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Kendall, Eleazer Jr.

MILITARY SERVICE

Age: 41, credited to New Haven, VT
Unit(s): 14th VT INF
Service: enl 9/8/62, m/i 10/21/62, Pvt, Co. G, 14th VT INF, m/o 7/30/63

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations

VITALS

Birth: 08/04/1821, Hancock, VT
Death: 01/07/1894

Burial: Riverside Cemetery, New Haven, VT
Marker/Plot: 217
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Tom Boudreau
Findagrave Memorial #: 40176377

MORE INFORMATION

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: None

DESCENDANTS

3rd Great Grandfather of Fletcher R. Brush, Salisbury, VT

3rd Great Grandfather of Kay Danforth, Hinesburg, VT

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BURIAL:

Copyright notice

Tombstone

Riverside Cemetery, New Haven, VT

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


Biography

Eleazer Kendall was just your common, ordinary nineteenth century rural male. However, there were two things about him that made him stand out from everyone else. First was his given name: Eleazer. The name comes from the Hebrew bible. He was a priest mentioned in the Exodus story. As a boys' name, its meaning is "God is my help". This spelling is sometimes the alternative form of the name "Lazarus".[1] The second detail that makes Eleazer special also has to do with his first name; he was the fifth male child to carry it. You could say that, being by pure circumstance, personally present at the Battle of Gettysburg in July, 1863 was another element in Eleazer's life that elevated him to a special level of recognition.

Eleazer Kendall V was born on August 4, 1821 in Hancock, Vermont according to his own report.[2] He was the third son of twelve children and the fifth male child in the Kendall family to bear the name "Eleazer". His father was, of course, Eleazer Kendall IV (1785-1872) and his mother was Fanny Flint (1780-1867).[3] Eleazer the IV had various occupations in his life time including a tavern keeper and a farmer.[4] Eleazer the V came from a very large family. He had five brothers and six sisters.[5] His father grew up in the Rockingham, Vermont area. That was were he and Fanny were married. Afterwards, Eleazer IV and his family moved north to the Granville, Vermont location. It was in Granville and environs where many of Eleazer V's brothers and sisters were born and raised. The following list of siblings was the most complete and accurate one this researcher was able to compile from numerous resources consulted. However, despite the care that was taken to compose the list, there remained some contentions particularly over certain dates of birth for some of Eleazer's brothers and sisters. Specifically, different sources gave different dates for Lucius (1813 or 1817?); Fanny (1825 or 1826?); and John (1825 or 1828?):

Lucretia Kendall1811-1865
Charles Schuyler Kendall1812-1866
Lucius Hubbard Kendall1813-1882
Lucia A (Ford) Kendall1814-1885
Almira Kendall1815-1819
Almira A. (Sherman Pierce) Kendall1819-1892
Jane (Morse) Kendall1823-1857
Fanny (Towne) Kendall1825-1850
John Kendall1828- ?
James Kendall1828-1866
William Wallace Kendall1830-1902[6]

Eleazer V's father spent a good deal of his life owning and operating a modest farm in the Granville area. He was able to provide a comfortable living for his growing family. By 1850, his farm holdings were valued at $4,400. At least two of his sons, Wallace and Lucius along with their families, were farming right next door to their mother and father's spread. So, Eleazer IV and Fanny had family for neighbors, who were close to help their aging parents if they ever needed assistance. In addition to having two of his older sons living nearby, Eleazer IV also had one son left at home in 1850. He was twenty-two year old James and he was available to do some of the heavy work on the farm for his father.[7] In 1850, Eleazer V almost twenty-nine, had his own home, wife and child and was living over the mountain in the Lake Champlain Valley in a little hamlet called New Haven, Vermont. He was occupied earning a livelihood as a wheelwright. The young family was still struggling to get their affairs in order. Eleazer's bride, Lucy Ann Bruce, a native of New Haven herself, had married Eleazer about 1846. No documentation could be found which gave the precise date of their bondage. The 1846 date was calculated backwards from the date of the birth of the couple's first born child, Homer E. who bounced into this life in July of 1848. Examining the stories of hundreds of men, it was observed that newlyweds usually had their first child one to two years after their wedding date. And, since Homer was born in New Haven, it was assumed that his parent's were mostly likely married there as well.[8] Lucy's father was also a long time resident of Vermont, having lived in many of its towns including Sheldon, Weybridge, Bridport and Middlebury before arriving in New Haven where his daughter, Lucy, was born. It was not clear in the public documents found what it was that her father did for a living, but, since he moved around so much, it was assumed he worked as a day laborer in some aspect - perhaps as a hired farm worker.[9] Lucy had been born February 3, 1830 in New Haven. Her father, Reuben Bruce, had immigrated to the United States from Scotland. Lucy's mother, Rebecca (aka Rebekka) Bond, hailed from Westminister, Massachusetts.[10] Her mother and father had married in 1811 in Rebecca's hometown in Massachusetts and, by 1820, had moved to Middlebury, Vermont. By 1830, they had established their residence in New Haven.[11]

Eleazer and Lucy had their second child, a daughter named Martha R. (1853-1899) by 1853. Sometime before 1860, when the next Federal Census was taken, Eleazer had modified his occupation from wheelwright to "mechanic". The thirty-eight year old father of two was still a resident of New Haven. He had begun to accumulate some assets by 1860. He possessed real estate worth $1,000 and personal property amounting to another $300. He was no Vanderbilt yet, but he had risen up in the world gradually over the past ten years from humble beginnings with little of value to his name to a man of modest means who enjoyed a certain level of respectability. And then all Hell broke loose. The pot of discontent among the politicians that had been simmering for decades finally boiled over. The argument over social, economic and moral issues had started out as an innocuous exchange of words voicing differences of opinion. It had escalated over time to physical violence - first just a canning on the Senate floor, then to an armed attempt to confiscate weapons from a Federal arsenal in Harper's Ferry. And finally to outright rebellion and succession. April 12, 1861 at sunrise over Charleston Harbor, South Carolina all the hot rhetoric was replaced with the burning of pounds of black powder as canon fired the first salvos of a shooting war between brothers. Eighty-five years after this nation gave itself a new birth of freedom, it began a war with itself to see if the notion of a nation of united states was going to endure.

Eleazer was forty years old, married, the father of two children, all of them dependent on him for comfort, safety and survival. He was a man with responsibilities. He could not afford to be impetuous. There were plenty of volunteers half his age willing to show the Rebels the error of their ways. They were pushing and shoving to get to the head of the line and stand before the recruiting officer to pledge their lives, liberty and honor before they lost the chance completely to be part of this grand opportunity for adventure and glory. Eleazer was a wiser and older man whose visions of reality were not clouded by the naive perception of an excited teenager. He was a man broken to the harness of responsibility and bore the yoke of maturity that forced one to carefully calculate his actions with full appreciation for the fact that any decision he made was going to have some effect on the welfare of others who depended on him for their care. Eleazer's four decades of life had taught him that tomorrow did not take care of itself unless the business of today was diligently taken care of first.

In the very early stages of the Civil War, no one was prepared for the reality of a shooting war. There had not been one for eighty years. The regular standing army had been deliberately kept small - only a few thousand regular troops. Civilian militias around the country, if they existed at all, were merely ornaments for the annual fourth of July parades. They lacked military training, weapons and accoutrements. The general population was equally ignorant of what real warfare was all about. This was clearly evident at the first major battle of the Civil War - Bull Run - when men brought their womenfolk in their carriages and buggies, the women brought their children, and they all brought picnic baskets (including bottles of wine) and blankets to sit on as though they were all going to a "social" in the country instead of a pitched battle between equally naive forces. Everyone left the fields of conflict that day understanding just how horrific and lengthy this shooting war they had so gleefully entered into was going to be. Even President Lincoln was given a heavy dose of reality. After the First Battle of Bull Run, he immediately (the next day) called for the northern states to organize an additional 500,000 men for three years enlistments.

Still, Eleazer was not eager to enter the fray. Not only did he miss the first major battle of the American Civil War, he also missed the next eighty-four of them which occurred plus the Second Battle of Bull Run that happened in August of 1862.[12] Following this defeat again in the same place in just about a year, Eleazer could not refrain from enlisting any longer. On September 1, 1862, a day after the Union's trouncing at Second Bull Run, Eleazer signed his name to his enlistment papers and became a member of Company G of the Fourteenth Vermont Regiment of Infantry, one of the nine months regiments raised in response to the beating the Federal army took at the Second Battle of Bull Run. The five feet five and three quarter inch tall carriage maker from Hancock, Vermont, stood before N. F. Dunshee in Bristol and pledged to obey orders of his superior officers for the next two hundred seventy days. The "mechanic" with his light complexion, blue eyes and brown hair was forty-one years old.[13] Eleazer had to wait until October 21, 1862 to be mustered-in with the rest of the Fourteenth in Brattleboro, Vermont.[14] It was at Brattleboro that the Regiment received its unforms and equipment. It's interesting to note that by October 31, Private Kendall had been given all of his accoutrements except for a bayonet.[15] As it turned out, not having been issued one was of no consequence to Private Kendall for where he was sent he would have no use for one. As of October 15, 1862, Private Kendall was on detached duty as a nurse in the Regimental Hospital.[16] He remained attached to the hospital as a steward for his entire tour of duty.

The Fourteenth Vermont only existed for a short time (they were "Nine Months" men), but they saw hard service during their term of enlistment. At first, the Regiment was attached to those units making up the defenses around Washington, D.C. After December 11, 1862, the Fourteenth was placed on guard duty in and around Fairfax Court House where it was engaged in the repulse of Jeb Stuart's cavalry raid. From March to June, 1863, the Vermonters were stationed at Wolf Run Shoals along with other Vermont troops to guard the vital river ford on the Occoquan River. On the 25th of June, the Fourteenth was attached to the Third Division of the First Corps and began its march northward towards Gettysburg. It was a grueling march sometimes covering twenty miles a day for consecutive days at a time. Over two hundred of the Regiment were forced to drop out before every reaching Gettysburg because they could not keep up the pace. The Fourteenth arrived at Gettysburg too late to take part in the first day's action. It bivouacked in a wheat field to the left of Cemetery Ridge. Late on the second day, the Regiment was called into action to help the Thirteenth Vermont repel an attack by General A.P. Hill on the left center of the Union line. After the tremendous opening cannonade of July 3, during which several men of the Fourteenth were killed by an explosion of a battery caisson, the left flank of Pickett's long grey line could be seen advancing towards the concealed Vermonters. At less than one hundred yards distance from the enemy, the men of the Fourteenth rose at command and delivered a devastating volley into the Confederate columns. The Thirteenth and Sixteenth changed fronts and added their fire to that of the Fourteenth. The result was that Pickett's right wing was caught and crushed. After the main charge was halted and Pickett's divisions were streaming back towards Seminary Ridge, four companies of the Fourteenth, A, F, D, and I, captured most of Confederate General Wilcox's Brigade as prisoners. This independent action taken by the Vermont troops was credited by the Union high command as being crucial to the turning of Pickett's Charge. The Fourteenth was also part of the Union's pursuit of Lee's forces following the three day battle. It was during this pursuit that, on July 18, 1863, the Fourteenth was released and sent home. The Fourteenth was mustered-out on July 30, 1863.[17] Private Kendall received his discharge from the service at the same time as the rest of the Fourteenth Regiment.

Back in Vermont shortly afterwards, Eleazer returned to his farm and his family. 1865 through 1867 were rough years for him. His sister, Lucretia, died suddenly on Setember 15, 1865 of dysentery.[18] On April 28, 1866, Eleazer lost his brother, Charles Schuyler.[19] Then, in August of 1866, he lost two more brothers, John and James. A year later, on September 21, 1867, he lost his mother, Fanny.[20] Amid all this gloom and doom there was one bright spot. In July, 1868, Eleazer and Lucy had their third and final child, another son whom they named George W.[21] In 1870, at the age of fifty, Eleazer had a farm valued at $1,500 in New Haven and personal property assessed at another $400. His oldest son, Homer, was off on his own accord and his only daughter, Martha, was married and caring for her own family as well. Only little two year old George remained at home. In April of 1870, Eleazer got his name in the local newspaper by being the victim of an assault and battery committed upon his person by one Mr. J.P. Butterfield. It couldn't have been much of a case since "the justice failed to find him guilty of any offense, and he was consequently discharged."[22]

Eleazer was still farming in 1880 in New Haven. Lucy was still keeping house for her husband and her son, George who was by now almost a teenager. Like many of his Addison County neighbors, Eleazer was heavily into Merino sheep. He was busy buying and selling breeding stock according to the Middlebury Register of 1885.[23] In 1886, Eleazer had applied for a Government pension which he began receiving August 17.[24] His 1890 special schedule for veterans did correctly list his military information, except that it stated he was living in Middlebury instead of New Haven, and it also noted that he had a "lame side" whatever that meant.[25] In these, his later years, Eleazer got into breeding Morgan horses. One of his, "a chestnut with white legs foaled June 1, 1892" named Twilight was mentioned in the Middlebury Register in 1893.[26] Breeding horses turned out to be a fatal mistake for Eleazer.

Seventy-two year old Mr. Kendall died in his home three miles east of Middlebury village one Saturday in January, 1894 "from the effects of a kick by a colt." It was a Saturday afternoon and Eleazer had gone to the colt's stall to work with him. Apparently the animal crowded him and he slapped it to make it move over. The colt kicked out viciously and landed one foot on his ribs. The blow broke two of them and drove pieces into his lungs causing his death. He was survived by his wife (Lucy) and three children.[27]

Lucy survived her husband for another twenty years. In 1900, she was living in New Haven alone at seventy. She lost her daughter, Martha, in 1897, but her two sons remained alive. Lucy moved in with one of them by 1910. At eighty, she was living with Homer and his wife, Lizzie, in Middlebury. According to her obituary for February 18, 1916, she died "at the home of her niece, Mrs. Oscar Sumner, on Munger Street with grip and the infirmities of age. She was 86 years old and (was) survived by two sons, Homer Kendall of Middlebury and George Kendall of Worcester, Massachusetts, also by her niece with whom she had lived for the past year."[28] Both Eleazer and Lucy were interred in the Riverside Cemetery in what was locally known as New Haven Mills.

NOTES

1. www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/1/Eleazer; www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleazer.
2. www.ancestry.com, Danforth-Kelton Family Tree for Eleazer Kendall V.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid., 1850 & 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Eleanore (sic) Kendall & Fanny Kendall; www.myhertitage.com, Eleazer Kendall/Person/Family Tree/Family Search.
5. www.ancestry.com, Deborah Ford Family Tree for Eleazer Kendall IV.
6. Ibid., Curtis-Hodgins, Corning & Danforth-Kelton Family Trees.
7. Ibid., 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Eleanore (sic) Kendall.
8. Ibid., Danforth-Kelton Family Tree for Eleazer Kendall.
9. www.familysearch.org, Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-1954, Birth for Kendall, George W; www.ancestry.com, Bruce Family Tree.
10. www.ancestry.com, Vermont, Vital Records, 1909-2008 for Lucy Ann Bruce Kendall.
11. Ibid., Danforth-Kelton Family Tree for Reuben Bruce.
12. List of American Civil War Battles, https:en.wikipedia.org.
13. www.fold3.com, Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Vermont, p. 3, image 312253631. Hereinafter referred to as Compiled Service Records.
14. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p.4, image 312253641.
15. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p. 5, image 312253653.
16. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p. 7, image 312253685.
17. www.ancestry.com, U.S., American Civil War Regiments, 1861-1866, 14th Infantry Regiment Vermont.
18. www.familysearch.org, Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-1954 for Kendall, Lucretia.
19. www.ancestry.com, Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 for Charles S. Kendall.
20. Ibid., Danforth-Kelton Family Tree for Eleazer Kendall V.
21. Ibid., Corning Family Tree for Eleazer Kendall.
22. www.newspapers.com, Rutland Daily Herald, Tues., Apr 26, 1870.
23. Ibid., Middlebury Register, Fri., Dec. 11, 1885.
24. www.ancestry.com, U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index To Pension Files, 1861-1934 for Eleazer Kendall.
25. www.familysearch.org, 1890 Special Schedule for Eleazer Kendall.
26. www.newspapers.com, Middlebury Register, Fri., Jan. 13, 1893.
27. Ibid., Rutland Daily Herald, Tues., Jan. 9, 1894.
28. Ibid., Middlebury Register, Fri., Feb. 18, 1916; www.ancestry.com, 1900 & 1910 U.S. Federal Census for Lucy Kendall.

Courtesy of Bernie Noble

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