Lieutenant Tresilian, engineer: wooden mortars & cotton-bale bridges. Who was this man??

Story

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Location
SE PA
Yeah, bunging up the name dosen't help, does it?
He is repeatedly referred to as "Private" in these records, but I was under the impression that he was elevated to lieutenant, and even captain. Would this be just his entering rank?

Yes, look closely at the dates when he was a PVT in the 49th IL
Enlisted SEP 5, 1861 Waterloo IL for three years, discharged MAY 5, 1863

That dovetails with the ORs,
Reports of Cap. Stewart R. Tresilian, engineer Officer THIRD DIVISION, including operations since April 25. HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Camp in rear of Vicksburg MISS. June 1, 1863.
https://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/037/0203

The Find A Grave calls him COL Tresilian - which is a full three grades over Captain. Without a photo of his headstone, hard to tell if that's someone's misinterpretation or not. He may have been Brevet promoted right after the war - who knows?

So if I were you, I'd have someone with FOLD3 access search the Federal Records for officers or engineers to see if some variation of Tresilian's name surfaces.

Then in the 3rd IL Cav (Consolidated - which might as well be another unit, when searching FOLD3 for tidbits)
mustered in February24th 1865 and mustered out June 3rd 1865
 

Lisa Murphy

Corporal
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Location
Washington State
Yes, look closely at the dates when he was a PVT in the 49th IL
Enlisted SEP 5, 1861 Waterloo IL for three years, discharged MAY 5, 1863

That dovetails with the ORs,
Reports of Cap. Stewart R. Tresilian, engineer Officer THIRD DIVISION, including operations since April 25. HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Camp in rear of Vicksburg MISS. June 1, 1863.
https://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/037/0203

The Find A Grave calls him COL Tresilian - which is a full three grades over Captain. Without a photo of his headstone, hard to tell if that's someone's misinterpretation or not. He may have been Brevet promoted right after the war - who knows?

So if I were you, I'd have someone with FOLD3 access search the Federal Records for officers or engineers to see if some variation of Tresilian's name surfaces.

Then in the 3rd IL Cav (Consolidated - which might as well be another unit, when searching FOLD3 for tidbits)
mustered in February24th 1865 and mustered out June 3rd 1865
Great. I am not sure what FOLD3 access is?
 

Lisa Murphy

Corporal
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Location
Washington State
You might make your life easier by getting an inter library loan of this book

Documentation of S. R. Tresilian's Life in America, Monroe Co., IL to Hoboken, NJ: Union Civil War Engineer, and Later, Fenian Leader​

Geoffrey Satter, 2019 - Canada - 177 pages
https://books.google.com/books/about/Documentation_of_S_R_Tresilian_s_Life_in.html?id=lxcmygEACAAJ
OMG!!! This is on Google books!!! I have been struggling with the Lincoln Presidential Library to get access to it. How did I miss it on Google Books??? Fabulous.
 

Lisa Murphy

Corporal
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Location
Washington State
OMG!!! This is on Google books!!! I have been struggling with the Lincoln Presidential Library to get access to it. How did I miss it on Google Books??? Fabulous.
Oh wait, it's not on Google Books. This a dead end: no digital copy available, no "look inside", not for sale anywhere, back to the Presidential Library... Ah well. Thanks for trying!
 

Lisa Murphy

Corporal
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Location
Washington State
You might make your life easier by getting an inter library loan of this book

Documentation of S. R. Tresilian's Life in America, Monroe Co., IL to Hoboken, NJ: Union Civil War Engineer, and Later, Fenian Leader​

Geoffrey Satter, 2019 - Canada - 177 pages
https://books.google.com/books/about/Documentation_of_S_R_Tresilian_s_Life_in.html?id=lxcmygEACAAJ
Oh wait, it's not on Google Books. This a dead end: no digital copy available, no "look inside", not for sale anywhere, back to the Presidential Library... Ah well. Thanks for trying!
 

John Hartwell

Major
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Location
Central Massachusetts
The Irish World (NYC), 28 July 1900:
Irish_World_1900-07-28_2.png
 

Lisa Murphy

Corporal
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Location
Washington State
Sadly, I have been this route, and my King County Library system notified me that they could not get the book from anywhere, and to contact the library directly, which I have done with the Lincoln Presidential Library. Awaiting a response from them... if this is a no go, will certainly try the Morris-Talbott. I appreciate your work on this.
 

Lisa Murphy

Corporal
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Location
Washington State
The Irish World (NYC), 28 July 1900:
Wow. That is great. What a find! Amazing how many of the fights that were going on at the time of the war are still hot and contentious today, including the question of Ireland. My great-grandfather was a whiskey distiller whose family was from Ireland. They lived in the Appalachians and made/sold moonshine during prohibition (hid it in mason jars in watermelons). Irish independence was so contentious in my family that I've never been quite sure if the ones who came over were Catholic or Protestant, Murphys or Murpheys (we have is spelled both ways), this not being a topic that was discussed. And by now, the information is lost with past generations. Thanks for sharing this.
 

Lisa Murphy

Corporal
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Location
Washington State
Just got word from the Lincoln Presidential Library that they will copy parts of it (up to 20 pages) for me and send them. Can't wait to see what they send. Will contact Morris-Talbott Library if more is needed. Kind of fun digging around like this. I feel like an old prospector looking for gold. 😊
 

Story

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Location
SE PA
Just got word from the Lincoln Presidential Library that they will copy parts of it (up to 20 pages) for me and send them. Can't wait to see what they send. Will contact Morris-Talbott Library if more is needed. Kind of fun digging around like this. I feel like an old prospector looking for gold. 😊

Welcome to the world of primary source research, where you try to reassemble an eggshell after it hit the floor .... 160 or so years ago.
 

Story

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Location
SE PA
I appreciate your work on this.

We all win when answers are crowd-sourced.

Reading what you've presented so far, I see the lingering question(s) to be "how and why was Tresilian promoted to Captain, and why was his last term of service as a Private?"

If Sattter's book doesn't shed light on this, 1) I think the dude is still alive and 2) data-mine FOLD3 as I suggested above.
 

Lisa Murphy

Corporal
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Location
Washington State
Welcome to the world of primary source research, where you try to reassemble an eggshell after it hit the floor .... 160 or so years ago.
That is hilarious! My father was a scholar of 1600's French Diplomatic history, who had to learn to read old French in order to understand his primary sources. At least this particular eggshell speaks an English that I understand: counting my blessings!
 
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