03-08-21 Most Horrible Civil War Record

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Major General
Judge Adv. Genl.
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Aug 16, 2015
Question: I was born 1842 in Chautauqua County, N.Y. and died in 1908 in Dunn County, Wisconsin. I enlisted in the Fall of 1862. I was in a N.Y. Regiment. My horrible record started July1st, 1863 at Gettysburg.
1) Who am I
2) What's My regiment
3) What Horrible record do I hold

credit: @JOHN42768
Newell Burch, Corporal, Company E, 154th New York Infantry. Burch was captured at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, and imprisoned at Belle Island and Andersonville prisons. Paroled April 21, 1865, he was the longest-held U. S. POW in the conflict, surviving 661 days in prison.
Dustyn Dubuque,
The Diary of Newell Burch: How a Man of Resources Survived the Civil War and 21 Months as a Prisoner of War.
https://minds.wisconsin.edu/bitstre...thesis 2015 spring.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Dustyn Dubuque, How Newell Burch Survived Andersonville Prison, Among the First to Arrive and the Last to Leave. (Eau Claire, WI: Monarch Tree Publishing, 2017).


May 26, 2019
Western North Carolina
1) Newell Burch
2) Company E 154th New York Infantry Regiment
3) Personal Diary: Survived 21 months as a prisoner of war after capture at Gettysburg. He was a prisoner at Belle Isle and Andersonville. Newell Burch kept a written account of this time period with his personal diary, a record from his days in Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and prisoner of war. He was able to secure work in the prison hospital which may have contributed to his survival.

Sources for answers:


1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Feb 20, 2005
Dillsburg, PA
My searches aren't yielding names of any soldiers who were born in Chautauqua County and died in Dunn County, so I don't know who you are and therefore, don't know what regiment you belonged to.

You're probably not looking forward to the revelation of the horrible record that you hold. :eek:
Oct 10, 2019
Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
Belay the stand down; I hate not to even guess at an answer, so here's my best shot .........

1) Who am I ? Private James Brownlee

2) What's My regiment ? 134th New York Infantry

3) What Horrible record do I hold ? He was wounded seven times in a matter of minutes during the fight for the Brickyard. One of the wounds was inflicted by an 18-inch piece of railroad iron fired from a Confederate cannon. He suffered serious wounds to his bladder, sternum and right lung. Brownlee spent extended recovery periods at Camp Letterman, then hospitals in New York City and Albany. In 1867, one of his doctors reported "The right lung is almost totally useless. I can detect no respiratory murmur, and he has a cough and feeble pulse. In my opinion, the disability is permanent." Brownlee lived for 41 years after Gettysburg, incapacitated for life. He died from a stroke in 1904, age 62.

Although the source used gives a date of death as 1908, I would classify Brownlee's experience as a Horrible Record.

Edit - I'll agree that Brownlee's experience qualifies as a horrible record, but he was born in Ireland and died in New York State, so he doesn't fit the clues about his places of birth and death.

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First Lady of CivilWarTalk
Super Moderator
Apr 1, 1999
Wild and Wonderful WV
Answers: 1) Newell Burch
2) the 154th NY Infantry
3) Longest held prisoner of he Civil War at 661 days

Newell Burch (1842-1908) - Find A Grave Memorial

Newell served in Company E 154th New York Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Enlisted, August 22, 1862, at Portland, to serve three years; mustered in as corporal, Co. E , September 24, 1862; captured in action, July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; paroled, April 21, 1865; mustered out...
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