[APG Public List] Civil War question

Kate Foote kate at comm1net.net
Sun Jan 24 11:19:39 MST 2010

Hi Judy,

I have encountered your situation in my personal research, and years ago in research for a client. In my personal ancestry I have a Charles Foote who was a gg- grandfather, living in Ohio at the beginning of the Civil War. Charles Foote from the same county served as a private in the infantry. They were *not* the same man! No pension was claimed by either individual - however, following them after the war showed that they had two distinctly different families, and they migrated to different states where they lived out their lives. Of course, that made it very easy for me to distinguish my own ancestor. 

But, some time ago I had a client who's ancestor "appeared" to have served in the Civil War, even though he was at the advanced age of 62. Again, there was no pension claimed and no pension file. There were no family stories of Civil War service and no photos. This ambiguity intrigued me and I did a bit of research "on the side" for my own enlightenment. I would suggest that you check the regimental and division records, paying particular attention to the rank of the man you are looking for. Also, look for this man at a younger age serving in the Mexican-American War. Occasionally, when an infantry was formed at the state level, they would look to men with prior military experience, such as the Mexican-American War, to serve as officers. 

If, as in your case, a Civil War pension file is available, I would not consider that I had conducted a through search (by GPS and my own standards) until I had obtained and completely examined that file. I would definitely urge my client to approve procuring the pension file. Good luck.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  To: APG Public List 
  Sent: Sunday, January 24, 2010 9:25 AM
  Subject: [APG Public List] Civil War question

  To any Civil War expert:

  How common would it have been for a man in his mid to late 60s to have served in a Union Cavalry unit during the Civil War?  I am editing an 1839 letter for publication trying to ID the individuals mentioned.  It's from a wife to her husband.  I traced the couple on the census up to 1860 in Steuben Co., Indiana.  Then, I found a man by the same name serving in an Indiana Cavalry unit and dying in the South in 1865.  No mention of his age, but he enlisted in Steuben Co.  Problem is, this guy would have been nearly 70.  I thought perhaps the soldier was someone from a younger generation, a nephew or son, but I'm not finding anyone else by that name.  Plus, there is a pension file that lists a widow with the same first name as the wife.  I don't have the actual pension record, so I don't know if her maiden name matches.  But the names are unusual enough that it would be too much of a coincidence.

  Many thanks.

  Judy Riffel
  Baton Rouge


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