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What does " Mustered out" mean?

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by John Olexa, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. John Olexa

    John Olexa Private

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    I found a family member from the civil war, but while there I noticed a few "Mustered out with Company A, 3d Regiment Provisional Cavalry, October 31, 1865; Vet"
    What does mustered out mean?
    Under my My Great Grandfather x3 name it read "Discharged August 23, 1864; expiration of term"

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  3. shanniereb

    shanniereb First Sergeant

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    Ok, let's try this again! It is basically an honorable discharge and that is definetly what you want to see on your ancestor's records! :smile:
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  4. John Olexa

    John Olexa Private

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    Thanks. Sorry if that gets asked a lot.
  5. Freddy

    Freddy 2nd Lieutenant

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    From the History of the 35th Regiment,

    "On the ninth of June, about 5 o'clock in the morning, Lieutenant Rose, the mustering officer, mustered the Thirty-Fifth Regiment out of the United States service."

    Here is how my GGF described it. One minute a soldier and the next a citizen.

    June 9th 1865
    At 6 a.m. ordered to pack up and be ready to move. Mustered out of United States Service. Packed up and lay waiting nearly all day when word came that we would not start until 5 a.m. next day. Wrote letter to Abbie. Busy reading miscellaneous matter most of the day. Attended prayer meeting of United States Commission in evening. We are now as we call ourselves, “Brave citizens”, and happy and hilarious at the near prospect of getting home. Sobering thought would come as thoughts of the change from three years of military service to the quiet and peaceful life of the homeland again. Questioning too as to what the future had in store for me. Shall I be strong and quit myself like a man?
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  6. John Olexa

    John Olexa Private

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  7. John Hartwell

    John Hartwell Sergeant Major

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    I've seen a man listed as "deserted" for three months -- all the while he was in an Army Hospital recovering from wounds. Afterwards he was simply marked "returned" on the records. 'Deserted' might simply mean somebody wasn't notified, and "we don't know where the heck he is." When he went to file for a pension, however, it could mean big trouble -- the man I mention above was denied one because his 'desertion' was still on the books. It took him a year and a half to get it cleared up, but he eventually got his pension retroactive to his original application.

    Snafu!

    jno
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  8. reading48

    reading48 1st Lieutenant

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    Mustered out....released from the service..Discharged.usually under Honorable conditions still used in today's service conditions....
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  9. major bill

    major bill First Sergeant

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    Besides being released from the service, mustering out also involved returning equipment, arms and anything else belonging to the government. The process would have involved settling all pay issues. That being the man would have been paid off and any monies owed the government would have been collected from their pay. Say for example the man had been wounded and sent to a hospital say in Washington D.C, they man had to remit to the government the cost for the transportation to and from the hospital. This could involve several months pay and often men owed the government money. Officers were expected to pay for any weapons or equipment their men lost or abandoned on the field. If your men were killed or captured and you did not recover their arms and equipment you might have to pay for them.

    There was usually an attempt to muster the men out where they mustered in. There were some examples of men mustering out far from home and not having enough money to pay for transportation home. Imagine being a thousand miles form home without any money for transportation home, food or lodging. I know that the army want $375,000 for some buses they said I lost. They told me one day they gave me 150 buses. I never had the buses and never saw the buses. I assured them that I only had 3 soldiers licensed to drive buses and would remembered having to find another 147 soldier to drive the rest of the buses. I was told I probably forgot doing so and they would investigate it. I never did end up paying the &375,000.

    Major Bill
  10. shanniereb

    shanniereb First Sergeant

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    No, didn't mean it that way, the server didn't take my first reply and I had to retype it three times! Have a great day!
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  11. shanniereb

    shanniereb First Sergeant

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    My gosh, I didn't realize all of this! It costs to be in the military. Pay for your own transportation if you are wounded, my God help us.
  12. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    John Olexa,

    There could be many reasons why a person was listed as a deserter. If they were not at roll call their whereabouts unknown--either they were listed as missing or deserted. Many cases guys were tardy coming back. Could be justified.

    True, there were cases of deserting however, if he came back--usually it was a case easily explained. All armies had problems. Sore feet, go off the road, sit and find oneself so tired--fall off to sleep and the army marched away a whole day's worth. Easy to be done.

    M. E. Wolf
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  13. DixieRifles

    DixieRifles Sergeant Major Forum Host

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    When I was discharged from active duty with the Air Force, I signed the final discharge form that totaled up my final pay. A couple of months later, I received a letter that said the clerk made a mistake and I was paid too much. They allowed me to pay it off on a monthly basis.
    So, when I applied for a Loan for my first house, my list of creditors included $500 to the US Air Force.
  14. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Gen. Dana\'s Special Order Book-2 001.jpg


    General Dana's Special Order Book, noting many men listed as deserters but, found justified and the Adjutant recording findings by General Dana that the reasons were satisfactory and returned to duty without penalty, trial and returned to duty without loss of pay.

    NOTE: Document is owned by M. E. Weyraugh, all copyright & rights reserved. Please do not copy--posted by kind permission for study and education purposes only.

    M. E. Wolf
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  15. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    16 Ohio Arty-Deserter Descriptive List-1 001.jpg

    This is a partial copy of the form which folds out like a map (as to appreciate the scanning difficulties) of the "Deserter List."

    NOTE: This document is owned by M. E. Weyraugh, copyright & all rights reserved. Posted for study and education only, by M. E. Weyraugh's permission.

    Your relative's name would have appeared on this list at one time and filed with Headquarters and in Washington, D.C.'s Adjutant-Generals Office.
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  16. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Part II of Deserter Descriptive List -
    16 Ohio Arty Deserter Descriptive List -2 001.jpg

    Copyrighted & All Rights Reserved held by owner of document (16th Ohio Artillery Deserter Descriptive List)--M. E. Weyraugh
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  17. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Part III -16th Ohio Artillery Deserter Descriptive List
    Copyright & All Rights Reserved held by document owner- M. E. Weyraugh

    16 Ohio Arty Deserter Descriptive List - 3 001.jpg
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  18. Blessmag

    Blessmag 1st Lieutenant

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    126th Ill Inf was mustered out at Pine Bluff, Ark. That would be MANY miles from Alton Il where they entered the service, let alone miles from home!
  19. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Document owned by M. E. Weyraugh - Copyright & All Rights Reserved - Posted as a courtesy, for education and study, with permission of M. E. Weyraugh.

    Soon after a battle, a casualty list would be filed. Often missing men for any of number of reasons would be listed. The commanding officer of the Company would depend on his non-commissioned officers (Sergeants and Corporals) to know their men extremely well, as to note who was missing, who fell wounded and possible captured, etc.

    This information would be recorded on such a document:
    11th Conn Regt Field Return-Dec. 16, 1864 001.jpg
    The final for the Regiment would be totaled up for summary report to the Regimental Commander, as exampled by this 11th Connecticut Regiment's Field Return.

    This rare document has created a stir, as re-enactors are finding this document more relevant to their operations at re-enactment events. The information in such a document refines the information for the Regimental Commander, from details in and out, missing and such. It can be made into a modern template for re-enactors. The document is on small paper size 7 1/2 " x 10" - (slightly smaller than letter paper). The officers and men are written extremely small.

    M. E. Wolf
  20. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Document owned by M. E. Weyraugh, Copyright & All Rights Reserved -- Posted as a courtesy for study and education only with permission of M. E. Weyraugh.

    The Casualty reports would be filed. This too could hold 'missing men' and after missing roll call which was held three times a day--morning, afternoon and evening; would in time be listed as deserter if he wasn't seen in battle that could be just cause for him being missing (MIA) or a POW (Prisoner of War).

    This is the 121st PA Infantry Casualty List, after the skirmish at Catlett Station, Virginia - (Catlett is located south of Manassas City, Va., between Rt. 17 that connects with the road north of Warrenton, Va. and east of Goldvein and/or Hartwood, VA, and miles east of Fredericksburg). 121 PA Infty Casualty List, Catlett Station, VA-3 001.jpg
  21. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    (Did an oops, this should be the first posted as to read from left to right...sorry folks) M. E. Wolf
    121 PA Infantry Casualty List-- (note on the above the many causes for a soldier to be missing--one is marked "Missing in Action" And, do look at the remarks--

    Left side of document:
    121 PA Infty Casualty List-Catlett Station, VA-1 001.jpg

    PRESS ON DOCUMENT TO ENLARGE.

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