Testimony of Rosa Brock
March 17, 1908

Rosa Brock, wife of Robert Brock, testified for a widow pension after the death of her husband.


Deposition A

Case of Rosa Brock, No. 853439

On this 17 day of March, 1908, at Plaquemine, County of Iberville State of La., before me, M. Whitehead a special examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Rosa Brock, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to her during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says: I am 60 odd years of age; my post-office address is Plaquemine, La.

I am an applicant for pension as the widow of Robert Brock. He was a pensioner but I can’t tell his Co. & Regt. but I found that out from his papers. He never had & was never called any other name. I now show you his pension certificate but I can’t tell what became of his pension papers except that & I can’t say what became of his discharge certificate. I was born at Morganza, La. on the widow Fortner place. My father was named just Antoine & my mother was Nancy Kennedy. My mother was the slave first of widow Fortner–later Jacob Myers bought my mother & me. I was then 4 years old–he lived 12 miles above Morganza & on the River. When I was a young woman–no, a young girl–Myers died & I with the other slaves was sold. I alone was bought by Aleck Carruth & he owned me till freedom

I was raised a cook & houseservant & after Carruth bought me I worked some in the field. He lived 6 miles from Greensburg on the Clinton Road–the half way point. It was in St Helena parish, La. Carruth had only one other slave—a girl named Neela dead. I recall the fighting at Port Hudson—& then I had had two children—one a boy who died an infant& the other a girl who was an infant then in arms. Mr. Carruth was a St. Helena man—when he bought me he had rented a place on Atchafalaya River. I can’t say in what parish or near what place. When he first bought me he took me to the Atchafalaya River place for 4 years & then Mr. Carruth & his family went back to Greensburg & hired me out in Pte Coupee parish to a Mr. Barber on Old River for a year & some months & then Mr. Carruth came & got me & carried me to his home in St. Helena parish & I stayed there till freedom. I did not leave his place at once after Battle of Port Hudson—I did not leave till Mr. Carruth told me I could go where I pleased—I can’t say how soon it was after the battle of Port Hudson. My first child was born on Atchafalaya—it’s father was William Sherman. I met him in Pte Coupee parish—I can’t say who he belonged to—he was not a slave—he was a free man. I never lived with him a single day—I think he lived on Dr. Knopp’s place in Pte Coupee & was an overseer—I can’t say what became of him. No—I never lived with him & never lived on the same place with him & never married him & I never saw him after I went to St Helena. The second child I had was by a slave of the Barbers on whose place I lived a little over a year. The slave’s name was Dick Walker—he & I lived on the Barber place together while I was on that place & he got me with child there but the child was not born till after I went to St Helena parish & said child was named Nancy Ellen & is still alive. I now show you my children’s ages—they were put down there by my mistress Polly Carruth at my request before I left St Helena two or three years after the war—I can’t tell how she knew the ages but that is the paper she gave me. I made a mistake—I had three children born before Battle of Port Hudson. Nancy was about three years old then & the infant was Bob or Robert who is dead & was born the same day New Orleans surrendered—I can’t tell the exact date but it was April. Robert’s father was a slave named Dick Crier who belonged to a neighbor of the Carruths—his owner was Tom Potts Allen. Dick Crier died 5 or 6 years ago in New Orleans as I heard. No. He & I were never married & never lived together—Robert was a stolen child. The next child I had was Nellie Gray—her father was

Dick Crier, too. Well Dick used to come to me every two weeks. Yes, both our owners knew it—no, no one read book to us at all. I heard that Dick Crier went away in the army & I never saw him after that—I can’t say what Co. & Regt. he was in, who any of his officers or comrades were or any thing about it—I just heard he was a standing soldier. I never filed any claim for pension on his account. He was an only child. The last child I had in slavery was Rufus—his father was my owner, Aleck Carruth & I was not freed till about a year after he was born. After that I had two other children by Peter Myers, or Miles a colored man who belonged to Bill Fletcher over there. Peter & I lived together two years or so on the old Carruth Place. I swear positively I never married him by any ceremony of any sort & that I never married any man by ceremony except Robert Brock. Peter Miles or Myers was right there in St Helena parish all through the war & never was a soldier or sailor. I left him still alive in St Helena

parish when I left there after I married Robert Brock. I knew Robert Brock a little over a month before I married him. He came to the Muse place in St Helena as a cropper. I heard him talk of Penna. & Pittsburg & he said he was never a slave. I never heard where he was born. I never heard any thing of his family except he said he was the last of his family alive except a sister Eliza & can’t say where she was. She was married to a carpenter named Scott & I think she lived in Pittsburg. Robert Brock came to St Helena from New Orleans but I can’t say how long he had been there or where he went there from—he said he had gone to New Orleans to sell horses. I married him a little before Xmas & my child Rufus was then 5 or 6 years old—that is as near as I can come at it. He had been there that year making a cotton crop on the Muse place a mile

from the old Carruth place & three miles from the Tom Davis place where I was cooking till we married. We were married on the Muse place by Lawyer Muse dead—he was also some kind of a preacher but I can’t tell what his denomination was. The license came from Greensburg Court House. It was Lawyer Muse that married us. We married in Matt Ginn’s house in the quarter one Saturday night after dark. John Henry Womack & his sister Miss Dilly were present—they lived on the place—also Sabrie Taylor a young colored man. Dick Crier & I had parted when he went off to the Yankees. I can’t say how long Peter Miles & I had parted when I married Robert Brock. But when Robert Brock & I got married Peter Miles had already married a girl named Diana. Sol Taylor was also present at our marriage. I can’t say where Robert Brock was after he came out of the army till he came to St Helena except he came there through New Orleans. Robert Brock said he had one wife only before he married me—that his first wife was named Ann—I can’t tell her name except Ann—I can’t tell when or where she died or [illegible] you to any proof of her death—all I know is he said she was dead before he came down South. After

Robert Brock & I married we were never separated or divorced. After our married we lived in St Helena 4 years—then went to the Allen Reed place near Amite City—about a year—then to Independence Sta. a year—then to Mad. Mannard’s place near Independence for a year—then to the Laurel Valley near Lafourche Crossing for two years—then to Belle Alliance for less than a year—then to Belle Terre a year—then on another place near Belle Terre for less than a year—then to Pointe Coupee parish to the Judge Sawyer place on the River near Pte Coupee Ldg. for a few months—then to the adjoining Montgomery place for a year & a half—then up near the Blue Store on another place a year—then to the Montgomery place again—no, to the Provosty place on the River for a little over a year—then to the Montgomery place for a year—then to the True Hope place near here & since then I have been right close here all the time. Robert Brock moved very often—he was quick tempered & did not get along good with plantation owners. Robert Brock died April 30 two years ago—he was paralyzed & had fever. I have no child under 16 years of age. I have not again married since the death of Robert Brock & have lived single & with my son ever since Robert Brock died. Soldier left no property, money or insurance & since his death I have owned

no property except my clothes & have had no income or means of support except my own daily labour & what my son Rufus does for me. I do not care to be present here or elsewhere at the taking of testimony in my claim & I don’t want to be represented & I waive all notice. At line 29 word “Springfield” erased & word “Greensburg” interlined before signing. I have fully understood all your questions & I have understood this statement as read out to me & it is correct

Attest: Rufus Carruth                                                                                    

Rosa (her x mark) Brock


Sworn to and subscribed before me this 17 day of March 1908, and I certify that the contents were fully made known to deponent before signing.

M Whitehead

Special Examiner.


Pension Records Robert Brock, RG 15, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.