[APG Public List] Civil War question

Fredric Z. Saunders fzsaund at ix.netcom.com
Sun Jan 24 12:18:59 MST 2010

Probably not real common, but I have an ancestor, James Allen, that enlisted
21 Oct. 1861 for 3 years (along with 2 sons in the same  infantry unit) and
gave his age as "42."  On 23 Mar. 1863 he received a certificate of
disability, stating that old age made it unable for him to do his duties.
He was discharged on 10 April 1863 with the surgeon who examined him stating
he was "near 60 years old, an improper enlistment."  
In 1860 he was listed as age 53, (not found in 1870) and in 1880 he was
listed as age 77.  His cemetery inscription lists him as age 90 in 1890.
The "Certificate for Disability for Discharge" has the most valuable
genealogical information in his pension file, giving his birth as York
County, PA (all other records just have PA).  Luckily it was a preprinted
fill-in-the-blanks form that was printed "he was born in ______ in the State
of ________." Unfortunately, I still haven't been able to connect him to any
Allen families in York County.
Rick Saunders


From: apgpubliclist-bounces at apgen.org
[mailto:apgpubliclist-bounces at apgen.org] On Behalf Of JUDY A RIFFEL
Sent: Sunday, January 24, 2010 8:25 AM
To: APG Public List
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
Many thanks.
Judy Riffel
Baton Rouge

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