The biographies listed below belong to ancestors of the members of the SUVCW Department of the Southwest.
Brother Clair Barnett
Corporal Daniel H. Barnett
Cpl. Co. B, 78th Penna. Vol. Inf.
In October of 1861 he enlisted in the army and became a member of Co. B, 78th Pennsylvania Volunteer.
Infantry. He spent 39 months in the Army of the Potomac, fighting in many of the battles in which this army under General Rosencrans was engaged. Among them was the Battle of the Clouds on Look Out Mountain, Chattanooga, and Stone’s River. They fought in battles, did reconnaissance and guarding duties in central Tennessee, and northern parts of Georgia and Alabama. Barnett was promoted to corporal on June 26, 1863.
After being mustered out of service on November 4, 1864, Mr. Barnett settled on a farm in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, married, and had ten children.
He was instrumental in forming Post No. 179, G.A.R. in Clearfield and served five years as its commander. He attended many Civil War veteran reunions in Tennessee, Indiana, Pennsylvania and other places. In his later years he told his grandsons many stories of his experiences as a soldier in the Civil War.
Daniel Barnett died October 20, 1942, at his farm near Kellytown, in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, at the age of 101.
The preceding biography was written by Brother Clair Barnett. Clair also submitted a newspaper article written by Jane Elling. The title is: A log house built in 1861 and its connection to the Civil War. This was contained in her column “Sketches In Time” which was published in 1999 in a Pennsylvania newspaper titled The Progress. Information taken solely from her article follows:
“Ms. Elling tells of a two-story log house in Kellytown (PA.) which was built in 1861 and was the residence of Daniel Barnett and Cornelia Chase Barnett from 1867 until 1885. Eight of the Barnett children were born there.
In 1864, the log home was being rented by Thomas Adams, a deserter from Co. B, 149th P.V.
The story of the events that led to the death of Mr. Adams was related by 96-year old Dan Barnett in an article in The Progress in 1938 titled “Did you know how Knox Township earned the name, ‘Bloody Knox’?”
He said the story provided a good picture of what was going on in Clearfield County during the Civil War era. It involved the Knights of the Golden Circle, a powerful organization during the war days which opposed the administration’s policies of dealing with the South. Union desertions and other acts were traced in many cases to this group.
Dr. W.J. McKnight, in his 1917 Jefferson County history, said that county was a stronghold for his group but lodges also flourished in Clearfield and Schuylkill counties. It had more than one million members, he noted.
The group interfered with the Union war effort chiefly by hindering enlistments in the Union Army and encouraging desertions.
Dr. McKnight says candidates to join this treasonable political organization were required to take the following oath:
‘You do solemnly swear in the presence of Almighty God and of this lodge that you will never, except when properly authorized, reveal the secrets of the order of the Sons of Liberty, known as the Knights of the Golden Circle, of which you have become a member, whether these pertain to the signs, grips or passwords of the order, or to any of their acts; and that you will to the best of your ability promote all its objects and interests, so help you God.’
They were also asked four questions pertaining to resisting the Draft Act; being in favor of abducting or assisting in the abduction of President Abraham Lincoln; protecting deserters; and helping to return all runaway slaves to their lawful masters. An emphatic “yes” was required to each question.’
On the evening of Dec. 13, 1864, 31 Union soldiers were dispatched to arrest an alleged deserter.
Mr. Barnett continued, saying someone spotted the approaching soldiers and the dance came to a quick halt. Adams then grabbed a musket and shot from a window of the house. He ran upstairs, armed himself anew, and started a barrage of gunfire from an upstairs window, but the Union troops came on. ‘Seeing that he was trapped, Adams bolted from the home, fatally shooting a soldier named Reed, and was halfway across the clearing before a Union shot felled him. He too died.
After this bloody foray, for which Knox Township supposedly earned its name of ‘Blood Knox’ the Union group arrested 19 deserters and took them to Philipsburg. Thirty-two revolvers were seized.”
Brother Jeff Burgess
Private Richard M. Burgess
Company A, 47th Indiana Volunteer Regiment
Richard Monroe Burgess was born on September 20, 1839, in in Hocking County, Ohio, to Gabriel and Charity (Straight) Burgess. He had an identical twin brother named John.
Richard was named after his grandfather Richard Burgess (1789-1872), who was an Ohio pioneer and a veteran of the War of 1812. Richard’s grandfather served on the northern Ohio warfront in Colonel John DeLong’s 1st Regiment of the Ohio Militia, Capt. Thomas Williams’ Company, and achieved the rank of corporal.
Richard’s father Gabriel Burgess was an Indiana pioneer and moved his family to Nottingham Township, Wells County, Indiana, to start a farm after purchasing 80 acres from the U.S. land office in Ft. Wayne in November 1840.
When the Civil War broke out in April, 1861, Richard volunteered to fight for the Union, as did his twin brother John, along with their older brother James. All three of them enlisted on September 25, 1861, in Anderson, Indiana, and were mustered in on November 2 in Indianapolis. They served together in Company A of the 47th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The 47th Indiana was part of various western Union armies during the war.
On March 5, 1862, Richard was assigned to detached duty at the headquarters of General John Pope, commander of the Union Army of the Mississippi, in New Madrid, MO. On April 21, 1862, he rejoined his unit from detached duty. This was after his regiment had participated in the capture of Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River.
In May and June of 1862 he was stationed in Corinth, MS. But on September 29, 1862, he was sent to a military hospital in St. Louis because he was sick. On October 8, 1862, he transferred to another military hospital in Keokuk, Iowa. Richard must have had a serious illness that required a long recovery because he was still in the hospital in Keokuk in December of 1862.
On January 4, 1863, he was back home in Indiana and married Sarah Richardson. He had returned to his unit by the end of the month, however, because he was listed as “present” on his company’s muster rolls from January to December 1863.
During the summer of 1863 the 47th Indiana participated in the Battle of Port Gibson, Battle of Champion Hill, Siege of Vicksburg, and the Siege of Jackson, MS. In November they participated in the Battle of Bayou Bourbeux in St. Landry Parish, LA. According to his service record, Richard was present at all of these battles.
Richard re-enlisted in Algiers (New Orleans), LA, on January 28, 1864. Most of his regiment re-enlisted too, and they were granted furlough to go home to Indiana from February 9th to March 30th. His first child, John A. Burgess, was born about nine months later in December of 1864. (Sarah’s sister Susan married Richard’s brother James in Indiana on March 11.)
Richard must have overstayed his visit with his wife in Indiana because he was listed among some “stragglers” of the 47th Indiana that were rounded up in Indianapolis on April 14, 1864, and sent back to their units. He was charged $6.64 for transportation expenses.
The 47th Indiana joined the Red River Campaign at the end of April, but by this time the Union forces were retreating back down the river. Richard was assigned to an “ordnance task” in Algiers, LA, in July 1864.
In 1865 Richard was present during his regiment’s participation in the capture of Spanish Fort on April 8 and Fort Blakely on April 9 near Mobile, AL. These were some of the last battles of the Civil War, as Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia on April 9.
Richard served as a guard at a military prison in Shreveport, LA, June through August 1865. In September 1865 he was serving as a guard at a private residence there.
All the Burgess brothers were finally mustered out in Baton Rouge, LA, on October 23, 1865. Richard and his older brother James had never risen above the rank of private, although Richard’s twin brother John had become a corporal.
Richard returned to Indiana and he and Sarah raised a family of six boys and two girls. Sarah died on July 26, 1909. Richard died at the home of his youngest child, Lela (Burgess) Deeren, in Hartford City, Indiana, on July 2, 1915.
(This biography was researched and written by Richard’s great, great grandson, Jeffrey D. Burgess.)
Private Frank Abert
Company E, 127th Illinois Volunteer Regiment
Frank’s family were French speaking Canadian immigrants, so his last name was spelled differently in various records. To add to the confusion, his given name was Frank Abert, but his father died when he was a boy and his mother got remarried to a man with the last name of Hibbard, so his stepfather changed his name to Francis Hibbard. Early records show his name as Frances Hebbert, Francis Haburt, Frank Haybert, and Frank Hebart. U.S. Army records show his given name of Frank Abert, but most people in the town where he lived out his final years knew him as Frank Hibbard, and Hibbard is the last name his children chose to use.
Frank married his first wife Matilda Dufrene in Kane County, Illinois, in 1851 but she died there about 1855. He got remarried to Virginia Russ, who was only 14 at the time, in Kane County on December 3, 1858. Their first child was born five months later. Virginia also came from a French Canadian immigrant family. Their marriage record shows her last name as Ross, but her father’s last name was actually Jean Baptiste Rouille, although he eventually adopted the Anglicized name of John Russ.
Frank enlisted in the Union army on August 14, 1862, in St. Charles, Illinois. He was 43 years old and already had one child with another on the way. The army paid him a $25 bounty for enlisting. He was mustered in on September 5 at Camp Douglas in Chicago. He became a member of Company E, 127th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
Frank was “present” on his company’s muster roll for October 1862, but they left him in Memphis, TN, on December 18, 1862, because he was sick. His company’s muster rolls list him as absent due to that illness through September 1863.
Frank was arrested for desertion near Detroit, MI, on October 16, 1863. He was returned to his unit and charged $10.13 for travel expenses.
He was listed as “present” on his company’s muster rolls for November and December 1863. The 127th Illinois participated in the Battle of Missionary Ridge, near Chattanooga, TN, on November 25, 1863, but Frank claimed he was still sick at this time on his pension application after the war.
He was also “present” on the company’s muster rolls from January through April 1864, but they left him in Larkinsville, AL, on May 1, 1864, because he was sick. The company’s muster rolls show that he continued to be absent into 1865. But during this time he was temporarily attached to Battery D, 1st Missouri Light Artillery Regiment (Union), stationed in Huntsville, AL, from November through February 1865. Then he was transferred to that regiment’s Battery C, stationed in Nashville, TN, from March through April 1865.
When the war ended in April of 1865 Frank returned to the 127th Illinois and was mustered out with the rest of his regiment on June 29, 1865, in Washington, DC. He had never risen above the rank of private.
After the war, Frank and Virginia eventually settled in Plainwell, Michigan, and raised a family of four boys and one girl. When Frank died there on December 7, 1904, he was destitute and the local GAR chapter helped bury him in nearby Otsego, MI. The obituary in the local newspaper said that Frank claimed to have taken part in the battles of Gettysburg and Shiloh. But the 127th Illinois didn’t participate in those battles.
After Frank died Virginia was forced to move back to Kane County in order to get help from her family. She died there on October 13, 1916, but her body was shipped back to Michigan where she was buried in an unmarked grave next to her husband.
(This biography was researched and written by Frank’s great, great grandson, Jeffrey D. Burgess.)
Private John Rost
Company B, 156th Illinois Volunteer Regiment
John Rost was born on September 16, 1817, in Quebec, Canada. His family was French speaking and his birth name was Jean Baptiste Rouille. He married Sophia Perrault, the first of his three wives, in Canada about 1842. Their first child, a daughter named Virginia, was born in Ottowa on December 8, 1843. (John eventually had a total of sixteen children by two wives.)
John moved his family to Plattsburgh, NY, about 1844 and he adopted the Anglicized name of John Russ. By 1850 he had moved his family to Kane County, Illinois. In 1857 he married his second wife, Susanna Moreau, there in the town of Aurora.
On February 16, 1865, John enlisted in the Union army in Aurora. He was a 47-year-old butcher with nine children by two women. The army was paying a $100 enlistment bounty. Someone else completed his enlistment papers, and he signed his name with an X. This probably explains why his last name is Rost in army records even though he used the last name of Russ.
In Chicago on March 9, 1865, he was mustered into Company B, 156th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. His regiment was assigned to guard railroads in Tennessee.
On August 18, 1865, he went on sick furlough and was sent from Memphis, Tennessee, to his home in Aurora. The army charged him $7.94 for transportation expenses. On September 2, 1865, an extension of his sick furlough was certified in Aurora by A. Hand M.D., former surgeon of the 8th Illinois Calvary, because he was unfit to return to duty due to “diarrhea and intestinal fever.”
On September 20, 1865, John’s regiment was mustered out at Camp Butler, in Springfield, Illinois, but he was absent, still home on sick furlough. He had never risen above the rank of private.
In June of 1890 John began receiving a disability pension of $12 per month from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Pensions for “loss of sight in right eye, rheumatism, and senility.”
John married his last wife, the widow Laura (Badgley ) Smith, in Aurora on November 30, 1895. Laura’s first husband, Albert Smith, had been in same Civil War regiment, the 127th Illinois, as Frank Abert, the husband of John’s oldest daughter Virginia.
On May 1, 1900, John left his wife to move into the Illinois Veterans Home, in Quincy, Illinois, a state facility for disabled veterans. He died there on May 24, 1907.
(This biography was researched and written by John’s great, great, great grandson, Jeffrey D. Burgess.)
Private Thomas C. Reynard
Company C, 9th Indiana Calvary Regiment
Thomas C. Reynard was born October 26, 1848, in White River Township, Randolph County, Indiana.
On November 25, 1864, Thomas enlisted at Indianapolis in the 9th Indiana Calvary Regiment, Company C (also known as the 121st Indiana Volunteer Regiment). He was only 16 years old but testified on his enlistment papers that he was 18. He also claimed that he was a resident of Madison Township, Carroll County, Indiana, at the time of his enlistment. He was eligible for a $100 enlistment bounty.
On February 27, 1865, he joined his regiment in the field in New Orleans, Louisiana. On March 25, 1865, his unit arrived at their new post of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
On April 27, 1865, he went on sick leave and was admitted to the army’s McPherson Hospital in Vicksburg.
On July 29, 1865, he was forcibly mustered out of the army before the rest of his unit because the war was over and he was still on sick leave. This was in response to General Order #44 issued on May 8, 1865, by headquarters of the Union army’s Division of the Mississippi.
Thomas lived most of the rest of his life in Randolph County, Indiana, as a farmer and died in his home from a heart attack on Jun 3, 1906.
(This biography was researched and written by Thomas’s great, great grandson, Jeffrey D. Burgess.)
Brother C.A. 'Bud' Collette
Major General Daniel A. Butterfield
That bugle call is called “Taps.” Who wrote it? and when? I’m proud to say that was written by my mother’s great Uncle, Major General Daniel A. Butterfield. Born in New York, he was a Colonel in the 12th Reg’t of the New York National Guard. When the Civil War started his Reg’t. was called to active duty. He was given a Brigade and one star on his shoulder. General Butterfield wrote Taps in July 1862 after the 7 day battle while bivouacked at Harrison’s landing, Berkely Plantation, on the banks of the James River near Richmond, Virginia. His 3rd Brigade had lost 602 men on June 27th at the Battle of Gaines Mill. General Butterfield later received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his gallantry in that battle against overwhelming odds. Not liking the bugle call known as “Extinguish Lights,” General Butterfield wrote some notes on the back of an old envelope and sent for his 22 year old bugler, Oliver Norton. Private Norton was in the 83rd Penn. Regt. He played the tune several times and General Butterfield changed it a little bit until it met his satisfaction. Then he directed Pvt. Norton to sound that bugle call from that time on in place of the regulation call. Pvt.Norton blew Taps that night, the next day he was visited by several buglers from other Brigades asking for copies of the music. The call was gradually taken up all through the Army of the Potomac. It was later carried to the Western Armies. Taps soon replaced the rifle volleys fired at battlefield burials because the volleys were sometimes mistaken by Confederates for an attack.
Confederate buglers copied Taps and it was sounded 10 months later at the funeral for General Stonewall Jackson. Ten years after the Civil War, in 1874, Taps was officially adopted by the United States Army. General Butterfield never stepped forward to claim any credit for composing Taps until an inquiry was printed in the Century Magazine in 1898. Taps was just one of many bugle calls he wrote. Many words have been written to Taps but the most familiar ones are: Day is done, gone the sun, from the hills, from the lake, from the skies. All is well, safely rest, God is nigh. General Butterfield was in 43 battles and wounded twice. He died in July 1901(one year before my mother was born) and is buried at West Point, New York. The American Legion put up a large monument to Taps on the old Butterfield Brigade campsite at Harrison’s Landing. It was dedicated on July 4, 1969 during the 50th Anniversary of the American Legion.
The preceding article was written by Brother C. A. “Bud” Collette, son of Mabel Butterfield Collette.
Brother John Conrad
CO. A, 55th Pennsylvania Volunteer
Celestine was the last child baptized February 3, 1939, by the Russian prince Rev. Demetrius A. Gallitzin, who served as his god father. Little is known of his youth, which he spent on his father’s farm in Clearfield Township, apparently working as a laborer in his teens and early twenties. He attended school, though, and was literate.
With the coming of the War of the Rebellion, Celestine enlisted as a private with Captain Carroll’s Company (Co A) of the 55th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, at Hemlock, Cambria County, on September 3, 1861. He remained with Co. A, throughout the war.
Celestine was promoted to corporal sometime between September 1861 to November 1863. During this period his unit served in the South on coast duty, enforcing the naval blockade of Confederate ports. The only battle Celestine mentions during this period is that of North Edisto, South Carolina, on March 29, 1862. He was promoted to sergeant on November 21, 1863 and honorably discharged at Hilton Head, South Carolina on November 30,1863.
Veterans were given large incentives to reenlist, and, with nowhere else to go-particularly from South Carolina at the height of the war-Celestine the same day signed on as a Veteran Volunteer, reenlisting as a corporal for the duration, entitling himself to a $200 reenlistment bounty and a one-month veteran’s furlough.
Remaining on coast duty with Co A, of the 55th, he was given a furlough from January 23, 1864 through February 28th as one of the benefits of reenlisting. In March he was back on duty as a 3rd Sergeant and the following month his unit was apparently placed into action in the large Union offensive to capture Richmond.
He fought in five major battles in May 1864, including Old Town Creek, Virginia, on May 9; Proctor’s Creek on May 13; Foster’s Plantation on May 19 and 20; Bermuda Hundred and Drury’s bluff, both in Virginia. His fighting ended abruptly at the battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia, on June, 3, 1864, when he was shot in the left leg while kneeling to reload his rifle. The bullet entered from a high angle, passed parallel to the bone, and imbedded itself in muscle near the left knee.
Celestine was first removed to a field hospital in White House, Virginia, where the bullet was removed. The job was not neatly done; the surgeon simply cut where the bullet had entered and followed the damage to locate the slug. Muscle damage surely resulted in this way, and the scar measured two inches by one inch.
On June 6, he arrived at Carver General Hospital in Washington, D.C. for convalescence. The beds in Washington were needed for more serious injuries and on June 10 was transferred to the DeCamp General Hospital in David’s Island, New York. Celestine was given a 30-day furlough and after returning to his unit was furloughed again with orders to report to the Medical Director at Philadelphia when the furlough ended.
Celestine was cleared to return to his unit in October, and it appears that on the way he got involved in a little spat, as he himself reported that he fought at the battle of Pocataligo, South Carolina, on October 22.
He did not report back to his own unit until November 25, 1864, and in the meantime had been promoted to 2nd Sergeant. On February 15, 1865, he was promoted to 1st Sergeant and then full Sergeant on the same day.
He fought his last battle on April 2, 1865, at Petersburg, Virginia, and then traveled the short distance to the Appomattox Court House, where he witnessed the surrender of General Robert E. Lee, an event he called the most important of his life. He was promoted again on April 28, to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.
Celestine was kept on as a 2nd Lieut. until it was clear that the war was indeed over and finally on August 30, 1865, Celestine was honorably discharged as being unneeded at Petersburg, Virginia and sent
Doctor Henry F. Conrad, Major and Full Surgeon
174th Pennsylvania Drafted Military Infantry
Very little is known of Henry’s childhood. He apparently grew up in Newry and attended primary school there. He attended St. Francis College in Loretto from its founding in 1847, where he met all the people in the town, including the family of his brother-in-law, Josiah Christy. After completing his studies at St. Francis, Henry left to “read Medicine,” as a relative put it, and entered the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in October 1853, receiving his M.D. in 1855.
Dr. Henry was enlisted by a Capt. Wood in Washington, D.C. on August 8, 1862 and commissioned as an assistant surgeon to the 111th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, “Field and Staff” Company. He was mustered into service on August 9 for three years or the duration of the war. Henry served initially in the Washington, D.C. area, as his unit was on that day fighting at the Battle of Cedar Mountain, Virginia. It then joined in Pope’s Campaign in Northern Virginia, August 16-September 6. During the Bull Run Battles, the unit guarded trains. It then took up the Maryland Campaign September 6-24. Henry joined his unit during the aryland Campaign, but on September 17, 1862 (the day of the Battle of Antietam), he was detached to serve in the hospital at Smoketown, Maryland, where he served through October. The 111th was presented with a stand of colors by Col. Stainrood, who commanded the brigade. Two months were spent in camp in Loudoun (Bolivar) Heights, near Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, and it conducted a reconnaissance mission to Rippon, West Virginia on November 9 and another to Winchester December 2-6.
On January 13, 1863, Henry was promoted by Surgeon General James King to the rank of major and commissioned a full Surgeon with the 174th Pennsylvania Drafted Military Infantry, “Field and Staff” Company. He was thus discharged from the 111th on January 12, 1863, and reenlisted in the 174th on January 13, 1863. The 174th was a drafted unit that organized in Philadelphia in November, 1862, and thus was enlisted for only 9 months’ service. The unit was stationed in New Berne, N.C. until January 6, and Henry caught up with it as it moved to Port Royal Harbor, South Carolina, where it was stationed January 27-February 5, 1863. The 174th then encamped on St. Helena Island, South Carolina until February 27, and then proceeded to Beaufort, where it remained until June, engaged in the routine of camp and garrison duty. It encamped at Hilton Head, S.C., until July 28, then moved to Philadelphia and mustered out of service on August 7, 1863, nine months after it was formed. The unit apparently engaged in no battles during that time, as it lost no
men to battles, but 13 died of disease during the term. Although Henry’s pension and service records do not make it clear, Henry contracted a lung disease, probably tuberculosis, during his tenure with the 174th, and as a result he did not reenlist when the 174th was mustered out at Philadelphia in August, 1863.
Returning home, Dr. Henry apparently set up practice in the area of the Broad Top, Huntingdon County, in Carbon Township. This was a heavy coal-mining area, rather poor economically, and one can only speculate that Henry worked there to treat lung diseases. He appears in the 1870 census at Broad Top, with $200 worth of personal property and a domestic servant, Sara Murray, age 35.
Dr. Henry’s tuberculosis worsened after the war and had so greatly weakened him by 1872 that he was unable to work. He spent his last few months at the home of his sister, Mrs. Rebecca Christy, in Gallitzin, Cambria County, and he died in her house at 2:00 a.m. on May 31, 1872. He was buried the next day at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Newry, although his grave has not been found.
The obituary for Henry appeared in the Cambria Freedom of June 1, 1872, as follows: “Dr. Henry Conrad, brother of Mrs. Josiah Christ, of Gallitzin, died of consumption at Mr. Christy’s residence about two o’clock yesterday morning, aged some forty years. We knew the doctor as a man and boy for more than three decades and fully appreciated his generous manly nature, as well as his high professional attainment. He practiced the medical art for several years in the Broad Top region, Huntingdon County. His death has entailed deep sorrow upon his now widowed wife and several fatherless children.”
The preceding articles were written by Brother John Conrad. Celestine Conrad and Henry Conrad are John’s great-great grandfathers.
Brother Morris Courtright
Private Alexander Courtright
Co. F, 13th Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
Alexander enlisted in Company F, 13th Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry on January 1, 1862, and left with the Regiment for Leavenworth Kansas, January 13, 1862. Marching to Fort Scott, KS, they arrived March 1, 1862, thence to Fort Riley on April 20 and Fort Leavenworth on May 27.
This was followed by a move to St. Louis, MO, thence to Columbus, KY where Alexander did guard duty along the Mobile and Ohio Railroad from Columbus, KY to Corinth, MS and saw action at Rickett’s Hill. On November 6th he moved to Fort McHenry for duty guarding supply steamers between the Fort and Hamburg Landing until February 1864. Alexander then did guard duty along the Tennessee River until his discharge January 19, 1865.
The preceding article was written by Brother Morris Courtright (Alexander is Morris’ great grandfather).
Brother Robert Cox
Returning to his home near Cedar Falls, Iowa, eventually homesteading two adjacent 640-acre tracts south of Emmetsburg, Iowa in Palo Alto County, he began his farming career and raising a family. In 1868 he married DeEtte Sawyer; together they raised six children with my grandmother, Cora, being the fifth born on Oct. 10, 1881.
Grandpa Williams’ not only farmed but he continued his musical pursuits by being an itinerant music teacher riding his horse to area farms and towns teaching music.
Upon retirement, selling the farm to a daughter and son-in-law, O.O. and DeEtte moved into town (Emmetsburg) and lived in a modern two-story home adjacent to Five Island Lake where their grandchildren, including my father, Luin, learned to swim. My uncle, J.O. Cox, drove me past the house in 1982 saying he had last been there prior to 1920. In 2021, the home still exists and is well cared for.
It was while farming Grandpa Williams either made or purchased a painted red tin box in which it is said he kept his farm ledgers and paperwork. The box was given to me at the time of my father’s passing in 1980. Dad had inherited the box and contents when his mother, Cora, passed away in 1965. A small farm ledger book and many old family photos were found inside; they’ve have been carefully preserved.
While in retirement O.O. was active in the community, especially prior to old-age infirmities related to his War time years. Corporal Williams was a founder of the local Chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic. Additionally, he was elected Streets Commissioner for an unknown number of terms.
During his later retirement years, O.O. would sit in the bay window looking out at the neighborhood and is said to have read all the books then available at the public library. He marked the inside jacket of each book with a small “o.o.” to tell him it was a book he had completed.
Great grandpa passed away on Oct. 23, 1920; the local newspaper headline was “An old veteran called to reward”.
The preceding article was written by great grandson, Brother Robert Cox.
Brother John Crossen
Pvt. Lewis D. Flatt
Company D, 1st Pennsylvania Rifles,
42nd Infantry Regiment, 13th
Pennsylvania Reserves (“Raftmen Guards”)
My great-great grandfather was one of “Kane’s Bucktails.” He enlisted in Warren County, PA in 1861 and traveled by river to Pittsburgh, and then onto Harrisburg where General Kane and Colonels Stone and McNeill formed the famous “Bucktail Regiment.” They were so named for placing the fluffy tail of a mule deer in their hats. Each man was a skilled rifleman and carried his own weapons. Lewis, like many in his company, was a lumberman by profession. They had their own battle cry, which some Confederate enemies described as a cross between an “angry bobcat” and “demons on the run.” In the course of the war, the Bucktails would gain fame as one of the more colorful and fierce fighting units on the side of the Union.
Lewis’s company participated in many key battles early in the war, including General McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign in the summer of 1862. At the battle of Mechanicsville on June 26, Lewis and several of his comrades were huddled down in a trench below a line of cannon. During the continuous cannonading of that day he apparently lost his hearing in his left ear. The following day, during serious engagement with the enemy at Gaines Mill, he was shot in the right thigh and taken to the Union filed hospital at Savage Station. The hospital was eventually overrun by Confederates and Lewis was taken prisoner. Later, he was exchanged and transferred to a hospital in Washington, D.C. He was discharged in 1863, and returned home to Corydon, PA.
After the war, my g-g-grandfather was active in the GAR and participated in annual “Bucktail Reunions.” I have a photo of him taken at the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (1913). He is wearing his bucktail cap, proudly sporting a GAR medal on his coat with his regimental identification. Though he is said to have had a pronounced limp due to his war injuries, he continued to be an active hunter all his life. He died in
1935 at the age of 92.
Note: Lewis’s son, my great-great grandfather Sylvester S. Flatt (1873-1931), carried on the family tradition of military service by enlisting in Company I of the famous 16th Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Puerto Rican Campaign of the Spanish-American War in 1898. They returned home to Warren County to great fanfare. Sylvester worked both as a raftman (transporting logs down the Allegheny River) and a railroad man (switchman) in the Corydon-Kinzua area. His funeral in 1931, according to a local paper, was one of the most widely attended up to that time. Several companies of Spanish War veterans paid their tributes to him. I am very proud of him, too.
Pvt. Adelbert Thompson, Captain Rogers’ Company
19th New York Light Artillery
My great-great grandfather Adelbert Thompson (1846-1919) enlisted in Captain Rogers’ Company in Batavia, NY in 1864. As an artillery man he saw action primarily in U.S. Grant’s Overland Campaign and at the siege of Petersburg, VA in 1864-1865. His company was attached to Col. Potter’s Division, part of General Burnside’s IX Corps. At the battle of Cold Harbor Adelbert’s Regiment was often engaged in artillery duels with the enemy. On the far right flank of Meade’s army, his unit may have had to fend off frequent Confederate raids and attempts to overrun their position. I own his bayonet and have often imagined him pushing back enemy soldiers with it as they tried to overtake his cannon. I have also seen him in camp during the war, the bayonet fixed in the ground and a candle burning in the socket as he read his bible or scribbled a line or two back home.
My family has a photo of Adelbert taken circa 1864. He is in his Union uniform, a kepi on his head. His arms are crossed and he is holding an intimidating looking Colt pistol. The look on his face is one of jovial defiance and pride.
After Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Adelbert returned home to Genesee County. He had a farm near Basom, NY and he worked it most of his life. His granddaughter Ada Thompson married John M. Crossen. They were my father’s parents. Dad grew up in Basom but never knew he had a Civil War great-grandfather until many years later. Interestingly, I discovered Adelbert’s bayonet in a barn on the Crossen farm in 1980! We’ve cherished
it ever since.
The preceding articles were written by Brother John F. Crossen
Brother Rick Cups
Pvt. Richard Fotheringill
Company F, 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry
The following is a copy of the court martial of Pvt. Fotheringill as found in the National Archives. Fotheringill is the great, great grandfather of Brothers Rick and Don Cups and the g-g-g-grandfather of Brother Nathan Cups.
A general court martial is hereby appointed to convene at Maysville, Ala. on the 2nd day of November 1863 at 9 o’clock A.M. to sit without regard to hours, or as soon thereafter as practicable for the trial of such prisoners as may be brought before it.
Detail for the Court
1. Major Alfred B. Brackett
5th Iowa Vol. Cavalry
2. Capt. Benj. S. Dartt
7th Penna. Vol. Cavalry
3. Capt. James E. Robinson
72 Ind. Vol. Inft.
4. Capt. Wm. McCracken
98th Ill. Vol. Inft.
5. 1st Lt. Joseph Hedges
4th U.S. Cavalry
6. 1st Lt. Thos. J Smith
98 Ill. Vol. Inft.
7. 1st Lt. Johnson Parker
72 Ind. Vol. Inft.
1st Lt. George W. Lawson – 4th Mich. Cavalry
No other officers than those named can be assembled without manifest injury to the service. By Command of Brig. Gen. Crook, Maysville, Alabama, Nov. 4th 12 o’clock.
The court met pursuant to the above order .
Present – All the members and the Judge Advocate
The court proceeded to the trial of Private Richard Fotheringill Co. F, 7th Penn. Vol. Cavalry who was called into court and having heard the order convening the court trial was asked if he had any objections to any of the members named in the order. In this he replied in the negative.
The court and the Judge Advocate were then duly sworn in the presence of the accused and then the accused— Richard Fotheringill, Co. F, 7th Penn. Cav. was arraigned on the following charges and specifications.
Charges and specifications against Private Richard Fotheringill Co. F, 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry –
Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline.
In this that said Private Richard Fotheringill of Co. F, 7th Penn. Cavalry was found on private premises about one mile from the camp of his regiment without leave of absence or being ordered to the said premises on duty. This near Maysville, Alabama on the 26th of October 1863.
In this that the said Private Richard Fotheringill of Co. F, 7th Penn. Cavalry did attempt to seize and take away a horse on said premises the property of a citizen without orders to do so. This near Maysville, Alabama on the 26th of October 1863.
In this that the said Private Richard Fotheringill of Co. F, 7th Penn. Cavalry when ordered to desist from attempting to seize a horse the property of a citizen by Lt. Col. M. J. Patrick 5th Iowa Cavalry did behave himself toward the said Lt. Col. Patrick in a contemptuous and disrespectful manner and did make use of insolent and insulting language toward the said officer who was at the time in uniform with the proper badges of his rank. This near Maysville, Alabama on the 26th of October 1863.
Violation of the 50th Article of War
In that the said Private Richard Fotheringill of Co. F, 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry when on a Picket detail did absent himself from the post of said Pickett without leave and was found marauding on private premises. This near Maysville, Alabama on the 26th of October 1863.
(Signed) M. J. Patrick, Lt Col 5th Iowa Cavalry
To which charges and specifications the accused pleaded as
To the first specification of the first charge Not guilty
To the second specification of the first charge Not guilty
To the third specification of the first charge Not guilty
To the first charge Not guilty
To the specification of the second charge Not guilty
To the second charge Not guilty
Lt. Col. Patrick 5th Iowa Cav. a witness for the prosecution being duly sworn testifies as follows –
I found the accused on the 26th October with another man in company with him on private premises outside the camp endeavoring to catch a horse that was in a lot near a dwelling house. The lady of the house appealed to me and complained about the men chasing the horse and endeavoring to take it away and I ordered the men, the accused being one of them to desist and to report to their commander. They replied in an insulting manner and said that they would not go and that I had nothing to do with them. I had my uniform on. I then made an attempt to arrest them. They refused to be arrested and moved off at a walk. They were mounted and armed. I was on foot – without arms. I then ordered the three Captains and a Lieutenant who were with me to mount and assist me in arresting the men. They did so and we arrested the men. The accused and the man with him told me that they both belonged to a Picket post and they stated that the man agreed to trade the horse in question with them. I saw no man at the house – when I ordered the men to stop the accused did stop for a moment but moved off again when his companion told him to come on and not to mind those officers. They did not stop again and refused to be arrested till they saw the Captains gaining on them with pistols in their hands. The companion of the accused did most of the talking.
Question by the court — ‘Do you think Col. that the accused seemed disposed to obey you until influenced by his companion.’
Answer —– ‘I do, but after he moved off with his companion he acted fully as bad.’
Question by the accused — ‘Did I refuse to halt when you ordered me to.’
Answer —– ‘You did’
(signed) M. J. Patrick
Lt. Col 5th Iowa Cavalry
The prosecution was then closed.
1st Lt. Thompson 7th Penn. Cav. a witness for the accused
being duly sworn testified as follows –
That I have known the accused for more than two years – that his general character as a soldier is good and that he is not disposed to be insolent towards his superior officers nor disobedient of orders.
Heber L. Thompson 1st Lt. 7th Penn Cav.
Statement by the accused –
When I was taking the horse the Col. ordered me to halt. I stopped then till the man – my companion went to the Col. to tell him we had traded for the horse. He said it did not matter and that we should go to our commander. Patrick , my companion, told the Col. that “Maybe he didn’t know what command he belonged to and that we might go our way”. I had no conversation with the Col. , Lt. Col. Patrick, except he asked me to what command I belonged – I told him. I went to the Col. when he ordered me to and I did not move after he ordered me to halt .
X (his mark)
The court was then closed and having materially deliberated upon the testimony addressed is of the opinion that Private Richard Fotheringill of Company F, 7th Penn. Cav. is:
Not guilty of the first specification of the first charge.
Guilty of the second specification of the first charge.
Guilty of the third specification of the first charge except as to the words ‘and did make use of insolent and insulting language toward him’.
Guilty of the first charge.
Not guilty of the specification of the second charge.
Not guilty of the second charge.
And does therefore sentence Private Richard Fotheringill Company F, 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry to be confined under guard in his own regiment at hard labor for the period of twenty days and to forfeit one half of his proper monthly pay for the period of three months.
George W. Lawson
A. B. Brackett
1st Lt. 4th Mich. Cavalry
Major 5th Iowa Cavalry
(And as Brother Rick Cups related to the Camp newsletter editor: “At this stage of my life it’s a source of pride. Many people claim to have a horse thief in the family, but I have a convicted horse thief in the family!”)
Private Adam Pulling
Company F, 124th Illinois Infantry Regiment
August 11, 1862 – June 2, 1863
Great-great-great granduncle of Brother Nathan G. Cups
Adam Pulling was born in 1837 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents were Thomas Pulling and Sarah Haines. When he was young the family moved to Steubenville, Ohio and on to Mason County, Illinois in 1849. On January 10, 1856, he married Mary Ann Vanlaningham of County, Illinois. He had two sons, John and Nathan.
On August 11, 1862, he enlisted in Company F, 124th Illinois Infantry for 3 years at Kewanee, Henry County, Illinois. Adam Pulling was 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall, with light complexion, grey eyes, light hair, and was a farmer.
The 124th Illinois Infantry was recruited from Henry, Kane, McDonough, Sangamon, Jersey, Adams, Wayne, Cook, Putnam, Pike, Mercer and Christian Counties. August 27, 1862, the first company went into camp at Camp Butler, near Springfield. September 10th it was mustered into the United States service for three years. The regiment’s service was as follows, attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Right Wing 13th Army Corps (Old), Dept. of the Tennessee, to December, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 17th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee to April, 1864. Maltby’s Brigade, District of Vicksburg, Miss., to October, 1864. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 19th Army Corps, Dept. of the Gulf, October, 1864. Maltby’s Brigade, District of Vicksburg, Miss., to February, 1865. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 16th Army Corps (New), Military Division West Mississippi, to August, 1865.
Adam Pulling served with the regiment during Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign and was involved in the following operations; May 1st, the battle of Thompson’s Hills, or Port Gibson, May 12th, the battle of Raymond, May 14th, the capture of Jackson and May 16th, the battle of Champion Hills.
On June 2, 1863, Adam Pulling was killed in action while the 124th Illinois was involved in the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi. His service record casualty sheet states the following; “ Killed on the 2nd day of June 1863 while sharpshooting from a rifle pit near rebel fortifications, Vicksburg, Miss. by a rifle ball passing through his head”. He left no personal effects and was buried in Vicksburg National Cemetery, Section G, Grave # 4352.
Private Jacob Sheriff
Company F 5th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment (3 months)
April 20, 1861 – July 25, 1864
Battery E, 5th United States Artillery Regiment
August 30, 1864 – June 30, 1865
Great-great granduncle of Rick and Don Cups Great-great-great granduncle of Nathan Cups
Jacob Sheriff was born August 3, 1836 in Schuylkill or Berks County, Pennsylvania. His parents were Samuel and Catherine Sheriff. When the war started, he was living in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania.
When the war started, he quickly enlisted in Company F, 5th Pennsylvania Infantry. Most of the companies in the regiment were from Schuylkill or Alleghany Counties with Company F recruited in the town of Schuylkill Haven. This was a 3 month regiment and did not see any action.
The regiment’s service was as follows, organized at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, April 20, 1861. Moved to Philadelphia April 22, then to Perryville and Annapolis, Md., April 23, and to Washington, D.C., April 27. At Alexandria, Va., May 28. Moved to Shutter’s Hill June 3. Attached to McDowell’s Army of Northeast Virginia, duty at Alexandria until muster out. Mustered out July 25, 1861.
In the last year of the war he enlisted in the 5th United States Artillery as did a number of Schuylkill County men. This was a light artillery unit and its batteries were attached to different armies and saw service in many different theaters of the war. During the time he was with the unit, it was engaged in the siege of Petersburg and the Appomattox campaign.
The history of Battery E follows; organized May, 1862, and on duty at Fort Hamilton, N.Y. Harbor, until June, 1863. Ordered to Dept. of the Susquehanna, and duty in Pennsylvania until April, 1864. Ordered to Washington, and attached to 3rd Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army Potomac, to May, 1864. Artillery Brigade, 6th Army Corps, Army Potomac, to July, 1864. Artillery Reserve, Army Potomac, to December, 1864. Artillery Brigade, 6th Army Corps, Army Potomac, to June, 1865.
After the war, he returned to Schuylkill Haven and married Sarah Reed. They had one child who died in 1867, before Sarah’s death in 1869. His second wife, Sophia Tirper, died in 1871. He married his third wife, Rebecca Shappell, on November 19, 1871 and they had 5 children. He died on October 18, 1888, from injuries he received on the job as a repairman for the Reading Railroad and was buried in the Soldier’s Plot of the Union Cemetery in Schuylkill Have
Private Moses J. Sims
Company A, 40th Illinois Infantry Regiment
July 25, 1861 – January 22, 1865
Company D, 6th Illinois Cavalry Regiment
March 16, 1865 – November 5, 1865
Great-great-great granduncle of Nathan G. Cups
Moses J. Sims was born in 1832 in Hamilton County, Illinois. His parents were Martin Sims and Polly Shirley. On July 25, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, 40th Illinois Infantry for 3 years at Macedonia, Illinois. His residence was listed as McLeansboro, Hamilton County, Illinois. Moses Sims was 5 feet 11 inches tall, with fair complexion, blue eyes, red hair, and was a plasterer.
The 40th Infantry was enlisted from the counties of Franklin, Hamilton, Wayne, White, Wabash, Marion, Clay and Fayette. The regiment, with ten companies, reported at Springfield, Ill., and on the 10th of August 1861, was mustered into the service for three years. The 40th Illinois Infantry spent most of the war (March 1862 to July 1865) attached to the Army of the Tennessee. Under the command of William T. Sherman, it was involved in a number of major battles/campaigns against the enemy. These included Shiloh, Siege of Corinth, Siege of Vicksburg, Missionary Ridge, Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta, Ezra Church, Jonesborough, the March to the Sea, and the Campaign through the Carolinas.
Moses Sims was present with his regiment until the action at Ezra Church. By that time, he had been wounded in action seven times. His service record contains five separate Casualty Sheet Reports, three of them for severe gunshot wounds. On April 6th, 1862, he was shot twice at the Battle of Shiloh. The first ball passed through his upper left arm in the bicep area and the second ball passed through his left side leaving a 3 inch long hole in his side. Neither ball struck bone. He was listed as absent from his regiment, wounded, until June, 1862. He was wounded on July 12, 1863 and again on July 14, 1863 in action at Jackson, Mississippi. The July 14th wound was to his left foot when he was hit by shrapnel from an exploding artillery shell. On July 28th 1864, the 40th Illinois was heavily engaged at Ezra Church, North Georgia. He was shot at close range in the left thigh; the ball hit bone and left a scar 3 inches wide and 8 inches long. His pension physical also lists 3 other wounds. He had a scar across the top of his head caused by a bullet grazing him and he also had a bruise scar on his left breast were he was struck with a spent ball. He had a bayonet wound under his chin. The gunshot wound he received on July 28th would put him in the hospital until January 1865 and would leave him unable to walk without pain. On January 22, 1865, he received a disability discharge at Mound City, Illinois.
In March 1865, Moses Sims enlisted along with his younger brother, Martin Sims, in the 6th Illinois Cavalry. The war was coming to a close and the 6th Illinois Cavalry saw no further action until it was mustered out in Selma, Alabama on November 5, 1865.
After the war, Moses Sims returned to Hamilton County and worked as a mason and farmer. In 1866, he was awarded a pension of $4 a month for wounds received during the war. This was gradually increased over time until his pension reached $12 per month at the time of his death in 1899. He was married at least two times. In October 1876, he married Elizabeth Halferty in Atlantic, Cass County, Iowa. The couple lived there until the spring of 1885 when they moved to Wheeler, Nebraska. Elizabeth died January 26th, 1892 and on July 10th, 1894, he married again to Mary E. Todd at Grand Island, Nebraska. He had no children. Moses Sims had difficultly working his entire life because of his wounds and was finally confined to the Nebraska Soldiers and Sailors Home in Grand Island. He died there from cancer of the face and neck on March 25th, 1899.
Brother John Geris
Private James Redman Wisner
Company C, New York 15th Engineers
James Redman Wisner, the son of Moses Carpenter & Elizabeth Ann [Bunce] Wisner, was born in Wayne County, NY, September 29, 1826. He married Sophronia Wilkinson, daughter of Aaron Wilkinson & Polly Wilkes, September 27, May 1849, in Wayne County.
He enlisted on August 25, 1864 at Auburn, New York. His service record says he was 5 foot 7 inches tall with grey eyes, brown hair and a light complexion. A farmer by trade. He served as a private in the NY 15th Engineers, Company C. and mustered out of the service on June 13, 1865 at Fort Berry, Virginia.
The 15th Regiment Engineers was organized at Washington, D.C. October 25, 1861, and attached to the Engineer Brigade, Army of the Potomac. The main work of the regiment was that of laying bridges; being known for the for their “pontoon bridges” or floating bridges that could be put up and dismantled then transported by wagon to the next site where there was no bridge for the troops to cross. A floating bridge was constructed by anchoring a series of large, flat-bottomed boats across a waterway and then laying wooden planks across them. The planks (the “chess”) were anchored by side rails and then covered with a layer of soil to protect it and to dampen sounds. Pontoon bridges were extremely important to the outcome of several battles, including Fredericksburg where they were particularly noted for building a bridge over the Rappahannock River. They’d marched 8 miles, began work at 11:30 and had a bridge 420 feet long ready for use at 4:30 p.m.
During its long service the men became very proficient in engineering and through its steadiness under fire is said to have lost no bridge material of any kind during the last year of its service. The original members not reenlisted were mustered out at New York in Sept., 1864, and after participation in the grand review at Washington, the other companies mustered out on June 13-14, 1865.
Not much is known of his movements during the war but based on records we know all Companies of the 15th NY Engineers were engaged in siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond June, 1864, to April, 1865. In January 1865, three companies were detached and sent to North Carolina. The remainder of the regiment, including Company C remained at Petersburg until the final surrender and Appomattox Court House April 9 for the surrender of Lee and his army. James received a pension for an injury from a fall he sustained on December 12, 1864 at Petersburg.
James came from a long line of Patriots and “fighting men.” His 5th great-grandfather, Johannes Wisner, the progenitor of the Wisner family in America, was an officer in the Swiss Infantry. He was part of Queen Anne of England’s Swiss contingent commanded by the Prince of Orange that fought in the continuing wars against France. At the war’s end, Queen Anne rewarded 10,000 of the Swiss soldiers for their service in the war by sending them to the Colonies to start new homes.
With wife Elizabeth [Drumbaugh] and two sons, Henrick and Adam, and fellow soldiers of the Swiss contingent, Johannes arrived in New York around 1710. Some time was spent on Governor’s Island till he found work with a Christian Snedicor of Hampstead, Long Island. He was sent by Snedicor to Orange County, New York, to oversee land Snedicor owned in Wawayanda Patent. By late July 1714 he was able to buy land at Warwick, near Mount Eve on what is now the border of Drowned Lands. Johannes and his wife Elizabeth, were the first permanent white settlers in the valley. There is a roadside marker about 1 ½ miles southeast of Florida, NY, with the inscription: “Settlers, first in town of Warwick, Johannes and Elizabeth Wisner, under Wawayanda Patent, 1702, settled here in 1712.” Johannes & Elizabeth were married in 1697 in Lake Constance, Switzerland. He was born about 1676 in Zurig, Switzerland and died May 19, 1744 in Florida, Orange, New York at the age of 67 or 68 years. A few of their descendants still live in the area.
James 3rd great- grandfather, Capt John Wisner SR, grandson of Johannes and Elizabeth, was Captain in the French and Indian Wars and the Revolution. He was holding rank as Captain as early as 1756 in the Colonial forces. His 2,000 acre estate, on what is today the property of the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility, was received directly from the British Crown before the revolution.
James great-great grandfather Capt John Wisner Jr., son of Capt John SR and Ana [Jayne] Wisner, was born in 1741. On October 13, 1775 he was elected Captain in the Florida and Warwick Company, belonging to the Regiment Orange County Minutemen. He was stationed for a while at Fort Constitution and fought in the Battle of White Plains. Washington Irving made the following reference to Capt Wisner in his book, Life of George Washington; ‘The garrison at the fort consisted of two companies of Col John Clintons regiment and Capt Wisner’s company of Minute Men. In all one hundred and sixty rank and file. All miserably armed. ‘ Capt Wisner’s granddaughter would later write that he narrowly missed being captured at Fort Constitution due to being out on maneuvers.
James and Sophronia had three children: Augusta, my 3rd grandmother, born August 24, 1850, James Carpenter born January 7th, 1858 and Erissa born August 9th, 1861. They lived in Wayne County until 1866. The family moved from New York to LaSalle County, IL where Augusta met my 3rd great grandfather, Allen Griffith. They wed on April 9th, 1868 at the home of her parents in Ottawa, IL.
In February 1881, James and Sophronia, along with their son James, daughter Erissa and son-in-law Thomas Varah, moved to Hastings, Adams County, NE where they bought farmland and lived out the rest of their days surrounded by a large family. Many descendants still live in the Hastings area. Sophronia died May 1st, 1917 and James died February 8th, 1918. They are buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Doniphan, NE. They were married 68 years and five months…..a long and happy life together.
James was a member of the Silas A. Strickland GAR Post in Hastings, NE. A newspaper article from the World Herald, Omaha Dec 9, 1909 gave his service in the Civil War and that he’d been the oldest veteran to march in the annual Encampment (Hastings 1908) and at present the 3rd oldest veteran in the state of NE.
Brother Roy Goodale
Greenleaf Austin Goodale and John White Critz
A Battle Chronology of Two Grandfathers 1861-1865
By Roy L. Goodale
Brother Roy Goodale submitted the following regarding his two grandfathers (Greenleaf Austin Goodale and John White Critz) and the Civil War.
The Brothers War, a nefarious pseudonym for the Civil War, has revealed numberless accounts of family members on opposing sides during the tragic years 1861-1865. Stranger still is the case of two grandfathers, one Confederate, one Union participating in identical campaigns and sometimes identical battles often on the same day and both surviving the carnage of war, unknown to each other.
Until George Swazey Goodale (1871-1936), a captain in the 23rd Infantry met and married Laura Lillilus Critz (1886-1988) in Starkville, Mississippi in 1911, the coincidence might have gone unnoticed. He was a Yankee son of a Maine family, born at Ft. Klamath, Oregon, a graduate of West Point in the class of 1896 who had gone through his baptism of fire during the Philippine Insurrection. She was a southern belle, product of a finishing school and family of comfortable means. He was a Congregationalist; she a Methodist; he a Republican; she from a family of staunch Democrats. Their meeting and marriage was the happenstance of his assignment as Professor of Military Science at the University of Mississippi where he served from 1909-1911. Another curious difference soon came to light without apparent overtones of rancor: the father of each had been a veteran of the civil strife that had raged fifty-one years before.
George’s father, Greenleaf Austin Goodale was born at Orrington, Main 4 July 1839 and had lived in Iowa in the years before the war. In May 1861 he enlisted in Bucksport’s Co. “E”, 6th Maine Volunteers and was mustered into federal service at Portland 15 July 1861. Greenleaf left for Washington, D.C. soon after where his regiment was attached to Gen. W.F. Smith’s brigade, division of the Potomac; and later to the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division 4th Army Corps. Until February 1863 the 6th Maine was part of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 6th Corps. Ordered to the Peninsula, the 6th Maine engaged in the siege of Yorktown, the reconnaissance towards Lees Mill, the Battle of Williamsburg, and was on continuous picket duty near Richmond on the Chickahominy until 25 June 1862. Beginning in late June 1862, he would meet Capt. John White Critz’ 42nd Virginia in a strange coincidence of campaigns:
|6th Maine Infantry||42nd Virginia Infantry|
In November 1863, Goodale, then sergeant was relieved of duty with the 6th Maine and ordered to report to General Banks, Commanding the Department of the Gulf of New Orleans with the view to his commissioning in the Corps d’ Afrique. Had he remained and survived, the 6th Maine and the 42nd Virginia would have met in at least four other battlefield encounters: The Battle of the Wilderness (5-7 May 1864); Spotsylvania (8-12 May 1864); North Anna (23-26 May 1864); and Cold Harbor
(1-2 June 1864).
His opponent, John White Critz, son of Archileus and Lavinia Stovall Penn was born in Georgia 27 May 1842 while the family was enroute from the old home at Critz, Virginia to the cotton lands of Alabama and Mississippi. When the war started, it is believed the 19 year-old left his home in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi and returned to his grandfather’s home in southern Virginia where he enlisted in the 42nd Virginia as private at Ridgeway, Patrick County on 8 June 1861. Soon after, on 15 June, he was elected 2nd lieutenant and commanded Co. “A” at various times until wounded at Kernstown on 23 March 1862. On 20 August he was 2nd lieutenant in Co. “H” and was again wounded on 29 August at Second Bull Run after which he was hospitalized and put on sick leave through 31 December 1862. He returned to command Co. “H” at various times through 2 June 1863 and commanded Co. “E” from 9 October 1863 through 25 November after which he was promoted to captain of Co. “A” serving as such until hospitalized at Danville, Virginia with chronic diarrhea from 31 May to 2 June 1864 for which he was given 60 days sick leave. Critz was present for duty again on 31 October and apparently served on active duty until the regiment surrendered at Appomattox. Like thousands of others, both grandfathers suffered bouts of diarrhea and were incapacitated though Greenleaf miraculously escaped battle wounds. One wonders if Critz’ wounds were inflicted by a minie ball from Goodale’s musket in one of these impersonal encounters.
Nearly a year of war had elapsed in separate campaigning by the opposing regiments before they faced each other in battle. While Critz’ 42nd Virginia was busying itself in the Shenandoah Valley at Kernstown, Virginia during March 1862 and skirmishes at McDowell and Cross Keys in May and June of that year, the 6th Maine had advanced on Richmond and then Yorktown, fighting battles at Williamsburg on 5 May where it occupied the center of the line, and thereafter picket duty on the Chickahominy. In the seven days before Richmond (25 Jun—1 July), the men would meet in battle for the first time.
With orders to join Gen. Robert E. Lee in defense of Richmond, the 42nd Virginia, part of “Stonewall” Jackson’s “foot cavalry”, moved from Gordonsville and Louisa Court House and on 27 June 1862 advanced on Federal positions at Gaines Mill. On the 27th and 29th June, the 6th Maine was engaged at Golding’s Farm and Savage Station and on 30 June opposed the 42nd Virginia at White Oak Swamp. Again on 1 July, the regiments were part of divisions locked in combat at Malvern Hill.
Bloodied in the Peninsula, the 6th Maine retreated to Harrison’s Landing which it occupied until 15 August. Here Goodale was promoted Corporal and his regiment moved into works at Centerville. The 42nd Virginia meanwhile was engaged on 9 August at Cedar Mountain and on 20-30 August helped defeat union General Pope whose rout was prevented by units including the 6th Maine.
Throughout these battles, casualties had sometimes been light though disease—diarrhea, diphtheria and malaria principally—and marches and countermarches together with desertions, had taken their toll on both regiments. Maneuvered about to meet tactical threats as they arose and led by replacements for senior officers, killed or wounded in battle, the opposing regiments, parts of larger brigades and divisions were disengaged between early September and 16 September 1862.
While Critz’ 42nd Virginia was withdrawn to attack a federal garrison at Harper’s Ferry between 12-15 September, the 6th Maine was engaged in campaigns to cover a Federal retreat to Fairfax Court House and actions at Sugarloaf Mountain and Crampton’s Pass, South Mountain in Maryland. Goodale’s and Critz’ regiments came together again on 16 September 1862 as Lee began gathering his army to resist General George B. McClellan’s advance near Sharpsburg, Maryland. The 42nd Virginia of Jones’ Brigade, deployed in the West Woods near the Hagerstown Pike. The 6th Maine, part of Hancock’s 1st Brigade, 2nd Division of Franklin’s VI Corps, which had been held in reserve, moved to Sharpsburg on 16 September and entered the East Woods near the northeast of a cornfield. Here the contending regiments, often less than a mile apart, faced each other across what became known as “the bloody cornfield” at Antietam where earlier that day thousands had slaughtered each other. The 42nd lost 10 killed and mortally wounded, 36 wounded and 1 captured. By the following day barely fifty men survived to shoulder a musket. The 6th Maine luckily suffered but four casualties, most from the incessant shell fire they were subjected to. One wonders: did the two grandfathers meet across the bloody field?
Burnside’s attempt to get at Richmond by crossing the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg in December 1862 was bloodily repulsed in frontal attacks and he was replaced by “Fighting Joe” Hooker who reorganized the corps of the Union Army including creation of a “light division” of five picked regiments for “special” emergencies, one of which was the 6th Maine. In another part of the field on 14 December, the 42nd Virginia was involved in heavy skirmishing. Here inconclusive contests would occur until the following Spring. On 3 May 1863, the “light division” including Goodale’s company of the 6th Maine was deployed in a final desperate frontal attack against defenders of a stone wall at Mayre’s Heights in what became known as the “Slaughter pen” for the thousands of Union casualties that dotted the slope. In a journal kept by Sergeant Goodale he later described the terrible ascension of the “heights” by his company: “…at nearly every step men were shot and tumbled forward to the ground, we survivors passing over their dead and dying bodies, not heeding their groans but pressing forward…and finally reached the summit.”
Unfortunately, Critz left no known diaries or journal depicting his ordeals of the time. Both regiments were engaged in the campaign following at Chancellorsville in May 1863 though in different parts of the line. Critz’ regiment, like most in the Confederate Armies, suffered from lack of shoes, clothing and supplies and severe casualties from the hard campaigning. Goodale’s, better supplied but exhausted from forced marches, was involved in operations at Franklin’s Crossing ( April-2 May); Salem Heights (3-4 May); Bank’s Ford (6 May); Brandy Station and Beverly Ford (9 June). The 42nd Virginia was withdrawn to fight actions at Winchester on 14-15 June 1863.
Critz’ company with Jones’ Brigade, was again engaged near Gettysburg at Culp’s Hill on 2 July 1863 where forces of the contending armies were gathering for the queen of all battles. Goodale’s company of the 6th Maine of Sedgwick’s VI Corps in a forced march of 37 dusty exhausting miles from Manchester, Maryland to Gettysburg took up positions in reserve east of Big Round Top on the Taneytown Pike guarding the extreme left of the Union army. With the repulse of Pickett’s charge, Lee’s army slowly withdrew west and south on 5 July towards Fairfield. Greenleaf would see action again near Funkstown, Maryland on 10-13 July but the contending regiments would not meet again in battle until the Bristoe Campaign in October 1863.
While the 42nd Virginia and 6th Maine would meet in at least five other campaigns—the last Cold Harbor in June 1864—the grandfathers would not meet in battle again. On the last of October 1863, Sergeant Goodale was relieved of duty with Co. “E” 6th Maine and was ordered to report to General Bank’s Department of the Gulf with view to his commissioning in the Corps d’Afrique. The latter was an agglomeration of newly-formed regiments of black troops being organized in New Orleans. On his departure he was commended by Lt. Col. Benjamin F. Harris, Commanding Regiment; Major George Fuller, Charles A. Clark, Adjutant and Capt. Benjamin J. Buck, Co. “E” 6th Maine Vols. for his close attention to duty in camp and his gallantry and bravery on the field in the severest engagements of the war at Williamsburg, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.
Greenleaf considered that Providence alone had spared him the devastating attrition accorded his old 6th Maine from subsequent battles in 1864 where the few survivors were finally mustered out on expiration of their terms of service and transferred to the 7th Maine on 15 August 1864. Somehow, despite battle casualties, desertions, and disease in the 42nd Virginia, John White Critz survived the Lynchburg Campaign (June 1840); Monocacy (9 July 1864); 3rd Winchester (19 September 1864); Fisher’s Hill (22 September); Cedar Creek (19 October); The Petersburg Siege (December 1864-April 1865); and action at Fort Stedman (25 March 1865) and was possibly present at the surrender at Appomattox Court House 9 April 1865.
Goodale left his company of the 6th Maine on 7 November 1863; served out the balance of the war in Louisiana and Mississippi at places like Ship Island, Camp Parapet, Forts St. Philip and Jackson; Chalmette, and Pass Manchac as 1st lieutenant and captain in the 5th Regiment Infantry Corps d’Afrique, later the 77th U.S. Infantry (colored); and still later as the 10th U.S. Colored Artillery (heavy). He led expeditions against bushwhackers operating around Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain, sat on courts martials and performed guard and garrison duty. In 1866 he entered the regular army as 1st Lieutenant 23rd Infantry, a regiment he would serve with for the next 33 years throughout the Indian wars of the West and the Philippine Insurrection. In 1870 while at Ft. Klamath, Oregon, he met and married Fidelia Beach, a school teacher who bore him two sons and a daughter before her death in 1881 at Ft. Bayard, New Mexico. In 1866 he remarried a distant cousin, Margaret Montgomery of Wakefield, Massachusetts. After a career of 42 active years with the army, he retired in 1903 as brigadier general, U.S.A. and lived in Wakefield, Massachusetts until his death in 1915. It is possible he may have learned something about his oldest son’s marriage to Laura Critz in 1911, of her father, an opponent years before, and
wondered if they had ever met in battle.
What happened to Capt John White Critz in the immediate postwar years is uncertain. He probably returned to Oktibbeha County, Mississippi where he farmed, prospered and acquired business property in and around Starkville and where on 27 September 1880 he married Adele Rives Walker (1858-1945), raised three boys and three girls and died there 23 May 1896 at age 54.
In life the grandfathers never met, engaged as they were in the impersonal conflict of battle and separated by birth, geography, and politics. What John would have thought of a daughter of the South marrying the son of an officer of black troops can only be conjectured. Perhaps nothing in the healing balm of reconciliation that grew with the years in the two sections in which the horrors of battle if not political differences were better forgotten.
In her youth, the author’s mother recalls how on special occasions Captain Critz allowed his awe-struck children to feel a spent “minie ball” imbedded in his shin which he had lived with from some fateful day years before when some bluecoat, possibly another grandfather from Maine had put it there.
Notes: A grandson of the subjects and a retired Air Force Officer, Major Goodale utilized family and other records to contrast the coincidental encounters of his ancestors, John White Critz and Greenleaf Austin Goodale. The latter’s civil and postwar experiences were described by Major Goodale in ‘A Soldier’s Reminiscences: The Journal of Greenleaf A. Goodale’, The Journal of the Shaw Historical Library, Vol 8, 1994, 49-84.
Below is an event, following the Battle of Gettysburg, described in that publication and experienced by Sgt Greenleaf A. Goodale, Co “E” 6th Maine Vols (later Brig Gen, U.S.A.). Greenleaf maintained a journal of his 42 active years service in the voluntary and regular army.
“A Military Execution
. . . But one unpleasant thing occurred: a military execution, which the whole division (A. C. Wright) was compelled to witness. A private of the 5th Maine, of our division, was to be “shot to death by musketry” for the crime of desertion.
The execution took place at New Baltimore, four miles from Warrenton, and by general order, the entire division was directed to rendezvous at that place at 12 m. It was a very hot day in August and several men fell by the way overcome by the heat. I succeeded in retaining my place through the day, but suffered exceedingly from the intense heat. Some men tried to escape going by pleading sickness-not on account of the heat, which we did not feel so very much in camp, but because they did not wish to see a brother soldier shot. But it was no use, the surgeon decided most of them were able to go.
. . .The division was made to form three sides and the fourth which was opposite my brigade (D.A. Russell) left open for the prisoner and firing party. The former accompanied by Chaplain Adams of the 5th Maine, was first hauled in an army wagon drawn by six mules around the inner sides of the square from left to right, to a point opposite the center of my brigade, where was a coffin upon the foot of which he was made to sit. Seated on his own coffin, and blindfolded, the firing party of twelve men commanded by a lieutenant marched out ten paces in front and at a given signal came to a “ready” and “aim” and as the sword of the officer fell, fired and the poor fellow fell over dead.
At a military execution by firing but 3/4th of the muskets are loaded with ball, the other 1/4th with blank cartridges, and all distributed to the members of the firing party indiscriminately. This is in order that each man may hope that his gun held a blank cartridge, not a ball.
No doubt such measures were necessary for the army was being depleted rapidly by desertion. But the authorities did wrong in allowing the crime to go unpunished for the first two years of the war by doing which soldiers got to believe (perhaps) that it was no great offense after all, but found very suddenly that the penalty was death and would be carried out on all apprehended.
I forgot to say that before the prisoner was blindfolded the general order publishing the proceedings of the courts martial in his case, was read to him. Quite a number of deserters were brought back this autumn to the Army of the Potomac, tried, and shot, but this was the only instance in my division. The whole thing was quite long and we got back to camp just before dark, a pretty sober lot of men . . .”
Brother James Greaves
Company H, 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry
John Greaves enlisted as a Private in Co. H on Dec. 21, 1861 at Pittsburgh, PA at the age of 19. Signed enlistment with an “X”. Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Greaves was 5’ 8” tall with grey eyes, light hair, fair complexion, and a miner by occupation. Detailed as Orderly to Col. Miller, acting Brig. General, per Sept/Oct 1862 Muster Roll. Subsequent Muster Rolls reflect Greaves was detailed as Orderly to Gen. Negley. March/April 1863 Muster Rolls remark, “In General Negley’s escort.” Detached service at Nashville, TN for horses, per Sept/Oct 1863 Muster Roll. Re-enlisted Nov. 28, 1863 at Huntsville, AL. Detached service from April 2, 1864 as Provost Guard, 1st Cavalry Brigade. Present for duty per Jan/Feb 1865 Muster Roll. Mustered out with regiment Aug. 23, 1865 at Macon, GA. Purchased revolver for $8.00. $2.85 to be deducted from pay for loss of horse blanket, straps and spurs.
Enlisted: 12/21/1861Pittsburgh/Harrisburg, Pa.
Discharged: 8/23/1865 Macon, Georgia
Born: Pittsburgh, Pa, 1841
Died: Pittsburgh, Pa, 1904
Buried: Pittsburgh—Southside Cemetery
Married: 9/1865 to Sarah J. Thomas
One child: Samuel T. Graves
John worked in the steel mills until disabled by arthritis. John’s father was a coal miner and farmer who legally immigrated from Croydon, England in 1841.
The preceding article was submitted by Brother James P. Greaves. John Graves was the great-great grandfather of Brother James P. Graves.
Note from James Greaves: My great-grandmother (Sarah J. Thomas) had 2 boyfriends serving with the Union Army; Reese Evans (62nd Penna. Infantry Regiment Co. B, 7/22/1861-2/23/1865, survivor of Andersonville Prison) and John Greaves (7th Pennsylvania Cavalry Co. H, 12/21/1861-8/23/1865).
My great-grandmother married John Greaves shortly after his discharge. The attached hand-drawn love-note was sent to Sarah by Reese Evans on May 3rd, 1862 from Yorktown, Va.
Brother Jan Huber
Harvey Jehosiphat Wolfe
My great-great grandfather, Harvey J. Wolfe, was born June 26, 1822, in Scott County,
Kentucky. By 1830 his family had moved to Indiana. He became a wagon maker at Alquina,
Fayette County, Indiana.
At 40 years of age, Harvey volunteered for 3 years of Civil War military duty on August 6, 1862. Such an act may have been inspired by the fact that his father, Jesse Wolfe, fought in the War of 1812 in a Kentucky Regiment. And, his maternal grandfather, Ephraim Polk, served as a Patriot soldier in the Revolutionary War. He may also have been patriotically inspired by the midsummer 1862 invasion of his home state, Kentucky, by 2 Confederate armies of 49,000 soldiers. Indiana Governor Morton had put out a call for volunteers to meet this emergency in Kentucky.
Harvey J. Wolfe was mustered into Company K, 69th Regiment of the Indiana Volunteer Infantry as a Private on August 19, 1862. Eleven days later, August 30, 1862, he was in the Battle of Richmond, Kentucky. He was wounded in the right arm and shoulder by a shell fragment fired from a Confederate cannon. He was captured at a field hospital and soon thereafter paroled.
After recovering from his wounds he rejoined his Regiment and participated in the early stages of the Vicksburg campaign. He received a minor leg injury during the battle of Arkansas Post (January 10-11, 1863). In February of 1863 Harvey was detached to the Pioneer Corps.
By June of 1863, Harvey was being frequently hospitalized for an illness primarily characterized by diarrhea. He was unable to recover and received a disability discharge at Indianapolis, Indiana, on September 17, 1863.
He continued to suffer from chronic diarrhea, eventually began receiving a government pension and Harvey J. Wolfe died an invalid at his Alquina, Indiana, home on July 26, 1883. He was buried in Union Cemetery, Lyonsville, Indiana. His grave is registered with the SUVCW. My eventual burial site is marked and is located just a few feet from his tombstone.
By Brother Jan D. Huber
Brother Ron Jones
Cpl Joseph Walker
139th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers
On September 11, 1889, a ceremony was held at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to dedicate a monument to the Pennsylvania regiments that served at that great battle of the Civil War. Around the base of the monument were bronze plaques for each regiment with the names of all who served. The name Joseph Walker appears with Company C, 139th Regiment. Joseph Walker was my great grandfather.
If the 139th Regiment sounds familiar, it should. On this same plaque, in Company A, you will find Carlon Rice, grandfather of Brother Rollin Rice. It is entirely possible that Joseph Walker and Carlon Rice were acquainted, even friends, as well as comrades in arms.
In the January 2004 Picacho Peak Camp Newsletter, Rollin Rice authored an article on his grandfather and the Civil War history of the 139th Pennsylvania Regiment. I shall not repeat that regimental history except as it pertains to Joseph Walker.
The 1889 dedication speech for the 139th Pennsylvania was delivered by Captain William Herbert. He reminisced about the exploits of the regiment including the march out of Virginia leading to Gettysburg. In excerpts of his oration, he said, “Some of you will remember big Joe Walker, of Company C. Corporal Walker had been…endowed…in a physical way (he wore size 12 shoes). Joe’s shoes had given out. One day he was stepping out as soldierly as possible with bare feet. One of his comrades yelled, ‘Hello, Joe, how are you getting along with those feet?’…The old veteran replied…’Oh, I am all right. If the Johnny Rebs are going up to Pennsylvania, they will find me there, too, if I have to wear these feet up to the stumps.’ Joe got there and did his duty, too. Poor fellow, he afterwards left one of his legs down in that same Occoquan country.”
Joseph Walker was born in Hamilton Mills, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in 1841. He enlisted in the Union Army in Armstrong County on August 5, 1862. His enlistment document states he was a farmer, age 20 years, 6’ 3” tall. He was assigned to Company C, 139th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.
The 139th Pennsylvania was assigned to VI Corps and served to varying degrees from Antietam to Appomattox.
A casualty sheet states that Joseph Walker was “wounded” on May 12, 1864. It does not say what kind of wound, where the wound was located, or in what engagement. But, on May 12, 1864, the 139th was fighting at the Blood Angle of the Muleshoe Salient, Spotsylvania Court House. I assume the wound was minor and was received at this battle, the same date and place that Carlon Rice was seriously wounded.
On September 19, 1864, Joseph Walker’s luck ran short. At Opequan Creek, in the third battle of Winchester, Virginia, he received a bullet would to his left leg which led to amputation above the knee. His war was over. He spent time in Army hospitals in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. He recovered and was discharged on April 20, 1865.
Joseph Walker married Louise Fulmer. They had 10 children born between 1863 and 1887. He died in 1902 and is buried in Blairsville, Pennsylvania.
Brother Ron Jones submitted this ancestry biography of Corporal Joseph Walker
Brother Dennis Lamb
James W. Hawkins
James Hawkins is my Great Great Grandfather. He was born on 13 Mar, 1844, in Camden, Schuyler County in West Central Illinois. His father, Alex Hawkins, had volunteered and served in a mounted unit during the Black Hawk War and his Great Grandfather, Moses Justus, was a “Minute Man” in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
Turning 18 years of age in 1862, having completed school in Erwin, IL, and with the formation of the 119th Volunteer Infantry Regiment of Illinois, James enlisted for three years in Camden, IL, on Aug 12, 1862. He was in Company F formed from Volunteers living in Camden and Rushville, IL. His brother-in-law was his Sergeant and young neighbors became his mess mates and companions.
The Regiment was organized at Quincy, IL, and mustered in October 7, 1862. They were first ordered to Columbus, KY, and then to Jackson TN. While performing guard duty along the Mobile & Ohio R.R. two Companies of the regiment were captured by Gen. Bedford Forrest. In 1863 the Regiment moved to Humboldt, Huntington, and Memphis, TN, serving Post Duty until January 1864. Ordered to Vicksburg, MS, on January 21, 1864 the 119th began to see regular offensive action.
The Regiment participated in the Meridian, MS, Campaign from Feb 3 – Mar 2. They were at Queen Hill on Feb 4th and Meridian on Feb 14-15th. Back in Vicksburg they were detached from Gen. Sherman to Gen. Nathan Bank’s Red River Campaign with Gen. “Whitey” Smith in command of the 16th Corp. They were to serve under Gen. Smith for the balance of the War and did not lose a Battle.
General Smith’s command was known as Western Guerillas, and proudly so. They dressed and acted the part. They traveled lightly, minimizing wagons, compared to the troops under Gen. Bank’s from the East. The Regiment’s participation in the Campaign lasted from Mar 10 through May 22 of 1864. The Regiment took River Steamers accompanied by Admiral Porter’s gunboats down the Mississippi to the Red River where they left the River fleet and proceeded to march back north for the first battle of the campaign on 14 Mar at Fort DeRussy which was located on the Red River near Marksville, LA. The 119th took up position at the far left of the Brigade’s line, a position they would occupy for the rest of their service and often finding themselves the left flank in the order of battle. They quickly captured the Fort with minimum resistance. Only minor action took place as the Army moved to occupy Alexandria, LA, and advanced to Grand Ecore where the Army set off cross county and the Navy proceeded north on the Red River headed for Shreveport. On April 8th Gen. Bank’s Army was routed at Sabine Crossroads near Mansfield, LA. Gen. Smith’s 16th Corp including the 119th was at the rear of Bank’s twenty mile long wagon train and was not involved. Smith, with Banks fleeing troops running through his command, set a trap. On April 9th at Pleasant Hill he stopped the Rebels chasing Banks. The 119th, hidden in the woods, allowed Gen. Taylor’s troops to cross directly in front left to right before launching their attack. Taylor was routed and fled north at nightfall. A member of the 119th was awarded the Medal of Honor. That night an immediate withdrawal was called by Banks, much to Smith’s frustration as the wounded and dead still remained on the battlefield. The Army retraced its march to Grand Ecore and then back to Alexandria and moved back south to the mouth of the Red River. Smith’s Corp and the 119th provided rear guard with repeated attacks successfully fought off. The last battle was at Yellow Bayou. Smith attacked the confederate forces providing time for the troops to board transports. This battle was the bloodiest for the 119th and, as the forces met head, on a forest fire started and smoke obliterated operations. Once again Smith saved Banks.
The Regiment continued under Smith’s command to Lake Chicot, AR, the defeat of Marmaduke, and then to Tupelo, MS from the 5th-21st where they were at the point of first attack by the Rebels in the Battle of Tupelo. Other Battles ensued and then they traveled 700 miles trough Arkansas and Missouri chasing Price without ever sighting him or his Army. Back in Memphis they left for Nashville on Nov 21, 1864 and attacked Hood on December 15-16th and chasing his Army to the Tennessee River Dec 17-28. Some members of Co F captured Gen Johnson as the overweight General was running to escape near the “brick wall” off Granny Pike (Road) south of Nashville. During the chase members of the Regiment reported a horrifying scene as they arrived in Franklin, TN. The frozen remains of both armies from the previous Battle at Franklin confronted the chasing 119th.
The Regiment moved to Eastport, MS, until Feb 1865 and then to New Orleans from Feb 8-26, camping across the River at Algiers. They sailed for Dauphine Island on Mar 6th and participated in the siege of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely where they were part of the attack and capture of Fort Blakely on April 9, the very day of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. Two members of the Regiment were awarded the Medal of Honor for action at Fort Blakely on April 9. They returned to Mobile and were mustered out August 26th 1865. Two officers and 22 enlisted men were killed while three officers and 130 enlisted men died from disease. The 119th, under Smith, fought alongside the 58th IL and 89th IN composing a Brigade.
James spent part of his early service in Hospital near Memphis with measles and bronchitis. He suffered the effects for the rest of his life. He earned a small Invalid Pension. After the war James married an Irish lass, our Great Great Grandmother, who died young. He eventually married again. He and his daughter later moved in 1900 to be with the rest of his family in Washington State, appearing in both the 1900 census for Illinois and two weeks later in the Washington Census. He died in Washington in 1903 at age 58. His second wife’s attempt to gain his pension resulted in a voluminous Pension file as she could not get her facts straight and was rejected numerous times. Not all the problems were her fault. The bureaucracy was vicious. With the help of a lawyer and James’ son, my Great Grandfather a Newspaper owner and editor, she was eventually successful. That Pension file provided me with a wealth of detail about James and his life.
The interesting detail of James’s service could fill many pages as I have researched his role in most of the actions and Battles including where the regiment was positioned at the start, during, and at the conclusion of most Battles. I have stood in his footprints everywhere possible including the woods (new growth) at Pleasant Hill where nothing but trees could be seen. I discovered that the official maps of the second day of the Nashville Battle are missing the center line section. Only the records of the capture of Gen. Johnson allowed me to identify where the Company was on the second day of Battle.
By Brother Dennis W. Lamb
Brother Jeff Loveless
George Washington Lowry
George Washington Lowry [Jeff’s great grandfather] was born in Clark County Ky. on 30 Sep 1843 and died in Weatherford, Texas on Oct 27 1931. He joined the army just after his 18th birthday on 9 Oct 1861 and served until discharged on 31 Jan 1865, according to his discharge papers. He served in Co. E 24th Ky. Inf. starting out as a private and ending as a corporal.
Some of the battles he was involved in were Shiloh, Nashville, Perryville, and Corinth. A shell fragment wounded George but because bed space was scarce he was forced to sleep outside sitting up. According to a letter he wrote my grandmother he said that basically life was boring, just lots of marching and picket duty. The food was bad, coffee, hardtack, and fatback and water and firewood were scarce. He remembered one battle in the fall where there was a full harvest moon that night and the thousands of dead bodies on the ground made an eerie sight.
Like many families his father also fought for the North and a brother for the South. George’s grandfather Thomas Lowry fought in the American Revolution in the Virginia Continental Line as did his wife’s great grandfather. George was a fairly tall man at 5’10” with black hair and blue eyes. He also had a quick temper that was slow to ease.
I am fortunate in that my mother was 14 when he died so she remembered him and his stories, which she passed on to her kids along with the letter he wrote and his discharge papers.
By Brother Jeff Loveless
Brother Mike Moore
Brother Edward Oakley, Sr.
Thomas Harter Oakley 1814-1890
Thomas was already 46 years old when he enlisted and was appointed Chaplain with a rank of Captain First Regiment of Artillery on 15 October 1861 by William Dennison, governor and commander-in-chief of the state of Ohio. His service was very brief. March 16, 1862, he was issued a Military Pass by order of General Buell allowing him to pass through the lines until further notice. By March 31, Colonel James Barnett wrote General Buell a letter “Mr. Oakley is constrained by a sad family affliction to tender to you his resignation of the office of Chaplain in my Regiment. You are aware of the position in which this regiment is placed and can judge of the propriety of accepting Mr. Oakley’s resignation. Should it be accepted, it will under the circumstances, be satisfactory to me.” That very same day, March 31, by special order, Major General Buell accepted the resignation from Chaplain Oakley.
Nellie Louise died March 26, 1862. She lacked a few days of reaching her first birthday. Richard Harter died about a year later April 6, 1863, at age 5 and Alfred Wheeler died May 6, 1864, at age 13. We don’t know the causes of death or if the deaths were related to a common source, but three children died in a two year period.
Thomas was born 16 December 1814 in Eastchester (now Mt. Vernon), Westchester County, New York. We are not sure of his parents’ names. He was the youngest of many children. He finished the scientific coursework at Wesleyan University in Connecticut when he was 22 and was duly licensed and authorized to preach as a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church Middletown Station, New Haven District, Connecticut. That same year, 1836, he married Hannah Nye, the sister of one of his classmates. After 13 years of marriage, Hannah died, leaving 4 children, a 5th having died in infancy.
Nine months later on February 14, 1850, Thomas married Jane Wheeler who bore him a son on January 3, 1851. Jane died August 22, 1851.
On February 15, 1852, Thomas married Betsy Ann Wheeler, Jane’s sister. She died April 8, 1853.
September 15, 1853, Thomas married his fourth wife, Abigail Waters. They had three children born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, then moved to Cleveland, Ohio and had 3 more. One child died before they and two of these during the Civil War along with the little boy whose mother was Jane Wheeler. This left 3 children from this marriage plus 4 from his first marriage.
Thomas Harter Oakley’s Wesleyan University Alumni of 1883 shows that he served as a local preacher from 1833-1881. He engaged in mercantile pursuits 25 years and was a manufacturer for 6 years. In 1843 he was inspector of public schools in New York City. The next year he was assistant editor of The Native American, a daily paper in New York City. During 1844-45 he became city tax collector for New York City and also served as a legislator for the state of New York, representing New York City.
In 1846 Thomas moved to Connecticut and in 1853 he served in the Connecticut Legislature as a representative from Bridgeport. At that time he was able to secure an appropriation of $10,000 from the legislature for Wesleyan University. Wesleyan honored him with an honorary A.M. degree. He also served as Justice of the Peace and obtained an appointment for Dr. Augustus W. Smith to the Naval Academy at Annapolis. On April 26, 1856, P.T. Barnum wrote a letter “My dear Oakley, I am sincerely obliged for your kind & excellent speech. All I can give you is my thanks & these you have most sincerely. That Bridgeport meeting has done me worlds of good not only in my own feelings but also by the moral effect which it has upon the community at large.”
Sometime between 1858 and 1861 the Oakley family moved to Cleveland, Ohio. After his brief service in the war, Thomas was in charge of the money-order office in the post office from 1863-1868. His youngest child, Harter, was born 7 April 1870. Thomas was now 55 years old. Thomas died 16 April 1890 when his youngest child was 20 years old. Harter had only one son, Almar Harter, born 10 March 1900 in St. Louis, Missouri. Almar Harter had five children, the middle one being John Edward Oakley, Sr.
This article was written by John Edward Oakley, Sr., a charter member of Picacho Peak Camp No 1, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
Brother Bill Orr
Roswell Griswold Bogue and his brother Samuel Curtis Bogue
Roswell Griswold Bogue, twin with Oswold Amos, was educated in the district schools and at the Castleton, VT Academy, where he later taught until he went to Columbus, Ohio, to study medicine with Dr. Norman Gay. He graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City in 1857.
That spring he went to his family home in Chicago and began his successful career in the practice of medicine. This was interrupted by the Civil War, and on Aug 5, 1861, he was commissioned Major and Surgeon and was assigned to duty as surgeon of the 19th Ill. Inf. In 1863, after increased honors and responsibilities, he was appointed Medical Director to the Third Division of the 14th Army Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. He was a man of deep sympathy and knew not how to spare himself when a wounded soldier needed help.
At the close of the war he returned to Chicago and resumed his professional life and long experience of service in medicine. He helped organize Cook County Hospital and was attending surgeon. He was Professor of Surgery and Consulting Surgeon in the prominent hospitals of the city until he was disabled by blindness and loss of health in 1888.
He was a profoundly religious man who exemplified its teachings by his everyday practice of “doing good,” and was honored and loved as man and physician in a multitude of homes. In addition to his skill as physician and surgeon, he was masterly in diagnosis and widely consulted by his professional brethren. He died at his home at 5 Washington Place, Chicago, IL, Dec. 8, 1893.
Samuel Curtis Bogue, the brother of Roswell Griswold Bogue, served in the Civil War in Company E, Illinois Volunteers and was wounded in action. He was sent home to recover from his injuries and was injured in the collision of a Michigan Central and Hyde Park train, June 8, 1862. Samuel Curtis Bogue died of his injuries from the collision of the Hyde Park train on January 8, 1862 when it collided with Michigan Central Train on June 8, 1862.
By Brother Bill Orr. Roswell Bogue is Br. Bill Orr’s 2nd great-great uncle.
Brother Keith Pohlman
Hiriam Albert Pohlman
Company K, 11th Wisconsin Volunteers
3 Jun 1997: Personal visit by Keith C. Pohlman (great grand nephew): Chalmette National Cemetery, Chalmette, Louisiana. The Chalmette National Cemetery is located on Hwy 46 and it is on 17.5 acres running south towards the levee on the Mississippi River at the eastside of the battlefield where the ‘Battle of New Orleans’ occurred during the War of 1812-where the United States last fought the British. Section 19, Grave 528 is the final resting place for Hiram Albert Pohlman. The headstone is simply marked “H. A. Pohlman”. Approximately 15,000 veterans and wives are buried here.
The preceding biography was submitted by Brother Keith Pohlman.
Brother Rollin Rice
Company A, 139th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers
Mustered into the U.S. Service, August 20, 1862, By
Capt. E.H. Ludington, U.S.A. at Pittsburgh, PA.
“The 139th Regt. Pa. Vols. is composed of men from Western Pa., seven companies from Allegheny, two from Armstrong, and one from Mercer counties, with a sprinkling from Beaver and Butler. The organization was effected at Camp Howe, Pittsburgh, September 1, 1862, and that day started for the seat of war. It was the first three year Reg’t. filled in the state under the President’s second call. Four companies were called “The Semple Infantry Battalion,” in honor of Wm. Semple, Esq., of Allegheny City, who rendered patriotic aid to Major Moody and the officers engaged with him in recruiting them. The first task performed by the 139th was a very melancholy and historic one—the burial of our dead on the 2d Bull Run battle-field, which had lain exposed to the torrid rays of the sun for ten days. The enemy held the field, and the Reg’t proceeded thither under a flag of truce, by permission of the rebel authorities. Seventeen hundred and ninety-nine bodies were buried. On Sept. 10, the Reg’t joined Maj. Gen. Howe’s Brigade, and was in reserve at Antietam. Took a fatiguing part in the effort to intercept Stuart on his raid as far as Chambersburg, Pa. Crossed the Potomac at Berlin, Md., and marched to the Rappahannock. Crossed the river at Bernard’s House, and supported a battery in the battle of Fredericksburg, Dec, 13 and 14. Took part in Burnside’s January attempt to cross the Rappahannock, famous as the “Mud March.” Wintered at White Oak Church. Participated in the storming of Marye’s Heights, and the battle of Salem Heights, May 3, 1863, as well as in the third crossing of the Rappahannock at Bernard’s House, June 8. Made the celebrated march of 33 miles in 16 hours, from Manchester, Md., to Gettysburg, Pa., and was thrown immediately into the second day’s battle at Gettysburg, our brigade (now Gen. Frank Wheaton’s) being the only one in the 6th Corps actually engaged with the enemy that evening. Took part in the battle of the 3d, and also in skirmishes with the retreating foe near Funkstown and Williamsport. Participated in the battle of Rappahannock Station, and in Mead’s campaign of 7 days in the wilderness, across the Rapidan. Have been successively under the commands of McClellan, Burnside, Hooker, and Meade. The 139th is attached to the 3d Brigade, (Gen. Wheaton,) 3d Division, (Gen. Terry,) 6th Corps (Gen. Sedgwick).”
The information above is copied from an original table of organization of Company A, 139th Pennsylvania Volunteers, obviously sometime in late 1863. This lists all officers and enlisted men at that time and also lists all of the original officers.
Carlon Rice enlisted as a private and was promoted to corporal on December 24, 1863 and he also was promoted to sergeant on July 1, 1864 at which time he was in the hospital from a gun shot wound to the arm and shoulder. He was wounded on May 12 at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia. It was May 20 before he was admitted to a hospital. He spent the following eight months in two different hospitals, one in Philadelphia and the other in Washington, D.C., from which he was discharged on Jan. 20 1865. He returned to his unit and was in several engagements until April 9, 1865, when he was at the signing of the peace at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.
On May 23, 1865, the regiment was ordered to Washington, D.C. to take part in the VI Corps Review held there on June 8, 1865. The unit was finally mustered out of Federal service in Washington on June 21, 1865. According to Carlon’s obituary he reached Washington to late for the grand review.
During its career the One Hundred and Thirty-Ninth Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment sustained the loss of ten officers and one hundred and thirty-five enlisted men killed or mortally wounded. An additional five officers and eighty-six enlisted men died from disease or other non-battlefield cause. After being honorably discharged from the service of his country, Carlon Rice engaged in various occupations in Pennsylvania, Illinois, California and Oregon. Before entering service Carlon’s occupation was farming and after service he worked in his uncle’s sash and door factory in New Castle, Pennsylvania. From the spring of 1876 he made his home in Stark County, Illinois and worked as a farm hand until December 1891 when he bought the farm that I resided on for 74 years.
Carlon married Miss Lilieon Potter in March of 1878 and raised three sons who all pursued the occupation of farming. Three generations have made their living from this same farm for one hundred and twelve years.
The preceding article was written by Brother Rollin H. Rice, the grandson of Carlon Rice.
Brother David Swanson
Orin Wilson, Bugler
Co. G, 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry
The following information recaps the last action seen by Bugler Orin F. Wilson while under the command of General Kilpatrick during Sherman’s march on Atlanta. The information is taken from the book Sabre Strokes of the Pennsylvania Dragoons, by Thomas F. Dornblaser. Thomas Dornblaser was a sergeant in Company E, 7th Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry.
“On the morning of the 18th of August (1864), Kilpatrick’s command dashed out from Sandtown to the West Point road at Fairburn Station. The railroad was torn up for several miles. Just beyond Fairburn Station, while the ‘Seventh’ was marching in column of fours, on a road leading through a dense wood, the enemy’s artillery opened on us with grape and canister shot, from a hill to the left of the column.
The suddenness of the attack excited the horses, the column was thrown into temporary confusion, several ambulances were overturned by the teams wildly dashing into the timber. Infuriated horses were plunging through the ranks entirely beyond the control of their riders. After clearing the woods, the ‘Seventh.’ Formed line in an open field and prepared to make a sabre charge on the battery, but the enemy speedily withdrew in the direction of Atlanta.
A courier was sent to inquire of Kilpatrick, if we should pursue the enemy; to which he replied, ‘Never mind the Johnnies in the rear, there are plenty of them in front. Come on!’
Among those wounded was the bugler of our regiment, a fair curly-haired boy. He was mortally wounded in the abdomen, but he remained in the saddle until the column halted in the open field.
The pain became so severe that he could no longer sit on his horse. He requested us to place him in an ambulance. The officer in charge refused to receive him, as he could live but a short time. They had room only for such of the wounded who would likely recover. With a look of sadness, he said. ‘Then you will leave me to die in the hands of the enemy?’
Three of us carried him to a little white church by the roadside, and made a bed for him on the outside, as comfortable as we could. The thought that he must die in the hands of his foes was terrible to him. He had exhibited great courage in battle. A number of times we saw him at the head of his regiment in the ‘bloody charge.’ He was not afraid to face death, but to die in the hands of his enemies was more than he could well endure.
He was just such a boy as would be the idol of a fond mother. He longed for his mother. ‘Oh! If mother knew this, how soon she would come to me.’ His last words to us, were, ‘Please write to my mother, and tell her all about it.’
A score of years have passed since this event occurred, but the scene at the little church comes back to my memory as a picture of indescribable sadness and pity.”
David Evans in his book Sherman’s Horsemen ( the definitive source regarding Sherman’s calvary in the Atlanta Campaign) also writes about this event. Excerpts follow:
“It was Ross’s 3rd Texas, supported by Lieutenant George B. Young and a 12-pound howitzer from the Columbus Light Artillery…Upon reaching the West Point railroad, Lieut. Young had sited his gun on a commanding ridge, while the Texans dismounted and crept through the woods under the cover of the heavy morning mist. Closing to within 200 yards of the Sandtown and Fairburn Road, they opened fire.
The volley caught Companies G and M of the 7th Pennsylvania squarely in the left flank. Bugler Orin F. Wilson doubled over in agony with a bullet in his belly, but somehow stayed in the saddle as his regiment ran the gauntlet. Three of his comrades carried him into Shadnor Church, a little white building by the roadside, and gently laid him on a plain wooden bench near the door.”
Orin Wilson’s muster roll for Sept.& Oct. 1864, states “Wounded and missing at Red Oak Church, Ga., Aug 19/64.” His muster rolls from December 1864 through April 1865 stated: “Wounded and left in enemy’s hands, Red oak Church, GA. August 20, 1864.” It wasn’t until the muster roll for May and June 1865 did his muster rolls state: “Died of his wounds rec’d at Red Oak Church, GA., on 19th of Aug & died on 21st ‘64”.
The biographical information above was compiled by Brother David Swanson, Orin’s great-great uncle.
The Capture of Orin Wilson, Bugler Co. G, 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry
By David A. Swanson
Several years before his death during Sherman’s March to Atlanta the 7th Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry was in Middle Tennessee. Orin was in Company G and was captured while with a scouting party on June 7, 1862.
Thomas F. Dornblaster, assigned to Company E, 7th Penna. Cavalry, noted the capture in his book Saber Strokes in the War. He wrote in part:
“We have just returned from a two weeks’ expedition in Eastern Tenn. Our battalion started from Nashville with two regiments of infantry and two sections of artillery. At Murfreesboro we were joined by two additional regiments of infantry, the First and Fourth Kentucky Cavalry, and a battery of artillery. The entire force was estimated at 4,000. We led the advance from Murfreesboro, toward McMinnville, where the enemy was reported in force and strongly entrenched. Three hundred of Forrest’s Cavalry had been at Readesville, twelve miles east of Murfreesboro, a few days before, where they captured 52 prisoners and killed 3 of our men. Twenty-three of the prisoners were members of the Third Battalion of our regiment [this included Orin Wilson.] The captured party had been on a scout, they were on their way back with a number of prisoners. At Readesville, they stopped to breakfast and while thus engaged the enemy surrounded them.”
I sometimes wonder what Orin’s involvement in this incident was. What actions did he take? Orin’s war records show he was taken prisoner at Readyville, Tenn., on June 7, 1862, by Col. Starnes, CSA. About two and a half months later, on August 25, 1862, he was paroled at McMinnville, Tenn. His war records for the period of June 1862 through February 1863 state that he was absent from the company because he was a “prisoner of war and not yet reported as exchanged.” He was sent to Alexandria, VA on November 18, 1862, and reported back to his company on March 10, 1863. Orin was shot at Red Oak Church, Georgia on August 18, 1864, and died the next day.
Bugler Orin F. Wilson was the great-great uncle of Brother David A. Swanson, Brother Mark Swanson, great-great-great uncle to Brother Todd McIntosh and great-great-great-great uncle to Camp Junior member Charles Swanson Albaugh. Brother David Swanson is also a member of the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry Descendant’s Association. (David has a copy of Evans’ book autographed by the author and dedicated to Bugler Orin F. Wilson and his brother-in-law Corporal Oscar F. Foote, both of Company G, 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.)
Private William Foote,
Company F, Third Heavy Artillery, 152nd Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers
On February 26, 1864, William Foote enlisted in the Third Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery and was eventually assigned to Company F.
The majority of this article and the next is borrowed heavily (no pun intended) from the website Pa-Roots.
“Succinct overview of Company F.
Early in the spring of 1863 the Third Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, 152nd of the line was formed.
When Longstreet with his corps made an advance into eastern Virginia, spring of 1863, companies A, B, F, and G, were ordered to the defense of Suffolk, and during the siege of that place, rendered most efficient service. The headquarters of the regiment were at Fortress Monroe. Detachments from every company, except light battery H, served during the campaign of 1864-5, in the Naval Brigade, commanded by General Graham, and participated in a number of engagements, more or less importance, on the James, Chickahominy, and Nansemond Rivers and also in the capture of Fort Fisher, North Carolina.
In the fall of 1863, Captain, afterward Major A. Blake, with his own Company F, and a large number of unassigned recruits, was placed in charge of the prison camp, and camp of distribution, at Camp Hamilton, near Fortress Monroe.”
Private William Foote was assigned on detached service at Wilmington, North Carolina. How do I know?
“A sergeant and fifteen men from company F, on detached service at Wilmington, North Carolina took passage on the [steamship] General Lyon, on the 31st of March, 1865, to return to Fortress Monroe. During the first day out, the steamer was destroyed by fire, and all save two were lost.”
Private Foote was not one of the two. He was, “lost by burning of Steamer Gen. Lyon, off Cape Hatteras, N.C., March 31, 1865.”
William Foote was the brother-in-law of Bugler Orin Wilson, Company G, 7th Penn. Vol Cav; brother of Corporal Oscar Foote, Co G, 7th Penn Vol Cav; and great-great uncle of Camp Picacho Peak Brothers (literally) David and Mark Swanson.
The Burning of the General Lyon,
From The New York Times, April 3, 1865
“The steamer Gen. Sedgwick, which arrived at this port at noon yesterday, brought as passengers twenty-nine persons saved from the transport steamer Gen. Lyon, which took fire off Cape Hatteras on the morning of Friday last, and was totally destroyed. The Gen. Lyon, had on board from five hundred and fifty to six hundred souls. The twenty-nine who arrived here yesterday are believed to be all that was saved.
It appears from the statements of these men that the Gen Lyon, screw steamer which had formerly been used as a blockade-runner, sailed from Wilmington for Fortress Monroe, on the morning of Wednesday last, with nearly six hundred persons on board, including the crew.
Her passengers consisted of discharged and paroled soldiers, escaped prisoners and refugees, among whom were about thirty women and twenty-five small children. Two Negroes were also among the refugees. The weather was fair on leaving Wilmington, but the steamer put into the port of Smithfield for the night and resumed her voyage on the following morning. Soon after leaving Smithfield the wind, which was blowing from the southwest, increased in violence, and the vessel, which was a very slow one, made but little progress. At ten o’clock on Friday morning she was off Cape Hatteras, the wind having increased to a hurricane and the sea running very high. It is believed that the vessel was about sixty miles from land when an alarm of fire was given, and in a few minutes afterward the flames broke out at the rear of the pilothouse and nearly in the centre of the vessel. Several of the crew was in the rigging, and there were very few persons on deck at the time, many of the passengers being confined to their berths by sickness. The first mate, James Gibbs, and the other officers of the vessel immediately got the fire pumps to work, with which, and the requisite quantity of hose, the vessel was well provided. But the flames steadily gained headway, and although the pumps were working with unflinching perseverance, the fire soon spread over the centre portion of the deck, driving the crew and those who were assisting them to the stern and bow of the vessel. The hatches had been closed in consequence of the decks being so constantly under water, but those below, alarmed by the smoke which was spreading through the cabins, rushed on deck only to be driven back by the flames. The frightful shrieks of the women and children, and their piteous supplications for help were drowned by the roaring of the storm. Several of the paroled soldiers were sick and confined to their berths. Some of them managed to crawl on deck, and clung there until washed overboard by the waves. In about half an hour after the fire broke out, the engines partially stopped, and the vessel immediately swung round with her broadside to the wind, the flames then spreading across her decks. The smoke which was spreading through the cabins, rushed on deck only to be driven back by the flames.
The frightful shrieks of the women and children, and their piteous supplications for help were drowned by the roaring of the storm. Several of the paroled soldiers were sick and confined to their berths. Some of them managed to crawl on deck, and clung there until washed overboard by the waves. In about half an hour after the fire broke out, the engines partially stopped, and the vessel immediately swung round with her broadside to the wind, the flames then spreading across her decks.
It had now become quite evident that the ship could not be saved. The first officer acted with great courage, and only abandoned the vessel when all hopes of saving her were gone. The fire pumps were still kept at work, and the flames were fought back with great determination. Many of those below were doubtless already suffocated. The shrieks and moans of the dying came up to those on deck, but they could do nothing to help them. Just as this time a steamer, which proved to the United States transport Gen. Sedgwick, Capt. Starkey, and a small schooner hove in sight. But neither of them could render any assistance, owing to the violence of the storm, and the fact that the burning steamer had drifted in toward the breakers. The flames were now spreading with fearful rapidity. The boats were launched, although there appeared to be little hope of their living in such a sea. Into the first boat ten men lowered themselves, including the Captain of the General Lyon. It is affirmed by several of those who escaped that the Captain had lost all control of himself, and was evidently crazed with fear. Hardly had this boat been loosed from the vessel’s side than she drifted under her stern, was struck by the screw, and almost instantly went down. Irah (sic) Lewis, a private in the Eighty-ninth New-York Regiment, who was in the boat at the time, states that he saw the Captain sink. Lewis and two others alone escaped. A second boat was launched, and in this twenty-seven persons, including the First Mate, John Haydon, lowered themselves and succeeded in reaching the General Sedgwick, which was about a mile and a half distant. As the boat touched the steamer’s side a wave dashed her violently against it, and she filled and went down. Of the twenty-seven persons in the boat, seven only were saved.
In the meantime a number of the men had thrown themselves overboard, trusting to a spar for support. One man, Isiah, C. Colby, of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry, after working at the fire pumps until he was almost exhausted, seized one of the doors of the galley and sprang overboard. He was in the water three hours before he was picked up. Others were also in the water for several hours, and many, doubtless, sank before assistance could be rendered. It is supposed that the schooner did not succeed in rescuing any of them. [A list of survivors follows].
When the General Sedgwick left, being unable to render further assistance, the ill-fated steamer was drifting in toward the frightful breakers off Cape Hatteras. She was then burned down to the water’s edge, and every soul on board had doubtless perished.
In regard to the origin of the fire, it was stated by the First Mate, while on board the General Sedgwick, that there were several barrels of Kerosene oil in the engine-room, and these being shaken down by the rolling of the vessel fell on the boiler, and of course were quickly ignited. A barrel of oil was also kept in the same room, and this served to feed the flames.
Of the soldiers saved eight or ten are at the New York State Soldier’s Depot, nos, 50 and 52 Howard street, of which Col Vincent Colyer is Superintendent. They had of course lost their all, and were supplied with the necessary clothing by the Superintendent. Several are sick and confined to their beds. They will remain at the depot, where every comfort is afforded them free of all cost until forwarded to their respective destinations.”
By Brother David Swanson
Brother Don Thompson
Private Jesse Thompson
Co I, 63rd Indiana Infantry
Jesse (1826-1900) was 36 years old when he enlisted in the Union Army. He was a Private of Captain A.T. Jenkins Co (I) of the 63rd Indiana Volunteer Regiment. He was enrolled in August of 1862 and served through the remainder of the war being discharged on 26 May 1865 in Indianapolis. During the war most of the service involved guarding Confederate soldiers held at Camp Morton in Indianapolis and then transferred to guarding
Washington, DC. From there they were sent to Tennessee and Kentucky guarding railroads and other vital structures. During the summer of 1864 Jesse became ill with dysentery and lost his eyesight temporarily. The condition persisted and he was transferred to duty in Louisville. He was in the Goldsboro, NC area at the end of the war which is ironic since the Goldsboro area was his place of birth. By the end of the war, he could barely see his hand in front of his face. His eyesight did eventually return and returned to carpentry and casket making.
Jesse’s wife, Rebecca, had three brothers also in the CW. Two were killed in the fighting and her brother, Welcome, was a surgeon with Grant and Sherman throughout the war.
Jesse and Rebecca had 11 children, two dying in childbirth. My grandfather was the youngest of his sons. However, the next youngest son, Samuel Luther Thompson (1860), became one of America’s superstars of the major leagues in the 19th Century. Sam is baseball’s all-time RBI producer per game, is 23rd on all-time batting average, and was the first player to get 200 hits in a season doing it three times. He was the all-time home run leader until Honus Wagner broke his record followed shortly by Babe Ruth. Sam was a contemporary of Cap Anson, Cy Young, Connie Mack, and played with the Tigers in 1906 when Ty Cobb was a rookie. Jesse and many other soldiers from his town brought baseball back and taught all their sons to play. In old newspaper clippings the six Thompson sons almost made a complete team in Danville, IN. Sam, Amos Rusie, and Mordecai Three-Finger Brown all eventually became members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. They were all from the same area in central Indiana. The Civil War had a tremendous impact on baseball in Indiana.
Written by Br. Don Thompson; Jesse is Don’s great grandfather.
Brother Paul Verhelst
The following account was furnished by Brother Paul Verhelst. This is the account of his great-grandfather Charles H. Jones, Chief Sailmaker, U.S.N. and Lieut. on the retired list. The account was written by Chief Sailmaker Jones regarding his eye witness account of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
Recollections of the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln—An Episode of History
By Chief Sailmaker Charles H. Jones U.S.N.
“After being honorably discharged from the Navy in September, 1863, I obtained employment in Washington in the Quartermaster’s Department, under Captain D.G. Thomas, Military Storekeeper, in the Tent Department. Mr. Philip W.Y. Marreatt was the Superintendent. There were employed under him about eighty or ninety sail and tent makers, and about thirty women, making horse covers out of old tents for the use of the Army.
On the night of Friday, April 14th, 1865, in company with Thomas Stanes and Louis Langley, I visited Ford’s Theatre to see General Grant. We reached the Theatre early, secured good seats opposite the President’s box in the second tier. None of us had ever seen the play, ‘Our American Cousin’. When the presidential party entered the Theatre the orchestra struck up ‘Hail to the Chief’.
My seat afforded me an excellent view of the President’s box, but I could not see General Grant. Mr. Lincoln sat well back, Mrs. Lincoln sat opposite him but further front. Major Rathbone was seated in front of the President, or had the outer seat. A lady, who was one of the party, but whose name I cannot recollect, sat opposite Major Rathbone and in front of Mrs. Lincoln. As we were entering the Theatre I remarked to my companion; ‘There is J. Wilkes Booth.’ He was standing at the door of a saloon just above the Theatre, near F Street.
General Grant was not present and we were greatly disappointed. We learned afterwards that he was called away to a town in New Jersey by sickness in his family. Our being in the Theatre so early gave us a good chance to note the audience and see the arrangement and plan of the house.
The box occupied by the President was on the right side from the front entrance, and the upper box. I think it was not over six feet from the stage level – the lower box was below the level of the stage. Those who sat in the lower box would not have their heads much above the footlights. The lower box was vacant on that night.
The first act of the play passed off smoothly, and was received by the audience with much enthusiasm.
None of the actors were know to me but LaRue Keen, whom I had seen many times in New York. It was after the first scene, 2nd act, after the actors left the stage (the scenery was being shifted), that a shot rang out through the house. I thought it was fired on the stage, and a great many others thought the same, until the smoke cleared away, when I heard a woman scream and a scuffle in the box. I saw the struggle between the assassin and Major Rathbone quite plainly, and saw Wilkes Booth strike the Major with a knife. I fully recognized the assassin as J. Wilkes Booth. After cutting Major Rathbone he vaulted over the box, his spur catching in a silk flag which was festooned around the box. As he straightened himself up he struck a tragic attitude on the stage, crying out ‘Sic Semper Tyrannus’, then ran off the opposite side of the stage. There was great excitement in the house; people rose to their feet; women screamed. A man, in full dress, came out on the stage and requested the audience to keep quiet, assuring them that the man was taken. There was a man who jumped up on the stage and ran after the assassin. He was dressed like an Army officer in undress uniform. The man who requested the people to keep cool was a good sized man, probably about 180 or 190 pounds, smooth face, and with black mustache. I tried to get out of the tier in which I was, and found the exit jammed. I then dropped down to the circle below. Some of the people were tearing up the seats and benches, and everybody was excited. I made my way towards the entrance just in time to meet the President’s body being carried out. I asked a man who had been helping, and who was just relieved by another, if the President were seriously shot. He held up his hand and showed me what looked like bits of vermicelli in the palm of his hand. I exclaimed; ‘My God! that is part of his brain.’ He was shot in the back of the head. I never felt as I did at that moment.
I was separated from my friends and I started on a run as the President was being carried across the street. I did not stop until I was halted by four or five men at the State Department, on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue, just at the turn. They told me that Secretary Seward’s throat was cut from ear to ear, and that his son, Fred was murdered. I ran over to Seward’s house, which was across the street, opposite Jackson Square, and I asked a guard who was stationed there, and inquired if the report were true. He replied in the affirmative. They were seriously but not fatally wounded. I then ran across the Square to our office in I street, near 17th and pulled the bell furiously. The janitor let me in. I asked if anybody was up, and he replied that Mr. Brearly, the Chief Clerk, was writing at his desk. I ran in and he turned around and asked ‘What’s the matter?’, I asked him if he had heard anything about the assassination, and on his replying in the negative I told him as quickly as possible of the sad affair. He asked me if I were sure, and I replied that I was an eye witness. He told me to remain where I was. He jumped down from the chair and ran around to the Headquarters and residence of General D.C. Rucker, the Assistant Quartermaster General, U.S.A. He was gone about five or less minutes and upon his return he ordered me to the Armory to get in uniform. All the employees of the Quartermaster General were in what was called the Quartermaster’s Brigade.
Messengers were dispatched all over Washington calling all the brigade to assemble at the Armory at about 11 P.M. I was detailed to take a party of about twenty men to the White House to take down all the decorations which were put up in the early part of the week in honor of the capture of Richmond and the surrender of Lee.
I will always remember that night in the White House. In the library was a long table covered with green cloth, and reaching nearly from wall to wall, filled with official letters and papers. I cautioned all who were with me not to disturb or handle anything.
There was only one servant visible, and he was a tall, young man, the body-servant of the President. I had some conversation with him. His nationality was Irish, and he seemed very much attached to the President. He told me of some of the kind acts which he knew to President to do for soldiers and sailors whose cases were brought before him for final action. I was very much interested in hearing of them and from one who was so near the President, although I know him and had shaken hands with him several times.
It was about two or three o’clock when I left the White House with my men, and went to the War and Navy Department Buildings. After finishing these we all went to breakfast. It was during that meal that word was brought in that our beloved President was no more. It cast a gloom over us, although I did not look for any other news after seeing pieces of his brain the night before.
The city was placed under martial law. No one could leave without permission. The authorities were scouring the country for the assassin of our martyred President. In the meantime our office was busy in procuring crape for draping purposes, and our entire force of women were set to work under the supervision of Miss. Rice, the forewoman, making rosettes for draping all the Public Buildings, including the White House.
It was 9 A.M. when I reached the White House, for the purpose of draping it. It was about noon when we finished. Just after dinner, while we were at work on the War and Navy Departments, I was standing on the sidewalk in front of the building directing the festooning of crape, when a closed carriage drove up. The driver called to me to open the door, which I did, and to my astonishment General Grant stepped out, followed by the President of the B & O. Railroad, and another gentleman whom I did not know. They all entered the War Department. Before we finished General Grant came out smoking a cigar, with his military hat pulled well over his eyes. He walked down the street in the direction of the Winder Building, where General Halleck had his headquarters.
After we had finished the War and Navy Departments, I took my men down to drape the Winder Building. I knocked on the door of the first room front. Getting no reply, after knocking several times, I entered, and there sat General Grant, who looked up from a desk where he was writing. I excused myself and told him my business. He said, ‘All right, go ahead, carry out your orders.’
After finishing these I had orders to drape several houses, among the number being Secretary Stanton’s and General Hardee’s. If I remember rightly, we went to Secretary Stanton’s first. We had considerable difficulty in getting into the rooms. We were looked upon suspicion by Mrs. Stanton and the servants, although I showed a pass signed by the Secretary of War, himself, and countersigned by General D.C. Rucker, U.S.A. All of my party were in uniform, including myself. After finishing there we went to General Hardee’s home, and from there, I think, to General Meade’s home.
One incident I shall always remember, which was as follows: Next door to our repair shop was a fine residence occupied by an old gentleman, and his family, who was a gambler by profession, and a bitter rebel. As I was about to enter our shop he stopped me and asked if I would drape his house, he furnishing all the material. I told him I could not do it unless he got permission from Captain Thomas. He asked me if I would not state his case. He was a man over seventy years of age. His eyes were full of tears as he said, ‘I am a bitter secessionist, but I loved Abraham Lincoln.’ His manner affected me so much that I made a personal request to the Military Storekeeper, and I was permitted to do the work.
In order to get out all the drapery the women were obliged to work overtime up to 9:30 and 10 P.M., and I was detailed by our Superintendent to see them to their homes. I had a general pass from the Secretary of War. I think it was the most strenuous week I ever put in.
While the President’s body was lying in state in the rotunda of the Capitol, we draped the dome, which was the hardest job we had yet. After that was done I received orders to go to the White House and drape the platform and landing leading from the East room. While doing this Mrs. Lincoln sent down a request that we stop the noise. We were hammering, driving in nails and tacks. I told the men to cover or muffle their hammers. We finished about midnight, and afterwards I went to my rooms, took off my clothes for the first time in six days.
I will say in concluding this article, that I never had such an exciting time in all my life. It seemed to have months crowded into it for me. The City of Washington was under martial law until the President’s body left for Springfield, Ill. I was one of the grooms at the funeral in Washington, and was detailed to go with the body to its final resting place. The arrangement was changed and I did not go.
In looking back after forty-three years, it seems like a dream. All those whom I knew in Washington at the time of the national tragedy are dead, and I hope, in heaven. General Rucker; Captain Thomas; Wm. C. Brearly, Chief Clerk; P.W. Y. Marreatt, the Superintendent; Thomas Thompson, General Superintendent; the two who were with me at the Theatre, Thomas Stanes and Louis Langly, as far as I know are dead and gone. I will say, and I believe, that I was the first person to notify the authorities of the assassination of President Lincoln, and by that means the certain identification of the assassin, J. Wilkes Booth.
I have been asked many times to write my personal recollection and experience of this sad affair, but I thought all had been written and said that what I could say or write would not be worth while. I knew President Lincoln well and had shaken hands with him many times. Our workshop was close by the White House, K Street between 16th and ½ and 17th Streets. Tad Lincoln often came over for a flag or tent. President Lincoln was very fond of Tad, his youngest boy.
Chas. H. Jones
Chief Sailmaker, U.S.N. and
6-30-1908 Lieut. on retired list.”
Brother John Wanzel
Company A, 1st Rifle Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry
(Note: The following is a copy of the actual Civil War Veteran’s Memorial of John Wanzel’s grandfather, Christian Wanzel.)
“THIS IS TO CERTIFY
THAT CHRISTIAN WANZEL
Enlisted from Lancaster County State of Pennsylvania, May 14,1861 and Mustered into the United States Service at Harrisburg, Penna. As a Private on May 21,1861 to Serve Three Years in COMPANY A 1ST RIFLE REGIMENT, PENNA VOL INFANTRY under Captain Hugh McDonald and Colonels Thos. L.Kane, C.J. Biddle, Hugh W. McNeil and Chas. F. Taylor. The Regiment was the 13th Res. Pa. Reserves and known as the 1st BUCKTAIL REGIMENT. It was attached to the Penna. Reserves Div. And the 5th Corps Army of the Potomac. He engaged at Dranesville, Va. Dec. 20,1861, Harrisonburg, Va. June 1,1862, Strasburg June 2, Woodstock June 3rd, Crosskeys June 8, Cutlets Sta. Jun.18, 62. Regiment moved to the Virginia Peninsula seven days battle before Richmond June 26 to July 1,62. Mechanicsville June 26, Gainsmill June 27, Savage Sta. June 29, Chas. City, Cross Roads June 30, Malvern Hill July 1,62 Gainsville and Grovetown Aug. 28,29, Second Bull Run Aug. 30, So. Mountain MD. Sept. 14,1862; Antietam Sept.17,62 ,Battle of Fredricksburg Dec. 13, 62, Was Wounded here in Right Thigh treated in Field Hospa., Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3, 63. Bristoe Station Oct.14,1863, Raffahannock Sta. Nov.7, Mine Run and Locust Grove Nov. 26-28, 63.
HONORABLY DISCHARGED Dec. 20, 63. REINLISTED AS A VETERAN Dec. 21,1863 for 3 Years on during war. Engaged at the wilderness May 5-7, 64, Laurel Hill May 8,1864; Spotsylvania May 8-18, 64, Alsap Farm May 10,1864, Harris Farm May 19, North Anna River May 23 –27. Potomac Creek May 28 – 31, 64, Bethesda Church May 30 to June 6,64,He was Wounded Here May 30 by explosion of shell and was CAPTURED was confined at Libby Prison and Andersonville thence Florence, SC. And Charleston, SC. Was in prison 6mos 12days. Then was paroled and later rejoined regiment. Regiment May 31 TRANSFERRED TO 190th REG. PA. VOL. INF. CO. G Under Lieut. J. McCoy Col WM. R. Hartshorne engaged at Dabreys Mills, Hatchers Run Feb. 5-7, 65.Gravelly Run Mar.29, 65. Boydton and White Oak Road Mar. 31,1865, Five Forks Apl 1, 65; Appomattox CH. LEES SURRENDER APL.9, 65, GRAND REVIEW MAY 23,65
June 8,1865 at Camp near Arlington Heights Va. By reason of close of war.
Char. Memb. Lt. WM. Childs Post GAR NO. 226 , Department of Pa. At Marrietta
Published Expressly For The Army And Navy Record Co.
Entered According To Act of Congress in the year
1863 by The Pettibone Brothers Mfg. Company in the
Office of Librarian of Congress at Washington”
Brother Bob Young
Pvt. Theodore Francis Young
Company I, 3rd Indiana Cavalry
Theodore was inducted into the 3rd Indiana Cavalry on Oct. 2, 1861, at Knightstown, Ind., and discharged June 7, 1865 at Indianapolis, Ind. He was a prisoner at Andersonville for three months.
Information concerning capture given by Robert J. Swinney, Leasure, IN Apr 1889. “On or about the 1st Sept 1864 at or near Jonesboro, GA there was one hundred men under the command of Capt__ of Co. I. 3rd Ind. Vol sent South of below Jonesboro to cut the Telegraph wire Theodore Young one of that number whilest in a charge through the Rebbel lines, his horse jumped over some obstruction in the road and pitching T. Young forward on his Saddle and seriously injering his testicle and his saddle girt broke at the same time which caused him to be captured by the enimey or at least he never came back to the company while I was with it. The next time I saw him in Rush County near or about the fall of 1869 then he told me how had he was hurt when the horse him forward on his saddle that a good part of the time he head to carry his testicle in a supporter and seeing he was lame in the left foot-he told me that they had a collision on the train as they were taking him on to the Prison and got his ankle messed up have seen as much as once a year ever since the last time I saw him was in March 1889 at Elwood Madison Co Ind he frequently told me during this time that if any differance those ailment was geting worse on him the last time he told me he was not able to work half of the time and being a man of good report I have no right to question it Yours truly s/RJ Swinney Co I 3rd Cav Ind Vol”
Pension Records from the Dept of Interior, Bureau of Pensions dated 19 Jun 1916. “To the Board of Review. Evidence shows Theodore was first married to Emma (Emeline) Crane, 6 Jul 1865 in Clark County, In; that he lived with Emma but a short time when he became aware of a prior marriage on her part. Later he met and married Rebecca Coy 7 Jan 1869 and after fathering three girls and six boys moved with family to Elwood, Madison, IN in about 1888. There he left for a period of one or two years, returning in about 1900 with a subsequent move to Marion, IN. It was reported by Rebecca that her husband as been in Cincinnati during that period of absence. After moving to Marion, Theodore once again deserted Rebecca returning to Cincinnati. There he stayed at a rooming house operated by Mary Ridgley Hoeflick. They were married in Covington, Kenton Co, KY 30 Nov 1904. Theodore and his third wife, Mary remained in Cincinnati for a short time, moving to Colorado Springs, CO and subsequently to Pasadena, CA until 1911 when Theodore deserted Mary after learning Rebecca had filed for one-half of Theodore’s pension. He returned to Rebecca in an effort to save his pension, however she refused to take him back.”
Civil War Notes: Company I of the Third Indiana Cavalry has a history that is its own and peculiarly unique. The company was raised at Knightstown, IN, by Will C. Moreau, a practicing attorney of that place, who became its captain, with Tighlman Fish as first lieutenant and Oliver Childs as second lieutenant. It was raised with the intentions of becoming the bodyguard of Gen. A. MacDowell McCook, commanding a division of Buell’s army in Tennessee and Kentucky. The company was sworn in at Indianapolis and ordered to report to General Buell at Louisville, and in obedience to the order proceeded to Louisville. But instead of reporting to General Buell, at once proceeded to Elizabethtown, KY, where General McCook was stationed, and reported to him. General McCook at once sent the company on a scout to Buckley’s farm on Green river, where a large amount of rebel stores were kept in the barns of that farm. These the company burned, and after a day or two returned to General McCook’s headquarters at Elizabethtown. There the commander of the company found an order commanding him to report to General Buell at Louisville, which order was complied with. The company was held there in camp until the army went to Nashville, TN, where it was detailed on provost duty in the city, and was not relieved from this duty until Bragg invaded Tennessee and Kentucky, when it fell back with the army to Louisville.
The preceding was written by Brother Bob Young regarding is great-great grandfather Theodore Young.