Private Samuel Kenly served during the Civil War as part of Company M, 5th Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery unit from 30 August 1864 to 30 June 1865. Samuel married Hannah Willis in Kittanning, Pa on 27 November 1873. Samuel and Hannah settled in the area around Rural Valley, Cowanshannock Twp, Armstrong County, Pa and took up farming. Over the 15 years, according to his pension, several children arrived:
- Willis – 02 Oct 1874
- Lizzie – 16 Aug 1876
- Louisa – 21 Sep 1878
- John – 30 Dec 1880
- James – 23 Feb 1883
- Mary – 02 Jul 1885
- Harry – 18 Sep 1887
According to a record from the Armstrong County Courthouse,
his property contained 60 acres with 10 acres wooded. Samuel owned one horse and one cow and the total valuation of the property was $695 at the time of Samuel’s death in 1907. By 1890 Samuel was starting to age with mounting health
issues. His first request for an invalid pension was denied, but by 1891 he qualified for a pension at 6/18ths the full rate, or $6.00 a month with dyspepsia and kidney & liver issues. Samuel appealed for a higher rate in 1892 and in early March of 1893 the doctor noted that his health continued to deteriorate and he qualified for 16/18ths of the full pension rate, caused in part by being kicked in the elbow by a horse.
For the next 15 years Hannah received a widows pension of $12 – $30 a month. By 1910 Hannah had relocated to Erie County, NY to live with her daughter and son-in-law. The one irksome thing that is missing from the pension packet is Hannah’s death date. The best I have at this moment is she died in 1923, exact date unknown.
All of this information and more was found in Samuel’s Civil War
pension packet. It is a straight forward packet, includes a few affidavits, no conflicting information, medical and financial history, with the soldier receiving an invalid pension (awarded after his 2nd request), and his widow receiving her widows pension. Information, provided by my ancestor, in his own words, detailing his life and that of his wife and children, all waiting for someone like me to take a peak in the window of his life!