Eber Johnson was not a rich man. Sober and industrious, he was a veteran of the 1st Ohio Heavy Artillery. Though he served in the Civil War for less than a year, those months took a toll on him. According to John Murnahan’s affidavit in Eber’s pension application, “Since his return from the U.S. service he is still a sober man but unable to perform any manual labor to amount to anything.”
Eber, my great-great-grandfather, was a farmer, which means that the 1860 and 1870 agricultural schedules can shed some light on how Eber made his living before and after the Civil War.
In 1860, Eber primarily raised Indian corn, oats, and wheat. He didn’t have much livestock: 2 horses, 2 cows, 4 sheep and 11 swine. Compared to his immediate neighbors1)Compared to 3 households on either side of him in the agriculture census., he was just about average.
By 1870, things had changed. He had more cattle (7 heads of “other”), more sheep (up to 18), and a brand new crop: $150 worth of orchard goods. His value of “homemade manufacturers” went up as well; it was $10 in 1860, but $70 in 1870.
Could this shift toward more reliance on livestock and homemade products be a result of being disabled in the war? Were orchard goods grown because they would be easier — less physically demanding — to raise year after year?
Eber Johnson died January 25 18942)Per his Civil War pension file. and is buried in Locust Grove Cemetery in Lawrence County, Ohio3)FindAGrave memorial. Also have personally visited his grave. You can read more about his experiences in the Civil War here.
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|1.||↑||Compared to 3 households on either side of him in the agriculture census.|
|2.||↑||Per his Civil War pension file.|
|3.||↑||FindAGrave memorial. Also have personally visited his grave.|