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Thread: Question on Federal enlistment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Newton, NC
    Posts
    268

    Default Question on Federal enlistment

    Please excuse the ignorance of this question as I am not as well read on the federal side of the fence as I am on soldiers from North & South Carolina.

    Did northern volunteer regiments have as many "families" enlist as did their southern compatriots?

    I guess what I am asking is....on both sides of my family uncles, nephews and brothers enlisted in the same company (Three brothers) that was raised here in Catawba County, NC as well as my father's side in southeast Georgia (three brothers and a nephew).

    The reason I am asking is curiosity. I attended a small living history event here in western NC over the weekend and I was explaining to the spectators how food was typically prepared in messes and more than likely a mess probably constituted kin folks.

    Thanks for any insight....I know there is no set answer but generalizations are fine with me.
    R. Yerby Ray

    Pvt

    13th NCT Co. B
    136th NYVI (when needed)
    Spike Head Mess
    Newton, NC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    3,402

    Default

    To a large degree, the same would be true, plus friends and neighbors.
    With the larger population in the North, there's the greater chance of not being directly related to as many folks in your unit.

    Companies were recruited by town, township, precinct, borough, and county, with some spillover and strays added in for good measure. Odds are, you fought with your kin, unless they went into a different branch of service.
    Bernard Biederman
    30th OVI
    Co. B

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    354

    Default

    Therein lies some of the awe I have for the origional soldiers.
    When I became a reenactor, me and another fellow formed Company F, 49th Indiana. The origional Company F was exclusively from Leavenworth, the county seat of Crawford County, Indiana. It is on the Ohio River, west of Louisville. The cemetary is full of Company F men.
    Viewing the graves of the origional Company F men caused me to imagine being in battle and that childhood friend of yours is killed, perhaps in a gruesome fashion. But then the order comes and off you march. Perhaps you have just watched as several men you have known since your childhood were wounded or killed.....and off you march because that is the order.
    How did they do that? I couldn't.
    Amazing
    BTW, the 49th is still a large, prosperous group based in Indianapolis but with members all across the midwest.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    348

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    Quote Originally Posted by yerbyray View Post
    Please excuse the ignorance of this question as I am not as well read on the federal side of the fence as I am on soldiers from North & South Carolina.

    Did northern volunteer regiments have as many "families" enlist as did their southern compatriots?

    I guess what I am asking is....on both sides of my family uncles, nephews and brothers enlisted in the same company (Three brothers) that was raised here in Catawba County, NC as well as my father's side in southeast Georgia (three brothers and a nephew).

    The reason I am asking is curiosity. I attended a small living history event here in western NC over the weekend and I was explaining to the spectators how food was typically prepared in messes and more than likely a mess probably constituted kin folks.

    Thanks for any insight....I know there is no set answer but generalizations are fine with me.
    From my own research into the 28th NY, just off the top of my head, their were three pairs of brothers who enlisted in Company F. One of each pair of brothers was killed in action at the Battle of Cedar Mountain.

    The whole of company F came exclusively from Batavia and Byron in Genesee County, they all knew one another and mostly appear to have been either related or were neighbours. From letters written home by Chandler Gillam of Company F, their mess and tent mates were their close friends from back home. Although that sort of changed after Cedar Mountain.

    I can find four instances of fathers enlisting with their sons in the 28th NY.

    In Company H, their were four brothers; Benjamin, Charles, Ebenezer and James Coddington.

    In Company A, three brothers; Benjamin, Henry and John Repass enlisted.


    Their are many others, but those are the ones which come to mind. So in answer to your question, I have to say, yes, they did enlist as family groups.
    Last edited by 28thNY; 03-30-2010 at 01:06 AM.
    Simon Taylor
    Comp F, CVG (Rowdy Boys)
    Comp E, 28th NY
    Rochester, NY

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Mount Wolf, PA
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yerbyray View Post
    Please excuse the ignorance of this question as I am not as well read on the federal side of the fence as I am on soldiers from North & South Carolina.

    Did northern volunteer regiments have as many "families" enlist as did their southern compatriots?

    I guess what I am asking is....on both sides of my family uncles, nephews and brothers enlisted in the same company (Three brothers) that was raised here in Catawba County, NC as well as my father's side in southeast Georgia (three brothers and a nephew).

    The reason I am asking is curiosity. I attended a small living history event here in western NC over the weekend and I was explaining to the spectators how food was typically prepared in messes and more than likely a mess probably constituted kin folks.

    Thanks for any insight....I know there is no set answer but generalizations are fine with me.
    Simple answer is Yes!

    The difference is that in the south there tends to be more farms and fewer cities, so families tend to be larger in the south. In the north there were more city folk who had smaller families. So you may see a pair of brothers serving int the same unit/company in the north, while in the south you may see 4 brothers serving in the Confederacy. Now this is just a generalization and I know there are all kinds of exceptions. In the unit we portray/represent there are at least 2 pairs of brothers in the Company.
    Capt. Mike Wolgemuth
    45th PVI, Co K http://www.45thpacok.com
    PAFOA http://www.pafoa.org

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia
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    There's no doubt that a lot of family and friends served together in the same units in both the North and the South. But this was not always the case. In a cemetary just down the street from where I live in Philadelphia, there are three identical headstones for three brothers who all fought in the war. But they were in three different regiments. The middle brother was killed at Fredericksburg, but the other two lived to ripe old ages. Now they rest next to each other for eternity.
    Scott Washburn
    Mifflin Guard
    www.paperterrain.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fleming County, KY.
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    Eastern Kentucky saw a lot of ďkinĒ serving together in units. Two direct descendants (brothers) were in the 39th KY Mtd. Inf. US (one a Lt., the other a Sgt.). Probably commonplace for a rural area (Pike County).

    Northern Kentucky, the river city of Maysville also saw kin together. The 16th KY Inf. US had 13 family members that were related as cousins and by marriage on my momís side. It also enlisted 4 members (all cousins by blood) from my dadís side.

    What is neat is it took almost 90 years for them to come together in the form of my mother and fatherís marriage. While not sure, there could possibly be 3 more distant relations in the 16th.
    Christopher Helvey


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  8. #8

    Default

    Hallo!

    True...

    On the one hand, the small "community" of rural settings led to relatives joining the "regiment" that was formed and had a recruiting office/officer or drive in that area.

    But there are exceptions.

    In this are, already as early as 1862, the "recruiting drives" were falling short so their efforts were extended to take in three, four, or five neighboring counties rather than just "one."

    And, I have noticed that with the twenty-some relatives in Federal service, that even
    brothers and uncles who lived in the same community did not always enlist in the "local" regiment. Even tohugh the World was often "smaller," and folks did not always travel that far from 'home," she has farmer ancestors who lived in say Marietta, Ohio but who enlisted
    in regiments in Zanesville or even as "far away" as Cincinnati.

    CHS
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southern Minnesota
    Posts
    908

    Default Kin

    Our particular unit, Co. C 5th Minnesota, was formed within a month from Freeborn & Faribault Counites, two sparsly populated counties in southern Minnesota. There were several pairs of brothers, and then there was the Dills family. Young Charles H. Dills, aged 18, joined first. Then (according to family stories), father Daniel, aged 44, was compelled to enlist by Mother Dills to protect young Charles H. Naturally, brother & uncle Charles (aged 42) was then compelled to enlist to protect older brother Daniel!!! It is told that the Dills clan became very adept at foraging and Capt. Sheehan would look the other way when the boys would disappear for several hours and show up with some local delicacy for the lads to enjoy. Great family legends.

    In addition, several men from Freeborn County that were recent immigrants from Norway & Sweden and could not speak English went 125 miles east into Wisconsin and enlisted in the 15th Wisconsin. This regiment became known as the Norwegian (sometimes Scandavian) Regiment because the officers could speak fluent English as well as the Scandavian languages. Some of those men were brothers and/or cousins as well.

    Regards,
    Last edited by harley_davis; 03-30-2010 at 11:27 AM.
    Harley
    5th Minnesota Regt. Vol. Infy.,Co. C
    1st South Carolina Volunteers, Co. H
    New Ulm Battery
    Old West Regulators - Minnesota
    "I love my wife so much, I almost told her the other day!!" Old Norwegian
    http://fifthminnesotacompanyc.webs.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    548

    Default

    Curt,

    Love the avatar man. Love it!
    Galen Wagner
    Yellowhammer Rifles
    Past Master, Oak Park # 864 F&AM
    Montgomery, AL

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