Early in my research, my husband sent off for Joshua’s War of 1812 file from the National Archives as a surprise for me (it was on my “to-do” list and he knew it). It was so fun to receive the thick manila envelope with the National Archives stamp for the return address. I was excited to read through each faded page and learn a little more about my third great grandfather. I knew it was definitely MY ancestor when the cover letter indicated that “The date and place of soldier’s birth and names of his parents are not shown.” Of course they weren’t. So often the details typically recorded in various documents are missing from my ancestor’s documents and so I’ve almost come to expect it.
Included in Joshua’s file is the following paper filed by his attorney. Although apparently not humorous to J.W.D. Miller at the time, it does make me smile. This paper underscores the fact that fraudulent land claims were rampant during that period of time.
Feb 4, 1874
Please say if he is entitled to the other 80 acres—I have no heart to buy blanks, fill, buy postage and find that every one in 30 cases perhaps has either drawn it, or some lying, thieving forger has. J.W.D. Miller
Joshua filed for and received his pension when he was 82 and living in Upshur County, Texas. I was thrilled to see his own signature on some of the documents, which is a bit unusual for one of my ancestors. I loved seeing Joshua’s signature and handling documents, albeit copies, knowing that he once held the originals in his hands.
|Rock House Cemetery
Hamilton County, Texas
Used by permission
Findagrave entry here
Joshua died the 15th of August 1878 and Abner, his son, applied for reimbursement of his father’s burial expenses on 20th January 1879 According to the file, the expenses for his burial were as follows:
Clothes in which dec’d was buried 3.45
For a total of 35.05
Papers filed following his death indicated that “decedent was not affected with any particular malady but died of extreme old age & debility.” On another document it indicated that “dec’d had no particular affliction, but died from general exhaustion, and aging away of the system.” Joshua Rainwater was 87, had lived a long full life and had every reason to be tired.