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Stearns, John C.


Age: 30, credited to Bradford, VT
Unit(s): 1st VT INF, 9th VT INF
Service: enl 5/2/61, m/i 5/9/61, PVT, Co. D, 1st VT INF, pr SGTMAJ, 5/24/61, m/o 8/15/61; comn Adjutant 9th VT INF, 6/30/62 (6/30/62), resgd 5/1/63

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 02/11/1831, Chelsea, VT
Death: 07/02/1914

Burial: Upper Plain Cemetery, Bradford, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Bob Hackett
Findagrave Memorial #: 9014120


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes
Portrait?: Gibson Collection, Charles Collection, VHS Collections, Legros Collection
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

Webmaster's Note: If this soldier enlisted before 9/1/62, and was with the regiment on 9/13/62, he would have briefly been taken prisoner along with the entire regiment at Harper's Ferry. Read the blue section of the unit's Organization and Service for details.


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Copyright notice



Upper Plain Cemetery, Bradford, VT

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


Vermont Officers Reunion Society Collection
Courtesy Vermont Historical Society


Ninth Vermont Infantry Album
Courtesy Vermont Historical Society

Portraits Collections
Courtesy Vermont Historical Society

(Charles Collection)

(Gibson Collection)

(John Legros Collection)


Stearns, John C., of Bradford, son of John and Elizabeth (Chandler) Stearns, was born in Chelsea, Feb. 11, 1831.

His education was received in the common schools and Bradford Academy, and he commenced his business career as a clerk in a general store in Bradford. For six years he was a member of the firm of Brooks & Stearns, which was engaged in trade in Worcester, Mass., in which place he became a member of the Massachusetts militia, and on his return to Vermont enlisted in the Bradford Guards, in which latter organization he was promoted to the position of lieutenant. At the breaking out of the Civil War, he enlisted as a private in Co. D was promoted to the rank of sergeant-major of the 1st Vt. Vols., and at the expiration of their term of service was appointed 1st Lieut. and adjutant in the 9th Regt., but was compelled to resign, June 30, 1863, on account of disability. During his active service he was a member of the staff of General Trimble of Ohio, and participated in engagements at Cloud Mills, Winchester, Suffolk, and Harper's Ferry, at which last place he became a prisoner upon the surrender of his regiment with others under General Miles, and after being paroled was sent to Chicago, Ill., where he did guard duty till May, 1863.

After his return from the war he employed himself in the general insurance business and farming, in which occupation he has continued to the present time.

Mr. Stearns was a Whig and has been a Republican since the formation of the latter party. He was appointed U. S. Assessor of Internal Revenue of the Second District of Vermont by President Grant, and U. S. Collector of Internal Revenue for the state by President Garfield, June 1881, in which office he continued till July 1885. Six years subsequently he was selected by Hon. Redfield Proctor, Secretary of War, as a commissioner to mark the lines of battle of the Army of the Potomac, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, and the position of the U. S. Regulars at the battle of Antietam, in connection with the Confederate General Harry Heth of Virginia, and he is now engaged in that work. In 1867 he was appointed colonel and aide-de-camp on the staff of Gov. John B. Page, and he also held the position of 1st Lieut. and adjutant of the 1st Regt. V. N. G. Colonel Stearns represented Bradford in the House of Representatives in 1886 and served in 1878 as a senator from Orange County. He was appointed a delegate to the national Republican conventions held at Chicago that nominated U. S. Grant and Benjamin Harrison. He was one of the original trustees of the Vermont Soldier's Home, and in 1890 was elected its treasurer.

He is a member of the Vermont Commandery of the Loyal Legion, of Washburn Post, GAR, and Charity Lodge, F&AM

Colonel Stearns married, Sept. 12, 1863, Martha F., daughter of John Barron and Martha (Tilton) Pecket, of Bradford.

Source: Jacob G. Ullery, compiler, Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont, (Transcript Publishing Company, Brattleboro, VT, 1894), Part II, pp. 375.



Superintendent Thomas Hannon of the Soldiers Home , on Thursday, received word of the death at Bradford, of John C. Stearns, treasurer of the board of trustees at the home.

The death of Mr. Stearns leaves but three living members of the original members of the first board of trustees, Hugh Henry, of Chester, Joseph Grout, of Newport, and A. B. Franklin, of Townsend. The two former are present members of the board.

Superintendent Hannon will go to Bradford to attend the funeral.

Source: Bennington Evening Banner, July 3, 1914
Courtesy of Deanna French


John C. Stearns, of Bradford, for many years an old-time Republican war-horse and a civil war veteran, is dead. He was a prominent factor in the politics of the state, had many friends who sincerely regret his death. He was 83 years old.

Source: Morrisville News and Citizen, July 8, 1914

Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.

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