Not everyone who lived within the boundaries of the Confederate States of America was in favor of secession.  Throughout the Civil War there were Southerners who supported the Union.  These supporters usually fell into one of three categories:  those who kept their views to themselves, those who openly supported the Union, and those who fled the South leaving family and property behind.  Some religious groups, such as the Quakers, remained neutral during the conflict due to their pacifist beliefs. 

In 1871, Congress established a commission to receive and examine monetary claims for losses incurred due to the Civil War. These claims were based on the facts that the claimant had been both loyal to the Union and had supplies or stores seized by or furnished to the US Army during the war.  States affected in the commission were AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA and parts of WV.

Established by Congress by an act on 3 March 1871, the commission reviewed the claims of Southerners who had "furnished stores and supplies for the use of U.S. Army" during the Civil War. A little more than a year later, Congress extended this to include property seized by the U.S. Navy. Citizens who filed claims before the three-member board were required to show proof of lost property and provide satisfactory evidence of their loyalty to the federal government throughout the war.

When the commission closed its doors on 10 March 1880, some 22,298 claims had been received from individuals, family groups, churches, and businesses, totaling $60,258,150.44.  Only a third of these claims were allowed, and most applicants received an amount greatly reduced from their initial request, totaling only $4,636,920.69.

The case files are maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC.  They are a rich source of information for genealogists and anyone interested in family history.  As part of the application process, witness were deposed and sworn to answer some 80 questions, including their relationship to the claimant, places(s) of residence during the war, military service, and knowledge of the claimant's wartime activities, sentiments, and loses. 

EXUM HOLLAND of Johnston County, North Carolina, filed claim number 16,581 with the Southern Claims Commission for $433.00, on February 20, 1878.  His was one of the latest claims to be filed.  It was approved for $221.00 in March 1879.  The last records I have show Exum still trying to obtain payment from the government.  I do no know if he or his heirs ever obtained their funds. 

This claim seems to belong to the Exum Holland who was Elisha Holland's 11 child -- 3rd child with 2nd wife Patience Peacock.  Depositions were taken from Martha J. Holland, wife of claimant, presumably Exum's 2nd wife Martha Parks; and Christopher C. Holland, son of claimant.  Before finding these documents, Exum was thought to have had a son Calvin C. Holland, and nothing was known of a son Christopher C.  To add to the perplexity, it is noted that Exum Holland's brother West had children Martha J. Holland and Christopher C. Holland.  West's entire family moved to Kansas in 1869; Exum's claim was filed in 1878.  Exum Holland died 10 October 1880. 

If anyone knows whether Exum Holland or his family ever received payment for their Southern Claim Commission claim, or knows anything about his sons Christopher C. Holland and Calvin C. Holland, I urge you to get in touch and share your knowledge of this family.

View the records of Exum Holland from the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D. C. The image links below open in a new window. Close that window to return here.

If you are interested in the records of those who filed claims, see "Step-by-step Search for a Southern Claims Commission Claim" at  A list of claimants from Johnston County, North Carolina, is at     

If you can add any public records information on the Holland and related families, it would be most appreciated by all descendents.  Send to Diana Holland Faust.  

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Holland site published 10 July 1996  -  This page added 12 December 2001.  Last updated 05 Mar 2013

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