Thursday, September 25, 2008

Alanson Tracy and the Civil War

When you read the name Alanson Tracy, you may recall that as the name of a man who was one of Scipio's very first settlers, and who rode a bear (see previous blog "Tracy and the Bear"). This man died in 1852 at the age of 81, so was obviously not around for the Civil War.

Alanson did however have a son, Calvin, born in Scipio in 1810. Calvin in turn had a son of his own, and named him Alanson; that is who we are talking about today. I’m going to call him Alan in this posting, to distinguish him from his grandfather.

Born in Scipio in 1828, Alan served his country in the Civil War. He was mustered in to the 3rd Michigan Cavalry as a Lieutenant in October of 1861. Alan was not married, and would have been about 33 years old at that time.

Alan died of disease at Cincinnati in June of 1862. He was buried here in Scipio.

A sad story indeed. But how did I learn all these facts about Alan Tracy? From my trip to the NYS Archives.

These facts (except the part about the bear!) are found in the Complete Record, as required by law, of Officers, Soldiers and Seamen prepared by the Scipio Town Clerk for the War of the Rebellion.

Some entries are more complete than others, but there is a great deal of information here that could guide you around that brick wall you have been banging your head against. The Archives has a lot of information and this is just one example of something learned about an early Scipio family that we didn’t know before. I hope to share many more stories!


Roger A. Post said...

Sandie, my sources put the birth of Alanson Tracy, son of Calvin Tracy and Lucilla Stanley Hunt (Calvin's second wife, m. 24 December 1834), as 15 September 1837. Also, he appears to be buried in Aurora rather than in Scipio.

Alanson apparently was the Regimental Adjutant, seeing service at Shiloh and in Grant's Campaign before being shot while placing pickets and subsequently dying in a Cincinnati hospital, according to a biographical source.

We could note that the farm of Calvin Tracy, where the Alanson of this post was raised, was located on the Sherwood Road between Willow Corners (Cork Street) and the hamlet of Sherwood. The house is on the north side of the road at the top of a steep knoll. This house was occupied by the Rantanen family in the days when you probably rode by it on the school bus every week day.

Evert E. Tracy, Tracy Genealogy, Ancestors and Descendants, Lieutenant Thomas Tracy, of Norwich, Conn., 1660, (Joel Munsell's Sons, Publishers, Albany, NY 1898), p. 211, "1375 Alanson, born 15 Sept 1837, at Sherwood"

Gordon Cummings (compiler), Early Settlers in Southern Cayuga, (1985 - Extracted from Biographical Review: The Leading Citizens of Cayuga County, New York, Biographical Review Publishing Co., Boston 1894), pp. 106-107, "Alanson enlisted in the third Michigan Cavalry in the early part of the Rebellion, and was an active participant in the battle of Shiloh, and was in Grant's campaign of that year. He served as Adjutant, and, while placing pickets, was shot and wounded by the enemy, afterward lying out all night. He was removed to the hospital at Cincinnati, where his death, which was caused by the wound and the subsequent exposure, soon occurred"

Cemetery List: Cayuga Co., NY, (Cayuga Co. NY GenWeb, "Electronic," Oak Glen Cemetery #98, Aurora, Ledyard, "TRACY, ALANSON d. JUN 18, 1862 b. SEPT 15, 1837 SON REGT ADJ, 3RD MICH CAV"

mzpoo5 said...

I just came into possession of a family picture of Lieutenant Alanson Tracy. I'm not yet sure of the lineage, but my grandfather's first name was Alanson and my father's middle name was Tracy. On the reverse of the portrait is a hand-written synopsis of Tracy's death and a picture of his grave. If anyone wants a copy of this, please email me at
Meigs Alden