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The Case of James Harvey Hensley and the Affidavit

The Case of James Harvey Hensley and the Affidavit

Genealogy is a wonderful pursuit filled with discoveries and mysteries. Sometimes the
mysteries begin as oddities found while researching something else altogether. Such was the case for this author while researching the 7th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry (US). The muster record for James Harvey Hensley of Company B offered a curious document attempting to explain why he had been absent without leave for three months of his service in 1863. At first, without further research, the document, an avowed affidavit, seemed to be plausible. Genealogists generally, unfortunately for Mr. Hensley, do not take these curious documents at face value. This article is a study of James Harvey Hensley’s family and affidavit dated 31 MAR 1863 complete with a discussion of the 7th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry’s history up to the time Mr. Hensley became absent without leave on 21 DEC 1862.