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Watson, Austin H. R.


Age: 22, credited to Wilmington, VT
Unit(s): 16th VT INF
Service: enl 9/3/62, m/i 10/23/62, PVT, Co. F, 16th VT INF, pr QMSGT, 7/4/63, m/o 8/10/63

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Birth: 04/24/1842, Wilmington, VT
Death: 08/22/1914

Burial: May be buried in ..., , NY
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer:

Findagrave Memorial #: 0
(There may be a Findagrave Memorial, but we have not recorded it)


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, widow Julia
Portrait?: ullery
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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Copyright notice

Died in Fishkill, NY

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



Watson, Austin H., of Stamford, Conn., son of Patrick J. and Caroline Lathrop Watson, was born April 24, 1842, at Wilmington.

After attending the public schools he passed his early life about his father's mills, and one year in the army. In 1864 he secured a junior clerkship with the Western Union Telegraph Co., at Rochester, N. Y., and in 1866 was appointed storekeeper in charge of main supply depots of the company at New York. Continued advance in his salary made this an agreeable position, which he retained until he resigned in 1879, to become junior member of the firm of James E. Vail, Jr., & Co., dry goods commission merchants and manufacturers' agents, Worth street, New York. Six years later he purchased Mr. Vail's interest and became senior member of the present firm of Watson, Bull & Co., who have largely extended the business dealings with leading wholesale houses throughout the country. He is also president of the Connecticut Witch Hazel Co., whose production will equal three thousand barrels yearly.

In August, 1862, he enlisted as private in Co. F, 16th Regt. Vt. Vols. Upon the promotion of one of his comrades he became the clerk of the regiment, and was thereby relieved of all equipment and company duty. At Gettysburg he selected one of the many abandoned muskets on the field, and with a handful of cartridges sought out his company at the front, where he remained throughout the battle. His conspicuous bravery was known to all the officers of the regiment, and Colonel Veazey, recognizing that this youth was the only detailed man who voluntarily exposed himself on this sanguinary field, appointed him quartermaster-sergeant of the regiment, the highest honor at his command.

Mr. Watson enjoys the genial, social side of life, and in this way has had many duties to perform connected with various associations.

He was the first treasurer of the well known Apollo Glee Club, of Brooklyn, N. Y.; secretary of the Oxford Club of Brooklyn, 1883 to '85, and of the Telegraphers Mutual Benefit Association, 1876 to '79; a director of Stamford Social Club, 1889 to 1892, and is now its president (1893). He is vice-president of the Forest and Stream Club, of Wilmington, and also a director of the Stamford Yacht Club; he is also president of the Clover Club in New York City.

He was singularly fortunate in his marriage, Oct. 28, 1879, to Julia Brainerd Vail, a very attractive and noble woman, daughter of James Everett and Ridelia Kenyon Vail, of Brooklyn, N. Y., where they resided till 1886, removing thence to Stamford, Conn. Their home, "Oakdale," on the banks of Rippawanna river, while unpretentious, is noted for the cordial, hearty welcome and kindly good cheer extended to all.

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 III, pp. 166-7.


Accident in Wilmington to New Yorker Banker Caused Intense Pain May Have Brought On Insanity.

Austin Hall Ruggles Watson, 72, a prominent New York banker and member of clubs, formerly a New York merchant, was found dead at his home. The Magnolia, north of Beacon, New York. early Saturday, with a bullet wound over his heart. Suicide was the deduction from his act, which was ascribed to insanity, caused by pain and worry over the probable loss of his sight as the result of an accident which occurred in Wilmington about six weeks ago. Mr. Watson had been struck violently in the eye by a golf ball. He came to Brattleboro and was attended by Dr. W, R. Noyes. The injury became increasingly painful, and for the past three weeks he had not had a single night rest; He was heard to remark "This pain will drive me insane". He was virtually out of his mind in agony a few days before he took his life.

Mr. Watson's financial standing as far as could be learned was sound. Having a call at 2:30 o'clock Saturday morning the wife arose and went to investigate. She found the door to the bathroom locked and immediately summoned the butler. With the aid of a ladder entrance was gained to the room through a window, and Mr. Watson was found upon the floor with a revolver at his side. Dr. Ralph A Hay of Fishkill said death had been instantaneous. Mrs. Watson was prostrated with grief, and is now in serious condition.

Born in Wilmington, Vermont, April 27, 1842, Mr. Watson attended schools of his hometown. He entered the employ of his father, who conducted several mills near Wilmington, which was his first business experience.

Before retiring from business, Mr. Watson was a member of the firm Watson, Porter, Giles, Co., the largest notion and novelty house in the United States.

He was a noncommissioned officer in Company F. 16th Vermont Regiment, and distinguished himself at the battle of Gettysburg.
Brattleboro Daily Reformer, August 14, 1914

Courtesy of Deanna French

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