McKinstry, Azro P.
Age: 18, credited to Newbury, VTVITALS
Birth: 07/30/1844, Bethel, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Riverside Cemetery, Winnebago, MN
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and other veterans who may be buried there.
Azro McKinstry was born on 30 July 1844 in Bethel, Vermont. His parents were Paul and Harriet Lilly McKinstry who operated the farm which Azro's great grandfather established in the 1780s after moving his family from Tolland, Connecticut to Bethel. After completing school in 1860, Azro apprenticed himself to E. C. Stocker, a harness maker, to serve three years at the trade for the sum of $30, $40, and $50 for each of the three years. In 1862 he received permission from Mr. Stocker to enlist in the Union Army, agreeing to serve out the apprenticeship contract after the war should he be alive.
Azro was mustered in on 6 August 1862, and served in Company H of the 10th Vermont Volunteer Infantry Regiment. His unit saw service as part of the 6th Army Corps under the command of Major General John Sedgwick. His regiment participated in the Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House; incurred heavy losses in the 12-day's of operations at Cold Harbor; participated in the 1864 fall campaign that included battles at Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek; and was among the first troops to enter the city of Petersburg, Virginia, on April 3, 1865, the day of its capture. Azro was wounded at Cold Harbor on 1 Jun 1864 and spent six months recovering from his wounds in a hospital.
Probably the most important contribution of his regiment was to protect Washington, D.C. against attack at the Battle of Monocacy, near Frederick, Maryland on July 9, 1864. In a bold attempt to relieve pressure on the Confederate Army at Petersburg, General Robert E. Lee sent Confederate forces under the command of General Jubal Early up the Shenandoah Valley to attack Washington DC from the west. The move was successful in the sense that it removed Union troops, including Azro's regiment, as part of General Rickett's 3rd Division, from Petersburg. Ricketts positioned his troops along side those of General Lew Wallace at Monocacy Junction to protect the nation's capitol. The Battle of Monocacy, which pitted the 15,000 troops of Early against half that number of Union troops, was technically a loss for the Union Army. It left nearly 1,300 Union dead and wounded in the retreat that day. However, by delaying for a single day the movement of Early's troops, Washington DC was saved from occupation.
From over two thousand regiments of the Union armies, three hundred were selected as the "fighting regiments" which lost from 134 to 224 men each, killed and died of wounds. Of this number Vermont furnished nine, including the 10th Regiment with 149 losses. [Fox, William F. "Regimental Losses in the American Civil War." Morningside Bookshop, 1974.] Azro was discharged 1 July 1865 in Burlington, VT.
When mustered out of the army on 22 June 1865, Azro returned and completed his apprenticeship to Mr. Stocker in 1867. He married Lauribel Rogers, the daughter of Oliver P. Rogers that same year. Azro and Lauribel moved to nearby Northfield for two years, then moved to a farm in Bradford. In 1870 they followed Azro's parents in a move to Winnebago, Minnesota. Along with his father, Azro established the Woodlawn Creamery and engaging in general farming and dairying. He represented the State of Minnesota in the New Orleans Centennial Exposition, winning the Grand Sweepstake prize for butter for his State. At the World's Fair in Chicago, he represented the National Dairy Union in its fight against "oleomargarine colored in semblance of butter."
On 12 Sep 1900 Azro was killed when he was thrown from a sulky plow. Azro and Lauribel had two sons and two daughters.petelois.home.mindspring.com and follow the genealogy link to both "Genealogy" and "Stories and Photographs" of the descendants of Roger and Mary (Wilson) McKinstry.
Photograph from the 10th Infantry history, scanned by Deanna French.