Details on the death of your Civil War ancestor.

mofederal

Major
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Location
Southeast Missouri
My GGGrandfather joined the 94th Ohio Infantry in 1862, his first battle was Perryville. He was wounded (By a saber) and captured about a month after the battle. He was in a prison camp until exchanged in 1863. He saw service with the 94th in the XIV Corps and the Army of the Cumberland until the end of the war in Carolinas. The war pretty much destroyed his health. Heat stroke (Atlanta Campaign), his wound. mattered eyes, and other problems bothered him the rest of life. He took up a variety of professions, farming at first. He owned land in 4 or 5 states. He finally retired, got his service pension, and lived a long time before dying in 1934. He was born in 1845. My mother who took care of him the last year of his life, said he worked hard his entire life. He ate with a knife, and used to sing The Battle Cry of Freedom, his favorite song a lot.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Where do you find these POW forms? I am searching for information on my 3x great grandfather who was a POW at Belle Island. From what I can gather, he was sent to Camp Parole via Fort Monroe and subsequently died at the US Naval Hospital in Annapolis of dysentery/diarrhea. His name is Ellis McFarland & he was in the 45th Ohio, Company I. He is buried in the Annapolis Cemetery, but they misspelled the name on his headstone (Allis). I have his pension files, but nothing shows he was a POW. The only thing there is a letter from his attending nurse saying that he had died. I assume it was evidence of his death in order for my 3x Great Grandmother to receive his benefits. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Ellis was captured on October 18, 1863 and died April 1, 1864. According to the widow's pension app, he was held at Belle Isle, Virginia. Near the bottom it says the widow "says that her husband died at Annapolis Maryland in the General Hospital, in Ohio (sic)on the 2nd day of April, AD 1864 of starvation, or the effects of starvation, as a prisoner of war while on Belle Island, in Va (Virginia). Elsewhere, the widow's application says he died of diarrhea.

One thing puzzles me about this. He probably died of a combination of starvation and dehydration (diarrhea). The date of April 2 suggests that he died late in the day, since deaths after the clerk had turned in for the day were recorded in the death records the next day. The thing I'm wondering about is that prisoner exchanges were halted during the summer of 1863. I can't figure out why he's in Annapolis in April of '64. By then, Andersonville had opened and they'd been moving prisoners from Belle Isle to the bigger prison at Andersonville. The only thing I can think of is that either someone intervened on his behalf, or that possibly he escaped while being moved to Andersonville. But I just don't know.

Below is one of the pages from the Widow's pension application. I lifted it from Fold 3. His Memorandum from Prisoner of War Records would be one of the last pages in his Compiled Military Service Record. The index card for this record in on Fold3, but his actual CMSR isn't posted yet. If you are really curious, you can send to the National Archives for it (they cost $30), but the Archives haven't reopened for researchers yet, and with covid, they are probably YEARS behind fulfilling the orders (i got a file I sent for in November, 2019, just last week). It would be cheaper and probably faster to hire a researcher to get it for you when the archives reopen. I'm using Bob Velke, and I think there are other researchers on the board as well. But there may not be much more in the Memorandum than you already know.

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Joined
Jun 21, 2017
Location
Buffalo, NY
Ellis was captured on October 18, 1863 and died April 1, 1864. According to the widow's pension app, he was held at Belle Isle, Virginia. Near the bottom it says the widow "says that her husband died at Annapolis Maryland in the General Hospital, in Ohio (sic)on the 2nd day of April, AD 1864 of starvation, or the effects of starvation, as a prisoner of war while on Belle Island, in Va (Virginia). Elsewhere, the widow's application says he died of diarrhea.

One thing puzzles me about this. He probably died of a combination of starvation and dehydration (diarrhea). The date of April 2 suggests that he died late in the day, since deaths after the clerk had turned in for the day were recorded in the death records the next day. The thing I'm wondering about is that prisoner exchanges were halted during the summer of 1863. I can't figure out why he's in Annapolis in April of '64. By then, Andersonville had opened and they'd been moving prisoners from Belle Isle to the bigger prison at Andersonville. The only thing I can think of is that either someone intervened on his behalf, or that possibly he escaped while being moved to Andersonville. But I just don't know.

Below is one of the pages from the Widow's pension application. I lifted it from Fold 3. His Memorandum from Prisoner of War Records would be one of the last pages in his Compiled Military Service Record. The index card for this record in on Fold3, but his actual CMSR isn't posted yet. If you are really curious, you can send to the National Archives for it (they cost $30), but the Archives haven't reopened for researchers yet, and with covid, they are probably YEARS behind fulfilling the orders (i got a file I sent for in November, 2019, just last week). It would be cheaper and probably faster to hire a researcher to get it for you when the archives reopen. I'm using Bob Velke, and I think there are other researchers on the board as well. But there may not be much more in the Memorandum than you already know.

View attachment 401978
Thank you very much for all your information, Gary! I really appreciate it!! I have a collection of letters from Ellis, his brother & his brother-in-law who were all in the Civil War - over 100 in total. My friend & I are trying to publish them and have been researching all three men for over 6 years. In that time, we have found a lot of conflicting information about Ellis' time in the war. The biggest puzzle is his death and what lead up to it. How does a Union soldier who is held in a Rebel POW Camp die in a Union hospital? I have a letter that says to direct letters to "Fortress Monroe" and then we have the letter from the attending nurse (Mary DuPee) telling of his death. We assumed he had been paroled because we didn't understand how he went to Annapolis and members of his Company went to Andersonville. If anyone can shed any further light or know where else we can get information, please let me know. Again, thank you for all your help!!
 

lupaglupa

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Thank you very much for all your information, Gary! I really appreciate it!! I have a collection of letters from Ellis, his brother & his brother-in-law who were all in the Civil War - over 100 in total. My friend & I are trying to publish them and have been researching all three men for over 6 years. In that time, we have found a lot of conflicting information about Ellis' time in the war. The biggest puzzle is his death and what lead up to it. How does a Union soldier who is held in a Rebel POW Camp die in a Union hospital? I have a letter that says to direct letters to "Fortress Monroe" and then we have the letter from the attending nurse (Mary DuPee) telling of his death. We assumed he had been paroled because we didn't understand how he went to Annapolis and members of his Company went to Andersonville. If anyone can shed any further light or know where else we can get information, please let me know. Again, thank you for all your help!!
What a wonderful treasure to have all those letters. I hope you will be able to publish them. Finding the kind of detailed information you want may require finding other letters from men who were with Ellis during his service and captivity. That can be a challenge, as I know from my own research. But letters and diaries are out there. It just takes a fair amount of digging to find them.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Just in case anyone missed it. Fold 3 is having a free access weekend, if you care to go digging.

https://go.fold3.com/freeaccess?xid=2690

The site is pretty unwieldy, so here are some tips. Type in the name in the search box, then when you get the results, there are filter boxes on the left to help you narrow it down. Check off Civil War (Union or Confederate, depending), then scroll down a bit and check off the state that they fought for. Search for last name first, comma, first name. If you don't find it, try initials in the place of the first name. If that doesn't work, try alternative spellings, particularly changing letters that are easily misread when written in cursive (like the Andersonville raider whose grave stone identifies him as A. Munn when it actually should have said A. Muir). If you get way too many results, still, add the regiment number if you know it (like adding 101 if you're looking for someone who was in the 101 Pennsylvania -just make sure it's a separate search "word" and not in the same search box as the name, because that will mess you up).

The two things you most want to look for are Compiled Military Service Records (Soldiers only, and you want the actual record, not just the index card) or the Widows' Pension records (again, not the index card). You can pick them out because they usually have the number of pages listed.

Good luck!
 

General Butler

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Family lore says that after serving the war while fighting for another man, my g g grandfather Martin Clark stumbled out of a bar in Lowell Mass and fell under the wheels of the trolley to his death.
I havent had any luck finding an Obit...not that I have invested huge amounts of time...would love to know if it is even true.
Like...did he follow a wealthy Paoli Pa business owner to Lowell so Clark could be the employee enforcer...did he run a small grocery store and had too big of a heart and gave food stuffs away to sob stories and did he die under the wheels of a trolley?
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
I havent had any luck finding an Obit...not that I have invested huge amounts of time...would love to know if it is even true.
Like...did he follow a wealthy Paoli Pa business owner to Lowell so Clark could be the employee enforcer...did he run a small grocery store and had too big of a heart and gave food stuffs away to sob stories and did he die under the wheels of a trolley?
Yup. It's true. Although, it says he was single, and going by his age, if this is the right guy, he must have fought in the Spanish American War rather than the Civil. So this may or may not be your guy.


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connecticut yankee

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Ellis was captured on October 18, 1863 and died April 1, 1864. According to the widow's pension app, he was held at Belle Isle, Virginia. Near the bottom it says the widow "says that her husband died at Annapolis Maryland in the General Hospital, in Ohio (sic)on the 2nd day of April, AD 1864 of starvation, or the effects of starvation, as a prisoner of war while on Belle Island, in Va (Virginia). Elsewhere, the widow's application says he died of diarrhea.

One thing puzzles me about this. He probably died of a combination of starvation and dehydration (diarrhea). The date of April 2 suggests that he died late in the day, since deaths after the clerk had turned in for the day were recorded in the death records the next day. The thing I'm wondering about is that prisoner exchanges were halted during the summer of 1863. I can't figure out why he's in Annapolis in April of '64. By then, Andersonville had opened and they'd been moving prisoners from Belle Isle to the bigger prison at Andersonville. The only thing I can think of is that either someone intervened on his behalf, or that possibly he escaped while being moved to Andersonville. But I just don't know.

Below is one of the pages from the Widow's pension application. I lifted it from Fold 3. His Memorandum from Prisoner of War Records would be one of the last pages in his Compiled Military Service Record. The index card for this record in on Fold3, but his actual CMSR isn't posted yet. If you are really curious, you can send to the National Archives for it (they cost $30), but the Archives haven't reopened for researchers yet, and with covid, they are probably YEARS behind fulfilling the orders (i got a file I sent for in November, 2019, just last week). It would be cheaper and probably faster to hire a researcher to get it for you when the archives reopen. I'm using Bob Velke, and I think there are other researchers on the board as well. But there may not be much more in the Memorandum than you already know.

View attachment 401978
The exchange of POWs in the Civil War is a complex issue. Although it is correct that prisoner exchanges were officially halted by the summer of 1863 largely because of colored soldier POW disagreements, some exchanges in late 1863 and early 1864 did indeed occur. Here's how: Benjamin Butler was appointed as the Union's exchange agent at this time. On September 7, 1863 he worked out an exchange deal with Robert Ould, the Confederacy's primary agent, wherein hundreds if not thousands of sick and wounded soldiers (healthy soldiers were excluded from the agreement) were exchanged periodically from major prisons such as Belle Isle in the south and Elmira Prison in the north.

Ellis McFarland in all probability became quite sick within several months of his capture in October 1863 and became part of these Butler/Ould exchanges, making his way back to Annapolis where he died in April 1864.
 
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Rank and File

Corporal
Joined
Mar 25, 2015
Location
California
My GGGrandfather joined the 94th Ohio Infantry in 1862, his first battle was Perryville. He was wounded (By a saber) and captured about a month after the battle. He was in a prison camp until exchanged in 1863. He saw service with the 94th in the XIV Corps and the Army of the Cumberland until the end of the war in Carolinas. The war pretty much destroyed his health. Heat stroke (Atlanta Campaign), his wound. mattered eyes, and other problems bothered him the rest of life. He took up a variety of professions, farming at first. He owned land in 4 or 5 states. He finally retired, got his service pension, and lived a long time before dying in 1934. He was born in 1845. My mother who took care of him the last year of his life, said he worked hard his entire life. He ate with a knife, and used to sing The Battle Cry of Freedom, his favorite song a lot.
My GG Grandfather Samuel S. Cowan was also in the 94th Ohio (Co A). He enlisted on 8/11/62 at Camp Piqua, OH and was shot in the left knee at Chickamauga on 9/20/63. After recovering in hospitals in Chattanooga, Nashville, Louisville, and Camp Dennison, OH, he was transferred to Co I of the 19th Regiment of the Veteran Reserve Corps. After the war, he moved to Vernon, MO where he served in city government until he passed in 1921.
I only wish I had this much information on my other ancestors who fought in that War.
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2017
Location
Buffalo, NY
The exchange of POWs in the Civil War is a complex issue. Although it is correct that prisoner exchanges were officially halted by the summer of 1863 largely because of colored soldier POW disagreements, some exchanges in late 1863 and early 1864 did indeed occur. Here's how: Benjamin Butler was appointed as the Union's exchange agent at this time. On September 7, 1863 he worked out an exchange deal with Robert Ould, the Confederacy's primary agent, wherein hundreds if not thousands of sick and wounded soldiers (healthy soldiers were excluded from the agreement) were exchanged periodically from major prisons such as Belle Isle in the south and Elmira Prison in the north.

Ellis McFarland in all probability became quite sick within several months of his capture in October 1863 and became part of these Butler/Ould exchanges, making his way back to Annapolis where he died in April 1864.
That’s great information, Gary!! Thank you!!
 

Fairfield

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
I havent had any luck finding an Obit...not that I have invested huge amounts of time...would love to know if it is even true.
Like...did he follow a wealthy Paoli Pa business owner to Lowell so Clark could be the employee enforcer...did he run a small grocery store and had too big of a heart and gave food stuffs away to sob stories and did he die under the wheels of a trolley?
From what I've found, family stories frequently have some truth to them--but not the entire truth.

Was your ancestor in the PA 8th Cavalry? Can you tell us something about his military career? According to the 1890 Vets Schedule, there was only one man of that name, C. Martin Clark, in Lowell--but his service as in the 12th VT 😳

There were 3 GAR posts in Lowell: BF Butler, James A. Garfield and Ladd & Whitney. The GAR Maine town that I now live in requested its members to submit biographical summaries and the local post has records as to where most were buried. It may be that the Mass. posts did something similar--and it may be worthwhile contacting them.

Also, in nearby Lynn is the GAR Hall and Museum: https://garlynn.org/ which may be contacted online.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
From what I've found, family stories frequently have some truth to them--but not the entire truth.

Was your ancestor in the PA 8th Cavalry? Can you tell us something about his military career? According to the 1890 Vets Schedule, there was only one man of that name, C. Martin Clark, in Lowell--but his service as in the 12th VT 😳

There were 3 GAR posts in Lowell: BF Butler, James A. Garfield and Ladd & Whitney. The GAR Maine town that I now live in requested its members to submit biographical summaries and the local post has records as to where most were buried. It may be that the Mass. posts did something similar--and it may be worthwhile contacting them.

Also, in nearby Lynn is the GAR Hall and Museum: https://garlynn.org/ which may be contacted online.

I just wrote the the GAR Museum in Lynn about an hour ago, looking for a photograph of a soldier.

C Martin Clark died in 1903 of a stroke. The C apparently stands for Christopher.
 

Rank and File

Corporal
Joined
Mar 25, 2015
Location
California
We love a challenge. Who are your other ancestors, and what state/regiment did they fight with?
You're too kind to take this on. I have 37 ancestors that I know of that fought in the war. My fathers side was from MO; mother's from KY. There were 9 Roberts, 5 Cowans, and 9 Stonums. 3 fought for the South; the rest for the North. Here are 3 that I know of who perished during the war. I
William Hind Roberts 7th KY Cav CO G USA killed 3/63 in Mt. Sterling, KY
Milton Young 1st OH Light Artillery CO i drowned in Chattanooga (1/65)
Alexander Young 3rd Iowa Inf Co C died of wounds in Atlanta 7/64
 

lelliott19

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I would surely love to know the details of my g-g grandfather Daniel P Sturkie's death. He was with the 6th Al Inf company H and supposedly died at Seven Pines 5/31/62. He never saw his son my grandmother's father born 8/61. Hard to believe he wasn't allowed home leave as he enlisted in 1861. I know the 6th was heavily involved in the first day's attack. Most likely he is buried in a mass grave.
Mike
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Daniel P. Sturkie (C or H/6th AL) his CMSR reveals no record of his enlistment, but carded hospital records show he was a Private in Company H. He was admitted March 2, 1862 to General Hospital No. 18 (formerly Greaner's Hospital) for Chronic Rheumatism. He remained there 46 days before being returned to duty on April 17, 1862.
1622497567955.png

The only other card in his file is one noting that his name appears on a Register of Claims of deceased Officers and Soldiers from Alabama which were filed for settlement in the Office of the Confederate States Auditor for the War Department. The claim was filed May 18, 1863 by attorney John W Griggs. There is no record of payment, likely because of an inability to verify Sturkie's enlistment.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
You're too kind to take this on. I have 37 ancestors that I know of that fought in the war. My fathers side was from MO; mother's from KY. There were 9 Roberts, 5 Cowans, and 9 Stonums. 3 fought for the South; the rest for the North. Here are 3 that I know of who perished during the war. I
William Hind Roberts 7th KY Cav CO G USA killed 3/63 in Mt. Sterling, KY
Milton Young 1st OH Light Artillery CO i drowned in Chattanooga (1/65)
Alexander Young 3rd Iowa Inf Co C died of wounds in Atlanta 7/64
I've found Milton's Widow's pension application. Stand by. It's 125 pages long...

"Soldier was crossing a river, by order, with a load of wood and attempted to swim ashore & prevent being carried away by currents."

The report below is tougher to read, but goes into more detail.

1622501136789.png


Let me know if you need any help reading it.
 
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Desert Kid

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Location
Arizona
The direct one I always cite died in a mental hospital in California in 1891, supposedly he took some brain damage from a blow to the head on his property and became demented.

The psychiatric hospital he died at is now part of the UC Sacramento campus.
 

Rank and File

Corporal
Joined
Mar 25, 2015
Location
California
I've found Milton's Widow's pension application. Stand by. It's 125 pages long...

"Soldier was crossing a river, by order, with a load of wood and attempted to swim ashore & prevent being carried away by currents."

The report below is tougher to read, but goes into more detail.

View attachment 402608

Let me know if you need any help reading it.
I'm forever amazed what the people on this Forum can find. Thank you so much Gary. Sad to think he drowned so close to the end of the war. Glad to read his body was recovered and hopefully given a Christian burial.
 

Fairfield

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
I havent had any luck finding an Obit...not that I have invested huge amounts of time...would love to know if it is even true.
Like...did he follow a wealthy Paoli Pa business owner to Lowell so Clark could be the employee enforcer...did he run a small grocery store and had too big of a heart and gave food stuffs away to sob stories and did he die under the wheels of a trolley?
Today was my volunteer morning at the local historical society--2 of the members are from Lowell so I queried them about sources there.

Any one of these 3 is apt to maintain an obituary file. Each site has contact information.

There were 4 men of that name who died in Lowell (1891, 1903, 1907 & 1919). If I had to guess, I'd guess the one who died in 1907--but see below.

Sargent, A. Dean. Grand Army of the Republic: Civil War Veterans, Department of Massachusetts, 1866 to 1947. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 2002. Arranged numerically by post number; entries include member’s name, rank, company, regiment or ship, name and location of post, birth date or death date, and place of residence or birth. Sargent, A. Dean. Grand Army of the Republic: Civil War Veterans, Department of Massachusetts, 1866 to 1947. CD-ROM. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 2002

Lowell Magazine had published the "Edson Books" (names of military veterans buried in Lowell Cemetery and St. Patrick Cemetery: http://www.lowellmagenealogy.com/military.html. I found only one Martin Clark in the Saint Patrick Cemetery--died 1907 but fought in 48th Mass. No Martin Clark in the Lowell Cemetery. However, I had difficulty in navigating the sit and you might want to check for yourself.

If I were you, I'd contact the library first. Libraries often maintain obituary files.
 
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