Francis F. and William P. Hagadorn, brothers, enlisted in Company K of the 125th on August 13, 1862 in Schaghticoke. That is their only connection with the town. They were the sons of Francis.L. Hagadorn, editor of the “Troy Budget” newspaper. The 1860 US Census listed the family in the First Ward of Troy, F.L., age 42, with real estate of $2000 and a personal estate of $4000, wife Eliza, 41 (she died in 1861), plus children Eliza F. 20; Caroline V., 18; our soldiers W.P., 16, and Francis F., 14; and Joanna P. 9. Grandfather William, age 68, was the proprietor of the “Budget.” He lived with the family and listed real estate of $70,000 and a personal estate of $10,000. The family had two Irish serving girls.
The Hagadorns had a rich military heritage. At least one ancestor fought in the Revolution, and a great-grandfather was a Lieutenant in the War of 1812. Father Francis L. had been a Captain in the Army in the Mexican War, and then a Brigadier General in the Army of Venezuela- quite an amazing adventure for a man. He enlisted in the 79th NY Infantry Regiment in Albany in December 1861. He was commissioned Major, but resigned May 12, 1862, for reasons unknown. Perhaps he wasn’t in shape to be a soldier, realized he couldn’t leave his job as newspaper editor, or the death of his wife made him feel he needed to stay home.
I wonder what Francis, Sr. felt when two sons joined the 125th later that year. 16-year old son Francis enlisted in Company K as a musician. His father must have approved, for the underage boy to enlist. He was 5’4” tall, with blue eyes and brown hair, and gave his occupation as “mechanic,” indicating he probably already worked in the printing plant. Brother William P. was 19, with blue eyes and sandy hair, also a mechanic. He was managing the printing plant for his father. The boys had been born on Staten Island, where they lived through at least 1850. Despite the military tradition of the family, this must have been quite a wrench, the only sons, one only 16, enlisting, just a year after their mother had died. One can imagine the discussions in the family.
Both boys went through the surrender of the 125th at Harpers Ferry and the parole camp in Chicago, but Francis must have gotten sick. He was discharged for disability, either in Chicago or Baltimore, in April of 1863. Not to be discouraged, he must have gone home to recover, then enlisted again in August in Company F of the 16th New York Cavalry. Again he was discharged for disability, in October. Persistent, he went home for the winter, then enlisted again, this time in the 13th Connecticut Infantry Regiment, in February of 1864. This regiment had been formed in 1861, so Francis was filling a space created by death or discharge. Who knows how Francis ended up in Connecticut?
The 13th Connecticut joined General Sheridan in summer of 1864, and was engaged in battles up and down the Shenandoah Valley that year. In January 1865 they were posted at Savannah, Georgia. This time Francis stayed healthy, and was discharged with the rest of the regiment at Fort Pulaski, at Savannah, in April 1866. Fort Pulaski is now a National Park Service site, open to the public.
Brother William stayed with the 125th. According to the Regimental history, he aided in capturing four of Mosby’s men while on picket duty at the camp at Centreville, Virginia. John Mosby was a Confederate cavalry commander of a band called “Mosby’s Raiders.” At the battle of Gettysburg, William and a soldier from the 2nd Delaware captured a rebel officer and a battle flag on July 3. He was wounded in the hands at the battle of Bristoe Station in October of 1863, and hospitalized in a nearby home. The Confederates captured and imprisoned him in a hospital in Richmond. He was exchanged about a month later and after recovering, was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the 22nd Regiment of the Veterans Reserve Corps. This Corps was made up of men who were too disabled to be in the regular army, but still could be of use, like as guards at a prisoner-of-war camp. The Troy “Times” reported in May 1865 that he shot a man who was resisting arrest at Camp Douglas, Chicago, where he was serving. It added he is “a very active officer” and “organizer of the Sons of Temperance” wherever he was based. The 22nd was discharged at the end of the war. William definitely was disabled (he lost a few fingers at the least) and applied for a pension in 1866.
I have been unable to find either brother in the 1870 US Census. But in the 1880 US Census in Baltimore, Maryland, I think I found them. Sister Fanny E., aged 40, an artist, headed the household, which included William P., 35, who had worked or was working in a stationary store, and was described as “wounded,” and Frank T., 32, also referred to as “brother”, a printer. This certainly was Francis F. Sister Juana (Joanna?), 29, lived with them, along with Frank, Jr., 13, Fanny’s nephew. This implies that Frank/Francis had been married in 1866 or 1867, but the census included no wife. Very tantalizingly, there is a Frank Hagadorn, age 3, in a foundling home in New York City in the 1870 census. If this was the same one as in Baltimore ten years later, his father had claimed him.
Francis or Frank, the soldier, applied for a pension in 1885. The only other sign I can find of the brothers in the public record is that William gave his address to the Veteran’s Association of the 125th in 1887 as 28 Beach Street, Staten Island. Neither appears in the 1890 Veterans Schedule, I’m not sure why. William P. is at the top of the list of men in Company K (by virtue of his status as Lieutenant in the Veterans Reserve Corps) present at the reunion of the 125th in Troy in summer 1887. In May 2018 Mike Marchand found the grave of Francis in Troy’s Oakwood Cemetery in the lot with his parents.
This wonderful photo of William P. Hagadorn, bedecked in his Civil War medals, and clearly showing the Civil War damage to his hands, is from the collection of Mike Marchand, of the new 125th NY Infantry Regiment
These are the medals and insignia of William P., as shown in the photo. Also in the collection of Mike Marchand
Here are two men who definitely were affected by their service in the war. Both had begun life in a wealthy family. Certainly their father must have had high hopes for both, but William was definitely affected by his wound, and who knows what went on with Francis!
William M. Groesbeck was born in Schaghticoke and enlisted in Company K of the 125th at age 30 in August 1862. He was a farmer with blue eyes, brown hair, and a fair complexion, 5’7” tall. Groesbeck was from one of the oldest families in town, dating back to its Dutch beginnings in the early 18th century.
The records of the Schaghticoke Dutch Reformed Church, which has hundreds of entries for Groesbecks, lists future soldier William A. Marcelus Groesbeck, born October 4, 1831, the child of John I. Groesbeck and Deriah VanAntwerp. In the 1850 US Census for Schaghticoke, there are nine separate Groesbeck families, all undoubtedly related to each other. William is listed as a child of 18, a farmer, with his parents John 59, and Harriet, 31. Undoubtedly Harriet was a step-mother, Deria having died. William’s death record gives his father’s name as John, but his mother’s as Maria Vanewest- I think that the latter is just an error of transcription.
By the 1855 NY Census, William, now 23, was married to Lucy, 20, and they were living with Peter Groesbeck, 45, and his family in Schaghticoke. By the 1860 US Census William and family were living independently. He had real estate of $1500 and a personal estate of $500, rather modest, but more than many. Rather unusually his wife Lucy had a personal estate of $150- most wives listed nothing. She was the daughter of Ransom Button, who had died in 1853. Perhaps she had an inheritance. William and Lucy had three children: Harriet, 5; Ransom, 3; and William, 2. Who knows what drew William to enlist to fight? He had a family, and a decent living, and was not young by the standards of the time. He would not have been drafted.
As would befit an older and more responsible recruit, William was promoted to Corporal by April of 1863 and to Sergeant by August. He was wounded in action May 12, 1864 at Spotsylvania. He spent some time in the hospital in Albany, NY. His wounds must have been too severe for him to recover and return to duty in a timely way, as he was discharged on November 28, 1864.
In the 1865 NY Census, he and his family are back together in Schaghticoke, but by the 1870 US Census, then had moved to Gaines, in Genesee County, near Flint, Michigan. Perhaps seeing something of the world had made William restless. He was no longer a farmer, but worked in a stove mill, and now had real estate worth only $800 and a personal estate of $200. He and Lucy had added a fourth child to the family, Alden, age 2, who was born in Michigan.
William applied for an invalid pension on October 23, 1879, indicating that he had some lasting disability from the war. In the 1890 Veterans Schedule, William listed his service in the 125th, though he said he had served until May 24, 1865, and that he had had a gunshot wound. The 1900 census for Michigan found just William and Lucy living together in a house they owned. They had had six children, with three living, and owned their home, and William’s occupation is given as “pensioner.”
Evidently another of those children was a son, George, as he appears in his parents’ death records. I found that William died in 1909 in Gaines. His widow Lucy applied for a widow’s pension immediately. She died in 1910. For both, the informant on their death certificates came from George R. Groesbeck. He was a railroad conductor from Toledo, Ohio, born in 1873. William and Lucy are buried in Gaines, Michigan. On his death certificate, William’s occupation was listed as G.A.R.- for Grand Army of the Republic, the Civil War Veteran’s Association. He must have been an active member. As with almost all people who serve in combat, that experience affects their whole life, in his case physically and in his social associations.
The Guest brothers
John, Lorenzo, and Stephen Guest were the sons of a painter named John W. Guest, who came to Schaghticoke from New Jersey via Vermont. According to the 1850 and 1855 censuses, father John, aged 60 in 1850, was born in New Brunswick, Jersey. His wife Phebe Wade, 35 in 1850, was born in Washington County. Son John, 14, was born in Vermont, and sons Loren (Lorenzo), 7, and Stephen, 5, were born in Washington County as well. They had moved to Schaghticoke by 1852, when daughter Julia was born. As of the 1855 NY Census they lived in a room or rooms in a house with seven other families, almost all of them Irish. By the 1860 US Census, just Lorenzo and his sister Julia were living with their parents. Both Lorenzo and his father were working as farm laborers. They lived in a house with two other families. Son John was probably living and working in Stillwater at that point, and Stephen, only 16, was a day laborer, living in the hotel of John Downs in the village of Schaghticoke. Who knows why he had chosen to live apart from his family? Perhaps there just wasn’t room.
As young men with marginal jobs and apparently few prospects, enlisting to fight in the war, especially for a bounty, must have looked good to the brothers. Though John and Stephen were residents of Schaghticoke, they enlisted in the 77th NY Infantry Regiment in Stillwater in August of 1862, each receiving a $53 bounty from the town, plus the state bounty. Lorenzo enlisted at about the same time in Company K of the 125th NY in Schaghticoke. The 77th was the Saratoga County Regiment, the 125th the Rensselaer County Regiment.
Perhaps big brother John, aged 26, planned to take care of Stephen, just 18, together in the 77th. Both gave their occupations as farmers, both had blue eyes, light hair, and were 5’6” tall. The 1865 record of the Stillwater Town Clerk stated that Stephen was married, and otherwise confirmed the information of the muster cards.
The 77th NY was present at many major battles of the war. Stephen and John participated in the battles of Antietam, and Fredericksburg, but Stephen died of illness on January 14, 1863 at White Oak Church, Virginia. I do not know where he was buried. His widow, Mary Guest, applied for a widow’s pension almost immediately. I have not been able to find anything further of her.
John went on through the battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor. He was shot through the left hip in action in October of 1864 in Middletown, Virginia. He was absent wounded for several months. The records don’t make it clear if he returned to his regiment, or served in the Veterans’ Corps defending Washington, DC until he was discharged in June of 1865.
Middle brother Lorenzo enlisted at age 21 in Company K. He gave his occupation as a spinner- presumably in one of the textile mills in the village of Schaghticoke. He must have taken on that job since being recorded as a laborer in the 1860 census. He looked like his brothers, with grey eyes, light hair, and a light complexion, and was 5’7” tall. I think it’s interesting that he stated he was born in Schaghticoke, while his older and younger brother gave Easton as their birthplace- pretty close together, to be sure.
Lorenzo’s military service was not smooth- he was “in arrest, April 30, 1863,” though the reason isn’t given. But he was reported present through the next spring, when he was wounded at Petersburg, Virginia on June 16, 1864, right at the start of that nine-month siege. At first his card notes he was absent without leave, but he was found in the hospital at Washington, DC. He was in the hospital for almost a year, and finally discharged in May, 1865. He was recorded as “permanently impaired.”
The 1865 NYS Census lists both John and Lorenzo back home living with their parents in Schaghticoke. Though father John, Sr. was now 85, he still listed “laborer” as his occupation. Both sons listed “soldier” as their occupation. By the 1870 US Census, John Sr. had died. Widow Phebe, 55, was “keeping house” in the family of butcher Wells Cronk. Both John and Lorenzo had married. John was working as a farm laborer. He had married Francetta Davis, the widow of James Davis, of the 125th, killed at the battle of Spotsylvania. The family, including her daughter Elveretta, 10, and their daughter, Minnie, 1, lived on Sliter Road. Lorenzo was also a farm laborer, but lived in the village of Schaghticoke. He and wife Margaret, an illiterate Irish immigrant, had a son John, age 1.
In June of 1877, John applied for an invalid pension based on a gunshot wound to the left thigh. He received the small sum of $4. per month. By the 1880 US Census, John had a farm, and he and Francetta had added sons William, 7, and Freddy, 1, to their family. John reported his service in the 1890 Veterans Census, recording that he had served through the close of the war despite his wound. John died in 1910 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
By the 1880 US Census, Lorenzo’s wife had died, leaving him with three small children. John was 10, Joseph, 7, and Margaret, 5. That same year he applied for an invalid pension based on a gunshot wound to the right foot with loss of the second toe. He received $6. per month. He needed the money, as the 1880 US Census listed him as a pauper living in the village of Schaghticoke. Nevertheless, he was one of the charter members of the local G.A.R. post in 1882.
Lorenzo lived until at least 1900, when the census listed him in Stillwater, working as a laborer and living with son John, who worked in a paper mill, and daughter Margaret. One wonders why Lorenzo waited so long to apply for an invalid pension, as he was recorded as “permanently impaired” in 1865, and why he received just $6 per month. It seems that at the least his war wound prevented him from working to his potential. With brother Stephen dead, and brothers John and Lorenzo both badly wounded, the Guest family really was affected by the war.
William Gallagher appears in this account because he is buried in Elmwood Cemetery. He enlisted in Company A of the 125th in Hoosick on August 7, 1862. He was 30-years-old, a farmer born in Ireland, 5’6” tall with blue eyes, light hair and a florid complexion.
William was wounded at the battle of Bristoe Station in Virginia on October 14, 1863, and spent some months in the hospital in Washington, D.C. He returned to service and was mustered out with the company in June 1865 in Alexandria, Virginia.
William lived in Hoosick before the war. In the 1860 US Census, he was a farm laborer with a personal estate of $10. He gave his age as 38- probably really 28. He had a wife named Mary, 24, and two children, Charles H., 2, and Margaret, 2/12. I can’t find him again until the 1880 US Census, though I think he was in the area. By then he was a 58-year old teamster, living in Valley Falls, with wife Mary, 45, and family: Charles, 25, a laborer; Ellen, 17, who worked in a collar factory; Charlotte, 15, who worked in a paper mill; and Emma, 11; William, 7; Jennie, 3; and Clara, 1. Evidently Margaret had died or married and moved out.
William participated in the 1887 reunion of the 125th Regiment in Troy. He reported his service in the 1890 Veterans Schedule of the census from Valley Falls, stating that he had been “disabled from work” by his old wound. He had worked for many years after the war at that point, but perhaps age had added to an ongoing partial disability. If so I don’t know why he didn’t apply for a pension. I find no record of an application. He died in 1896 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, where his service is recorded on his tombstone. None of the rest of his family is there. There is a Mary Gallagher, who died in 1903 age 57, in a cemetery in Hoosick. That could be his wife.
George Green enlisted in Company K at age 19 in August of 1862 with the rest. He was the son of Elisha Green, who had come from Connecticut to work in the textile industry in Schaghticoke as a spinner. George was just 5’3” tall, with gray eyes, black hair, and fair skin. He gave his occupation as paper maker, and stated he had been born in Greenwich.
The 1850 US Census for Schaghticoke listed Elisha, age 38; his wife Laura, 32; sons Charles, 12; George F., 11; Otis R., 9; and a daughter Harriet, 4. By the 1860 US Census, the family was in Cohoes, where Elisha was now an overseer. Eldest son Charles was off on his own, sons George and Otis were working as carpenters, and Elisha and Laura had added another daughter and two more sons to the family, the youngest aged 2. Just two years later George’s occupation was given as paper maker on his muster card.
Returning to the Civil War, George survived the capture of the 125th at Harpers Ferry and the internment camp in Chicago, but died of typhoid fever on February 16, 1863 at the Regimental Hospital in Union Mills, Virginia. He was buried in Grave 4258 at Arlington National Cemetery on February 24.
Just to finish the story, George’s family had moved to Greenfield Center in Saratoga County by the 1870 US Census. Elisha Green, now 58, was a farmer with real estate worth $2500 and a personal estate of $1000. He and wife Laura, now 52, still had two sons at home: Edgar, 15, and James, 11. I did not find that his parents applied for a pension based on George’s service, though they certainly would have been entitled to one.
Jacob Francis Force enlisted in Company K of the 125th in Schaghticoke on August 13, 1862. That is his only connection with the town, but I’m happy to tell his fascinating life story. Jacob enlisted at age 19. He was born in Stillwater on March 2, 1843, the son of John C. Force and Hannah Adams. John was a shoemaker. According to the “Regimental History of the 125th”, Jacob went to Newark, New Jersey in 1860 and worked in “mercantile pursuits” for a couple of years before returning to Stillwater.
When he enlisted, Jacob gave his occupation as clerk. He had black hair, black eyes, and a light complexion, and was 5’9 ½ inches tall. He was quickly promoted to Corporal, and had been promoted to Sergeant by April 11, 1863, and 1st Sergeant by June. George Bryant wrote to his friend Jennie on April 25, 1863, “Jacob Force has been promoted to orderly sergeant to fill my place, it is not right, it belonged to William VanSchaack.” VanSchaack was a married man with a family from Schaghticoke, and Bryan was concerned that he make enough money to support them. In fact, VanSchaack was promoted to Sergeant about the same time.
The 125th Regimental History also records that Jacob Force became orderly sergeant of Company K after Colonel Willard saw that Jacob could call the roll of the company – about 100 men- from memory. He required this of all the orderly sergeants. After going through the battles with the 125th during all of 1863, Jacob switched to the 22nd Regiment, US Colored Troops on December 31, 1863. The men of Company K presented him with a saber, belt, and gloves when he departed. The History notes that this was a gift from the heart, that the men genuinely liked and respected Jacob.
Another Company K man, Henry Bliss, also moved to the colored troops. For some men, this transfer gave the opportunity to become an officer, for others, it was in recognition of the Civil War as a fight to free the slaves with the publication of the Emancipation Proclamation at that time. Who knows what Jacob’s motivation was? He began as a First Lieutenant, but was promoted to Captain on May 4, 1864. As noted in the entry for Henry Bliss, the men who became officers of the colored troops were strictly tested and vastly admired.
The 22nd was heavily involved in the battle for Richmond and the siege of Petersburg. Jacob’s company led the first charge at Petersburg on June 15, 1864 and remained in the trenches there until September. Then they assisted in building the Dutch Gap Canal. Jacob was wounded in September of 1864 in an assault on New Market Heights at Fort Harrison. He had inches of bone removed from his upper left arm and spent some months in the hospital before being discharged because of his wound, on April 10, 1865. He applied for an invalid pension in July.
Jacob recovered from his wounds, and by the 1870 US Census, he was married to a woman named Sarah, from Valatie, and living in Stillwater, where he was a housepainter. He and Sarah had a 2-year-old son named Frank. At the same time, he must have been going to school, as he received a medical degree from Albany Medical College in 1871. He and his family moved to Minnesota shortly after. By the 1875 Minnesota Census he and Sarah had added a second son, Charles. Jacob was a doctor in Minneapolis for many years. He lectured at the Minnesota College of Physicians and College of Pharmacy and was director of a life insurance company.
In the 1890 Veterans Schedule, he recorded his service in both the 125th and the 22nd, and indicated he had suffered a head excision and wound to the left humerus- a head cut and upper arm wound. A photo on the “Find a Grave” website shows him standing next to the monument for the 125th at Gettysburg Battlefield- I’m sure he was in the G.A.R. and was certainly an active participant in the writing of the 125th Regimental History.
In 1901 he applied for a passport, headed for Europe. By 1912, he was a retired doctor in Pasadena, California, when he applied for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution. He lived there until his death in 1924.
Jacob was definitely a smart, hard-working man with a great constitution, working his way from son-of-a-shoemaker to Army officer, then doctor and traveler. His name appears on plaque 38 of the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
James Doyle was an Irish immigrant, born there about 1832. He was in Schaghticoke by the 1860 US Census, when he was a farm laborer for Platt and Phebe Buffett, well-off farmers in their 60’s. James enlisted in Company K of the 125th on July 29, 1862 at age 30. He listed his occupation as farmer, and had blue eyes, black hair, and was 5’8” tall.
James went through the capture at Harpers Ferry and the parole camp in Chicago and returned to the front with the rest of the 125th late in 1862. In April of 1863, before the unit had seen any real action, he was plucked from the ranks and made a Pioneer at Brigade Headquarters. Pioneers, chosen for their “intrepidity, strength, and activity,” acted as combat engineers, cutting roads, and making fortifications, among other tasks. The 1865 NY Census extract on veterans said James was a cook for the pioneers. He served the whole war in this capacity, returning to the ranks of the 125th only on May 28, 1865, just before being mustered out.
Doyle returned to Schaghticoke, and the 1865 NY Census listed him living in the family of Humphrey Steans, an Irish shoemaker. Doyle was a laborer. The next time I found James was in the 1880 US Census for Cambridge. He had married a woman named Bridget, also an Irish immigrant, and they had three children, John T., 13; James A., 12; and Francis, 9. He was recorded on the Veterans Census in White Creek, Washington County, in 1890, merely stating that he had not been wounded. But James had applied for an invalid pension in 1885, before pensions were rewarded just for age, so he must have had some disability. His widow, Bridget, applied for a widow’s pension on May 1, 1899. Presumably James had died shortly before that. She appears in Cambridge on the 1900 census, living just with a 3-year-old grandson, James, in a home that she owned. The census stated that she had had five children, but just one survived.
The Fisher brothers
The records of the 125th Veterans Association state there were four Fisher brothers in the service. I think I can find all of them. The 1850 US census lists a Fisher family in Schaghticoke: Daniel, 50, was the farmer father. Mother Ann, also 50, was born in Ireland. The sons were John, 16; a farmer, Douglas, 13; Daniel, 8; and Ashaba, 5. By the 1855 NY Census, John was a laborer in the family of Enoch Vandenburg. Daniel Sr.’s family included wife Ann, Daniel, 13; and Ashabel, 9. They were still in Schaghticoke in the 1860 US Census, with John now working on the S.W. Gifford farm in Easton. The 1865 NY census still includes the family in Schaghticoke. Father Daniel had died, but mother Ally (sic), age 62, headed a family including Daniel, a 22-year-old laborer, and William H. and John Douglas Fisher, both listed as 31 and as soldiers who were in the Army. By the 1870 US Census, just son Daniel, now 27, headed a family with his mom, Anna, 68, living in a house with three other families in the village of Schaghticoke.
Turning to the military records, I find two of the brothers easily: Douglas Fisher enlisted in Schaghticoke as a Private in Company K in August 1862. He was 25-years-old, a farmer born in Half Moon, with blue eyes, dark hair, and a fair complexion, 5’9” tall. He was captured with forty others while on picket duty at Mine Run in Virginia on December 1, 1863. He died at the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia on June 24, 1864. Fellow members of Company K William Carr, John Conlin, Job Grant, and Charles Stratton all died within a couple of months of each other at Andersonville.
Older brother John Fisher also enlisted as a Private in Company K in August. He was age 28, a farmer born in Saratoga, with gray eyes, black hair and a fair complexion, 5’6” tall. The card records he was absent sick in the hospital several times in 1864. He must have had a chronic illness, for in September 1864 he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps in Washington, made up of men who were still able to serve to guard the capitol, but not capable of active campaigning. He was mustered out on June 29, 1865.
I feel he lived in the Schaghticoke area all his life, never marrying. He applied for an invalid pension in 1882, so evidently had some lingering problems from his service. He was recorded as a veteran in the 1890 census, and in 1891, was listed by the 125th Veterans Association. He appears living alone in the village of Schaghticoke in the 1905 NY Census. He died in 1908 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
Eldest brother William H. Fisher enlisted in July in Company K at age 32 in Schaghticoke, where he was born, according to his NYS muster card. Appropriately, he was the first of the brothers to enlist. William did not appear in the family in the 1850 US Census, but he was already 20-years-old and may have already been off on his own. In the 1850 census for Troy- there is a 20-year-old William Fisher who was working as a boatman in Troy, living in the family of a boatman named John Vandecar. Perhaps that is William and he returned home to enlist with his brothers. It’s hard to say, as the name is quite a common one.
At the time of his enlistment, William gave his occupation as farmer. He had blue eyes, and dark hair, and was 5’8” tall. He was a teamster in the 125th, and served as such at brigade headquarters. He was absent sick for a while in the middle of the war, but recovered to serve out his enlistment, and was mustered out with the whole regiment in June 1865.
William certainly appears in the 1865 census in Schaghticoke with his brothers John and Daniel and his mother. I cannot find him after 1865 for sure. I cannot find that he applied for a pension.
As for the fourth and youngest brother, I think his name gave the record keepers trouble. There is an Archibald Fisher who enlisted in Company K in Schaghticoke in August of 1862 at age 18. He was born in Schaghticoke, a laborer with blue eyes, light hair, a fair complexion, 5’6” tall. I think that this is the child called Ashabel in the Schaghticoke census.
His record card states he was captured in May, 1864, at Spotsylvania, though at first it noted he was absent without leave. Archibald and fellow soldiers in Company K Aretus Loomis, Timothy Fields, Andrew Doty, and George McPherson were captured by Confederate cavalry near the Po River. They were sent directly to Andersonville Prison in Georgia. Archibald’s brother Douglas had been there since the winter, when the camp first opened. By May the thousands of men in the open air at Andersonville had organized themselves by state and regiment. I just hope that Archibald and Douglas had some time together before Douglas died June 24. The prisoners who were well enough were moved in September as Union General Sherman and his Army got close, to Charleston, then to a new prison at Florence, S.C. The Company K men were exchanged at the end of December, according to Aretus Loomis’ pension file. Archibald died on the ship on the way to Annapolis Hospital of diarrhea. He is buried in Grave 665 in the National Cemetery there. Further confirmation that Archibald and Ashabel are the same is that Aretus referred to his friend Ash Fisher in his pension application.
So with Archibald as Ashabel, four of the five sons of Daniel and Ann Fisher enlisted in Schaghticoke in Company K in August of 1862. The oldest two, William and John, survived the war. In fact John lived until 1908. The third son, Douglas, died as a prisoner of war at Andersonville. The youngest son, Ashabel, or Archibald, died following being captured at the battle of Spotsylvania, just six months after his brother had died. One wonders what the effect of having their brothers die had on William and John as they served out the war.
Brother Daniel stayed on in Schaghticoke, married and raised a family. His mother had died by 1880. He died in 1919.
The Doty Brothers had a short association with Schaghticoke, though they lived nearby. They both came here to enlist. Andrew J. enlisted in Company K of the 125th on August 5, 1862. He was already a veteran of the 7th NY Cavalry, which was enlisted in fall of 1861, went to Virginia, but failed to get mounts. It was mustered out, with the men going in various directions. Andrew, who was born in Pittstown in 1829, was the son of Jonathan and Nancy Doty, a farmer, 5’8” tall, with blue eyes and brown hair.
Andrew went through first incidents of the war with the rest of the 125th, spending a short while sick in quarters at the end of 1863. He was a lucky man: he then survived imprisonment at Andersonville. He was captured by Confederate cavalry near the Po River in Virginia on May 8, 1864, during the fighting around Spotsylvania, along with fellow members of Company K Aretus Loomis, Archibald Fisher, Timothy Fields, and George McPherson. The men were sent directly to Andersonville Prison in Georgia. When it closed in September, they were transferred first to a temporary prison in Charleston, S.C., then to the new prison in Florence, S.C. The men were exchanged at the end of December 1864. I know that Loomis was put on furlough to recover from his experience, and I imagine it was the same for Andrew. He recovered enough to be mustered out with the rest of the 125th at the beginning of June.
Doty returned home to Tomhannock, according to the record of the town clerk of Pittstown, where he listed his service in both regiments. By the 1880 US Census, he was a laborer in Cohoes, age 51. His family included Kate, 32, who was presumably his second wife, as they had children ranging from Ida, age 14; Elizabeth, 12; Abraham, 9; Nelly, 7; Sarah, 5; Lora, 2; to Andrew J., 1. Daughter Ida worked in a woolen mill, and Abraham in the cotton mill. In the 1890 Veterans Census Andrew also recorded his service in both the 7th Cavalry and the 125th. The following year he applied for a pension. He must have had an amazing constitution not to be permanently disabled by his harsh imprisonment. By the 1900 US Census, Andrew was a widower, age 72, living with his son Abraham and his family in Cohoes. He died in 1906 and is buried back home, in the Tomhannock Cemetery, with his service listed on his tombstone.
A week after Andrew, his brother William Doty enlisted in Company K as well. Did his brother inspire his enlistment? William was also a farmer, 29- years- old, 5’7” tall, with blue eyes and dark hair. He was born October 18, 1832. William participated with the 125th throughout the war, and was mustered out with them at the end. He reported to the Pittstown Town Clerk that he was “present at the surrender of General Lee.” It is true that the 125th was near Appomattox Court House that day, but according to the National Park Service maps, the Regiment was about two miles away from the surrender site. William is the first soldier I have read of who noted it- how interesting that he mentioned that significant event, but his brother didn’t even mention a year in Confederate prison in his own service.
Like his brother, William lived in Tomhannock in 1865. He was still there in 1870, when he was living with his parents, Jonathan, now 84, and Nancy, 80, and his oldest brother, Abram, 59. He was listed as a farm laborer. I believe that William stayed on in Pittstown through his life, never marrying, even though I did not find him in the 1880 census or the 1890 Veterans Schedule. Both brothers participated in the reunion of the 125th Regiment in Troy in 1887. William is in the 1900 census, as a 67-year-old single man, a laborer, living alone. He died in 1905 and is buried in the cemetery of the Tomhannock Methodist Church. Inexplicably, he did not apply for a Civil War pension, to which he certainly would have been entitled.
Thomas Curley had a brief association with Schaghticoke. I believe he appears in the family of Henry Heimstreet in the 1855 NY Census here as a 21- year- old Irish laborer. The 1860 US Census for Stillwater listed Thomas, age 33, with wife Anna, 32, and children Patrick, 12; Mary, 8; Bedelia, 6; Thomas, 4; and Margaret, 1. The ages of the children indicate that he was married and a father in 1855. The census taker certainly could have counted him in the Heimstreet family in 1855 despite having a family just across the river in Stillwater, with just an error in his age.
Thomas enlisted in Company K of the 125th in Schaghticoke at age 30 on August 18, 1862. It was not unusual for illiterate people not to be sure of their birthdates, so the difference in age is acceptable. Thomas had blue eyes and dark hair and was 5’8” tall. The card confirms his birth in Ireland and his occupation as laborer. He lived in Stillwater according to the record made by the Stillwater Town Clerk of local men in the war, made in 1865. Unfortunately he only recorded Thomas’ service and the town bounty of $54 he received, adding no family information.
Thomas was captured with the rest of the 125th at Harpers Ferry in September 1862, and went off to parole camp in Chicago. As soon as the 125th got back as far east as Washington, D.C., on November 27, 1862, he deserted. Perhaps with the winter coming up, and months of inactivity, he decided to go home. Other men did that, but came back for the summer “fighting” season. I can find no further record of him for sure, as Curley is such a common name.
James C. Davis
According to his muster card, James C. Davis was born in Schaghticoke in 1838. Both Oliver and David Davis lived in Schaghticoke in 1840 and had sons under five years of age (that census does not name the family members), so I’m not sure who his father was. I’m betting it was David, who died at the end of 1841 at age 33. James appeared in the 1850 US Census in the family of Augustus and Harriet Cummings. Augustus was a 35–year-old painter. Wife Harriet was 33. James Davis was 12-years-old and brother John 10. Also in the family were Augustus Cummings, age 2 and his sister Elizabeth, 8 months. It seems probable that Harriet, the mother of the two Davis boys, remarried Mr. Cummings after her first husband died. By the 1860 US Census, Augustus and Harriet had moved on, but James was still in Schaghticoke. He was 23, a journeyman painter, with a personal estate of $100. He was married to Francetta, age 21, and they had a 3-month-old daughter named Elveretta.
James enlisted in Company K of the 125th as a musician on August 9, 1862 at age 24. He listed his occupation as painter, and was 5’5” tall with blue eyes and brown hair. He abandoned the job of musician and was promoted to Corporal by April 1863. He was sick in the hospital for a while, but returned to duty in time to be killed in action on May 12, 1864 at Spotsylvania. His record card indicates some period of uncertainty about his fate for a while at the time of the battle. He was listed as both absent without leave and missing. The card finally concluded he had been killed in action, one of four men of the 125th who died that day. I cannot find any information on where he was buried.
The 1865 NY Census for Schaghticoke records James’ death, though it states he died at the Wilderness, which occurred just a few days before Spotsylvania. It indicates that he had a widow and child, and sure enough, widow Francetta and daughter Elveretta, now 5, continued on in the village of Schaghticoke, living in a house with two Irish families. Francetta noted that she had had a second child, which had died.
Francetta applied for a pension based on James’ service in July 1865. Interestingly, Elveretta, misnamed Francetta, applied for a minor’s pension the following August. This was probably because her mother had remarried, to John Guest, a veteran of the 77th NY Infantry Regiment. By the 1870 US Census, they had their own daughter, Minnie, age 1. James’ mother and stepfather show up in the 1870 US Census in Hoosick, where Augustus continued his career as a painter, probably of carriages and signs, quite successfully.
John Costello has a tiny connection to Schaghticoke. He enlisted in Company G of the 125th in our town in August, 1862. He was born in Ireland. His muster card describes him as age 24, a laborer with blue eyes and dark hair, 5’5” tall.
I did find a John Costello in the 1860 US Census for Easton. He was an 18-year-old Irish farm laborer working on the farm of Thompson and Seth Hanley, sons of Lydia Hanley.
John was captured with the rest of the 125th at Harpers Ferry and sent to parole camp in Chicago. He deserted on October 26 and was “never apprehended.” I did find several John Costellos in Chicago in the 1870 US Census, including one, age 30, who had just gotten married and had a one-year old child. It is impossible to know if this was the correct person. He could have gone anywhere.
Chauncey J. Crandall
Chauncey J. Crandall enlisted at age 18 in Company K. He was 5’10” tall, with black eyes, brown hair, and a fair complexion. He was born in Schaghticoke, and gave his occupation as farmer. The 1850 US Census shows the family when Chauncey was just 8. His father, Albert, 45 was a farmer. His mother Amanda was 38, and he had two older brothers, Harvey, 12, and George, 10. By the 1855 and 1860 censuses, Albert listed his occupation as laborer, and just Chauncey lived at home. In 1860 he gave his occupation as farm laborer.
George Bryan referred to Chauncey quite a few times in his letters to Jennie Ackart. Either he was good friends with Chauncey, or he knew that Jennie was. While the 125th was interned in Camp Douglas in Chicago, Bryan wrote on November 2, 1862, “Channey Crandall is in the hospital. He had the fever but is doing very well now. By November 13, he added, “Channey Crandall is gaining slowly. I think he is past all danger…Channey Crandall has just been here. I have written two letters for him today…He says you have forgotten him as you do not write to him”; also, “You need not worry about Channey Crandall, he will not want for anything.” This tells us either Chauncey was not able to write or too ill to do so. He was not as well as Bryan thought, as “he was not able to come with us when we left Chicago…was left there in the hospital….The things you sent him I shall keep for him until he joins the company again.” By January 24, 1863, Bryan reported that “I read a letter from Channey Crandall a day before yesterday. He is getting better. I think he will be able to be with us soon. He is in Baltimore.” By March 14, in Centreville, Virginia, Bryan added, “Channey Crandall has joined his company, he is well. He said he had sent for some money twice, but did not get it. I think you had better not send him any more now; we will get paid this week.” March 28 Bryan wrote, “Chauncy Crandall is well as usual; and does his duty like a soldier.” On April 23, “Channy Crandall acts as though he liked to be a soldier.”
Chauncey was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. Bryan wrote to Jennie on July 17, “Channy lay out in the rain all night…He was wounded in the shoulder. He was quite weak and exhausted. I did not think it dangerous. I went to see him as soon as he was brought in.” George would have had to leave Chauncey, as the 125th moved on after the battle. Chauncey died July 9 of that wound. The 1865 NY Census states he was buried at Gettysburg. Indeed, he is in the national cemetery, Section A, site 90. The body of his fellow soldier Morgan Wood who was also killed at Gettysburg, was returned home for burial. Why not Chauncey? Was it a matter of cost?
This monument is on the spot where Abraham Lincoln gave his famous “Address” at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, very close to where Chauncey is buried
His parents remained in Schaghticoke. The 1865 NY Census listing shows son George, now 21 was living with them, his occupation listed as soldier. There are several George Crandalls who served in N.Y. units in the Civil War- I can’t find one who fits this family. I wonder if the occupation was an error in the census, as George was not described in the part of the census that detailed the military service of each soldier in the main listing. Chauncey’s parents Albert and Amanda shared a house with the other son, Harvey, now 26, a laborer, and his wife and three small children. Amanda filed for a pension based on her son Chauncey’s service in 1868.
Albert and Amanda Crandall were also in the 1870 US Census. Albert, age 63, was working as a farm laborer. An 81-year old woman named Ruth Herrington lived with them. I wonder if she was Amanda’s mother? Son Harvey was now a carpenter, living up on Master Street. He and wife Martha had added two more children to their family: son Chauncey was 4 and George 1, undoubtedly named for their uncles. This younger Chauncey (1867-1904) is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, indicating at least some of the family stayed in the area. By the 1880 US Census, Albert had died, and Amanda, 72, was the head of a household including farm laborer William Rose, his wife Nettie, and their son. Her son Harvey, now called Alvin H., lived next door with his wife and family- eight children at that point.
The NYS Muster Roll Abstract for Clark Church states he was born in Schaghticoke in 1839. I don’t believe his family was here very long, as I found them in neither the 1830 or 1840 US Census. I believe that Clark was the son of William and Anna Church, though several ancestry.com family trees claim his parents were Peter and Rebekah Stewart Church. I found Clark in the 1850 US Census for Petersburgh, Rensselaer County, as a child of William, 32, a farmer, and Anna, 29. He was 11. The 1855 NY Census for Petersburgh includes the families of both Peter and Rebekah and William and Anna on the same page. Clark, 17, is listed with Peter and Rebekah there, but Rebekah is 65, putting her at 48 when Clark was born. I wonder if they were his grandparents.
By the 1860 US Census, Clark, 21, was out on his own, still living in Petersburgh. He had married Mary Ross, 16, and they had a daughter Sarah, 1. He was a farm laborer and this census states he could not read. Clark enlisted in Company A of the 125th on August 7 in Petersburgh. He was 24, born in Schaghticoke, a farmer with blue eyes, brown hair, and a fair complexion, 5’9 ½” tall. Clark surrendered with the rest at Harpers Ferry and was paroled back to Virginia. But he was discharged for disability at Alexandria on February 8, 1863. He applied for a disability pension at once.
The 1865 NY Census showed him back home in Petersburgh, now 27, with wife Mary, 21; Sarah, 6; and son Ulysses, 1; as well as mother-in-law Mary Ross, 47. The census reported that his health was good and he was “without wounds,” so whatever his disability he had recovered. Clark continued to list his occupation as “laborer” through most of his career. He and Mary moved to Poestenkill as of 1875, when he worked on the railroad. They had added another son, Walter. And they went on to Bennington by the 1880 US Census. Daughter Sarah, now 20, worked in a woolen mill. Wife Mary died about this time, and Clark moved back to Rensselaer County.
Clark remarried about 1891, to a woman named A. Louisa Benedict. She was probably a widow. The 1900 US Census showed them living on 5th Avenue in Lansingburgh, where Clark was still a day laborer. Louisa had had eight children, six living. There were several sons-in-law living with the couple, along with children Henry, 15, who must have been a child of Clark and Mary, plus three children of Clark and Louisa: Alfred, 10; Ethel, 9; and Lena,7.
Clark died in January of 1901. The Troy “Times” recorded that Post Bolton, the G.A.R. Post, attended his funeral. An application for a federal tombstone for Clark was made in 1933, probably at the time of Louisa’s death, by Ethel Gibbs, daughter. The application was for a stone in the Waterford Rural Cemetery, but “Find-a-Grave” states he is buried in Oakwood Cemetery.
According to his NYS Muster Card, John Conlon or Conlin was a 44-year-old laborer, born in Ireland, with blue eyes, and light hair, 5’4” tall when he enlisted as a private in Company K at Schaghticoke on July 28, 1862. I do find his family in the 1860 US Census for Schaghticoke. He was 40, a day laborer, with wife Mary 45, also born in Ireland, and three daughters, Mary F, 13; Lois, 11; and Ellen, 10, all born in the U.S. Who knows why John decided to enlist in the 125th? Perhaps the $13 per month plus the $140 bounty for signing up were too good to pass up. At his age and as a married man, he would not have been drafted.
In a letter written on December 5, 1863, George Bryan reported that John and “a Whyland, and W. Carr” had been taken prisoner while on picket. His record card confirms that he was in fact captured at Bristoe Station, in mid-October though it states that he was “absent sick since Oct 14, 1863”, then adds that he was captured and gets the date wrong by a year. He and later captives from the 125th were unlucky enough to have been imprisoned at the new Confederate Prisoner of War camp at Andersonville, Georgia. The men were treated appallingly. John died of diarrhea on September 23, 1864 and is buried there. Hopefully he and the other Company K boys stuck together and supported each other in the chaos of the camp. Andersonville officially closed September 1, so John must have been too ill to move to the new camp in South Carolina.
It seems that widow Mary Conlon got some support back in Schaghticoke. In the 1865 NY Census, she and her three daughters lived in the same house as John, Julia, and George Wolf. George had just returned from service in Company K.
By the 1870 US Census for Pittstown, Mary and her daughter Lois, 18, had moved in with her daughter Mary , married to William McGowan. Mary was not working, but Lois worked in the linen mill. Mary continued to live with the McGowans and their growing family, up to four children by 1880. She died in 1885 and is buried in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Schaghticoke. I do not find evidence that she applied for a pension as a widow- I don’t know why not, she certainly would have been entitled to one. I hope she knew what happened to him and where he was buried.
Risley J. Carpenter has just one connection with Schaghticoke. He enlisted in Company K of the 125th in town on July 25, 1862. He was the son of Hiram R. and Mary Carpenter. Hiram and Mary appear on the 1850 US Census in Castleton, Vermont, with a large family, including Risley, then 6- years- old. Hiram was a Methodist minister. Very interestingly, the family was in Troy by the 1860 US Census, where Hiram was a jeweler. At that point, the family consisted of Hiram, 50, Mary 47, daughter Hatty, 18, son Thomas, 16, a jeweler’s apprentice, Risley, age given as 14, twins Anson and Alanson, 12, and an Alanson Wilcox, 36, a wealthy jeweler living with the family with his wife. An interesting transformation from minister to jeweler!
The first N.Y.S. Muster Card of Risley J. Carpenter
Risley enlisted in Company K at age 18 on July 25, 1862 in Schaghticoke. He was born in West Poultney, Vermont, had gray eyes and light hair, was 5’5” tall, and gave his occupation as jeweler. Risley did well as a soldier. First he was on daily duty as a clerk in the adjutant’s office through much of 1863, then he was promoted to Sergeant Major on January 1, 1864. As his muster card shows, he was absent recruiting for the regiment in early 1864. I found ads in the “Troy Times” where Risley had set up an office, seeking new recruits for hefty bounties. Back to the regiment, he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant of Company A by June 3, 1864. Unfortunately, just a month later he was discharged for disability. He certainly seemed to be a promising young man. It’s impossible to know what the disability was, but no time in the hospital is recorded, so it must have been sudden. At the time, the regiment was participating in the siege of Petersburg.
Second Muster card of Risley J. Carpenter
The only time I found Risley for sure after the war was in a small article in the “Albany Evening Journal” in February 1866, where R.J. Carpenter, a clerk in Mr. Hood’s jewelry store in the city prevented a robbery of the store by two thieves from New York City. There are a number of mentions of R.J. Carpenter in various newspapers around the state during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but I could find no sign of Risley in the censuses. He did not apply for a pension, which inclines me to think that he died before 1890, when they would have been available based merely on old age.
William A. Carr
William A. Carr’s N.Y.S. Muster Card
William A. Carr enlisted at age 22 in Schaghticoke. According to his muster card, he was a 5’5” tall farmer, with grey eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion, born in Schaghticoke. The 1850 US Census for Schaghticoke listed his family: father Hugh, age 56 was a farmer, born in Ireland. His mother Ellen, also born in Ireland, was 45. They had children Jane, 20; and Ann, 13, also born in Ireland, and Sarah, 9; William, 7; Thomas, 6; and Eliza, 3, all born in the U.S. That pegs their arrival in about 1840, just a bit before the potato famine. In the 1855 N.Y.S. Census, 14-year-old William was a boarder in the family of James Smith in Schaghticoke, with an occupation of mechanic. That occupation basically meant a person working in a factory. That is interesting as he gave his occupation as farmer when he enlisted. Perhaps the factory work didn’t work out. Ellen died about that time, and Hugh was alone in the 1860 US Census. I do not know where William was living that year.
William did well as a soldier, and was promoted to Sergeant by fall of 1863. On December 5, 1863 George Bryan reported, “In our last move over the Rapidan River our regiment lost 41 men. I think they were taken prisoners. We left in the night and they were on picket, they had orders to fall back at 12 o’clock at night. Since we left we have not heard anything of them. They must have been taken prisoner. Among them was a Whyland, W. Carr, John Conlin…our Regiment is getting very small.” The service card states that Carr in fact was captured in action at Bristoe Station, Virginia. That battle happened at the end of October, so it would seem that George was in error to include him in that list. Hopefully he met up with the 41 later captives of the 125th, first at Belle Island, near Richmond, then at the new prison at Andersonville, where they were moved in February of 1864. William died August 14, 1864 of scorbutic at Andersonville Prison in Georgia, and is buried in the cemetery there.
The conditions at Andersonville were inhumane. The inmates were provided no shelter, very little food, and polluted and limited water. One hopes that William and the other men from Company K, including also Douglas Fisher and Job Grant, stuck together and helped each other through their last months of life.
Tombstone of William Carr at Andersonville National Cemetery
The 1865 census for Schaghticoke recorded William’s death, though it said he had died at the prison in Richmond. That was a reasonable assumption, as officers often were sent there. But the record card and tombstone prove otherwise.
The 1865 NY Census also shows that William’s father Hugh, now 65, had remarried, to a woman named Mary, 45. She was an Irishwoman who also had been married before, and had had eleven children. The Carrs stayed on in Schaghticoke. They were in the 1870 US Census, Hugh now 74, Mary 65, (probably 55). Hugh still worked as a farm laborer. A very odd entry in the 1880 US Census in Schaghticoke has Mary A. Carr, 53, keeping house, with a son named William, 51, in the family, along with Hugh, 86, listed as “husband” and working on a farm. Hugh’s entry is crossed out, and Mary A. is checked as being a widow, so it is reasonable to think that Hugh had died. I don’t know who that William was- he is the right age to be the dead William, if he had lived. If he was one of Mary’s children, he would have had a different last name, I would think. I did find that Mary A. applied for a pension based on William’s service on April 7, 1888. She is correctly identified as his step-mother. I cannot find Mary after that.