Saturday, July 12, 2014

Truman Head " California Joe".

I became interested in Truman Head while researching the men or the 23rd., Pa., infantry.  I found a small paragraph while going through its regimental history.  The story will be in the second half of this page.
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Truman Head " California Joe".
by Floyd D. P. Øydegaard
The newspapers stated that Truman Head was born in Philadelphia (actually Otsego, New York; the newspapers had it wrong, as usual), about 1820, (Truman lied about his age when he joined the 1st USSS), and after falling in love with a fair damsel and being "forced" to never see her again, (by her father!), Truman headed for California to find his fortune in the gold that flowed in every stream. He was very lucky in making a few good claims and donated $50,000 of it to The Philadelphia Old Soldiers Home (so the newspapers stated). He was "farsighted" enough to be the first one of Company C to purchase a Sharps Rifle. His exploits and his aim became legendary with that Sharps. The Union needed heroes and they made fantastic articles and his image would be etched in every weekly publication. However he was discharged do to his actual age, although they said he was having trouble with his eyes (must have seen him with specticles, something one avoided in the 19th century! Also being over 40 was a sure sign that one had to be a little senile).  

The Muster records for Truman Head state; Age 42 years, height 5 feet 7 inches with light complexion, L.B. eyes D.B. hair, born in Otsego, N.Y. with occupation as Hunter. He enlisted Sept. 14, 1861 at Washington DC by C.H. Hosmer (2Lt.), for 3 years and was discharged Nov. 3, 1862. 

On Aug. 26, 1861 he was on "Company Muster-in Roll" at Detroit, Mich. as private, in Capt. Duesler's Co., Berdan's Sharp Shooters. Next "outstanding" entry states; Sept & Oct 1862 Absent Sick, Clifburn(sic) Hosp. Washington, Due him $14.00 from 2 Auditous(?) roll.
Cliffburne USA General Hospital at District of Columbia verifies his presence.

Co. C Muster Roll shows date of Dec 31, 1862 with remarks that he has been "Dischgd Nov 3/62." The final notation has these notes; Truman Head, Priv., Co. C. 1 Reg't U.S.S.Shooters, age 42 years, (never aged a day?) Appears on Co. Muster-out Roll, dated W Petersburg VA, Aug 20, 1864 with last paid to Nov 3, 1863. Remarks state "Dischg'd Nov 3/63 Washington D.C. by order Gen Martindale. Dischg'd on Surg. Cent of Dis Nov 4/62. See off...." here it was torn and lost.

The last bit of information was his discharge paper; "Army of The United States Certificate of Disability For Discharge. Private Truman Head of Lieut Jas. H. Baker Company "C" of the 1st Regiment of United States Sharpshooters was enlisted by Capt Duesler of the 1st Regiment of U.S.S.S. at New York City on the 4th day of September 1861, to serve 3 years; he was born in Otsego Co. in the state of New York is 52 years of age, (lied about ten years!), 5 feet 7 inches high, Light complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, and by occupation when enlisted a Hunter

"During the last two months the soldier has been unfit for duty at Cliffburne Genl' Hospital October 3, 1862 Surgeon U.S. Vols in charge. I certify, that I have carefully examined the said Truman Head of Lieut Baker's Company, and find him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of 'Senility and Impaired Vision.' Discharged this fourth day of November 1862, at Washington D.C. by Henry Bryans, Surgeon U.S. Vols in charge."

NOTE: This Is not the same California Joe that rode as a scout for General Custer during the Indian Wars. Although they have similar characteristics, Custer's man was Moses Milner. Unlike Truman, Moses was a story teller.

Pennsylvania Twenty Third Infantry, Regimental History.

Page 133, George Peiper of B Company, Twenty-third Pennsylvania, states that one day while on picket along Warwick Creek, " California Joe," of Berdan's sharpshooters came to the reserve picket and wanted to know if they needed his services. The lieutenant took him out to the line and located one of the "Johnnies " who had been very troublesome, he having wounded several of the men. In a few minutes Joe fired and brought down the Reb. On his way back, one of the members of Company C was induced to hang his cap three hundred yards away in a tree in order to test the accuracy of Joe's aim. When the cap was brought in, it was found that the bullet had struck the letter " C " squarely in the center. Joe was a most wonderful shot and whenever he was around the "Johnnies" kept well under cover.

Truman Head.

Birth: 1809, New York.
Death: Nov. 24, 1875, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California.

Joe returned to California and became a customs inspector in San Francisco.

Burial: San Francisco National Cemetery, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Men who were Sutlers.

A sutler or victualer is a civilian merchant who sells provisions to an army in the field, in camp, or in quarters. Sutlers sold wares from the back of a wagon or a temporary tent, traveling with an army or to remote military outposts.Sutler's wagons were associated with the military while chuck wagons served a similar purpose for civilian wagon trains and outposts.

These merchants often followed the armies of the American Revolution and the American Civil War to try to sell their merchandise to the soldiers. Generally, the sutlers built their stores within the limits of an army post or just off the defense line, and first needed to receive a license from the Commander prior to construction; they were, by extension, also subject to his regulations.

Sutlers, frequently the only local suppliers of non-military goods, often developed monopolies on simple commodities like tobacco, coffee, or sugar and rose to powerful stature. Since government-issued coinage was scarce during the Civil War, sutlers often conducted transactions using a particular type of Civil War token known as a sutler token.

Sutlers played a major role in the recreation of army men between 1865 and 1890. Sutlers' stores outside of military posts were usually also open to non-military travelers and offered gambling, drinking, and prostitution.

In modern use, sutler often describes businesses that provide period uniforms and supplies to reenactors, especially to American Civil War reenactors. These businesses often play the part of historical sutlers while selling modern-day goods at reenactments.

Authors note.  In my research I found that when a Sutler got a contract with a regiment he would have to enter his name on the regiment roster roll, and for the most part would be a civilian / Soldier.

This means that he would have to follow all military Law. If a Sutler was caught doing any crime  he could be court martial. If found guilty, he could loss his contract, and be forbidden to have any contracts with any other regiments in the United States Army.  

Some could say that their great-great-great grandfather was in the war but at less he didn't have to fight. One would think a Sutler would be safe job to have, and no danger to face.  That's not quite true, even though the Sutler tent or wagon was outside a post or miles behind a camp, these were some times over ran by the enemy.  Many Sutler were taken as prisoners and some were shot.

As for not fighting if one saw the enemy coming and shooting ever thing in their path would he run or fight?

Even though a Sutlers name is on the roster if injured by accident or in a fight he would not received a pension.

All the names listed here were all referred to as Sutlers, but keep in mind a Quarter Master was a type of Sutlers.  You may have to do a little research to find out if he was a civilian  or Military man.

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They are confined in the Libby prison at Richmond.

R. C. Eveleth, sutler, seventeenth Regiment New York Volunteers.
William Westawary, sutler, Fifth Regiment Michigan Volunteers.
R. E. Parker, sutler, Second Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers.
J. W. Laughlin, sutler's department, Second Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers.
W. Kern, sutler's department, Fifty-fifth Regiment New York Volunteers.
G. Mills and C. E. Gildersleve, sutler's clerks, Seventeenth Regiment New York Volunteers.
C. B. Mann, sutler's clerk, Eighteenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers.
Samuel May, sutler's clerk, Twentieth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers.
William Phillips, sutler's clerk, Fifth Regiment Michigan Volunteers.
G. R. Salisbury and William O. Chapin, sutler's clerks, Fourth Regiment Vermont Volunteers.
L. G. Parkhurst and E. B. Fisher, sutler's clerks, Second Regiment Vermont Volunteers.



Numbers 23. In Camp, June 11, 1862.
 It has been satisfactorily shown that W. G. Semple, sutler of the second Kentucky Regiment, contrary, to law, arranged with Wagon-master S. Hudson for the transportation of sutler's goods in government wagons from Hamburg Landing to the camps of this army, in consideration for which the wagon-master was to receive $10 per load, which stores were discovered in the process of transportation. In another case the goods of a sutler were found in process of transportation in Government wagons, but without the knowledge of the wagon-master.  The captured stores in both cases are directed to be forfeited, and will be turned over to the medical director for use of the sick and wounded. In the first case the sutler and wagon-master will be forthwith dismissed from their places, the wagon-master forfeiting whatever pay, not exceeding &100, that may be due him; and in the second case the wagon-master, for neglecting his duty, will be discharged, and the teamsters will forfeit whatever pay, not exceeding &25 each, that may be due them.  It is also shown that Shultze and Stewart, sutlers of Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, engaged Wagon-master Wayman to haul goods for them, agreeing to pay the wagon-master $25 a load, and that one load was hauled under this contract. Wagon-master Wayman will in consequence forfeit whatever pay may be due him, not exceeding $100, and be discharged from the service. Sutlers Shultze and Stewart not belonging to this command the disposition to be made of them is left to the general commanding the army to which the Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers belongs. By command of Major-General Buell: JAMES B. FRY, Assistant Adjutant-General, Chief of Staff.

Prisons of War.

Camp Douglas, had a sutler, store.
Camp Morton, had a sutler, store.
Johnson Island, had no sutler store.
Camp Chase, had a sutler, store..
Alton Penitentiary, had a sutler, store.
Fort McHenry, no Sutler,. store.
Being held as Prisoners of war.

Joseph Albert Doane, sutler, Sixteenth Connecticut Volunteers.
Edward C. Johnston, assistant sutler, Sixteenth Connecticut Volunteers.

A Sutler selling spirits.

I further, as a duty, must report the sutler, Jesse H. Crane, appointed by Government, as a duty, must report the sutler, Jesse H. Crane, appointed by Government, as selling whisky without stint, contrary to act of Congress, which says, "A sutler shall not see intoxicating spirits." He is also reported by many as selling revolvers to the Indians.

List of articles which sutlers may be permitted to sell to prisoners of war.
Respectfully submitted for the approval of the Secretary of War, and approved.

Tobacco, cigars, pipes, snuff, steel pens, paper, envelopes, lead pencils, pen knives,   postage stamps, buttons, take, thread, sewing cotton, pins and needles, handkerchiefs, suspenders, socks, underclothes, caps, shoes, towels, looking glasses, brushes, combs, clothes brooms, pocket knives, scissors. Groceries: Crushed sugar, syrup, family soap, butter, lard, smoked beef, beef tongues, bologna sausage, corn-meal, nutmegs, pepper, mustard, table salt, salt fish, crackers, cheese, pickles, sauces,

C. S. MILITARY PRISON, Richmond, January 23, 1863.
Captain W. S. WINDER, Assistant Adjutant-General.  SIR: I wish to report a matter which I should have mentioned before but for a press of other business. With the batch of prisoners sent off by flag of truce on the 11th instant a sutler named Marcus McNeil, from New York, went off under the name of Turner, a prisoner of war, the latter remaining in his (McN. s) place. I did not discover it until the prisoners had left and then it was made known by a deserter who moreover stated that McNeil had paid Turner a sum of money for so doing. Upon searching Turner the sum of $196 was found upon his person and he acknowledged that it had been paid to him for the purchase stated above. Will you please inform me what disposition shall be made of the money?
I am, sir, your obedient servant, THOMAS P. TURNER, Captain, Commanding.

Camp Chase?

Assistant quartermaster; N. B. Maple, post sutler.
Jenkins, B. H. . Feb. 5, 1862 Alexandria, Va. . Being a spy and with having recently been a sutler in rebel army. .

A court Case.

L. M. Simanoe; I live a mile and a half northeast of Brice's Cross-Roads, in Tishomingo County, Miss; I am clerk for the sutler of the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois Infantry Volunteers.

A Sutler dies fighting.

Mr. A. Alexander, a citizen of Memphis and sutler in by battery, was bravely fighting the rebels notwithstanding his age (over 50 years). He is reported to have been killed during the fight and afterward seen dead, still holding in his hand the musket he used so well. He leaves a destitute widow with two small children. He was a poor, but honest man.

Numbers 241. Report of Lieutenant Colonel William G. Le Duc, Chief Quartermaster, Eleventh Army Corps.

On the 29th of April, I caused to be arrested one Bensinger, a sutler (of the Eighty-second Ohio, I believe), for selling whisky in camp, and found him guilty, and fined him $100, and to be driven from the camp.


I have paid out of the above amount the following sums, viz: $500 was claimed by Lieutenant Plummer, acting assistant quartermaster, U.S. Army, as private funds, which I refunded him. Four hundred and eleven dollars paid Samuel J. Jones, sutler at Fort Fillmore, for corn delivered the quartermaster, U.S. Army, and not paid for by the United States.

Sutler of Twenty-sixth New Jersey Vols., Washington, D. C.

Mr. W. L. McDonald, sutler of the Twenty-sixth New Jersey Volunteers, called on me this morning with a parole in which he was pledged to effect the exchange of S. J. Anderson, on parole in New York, for himself within thirty-five days or to return to Richmond. His parole is January 19 [1863]. As you have already made provision for the exchange of sutlers and their employees I told Mr. McDonald it was unnecessary that he should make a special exchange, and that he might consider himself exchanged unless he hears further from me. Mr. Anderson was arrested in August, 1861, by order of the Secretary of State and sent to Fort Lafayette from whence he was paroled.

SALISBURY, N. C., March 27, 1865.

. I went first to Mr. J. A. Bowen's (sutler) house, where Major Griswold was staying, and not finding Major Griswold that I went to the Asylum Prison and found him forming his command.

HEADQUARTERS, Camp Douglas, September 29, 1862.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN,  Commissary-General of Prisoners, Detroit, Mich.

COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letters of 26th and 27th instant, also letter to W. W. Lester, post sutler, with your indorsement. I have sent all the prisoners of war here off to-day to Cairo and will be able to make you the returns you direct immediately. Thirty-nine prisoners were received from Corinth yesterday; some included in the batch sent away to-day. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JOSEPH H. TUCKER, Colonel Sixty-ninth Illinois Volunteers, Commanding Post.

Memoranda of Various Political Arrests-From Reports of Confederate Commissioners.

J. Allison Eyster. -He is a Pennsylvania and a resident of Chambersburg. He is a wealthy merchant, well known in Baltimore; addicted sometimes to intemperance. He voted for Lincoln, but declares that he was entirely opposed to the war. He acted as a sutler in some sort to Patterson's army, selling it a large amount of goods on account of which there is till due to him he says about $11,000, to collect which he says he followed that army into Virginia, where he was arrested at the instance of his connection, Jonas Chamberlin, of Frederick County, whose affidavit is herewith returned. Chamberlin says that Eyster came to his house very drunk, and came into Virginia in a drunken frolic under Patterson's pass. I see no reason to detain Eyster unless as a hostage for the safety of our people who are in the hands of the enemy.


SIR: I wish to procure an exchange for my brother, Hugh Watson. He was captured on the Fanny in Pamlico Sound, N. C., near four months ago. He was acting as sutler to the Twentieth Indiana Regiment Foot Volunteers. I simply want the release of a state (Confederate) prisoner on a parole to exchange himself for my brother, a prisoner of like position, if one can be found, or a non-combatant that you will release. Very respectfully, yours, W. S. WATSON.

B. H. Jenkins was arrested February 5, 1862, at Alexandria, Va., by an agent of the Government charged with being a spy and having recently been in the rebel army acting as sutler and contractor. By order of the Secretary of State dated February 5, 1862, Jenkins was placed in the custody of the provost - marshal of Washington. The report of L. C. Baker, a Government agent who examined the person and papers taken from Jenkins, shows that Jenkins ha with him at the time of his arrest passes issued by both civil and military officers of the rebel government; also order for cars to transport lumber. After his arrest Jenkins admitted that he voted for the ordinance of secession in Virginia, and voluntarily stated that he was interested in a sutlership in the Confederate army at Manassas Junction up to October last. The said B. H. Jenkins remained in custody at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington February 15, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day he was transferred to the charge of that Department.

J. W. Reynolds and A. Ostrander, quarter master and sutler of the Seventy - ninth New York Regiment, were arrested at New York by U. S. Marshal Murray by order of General Porter November 12, 1861. Information of the arrest having been received by the Secretary of State he by order dated November 13, 1861, directed Marshal Murray to place them in Fort Lafayette. They were charged with stealing fourteen boxes of military clothing belonging to the United States. No further action in regard to them was taken by the Department of State.

J. C. CLARK, Captain, Fourth Artillery, Commanding Post.

The post sutler, Judge Carter, has contracted to furnish for the post, if needed, 3,000 bushels oats, 90 tons hay, 15 tons straw, and 1,000 cords wood, and states that he is willing to increase the amounts of the several articles to the requirements of the pot. Will you please reply early for the information of the sulter?

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Charles "Charley" E. Smallwood, Pennsylvania.

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Pennsylvania Twenty-Third Infantry Regimental History.

Charles E. Smallwood, private, mustered in September 6, 1861, for 3 years.  Transferred to the 82nd P. V., September 14, 1864; Veteran.  Mustered out with company July 13, 1865; Veteran.

Page. 142.  At Marye s Heights, when the skirmishers of the Twenty third Pennsylvania advanced through the fog, to feel the enemy, the orders were upon receiving fire, to fall back a short distance to a slight depression in the ground, lay down and await the orders to charge. The Rebs opened a severe fire as they neared the stone wall and one of the men wounded was Charley Smallwood, of Company G. To get out of range of the fire, he crawled over to a house that stood on the edge of the road, it being occupied by Confederate sharpshooters, he was taken prisoner and turned over to the trenches in the sunken road, the Mississippians telling him how they would annihilate the Yanks when they came on the charge. Here he was left until the assault, and as our line swept into the sunken road, the Johnnies broke and he found he was among his own people. Company G was rejoiced to know that Charley was recaptured. After recovering from his wound he came back and remained until the end of the war.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Thomas D. Marbaker, New Jersey.

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Thomas D. Marbaker.

Birth: Between 1846- 1848
Death: 1923, Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey.

Wife: Elizabeth (Lizzie) Booz Marbaker.
Married on December 24, 1873 Delaware, Hunterdon, New Jersey.

Burial: Riverview Cemetery, Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey.

Eleventh New Jersey Infantry Regimental History.
Thomas D. Marbaker, the Regimental Historian, was born August 23d, 1846, on the Musconetcong Mountains, Hunterdon county, New Jersey. He left school at eleven years of age, commencing at that date to earn his own living. He entered the service July 19th, 1862, as a private in Company E, before be was sixteen years of age. Marbaker was a type of hundreds of young men whose exceedingly youthful appearance frequently stood in the way of that advancement to which their bravery, efficiency and endurance entitled them.

He was made Corporal August 20th, 1863, and Sergeant November 1st, 1863. Sergeant Marbaker was severely wounded at Chancellorsville, but left the hospital and rejoined the regiment on its march to Gettysburg. The Adjutant, discovering that he was in the ranks marching with a running wound, advised him to at once get in an ambulance, but Marbaker, with a pluck and endurance that was surprising, remained with his company and stood shoulder to shoulder with his comrades in the great conflict at Gettysburg. He was mustered out with the regiment June 6th, 1865.

Marbaker's run for life.

On the evening of the 17th a strong picket detail was sent out from the brigade to relieve those already posted. The picket-line ran northward from the main line until it reached two negro, cabins connected with the Landron estate and within sight of the line of works that we had thrown up near the Brown house. Then it turned eastward. Late in the afternoon of the 17th, Sergeant Marbaker, of Company E, with six men from various companies, relieved a lieutenant and six men at the angle-post, situated at one of the cabins.

Explicit orders were given not to fire unless the enemy made an attack, and not to disturb them if they attempted to form a picket-line. Just before dark it was noticed that they were collecting behind our abandoned works near the Brown house. Thinking they were only forming a few picket-posts no shots were fired at them. Suddenly an attack was made upon our picket-line to the left, which attracted our attention. Upon turning again toward the Brown house a heavy skirmish-line was found advancing from behind the line of works.

The pickets to the left were driven in, and those in the vicinity of the cabins, seeing a strong force advancing, fell back to the main line. Only Marbaker remained, sheltered by the chimney. It was either the risk of being shot or certain capture. To escape he must necessarily run up hill, exposed to the fire of a hundred guns. Several times he stepped out preparatory to a run, but the whizzing bullets would quickly send him to cover again.

At last, when the enemy had advanced to within less than a hundred yards of him, the dread of rebel prisons prevailed and he made a dash for liberty. Immediately the rebel skirmish-line opened upon him, and though the bullets whistled pretty lively, providentially, he escaped injury. I will not say that he out ran the bullets, but I do know that it would have taken a pretty fast horse to have beaten him up the hill. 

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Philip Souder Holmes & His Squirrel.

Philip Souder Holmes.
Birth: 1835, New Jersey.
Death: Unknown.
Wife: Ameline or Amelina Staples Holmes.
Married May 1-12, 1855, Prospect, Waldo, Maine.
Children: Sarah S., Amelina or Ameline, and Frank H. Holmes.
Burial: Unknown.
Maine Twenty-Sixth Infantry, Regimental History.

Philip S. Holmes, Private, Residence Stockton, age 27, married, mustered In October 11, 1862.  Wounded at Irish Bend, April 14, 1863, company mustered out August 17, 1863.

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Philip Souder Holmes.
Born in Dennisville, Cape May County, New Jersey, March 11th, 1835 At the age of twelve years began to follow the sea ; was in the South American and West India trade; came to Stockton, or as it was then called, South Prospect, Maine, about the year 1853, in the schooner "Northern Eagle," with Captain J F Groce from Norfolk, Virginia. Made six voyages to the Grand Banks, and after returning married Ameline Staples; have had three children, two girls and a boy, (lost one girl when about seven years old) Was in South America when the war broke out ; came home to Stockton and enlisted in the Twenty-Sixth Regiment, Company K, as a private.

Philip Souder Holmes Tells of His Squirrel.

 I had a fox squirrel caught at the battle of Irish Bend. The " Queen of the West," a rebel gunboat, threw a shot which struck a tree and knocked a nest of young squirrels out ; I got one and put it in my haversack, and I always carried him with me. I had him at Port Hudson and when lying in the trenches in the day time he would go off and be gone for some time but on the firing of a gun he would come back on the run and dive for the old haversack. Before long the squirrel had become so tame that it would go the full length of the regimental line, jumping from shoulder to shoulder of the men, but it always came back and crept into my knapsack to sleep.

In this way it followed me all through my service in the army and when I was wounded at Irish Bend the squirrel was found tucked snugly in the breast of my coat and it refused to leave me even at the- hospital. I brought him home and he was given the full run of the farm and would go off into the woods and fields but always returned at meal times and to sleep. And where did it sleep but in the old haversack which was kept hung up on the corner of the chimney-place, filled with paper.

One day, in cleaning house, Mrs. Holmes neglected to hang the haversack back in its place, and when the squirrel found it was gone it, too, disappeared but was afterwards found snugly tucked in my old knapsack at the bottom of a barrel in a shed and beneath a lot of papers as well. The haversack was returned to its place and the squirrel slept in that the remainder of his life. This wasn't for long, as one day he was missed and never returned. I think some one shot him.