Muzzleldrs Paper with soldier name found in my musket buttplate. NEW provenance info added on 1/18/14.

FrankN

Corporal
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Location
Near Philadelphia
I also purchased 2 books on the history of his regiment the 14th NJ Infantry.

"The Monocacy Regiment" A commemorative history of the 14th NJ Infantry in the Civil War, 1862 - 1865.
Edited by David G. Martin and Joseph G. Bilby

"The Kid Corporal of the Monocacy Regiment" by John Lund

Lots to read but I am/will be enjoying it.

The musket I have is an 1861 model Bridesburg dated 1863. Since he was mustered in during Aug. 1862 he must have trained with another musket and received the Bridesburg early in 1863. Not having any information on whether his weapon was ever lost or replaced I guess it would be reasonable to assume that he carried this musket through his service and battles with Company F of the 14th NJ Infantry?

Since many forum members commented on this thread I hope those interested will know that I followed up with these updates. It would be great if anyone could answer a few more of my questions and/or could add any more information. This is a great website and I've learned much! Thanks to all!

Frank
 

frontrank2

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Forum Host
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Oct 10, 2012
Location
Mt. Jackson, Va
I will ask Joe Bilby if he has any info to share. I kind of know him ( he was my first unit commander in the N-SSA ) and he helped me find where my great-great grandfather was buried. I'll keep you posted.
 

Lnwlf

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Retired Moderator
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Mar 29, 2011
Location
SOUTHERN Indiana
I lost track of this thread early on and, WOW! what I have missed! I have a couple of questions, musings actually, that do not detract from your find. They are also probably un provable. My first thought is that Jacob Havens may have added the paper after the war as a means to prove his ownership should it be lost or stolen. Another thought is that maybe, just maybe, this was put in at some point during the war as a sort of "dog tag" just in case the worst happened. In a case like that, it would seem, that there are other muskets out there with the same thing hidden under their butt plates. Of course to me this practice would have to be more than an isolated case. It is a great find and no matter what you end up doing with it, take good care of it! Even if it turns out to be worth only a couple of bucks it is still priceless! (I am sure it is worth much more though.)
 

frontrank2

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Forum Host
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Oct 10, 2012
Location
Mt. Jackson, Va
I just got an e-mail back from Joe Bilby. It reads as follows :
Bill, the 14th was issued Springfields in 1862, the only one of the five three year regiments to be issued them. It is really difficult to provenance actual use by a given soldier, but the information your friend has is about as close as it gets.
I can tell you that Havens' company of the 14th, F Company, reported 37 Springfield rifle-muskets on its 4th quarter 1864 ordnance report, which was the last one we have a record of.
Joe
Joseph G. Bilby

I hope this helps a little.
 

FrankN

Corporal
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Location
Near Philadelphia
I just got an e-mail back from Joe Bilby. It reads as follows :
Bill, the 14th was issued Springfields in 1862, the only one of the five three year regiments to be issued them. It is really difficult to provenance actual use by a given soldier, but the information your friend has is about as close as it gets.
I can tell you that Havens' company of the 14th, F Company, reported 37 Springfield rifle-muskets on its 4th quarter 1864 ordnance report, which was the last one we have a record of.
Joe
Joseph G. Bilby

I hope this helps a little.


Very big thanks for this information! I really appreciate your help!
 

frankconrad

Sergeant
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Location
Iowa
I would not sell for any price. Money can't give you anything unless you just like to see how big a pile you have. And you obviesly appreciate it.
The family did not appreciate it or it would not be in your hands, with its currant value they may, mostly for its value.
 

Story

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Location
SE PA
Odd, his tombstone reads 1925 but looks to be newer-than-1925 - transcription error on someone's part?

@FrankN


Methodist Protestant East Cemetery

Point Pleasant, Ocean County, New Jersey, USA
 

FrankN

Corporal
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Location
Near Philadelphia
Odd, his tombstone reads 1925 but looks to be newer-than-1925 - transcription error on someone's part?

@FrankN


Methodist Protestant East Cemetery

Point Pleasant, Ocean County, New Jersey, USA
His grave is not far from where I live. My wife and I have visited it. I’ll recheck the records that I have.
AE6637E9-7481-40BA-8169-BD471A216786.jpeg
 

Story

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Location
SE PA
His grave is not far from where I live. My wife and I have visited it. I’ll recheck the records that I have.

A large WAWA coffee says the error is on the Cemetery's end - call their offices, see if you can go look at their records.
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
Odd, his tombstone reads 1925 but looks to be newer-than-1925 - transcription error on someone's part?

@FrankN


Methodist Protestant East Cemetery

Point Pleasant, Ocean County, New Jersey, USA
I have seen many like this from the early 1900s; note the rough edges and the ivy engraving (more modern stones tend not to have those features). Granite largely replaced marble as the stone of choice late in the nineteenth century (when machinery was developed that made working granite more feasible). Granite tends to wear much slower than marble and isn't subject to acid rain and other water damage and so often doesn't look aged.

It's certainly possible that the couple did not originally have markers and somebody later bought the stone but given the style I think it's the original marker - certainly of a style available in the early 1900s - and that the dates are correct. It's also quite possible that the stone has been cleaned (as granite often does host moss or lichen, depending on the site).

I have some experience working in cemeteries with a lot of older stones and I've been active with Findagrave for over twelve years and posted over 5,000 photos.
 
Last edited:

FiremarshalBill

Private
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
My M1854 Lorenz (lock plate dated "860") was dug up in 1970 by some back packing buddies near an old abandoned Butterfield stage station SE of Tuscon, AZ. When found, only the top two inches of the barrel was sticking above the ground where a sand bank had collapsed on top of the rifle. My buddy took it home and tucked it away in a closet for the next three years until I traded him a Ruger revolver for it. The extremely dry weather conditions of the Arizona desert had preserved the rifle in excellent shape so I just cleaned it up a little and it's been hanging on my living room wall for 47 years. Wonder if I should remove the butt plate for a look-see?

IMG_1006.jpg
 

Story

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Location
SE PA
My M1854 Lorenz (lock plate dated "860") was dug up in 1970 by some back packing buddies near an old abandoned Butterfield stage station SE of Tuscon, AZ. When found, only the top two inches of the barrel was sticking above the ground where a sand bank had collapsed on top of the rifle. My buddy took it home and tucked it away in a closet for the next three years until I traded him a Ruger revolver for it. The extremely dry weather conditions of the Arizona desert had preserved the rifle in excellent shape so I just cleaned it up a little and it's been hanging on my living room wall for 47 years. Wonder if I should remove the butt plate for a look-see?

Consider my voice the little one sitting on your left shoulder.

Doitdoitdoitdoitdoitdoitdoitdoitdoitdoit
 

Story

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Location
SE PA
I have some experience working in cemeteries with a lot of older stones and I've been active with Findagrave for over twelve years and posted close to 6,000 photos.

Ok, so if the stone is contemporary where do you think the error originated?
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
Ok, so if the stone is contemporary where do you think the error originated?
I don't see an error. Is there something I missed somewhere that says the dates are incorrect ? If it's just the apparent newness of the stone I addressed that.

If the dates disagree with some other source then that's a different issue (and it's not uncommon to have incorrect dates on stones and in 'official' documents like death certificates (although those typically have the correct death date they often have an incorrect birth date or year).
 

Story

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Location
SE PA
Here is the information that I collected for Jacob Havens. I'll be repeating some of the info that was already provided by helpful forum members in this thread. I'll give a brief sort of timeline gathered from the NJ archives, compiled military service records and federal military pension records. I'll break it up into 4 posts.

Jacob Havens - Company F, 14th Regiment NJ Infantry volunteers.
5' 3 1/2" tall , light complexion, blue eyes, brown hair
born - July 13, 1839 died - Nov. 9, 1926
Yes. You'd think the stone cutter or someone would catch that, if they're planting him 11 months into a new year.

As for the newer-ness of the stone, I phrased it as an open-ended interrogative.
I don't see an error. Is there something I missed somewhere that says the dates are incorrect ?
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
Yes. You'd think the stone cutter or someone would catch that, if they're planting him 11 months into a new year.

As for the newer-ness of the stone, I phrased it as an open-ended interrogative.
OK - I did miss the date issue. As I said, there could be a number of problems that would cause the date to be incorrect. The stone might actually be correct and the other source wrong but I've seen wrong years on stones a number of times. We've got two old ones where not only is one of the dates wrong but they spelled "died" "deid" - twice ! So not all that's carved in stone is correct.

Given the year, I'd guess they probably had death certificates and that would be the best documentation (i.e. of death date, not birth). Also, there might well be an obituary; I'd look for both were I researching him. Ancestry often has probate files (or bits and pieces) and if the guy ever got a pension then his death would be documented there as well.

As I said, the stone is definitely of a style popular and available in the 1920s.
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
I couldn't find a death certificate but his pension record says he died in 1926 (see attached).

So, who knows why the stone is in error; maybe whoever ordered it gave the company the wrong year or maybe the carver just made a mistake. If the stone was erected some years after his actual death then whoever ordered the stone might well have just remembered the year wrong. It's definitely an older style stone so I don't think it was decades after his death but it certainly could have, perhaps, replaced earlier and simpler monuments and been placed ten years later.

record-image_.jpg
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
I lost track of this thread early on and, WOW! what I have missed! I have a couple of questions, musings actually, that do not detract from your find. They are also probably un provable. My first thought is that Jacob Havens may have added the paper after the war as a means to prove his ownership should it be lost or stolen. Another thought is that maybe, just maybe, this was put in at some point during the war as a sort of "dog tag" just in case the worst happened. In a case like that, it would seem, that there are other muskets out there with the same thing hidden under their butt plates. Of course to me this practice would have to be more than an isolated case. It is a great find and no matter what you end up doing with it, take good care of it! Even if it turns out to be worth only a couple of bucks it is still priceless! (I am sure it is worth much more though.)

I've heard of men fastening notes with their ID to their clothing going into battle.
I suppose a wallet with ID in it might be stolen from a casualty.
Similarly, in a fight, I would think a musket might well get separated from the soldier who carried it into battle during or soon after the fight.
 
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