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Church, Charles F.

MILITARY SERVICE

Age: 26, credited to Pittsford, VT
Unit(s): 11th VT INF
Service: enl 12/7/63, m/i 12/12/63, Pvt, Co. C, 11th VT INF, tr to Co. A 6/24/65, m/o 8/25/65

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations

VITALS

Birth: 02/07/1837, Hancock, VT
Death: 02/24/1916

Burial: Brookside Cemetery, Leicester, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Alan Lathrop
Findagrave Memorial #: 133948409

MORE INFORMATION

Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, Fanny A.
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: None

Webmaster's Note: The 11th Vermont Infantry was also known as the 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery; the names were used interchangably for most of its career


DESCENDANTS

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BURIAL:

Copyright notice

Tombstone

Tombstone

Brookside Cemetery, Leicester, VT

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.


Biography

Charles F. Church was one of the "older" enlistees in Mr. Lincoln's Army and one who never missed an opportunity to turn a dollar.

In 1860, Charles was already twenty-three and married. His wife was Fanny A. Church, five years his junior. They lived with Charles' parents. His father was Charles L. Church and his mother was Melinda Church. All of them lived together on a farm in Leicester, Vermont.[1] When Charles Franklin was born on February 7, 1837 in Hancock, Vermont, his parents must have decided they didn't want him to be a Junior, so they avoided it by giving him a middle name that did not begin with "L".[2] By 1861, Charles and Fanny had a son named William Ford and were still living with his parents in Leicester. In 1863, the Federal Government passed a draft law. Charles, who was twenty-three at the time, was listed on Leicester's registration form in May/June of 1863 by Captain C.R. Crane, Provost Marshal.[3]

Rather than wait to be drafted, Charles decided to enlist. On December 7, 1863, he signed up for three years being credited to Pittsford, Vermont. The Hancock farmer was twenty-six and stood five feet six inches tall. He had a light complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. Charles was formally mustered-in on the 12th of December, 1863.[4] According to the Company Muster Roll for November/December, Charles was given the second installment, amounting to $40, of bounty money he was due.[5] Although his unit (the 1st Heavy Artillery, aka the 11th Vermont Infantry) was engaged in many well known battles (Winchester, Sept. 19; Cedar Creek, Oct. 19, 1864 and Petersburg, March 25 and April 2, 1865), Charles' main occupation seemed to be collecting and spending money.[6]

Almost from the day he enlisted and was mustered-in, Charles began collecting. Besides the two installments of bounty previously mentioned, his service record, dated December 18, 1863 in Brattleboro, Vermont, these remarks appeared: "...Bounty paid from Commutation fund $35...." And the same record listed a"...$25 bounty paid with $24.20 due him".[7]

By January/February, 1864, Charles still had not apparently received his second $40 bounty installment "Private Charles F. Church, Co C, 1 Reg't Vermont Art'y...present... (had) 2nd Inst. Bounty $40 now due...due F. Evans, sutler 1st Vt Arty $2."[8] In the Company Muster Roll for March/April, 1864, the remark was "...due to F. Evans sutler $4."[9] Come May/June of 1864, Charles was still owed the $40 bounty money and owed Evans $2.[10] It was not unusual for soldiers to be extended credit by sutlers during the Civil War. A soldier's pay was sometimes as much as six or eight months in arrears. The roll for July/August, 1864 declared Charles sick in the hospital and he still owed Evans, the sutler, $6. He was first admitted to Campbell General Hospital in Washington, D.C. on July 12. He spent only a few days there and before being transferred to Baxter General Hospital in Vermont on the 22nd of July. While there, he was given leave to go home for a few days.[11]

By October 7, 1864 Charles found himself transferred again. This time he was sent to Bedloe's Island, N.Y.[12] Bedloe's Island, later to be renamed Liberty Island, was where Fort Wood was located. It was used as a recruiting station and ordinance depot after 1861. A small garrison manned the fort.[13] But no matter where Charles was assigned, he still owed $6 to sutler Evans at the end of 1864!

The first official mention found of Charles being moved to Co B of the 1st Heavy Artillery appeared on the Company Muster Roll for May/June of 1865. Private Church was reported as present. He and the 1st H.Art. were part of the defenses that surrounded Washington, D.C. It was on June 24, 1865 that Charles was transferred to Company B from Company C.[14] From June 24 until July 31, 1865, he was on ",,,extra or daily duty employed at Q.M. Dept. Co B Battn 1 Vt. H Art'y".[15] He staid at Fort Foote in Maryland until he was mustered-out at Washington, D.C. on August 25, 1865. With his discharge from the service came more money - "Due soldier $26.29...Bounty paid $180; due$120".[16]

Five years after the army sent Charles home, he and his wife had added two more children to the Church family; Addie, age three and Carlos, age one. Charles went back to farming but was living with his in-laws.[17] During the next decade, another child was born into the growing Church family; Harry, age seven in 1880. Charles and his family now lived somewhere in Whiting, Vermont.[18] At the turn of the century, Charles' farm had become large and prosperous enough for him to hire a farm hand in addition to having his son, Carlos, around to help run it.[19] At the last census Charles was alive for, the 1910 one, he was seventy-three years old and still farming the Addison County clay in Whiting.[20]

Three years of hard soldiering and over seventy years of laborious farming could not do Charles F. Church in. Bronchial pneumonia brought on by influenza did. It took him in three days. Charles died in Whiting on February 24, 1916.[21]

Charles did not apply for a pension until June 27, 1872. He was apparently granted one as an invalid. After his death, his widow, Fanny, applied for a pension on March 14, 1916, a month after her husband's death. She, too, was granted one.[22]

NOTES
1. Ancestry.com, 1860 United States Federal Census under Charles Church.
2. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current under Charles Franklin Church.
3. U.S. Civil War Draft Registration Records, 1863-1865 for Charles F. Church.
4. Fold3.com, Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Vermont (herein referred to as Compiled Service Records), p.4, image 309703409.
5. Ibid, Compiled Service Records..., p.5, image 309703412.
6. Op cit, Compiled Service Records..., p.4, image 309703409.
7. Op cit, Compiled Service Records..., p.6, image 309703414.
8. Op cit, Compiled Service Records..., p.7, image 309703416.
9. Op cit, Compiled Service Records..., p.8, image 309703418.
10. Op cit, Compiled Service Records..., p.9, image 309703422.
11. Op cit, Compiled Service Records..., pp.10 and 17, images 309703424 and ...440.
12. Op cit, Compiled Service Records..., p.18, image 309703442.
13. www.nps.gov, Liberty Island Chronology.
14. Fold3.com, Compiled Service Records..., pp. 15 and 20, images 309703435 and ...447.
15. Ibid, Compiled Service Records..., p.19, image 309703444.
16. Op cit, Compiled Service Records..., p.21, image 309703449.
17. My Heritage.com, 1870 U.S. Federal Census under Charles Church.
18. Ancestry.com, 1880 U.S. Federal Census under Charles F. Church.
19. Ibid, 1900 U.S. Federal Census under Charles F. Church.
20. Op cit, 1910 U.S. Federal Census under Charles F. Church.
21. Op cit, Vermont, Death Records, 1909-2008 under Charles F. Church.
22. Op cit, US Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 for Charles F. Church.

Contributed by Bernie Noble.

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