Vermont Flag Site Logo

Lilly, Calvin R.


Age: 29, credited to Orwell, VT
Unit(s): 9th VT INF
Service: enl 8/22/64, m/i 8/22/64, Pvt, Co. C, 9th VT INF, m/o 6/13/65

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 09/1834, Ticonderoga, NY
Death: 08/22/1913

Burial: Mountain View Cemetery, Orwell, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Alan Lathrop
Findagrave Memorial #: 46615973


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, widow Sara E.
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: Brother of Samuel Lilly

Webmaster's Note: If this soldier enlisted before 9/1/62, and was with the regiment on 9/13/62, he would have briefly been taken prisoner along with the entire regiment at Harper's Ferry. Read the blue section of the unit's Organization and Service for details.


Great Grandfather of Wayne Thompson, Tallahassee, FL

Great Grandfather of Phillip Wayne Thompson, Tallahassee, FL

(Are you a descendant, but not listed? Register today)


Copyright notice


Mountain View Cemetery, Orwell, VT

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


Calvin R. Lilly was an ordinary man fortunate enough to be caught up in not one, but two, monumental episodes in American history - the Civil War and the colossal canal boat era in the Northeast. He probably was aware of the significance of the first, but may well have undervalued the impact of the second.

Calvin was the son of Chester Lilly (1797-1885) and Almira (Almyra) L. Holden (1800-1867). [1] He was born in Ticonderoga, New York on the shores of Lake Champlain in September of 1834.[2] Calvin's father made a living primarily as a mason with the side job of a shoemaker when masonry work was slow. He moved his family up and down the Champlain Valley, living on both sides of the lake until he ended up living with his son, Calvin, in Orwell late in his life. Calvin wound up having eight siblings altogether: Esther, (1827-1906); Joshua, (1829- ); Martha Urana, (1829-1886); Theron, (1832- ); Caroline, (1832-1915); Phoebe, (1833- ); Levi Prescott, (1837-1898); Samuel, (1842-1862).[3] Some of his brothers and sisters were born on the New York side of the lake like Calvin. A majority of them were native Vermonters.

Little information was found on Calvin's early years. In 1837, Calvin's family lived in Bridport, Vermont where his father provided for his family by doing masonry work and making shoes.[4] By 1840 the family had returned to Ticonderoga, New York.[5] They remained there for the next ten years where Joshua, Calvin's older brother, married Catherine when he was twenty-one and she was eighteen. Joshua was also a mason like his father.[6] In the course of pond-jumping, Calvin came into contact with a young lady from Orwell whom he eventually married in 1862. Her name was Sarah Elizabeth Munger (Manger, Monger). She was the nineteen year old daughter of John A. and Emily Manger of Orwell. Calvin was already twenty-seven.[7]

By the time Calvin married, the Civil War had been going on for nearly a year or more. Calvin did not register for the draft until May/June,1863. His younger brother, Levi, registered at the same time. Both were married and lived in Orwell and both were listed as shipbuilders.[8] A year later, in 1864, Calvin was inspired to enlist in the Union Army. On August 22, 1864, Calvin joined Company C of the Ninth Vermont Infantry Regiment as a Private. He was designated as a recruit, meaning that he was enlisting as a replacement for an original member of the Regiment.[9] A week later, the five feet, eight and one half inch recruit with a dark complexion, brown hair and blue eyes was mustered-in at Rutland for the term of one year at the age of twenty-nine.[10] Upon his official acceptance into the service of the Union Army, he was given his prescribed blue wool uniform and $100 bounty. He was actually given up front only one third of the bounty payment in cash with the rest owed to him by the government to be paid at a later time (usually at muster-out). The new recruit was credited to Orwell for tallying purposes.[11] A little over a week later, on September 9, 1864, Calvin arrived in New Haven, Connecticut for further processing and equipping.[12]

The Ninth Regiment was organized at Brattleboro and mustered into the service there on July 9, 1862 for three years. It was ordered at once to Washington. By July 19, the command was attached to General Sturgis' division at Cloud's Mills. Five days later, the Regiment was moved to Winchester where it was employed in the construction of fortifications and other fatigue duties for several months. Early in September it was sent to Harper's Ferry on the approach of Stonewall Jackson's forces. Due to the Federal command's indecisiveness and questionable loyalties, the Ninth, along with nearly twelve thousand other Union troops, were forced to surrender to General Jackson.

Harper's Ferry was humiliating to the Union but not to the Ninth Vermont. Colonel Stannard, commanding at the time, initially refused to surrender his men to the Confederates. For two hours after all other Federal troops had stacked arms, the Ninth and its Colonel attempted to fight its way out of the trap it was in and break through to reach the Army of the Potomac located nearby. Only when a Confederate division cut off its route of escape did Colonel Stannard, out numbered ten to one, order his command to Bolivar Heights to stack arms with the other Federal prisoners. Before reluctantly surrendering, the officers of the Regiment cut the national colors into strips and parceled them out among themselves thus keeping it out of the hands of the enemy. They had intended to do the same to the State flag, but, in the excitement and haste, was not completely successful and a large part of it ended up in the hands of the Confederates. It was sent to Richmond as a trophy. Later, in 1865, when the Ninth marched into Richmond at the head of the Union Army of the Potomac, the flag was recaptured from the Rebel archives by the same command that had lost it. At the request of the Governor of the State of Vermont, the flag was returned to the State Capital where it resides to this day. The Ninth had the dubious distinction of being the only Regiment from Vermont that lost its colors at the hands of the enemy.

From Harper's Ferry, the Ninth was sent to Chicago on parole. They spent the next four months there. On January 10, 1863, the Ninth was exchanged. The Regiment received new Springfield rifles in anticipation of returning to the field of combat after a long and embarrassing detention as prisoners of war. Unfortunately they were assigned to guard the newly arrived Confederate prisoners captured at Murfreesboro and Arkansas until April 1 when they returned to City Point, Virginia. The Regiment was at Suffolk during the siege in April and May of 1863. From there, it was sent to Yorktown and occupied West Point during the Gettysburg campaign. A futile attempt was made to capture Richmond while its defenders were drawn off to take part in Lee's push into the North. July, August and September found the Regiment once again at Yorktown where the health of the Regiment suffered greatly from the climate and malaria. For this reason, and because of the persistent urging of the Governor of Vermont on behalf of the troops, the command was transferred in October to the Newport barracks located between Morehead City and New Berne, North Carolina. Early in February, 1864, at the time of the attack upon New Berne, a detachment of Confederates were sent by General Pickett to capture Newport barracks. The ensuing fight resulted in three men of the Ninth being awarded medals of honor for gallantry. As a result of the Confederate assault, the Ninth was obliged to withdraw to Morehead City. Three days later, the Ninth reoccupied the Newport barracks. During the summer of 1864, various detachments of the Ninth were employed in dealing with Confederate activity around the New Berne area. September 15, 1864 was the second anniversary of the surrender at Harper's Ferry and was also the date on which the Ninth arrived in front of Petersburg.

Two days after its arrival, the Ninth received a detachment of recruits, increasing its numbers to 1,129. Among those new arrivals to fill the Regiment's ranks was Private Lilly. On September 17, 1864, one hundred picked men of the Ninth were sent as a support to an isolated, exposed earth-work known as Redoubt Dutton. The detail from the Ninth lived in gopher holes (rifle pits) under the muzzles of the Union guns of the redoubt. A one hundred gun salute on September 24 and again on the 30th brought on a determined attack from the Confederates and the brunt of it fell on Redoubt Dutton. The steady, well-directed fire of the Vermont line disarranged and broke two well organized lines of battle at less than one hundred and fifty yards.

On September 29, the Ninth participated in the Battle of Chapin's (Chaffin's) Farm. On the 27th of October, the Regiment took part in the Battle of Fair Oaks. The Ninth was recalled to form part of the troops sent to New York under General Butler to protect the city from anticipated riots during the presidential election. From New York City, it was sent back to Richmond. April 3, 1865 the Ninth, along with the Twelfth New Hampshire, were the first two Federal Regiments to enter the abandoned Confederate capital. Running through the burning streets of Richmond, they did not halt until they reached the front door of the Confederate White House. For the next two weeks, the Ninth was part of the provost guard in Richmond. Soon, Lee, Johnson and other segments of the Rebel Army surrendered and the shooting war was over. On the 13th of June, the original members of the Ninth were mustered out. About four hundred recruits remained in the service until December when they were disbanded and sent home. The Ninth then became a thing of the past.[13]

Although Private Lilly joined the action late in the war, he had ample opportunity to experience lots of marching, hear the sounds of a heavy artillery barrage, load and fire his musket and shoot at live targets. He also saw the sights in two major cities of the East all the while being paid for it by the government. When he was mustered-out at Richmond on June 13, 1865 he was wearing a suit of clothes that cost the government $54.21. He owed Uncle Sam $.67 for a lost haversack. He had been given a second installment of $33 1/3 on his bounty back in November/December, 1864, but still had the last third due him.[14] So, he went home with some money in his pockets.

That was a good thing because he was returning home to Sudbury and to his wife and new daughter, Bertha Viola, born March 26, 1865 while Calvin was in Virginia.[15] Two years later, another child joined the family. This time it was a he: Levi A. Lilly, perhaps named after Calvin's younger brother, Levi P.[16] Calvin and Sarah had a second daughter, Anna Eliza, born in March of 1870. Calvin supported his growing family by building canal boats in Orwell.[17] In 1877, another son was born to Calvin - James C.[18]

The beginning of a new decade brought about additional changes in Calvin and Sarah's lives. Calvin's eighty-five year old father moved in with them. He had been widowed back in 1867 when Calvin's mother died. In addition to his father, an aunt, Sarah Smith aged sixty-seven took up residence in the household. Calvin had to work extra hard to provide for all these new family members living under his roof. Canal boats were declining in popularity as the railroads took away more and more of the freight hauling business. Calvin still dabbled in shipbuilding and carpentry, but branched out into farming as well. One Robert Graham, farmer, and his wife, Margaret plus their child of five years were listed on the 1880 U.S. Federal Census as members of Calvin's household.[19] In 1881, the last Lilly boy was born to Calvin and Sarah in Orwell. His name was Claude R. Unfortunately, Claude only lived into his second year when he was taken by cholera in 1883. Two years later, Calvin lost his father, Chester as well.[20]

In 1900, Calvin and Sarah celebrated thirty-eight years of marriage. Bertha Viola, their oldest daughter, still lived with them. She was a thirty-five year old spinster. She never did marry, remaining single her entire life and devoted herself to caring for her parents until their deaths.[21]

In 1898, Calvin lost his brother Levi to heart disease.[22] Upon Levi's death, William B. Wright, Administrator of the Estate, petitioned the Probate Court of Addison to appoint Calvin R. Lilly, Levi's brother, to be an appraiser of Levi's estate since most of it consisted of canal boats and Calvin had been a "builder of same" and would be the most likely person to set a fair monetary value on them.[23] By November 5, 1898, Calvin and another gentleman appointed by the Court to assist evaluating the estate, had completed the appraisal: "Real Estate: 1/2 acre land with dwelling & barn ($450); Household Furniture: $71; Personal Property: 1 old mule ($10), 2 canal boats ($650), lines and rigging ($20). anchors and cables ($50); a mortgage to his sister for $59.68; 2 accounts against customers for coal amounting to $15."[24]

The 1910 Federal Census found Calvin and Sarah still residing in Orwell and living in their own home which they owned free and clear. Their forty-five year old daughter Bertha also still lived with her parents in that home. Mary, Levi's widow, lived on one side of Calvin and Sarah and Richard Lilly, Calvin's grandson, lived on the other side in Orwell. Richard was a day laborer and Mary raised poultry.[25] On August 22, 1913, Calvin passed away from chronic myocarditis and general arterio sclorsis. He was two months shy of his seventy-ninth birthday.[26] Two years later, on April 12, 1915, Sarah died at age seventy-one of chronic Bright's Disease.[27]


1., Vermont, Death Records, 1909-2008 for Callier R. Lilly; Ibid., Lewis Family Tree for Calvin R. Lilly.
2. Vermont in the Civil War/Cemeteries/Vermont/Orwell/Mountain View Cemetery/Lilly, Calvin R.;, Ida's Family Tree for Calvin R. Lilly.
3., Family Trees (Lewis, Ida's, Wilson_Blake_Eells_Pain) for Calvin R. Lilly.
4. Ibid., Lewis Family Tree for Chester Lilly (Lillie, Lilley).
5. Ibid., Wilson_Blake_Eells_Pain Family Tree for Chester Lillie.
6. Ibid., 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Calvin Lilly.
7. Ibid., Janson Wills 2016 Family Tree for Sarah Munger.
8. Ibid., U.S. Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 for Calvin R. Lilly.
9. Ibid., U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 for Calvin R. Lilly.
10., Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Vermont, p. 3, image 311506490. Hereinafter referred to as Compiled Service Records.
11. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p.4, image 311506492.
12. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p.5, image 311506494.
13. Vermont in the Civil War/Units/Ninth Vermont Infantry/Regimental History; Ibid., Units/Ninth Vermont Infantry/Introduction.
14. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, pp.7 and 11, images 311506499 and ...509.
15., Ida's Family Tree for Calvin R. Lilly.
16. Ibid.
17. Ibid., 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Calvin Lillie; ibid., Vermont, Wills and Probate Records, 1749-1999 for Levi P. Lilly. Letter to Hon. James M. Slade, Middlebury, dated Orwell, October 18, 1898.
18. Ibid., Ida's Family Tree for Calvin R. Lilly.
19. Ibid., 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Calvin R. Lilly
20. Ibid., Ida's Family Tree for Calvin R. Lilly.
21. Ibid., 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Calvin R. Lilly.
22. Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 for Levi Persons Lilly.
23. Ibid., Vermont, Wills and Probate Records, 1749-1999 for Levi P. Lilly. Letter dated Oct. 18, 1898 previously cited.
24. Ibid., Vermont, Wills and Probate Records, 1749-1999 for Levi P. Lilly. Inventory of Estate done by Calvin R. Lilly and John Hall dated November 8, 1898.
25. Ibid., 1910 U.S. Federal Census for Calvin R. Lilly.
26. Ibid., Vermont, Death Records 1909-2008 for Calvin R. Lilly.
27. Ibid., Vermont, Death Records 1909-2008 for Sarah E. Lilly.

Bernie Noble

Previous Page