Charles U. Goff, KIA, Laurel Hill, WV, 1861, 23rd VA Inf., age 10?

16thVA

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I just saw an old article while looking through Chronicling America, this is part of a New York Times article from June 22, 1861

July 22 1861


The close contact of our Army with the ranks of the Secessionists and the events of the war, are revealing a fact in regard to the character of rebel recruits that should fix an indelible disgrace upon the insurgent leaders before the civilized nations of the earth. We allude to the numbers of extremely youthful persons -- in some cases boys, or more children -- that are found in the rebel service. Two circumstances, just brought to light, explain our meaning and enforce the preposition we make. At the camp at Laurel Hill, of Western Virginia, which Gen. GARNETT abandoned when he commenced his late disastrous retreat, were found a number of newly made graves. Several had inscriptions on their head-boards.

"CHARLES U. GOFF, of Richmond, Va., Company H, Twenty-third Regiment Virginia Volunteers, who was shot in action, July 1, 1861. Aged 10 years.

JOHN E. BLAKE, of Richmond, Va., Company H, Twenty-third Regiment Virginia Volunteers, who was killed in action, July 10, 1861. Age 19 years.

W.S. CLAY, First Regiment Georgia Volunteers, July 1, 1861. Aged 17 years."

I tried to find any confirming evidence of his presence at Laurel Hill or in the 23rd Virginia but I don't have the resources. If true, he would have been the youngest official casualty of the war. Goff is a name more commonly found in western Virginia than the Richmond area of the 23rds origins.
 

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