Newton L. Lipsey was 68 years old when he applied to the state of Texas for a pension based on his service to the Confederate States of America. He was deeply grieved to discover that the official records listed him as a deserter. In the letter that follows, he defends his fidelity to the Southern cause and presents a record of remarkable service which began when he was only 18 years of age.
August 13th 1913
Hon. Keizer [Geo. W. Kyser],
Commissioner of Pensions,
I beg to hand you my application for a pension filed by me many months ago and which was returned to me. I also hand you the report from Washington which shows that I was marked "deserter."
I have suffered no little since I learned that this word was placed after my name. Without boasting I want to say that no man ever served a cause more faithfully than did I--for I did my best. The facts are that I entered the service from South Carolina going into the Fifth South Carolina for one year and afterwards were organized into Palmeto Sharp Shooters and I was in Co A. I entered the service in April 1861 and helped take General Anderson out of Fort Sumpter. I remained in the service during all of the war. I was in First and Second battles of Manasas, the seven days fight at Richmond, the seven Pines Fight, Fredericksburg fight, Sharpsburg, Maryland, Chicamauga, I was at the Wilderness and the campaign from there until the end. In fact I was at all times with the army of Viginia, Longstreets Corps and Anderson's Division, Jenkins Brigade, Walkers Regiment. The only way I can account for this detested word to have been connected with my name is that on the retreat from Richmond our forces got divided and we were seperated from the main body. Perhaps there were as many as 1000 who got seperated and we tried to work our way around to Lynchberg and get to the main army. We never surrendered but when General Lee surrendered we were told to go home which we did. I carried my gun and was in the service until the last gun was fired. These are the facts and I beg of you to advise me as to what I can do to wipe out this stain some person has wrongfully placed there. I am growing old and I know no man ever served a cause more faithfully than I did and it is hard to learn that somewhere there was a record such as is shown on the slip of paper here inclosed from Washington. I will appreciate any advise. It is not so much for a pension now but to remove the stain placed against me. With kind regards, I am,
N. L. Lipsey
4121 Pickett St.
Mr. Lipsey made his original claim on August 28, 1911. It was
In 1913, he wrote the letter, above, which was accompanied by several testimonies by community leaders and other veterans.
He was subsequently granted a pension from the State of Texas effective December 1913.
Mr. Lipsey died May 18, 1933, in Greenville.
Can you help us make a connection to this old soldier?
We feel certain that Newton L. Lipsey is part of one of the Southern Lipsey lines that we're tracing:
If you have any information about this line, and especially his father, Charles, we would love to hear from you. You'll find our e-mail address on the opening page of this site. Thank you!
Note (30 September 2001): We are indebted to John J. Armstrong for a great deal of additional information on this line, gleaned from his voluminous Hunt County Newspaper Project. .