Sunday, October 9, 2011

THEY RODE WITH CUSTER...IN THE CIVIL WAR



Front side:
Ira Carver
1810-1874
Susan C. Ames
1811-1877
Ira Lysander Carver
 1833-1912



Right Side:
George William Hight
1842-1914
Member of Company O
44th Regiment
Massachusetts Volunteers
His Wife
Lucy Barstow Carver
1844-1915




Back Side:
Lucius Carver
Born in Marshfield 1840
Enlisted in Boston 1863
Assigned to Michigan 7th Cav
As private. Promoted to Serg.
Co. M. Serg Major of the Reg.
And Lieu, Co.M. Killed in action
At Front Royal Va. Aug16 1864
A brave heroic soldier
Courteous and manly




Left Side:
Allyne Cushing Litchfield
1835-1911
Captain
5th Michigam Cavalry 1862
Liutenant Col.
7th Michigan Cavalry 1862
Colonel
7th Michigan Cavalry 1864
Brevet Brigadier General
Volunteers 1865
"For gallant
And Meritorious Service"


I took these pictures at the Marshfield Hills Cemetery in August.
I hadn't read the inscriptions when I took them but when I was
transcribing them for this post I was overcome with curiosity. The
7th Michigan Cavalry was commanded by George Armstrong Custer.
How did two men from Massachusetts end up serving in his command?

My answers came in two different places online. The first was a website for
the Litchfield-French papers 1862-1918 at the William L. Clements
Library at the University of Michigan. (The French is Litchfield's son-in-law
Roy  A.French). A short biography told me Litchfield was born in Hingham
Ma in 1835 and working in the lumber industry in Michigan when the war
broke out which is how he wound up in the 7th Michigan Cav in 1862.
His connection to the Carvers was his wife Susan who was sister to
Lucius Carver. It wasn't uncommon in the Civil War for family members
to serve together in the same units so Litchfield might have arranged to
have his brother-in-law assigned to his so he could keep an eye on the
younger man.

The second spot where I found more information was the book
PERSONAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES AND FACIAL
HISTORY OF AND BY MEMBERS OF THE Seventh Regiment MICHIGAN VOLUNTEER CAVALRY 1862-1865 COMPILEDBY WILLIAM O. LEE Late Q. M. Sergeant-Co. "M" (published 7th Michigan Cavalry Association detroit, mich. [no pub date given])
at the Internet Archive there is this short self written account by
Allyne Cushing Litchfield of his Civil War experiences:
Born July 15th, 1835, at Hingham, Plymouth County,
Mass. ; enlisted at Georgetown, Ottawa County, Mich.,
August 14th, 1862, as Captain in Co. "B," 5th Michigan
Cavalry; was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel,7th Michigan
Cavalry, November 14th, 1862 ; commissioned Colonel March
20th,1864, and mustered as Colonel to date May 15th,1865.
Horse killed at Gettysburg, and falling on me severely
jammed me, but not so as to prevent my continuing on duty
with the Regiment. Was taken prisoner on Kilpatrick's Raid
at Atlee Station on railroad, about seven miles from
Richmond, March 1st, 1864, and was in close confinement
with five other officers and four colored soldiers until
July 15th, 1864. For the last six weeks of this time we
were put on one-third of a prison ration; was then sent
to Macon, Ga., from thence to Charleston, S. C, thence
to Columbia, S. C, where for five and a half months we
received no meat whatever; was paroled for exchange March
1st, 1865. Brevet Brigadier General United States Volunteers
March 3d, 1865, for gallant and meritorious service.
Mustered out as Lieutenant Colonel May 21st, 1865;
mustered as Colonel May 22d, 1865, and mustered out
as Colonel May 26th, 1865. (pp26-27)


He also had this to say about the death of his brother -in-law:
I was terribly shocked when in prison at Charleston, S. C, to read 
in the New York Times the account of his death in the Battle of
Front Royal, Va., the following August, from which place I tenderly
removed his sacred remains to the village church-yard of his native 
town. (p32)
.
And that village churchyard was the Marshfield Hills Cemetery where
a century after Allyne Litchfield's death I took my pictures.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos and an even better story. I'm so glad you took the time to do that little bit of extra research!

    ReplyDelete