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Noland, Matthias

MILITARY SERVICE

Age: 19, credited to Starksboro, VT
Unit(s): 2nd VT LARTY
Service: enl 8/15/64, m/i 8/15/64, PVT, 2nd VT LARTY BTRY, m/o 7/31/65

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations

VITALS

Birth: abt 1845, Elizabethtown, NY
Death: 05/06/1890

Burial: Riverside Cemetery, New Haven, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Alan Lathrop
Findagrave Memorial #: 70035367

MORE INFORMATION

Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, widow Sarah
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

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BURIAL:

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Tombstone

Tombstone

Riverside Cemetery, New Haven, VT

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Biography

Mathias Noland and Newton Murdick shared a lot in common with each other. Each man may have known the other or maybe not, it was hard to say. But their stories are very much alike. Both were house painters and residents of New Haven, Vermont at about the same time. Both managed to stay out of the public limelight for most of their lives. Each were members of a very large family having many siblings in it. And both lost their fathers before they reached their teenage years. The public domain for each man was pathetically sparse on early childhood and family background information. Consequently, there were huge gaps in the data on each of their families. Despite the fact that both men spent the majority of their lives living in the New Haven community, friends and neighbors had very little to say about them.

What did surface about Mathias Noland was that the most common spelling of his first name was with one "T" not two. He was born in July of 1849 in Elizabethtown, New York, the ninth child of eleven children born to Lawrence Noland (1801-1859) and Emily Cobb (1816-1901). Mathias' father was born in Ireland and, apparently, came to New Haven to live via Canada. He was a farmer or hired farm hand most of his life. His mother, Emily, was a citizen of the United States having been born in Jay, New York on January 21, 1816.[1] If family tree information can be relied upon as being accurate, Lawrence and his expanding family move from place to place constantly during the years between 1830 to 1859. Being a hired seasonal farm hand would explain the frequent moves as his help would depend on the needs of the local farm owners. Just observing the birth places of his children showed that he lived in Canada;Addison County;Jay, New York;Lewis, New York; New Haven, Vermont; and Elizabethtown, New York between 1830 and 1859. Again, if the genealogical data is factual, Emily Cobb, Mathias' mother, had her first child when she was thirteen years old. By the time she was eighteen, she had given birth to four of her eleven offspring. Her last child was born the same year that she lost her husband, Lawrence, who died at an early age in 1859. At the turn of the century (1900), Emily had buried five of her eleven children.[2]

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Mathias was busy being a twelve year old in New Haven. He must have been fit to be tied with the excitement created by the actions at Fort Sumter by a group of zealous secessionists. But he was far too young to offer his services to any part of the upcoming historical events that were about to take place. He could only watch from the sidelines as his older friends and neighbors flocked to the abundant recruiters in the area and signed up for Mr. Lincoln's Army. For three long years he waited as the deathly bare-knuckle brawl took place between the unionists and the secessionists. Finally, young Mathias could wait no longer. Eighteen just wasn't coming fast enough to suit him. One way or another he was going to join the army and actively participate in this grand struggle to protect and preserve the Union. In August of 1864, after celebrating only fifteen birthdays he was not going to be denied, not by his years nor by his mother's wailings. Perhaps, if his father had been around, her wishes for her son might have prevailed. After all, she had already sent two of her boys to the war. If family history was accurate, one of them had already made the ultimate sacrifice to the cause. Henry and Jerome had both enlisted earlier in the conflict. Henry may have enlisted in 1861 and died of disease in 1862. This was not confirmed. Jerome joined in 1861 also as a member of the Fifth Vermont, Company B rising to the rank of Corporal before his discharge in 1865.[3] It would have been easy to see that Emily would not want a third son to expose himself to the dangers of soldiering. Mathias was determined and somehow, through some means, managed to persuade his mother to give her consent on his enlistment papers and declare her son eligible to join the United States Army being of legal age. Mathias swore he was eighteen when he filled out the enlistment form. Emily completed the In Case of Minor portion affirming he was eighteen. The recruiter, A.M. Hawkins never questioned Mathias' age. Datus R. Gaige, Justice of the Peace from Birstol, Vermont who helped process the volunteer, the examining surgeon, Levi Hapletin, despite a "minute physical examination, never called out the recruit on his youthful age and the officer who mustered-in Mathias, Captain C.R. Crane, a recruiter who had enlisted hundreds of Green Mountain Boys into the Union Army, did not questioned Mathias' age. So, two weeks after he initially enlisted, Private Noland was sworn into active service as a member of the Second Battery of Vermont Volunteers on August 29, 1864. The five feet nine inch farmer with a light complexion, blue eyes and dark hair was officially part of history for at least the next year.[4] Oddly enough, Private Noland was credited to Starksboro, Vermont, not to Bristol or New Haven. He was immediately paid one third of his $100 with the rest due him in installments at a later time.[5] From Rutland where he was mustered-in the service, Private Noland was sent to the recruitment depot located in New Haven, Connecticut by September 24, 1864 where he was uniformed, equipped and introduced to life in the military.[6]

The Second Vermont Battery Light Artillery's combat history was very short and relatively uneventful. The unit was raised in Brandon, Vermont December 13, 1861. Captain L. R. Sayles was chosen to command. When completed, the Second Battery amounted to 128 officers and men. The battery was immediately sent to the Gulf coast of Mississippi on March 12, 1862. It debarked on Ship's Island where it unloaded its rifled cannon that shot Sawyer shells. [9] Ship Island (actually two barrier islands off the Gulf Coast of Mississippi) had the only deep-water harbor between Mobile Bay and the Mississippi River. In 1858, the State of Mississippi gave jurisdiction of the islands to the Federal Government. Construction of a fort began in 1859. It was incomplete in 1861 when the Civil War erupted. The Confederates were quick to seize the unfinished fort. They named it Fort Twiggs after the Confederate General, David E. Twiggs. On July 9, 1861, after a twenty minute exchange of cannon shots with the USS Massachusetts, the Rebels abandoned Fort Twiggs and the Federals garrisoned it, renaming it Fort Massachusetts, in 1862. The advanced guard of Federal General Butler's expedition arrived at Ship's Island on December 3, 1861. On January 4, 1862, the Harper's Weekly reported that the Federal troops had landed "...without molestation...." By March 12, the Second Vermont Light Artillery, along with the First Maine and the Fourth Massachusetts Batteries, joined them on Ship's Island. Not only was this post important for launching land attacks on New Orleans and other strategic Mississippi River ports, it was also vital for controlling the coast and enforcing the blockade of Southern ports in the Gulf area. [7]

By May 2, the Second Battery had landed at New Orleans. Towards the end of May, they were ordered seven miles up the Mississippi to Fort Parapet. There it skirmished with Confederates during a raid in which it destroyed a railroad bridge. During the five months the Second was stationed at Fort Parapet, they lost sixteen men from disease, twenty-two discharged for disability, two officers dismissed from the service after being court-martialed and one officer who resigned.

On October 31, the Second Light Artillery again moved back to New Orleans. December 29, 1862 found the Battery on the move to Galveston, Texas. It stayed there only a few days. On January 1, 1863, after finding out that the Confederates had captured the city, the Second Battery left for New Orleans. At the end of January, the battery was ordered to Donaldsonville, seventy-five miles up the Mississippi. A month later, they were ordered to Baton Rouge. They took part in the siege of Port Hudson May-June of 1863. After the surrender of Port Hudson, the battery stayed, doing garrison duty until July 7, 1865. It then marched to Baton Rouge on the ninth of July, 1865, took a steamer to Cairo, Illinois and then headed towards Burlington, Vermont. The last of the Battery was mustered-out on July 31, 1865. [8]

Private Noland joined the war, and the Second Light Artillery Battery, late. He did not arrive in the field to participate with the operations of the Second LARTY until October of 1864.[9] In January/February 1865, Private Noland was due the second installment of his $100 bounty.[10] His military career progressed splendidly throughout March and April, 1865. The only glitch in his service seemed to be when he became "sick in quarters" sometime in May or June, 1865.[11] Mathias' term of service came to an end back in Burlington, Vermont July 31, 1865. According to his Compiled Service Record, he was still nineteen years old even though he had been in the army for eleven months. His final accounting with the Government showed he owed $6.11 for clothing issued during his term of service and that he owed an additional $.70 for lost or destroyed Quartermaster property. He had been paid two thirds of his $100 bounty, so $33.33 was still owed him at discharge.[12] Mathias went home with $26.52 in his pocket.

For the next ten years, Mathias disappeared from the public view. He resurfaced when he married at the age of twenty-seven. According to his marriage certificate, he was a resident of New Haven, Vermont. His occupation was farmer. His bride was Sarah Caffrey. This was the first marriage for both of them. The couple married on December 9, 1875 in New Haven. Even though Sarah came from a Catholic family, the ceremony was performed by Reverend S. Gardiner. Sarah was born in Middlebury but was a resident of Bristol, Vermont at the time she wed Mathias. She was the daughter of John Caffrey and Mary McCann.[13] Sarah's mother might have also used the name "Bridget" and she was born in Tyrone County, Ireland about 1821. She came to the United States when she was six years old with her parents about 1827. She and her family settled in Middlebury. She married John Caffrey when she was seventeen and lived in Bristol for over forty years. John had a tailor shop in town. He died in 1886. Mary, or Bridget, passed away in her home on Maple Street in Bristol on May 27, 1907 at the age of eighty-six. Her funeral was held in St. Ambrose church and she was buried in the Catholic cemetery.[14]

Mathias and Sarah had a daughter named Agnes Elizabeth Noland who was actually born on May 7, 1875, eight months before her parents were married. She would be the only child born to the couple. Like her father, she would die at an early age. She passed away on January 2, 1921 in Middlebury at forty-five and a half years old from recurrent breast cancer.[15] She had been living with her mother on North Pleasant Street in Middlebury after she lost her husband, Henry F. Joy.[16] The 1880 Federal Census was the only one in which Mathias was listed by name. Somehow, he managed to avoid being "enumerated" on every other one taken between 1850 and 1890. Taken in June, 1880, the census listed Mathias, Sarah and "Lizzie" (aka Agnes Elizabeth) as residing in New Haven. Mathias occupation was noted as "day laborer".[16]

The 1890 Special Schedule of Veterans did not include Mathias Noland. However, he died in Middlebury on May 6, 1890. His occupation was given as "painter". He was forty years, nine months old, a young man even for a nineteenth century male. His death certificate from the Town Clerk of Middlebury indicated the cause of death as "heart disease".[17] But a reporter for the Burlington Independent believed his early demise was a "result from disease contracted while in the army, being a complication of lung and heart disease."[18] His obituary also stated that Mathias had lived in New Haven Mills for a time where his father, Lawrence, and two sisters, Etta and Sarah, were buried in Riverside Cemetery. Mathias was interred with them. He left behind his wife, Sarah Caffrey, an aged mother, Emily Cobb, and three brothers to mourn him.[19] Mathias had a wide circle of acquaintances in the area mostly due to his deep commitment to the Russell Post of the G.A.R. His passing prompted resolutions to be passed for both himself and his wife, Sarah, in which the Ladies' Aid Society and the Russell Post expressed their deep and sincere sense of loss at the passing of their comrade.[21]

As for Mrs. Noland, she had a long life yet ahead of her. She was only thirty-four at the time of Mathias' death. But, like her husband, she did not leave much of a foot print in the public records, so little was discovered about her after 1890. More was found out about Emily Cobb, Mathias' mother from 1890 to her death in 1901. In her later years, she had ended up living with her son, William, on North Pleasant Street in Middlebury. She had been born in Jay, New York on January 21, 1816. Her death was due to rheumatism of the heart. She was survived by three of her eight children: Sylvester of New Haven; Jerome and William of Middlebury. She left two brothers; Matthew Cobb of Ausable Forks, New York and Ebenezer Cobb of Port Henry, New York. She would be missed by many young friends of the Methodist Church Society at whose gatherings she was always welcome. Her internment was at New Haven Mills in the Riverside Cemetery.[22]

NOTES

1. www.ancestry.com, Desaulniers Family Tree for Mathias W. Noland.
2. Ibid for Emily Cobb & Lawrence Noland.
3. www.fold3.com, Compiled Service Records Of Union Soldiers Who Served In Organizations From the State of Vermont, p. 3, image 311457987. Hereinafter referred to as Compiled Service Record. Special Note: He may have been discharged as early as Jan. 20, 1863. See Compiled Service Record, p.22, image 311458094 for Jerome Noland.
4. Ibid., Compiled Service Record, pp. 13-14, image 310677153.
5. Ibid., Compiled Service Record, p.3, image 310677134.
6. Ibid., Compiled Service Record, p.4, image 310677136.
7. www.wikipedia.org/Ship Island (Mississippi); Vermont in the Civil War/Units/artillery/2nd Battery Light Artillery.
8. Vermont in the Civil War/Units/artillery/2nd Battery Light Artillery.
9. www.fold3.com, Compiled Service Record, p.10, image 310677147.
10. Ibid., Compiled Service Record, p.7, image 310677141.
11. Ibid., Compiled Service Record, p.9, image 310677145.
12. Ibid., Compiled Service Record, p.11, image 310677149.
13. www.familysearch.org, Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-1954 for Noland, Mathias W.; www.ancestry.com, Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 for Caffrey, Sarah.
14. www.newspapers.com, Middlebury Register, Fri., May 31, 1907 for Mrs. Bridget Caffrey.
15. www.familysearch.org, Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-1954 for Agnes Elizabeth Noland Joy.
16. www.newspapers.com, Middlebury Register, Fri. Jan. 7, 1921 for Mrs. A.E. Noland Joy.
17. www.familysearch.org, 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Mathias Nolan.
18. www.ancestry.com, Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 for Mathias Noland.
19. www.newspapers.com, The Burlington Independent, Fri., May 16, 1890 for Matthias Noland.
20. Ibid.
21. Ibid., Middlebury Register, Fri., May 30, 1890 for Mathias Noland.
22. Ibid., Middlebury Register, Jan. 18, 1901 for Emily Cobb.

Courtesy of Bernie Noble

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