13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry USA Wiki

John W. Roten (abt 1820 - abt September 1893) served as a private in Company E, 13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry.

Personal life

John Roten was born about 1820 in Grayson County, Virginia. He married Mary Ellen Richardson (b. 1841) with whom he had at least four children.

Civil War service

Roten enlisted as a private in Company E on September 24, 1863 in Greeneville, Tennessee for a period of three years and mustered in November 8, 1863 at Strawberry Plains, Tennessee.

He is described as 39 years old, 5' 3 3/4" tall, fair complexion, blue eyes, light hair, and by occupation a farmer.[1] He was a resident of Wilkes County, North Carolina when he enlisted.

Roten is listed as present for duty for which muster roll records have survived until May 30, 1865 when he was left sick at the General Hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee. One note in his file indicates that he was missing in action in January 1865, but the location of the action and when he returned to the regiment was not recorded.

Roten mustered out due to disability on July 19, 1865 at Knoxville by instructions received via telegram from the War Department dated May 3, 1865. He had last been paid to August 31, 1864, was owed $21.96 from the government for clothing, had been paid a $25 bounty, and was owed a $100 bounty.

Post-war life

Before Roten enlisted or soon after the war, the family hired a woman named Julia Stedtham (abt 1850-1922) as a domestic servant. He moved the family to Magoffin County, Kentucky in 1867.[2] Roten and Stedtham had an affair that produced a child in 1869 and he moved the family back to North Carolina. With this second family, Roten had at least three additional children, which he moved to Barbour County, West Virginia before 1880.

Roten applied for an invalid's pension on June 28, 1880 and soon thereafter moved his family with Julia to Wilkes County, North Carolina. Without obtaining a divorce from his first wife, Roten married Stedtham in 1883 and moved his second family to Hawkins County, Tennessee, leaving his first family in North Carolina.

Roten likely died in September 1893.[3] Julia Roten filed for a widow's pension on September 20, 1893. His wife Mary learned of his death and filed for a widow's pension on October 28, 1904. The War Department discovered that a widow's pension had already been claimed and Mary filed a contested widow's pension on December 6, 1904, for which she received $2,088 and $8 per month until her death.[4]

Where Roten died and where his grave is located has not been found, but he likely died in Sainte Genevieve County, Missouri.[5]


  1. A hospital record dated May 30, 1864 gives his age as 44.
  2. 1870 U.S. Census, Magoffin County, Kentucky.
  3. Descendants believe that he died in Missouri, which is where Julia was living with one of their daughters.
  4. Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Bluefield, West Virginia), December 15, 1904, p. 5.
  5. 1910 U.S. Census, Beauvais Township, Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri. Julia was living there with their daughter Alice and her family.