Maine in the Civil War

Ebay Maine Civil War    First Maine Heavy Artillery Site
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Posted By: Bickford on: 12/20/2014 09:25:16 EDT
Subject: RE: missing soldier from the 17th

Message Detail:
In my own family I found a member who was accused twice of deserting and I got his records and what happened went like this. He joined a N.Y. group called the Anderson Zouave Unit. After several months he was disgusted with the Unit as they weren't respectful of the person by whom the group was named for, who had been something of a war hero. He left the Army and joined the Navy. He was on the the Baron de Caleb when it was blown up on the Yazoo River Mi. He was left for dead by boat mates and eventually as the ship was sinking the cold water revived him and he managed to swim to shore. After he helped salvage cannons and etc was sent to Ill. and given his release papers and was sent home, he was told he served his time and to go home. On Dec. 24 he was arrested as a deserter and taken to Augusta and locked up. His family gathered his release papers and went and got him. The reason he was arrested was the Army had a 3 yr. enlistment deal and the Navy had a 2 yr. deal. What my ancestor didn't know was after the 2 years with the Navy he had to return to the Army and stay until he reached 3 years of service time which included the time spent in the Navy. He owed the Army about 9 months. After recovering from Malaria type symptoms he returned to the Army and did his aprox. 9 months, which he was treated pretty badly by being put on ships (3) unsafe to be in the water. After his release for "time owed" he was sent home again and again was arrested as a deserter. All of this was caused by poor communication and poor information swapping, poor record keeping. The military later refused to give him his pension because they said he deserted, he eventually got it. In the records I received, was a letter he sent to a lawyer who was doing a tort case against the military as this same thing happened to many men. So do not assume he was a deserter by design.~ Lori
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