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Spaulding, Charles Witherell


Age: 30, credited to Shoreham, VT
Unit(s): 14th VT INF
Service: enl 8/29/62, m/i 10/21/62, CPL, Co. D, 14th VT INF, pr SGT 12/12/62, m/o 7/30/63

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 06/051832, Orwell, VT
Death: 09/18/1912

Burial: Mountain View Cemetery, Orwell, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Alan Lathrop
Findagrave Memorial #: 46625425


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes
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


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Mountain View Cemetery, Orwell, VT

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


Charles Witherell Spaulding was born on June 5, 1832, in Orwell, Vermont. He was the son of Thomas P. Spaulding (1804-1869) and Maria Alexander (1803-?) Thomas was born on April 25, 1804, in Pepperell, Massachusetts. He died in Orwell on January 14, 1869. Charles' mother, Maria, was also born in Massachusetts. She came from a town called Greenfield. After leaving their home state, Charles' parents remained life-long residents of Orwell living there from at least 1830 to 1869. All of their children were born in Orwell.[1]

By 1850, the Spaulding family consisted of Thomas and Maria plus their four children: John Thomas (1830-?); Charles Witherell (1832-1912); Franklin (1834-?); and Sarah Emma (1841-?).[2] Thomas had been supporting his family as a cooper for years. Now, in 1850, he had three strong sons who had gone into farming for a livelihood. The Spauldings must have owned enough land in Orwell to support their agricultural enterprise in addition to Thomas' coopering business. The family also had a fifteen year old female named Mary Fuell living with them. What role she played in the family was not disclosed on the census for that year. John, 20, Charles, 18, Franklin, 16, Emma, 9, and Mary, 15, all attended school at some time during the calendar year even though it appeared that the boys had other obligations as well. Anything they could do to assist their father, whose assessed value only stood at $300.00, would have been greatly appreciated.[3]

In 1860, Charles lived with his parents, Thomas and Maria, and his sister, Emma who was now nineteen. Thomas still ran his coopering business in Orwell and his son, Charles, had taken up his father's trade as well. Charles was now twenty-seven and still a bachelor.[4] When the Civil War commenced on April 12, 1861, Charles was nearly thirty years old. Even at that age, he was swept up in the fever of patriotism and adventure just like his much younger counterparts. He left civilian life behind in the summer of 1862.

Charles only stood five feet four and three-quarters of an inch tall. For a farmer, he had a light complexion with blue eyes and brown hair. He presented himself on August 29, 1862, to C.E. Abells, the recruiter, in Shoreham, Vermont in order to sign up for a nine-month hitch in the Army.[5] On October 21, 1862, in Brattleboro, Vermont Charles officially became Corporal Spaulding of Company D, Fourteenth Vermont Regiment.[6] Unfortunately, Corporal Spaulding's military career did not get off to an auspicious start. He missed the formality of being mustered-in with the Fourteenth on October 21 because he was sick and remained so through the month of October and into November and December.[7] He spent the latter two months at the Third Division USA General Hospital, King Street Branch, Alexandria, Virginia.[8] Whatever ailed him must have been pretty serious because he was ill enough to be shipped from a Washington hospital in October 1862 to an Alexandria hospital on Henry Street December 1 to the Baxter Hospital in Burlington, Vermont December 12, 1862.[9] His health may have been poor, but his luck was golden. Without seeing any action due to being sick and in one hospital or another, he still managed to be awarded a promotion to Sergeant on January 12, 1863. He was still absent from the Fourteenth when it was in Virginia on March 4, 1863.[10] By April 11, 1863, Sergeant Spaulding had rejoined his regiment in the field.[11] He was now well enough to take part in all the fun activities the Fourteenth Vermont had lying ahead of them during their short term of service including getting to spend the Fourth of July celebrating on the fields of Gettysburg.

The Fourteenth Vermont only existed for a short time (they were "Nine Months" men), but they saw hard service during their term of enlistment. At first, the Regiment was attached to those units making up the defenses around Washington, D.C. After December 11, 1862, the Fourteenth was placed on guard duty in and around Fairfax Court House where it was engaged in the repulse of Jeb Stuart's cavalry raid. From March to June 1863, the Vermonters were stationed at Wolf Run Shoals along with other Vermont troops to guard the vital river ford on the Occoquan River. On the 25th of June, the Fourteenth was attached to the Third Division of the First Corps and began its march northward towards Gettysburg. It was a grueling march sometimes covering twenty miles a day for consecutive days at a time. Over two hundred of the Regiment were forced to drop out before every reaching Gettysburg because they could not keep up the pace. The Fourteenth arrived at Gettysburg too late to take part in the first day's action. It bivouacked in a wheat field to the left of Cemetery Ridge. Late on the second day, the Regiment was called into action to help the Thirteenth Vermont repel an attack by General A.P. Hill on the left center of the Union line. After the tremendous opening cannonade of July 3, during which several men of the Fourteenth were killed by an explosion of a battery caisson, the left flank of Pickett's long grey line could be seen advancing towards the concealed Vermonters. At less than one hundred yards distance from the enemy, the men of the Fourteenth rose at command and delivered a devastating volley into the Confederate columns. The Thirteenth and Sixteenth changed fronts and added their fire to that of the Fourteenth. The result was that Pickett's right wing was caught and crushed. After the main charge was halted and Pickett's divisions were streaming back towards Seminary Ridge, four companies of the Fourteenth, A, F, D, and I, captured most of Confederate General Wilcox's Brigade as prisoners. This independent action taken by the Vermont troops, including Charles W. Spaulding, was credited by the Union high command as being crucial to the turning of Pickett's Charge. The Fourteenth was also part of the Union's pursuit of Lee's forces following the three day battle. It was during this pursuit that, on July 18, 1863, the Fourteenth was released and sent home. The Fourteenth was mustered-out on July 30, 1863.[12]

Returning home from the war meant that Mr. Spaulding had to resume earning a living at some trade. Whether he went back to farming or picked up the coopering trade again was not clear right off. But, when he married in 1867, he was listed as a farmer living in Orwell. He married a twenty-four year old woman named Jennie Medora Lewis who was also a resident of Orwell at the time. Of course, Charles was no spring chicken himself being thirty-four at the time of the wedding. Jennie was from Poultney, Vermont. Her father was Roswell Rice Lewis (1794-1842). Her mother was Elcena Mason (1800-1861). The marriage took place in Orwell on January 16, 1867.[13] For some reason, the Town Clerk, Roswell Bottom, listed the groom's mother as Isabel Perkins, not Maria Alexander. An exhaustive search found no hard evidence that Thomas P. Spaulding, Charles' father, was married twice. It did not take long for their first born child to arrive. On August 7, 1869 a girl was born named Jennie M. after her mother. Regrettably, the child only survived but a short time, passing away later the same year. Previous to her birth, Charles had lost his father, Thomas, on January 14.[14] 1869 was not a good year for Charles and his new bride, Jennie.

Prospects for Charles and his wife in 1870 had not improved a great deal when the new decade had begun. Charles and Jennie were living in Orwell. His estate value was only $500 in real estate and another $200 in personal property. He and Jennie were living with one Truman Lewis and his family. It appeared from the census record that Charles was working for Truman as a hired hand on Truman's farm. In addition, Truman's family consisted of a whole passel of people with different names. As it turned out, Truman was Jennie's brother. He was married to Sarah E. who had two sons named Willie M and Edson C Lewis. Sarah was Jennie's sister-in-law and Willie and Edson were her nephews. Charles was brother-in-law to Truman. Next door to all of them lived Maria, Charles' mother, a widow. Emma and her son, Thomas S. Hodge lived with her. So, grandma Spaulding lived with her daughter and one of her grandchildren, and next door to one of her daughter-in-laws and one of her sons.[15] Emma was a school teacher in Orwell. She had been married to Caleb Hodge on January 8, 1861 in Orwell. They had a son, Thomas S. on November 27, 1862 while living in Bristol, Vermont. Her husband, Caleb, died of typhoid fever August 21, 1863 in Bristol.[16]

The 1870's was a very productive decade for Charles and his wife, Jennie in one sense. Children came, and went, in rapid succession. 1871 brought the birth of another daughter, Lillian J. She was born on May 21. Lillian, like so many children of the nineteenth century, did not survive long. The three month old died on August 16, 1871 of whooping cough.[17] Soon after, Charles' first born son arrived. Charles Arthur or Arthur Charles was born in Orwell on August 18, 1872. In 1875, a third daughter, Edith May, was born to the family. Edith's name did not appear on the family's headstone because she had married (Munger) and had been buried alongside her husband rather than in the family plot. She was born on May 23, 1875. Two years later, on February 13, 1877 a second son was born to Charles and Jennie. His name was Harry Thomas.[18] Although the end of the decade of the 1870's was near at hand, the increasing numbers of the Spaulding family would carry over into the next one before coming to an end.
On May 2, 1880, Charles and Jennie had their last child; another girl, named Lulu (Lula) . Charles was now forty-eight and Jennie was thirty-seven. Arthur was 8; Edith,5; Harry, 3; and Lulu, one month. The whole bunch lived in Orwell. In addition, Maria Spaulding, Charles' mother, lived with her son and daughter-in-law now. Emma, Charles' sister who had been living with her mother, Maria, had remarried and left Maria living alone. The widow Spaulding helped Jennie maintain the house and care for the brood of young ones. Arthur was the only child in the home old enough to attend school. Charles' occupation in 1880 was listed as "horse trainer".[19] In December of 1889, Charles applied for a government pension.[20] Apparently horse training was not a very lucrative profession.

By 1900, the Spauldings had been married for thirty-three years, During that time, Jennie had born six children. Four were still alive in 1900. Charles was a sixty-seven year old sheep shearer and day laborer. He was unemployed for nine of the last twelve months. Apparently his government pension was sufficient enough to carry his family through those months. Three of the four surviving children still lived at home: Edith now twenty-five; Harry T, twenty-three; and Lulu J., twenty-two. Arthur had gone off on his own. The Spauldings had a boarder living with them in 1900. She was Lucy E. Roberts, age twenty-two, and taught school in Orwell. Edith, Charles' daughter, also taught school in town. Lulu attended school and probably had one or both of them as a teacher. Harry T. supported himself by working on the railroad. Charles owned his home free of any mortgage.[21] On March 4, 1907, Charles received an increase in his pension which must have been very welcomed since he only worked a few months out of the year when the Merino sheep in and around Orwell needed shearing.[22]

The next Federal Census, taken April 18, 1910, found Charles, his wife, Jennie, and their only remaining daughter, Lulu (28) living in Orwell. Now in his late seventies, Charles had no occupation whatsoever. He lived on just his government pension. He and Jennie had been married for forty-three years, living all of them in Orwell.[23] In 1912, on September 18, Charles passed away at home in. He died of apoplexy - a paralysis caused by a stroke. He was eighty years old.[24] On September 30, Jennie applied for a widow's pension. She received $12 per month initially. That was increased to $20 per month in 1916; increased again to $25 per month in 1917; and finally ended up at $30 per month in 1920.[25]

Widow Jennie was still living in Orwell in 1920. Living with her was her daughter, Lulu who was now thirty-nine and a spinster. The two of them lived with Jennie's daughter, Edith and her husband, Clyde L. Munger. Jennie had a grand-daughter she lived with named Elinor J. Elinor was nine years old in 1920. Also in the household lived a boarder by the name of William Lewis. He was Jennie's fifty-seven year old brother. He worked for wages as a laborer in a creamery in town. Clyde worked in a factory as a button maker. Lulu had no occupation. Perhaps looking after a nine year old was work enough to keep her busy.[26] In 1923, on February 10, Jennie died at the age of eighty-one in Orwell.[27]

1., Memorial #46625425 for Charles Spaulding;, Scott And Clason Family Tree for Charles Witherell Spaulding and LaDam Family Tree for Thomas Spaulding; Ibid., Scott And Clason Family Tree for Thomas P. Spaulding and Maria Alexander; Ibid., Vermont, Death Records, 1909-2008 for Charles H. Spaulding.
2., Scott And Clason Family Tree for Maria Alexander and Thomas P. Spaulding; Ibid., 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Charles Spaulding.
3. Ibid., 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Charles Spaulding.
4., 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Thomas Spaulding.
5., Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Vermont, p. 3, image 312309744. Hereinafter referred to as Compiled Service Record.
6. Ibid., Compiled Service Record, p. 4, image 312309747.
7. Ibid., Compiled Service Record, pp. 5-7, images 312309750 and ...756.
8. Ibid.
9. Ibid., Compiled Service Record, pp. 8 and 12, images 312309759 and ...769.
10. Ibid., Compiled Service Record, p. 9, image 312309761.
11. Ibid., Compiled Service Record, p. 11, image 312309767.
12., U.S. American Civil War Regiments, 1861-1866, 14th Infantry Regiment Vermont.
13. Ibid., All One World Tree Results for Jennie M. Lewis; Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 for Charles W. Spaulding and Jennie M. Lewis.
14. Ibid., Scott And Clason Family Tree for Charles Witherell Spaulding;, Memorial #46626632 for Jennie M. "Jane" Lewis Spaulding.
15. Ibid., 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Chas W Spaulding.
16. Ibid., Hodge Family Tree for Charles N. Hodge; Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 for Caleb N. Hodge.
17. www.findagrave Memorial #46626632;, LaDam Family Tree for Charles W. Spaulding; Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 for Lilian J. Spaulding.
18. Ibid.
19., 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Charles Spaulding;, Memorial #46626632 for Jennie M. "Jane" Lewis Spaulding.
20. Ibid., 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Charles Spaulding.
21. Ibid., 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Jennie M. Spaulding.
22., Compiled Service Record, image 25438778 for Charles Spaulding.
23., 1910 U.S. Federal Census for Jennie M. Spaulding.
24. Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1909-2008 for Charles H. Spaulding.
25., Widow's Pension files, p. 3, image 616499954.
26., 1920 U.S. Federal Census for Jennie M. Spaulding.
27., Memorial #46626632 for Jennie M. "Jane" Lewis Spaulding.

Courtesy of Bernie Noble

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