Age: 22, credited to Orwell, VT
Unit(s): 1st VT CAV
Service: enl 10/3/61, m/i, Pvt, Co. K, 1st VT CAV, 11/19/61, d/dis, 6/1/62, Fairfax CH, VA
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 1839, Orwell, VT
Burial: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA
Gravestone researcher/photographer: John Burbank
Findagrave Memorial #: 29735929
Cenotaph: Mountain View Cemetery, Orwell, VT
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Alan Lathrop
Findagrave Memorial #: 0
(There may be a Findagrave Memorial, but we have not recorded it)
Alias?: None noted
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)
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Arlington National Cemetery, VA
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Cenotaph in Mountain View Cemetery, Orwell, VT
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BiographyAmos did not have much of a childhood. His father died when he was only eight. He had several half-siblings. His biological mother was left a widow with a brood of children of her own plus being a step-mother to her husband's children by his first wife. As often happened under similar circumstances in the nineteenth century, the family unit fragmented and dispersed as individual members of the devastated family tried to survive as best they could.
Amos J. Blood was born in 1839 in Orwell, Vermont.  He was the son of Ephraim Blood (1764-1847) and Emeline Woodward (1812-1860). Ephraim was from Hollis, New Hampshire. His first wife, Hudlah West (1769-1830) bore him two children between 1788 and 1805. She died at fifty-one in 1830. Ephraim remarried in 1831 to Emeline who was Amos' biological mother. The second marriage produced five children: Ephraim, (1832-1895); Cynthia Emeline, (1837-1887; Amos, 1839-1863; and John H., (1847-1920). Amos' father died at eighty-one in 1847. Emeline remarried to John Galligher in 1848 and lived on to 1860 when she passed away. 
After his father's death in 1847 and his mother's remarriage in 1848, Amos went to Hollis, New Hampshire to live. This was where his father had been born. In 1850, he was attending school in New Hampshire and lived with Leonard and Lucy Blood. No family relationship was found between Amos and Leonard, so it was assumed that the last name was just a coincidence. Leonard farmed and his operation was valued at a modest $3,000. He was doing well enough to afford to hire a twenty-six year old female servant by the name of Harriet Hamblet. 
The next Federal Census year was 1860 and it found twenty-one year old Amos back in his hometown of Orwell. He had rejoined his mother, Emeline, and his brothers and sisters and half-siblings along with his new step-father. John Galligher also farmed. His property, both real and personal, amounted to $5,600. John had immigrated to the United States from Ireland. The couple had had two children together since their marriage in 1848. There was Betsey, age twelve in 1860, and Hugh, age ten. Emeline added four more to the total size of the family: Huldah, twenty-four; Cynthia, twenty-two; Amos, twenty-one; and John, fourteen. Amos helped his step-father on the farm.  Before the end of 1861, amidst the rush to save the Union and whip those Southerners back into line, Amos joined the throngs of young men seeking the chance of a lifetime to see more than just the Green Mountains of home. Although he was young, Amos was not foolish. He lived in Orwell but went for Shoreham, the adjacent town to the north. Shoreham was paying a higher enlistment bounty than Orwell at the time. So Amos took advantage of the better deal. He also was shrewd enough not to enlist as cannon fodder (infantry). Instead, he signed up for the more dashing and glamorous part of the armed service - the cavalry. No wearing out shoes marching through the mud and dust of country roads for Amos. He was going for style and pomp.
It wasn't clear whether he brought along his own mount and gear or was issued a horse and equipment. On October 3, 1861, he signed his enlistment papers in Shoreham and gave himself over to the Federal Government for three years. He had six weeks to get his personal affairs in order before he had to report to Burlington, Vermont to be mustered-in. That took place on November 19, 1861. He was officially a trooper. The horse he was given by the Government would have been a Morgan. The color of the animal most likely matched all the other mounts in Company K of the First Vermont Cavalry. The horse and horse equipment cost the U.S. $143.63.  His clothing and other necessary field gear (like carbines and swords) were extra. It was not cheap to put a trooper into the ranks.
The First Cavalry was not active until the spring of 1862, when, with the forces of General Banks, it was engaged at Middletown, Winchester, and in the campaign which terminated in the second battle of Bull Run August 30, 1862. The loss in the summer campaigns was heavy, but the command was reinforced in the autumn by the addition of two new companies and many recruits. The Regiment was stationed in the vicinity of Washington on various details during the winter of 1862-63 and frequent skirmishes with Mosby's guerrillas prevented any monotony.
June 28, 1863, the First was assigned to the cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac with which it served from that time on. In the Battle of Gettysburg, the Regiment won its laurels; was active in the subsequent pursuit of General Lee by harassing his rear guard. Finally, the unit halted for the winter at Stevensburg, Virginia.
The First Vermont shared in the raid on Richmond in 1864 under General Kilpatrick. Then the spring campaign opened in 1864. In the Battle of the Wilderness, the First lost many brave officers and men. It was active in the battles which followed at Yellow Tavern and Meadow Bridge, during Sheridan's Raid on Richmond, and was also at Hanover Court House, Ashland, Haw's Shop, Bottom's Ridge, White Oak Swamp, Riddle's Shop and Malvern Hill. The Regiment was ordered to join the expedition of destruction of the Weldon and South Side Railroads, in which skirmishes and engagements resulted at Ream's Station, Nottoway Court House, Roanoke Station and Stony Creek. In August it was ordered to join Sheridan who was confronting General Early in the Shenandoah Valley and arrived at Winchester on August 17 in time to participate in the engagements at Winchester, Charlestown, Summit Point, Kearneysville, the Opequan, New Market and Cedar Creek. The original members, who had not reenlisted, were mustered-out on November 18, 1864.
On February 27, 1865, Sheridan's cavalry commenced the return to Petersburg where it arrived after a journey of three weeks. In the cavalry fight at Five Forks, the First Vermont had a share and continued in the advance of the column through several minor affairs until the corps reached Appomattox Court House where General Lee surrendered. The Regiment participated in the Grand Review of the armies at Washington and returned to Vermont early in June. The men whose term of service would expire prior to October 1 were mustered-out at Burlington. The remainder were consolidated into a battalion of six companies which served in Vermont and upper New York until August 9, 1865 as border guards following the St Albans Raid by Confederates.
The First Vermont was mentioned by Colonel Fox as one of the "three hundred fighting regiments" and also listed it fifth in an enumeration of nine regiments who lost over one hundred nineteen men. It was, however, second to none in the number of captures it made. At the Battle of Cedar Creek, it won three of the eight medals awarded to the army for colors captured. The First Vermont Cavalry fought in seventy-six separate engagements with the enemy over its three year existence. The total aggregate strength of the Regiment was 2,304 officers and enlisted men. One hundred twelve of those were killed or died of their wounds. One hundred fourteen died of diseases and seven of accidents. One hundred fifty-nine died as prisoners in Confederate prisons.
Many believe that cavalrymen enjoyed a cushier and more glamorous duty of the fighting units employed during the War of the Rebellion. Not true. Men and horses were repeatedly subject to enormous and often prolonged stresses. Challenged beyond normal endurance, many troopers and their mounts fell victim not only to battle injuries but also non-combatant assaults on their health and well being. For example, on the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid, one trooper reported: "...rode all day and all of the night in the rain pouring all the time....and we hadn't had a wink of sleep, only what we got on our horses in that time.... (Collea, The First Vermont Cavalry, p.215)". Another member of the First commented - "....three days frequently pass without unsaddling the horses, and the backs of the poor emaciated brutes are first sore, then burst rotten.... (Collea, The First Vermont Cavalry, p. 87)". A third trooper of the First noted "...sadly the route of march became easy to follow by the trail of expired horses by the roadside....(Collea, The First Vermont Cavalry, p. 156)." At Gettysburg it was estimated that between three and four thousand horses were killed in that one, three day battle.
One heartwarming story about the horses of the First Vermont Cavalry appeared in Joseph D. Collea, Jr's book The First Vermont Cavalry in the Civil War: "....Abe, aka 'The First Vermont Straggler'....Shot in the neck. the horse had to be left behind by his rider, Bugler Joe Allen, because he (the horse) could not rise from weakness due to loss of blood at 4 am when soldiers began their march. From that day on, soldiers could be heard cheering and shouting when Abe (now Old Abe) would straggle into their latest camp a day late as he made his way alone to rejoin his comrades. Ultimately, when stronger, he and Bugler Allen rode together again until the end of the war in 1865.... (p.180)" I hope that when Bugler Allen was discharged from the service that he was able to take Old Abe with him.
In the three years that the First Vermont Cavalry was in the service of the United States Army, it took part in seventy-six engagements from Mount Jackson on April 16, 1862 to Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, including the 1862 and 1864 Shenandoah Valley campaigns, the Gettysburg Campaign, the Overland Campaign and the Siege of Petersburg. The Regiment's most notable action was the cavalry charge led by Brigadier General Elon Farnsworth with Major William Wells by his side against the Confederate's right flank on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg. The First's heritage continued to be celebrated to this day with a state legislative decree naming the Corps of Cadets at Norwich University as members of the Regiment who wear the crossed sabers on all of their uniforms and their insignia. 
Trooper Blood was present for all the action the First Vermont Cavalry was engaged in from November 19, 1861 to June 1, 1863. He was always on duty from October 12, 1861 until late May of 1863. Late in that month, he came down with typhoid fever and died in a hospital near Fairfax, Virginia on June 1, 1863.  The only break Amos had in his routine as a trooper in the First Cavalry came when he was granted a ten-day leave of absence from May 8 to May 18, 1863.  His request for a furlough came very close to the date that he died, so he may have been ill then and was trying to recover. Private Blood's final accounting showed that he was due back pay from January, 1863 to his death on June 1 of the same year (about $120). However, he had been advanced $42.10 for clothing which had to be paid for. Hopefully, he was buried in his new suit.  Private Amos Blood's body was buried in Arlington Cemetery, Alexandria, Virginia. The stone in Mountain View Cemetery, Orwell is a cenotaph.
1. www.findagrave.com, Memorial #46848401 for Amos Blood; Ancestry.com, Andrew Sipes Family Tree for Ephraim Blood; Ibid., Seabolt FamilyTree for Ephraim Blood.
3. Ancestry.com, 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Amos J. Blood.
4. Ibid., 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Amos Blood; Ibid., 1880 U.S. Federal Census for John Gallihall; Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908, Marriage, for John Galligher.
5. Fold3.com, Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Vermont, p, 2, image 308704180. Hereinafter referred to as Compiled Service Records.
6. Vermont in the Civil War/Units/1st Vermont Cavalry/History; Ibid., Units/1st Vermont Cavalry/Introduction The First Vermont Cavalry in the Civil War by Joseph D. Collea, Jr., McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina, 2010.
7. Fold3.com, Compiled Service Records, p. 13, image 308704230.
8. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, pp. 16-17, images 308704273 and ... 277.
9. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p. 18, image 308704282.
Courtesy of Bernie Noble