Monday, November 30, 2009

Lewis Truman and Daniel Manchester in the Civil War

The Record of Military Deaths mentioned in my previous entry shows Lewis Truman, single and age 23 at the time of his death. He enlisted in September of 1861 in either the 1st or the 138th (as the entry has been crossed out) as a private; and was a private in the 9th Heavy Artillery when he died. Since the 138th became the 9th, that is likely correct.
The heaviest casualties for the 9th were at Monocacy, MD with 264 killed or wounded, and at Cedar Creek, VA with 208.

Dan’l H. Manchester according to the Scipio Clerk’s Book, was born in Scipio in 1833. He was a Sergeant in Co. E of the 138th NY Infantry. This regiment, organized in August and September, 1862, was converted into a regiment of artillery, December 19, 1862, designated the 9th Artillery. He would have served alongside Lewis Truman.
Daniel mustered in Sept. 8, 1862 as a Sergeant for 3 years. H entered service from Scipio and received a bounty of $50. His father was Caleb, and he himself was a married farmer.
The Clerk Book says he was discharged, and died in Scipio March 20, 1863, and is buried there. It is likely he is buried in the Manchester family cemetery on Manchester Road in Scipio. His parents, Caleb and Lydia, are there, and there is a single stone with “Daniel – a soldier” written on it. The Record of Military Deaths says he was 32 at the time of his death and he mustered in October of 1861, a discrepancy from the Clerk’s Book.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

John Johnson and the 3rd Artillery

Thanks again to our Cayuga County Historian, Sheila Tucker, for sharing some information about Scipio. I now have a copy of a document named “Deaths of Officers and Enlisted Men who died while in the military or naval service of the United States or from Wounds or disease acquired in said service and reported by the families to which the deceased belonged when at home, in the town of Scipio county of Cayuga, NY.” This table was prepared by Enumerator D. Gould on the 5th day of June, 1865.
Thankfully, there are just four names upon the page.
First is John Johnson. According to this document, he was 20 when he died and single. He enlisted in September of 1862, in the 3rd or “Seward” Artillery as a private, and all was the same when he died.
We also find John on page 6 of the Scipio Clerk’s Book that I’ve mentioned before, listing all who served. That book tells us John was born in 1845, and that he died of disease at Morris Island on January 22, 1865.
Morris Island was the home of Fort Wagner, a confederate fortification that guarded the entrance to Charleston harbor.
I find a John P. Johnson in Battery B of the 3rd Artillery, in “Cayuga in the Field” by Henry Hall and James Hall of Auburn, NY, and this could be our Scipio boy as I found no other John Johnson listed in the 3rd. The book also says he “died in the service.” In January of 1863, this Battery was attached to the 10th Corps and sent to Hilton Head, NC. It shared in the operations against Fort Wagner and the reduction of the fortifications of Charleston harbor, and remained in that vicinity until it was mustered out at Syracuse, July 13, 1865.
The Division of Military and Naval Affairs has a lot of detailed information at their website at about this and many other Civil War units, and is well worth a browse.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Today Show Comes to Scipio

I opened up my Citizen newspaper this morning and there on the front page just below the fold was an article about a very old and historic home in Scipio Center.
The home is up for sale, and has been for a while. Known as the Merrifield Estate, it will be featured on the Today Show on NBC on Friday 11/13/2009 in a segment they are running on real estate at bargain prices.
The original settler was Ozam Merryfield, as the name was spelled at that time. Born about 1775, he died in Scipio NY in 1852. In his will, he gave about 90 acres of his real estate to his widow Adelia; his only son Thomas received an additional 100 acres. Ozam also mentions the potential for a railroad to run across his property that was bequeathed to Thomas, and Thomas' right to collect any damages if that occurred.
One of the small settlements in Scipio was (and still is for locals) known as Merrifield, named for this family. And yes, the railroad ran through it!
The house was used for a period of time as a stop on the Underground Railroad. I seem to recall an article in the Citizen a few years ago with some interesting details about the basement, and the documentation that led to that conclusion.
If you can, watch the Today Show on Friday to see a little piece of Scipio's history!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Alphius Jaquette

Civil War veteran Alphius (also spelled as Alpheus) Jaquette of Scipio, NY had the respect of his neighbors when he returned from the War.
His was I believe one of the marriages I mentioned in my last post. I did look his name up in the Complete Record of Officers, Soldiers and Seamen from Scipio completed by the Town Clerk, Allen Shorkley.
This book tells us some additional details about Alphius Jaquette's life post-Civil War. He resided in the neighboring town of Fleming when he came home; he had been born there in 1844. He served his country as a Private in the 111th NY Volunteer Infantry.
Alphius enlisted on April 19th, 1861 from Scipio, for a term of three years. The town paid a $50 bounty. He was discharged to Fleming, and married.
I also looked at the Special Census of 1890 for surviving soldiers, sailors, marines and widows. The census listed Alphius as a veteran, and his wife as Ann (perhaps a nickname for Dannis, or perhaps another Alphius) as his widow. This record showed he had enlisted in the 3rd NY Light Artillery on May 13, 1861, and served for 2 years and 19 days, coming out on June 2, 1863; no mention of the 111th.
This name is unusual enough for the size of Scipio at that time, so I believe this may be the same person. There are some possible explanations for some of the discrepancies; he could have enlisted in the 111th then transferred to the 3rd. He could have enlisted in the 111th for the bounty, not an unusual occurrence, then enlisted a second time with the 3rd LA and actually served with that unit.
This example shows why it is a good idea to be thorough in your research and use as many source documents as you can find. I will continue to look for information to clarify this matter.
The 1890 Special Census also tells us that Alphius had suffered a gunshot wound to his right arm. It also stated that he was a hard working man.
Not a bad record for an ordinary man who served his country when it was needed.
On this Veteran's Day, let's take a moment to thank Alphius and all our veterans, for all they have done through the years for all of us. Thanks, ladies and gentlemen, I appreciate it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Scipio Marriages in 1865

It was 1865 and the end of the Civil War was approaching. Transportation problems and successful blockades were contributing to severe shortages of food and supplies in the South. Starving soldiers began to desert Lee's forces. In February General Sherman moved from Georgia up into and through South Carolina, destroying almost everything in his path.
On March 25, General Lee attacked General Grant's forces near Petersburg, but was defeated -- attacking and losing again on April 1. On April 2, Lee evacuated Richmond, the Confederate capital.
On April 9 R. E. Lee and U. S. Grant met at Appomattox Courthouse, and agreed on the terms of surrender. Lee's men were sent home on parole -- soldiers with their horses, and officers with their side arms. All other equipment was surrendered. And on April 14, as President Lincoln was watching a performance of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., he was shot by John Wilkes Booth.
Back in Scipio, as in many of our country’s small towns and villages, life continued as it always had. And that included eleven marriages recorded as of June 5, 1865, for the preceding year (June of 1864 – June of 1865). Some of these men were veterans of the Civil War, their names appearing in the Town Clerk list for Scipio that I have mentioned earlier this year.
June 7, 1864, Alanson Reynold, age 25, married Cathrine Hudson, 21, in Scipioville in a ceremony solemnized by a Baptist clergyman. And on June 11, 1864, Alphus Jaquette, 25, married Dannis Jones, 19, in Groton, NY. Alphus was a veteran of the Civil War.
September 6, 1864, Elwood H. Fell, 21, married Lavicy Akin, also 21, in Scipio.
On December 10, 1864, the last marriage recorded for the calendar year occurred between John Blowers, 21, and Phebe F. Thurston, 17, by a Justice of the Peace. John was a veteran of the Civil War.
On February 25, 1865, Theodore Smith and Thalia E. Reynolds, ages 21 and 20 respectively, were married in Scipio and that was solemnized by a Baptist clergyman. Theodore was a veteran of the Civil War.
Just a few days later on February 28, Artimus Ward, 35, married Phebe C. Ames, 23; also in Scipio in a Baptist ceremony.
March brought 4 more weddings:
James Dresser, 21 and Sarah Brister, 19, were married in Auburn in a Presbyterian ceremony on March 12. On March 14, Humphrey T. Crapo, 30, married Martha M. Van Liew, 28, in Scipio. March 23 brought wedding bells for John Knox, 32, and Elizabeth Bulkley, 29, in an Auburn Presbyterian ceremony; and March 26th saw Benjamin Houghton, 34 and a widow, and Eliza Forbes, 25, also married in Auburn.
On April 20th, Theodore Wallace, 27, and Charlotte Wadsworth, 21, were married near Utica, NY.
I will look up my copy of the Clerk’s Book of Civil War veterans, and will soon share with you what it has to say about John Blowers, Theodore Smith and Alphus Jaquette.