Charles S. Talley (1846-1927)& Mary Caroline Hartley (1859-1933)





Charles S. & Mary Caroline Hartley Talley

Mary Caroline Hartley was the daughter of George H. and Lucinda Dunigan Hartley. She was born April 8, 1859 in Mississippi. She was known as "Aunt Coag". She married Charles S. Talley on December 28, 1874. Charles was a veteran of the Civil War. In the 1880 census they were living near G. W. Hartley’s family and J. E. Wadford family in Beat 1, Hinds, MS. She was 22 years old and Charles was 32. In the 1910 census, they are in Madison County, MS. He is 63 and she is 52. They list a son Henry, age 17, thus born 1893, but not by Mary, since in the census she listed no children by her. They both say first marriage of 34 years, matches well with December 28, 1874, date. Henry and his brother Pat were adopted by the Talley’s after the death of their parents. They apparently left home early because of the hard work imposed on them by Charles and Mary Caroline. The boys moved to Louisiana.

Charles and Mary Carolne were admitted to Jefferson Davis Soldiers Home at, Beauvoir, Biloxi, MS. on 8 Nov 1920. This home was for Confederate soldiers who need a place to stay. Charles died in 1927. In the 1930 census, Mary is living in that Institution in Harrison County, MS, she is 72 and says she married at 15, which would match the 1874 date. Mary Caroline died in 1933 and is buried at Beauvoir along with Charles.

There is a Charles S. Talley in the 1860 census. He is in Louisa, VA. with his parents. He is 13 so the birthyear matches. This census does not give birth city. In the 1910 census he listed Georgia as birth city of him and his parents so the one in Virginia is probably not our Charles Talley. Ben Hill says he was from Macon, GA. He also said in addition to serving in the Civil War he also volunteered to go to Cuba in the Spanish American War. Ben also said that an Indian Squaw lived with him and his wife.

Confederate Rank:

Pvt; Co A 10th GA Cav. Enlisted Feb 1, 1861, Discharged May 4, 1865.


Charles S. & Mary Caroline Hartley Talley Gallery

Mary Caroline Hartley Talley (1859-1933),“Aunt Coag”

Mary Caroline Hartley Talley (1859-1933).

Mary Caroline Hartley Talley (1859-1933)
Remarkable story of the photo of a tintype and the tintype above. The photo on the left was provided me in about 2006 by either Melda Hartley Silk, who lives in Rayville, LA. or Frances Cronin, of Arlington, VA. Melda’s father was Charles Hooker Hartley, the brother of Mary Caroline Hartley, little girl in photo. Frances Cronin’s grandmother, Ora Lee Hartley, was Mary’s sister.
In 2014, Mel and Pat Oakes were having dinner with dear friends, Dennis and Nodie Murphy who live in Round Rock, Texas, just north of Austin. After dinner, while looking at various memorabilia in Dennis’ study, I noticed the tintype on the right, propped on his book shelf. My jaw dropped.

He said, “You are wondering where I got it? I said nothing. I walked over to his computer and brought up the scan of the picture on left. Now his jaw dropped. He said, “ I bought mine at an estate sale in Des Moines, Iowa, nearly 35 years ago. I bought it since it reminded me of little girls from the era of Lewis Carroll and “Alice in Wonderland.” Close examination of marks & corrosion reveals that the tintype in my picture is the very same tintype Dennis bought!
How Great Aunt Mary Caroline’s picture got to Iowa remains a mystery. She spent her life in MS. What is the probability of the two pictures being reunited? Obviously low but not zero!

Mary & Charles adopted two neighborhood boys, apparently when their parents died. They were Pat Henry and Ambrose Bryant. Shown above are Pat and his wife Mary Lillian Price, daughter, Beatrice, and son Henry, about 1916.

Pat & Lillian Bryant on 50th Anniversary, they were married in Madison County, MS on October 9, 1910.

M. J. Stegall, husband of Dorothy Ruth Bryant

Dorothy Ruth Bryant Stegall, Pat Henry & Mary L. Bryant’s daughter.

Originally thought to be Mary Caroline Hartley, however eyes not blue. Unknown Hartley tintype.

Mary Caroline Hartley Talley (1859-1933)
“Aunt Coag”

Mary Caroline Hartley Talley (1859-1933)
“Aunt Coag”

Mary Caroline Hartley Talley (1859-1933)
“Aunt Coag”

Jeff Davis Soldier’s Home“Inmates” as they referred to themselves. Biloxi, MS Charles S. & Mary Caroline Hartley Talley in picture, (see below), entered home in 1920, picture between 1920-22. They are to the right of the woman in black at the top of the stairs.

Mary & Charles Talley to the right of woman in black. Mary has a black hat and a beared Charles is to her left.

Mary & Charles Talley, front row, middle of photo, behind lady in wheelchair. Mary is in white dress, stripe down the middle and holding hat in right hand., Charles is man to her left with beard.
Photograph from “Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library, Beauvoir
2244 Beach Blvd.,Biloxi, MS 39531,

Charles S. Talley Gravestone
Beauvoir Cemetery, Biloxi, MS (Photo by Floyd Oakes)

Mary Caroline Hartley Talley Gravestone
Beauvoir Cemetery, Biloxi, MS (Photo by Floyd Oakes)

Charles S. Talley Documents

1850 Census, Charles near the bottom, he is 2 years old, living in Georgia.



Charles S. Talley
Pension Applications for Civil War Service in CSA
1912 and 1916





Civil War Pensions
At the close of the Revolutionary War, the United States government began administering a limited pension system to soldiers wounded during active military service or veterans and their widows pleading dire Poverty. It was not until the 1830's and the advent of universal suffrage for white male and patronage democracy, however, that military pensions became available to all veterans or their widows. Despite these initial expansions, the early U.S. military pension system was minuscule compared to what it became as a result of the Civil War
Beginning in 1861, the U.S. government generously attended to the need of its soldiers and sailors or their dependents. Because the Federal government did not implement conscription until 1863, these first Civil War benefits in many ways were an attempt to induce men to volunteer. Although altered somewhat over the years, the 1862 statute remained the foundation of the Federal pension system until the 1890s. It stipulated that only those soldiers whose disability was "incurred as a direct consequence of . . . Military duty" or developed after combat "from causes which can be directly traced to injuries received or diseases contacted while in military service" could collect pension benefits. The amount of each pension depended upon the veteran's military rank and level of disability. Pensions given to widows, orphans, and other dependents of deceased soldiers were always figured at the rate of total disability according to the military rank of their deceased husband or father. By 1873 widows could also receive extra benefits for each dependent child in their care.

In 1890 the most notable revision in the Federal pension law occurred: the Dependent Pension Act. A result of the intense lobbying effort of the veterans' organization, the Grand Army of the Republic, this statute removed the link between pensions and service-related injuries, allowing any veteran who had served honorably to qualify for a pension if at some time he became disabled for manual labor. By 1906 old age alone became sufficient justification to receive a pension.

At the same time that pension requirements were becoming more liberal, several Southern congressmen attempted to open up the Federal system to Confederate veterans. Proponents justified such a move by noting that Southerners had contributed to Federal pensions through indirect taxes since the end of the war. These proposals met with mixed responses in both North and the South, but overwhelmingly, opposition came from those financially comfortable Confederate veterans and southern politicians who regarded such dependency on Federal assistance a dishonor t the Lost Cause. It should be noted that impoverished Southern veterans frequently were not averse to the prospect of receiving Federal pensions. In any event, no such law ever passed, and Confederate veterans and their widows never matriculated into the Federal pension system.

Although U.S. Civil War veterans had received pensions since 1862 and Southern state governments had provided their veterans with artificial limbs and veteran retirement homes since the end of the war, it was not until the 1880s and early 1890s that the elevens states of the former Confederacy enacted what can accurately be called pension systems. The economic devastation of he war and the political upheaval of Reconstruction best explain this long delay. When Southern pension systems did finally emerge, they generally resembled the pre-1890 U.S. system: eligibility depended upon service-related disability or death and indigence, and widows as well as other dependents of deceased soldiers could receive pensions. Despite these similarities, however, there were striking differences. First, in the South widows collected pensions set at a specific rate for widows of deceased soldiers. These rates were generally lower than those to which their husbands would have been entitled should they have survived. Under the Federal system, there was no separate category for widows. Second, most Southern pension laws determined stipend amounts based only on the degree of disability. No regard was given to military rank. Third, there was never a Confederate equivalent to the 1890 U.S. Dependent Act. Although over time Confederate pension requirements became more liberalized, there was always an income and poverty limit-pensions were never given simply for service. Fourth, whereas indirect taxes funded Federal pensions, most Southern states financed their pension through a direct tax. And fifth, because Southern pension systems were on the state level only, they varied as to method and amount and were much less financially generous than U.S. pensions. Though the individual pensions of Southerners were minuscule compared to those of Federal veterans and war widows, as a percentage of state expenditures, Southern pension expenditures were monumental. Of all the former Confederate states, Georgia generally spent the most per year on pensions, Alabama ran a close second.

Both the Federal government and Southern state governments continued to provide pensions for Civil War veterans and their widows well into the middle of the twentieth century. In all, billions of dollars were expended by both sides in an effort to "reward" the survivors of America's costliest war. Because of the high rates of expansion in both the Federal and Confederate systems, critics frequently accused pensioners and officials alike of corruption and fraud. Those pensioners most often labeled as frauds were widows, especially young women who had married veterans much older than themselves, supposed "cowards," and, in the Federal system, black veterans. By the mid-twentieth century, both systems were generally considered devoid of original integrity.

Source: "Encyclopedia of the American Civil War" edited by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, article by Jennifer L. Gross