Monday, April 25, 2011

Military Monday - A Midnight Romp

My great-great grandfather, Andrew Myers, who was born in March of 1843 in Greene County, Pennsylvania, entered the fray of the Civil War in October of 1861, enrolling for duty in Cameron, Marshall County, Virginia (later to become West Virginia), and was mustered in to Company L or the 6th Regiment Virginia (West Virginia) Infantry as a Private.  He was 18 years old.  He re-enlisted in December of 1863 as a veteran.  He was in action at New Creek on November 28, 1864, according to his pension records. 

In September of 1863, he was charged with "Absence without Leave":

"Specification, In this that the said Andrew Myers a private of Co L 6th Reg. Va Infy. U. B. Vols did on or about the 22d day of Sept 1863 without permission from his commanding officer and without other authority leave his Company and Regiment for Green Co Pa and was arrested the following day at Cameron WVa. from there taken to the Provost Guard House at Wheeling, from there he was sent to Guard house at Clarksburg, and returned to his Company under arrest on or about the 28th of Sept 1863, all this at Rowlesburg WVa."

The company muster roll for September and October 1863 list him as "Absent" with the remarks, "On a scout in Tucker Co WVa.  Forfeits 30 days pay by sentence of Regt. Court Martial."

This was not his only "vacation":

"Charge 1 - Absence without leave
Specification - That Private Andrew Myers Company L 6th Regiment West Virga Vol Infantry was absent from his Company without permission from proper authority on the night of the 10th of April 1865  This at Grafton WVa

"Charge 2 - Disorderly and riotous Conduct
Specification - That Private Andrew Myers Company L 6th Regiment West Virga Vol Inftry was whilst absent from camp, on the night of the 10th of April 1865, engaged in disorderly and riotous conduct in breaking open the houses of Private Citizens at Fetterman WVa"

Andrew pleaded guilty to both counts.  His muster roll for March and April 1865 say that he is absent, "In Guard house Clarksburg WVa"  He was honorably discharged on June 10, 1865.

In his pension application, dated 21 December 1888, he says "he was injured in the Righ Shoulder caused by a fall while Passing over a Ditch.  And on or about Latter Part of June 1865 at or near Moundsville WVa was Ruptured on left side caused by falling off a train.  And on or about 5 day of June 1865 at Wheeling WVa Contracted Chronic Diarrhaea."  He further states that he is "unable to earn support by reason of rupture left side, ulcers left leg, injury to right shoulder, Diarehaea, Piles, Eyes affected   Unable to Perform Manual Labor."

He is described as 5 feet 6 inches, with light complexion, light hair, and blue eyes.

His wife, Emeline, reported the following after his death (April 29, 1908, Cameron, Marshall County, West Virginia):

"I can not give the affidavit of any Physician as to his death for the reason we had no doctor to see for 5 or 6  months prior to his death in the fall of the year before his death He had a stroke of Paralesis and we had a doctor to see him and was told he could do nothing for and directed us how to take care of him which we did as best we could untill his death, He died from the Paralesis, for a long while at times his mind was bad, we were verry poor people and had to do the best we could and had no other means to live on but his pension."

In a March 1st, 1889 affidavit, John Black, Commissioner, asserts the previous injuries, and says, "If there is a charge of desertion against Claimant can the same be removed".

In the pension records, both Emeline and Andrew assert that they were not married to anyone else prior to their marriage on 17 Feb 1875 in Greene County, Pennsylvania.  Interestingly, I can find no record of Andrew from June 1865 until the 1880 Census, which lists he and Emeline along with their 3 oldest children, Mary, Lena, and Loucena (Lucinda?).  I can't find him on the 1870 Census, and he's 31 years old at the time of his wedding.  I've wondered if he served time in prison for his misdeeds or if he just laid low during the ten years after the war ended.  I would dearly love to know where he was and what he was doing.  Emeline was almost 15 years younger than him, she would have only been seven years old when he was discharged.  One of my many family mysteries...

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