Notes on An Ohio Man’s Experience in the Rebel Army

1 05 2009

First, thanks to Jon-Erik Gilot for sending this article to me.  Good readers make good blogs.  This is the kind of thing I was hoping for when I started this project.

Thanks also to two authorities on Louisiana troops who gave me valuable input.  Gary Schreckengost is the author of this book on the First Special LA Battalion, and Art Bergeron of the U. S. Army Heritage & Education Centerstill commonly referred to as USAMHI, is the author or editor of several books on Louisiana in the Civil War.

Gary provided the following:

All three men [Johnson, Vance & Hutchinson] are listed as being in Wheat’s original company, the Old Dominion Guards, which was the battalion’s first Company E and second Company D after the Guerrillas left. I believe your article is accurate. I’ve listed what’s in the combined service records. Below is what’s in the records [what Gary sent summarizes the info provided by Art] and what’s cool about this is [the article] gives us actual examples of names of the poor suckers who were shanghaied. The uniform, of course, was of his company and not the entire battalion as each company varied to a degree. The OD Guards most matched the other guards—the Walker Guards, Company A.

Art sent in a little more detail from the microfilmed Compiled Service Records in the National Archives, Microcopy No. 320.

Johnson, Aug., Pvt. New Co. D, 1st Special Battn. (Wheat’s) La. Inf. Roll for June 1 to June 30, 1861 (only Roll on file), states Present. Appears on a List of killed, wounded and missing, in the battle of Manassas, Va., July 21, 1861, dated August 29, 1861, “Wounded. Supposed to be dead, but cant be found.” M320, Roll 101

Vance, David, Pvt. New Co. D, 1st Special Battn. (Wheat’s) La. Inf. En. Camp Moore, La., Aug. 9, 1861. Present on Roll to June 30, 1861. Roll to Oct. 30, 1861, Present or absent not stated. Appears on a List of killed, wounded and missing in the battle of Manassas, Va., July 21, 1861, dated August 29, 1861, “Wounded in knee.” Roll Nov. and Dec., 1861, Absent, detached near Manassas. On Hospital Muster Roll of Hospitals at Camp Pickens, Manassas, Va., to Oct. 31, 1861, attached to hospital Oct. 1, cook, present. On Hospital Muster Roll of Hospitals at Camp Pickens, Manassas, Va., for Nov. and Dec. 1861, attached to hospital Oct. 1, cook, transferred to Moore Hospital Dec. 15, 1861. On Hospital Muster Roll of Moore Hospital, Manassas Junction, Va., for Nov. 1, 1861 to Feb. 28, 1862, attached to hospital Oct. 1, nurse, present. On Hospital Muster Roll of General Hospital, Danville, Va., for March and April 1862, attached to hospital Oct. 1, nurse, present. On Hospital Muster Roll of General Hospital, Danville, Va., for May and June 1862, attached to hospital Oct. 1, nurse, present. On a Receipt Roll for clothing, 1st Div. Gen. Hosp., Danville, Va., for 4th Qtr 1863, dates of issue Nov. 9, 21, Dec. 7. M320, Roll 101

Hutchinson, James H., Pvt. New Co. D, 1st Special Battn. (Wheat’s) La. Inf. En. June 9, 1861, Camp Moore, La. Rolls from June to Dec., 1861, Present. Appears on a List of killed, wounded and missing in the battle of Manassas, Va., July 21, 1861, dated Aug. 29, 1861, “Wounded severely in face.” On a Register of C. S. A. General Hospital, Charlottesville, Va., “wounded in face,”admitted July 22, 1861; returned to duty Aug. 31, 1861. On Register of Payments on Descriptive Lists, from Feb. 28 to May 31, 1862, paid June 30, $30.50. On Register of Payments to Discharged Soldiers, discharged Apr. 29, 1863; paid Apr. 29, 1863.

Hutchinson’s discharge payment certificate shows the following: James H. Hutchinson, Private, Captain O. P. Miller’s Co. D, Wheat’s Battalion Louisiana Volunteers. Born in Salem Co., N. J.; aged 23; 5 feet 8 inches high; light complexion; dark eyes; brown hair; occupation, boatman. Enlisted by Capt. Miller at New Orleans on April 25, 1861, for the war. Battalion disbanded by the Secretary of War August 15, 1863. Hutchinson was last paid to include May 30, 1862. Has pay due him from that date to August 15, 1862. Due him $50.00 bounty and $25.00 clothing. Given to him at Richmond on April 29, 1863. Signed by Major R. A. Harris. Paid $27.50 for two months and 15 days; travel from Richmond to New Orleans, $3.00; bounty, $50.00; clothing, $25.00; balance paid $105.50. Received from Major John Ambler (?) at Richmond on April 29, 1863. Hutchinson made his mark.  M320, Roll 100.

Art’s not convinced of the impressment claim in the article.  Personally, I’m going to need more convincing too.  Anyone?

Art also sent me another article of an incident of the battle, an encounter between brothers who fought on opposite sides.  I’ll have that for you in the near future.

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7 responses

1 05 2009
cenantua

On the matter of impressment, has anyone scoured the rest of the rolls to see if more Northern men were “rounded-up?” Considering Vance and Hutchinson returned to service, I can see why there is a question about impressment. I wonder what their status was after 1863, since the history of service ends for both in that year.

1 05 2009
Excellent posts over at Bull Runnings « Cenantua’s Blog

[...] looks like, with the help of a reader, Harry has some interesting posts (here, here, and here) about Northerners in Wheat’s La. Bttn. The matter of the men being impressed for service is [...]

1 05 2009
JE

Harry,

I searched the 1860 census for Jefferson County for Aug Johnson (he was supposedly from Steubenville) but can’t find him in Steubenville or anywhere in the county. I searched for him (under both Johnson and Johnston) in the surrounding counties of Belmont, Harrison and Carroll as well as Brooke (West) Virginia and didn’t find anything. It would be interesting to try and find this story in the paper it was originally reported in, the Washington Star, I believe. Perhaps the Chronicle put him from Steubenville to give the story some local flavor?

1 05 2009
Civil War Odds & Ends: May 1, 2009 | TOCWOC - A Civil War Blog

[...] has an interesting story up of Southern impressment of Northern soldiers early in the war.  Notes on the article are also [...]

1 05 2009
cenantua

I just took a quick look at a few file cards for Co. D and it seems that a number of men in the company were Northerners.

4 05 2009
Harry Smeltzer

Hmmm…I wonder what, if anything, we can infer from that?

14 05 2010

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