Our Civil War Ancestors

Our Civil War Ancestors



Private Charles Ellet, Company B, 3rd Michigan Infantry, Ancestor of: Dave, Scott, John, Thomas and Daniel Hann

 

Charles, a native of Ireland, was 43 years old and living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company B, of the Third Michigan Infantry, on May 13, 1861. By September of 1862 he was employed as a Wagoner, probably in the Brigade wagon trains, and was reported as a Wagoner with the Brigade trains from April of 1863 through July, in October was with the supply train, probably serving as a teamster. In November he was a First Division Wagoner and was back with the Brigade supply train from December of 1863 until he was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864. Pvt. Ellet while not wounded in the war, did suffer from sickness during his service but did not keep him out of the war. For example once the 3 Michigan was mustered into service it was sent to Washington DC. Upon arrival some of the members of Company B, were detailed to man the Cannons protection Chain Bridge at Arlington Heights. Ellet was one of the men detailed for service as he did have some prior Artillery experience serving in the Grand Rapids Artillery in 1859. This was for two weeks starting around June 20, 1861. The types of Cannons that were in defense of Chain Bridge were the large “Siege” Cannons. Private Ellet was detailed on July 4, 1861 by Captain Baker Borden of Company B, to fire a salute in honor of July 4th   The concussion of the guns along with sleeping on damp ground caused as deafness in Ellet’s right ear. During General Burnsides famous “Mud March” Private Charles Ellet, is confined to his tent, near Fredericksburg, VA, on January 20, 1863, with a bad case of “diarrhea” plus loss of hearing in his left ear. Ellet is already suffering with a loss of hearing in his right ear. He is sent to the Army Hospital opposite of Fredericksburg where he will stay for two weeks. While in the Hospital Ellet’s left ear is treated with a medicine on a sponge which will clear up his hearing in that ear. Mustered out on June 20, 1864, the years spent in the Army must have had an effect on him as he served in the Second Regiment of the Michigan State Troops for over 25 years as a gunner with Company K.  He was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Champlin Post No. 29 in Grand Rapids and the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, as was elected as one of the Vice Presidents its organization in 1871.  Charles died of old age and “La Grippe” (influenza) on February 3, 1900, at his home at 16 Broadway Street in Grand Rapids, and the funeral was held at the house at 2:00 Monday afternoon and was conducted by Rev. I. Davis of the First Presbyterian Church. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Grand Rapids Michigan

 

 

 

 

Private Robert Moncrief Company H, 24 New Jersey Volunteer Infantry:  Ancestor of Charlie Morgan

 

Robert Moncrief was born in Cumberland County NJ on March 28, 1826 to Hugh and Clarissa Moncrief.  He was the oldest of their six children.  On September 12, 1846, he married Mary N. Husted in Bridgeton NJ.  Robert enrolled in Company H of the 24th NJ Volunteer Infantry on September 2, 1862 at the age of 34.  He was mustered in on September 16, 1862 for a term of nine months.  At the time of his enlistment, he had a wife and 5 children.  During his enlistment he survived the battles of Fredericksburg (the 24NJ was one of the lead units in the initial attack on Marye’s Heights) and Chancellorsville.  However when his unit reorganized after the Chancellorsville battle he was listed as missing.  Apparently he had been taken prisoner at that time.  However, it seems as if he was exchanged shortly after the battle since he was present with his unit when it was mustered out on June 29, 1863 in Beverly NJ.  His discharge paper indicates that he was an exchanged POW and was not eligible to re-enlist in the Army.  He returned to Bridgeton where he lived for the rest of his life.  After his return to Bridgeton, he had two additional children, one of which was my Grandfather Horace Moncrief.  On September 11, 1879, he applied for a Civil War pension as an invalid.  On August 27, 1880, he became a member of the Alexander L. Robeson Post of the GAR located in Bridgeton NJ.  He died on May 26, 1903, and is buried in the Broad Street Cemetery in Bridgeton NJ. 



 

 

Sgt. John G. Abbott, Company D, 48 New York State Volunteers: Ancestor of  Richard A. McGeary

Sgt. John G. Abbott of Mays Landing, Atlantic County, New Jersey enlisted in the 48th New York State Volunteers on July 30, 1861, at the age of 22. Company D (the “Die No Mores”) was comprised primarily of New Jersey recruits in a regiment formed in Brooklyn by a Methodist minister, Col. James Perry. The regiment was known as “Perry’s Saints.” Sgt. Abbott served in coastal Georgia and South Carolina beginning October 1861 and participated in the capture of Forts Walker and Beauregard in Port Royal Harbor, SC, and the siege and capture of Fort Pulaski near Savannah. He served on many islands in the area including Tybee, Dawfuskie, Hilton Head, and St. Helena. The 48th engaged the enemy at Port Royal Ferry and along the Coosawhatchie River and Pocotaligo where Confederate rail and telegraph lines were destroyed. Confederate cavalry were driven off near Bluffton. On July 5, 1863, Sgt. Abbott arrived at Folly Island from Hilton Head. On July 9, 1863, the 48th received orders to cross onto Morris Island near Fort Sumter and Charleston after dark. On July 18, 1863, the 48th participated in the major assault on Fort Wagner made famous in the film “Glory.” After devastating losses and hand-to-hand combat, the 48th reached the parapet of the fort only to be driven back. Sgt. Abbott was wounded and evacuated by ship to the Army Hospital at Fort Schuyler, NY. He died of his wounds on August 7, 1863, and was buried in Union Cemetery outside of Mays Landing near the family farm in Gravelly Run.

 

Pvt.James Lovegrove Marlin, Company B, 2nd Delaware Infantry: Ancestor of Fred, Jeff, Daniel and Chuck Mossbrucker   

 
James Lovegrove Marlin, of Philadelphia, PA, mustered into the army on 13 June 1861.  He was 16 years and 9 months old.  He was part of that Pennsylvania contingent of patriots who were selected to serve in a Delaware unit since Delaware had trouble filling it's obligatory volunteer requirement.  It is also surmised that James joined a Delaware regiment to escape a rather austere home life.  Since James stood 5' 11" and weighed 180 lbs., no one bother to ask him if he was "old enough."
James and 785 other men and officers underwent training at Camps Brandywine, DE and Cambridge, MD for five months and were mustered in as the 2nd Delaware on 17 October 1861.  James was member of Company B.  The 2nd Delaware was the first three year regiment mustered into service from Delaware.
The 2nd Delaware's first duty was to clear the Delmarva Peninsula of any secessionist activity, which they performed with relish!  Many "raids" produced armaments and prisoners of a most southern persuasion.
While many remarked on the Delawares' military bearing and comportment, many diaries, letters and official reports tell of numerous incidences of fighting amongst the men.  The Wilmington Irish seemed to be in the middle of it all more often than not.
The 2nd DE shed it's first blood wile guarding the York River Railroad.  Their first time "seeing the elephant" was at Gaines Mills, where it won particular mention for its gallant action in the last stages of the battle.  It was the last infantry unit to leave the field of battle, covering the withdrawal of the army in an "orderly and professional manner."  The Second went on to see bloody action at Savage Station, Peach Orchard, White Oak Swamp and Malvern Hill.
Immediately following Gen. Pope's 2nd Bull Run debacle, the 2nd DE was sent to cover Washington, DC.
Less than a month later the 2nd DE picked up the nom de guerre, the "Crazy Delawares."  They were among the units who had pierced the sunken farm road, later called the Bloody Lane, at Antietam.  They continued to advance to within 60 yards of the Piper Farm House and a Confederate battery of cannons.  The Delaware boys were incredulous when they received orders to  fall back!  They wanted to take the guns in front of them, so they refused to fall back!  Again they were ordered to fall back and again, they refused the order!  Finally, Gen. McClellan made it crystal clear to the men that they had better fall back or else.  This time they followed orders but grudgingly.  It was said that several high ranking officers at McClellan's headquarters and even McClellan himself remarked the the 2nd DE must have been crazy to have advanced so far without support!  It would not be he only time in the war that they would do so.  *After the war, in his reminiscences, Gen. Longstreet himself said that, "If those Yankees had charged us , they'd have split our whole army and perhaps have ended the war. But that was McClellan."
At the Battle of Fredericksburg the "Crazy Delawares" were one of the lead units in Gen. Zook's brigade's assault  on Marye's Heights.  The "Crazies" again attracted attention from the army's high command by covering the retreat from that bloody field. Fortunately for the 2nd DE, they did not participate in the infamous "Mud March"of January 1863 and remained in camp much of the winter.
At the Battle of Chancellorsville the 2nd DE arrived just as Gen. Hooker lost his nerve.  They, with the rest of Hancock's Division, were placed to the east, facing east, of the road running next to the Chancellor House.  The 2nd DE held their position against repeated attacks by an obstinate foe and then faced about to help repel Jackson's famous flank attack.
Once again the 2nd DE garnered attention when they, along with members of the 12th NJ, helped rescue wounded men from the burning Chancellor House!
At Gettysburg the 2nd DE would number about 230 men and officers.  It would be less afterward.
On 2 July at approximately 5pm the 2nd DE with the restive Col. Brooke's Brigade were ordered to clear the Wheatfield.
Having formed up in reverse, the "Crazy Delawares" now formed the left flank of the brigade.They drove the Confederates of Gen. Anderson's Georgian Brigadier handsome style!  The advanced farther than any other Union unit that day and were masters of the field for all of about one half an hour.  After the Rebs reinforced and attacked once again, the 2nd DE was ordered to refuse its let flank which it did but to no avail.  Without reinforcements and down to their last five cartridges per man the outnumbered brigade was forced to retreat.  It is safe to say that no time was lost in retreating over that blood soaked field!
In the grand charge known as Longstreet's Assault, the 2nd DE had sent a company out to act as skirmishers but the rest stayed in the main line out front of the Hummelbaugh Farm and participated in attacking the southern flank of the charge and helped to capture many prisoners.
In the August following Gettysburg, the 2nd DE was sent to Wilmington, DE to quell riots that had broken out over the draft.  Needless to say, once the "Crazies" showed up, better sense took control of the rioters and they all went home.
In October 1863 the 2nd DE participated in the small action at Catlett's Station as skirmishers.By this time the "Crazy Delawares" had acquired a reputation for being one of the elite skirmishing units in the army!
The following Spring the 2nd DE helped to blunt a rebel charge on the Union left flank on the Brock Road in the dense underbrush of the Wilderness.
About a week later the 2nd DE moved on the Rebel works at Spottsylvania and were left to their own devices when the rest of the brigade was ordered to support action another portion of the field!  The 2nd DE and the 148th PA gained more notice when they were mentioned in official reports for "marked service and courage" on this part of the battlefield.Two days later Brooke's Brigade was part of the frontline of Hancock's Assault on the Mule Shoe.  They pierced the Rebel line with bayonets and clubbed muskets then drove on to the secondary Confederate defense line that ran across the base of the Mule Shoe.  Without adequate support, Hancock's troops had to fall back under the weight of the Confederate counter attack.Bloody and sanguinary fighting followed when both sides get back to the original entrenchments, the Union troops on one side and the Confederates on the other.They slugged it out in a driving 24 hour rain storm.  When all was said and done, little had been accomplished except the profuse loss of men on both sides.
Eventually the 2nd DE was ordered to disengage and march toward a non-descript location called Cold Harbor.  The 2nd DE was part of that infamous charge ordered by Gen. Grant, which he regretted making.The 2nd DE, along with others units in the 2nd Corps lost some 7,000 men in 15 minutes.
When in front of Petersburg about one month later (1 July 1864), the term of enlistment was up with the 2nd DE.  Most of the boys, along with James Marlin, went home.  Others reenlisted and were mustered into the 1st DE.
James went home, "kicked around for about six months," then "jined the cavalry."  He joined the 13 PA Cavalry.  My guess is that he figured he'd ride the rest of the war rather than walk.  As it were, Pvt. Marlin served out the rest of the war with "Uncle Billy," Gen. Sherman down in North Carolina where he mustered out again in July 1865.
PS-
All through the war Pvt. Marlin was never wounded or sick.  He was one of the fortunate ones of that war.  He did re-sign up to serve another four years out west in the cavalry "fighting" the Apache Indians.  He never really fought any of them.  He only saw two of them while out in New Mexico and both times was from a mile away.
James Lovegrove Marlin joined the GAR after he got out of the army in 1869.  He was a comrade until he died in 1933 at the ripe old age of 88.  He served as Adjutant of the Post in the Gen. GK Warren Post #15 of Philadelphia.  Today he is buried near the Post burial plot in the Westminster Cemetery in Roxborough, PA.
My Great Uncle John Marlin said the only two things he remembered about his grandfather, James, were:
1) "He scared me to death!"
2) "All he ever talked about was being a soldier."
 
 
 

Sgt. John R. Pedrick Company A, 3rd NJ Infantry: Ancestor of Frank Tomasello

            John Robert Pedrick was born on October 2, 1840, in Gloucester county New Jersey. He was the youngest of five children (two boys and three girls) born to William R. Pedrick and Sarah Jane (nee Mattson) Pedrick. John had deep roots in New Jersey. The Pedricks came to America from England in 1679 to escape persecution for their Quaker beliefs. The Mattson family emigrated from Sweden in 1640 on the second voyage of the now famous ship the Kalmar Nyckel. Both families settled in south west New Jersey.

            Little is known of John’s life prior to 1861 except that earlier census records appear to show him working as a farm laborer for another family. Tragedy struck the Pedrick family in May of 1860 when the eldest and only other son, Asa, was stricken with, and ultimately succumbed to, Typhoid fever leaving John as the sole male heir.

             Despite his position in the family, when news of the bombardment of Fort Sumter reached him, he was immediately moved to enlist in the Union Army in defense of the Union and on May 22, 1861, he was sworn in as a Private with the 3rd New Jersey, Company A (part of the famed “First Jersey Brigade”). This was to be a three year enlistment. The company was first sent to Camp Perrine but within days relocated to Camp Olden.

            In a letter home written from Alexandria, Virginia and dated July 30, 1861, he wrote to report his status as among the living albeit with a “bad cold”. John’s company was among those sent to participate in the Bull Run campaign. The trip there was by rail but constantly delayed by Rebel sabotage of the bridges and rails and John and his company were forced to make repairs themselves even engaging in a skirmish along the way at Burt’s Station some twelve miles from Bull Run. The company was approximately four miles from the Bull Run battlefield when they were halted. The firing of cannon could be heard and the men were eager to do their duty. Much to their dismay, retreat was ordered and the men returned to Alexandria. John reports one casualty: the drummer of Company H killed “accidently” leaving behind a wife and three children.

            The fall of 1861 saw the company preparing for the coming winter. The men were tasked building a fort to be known as Fort Taylor. Initially each man was assigned to work on the fort for three hours a day. This was later increased to six hours a day. John was proud that the fort was being built and so named as he felt it would add to the glory of the New Jersey Volunteers.

            On January 19, 1862, John wrote to his sister that he felt the war would be over in six to eight months and to thank her for a box of pies she had sent him.

            On September 2, 1862 John was promoted to Corporal. In his next letter home dated October 2, 1862, he talks of the “Rebels big mistake” in invading loyal Maryland. His regiment having been victorious in two encounters (Crampton’s Gap and South Mountain) leading up to the battle of Antietam. He notes that his company suffered two killed and three wounded in Maryland and six killed and eighteen wounded since leaving New Jersey.

            In a letter to his parents dated December 9, 1862, John writes to his parents discussing the removal of McClellan as Union commander stating that it was unpopular among the men. He also expressed his faith that Burnside would lead them to ultimate victory. He lamented the fact that he could not send any money home at that time as the company had not been paid in five months.

            John next wrote his parents on January 27, 1863, from White Oak Church, outside of Fredericksburg, Virginia. He relates that the weather had been bad with the mud “shoe top deep” while in the roads in was “hub deep”. He also proudly announced his promotion of January 1, 1863, to Sergeant with the pay increase associated with it.

            In late April of 1863, New Jersey Governor Joel Parker reviewed the troops stationed at White Oak Church. At that time he issued the Regimental flag to John as he was made the regimental color sergeant. Shorty thereafter the Chancellorsville campaign got under way. John’s company (as part of the Sixth Corps) was tasked to remain at Marye’s Heights as a feint to keep the Army of Northern Virginia occupied as the main Union Army proceeded south. The plan was for the Sixth Corps to eventually move west in a pincer movement. When John’s company began its movement on May 3, 1863, it encountered heavy resistance outside of Fredricksburg. Forward movement halted in the vicinity of Salem Church where they took severe casualties. Among the killed at Salem Church was John R. Pedrick. One newspaper account (the Newton Sussex Register, May 8, 1863) reported the following, “The Third New Jersey’s battle flag received a dozen or more bullet holes and was baptized in the blood of the Sergeant who carried it.” One other account states that as John fell the flag became wrapped around his body.

            John, until the time of his death, and the Third New Jersey had participated in all of the major battles fought by the Army of the Potomac from Bull Run, through the Peninsula Campaign, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Mud March and finally Chancellorsville. At time of his death John was twenty-two. His body was not recovered. 

           

 

 


 

 

 

 


Comments