Discussion Unusual circumstances - 1861 Civil War letter found

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Motor7

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Feb 8, 2018
Messages
56
The following is a odd story of a discovery of a piece of American history. It occurred several years ago, laid dormant for a time, but recently has become a powerful force in it's own right, and continues to lead me in directions I had never considered.

I'm just a retired civil service worker now living in East Tennessee. Born in Atlanta and raised in a NOLA suburb. My family fought on both sides of the Civil War which has always held a mild fascination to me. I read a lot, from fiction to history & I guess my favorites are just simple western paperbacks & American military history. I share the dime paperbacks(most written in the 50, 60 and 70's) on the American West with family and friends. My father in law up in Manitoba gives me a box or two of the books to take home every item I visit. Friends here in Tennessee have also given me bags or boxes of books & others I pick up at auctions or used book stores. In the same manner, I give all my 'read' books away. The cycle has been going on for over 20 years.

So one night I was reading, and I don't remember the title or what bag or box this particular book came from, but when I got to the middle I found something. I though it was a book mark since finding all manners of scrap paper in these books was common. Casually turning over the paper I noticed it had a stamp on it, and it was not just a piece of paper, it was a letter, and the letter looked old. This is what I saw(sorry for the crappy cell photo):

20180209_081558.jpg


Inside was one page, but it was folded four times to make it a four page letter. The cursive was faded in places and against the tan background difficult to read. The stationary however was astounding:

20180209_093112_2.jpg


I have rotated this photo, re-shot it, save it, edited it, but the dang thing just wants to be upside down. If anyone can fix it for me, please do so :smile:

The letter is dated Nov 1861, and it from James Bradbury who was serving in Company C, Maine 6th Infantry to his brother Captain Issac Bradbury, Boston Mass(who was currently serving in the US Navy just prior to being posted aboard the USS Cambridge).

I stuck the letter in my safe, and life got in the way and it sat for a few years(I know, I know...but I had good intentions, but I'm on 100 ac and the 2do list endless). Fall of last year, my wife and I are planning our first ever trip to Ireland. Since I'm a third Irish on my fathers side(both great grandparents came over on a famine ship in 1860) I joined Ancestry.com and started digging. When I got exhausted down that rabbit hole, "The Letter" popped into my pea brain. So I got it out and scanned it so I could attempt to read it without causing anymore damage.

I then dove down the rabbit hole following James and Issac and their story is most interesting and tragic. All of the sudden I have this compulsion to write their story, and no, I am not a writer, nor have I ever written anything lengthy other than arrest reports. This little treasure of American history contains so many unanswered questions. Questions that deserve attention and investigation.

In the mean time, I tracked down the only surviving member of the Bradbury family and contacted him. Turns out, he had asked his step mom to research his genealogy for him(she is a bit of a sleuth) and he knew all about Issac(who is his direct ancestor), and James. So, the "letter" is currently being scanned on a high definition scanner at a photography shop that does photo re-construction. The enhanced images will be ready for me to pick up mid week and then I can translate the entire letter, and there will be much more information to follow. The letter then gets sent to it's rightful heir who is looking forward to receiving it.

I leave y'all with this, since I can't find the answer online:

Why is Issac Bradbury listed as "acting Ensign" but later a Captain of his own 80' Tug doing blockade work in the Gulf Of Mexico in 1865? Was it common during that time for the Navy to use an acting Ensign as a Captain?



 
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Motor7

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What a great find, Motor7! I look forward to reading your transcription of the letter. Here's the right-side-up image for you.
Thanks LOD!

Here is the stamp up close, it looks to me like someone blotted out the "US" in US Postage? Is so why? Or is it part of the lined postage received/paid stamp? The arrow is a nice touch though!

20180209_115439.jpg


I can't match it yet, but I am thinking it's a Confederate stamp, the quality of the image is poor & the blacked out US.
 
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chucksr

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May 26, 2017
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Why is Issac Bradbury listed as "acting Ensign" but later a Captain of his own 80' Tug doing blockade work in the Gulf Of Mexico in 1865? Was it common during that time for the Navy to use an acting Ensign as a Captain?
I would think it quite common since the term "captain" does not refer to actual rank in the U.S. Navy but the command responsibility as being the officer in charge of the vessel. For instance a naval "Commander" in rank was the "captain" of the ship I served on.
An actual "Captain" (comparable to a full Colonel in the Army) in rank could also be captain of a vessel--usually a larger ship.
 
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Motor7

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So
I would think it quite common since the term "captain" does not refer to actual rank in the U.S. Navy but the command responsibility as being the officer in charge of the vessel. For instance a naval "Commander" in rank was the "captain" of the ship I served on.
An actual "Captain" (comparable to a full Colonel in the Army) in rank could also be captain of a vessel--usually a larger ship.
So, during the war an "acting ensign" could be in charge of a vessel then?
 
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The following is a odd story of a discovery of a piece of American history. It occurred several years ago, laid dormant for a time, but recently has become a powerful force in it's own right, and continues to lead me in directions I had never considered.

I'm just a retired civil service worker now living in East Tennessee. Born in Atlanta and raised in a NOLA suburb. My family fought on both sides of the Civil War which has always held a mild fascination to me. I read a lot, from fiction to history & I guess my favorites are just simple western paperbacks & American military history. I share the dime paperbacks(most written in the 50, 60 and 70's) on the American West with family and friends. My father in law up in Manitoba gives me a box or two of the books to take home every item I visit. Friends here in Tennessee have also given me bags or boxes of books & others I pick up at auctions or used book stores. In the same manner, I give all my 'read' books away. The cycle has been going on for over 20 years.

So one night I was reading, and I don't remember the title or what bag or box this particular book came from, but when I got to the middle I found something. I though it was a book mark since finding all manners of scrap paper in these books was common. Casually turning over the paper I noticed it had a stamp on it, and it was not just a piece of paper, it was a letter, and the letter looked old. This is what I saw(sorry for the crappy cell photo):

20180209_081558.jpg


Inside was one page, but it was folded four times to make it a four page letter. The cursive was faded in places and against the tan background difficult to read. The stationary however was astounding:

20180209_093112_2.jpg


I have rotated this photo, re-shot it, save it, edited it, but the dang thing just wants to be upside down. If anyone can fix it for me, please do so :smile:

The letter is dated Nov 1861, and it from James Bradbury who was serving in Company C, Maine 6th Infantry to his brother Captain Issac Bradbury Boston Mass(who was currently serving in the US Navy just prior to being posted aboard the USS Cambridge).

I stuck the letter in my safe, and life got in the way and it sat for a few years(I know, I know...but I had good intentions, but I'm on 100 ac and the 2do list endless). Fall of last year, my wife and I are planning our first ever trip to Ireland. Since I'm a third Irish on my fathers side(both great grandparents came over on a famine ship in 1860) I joined Ancestry.com and started digging. When I got exhausted down that rabbit hole, "The Letter" popped into my pea brain. So I got it out and scanned it so I could attempt to read it without causing anymore damage.

I then dove down the rabbit hole following James and Issac and their story is most interesting and tragic. All of the sudden I have this compulsion to write their story, and no, I am not a writer, nor have I ever written anything lengthy other than arrest reports. This little treasure of American history contains so many unanswered questions. Questions that deserve attention and investigation.

In the mean time, I tracked down the only surviving member of the Bradbury family and contacted him. Turns out, he had asked his step mom to research his genealogy for him(she is a bit of a sleuth) and he knew all about Issac(who is his direct ancestor), and James. So, the "letter" is currently being scanned on a high definition scanner at a photography shop that does photo re-construction. The enhanced images will be ready for me to pick up mid week and then I can translate the entire letter, and there will be much more information to follow. The letter then gets sent to it's rightful heir who is looking forward to receiving it.

I leave y'all with this, since I can't find the answer online:

Why is Issac Bradbury listed as "acting Ensign" but later a Captain of his own 80' Tug doing blockade work in the Gulf Of Mexico in 1865? Was it common during that time for the Navy to use an acting Ensign as a Captain?



You probably already knew James was killed in action at Rappahannock Station, VA, 11/7/1863.

From the OR, here's a report on the part played by the 6th Maine :

P2194644.gif


Report of Maj. George Fuller, Sixth Maine Infantry, of engagement
at Rappahannock.

HEADQUARTERS SIXTH MAINE VOLUNTEERS,
November 10, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit to you the following report of the
part taken by this regiment in the engagement at Rappahannock
Station, on the 7th day of November, 1863:

The regiment left camp near Warrenton, Va., at daylight on the
morning of the 7th instant, in company with the rest of the brigade,
and marched toward Rappahannock Station. When within 1 mile
of the station, the regiment was halted and formed in line of battle
in the edge of a wood about 200 yards to the right of the railroad.

This was about 12 m. At 2 p. m. Lieutenant-Colonel Harris was
ordered to relieve the Forty-ninth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers,
which was upon the skirmish line. Companies A, F, D, I,
and C, composing the right wing, were sent forward, under my
command, for that duty, and the skirmish line was duly relieved, the
right of the line connecting with the skirmishers of the One hundred
and twenty-first New York Regiment, and the left connecting
with those of the Twentieth Maine Regiment, belonging to the Fifth
Corps. At 2.30 p. m. the skirmish line was ordered to advance upon
the enemy, which it did in gallant style, quickly driving in his
skirmishers upon the fortifications. Our loss upon the line up to
this time was 1 killed and 5 wounded.

At sunset the left wing was ordered to advance, and it was
immediately thrown forward to within 250 yards of the skirmish line,
and ordered to lie down under the crest of hill, just in our front.
Immediately after, orders came from General Russell to deploy the
left wing, double the skirmish line, and with the Fifth Wisconsin
regiment as a support, to charge the enemy's works. The wing was
at once deployed, and immediately upon the arrival of the Fifth
Wisconsin, thrown forward upon the skirmish line. Here but a
moment's delay was caused by arranging the skirmishers, now
doubled, and at the command, "forward, double-quick," the regiment
rushed upon the works, under a heavy fire of musketry and
artillery. The fire grew heavier as the line neared the works, and
the men were struck down with fearful rapidity; but unwavering,
with wild cheers, the survivors reached the "fortifications," and
springing over them engaged the enemy in a hand-to-hand conflict.
The enemy, astonished and bewildered, quickly gave way and fled,
many of them toward the river, but by far the greater part to their
left, which was as yet unassailed, leaving in our hands 350 prisoners,
4 guns, and 1 stand of colors.

The works along the whole length of our line were now in our
possession. And now the enemy, strong in their rifle-pits farther to
their left, commenced a raking fire down the length of our line, which
proved very destructive, and, perceiving the weakness of our force,
advanced heavily upon our right, compelling that part of the line
to abandon the works; but disputing every foot of the ground, the
men fell back upon our center and left, which still retained possession
of the fortifications, and turning sharply upon the enemy kept
them at bay until the opportune arrival of the Fifth Wisconsin,
which came up upon the run, and with its usual impetuosity rushed
into the conflict. With the invaluable aid of this regiment, we were
quickly gaining ground when the arrival of the Forty-ninth and the
One hundred and nineteenth Pennsylvania Regiments, together with
the storming of the enemy's left by the Fifth Maine and the One
hundred and twenty-first New York Regiments, who carried those
works with a rush, decided the battle, the enemy being either
captured or driven across the river.

I would here mention that about 80 men belonging to the Fifth
Corps, under the command of Captain Morrill, of the Twentieth
Maine regiment, forming a skirmish line upon our left, rendered
valuable aid in carrying and holding the works. I would also beg
leave to mention here the following-named officers, to whose invaluable
efforts, after we had lost two-thirds of our line officers, the
obstinacy with which the fight was conducted is due, viz: Captains
Lincoln and Bassford, and Lieutenants Honey, Norris, Smith, and
Williams (the two latter, although severely wounded, rejoined their
companies next morning and reported for duty), and First Sergt. W.
H, Coan, Company H, who, after his officers had fallen, took
command of the company, and by his cool and determined conduct
helped much to the result. Captain Summers and Lieutenant Hobbs,
of Company A, forming the right support of the line, and Lieutenants
Hill and Pierce, of Company C, forming the left support, did
their duty well and nobly.

I regret to state that during the early part of the engagement,
Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, while gallantly leading on his men, fell
dangerously wounded, and the command devolved upon me. Adjutant
Clark was also severely wounded while in the works, bravely
doing his duty, but not before he had driven his sword into his
versary. Captains Furlong, killed; Burnham, Roberts, and Witherell,
wounded; and Lieutenants Wilkins and McKinley killed; Waite,
Pottle, Jacobs, Morton, Knowles, and Chamberlin, wounded, were
stricken down while gallantly leading on their men--doing their duty
as only such officers can.

Numerous instances of personal valor among the enlisted men of
the regiment have come to my knowledge, too numerous, indeed, to
mention in this hurried report, but I cannot refrain from asking your
attention to the following two instances of unexampled courage and
coolness: Sergt. Otis O. Roberts*, of Company H, with only 5 men,
rushed upon the color-bearer of the Eighth Louisiana Regiment,
who was in the midst of his color company, and after a hand-to-hand
conflict, in which the bayonet was freely used, succeeded in capturing
the colors, and compelling the whole company to surrender.
Privates Robinson Kitching, and Thomas W. Chick, of Company B,
and Private Lawrence O. Laughlin, of Company G, pursued the
enemy to the river, firing three shots after them, and ordered them
to surrender. Three commissioned officers and 175 men obeyed the
order, and the 3 men marched their prisoners safely to the rear.

After the engagement, the regiment was ordered to hold the right
redoubt of the enemy's works, near the railroad, until further orders,
which it did until the next day, when at 1 o'clock p. m. the brigade
crossed the Rappahannock, and taking a position went into camp.

The regiment lost in this terrible engagement 139 officers and men,
a full list of whose names and rank I respectfully submit.

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

GEORGE FULLER,
Major, Commanding Sixth Maine Volunteers.

Capt. C. H. HURD, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Source: Official Records
CHAP. XLI.] EXPEDITIONS TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK, VA. PAGE 598-48
[Series I. Vol. 29. Part I, Reports. Serial No. 48.]

James' mother, Eliza, filed for a pension June 30, 1880. The complete file at the National Archives would certainly help in your story.

james c bradbury.jpg
 

Motor7

Private
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Messages
56
You probably already knew James was killed in action at Rappahannock Station, VA, 11/7/1863.

From the OR, here's a report on the part played by the 6th Maine :

P2194644.gif


Report of Maj. George Fuller, Sixth Maine Infantry, of engagement
at Rappahannock.

HEADQUARTERS SIXTH MAINE VOLUNTEERS,
November 10, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit to you the following report of the
part taken by this regiment in the engagement at Rappahannock
Station, on the 7th day of November, 1863:

The regiment left camp near Warrenton, Va., at daylight on the
morning of the 7th instant, in company with the rest of the brigade,
and marched toward Rappahannock Station. When within 1 mile
of the station, the regiment was halted and formed in line of battle
in the edge of a wood about 200 yards to the right of the railroad.

This was about 12 m. At 2 p. m. Lieutenant-Colonel Harris was
ordered to relieve the Forty-ninth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers,
which was upon the skirmish line. Companies A, F, D, I,
and C, composing the right wing, were sent forward, under my
command, for that duty, and the skirmish line was duly relieved, the
right of the line connecting with the skirmishers of the One hundred
and twenty-first New York Regiment, and the left connecting
with those of the Twentieth Maine Regiment, belonging to the Fifth
Corps. At 2.30 p. m. the skirmish line was ordered to advance upon
the enemy, which it did in gallant style, quickly driving in his
skirmishers upon the fortifications. Our loss upon the line up to
this time was 1 killed and 5 wounded.

At sunset the left wing was ordered to advance, and it was
immediately thrown forward to within 250 yards of the skirmish line,
and ordered to lie down under the crest of hill, just in our front.
Immediately after, orders came from General Russell to deploy the
left wing, double the skirmish line, and with the Fifth Wisconsin
regiment as a support, to charge the enemy's works. The wing was
at once deployed, and immediately upon the arrival of the Fifth
Wisconsin, thrown forward upon the skirmish line. Here but a
moment's delay was caused by arranging the skirmishers, now
doubled, and at the command, "forward, double-quick," the regiment
rushed upon the works, under a heavy fire of musketry and
artillery. The fire grew heavier as the line neared the works, and
the men were struck down with fearful rapidity; but unwavering,
with wild cheers, the survivors reached the "fortifications," and
springing over them engaged the enemy in a hand-to-hand conflict.
The enemy, astonished and bewildered, quickly gave way and fled,
many of them toward the river, but by far the greater part to their
left, which was as yet unassailed, leaving in our hands 350 prisoners,
4 guns, and 1 stand of colors.

The works along the whole length of our line were now in our
possession. And now the enemy, strong in their rifle-pits farther to
their left, commenced a raking fire down the length of our line, which
proved very destructive, and, perceiving the weakness of our force,
advanced heavily upon our right, compelling that part of the line
to abandon the works; but disputing every foot of the ground, the
men fell back upon our center and left, which still retained possession
of the fortifications, and turning sharply upon the enemy kept
them at bay until the opportune arrival of the Fifth Wisconsin,
which came up upon the run, and with its usual impetuosity rushed
into the conflict. With the invaluable aid of this regiment, we were
quickly gaining ground when the arrival of the Forty-ninth and the
One hundred and nineteenth Pennsylvania Regiments, together with
the storming of the enemy's left by the Fifth Maine and the One
hundred and twenty-first New York Regiments, who carried those
works with a rush, decided the battle, the enemy being either
captured or driven across the river.

I would here mention that about 80 men belonging to the Fifth
Corps, under the command of Captain Morrill, of the Twentieth
Maine regiment, forming a skirmish line upon our left, rendered
valuable aid in carrying and holding the works. I would also beg
leave to mention here the following-named officers, to whose invaluable
efforts, after we had lost two-thirds of our line officers, the
obstinacy with which the fight was conducted is due, viz: Captains
Lincoln and Bassford, and Lieutenants Honey, Norris, Smith, and
Williams (the two latter, although severely wounded, rejoined their
companies next morning and reported for duty), and First Sergt. W.
H, Coan, Company H, who, after his officers had fallen, took
command of the company, and by his cool and determined conduct
helped much to the result. Captain Summers and Lieutenant Hobbs,
of Company A, forming the right support of the line, and Lieutenants
Hill and Pierce, of Company C, forming the left support, did
their duty well and nobly.

I regret to state that during the early part of the engagement,
Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, while gallantly leading on his men, fell
dangerously wounded, and the command devolved upon me. Adjutant
Clark was also severely wounded while in the works, bravely
doing his duty, but not before he had driven his sword into his
versary. Captains Furlong, killed; Burnham, Roberts, and Witherell,
wounded; and Lieutenants Wilkins and McKinley killed; Waite,
Pottle, Jacobs, Morton, Knowles, and Chamberlin, wounded, were
stricken down while gallantly leading on their men--doing their duty
as only such officers can.

Numerous instances of personal valor among the enlisted men of
the regiment have come to my knowledge, too numerous, indeed, to
mention in this hurried report, but I cannot refrain from asking your
attention to the following two instances of unexampled courage and
coolness: Sergt. Otis O. Roberts*, of Company H, with only 5 men,
rushed upon the color-bearer of the Eighth Louisiana Regiment,
who was in the midst of his color company, and after a hand-to-hand
conflict, in which the bayonet was freely used, succeeded in capturing
the colors, and compelling the whole company to surrender.
Privates Robinson Kitching, and Thomas W. Chick, of Company B,
and Private Lawrence O. Laughlin, of Company G, pursued the
enemy to the river, firing three shots after them, and ordered them
to surrender. Three commissioned officers and 175 men obeyed the
order, and the 3 men marched their prisoners safely to the rear.

After the engagement, the regiment was ordered to hold the right
redoubt of the enemy's works, near the railroad, until further orders,
which it did until the next day, when at 1 o'clock p. m. the brigade
crossed the Rappahannock, and taking a position went into camp.

The regiment lost in this terrible engagement 139 officers and men,
a full list of whose names and rank I respectfully submit.

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

GEORGE FULLER,
Major, Commanding Sixth Maine Volunteers.

Capt. C. H. HURD, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Source: Official Records
CHAP. XLI.] EXPEDITIONS TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK, VA. PAGE 598-48
[Series I. Vol. 29. Part I, Reports. Serial No. 48.]

James' mother, Eliza, filed for a pension June 30, 1880. The complete file at the National Archives would certainly help in your story.
ETR, yes I did know about James, but I had not uncovered the detailed report that you posted...that is quite the engagement....thanks for the info!

I have spent more time on Issac, since there is much more published information on him and the ship/boats he served on. Both have headstones/markers at a family cemetery in Maine which are also documented. The cemetery has provided a host of info on the whole family.
 
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Motor7

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Joined
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Messages
56
Issac Snow Bradbury dob- 08/11/1839 enlisted in the Navy 2 Feb 1863 was killed 4 Jan 1866 when his boat the USS Narcissus foundered in a hurricane near Tampa Bay and ran aground on Edgemont Key. When the cold January waters of the Gulf flooded the boiler, the steam engine blew up, killing all 26 crew members. Only one body was recovered, but Bradbury's personal papers washed ashore in Tampa bay and were found. The shipwreck is now a National Underwater Preserve:

http://museumsinthesea.com/narcissus/index.htm

Isaac served on the USS Cambridge from 1862-1865. The Cambridge was part of the North Atlantic Blockading squadron for 3 years and saw quite a bit of action. On 21 Sept, 1862 she picked up escaped slave William B Gould I off Cape Fear NC when Gould and 7 other escaped slaves rowed a boat 28 miles down the Cape Fear River out to sea. Gould immediately joined the Navy and served on the Cambridge for the remainder of the war. Gould wrote a detailed diary which is only one of three escaped slave diary's known to exist.

In researching James and Issac, I find references to their fathers and/or great grand fathers under identical names that also served dating back to the Revolutionary war. I still have much work to do on the family's history, but so far it is quite remarkable.

There are many oddities about this story, here is another one. A quote from this article:
http://www.tbo.com/pinellas-county/1860s-shipwreck-near-skyway-to-become-preserve-20140413/

"A Canadian couple discovered a photo of crewmen of the doomed USS Narcissus hidden in a yard-sale frame. On the back of the photo was a letter a crew member wrote to his family dated Dec. 10, 1865, less than a month before the ship sank."

Hmmmm, another "accidental discovery" of an important part of the history of the Bradbury family......?

And right there in the center of the photo seated is our man, Captain Issac Snow Bradbury. Chuckster, thanks for clearing up my "acting Ensign" confusion:thumbsup:

Issac%20Bradbury.jpg


There is something about this boat that wants it's story told. Tidbit's about her and her crew just keep popping up & something tells me there is more to this story. I'll keep you guys updated as I turn over new rocks.

A painting of the USS Narcissus:

USS%20Narcissus_1.jpg
 
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Motor7

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Messages
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I have to admit, I am struggling through some of the records since I am new to this and do not quite have a grasp of where to look and what to look for. For instance, the records here:

U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914
1798 May 17 - 1815
B

It's a list of "records of men enlisted prior to the peace establishment, May 17 1815" & I find several entry's for both a James T. and Issac S. Bradbury. These had to have been the fathers of my Civil war fighters if I am reading this right. And this confirms Issac:

Name: Isaac S. Bradbury
Age: 18
Birth Year: abt 1795
Birth Place: Pembroke, New Hampshire
Company Number: 33rd U.S. Infantry
Enlistment Date: 21 Jun 1813
Height: 5' 8"

Then I find a Issac S. Bradbury enlisted in WWI, and a James T. Bradbury Jr enlisted in the Navy for WWII. Both from the New England area so I am assuming they are all related. The puzzle just keep expanding, so how do you guys research all this without getting vertigo? :roflmao:
 

gary

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Messages
6,461
Great find and lucky you! Be sure to store it between acid free papers.

I bought a second hand book in San Francisco about Julis Lauterbach and inside was a folded paper with his signature! I learned that after WW I he had retired in San Francisco. Lauterbach was an officer aboard the SMS Emden, a famous light cruiser and raider from Graf von Spee's Asiatic Squadron.

The members of the International Naval Research Organization said the signature appeared authentic (it looked like theirs).
 

Motor7

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Joined
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Messages
56
Great find and lucky you! Be sure to store it between acid free papers.

I bought a second hand book in San Francisco about Julis Lauterbach and inside was a folded paper with his signature! I learned that after WW I he had retired in San Francisco. Lauterbach was an officer aboard the SMS Emden, a famous light cruiser and raider from Graf von Spee's Asiatic Squadron.

The members of the International Naval Research Organization said the signature appeared authentic (it looked like theirs).

I had never heard of Lauterbach...interesting fellow for sure. So just a piece of paper with his signature and nothing else?....really odd.
 
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gary

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I had never heard of Lauterbach...interesting fellow for sure. So just a piece of paper with his signature and nothing else?....really odd.
Pre-war merchant captain and a prize officer aboard the Emden. He was not aboard when the Emden was sunk and had a series of adventures getting back to Germany. This is Lauterbach:

220px-Kapit%C3%A4nleutnant_der_Reserve_Juluis_Lauterbach.jpg


The autograph was probably for a person who read the book. BTW, I had a neighbor who has a book with the Kaiser's autograph. Apparently the merchant sailor scuttled his ship in the Panama Canal and the Kaiser was appreciative of it. Said neighbor moved 60 miles away now.
 
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