Cadwell, Miles Powell Squier
Age: 0, credited to New Haven, VTVITALS
Birth: 10/27/1831, New Haven, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Evergreen Cemetery, New Haven, VT
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and other veterans who may be buried there.
Miles Powell Squier Cadwell had a promising future all mapped out for himself in 1860. He was looking forward to adding "Esquire" to his already rather impressively long name. But then the Civil War came along and, like a lot of good plans laid out by good people, things did not work out exactly as Miles had envisioned.
Born Miles Powell Squier Cadwell on October 27, 1831 in New Haven, Vermont, he came screaming and kicking into the world in the house his grandfather, Buckley Cadwell, built around 1798. In fact, grandpa Buckley may have been present in the home for his birth in 1831. He might have been pacing back and forth with the expectant father, his son, Linus, while his daughter-in-law, Lorinda, labored to bring a new life into existence. Linus (1794-1871) and Lorinda (1803-1881) had one other son before Miles. Edwin L. was the first child born to the family on December 22, 1823 in New Haven. But Miles was the first child born in this house which had become their home in 1829. The farm was located south of New Haven Junction on what is now Route Seven on the west side of the road right next door to what in 1972 was the Benners' Homestead restaurant. On this farmland, the Cadwell's would complete adding to their family and raise those children who survived to adulthood. Miles followed Edwin in 1831. John A. followed Miles in 1834(-1901). And Sarah was the last sibling to join the clan on August 8, 1836 (-September 13, 1859).
Linus was the son of Buckley Cadwell (1757-1846). His father was moderately active in town affairs, holding town meetings in his home (1802-1805), being highway surveyor twice and Hayward twice. Linus followed in his father's footsteps by also being civic minded. He was Freeman; Hayward; School Officer; Highway Surveyor and Constable/Collector (taxes?). But, he was not always an up righteous and outstanding citizen. He was fined once for "keeping instruments of gambling". He also was licensed to operate a tavern, as long as he adhered to the principles of temperance. He was a church member until he was "excluded" in 1847. There was a rogue side to this seemingly enlightened farmer.
By 1850, Miles was eighteen and living at home on the family farm with his brothers and one sister. It was a prosperous farm valued at $6,000. Linus had two sons who provided him with the necessary labor to make his agricultural enterprise grow. Linus was financially well off enough to be generous to a twelve year old Irish immigrant who lived with the family. What Bridget Downey's role was in the household was not revealed in the 1850 Federal Census. In addition to chores around the farm that they were expected to do, all of the young people, including Bridget, attended school when in session. Education seemed to be important to the Cadwell family. Sixteen and eighteen year old farmer's sons normally would be too busy working on the family farm to be attending school. But in the 1850's in the New Haven area, there was an abundance of hired help in the form of Irish immigrants and French Canadians annually crossing the border who were willing to work for food and lodging. Lots of times hired help was satisfied with just those basic levels of compensation. Wages rarely were an incentive or an impediment to getting hired to do the seasonal farm work. That being the case, the pressure on Miles and his brothers to be available for labor purposes was relieved, and they could be free to pursue higher goals than just farm laborer.
Miles finished his grammar school education and decided to go on to college level training at Middlebury College in 1856. As a member of the Freshman Class of eighteen students, he was one of two New Haven residents accepted that year. The other student was Sendol B.M. Cowles. Miles lived on campus in Room 47 in Painter Hall. In order to be accepted into Middlebury, a candidate had to be examined in Latin, Greek, the classics such as Homer's Iliad, Geography, Arithmetic and the Elements of Algebra. Students who felt themselves qualified could be admitted to an advanced placement if they felt well prepared beyond the basic requirements and were willing to pay an additional $5.00 fee. All candidates for admission had to provide a certificate of good moral character. The Course of Instruction for the 1856 Freshman Class consisted of: First Term - Homer's Odyssey, Livy, Algebra and Latin Prose Composition. Second Term - Odyssey continued, Livy finished, Algebra finished and Latin Prose Composition. Third Term - Herodotus, Horace's Odes, Geometry and Classical History and Antiquity.  On top of those classes of study, students were required to attend lectures on such topics as Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Classic Literature, Zoology, Geology, Minerology, Rhetoric, Oratory, Astronomy, Anatomy and Physiology. Classes presented rehearsed speeches on various subjects by divisions in the Chapel weekly. Written translations of Latin and Greek, English for upper-classmen, were expected biweekly. Students had a "Record Of Merit" kept on them by their instructors in which each student's recitations were rated and absences noted. Demerits were recorded and were made the basis of disciplinary action. These records were reported to parents or guardians when desired. At the close of the Fall Term, there was a public examination of all classes. This examination was protracted and severe and conducted in the presence of a committee of gentlemen appointed for the purpose, who made a report to the Corporation (the College's governing board) respecting the proficiency and deportment of the students examined.
Qualified students could be honored with scholarships from various College Funds established to reward and recognize both achievement and need. The expenses to attend Middlebury College changed little in the four years that Miles was there. His tuition was $9.00 per term (x3 terms = $27.00 for the academic year); Room (if two occupied a room) $2.00 per term (x3 terms - $6.00); Use of Library, Repairs, Sweeping, etc., $2.00 per term (x3 terms = $6.00); Board ($1.75-2.00 per week) about $70.00 per academic year; Fuel, lights and Washing ($5.00 per term). Total for one academic year of three terms duration was about $125.00. The catalog for 1857 (Mile's Sophomore year) concluded with this warning to parents: "…place their sons, especially if young, under the patronage of some gentleman in Middlebury, who will attend to the appropriation of their money, and the payment of their bills…." Some things never change!! The typical academic year was divided up into three consecutive terms. The First Term usually began in late August or early September and ended near the last of week of November. This was followed by Winter vacation of seven and one half weeks. Around the third week of January, the Second Term began and went to the end of April. Spring vacation of two weeks followed. The Third Term commenced around the second week of May and concluded about the middle of August. There was a summer break of four weeks and then the whole cycle was repeated for the next academic year. Those who taught Winter School had a leave of absence for the first five weeks of the Spring Term. Commencement was held on the second Wednesday of August. There were nine seniors in Miles' Class of 1859.
From the campus of Middlebury College, Miles went to North Granville, New York. North Granville is located just a few miles west of Blossom Corners, Vermont. Here the twenty-three year old college graduate boarded with a family named Haynes. Backus Haynes was an alapathic physician in town. Miles was living with the Haynes' while he pursued becoming a lawyer. He was teaching as well as being a law student in Port Henry, New York from 1859 to 1861. Miles studied law with A.B. Waldo in Port Henry. Mr. Waldo had come from Vermont in the late 1850's and opened a law office. This office was looked upon by members of the legal profession as a training school for aspirants to the bar and, consequently, attracted large numbers of law clerks, among whom was Miles. Waldo's firm was the first in the entire region to boast a typewriter. It only printed capital letters and had no shift key. His office was also the first to employ a stenographer. Miles was very comfortable in this progressive business environment because it fit his own forward thinking personality.
Before he had entered Middlebury College in 1859, Miles had joined an organization called "Young America". It was a politically based movement that had started in Europe in 1845. It's American leader was John L. O'Sullivan. The group advocated free trade, social reform, expansionism and a democratic, anti-aristocratic attitude. Senator Stephen A. Douglas promoted its nationalistic program. The club was on the decline in the 1850's but still met on a regular basis to hold "exhibitions". One such convention met on April 21, 1855 at Fort Edwards Institute in New York state. The meeting opened with a prayer followed by orators. Then a "discussion" (debate) was held on the question: "Resolved, That woman in America enjoys all the rights that the interests of society and her own highest welfare demand." Mr. M.P.S. Cadwell and another member of the society argued the affirmative position. It was not disclosed which side won the debate. The meeting concluded with a benediction. So, by May of 1861, Miles was a promising young lawyer with bright prospects for a lucrative future. And then the boom of canon and the take over by force of a U.S. military installation in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina changed all that.
Within weeks, recruiters were flying around the Champlain Valley on both sides of the Lake seeking young men with great promise who could not resist the temptation to show everyone which side their loyalties lay. Among the first to throw off the cloak of citizen to don a uniform of blue was Miles Powell Squier Cadwell. He enlisted at Port Henry into the 22nd New York Infantry on May 9, 1861. He was mustered-in Company K as a Private on June 6, 1861 and made a Captain by July 4 of the same year.
The Twenty-second Regiment Infantry, N.Y.S.V. or the Second Northern New York Regiment was organized at Camp Brintall, Troy, New York on the 16th day of May, 1861. It was made up of companies recruited in the counties of Saratoga, Washington, Warren and Essex. On June 6, 1861, it was mustered into the service of the United States for two years by Captain Frank Wheaton. The regiment was supplied with State militia uniforms, tents, muskets and other necessary equipment for service in the field at a cost to the state of $38, 944.56, exclusive or food and quarters. The Regiment saw combat even before it arrived at the front to face Confederates under arms.
It left Albany for Washington on the 28th of June aboard steamers and barges for New York City. From New Jersey, it took railroad cars for Baltimore, arriving there after dark on the 30th. It marched a short distance from one train station to another nearby station where more rail cars waited to complete their journey to Washington. A crowd had gathered along their route through the streets of Baltimore. Not everyone in it was there to enthusiastically cheer them on. Mixed among the spectators were Rebel sympathizers. As the Regiment marched towards their train, shots were fired and Private Edward Burge of Company I was killed. The Twenty-second fired a volley into the crowd in response to the attack. Eighteen civilians were either killed or wounded. Baltimore police intervened and restored order and the Regiment continued its march without further incident. The Regiment reached Washington at one in the morning of July 1.
At first it was employed in garrison duty and occasional reconnaissance's in the vicinity of Washington. It took winter camp at Upton's Hill, Virginia. On March 10, 1862, it marched for Manassas, Virginia, but those orders were countermanded for the time being. McDowell's Corps was ordered to the Shenandoah Valley. Early April, 1862 found the Twenty-second on the march towards Falmouth, Virginia. The end of April saw the Regiment on duty at Fredericksburg. In May, the unit was with McDowell as he advanced on Richmond. August placed the Twenty-second with Pope marching in northern Virginia. On the 27th of August it marched from Warrenton in the direction of Gainesville with the intent of intercepting Confederate General Jackson who was attempting to penetrate to the rear of the Union lines. The Regiment left Warrenton and halted at Buckland for the night on the 27th. On the morning of the 28th, it commenced marching towards Manassas reaching Gainesville at one P.M.. Here it was ordered into line of battle. At 4 P.M. the Regiment began to be swept by Confederate artillery fire. It took refuge in a shallow ditch while shot and shell mostly passed over their heads, escaping with only minor casualties.
The next day, August 29, the fighting raged towards Thoroughfare Gap. The Twenty-second was not engaged until towards evening. They were then ordered to charge what was believed to be the retreating and routed Confederates. With a loud and exultant cheer, they pursued the enemy for a distance of half a mile. Suddenly the Union troops were halted by a withering discharge of small arms. Since they were massed in solid order, they were only able to return fire to their immediate front. The promise of victory that had existed a moment before soon converted into an utter rout. This engagement was known as Groveton or Kittle Run. On August 30th, a line of battle was formed again for a charge against the entrenched Confederates who used a railroad bed as a breastwork. The Twenty-second was in the leading ranks of the charging column. The Union troops charged through a wood lot out into an open field where they were met with grape, canister, solid shot and shell supported by a flaming wall of musketry. The ground soon became littered with Union dead and wounded. The Rebels began to break and run rearwards under the persistent onslaught of the Union charge. Those who did not run, threw down their arms and surrendered. Fifty yards from the Confederate breastworks at the railroad bed, the Twenty-second and other Union soldiers stopped. Seeing this hesitation in the forward movement of the blue line gave the Confederates confidence and they counterattacked. The blue wave slowly fell back, leaving their dead and wounded on the field as the Confederates pressed their advantage. Captain Cadwell was one of the bodies that lay on the field that day.
The losses of the Twenty-second from August 28-30, 1862 were almost beyond belief. On the 29th, its effective strength was 626 men. By August 30, it had lost 504 in killed, wounded and missing - a staggering 81% casualty rate! The Regiment entered the battle of Second Bull Run with twenty-five officers. On the night of August 30, when it fell back to Centreville, it retained one Captain and four Lieutenants. The surviving Captain was not Captain Cadwell. He had been killed in action by Confederate minie balls. After this engagement, the Twenty-second was a mere shadow of its former self. One hundred twenty-six men went on to South Mountain, September 14, 1862 where it lost another thirteen men killed and mortally wounded, one officer and sixteen more shot but not killed. At Antietam on September 16, 1862, the Regiment consisted of only sixty-seven effectives. When they retreated back through the famous Cornfield on that battle ground, they left twenty-seven men dead or bleeding lying in or around it. Following Antietam, the Twenty-second received recruits sufficient to restore its rank and file to two hundred ten men. At Fredericksburg then Chancellorsville, the rebuilt Twenty-second saw limited action and, therefore, sustained few casualties. The Regiment's final combat assignment was as rear guard for the Army of the Potomac as it withdrew across the Rapidan after Chancellorsville.
On the succeeding June 4, 1862, the Twenty-second New York returned to its home state to be mustered-out at the end of its term of service. On June 19 at Albany, what remained of the original Regiment was discharged and the three years men were transferred to the 76th and 93rd New York Regiments.
It was small consolation to Miles' mother, Lorinda S. Squier, for the loss of a son who had such a brilliant, promising future ahead of him, but she qualified for a pension based on his service. She began collecting it in February of 1880, Fortunately, Captain Cadwell's remains were brought back to his hometown of New Haven from the battlefield of Second Bull Run to be properly placed in the Evergreen Cemetery on what today is called Town Hill Road.
1. Vermont in the Civil War.org/Cemeteries/Vermont/New Haven/Evergreen Cemetery/Caldwell, Miles Powell Squier/Vitals; www.findagrave.com, Memorial #40393400 for Miles Powell Squier Cadwell.
2. Ancestry.com, Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908, Death for MPS Cadwell; Ibid., 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Miles P. Cadwell; Ibid., Cadwell/Peavey Family Tree for Miles Powell Squire Cadwell; www.familysearch.org, Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-1954; Ibid., Vermont Births and Christenings, 1765-1908; Ancestry.com, Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908.
3. A History of New Haven in Vermont, 1761-1983 by Harold Farnsworth and Robert Rogers, Town of New Haven, 1984, p. 203.
4. www.familysearch.org, Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-1954; Ibid., Vermont Births and Christenings, 1765-1908; Ancestry.com, Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908.
5. A History of New Haven in Vermont, 1761-1983 by Harold Farnsworth and Robert Rogers, Town of New Haven, 1984, p. 286.
7. Ancestry.com, 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Miles P. S. Cadwell.
8. Ibid., U.S., School Catalogs, 1765-1935 for Miles P.S. Cadwell, p. 10.
9. Ibid., Sophomore year catalog, p. 18.
10. Ibid., p. 15.
11. Ibid., p. 18.
12. Ibid., p. 19.
13. Ibid, p. 21.
14. Ibid., p. 22.
15. Ibid., p. 23.
16. Ibid., p. 7 of 1859 catalog.
17. Ibid., 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Miles Cadwell.
18. Ibid., U.S., School Catalogs, 1765-1935 for Miles Powell Squier Cadwell, p. 376.
19. Ibid., History of Port Henry, New York, Chap III, Mining, pp. 71-72.
20. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_America_movement; Ancestry.com, U.S., School Catalogs, 1765-1935 for MPS Cadwell.
21. www.fold3.com, New York State Adjutant General Reports, 1846-1995, p. 436.
22. Ancestry.com, History of Essex County, pp. 204-208; https://dmna.ny.gov/22nd N.Y. Infantry Regiment: http://civilwarintheeast.com/us_regiments_batteries_new-york-infantry/22nd-new-york.
23.www.fold3.com, Pension Files for Cadwell, Miles P.J., image 3288612.
Courtesy of Bernie Noble.