A petition for a US pension for Bill Looney was signed by 196 men including C.C. Sheets, Cavalry officers and NCOs, & civilian citizens. Here is the wording of the petiton:
"To the honorable Senate and House of Representatives in Congress assembled : Your petitioners , citizens of North Alabama who remained loyal to the Government of the United States during the late Rebellion, would respectfully petition your honorable bodies that a pension for life be granted to William B. Looney of Winston (county)Alabama.
Your petitioners would respectfully represent, that Mr. Looney has rendered most able and efficent service to the government from the beginning of the Rebellion to it's close. From the mtns. of Alabama to the Federal lines of Corinth, Mississippi, and to Decatur, Alabama during a period of three years (from 1862-1865) over twenty five hundred deserters from the Rebel Army, besides a large number of Union men who were never in the Rebel Army- were piloted by Mr. Looney. He brought into Federal lines over fie hundred men who joined the Union Army. His travelling was done on foot, and principally in the night. He also made many trips into the Confederate lines for the purpose of obtaining information useful to the Union Army, and never failed to bring correct statements of troops position etc. He was familiarly known by both Armies as the Black Fox, a name given him by the Rebels for the skill and cunning with which he wrought mischief to their cause.Large rewards were offered by officers of the Rebel Army, both in money, and a permanent discharge from the Rebel service, to any soldier who wouldtake him, dead or alive. A brigade under General Rhoddy spent nearly a year striving to capture him, without success.
After all this - for dangers, hardships and toil untold, for the services rendered his country, Mr. Looney never received pau to exceed one hundred dollars. the little property he possessed was destroyed by the Rebels, abd he is now completelt broken in health and constitution as to be wholly unfit for labor, while his needs are great.
Your petitioners earnestly pray that you will take immediate notice of this petition, Decatur, Alabama."
"I hereby certify that I have carefully examined W,.B. Looney referred to in accompanying petition and find that he is suffering from an injury in the spine (about the lumbar region) by falling from a bluff bank while a scout in the Federal Army and that in consequence of said injury and the general broken doen condition of his health and constitution he totally diable from obtaining subsistence by Manuel labor. I thereby respectully recommend that a pension begranted him by a special act of Congress in accordance with the desire of your petitioners. Dated at Decatur Ala this 26th day of June 1867. J.Y. Cantrell Exam-Surg For Pensions."
A true unsung hero for his country.
Source: Tennessee Valley Genalogical Society Vol 10 #2
Valley Leaves 1975
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