Robert Pipes & John W. Pipes

Co. "D", 23rd Indiana Infantry

Co. "G" 144th Indiana Infantry


Robert was born in Kentucky in about 1843 and in the 1850 census he is 7 years old and in the home of William and Catherine Scott in Jeffersonville, Clark Co., Indiana. In that same 1850 census he is listed about three weeks earlier in the same town and county but in the home of his mother, Elizabeth Pipes, age 48 born in Kentucky and a sister age 17 named Mary Pipes, also born in Kentucky. I have not been able to find Robert in the 1860 or 1870 census but in the 1880 census he is  in a Civil War Veterans Home in Montgomery Co., Ohio (near Dayton). That census record says he was born in Kentucky and that his parents were both born in Kentucky. He is a widower and occupation is Boatman. The Military record from that veterans home indicates that he was a shoemaker. Later evidence proves that Elizabeth Pipes is his mother.  

There is a marriage record for Robert to a Catherine Byrn in 1870 in Harrison Co., Indiana. When he entered the Veterans Home in 1878 however, the records say he was a widower. He stayed in the Veterans home until February 21st, 1884. A military record from that National Veterans Home in Montgomery, Ohio indicates that he was there from 1878 to 1884. It also reveals that he enlisted in the 23rd Indiana Infantry on July 11, 1861 in New Albany, Indiana. He was assigned to Company "D" as a Private. Robert was discharged on August 11, 1863 at St. Louis because of a disability from a wound which caused the loss of his right arm. The wound occurred on May 16, 1863 at the battle of Champion Hills in Mississippi.

The Veterans Home record also says that he has a brother named John who in 1884 is living in New Amsterdam, Indiana and is given as his next of kin. This brother is John W. Pipes, born in Kentucky in 1840, and he is married to Melissa (or Malissa) Byrn in the 1880 Indiana census. They were married Sept 2, 1858 in Harrison Co., Indiana. John and Melissa have two children, Jesse R. Pipes and William H. Pipes. Catherine Byrn and Melissa Byrn may have been cousins but do not appear to be sisters. Melissa's son Jesse was named for her father, Jesse Byrn.  The Byrn family had a large presence in Harrison Co. Melissa died before 1900 where John W. is listed as a widower in the census. He marries a second time to a Sarah J. Fowler on May 30, 1903 in Harrison Co., Indiana. John died between that date in 1903 and 1910 when Sarah J. Pipes is listed as a widow in the census. John W. enlisted in the 144th Indiana Infantry in February of 1865 and was discharged after the war was over in August of 1865. He filed for a disability pension and his 2nd wife Sarah, filed for a widows pension.

Robert died on Mar 4, 1884 in Harrison County. A brief death notice appeared in the Clark County newspaper.

Elizabeth Pipes, the mother of these two soldiers, died in Clark or Harrison County., Indiana on Jan 16, 1878. She is buried in Walnut Ridge Cemetery, Jeffersonville, Indiana. A newspaper article [The Louisville Evening News] announced her death on January 17th and states that she is Robert's mother.

The most telling document is the marriage record for John W Pipes and his second wife, Sarah J. Fowler. In this record he reports that his father's name was Robert and his mother was E. Stemons. All of the census records indicate that Robert and Elizabeth Pipes were born in Kentucky and all 3 of the children from this marriage report being born in Kentucky in various records. (Robert and Elizabeth have a daughter named Mary born in 1833 who is listed in the1850 census of Indiana. In Robert's will she is listed as Mary Daily.) John's marriage record also gives his place of birth as Frankfort, Indiana. I assume this is a mistake by the clerk entering the record as it is probably Frankfort, Kentucky.

Robert would have been involved in the Battles of Shiloh, Port Gibson, Raymond and Champion Hill as part of the lead up to Grant's assault on Vicksburg.