Discussion Looking for info on Col. Nicholas Vail....

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My son Nicholas will be tickled to learn that some guy named Nicholas Vail was a Colonel in the Union Army. I haven't been able to learn much by googling around. Can any of the the good CWT folks out there help with some info on his military career?
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Nicholas J. Vail : Enlisted and mustered on 6/17/1861 at Chicago, IL, (where he resided), as a Corporal into "A" Co. IL 19th Infantry. He was discharged for promotion on 11/14/1863, he was commissioned into Field & Staff US CT 14th Infantry. Promotions:

Major 11/14/1863 (As of 14th USCT Infantry)
Lt Colonel 7/1/1864 (Estimated date)
Colonel 3/13/1865 by Brevet
Brig-General 3/13/1865 by Brevet
He was Mustered Out on 3/20/1866.
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
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Nicholas J. Vail : Enlisted and mustered on 6/17/1861 at Chicago, IL, (where he resided), as a Corporal into "A" Co. IL 19th Infantry. He was discharged for promotion on 11/14/1863, he was commissioned into Field & Staff US CT 14th Infantry. Promotions:

Major 11/14/1863 (As of 14th USCT Infantry)
Lt Colonel 7/1/1864 (Estimated date)
Colonel 3/13/1865 by Brevet
Brig-General 3/13/1865 by Brevet
He was Mustered Out on 3/20/1866.
Wow, a General, no less!

I guess the brevet designation means that Lt. Col. was his highest regular rank?
 
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Apparently the 14th USCT was in action at the Battle of Nashville.
Nashville, TN after battle report:

Report of Capt. Clarence W. Baker, Fourteenth U. S. Colored Troops, of
operations December 2, 1864.

CAMP FOURTEENTH U. S. COLORED INFANTRY,
Nashville, Tenn., November [December] -, 1864.
LIEUT.: I have herewith the honor to submit a report concerning the
conduct and loss of Companies A and D, Fourteenth U. S. Colored Infantry,
in action at Stockade No. 2, December 2, 1864.

The train was very unexpectedly fired upon by a rebel battery from a
commanding position. The men left the cars hastily, were formed in line,
and moved upon the hill in rear of the stockade, subsequently deployed as
skirmishers, lying exposed to a heavy fire from artillery and musketry from
11 a. m. until about 6 p. m., when the larger part of the command was
drawn in, leaving pickets posted upon the skirmish line held during the day,
and throwing up a rude breast-work, with traverses, on two sides of the
stockade. Upon a due consultation of the place was determined upon,
whereat the men were much pleased, expressing themselves as ready to cut
through the rebel lines, or, failing, die in the attempt. Fortunately we
succeeded in passing through the line of rebel pickets without losing a man
in killed or wounded.

Our loss was as follows: Company A, Fourteenth U. S. Colored
Infantry-killed, 1 private; wounded, 1 corporal, 2 privates, missing, 1
corporal, 7 privates; total, 2 corporals, 10 privates; total, 1 corporal, 12
privates. One wounded man from A and 2 wounded from D Company were
left in the stockade, unable to be moved.

It is no more than simple justice to say for the men and officers under my
command that they behaved admirably and did credit to the regiment.

CLARENCE W. BAKER,
Capt., 14th U. S. Colored Infty., Cmdg. Companies A and D.

Lieut. JOHN E. CLELLAND,
Forty-fourth U. S. Colored Infty., Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen.

Source: Official Records
CHAP. LVII.] CAMPAIGN IN NORTH ALA. AND MIDDLE TENN. PAGE 538-93
[Series I. Vol. 45. Part I, Reports, Correspondence, Etc. Serial No. 93.]

************************************************************************************

Report of Maj. Nicholas J. Vail, Fourteenth U. S. Colored Infantry.

CAMP FOURTEENTH U. S. COLORED INFANTRY, Decatur, Ala.,
October 31, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following detailed report of the
operations of the detachment of the Fourteenth U. S. Colored Infantry,
while under my command:

In compliance with verbal instructions from Col. Morgan, I
proceeded early on the morning of the 28th instant to assume command
of the detachment (then stationed on the north bank of the river),
relieving Lieut. Col. H. C. Corbin. I found two guns of
Capt. Beach's battery intrenched, and one company of the detachment
deployed as skirmishers, on the bank of the river. Having received no
definite instructions I continued the operations commenced by
Lieut.-Col. Corbin, annoying the enemy by a heavy fire across
the river and endeavoring to impede the progress of their work. The gun
under the immediate command of Lieut. Murphy did good
execution, tearing up the earth-work opposite to us, exploding one
limber chest, killing and wounding quite a number, while the excellent
sharpshooting of the skirmishers placed several of the enemy hors de
combat. About 10.30 a. m. I received orders from the colonel
commanding to discontinue the fire of the skirmishers for a short
period, and to cover a charge of the remainder of the regiment about to
be made on the south bank of the river, which instructions were
complied with by myself. The enemy kept up an almost constant fire
from their sharpshooters. During the afternoon they commenced shelling
the gun under command of Lieut. Murphy with several heavy guns,
rendering reply impossible and making it necessary for the men to seek
the shelter of the earth-work. At this time Lieut. Frank Gillett, of
Company G, was mortally wounded by a piece of shell. The firing of
my skirmishers was continued until dark, when they were withdrawn.
Acting under the impression that the enemy would complete their works
during the night, thereby rendering my position untenable, I removed
my command a short distance up the river, worked hard all night, and
had nearly completed an earth-work with embrasures for three heavy
guns when I received an order from the colonel commanding post to
report with my command to Col. Morgan, which order was complied
with in time to take part in the reconnaissance made by the regiment on
the 29th instant. The conduct of both officers and men was deserving of
the highest praise. I append a report of casualties.*

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. J. VAIL,
Maj. Fourteenth U. S. Colored Infantry.

Adjt. W. H. H. AVERY,
Fourteenth U. S. Colored Infantry.


Source: Official Records
CHAP. LI.] NORTH GEORGIA AND NORTH ALABAMA. PAGE 714-77
[Series I. Vol. 39. Part I, Reports. Serial No. 77.]
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,099
P311729.gif



Nicholas J. Vail : Enlisted and mustered on 6/17/1861 at Chicago, IL, (where he resided), as a Corporal into "A" Co. IL 19th Infantry. He was discharged for promotion on 11/14/1863, he was commissioned into Field & Staff US CT 14th Infantry. Promotions:

Major 11/14/1863 (As of 14th USCT Infantry)
Lt Colonel 7/1/1864 (Estimated date)
Colonel 3/13/1865 by Brevet
Brig-General 3/13/1865 by Brevet
He was Mustered Out on 3/20/1866.
Thanks!

14th USCT was recruited among the freed slaves of Tennessee. Was engaged in the the Franklin-Nashville campaign of 1864.
 
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Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,099
My son Nicholas will be tickled to learn that some guy named Nicholas Vail was a Colonel in the Union Army. I haven't been able to learn much by googling around. Can any of the the good CWT folks out there help with some info on his military career?
Thanks again to all the good folks at CWT!!
 
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