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