According to an article for Counties of Clay and Owen in the Indiana Historical and Biographical by editor Charles Blanchard dated 1884.
“David J. Marvel – Farmer and plasterer, is the third of the children of Robert and Sarah (Williams)* Marvel, natives of Delaware. David was born near Centerville, Ohio, June 110, 1831, whence his parents came to this state in 1833, and settled in Hendricks county, where he resided until 1867, when he moved to Iowa. and then he returned to Indiana in the spring of 1870 and settled on the farm that he currently lives. He was reared on a farm, and lived with his parents until he was twenty-two. He had little schooling – maybe three months total. He has acquired a practical education by observation and experience. February 16, 1854, he married Amanda Brown and they had ten children. September 1862 he enlisted in Company K, Serventyninth (79th), Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He served one year and was discharged for disability, after having participated in all the battles from Louisville to Cumberland Gap. In his youth he learne(d) the pasters (plasters) trade, at which he works occasionally. In politics, Mr. Marvel is a Republican, and he and wife are members of the Christian Church.”Biographical Sketches: Lewis Township Clay County Indiana.
When David James Marvel died, he had carbuncles located on his left shoulder and between his left shoulder and neck. He was treated by Dr. J.W. Davis. The children and their birthdates was supplied by Mary Chestnut during a deposition for a claim of pension increase for her father David J. Marvel. This was dated July 11, 1899. She stated that there existed a framed record of the births of the family. It was in the possession of Willliam Morton Marvel.
During the deposition, Mary stated “that her father and mother were married either in Boone – Marion Co. or Hendricks Co. Indiana. They lived near the border line of those counties. They were married at Levi Brown’s – father of my mother Amanda Brown. Neither had been married before they married each other. They never divorced and they were never separated until Death.”
(1) Carbuncle [kahr´bung-k’l] A necrotizing infection of skin and subcutaneous tissue composed of a cluster of boilsWebster’s Dictonary
(furuncles), usually due to Staphylococcus aureus, with multiple formed or incipient drainage sinuses. They are
often a symptom of poor health. Like boils, carbuncles are caused by pus-forming bacteria. These organisms are
often present on the skin but are unable to do any damage unless resistance is lowered by such conditions as
irritating friction, cuts, poor health, nutritional deficiency, or diabetes mellitus
David J. Marvel Enlists for the Civil War
David J. Marvel enlisted in the Company K of the 79th Indiana Regiment of Vol. Infantry on August 21, 1862, to serve 3 years.
On April 25, 2011, I went to the National Archive Building in Washington D.C. to do research on our family. I did not know what documents were held at the National Archives. I looked at microfilm of the Delaware Marvels in the Civil War and at the file folder holding the documents surrounding David J. Marvel’s request for a Civil War Pension. The file # 33251 contains David Marvel’s requests for his pension and includes statements of individuals who were in Louisville at the time of his “sunstroke” and other ailments. The file also includes statements from the doctors who attended David in 1862 and those who had examined him over the years since.
I have tried to summarize what I found and try to copy down what several of the papers stated. There were too many papers to copy at this time. Many of them were saying or requesting the same information.
Let’s start with his discharge papers dated August 31st, 1863, signed by R.L. Stumford (?) Surgeon. David Marvel signed up on August 21, 1862, however, did not start until September 2nd, 1862.
According to the Certificate of Disability for Discharge –
David J. Marvel enlisted as a Private in Captain Jordan Company K of the 79th Indiana Regiment of Vol. Inf(antry). He was enlisted by J.W. Jordon of the Same Regiment of …. At Indianapolis Indiana on the 21st day of August 1862 to serve 3 years; he was born in Centerville in the State of Ohio is 29 years of age, 5 feet 11 inches high, dark complexion, grey eyes Dark hair, and by occupation when enlisted a Farmer. During the last two months said soldier has been unfit for duty … days*
Station Louisville, Ky
Date: August 31st 1863 Henry A. Mitchel Major 1st Wis.
According to the Declaration for Invalid Army Pension dated July 30, 1864:
“Army of the United States Certificate of Disability for Discharge”
On this 30th of July A.D. one thousand eight hundred and sixty four personally appeared before me, William Wallace Clerk of the Circuit Court within and for the county and State aforesaid, David J. Marvel aged 32 years, a resident of Royalton in the county of Boone in the State of Indiana who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical David J. Marvel who enlisted in the service of the United States on the 2 nd day of September in the year 1862, as a Private in company K commanded by Captain Joseph Jordon in the 79 Regiment of Indiana Vol. Infantry inDeclaration of Invalid Pension found at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
the war of 1861, and was honorably discharged at Louisville on the 31 day of August in the year 1863: that while in the service aforesaid, and in the line of his duty at a place called Louisville in the State of Kentucky on the 20th day of September 1862, he was disabled as follows, to-wit: He was taken sick with a Bowel complaint at Louisville Ky. he left said place for Glaser Ky with the Regt. w/wn his arrival thus he was immediately stricken down with the Dysentery and sent back to Hospital No. 9 at Louisville Ky where he remained about a month then transferred to the Hospital No. 8 at New Albany, Indiana, where he remained about two months then returned to the Regt at Murfreesboro Tenn where he remained about three months being unable to do any service on account of his Dysentery he was sent to the field hospital where he remained about a month then sent to Nashville, Tenn Hospital No. 7. his Dysentery became Chronic, he remained in said hospital about a month then sent back to No. 7 Hospital Louisville, Ky where he was discharged from the service. Since discharge he has been unable to perform any manual labor, he is almost reduced to a skeleton. his chronic Diarrhea remains unabated, is hardly able to get about.
How Did David James Marvel Become Disabled?
How did David J. Marvel become disabled? Let’s look at some of the documents and statements over the years.
1st – Declaration for Invalid Army Pension – dated July 30th 1864.
“On this 30th of July A.D. one thousand eight hundred and sixty four personally appeared before me, William Wallace Clerk of the Circuit Court within and for the county and State aforesaid, David J. Marvel aged 32 years, a resident of Royalton in the county of Boone in the State of Indiana who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical David J. Marvel who enlisted in the service of the United States on the 2nd day of September in the year 1862, as a Private in company K commanded by Captain Joseph Jordan in the 79 Regiment of Indiana Vo. Infantry in the War of 1861, and was honorably discharged at Louisville on the 31 day of August in the year 1863; that while in the service aforesaid, and in the line of his duty at a place called Louisville in the State of Kentucky on the 20th day of September 1862, he was Disabled as follows, to-wit: (statement of David J. Marvel follows)
…….. in the county of Boone in the State of Indiana his occupation has been since discharged nothing when enrolled he was a Farmer . And for the purpose of prosecuting his claim, he appoints Hamlin Wickershum, of Indianapolis State of Indiana.Declaration of Invalid Army Pension
He was taken sick with a Bowel Complaint at Louisville Ky. – he left said place for Glasgow, Ky. with the Reg(iment) upon his arrival thus he was immediately stricken down with the Dysentery and sent back to Hospital No. 9 Louisville Ky where he remained about a month then transferred to the Hospital No 8 at New Albany Indiana where he remained about two months. Then returned to his Reg(iment) at Murfreesboro Tennessee, where he remained about three months being unable to do any service on account of his Dysentery. He was sent to the field Hospitals where he remained about a month then sent to Nashville Tennessee Hospital No. 7, his Dysentery became chronic, he remained in said Hospital about a month then sent back to No. 7 Hospital Louisville Ky. Where he was discharged from the service. Since his discharged he has been unable to perform any manual labor he is almost reduced to a skeleton. His Chronic Diarrhea remains unabated is hardly able to get around.
…….. in the county of Boone in the State of Indiana. His occupation has been since discharged – nothing. When enrolled he was a Farmer. And for the purpose of prosecuting his claim, he appoints Hamlin Wickershum, of Indianapolis State of Indiana.National Archives, Washington D.C.
What was missing from the document above is a statement concerning “sunstroke” that he claimed as well. In many of the supporting documents and statements by others, the word “sunstroke” appeared. He feels that the “sunstroke” and dysentery were the actual cause for his disabilities. On August 9th, 1864, Joseph W. Jordan completed a “Commissioned Officer’s Certificate of Disability” before William Wallace clerk in Marion County. His statement mirrored that of David Marvel.
David J. Marvel did receive a pension for having Chronic Diarrhea in 1863 for the amount of $4.00 per month. He did receive an increase in May of 1865 to $8.00 per month. The amount stayed the same until March 4, 1866 when it was reduced to $6.00. In the years since 1866, David made request after request for an increase in his pension.
In January of 1876, there was a formal rejection of any increase of his pension amount. On September 5th, 1877 an examining surgeon (James R. Hinkle) stated the following:
“In my option the said Pensioner’s disability, from the cause aforesaid (Chronic Diarrhea), continues at Total.
A more particular description of the Pensioner’s condition is subjoined: Height, 5 -10 ½ weight 140; complexion, Dark; age, 50; respiration 20; pulse 73. Tongue broad, relaxed, papilla large – normal in color except a slight paleness – Abdomen elastic, no tenderness – states that he has from six to ten dejections a day.”
Again June 21st, 1880, he was again denied an increase. David was reexamined April 4th, 1883. According to the Examining Surgeon’s Certificate, David J. Marvel was receiving a “Total ¾ disability” at the time. The certificate states that David J. Marvel is “49 years of age, that he weights 135 pounds, and that he is 5 feet 10 ½ inches in height. His pule-rate per minute is 92, his respiration 20, and his temperature 98.8”
The examining surgeon stated that his examination revealed the following conditions:
“He walks with his body bent using a cane. Complains of soreness and weakness across the loins and in the hips. He appears weak and generally debilitated and is totally disabled for manual labor. But there are no well marked physical signs of chronic diarrhea; tongue is normal Abdomen is full and soft. There is no tympanites nor enlargement of liver and spleen. Complains of tenderness in umbilical region. There are no indications of piles and the mucous membranes of the rectum appears healthy. The hearts actions is a little irregular and it’s sounds are distinct.” The final statement at the end says, “We find the disability as above described to entitle him to a Total ¾ rating.” Signed by two examining surgeons.
On May 25th, 1892, David again gets examined, because he requested an increase in his pension. He tells the board reviewing his disability that he is currently receiving $10.00 per month.
Unfortunately, they did not see that the certificate had his name incorrect. The certificate stated (typed) that his name was Daniel J. Marvel. Again, David states that he is suffering from
“Chronic diarrhea and piles, sunstroke and result, disease of heart, kidneys, and eyes.” According to his statement, his claim is based on “Contracted diarrhea in 1862. Attacks are frequent. Constipated at times. Stomach and bowels bloat and pain. Piles came on soon after diarrhea. They come down and bleed. Had sunstroke in 1862. Was completely prostrated at the time. It has affected my hearing. Heart has troubled me since 1862. It flutters and stops and I become nervous. Have pains in back and over kidneys. Vision is impaired.”National Archives
An examination was completed, and it was found that he had the following conditions:
National Archives, Washington D.C.
” Pulse rate, 100 respiration, 18; temperature 98.5; height 5 feet 7 inches; weight, 127 pounds; age 61 years.
Tongue coated brown. Skin very sallow. Stomach, bowel and spleen tender. Liver enlarged and tender. Chronic diarrhea, eight-eighteenths. Rectum inflamed, not prolapsed. Piles. Area of heart dullness increased….. Heart action quick, irregular and intermits frequently. …. Lumbago, four-eighteenths…. No rating on sunstroke”
They conclude by saying “He is, in our opinion, entitled to a 8/18 rating for the disability caused by chronic diarrhea, 6/18 for that caused piles, 8/18 disease of heart, 4/18 lumbago, and that caused by 4/18 disease of eyes.” They did not recommend an increase in pension at this time.
In November of 1894, David again went for reexamination to increase his pension. He stated that he has not been able to any work for at least two years. He had the same symptoms and complaints. They found upon examination that “his Pulse rate was 100, respiration 22; temperature 98.5; height 5 feet 8.5 inches; weight 124 pounds; age 66 years.” After their examination, they came to the same conclusion as others – David does have chronic diarrhea and softness in the liver and spleen area. Again, their findings indicated no increase.
One of the last pieces of evidence in the War of 1861 Pension Requests was a deposition from Mary Chestnut dated July 11, 1899. It concerned a request for survivor pension benefits for a surveying child under the age of 16. Robert Winford Marvel. Mary states that her father was David J. Marvel, and that he died October 1, 1897. Her mother Amanda Marvel died March 1, 1897. David died from carbuncle on his left shoulder or between left shoulder and neck. Dr. J.W. Davis was the treating physician. Mary goes on and states that Robert was born October 1, 1881, and that she was present at his birth. Dr. George F. Plew from Hymera, Indiana was the delivery doctor.
Mary continues by stating that there is a Bible record of births for all of the children. However, it is “very much mutilated” and in the possession of Victoria Parish her sister. See further states that her brother, William Morton Marvel was in the possession of a framed record of the family birth dates. She would have to go to his home and retrieve it for the examiner to see at a later time. He was not at home because he ”has” gone to Sullivan, to see a Circus fourteen miles away.” The examiner stated in the deposition that the framed Family record was about 2 ft. by 2 ft. 6in. He expressed his opinion that the writing “is at least five years old.” Interestingly, Mary says in the deposition, that her father and mother always differed on her father’s birthdate. The Bible records shows what the date is according to David and the framed Family information according to Amanda. At the time of David J. Marvel’s death, there were eight surviving children. According to Mary the “framed record shows all of their ages”
From the deposition, the examiner states that “the record shows as follows:”
David J. Marvel was born June 10, 1833
Amanda Brown was born July 1, 1837 and was married February 16, 1852 by Thomas Miller minister of the Church of Christ.
Sarah E. Marvel was born November 25, 1855
Mary F. Marvel was born January 23, 1858
Victoria M. Marvel was born May 15, 1860
Joanna M. Marvel was born November 3, 1861
Ada J. Marvel was born July 4, 1865 and died October 1865
Lula J. Marvel was born May 9, 1866 and died November 1, 1866
Sylvester P. Marvel was born November 5, 1870
William Morton Marvel was born July 26, 1876
Nancy E. Marvel was born December 26, 1872
Robert W. Marvel was born October 9, 1881
I am so glad that I was able to view the original documents. I gained a greater awareness of our family and what struggles they have had during their lives.
May 15, 2011
PDF’s of many documents that are stated above concerning Items found a the National Archives located in Washington, D.C.
Copies of David James Marvel’s Invalid Pension files from the National Archives can be found by clicking this link – Pension information for David J. Marvel – Civil War
David James Marvel’s Civil War Experiences
The following is a timeline for David J. Marvel’s Civil War Experience in 1862 at the age of 29. The information was gathered from various “Muster Cards” for David Marvel. (See Below)
Inducted in Indianapolis, Indiana September 2, 1862, – David joined on August 21, 1862, for a 3-year period of service. He received a Bounty premium pay of $27.00.
September 2 to October 31, 1862 – David was ‘Present’ for Muster those days.
November to December 1862 – David was ‘Absent’ from Active Duty. He was sent to the hospital on November 4, 1862, in Bowling Green, Kentucky
January to February 1863 – David was ‘Present’ again and out of the hospital.
March to April 1863 – David was ‘Present’ for all roll calls
April 10, 1863, – A Special Muster was called and he was ‘Present’
May to June 1863 – David was listed as ‘Absent’ – he was sent to the Covalence Camp in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on May 12, 1863.
July and August 1863 – still in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
September and October 1863 – David James Marvel was discharged at Louisville, Kentucky by order of Co. Mondy. The discharge was dated August 31, 1863.
The interesting thing about his discharge was that David appears on the Company’s Muster-Out Roll dated June 1865 in Nashville, Tennessee. His last pay day was June 30, 1863, and he was ‘Discharged’ on August 1, 1864, for Physical Disability.
Below are copies of the Muster Cards for David J. Marvel. They were gathered at the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. several years ago. (They are, however, not in chronological order.)