Hoyt, Jonathan Mills
Age: 24, credited to New Haven, VT
Unit(s): 2nd VT INF
Service: comn 2LT, Co. K, 2nd VT INF, 5/28/61 (5/28/61), resgd 7/17/62
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 07/24/1836, Niles, MI
Burial: Evergreen Cemetery, New Haven, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Alan Lathrop
Findagrave Memorial #: 40785832
Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Not found
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)
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Evergreen Cemetery, New Haven, VT
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BiographyJonathan came from good Yankee New England stock. His family pedigree was of the highest caliber. His grandfather was Jonathan Hoyt, Esq. of New Haven who, among other things, was the former High Sheriff of Addison County.  He was also a Revolutionary War soldier having served as a private in Daniel Benedict's company, 9th Connecticut regiment. He was discharged on account of illness, but re-enlisted in 1777. He was present at the burning of Danbury, Bedford, and Poundridge. He was born in Norwalk, Connecticut and died in New Haven, Vermont.  Jonathan's grandfather set the standard for the rest of the family's public service spirit. He held just about every town office that existed and then some. He served as a member of the Vermont Constitutional Convention in 1843. He was on the Temperance List in 1834 and he was an Academy subscriber in 1855. His grandson would grow up to hold many of the same offices his grandfather had filled.  Jonathan's dedication, discipline, and efficiency would endear him to many of his fellow townspeople and others who knew him from all over the State of Vermont.
Jonathan would need that New England "stick-to-it-tavism" early on in his life. He was born on July 24, 1836, in Niles, Michigan. That is where his father, Lucius Hoyt (1807-1848) and his wife, Catharine Reynolds (1810-?) had transplanted the family. The Hoyts had arrived in Michigan at least by 1833.  Jonathan Mills was born about three years after their arrival in Michigan. By 1842, whatever "business" Lucius was involved with was not doing so well as he filed for bankruptcy in the Detroit District Court on February 24, 1842.  It was on October 17, 1842, that a Lucius Hoyt applied for a passport at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was described as thirty-six, five feet eleven inches tall, had a high forehead with a straight nose and blue eyes. His hair was black, his complexion dark and his face long. He claimed he was a native of New Haven, Vermont. He brought an acquaintance, Clement J. Phillips, along with him to city hall to vouch for him.  Where he intended to go and what he intended to do when he got there was never revealed in the documents examined. Lucius was not a well man in 1842. He had contracted consumption (probably in the army) which caused his early death in Niles, Michigan on January 31, 1848. He was only forty-one.  As to where Lucius rests today is in some doubt. Most likely his burial was in the place where he died, Silverbrook Cemetery, Niles, Michigan. He has a headstone there, but he also has one in the family lot at Evergreen Cemetery, New Haven, Vermont. The latter was probably a cenotaph.  As to Lucius' wife, Catharine, very little was uncovered concerning her life and death. She apparently also died quite young, not long after her husband, because Jonathan's newspaper obituary reported that he "...lost his parents in childhood, but was raised by kind friends." 
Jonathan had returned to Vermont sometime before 1850. That year's Federal Census put him in the home of his grandparents, Jonathan Hoyt and Olive Hoyt. They had a very prosperous farm (worth $16,000) in New Haven located just south of the village center on what was then and still is today, known as South Street. Jonathan's grandfather was seventy-five in 1850 and a farm of that magnitude required a more stout and younger man to operate it. That came in the form of his daughter Eliza's husband, Lewis Meacham. He was only forty-one and had many years of productive work ahead of him. He became one of New Haven's leading and most successful citizen's in his own right. Here was were Jonathan Mills landed at age fourteen after he had lost both of his parents. In addition to himself and his grandfather, Lewis counted on Patrick Cunningham from Ireland who was a robust twenty years old for assistance with the hard work of running an agricultural business.  Jonathan was, indeed, in the hands of close "friends" in his youth. His grandmother, Chloe, would shortly die though in 1857. 
Jonathan and his grandfather continued to live on the farm into the 1860's. At eighty-five, Grandpa Hoyt wasn't able to do much on the farm but supervise the others. The actual physical work fell to younger backs like Lewis Meacham. Although Jonathan Mills was not specifically listed in the household as a member, I believe he had not left his grandfather's farm. After all, his grandpa's estate was worth $32,000 in real and personal property. That was a huge potential inheritance for anyone to pass up by walking away. Jonathan was clever enough to also realize there was little future in doing manual labor all his life, so I am convinced that he sought less punishing ways to not only make a living but to also keep close to his potential inheritance. When Jonathan enlisted in the army, he stated his occupation was "accountant". I can easily imagine him keeping the books on his grandfather's farm before the war. It was a very thriving business which supported a number of people. There were the original owner, Jonathan, his grandson, the daughter and her husband. In addition, there were two twenty year old servant girls from Ireland, one with a year old child of her own, plus a twelve year old male named Alonzo Loran from Canada who seemed not to belong to anyone in the household in particular, all being supported by the production of this single farming operation.  It was a very busy place! Maybe too busy for some. Jonathan's grandfather passed away in 1867. 
Whatever plans individuals had were severely interrupted by the outbreak of the Civil War. For many young men, like Jonathan Mills, they had to make some sudden and major alterations in their futures. The predawn events in a Southern town with an important harbor and a Federal fort guarding the entrance to it demanded from a host of people to reset their compasses in a new direction. When the news of Fort Sumter reached New Haven on April 14, 1861, some residents, like Alice Doud, were doing household chores (she was doing the laundry).  The young men's blood was instantly set boiling with revenge and they stampeded to the nearest recruiter they could find. For Jonathan Mills that was in Vergennes. The five feet six inch brown eyed, black haired twenty-four year old accountant stood before an army officer on May 7, 1861 ready to pledge the next three years of his life to the defense of his country.  The volunteer must have made a very positive impression on his superior officers from the very beginning because when the volunteers where sworn into the Second Vermont at Burlington, Vermont on June 30, 1861, he was immediately advanced in rank to Second Lieutenant of Company K. 
The Second Regiment was organized at Burlington, Vermont and mustered-in the U.S. service for three years on June 20, 1861 by Lt.-Colonel Rains. It was the first three years' regiment raised in Vermont. It was composed of ten companies selected from sixty which offered their services. Four days later, the Regiment left Burlington for Washington where it arrived on June 26. The Second went into camp on Capitol Hill where it remained for two weeks. On July 10, it was marched over the Long Bridge to unite with the Third, Fourth and Fifth Maine. On the 16th, the Second found itself marching towards Centreville, Virginia. July 21, 1861, it took part in the First Battle of Bull Run. It returned to Washington, D.C. where it performed guard duty along the Potomac and helped build Forts Marcy and Ethan Allen. In September, the Second Vermont was formed with the Fourth and Fifth Vermont into the Vermont Brigade. Soon the Sixth Vermont was added and the "Old Vermont Brigade" was created. It remained intact for the rest of the Rebellion
Winter quarters were set up at Camp Griffin and occupied until March 10, 1862 when the Vermonters were ordered to Newport News on the James River as part of the Peninsular Campaign. It saw action at Young's Mills, Lee's Mills and Williamsburg. April 13, 1862, the Vermont Brigade reached White House Landing where the Sixth Corps was formed. The Brigade was assigned to the Second Division, Second Brigade. From April 13 to May 19, 1862, the Brigade was posted at White House Landing. On June 26, it shared in the Battle of Golding's Farm and in the Seven Day's battles. It was ordered to Bull Run late in August, but arrived too late to be engaged in the affair.
The next action the Second Vermont saw was at South Mountain/Crampton's Gap followed by Antietam in September of 1862. The Regiment was involved in a charge of the Confederate lines at Crampton's Gap that overwhelmed the enemy. At Antietam, it was on the skirmish line. In the December 13, 1862 battle at Fredericksburg, the Brigade repulsed a charge of a Rebel brigade and held its ground all day until ordered to withdraw after dark.
The Brigade broke the winter camp of 1862-1863 in January in order to participate in Burnside's "Mud March". In May, the Second was back at Fredericksburg for the second time. The "Old Brigade" was instrumental in carrying Marye's Heights in that action. The next day, May 4, 1863, the Vermonters fought at Banks' Ford where it helped to check Lee's forces until the entire Union Army had crossed the river. July 2 found the Second at Gettysburg after a forced march of thirty-two miles. It brought 528 men to the field and had no casualties. From August 14 to September 13, 1863, the Regiment was stationed in New York City keeping the draft riots under control. Winter quarters where occupied with the Army of the Potomac near the Rapidan.
May 4, 1864, saw the beginning of the Wilderness Campaign. On the opening day of the fight, May 5, the Second lost its Colonel Stone (shot dead) and Lt. Colonel Tyler (mortally wounded). In the following months, the Second would loose many more brave men in the almost daily fighting that took place - Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Third Winchester, Cedar Creek. At the end of the year, The Regiment moved to Petersburg to begin the siege of that Confederate stronghold. It participated in the charge at Fort Fisher on March 25, 1865 and was with the Brigade in leading the advance that broke through the enemies' defensive lines around Petersburg. It was at the Battle of Sailor's Creek, on the evening of April 6, while skirmishing with the Rebel rear guard, that it fired the last shot at Lee's retreating forces by the Sixth Corps.
The service of the Second Vermont closed with its participation in the Grand Review of the Union Army by President Lincoln in Washington, D.C. on June 8, 1865. The Regiment proceeded from there to Burlington, Vermont where it was discharged on July 25, 1865. The total strength of the Regiment was 1,858. Of those, 224 were killed or died of wounds, 175 died of disease, accidents and in Confederate prisons. The total number of deaths from all causes then was 399. This number only included those who died while in the service. Many more died soon after their discharge on account of wounds or disease contracted while in the service. Only twenty-three regiments out of over 2,000 lost more men killed than the Second. In the Battle of the Wilderness, May 5 and 6, its losses were the heaviest of any regiment engaged - 348 out of 700 men. In one week of fighting, it lost 56% of its effective force. No regiment stood higher as a fighting regiment than the Second Vermont Volunteer Infantry. 
Second Lieutenant Hoyt's first assignment was on detached duty as a recruiter beginning August 28, 1861 back in Vermont.  He rejoined the Second Vermont in the field around November of 1861.  On February 7, 1862, he was appointed Acting Adjutant of the Regiment.  He continued to serve as Adjutant until June of 1862.  On the 13th of that month, he was returned to Company K as Second Lieutenant.  On July 18, 1862 Hoyt resigned his commission because, some said, of ill health.  He went home and the war for Mr. Hoyt was over. For the rest of the men in the Second Vermont who could not with honor resign, it would carry on for another three years. Jonathan returned to New Haven, where, not long after his discharge from the service in 1862, he married. His bride was Miss Julia Wheeler from New Haven. Her father was Royal Wheeler of the same town.  Julia was a native of New Haven having been born there on October 8, 1841.  Her father was a farmer in New Haven who later moved out to the Buffalo, New York area. 
At thirty-three in 1870, Jonathan had levied his accounting and Adjutant skills into a bank job. He was a "bank correspondent" in Chicago, Illinois.  He had apparently either heeded Horace Greeley's advice to "Go West" or he desired to return near to the place of his birth in Michigan. Either way, he ended up staying out west for a short time. He was still living in Chicago when he wrote his Last Will And Testament on April 11, 1872.  By 1874, Jonathan was back in Vermont living and working in New Haven. On October 20, 1874 at Montpelier, Governor Asahel Peck appointed "...Jonathan M. Hoyt of New Haven, to be Aid-de-Camp, with the rank of Colonel...."  An aide-de-camp was a personal secretary/assistant to a high ranking military officer or government official. Jonathan was also active in local politics. In 1876, he was chosen to be on a Republican town committee.  He was also chosen as a delegate to the Republican State Convention where he was elected as Secretary. 
Jonathan Mills Hoyt was suddenly and unexpectedly taken by Brights' Disease on January 29, 1877.  He had been living with his aunt, Eliza Meacham (her husband, Lewis, had passed away) , and was serving as New Haven's Town Clerk when he died. His disease was sudden and treatment, though attempted, was ineffective. Within two weeks of the onslaught of his suffering, it ceased. "Deep gloom", "sadly mourned" and "sorrow" were the words used in numerous announcements of his passing in the newspapers. 
For a man rich in promise and countless friends statewide, Jonathan was not a man of many material assets when he died. He never came close to matching his grandfather's value. When he was taken by his kidney disease, he possessed few valuable things. His estate inventory listed:
1 - Horse $ 100.00 1 - Horse $ 40.00 One half interest in two colts $ 30.00 1 - Carriage $ 100.00 Interest in light Double Harness $ 25.00 Interest in Cutter $ 25.00 1 - Buffalo Robe $ 10.00 Town Clerk Office (he had built it) $ 100.00 One third interest in Patent Wheel $1,500.00 One note by Chapin $ 10.00 Cash on hand $2,712.99 ________ Total: $4,677.99June 4, 1877 
It appeared from other court documents that Jonathan also owned a barn, fifty-four acres of land and several friends owed his estate notes which were due. Altogether, these amounted to another $2,000.  So, Jonathan's entire fortune amounted to less than $7,000. That was a far cry from his grandfather's estate valued at around $32,000 in 1860.
After Jonathan's death in 1877, Julia, his widow, left New Haven and removed to Buffalo, New York to be near her father and mother, Royal and Sarah Wheeler. She had an eleven-year-old sister to share the home with. They resided at 77 Main Street in Buffalo. Royal was farming, Sarah kept house and Mary attended School. Only Julia had nothing to do to occupy her mind and hands. That was due to her "general debility" condition in 1880.  For many years she endured poor health and was nearly blind by the time of her death March 6, 1885, in Buffalo. Her remains where brought back to New Haven so she could be interred next to her husband in Evergreen Cemetery. 
1. www.newspapers.com, Addison County Journal, Thu., Feb. 1, 1877.
2. Ancestry.com, North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000 for Jonathan Hoyt.
3. A History of New Haven in Vermont, 1761-1983 by Harold Farnsworth and Robert Rogers, Town of New Haven, 1984, p. 304.
4. Ancestry.com, Michigan, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1827-1870 for Lucius Hoyt; Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 for Jonathan Mills Hoyt.
5. www.newspapers.com, Detroit Free Press, Sat., Mar. 12, 1842 for Lucius Hoyt.
6. Ancestry.com, Passport Applications, 1795-1925 for Lucius Hoyt.
7. www.newspapers.com, Detroit Free Press, Thu., Feb. 10, 1848 for Lucius Hoyt.
8. Ancestry.com, Indiana and Michigan, Michiana Genealogical Cemetery Index, 1800-2010 for Lucius Hoyt; www.findagrave.com, Memorial #116306106 and 70803929.
9. www.newspapers.com, Addison County Journal, Thu., Feb. 1, 1877, for Col. J.M. Hoyt.
10. Ancestry.com, 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Jona M. Hoyt.
11. www.findagrave.com, Memorial #70803929 for Lucius Hoyt.
12. Ancestry.com, 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Lewis Meacham.
13. www.findagrave.com, Memorial #70803929 for Lucius Hoyt.
14. A History of New Haven in Vermont, 1761-1983 by Harold Farnsworth and Robert Rogers, Town of New Haven, 1984, p. 167.
15. www.fold3.com, Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Vermont, p. 2, image 310682883. Hereinafter referred to as Compiled Service Records.
16. www.fold3.com, Compiled Service Records, p. 3, image 310682384.
17. Vermont in the Civil War/Units/1st Brigade/2nd Vermont Infantry/Introduction; Ibid.,/ Regimental History; http://civilwarintheeast.com/us_regiments_batteries/Vermont/2nd_vermont.
18. www.fold3.com, Compiled Service Records, p. 3, image 310682886.
19. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p.6, image 310682887.
20. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p. 8, image 310682890.
21. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p. 11, image 310682899.
22. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p. 10, image 310682897.
23. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p. 11, image 310682899.
24. www.newspapers.com, Addison County Journal, Thu., Feb. 1, 1877, for Col. J.M. Hoyt.
25. Ancestry.com, Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-1954 for Julia C. Wheeler.
26. Ibid., 1850, 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Julia C. Wheeler; Ibid., 1865 New York State Census for Royal Wheeler.
27. Ibid., 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Mills Hoyt.
28. Ibid., Vermont, Wills And Probate Records, 1749-1999 for J. Mills Hoyt.
29. www.newspapers.com, Rutland Daily Globe, Thu., Oct. 22, 1874.
30. Ibid., Fri., Mar. 24, 1876.
31. Ibid., The Vermont Gazette, Mar. 31, 1876.
32. Ancestry.com, Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 for Jonathan Mills Hoyt.
33. www.newspapers.com, Addison County Journal, Thu., Feb. 1, 1877.
34. Ancestry.com, Vermont, Wills And Probate Records, 1749-1999, Inventory for J. Mills Hoyt.
35. Ibid., Admin. accounting for J. Mills Hoyt.
36. Ibid., 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Julia Hoyt.
37. www.newspapers.com, Burlington Free Press, Tues., Mar. 10, 1885 for Julia Hoyt; www.findagrave.com, Memorial #41271864 for Julia Hoyt.
Courtesy of Bernie Noble.