Archiver > PAALLEGH > 2008-01 > 1201041042

From: "MaryLee Smith" <>
Subject: Re: [ALL] Civil War Research - SUMMERHILL/SUMMERILL
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 15:30:42 -0700
References: <028501c85d2d$69c5a090$6601a8c0@D4T3DBF1><00cb01c85d31$a02d8ea0$01fea8c0@BEVERLY><007701c85d37$fa3634a0$0ce7e8c7@homecomputer>

I searched fruitlessly for years for my gr.grandpap who, per his obit, served in the CW. Bates, the Nat'l Archives, etc., etc. turned up nada. I didn't know what unit he was in & didn't know his middle name (only had his name, Henry F. Beck), but I did have some other essential information (his birth year & place, when he emigrated to the USA, & the year he died.) Everyone in the family who would know anything about him, is dead, so I had no one to ask.

At one point, I paid a professional genealogist (who came recommended by this List) a very nominal fee, & armed w/the info I provided her, she found my gr-grandpap in short order -- but his name when he enlisted was Frederick Beck, not Henry F. Who knew?! [Further research at this point reveals that apparently, after the CW, he began using Henry F. rather than Frederick.]

Also, as it turns out, he was a member of the 57th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry which was called up for just short of the 90 days, thus he was ineligible to receive a pension when he applied & reapplied, numerous times, late in life with infirmities.

So you may want to consider these possibilities -- that your ancestor may have, for whatever reason, gone by a different name. As well, if he were in a 'militia' unit which wasn't called up for very long, records would be scant, & no pension granted. However, there could be several pension application letters -- always in hopes of receiving a pension. [US military pension requirements were updated every-so-often.]

It is documented that young lads of 14 or 16, etc. did serve in the CW, even though the regulations required them to be 18. Since birth certificates & other documents to prove identity/age were not common/required 'back in the day', it was simple enough to 'fib' about one's age/identity. One 'trick' that young boys would often use, would be to write the number '18' on a piece of paper & put it in their brogan (shoe) -- thus they could 'truthfully' say they were 'over 18'.

Drummer boys/musicians were typically younger lads.

It has been documented, as well, that many women served in the CW -- disguised themselves as men. Many were not 'found out' until they died in the battlefield hospital, or perhaps, years later, in a veteran's hospital. ["An Uncommon Soldier" is a collection of letters from Pvt. Lyons Wakeman aka Sarah Rosetta Wakeman.]

in Phx. (married to a CW aficionado)

----- Original Message -----
From: Ruth Sprowls
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 1:47 PM
Subject: Re: [ALL] Civil War Research - SUMMERHILL/SUMMERILL

Since James Armstrong SUMMERILL/SUMMERHILL cannot be located, a
possiblity could be that because of his young age he may have
registered under a fictitious name.


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