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.