Saturday, 1865 May 13, City Point, Virginia: “. . . having served Honestly and Faithfully with his Company to the present date . . .”

[Five hundred days after his enlistment and a month after the surrender of Lee’s army, an African-American soldier receives a certificate of disability and discharge from the Union Army.]

I certify, on honor, that Moses White, a Private of Captain Cunningham’s Company (A) of the 38th Regiment of U. S. Colored Troops Volunteers of the State of, born in Hertford County, State of North Carolina, aged 20 years; 5 feet 3 inches high; Dark complexion, Dark eyes, Dark hair, and by occupation a Farmer, who joined for service and was enrolled (see Note 9) on the 6th day of January, 1864, at Norfolk, Va., by D. E. Clapp [Lieutenant Colonel Dexter E. Clapp], for the period of Three years, and mustered into the service of the United States on the 23rd day of January, 1864, at Norfolk, Va., by Captain Gould; and having served HONESTLY and FAITHFULLY with his Company to the present date, is now entitled to a DISCHARGE by reason of Disability.
The said Moses White was last paid by Paymaster Howell, to include the 31st day of December, 1864, and has pay due him from that time to the present date; he is entitled to pay and subsistence for Traveling to place of enrollment, and whatever other allowances are authorized to volunteer soldiers, drafted men, or militia, so discharged. He was received from the United States Clothing amounting to Fifty nine [dollars and 43 cents], since the 6th day of January 1864, when his clothing account  was never last settled. He has received from the United States__________ dollars advanced BOUNTY.
There is to be stopped from him, on account of the State of _________, or other authorities, for CLOTHING, &c., received on entering services, __________ dollars; and for other stoppages, viz; __________ dollars.
He has been furnished with TRANSPORTATION in kind from the place of his discharge to _________: and he has been SUBSISTED for TRAVELING to his place of enrollment, up to the __________, 186__.
He is indebted to ________, sutler, Five dollars.
He is indebted to ________, laundress, ___ dollars.
Given in Duplicate, at City Point, Va., this 13th day of May, 1865.
G. N. W. Cunningham [signature]
Commanding Company

[Editor: North Carolina farmer Moses White (ca. 1845-?) married, raised a family and worked as a fisherman and farmer in Princess Anne County [the city of Virginia Beach since 1963], Virginia, until the 1930s, becoming an octogenarian. The nature of his disability was not recorded. A separate document indicates White’s regular monthly pay as $16.00; for his final pay period of 1 January-13 March 1865 (four months and twelve days) he earned $70.40; to this was initially added $56.81 “for clothing not drawn” for a total of $127.21; from this amount $5.00 was deducted for money owned a sutler [civilian vendors who traveled by wagon with and sold eatables and luxuries to soldiers the field or in camp as supplements to their military rations] and $59.43 for “clothing withdrawn” resulting in a balance of $62.78. He signed his final pay voucher for this amount with his ‘X’ mark on May 16, 1865, three days after receiving his disability discharge certificate.
The 38th United States Colored Infantry (United States Colored Troops) was organized in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, and Tidewater, Virginia, during January 1864; four percent of its 1,307 men enlisted in Union-occupied Norfolk. Initially assigned to Norfolk and Portsmouth, the regiment participated in the 1864-65 Petersburg Siege and the April 1865 occupation of Richmond; at the time of White’s discharge it had been assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, XXV Corps since December; a week after White’s discharge the regiment was transferred Texas where in January 1867, after three years of existence, it was among the last African-American regiments mustered out of federal service. Three members of the 38th regiment, Private William Henry Barnes (c. 1840 or 1845-1866), Sergeant James H. Harris (1828–1898) and First Sergeant Edward Ratcliff (1835 –1915), became Medal of Honor recipients in April 1865 and February 1874 (Harris) for gallantry at Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Virginia (September 1864).
Captain G. N. W. Cunningham was a member of the 13th Massachusetts Infantry, the 37th United States Colored Infantry (first lieutenant), and mustered out of the 38th USCI on October 17, 1866.
“Note 9” (included on reverse of this certificate in section “Final Statement of Regiment of Volunteers”): “If the soldier is a drafted man or substitute, the space for time, &c., of enrolled, should contain only the word drafted or substitute, as the case may be. If the Soldier is a “VETERAN,” (or RECRUIT), the words as a veteran, (or recruit,) as the case may be, should be interlined after the words mustered into the service of the U. S. A. A statement of all the instruments of Veteran or Recruit Bounty RECEIVED by the Soldier must be made up on the back of each final statement.”
Lieutenant Colonel Dexter Elisha Clapp (1830-1882), a native of North Bergen, Genesee County, New York, and a captain of Company C, 148th New York Infantry from September 1862 until promoted to a lieutenant colonelcy in the 38th USCI in March 1864; he resigned March 13, 1865 and later received the rank of brevet brigadier general, United States Volunteers, January 15, 1866 “for gallant and meritorious service.” Black newspaper reporter Thomas Morris Chester (1834-1892) of the Philadelphia Press characterized Clapp’s personal bravery during the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm as inspirational to the 38th USCI during the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm (New Market Heights). But according to historian Joseph T. Glatthaar’s Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers (1990), Clapp’s abuse of his black troops, fellow officers and command authority caused a buildup of discontent and discipline problems in the 38th USCI resulting in courts-martial for himself and at least two lieutenants. Other postwar records suggest Clapp was apparently acquitted because on April 5, 1865, by appointment of Richmond, Virginia’s Union military governor he became a member of a commission constituted for the relief of destitute city families. He further redeemed himself in an October 1865 report on the release of wrongly incarcerated African-Americans in North Carolina. Clapp served as U. S. Consul in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1871-1873; he died in 1882 and is buried at the Yates Center Cemetery, Woodson County, Kansas.
“Captain Gould” is unidentified; several white officers of that surname were assigned to various regiments of United States Colored Troops during the war. “Paymaster Howell” has not been identified.]

MSS 11505

Wednesday, 1865 April 19, [Greensboro, North Carolina]: “Total Present—not Effective.”

Wednesday, 1865 April 19, [Greensboro, North Carolina]: “Total Present—not Effective.”

[Ten days after the surrender of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, Virginia, a Confederate staff officer prepared a list of 20,640 “not-effective” men from eleven former Confederate states.]

Greensboro No. Ca. [North Carolina] C. S. A. [Confederate States Army]
April 19th 1865

Virginia             Richmond                 289 men
North Carolina  Raleigh                  2,645
Tennessee        Nashville               1,312
South Carolina Spartansburg        4,335
Georgia            Macon                   5,626
Florida             Tallahassee              351
Alabama          Montgomery          2,578
Mississippi       Macon                   2,137
Louisiana        Baton Rouge            104
Arkansas        Little Rock                 741
Texas             Austin                        527
Total [Present]                            20,640
J. M. W. [John Marshall Warwick] Otey [signed]
AAG [Assistant Adjutant General]

[Editor: Lynchburg, Virginia native John Marshall Otey (1839-1883) was a staff officer under  Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (1818-1893) with the rank of captain and assistant adjutant general, April-November 1862 and October 1864; he held the same under General Braxton Bragg (1817-1876) in 1862. By June 1864 Otey held the rank of lieutenant colonel; according to the National Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database his final rank was that of lieutenant colonel and assistant adjutant general. He was paroled on April 26, 1865 (with the Army of Tennessee) and worked as a broker and insurance agent during the postwar era. Otey is buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia. “Not Effective” [Noneffectives] were soldiers unable to take up their military duties due to a variety of reasons (medical leave, desertion, missing in action, etc.) The cities and towns are written in pencil. Their significance—and the purpose of this list–is unknown—perhaps these were soldiers awaiting official paroles? Possibly Otey prepared it for General Joseph E. Johnston (1807-1891) as part of his April 17-18 and 26, 1865 negotiations with Union General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) resulting in the surrender of Johnston’s Army of Tennessee and Confederate forces in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida—nearly 90,000 soldiers.]

MSS 3272-D

Monday, 1865 March 27, Tallahassee, Florida: “This will be carried to your outpost . . . under Flag of truce.”

[A Confederate general proposes an exchange of paroled Union prisoners of war in Florida and Georgia]

[Headquarters Military District of Florida]
Tallahassee, March 27, 1865
This will be carried to your outpost
by Capt. John C. Rutherford C. S. A.
under Flag of truce. He is the bearer
of a letter from Brig. Genl. Pillow[,] Commissary
[General] of prisoners C. S. A. addressed to
the officer Commanding Federal forces
Jacksonville and Capt. Rutherford is
also charged with the duty of paroling
and sending within the lines occupied
by the U. S. troops for exchange, the prisoners
of war held by the C. S. and now
confined within certain states, Georgia
and Florida among others. This exchange
is in accordance with terms agreed
on between Lt. Gen. Grant Commanding
Armies of the United States, and the
proper authorities of the [Confederate] States.
Under existing circumstances the
prisoners in Georgia and this place

[page 2]
can be delivered more conveniently and
comfortably to themselves at Jacksonville
than Mobile. [Alabama]
If you will receive the prisoners
and receipt for them as paroled prisoners
for Exchange, I will do all in my
power to send them without delay to
I am very respectfully
Your [obedient servant]
[Samuel] Jones
Major General
Brig. Genl. E. P. Scammon
Commanding 4th [Separate] Brigade
Jacksonville Fla. [Florida]

[reverse endorsements]
Headquarters Military District of Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
March 27, 1865
Jones, Sam.
Major General
L. R. B. 23 JDF Vol.2
Transmits a letter
From Brig. Genl. Pillow
Commissary General Prisoners
C. S. A., proposing to
deliver prisoners at
Jacksonville for
States that if the
prisoners will be
received, he will
do all in his power
to send them to
Jacksonville without

Stamped postmark “Received Hd, Qts. March 29, 1865.”

[Editor: Three days after Lee’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, this prisoner exchange remained uncompleted though preliminary arrangements had been made between Scammon and Rutherford for an exchange to have taken place at Jacksonville pending General Grant’s approval. Mobile, Alabama, was occupied by Union troops on April 12, 1865. Confederate Captain John C. Rutherford, assistant adjutant general to Major General Howell Cobb (1815-1868) since January 10, 1863; he began his wartime service as a sergeant in Cobb’s Legion, organized 1861 by then-Colonel Thomas Reade Roots Cobb (1823-1862), brother of Howell Cobb, and composed of cavalry, infantry, and artillery. Brigadier General Gideon J. Pillow (1806-1878), commissary general of prisoners of war held by the Confederacy, February 1863. Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), general-in-chief of the armies of the United States since March 1864. Major General Samuel Jones (1819-1887), commander of the Confederate Department of South Georgia and Florida; paroled May 1865 after surrendering himself and the Department of Florida and South Georgia’s troops on May 10, 1865 at Tallahassee. Union Brigadier General Eliakim Parker Scammon (1816-1894), a West Point graduate (1837) and later a prisoner of war (February-August 1864), commanded the District of Florida at Jacksonville until war’s end. The Fourth Separate Brigade, assigned to Scammon’s District of Florida command as of a November 30, 1864 reorganization of Union troops in the Department of the South, consisted of eight regiments (17th Connecticut; 75th and 107th Ohio; 3d, 34th, and 35th U. S. Colored Troops; 4th Massachusetts Cavalry, and 3d New York Light Artillery, Battery F).]

MSS 3070-H

Tuesday, 1865 February 14, Petersburg, Virginia: Two Valentines from the Petersburg Front

[Valentine letters and poems to Virginia sisters Barbara and Rebecca Hedrick from an anonymous Confederate soldier in Army of Northern Virginia.]

Letter 1 of 2: “My mind is to marry and never to part . . .”

Camp near Petersburg, Va.
Feb. the 14th 1865
Miss Barbara this will inform
you that I am still in the land
with the living and doing well
hoping you are blest with all the
comforts needful to make you happy.
I have no news to interest you with.
I will send you a present to
let you know I am ever mindful
of you believing you are the
same to me. [As] it is raining and
cold I will desist for the present
leaving my name blank for you to
guess for. So no more at present but
remain as ever yours till death. good
bye till I see you.

Oh Barbara, Oh Barbara would you think it unkind
For me to address you and tell you my mind
My mind is to marry and never to part
The first time I saw you, you wounded my heart.

Letter 2 of 2: “When this you see remember me . . .”

Camp near Petersburg, Va.
Feb. the 14th 1865
Miss Rebecca this will inform
you that I am well and as gay
as a lark hoping you may get
this in due time and it may
find you quite lively. I have
nothing in the way of news to
interest you with. I merely write to
you and Send you this present
as a token of mutual friendship
hoping that such exists between
us and that you will keep it
until I come and then I will
tell you all about it for a
puzzle. I will leave my name
blank and see if you will
have it guessed by the time I get
there. I remain as ever yours

When this you see remember me
Though many miles apart we be
For I will ever think of you
And hope our days apart are few.

[Editor: The reverse of both letters have nearly identical hand-colored drawings of pairs of turtle doves, intertwined hearts, and vases of flowers; in Barbara’s letter “Army of Northern Virginia” is surrounded by flowers. The Hedrick family lived on a farm near Cross Keys, Rockingham County, Virginia; according to the 1860 U. S. Census it included Barbara A., age 19, and Sarah R. [Rebecca?], age 15; fifteen years after the war (1880) both were still unmarried and living with their parents in Rockingham County. Apparently the soldier did not marry either Hedrick sister; perhaps he did not survive the war.]

MSS 38-665

Sunday, 1865 January 22, [Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana]: “I . . . ask a leave of absence . . . to visit my home in Guadalupe County Texas, distant about 550 miles.”

[A Texas cavalry colonel stationed in Confederate Louisiana requests a leave of absence.]

Head Quarters, 1st Texas Cavalry, Natchitoches Parish,
Louisiana, January 22, 1865

Lt. Col. John N. Gallaher
Assistant Adjutant General, District [of] West Louisiana

Having been in the service for nearly four years—during which time I have never been absent from my post except when sick—my business at home requires my attention. I therefore respectfully ask a leave of absence for 60 days to visit my home in Guadalupe County Texas, distant about 550 miles. Col. Lykens [James B. Likens/Liken] is now on duty in command of the Brigade. Col. [Alexander Watkins] Terrell’s  leave expires on the 28th instant. [Editor: The term “instant” is an adjective for ‘of the current month.’] Lt. Col. [Robert A.] Myers is present for duty with the Regiment. Major [Edward] Beaumont’s leave expires on the 26th instant (though he may be absent beyond that time on account of his wound). A more favorable
time for my absence will probably not offer soon, I therefore trust that this application will meet with your approval, and should the spring campaign open before the expiration of my leave I shall return promptly to my command.
I wish also to lend my assistance to Lieut. D___(?) [Andrew Daley?] in returning
absentees to the Regiment.
I have the honor to be very respectfully
Your [Obedient Servant]
William O. Yager
Colonel, Commanding Regiment

[Editor: Yager’s request was later approved by District of West Louisiana commander Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner (1823-1914) during February 1865—but only for a thirty-day leave of absence. Later that same month Brigadier General Arthur Pendleton Bagby Jr. (1833-1921) “earnestly requested” Buckner extend Yager’s leave to sixty days, praising him as “an officer of distinguished merit.” The request was also endorsed by brigadier generals Joseph Lancaster Brent (1826-1905) and Allen Thomas (1830-1907); Terrell, Bagby and Brent were assigned to duty as general officers (subsequently, in Bagby’s case, to that of major general) by appointment of General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department though their ranks were never confirmed by the Confederate Senate.
William Overall Yager (April 3, 1833-January 20, 1904) was born in Luray, Page County, Virginia. After tutoring at home, he graduated from Virginia Military Institute (1852), ranked 5th out of a class of 56, and studied law at the University of Virginia (1852-1854), earning a certificate of distinction for attaining the first division in the junior class of the University’s law school; during the 1850s-1860s Yager went west for his health and practiced law and served as a probate judge, notary public, militia colonel, federal postmaster and county surveyor in Kansas and Texas. Prior to taking command of the 1st Texas Cavalry (pursuant to an October 9, 1863 special order), he served as a lieutenant and acting assistant adjutant general on the staff of Brigadier General Ben McCulloch (1811-1862) in December 1861 and as a lieutenant colonel and acting assistant adjutant general on the staff of General Hamilton P. Bee (1822-1897) during January 1863. He was promoted to full colonel in April 1864 and paroled at San Antonio, Texas, on September 2, 1865. After the war Yager was a lawyer, banker, manufacturer and represented Page County in the Virginia General Assembly’s House of Delegates 1875-1875 and 1879-1880. He was the county’s superintendent of schools during the 1880s. Yager died in 1904 and was buried at the Yager Cemetery in Luray, Page County, Virginia. A decade after his death, at the request of his widow Mary E. Rhodes Yager (1842-1932), the U. S. War Department provided her a summary of his Confederate military service.
The 1st Texas Cavalry was also designated “Colonel Augustus Buchel’s [and later], Lieutenant Colonel William O. Yager’s 1st Mounted Rifles,” “1st Regiment, Texas Cavalry (Yager’s) (1st Mounted Rifles)” and “First Texas Cavalry Regiment.” John N. Gallaher was assigned to the staff of General Buckner during February 1862. The District of West Louisiana was part of the Confederacy’s Trans-Mississippi Department (May 1862-May 1865) which included Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, western Louisiana and the Indian Territory; the District of West Louisiana and Texas (authorized May 28, 1862) was among its military districts. At the time of Yager’s leave request General Edmund Kirby Smith (1824-1893) had commanded the department since 1863 (colloquially known as “Kirby Smithdom” because of the autonomous civil, executive and military authority he wielded over this vast and isolated military theater after the Union Navy’s control of the Mississippi River made communications with Confederate president Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Virginia, impractical if not impossible).]

MSS 3721-A

Sunday, 1864 December 25, [near the Cane River, Natchitoches, Louisiana]: “How happy I should have been to have spent this day with my family”

[A war weary Louisiana Confederate engineer’s Christmas diary entries.]

Sunday, Dec. 25
This is Sunday the Lord’s day but
Oh how it is kept, not as in times
passed, [sadly] there is no religion
in the army, no fear of God
or man. When Oh when
will our people return to
virtue, when will this unholy
war close—But this is Christmas
a day of feasting and yes
drinking—We had a good Eggnog
this morning which made
it appear like Christmas, but
how happy I should have been
to have spent this day with
my family—but here I am in
the army and by the appearance
of things I am to see another
Christmas in the army, but
my prayer to God is that peace
will dawn upon the land Soon.
I am in good health thank
God. No news of any kind.

Wednesday, Dec. 28
Thank God I am in good health.
The weather is a fickle as an old
maid, nothing new, and no
news–consequently I have nothing
to write.

[Editor: Corporal John L. Sharitt [Sharrett/Sharritt], Jr. (October 17,1825-?), a New York-born civil engineer, moved to Louisiana in 1858 and lived at “Lucky Hit,” a Rapides Parish plantation, with his wife and daughter Rebecca Ann. In September 1864 he was mustered into the Provisional Army of the Confederate States’ 4th Engineers Regiment [4th Regiment, Confederate Engineer Troops] and served the remainder of the war as a corporal in Company I (?). The 4th Engineers, organized at Shreveport, Louisiana, was later commanded by Colonel Hugh Thomas Douglas, 1st Regiment, Confederate Engineer Troops, and chief of engineers for General Edmund Kirby Smith in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Paroled as a prisoner of war at Alexandria, Louisiana, in June 1865, Sharitt returned to Rapides Parish. He spent much of the war constructing pontoon bridges and, unlike many Confederate soldiers, was stationed near his home county (parish) which enabled him to occasionally visit his family. Throughout his diary Sharitt comments on his health, the weather, Louisiana place names, daily activities, the lack of Sunday religious services, second-hand war news, the dislike of commissioned officers, the hopelessness of the Confederate cause, and his longings for the war’s end.]

MSS 6114

Thursday, 1864 November 24, Albemarle County, Virginia: “I am trying now to procure some socks for them. The prospect is not encouraging.”

[A Confederate officer discusses extended medical furloughs and obtaining clothing for members of his regiment]

North Garden
Albemarle Co., Va.
Nov. 24, 1864
Dear Lieut:–
The description lists have been received.
Sergt. [Gillock] left here to-day for his command
for the purpose of reporting to it under
orders from the War Department causing all
soldiers now on furlough who are, or may be able to travel
to report, at the expiration of their furloughs, to their commands, there to be
examined. I prepared a letter for you early this
morning, but an impression was made on my
mind that Sergt. G. would not get off to-day, and therefore,
allowed him to go off without giving him
my letter.
Make out a descriptive list for
Private S. C. [Silas C.] Pugh to the extent you can, with
the understanding that I am to fill it out—
complete it. I make this statement because
I cannot, from memory, furnish you
with all the necessary information. What
I cannot furnish now I will obtain
hereafter from him and complete the
descriptive list. He will not be able for duty
for some time. I saw his wound some little
time ago. It is in a much worse condition
than I expected to find it. The wound at
first was more severe that I had believed it
to be.
S. C. Pugh’s list clothing akc. (2nd year) commences
1st Jany. 1864.
Clothing drawn, 2 cotton shirts—2 pr. drawers.
Was enlisted 1st July, 1861, at North Garden, Albemarle
Co., state of Virginia, by J. W. Williams,
for one year. Was born in Albemarle Co. state of Va.
complexion fair—hair black—when enlisted was
a laborer.
Was wounded in left arm and shoulder on 2nd
June 1864 at (or near) ______ [Ed. note: left blank by Bethel] while engaged in
charging enemy’s skirmishers.
Day before yesterday (Tuesday) I was in
Charlottesville and visited the Medical Examining
Board on business relating to a late order,
(to which I have already referred) and while with
it the Senior Surgeon of the board proposed
examining my case, it being ascertained that the
time for which I was last furloughed would
expire in the Friday next following. To this
I consented, and an application for an extension
of my present furlough was, by special permission
of Genl. Lee, [Robert E. Lee] continued in my present
furlough, as you are aware, made out.
The Special order granting power to boards to
allow officers to go home and await their
furloughs, or the result of their applications
for furloughs, having been revoked, Dr. [James Lawrence]
Cabell, Surgeon in Charge, gave me
written permission to go into “private quarters”
for fifteen days, at the expiration of which
“he will report to me in person or be considered a deserter.”
If Sergt. [Gillock] is allowed to return
home send the descriptive list by him, if not, by mail.
Cause the A. S. [Assistant Surgeon?] to note the date of all furloughs,
or the date of  the leaving of all men of the company,
and the date of the return of the same, together with
the date of the report of all men under the late order from
the War Department requiring men now absent on furlough,
who are able to travel, to report, at the expiration of their
furloughs, to their commands, that action may be taken
on their cases at their commands. I want this
information for future guidance. These latter cases
refered [sic] to will not, perhaps, come under
your observation.
Work hard to get the men well [within?] and
shod for the Winter. If this is not done they
must suffer during such weather as we
have had here for several days past. I
think of you all so often at night.
I made two efforts to obtain clothing from
this county for my men but failed. I
am trying now to procure some socks
for them. The prospect is not encouraging.
It would afford me so much pleasure
to bring down a suit for every man I have.
Give the note, which I will enclose,
to Sergt. [Gillock] if you see him, as he
returns [in a fortnight?].
I am recovering (slowly) the use
of my hand. I have not been able to close it since my
wound was first dressed.
I will furnish you with the desired roll as soon
as I can.
Yours truly,
H. M. Bichel [Hudson M. Bethel]
Lt. E. I. Gregory [Edward J. Gregory]
Co. “G,” 46th Va. Regt. Infty.
Genl. Wise’s Brigade
Petersburg, Virginia

[Editor: The soldiers in this letter enlisted at North Garden, Albemarle County, Virginia, and served with Company G (“Albemarle Jackson Avengers”), 46th Virginia Infantry.
Sergeant Benjamin F. Gillock became a patient at the Charlottesville General Hospital after a suffering a gunshot wound in the thigh at Petersburg, June 1864; he was placed on detached service in February 1865 and later paroled at Appomattox, Virginia, April 1865.
Private Silas C. Pugh, wounded in the left shoulder at the Howlett Line near Petersburg, June 2, 1864, during the Battle of Cold Harbor (May 31-Jun 12, 1864), also hospitalized in Charlottesville and received a medical furlough through February 1865.
Hudson M. Bethel of Amherst County, Virginia, began his service in July 1861 as a first sergeant and later captain of Company G; wounded in action at Petersburg (a fractured left forearm), June 1864, he was hospitalized at and received several extensions of disability furloughs from the Charlottesville General Hospital and General Hospital Farmville, Virginia, July 1864—January 1865.
In April 1861 Edward J. Gregory enlisted in Richmond as a private in in Company A and rose in the ranks culminating with his election as a lieutenant of Company G, November 1863; wounded at Petersburg in June 1864 and hospitalized at Charlottesville, he acted as the company’s commander until his parole at Appomattox.
Dr. James Lawrence Cabell (1813-1889), practiced medicine in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Paris before his University of Virginia faculty appointment as professor of anatomy, surgery and phyisiology. He became surgeon-in-charge and chief surgeon of the Charlottesville General Hospital during the war.
Major General Henry Alexander Wise (1806-1876), a former governor of Virginia, commanded Wise’s Brigade during the Army of Northern Virginia’s Petersburg Campaign. He was among remaining senior Confederate officers at Appomattox who advised General Lee to surrender.]

MSS 10897

Monday, 1864 October 17, [Cedar Creek], Virginia: “To cast for me and in my name and stead . . . my vote or ballot, the same as if I was personally present at the General election”

[A New York state absentee voter authorization form for a Union soldier stationed in Virginia]

Soldier’s Power of Attorney.

In pursuance of an Act of the Legislature of the State of New-York, entitled “An Act to enable the qualified electors of this State, absent therefrom in the Military Service of the United States, in the Army or Navy thereof to vote,” Passed April 21st, 1864.

I, Charles P. Tremain, a member of Company H of the 160th Regiment New York State Vols. now at or near [Cedar] Creek in the State of Virginia (or Territory) of ___________ (or attached to the United State vessel ___________), and being a resident of the town of Amity (or of the city of ___________) in the county of ___________, do hereby authorize and empower William C. Dake [?] of the town of Amity (or of the city of ___________) in the county of Allegany to cast for me and in my name and stead, in pursuance of Section 2, of said Act, my vote or ballot, the same as if I was personally present at the General election to be held on the 8th day of November 1864.
Charles P. Tremain [signature]
Joshua J. Clark [signature]

On this 17th day of October 1864, before me personally came Charles P. Tremain to me known to be the same person described in the foregoing instrument, who being by me duly sworn deposes and says, that he executed the foregoing instrument for the uses and purposes therein mentioned. And at the same time appeared before me Joshua J. Clark, who being by me duly sworn deposes and says that he saw the said Charles P. Tremain sign and execute said instrument in his presence, whereupon the said Joshua J. Clark became the subscribing witness thereto.
D. L. [Daniel L.] Vaughan [signature]
Capt., Co. H, 160th Regt. Vols. [New York Infantry Regiment]

[Editor: On the day this document  was completed the 160th New York Regiment, Army of the Shenandoah (2d Brigade, 1st Division, XIX Corps), was serving as the army’s train guard. Two days later it fought in the Battle of Cedar Creek (October 19, 1864), part of the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns of 1864, suffering 66 casualties in wounded, killed or missing officers and enlisted men. Civil War historians have noted this smashing Union victory helped Lincoln’s re-election.
Private Charles P. Tremain survived the war and applied for a pension in May 1880; according to online sources, a Charles Tremain represented the third district of Onondaga County, New York, as a Republican during the 98th New York State Legislature (1875). The 1860 U. S. Census includes a family of four headed by a “W. C. Dake,” a 40-year-old Allegany County, New York, resident. Joshua J. Clark enlisted in Company H at the rank of private and was honorably discharged as a sergeant. Daniel L. Vaughan, of Auburn, New York, age 43, was enrolled as Company H’s captain in October 1862 for three years’ service and in May 1865 appointed to the rank of Major.
The election of November 8, 1864 was one of most crucial in American history. As part of his re-election campaign strategy, President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton encouraged generous leaves of absences for soldiers who needed to go home to vote, if their doing so were not detrimental to maintaining sufficient forces in the field. Lincoln and other elected politicians knew they needed the votes of soldiers. Many Northern states enacted laws allowing soldiers to cast absentee ballots by mail or proxy in the form of a duly authorized surrogate, as in the case of William Dake on Private Tremain’s behalf. In their letters home, the majority of Union soldiers supported Lincoln, the federal government and predicted victory over the Confederate South. Decisively defeating Democratic candidate Major General George P. McClellan, former commander of the Army of the Potomac, Lincoln also won the majority of the soldiers’ votes by a three to one margin (about 70 percent). Allegany County (3,650 votes) and the state of New York also went for Lincoln.]

MSS 9564

Thursday, 1864 September 1, [Front Royal], Virginia: “Unfit for Military service at present”

[Certificate granting a medical leave of absence for a Confederate cavalryman]

[unintelligible] Front Royal, Sept. 1st 1864

We hereby Certify that we have carefully
examined G. W. Brooke, [a private in the] [9th?]
Va. Cavalry, of Rosser’s Brigade, and find him
Unfit for Military service at present in
Consequence of
Gun shot wound in lower portion of left leg
Rec’d in fight at Halls [Haw’s] Shop the 28th of
May last.
We therefore recommend a furlough of
Thirty Days.
J. [unintelligible]
J. B[unintelligible]    Board of Examinations
Edward B. Powell [signed]
Captain,  Examiner’s Office 9th District Va.

[back of page]

Extended for reasons stated [unintelligible]
Oct. 1/64     J. [unintelligible] M. D.
Extended for reasons stated [unintelligible]
Nov. 1/64     J. [unintelligible] M. D.
Extended for reasons stated [unintelligible]
Dec. 1, 1864     J. [unintelligible] M. D.
Extended for reasons stated [unintelligible]
Jany. 1, 1865     J. [unintelligible] M. D.
Extended for reasons stated [unintelligible]
Feby. 1, 1865     J. [unintelligible] M. D.

[Editor: This certificate is an example of problems characteristic with some handwritten Civil War documents—documents created 150 years ago. Heavily smudged, it was written on both sides of a sheet of fragile tissue-like paper on which the ink has bled through—obscuring much of the text on either side. An early description of this certificate identified this soldier as C. W. Brooke/Charles Wallace Brooke (b. 1811 or 1812) but no such individual is listed as a member of any Virginia Confederate cavalry regiment in consulted published or online sources; it also identified his unit as the ‘59th Virginia Cavalry”—an organization that never existed according to Lee A. Wallace, Jr., A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations, 1861-1865, rev.2nd ed. (Lynchburg, Virginia: H. E. Howard, Inc., 1988). A Private George W. Brooke served in Company H, 9th Virginia Cavalry. (Another Private George W. Brooke, 12th Virginia Cavalry, Company G, died May 1864.) The “Brooke” referenced in this certificate may have been on special or detached service at the time of his wounding. Major General Thomas L. Rosser (1836-1910) commanded Rosser’s Brigade, also known as the Laurel Brigade, 1863-65; during 1864 it included the 7th, 11th, 12th and 35th Virginia cavalry. The Battle of Haw’s Shop (Enon Church), was fought in Hanover County, Virginia, May 28, 1864, twelve miles north of Richmond, part of the 1864 Overland Campaign during which Rosser’s Brigade served as part of Major General Wade Hampton’s (1818-1902) cavalry division. According to various sources, Virginia cavalry units engaged at Haw’s Shop included the 2nd, 3rd, 4th,  6th, 12th and 22nd regiments. Captain Edward B. Powell was a member of Company F (“the Fairfax Cavalry”), 6th Virginia Cavalry.]

MSS 9339

Tuesday, 1864 August 16; Wednesday, August 17 and Thursday, August 18 [City Point, Virginia]: “Hard work carrying Lumber up the Hill”

[Pocket diary of David Probert, a New Jersey civilian employed as a carpenter by the United States Military Railroads during the siege of Petersburg, Virginia]

[Page heading] August, TUESDAY, 16, 1864.
Hot in the morning, [unintelligible]
am finished the Cook Shanty
by Noon in the afternoon.
Went to work on making
Counters. Toward evening
got Colder. Firing going
on at the front.

[Section heading] August, WEDNESDAY, 17, 1864.
I [felt] very well go to work
to Build a Post Office up
on the Hill hard work carrying
Lumber up the Hill. Towards
Evening got a regular thunder
Shower got rather wet
went home bed all wet;
firing to Night.

[Section heading] August, THURSDAY, 18, 1864.
Up in the morning felt
very well to work to day
[unintelligible] on the Post Office
[unintelligible] weather Rather wet
heavy Showers. 4
Mortars brought up from
the Rebs.

[Editor: The small size of many Civil War-era pocket diaries only allowed brief daily entries, usually about two or three concise sentences. David Probert (1836?–?) resided in Jersey City and Patterson, New Jersey. A January 1864 enrollment certificate described him as 27 years old, dark eyes, dark hair, dark complexion, five and a half feet tall, and a resident of Jersey City, New Jersey. He was employed in Tennessee by the Quartermaster Department of the District of Nashville as a carpenter from January 31 to April 1, 1864. He received an honorable discharge and eventually was hired by the Bridge Department of the United States Military Railroads in Alexandria, Virginia, on May 4, 1864 at the rate of $2.40 per day. During the period of this diary Probert was employed primarily at Alexandria and City Point, Virginia. Following an accidental leg injury on May 18, 1864, he resigned in October 1864 to return to his home for recuperation. On November 21, 1864 he was hired by the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad Company.]

MSS 10776