Friday, May 11, 2018

Were Jefferson F. Davis and Benjamin F. Davis Related: Examining the Question in Light of the Evidence

It has been stated by a number of historians when writing about Captain 1st U. S. Cavalry and Colonel 8th New York Volunteer Cavalry Benjamin Franklin "Grimes" Davis, who was mortally wounded in the early morning hours of June 9, 1863 near Brandy Station Virginia, that he is a 1st or 2nd cousin of Confederate States president Jefferson F. Davis, and if not a cousin at least a relative.  I found this association quite intriguing and not knowing much about B. F. Davis's family I set out to  find more information about him. I have spent considerable time researching the genealogical records of both Benjamin and Jefferson and in so doing have found some interesting history about both of them. It is evident they are not 1st cousins and probably not second cousins however proving or disproving whether they are related at all is a much more difficult task.  The following is my assessment of the situation based on my research and the extant evidence.

The first reference I have been able to uncover as to the two Davis's being related comes from "Fighting Rebels and Redskins: Experiences in Army Life of Colonel George B. Sanford, 1861-1892" published in 1969 by the University of Oklahoma Press.  In 1862 Sanford was a 1st lieutenant in Company K, 1st U. S. Cavalry commanded by Captain Benjamin F. Davis.  Sanford, who obviously knew Captain Davis,  noted: He was a thorough officer" and "I am indebted to him more than any other one officer for whatever I afterwards became in the service."  He also wrote on page 175 "Davis was born in Alabama and appointed to the Military Academy from Mississippi, and I believe was a distant relative of Jefferson Davis." I assume Benjamin Davis's being related to Jefferson Davis has morphed from this initial statement by Sanford of their possibly being related to them being either 1st or 2nd cousin in subsequent histories covering the cavalry officer.

As noted in a prior post on this blog Benjamin Franklin Davis was the eldest son of Benjamin E. Davis and Matilda Holladay Davis.   Benjamin E. and Matilda were married in early 1831 in Perry County, Alabama as per county marriage indexes.  Benjamin F. Davis was born in Perry County Alabama on or about the 24th of October 1831. (Davis himself notes in an August 26, 1854 letter written in acceptance of his commission as a brevet 2nd lieutenant: "My age is 22 years, ten months and two days".)  1840 Federal Census records show Benjamin E. and Matilda still living in Perry County, where the elder Davis had homesteaded, with 6 sons, the youngest of which was born about 1840.  By the late 1840's the sons were living with married sisters of Matilda in Monroe County, Mississippi where a relative noted the boys were orphans.

                                    Benjamin Franklin Davis

Matilda Davis, the daughter of Benjamin W. Holladay, was born in Wilkes County,  Georgia about 1813.  The family moved to Perry County, Alabama before 1830.  It is not known when or where Benjamin E. Davis was born which is a huge fly in the ointment in trying to ascertain any relationship between Jefferson Davis and Benjamin F. Davis.  It is also not know when or where Benjamin E. and Matilda E. Davis died, what they died of or where they are buried.  I have tried in vain to locate then in any of the Perry County, Alabama cemetery records.

Jefferson F. Davis, who is probably best know as the president of the Confederate States of America although he was also a graduate of West Point, Secretary of War in the Pierce administration and both a Senator and Congressman from Mississippi, was born in Fairview, Christian (now Todd) County, Kentucky in 1808.  He was the youngest of 10 children born to Samuel Emory Davis and his wife Jane (Cook) Davis.  What is noteworthy about this is that Jefferson Davis is at least a generation older than Benjamin Franklin Davis even though he is the youngest child in his family.

                                    Jefferson F. Davis

Samuel Emory Davis, Jefferson's father, was born about 1756 probably in Georgia although references also indicate he could have been born in Pennsylvania.    Samuel Emory Davis was the only child of Evan Davis Jr., and his wife Mary (Emory) Williams Davis.  Mary had two sons from a prior marriage who would have been half-brothers to Samuel Emory Davis.  The fact that Samuel Emory Davis was an only child precludes Jefferson Davis and Benjamin Franklin Davis from being 1st cousins because to be 1st cousins you have to have grandparents in common.  Second cousins are children of parent's 1st cousins.  Samuel Davis would not have had any 2nd cousins on his father's side because he did not have any 1st cousins because he was an only child.

Evan Davis Jr., Jefferson Davis's grandfather, was the youngest son of Evan Davis Sr., and his wife Mary.  He was born in Philadelphia about 1729.  He spent some time in South Carolina before moving to Wilkes County, Georgia where he raised his son Samuel and stepsons from Mary's 1st marriage and is buried.

Evan Davis Sr., Jefferson Davis's great grandfather,  was purportedly born in Wales, before 1695, although records vary on this issue.  He lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife Mary.  Evan and Mary had six children, 5 sons, Benjamin, William, Samuel, Joseph and Evan Jr., and a daughter Hannah.  Records indicate William, Samuel, Hannah and Evan Jr., married where as Benjamin and Joseph did not.  With all these brothers and sisters Evan Davis Jr., could have had relatives that could be related to Benjamin E. Davis, Benjamin Franklin Davis's father however without more information about Benjamin E, Davis's ancestry this possibility cannot be confirmed or denied.

In conclusion, it is safe to assume Benjamin Franklin Davis and Jefferson F. Davis are not either 1st or 2nd cousins.  More information will have to become available and more research conducted to ascertain if they are related in any way.  So as with many things the quest will continue.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Wounded at Antietam: Battery B 4th U. S. Artillery Part 7

As noted in a prior post 25 privates with Battery B 4th U. S. Artillery were wounded during the fighting in the fields adjacent to D. R. Miller's cornfield on the morning of September 17, 1862.  Twenty of those privates have been discussed previously.  Here are the stories of four of the remaining five.

Private Henry M. Colby was born in Whitefield, Lincoln County, Maine October 27, 1839.  Henry, his three brothers and three sisters were the children of Nathaniel and Charlotte (Norris) Colby.  In 1850 the family lived in Whitefield where Nathaniel was employed as a carpenter/joiner.  Henry and his older brother Seymour were living in Taylor's Falls, Chicago County, Minnesota when he enlisted in Company B, 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry on June 25, 1861. Henry was detached to serve with Battery B on December 2, 1861.  Private Colby suffered a gunshot wound to the leg on September 17, 1862 at Antietam.  On October 6, 1862 Henry Colby would be admitted to General Hospital A, a tent hospital located on the almshouse property near Frederick, Maryland where  he would remain until January 17, 1863. Henry Colby would be discharged from the army for disability on March 31, 1863.  He might have spent time in Washington Territory in the late 1870's employed as a lumberman.

Henry's older brother Seymour, who was born March 29, 1837, enlisted in Company B, 6th Wisconsin on June 8, 1861.  He served with Battery B from December 2, 1861 until July 15, 1864 when he was mustered out at the expiration of his three years of service.  Seymour would return to Maine, where he would marry and raise a family.  He died on March 22, 1918.

Private John H. Fillmore, a son of Norman and Sarah Ann (Shanks) Fillmore, was born July 28, 1839 in Bennington, Wyoming County, New York.  On May 31, 1861 he enlisted in Company G, 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.  He was detached to Battery B on December 2, 1861 and remained on detached service until August 8, 1864.  Silas Felton notes in The Iron Brigade Battery an essay in "Giants in Their Tall Black Hats"that John was wounded at Antietam.  John veteranized after 3 years of service and transferred to Company D, 6th Wisconsin on November 27, 1864.  He would be mustered out on July 14, 1865.  In 1870 John his wife Sarah and daughter Clara, who was born in 1866, were living in Hortonia, Outagamie County, Wisconsin where John was a farmer.  Sadly Clara would die in 1874.  In 1880 John and Sarah still lived in Hortonia.  Sarah passed away in 1891.  On September 3, 1896 John H. Fillmore, aged 57 was admitted to the Northwestern Branch National Home for Disabled Soldiers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At the time of admission he stood 5' 8" tall with a dark complexion.  John lived at the Old Soldiers Home until his death on November 7, 1912.  John H. Fillmore is buried in Wood National Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Headstone John H. Fillmore Find A Grave photo Steven Blackwood

Private Claus Young, who was born in Holstein January 10, 1838, came to America in 1859.  He enlisted in Company G, 19th Indiana Volunteer Infantry on July 29, 1861.  He was on detached service with Battery B from September 1862 until October 1863.  Claus was wounded at Antietam while serving with Battery B.  Private Young continued to serve with the 19th Indiana after leaving Battery B.  In January 1, 1864 he would join the 20th Indiana and serve as a sergeant in Company C,   until he was mustered out on October 19, 1864. In 1870 John and his wife Nancy Jane (Davis) Weaver, whom he married on February 2, 1864 were living in Fremont, Steuben County, Indiana.  The couple had a son Frank and 2 daughters Mary and Ina.  In 1880 the family lived in Fairview, Madison County, Nebraska where Claus was a farmer.  In 1882 he received a patent to a 160 acre homestead.  In 1900 Claus lived in Union, Madison County, Nebraska.  Claus Young died March 22, 1908 in Norfolk, Nebraska.  He is buried in the Crown Hill Cemetery in Madison County.  

Headstone of Claus Young Find A Grave photo William Peel

John J. Lee was born in Yorkshire England in January 1841.  Census records indicate he came to the United States in 1850.  It is unclear when he enlisted in Company M, 1st U. S. Cavalry  however he left the unit on August 12, 1861 at the expiration of his term of service.  On August 26, 1861 John enlisted in Company D 7th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.  He stood 5'6" tall with grey eyes, light colored hair and a ruddy complexion.  Private Lee was detached to serve with Battery B on March 7, 1862.  He was wounded at Antietam.   Lee served with Battery B until September 1, 1864 when he mustered out at the expiration of service.  He served with Company C 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry from February 1, 1865 until November 15, 1865.  In 1870 John his wife Lucy and 3 month old daughter Dora were living in Brooklyn, Green County, Wisconsin.  By 1880 the family had moved to Prarie Dog, Harlan County, Nebraska where another daughter was added to the clan.  The 1900 Census shows John J. Lee a 59 year old widower employed as a laborer at Hunters Hot Springs, Park County, Montana.   In 1910 John was living with his daughter Dora and her husband  in Seattle, Washington.  Sometime before 1920 the family moved to Berkeley, Alameda County, California.  John J. Lee was admitted to the Old Soldiers Home in Yountville, Napa County, California on July 13, 1915.  He died there on March 10, 1917 of diabetes.  John J. Lee is buried in Veterans Memorial Grove Cemetery in Yountville, California.  He had been a member of the Richmond, Contra Costa County GAR prior to his death.  

Headstone of John J. Lee Find A Grave photo Peg & Lacey

There are many mysteries that still remain regarding the wounded of Battery B at Antietam.  All of the wounded are yet to be identified.  The records are unclear and confusing.  The wounded includes regulars assigned to the battery, volunteers on detached service with the battery and other volunteers that stepped up to the plate to assist on that fateful September day 156 years ago.  Maybe the complete answer will never be know but the quest will continue so stay tuned.

Information in this post is obtained mostly from U. S. Army Register of Enlistments 1798-1914, U. S. Burial Registers, Military Posts and National Cemeteries; U. S. Census records, Regimental Rosters, Civil War Pension Indexes, Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, Government Land Office Records, U. S. National Home for Disabled Volunteers records, Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, Giants in Their Tall Black Hats, The Cannoneer, One Vast Hospital: The Civil War Hospital Sites in Frederick, Maryland after Antietam;  and other Civil War related Records on and  

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Wounded at Antietam: Battery B 4th U. S. Artillery Part 6

Private John H. Cook was born in Albany, New York in 1842.  He was the son of tinsmith Jeduthan and Margaret (Brewer) Cook.  In 1850 the family was living in Williamstown, Massachusetts but by 1860 they had moved to Hartford, Washington County, Wisconsin.  John was an 18 year old farm laborer, standing 5' 5 " tall with blue eyes and a florid complexion when he enlisted in Company D, 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry at Milwaukee on May 10, 1861.  Private Cook was detailed to Battery B, 4th U. S. Artillery on September 12, 1862.  He received a gunshot wound in the right leg during the Battle of Antietam.  On September 26, 1862 John was admitted to General Hospital #2 in Frederick, MD.  On October 1 he would be transferred to Philadelphia and would wind up spending   7 months in a hospital in Chester, Pennsylvania before returning to Battery B.  He served with the battery until March 4, 1864 when he transferred to the 10th Independent Battery Wisconsin Light Artillery.  Private Cook was discharged from the volunteer service June 7, 1865 at Madison, Wisconsin. After being discharged John Cook returned to Hartford.  While in the service Cook was known as the "tough one" having had run-ins with officers in both the 6th Wisconsin and Battery B for infractions of the rules.  After returning home Cook would marry a woman named Grace and work as a tinner (tinsmith).  By 1890 he was a resident of the Northwestern Branch U. S. Home for Disabled Soldiers.  He would be in and out of the home several times before finally being discharged on June 22, 1910.  By this time his wife Grace had passes away.  John H Cook had three brothers who served in the Union Army during the civil war, older brother James Ezra Cook and two younger brothers Albert Lymon Cook and Franklin Dewey Cook.  All 4 brothers would survive the war.

Private James S. Armstrong was born in Canada about 1845 one of seven children of mill wright Thomas and Phoebe (Turner) Armstrong.  In 1855 the family lived in Ramsen, Oneida County, New York.  By 1860 they had settled in Trimbelle,Pierce County, Wisconsin.  James enlisted in Company B, 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment on June 6, 1861 following in his brother Edgar's footsteps, edgar having enlisted on May 10, 1861 in the 6th Wisconsin.  James Armstrong was detached to serve with Battery B 4th U. S. Artillery on  December 1, 1861.  He was serving with the battery at Antietam when he was wounded September 17, 1862.  James would be discharged for disability October 25, 1862.  After being discharged he would return to Trimbelle where he died November 10, 1862.  Private Armstrong is buried in the Trimbelle Cemetery Pierce County, Wisconsin.  Jame's brother Edgar would serve with Battery B from December 1, 1861 until mustering out of federal service on July 15, 1864.  Edgar would live until November 6, 1910.

        James S Armstrong Headstone (Find A Grave photo by JLH)

Private Isaac Sourwine enlisted in Company E, 19th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment of July 29, 1861.  Isaac, who was born November 14, 1841 in Cross Roads, Delaware County, Indiana was the son of Virginians Christian Souerwine and his second wife Catherine.  By 1860 Isaac and his father were residents of Bear Creek, Poweshiek County, Iowa.  Private Sourwine was detached from the 19th Indiana on November 1861, volunteering to serve with Battery B.  He was wounded by a shell fragment in the left leg during the Battle of Antietam.  On September 28, 1862 he was admitted to General Hospital No. 6 in Frederick, Maryland.  He was discharged for disability on December 2, 1862 at Frederick.  Isaac would return to Indiana after his discharge.  In July 1863 he enlisted for 10 days in Company F, 110th Indiana Volunteer Infantry.  He later enlisted as a sergeant in Company G 7th Indiana Cavalry From September 5, 1863 until September 19, 1865.  On June 12, 1866 Isaac married Margaret Susannah Clevenger in Indiana.  In the 1870 & 1880 Census the family was living in Monroe, Delaware County, Indiana where Isaac was listed as a farmer.  The couple would eventually have 6 children, 2 daughters and 4 sons.  By 1900 Isaac and Margaret were living in Jackson, Wells County, Indiana.  Isaac would die  of throat cancer April 22, 1906.  Margaret would out live him by about 11 years dying in1917.  Isaac and Margaret are buried in Jones Cemetery, Wells County, Indiana.

        Isaac Sowerwine Headstone (Find A grave photo by NLBMZ)

John H. McLaughlin, a son of John and Mary A. (Walker) McLaughlin was born in Pennsylvania in March 1836.  He was living in Trimbelle, Pierce County, Wisconsin when he enlisted  as a private in Company B,of the 6th Wisconsin.  He would be detached to Battery B June 7, 1862 and would serve with it until mustering out of the service July 15, 1864.  McLaughlin was wounded at Antietam.  John married Elizabeth K. (Beardsley) September 10, 1865 at Oak Grove, Pierce County, Wisconsin.  In 1870 the family lived in Trimbelle where John was a cooper.   By 1880 he was farming and also served as the Trimbelle town treasurer.  John & Elizabeth would have three daughters, Ella, Lulu and Maud.  1900 would find John and Elizabeth residing in Clear Lake, Skagit County, Washington with at least one of their daughters.  John McLaughlin died on October 21, 1909 age 73.  He is buried in the Clear Lake Cemetery in Skagit County, Washington.

        John McLaughlin Headstone (Find A Grave photo by Mostloved)

John Holland was born in New York, February 24, 1833, the son of Irish immigrant parents.  John was a resident of Oshkosh, Wisconsin when he enlisted in Company E, 2nd Wisconsin Infantry of May 18, 1861.  Private Holland was detailed to Battery B September 15, 1862.  He would remain on detached service until May 9, 1864.  Holland would be wounded in action at Antietam and Gettysburg.  He mustered out of federal service on July 14, 1865.  John Holland would marry Harriet Mull in Shawano County, Wisconsin on July 4, 1870.  Their son Abraham was born in February 1872.  The 1880 Census shows the family living in Alma, Jackson County, Wisconsin.  John was listed as a laborer.  By 1900, when John was 67, John, Harriet and Abraham were living in Summit, Langlade County, Wisconsin  where John was a farmer and Abraham a farm laborer.  John Holland died in Summit, Wisconsin December 25, 1917.  He is buried in Gleason Cemetery, in Lincoln County, Wisconsin.  His headstone notes he served with the 2nd Wisconsin and Battery b 4th U. S. Artillery.

John Holland Headstone (Find A Grave photo by Kizzie)

Information in this post is obtained mostly from U. S. Census records, Regimental Rosters, Pension Indexes, Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, U. S. National Home for Disabled Volunteers records, Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, New York, Town Clerks Register of Men Who Served in the Civi War. Giants in Their Tall Black Hats,  and other Civil war related Records on and

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Wounded at Antietam: Battery B 4th U. S. Artillery Part 5A

In September 1865 1st Lieutenant James Stewart would be transferred to Battery G, 4th U. S. Artillery ending his long association and illustrious career with Battery B.  Battery G was assigned to Fort Wayne, Detroit, Michigan.  Stewart moved there with his wife Sabine, son James and daughters Margaret, Sabine and Mary who had been born in the District of Columbia in 1865.

On November 23, 1866 Stewart would be promoted to Captain and assigned to command Company K 18th U. S. Infantry.   He left Michigan in December 1866 in route to Fort McPherson, Nebraska where he arrived on April 1, 1867.   His next duty station was Fort Fetterman, Dakota Territory (now Wyoming) where he commanded Company K and a post located at a sawmill 17 miles from the fort.  By March 1868 Company K and Captain Stewart were at Fort Sedgwick, Colorado.  While in Colorado Stewart commanded a sub post at Sydney Station on the Union Pacific Railroad Route, staying at Sydney Station until at least December of 1868.

In 1869 the 18th U. S. Infantry would be combined with the 25th Infantry and assigned to Atlanta Georgia.  Stewart would move to Atlanta with his wife and 6 children.  Two children had been added to his growing brood between 1865 and 1869, a son John G. Stewart born in Michigan January 1, 1867  and a daughter Emma born in February 1870 in Nebraska.  Another son William would be born in 1871.

The 18th U. S. Infantry was sent south during Reconstruction.  They had a varied number of assignments and duty stations.   James Stewart and Company K did not stay long at one location during this period.  They were in Atlanta from April 1869 until October 1870.  They were then assigned to Columbia, South Carolina until March 1871.  In April Company K and their commander moved to Laurensville.  The next assignment was Newberry, South Carolina from December 1874 until July 1875.

James Stewart took his family south with him in 1869.  In November 1873 while Captain Stewart was stationed at Newberry his wife Sabine died.  The Columbia, South Carolina newspaper noted: "Mrs. Stewart was a native of Alsace and had no living relations on this continent.  She was the mother of seven children, the eldest a son, to whom she was most tenderly attached,  being absent from her side at a school in a distant city" (Detroit, Michigan).  At age 47 Brevet Major & Captain James Stewart was a widower with seven children to take care of, four of whom were less than 10 years of age.

In July 1875 Stewart and Company K 18th U. S. Infantry were transferred to Greenville, South Carolina.  While stationed in Greenville Captain Stewart and 10 men of the 18th Infantry were ordered to report to the Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue to protect the collector while he enforced revenue laws.  While assisting the deputy revenue collector the party destroyed 13,300 gallons of mash and beer, arrested 17 men and destroyed 7 stills, caps and worms.  Stewart commanded the post at Greenville until July 24, 1877.  He was then transferred to the Allegheny Arsenal in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania until November 1, 1877 before returning to McPherson Barracks at Atlanta, Georgia where he would remain until his retirement in March 20, 1879.

Captain and Brevet Major James Stewart was retired at age 53 on a surgeons certificate of disability with noted he was "incapacitated from active service due to pleuritic adhesions, impaired vision and some loss of locomotion due to an ankle broken during the siege of Petersburg."  All of these impairments were obtained in the line of duty.  Upon retirement Stewart and his family moved to Carthage, Ohio.

The 1880 Census shows James Stewart living with his 2nd wife Rebecca (Duffy) Stewart as residence of Carthage.  Rebecca, the daughter of Irish immigrant Dr. Thomas Stringer Duffy and his wife Catherine had been born in Rutherfordton, North Carolina in 1848.  The family includes children from his 1st marriage,  Margaret, Sabine, Mary, John, Emma and William.  James and his second wife would have three children of their own, Katherine born in June 1880, Thomas, born August 1881 and Mignon born in March 1888.

James Stewart would be active in retirement.  He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Loyal Legions, The Masonic Fraternity, the Episcopal Church and the Republican Party.  For many years he was a vice president of the Iron Brigade Association and attended a number of their reunions.  In the 1890's he taught classes at the Ohio Military Institute for several years.  On May 31, 1904 he would be appointed Major, retired in the U. S. Army.

During the last few years of his life Stewart resided at Fort Thomas, Kentucky.  He died at 10:00 p.m. April 19, 1905 at the post hospital several weeks before his 79th birthday.  His remains were transported to Washington D. C. for burial at Arlington National Cemetery on April 23, 1905.  Prior to the internment a funeral was held at the home of General W. W. Dudley a long standing friend of Stewart who had served with the 19th Indiana Volunteer Infantry during the civil war.

Stewart's headstone, which bears the emblem of the Iron Brigade Association, was unveiled on July 28, 1907 by his son Thomas Duffy Stewart.  The program was orchestrated by General Dudley.  Edward S. Bragg, formerly of the 6th Wisconsin gave the dedication oration.

Stewart's second wife Rebecca would outlive the Major by 30 years dying in Cincinnati, Ohio July 8, 1935.  Rebecca and at least 5 of Stewart's children are buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati.  

Information in this article is derived from sources including but not limited to:  U. S. Army Register of Enlistments, U. S. Returns from Military Posts, 1806 - 1916, letters written by Stewart, U. S. Census Records, History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio, military records, newspaper articles.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Wounded at Antietam: Battery B 4th U. S. Artillery Part 5

When Captain Joseph B. Campbell was wounded three times in quick succession during the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862, and had to relinquish command of Battery B 4th U. S. Artillery the command devolved on 2nd Lieutenant James Stewart.  In his official report following the battle Stewart noted the battery suffered 1 captain wounded, 3 sergeants, 4 corporals, 32 privates killed and wounded and 26 horses killed and 7 wounded.  He failed to include one wounded officer in his total however.

 In a letter written to John M. Gould on January 16, 1893 when Stewart was retired and living in Carthage, Ohio  he wrote: " About ten minutes after being placed in command (at Antietam) I was struck by a minie ball breaking my belt plate and knocking me down.  On getting up I found my sword belt broken in two.  The shock was terrible for some time, but I knew if I should allow it to be known that I was wounded that someone else would be sent to command the battery.  I suffered a great deal and had to use a Catheter for many a year and sometimes especially when I would catch cold the old pains will come back.  General Gibbon does not know to this day that I was wounded in that battle.  To when the battle was over, in place of looking over the field and making notes I had to lie flat on my back and obtain all the relief I possibly could until the Surgeon came and helped me with the pain."

What else can we say about a man who would receive a painful, grievous, wound in combat that he would suffer with the remainder of his life but consciously elect to not report the incident to a superior officer because he does not want to relinquish command.

James Stewart was born in Leith, Scotland, May 18, 1826.  His mother died in 1829 when he was three years old.  His father who was a builder and contractor followed her to the grave in 1841, leaving James an orphan when he was 15 years old.  Stewart  attended school in Leith and was a typesetter in the Queens Printing Office before leaving Scotland and immigrating to the United States in 1846. He was employed as a printer in New York City prior to his enlistment in the United States Army on October 29, 1851 when he was 25 years old.  At the date of his enlistment he stood about 5 feet six inches tall, had blue eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion.

Stewart's 1st duty station after enlisting was at Fort Columbus, Governor's Island New York, headquarters of the 4th U. S. Artillery.  In May 1852 acting 1st Sergeant Stewart, and 90 recruits made their way to Brownsville, Texas where Private Stewart was assigned to Battery B 4th U. S. Artillery beginning an association with the battery that would last for more than ten years and see Stewart rise in rank from private to 1st Lieutenant.

James Stewart would be appointed Corporal October 1, 1853, Sergeant on January 1, 1855 and 1st Sergeant on October 6, 1855.  Sometime in 1856 Stewart would marry Sabine Haas a daughter of farmer John Haas of Baden, Germany.  On August 29, 1856 he would reenlist for  2nd 5 year term with Battery B. In late November 1856 Battery B, which had been in Texas since the close of the Mexican War, would get orders to proceed to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

James Stewart, his wife and Battery B would spend the winter at Jefferson Barracks in St Louis, departing that city for Fort Leavenworth in March, 1857. On June 19 James Stewart, his growing family which now included a son also named James, and Battery B headed for Camp Floyd, Utah Territory, arriving there in the early summer of 1858.

When the Civil War started in 1861 James Stewart was still in Utah with Battery B which was now under the command of Captain John Gibbon.  By this time Stewart's family had grown to include two daughters born in Utah, Margaret born in 1859 and Sabine born in 1861.   On July 1, 1861 Stewart reenlisted for a 3rd 5 year term.  Eighteen days later on  July 19,  Battery B departed Camp Crittenden for the east.  By late October they were in Washington DC assigned to the Army of the Potomac.

On November 15, 1861 James Stewart was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant with Battery B 4th U. S. Artillery at the recommendation of Captain John Gibbon who referred to Stewart as being  "intelligent, faithful and honest, and without exception the best non-commissioned officer I have ever seen in the army."

Stewart would serve conspicuously with Battery B as a 2nd Lieutenant in numerous engagements with the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Virginia until appointed a 1st Lieutenant on July 3, 1863.  As previously noted he would assume command of Battery B at Antietam and command it throughout the vast majority of the remainder of the civil war.

At Gettysburg, where Stewart received his second war wound when he was struck in the thigh by a shell fragment, Battery B was engaged on both sides of the famous unfinished railroad cut in support of the 1st Corps on July 1 before retreating to East Cemetery Hill where they were engaged on July 2nd and 3rd. While the elements of the Union Army were retreating through town on July 1 and after getting his 3 guns out of harms way Stewart went back to look for his remaining three guns commanded by James Davidson.  Stewart ran into the rebels instead who yelled at him to surrender.  He noted "As I had not gone there for that purpose, I wheeled my horse  and started off as fast as he could go."

 Battery B was in the thick of the fighting at Gettysburg.  They lost 40 men killed and wounded and 57 horses killed or disabled during 3 days of combat. Rufus Dawes of the 6th Wisconsin, who knew Stewart well and served alongside him at both Antietam and Gettysburg noted in "Service with the 6th Wisconsin that "Stewart was as brave and efficient a man as ever fought on a field of battle."

1st Lieutenant James Stewart commanded Battery B during the Overland Campaign  and the Siege of Petersburg in 1864 and 1865.  He would be breveted Captain on August 1, 1864 for brave and meritorious conduct at Spotsylvania Courthouse and to Major on August 18 for action at Weldon Railroad.  He would be wounded a third time late in 1864 before Petersburg when his horse was shot under him and fell on his leg permanently injuring his ankle.

At the close of the Civil War  James Stewart would lead Battery B down Pennsylvania Avenue during the Grand Review May 23, 1865 before being transferred to Battery G 4th U. S. Artillery in September 1865 and being assigned to Fort Wayne, Detroit, Michigan.  James Stewart would continue to serve in the United States Army until his retirement in 1879.  To be continued...

Information in this article derived from sources including but not limited to:  U. S. Army Register of Enlistments, 2 articles written by James Stewart for MOLLUS, letters written by James Stewart & John Gibbon, U. S. Census Records, History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio, The Cannoneer (photo).

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Wounded at Antietam: Battery B 4th U. S. Artillery, Part 4

Thomas M. Clark was born at sea in about 1816.  He was a resident of of La Crosse, Wisconsin when  he enlisted as a private in Company B, 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry on May 22, 1861. He was detached to Battery B 4th U. S. Artillery June 7, 1862 and served with the battery at Antietam where he was wounded.  Clark remained with Battery B until June 15, 1864.  He was mustered out on June 30, 1864 at the expiration of service.  Private Clark's pension records indicate that after mustering out of the 2nd Wisconsin he enlisted in the 1st Connecticut Independent Artillery Battery on August 17, 1864 and served with that unit until June 11, 1865.

Thomas Clark got married in Columbia, Wisconsin on May 6, 1866.   Fifty-three year old Thomas Clark was living with his wife in La Crosse, when he was admitted to the Northwest Branch National Home for Disabled Soldiers in Milwaukee on October 3, 1869.  His was disabled by an injury to his head and right hand.  He died June 6, 1871 at the soldiers home from bleeding from the lungs.  He was interred in Wood National Cemetery which is adjacent to the National Home for Disabled Soldiers (now the VA)

                        Find A Grave Photo Nadeen Sobottka

Benjamin Franklin Noble was born March 1, 1838 in Erie, Pennsylvania the son of Adna Wilcox Noble and his second wife Hanna (Newton) Noble whom he married on December 29, 1828.  In 1850 the family was living in Millcreek Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania where Adna was a carpenter and joiner.  By 1860 22 year old Frank Noble was a farm laborer living in Rutland, Dane County,  Wisconsin.  On August 10, 1861 Noble enlisted in Company D, 7th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.  Frank was detached to Battery B from January 8, 1862 until January 1864.  His obituary notes he was wounded at Gainesville and Antietam.  He was discharged for disability September 30, 1864.  In 1866 Frank Noble moved to Oxford, Johnson County, Kansas where he farmed.  He married Sarah Ellen Hancock in 1868.  Frank and Sarah would have  2 sons and one daughter.  He was a charter member of the Franklin Post, Grand Army of the Republic, in Olathe.  Benjamin Franklin Noble was 65 when he died April 5, 1903.  He is buried in Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Oakland Park, Johnson County, Kansas.  Noble's headstone states he served with Battery B, 4th U. S. Artillery and Company D, 7th Wisconsin Infantry.

Benjamin's younger brother Andrew Jackson Noble served with Company G & C 19th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

                      Find A Grave Photo Silver Spark

Elias Burton Miller, the son of Bernard and Gelina (Butte) Miller was born October 17, 1835 in New York.  In 1850 the family lived in Arcadia, Wayne County, New York.  Burton age 14 was one of six children.  Burton was a resident of Berrien County, Michigan when he enlisted in Company G, 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry on July 12, 1861.  He was on detached service with Battery B 4th U. S. Artillery from May 1862 until December 1863.  Miller was wounded at Antietam.  On January 1, 1864 Private Miller transferred to the 10th Wisconsin Light Artillery.  He mustered out June 7, 1865.  On March 23, 1871 Elias married Delila (Stacy) Leslie  at St. Joseph, Michigan.  In 1880 Elias, Delila and her son from a previous marriage, Henry, were living with Elias's father Bernard in Lincoln, Michigan.  In 1900 Elias was still working as a day laborer.  He died December 26, 1903 in St. Joseph Michigan and is buried in the St. Joseph City Cemetery.

Joseph D. Grim the son of George Grim and his wife Mary (Correll) Grim was born September 5, 1838 in Ohio.  In 1850 and 1860 he lived in Jefferson, Owen County, Indiana.  On July 29, 1861 Joseph enlisted as a private in Company I, 19th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  He was detached to Battery B on November 1, 1861 and served with the battery until January 1863.  He was wounded in action at Antietam.   The Indiana Draft Registration for June 1863 noted Joseph had been discharged from the service.  On October 8, 1864 Joseph married Elmira E. Gard.  In 1870 they lived in Jefferson, Indiana however by 1880 the family, which now included three children, were residing in Salt River, Adair County, Missouri where Joseph was a farmer.  The 1900 and 1910 Census shows Joseph and Elmira living in Kirksville, Adair County, Missouri.  Joseph D. Grim died September 24, 1917 and is buried in Forest-Llewwllyn Cemetery in Kirksville.    Grim's headstone notes he served with Company I, 19th Indiana Veteran Volunteer Infantry.

                           Find A Grave Photo Chris Porche

John H. Fulton, the son of Thomas B. and Elizabeth G. Fulton was born April 3, 1843 in Quincy, Adams County, Illinois.  When John was three years old the family moved to Belmont, Lafayette County, Wisconsin.   Nineteen year old John H. Fulton was living in Belmont when he enlisted as a private in Company C, 7th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry on August 12, 1861.   He was detached to Battery B June 8, 1862.  He was wounded at Antietam while serving with Battery B.  Fulton was mustered out of the 7th Wisconsin on September 1, 1864.  On January 3, 1866 he married Delia A. Phillips.  The couple would have 7 children.  They lived in Belmont, Wisconsin until 1872 when they moved to a homestead near Scribner, Dodge County, Nebraska.  In 1879 John & Delia moved to Creighton, Nebraska.  John H. Fulton died on April 9, 1921 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Creighton, Knox County, Nebraska.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Wounded at Antietam: Battery B 4th U. S. Artillery Part 3

Private Harvey Harvison Childs, the fourth of six children of Elijah and Sabrina (Atwood) Childs, was born August 16, 1840 in New York.  In 1840 the family lived in Massena, Saint Lawrence County, New York where Elijah was a farmer.  Harvey was living in Lindina, Juneau County, Wisconsin with his parents and 14 year old brother Selden in 1860.  He enlisted in Company A, 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry on May 15, 1861.  He was detached to serve with Battery B, where his younger brother Henry L. Childs also served, on June 7, 1862.  Private Childs received a gunshot wound to the right shoulder  at the Battle of Antietam and was discharged for disability on February 27, 1863.

On May 4, 1864 Harvey enlisted in Company E, 41st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry which was organized at Milwaukee on June 8, 1864.  He was promoted to Captain June, 9, 1864.  The regiment  left Wisconsin for Memphis, Tennessee on June 15 where they were engaged in garrison duty, as railroad guards and on pickets duty.  The 41st Wisconsin was garrisoning Memphis with other federal troops on August 21, 1864 when Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his cavalry raided the town. The 41st Wisconsin, including Captain Childs,was mustered out at Camp Washburn when they disbanded the 100 day regiment on September 23, 1864.

On February 9, 1865 Harvey Childs was mustered into Company E, 49th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, a one year regiment.  On February 16 he was appointed Captain.  The regiment was sent to Missouri where Company E was employed as guards at Benton Barracks near St. Louis.  Captain Childs was mustered out of the 49th February 9, 1866 ending his military career.

By 1870 Harvey Childs and his wife Luthera (Atwood) Childs were living in Spring Creek, Johnson County, Nebraska where Harvey was a farmer.   They continued to live in Spring Creek through 1880 with their 9 year old son Frank.  By 1900 the Harvey's were living in McWilliams, Otoe County, Nebraska where Harvey was a coal and lumber merchant.  Harvey died December 21, 1905 and is buried in Grant Evergreen Cemetery, Nemaha County, Nebraska.

                             Find A Grave Photo by Roger Newby

Private Amos G. Burdick, a son of John and Catherine (Clarke) Burdick, was born October 30, 1839 in Darien, Genesee County, New York.  In 1850 Amos lived in Bennington, Wyoming County, New York with his parents and seven siblings.  In 1860 Amos was living in Milton, Rock County, Wisconsin where he was apprenticing as a wagon maker under Nathan Burdick.  On April 24, 1861 Amos enlisted in Company H, 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.  He was detached to serve with Battery B in May 1862.  He was wounded during the Battle of Antietam.  He was on detached service with Battery B until April 1863.  Amos died of disease at Milton, Wisconsin, in either March or April 1864.  He is buried in the Milton Cemetery, Rock County, Wisconsin.  Amos's older brother Albert served with the 22nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry from August 1862 until June 1865.

Private William Dickerson was born November 8, 1837 in Boone County, Indiana to parents Samuel and Elizabeth (Barnett) Dickerson.The 1850 Census found the family living in Washington, Brown County, Indiana.  At that time Samuel and Elizabeth had 5 sons.  William was the second youngest. In 1860 William and his older brother Samuel Franklin were farm laborers in Johnson County, Indiana.  William Dickerson mustered into Company H, 19th Indiana July 29, 1861.  He was detached to Battery B in March 1862.  Private Dickerson received a gunshot wound to the right thigh on September 17, 1862 at Antietam which made him unfit for service.  He was mustered out in March 1863.  On February 24, 1864 William married Nancy Ellen Paul.

In 1870 William was living in Taylor, Sullivan County, Missouri with his wife Nancy, daughter Laura and son William F. Dickerson.  In 1880 William was farming near Liberty Missouri.  He was still living in Missouri farming in 1900 but by 1906 he was homesteading near Liberal, Kansas.  William Dickerson died March 10, 1922.  He is buried in the Liberal Cemetery, Seward County, Kansas.  William Dickerson's brother Samuel Franklin served with Company H, 19th Indiana from July 29, 1861 until July 28, 1864.

                                Find A Grave Photo by Ronaca

Information in this post is obtained mostly from U. S. Census records, Regimental Rosters, Pension Indexes, Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, U. S. National Home for Disabled Volunteers records, Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, New York, Town Clerks Register of Men Who Served in the Civi War. Giants in Their Tall Black Hats,  and other Civil war related Records on and