View Full Version : Civil War History

December 5, 2010, 08:53 PM
I'm fortunate to have my great great grandfather's Springfield contract musket that he carried with the 27th Michigan in the Civil War. Over the past year or so, I've been doing a little genealogy research on my family and a few months ago, I got in contact with a member of another branch of the family who also has a few artifacts, including some pictures that I didn't have. I traded scans and photos of various things, but today the find of finds showed up in my email - a copy of my great great grandfather's discharge from the Army in 1865:


I thought that you guys would be interested in seeing it.

December 5, 2010, 09:29 PM
I really like that picture a lot!! Its funny, I am sure that guy probably had good handwriting- it was probably so much easier to read back in those days because they were used to it. the '62 is interesting, as in maybe a mistake was almost made. thats a great piece of history!! I have my grandather's WWII discharge card. He served two yrs as a machinists mate(my other grandpa did 28yrs + WWII). my great-great grandpa did 3-4yrs artillery for the union all during the civil war(whatever time a draft mandated). He was a german immigrant who barely spoke english(a better bet is he didnt speak a lick). He was paid $300 by a rich guy who got drafted. I had thought and heard he was a cook. well, he mightve been, but he was artillery moreso so either way he was right in on it. no records I found say anything about a cook

December 5, 2010, 09:44 PM
Thats cool. But it will really freak you out to surf the web and come face to face with yourself in a confederate uniform. I looked just like that when I was his age, hat hair and all. His hands are bigger tho lol. Lt. Harry Hatcher Co. A 43 Battalion 1st Va cavalry, Mosby's Rangers


4V50 Gary
December 5, 2010, 09:50 PM
You should try to get his service record and if there is one, his pension record from the National Archives. All these documents should be kept with the gun as the gun increases in value once a story is attached to it. It's called provenance. Here's what I found about the unit.

27th Regiment, Michigan Infantry

Organized at Port Huron, Ovid and Ypsilanti, Mich., and mustered in April 10, 1863. (Co. "I" December 13, 1863; Co. "K" January 4, 1864.) Left State for Kentucky April 12, 1863. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Ohio, to June, 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, to August, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Ohio, to April, 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to September, 1864. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, to July, 1865.

SERVICE.-Duty at various points in Kentucky April to June, 1863. Action at Jamestown, Ky., June 2. Moved to Vicksburg, Miss., June 4-12. Siege of Vicksburg, Miss., June 14-July 4. Advance on Jackson, Miss., July 4-10. Siege of Jackson July 10-17. Destruction of Mississippi Central Railroad at Madison Station July 18-22. At Milldale till August 4. Moved to Covington, thence to Crab Orchard, Ky., August 4-30. March to Knoxville, Tenn., September 10-26. Action at Blue Springs October 10. Duty at Lenoir till November 14. Knoxville Campaign November 4-December 23. Loudon Station November 14. Campbell's Station November 16. Siege of Knoxville November 17-December 5. Repulse of Longstreet's assault on Fort Saunders November 29. Pursuit of Longstreet December 6-18. Operations in East Tennessee till March, 1864. Armstrong's Ferry January 22. Advance to Morristown January 24-March 2. (Cos. "I" and "K" join Regiment at Mossy Creek, Tenn., March, 1864.) Moved from Knoxville, Tenn., to Nicholasville, Ky.; thence to Annapolis, Md., March 17-April 5. Campaign from the Rapidan to the James River May 4-June 15. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7. Spottsylvania May 8-12. Ny River May 10. Spottsylvania May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. Ox Ford May 23-24. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Bethesda Church June 1-3. Before Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30, 1864. Weldon Railroad August 18-21. Poplar Springs Church September 29-October 2. Reconnoissance on Vaughan and Squirrel Level Roads October 8. Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run, October 27-28. Fort Stedman March 25, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Assault on Fort Mahone and fall of Petersburg April 2. Occupation of Petersburg April 3. Pursuit of Lee April 3-9. Moved to Washington, D. C., April 20-24. Grand Review May 23. Duty at Washington and Alexandria till July. Mustered out July 26, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 10 Officers and 215 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 3 Officers and 204 Enlisted men by disease. Total 432.

Wow! They fought with Grant at Vicksburg, may have help to fend off Longstreet from Knoxville, fought again with Grant during his Overland Campaign to the Siege of Petersburg. They saw the mine blow up (Battle of the Crater) and joined in pursuit of Lee. What a terrific record that unit has.

December 5, 2010, 11:21 PM
They were part of the Wandering IX Corps, Gary. I've done quite a bit of research on the 27th Michigan and I'm working on a history of the relevant Civil War battles to give to my family.

I have a copy of his pension application as well - it was a real boon for the genealogy because he listed all of his children, along with their birthdates. I found a couple that I did not know about.

I'll contact the National Archives and see what they have to say. It seems like he must have been through some significant action because he was promoted from private to sergeant fairly quickly.

I was always interested in the Civil War from a historical perspective, but once I found out that my great great grandfather was in it, my perspective changed. And the funny thing is that my grandfather always claimed that his granddad carried the rifle in the war, but my dad and I always figured that it was one of those stories that sort of gets told about an old gun that's been in the family. As it turns out, he was absolutely right!

December 5, 2010, 11:28 PM
permotions often happened quickly back then but especially during the civil war for various reasons: deaths, retention, getting someone on your side of the war in the first place, etc.

the fact that your great-great grandpa went from private to sergeant in a hurry is good evidence he was 1) a well-respected soldier and also 2) knew what he was doing

that rifle becomes worth more as time goes by(a pretty good reason to keep something so precious you plan on keeping anyways in the first place since there is never ever any rush). My favorite items worth money are the ones that can sit for yrs because there's no pressure to turn them over. Obviously, selling is probably the furthest thing from your mind, but it still helps to know.

December 6, 2010, 11:31 AM
Do you know where his headstone is?

December 6, 2010, 11:38 AM
Yes, he is buried in Acheson, KS. I haven't been there, but some of my new-found cousins have, so I have some pictures.

December 6, 2010, 12:32 PM

Here's a data base to search for your Civil War ancestor.

Doc Hoy
December 6, 2010, 01:37 PM
What a great thread!

December 6, 2010, 01:52 PM
For those interested, here are a few other photos:

The Rifle:


Great great grandpa George's Grand Army of the Republic portrait:


The gun, an LG&Y contract rifle of 1861, is fully functional. We take it out on Independence Day and put a few rounds downrange, then clean it up and hang it back over the mantle. It's still very accurate - I can kill an orange at 75 yards.

Getting a Civil War service record is going to be a little harder than I thought - the record is held by the National Archives, but there is another agency that requires a form for release as well. The name escapes me, but I've contacted them to get their forms.

Also, Ancestry.com has an extraordinary collection of records that were extremely helpful. That's how I was able find many details about George's life and to contact my cousins. In fact, there's kind of a funny story to that - I got an email from one of the cousins along with a copy of a picture of a Navy Sailor, asking if I knew who he might be. It was kind of a shock - the photo was my Dad's boot camp picture from 1951. He's sent copies off to his aunts and uncles and at least one of them held onto it.

December 6, 2010, 03:39 PM
This is very interesting. Congrats to you for all the information you have been able to obtain. The pictures are very cool and that gun is awesome. Thanks for the great post.

December 10, 2010, 10:58 PM
Those are great cherish them all ways ... here is my G G Grandfather , he was with the 5th Va. at Shiloh. and I do look a lot like him minus the hair LOL


4V50 Gary
December 10, 2010, 11:42 PM
Another agency to release the service record? The National Archives should just send it to you if you give them the money. It might cost more, but there are websites that offer research services. I've used Jim Martin's website a couple of times as a way of supporting his work there. Civil War sites (http://history-sites.com/cgi-bin/bbs53x/cwaemb/webbbs_config.pl?#m_4195)

I wonder if it's the more modern records held by the U.S. Army at the Military History Institute at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania?

December 11, 2010, 02:08 PM
If you know the state a soldier enlisted in the state archives will have information like muster cards which are what you will get from the National Archives. The muster cards were copied from original muster rolls back in the 30's and I don't think they made much effort to decipher damaged rolls or hard to read hand writing. I have copies of one of my relatives muster cards and they are incomplete by 7 months.

December 20, 2010, 11:39 PM
National Archives are very easy to deal with. Takes a little time.

Also check and see if he or his wife ever applied for a CW pension.

If you have his discharge, then the archives will give as much of his complete military record. Sometimes very limited info is available.

Yes ancestry.com has a wealth of records available.

They have a 14 day free trail program.

My g-ggf served in the 210th Penna Vol Inf.
Limited service Sept 64 to the end
He collected a $300 enlistment bonus.
Pennsylvania has a collection of original regimental flags issued and returned stored in Harrisburg. I got to visit and see and touch them. Very emotional.
Sorry to ramble on so.................

Peter M. Eick
December 29, 2010, 02:04 PM
Do a search on his name on the congressional record.

I was searching up my ancestors and found that in 1904 (if I remember right)congress had to renew his pension. He was a sargent with the north and an Iowa Cavalry man who hit a bunch of battles and lost an eye, leg and arm. Thus the pension.

On the otherside, i was shocked to find out one of my ancestors was a southern General. He was an infantry guy fighting in the western states so it is likely that both men fought each other on several battles.

Just start digging and you would be amazed what you can find.

December 29, 2010, 02:57 PM
I finally figured out the military records system. NARA is the agency that handles the records. I ordered them today, so in a couple of months, perhaps I'll have more information. The service record research was only $25, but the pension research is $75, so I'm going to wait and see what the quality of the service record looks like before I take the plunge on the other.

I really appreciate the suggestions that you guys have given me.

December 29, 2010, 08:22 PM
I had a post on dec 5th also. I am the guy in my family who is into family history. I was lucky my great-grandpa(who I knew until I was 8) was meticulous at saving records, and this was when all he could do was write down stories and also type some histories down before they disappeared into the ages. Thats how it started and then my grandparents and dad helped some.

I have some info on my great-great grandpa on the opposite side of the family where records weren't kept as well. I know this relative's full name or at least his first and last name. I also know for a fact he was paid $300 to serve in the civil war in place of someone who was drafted that wasn't interested. I also know he was 3rd artillery corps, battery g. I called my grandmother's younger brother today, and he is going to try and get more info. He said he thinks he has it, and at the very least we can maybe get his age from his orbituary. He also said he thought he served in gettysburg, but I have never heard that before. I explained I would pay to have the info found out as beforementioned here. Lastly, its heresay but I trust him and he said he knows his grandmother who lived into her mid 90's received a pension even during the 1930's for my great-great grandpa.

How easy is all of this to do? I did the ancestry thing a yr or two ago but never followed thru. I would like to get the records and then if I am satisfied pay for the pension info too. I am also willing to do this all at once and take a chance and someone mentioned congressional info also. I don't have much experience with this so I was looking for good advice and/or a good starting point+hoping you all can help me. I will keep you posted and probably post info here too. Should I wait for the info my grandma's brother has, or should I get started with what I got?

December 29, 2010, 08:29 PM

December 29, 2010, 10:22 PM

the above link is the info I could find from a simple, google search. I do know he settled in RI and was a german immigrant, so this rings true.

Also, his name was Gottlieb Salve. I pulled some stuff up(example is he did have a pension because I saw his wife's name: Emma Heintz), but it just seems like a lot of work and then there no gurantee what you're gonna get in return or which sites are better??

December 30, 2010, 11:33 AM
youngunz4life, I thought that the Ancestry.com research was pretty easy. I found a fair amount of information, especially Census data. Michigan kept pretty good records on their volunteer regiments during the Civil War and quite a bit of it was available on Ancestry. I also came across some cousins that I didn't know that I had, so I was able to share in their genealogical research.

Here (https://eservices.archives.gov/orderonline/start.swe?SWECmd=GotoView&SWEView=GPEA+Product+Detail+-+Features+View+FFO&SWEHo=eservices.archives.gov&SWETS=1199728061&SWEPostnApplet=GPEA+Product+Form+Applet+FFO&SWEPostnRowId=1-N9YP) is where I ordered the service record summary. The National Archives says that if they don't find any data, there's no charge.

December 30, 2010, 07:52 PM
thanx hardcase. it seems to maybe need start+end dates or is the system just finnicky(was acting weird). when my grandma's brother gets back to me hopefully I'll have some dates. Do you have the link to buy the pension for 75dollars too?

December 31, 2010, 09:29 AM
Here's the page that has everything! (https://eservices.archives.gov/orderonline/start.swe?SWECmd=GotoView&SWEView=GPEA+Product+Detail+-+Features+View+FFO&SWEHo=eservices.archives.gov&SWETS=1199728061&SWEPostnApplet=GPEA+Product+Form+Applet+FFO&SWEPostnRowId=1-N9YP)

Good luck!

January 1, 2011, 12:26 AM
thanx hardcase. happy new yr!

January 11, 2011, 12:32 PM
Just an update - according to the NARA website, the service record information that I asked for has been located, copied and is awaiting shipment. I placed the order on December 29th, so that's pretty prompt work!

4V50 Gary
January 11, 2011, 09:18 PM
If things are filed away properly, finding records should not take too long. I've had cases where NARA couldn't find the file on my soldier(s). :( The place is a treasure house and if you go, bring a good, digital camera that takes readable images of documents. You can save a fortune by not having to pay for the xerox machine. Kudos on your find. Service records can be boring. Pension records tend to have more "meat" as they give details of service not found in the service record. Share the results.

January 15, 2011, 12:22 AM
The big day is here! I got a manila envelope with the service record. It consisted of photocopies of my great-great grandfather's enlistment certificate, his statement that he was fit for duty, muster cards for his period of enlistment and a couple of other miscellaneous papers.

There was also a note apologizing for the quality of the photocopies - the documents were old and somewhat faded, but I thought that they did a good job, all things considered.

Here are a few choice images:

Enlistment certificate:


Muster-in Roll:


Muster Roll (I picked this one because it was when the Battle of the Crater was fought):


Muster-out Roll:


Check out the line "Due U.S. for arms, equipments, &c. retained. The $6.00 was what he paid to keep his rifle - the one that's hanging over my fireplace!


A quick look at the Civil War battles that the 27th Michigan was in shows that great-great grandpa was promoted to Corporal a few days after the Battle of the Crater and to Sergeant less than a month later, about a week after the Battle of Globe Tavern, both terribly costly in Union casualties (and certainly no small potatoes for Confederates, either.)

January 19, 2011, 10:59 PM
My cousin sent me some scans that she made of my great great grandfather's Civil War pension application from 1879. Friends, what an eye opener! Check this out (misspellings, grammar and punctuation are verbatim):

"I am the identical George H. Dunn who was enrolled on the 8th day of Feb'y 1862 in Company F of the 27th Re't of Michigan Vol's, commanded by Captain Robert S. Baker and I was honorably discharged at Washington DC on the 26th of July 1865 and my age is now 38 years. While in the service aforesaid, and in the line of my duty I received the following disability, to wit:

On the 30th of July, 1864 in Crater, front of Petersburg Va, was wounded in knee joint by a gunshot. Went to Division Hospital & had Ball extracted. Staid there 4 days & ran away to my Reg't. Had to have my leg bandaged for three years & cannot stand on my feet without painful fatigue. Also contracted Piles & ruptured the veins below my knee joint while on a March in Miss. Was in Reg't Hospital & treated by surgeon. I claim pension on account of Wound, Ruptured veins & Piles."

In 1884, his friend Charles Mundy provided this affidavit:

"I was acting 1st Sargeant of Co G 27th Mich Inf Vols. I am personally acquainted with Geo H Dunn who was Sergt of Co F Mich Vols whom I have known since the month of December AD1862. I was on duty and present with my Company and Regiment on the 30th day of July AD1864 at the Storming and blowing up of the Fort known as the Crater in front of Petersburg Virginia. After the remnant of our Regiment fell back to our own lines I made particular inquiries as to the names of the members of the regiment who were wounded in the attack on the Fort on the 30th day of July as before stated and was informed that amoung others wounded George H Dunn Sergt of Co F was wounded in the leg. On the third day after the fight I made particular inquiry of Dr. Arnoles Ass,t Surgeon of the 27th Mich Vols Inf, and he informed me that Geo H Dunn Sergt of Co F in the same regiment was severely wounded on the left leg on the outside a little below the Knee on the day of the fight while in company with the Storming party."

In 1901, George submitted another affidavit:

"I cannot furnish the Affidavits of the Docters that who Docterd me from 1865 until 1870 for they are boath Dead. Dr Andrews died in Montreal Ont. and Dr Waters died in Gains Mich than Dr Paul Sue commenced to Doctering my famiily. You have four affidavits from him now. I also cannot furnish the affidavits of Mr Page or wife nor Mrs Miller the persons I worked for during that time for they are dead. I cant furnish any more affidavits only that one from Mrs Dunn and that took in the time I come home up to the winter of 1896 when I come to Streator Ill. I would further state I have done all in my power to furnish the required affidavits but cannot do it."


I did not know that he was wounded at the Crater. And I sure wish that I could hear the story about running away from the hospital! I can't imagine having a lead ball removed from my knee, then hotfooting it out a few days later, knowing the amount of legwork that the IX Corps was famous for. And having hemorrhoids sure wouldn't make it any easier!

He was in the 3rd Division, 1st Brigade of the IX Corps. It's interesting that he was in the "storming party" because, as far as I know, it was composed of elements of the 1st and 4th Divisions. But, I suppose, since the whole affair was completely short-circuited by General Meade's decision to keep the 1st and 2nd Brigades of the 4th Division out of the initial attack, there was enough chaos to go around.

Knowing how the battle went for the Union forces, I'm struck by the fact that if that ball had gone a bit higher, I wouldn't be around to bore you guys with this stuff...

January 20, 2011, 05:54 AM
Fascinating to read the participant's viewpoint.

I just received the latest issue of Michigan History magazine. For the sesquicentennial they're doing a series of articles on Michigan in the Civil War. You might find it interesting. Each issue in 2011 will have two articles on the subject, one telling the story of an individual or group of individuals and the other on a major theme of the war. www.hsmichigan.org

January 20, 2011, 10:17 AM
Thanks for that link, mykeal! I just subscribed.

January 20, 2011, 11:01 AM
They (the historical society) might be interested in some of the documents you have.

January 24, 2011, 09:15 PM
hardcase, is there a cust serv # I can call? dii your history say what battles he fought in? I might have to hit up the gettysburg people if not. my grandma's brother got me the info but it is lacking(though I think I have enough). I don't have a birthdate and only know he was 67 at death(have orbituary with no year). my "uncle" wants me to check out gettysburg because he has heard that rumor for decades. He is counting on me so I must get this stuff and had been waiting for more info. my great-great grandpa did 3 yrs and got an honorable+almost definately had a pension. start date either '62 or '63. I guess I'll just pay the 200bucks but the sytem seemed like it had to have dates specifically which I am going to try and manuever around

January 24, 2011, 09:20 PM
toll free 1-86-NARA-NARA

I'll try to come back - calling tomorrow

January 24, 2011, 10:05 PM
The dates help them narrow down their search. The service record does not include information about the battles, but the pension application should because the applicant had to provide that information. But with the muster records, you'll be able to figure out where your great great grandfather served.

If you can send me a PM with a name and whatever information you have, I can look on Ancestry.com for you and see if there's some basic information there that will help you nail the dates down. I'd need name, where he lived, parents' names if you've got them, wife's name, that sort of stuff. I can plug it in and see what comes up.

February 13, 2011, 09:47 PM
I spoke to someone on the phone sometime after the last time this post was active. She mailed me an application, and I wrote down Everything(including a ton of info Hardcase got for me):D.

I haven't heard back. I am a little worried, but I figure they will contact me with a price. I had planned on mailing the $ ahead of time when I spoke with her, but I thought she stated I could mail it back & they would contact me when they find some info. I also didn't see any prices on the form. I hope they call - I left the email line blank and provided my name, address, and phone #

February 13, 2011, 11:03 PM
Give them a call and see if they've made any progress. They should be able to look that up for you pretty quickly.

4V50 Gary
February 14, 2011, 08:50 AM
The 27th Michigan was part of Simon Griffin's brigade. They were to follow Ledlie and move in support of his right flank. They were caught in the open by the 23rd South Carolina and (if I'm not mistaken), forced into the crater. Along with another regiment, they made a concerted effort to retreat from that death trap.

In short, he saw h*ll.

February 14, 2011, 09:47 AM
hardcase, they will call right? I figured it takes a little time because I mailed it and also because I want the pension stuff for great great grandma

February 14, 2011, 10:11 AM
Youngunz, I don't know if they'll call - I did all of mine on the Internet. I'd give them a call to see what the status is.

Gary, you're right - things really went bad in a hurry at the crater and he did in up in a pretty intolerable position. The more that I read about that battle and the more that I think about what he had to have experienced, the more amazed I am that he got out at all. Actually, more than amazed, I'm pretty grateful...great grandpa didn't come along until 1871!

February 14, 2011, 10:16 AM
I thought you guys might be interested to see a picture of my great-great grandfather's Grand Army of the Republic post photo from 1892. I was trawling around the Internet about a week ago and found it on the Genesee, Michigan Historical Society web site:


George Henry Dunn is just to the left of center in the back row. There's US flag hanging from a tree in the center. Follow it down and look to the left. He's #11, with the mustache and kepi.

He was a founding member of the Col. Fenton GAR Post in Fenton, MI.

February 14, 2011, 04:30 PM
Fine looking group of gentlemen.

February 15, 2011, 11:13 PM
yeah they said I could call next week because nothing in system yet. she confirmed that I will receive a US Mail notifiation eventually and can go from there when that time arrives. I might do my grandpas(may they rest in peace) after this one pans out. I am assuming I can; they both passed in 1995-96 and were WWII veterans

May 28, 2011, 07:51 PM
At the end of April, I ordered the full set of my great, great grandfather's pension records. Most of them arrived today - two CDs and 100 pages of papers. The $75 fee for research and duplication covers up to 100 pages. There are 75 more pages to be scanned. I'll have to give them a call on Tuesday and ask them to finish it up - it's another $45, but well worth it, I think.

The documents included all of the affidavits that he filed, along with those of his fellow soldiers, family, friends and business associates. There were also papers from his lawyer. The gist of the documents were that he had been approved for a $6.00 per month pension, which represented a 1/8 disability. He appealed the finding and requested 3/4 disability. In the end, I'm not sure what the final determination was, but his pension was increased to $12.00 per month.

It's all very interesting, of course, and gives some insight into the sort of daily struggles that a Civil-War era soldier endured.

May 28, 2011, 08:20 PM
Y'all are lucky to have such extensive records. Confederate records aren't that great and a lot are missing.

May 28, 2011, 08:33 PM
I love that pix(last post with one displayed).

I did get the enlistment paper(s)

zeroxed the best quality possible out of their Big binder with enlistments (1864-67).

a while back I spoke with someone and had to do a seperate request in writing for the pension(which has all the reords). they responded that they admit that they should have the record but do not. they did say the VA should have the file and gave me instructions to request it along with quotations of how to exactly request the pension file. They also stated they were going to try and retrieve the info themselves as well. I sent that off about a month ago but nothing yet...

May 28, 2011, 10:45 PM
Youngunz, it took them a month to the day for the CDs to get here - that was a huge amount of data.

Hawg, you're right and that's a shame. I definitely feel lucky!

May 29, 2011, 01:32 AM
This has been a great read, and has inspired me to share some info on my ancestor. I have a GGGG grandfather named Lewis W. Snyder who served with the CSA 44th North Carolina infantry Co.k. He mustered in on Nov 29 1862 at 33 yrs old. On Oct. 14 1863 he was captured at Bristoe Station Va. He was sent to Old Capital Prison in D.C. Then transferred to Pt Lookout Prison in Maryland on Feb 4 1864. He died at Pt. Lookout prison on June 25, 1865 from acute diarrhea. His brother was captured 13 days later at Burgess Mill Va. and he also was sent to Pt lookout where he died May 2, 1865 from dropsy.

There aren't any surviving pictures, but here is a letter he sent home a couple of months before his capture.

My Deare Brother In Law,

We seate our selves to answer your kind and welcom letter which com to hand the 7th of this instant. We was glad to heare from you and to heare that you was well. Your letter found us well at present and I sincerely hope these few lines will find you well. You stated in your letter that you had come home on the 28 of July and had to start back the 3rd of August. We want to know where you had to go. You stated in your letter that Hill and Nelson was boath well, only Hill had cut off his middle finger. We want to know how it happen. I was glad to heare that Zebedee was well and at worke at the iron mind, for this is a bad placehear. Tell him to stay at the mind and worke. Tell him to write to us. We have wrote to him and have recd no answer from him. Tell him to direct to Richmon, VA. and it will come to us. I often thinks of Dorcas and Franklin. I would be the gladis in the world to see them boath and tell them all a bout our sufferings. Jonathan is bar footed, my shoes is most gon. We git beef to eate and it half salted. We git corn meal to eate with our beef. Everthing is hy. Howe cakes is .25 apeace, pies about as big as my hand is 50 cents a peace. Chickens half grone $3 a peace, unions .25 a peace, cucumbers .25 apeace, tobacco one dollar to $1.50 a plug. Paper three dollars a quire and everthing else in proportion. We want this afful war to stop and all the rest of the soldiers is tired of the war. We all want peace. Only the officers tha git the big price wants it to continue. We have no sa so in it. The men is a running away by scores and tha all will if times don't git better afore long.

We close, direct to Orange Court House, VA. in care of Capt. R B S Larence. Co. K 44th Regt. N. C. Troops.

Sorry for the Hi-jack and long post, but I wanted to share my ancestor's story, and this letter, that shows how some of the southern troops were feeling about the war. Your posts have given me alot of info on how to find out more, and maybe get some copies of his records.

May 29, 2011, 02:56 PM
What a fascinating letter, Hawg! I have no letters from the war years, only before and after, and nobody talked about that time at all. My mom's side of the family, the Coopers, lived in Missouri which was very conflicted during the war.

I have my suspicions about their feelings - my great, great grandfather named his son Frank James Cooper in 1887.

May 29, 2011, 08:20 PM
The letter wasn't mine. I have no letters. There's a lot of written family history and while it has some personal touches in places it's not very personal, if that makes any sense.

May 29, 2011, 10:54 PM
It makes perfect sense, Hawg. I know exactly what you mean. That's kind of the way things are on my dad's side.

June 14, 2011, 09:25 AM
When the National Archives sent the CD of great, great grandpa's pension file, it ran to about 110 pages, but they said that there were another 75 pages available if I wanted to pony up some more money. Well, that was a no-brainer, so I had them finish the work. In fact, there were another 121 pages.

It's interesting to see that over the course of well over 100 years, the wheels of government turn just about as slowly and efficiently today as they did back then. Most of the paperwork revolves around his attempts to get his disability pension increased. The problem was that instead of spending his time in the hospital getting treated and getting all the proper paperwork done, he stayed with his company and kept fighting. Also, it turns out, he was looking after his younger brother and trying to keep his butt out of a sling with his parents, as you'll see in this affidavit that he sent to the Pension Office explaining why there was so little documentation of his gunshot wound:

I cannot send the Affidavit of Dr Smith. he will not give it to me. I sent my Brother to him for one and he told him he thought I had the Diarrhoea but could not remember the circumstances for it was so long ago. Then he asked him if he didn't Doctor me in Camp Parks Ky after we came back from Miss. He told him he could not remember. I then wrote him the Circumstances of my case all through but he says I cannot remember 18 years back. I can prove by my Father and Mother he sent a letter to his Brother and told him to go and tell them that I was mortialy wounded and he told them and read the letter to both of them at their house in Soudon Ontario. They lived there at that time. His Brother was a Detective then and my Father was Preaching in Soudon. That was in 1864. I will further state the reason he wouldn't give me an affidavit. He got mad at me when we first came home. I made some fun of him about a black woman he used to run in his Office before he went in the War. He was going to whip me and now he is taking his spite out this way. I would also state that most of the doctoring was done by Dr Yarnold. He went out as Hostpital Stuart of the Regt and he had the most of the work to do fo rthe Doctors were not well posted except Dr Stockwell, and he didn't stay long with us. Doctor Neblack he did not come to the Regt until Dec 1863 and was away as you will see by inclosed Postal Card that he was Absent Sick in the Summer of 1864 and did not return until October 1864. Dr Harry H Powers I cannot find him. He is not in Sarinac and I have tried to find his Post Office address but cannot find it. I have done all in my power to furnish the Affidavits of Said persons to the best of my ability. I would ruther state the reson I would not go to the Hospital. I had a younger Brother with me in the Company and I did not want to leave him for my Parrents always blamed me for his Enlisting and if any thing had of hapened to him while I was away thay would have never forgiven me. That is the reason I have no more Hospital record than I have.

Perhaps a lesson to be learned here is to pick your targets of teasing carefully.

September 8, 2011, 10:58 PM
One of my cousins had three of these songbooks and sent one of them to me last week. What a great gift!

It was published in the 1880s by the Woolson Spice Company, manufacturers of Lion Coffee, for the GAR, the Woman's Relief Corps and the Sons of Veterans. It's a fascinating little book, about 34 pages, and has little tidbits of history about the War, along with the words to the patriotic songs of the day.


I've scanned it into a (rather large) PDF if anybody is interested. Download it here. (http://www.fluidlight.com/genealogy/war_songs.pdf)

4V50 Gary
September 9, 2011, 01:32 AM
Thank you Hardcase. The Sons of Union Veterans still exist today. I know the National Commander.

September 9, 2011, 01:55 AM
I love that pix(last post with one displayed).

I did get the enlistment paper(s)

zeroxed the best quality possible out of their Big binder with enlistments (1864-67).

a while back I spoke with someone and had to do a seperate request in writing for the pension(which has all the reords). they responded that they admit that they should have the record but do not. they did say the VA should have the file and gave me instructions to request it along with quotations of how to exactly request the pension file. They also stated they were going to try and retrieve the info themselves as well. I sent that off about a month ago but nothing yet...

still nothing on my request but since my may 28th post I have received a postcard from the VA confirming my request with a confirmation #. This was a ways back(probably not long after my last post), so hopefully they'll make progress eventually.

September 9, 2011, 12:21 PM
Thanks for sharing War Songs with the group. Immediately after great conflicts populations try to forget the terrible times and focus their attention on other matters. But after a generation or two, as the old combatants begin dying off, there is a desire to honor their efforts and sacrifices. Monuments, memoirs and even song books surface in tribute to them. The same thing happened in the 1990s to honor The Greatest Generation who fought in WWII.

September 9, 2011, 12:53 PM
The Sons of Union Veterans still exist today. I know the National Commander.

I wish that there was a Department in Idaho, but, interestingly, the population here during the Civil War was predominately Southern. There are quite a few towns and rivers in the state named for Southern landmarks. I suppose that one of these days I'll get off my duff and join as a member at large.

There was more than a little trouble in the 1860s because the Federal appointees to the territorial government were exclusively Northerners, but the elected officials were almost all Southerners. Some great examples were that sheriffs would tend to not arrest Southerners for crimes against Northerners and judges would tend to dismiss charges against Northerners for crimes against Southerners.

The state prison was a lonely, empty place most of the time.

4V50 Gary
September 10, 2011, 01:55 AM
Hardcase. There is, but it's part of the Department of Colorado & Wyoming (http://suvcw.org/co/deptcowy.html). One of the problems today for any social organization is the economy and that younger people tend not to join as their fathers or grandfathers did. I suspect the internet has a lot to do with it.

Bill Akins
September 10, 2011, 02:14 AM
This was a fascinating read fellas. I read every post. Thanks for starting it Hardcase. The account of your relative at the Crater was really something to read along with his writings to get his pension. I enjoyed the pics too. I especially like looking at the decades later reunion pics like you posted. There are reunion pics like that, that have Jesse James on their rolls and listed as being in the pics as an old white haired man, many many years after he was supposed to be dead! Makes me wonder if the KGC didn't pull the hoax of the 19th century and fake Jesse's death.

Also drftrman's Confederate relative's letter was a real window into the lack of shoes and food and deprivation suffered by the under supplied average Confederate soldier. And Hawg, was that picture you posted a relative of yours or just some civil war veteran you found a picture of online that looked like you? Reason I'm asking, is because I was wondering if he was a relative of yours Hawg, if you knew how he lost that middle finger (in battle?), or if it was just poking under his tunic?



September 10, 2011, 02:41 AM
the 'going under the tunic and/or uniform' bit was very common during the time of the Civil War though I am not sure why his middle finger is the only extremity going under in this picture.

September 10, 2011, 08:12 AM
It's a coded signal from the past. We can only image what it means......:D:rolleyes:

September 10, 2011, 09:36 AM
Yeah he was a relative. Not exactly sure where he fit in. Need to do more research on it. He's prolly saying read between the lines.:D

Bill Akins
September 10, 2011, 06:55 PM
Maybe he's "giving the finger" to the Federals? :p:D


September 10, 2011, 07:01 PM
Maybe he's "giving the finger" to the Federals?

He did that in spades.:D

October 25, 2011, 01:13 PM
The New York Times has been running a series of articles in their "Opinionator" section called "Disunion". The common theme is the history of the Civil War and many of the pieces have been real gems.

There's a very good one today about the bonds that the soldiers shared, particularly in the face of certain death or capture. As with most histories of the era, I read it and was terribly thankful that I didn't have to go through what they did.


Also, I'm struck by the similarities between those stories and my great, great grandfather's experience at the Battle of the Crater. After taking a .58 caliber bullet to his left knee, two of his brother soldiers came to his aid, lifting him from the ground and carrying him to the regimental hospital, ignoring the withering fire from the Confederate soldiers above them.

Even great, great granddad's actions after he got to the hospital went above and beyond - as I wrote earlier, he "ran away" from the hospital after a few days so that he could keep an eye on his younger brother.

October 25, 2011, 07:00 PM
My Grandmother's Father served in the Tennessee Union Cavalry. He was in a couple of fights but was captured and was in Andersonville.
My Grandfather's Father was in the Tennessee Confederate Cavalry. He served under Nathan Bedford Forrest. His records are rather thin so far. He did muster out with some of Forrest' men in IT/OK. Or so his pardon reads.

October 25, 2011, 07:43 PM
Gordon Rhea has a great battle history of the Grant campaigns, one is "To the North Anna River : Grant and Lee May 13-25, 1864". I'll bet you'll find at least one mention of your Michigan unit in that book, it's pretty comprehensive down to Regiment level and salient company actions are covered.