Major Theodore Dwight Caswell, CSA

Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
971
Location
Killarney, Ireland
Hello, I am hoping someoen with ancestry access might could help me out here as I have gone about as far as I an with familysearch.org. I have been trying to find the parents Major Theodore Dwight Caswell, commander of the 4th Battalion Georgia Sharpshooters for a few years now. I think I have finally found them but am having trouble locating definative proof. I am hoping someone can help.

Theodore Dwight Caswell was born in 1830 in New York but moved to Augusta Georgia around 1848 where he found work as a book keeper for a grocery merchant firm called Baker and Hart Grocery Firm...he would eventually be made a partner when Mr. Hart retired.

From commuicating with a living descendant of Caswell, I learned that he attended the Dutchess Academy in Poughkeepsie New York. Now I have never been able to prove he actally attended this academy but it was the only clue I had to go on. Looking at Dutchess County New York is where I think I have found his parents. John Caswell was an English born Merchant who lived in the city of Poughkeepsie New York. He died intestate in Nov. 1834. His wife was Clarissa M. Van Vliet who survived until Jan 27, 1871 and is buried in the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery. Clarrisa was the daughter of Cornelius Van Vlet who did make a will so we can make guesses about some of her other children.

Cornelious Caswell who is buried in the same cemetery as Clarissa is likely a son of John Caswell and Clarissa Van Vliet. We also know from marriage recors that Mary Jane Caswell who it turns out married her first cousin Lewis Van Vliet in Dutchess County and who is also buried in the same cemetery is also one fo the children.

The most telling information comes from one of the older children named Helen G. Caswell who married William Bushnell. The Bushnell's moved around quit a bit but following them has been the most helpful. Clarrisa is head of household in the 1840 Census but in 1850 is living with William Bushnell and her daughter Helen in New York City as well as in the 1870 census in Pennsylvania. Also living with the Bushnell's in both Censues is Mary J. Caswell and another child of John Caswell and Clarissa, Edward L. Caswell born in 1835.

Edward L. Caswell enlisted in the Union army, originally as a ferrier in Company K, 14th New York Cavalry. He would later be promoted to the rank of Corporal and was for some reason transferred to Company D, 18th New York Cavalry as a Corporal. He passed away in November 1865 and is buried in the same cemetery as Clarissa.

The Bushnell's also had a son named Theodore Dwight Bushnell who is still living in 1940...he is living with his son Theodore P. Bushnell in Manhatten.

So all I have is circumstantial evidence. I believe Major Theodore Dwight Caswell to be a son of John Caswell and Clarissa Van Vliet...a news paper article from a Poughkeepsie paper in the 1870's talks about Major Theodore D Caswell of Augusta Georgia visiting Dutchess County and "spending hours of leisure in Clinton" Clinton is a villiage North of Poughkeepsie in Dutchess County...where Mary Jane Caswell and her husband Lewis Van Vliet lived in the 1870's...he could have been ther to visit his sister. There certainly seems to be a Dutchess County connection to him and this is the only Caswell family I have found in Dutchess County...couple that with Helen G. Caswell Bushnell, who is likly Theodore Dwight Caswell's sister, named one of her sons Theodore Dwight Bushnell...I really think I have found Major Caswell's familiy. But I would love to have "the smoking gun" actual proof linking Theodore Caswell to this family, something I can acutally document. John Caswell, nor Clarissa, nor Cornelius, nor Edward L. Caswell appear to have made wills so I'm not really sure where to go from here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Poughkeepsie NY Daily Eagle
Sep 15, 1872
T. D. Caswell, of Augusta Georgia; formerly Brigadier General of Hardee's Corp, is spending hours of leisure in the town of Clinton. (Paper is wrong, he was never Brigadier General)

Poughkeepsie Eagle
Sep 2, 1835; page 3
FOR SALE
That valuable brick Dwelling House and Store in
Main-street near the court house of the estate of
John Caswell, deceased.
The building is three stories high, about 21 feet
front by 48 feet deep, with a wood kitchen attached
to the same, about 16 feet sqaure, two stories high.
The lower front room is a Store 20 by 40 feet, with
space of about three feet to the kitchen. The second
story of the brick building has one large front parlor,
a bed-room, 2 closets and a sitting room, with a parlor
over the kitchen. The third story of the brick building
has a front parlor, 4 bed rooms and a large clothes
press, all new finished and in good repair. The store
was lately occupied by Caswell & Barnes, and at present
by H. W. Morris and is one of the best stands for business
in the village. There is a large brick filtering cistern,
with every convenience to carry the water into the kitchen.
The premises can be viewed by calling on the occupant and
possession will be given to the purchaser on the first of
May next. Terms of payment will be accomodating.
Dated Poughkeepsie, September 1, 1835.
Clarissa M. Caswell.
Administratrix of John Caswell, deceased.
For further particulars enquire at the office of Jacob Van Ness.

The NY Evening Post
Thursday Nov 6, 1834
DIED
At Poughkeepsie, on Monday morning, 3d instant, John Caswell, merchant of the firm of Caswell & Barnes, aged 45 years.

NY Herald
Jan 28, 1871; page 6
CASWELL - At Pleasant Plains, on Thursday, January 26, Clarissa M., widow of John Caswell, formerly of Poughkeepsie, in the 78th year of her age. The remains will be taken to Poughkeepsie for interment.

NY Herald
June 21, 1869
Van Vliet - Caswell
On Wednesday, June 14 at the Reformed Collegiate church, Fifth avenue, by the Rev Dr Chambers, Louis Van Vliet of Clinton, Dutchess county, to Mary J. Caswell., daughter of the late John Caswell of Poughkeepsie.

The Poughkeepsie Evening Enterprise
Aug 17, 1908; page 1
The funeral of Mrs Mary J. Caswell, widow of Lewis Van Vliet,
who died at the Old Ladies' Home Saturday was held from the home
this morning at 10:30. Rev Frederick H. Deming of the Washington
Street M. E. Church officiated. A splendid array of flowers told
of affection with which Mrs Van Vliet was regarded. The interment
was in the Rural cemetery under the direction of Irving G. Storm.
For further particulars enquire at the office of Jacob Van Ness.

The Poughkeepsie Evening Enterprise
Sep 26, 1902; page 6
Died
BUSHNELL - At Bayonne, N.J., Sept 24, 1902, Helen G. Caswell,
widow of William Bushnell, formerly of this city,
in her 82nd year. Interment in Rural cemetery today.
 

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

lelliott19

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Mar 15, 2013
Messages
5,821
Nothing yet about his parentage...... but I did find this article which appeared in the North-East Georgian, Jun. 3, 1874, page 3 - apparently reprinted from the Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, May 31, 1874. I'm sorry I do not have ancestry.

1 Caswell.JPG
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
971
Location
Killarney, Ireland
Hi, lelliott19. Yes I have that one as well. To be honest I have been able to find every little ties to him and New York once he moved to Augusta. He appears to have had very little contact with his siblings. He only appears to have had two siblings living post 1870, his sister Helen Caswell Bushnell and his sister Mary Jane Caswell Van Vliet. The fact that Helen named a son Theodore Dwight Bushnell has me convinced but as they say, it would not hold up in a court of law.
 

mcfb50

Private
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
224
Location
Illinois

mcfb50

Private
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
224
Location
Illinois
East Pascagoula is in Mississippi, so if he was discharged in 1848 that puts him in the south, so it wouldn't have been a random move from NY to GA.

There's a Jedediah Caswell in the 1830 and 1840 census in Onodaga County, NY. I'd be searching for a link between Jedediah and John.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
971
Location
Killarney, Ireland
Hi, another member of these forums who has also been looking at Caswell found this as well and proved that this is Theodore A. Caswell in this US army enlistment document. His widow filed for pension for this Mexican War service somewhere in the midwest...ColorodoI believe so we know this is not him. In the writings of a member of his company, they claimed that Theodore D. Caswell was "without a particle of military training". I went down this road awhile back as well prior to contacting the Caswell descendant who gave me the Dutchess County New York link...
according to the Dutchess County Historical Society, John Caswell was born in England.
 


Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top