Civil War (April 12, 1861 to April 8, 1865)
E. GEORGE BLAKE – Co. M. FIRST MN HEAVY ARTILLERY. PVT
E. GEORGE BLAKE was Ephraim & Mary Blake’s eldest son. Ephraim George was born Oct. 2, 1839 in Canada. He was a lumberman until the age of 24. George was a private in the Union forces of the Civil War. He served with the First MN Heavy Artillery, Company M. The First Minnesota was a muster of 1009 men called for service after the surrender of Fort Sumter. They were engaged in the Battle of Bull Run near Manassas, Virginia and suffered heavy losses at Antietam. During the Battle of Gettysburg, they worked to repulse Pickett’s Charge. Their last battles were the Battle of Bristoe and the Mine Run Campaign. Of the 1009 original muster, 16 officers and 309 enlisted men came home.
In 1866, George married Hannah Brock (12/2/1839-1899). They had two children; Charles and Sadie Hannah. In 1874, he went to St. Paul and operated several dairy farms. When he returned to Mankato, he served as a night watchman and was also hired by the city as a policeman. It is said he had many scars from being stabbed on the job but that he never had to shoot anyone. He worked both jobs for 12 years.
He resigned the police to become an Agent at the Northwestern railroad depot. After that job, he became a streetcar driver for 7 years and finally took a job with the park department working his way up to the Park Superintendent, a job he held for 20 years. He laid out Sibley Park and planted thousands of trees in all parks and boulevards in Mankato. He also became a weatherman; registering the rain-falls and river heights. He was a member of the IOOF lodge and the Christian Church.
George was killed in 1912, at age 73, when his buggy was struck by a train as he was crossing the Omaha & Northwestern tracks. The train engineer saw him but was unable to stop the train in time. He believed that the buggy was a run-away due to the high speed and erratic path of the horse.
PHILO BREWER – CO K 32nd WISCONSIN INFANTRY
The 32nd Wisconsin inf. was organized at Camp Bragg, Oshkosh, Wisc. in 9-25-1862. It was sent to Memphis and joined Sherman in his march to Savannah.
WILLIS G. BRIGGS – CO. E SECOND MINN. CAV.
WILLIS. G. BRIGGS: 10/13/1845-4/4/1897 – He was born in Cook Co. Ill. on October 13, 1845. He worked as a carpenter. Willis came to Minnesota in 1854 and moved to Mankato in the early 1860‘s. He married Miss Amy Simmons on August 26, 1868. They had 4 daughters and 1 son. When he was the Republican Candidate for Alderman in the 6th Ward he died suddenly at home of Pleura-pneumonia. He had been ill with La Grippe (flu) and developed a cough. During the 5 week illness, he grew weaker but was expected to recover. His death at age 52 was generally a shock. He was survived by his wife and children.
He was a veteran of the Civil War. At the age of 17, he enlisted in Captain Slaughter’s Co. E of the 2nd Minnesota Calvary on 12/22/1863 and was discharged 11/22/1865. Due to the Indian unrest, the “Mounted Rangers” were sent to garrison posts in Minnesota instead of being sent south. During the winter of 1863-4, it served at garrisons and went on scouting parties in pursuit of the Indians. In May of 1864, they were ordered to New Orleans and started to travel there but the order was countermanded and with General Alfred Sully in charge they rendezvoused with other outfits to form a major campaign against the Indians. They met 5-6,000 hostile Sioux and other Indians on the Little Heart River. The army with 2,000 men was able to drive the Indians ahead of them and continued a march to the Yellowstone. On September 8th the group reached Fort Rice and heard that Fisk’s emigrant train needed aid. They went to retrieve the train and after returning to Fort Ridgely, the group was broken down and sent to various outlying posts to guard during the winter of 1864-65. When the Civil War ended, the various units were mustered out.
Willis belonged to the Northwestern Legion of Honor, was a trustee of the M.E. Church, and was a member and past chairman of the Wilkin Post. He had $1,000.00 in life insurance. His obituary stated he was an upright and honorable man and had a “life well spent”.
A.S. CAPRON – CO G, 26 NY INF. POST 19 GAR, THEN WITH CO. A, 12th MARYLAND VOL. INF. & finally with the Navy.
Augustus was a member of one of the FIRST FAMILIES OF MARYLAND. He was born 1823 and died in 1896. He was the son of John Milton and Catherine Capron. He was a nephew of General Capron of the Maryland Cav. He was also related to the Tiffany jewelry family of New York. Augustus was college-bred and a classical scholar.
Augustus became estranged from his eastern relatives and enlisted first in Co G, 26TH NY on 6-1-1861 until 6-1-1863. He married a proper and beautiful girl at the time he enlisted. When he returned from 2 years of service, he found that the girl had divorced him and taken all his money & holdings. He then enlisted in Co. A 12th Maryland Volunteer Inf. He saw service at Cedar Mountain, in Virginia at the second Battle of Bull run, Antietam and the Battle of Fredericksburg. The Maryland unit was only 100 days of service guarding the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. He was mustered out on Nov. 14, 1864. He served as a private in both units.
He reenlisted in the Navy and served with the Mississippi Fleet for the rest of the war. He started as an ordinary seaman on the Great Western which was used as an ammunition and supply ship during the war. He rose to Captain of the Afterguard of the steamer Ibex. The Ibex was a tin-clad side-wheeler which was used as a gunboat. Augustus moved to MN after his service. He remarried and had 3 children. His death was due to ‘dropsical’ trouble of long standing and was attributed to complications of war injuries. He was on a pension for war disabilities.
ANTHONY CRISP – CO. 1, SIXTH MINN INF.
Dates of service 8-1-1862 / 8-19-1865. Died at home of heart trouble 3-17-1899. “A quiet man of excellent character”.
DAVID DACKINS – CO. E NINTH MINN INF.
David came to Mankato in April of 1856 to file a claim for land. A swede had filed on two pieces which was not allowed. Dackins made the Swede choose which one he wanted and David took the other.
He enlisted 7-18-1862 in Co. E, Ninth Minnesota Inf. Due to the Dakota conflict, as each troop of the 9th was formed, it was sent to a different area on the Minnesota frontier. Finally, in October of 1863, the Ninth was sent to St. Louis. It served time guarding railways in Missouri. In June 1864, the unit went to Guntown, Mississippi (also known as the battle at Brice’s Crossroads) where the Union forces were routed by the Confederacy. The union army under Sturgis with 8,500 troops was soundly defeated by the Confederate Cav. under Forrest with 4,787 troops. After the battle, the Union Army was scattered. David was separated from the rest of the group and headed north. He was captured and escaped 3 separate times and lived hiding in swamps, traveling at night and starving; only getting food occasionally from friendly Negros.
After the war, he became a Janitor at Union School but finally was given a disability pension due to his wartime hardships.
T.L. DICKSON - CO. D 32N WISC. INF. POST 9 GAR
J. J. EDWARDS – WIS. VOL.
J.J. Edwards was born in Columbia, Wisconsin. After short service in union army, he started from Wisconsin on 4-24-1861 and headed west to MN. He took transportation to Rochester (as far as it was available) then walked the rest of the way to Mankato. He had a meat shop on Front Street for 6 months then became a clerk. He first worked for I H Beiber then for Red Lion Store.
FIELDING T. ENFIELD CO I, 6TH MINNESOTA INF.
Fielding was born 7-23-1839 in Harrison Co. Indiana. He moved to MN in 1856 and married Mary Karrigan. Fielding enlisted as a private on 8-14-1862 at Swan Lake and served to end of the war. This regiment was returned to Minnesota in 1862 to quell Indians. It spent both 1862 and 1863 fighting the Sioux. While in the military he served as a teamster, Hospital aide, cook, and nurse. The unit then took part in Mobile, Ala. Campaign. They were sent to Helena, Ark. Helena was described by the regiment historian as a “Malaria stricken, disease fostering hole”. Of the 940 men there (for only about 4 months) 72 died of disease and 600 were sent to a Northern Hospital in St. Louis. Fielding died 3-30-1925 and was survived by 4 sons and 1 daughter.
JAMES OLIVER ENFIELD – CO. I, SIXTH MINNESOTA.
Enlisted 12-1863 and served to Aug, 1865.
MATHEW EVANS – CO. E 14TH WIS INF.
Mathew was born in North Wales. He enlisted in Union Army 9-22-1864 as a private. Before he left the service on 7-18-1865, he was promoted to Sergeant. He lived in Mankato and was a painter by trade. His death on 9/9/1901 at about 80 years old was due to general disability. He left a widow, daughter, and son.
ABRAHAM W. FINCH – CO D FIRST MINN HEAVY ARTILLERY
Abraham was born in Michigan on 8-22-1838. He enlisted in Fillmore Co. 9-23-1864. He started as a private and was promoted to a sergeant. He died at home of paralysis in Jan. 22, 1907. He had been ill since July. He was survived by a wife one son & 2 daughters.
AARON L. FOYLES - CO. E SECOND MINN CAV.
HENRY GEORGE HAMILTON – CO. 1 FIRST MINN INF.
Henry was born on May 28, 1828, in Athens NY. He died in Lake Crystal Apr. 27, 1910. In 1849, he married Martha Copeland. They had 9 kids of whom 5 were alive in 1910. In 1856 he moved to Olmsted Co. and later to around Pierre South Dakota. Martha died there. In 1887, he remarried Ellen Griffeth in Aurora, SD and he moved to Lake Crystal in 1905. He died of a lingering illness of many months duration.
He enlisted Apr. of 1865 and served to the end of the war.
MATTHEW M. HYNSON - CO. G TENTH MINN INF.
He was born in Delaware Apr. 13, 1824, and came to MN in 1856. He lived in Le Sueur until 1875, and then bought a farm in South Bend Township near Spring Island. He died of apoplexy having 2 strokes within a few days. He left a wife and 6 kids.
Matthew enlisted in 1862 and served throughout the war. According to his obituary, “He volunteered in one of the earliest companies and served “with Brilliant Accord in the Rebellion”.
JOATHAN JESSUP – CO A MISSOURI VOL.
Born in Ohio 6-26-1827 and died of old age 6-18-1909. After the war, he moved to Iowa and 18 years before his death, he moved to Mankato. He was survived by a wife and 4 kids. “A brave and honest man”.
He enlisted in Missouri and served throughout the war.
CHARLES JOHNSON – CO. B THIRD MINN INF.
Johnson died 3-11-1901 of LeGrippe. He lived here 50 years and left a wife, son and 6 daughters. He was one of the more substantial farmers of Judson and led an “industrious and successful life.”
The 3rd Minnesota was organized in November of 1861. They were sent to Kentucky where they surrendered to the Confederates under Nathan Forrest. In August and September of 1862, the regiment was paroled and returned to Minnesota. The regiment was at the Battle of Wood Lake against the Sioux in 1862. By June of 1863, they had returned south to join Ulysses Grant in the Vicksburg Campaign. They spend winter and spring on guard in Little Rock Arkansas.
H.F. JOHNSON – CO. G, 82ND PA. INF.
Hannibal was born in Pennsylvania and enlisted in 1863 in the 82nd Penn. infancy. He served to the end of the war. Johnson fought under Sheridan and Grant.
He lived in Tinkcomville in Mankato and died 4-2-1912 at the age of 73. He had had pneumonia for about 1 week and was survived by a step-father.
JOHN JONES – CO. K 46TH WISC. INF.
He was born in Wales. He served one year as a hospital Steward in a Wisconsin regiment.
S.W. JONES - CO G. 11TH WISC. INF.
THOMAS JONES – CO F. 188 OHIO INF.
Thomas was born in South Wales on 9-17-1847. He came to Mankato in 1867 and worked as a carpenter. After the Civil War, he married Elinor Jones in 1869 and moved to a Judson farm in 1871. He was survived by his wife and 10 kids. He had been ailing for some time with sciatic rheumatism and died of neuralgia of the chest. Shortly before his death, he took a trip to Colorado Hot Springs as a cure attempt. However, it did no good.
He enlisted in 1861 and served throughout the war in the Ohio 188th Infantry.
GILBERT L. KING – CO D 8 WISC INF.
Gilbert enlisted as a Drummer boy in the Eagle Regiment of Wisconsin at the age of 16. In 4 years of war, he was only wounded in the wrist by a saber.
He was dedicated to his music. Although by trade he was a carpenter, he organized a juvenile boy’s band for Mankato boys. He kept up a drum corps in Mankato for years. Died 9-14-1911 at age 68 of LeGrippe and pneumonia. He left a widow and 6 kids.
ALVARO E. LAIRD – CO. E, SECOND MINNESOTA CAV.
Alvaro was born in Whitestown, NY 3-9-1844. He died 10-4-1926. He lived in Lehillier and was survived by 2 sons and a brother.
After the attack on New Ulm, he rode with General Sibley chasing the Sioux. He was severely wounded during the Dakota campaign so did not serve to the end of the war.
GRIFFITH J. LEWIS – CO. B BRACKETTS BATTALION
Born in Wales, Griffith moved to Wisc. in 1852. He moved to Judson 1854 and Mankato about 1891. Lewis died on 4-7-1902 at home, age 65, after a 2-week illness of gastritis and pneumonia. Griffith was survived by his wife, Jane Roberts who he had married in 1870. Their only child had died earlier. He was an “exemplary citizen, and a kind friend and neighbor and a loving husband.”
Lewis joined Brackett’s Battalion in 1861 and served until 6-18-1866. Griffith Lewis and Willoughby Wells of Amboy were both in Co B of Brackett's Battalion. In 1864, they were assigned to accompany Fisk’s expedition to the Idaho Gold Mines. A total of 125 men, women and kids made up Fisk's party and 50 soldiers were assigned to them at Fort Rice due to Indian unrest. When the group reached 150 miles west of Bismark, ND, it was attacked and surrounded by Indians. The Fisk party formed a circle and fought for 18 days until help arrived. 14 of the soldiers were killed. Although the Indians left before the 18 days were up, none of the party except Fisk would continue. An officer and 14 soldiers returned to Fort Rice for help. When the soldiers at Fort Rice learned of the train’s troubles 850 men, including 300 Calvary, were sent to the rescue. The Captain in charge of the rescue party stated that the Indians were probably nearby waiting for the train to stretch out again so it would be more open to attack. The rescue party gave the train the option of going back with Fort Rice with them or traveling on alone. All opted to return.
RAY MITCHELL – CO A 125 OHIO INF.
Ray (Eli) Mitchell was born in North Avonshire, England in 1836. He came to Ohio in the U.S. in 1854. He was a farmer, blacksmith, and machinist. He moved into LeHillier in 1893. Ray had been ill since the previous June with congestion of the liver and died on 2-19-1913. He was survived by a wife, 3 sons and 3 daughters.
He enlisted in 1863 and served to the end of the war in the 125th Ohio Infantry.
H. S. PRITCHARD
ROBERT S. PRITCHARD - CO. E SECOND MINN CAV
Robert was born on 8-18-1838, in ERW LLANGRISTIOLUS, ANGLESEA, WALES. He was a carpenter. Robert was married twice – first to Mary Edwards and then to Elizabeth Davis. In the December 26, 1879 newspaper, it was noted that a Lady of Mankato wrote to her sister that she knew of 60 cases of Diphtheria here. The newspaper countered that there is no diphtheria in Mankato and the Lady was writing her sister a falsehood. Yet in December of 1879, Robert lost 3 of his children to Diphtheria. ELLEN, age 6, died12/7; LIBBIE, age 4, died December 16; and EDDIE, age 13, died 12/18. Many cases of the disease occurred in the Judson area. Robert died on November 18, 1913, general debility and complications.
He served with Company E of the Second Minnesota Cavalry. Due to the Indian unrest, the “Mounted Rangers” were sent to garrison posts in Minnesota instead of being sent south. During the winter of 1863-4, it served at garrisons and went on scouting parties in pursuit of the Indians. In May of 1864, they were ordered to New Orleans and started to travel there but the order was countermanded and with General Alfred Sully in charge they rendezvoused with other outfits to form a major campaign against the Indians. They met 5-6,000 hostile Sioux and other Indians on the Little Heart River. The army with 2,000 men was able to drive the Indians ahead of them and continued a march to the Yellowstone. On September 8th the group reached Fort Rice and heard that Fisk’s emigrant train needed aid. They went to retrieve the train and after returning to Fort Ridgely, the group was broken down and sent to various outlying posts to guard during the winter of 1864-65. When the Civil War ended, the various units were mustered out.
R.T. RICHARDSON – CO. H 110TH NY INF.
Rodman T. was born 12-14-1821 in England. He moved to New York in 1850; then lived in Canada for 10 years. In 1860, he moved to Wisc and worked at the milling trade. He moved to MN in 1863. In 1879, he opened a store in Amboy. He had 3 marriages. He died 11-28-1902 and was survived by 1 daughter and 2 sons. One of his sons was a soldier in the Philippines at the time of his death. Rodman enlisted in Company B of the 110th NY Infantry on August 25, 1862. He transferred to Company H of the 110th. He was mustered out on August 28, 1865. The 110th NY was first sent to Baltimore then to New Orleans where it was assigned to Emory’s division of the 19th Corp. They were at the Battle of Fort Bisland and then served at the siege of Port Hudson. In November of 1863 the units were at Vermillion Bayou, Louisiana and in Feb. of 1864, they were transferred to Fort Jefferson, Fla. During their time the 110th lost 2 officers and 14 men in battle and 3 officers and 192 men from disease and other causes.
R. SCHWANENBERG - CO. A SEVENTH WISC. INF.
Rudolph was born about 1836. He lived in Ceresco area near his brother and after his brother died, he moved his family to Mankato. On 4-24-1889, at the age of only 53, he died of apoplexy. He complained of not feeling well for about a week and one morning after breakfast he retired to his room. When checked on, it was found he died.
Rudolph earned a living giving music lessons in his home and had several students at his death. He leaves several sons and 2 daughters. Many of his children were noted musicians. He was the father of Violinist Charley S. Schwanenberg who was touring with the Andrews Opera Co.
He served with the seventh Wisc. Inf. for the duration of the war.
JAMES P. THOMAS – CO I CURTIS HORSE 5TH IA.
James Thomas was born 1-6-1828 at TIR CANOL CRAY DYFENOG BRECONSTIRE WALES. He moved to Racine, Wisconsin, in 1855 and to South Bend in 1856.
He enlisted in Co I Curtis Horse 5th regiment 11-25-1861. The 5th Iowa Cavalry was originally raised in Omaha, Neb. It later absorbed cavalry companies from Iowa, Missouri, and Minnesota. He was discharged for ‘inability’ 6-10-1862.
He married Eleanor Roberts in January of 1872. In 1884, he retired from his farm to the city Mankato due to ill health acquired in the army. He became a janitor of the Congregational Episcopal Churches for many years. He was survived by a wife and 4 children.