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Adams, Albert Moses


Age: 0, credited to Orwell, VT
Unit(s): 123rd NY INF
Service: 123rd NY INF

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 02/18/1842, Peru, VT
Death: 08/12/1922

Burial: Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA
Marker/Plot: Plot: N Grave RW23S
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Norma/Findagrave
Findagrave Memorial #: 9622855

Cenotaph: Mountain View Cemetery, Orwell, VT
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Alan Lathrop
Findagrave Memorial #: 46615781


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Unknown
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


Cousin of Carolyn Adams, Ryegate, VT

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Copyright notice

Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA

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




Cenotaph in Mountain View Cemetery, Orwell, VT

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may have cenotaphs there.


In the frenzy created in the aftermath of Charleston Harbor in April of 1861, all sorts of enthusiastic males chomped at the bit for a chance to join in the looming fracas to save the Union and teach those secesh folks the error of their ways. The lines in front of the recruiters were long and rowdy. Young men, mostly, (eighteen to be legal) fought each other to be at the head of the line to add their name to the enlistment roster. So why did an eighteen year old native Vermonter wait over a year to enroll himself into the action? And why did he enlist into a New York regiment and not one from his own state?

Albert Moses Adams was born on February 18, 1842 in either Peru or Winhall, Vermont, depending on which source of information your were looking at. [1] His parents, Eli Adams (1816-1900) and Sally Ellingwood, had lived in both places with their expanding family. Eli had been born in Massachusetts but had moved to Vermont when he was very young. He spent most of his life in Pawlet, Vermont. During his life time, he had two wives - Deborah Reed and Elizabeth (Elisabeth) Craig. Eli had seven children with his first wife, Deborah: Albert M.; Joseph A.; Martha Ann; John Quincy; Ella (Ellen) ; Sarah Jane; and Charles E. Eli died of old age on January 13, 1900 in Pawlet at eighty-three years of age. [2]

Deborah Reed (1822-1864), Albert's mother, was born in Rhode Island. She was the daughter of Joseph Reed and Joanne Drown. Her marriage to Eli occurred on May 12, 1842 in Londonderry, Vermont. She died an early death along with her daughter, Sarah Jane. In fact, both of them died about the same time on August 15, 1864 probably from the same disease. Jane was only eight years old at the time of her death. [3]

Eli remained a widow for the required amount of time (two years) then remarried. His second wife was Elizabeth Craig (1820-1900). She was the daughter of James and Ann Craig. She had been born in New York state. They married on October 18, 1866. She was always just a step-mother in the family. She and Eli never had any children of their own. Elizabeth died in Pawlet on January 17, 1900 only four days after Eli passed away. The cause of her death was given as old age, but it could have been from a broken heart. After all, she had been married to Eli for thirty-four years and the attending physician, Dr. H.B. Denman did state on the death certificate (actually on both Eli's and hers) that they both had died of "no positive disease old age". [4] She was eighty when she joined Eli on the other side.

Moses, as he liked to be called (he was named after his paternal grandfather), was seven or eight years old in 1850 and lived with his family in Winhall, Vermont. His father farmed in town. Moses was the oldest in the family of five. He had, by 1850, a brother, Joseph (six) and a sister, Martha (four). [5] By 1855, the whole family uprooted themselves and moved to Salem, New York. Two more Adams' had been born between 1850 and 1855: John Quincy (four) in 1855 and Ellena A. (two). Albert was now twelve and old enough to be of some help to his father who continued farming in his new location. [6]

When 1860 came around, Albert had turned seventeen. He was no longer a child. He was also no longer living with his parents, Eli and Deborah. He had moved in with a family named Dickey who lived in Orange, Vermont. Chester Dickey was a modest farmer whose real estate was valued at $2,000. He needed a strong, young man to assist with the hard labor necessary to run a farm. All of Chester's children were too young to help even if they wanted to. One was a female child, seven years of age, and the only son he had was two. [7] The Civil War brought about a lot of changes in a lot of people's lives and young Albert was no exception.

Why he went to Hebron, New York from Orange, Vermont to enlist in a New York infantry regiment was never answered in the public documents used in this research project. But, that was what happened. On August 5, 1862 at Hebron, New York, nineteen year old Albert Moses Adams added his name as a Private to Company E's muster roll of the 123rd N.Y. Infantry Regiment. He wasn't mustered-in until September 4, 1862 as it took awhile to scour the towns of Washington County, New York to recruit enough men to fill the ranks. It was on his enlistment papers that the nineteen year old farmer with black eyes, brown hair and fair complexion who stood five feet ten inches tall said that he was born in Winhall, Vermont. [8]

This regiment was recruited in the county of Washington. It rendezvoused at Salem where it was mustered into the U.S. service on September 4, 1862 for three years. The regiment left the state on September 5. It was assigned to Williams' First Division, Twelfth Corps with which it served throughout its term. It fought its first battle at Chancellorsville where it was heavily engaged losing one hundred forty-eight killed, wounded and missing. Lieutenant-Colonel Norton being among the mortally wounded. The 123rd was only slightly engaged at Gettysburg where it lost fourteen men. It joined in the pursuit of Lee into Virginia, fought without loss at Fair Play and Williamsport, Maryland, and at Robertson's Ford, Virginia. On September 23, 1863, it was ordered to Tennessee to reinforce General Rosecrans. There it performed guard and picket duty for several months along the railroad between Murffeesboro and Bridgeport. The Regiment started on the Atlanta campaign with Sherman's army early in May, 1864. It was active during the battles of Resaca, Cassville and Dallas where it lost twenty-three killed and wounded. Among the mortally wounded was Colonel McDougall. The 123rd's losses at Kennesaw Mountain totaled sixty-three; at Peachtree Creek, fifty-three. From July 21 to August 26, 1864, it was engaged in the siege of Atlanta. November 15, it moved with Sherman's army on his March To The Sea. The following year (1865) the Regiment took part in the Carolinas campaign. During that 1865 offensive, it fought at Chesterfield, Averasboro, Bentonville, Aiken, Smithfield, Raleigh and Bennett's House. After General Johnson's surrender, it marched to Washington, participated in the Grand Review and was mustered-out on June 8, 1865. The 123rd lost during its term of service six officers and sixty-eight enlisted men killed and fatally wounded; ninety-five enlisted men died of disease and other causes; total deaths, one hundred sixty-nine.

After the Battle of Gettysburg July 2-4, 1863, Lieutenant-Colonel James C. Rogers of the 123rd had to file a report with headquarters detailing all of the marches and duties of the Regiment for the past six weeks. His account of the Regiment's activities provided a unique glimpse into the typical life of a Civil War Private no matter which color uniform you wore:

At 6 a.m. June 13 (1863), the regiment left camp near Stafford
Court-House, Va, and marched to within a mile of Brooke's
Station, where a camp was laid out. Then an order came to move
at 6 p.m. and before sunset we marched back toward Stafford
Court-House. Continued the march all night, and arrived at
Dumfries at 9 a.m. On the 15th, left Dumfries, and, after a march
of 25 miles through heat and dust, arrived at Fairfax Court-House
at 9 p.m. At 4 a.m. of Wednesday, June 17, started from camp, and,
after a march of about 10 miles, encamped about 2 miles southeast
of Dranesville. The next day, June 18, marched 20 miles, and en-
camped at Leesburg. Here we remained for a week, the regiment
in the meantime going on picket for three days. At 4 p.m. June 26,
started from camp, crossed the Potomac at Edwards Ferry; passed
through Poolesville, and bivouacked near the bank of the
Monocacy, after a march of about 20 miles. The next day, 27th,
crossed the Monocacy, and passed through Point of Rocks; en-
camped within a mile of Knoxville, Md. June 28, moved at 6 a.m.,
and, passing through Jefferson, reached Frederick a little after noon.
Here it was announced that Gen. Hooker was relieved and Gen.
Meade placed in command of the Army of the Potomac. Monday,
June 29th, left camp, passed through Frederick, and, marching
about 18 miles, encamped near Middleburg. June 30, passed through
Middleburg and Taneytown, and halted for the night a mile outside
of Littlestown, our cavalry was attacked and the infantry ordered to
be hurried forward. We accordingly marched through the town at
a double-quick, but the rebels had flown. The next morning marched
to Two Taverns, and thence toward Gettysburg, where a battle was
then raging; formed line near Rock Creek. Lay on our arms that night.
Next morning we were ordered in position on the hill near Rock Creek.
Afterward were moved toward the town, into the woods to the right
of Cemetery Hill. Here the regiment, being in the front line of the
brigade, built a strong breastwork along its front. About 4 p.m., in con-
nection with the rest of the brigade, marched to the left of the line, and
took position behind the Third Corps. About dark it was ordered back
to its old ground. On approaching the woods in which the works were
located, Company I was sent out as skirmishers, who soon reported the
rebels in the works. First Lieut. Marcus Beadle was taken prisoner at
this time. The regiment was then moved a little farther back, and a
number of shots were fired from the woods into its ranks, killing 1 man.
It lay on its arms until morning, when a battery was planted in its rear
to shell the woods in front. One man was killed and 1 wounded by the
bursting of the shells of this battery in our ranks. The regiment lay in
this position as a reserve until about 2 p.m. , when, the enemy having
been driven from the breastworks, it moved forward and occupied
them. About 4 p.m. it was ordered to march out to the left. After
marching some distance, and before coming in a line, the order was
countermanded, and the regiment returned to the breastworks,
where it lay until morning, when, in connection with two other
regiments and a battery, it made a reconnaissance to the north
and east of the town as far as the railroad. Found the enemy had
fallen back. Returned through the town to the works again. I re-
gret to state that Capt. Weer, a brave and accomplished officer,
was severely wounded on Friday by a rebel sharpshooter. July 5 -
left our old position, and, marching 10 miles, encamped near
Littlestown. July 6 - Moved only 2 or 3 miles. July 7- Marched
about 30 miles, and encamped about 4 miles north of Frederick.
July 8 - Passed through Frederick, crossed the Catoctin Range;
passed through Middletown, and at night encamped near Burketts-
ville. July 9 - Passed through Crampton's Gap, and encamped
near Rohrersville. July 10 - Marched 10 miles, and encamped
near Bakersville. July 11 - Encamped just beyond Fair Play. Came
up with the enemy at this place. Next day, moved back on to a
rocky ridge behind a marsh, and commenced throwing up
breastworks. Worked all night and most of next day in adding
traverses, in accordance with orders from brigade headquarters.
At 5 a.m. of the 14th, moved to the front, the enemy had left;
marched to within a short distance of Falling Waters; lay near
there for the night. The next morning at 4 a.m. marched back,
and, passing through Fair Play, Bakersville, and Sharpsburg,
halted for the night on the west side of Maryland Heights. July
16 - Crossed the Heights, and encamped in Pleasant Valley, near
Sandy Hook, our present location. All, both officers and men,
have borne the arduous duties of the campaign cheerfully and

And, according to the almost non-existent compiled service record for Albert, he was there for all of this action and more during his term of service with the 123rd N.Y.

It wasn't long after his term of service ended with the Government that Albert entered into another binding contract to serve. In 1868, he married for the first time. His bride was Almira (Almina) Coburn (1843-1893). She was born in Orwell, Vermont on October 23, 1843. Almina was the daughter of Seth J. Coburn and Lydia M. Clark. The two were married on February 20, 1868 in Pittsford, Vermont. Almina was twenty-four and this was her first marriage. [10] Her father, Seth, was a laborer in Orwell. She was the youngest of four children. Almina had two older brothers and one older sister. [11] At sixteen, she had been farmed out to a family from Corinth, Vermont as a domestic. She also must have been used as a "nanny" as well since the Hastings, Perley and Ruth, had three young children to look after, all between the ages of seven and one. [12]

At twenty-seven years old, the newly wedded Albert lived in Rutland, Vermont with his wife, Almina. At the time of the Federal Census in 1870, they had been married for only three years. He was a superintendent in a cheese factory. She kept house. A young woman named Ellen Adams (no relation apparently), seventeen, lived in the household along with a nineteen year old Canadian laborer named Jos Campbell. [13]

Ten years later, in 1880, Albert and his wife lived in Benson, Vermont. They had left the "big city" environment of Rutland and his managerial job in the cheese factory in order to get back to nature and the original source of all that cheese. Albert was now a thirty-eight year old farmer in Benson. He was listed as head of household for the census. He had a hired man, Lewis Twins, a twenty year old Canadian, living in the house. Also living there was Albert's brother, Charles E., sixteen, and was listed as a farmer on the census. In addition, there was a fourteen year old servant by the name of Estella Linsley housed with the family. [14] To support all these individuals, Albert's farm must have been a very busy operation.

In 1890, Albert and Almina continued to lived in Benson. It was assumed he still farmed there. The 1890 Veterans Schedule placed him in Benson. [15] Unfortunately, the completed 1890 Federal Census for that year was mostly destroyed in a fire and so there was not much information on Albert's life to be had except his location in that year. Tragedy struck the household in 1893. Almina died just two months shy of her fiftieth birthday on September 2 of heart failure. [16] Three years later, Albert remarried for the second time. His new wife was Julia A. Kelly (1852-1939). She was born about 1852 in Rutland. She was the daughter of Smith Fitzgerald Kelly and Sophia (Seviah) Kelly. Julia and Albert were married in the Congregational Church in Benson on February 8, 1897. She was forty-three and this was her first marriage. No children would result from this marriage either. [17]

Julia had lived in Rutland, Vermont since she was eight years old. She had two sisters, each older than she: Lara, seventeen in 1860, and Ellen, fourteen in 1860. Her father owned a farm valued at $9,500. He had personal property worth another $2,000 just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. He and his family were doing well enough to afford two employees who lived in the household in 1860. One was a fifteen year old farm laborer named Levi Eggleston. The other was a female servant named Alzina Whitley. [18] In 1870, Julia was still living at home with her sixty-four year old father and her fifty-nine year old mother in Rutland. She was twenty-eight at the time and single. She had another sister named Jessie who was nine in 1870. There was also a four year old named Nellie and a three year old named Beulah living in the home. These children were thought to be Smith and Sophia's grandchildren. [19] In fact, in the 1880 Federal Census for Julia A Kelly, there was listed in the household one Nellie A. Sanderson, age fourteen, grand-daughter of Smith F. Kelly, head of household. Smith F. Kelly was Julia's father. [20] Further investigation revealed that Julia's sister, Ellen Annette, had married one Abner Everts Sanderson about 1864. They had only one daughter, Nellie, born in 1866. Both parents had died early in their lives, Ellen in 1877 of consumption, and Abner in 1894 of an accidental overdose of laudanum. [21] In 1880, Julia had found a teaching position in the Rutland area. Her father still farmed. Nellie, a teenager and grand-daughter who had lost her mother in 1877 of consumption, attended school while living with her grandparents. There was no mention of Beulah and nothing was found in the public records to explain her fate. [22]

When the turn of the century rolled around, Albert and his new wife, Julia, were living in Rutland on Kelley Road. Julia's father, Smith F. Kelly, and her mother, Sophia had moved in with their daughter and their son-in-law. There were no children in the house at this point, just two sets of married people. Albert rented the farm he worked in Rutland. His father-in-law, now eighty-four, did not have an occupation. Smith and his wife had been married for sixty-three years, longer than either Albert or Julia had been alive. [23] Ten years later, 1910, Albert, now sixty-eight, still lived in Rutland but not on the same street. He and Julia had moved residences to Ripley Road. The two of them lived alone in a house they owned which was free of any mortgage. Albert was not gainfully employed any longer. [24]

Perhaps the aging Albert and Julia got tired of the long, cold, dark New England winters between 1910 and 1920. Whatever the reason (s), the couple ended up in sunny and warm Los Angeles, California sometime before the 1920 Federal Census was taken. They had taken up residence at 2769 West 14th Street. Whether it was a house or an apartment, they rented their home there. Neither of them were employed. [25] Albert managed to enjoy the fine California weather until August 12, 1922. He died that day. He was buried in Angelus Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles. He was eighty years old. The grave in Mountain View Cemetery in Orwell, Vermont is a cenotaph, placed there when Albert's first wife, Almina, died in 1893. [26]

Julia went on living in Los Angeles as a widow. She owned her own home in California in 1930. Her house was valued at $10,000. She also had family living with her. Jessie (Farnsworth), her sister, and her husband, George Farnsworth, lived with her. George was a doctor and surgeon. Jessie had married well. Julia was not doing too badly herself. [27] Julia survived Albert by seventeen years. She was eighty-seven when she passed away on September 18, 1939 in Los Angeles, California. [28]


1., U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current for Albert Moses Adams; Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908, Marriage for Albert M. Adams.
2. Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908, Death for Eli Adams;, Memorial #74163873 for Eli Adams.
3. Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908, Death for Deborah Adams and Sarah Jane Adams; Ibid., SB Bissett Family Tree for Deborah B. Reed.
4. Ibid., Lots of Branches Family Tree for Eli Adams; Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908, Death for Elizabeth Adams.
5. Ibid., 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Moses Adams.
6. Ibid., 1855 New York, State Census for Moses A. Adams.
7. Ibid., 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Albert Adams.
8. Ibid., New York, Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900; Ibid., U.S. , Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865; Ibid., 1890 Veterans Schedule for Albert M. Adams; Ibid., New York, Registers of Officers and Enlisted Men Mustered into Federal Service, 1861-1865;, A Record of the Commissioned Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates, of the Regiment (123rd N.Y.), p. 383, Muster-in Roll of Captain Norman F. Weirs Company E in the 123rd Regiment of N.Y. State Volunteers...
9., U.S., American Civil War Regiments, 1861-1866; 123rd N.Y. Infantry Regiment during the Civil War, New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, pp. 1-7.
10. Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908, Marriage for Almina Coburn; Find A Grave Memorial # 116036701 for Almina D. Coburn Adams.
11. Ibid., 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Almina Coburn.
12. Ibid., 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Almena Coburn.
13. Ibid., 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Albert M. Adams.
14. Ibid., 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Albert M. Adams.
15., 1890 Veteran Schedule for Albert M. Adams.
16., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 for Elnicna D. Adams.
17. Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, Marriage for Julia Kelly.
18. Ibid., 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Julia Kelly.
19. Ibid., 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Smith Kelly.
20. Ibid., 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Julia A. Kelley.
21., Memorial #34886492 for Ellen Annette Kelley Sanderson;, Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 for Ellen (Kelley) Sanderson and A. E. Sanderson.
22., 1880 U.S Federal Census for Julia A. Kelley.
23. Ibid., 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Julia A. Adams.
24. Ibid., 1910 U.S. Federal Census for Albert Adams.
25. Ibid., 1920 U.S. Federal Census for Albert Adams.
26. Ibid., Adams Family Tree for Albert Moses Adams; Ibid., California Death Index, 1905-1939 for Albert M. Adams; Ibid., U.S. Find A Grave Index, 1600s- Current for Albert Moses Adams;, Memorial #9622855 for Albert M. Adams.
27., 1930 U.S. Federal Census for Julia Adams.
28. Family, California Death Index, 1905-1939 for Julia K. Adams.

Courtesy of Bernie Noble

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