Friday, April 29, 2011


Before I move on to Florilla Dunham Ellingwood's testimony, I wanted to share what
I've found about two of the witnesses Asa asked to have interviewed on his behalf.
The first is James Barrows. As I previously mentioned,  Asa Ellingwood's mother
was Rachel Barrows and after her death, he went to live with his Aunt Polly Barrows
and her husband Morton Curtis. Given that fact, I was fairly sure that witness James
Barrows was a relative.
On p.501 of The Hstory of Paris, Maine by Wiliam Berry Lapham, I found the

James Hooper Barrows, (son of Harvey) m. Mary P., dau. of Lewis Fuller. 
Settled in Paris in 1854. Has been largely engaged in the manufacture of chairs.

Unfortunately, Lapham didn't have much information on Harvey Barrows:

 Harvey Barrows was of Sumner, and passed his boyhood in the family of Elder 
James Hooper. He m. Hannah Beekler, whose grandfather was of German birth, 
and settled in Albany. Children:

Elizabeth, m. Sullivan Barrett, s. Sumner.
Hannah, m. Wm. Richardson, s. Greenwood.
Sabrina, d. at the age of 13.
James Hooper, b. Dec, 21, 1831, m. Mary P. Fuller.
George H., b. July, 1833, s. in Ohio.

However, I had a surprise waiting for me when I checked out the other witness,
Oliver Pratt. I found this on pages 700-701, You'll see why I used red for the
above entry on Harvey Barrows.


Phineas and Joshua Pratt came to Plymouth in the third Pilgrim ship, Ann. and

were among the forefathers at Plymouth, and probably ancestors of most of the 
name in the old colony.

Luther and Nathaniel Pratt were of Middleborough, Mass., and were early 

settlers in the west part of the town. The wife of Capt. Jairus Shaw was a sister,
as was also the mother of Governor Albion K. Parris of Hebron. Luther Pratt 
m. Udora Leonard. Children:
Betsey, m. Jacob Winslow.
Leonard, m. Sally Glbion.
Calvin, b. May 17, 1797, m. Deborah Barrows.
Polly, m. 1st, Solomon Knight, 2d, George Knight of Poland, and was murdered by 

her husband, who is serving out a life sentence in the State prison.
Martin, d. 1827.
Sally, b. 1801, m. __________ Ricker of Poland.
Eliza, b. Aug. 12, 1804, m. Nov. 4, 1825, Ansel Cushman of Hebron.
Nancy, b. 1806, m. Stephen Mitchell.
The father d. 1818. The mother d. 1818.

Nathaniel Pratt, brother of the preceding, m. Lucy Shaw, a sister of Gilbert Shaw,
and settled on the lot now the farm of Alhert Winslow. Children:

Abagail, m. David Andrews;
Cyrene, m. David Andrews, 2d wife;
 Lucy,. b. July 17, 1797, m. William Cumniings, s. Hamlin's Grant;
 Lydia, b. April 15,1801, m. 1st, Moses Cummings, 2d, Daniel Cummings.

Leonard, son of Luther Pratt, m. Sarah Gibson of Waterford. Children:

Mary Jane, m. 1st, Ether Deering, 2d; Robert Sklllings
Sarah, d. young.
The father d. about 1820. The widow m. Thomas Dunham of Hebron, and settled
in Turner.

Calvin Pratt, brother of the preceding, m. Deborah, dau. of Ansel Barrows. She
was b. in Granby, Vermont, Oct. 22, 1799. Ansel Barrows came to Paris and
lived in a log house near Elder Hooper's, and moved to Sumner. Children:

Oliver Leonard, b. May 2, 1820, m. Elizabeth Fuller of Woodstock.
Theodora Leonora, b. April 20, 1822, m. Richard H. Jordan of Bethel, and
died some years ago.
Hannah Elliot, b. March 31,1829, m. John C. Warren; she is also dead.
The father d. May 15, 1871. The aged mother still lives with her son at West Paris.

Now, Ansel Barrows was the uncle of both Rachel and Polly Barrows and so the
granduncle of Asa Ellingwood. I know that he had a son named Harvey, so it's
probable that James Barrows was his grandson.

In other words, both Oliver and James were Asa's cousins, and given that he'd
probably known them all his life, they would have known precisely what his
physical condition was like before and after his enlistment in the Union Army. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


A few comments on what we've seen so far from 2x great grandfather Asa
Ellingwood's testimony:

I am extremely fortunate to have a copy of  cousin Florence O'Connor's  book
The Ancestors and Descendants of Asa Freeman Ellingwood and Florilla
(Dunham) Ellingwood (West Paris, Me 1979)
to draw upon in my family research.
In her section on Asa himself, she writes of how Asa and his brother Oscar were
sent to live with their Aunt Polly Barrows Curtis and her husband Morton Curtis
after their mother had died. Three years later, on 25Jan 1835, Asa's father  John
Ellingwood Jr died as well, leaving Asa and his siblings orphans. This was why he
livd with the Curtises for 18 years.

 Although I haven't yet filled in the collateral Barrows cousins on my family tree
it is highly probable that the James Barrows Asa refers to in his testimony is
a cousin. And Crosby Curtis was the son of Morton Curtis and his first wife,
Dorcas Young.

I believe the man named Perry who Asa was helping during the retreat from
First Bull Run was a soldier named Albert Perry who served in CO.I 5th Me.
and died in Washington. D.C. on18Sep 1862. He was 19 years old.

So from Asa's testimony and the Ellingwood book, I've constructed the
following timeline for Asa for the years up to 1874. The information from
the testimony is italicized:

4Apr 1828  Born in Milan, Coos, N.H.

9May 1832  Rachel Barrows Ellingwood dies. Asa and brother Oscar sent to live with
their Aunt Polly Barrows Curtis and her husband Morton Curtis at Woodstock, Oxford, Me.

1846-The 18 year old Asa  returns to Milan, Coos, N.H. to work for his brother  J. H.
Ellingwood. (Jacob Ellingwood)

1848/1849-Asa returns to Woodstock, Oxford, Me.

22Aug 1850- Marries  Florilla Dunham in Woodstock, Oxford, Me.  

1853-Asa goes to  Paris, Oxford, Me. to work for Alfred Sterns.

1854- Asa works for 6 mos. at J. Jackson's grist mill

1855- Back to Woodstock, Oxford, Me. for a year

1856-Asa moves back to Snow Falls section of Paris, Oxford, Me. to work for Alfred

May 1861- Asa enlists in Co.I, 5th Me. at Portland, Me.

21Jul 1861- Asa suffers his injuries in the Union retreat from the First Battle of
Bull Run.

22Dec 1861- Asa is given a disability discharge and returns home.

1Jul 1863- Asa is counted on the Civil War  Draft Registration rolls at Dummer, Coos, N.H.

Dec 1864-Asa reenlists

1865- Asa is discharged and returns to Dummer, Coos, N.H. He remains there for six years,

1871- Asa moves to Errol, Coos, N.H.

1874-Asa moves to Upton, Oxford, Me.

Next, Florilla Dunham Ellingwood's testimony.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


This is the second part of my 2x great grandfather Asa Freeman Ellingwood's
testimony on behalf of his Civil War Disability Pension claim. There are some
parts that I wasn't able to make out and other words which are my best guesses
at  meaning, The latter are indicated by (?). Other that that the grammar and
punctuation are as they appear on the original document.

I will discuss what I learned from this testimony in my next post. 

Q: Where, when and how did you incur the two alleged ruptures.
A: While I was a member of Co.I  5th Me. at the first battle of Bull Run on the
21st of July 1861  I was helping a man by the name of Perry who died afterwards
off the field when the Col. Mark H. Dunnell who was riding by the side of us
swung his horse around and knocked me down with the man I was helping
on top of me. We were both knocked over. We were on the retreat from Bull
Run in the woods at the time and when I was knocked over I was knocked
over a log and it was at that time I was knocked down when I was ruptured
on both sides. The right side and the left side.

Q: Is this affidavit  I now show you dated and executed  Nov 12 th 1880 in
which you state that you received one rupture in 1861 and in in March of 1862
signed by you.
A: Yes sir it is

Q: How do you explain the discrepancy in prior(?) affidavit  and your statement
of today.
A:They misunderstood me when they made the affidavit for I never knew that
I had stated any such thing for I never got any rupture in 1862. They were both
(illegible) me in 1861 just after2 injuries by the horse.

Q: Were you sent to Hospital at the time you say you were knocked down and run
over Col Mark Dunnell's horse.
A: No sir I was not in the Hospital at any time. We had no Hospital at that time.

Q: How long after you were run over or knocked down was it before you felt or
knew you were ruptured.
A: I felt it the same day

Q: Who knew of your rupture at the time.
A:I don't know that anyone did only I told Dr Warren and he gave me some
medicine and I reported as sick and they put me onto light duty.

Q: Where was you when Dr Warren treated you for the rupture and disease
of the kidneys.
A: It was at Bush Hill Va. in July 1861'

Q: When and or where did you contract the alleged disease of kidneys.
A: At the first battle of Bull Run in July 1861. We were on a double quick march
on the 20th of July and we had just got to Fairfax and I was very sweaty and
tired and we had no blankets having (illegible) away on our retreat.

(There seems to be a page missing here as the next page starts with Asa
answering a question about him reenlisting.)

A: Yes sir I reenlisted in the V.I.R. C. in September, 1864 and stayed there for
about 16 months

Q: Who knew that you were ruptured when you came home in December 1861
A: My wife and I don't know of anyone else

Q: What was your duties while you were in the V.R. Corps
A :I was a cook

Q: Where did you live in Dec 1861 when you came home from the 5th Maine
A: I lived at Paris Maine

Q:  Who treated you when you came home in Dec 1861
A: Dr Russell who now lives at Fayette(?) Maine

Q: Where have you lived since you came out of the service in 1865
A: I lived in Dummer in N.H for some 6 years and Dr Meserve of Milan N.H.
then treated me. Then I moved across the lake to Erril N.H. where I lived some
three years.  Dr. Wily of Bethel treated me while I lived  at Erril. I then moved here
near Upton Hill where I have been ever since,

Q: Do you wish to act as your own attorney during this examination of your claim
or do you wish to appoint some attorney to act for you
A: I am poor and have not the money to (three illegible words) my self and cannot
afford to have anyone. Therefore I shall be obliged  to depend upon your honesty.

Q: Then you waive all rights to be present in person or to be represented by an
attorney during said examination of your claims
A: Yes Sir I do.

Q: Who do you wish me to see in behalf of your claims
A: I wish you to see Crosby Curtis of Woodstock Maine also his  wife. James
Barrows and Oliver Pratt of West Paris Me.and those who have testified in my
claim and Mr Bradford Denning at West Paris Maine.

Q: Have you any other testimony to offer in behalf of your claims other than that
which is already mentioned
A:  No Sir

There follow the signatures of two witnesses, C.L. Abbott and A. F. Abbott.
Then the signature of Asa F Ellingwood as deponent.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 3rd day of Apr 1884 and I 
certify that the contents were fully made known to deponent before signing.
F. E. Lawton Special Examiner.

Friday, April 22, 2011


This is the first part of 2x great grandfather Asa F. Ellingwood's pension
request affidavit. I was struck not so much by the content as I was by the
barely legible handwriting of whoever was taking the notes for Asa's hearing
and the lack ofg a question mark at the end of the questions!

That aside, there's a lot of information here about Asa's life and I'll discuss
that after I post the second half of Asa's testimony.

Florilla Dunham Ellingwood & Asa F.Ellingwood


For now, here's part 1:
On this 3rd day of April, 1884, at Upton, County of Oxford, State of Maine,
before me, F. E. Lawton, a Special Examiner of the Pension Office, personally
Asa F. Ellingwood, who says his age is 54 years P.O. address is
Upton, Maine, occupation is  Farmer.

Q: I want you to commence and tell me where you were born and where you
lived each and every year up to the time you enlisted in 1861.

A: I was b orn in Milan, N.H. and when four years old I went to live a man by the
name of Morton Austin at Woodstock, Me. where I lived until I was eighteen
years old.Then I went to Milan N.H. to work for my brother J.H. Ellingwood
where I worked for two years and six months.  Then I went back to Woodstock
Maine to live where I stayed for one year. Then I  went to work in Paris, Me. for
Alfred Sterns in 1853 where I worked for one year. Then I worked for  J.
Jackson for six months in the grist mill at Paris, Me. Then I went back to Woodstock
again for a year doing jobbing work. Then I went back to Paris or what is known as
Snows Falls  to work for Mr. Alfred Sterns where I remained until I enlisted in 1861,
Q: Who were your intimate friends when you worked at Mr.  Alfred Sterns at and
prior to to the time you enlisted.
A: Mr. Oliver Pratt of West Paris, Me.
     Mr. James barrows of West Paris, Me.
     Mr.  Benjamin Thurlow of Paris, Me.

Q: Do these above named persons know whether or not you were free from
any rupture when you enlisted.
A: Yes for they worked with me in the mill and we used to go in swimming
together very oftenjust prior to the time I enlisted.

Q: When, where,  and in what Co. did you enlist.
A:  I enlisted at Portland Co, I, 5th Me. in May 1861.

Q: Who examined you when you enlisted in Co. I 5th Maine
A:Surgeon Warren and he made us all strip our selves when he examined us.

Q: Who was your Doctor prior to your enlistment.
A: I never had any Dctors.

Q: For what do you claim a pension?
A: For two ruptures and disease of the kidney.
End of part 1.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I don't think there's anyone in America who isn't familiar with the Elvis
Presley recording of "Love Me Tender". But few people realize the
music is borrowed from a song popular during the Civil War, "Aura Lea"
(sometimes called "Aura Lee"). I don't recall when I first heard this or
where. Perhaps on one of Mom's "Sing Along With Mitch" albums,
although I seem to recall seeing a movie where soldiers were singing it
around a campfire. Anyway, here's the words to it:

When the blackbird in the spring, on the willow tree,
Sat and rocked, I heard him sing, singing Aura Lea
Aura Lea, Aura Lea, maid of golden hair;
Sunshine came along with thee, and swallows in the air. 


Aura Lea, Aura Lea, maid of golden hair;
Sunshine came along with thee, and swallows in the air. 

In thy blush the rose was born, music when you spake,
Through thine azure eye the morn, sparkling seemed to break.
Aura Lea, Aura Lea, bird of crimson wing,
Never song have sung to me, as in that sweet spring.


Aura Lea! The bird may flee, the willow's golden hair
Swing through winter fitfully, on the stormy air.
Yet if thy blue eyes I see, gloom will soon depart;
For to me, sweet Aura Lea is sunshine through the heart. 


When the mistletoe was green, midst the winter's snows,
Sunshine in thy face was seen, kissing lips of rose.
Aura Lea, Aura Lea, take my golden ring;
Love and light return with thee, and swallows with the spring. 
W.W. Fosdick(words)&Music by G.R. Poulton  


Tomorrow is the 235th anniversary of the Battles of Concord and
Lexington.and in commemoration of that event I'm once more
posting the names of my Revolutionary War ancestors.

The italicized names are those whose Pension Files I've found.
If any one reading this shares my descent from these men, I'll be
glad to share the files with you if you don't already have them.: 

Jonathan Barker Jr.
Was a Minuteman from Methuen Ma with the rank of Sergeant. He
was at Lexington and Concord with his sons Jonathan (see below)
and Samuel. Served in Captain Samuel Johnson's Company in
Colonel Titcomb's Regiment for 2 months in 1777 in Rhode Island
and then with Nathaniel Gage' Company in Colonel Jacob Gerrish's
guards from Dec 1777 until April 1778 guarding the captured
troops of General Burgoyne.

Jonathan Barker 3rd

Enlisted on 19 Apr 1775 in Continental Army, Capt. John Davis'
Company, Col. James Frye's Regiment, in the Massachusetts line
for 8 months in Cambridge, Ma. At the conclusion of the term, he
reenlisted for another 3 months in Capt John Allen's Company,
Colonel John Waldron's Regiment, General Sullivan's Brigade in
the New Hampshire Brigade at Charlestown, Ma. He then enlisted a
third time in June 1778 at Methuen, Ma., joining Captain Samuel
Carr's Company, Col. James Weston's Regiment, in General Lerned's
Brigade at White Plains, N.Y. and serving for another 9 months.

John Ames
Was a Minuteman under Capt. Asa Parker on April 19th, 1775. He
subsequently enlisted in the Continental Army under Captain Oliver
Parker, Col. William Prescott's Regiment and in the Brigade that
was commanded in turn by Generals Putnam, Lee, and Washington.
and served for 8 1/2 months.

Asa Barrows
 A member of the militia from Middleborough , Ma. (south of
Boston) in the Company of Captain Joshua Benson, in Colonel
Cotton's Regiment, and General William Heath's Brigade for
8 months during the siege of  Boston.  In December 1776 he
joined a militia Company  commanded by Captain Joshua
Perkins and marched to Barrington, R.I. and was stationed there
for 6 weeks. In July 1780 he again enlisted, this time in a militia
company commanded by Captain Perez Churchill that marched
to Tiverton, R.I.

Moses Coburn
 Moses Coburn got into the War late and by reason of being
"hired by a certain class of men in the then town of Dunstable
to go into the Continental Army in the summer of  1781." When
he reached Phillipsburgh in New York he was placed in Captain
Benjamin Pike's Company, in the Regiment of the Massachusetts
line commanded by Lt. Colonel Calvin Smith in which he served
for nearly two years until it was broken up. He then transferred to
the Company of Judah Alden in the Regiment commanded by
Colonel Sprouts until his discharge in 1783.

Samuel Haskell
Samuel served in Captain Joseph Elliott's Company in Colonel
William Turner's Regiment and then under Captain Hezekiah
Whitney in Colonel Josiah Whitney's Regiment.

Amos Hastings
Amos  responded to the Lexington Alarm as part of Captain
Richard Ayer's Company and Colonel William Johnson's Regiment.
He later served in Captain Timothy Eaton's Company in Colonel
Edward Wigglesworth's Regiment and was at the taking of  the
British General Burgoyne at Ticonderoga.

Elisha Houghton
Enlisted at Harvard Ma as a Private in May of 1777in the
Massachusetts militia and was at the Battles of Bunker Hill
and Stillwater. He then enlisted for three years in the infantry
company commanded by Captain  Joshua Brown in Colonel
Timothy Bigelow's 15th Regiment of the Massachusetts line.
and took part in the Battles of Monmouth and Newport and was
at Valley Forge. He twice was promoted to Sergeant and  twice
was busted down to the ranks.

Amos Upton
Responded to the Lexington Alarm and marched there from his
home in Reading. He later joined the militia company commanded
by Captain Asa Prince as an orderly sergeant and then enlisted
for eight months in the Continental Army under Colonel Mansfield
He was at the Battle of Bunker Hill and was discharged in October
of 1775.

John Griffith
Enlisted in 1781 as a Matross (he swabbed out the barrel of the
cannons after they fired, or so I've been told) in Captain William
Treadwell's Company  in Colonel John Crane's Artillery Regiment.

Reuben Packard
A Sergeant in Captain Josiah Hayden's Company in Colonel Bailey's
militia. They marched to Lexington at news of the Alarm. He also
responded several more times as a Minuteman for a total of nearly
8 months duty.

Jonathan Abbot
Served as a Sergeant in the Militia under Captain Henry Abbott
and responded to the Lexington Alarm

Besides those direct ancestors, these other relatives fought
in the Revolution:

Moses Barrows, brother to Asa Barrows.

Samuel, Jesse, and Benjamin Barker, sons of Jonathan Barker,
Jr. and brothers to Jonathan Barker 3rd.

James Swan, brother in law to Jonathan Barker 3rd.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Awhile back I discovered that the certificate of birth the hospital issued
at my birth wasn't actually a birth certificate, so I sent away to the City
of Boston for mine. It finally arrived today, and I learned a few things
I hadn't know before.

One was that it was 10 1/2 hours from the time my mother was admitted
to the Massachusetts Osteopathic Hospita at 12:12pm until I was born at
10:42 pm, The doctor who delivered me was Dr.John A.Chace. And my
parents were living at 277 Roxbury St in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston.

This last part, their residence, is of note. I'd always thought they were living on
Parker St with my mom's mother, Agnes (McFarland)White. So I looked
up the address on Google Maps street view and this is what I found :

View Larger Map

The building looked familiar:

It's where my Dad and Mom posed for their wedding picture!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Here's another Civil War poem in celebration of the Civil
War and National Poetry Month. This one is another I read
as a child (before I knew Whittier was a relative, btw). It also
was recited by Bullwinkle the Moose on the "Rocky & Bullwinkle
Show" of fond memory.

It's a great dramatic image: the ninety year old woman shaming 
Confederate General Stonewall Jackson for firing on the Union flag.
But it's far from the truth. You can find out what really happened
in this blogpost by Dave Tabler at Appalachian History. Cousin 
John really embellished history.

But then again, that's probably why they call it poetic license.

Barbara Frietchie
John Greenleaf Whittier

Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.

Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple and peach tree fruited deep,

Fair as the garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,

On that pleasant morn of early fall
When Lee marched over the mountain wall;

Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town.

Forty flags with their silver stars
Forty flag with their crimson bars,

Flapped in the morning wind; the sun
Of noon looked down, and saw not one.

Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten;

Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag the men hauled down;

In her attic window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet.

Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.

Under his slouched hat left and right
He glanced; the old flag met his sight.

"Halt!" - the dust-brown ranks stood fast.
"Fire!" - out blazed the rifle-blast.

It shivered the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash.

Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf.

She leaned far out on the window-sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.

"Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country's flag," she said.

A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;

The nobler nature within him stirred
To life at that woman's deed and word;

"Who touches a hair of yon gray head
Dies like a dog! March on!" he said.

All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet;

All day long that free flag tost
Over the heads of the rebel host.

Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well;

And through the hill-gaps sunset light
Shone over it with a warm good-night.

Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er,
And the Rebel rides on his raids no more.

Honor to her! and let a tear
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall's bier.

Over Barbara Frietchie's grave,
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!

Peace and order and beauty draw
Round thy symbol of light and law;

And ever the stars above look down
On thy stars below in Frederick town!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


For those of us keeping track of our Civil War ancestors during the war,
here's two helpful sites with the events of the War in a day by day format:

Today in  U.S. Civil War History at

This Day in the Civil War at Civil War Interactive & BlueGray Daily


Back on February 6th I came up with the idea of the Civil War Genealogy
Blog Challenge as a way to mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the
Civil War on 12Apr 1861:

Did you have ancestors in America on 12Apr 1861? If so, where were they
and what were their circumstances? How did the Civil War affect them and
their family? Did the men enlist and did they perish in battle or die of illness?
On which side did they fight, or did you have relatives fighting on BOTH sides?
How did the women left at home cope, or did any of them find ways to help
the war effort? Were your ancestors living as slaves on Southern plantations
and if so when were they freed?  Or were they freemen of color who enlisted
to fight?

If your ancestors had not emigrated to America as yet, what was their life
like around the time of the Civil War?

The 150 year celebration of the Civil War is a great source for those of us
blogging about our family history. So, let's do a little research over the coming
weeks between now and April 12th. Find out the answers to the questions
I asked and write about them. Or if you think of another topic to do with your
family history and the Civil War, write about that. Send me the link when you
publish it on your blog, and on April 12th I'll publish all the links here.

 Well, quite a few of you rose to the challenge and I now present to you the
results! So get comfortable with your drink of choice and get ready for 
some excellent reading!

Dorene at Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay was the first to respond to the
challenge with the story of The Civil War Service of Great Grandma Irene's
Grandfathers, Patrick Larkins and James Cross.

Angela Y. Walton Walton-Raji has an excellent entire blog devoted to telling
the African American Civil War story. It's called The USCT Chronicle and
it's great reading!

James Alexander Meek and Nathaniel C Callaway were Dee Burris’ direct
ancestors and she details their Civil War stories in two posts at her Shakin’ 
the Family Tree blog. Then she talks about how the War affected her various
family lines in Civil War Sesquicentennial Challenge.

Over at Nutfield Genealogy Heather Wilkinson Rojo tells the story of a distant
relation who was an officer in the Mass. 54th Regiment, the subject of the movie
Glory. Read her Captain Luis Emilio and a Brave Black Regiment to learn more!
Heather also shares a list of other Civil War era relations, some of whom she's
already blogged about, in The Civil War's 150th Anniversary.

The role of German immigrants in the Civil War was an important one. Roger
Moffat’s wife has a German immigrant ancestor who fought at the Battle of
Chancellorville and Roger shares his story in An Ancestor Honoured over at
Roger’s Ramblings.

Some medals in a box have prompted Cheryl at the Two Sides of the Ocean
geneablog to look into the mystery as to whether her own German immigrant
ancestors was a Civil War veteran. She begins her investigation in Civil War
Ancestor? A New Mystery!

Kevin Walker’s ancestor died in a tragic train wreck six weeks after enlisting.
In The Death of Henry Martin Walker, Sr (1829-1865)Kevin provides us with
eyewitness accounts at his blog, Who We Were, Are, & Will Be Our Family.

Kevin Harris is devoting a whole blog, An Indiana Soldier, to his great great
Grandfather Lewis Kinsey Harris’ Civil War experiences. He begins with
Who Was L.K. Harris? . Check it out!

Kathy Reed has written eight posts concerned with the Civil War at her blog
Family Matters. Two concern the death of her ancestor Britton Wainwright
(Part One & Part Two). Another deals with her relative Robert William Darby
who was a crew-member of an ironclad ship, and another discusses relative
Joseph Bickerdyke Darby . I look forward to reading more!

Janeen of They Came in Ships put together a list of her relatives who fought in
the War and you can see it at her post, Civil War Week . She certainly has plenty
of blog material there! opened their Civil War records up for free this past week and Frances
Elizabeth Schwab was excited with what she found out about two ancestors there.
She talks about it in Civil War Ancestors-One Young, One Old(ish) at her Fantastic
Electrisoil blog.

Many Civil War soldiers developed medical conditions that would persist throughout
their lives. Shelley Bishop’s 3x great grandfather was such a one and she tells us
about it in Newell King, 91st Ohio Volunteer Infantry at A Sense of Family.

“Across the Pond” in England Julie Goucher is exploring the possibility that a
relative of her husband emigrated to America and made a fortune as a
gunsmith during the Civil War. She describes the start of her research into
the story in The Civil War Genealogy Blog Challenge at Anglers Rest.

Greta Koehl sets out the list of those of her ancestors who fought in the War
and as she says, “it’s a big honking article” with a lot of interesting facts. It’s at
The Civil War and My Ancestors at Greta’s Genealogy Blog.

Leah of Leah’s Family Tree shows us how the Civil War divided families in her
post The Mason Family and The Civil War.

Susan of Nolichucky Roots has decided to go with a Civil War Saturday approach
which I like a lot. She gives an overview with Civil War Saturdays- the war brought

Linda McCauley’s 2xgreat grandfather John T, Bennett was a Confederate captured bythe Northern army . Linda gives a biography of him at John T.Bennett-41st Georgia
Infantry on Documenting the Details.

Jenny Lanctot’s cousin John W Crow likewise was a Confederate soldier
captured by Yankees after surviving many battles. H was not as fortunate as Linda’s
ancestor had been as you’ll read in Cpl. John W. Crow, 10th Alabama Infantry, 
Company A, 1841-1865 at Are My Roots Showing?

Jennifer Woods got the chance to visit some of the Civil War battlefields last year
and she has some great photos and documents on both her and her husband’s
ancestors who served in the War. You can real all about it at Our Ancestors in the 
Civil War on Climbing My Family Tree.

Over at Apple's Tree Apple goes through her list of cousins and relatives whose
lives were effected by the War and how she plans to explore their stories. The
post is called Civil War Stories.

Thomas L Davis was the great great grandfather of Debbie Blanton McCoy. He
enlisted in the Confederate army in 1862, and Debbie tells us of his brief military
career in Thomas L. Davis, Civil War Vet at her blog Blanton Family Roots &

What started out as possibly two or three posts by Carol A. Bowen Stevens on
the mystery surrounding the fate of her ancestor Alfred Darden turned into a
fascinating four parter over at Reflections From the Fence. Start reading it
with Alfred Darden, Civil War Soldier Mystery, His Family .

Jean Wilcox Hibben's 2x great grandfather Nathan W. Wilcox was a Union
soldier who helped rebuild Tennessee after the War. Jean tells us about his
life and about how her family replaced his missing headstone in Tombstone
Tuesday-17 August 2010-remembering a forgotten grave, Nathan W. Wilcox.
at her blog, Circlemending.

When Linda Hughes Hiser's Dad was a Civil War buff who taught a seminar
on the War at his retirement village. This prompted Linda to research his
ancestry. What she found and how she presented it to him makes a great
read over at the Flipside blogpost, The American Civil War Genealogy 
Challenge--Where Are My Paternal Bluecoats?

When Sara Byron Jeffers emailed me with a question about this challenge,
she mentioned that the ancestor she would write about was named Charles
Barker Todd from Massachusetts. It turns out Sara and I are distant cousins
through my own Barker line! Read how Sara plans to approach researching
and writing about Charles in The Civil War Genealogy Blog Challenge at
Musings & Meanderings ,

Peggy Ingles has an interesting post about her 2x great grandfather Hamilton
Ingles and the battles he took part in at Civil War Sesquicentennial on her
blog, Collecting dead relatives...and live cousins!

At My Tapley Tree...and its Branches you'll find Liz' Military Monday:
My Civil War Ancestors with lots of information and some great photos.
Barbara Poole contributes the story of the first men to die in the Civil War
during an incident in Baltimore, Maryland. Read The Minutemen of 1861--
First Soldiers to Die in Civil War Were from Lowell--Tombstone Tuesday
at Barbara's Life From The Roots blog.

At Hanging from the Family Tree Donna Hansen Peterson introduces us
to two brothers from Illinois who enlisted and fought. It's in her post Military
Monday-Civil War Soldiers-Fergusons of Willow Hill, IL.

Four of Dana Swier Huff's maternal 3xgreat grandfathers fought on the
Confederate side. She shares their record and some photos in The Civil
War in My Family at Our Family History

Debi Levy Austen likewise has a 3xgreat grandfather from Illinois and she
details what she knows about Emery Waller in Civil War Break at the
Who Knew? blog.

Laurie Pratt Sisk contributes information about her Civil War ancestors,
including a summary one of them wrote himself about his service. Take a
look at it over at Yankee Cousin's Adventures in Ancestry in her 
Civil War Sesquicentennial Blog Challenge: Kellogg and Towle.

At Susi's Chatty Performances on Genealogy, Susi Pentico
presents information about her ancestors Sanford Huffman/Hoffman
and Daniel Warden in Sanford Huffman/Hoffman and Daniel Warden
CW Veterans Mom's Family.

New geneablogger Sherry Kimbrough inaugurates her Searching in
Seattle blog with a post about her great grandfather, Civil War veteran
Alphonso D.L. Collins. It's entitled One of our Civil War ancestors. 

Canadian Jacqueline Foster has American ancestors and one of them,
John H Littrell, served in the Civil War. She talks about what she
knows and what she needs to search for in The American Civil War-
John H Littrell at her blog My Journey Back.

Tina at Generations Past introduces us to the story of her ancestor
H B Alverson of Texas who enlisted in the Confederate Army at the 
age of 44! You can read more in Civil War Ancestors- Alverson

 Lisa Swanson Elam has the story of the Botkin family from Ohio whose
six sons went off to fight in the War. Find out what happened to them
in Military Monday-Botkin Soldiers-Ohio at The Faces of My Family

Stephanie Goldberg's 3x greatgrandfather Henry B Jones was charged
with desertion and she details his fight to have his dishonorable discharge
reversed in her post One Battle, Two Sides to the Story at her blog

As for myself, I'm exploring the pension file of my 2x great grandfather
Asa Freeman Ellingwood, beginning with Asa Ellingwood's Pension File
Part1 here on West in New England

And finally, Karen Packard Rhodes tells us "the rest of the story" for two Civil
War ancestors who she previously blogged about in the post Bill West's Civil
War Genealogy Challenge at Karen About Genealogy. (P.S. It's also Karen's
birthday today, so Happy Birthday, Karen!!)

That concludes the Civil War Genealogy Challenge, but remember, we have
four years worth of history that can provide you with lots of information about
your ancestors that you can blog about and share with your fellow geneabloggers!

My thanks to all who have participated!

Friday, April 08, 2011


As a matter of fact, it has been since this Monday. I have been so wrapped
up in researching , transcribing and posting here on my blog that I've been
a bit behind on my blog reading and just now saw the COG was out. I plead
old age and other stuff like that as an excuse. Anyway, this edition focused
on cars and you should go right over to Jasia's Creative Gene and start reading
all the great posts folks have come up with about the cars in their family's

While you're at it, consider joining the fun and submitting a blog post for the
next Carnival. These are the details:

"Call for Submissions! The topic for the next edition of the COG will be:
Favorite Current Technology. What's your favorite technology of the
moment? Do you love your iPad? Do you find yourself spending a lot of 
time on the site of a newly discovered database? Do you have a handy 
new cell phone app you'd like to share with others? Are you learning a 
new piece of genealogy software? Got a new digital camera? Tell us 
all about your latest and greatest technology and how it benefits your 
genealogy research or the recording of your family history. The deadline 
for submission is May 1st. No limit on the number of submissions for
this edition.

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy 

using our carnival submission form. Please use a descriptive phrase in the
title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction 
to your articles in the "comment" box of the blog carnival submission form. 
This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest 
them in clicking on your link. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our
blog carnival index page."

Sounds like a good topic and I have a post in mind for it.!

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Because of the length of the document, the header is missing from this image.

 On March 27th, 1877, my 2x great grandfather submitted his request
for a disabilities pension based on injuries and medical conditions suffered
during his service in the Civil War. While they weren't caused by a gunshot
or a sword cut, they were just as serious in the lifelong effect they had on
Asa Ellingwood. Unfortunately, as you will see, he had to wage a long fight
over nearly fifty years to obtain his pension. I'll be exploring that struggle
in this series.

The following is a transcription of the initial pension request filing. Again, it's
a pre-printed  form and those parts are in boldface while the parts filled in
are in normal type/

Declaration for Original Invalid Pension
State of Maine County of Oxford, SS:
On the 13th day of March a.d. one thousand eight hundred and seventy
seven personally appeared before me Register of the Probate Court the 
same being a Court of Record of the County and State aforesaid
Asa F Ellingwood a resident of Erol county of Coos State of N.H.
who by me being duly sworn according to law, on his solemn oath,
deposes as follows, to wit:
I am the identical Asa F Ellingwood who was enrolled on the 14th
day of May 1861 in Company I of the 5th Regiment of Maine Vols.
commanded by Captain Clark S. Edwards and I was honorably discharged 
at Camp Franklin on the 23 day of December 1863 and my age is now 46  

While in the service aforesaid and in the line of duty, I received the 
following disability, to wit:
At the first battle of Bull Run, I became over heated and took cold that settled
on my kidneys which has since greatly disabled from manual labor. I was
also ruptured caused by the Colonel driving his horse over me. I have never
recovered from said rupture.

I was treated by Dr Warren at Bush Hill, July 1861. I claim a pension
on the above declaration. Afterwards a member of Co "A" 9th Veteran R Corps.

I have never been employed in the Military or  Naval Service of the 
United States otherwise than set forth above. Since leaving the 
Service, I have resided in Coos County, N.H. and my occupation has
been farming. I was of good sound physical health, being at enrollment 
a farmer and I am now partially disabled from obtaining my subsistence
by manual labor by reason of my disabilities above stated, received in 
the service of the United States, and I make this Declaration for
purpose of being places on the Invalid Pension Roll of the United States. 

I hereby appoint and empower,with full power of substitution Nathan W. 
Fitzgerald of Washington City, D.C.., my true and lawful attorney to 
prosecute my claim. My Post Office address is Upton County of Oxford  
State of Maine.
Asa F Ellingwood
Attest two witnesses: J. N. Dunham, S.S. Fanning
This Declaration MUST before some Clerk of a Court of Record. If 
acknowledged before a Notary or Justice, it will be worthless.

March 27th, 1877.


The 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War is five days away
on April 12th and on that day I plan to post the response to the challenge.
I'm going to need time to write intros and such so I'm announcing a deadline
for entries of midnight Sunday night, April 10th for entries.

I've already received some links but not as many as I'd hoped, so if you
haven't had time to research, I'll accept even a post on what you are PLANNING
to research: an ancestor, or some event they took part in tied to the war, or how
it affected them, their family, or the town they lived in, for example.

I've already seen some great posts and I'm hoping to see more!

Monday, April 04, 2011


On May 1st, 1861, barely three weeks after the firng on Fort Sumter,
my great great grandfather Asa Freeman Ellingwood enlisted in the
Union Army. Seven months later he was discharged for medical
reasons and returned home, only to reenlist later despite his injuries.
Like many of his fellow soldiers, Asa would eventually file for a pension
based on his physical problems brought on by his service to his country.
It wouldn't be an easy process for him and that struggle is reflected in
the amount of paperwork in his pension file.

I'm going to explore that process over the next few weeks as part of my
celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  I'll be transcribing
the text of his testimony and that of other witnesses and discuss what
I've learned from that information, not only as it pertains to his military
service but also other aspects of Asa's life.

I'll begin with the text of  Asa's discharge. Like most government
documents it is a preprinted form. In my transcription, the preprinted
text is in boldface:

Army of The United States
Certificate of Disability For Discharge

Private Asa F. Ellingwood Of Captain C. L.
Edwards Company I of the Maine Fifth Regiment of United States
Volunteers was enlisted by Benj. Freeman of
5th regiment of Maine at Bethel
the Ist day of May 1861, to serve three years; he was born
Milan in the state of New Hampshire is thirty-one
years of age, 5 feet 8 inches high, light complexion, blue eyes,
light hair and by occupation when enlisted was a mechanic During the
last two months said soldier has been unfit for duty  (blank)  days.

Station: Camp Franklin
Date: (left blank)
Clark S Edwards Commanding Company
I certify that I have carefully examined the said Asa F. Ellingwood of
Captain Edwards Company and find him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier
because of Nephritis/herniae/and rheumatism. He's been unable to do any duty for
five weeks.
 (illegible name) 5th Maine reg't Surgeon
Discharged this twenty third day of December  1861 at Camp Franklin, Va
N. I. Jackson, Col. Commanding the Regt

Sunday, April 03, 2011


So we're a little more than a week away from the 150th anniversary of
the firing on Ft. Sumter and the start of the American Civil War on April
12th. That means time is running out to take part in the Civil War Genealogy
Blog Challenge. Here again is what the Challenge is about: 

Did you have ancestors in America on 12Apr 1861? If so, where were they
and what were their circumstances? How did the Civil War affect them and
their family? Did the men enlist and did they perish in battle or die of illness?
On which side did they fight, or did you have relatives fighting on BOTH sides?
How did the women left at home cope, or did any of them find ways to help
the war effort? Were your ancestors living as slaves on Southern plantations
and if so when were they freed?  Or were they freemen of color who enlisted
to fight?

If your ancestors had not emigrated to America as yet, what was their life
like around the time of the Civil War?

The 150 year celebration of the Civil War is a great source for those of us
blogging about our family history. So, let's do a little research over the coming
weeks between now and April 12th. Find out the answers to the questions
I asked and write about them. Or if you think of another topic to do with your
family history and the Civil War, write about that. Send me the link when you
publish it on your blog, and on April 12th I'll publish all the links here.

I'm looking forward to seeing some great posts!

Saturday, April 02, 2011


Not only are we coming up on the 150th anniversary of the start of the
Civil War, we are also celebrating National Poetry Month. It just so
happens there were many poems written about the War, so I plan to
celebrate both at once by sharing some of my favorites here on my

First up is "Sheridan's Ride" a poem that captured my imagination when
I was a kid.. I've always been a fan of "story poems" and this is one
heck of a story. General Philip Sheridan was twenty miles away when the
Battle of Cedar Creek began on 19Oct 1864 but made the ride back from
the town of Winchester in time to defeat the Rebel army under Gen. Jubal
Early. Historians have argued over the facts of the incident but one fact
is certain: Phil Sheridan made that ride and saved the day for the Union.

Sheridan's Ride
    by Thomas Buchanan Read

Up from the South, at break of day,
Bringing to Winchester fresh dismay,
The affrighted air with a shudder bore,
Like a herald in haste to the chieftain's door,
The terrible grumble, and rumble, and roar,
Telling the battle was on once more,
And Sheridan twenty miles away.

And wider still those billows of war
Thundered along the horizon's bar;
And louder yet into Winchester rolled
The roar of that red sea uncontrolled,
Making the blood of the listener cold,
As he thought of the stake in that fiery fray,
With Sheridan twenty miles away.

But there is a road from Winchester town,
A good, broad highway leading down:
And there, through the flush of the morning light,
A steed as black as the steeds of night
Was seen to pass, as with eagle flight;
As if he knew the terrible need,
He stretched away with his utmost speed.
Hills rose and fell, but his heart was gay,
With Sheridan fifteen miles away.

Still sprang from those swift hoofs, thundering south,
The dust like smoke from the cannon's mouth,
Or the trail of a comet, sweeping faster and faster,
Foreboding to traitors the doom of disaster.
The heart of the steed and the heart of the master
Were beating like prisoners assaulting their walls,
Impatient to be where the battle-field calls;
Every nerve of the charger was strained to full play,
With Sheridan only ten miles away.

Under his spurning feet, the road
Like an arrowy Alpine river flowed,
And the landscape sped away behind
Like an ocean flying before the wind;
And the steed, like a barque fed with furnace ire,
Swept on, with his wild eye full of fire;
But, lo! he is nearing his heart's desire;
He is snuffing the smoke of the roaring fray,
With Sheridan only five miles away.

The first that the general saw were the groups
Of stragglers, and then the retreating troops;
What was to be done? what to do?—a glance told him both.
Then striking his spurs with a terrible oath,
He dashed down the line, 'mid a storm of huzzas,
And the wave of retreat checked its course there, because
The sight of the master compelled it to pause.
With foam and with dust the black charger was gray;
By the flash of his eye, and his red nostril's play,
He seemed to the whole great army to say:
"I have brought you Sheridan all the way
From Winchester down to save the day."

Hurrah! hurrah for Sheridan!
Hurrah! hurrah for horse and man!
And when their statues are placed on high
Under the dome of the Union sky,
The American soldier's Temple of Fame,
There, with the glorious general's name,
Be it said, in letters both bold and bright:
"Here is the steed that saved the day
By carrying Sheridan into the fight,
From Winchester—twenty miles away!"   

To read more about Sheridan, the horse Rienzi, and
the significance the battle had for President Lincoln,
read the article about it at the Smithsonian Magazine.