Hanson, Edwin H.
Age: 18, credited to Rutland, VT
Unit(s): 1st VT CAV
Service: enl 12/17/63, m/i 12/17/63, Pvt, Co. I, 1st VT CAV, d/dis 9/10/64 (cronic diarrhea and bronchitis), Point Lookout, MD (physical description: lt complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, 5 ft 10 in; occupation: carpenter)
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: abt 1844, Starksboro, VT
Burial: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA
Gravestone researcher/photographer: George L. Burritt
Findagrave Memorial #: 35048490
Cenotaph: Village Cemetery, Starksboro, VT
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Alan Lathrop
Findagrave Memorial #: 31360262
Alias?: None noted
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)
granduncle of Lois J. Hanson, Bristol, VT
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Arlington National Cemetery, VA
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Cenotaph in Village Cemetery, Starksboro, VT
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EDWIN H. HANSON
Civil War Soldier from Starksboro, Vermont
Edwin H. Hanson, son of Mark Gove Hanson & Laura (Bidwell) Hanson, b. c1844, d. 10 Sep 1864 U. S. Army General Hospital, Point Lookout MD of chronic diarrhea and bronchitis. Edwin's gravestone gives his age as 20 years. Edwin's middle name was probably Howard and the name, Edwin Howard Hanson, was given by a nephew to his son and that son to his.
Edwin Hanson's army discharge "by reason of death" signed 28 May 1865 states that he was aged 18 years. On 3 Sep 1890 Mark G. Hanson made an affidavit relative to a Declaration for an Original Pension of a Father or Mother" when Mark was age 69 states "...my family in 1864 consisted of the following named persons. Edwin H. Hanson age 20 years (and) William G. Hanson age 4 years both sons"
Edwin Hanson enrolled for 3 years in Co. I, 1st Reg't VT Cavalry at Rutland VT on 17 Dec 1863 with a minor's permission signed by his father. This was five days after his mother had died of typhoid fever. In the VT Civil War Roster he is credited to Rutland. His physical description given on his discharge was "light complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, and by occupation a carpenter."
Edwin Hanson was "mustered into the service of the United States on the 1st day of January 1864 at Brattleboro VT, by Maj Austin". During his short eight months and ten days in the service, he wrote a number of letters home. Four of them were saved and were sent to Washington with the pension application of his father, Mark G. Hanson. Each letter is stamped "Pension Office Sep 16 1890". They were researched in the National Archives and transcribed by Edwin's great-grandnephew, George L. Burritt.
On the day Edwin mustered in, he wrote the following home:
Jan 1st 64
[ ] [ ] Barracks Brattleboro Vt
Dear father I am alive and well and so are the rest of the boys I expect to start for the Regment today we shall be paid off when we get ready to start three hundred and seventy five dollars in money and a note of two hundred I shall take a recipte for the whole amount to New Haven there you will find it and two bundles of clothes the clothes we all put in to gather perhaps we shall (send) the money if it will be any cheaper you will have to pay the express on the bundles and perhaps on the money We could not get into the 11th so we went into the Cavelry you need not write untill you hear from me I shan't have time to write much for I expect to be called out before long. Our over coats we sent from Rutland Edwin H. Hanson P.S. If I were in your place I would make Uncle pay his part of the expence show this to no one E H H Wish you a happy New Year
This makes it sound like his civilian clothes and those of others were all shipped home in the same package. In later letters he mentions two of "the boys" as J and R knowing his father would know who he meant. In the last letter J is named as Julius and research leads to the conclusion that this was Julius Herbert Martin, son of Norman F. & Sarah L. (Bidwell) Martin, born 2 Nov 1845. He was a first cousin of Edwin and enlisted on the same date in Rutland and was also assigned to Co. I of the 1st Cavalry. He was transferred to Co. F on Jun 21,1865 and mustered out Aug 9. He married in Bangor NY Jul 17, 1866 Lucia Barney who was born in Richmond VT Nov 8, 1843.
Further research also found the obvious "boy" referred to as R in Edwin's letters and he truly was a boy, namely, Julius' brother, Russell Clinton Martin, who enlisted in Rutland the same day as the other two. He, like Julius was transferred to Co. F on Jun 21, 1865 and mustered out Aug 9. He married 22 Sep 1868 Sarah A. Gibson.
The interesting thing is that all three, Edwin Hanson, Julius & Russell Martin, were listed as age 18, but this was only true of Julius. Edwin was probably 20 and Russell was a mere 15 years old, b. Nov 24, 1848.
Four days after leaving Vermont, Edwin wrote again:
Alexandria Va Jan. 5th I 64
Dear Father I am alive and well and so are the rest and hope this will find you the same I have been payed off $375. of which I send you $370 of it by express to New Haven I have had a time coming down here hope I shall have a better one when I get to Regment We started at Brattleboro at 3 PM Jan 1st went to New Haven Con. took Road to New York arrived there a little after daylight went to the Barracks staid untill middle of after noon took Boat to Jersey City then got aboard of a train to Baltimore by way of Harrisbourgh (had to go this way because there was a Bridge was gone) rode all night and got there about 10 AM went to Barracks and quartered there untill 11 PM went to washington Arrived at daylight took train to the place where we are now When we go to the reg. I can't tell or find out rather of a disagreeable place to write I have to write on my Knapsack with it on my knee sitting on the floor with about two hundred in a place about 75x75. please write and let me know whether you have got that money or not show this to now one.
Direct to me Co. I 1st Cav. except Uncles folks
(P.S. I am going to write to boys and I will have them send it back to me)
Less than a month after enlistment, Edwin was in northern Virginia with his unit. The "Returns" sheet in his file reads: "Gain: Jany 21 Stevensburg. Rect. [recruit] joined Co." Stevensburg is about 7 miles east of Culpepper on the road to Fredericksburg. They were on picket duty on the Rapidan River which is just south of this road. The history of the 1st Regiment, Vermont Cavalry at this point was:
Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7, 1864. Kilpatrick's Raid on Richmond February 28-March 4. Fortifications of Richmond and near Atlee's March 1. Old Church March 2. Campaign from the Rapidan to the James May-June. Near Chancellorsville May 4. Craig's Meeting House May 5. Wilderness May 5-7 (Co. "M"). Todd's Tavern May 5-6 and May 7-8. Alsop's Farm, Spottsylvania, May 8. Sheridan's Raid from Todd's Tavern to James River May 9-24. North Anna River May 9. Ground Squirrel Church and Yellow Tavern May 11. Brook Church or Richmond Fortifications May 12. Line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Demonstration on Little River May 27. Salem Church May 27. On line of the Totopotomoy May 28-31. Ashland May 30. Mechump's Creek May 31. Cold Harbor May 31-June 1. Ashland June 1. Gaines' Mill June 2. Totopotomoy June 2. Haw's Shop June 3. Sumner's Upper Bridge June 3. Salem Church June 4. White Oak Swamp June 12. Riddell's Shop June 13. Malvern Hill June 15. Wilson's Raid on South Side & Danville Railroad June 22-30. Ream's Station June 22. Near Nottaway Court House June 23. Black and White Station June 23. Staunton Bridge or Roanoke Station June 25. Sappony Church or Stony Creek June 28-29. Ream's Station June 29. Siege of Petersburg till August. Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign August 7-November 28. Winchester August 17. Kearneysville August 25. Near Brucetown and Winchester September 7
The following letter from Edwin evidently was written after the "demonstration" on the Rapidan at Stevensburg VA:
Camp 1st Vt Cav
Feb 12 1 64
Dear Father I will take a few minutes to write to you I am well as usual and hope this will find you the same I have been on picket and returned yesterday morning. I had the [pleasure] of hearing how a bullett whistled I was shot at while on post about one hundred and twenty rods.
I have written home five times to one answer ever since I have been here two letters is all I have received from home J and R have got a lot of letters from his folks and not a word from you R and J are [ ] about geography I want you to send me about three or four dollars we have had to buy dishes and so forth untill I have only one dollar left did you get that two dollars I sent you from Alexandria send green backs I understood that you had sold your house what have you done with the mill where have you gone to live It is most time to drill Write all the news and write soon.
I shan't write again untill I get an answer
The company muster roll gives us the record that Pvt. Hanson was "Sick in hospital City Point, July 15, 1864. 3d installment bounty due, 40.oo" City Point. located at the confluence of the James and Appomattox Rivers had a large supply depot as well as a field hospital. It was the location of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's headquarters when he began the seige against Petersburg. In more recent history City Point merged with Hopewell VA.
From City Point VA, after being in the hospital for 12 days, Edwin began what might have been his last letter. He didn't get it sent immediately but added to it at least twice:
Citty Point July 27
Friends at home I suppose you have heard before this time by J or R's writing that I have gone to the hospitle I have not written to you because I thought probably the boys would and they would tell you all about how I was gaining but not fast It is reported that the hospitle is to be moved and leave nothing but a Brigade Hospitle
Aug 5th I will try to finish my letter to day and mail it I have not heard from you since I left the Reg. dont know why the boys dont send it to me told them when I left and have written to have it sent
I am no better of my diarahe as I know of but think I shall be soon if I could get payed so I could get something eatable I should be all right in a few days. If I knew whear to have you send it I would have you send I would have you send some but do not
July 7 [should be Aug. 7 as this follows on the same page as that written previously on Aug 5] Dear Father I was doubly glad to get a letter brought by Julius to me yesterday at noon while eating my bread and beef he was in a hurry and did not have time to talk with him much they expected to be shiped for Washington but did not so I guess they will get payed if I get payed I shall send to you all that I can spare shall get four months pay that power of attorney I will send back in this letter for state pay do you make any thing this season I am afraid you [doi ?] and working yourself to death you had better sell the mill and take my money and what you have and put it into a small place and you carry it on. would it not be better for your leg and pocket don't you think so I feel a good deal better this morning you need not worry any about me I am not very bad able to walk quite a distance.
I think you better sprinkle Willies hair and put him out and bleech it a little more.
dont work to hard father
fix that watch if you have not and let [ ] use
On the "Returns" sheet in Edwin's record it states: "Aug 1864 - Absent sick since Aug 1/64 Gen. Hospl City Point" but he was moved from there for the next entry reads: "Sept 1864 - Absent sick since Sept 1/64. U. A. Hospl. Harpers Ferry Va." His unit moved from the James River area back into the Shenandoah Valley to Winchester beginning in August. They evidently took their sick with them perhaps thinking that Edwin would improve and be released from the hospital. This was not to be and he wasn't at Harpers Ferry very long, but was transferred to the U. S. Army General Hospital at Point Lookout, Maryland where he died at 3 a.m. on September 10, 1864 of chronic diarrhea and bronchitis. This hospital known as Hammond Hospital was built in 1862 following Gen. George B. McClellan's unsuccessful campaign to capture Richmond. It was located at the tip of the Point with ward buildings radiating in spoke fashion from a central bay. In 1863 large numbers of Confederate prisoner of war soldiers were billeted in tents elsewhere on the point. Thousands died.
A cenotaph for Edwin Howard Hanson is found in the SE corner of the Starksboro VT Village Cemetery, the white marble monument being shared with his mother, his father's the next to the north. At the top of the stone two clasped hands are carved. The inscription reads: EDWIN H. / son of / M. G. & L. HANSON / DIED / AT POINT LOOKOUT Md. / SEPT. 10, 1864 / AE. 20 Yrs. / Member of Co. I first / Vt. Cavalry. This cenotaph is pictured on Find A Grave Memorial #31360262.
Compiled Feb 2006 by John R. Burbank, Bristol, VT, husband of Lois J. Hanson, grandniece of Edwin Howard Hanson.