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Denno, Maxime C.


Age: 27, credited to Shoreham, VT
Unit(s): 11th VT INF
Service: enl 8/12/62, m/i 9/1/62, Pvt, Co. B, 11th VT INF, m/o 6/24/65 (records)

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 1835, Canada
Death: After 06/15/1872

Burial: Lake View Cemetery, Orwell, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Alan Lathrop
Findagrave Memorial #: 46753637


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes
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: CMSR/Pension

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


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Lakeview Cemetery, Orwell, VT

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


You might have heard the expression "...more ways than Carter has liver pills". You could say that that adage was quite applicable to the variations in spellings of Maxim Denno's name. His first name was spelled six different ways in the records: Maxime; Maxim; Maxin; Maxhim; Mark; and Maxian. His last name was also spelled six different ways: Denno; Deano; Dano; Denne; Deno; and Deneau. Now for one third of these variations, there was good reason. Max, as I like to call him, was a Frenchman from Canada. So naturally he had a French birth name, Maxim Deneau. That was Anglicized to Maxim Denno when he arrived in the USA. What complicated the researcher's job, more than the French to English translations, were the artistic and liberal ways in which the record keepers of the nineteenth century inserted their creative transcriptions of names like Max's. Census takers seemed to have a notorious hearing problem when it came to getting people's names correctly spelled on the forms they filled out. Their errors have resulted in many extra hours of time spent on the part of researchers who are trying to report accurate and correct facts.

Fact is, besides having a dozen various spellings for his name, Max belonged to a very large French Canadian family. In addition to his father and mother, he had ten brothers and sisters. His father's name was Pierre Deneau, later changed to Peter Denno in the states. His mother's name was Marie Desanges Bechard Deneau. Pierre was born in 1783 in St. Philippe, Quebec, Canada. Marie was born in 1789 in Lacadie, St Jean, Quebec. When Pierre and Marie were married , on November 25, 1805, it was in Marie's hometown of Lacadie. Over the sixty-three years they were together, Pierre and Marie had eleven children. Only nine survived to reach adulthood. All the children were born or married in various small towns near Montreal, Canada. Pierre and Marie's first child was a daughter named Marie Clothilde, born in 1806 in St. Philippe, Quebec. She died three days after being baptized (September 16, 1806). The second child was another daughter, Catherine, born in 1808 in Lacadie, Quebec. She died one day after her baptizism. On June 7, 1809, Pierre was born at St. Jean, Quebec. Three more children came in rapid succession following the loss of the two daughters. Antoine was born in 1812; Claire was born in 1814; and Medard Theodore was born in 1815. When it came time for these three to marry, the ceremonies were all held in towns in Quebec about fifteen miles or so south and south east of Montreal between the Richelieu River and the St. Lawrence River - St. Philippe for Antoine; St Remi for Clair; and Napierville for Medard. There was a six year lull in pregnancies before the next Deneau arrived. Jean Baptiste was born in 1821 in Canada. He married in Napierville in 1841 and again for a second time in 1843. Cesarie was next to join the Deneau family. She bounced on the scene in 1829. When she married, it was in Napierville also. Simeon, born June 15, 1830 in Quebec, was the first Deneau - now Denno - to marry in the USA. He married Olive Duschane in Shoreham, Vermont on the fourth of July, 1850. Moses, born September 13,1831, and Maxim, born April 19,1834, the last of the Deneau's to be born in Canada, also married in the USA after arriving in Vermont. Moses married Caroline Beardow in Benson on May 6, 1860, while Max married Betsey Lebrun in Manchester, New Hampshire on February 5, 1854. If Simeon Denno can be believed, he arrived in Vermont, with a portion of his large family, around 1840 as he stated in the 1900 Federal Census. About one half of the Deneau family ended up migrating to towns in and around Addison County. Peter died in Benson; Marie died in Hubbardton; Simeon died in Putnam, New York while residing in Shoreham; Moses died in Rochester, Vermont; and Max died in New York City while residing in Orwell.[1]

The Deneau's (on the Canadian side of the border) seemed to have had a wanderlust in their genetic make up that continued to exhibit itself when they crossed the northern border and became the Denno's of Vermont. They had roved around from town to town just south of Montreal for years before deciding to make the big jump to a foreign country. Then, when they got to their adopted land, they relocated to numerous towns near Shoreham, Vermont. What their motive was for roaming around was only known to them. Perhaps economic factors made them leave their homeland for America. Maybe they tired of the long Canadian winters and wanted to head south for the greener pastures of Vermont. Whatever it was that brought the Deneau family to Addison County, it was about 1840 when Max was six years old.

Partly for reasons already mentioned, it was not possible to determine where exactly the Denno family were living between 1840 and 1850. However, it was discovered without doubt that Mark - really Maxim - and his brother, Simeon, were living next door to each other in Shoreham when the 1860 Federal Census was taken. Mark (Max) was a house carpenter at twenty-seven years old. He was married to Betsey who was thirty-two. They had a daughter, Elizabeth, aged five years.[2] Max had married Betsey Lebrun (1837-1911) on February 5, 1854 in Manchester, New Hampshire.[3] Right after their marriage, it appeared from the state census of 1855 that the newly weds were living in Oswego, New York and were both working as servants for a man named Fortis N. Wilcox and his wife, Mary.[4] Over fourteen years, Max and Betsey had five children: Elizabeth, born in 1855; Ellen N., born in 1857; Charles M., born in 1862; Eugene Myron, born in 1867; and Edward, born in 1869.[5]

Shoreham was where the twenty-seven year old French Canadian farmer enlisted in the United States Army to fight for the Union. He stood an unusual six feet tall but had the customary dark complexion, blue eyes and dark hair that every recruit seemed to have had. On August 12, 1862, Max pledged to serve for three years despite the fact that his wife, Betsey, was pregnant with their third child. He was enrolled in Co. B, 1st Regiment Heavy Artillery (also known as the Eleventh Vermont Infantry).[6]

The regiment, to which Max was a member, was originally mustered-in as the Eleventh Vermont Volunteer Infantry in September, 1862. In mid-December of that year, it was re- designated as the First Heavy Artillery. Unfortunately, official and personal records used both designations which has caused great confusion.

The Eleventh Regiment was the largest Vermont regiment sent to the war, both in original membership and in total enrollment. It was recruited as an infantry regiment at the same time as the Tenth, under the call of July 2, 1862 from President Lincoln for 300,000 volunteers. By the middle of August, ten companies had been organized. The Regiment rendezvoused at Camp Bradley in Brattleboro, Vermont where they were mustered into the U.S. service September 1, 1862 for three years. It left the State on September 7 for Washington, D.C. where it arrived on the ninth and was immediately assigned to duty in the chain of forts constituting the northern defenses of the capital. By order of the Secretary of War, dated December 10, 1862, it was made a heavy artillery unit becoming re-designated as the First Heavy Artillery.

The Eleventh remained in the defenses of Washington, D.C. for a period of eighteen months, during which time it was chiefly employed strengthening the works, constructing and garrisoning Forts Stevens, Slocum and Totten. During the latter part of its artillery service at Washington, the Regiment garrisoned four other forts and occupied a line of about seven miles. It experienced little of the real hardships of war during 1863 and the first months of 1864. It had comfortable quarters, the men enjoyed excellent health and rations - even luxuries were abundant for a price. It maintained an excellent state of discipline typical of Vermont troops, and was rated the best disciplined regiment in the defense of the capital. After the terrible Federal losses at the Battle of the Wilderness, the Eleventh was ordered to join the Army of the Potomac. It reported for duty as infantry near Spotsylvania Court House with nearly 1,500 men.

During the severe Overland Campaign that followed, the Regiment participated in every major engagement of the Sixth Corps from May 1864 to April 1865: Spotsylvania; Cold Harbor; Petersburg; Welden railroad; Fort Stevens; Charlestown; Gilbert's ford; Opequan; Fisher's Hill; Cedar Creek; Petersburg siege. In the debacle at Welden railroad, June 23, 1864, the Regiment suffered the greatest loss sustained by any Vermont Regiment in a single action. It lost nine killed, thirty-one wounded and two hundred sixty-one captured. All the captives were sent to Andersonville prison where two hundred thirty-two of them died.

Original members, recruits for one year (like Max) and recruits whose term of service expired before October 1, 1865, were mustered-out on June 24, 1865. The remainder of the Regiment was consolidated into one battalion of heavy artillery and stationed in the defenses of Washington until mustered-out on August 25, 1865. The original members of the Eleventh numbered 1,315. Recruits and transfers amounted to an additional 1,005. The total rank and file was 2,320. Of that number, 152 were killed in action; 210 died of disease; 457 were wounded; 339 where captured; 2 died by accident.[7]

Private Denno rendezvoused at Brattleboro, Vermont on September 1, 1862 where he was mustered-in. He was paid $25 bounty and awarded the premium of $2 for the recruiter.[8] Private Denno remained on duty at his station throughout the fall of 1862 and into the first three months of 1863. Then, in April, he must have committed some minor transgression as he ended up in the post guard house April 10, 1863.[9] The next fourteen months were pretty uneventful until the Regiment was ordered to join the Army of the Potomac for the Overland Campaign. Then the Eleventh Vermont was engaged in more than just guarding the capital. "Maxhim Denno" avoided capture at Weldon railroad fortunately. However, the Private was sent to Harewood General Hospital in the District of Columbia. He was admitted on August 2, 1864 and placed in Ward twenty-eight.[10] Max spent August at Harewood General Hospital until September/October, 1864. He was then transferred to the USA Field Hospital at Sandy Hook, Maryland.[11] During those two months, Private "Deano" seemed to be hard to find. The Company Muster Roll said he was in the General Hospital but the Hospital Muster Roll said he was unaccounted for (neither present nor absent).[12]

In November of 1864, Private Maxim Denno wrote a short letter to one Lieutenant Adams requesting a "...furlough to attend the Election at my home in Vermont Nov. 8th 1864..."[13] The letter was written from Sandy Hook US Field Hospital and was dated the second of November, 1864. The request for a furlough was granted for fifteen days on the same day as the date of the letter by the chain of command.[14] The trip home was taken by rail and was not provided free of charge. On the November/December, 1864 Company Muster Roll, it is noted "...Present...Due U.S. for Trans $4.80. Due F. Evans Sutler $4.00...."[15]

Life was fairly tranquil for Private Denno from the beginning of 1865 to June 24, 1865. After diligently spending those months defending Washington, D.C., Private Denno was again a civilian following his June 24, 1865 discharge. Max was due some money from the Government - $61.19 for clothing allowance and $75 bounty money. That was more than enough to get Mr. Denno back home to the green hills of Vermont and the Champlain Valley where his wife and family awaited him. He resumed his public life and between 1867 and 1869, he and Betsey added two more Denno's to the family - Eugene Myron in 1867, and Edward in 1869.[16]

Around June 15, 1872, Max applied for a pension from the Government. It was not clear from the pension files if the application was granted or not. The file listed no certificate number, just giving an application number instead. It didn't really matter much to Max either way. On December 4, 1865, while on either a business trip or one for pleasure to New York City, Max unexpectedly died.[17]. His widow, Betsey, did apply for and was granted a widow's pension about July 11, 1881.[18]

1., Powers and Janice Tefft Family Trees under Maxim Denno.
2. Ibid., 1860 U.S. Federal Census under Simeon Denno.
3. Ibid., Powers Family Tree for Maxim Denno.
4. Ibid., New York, State Census, 1855 for Maxim Denno.
5. Op cit., 1860 U.S. Federal Census under Simeon Denno.
6., Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Vermont, p. 3, image 309658745. Hereinafter referred to as Compiled Service Records....
7. Vermont in the Civil War/Units/1st Brigade/Eleventh Vermont Infantry and https// Vermont Infantry.
8., Compiled Service Records..., p. 4, image 309658746.
9. Ibid., Compiled Service Records..., p. 9, image 309658751.
10. Ibid., Compiled Service Records..., p. 17, image 309658759.
11. Ibid., Compiled Service Records..., p. 19, image 309658761.
12. Ibid., Compiled Service Records..., pp. 19 & 20, images 309658761 and 309658762.
13. Ibid., Compiled Service Records..., p. 27, image 309658769.
14. Ibid., Compiled Service Records..., p. 28, image 309658770.
15. Ibid., Compiled Service Records..., p. 21, image 309658763.
16., Powers and Bechard-Piche Family Trees under Maxim Denno.
17. Ibid., Powers and Bechard-Piche Family Trees under Max Denno.
18., U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 for Maxine C. Denno.

Courtesy of Bernie Noble

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