son of Henry Bushman and Catherine Anastatia Hoffman. Since her account includes being sent to her grandparents on their farm two miles from town it's unclear which. Hoffman or Bushman and if the latter , there would be Michael and his wife to consider, the residents there at the time. The Bushmans can drive you a little crazy- Lewis Bushman's house is where Strong Vincent died after his wound on LRT. Well Sadie was headed somewhere.

View attachment 307125
Sadie in 1926, some family member cropped from her photo by the newspaper.

History frequently belongs in the head of whomever is telling the story at the time.
View attachment 307118
It sounds a little odd, having lain for two days across a woodbox. I haven't checked into Francis X. yet, he may have been on movie posters across the U.S.. John Henry's occupation is possible although later factoids give you enough pause to go dig up the facts.

View attachment 307119
This was probably the case, children sent out of harm's way, or trying to. Unclear where surging crowds came into it though.

View attachment 307120
The Michael Bushman farm was ( I think ) the 12th Corp hospital- was this also Henry's home? No idea and don't mean to imply it was Sadie's destination that day.

It does seem clear Sadie saw what she said she did, and also helped nurse wounded. At 10 years old it would have been a lot but children caught in the middle of a war could be astonishing.
View attachment 307121
I'm not sure what Sadie's " Appomatox " Relief Corps was- the part about being a former army nurse seems odd? IMO any woman who showed up at battlefields and hospitals to nurse, whether qualified or not, was indeed a Civil War nurse. Sadie was 10 years old, her service claimed on her pension file ( which she received ) says she was an army nurse, too. No judgement here, just confusing. ACW nurses had a heckish if not impossible task receiving pensions- the proof required was so extensive it became clear the object was not to provide pensions. How in heck did she pull this off? No quibbles here though. Anyone receiving anything for aiding wounded has my vote.
View attachment 307126
" Nurse Medical Dept US Volunteers ".


The part about Lord and Lady Stanbury? Her mother's name was Hoffman and I can't find her origin. ' Stanbury ' was a Quaker origin family settling early Baltimore ( I know because they show up in our tree ) although it could be a different family. There's not a lot of problem with the Revolutionary War great grandfather- although it would be interesting to see if Michael was a colonel.

Sadie must have been a pip. Her heart ( said Sadie ) was weakened by her experiences as a 10 year old, an apparent but unspecified miracle of medicine saved her, age 73 from the heart failure caused by the shock of her brother's death.

Who knows, our Sadie, who brushed maggots from wounds and who must have seen more gore than Hollywood will ever be able to portray one hot July in 1863 might very well be the great grandaughter of peers, have a wealthy silk merchant brother, a nephew who was a famous movie star, been an army nurse and was indeed the most stunning female Oakland ever had the fortune to claim despite the battle that ruined her heart at age 10 toboot. There are odder stories.

That she was once a terrified child making her way through a town suddenly at war there can be no doubt. Go Sadie and thank you.
Thanks for the article. Very interesting indeed.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#8
Greg Coco, in his book, A Vast Sea of Misery, notes that Sadie, age 9 when the battle was fought, was at the George Bushman (her grandfather, age 53 at the time of the battle) farm, which was a Twelfth Corps hospital. At the time George was reportedly married to Anna (age 49, his second wife?), and they had three children. (Find-A-Grave indicates that George had married Mary Kepner, who died in 1839 - his first wife?)
Ah ha! Please ignore my question in another thread! The Bushman family gives me hives anyway trying to ascertain who was whom and where everyone was connected, thank you!
 

JPK Huson 1863

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It appears that she was rejected for a pension. Normally, if the pension was granted, there would be a certificate number in the blank on the index card (reproduced above).

Nurses during the Civil War were civilians and, as such, rarely were entitled to pensions.
I ' think ' they were what the government liked to oleaginously claim was entitled ( and am sure not arguing the point ), it was made into such a convoluted, arduous and crazy difficult process very few could get through it. Army nurses and relief organization nurses had a crazy awful time, much less civilians who stepped up. Things like requiring doctor's confirmations ( who frequently were deceased or difficult to find ) and other silly ' proof ' slammed the door on them.
 

John Hartwell

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I ' think ' they were what the government liked to oleaginously claim was entitled ( and am sure not arguing the point ), it was made into such a convoluted, arduous and crazy difficult process very few could get through it. Army nurses and relief organization nurses had a crazy awful time, much less civilians who stepped up. Things like requiring doctor's confirmations (who frequently were deceased or difficult to find ) and other silly ' proof ' slammed the door on them.
Well, Congress was getting a lot of grief over pensions in general. A great many people were against almost all military pensions except for actual war-related disability ("you shouldn't expect a reward for doing your duty"). Then they had a great many others (led by the G.A.R., pushing for pensions for everybody who served. So, every extension of pension eligibility was a hard-fought battle. The cost of pensions was a big percentage of the cost of government by the 1890s, and many objected to paying taxes for something they did not personally benefit from (notably southerners, many of whom really resented it, since they were struggling to fund their own Confederate pensions on the state level).

Simple "old age pensions" was an unpopular idea ("families should care for their own!"). Even today many Conservatives don't like Social Security, even though it's an insurance we pay for all our working lives.
 
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The article states that she brushed the worms off the bodies, “that lay in the field neglected” because “they” thought as a child she wound not mind it. I wonder what was considered a task that “they” thought a child could not handle. When I first started reading I thought of Tillie Pierce and how she was running to find safety. The chaos must have been frightening for children. So often we focus on the battles and the men that fought them, we forget the youngest trying to get to safety and how brave they could be. Wonderful thread, JPK.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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The article states that she brushed the worms off the bodies, “that lay in the field neglected” because “they” thought as a child she wound not mind it. I wonder what was considered a task that “they” thought a child could not handle. When I first started reading I thought of Tillie Pierce and how she was running to find safety. The chaos must have been frightening for children. So often we focus on the battles and the men that fought them, we forget the youngest trying to get to safety and how brave they could be. Wonderful thread, JPK.

That was kind, thank you! Yes, gee whiz, if it were 150 years later these kids would all have been signed up for therapy. One account by a child was about how, not long post battle a family member brought a human hand home. A hand. It's what they did with it that seems to me to indicate some state of prolonged shock? The family including all the young children sat at the kitchen table guessing who it may have belonged to. The conversation seems awfully dispassionate, just a hand and whose it may have been. I mean, whoa. We were not that different 150 years ago that this would have been normal. ( can't remember from the top of my head which family- have to dig around this mess called files. Powers? Tillie's? Poof, recall vanished. )
 

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