Blodgett, Webster P., Pvt., Co. B, 18th NH Infantry

Webster P. Blodgett was born on 8 Aug 1833 in Plymouth, Grafton County, New Hampshire, the son of Asahel (b. 1795 – d. Orford, Grafton County, NH 28 Sep 1874) and Priscilla WEBSTER (b. 1806 Plymouth, NH — d.  30 Oct [alternate date: 11 Nov] 1871 Orford, NH.) BLODGETT.

 In Orford, NH on 17 May 1874, Webster, 40, was married to Dilla H. PEBBLES, 32 (b. Orford, NH)by Orfordville’s Congregational minister Nathan F. Carter.
 Webster and Dilla [Deliverance] had one known child: Clarence Lee (born Orford on 15 Jul 1875 – died N. H. 6 Oct 1935.) From this child descends this line to the member of Laura Belle Stoddard, Tent 22 of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865.
Webster died in Orford, Grafton Co. NH on 4 Mar 1911. He is buried in
Orford, New Hampshire.

All familial sources accessed in Jan 2015:

US Federal Census 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, accessed at

Webster was enrolled in Company B, 18th NH Infantry Regiment in September 1864 at Concord, Merrimack Co, NH and was mustered out with the company on 10 Jun 1865.

 18th NH Infantry Regiment:

The Regiment lost about 40 enlisted men during the Civil War: 37-8 to disease and 4-5 (including 1 officer) killed or mortally wounded.


1864: Sep 13: Co B recruited and organized at Concord; and, attached to Benham’s Engineer Brigade, was sent to City Point VA to help fortify it. Dec 10-13 on the front near Petersburg, VA; then attached to Ferraro’s Division, worked on the defenses of Bermuda Hundred and by end of year back at City Point.

1865: March: attached to 3rd Brigade, 1st Division 9th Army Corps under General Parke at Petersburg; and repulsed assault on Fort Steadman on 25 Mar; as well as the 2 April assault and occupation of Petersburg, part of the Appomattox Campaign. From 20 to 26 Apr, the regiment was moved to Washington DC; and in May had guard duty in DC during the Lincoln assassins’ trials. Company B mustered out on 10 Jun 1865.

There is a collection titled “Webster P. Blodgett Papers” in the Wyles Special Collection at Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

The collection contains correspondence to relatives, diaries, document (honorable discharge from the GAR), and artifacts (spoon/fork/knife eating utensil, oak leaf clusters, and a GAR pin).

All military sources accessed in Jan 2015:

Bean, Dixon, 2nd Lt. – Co. A, NY 74th National Guard

Dixon Bean was born October 15, 1834 in East Aurora, Erie County, New York. His father was British-born Milo Inigo BEAN (1805–1862) and his mother was Ann KEMP (1805-1888), also from Sussex, England.

As a young man in Erie County, Dixon worked as a clerk in several stores, primarily dry goods. On December 10, 1858, Dixon married Harriet Louise ABBOTT. They welcomed daughters Nettie Louise BEAN in about 1859 and Adelaide “Addie” Margaret BEAN on July 4, 1863.  However, Dixon was not there for Addie’s birth as he had enlisted in Buffalo on June 19, 1863 in the New York 74th Infantry Company NATIONAL GUARD as a Second Lieutenant.  Two of his brothers, William Milo BEAN and John C. BEAN enlisted as well.

BEAN-OnlyKnownPic-2His first action was in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, under the command of Colonel Watson A. FOX, to assist in repelling a Confederate raid into Pennsylvania.  Colonel Fox’s September 1863 report to Major General Randall, Commander of the NY National Guard, is full of fascinating details of the movements and activities of Dixon’s regiment. []  Colonel Fox reported that the regiment left Buffalo by train June 19, 1863 and arrived the next day in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where “it had rained heavily throughout the night, completely flooding the camp.”

The next day the men were issued uniforms, camp equipage, and “450 Springfield rifled muskets, in very bad order, not one musket in order, having been used by nine-months’ Pennsylvania Volunteers

Eventually there were 12,000 Union soldiers in camp ready for their orders.

On June 26, 1863 the whole brigade left Harrisburg by train and arrived at Mount Union, some 86 miles from Harrisburg. Several of the Units of the 74th guarded various bridges and aqueducts that “were threatened by the enemy, and their destruction would have cut off all communication between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg; hence this place was held to be very important, and the utmost vigilance enjoined to guard it.

On July 2, 1863 word was received, that a railroad bridge was threatened by Confederate General Imboden’s 500-man cavalry. Dixon’s Company A was detailed with that guard duty.

On July 5, Dixon’s unit was again on the move. They were ordered south to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania where the unit ran so low on rations that they were forced to only draw half rations of hard-tack for three days.

On July 9, the unit proceeded south to within a half mile of Clear Spring, Maryland where they were told that Union cavalry were having a skirmish with Imboden’s rebel cavalry.  Confederate General Lee’s army was 7 miles away, and General Imboden, with 10,000 cavalry, infantry, and artillery, was encamped within 2 ½ miles. The Union forces and the Confederates briefly clashed before the rebels made a “precipitate retreat. Three of Captain Payne’s command were severely wounded; one of them died the following day. Four of the enemy were wounded, and a rebel major’s horse was shot from under him.”

That night Dixon and the rest of the Union soldiers encamped by a spring in the woods.  Dixon’s regiment was completely out of rations by this time and they “were generously supplied by citizens of the town, a portion of which was paid for by the colonel.”

For the next few days companies under the command of Colonel Fox guarded the many mountain passes and water crossings to alert the Union army of any rebel movements and to prevent surprise attacks, and they even succeeded in capturing a few Confederate prisoners.

July 12, 1863, Colonel Fox and his men were ordered to Loudon, Pennsylvania to relieve a regiment that was to join the Clear Springs Union forces in keeping the Confederates firmly at bay.  After camping only one night in Loudon, Dixon’s unit and the others received word that they were to proceed  “with all possible dispatch to New York City.” Mass rioting had erupted over the draft there. Dixon and his men took several trains from Loudon through Harrisburg, Reading, Allentown, and Easton, finally arriving on July 17 in New York City.

The 74th A Company under Lieutenant John C. Nagel was ordered to protect Hotchkiss Shell Factory on 17th Street. The Draft Riots lasted three days; 120 people were killed and over 2,000 were wounded.

On July 19, Colonel Fox wrote:“ Company A, Lieutenant John C. Nagel, and Company B, were sent up the Hudson River, stopping at all places on the way, to Sing Sing, returning to New York City 21st instant,  performing important duty at these several points in quelling riots.”

Dixon and his company then started home to Buffalo. On July 23, they were met in Buffalo “by a magnificent reception, the citizens turning out en masse, crowding the streets to such an extent that it was with the utmost difficulty we were able to get through them.”

There were parades, bands playing and speeches and even a beautiful banquet “prepared and tendered by the ladies of Buffalo.”

Dixon’s regiment remained there in Buffalo at the state arsenal until he was mustered out on August 3, 1863 and returned home.

It is worth mentioning what Colonel Fox’s report had to say in conclusion about the Civil War service rendered by Dixon’s and the other New York National Guard units under his command.

Too much praise and credit cannot be accorded for their faithful attention to duty, and readiness to second me in every effort to render my command efficient and acceptable to my superiors. I cannot close this without a just and deserved tribute to the men, who, at an hour’s notice, left their homes and friends, business pursuits and pleasures, and, throughout this campaign, were ever ready to perform any duty, however arduous, without a murmur or complaint. My regiment is made up for the most part of middle-aged and young men, engaged in active business pursuits, and the personal sacrifices made by them cannot be estimated, and are not appreciated by the community. I am proud of my regiment, and esteem it an honor to command such a body of soldiers, who, by their strict devotion to duty, have reflected so much credit upon themselves, their noble city, and the State, which they so faithfully represent. 

   I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Watson A. Fox, Col., Comdg. 74th Regt. New York National Guard

Dixon was called up one more time and served his second commission from November 16  to December 13, 1863. He served in Buffalo “for the protection of the frontiers of the State.” Family lore says he was guarding food supplies.

After the war, Dixon returned to his work in Buffalo as a sales clerk in dry goods at C.W. & E. Pardridge & Company, specializing in carpet sales. Dixon and his family moved to Chicago just after the Great Fire of 1871 to continue his sales work with Pardridge.

By 1873, Dixon was head of the carpet department for Field & Leiter, which became the predecessor of Marshall Field & Company after Levi Leiter sold his portion of the business. Dixon established the carpet department and was the first buyer for Marshall Field & Company, and is also the individual credited with convincing Marshall Field to start sending out traveling salesmen, a relatively new idea at that time.

Dixon’s beloved wife Harriet Louise died on October 30, 1874 at only 38 years of age.   A mere two months later, their 3-month-old baby Harry Bean died.  Dixon had little time to mourn as he had his two daughters to care for and his busy career with Marshall Field.

On December 15, 1880, Dixon married his second wife, Harriet Pamela WARE. Harriet had two daughters from her first marriage to Calvert Spencer Rebanks: Mabel, age 5, and Grace, age 3, whom Dixon took in as his own. Both girls used the surname BEAN until their marriages.

About 1880 Dixon resigned from Marshall Fields and started his own carpet company called Bean & Hughes. While still residing in Chicago, he diversified his income and interests. He bought a Denver Colorado clothing store, and even took up some mining interests.

On September 2, 1883, Dixon and Harriet had a son of their own whom they named Dixon Lawrence BEAN.

Unfortunately, Dixon’s second marriage was not a happy one, and on March 23, 1899, Harriet filed for divorce. It is not clear if the divorce was ever finalized, for they are married on the 1900 census and have Harriet’s children from her previous marriage and their son, Dixon Bean, Junior living with them. However, I suspect there were bad feelings between Dixon and his second wife, for when I found one of Harriet Ware’s descendants, she told me that her family had burned everything associated with Dixon BEAN.

BEAN-GraveMarkerDixon died at age 70, in Springfield, LaPorte, Indiana at the home of a “Mrs. Bogart”, whom he was reported to be visiting. His body was returned to his daughter Nettie in Chicago and he was buried in Oakwoods Cemetery next to his first wife, Harriet Louise BEAN and son, Harry Bean.  Although he was a prominent Chicago citizen and certainly not poor, no gravestone was ever placed on his grave.  All clues suggest that there was some lingering resentment of some kind.  However, Dixon’s business success and his proud Civil War service are worthy of praise and remembrance.

Submitted by great granddaughter, Christine Ordway Klukkert


Bayha, John Philip, Sgt., Battery D, 1st WV Lt. Artillery, James A. Garfield Post 80, Red Cloud, NE


And Charles O Rovohl Post 302 G.A.R., Colby, Kansas

Bayha_1901John Philip Bayha (BAY – hay) was born on February 15, 1843 in what was then Wheeling, Virginia, as the second child of 4 sons and 2 daughters to an emigrant German couple. His father, Louis J. Bayha (b. 1813 in Germany), was a baker who arrived in the US at age 18 with his parents and siblings in 1832. He moved to Wheeling shortly after arriving, set up his bakery and married John’s mother, Elizabeth Eckhardt (b. 1823 in Prussia) there in 1840. His father was also a baker.

The first of his family to sign up, John enlisted on August 16, 1862, at age 19 in Battery D, 1st WV Light Artillery, US Army, all 106 members from the Wheeling area. The battery captain was John Carlin. Not long after his enlistment he was made sergeant, perhaps because he could read and write.

He kept careful diaries throughout his service until the end of the war. The family is fortunate enough to have his 5 war diaries, detailing his duties and life in the unit. His duties included caring for the pieces of artillery, the horses that pulled them, the harnesses, the caissons and wagons that carried ammunition, and leading drills. He was also responsible for the firing of one of the pieces of artillery in skirmishes. He often stepped in and handled duties for sick officers, foraging, locating supplies, distributing pay, and the like. They are uniformly lacking in personal reflections and stick strictly to facts; nevertheless, they are priceless treasures.

Some of the encounters he survived were the second battle of Winchester, the battle of Newmarket, Staunton, Piedmont, Hunter’s Raid on Lynchburg, Diamond Hill, Liberty, Buford’s Gap, Salem and he was at Petersburg. He mustered out on June 27, 1865. He was seemingly uninjured but his pension papers tell the true impact of the war on his body, such as an arm injury due to his artillery piece misfiring and other common complaints of soldiers such rheumatism, etc.

In September 1865 he completed a bookkeeping course in Wheeling and moved to Nebraska. By 1870 he was living in Dakota City, Nebraska and his occupation was clerk.

On October 19, 1871, he married his lifelong partner Elmira Mitchell in Dakota City, Nebraska. Together they had 3 sons, 3 daughters, and a set of twin girls, one of whom survived the birth.  He was a clerk, bookkeeper, and merchant to support the family.

John was quite active in his community. He served as City Marshall, Street Commissioner, City Clerk, and Mayor of Dakota City. He was also secretary of the Freemasons, vice president of the first Bible Society and the first baseball club in Dakota City. By 1880 when they had moved to Red Cloud, Nebraska, he served as Councilman and Mayor of Red Cloud, County Clerk and County Recorder of Webster County. He also joined the James A. Garfield Post 80 of the GAR in Red Cloud, Nebraska.

By 1889 he had moved to Colby, Kansas, where he joined the Charles O Rovohl Post 302 of the GAR. He was immediately chosen as quartermaster and held that position alternating with adjutant until he and the family moved to California in 1900. The family resided in Westminster, Riverside, and Monrovia for the remainder of their days.

On August 20, 1912, he traveled to Wheeling, West Virginia, for the 50th anniversary of the enlistment of Battery D and to pose for a photo with the remains of the artillery unit. He also attended the 46th GAR National Encampment in Los Angeles in 1912 as he had the badge from that event.

John died at the age of 79 on June 1, 1922, and was buried in Olivewood Cemetery in Riverside,



California. When his granddaughter discovered his marker simply had his name, birth and death years, she had the stone replaced with one that recognized his years of service to our country.


May 2015


Barker, Paul, Pvt., Co. D, 6th TN Infantry

Paul Barker was born about 1819 in Washington Co., Virginia to Charles Barker and Katherine Chiles; sometime in the 1840s he moved to Knox Co., TN where he lived close to – or with – his uncle Henry Chiles.  On 3 Aug 1848 in Knox Co., TN, Paul married Marinda Vicars, daughter of John Vicars and Marinda Alvis.

Before joining the Union war effort, the following children were born to them:

Elijah Horace                                 1849
William Richard                             1850
Mary Ellen                                      1853
Emily Rebecca                               1855
Genette Katherine                        1857
Robert Harvey                               1861

Seventh child, son Paul Marcus was born 9 Aug 1863, two months after his father Paul died from disease in the General Hospital at Gallatin TN.

Paul was a 44 year old farmer and family man when he enrolled as a Private in Co D 6th Regiment East TN infantry at Knox Co., TN, on 31 January 1863.  Shortly after that date, he participated in a grueling march with very poor conditions and some skirmishes on the way to Carthage TN.  It was at Carthage that he was taken ill and moved to the General Hospital at Gallatin, TN where he died 9 June 1863.  Various reports state pneumonia, consumption, dysentery.  His company lost 44 men to battle, 157 to disease related deaths.  Paul’s captain, Marcus Bearden stated that Paul was an able bodied man when he joined, and that his illness was contracted during the course of his service. Paul’s widow, Marinda received a monthly widow’s pension of $8.00 per month, which was raised to $12.00 monthly in 1886.  Two of Paul’s brothers, who stayed in Virginia, fought for the Confederate side; and both of them survived the war.


Ballard, Abner Caleb Pvt. – Co. H, 5th WI Infantry & Co. A, 8th WI Infantry

Abner Caleb Ballard was born 26 June 1834 Otto, Cattaraugus Co., New York to Nathan Ballard and Jemima (Street) Ballard. On 29 April 1860 he married Harriet Louisa Sawyer.

Abner enlisted as a Private on Feb 3, 1862, Company H 5th Regiment of Wisconsin infantry at Berlin, Wisconsin. He was in several severe battles, among which were Yorktown, Williamsburg, Malvern Hill and Seven Day’s Fight. He was taken ill and assigned to the hospital at Point Lookout Maryland. He was confined there 5 months. In December 1863, he was discharged for disability. February 24,1864, he enlisted in Company A 8th Wisconsin Volunteers Infantry as a recruit at Green Bay, Wisconsin under Captain C.R. Merrill joining the regiment at Memphis. He went on an ambulance into the battle of Tupalo and served in General Nathaniel P. Banks expedition in A.J. Smith’s corps. The Corps then went on to Missouri in pursuit of General Sterling Price.

He served at Nashville and Mobile forts receiving his final discharge in September 5,1865 at Demopolis, Alabama then returned to Wisconsin and later moved his family to Minnesota. Abner never recovered fully from dysentery. He died May 9, 1887 at the age of 53, Olmsted Co., Minnesota.  He is buried Oakwood Cemetery, Rochester, Olmsted Co., Minnesota.

Note: Point Lookout, Maryland was a summer retreat. In 1862 the U.S. government needed a hospital to treat wounded and sick soldiers from the Northern Armies. The Government leased the Point Lookout resort to be used as an Army Hospital. During the war it became a prison for Confederate soldiers.


Arnold, Alexander, Pvt. – Co. A, 59th IN Infantry, GAR McPheeter Post #182, Fredericksburg, IN

Just 199 days prior to General Robert E. Lee signing armistice papers with General Ulysses S. Grant, Alexander Arnold reported for duty and enrollment in Company A, 59th Regiment, Indiana Infantry at Jeffersonville, Indiana on 23 September 1864.  He had been drafted and he was 44 years old.

The war had demanded President Lincoln begin an “enrolling and calling out of the national forces.”  Each state proceeded with the drafting in its own way and produced the number of troops required. Probably because of his age, Alexander’s call came late in the war — or perhaps because Indiana was short of their quota.  

Alexander was born in Rockcastle County, Kentucky in 1820 to William and Ann Arnold. The family moved to Indiana, where he married Elizabeth Roberts in 1843. When he reported to the Army they had two sons and one daughter, all grown. According to his draft papers Alexander was dark haired, blue eyed and stood 6 feet 2 inches, the same height as General George Washington.

He was “retained at General Draft Headquarters, Indianapolis, Indiana, pursuant to orders from the War Department” which came dated April 29, 1865 and he was mustered out. The delay was explained in a testimony given in 1899 for Alexander’s application for an invalid pension. 

The testimony, given under oath states “Claimant was vaccinated some time in the month of February (1865) while in camp at Indianapolis, Indiana and immediately after being vaccinated claimant’s body and face broke out in sores and his eyes became swollen and sore.  Claimant continued to complain of said ailments and as a result ‘there from’ claimant gradually became all most [sic] blind, Am not qualified to state the extent of claimant’s injury year by year since was vaccinated, but at the present time and for the last fifteen years he could hardly see his way and is totally unable at this time to perform manual labor of any kind.”  And the witness, William Sticker, “…verily believes that the condition of claimant’s eyes are due to being vaccinated at the time and place above mentioned.” Alexander’s petition for pension was granted and he was awarded $16 per month for the remainder of his life.

One wonders what a man nearly totally blind did for the rest of this life. His military contribution was nil, but his service to his country might have been in being a friend to many. His obituary stated a large crowd of persons of all ages attended his funeral to say farewell to “Uncle Alex” as he was known. He died on 23 July 1904 and is buried at Mount Tabor Cemetery in Palmyra, Harrison County, Indiana.