Thank you-- I welcome all thoughts, ideas, comments..
I went on Ancestry and ran the gammet and found the pension info which lists Lydia A. Williams as the widow--- when in fact, Wm J Williams outlived his wife Lydia--so my guess is that the pension card must be for another William Williams with a wife named Lydia who died after him. In addition, the pension card said that William Williams was considered an Invalid in what looked to be 189_ (hard to read) and I had not heard thru the family nor did it give any indication on his lengthy obituary that he had been incapacitated.. but then one never knows.
That pension card stated William Williams (whose wife was Lydia) was with 4th Ohio Cavalry--Company K---however when I looked at the actual roster, the Wm Williams in the 4th Ohio Cav--Co. K was not born in 1819...
Therein lies the problem-- or at least my personal problem with Ancestry-- I can put info into the search but it will give thousands of "hints" that don't even come close and I have to wade through page after page seeing names that don't even come close to William Williams... what is up with that???. My other option is to "exact" everything and then I get nothing.. it's a frustrating situation.
I keep plugging away--have sent to NARA for two military files--I guess if I hit "paydirt" is was worth it--otherwise I've dumped $50 .. another sad situation..
Utilizing the search engine on Ancestry and only using William Williams and date of death--and Lydia A (his wife), I was able to find a William Williams who was listed in 1892 as having become an invalid... and Lydia A Williams filing as his widow--- Sadly although this sounds like a perfect "shoe in", as a Private in the 4th Ohio Cavalry, in Company K---it is not. I found the roster for Company K and William Williams was age 22 in 1864---which does not coincide with 1819 as date of birth--and although the name Lydia A Williams was my great great great grandmother, this one listed was a widow ----and my Lydia died prior to William... so this is the stuff I'm faced with...
I really thought I had it --- until I realized that my Lydia died in 1902 and Wm J died in 1909...
Currently I don't have an active account with www.footnote.com but if someone did they could see a full sized image of the pension record card for an individual soldier. I think ancestry.com has images of the cards too. Those cards usually have the date of the veterans death on them. Since your William J. Williams died on October 15, 1909 (I saw the info on his on Find A Grave using the info you had provided, birth 1819, died in Radnor, Delaware Co., Ohio) there would be an excellent chance that a deceased Civil War veteran from Ohio named William Williams whose date of death was October 15, 1909, as shown on his pension card, would be your relative.
A diligent search could help narrow the field. Several years ago, with the help of a cousin in Ohio , we were trying to find which Union veteran named John Adams of Ohio was our relative. There were quite a few who we weeded out in our search and finally we found him based on his date of birth and death which we knew, and it turned out to be Private John Adams, Company D, 23rd Ohio, who had two brothers, Orin and Henry, in other regiments and to whom I'm related since they were all nephews of one of my great great grandmothers, Anna Christina Zimmer Froeliech.
15 years ago I had no idea that I had any relatives in the Civil War even though I was a long time student of that history. With the help of the sources available on the Internet we have found five great great or great great great uncles and several first cousins that fought for the Union from Ohio and Indiana . We even found distant cousins who were veterans from other states. It just takes time and a willingness to search. I also spent a number of very long days looking at records in the National Archives.
Richard: I find this all fascinating to say the least--
Since you are so knowledgeable-- I was able to find where my great great grandfather William J. Williams and his brother Morris Williams (from Radnor, Delaware County, Ohio)--or possibly Troy Twp -- where they had signed up for the draft --- I know that Morris did serve -- and had pension, etc; however it is William J. Williams that I am in a quandry over. His grave has a GAR star on it.. and I always leave flowers on his grave in Radnor Cemetery for him, but I can find nowhere where he might have served and have also found no record of a pension for him or his wife Lydia Ann Williams... I have checked grave info for vets and cannot find anything on him. Wm J. Williams was born in 1819 in Wales and nothing in his obituary states he served either.. So If you can suggest some other way of determining why he would have a GAR star on his grave, I'd
appreciate your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.
You might be thinking about the 128th Illinois Infantry, a regiment raised in November 1862 and disbanded by orders from General Grant in April 1863. That unit had massive desertions over a five month period because of opposition to Lincoln 's Emancipation Proclamation. While the 128th lost 1 officer and 34 men to disease during its short existence it suffered 700 desertions. The Colonel, Robert Hundley, and a number of other staff officers were dismissed from service. What was left of the regiment was transferred over to the 9th Illinois . Very few, only about half a dozen, of the field and staff from the 128th Illinois received pensions after the war, presumedly because they were not any of those dismissed.
Its hard for us to realize today that many northerners from Lincoln's home state despised the idea of ending slavery, even though it helped end the war and was the right thing to do.
A distant relative in my wife's maternal great great great grandmother's family, Nannie E. Smith, wrote a letter to a Mrs. R.J. Sharpe of Kentucky from Nannie's home in New Salem, Indiana, on February 7, 1863, in which she blasted the Lincoln administration and abolitionists, blaming them for the war and the draft which at that point had not as yet claimed any of her brothers. She said she hoped that none of them would have to "go fight to free the durn Negroes." Nannie Smith was a very distant relative of my wife's great great great maternal grandmother Martha Jane Ewalt, whose husband served in the Confederate cavalry in Missouri were they owned at least one or two slaves. The Ewalt's had a cousin in the Union Army's 25th Ohio who was a Abolitionist. It was one of the families split by the war.
In relation to my previous post, that of Capt. Putnam and his resignation from the Army in protest of this act, I was wondering something. Did this warrant a Dishonorable Discharge and in consequence not eligible for Pension? Seems to me I read that somewhere.