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Individual Record

Densmore, Abram

Age: 30, credited to Burke, VT
Unit(s): 10th VT INF
Service: enl 8/11/64, m/i 8/11/64, Pvt, Co. C, 10th VT INF, m/o 6/22/65

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations

Birth: abt 1834, Townsend, MA
Death: After 6/22/1865

Burial: May be buried in ..., , PA
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer:

Findagrave Memorial #: 0
(There may be a Findagrave Memorial, but we have not recorded it)
Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, minor
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: Accredited to the town of Burke, although he was enlisted in Windsor by Henry Gilman

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

A Very Sad Story

Abraham "Abram" Dunsmore (5) {Samuel (3) Ebenezer (2), John (1)} was born in Townsend, Massachusetts, 1834. He was "of Cavendish" when he m. in West Windsor, Vermont (by Rev. William H. Wight), 4 Aug. 1861, Lucy Ann Nason (b. Plymouth, Vermont 1845, dau. of Joel & Hannah (Dunster) Nason of Cavendish).

No recorded record of his birth can be found, making it transparent his parents did not record the birth of their children, or the birth records were lost. Another reason might be due to the different surname spellings for this family in the official records, i.e. Dinsmore, Dunsmoor, Densmore, Dentmore. Official Civil War records say Abram enlisted from Burke Vermont, but this is not so. The pension record clearly shows he enlisted at West Windsor 11 Aug. 1864 to serve one year. He was mustered 16 Aug. 1864 at West Windsor as a private in Captain John A. Sheldon's Co. "C" 10th Vt. Infantry. He mustered out with his regiment in Virginia, 22 June 1865.

Abram's only child and son John Edwin Densmore, filed for claim for a "Minor's Pension," through his guardian, Gilbert A. Davis (age 30) of Felchville on 30 Aug. 1866. The pension papers reveal Abram contracted diarrhea in line of his duty, which rapidly wasted his strength. He was sent to the hospital and was later returned to his regiment and mustered out with them, still suffering with this disease. He grew rapidly worse. While the Regiment was enroute from Virginia for Vermont it became necessary to leave him in Philadelphia in a low and feeble condition "near the refreshment rooms Cooper's Institute Hospital" The hospital was near the railroad station in Philadelphia. After being left there, he soon died, probably 28 June 1865. However, the death records of the health office in Philadelphia had no record of him. There was no record of his death at Cooper Institute Hospital. According to Attorney Gilbert Davis' letter to Clara Barton in Washington, dated 2 July 1866, "The soldier left a widow and minor child and they have long sought in vain for the missing soldier. Will you have the kindness to inquire at the Surgeon General's Office and inform me whether Densmore died at Cooper Institute Hospital, the date and cause of his death, and where he was buried. On behalf of the afflicted, -Gilbert A. Davis." An answer came back from H. G. Sickell, Health Officer dated 17 Sept. 1866: "The name of Abram Densmore does not appear on the records in this Department."

Harlan P. Leffingwill of Horicon (Warren Co.) NY made an affidavit on 14 Oct. 1867. He was then 29 years old. He stated that he was a private in the same company and regiment as Abram Densmore and knew him. "He was a simple minded fellow. At the time we started from Virginia for Burlington, Vermont to be paid, having been mustered out in Virginia, he stared with the company but was then very feeble and sick with chronic diarrhea. When we got out of the cars at Philadelphia, said Densmore was with his company but was too feeble to travel without assistance and one of the officers, I think the Major, told me to try to get Densmore through the City I got him part way through and he sat down by the side of the street and I could get him along with me no farther, and so I left him in the street, not wishing myself to be left in the City. When I left him he was barely alive and I think he must have died very soon after I left him, but I do not certainly know."

Dr. Willard A. Childe of Moores, Clinton County, NY also made an affidavit dated 27 March 1868. He was 39 years old and was formerly surgeon of the 10th Vermont Regiment. "I remember private Abram Densmore of Company "C". I further say that said Densmore while on duty in front of Petersburg, Virginia in the month of March 1865, was attacked with diarrhea which rapidly wasted his strength and in consequence it became necessary to send him to the general hospital which was done about 28 March 1865. He contracted the disease in the line of duty. As I am informed to believe he was treated in the general hospital at Brattleboro, Vermont. He returned from the General Hospital to the regiment while in camp at Bailey's Cross Roads, Virginia and was there mustered out with the command. Still suffering from disease, which grew rapidly worse, in consequence while the Regiment was en route to Vermont, it became necessary to leave him at the Hospital in Philadelphia. He was in a very low and feeble condition from the effects of the disease and I am informed and verily believed he died at the last mentioned hospital from the effects of diarrhea and soon after being left as aforesaid.

If Leffingwill's account is correct, no one saw Abram safely to the hospital. He was left on the street half dead. The commissioner of pensions approved the application. John E. Densmore, minor child, was admitted 23 July 1868 to a pension of $8 per month commencing 23 June 1865, ending 10 March 1879, payable to Gilbert A. Davis of Reading, his guardian.

Lucy A. Nason Densmore was 21 years old when she m. 2nd in Windsor (by Rev. S. K. Dexter), 27 Nov. 1865, George A. Parker of Springfield. George was a shoemaker (b. 1843). On 18 July 1868, Lucy A. Parker testified to all the facts about her 1st husband Abram and the birth of their son John Edwin. Lucy m. 3rd in Weathersfield (by Rev. Joseph B. Baldwin), 18 May 1870, William H. Brown (b. Reading, 1848, son of John & Harriet Brown).


1. John Edwin Densmore, b. West Windsor, 11 March 1863. He was delivered by Dr. Joseph Nathan Stiles of Windsor, who charged $4 for his services. His guardian was Gilbert A. Davis who received a pension of $10 per mo. to care for him. This pension was dropped 14 March 1879 when John was 16 yrs. old. In 1870 John was seven years old and lived in Weathersfield with his mother and her then husband, William H. Brown, who was a farm laborer. Lucy had $300 in personal property. In 1880 Gilbert A. Davis had three wards living with he and his wife Delia in 1880. Ralph Morgan (age 17), Leland H. Morgan (age 13), and John E. Densmore (age 17). They were all attending district school in Windsor. Sadly in June 1900 John, age 36 yrs. old and single, was living at the Vermont State Hospital for the Insane in Waterbury, Vermont. Gilbert A. Davis must have had him committed there. There is no death record for him that can be found. Thus ends the sad saga of a soldier of the Civil War and the sad life of his only child and son.

Contributed by Linda M. Welch, Windsor County Historian.