David James Marvel was born June 10, 1833 in Centerville, Ohio. His parents were Robert Marvel and Sarah Wilkins. David James Marvel died October 1st,1897 in Lewis Township, Clay County, Indiana. It seems that David’s birth year has been written on various forms of information as being 1831 to 1834. From U.S. Census reports and the information on David’s Civil War records – 1833 is consistent.
David and his family moved to Trader’s Point, Indiana around 1835 after his father worked on the National Road from Zanesville, Ohio to Indianapolis. Trader’s Point is located in Marion County, Indiana and is southwest of Indianapolis, Indiana. In fact, Robert Marvel’s land was located on the boarder of Marion and Hendricks Counties.
Around 1950, David moved to Brown Township, Hendricks County where he met Amanda Brown. They married on February 16, 1854. David was listed on the 1850 US Census with an occupation of a plasterer. This was the same occupation that his father practiced at one time.
Amanda and David James Marvel (found in the Royer Family History)
David and Amanda had a total of ten (10) children. They were:
Sarah E. (1855) – Mary Frances (1858) – Victoria May (1860) – Joanna McKeen (1861) – Ada J (1865) -Lula J (1866) – Sylvester P. (1870) – Nancy Eldora (1872) – William Morton (1876) – Robert Winford (1881)
On August 21, 1862, David volunteered to join in the Civil War. He was a member of the 79th Regiment of the Indiana Infantry – Company K as private.
From the History – Indiana Infantry (Part 6)
Organized at Indianapolis, Ind., August 20 to September 2, 1862. Mustered in September 2, 1862, and moved to Louisville, Ky. Attached to 11th Brigade, 5th Division, Army of the Ohio, September, 1862. 11th Brigade, 5th Division, 2nd Corps, Army of the Ohio, to November 1862. …
Service. — Pursuit of Hood to Loudon, Ky., October 1, 1862. Battle of Perryville, Ky., October 8 (reserve). March to Nashville, Tenn., October 22-November 7, and duty there until December 26 …….History – Indiana Infantry (Part 6) (civilwararchive.com)
He traveled to Louisville, Tennessee for training. One day during outdoors training, David was struck with a Heat Stroke. He was in and out of hospitals for the next year. Finally in 1863, He was discharged from the Army.
To see the file that I found at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. click here.
This file included doctor reports along with documents that were submitted annually supporting retaining his medical pension.
While living in Brown Township, Hendricks County, Indiana, David did farming and continued working as a plasterer.
According to the BIOGRPHICAL SKETCHES for Lewis Township, Clay County, Indiana the sketch for David James Marvel is found on pages 541 & 542
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 10, 1831, whence his parents came to this state in 1833, and settled in Hendricks County, where our subject reside until 1867, when he removed to Iowa, thence returned Indiana, and in the spring of 1870 settled on the farm on which he now lives. He was reared on a farm, and lived with his parents until he was twenty-two years of age, with but little schooling –perhaps three months in all — yet he has acquired a practical education by observation and experience. February 16, 1954, he married Amanda Brown, a union favored with ten children – Sarah, Mary F., Victoria May, Joanna M., Ada (deceased), Louie J. (deceased), Sylvester P., Dora May, William Morton and Robert Winfred. September, 1862, he enlisted in Company K, Seventy-ninth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry: served one year and was discharged for disability, after having participated in all the battles from Louisville to Cumberland Gap. In his youth he learned the plasterer’s trade, at which he works occasionally still. In politics, Mr. Marvel is a Republican and he and wife are members of the Christian Church.As you can see from the above biographical sketch there is some misinformation. These sketches were written by those being talked about.
The following information was found on various depositions taken over several years on David James Marvel’s claim of an Invalid’s Pension. 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
B: 10 Jun 1833 Centerville, Gallia, Ohio
D: 01 Oct. 1897 Lewis, Clay, Indiana
David James Marvel died of Carbuncle (1) on his left shoulder. Also 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 the claim of pension
increase for her father David J. Marvel. This is dated July 11, 1899. She stated that there existed a framed
record of the births of the family. It was in the possession of William 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 by Levi Brown—
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.”
David J. Marvel enlisted in the Company K of the 79th Indiana Regiment of Vol. Infantry on August 21, 1862 to
serve 3 years. According to the Certificate of Disability for Discharge – “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.” Dated August 31st, 1863. Signed by Henry A. Mitchel at Louisville, KY.
According to the Declaration for Invalid Army Pension dated July 30, 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 Jordon in the 79th
Regiment of Indiana Vol. 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:
“He was taken sick with a bowel complaint at Louisville KY. He left said place for Glaser, KY with the Regt. when
on 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, Ind.
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 (his) 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.”
(1) Carbuncle [kahr´bung-k’l] A necrotizing infection of skin and subcutaneous tissue composed of a cluster of boils
(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
The Following is what I found while going through the Pension file for David James Marvel located in the National Archives – Washington, D.C. Also includes transcripts of the Pension documents as the best that I could decipher.
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 will try 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
“Army of the United States Certificate of Disability for Discharge”
David J. Marvel Private of Captain Jordan Company K of the 79th Indiana Regiment of Vol. Inf(antry) 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.
I certify, that I have carefully examined the said David J. Marvel of Captain Jordan’s Company, and find him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of + … his having Chronic Diaryara with great (illegible) ..unfit for ……
Signed R.L Stumford Surgeon
Discharged, this 31st day of August 1863 at Louisville, Ky
Signed M Mundy Commander Louisville Ky
The soldier desires to be addressed at Royalton in Hendricks County State Indiana.
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)
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.
What is missing from this document 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 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. They stated (typed) that his name was Daniel J. Marvel. Again, he 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.”
An examination was completed and it was found that he had the following conditions” 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 indicate 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
David and Amanda were married “either in Boone township – Marion Co. or Hendricks Co. They lived near the border line of those counties”. They were married at the home of Amanda’s father – Levi Brown. Amanda and David had not separated, except for the war, until their deaths.
I am glad that I was able to view the original documents. I gained are greater awareness of our family and what struggles they have had during their lives.
May 15, 2011
The following timeline is from “The History of the Seventy-Ninth Indiana Regiment – Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War of Eighteen Sixty-One” published The by Hollenbeck Press in Indianapolis, Indiana. 1899.
27th Fred Knefler appointed colonel of regiment. Six companies left Indianapolis at 2AM.
28th Arrived at Jeffersonville at 12m, Lieutenant-Colonel S.P. Oyler in command. Crossed river to Louisville, Ky. Camped near L. & N. R.R depot.
29th In camp at Louisville, Ky. Drilling, etc.
30th Part of the regiment at Louisville at 2 AM. Was ordered to be ready to march. Marched at 5 A.M. a short distance and was ordered back to camp.
1st In camp near Louisville. Drilling and routine duties.
2nd Colonel Knefler at Indianapolis mustered into service of United States. Part of regiment in camp. Drilling, etc.
3rd Marched at 7 A.M. without striking camp. Marched to camp three miles from fair grounds..
4th Marched toward Shelbyville about twelve miles. Camped on the side of a hill. Regiment assigned to provisional brigade, General Sill commanding.
5th At 4 A.M. received orders to march to cover troops retreating from Richmond. The regiment fell in the rear of passing troops and covered the retreat.
6th – 7th – 8th In camp. Routine Duties
9th Formed in line. Tents struck. Wagons loaded. Marched at 6 A.M. to Louisville. Lay in the streets in the hottest time of day. Many of the boys became overheated and were prostrated. Orders were received to return to the old camp, arriving there at about 4 P.M. Put up tents again.
10th – through the 14th. In camp. Routine Duties
15th – Awakened early to be ready to move. Marched at 6 A.M. to Louisville. Seventy-ninth in front. Lay in Broadway two or three hours in scorching sun. Many prostrated from
heat. Several sent to hospital in ambulances. Marched southeast of city about two miles and pitched camp in a delightful, shady place.
September 23rd Ordered to march. Struck tents. Left camp about 6 A.M. Marched to Louisville. Great excitement. Women and children leaving city by hundreds, by order of General Nelson. Bragg is expected to attack the city. Regiment marched south of the city about one mile, where trenches had been dug, and manned the trenches.
By this time David J. Marvel had been taken to the hospital in Louisville and Indiana.
The following information is from Wikipedia: 79th Regiment Indiana Infantry
The 79th Indiana Infantry was organized at Indianapolis, Indiana from August 20 through September 2, 1862 and mustered in for a three year enlistment on September 2, 1862 under the command of Colonel Frederick Knefler.
Moved to Louisville, Ky. Pursuit of Bragg to London, Ky., October 1–22, 1862. Battle of Perryville, Ky., October 8 (reserve). March to Nashville, Tenn., October 22-November 7, and duty there until December 26. Advance on Murfreesboro, Tenn., December 26–30. Battle of Stones River December 30–31, 1862 and January 1–3, 1863. Duty at Murfreesboro until June. Tullahoma Campaign June 23-July 7. Occupation of middle Tennessee until August 16. Passage of the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River and Chickamauga Campaign August 16-September 22. Battle of Chickamauga September 19–20. Siege of Chattanooga, September 24-November 23. Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign November 23–27. Orchard Knob November 23–24. Missionary Ridge November 25. Pursuit to Graysville November 26–27. March to relief of Knoxville, Tenn., November 28-December 8. Operations in eastern Tennessee December 1863 to April 1864.