Discussion The draft, posting to regiments, and disbanding regiments.

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#1
According to family legend, my Ggg grandfather served as a substitute in the 1863 draft. His name hasn't appeared anywhere, so I'm trying to track him down by other means. This leads me to a number of questions relating to how the Union Army operated.

1) So it's the summer of 1863 and you've been drafted/taking someone's place in the draft. How do you get assigned to a regiment? Would you be assigned to an existing regiment that needed replacements, or would you be assigned to a brand new regiment?

2) My Ggg grandfather was married back at home on May 27, 1865. That's only about 2 years into his service out of what should have been three years. There were several NY regiments that were raised after the draft, but were disbanded when the war ended: the 42, 44, 57, 67, 70-72, 74, 76, 82-84, 92, 168, 177, 190, 191, & 194. But there were many regiments that remained active until the three years were up. Could my Ggg grandfather have been assigned to one of these post draft regiments and then sent home when the regiment disbanded, even if he had a year to serve? Or is it more likely he was a deserter?

3) Some regiments were disbanded far from home. Were soldiers responsible for making their own way home, or did the army provide transport at least as far as the original mustering city?
 

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#2
3) Some regiments were disbanded far from home. Were soldiers responsible for making their own way home, or did the army provide transport at least as far as the original mustering city?
As far as I have seen, the army would withhold transportation amounts for things mentioned above. You would see a stoppage for transportation if the entire regiment was not ordered to that destination.
 
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#3
According to family legend, my Ggg grandfather served as a substitute in the 1863 draft. His name hasn't appeared anywhere, so I'm trying to track him down by other means. This leads me to a number of questions relating to how the Union Army operated.

1) So it's the summer of 1863 and you've been drafted/taking someone's place in the draft. How do you get assigned to a regiment? Would you be assigned to an existing regiment that needed replacements, or would you be assigned to a brand new regiment?

2) My Ggg grandfather was married back at home on May 27, 1865. That's only about 2 years into his service out of what should have been three years. There were several NY regiments that were raised after the draft, but were disbanded when the war ended: the 42, 44, 57, 67, 70-72, 74, 76, 82-84, 92, 168, 177, 190, 191, & 194. But there were many regiments that remained active until the three years were up. Could my Ggg grandfather have been assigned to one of these post draft regiments and then sent home when the regiment disbanded, even if he had a year to serve? Or is it more likely he was a deserter?

3) Some regiments were disbanded far from home. Were soldiers responsible for making their own way home, or did the army provide transport at least as far as the original mustering city?
Welcome to the forums. What was his name ?
 
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#4
Welcome to the forums. What was his name ?
Robert McNish, born in 1838 and raised in Cavan township, in what was then Durham County, Upper Canada/Canada West/Ontario. (NW across Lake Ontario from Rochester NY)

According to family legend
-He joined up for the enlistment bonus or was paid to take someone's place in the draft. Years later he used that money to buy a farm for himself
-He was present at a battle where he was working on fortifications on the top of a hill when the Confederates burst out of the trees below and charged the hill. When they reached the bottom of the hill, they found that they could not elevate their guns high enough to engage the defenders, and the Union guns could not be depressed low enough to hit the Confederates, resulting in a stalemate.
-His unit was disbanded in Rochester. He would tell his children that he walked home from there-walked down to the harbour, boarded a ship to take him across the lake, and then walked home to the farm.

I have been unable to find any proof that he actually was in the civil war as of yet. His name hasn't appeared on any muster roll I've been able to find. I'm uncertain as to how much trouble he would have been in when he got home for fighting a war for a foreign power, making me wonder if he used a fake name.

But I haven't found anything to say he wasn't. He did buy himself a farm shortly after the war. He was offered a pension in the early 1920s (we still have the letter), but he turned it down, claiming it was 'blood money'. Between the draft date and his marriage date there isn't that much time, hence my questions about disbanding units. I'm trying to figure out if I can narrow down the possibilities to a few units that I could research and see if I can find a match to the battle.
 
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#5
If he ended up near Rochester, NY, he likely came from a regiment from that area. In 1865, the only regiment that I found that mustered out in May was the 108th New York Infantry (those whose enlistments had not run out yet were transferred to the 59th New York Infantry). That said, I can't find anyone with that name on their muster roll or regimental roster so it's possible he enlisted under a different name. As a Canadian, he would not have been drafted (unless he was living in New York) but the bonus could have enticed him.

Ryan
 
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#6
Robert McNish, born in 1838 and raised in Cavan township, in what was then Durham County, Upper Canada/Canada West/Ontario. (NW across Lake Ontario from Rochester NY)

According to family legend
-He joined up for the enlistment bonus or was paid to take someone's place in the draft. Years later he used that money to buy a farm for himself
-He was present at a battle where he was working on fortifications on the top of a hill when the Confederates burst out of the trees below and charged the hill. When they reached the bottom of the hill, they found that they could not elevate their guns high enough to engage the defenders, and the Union guns could not be depressed low enough to hit the Confederates, resulting in a stalemate.
-His unit was disbanded in Rochester. He would tell his children that he walked home from there-walked down to the harbour, boarded a ship to take him across the lake, and then walked home to the farm.

I have been unable to find any proof that he actually was in the civil war as of yet. His name hasn't appeared on any muster roll I've been able to find. I'm uncertain as to how much trouble he would have been in when he got home for fighting a war for a foreign power, making me wonder if he used a fake name.

But I haven't found anything to say he wasn't. He did buy himself a farm shortly after the war. He was offered a pension in the early 1920s (we still have the letter), but he turned it down, claiming it was 'blood money'. Between the draft date and his marriage date there isn't that much time, hence my questions about disbanding units. I'm trying to figure out if I can narrow down the possibilities to a few units that I could research and see if I can find a match to the battle.
Closest I could get. Spelling may have been different on the muster roll. This man's age is only 21, and nothing about him being a replacement for someone. Is Lima near Rochester ? Some Confederate units "disbanded", The Union regiments formally "mustered out". This man's regiment mustered out in Virginia on August 1, 1865. Doesn't the letter 'offering him a pension" make mention of his regiment ? The usual procedure was for the Veteran to apply for it.

Screenshot (50).png
 
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#7
Closest I could get. Spelling may have been different on the muster roll. This man's age is only 21, and nothing about him being a replacement for someone. Is Lima near Rochester ? Some Confederate units "disbanded", The Union regiments formally "mustered out". This man's regiment mustered out in Virginia on August 1, 1865. Doesn't the letter 'offering him a pension" make mention of his regiment ? The usual procedure was for the Veteran to apply for it.

View attachment 315193
I found an Almon McNinch serving in the 108th NY. Age 20, he enlisted in August 1862, was captured and paroled at Fredericksburg, and deserted from Camp Parole on December 23, 1862. He was dishonorably discharged in 1869, backdated to May 1865.

Ryan
 
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#8
Closest I could get. Spelling may have been different on the muster roll. This man's age is only 21, and nothing about him being a replacement for someone. Is Lima near Rochester ? Some Confederate units "disbanded", The Union regiments formally "mustered out". This man's regiment mustered out in Virginia on August 1, 1865. Doesn't the letter 'offering him a pension" make mention of his regiment ? The usual procedure was for the Veteran to apply for it.

View attachment 315193
The letter is just a standard form letter from the gov't. As he turned the pension down, I assume he didn't apply for it. A member of the family likely made an enquiry, and the gov't sent a standard response.

The letter in question is entitled "CIRCULAR LETTER" and has nothing to identify it with Robert McNish except that it was found in his papers and would appear to confirm his stories of serving in the US Civil War plus his refusal to accept any payment which it is said he referred to as 'blood money'.

At the top of the letter are the numbers 3-1142 followed by the heading DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR - BUREAU OF PENSIONS, WASHINGTON. It is signed by - Gaylord M. Saltzgaber, Commissioner of Pensions.

The only other bit of identification is the form number, I assume, at the bottom of the page - 6-6153
 
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#9
The letter is just a standard form letter from the gov't. As he turned the pension down, I assume he didn't apply for it. A member of the family likely made an enquiry, and the gov't sent a standard response.

The letter in question is entitled "CIRCULAR LETTER" and has nothing to identify it with Robert McNish except that it was found in his papers and would appear to confirm his stories of serving in the US Civil War plus his refusal to accept any payment which it is said he referred to as 'blood money'.

At the top of the letter are the numbers 3-1142 followed by the heading DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR - BUREAU OF PENSIONS, WASHINGTON. It is signed by - Gaylord M. Saltzgaber, Commissioner of Pensions.

The only other bit of identification is the form number, I assume, at the bottom of the page - 6-6153
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/75312606/gaylord-miller-saltzgaber
 
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#11
Thanks for sharing ! Yes, it appears to be a circular letter addressed to "to all persons interested". Congress had passed a pension pay increase for veterans and widows of veterans going back to the Mexican War. We can rule out Robert McNinch of the 22nd NY Cavalry on the record I posted. He applied for a pension from the State of Illinois. It seems Robert's name would have to be on some sort of roll, (pension, muster-out, veteran reserve, invalid corp, etc), for him to have received the letter, to begin with, wither he wanted to file or not. Do you know his middle name or initial ? I feel he has some sort of record out there somewhere.
 
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#12
I don't know of a middle initial. And would he have to be on a list to receive this letter? This looks like a form letter, like the sort of thing they sent out to whoever inquired. 'Hello, my father served in the civil war, would you please send us the requirements to apply for a pension, thank you'

BTW, this has gotten pretty off topic from my questions, so I'm going to continue this over in the civil war ancestor section
 



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