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Civil War Service

September 25, 2013

Two or three men in the direct line of descent saw some service during the Civil War, all on the Union side: Andrew Jackson Lee (third generation), probably Richard Childers (fourth generation), and possibly Samuel French White (fourth generation).


The minimum age for soldiers in the Civil War was eighteen. The maximum age by the end of the war was forty-five. These limits were not rigorously observed, however.

If we assume that a prospective soldier would have reached the age of eighteen by the end of the war in the spring of 1865, that prospective soldier would have born no later than the spring of 1847.

If we assume that a prospective soldier was no more than forty-five at the beginning of the war in the spring of 1861 (surely an overgenerous assumption), then a man born from the spring of 1816 onward would have been eligible for service.

The assumed range of birthdates for potential soldiers, then, is from the spring of 1816 to the spring of 1847.

Recorded Service

The youngest man within the range is Andrew Jackson Lee, born August 1, 1844, and thus sixteen at the beginning of the war and twenty at its end, and he served in a Missouri infantry company.

Four Civil War soldiers named Andrew J. Lee are shown in online Missouri state records, three in Union units, one a Confederate. Two died in service, leaving two Union soldiers, one of whom was enlisted in Barry County, Andrew J. Lee's home county, on August 20, 1861. He served in the 24th Regiment of Infantry Volunteers.

According to Wikipedia, the regiment was organized from recruits across the state of Missouri in late 1861. They were mustered in for three years service.

He was a member of Company F, which served in the District of Southeast Missouri until July 1863, was briefly included in the reserve for the 1st Cavalry Division of the Army of Southeast Missouri, then was involved in operations in Arkansas until February 1864.

Company F was involved in actions at Licking, Missouri, on May 4, 1862, and Crow's Station near Licking on May 26, 1862. The company scouted in Wayne, Stoddard, and Dunklin counties in August and took part in operations against Little Rock from July 1 to September 10, when the city was captured.

The regiment was mustered out by companies from October 1864 through February 1, 1865.

Richard Childers, born April 16, 1835, was turning twenty-six as the war began. According to State of Illinois records, a Richard Childers, resident in Grandview, Edgar County, enlisted February 15, 1865, in Danville, Illinois, for one year. He was a private in Company B of the 154th Illinois U.S. Infantry. His service was not long; he was mustered out May 20, 1865, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He is described as twenty-eight years old, five feet and seven and a quarter inches tall, with dark hair, grey eyes, and a fair complexion. He was born in Iowa and was a farmer.

The age is one year off. We have no birthplace as yet for our Richard Childers, and Iowa is plausible. His father, also Richard Childers, died in 1852 in Edgar County. On balance, this enlistee appears to be our Richard Childers.

Samuel French White, born January 24, 1835, in Ohio, was twenty-six when the war began. A man by the name Samuel White enlisted May 5, 1864, in Company E of the Ohio 150th Infantry Regiment and was mustered out in Cleveland August 23. Not at all conclusive.

Also Eligible

Horatio Schwartz, whose home was in Illinois during this period, was twenty-five at the beginning of the war, having been born October 4, 1835. He seems to have gone to the Colorado gold rush in 1861 and perhaps suffered some injury. Further investigation is required. He is not listed in Illinois state Civil War muster rolls.

John W. Bishop, born October 18, 1828 in Indiana, was thirty-two when the war began. He lived in Indiana and perhaps in Iowa during this period. There no John Bishop in Indiana military records. John W. Bishop of Allen Township, Polk County, Iowa, born about 1828 in Ohio, was registered for the draft in 1863. While the birthplace is wrong, the 1856 Iowa census places him and his family in Polk County, Iowa. No one named John Bishop could be found in a search of Iowa military records on the Iowa in the Civil War site.

I was told his son Elias Bishop was a Civil War soldier, but he was only fifteen when the war ended, having been born March 4, 1850. His name does not appear in any military records checked thus far. According to the story, after serving he made his way home in bad condition and collapsed at the front door. Perhaps this was the story of Richard Childers, mustered out in Tennessee and making his way home to Illinois.

John Edwin Paddy, born June 18, 1841 (or two years later, according to early census entries), was almost twenty when the war began, but being Canadian had no reason to become involved. But he does seem to have enjoyed getting into a fight. No one with the surname Paddy appears in relevant New York State military records (New York being the closest part of the United States to his home in 1861, Hallowell, Ontario.) A John Paddy enlisted in the Marine Corps October 13, 1861, and in April 1865 was a private serving aboard the USS Vanderbilt. But there is no evidence to connect him with our John Edwin Paddy, and there are two men of appropriate age by the name John Paddy in the 1860 U.S. Census..