Vermont Flag Site Logo

Blood, Phineas Homer


Age: 40, credited to Goshen, VT
Unit(s): 7th VT INF, 2nd VT LARTY
Service: enl 11/20/61, m/i 2/12/62, Pvt, Co. B, 7th VT INF, dis/dsb 8/22/63; enl 12/29/63, m/i 1/5/64, Pvt, 2nd VT LARTY BTRY, dis/dsb 12/14/64

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 1821, Goshen, VT
Death: 1906

Burial: Munger Street Cemetery, New Haven, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Alan Lathrop
Findagrave Memorial #: 22034298


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


(Are you a descendant, but not listed? Register today)


Copyright notice


Munger Street Cemetery, New Haven, VT

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


The word "Homer" might invoke in those acquainted with classic ancient Greek literature, a sense of adventure, wondering on a long journey, intrigue, trials and tribulations. It could also imply an heroic but flawed figure surrounded by strange, mystical and deceitful characters who operate in unworldly ways. The actual life of Phineas Homer Blood did connote some comparison with the legendary Odysseus - albeit on a much less grand and universal scale. Take away the long boat ride home from war, the story of Phineas could be the common man's version of the heroic epic poem. It certainly had its share of tragedy along with its occasional comedy.

Phineas Homer Blood was the son of Charles S. Blood (1791-1876) and Fanny Jepherson, aka Jefferson, (1789-1864). Charles was born in Acworth, New Hampshire and Fanny's place of birth may have been in Douglass, Massachusetts.[1] Charles was a farmer all of his life, most of it spent in Goshen, Vermont. None of his farms he worked were very successful. The one he ran in Goshen in 1860 was only worth around $1,000. His personal belongings amounted to a meager $400 more.[2] Ten years earlier, when Charles was more in the prime of his life and was aided by two young and strong sons living at home who provided a good deal more muscle power needed on the farm, his assets were not a great deal better. In 1850, his property was valued at $800.[3] The family to which Phineas belonged was a large one consisting of two adults and nine children. Phineas had five sisters and four brothers: Maria Fanny, 1814-1891; Frederick J., 1815-1830; Maranda Willard, 1816-1902; Charles Otis, 1818-1895; Mary Delight, 1819-1910; Lois Jane, 1824-1907; Nathan Morris Gillson, 1826-1910; and Hepziahah Emily, 1831-1890.[5] Charles and his family, including Phineas, were long time residents of the small mountain village of Goshen. His enterprises never amounted to much although he and Fanny were able to provide sufficiently for their brood of children. By 1860, the family had shrunk to just the two adults, Phineas and Fanny. But the Federal Census for that year showed an anomaly; there were two children living with them that, from all investigation done, revealed they were someone else's children and not related to the Blood's in any way.

The two strangers were Morris and Roxy Allen. They were brother and sister. He was sixteen years old and she was twelve. Both were from Vermont and both attended the public school in Goshen. As it turned out, these children were the son and daughter of Alvin Allen (1805-1855) and Charlotte Brown (1802-1864). The couple had lived in Goshen for a while, at least between 1833 and 1844. Alvin may have died in Minnesota in December of 1855, but he was buried in Goshen. Charlotte inherited a farm when her husband died. It was valued at $1,200 in 1860 and she owned an additional $500 in personal property. Fortunately, Charlotte had two young sons,Wilber and Ruel, old enough to take over the work load of running such a farm when their father passed away. And she still had a twenty year old daughter living at home who could assist her in maintaining the household.[4] Morris and Roxy were also brother and sister to Wilber, Ruel and Susan Allen and, in 1860, were listed as members of Charlotte's household. So, in essence, the 1860 enumerator listed the same two children as members of two different households at the same time. In the mid-1800s, it was not unusual in rural America for the youngest children of a widowed parent to be farmed out to other family members, or, if they were not available, to neighbors or friends in the community to be cared for. There were no common indicators that the Allen family was in distress due to the loss of Alvin, the patriarch of the family. The lack of a father figure in the home would not have posed any great burden on the survival of the rest of the Allen's. Twenty-seven year old Wilber and twenty-five year old Ruel were perfectly capable of tending to the farm chores. Susan was a young woman fully capable of assisting her mother with whatever needed to be done in the house. Even Morris and Roxy were old enough to be of some help where needed in the house or on the farm. So why were these children listed in the Goshen 1860 Federal Census as members of Charles and Fanny Blood's household as well as their own mother's?

Phineas was not living at home anymore in 1860. In fact, he had moved out of his parent's home long before that census year. In 1845, when he was tewnty-four, he had married a young woman from Chittenden, Vermont named Lucy Ordelia Hewett (1825-1907). The public records show that they were married in Addison, Addison County, Vermont, but that is questionable. Addison is some twenty miles or so from either Goshen, where Phineas was living, or Chittenden (in Rutland County) where Lucy lived. Brandon, Vermont, or Pittsford even, where much closer to both the groom's and the bride's residence being only a few miles from either one. Regardless, they were married in 1845 around the same time that nineteen year old Lucy gave birth to her first child, Mary O. Blood. It was unclear if the birthing or the marriage ceremony occurred first, but both events were in very close proximity to each other. The public records usually listed the arrival of the child prior to the chronological listing of the wedding in both life timelines for Phineas and Lucy O.[6]

Lucy Ordelia Hewett was the daughter of Israel B. Hewett (1790-1878) and Lucy Backus (1803-1890). Both parents were naturalized Vermonters. Israel hailed from Easton, Massachusetts and Lucy came from Connecticut. When they migrated to the newly formed State of Vermont, they settled in the Chittenden area, just north of Rutland, Vermont in the Green Mountains. There Israel's father, Nathan Hewett (1766-1820) brought his family and established a farm on which to raise his children including Israel. Chittenden is where Israel met and married Lucy Backus in 1824. The July 17 wedding was soon followed by the birth of the couples first child, a daughter, Lucy Ordelia Hewett. There followed six more children (three girls and three boys) over the next sixteen years.[7]

Following his marriage to Lucy Ordelia, the newlyweds removed to Goshen where their first child, Mary O., was born in 1845. Phineas was trying to create a farm to support himself and his almost ready-made family of three. It was not the ideal time or place for the endeavor. Goshen was, as it still is, a small mountain village with more rock in it than people. It contained precious little open, flat land for expansive farming and an even shorter growing season than the farms in the Champlain Valley of the northern frontier had. The winters were early and stayed late most times. By 1850, Phineas had an $800 operation going that struggled to support five people. He and Lucy Ordelia had added two more children in five years. Their family now consisted of Mary O., five; Agnes, three; and Charles, one.[8]

The next ten years did not do much to improve the plight of Phineas and his family. The farm was not doing well. In fact, it was decreasing in value from its previous valuation. In 1850, it was valued at an $800 parcel but in 1860 it had slumped to a value of only $400. The only thing that was increasing was the number of mouths Phineas was trying to feed. His family had mushroomed from five in 1850 to ten in 1860. Four more children had been added in the ten intervening years during which the financial stability of the family had been cut in half. In addition to Mary, Agnes and Charles, there was now George J., nine; Phebe Addie, seven; Lucy A., four; Frank J., one; and Frances J., one. Obviously, the latter two were fraternal twins. And, for some inexplicable reason, there was yet another adult present in the household that was already strained beyond endurance. His name was Joseph Blood, eighty, from Northfield, Vermont. He was no relation to Phineas. The only thing they shared together was that their last name happened to be the same and both were working in agriculture.[9] Considering how bad Phineas' family situation must have been for everyone, it was inconceivable that he would have the money to hire on extra help to do the work on the farm. Besides the money issue, how much help could an eighty year old be on a farm anyway?

Such was the state of Phineas Homer Blood and his large family at the brink of the American Civil War; living in poverty with little, if any, prospects for a brighter and more comfortable standard of living unless something drastically changed. The mood around the dinner table in the Blood home must have been as dark and dreary as the horizon of the nation's future. The cacophony of canon in the dawn of an April morning in South Carolina opened the ball of new opportunities for the men and women of this nascent country. The sulfurous smoke and the thunderous booming of heavy guns announced the never before dreamed of possibilities for a myriad number of people: adventurers; politicians; generals; entrepreneurs; federalists; states' rights activists; thugs; thieves; con-artists; preachers; and a host of other kinds of sharks were suddenly licensed with an open season without conventional restrictions with which to ply their craft of greed and avarice for the next four years while the remnants of the thirteen original colonies fought each other to see if the idea of nation of united states would survive. Not all of the opportunities pro-offered by the assault on Fort Sumter were negative. For Phineas, and others in his similar situation, this war provided them with a chance to survive amid the devastation and death inherent in any war. The Army would pay him for his services.

Phineas was forty years old (five years under the maximum age limit) when he enlisted in Co. B, Seventh Vermont Regiment of Infantry on November 20, 1861 in Brandon, Vermont. He was a married man with seven children. The farmer stood five feet, nine and one half inches tall. He had a dark complexion, dark hair and blue eyes. His residence was Goshen although he went to nearby Brandon to sign up.[10] He was not mustered-in, however, until February 12, 1862 at Rutland, Vermont.[11] Why would a forty year old man with a wife and seven children desert them to go off with a bunch of strapping young boys half his age to play soldier? For Phineas, it was not an act of naive patriotism or a hormone-hyped teenager's impulsive pretension. Phineas was taking a much more deliberate and calculated action designed to take advantage of an offer by the Federal and State Governments to make money to support his ailing family. He would receive at least $100 in bounty from the Federal Government immediately upon enlisting. If Vermont, or the town he went for (Brandon in this case), was offering bounties, he could add that amount to the $100. For his services to the Army, he would receive $13 per month as a private from the Federal Government and an additional $7 per month from Vermont. That totaled to at least $340 per year he would earn in the military. That did not count any other bonuses or allotments Phineas might be eligible for. The base $340 was the equivalent of one year's income for the average rural farmer like himself.[12] So the outbreak of war between the states presented the opportunity for Phineas to change jobs from one that was in a downward spiral to one that had a stable flow of earnings - at least for as long as the conflict lasted and Phineas avoided death or disability.

The Seventh Vermont Regiment of volunteers was organized during the last part of 1861 and the early part of 1862. It was mustered into the Federal service on February 12, 1862 at Rutland, Vermont.[13] Colonel George T. Roberts commanded the Regiment. It numbered nine hundred forty-three officers and enlisted men.[14] It was a three years' infantry regiment which served in the Western Theater, mostly Louisiana and Florida, under General Butler with whom the Vermonters had a strained relationship from the start of their serving together. The Seventh was the longest serving Vermont regiment during the war. It was not mustered-out until March of 1866. The delay (between June 9, 1865 surrender of Lee and March, 1866) was in part at least due to General Butler's dislike of the Regiment.[15]

On March 10, 1862, the Seventh left Rutland for New York City. There it boarded two old-fashioned sailing ships, the Premier and the Tammerlane, and sailed for Ship Island, Mississippi. The Premier arrived on April 5 and the Tammerlane on the tenth.[16] The voyage on the crowded transports took upwards of three weeks and was very miserable for the men who were unaccustomed to bouncing around on rough seas churned up by the heavy March gales.[17]

On May 3, Company B (Alonzo's), C and part of D were sent aboard the gunboats USS New London and the USS Calhoun to capture the Confederates at Fort Pike that guarded the entrance to Lake Ponchartrain. On arriving, they discovered the Fort abandoned. So they took possession and began repairing the damage caused by the Rebels when they evacuated it. The rest of the Regiment was shipped off to Carrolton, a suburb of New Orleans.[18] In a few days, the Seventh was moved to Baton Rouge.

On June 19, 1862, eight companies of the Seventh, along with three other regiments and a light battery of artillery (about 3,500 men altogether), launched an ill conceived expedition against Vicksburg on General Butler's orders. Even though supported by Admiral Farragut's entire fleet of warships, the twenty-eight day siege of Vicksburg was a failure. The only accomplishment was the loss of many lives primarily from exposure and sickness. By July 26, 1862, the Federals had returned to Baton Rouge.[19]

Shortly after, on August 5, 1862, the Confederates reciprocated with their own offensive push. The Battle of Baton Rouge took place on a very foggy day. In the confusion created by the attack, several Federal units accidentally fired on each other. Following orders, the Seventh Vermont was one of those. They unwittingly fired a volley into the Twenty-first Indiana during the battle. Although this tragedy, along with the mortal wounding of the Seventh's commander, Colonel Roberts, was devastating to the Vermonters, the Confederate attack was repulsed. Immediately after the engagement, General Butler was quick to blame the Seventh for poor performance on the field citing the mistaken identity incident during the battle and further accusing the Vermont regiment of "withdrawing" in the face of the enemy. The so called "withdrawal" from the enemy was the evacuation of the hospital containing a large number of the Seventh to a safe place near the river bank. General Butler's accusations were based upon hearsay reports made to him by subordinates after the battle. General Butler, himself, was no where near the action at Baton Rouge. The officers of the Seventh, who were well aware of General Butler's political ambition to run for President, felt that his allegations were his way of diverting attention away from his lack of strategic planning before the engagement. The Vermonter's felt that General Butler used the Vermonter's as a scapegoat because the small state had no great representatives with powerful influence in Washington. General Butler further rubbed salt into the Seventh's wounds by forbidding the Regiment permission to put the battle honor "Baton Rouge" on their battle flag and prohibited the Regiment from carrying their colors. Permission to carry was later restored.[20] Baton Rouge was evacuated on August 20, 1862. The Seventh returned to Carrolton. There it manned the forts south of Pensacola, Florida. The Vermonters performed garrison duty at Fort Barrancas and Fort Pickens from November, 1862 to August, 1864.[21]

Phineas stayed with the Seventh until he was discharged on August 22, 1863 at Barrancas, Florida for disability. Up until the Seventh's assignment to garrison Forts Barrancas and Pickens, Private Blood had managed to stay fairly healthy. But around the first of June, he became extremely sick with "chronic diarrhea" which was severe enough to make him unfit for duty. For the next three months, he suffered from this ailment which sapped his strength and vitality, leaving him to be diagnosed by the Regiment's surgeon "with chronic diarrhea and general debility". On the 21st of August, 1863 at Fort Barrancas, the surgeon finally declared "Said Blood has been unfit for duty for a long time and is not likely to be good for anything".[22] Private Blood was therefore discharged for disability at Camp Roberts, Barrancas, Florida on August 22, 1863 by reason of surgeon's certificate of disability.[23]

Being dismissed from the service and sent home as unfit to perform his duty as a soldier meant two things for Phineas: one, he would always have a military pension of at least $8. per month; and two, if he was unfit physically to do the work of a soldier, he was likely unfit to return to farming. It seemed he was in worse shape (literally) now than when he enlisted in the Army. If he wasn't able to support his family then, how was he to do it now? From his discharge to the end of the year 1863, Phineas spent his time convalescing and regaining his health from this chronic diarrhea. Good food and some rest seemed to heal him well enough by the end of December, 1863 for him to make a second attempt at being one of Mr. Lincoln's men. His timing was good. The war had been going on for two years. The casualties had continued to mount on both sides. After Gettysburg in July, 1863, the President had called for 300,000 more troops to fill the ranks. Fewer men were willing to enlist as the carnage and maiming continued and men returned home broken in health and body. More money was offered in the form of higher bounties and bonuses. A draft was authorized as a last resort if financial temptation did not produce the desired results. It was a good time for a man to volunteer if he wanted to make some large amounts of money in a hurry. It was common to see bounties of $300 being offered. In some places where there was lots of money available, bounties of $1,500 per man were being reported. These bounties were now payable in three installments rather than at discharge like before. The golden calf once again called to the lustful nature of man. So on December 29, 1863 in Goshen this time, forty-two year old citizen Blood dedicated the next three years of his life to the military for the second time. He was mustered-in on January 5, 1864. At that time, he was paid $25 of his $267 bounty up front. He became a member of the Second Battery, Vermont Light Artillery in Brattleboro, Vermont on January 28, 1864.[24]

The Second Vermont Battery Light Artillery's combat history was short and relatively uneventful. The unit was raised in Brandon, Vermont December 13, 1861. Captain L. R. Sayles was chosen to command. When completed, the Second Battery amounted to 128 officers and men. The battery was immediately sent to the Gulf coast of Mississippi on March 12, 1862. It debarked on Ship's Island where it unloaded its rifled cannon that shot Sawyer shells.[9] Ship Island (actually two barrier islands off the Gulf Coast of Mississippi) had the only deep-water harbor between Mobile Bay and the Mississippi River. In 1858, the State of Mississippi gave jurisdiction of the islands to the Federal Government. Construction of a fort began in 1859. It was incomplete in 1861 when the Civil War erupted. The Confederates were quick to seize the unfinished fort. They named it Fort Twiggs after the Confederate General, David E. Twiggs. On July 9, 1861, after a twenty minute exchange of cannon shots with the USS Massachusetts, the Rebels abandoned Fort Twiggs and the Federals garrisoned it, renaming it Fort Massachusetts, in 1862. The advanced guard of Federal General Butler's expedition arrived at Ship's Island on December 3, 1861. On January 4, 1862, the Harper's Weekly reported that the Federal troops had landed "...without molestation...." By March 12, the Second Vermont Light Artillery, along with the First Maine and the Fourth Massachusetts Batteries, joined them on Ship's Island. Not only was this post important for launching land attacks on New Orleans and other strategic Mississippi River ports, it was also vital for controlling the coast and enforcing the blockade of Southern ports in the Gulf area. [25]

By May 2, the Second Battery had landed at New Orleans. Towards the end of May, they were ordered seven miles up the Mississippi to Fort Parapet. There it skirmished with Confederates during a raid in which it destroyed a railroad bridge. During the five months the Second was stationed at Fort Parapet, they lost sixteen men from disease, twenty-two discharged for disability, two officers dismissed from the service after being court-martialed and one officer who resigned.

On October 31, the Second Light Artillery again moved back to New Orleans. December 29, 1862 found the Battery on the move to Galveston, Texas. It stayed there only a few days. On January 1, 1863, after finding out that the Confederates had captured the city, the Second Battery left for New Orleans. At the end of January, the battery was ordered to Donaldsonville, seventy-five miles up the Mississippi. A month later, they were ordered to Baton Rouge. They took part in the siege of Port Hudson May-June of 1863. After the surrender of Port Hudson, the battery stayed, doing garrison duty until July 7, 1865. It then marched to Baton Rouge on the ninth of July, 1865, took a steamer to Cairo, Illinois and then headed towards Burlington, Vermont. The last of the Battery was mustered-out on July 31, 1865. [26]

Joining the 2nd Vermont Battery late in the war meant that Blood missed out on most of the exciting experiences the unit had. As short as the existence of this Vermont combat unit was, Phineas' stint with it was even shorter. According to his second certificate of disability for discharge, "the soldier has been unfit for duty 270 days" during the past nine months "in consequence of Rheumatism and Diarrhea has not done one months duty since enlistment". The authorities at Port Hudson, Louisiana station where well aware of Blood's previous service and discharge. John W. Chase, Captain of the Second Vermont Battery, commanding, felt Private Blood was "totally unfit for a soldier. The disease I think was contracted previous to enlistment".[28] A strong statement clearly meant to imply that Blood was not, in the Captain's opinion, eligible for disability pension. Surgeon George Brown was equally certain that Private Blood was incapable of performing the duties of a soldier "and that the disease was not contracted in the line of duty" but existed prior to enlistment. The surgeon further declared that Private Blood was "physically unsuitable to enter the Invalid Corps" even because he could not "walk or march" with his Company.[29] Once again, Phineas found himself thrown back into the hard, cruel world of a civilian.

He came back to the Brandon area and took up working on others farms for hired help wages. He still had a wife, Lucy, and six of his children living at home: Lucy A.; Phebe; George; Charles; Frank and Frances, the twins. The 1870 Federal Census put a $250 value on his personal possessions. Eighteen year old George worked at a local lumber mill as a "sawyer". His twenty year old brother, Charles, "attended saws" to help earn money to support the family. Since their jobs were pretty much seasonal, both boys, along with the twins, attended school when not working for wages.[30] Life for the Bloods in 1870 was not sweet. The family remained stressed economically, socially and emotionally. Obviously, Phineas' physical health was frail as evidenced by his two medical discharges from the service. He might have retained his small disability pension from his first discharge granted in 1863, but that by itself would never support one person let alone an entire family.[31] What he could earn as a farm hand would have been severely limited due to his physical condition. Half of his children were, or soon would be, gone from the home as they married and started families of their own. Therefore, they were not available to support their parents and remaining siblings. Things with the Bloods were not good.

Sometime after the 1870 Federal Census was taken in July, and the time the next Census was taken in June of 1880, Lucy Ordelia Hewett Blood and Phineas Homer Blood ceased living together as man and wife.[32] Lucy O. ended up living in Gardner, Massachusetts and Phineas continued living in various Vermont towns between Brandon and Middlebury.[33] After bearing eight children, living alone for a number of years and supporting herself and her children while her husband was off being a soldier, ending up with a physically disable husband for it, and losing her father in 1878, the fifty-two year old decided she had had enough of Vermont and left for greener pastures in Massachusetts where her father had come from. Some of her older daughters had married and preceded her to Massachusetts living in and around the Gardner area also. Her son, Frank Julius, twenty-one in 1880, went with her and was living in the same home where his fifty-five year old mother was listed as head of household with no other occupation than housekeeper. It was interesting that she described herself as "widowed", which, of course, was not true since her former husband, Phineas, was still much alive back in Vermont. Frank J. earned a living by working in a chair shop.[34]

The story of Phineas and his family from this time forward became even more bleak than it had been in the past. Not only was the Blood family members plagued with economic and social challenges, it also seemed to suffer from inherited, severe emotional and mental instability. The parents separating was just the beginning of a series of calamities the nuclear family experienced between 1870 and 1900. Mary O., born to the family in 1845 while they lived in Goshen, married at nineteen in 1865 to Massia L. Morgan. She died five years later in 1870 from typhoid fever at the tender age of twenty-five.[35] Phebe Addie married Damas S. Nichols on December 2, 1877 in Newton, Massachusetts. He was forty years old and she was twenty-four when they were married.[36] Two years later Phebe got her name in the local newspaper due to her indiscretions with a man called Theodore Claus. He "waived examination on the charge of adultery with Mrs. Phebe A. Nichols". He "was ordered to furnish bonds in the sum of $500".[37] The criminal log did not specify what consequence was imposed on Phebe for breaking her marriage vows. Lucy A., born in 1856 in Goshen, ended up being married three times: first to Charles Henry Nutting (1841-1875); next to Francis L. Lamb (1853-1877). Her first two marriages to Charles and Frank lasted a total of three years. Both died on Lucy A. Her third husband was George W. Young (1847-1904). Not only were her marriages short lived, so was her mortal life span. Her own death came on September 20, 1904 when she was only forty-eight years old. The cause of her death was stated as "manic depressive insanity" with entero colitis as a contributing factor. Her residence at the time of her death was the Worcester Insane Asylum.[38] There was, apparently, a propensity for mental illness in the Blood clan. Lucy Hewett, Lucy O's mother, also ended up being institutionalized for insanity in 1828.[39] Lucy Ordelia, Lucy A's mother and Phineas' wife, wound up living at 162 Pearl Street in Gardner, Massachusetts which was called a "home for the elderly" on the Federal Census for 1900. Lucy O. was referred to as an "inmate" there living under the supervision of a "superintendent".[40] Although not labeled as an asylum, it sure had the sounds of one. So there were three generations - grandmother, mother and daughter - in the Blood family circle who all died while an "inmate" in a mental institution. And then there was George Israel Blood - perhaps the most bizarre case in the Blood family.

George was married only once to Alice Amelia Cross (1855-1948). She married him in Goshen, Vermont in 1876. She bore George seven children in their twenty-two year marriage. Between 1878 and 1879, George moved his family west to Rock Valley, Iowa. Here he set himself up in farming.[41] In 1898, between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m., Alice left her bedroom, walked into the kitchen, approached her husband from behind as he sat at the kitchen table waiting for his breakfast, placed her son's .32 calibre pistol next to his right ear and pulled the trigger. Her husband's body slumped to the kitchen's floor. Noticing the body twitch, Mrs. Blood cocked the pistol and fired again, hitting him in almost the same spot as before. Then she turned and went back to her bedroom to await the arrival of the neighbors. They arrived quickly as two of Alice's children were sitting at the kitchen table with their father when Mrs. Blood murdered him. They instantly ran for help as their mother went back to bed. Authorities were notified and Mrs. Blood was arrested, although she complained that she did not know why they would want to do such a thing now that she was rid of her terrible burden and felt much relieved for it.

Eventually the whole of the story unfolded as the sheriff investigated the case. It seemed that Mrs. Blood had been subjected for years, from the very beginning of her marriage to George according to her, to the vicious, abusive nature of her husband. George had, by Alice's testimony, never had a kind or caring word for either her or their children in all the years she had lived with him as his wife. Shocked community members came forth in support of Mrs. Blood in the days following the horrible incident relating how Mr. Blood had alienated nearly everyone around him not only in the home, but also throughout the general community. In sympathy for Alice, friends and neighbors alike testified to his sinister and scathing temperament and how he never spoke kindly to anyone or anything including the beasts on his farm. No one found Alice at fault for what she was driven to do by this vituperative man although everyone lamented how she had chosen the wrong method for dealing with her problem. Even the legal system tended to adopt a "good riddens" attitude towards Alice's crime and decided not to prosecute her on the grounds she was insane.[42]

Meanwhile, Lucy O. had not been lying around feeling sorry for herself. She had managed to strike up a relationship with another man that led to a second marriage. Her new husband was Harrison Kingsley from Clarendon, Vermont. He was a widower and a businessman who had done well in owning and operating gristmill, carding mill and saw mill in Clarendon. He married Lucy on September 10, 1894 in Clarendon when he was eighty-one years old. He died in his hometown on September 26, 1901. It was assumed, but never proven beyond doubt, that the newly weds lived in Vermont during their early marriage years. Regardless, the happiness of their union was short-lived. As early as 1898, Lucy's home address was 162 Pearl Street, Gardner, Massachusetts and her marital status given was "divorced". Her relationship to the head of the household was listed as "inmate". The head of household's occupation was stated as "superintendent". This may have been a private home for the old folks, but people living there being referred to as "inmates" and the head of the house being a "superintendent" seemed to imply that this home was more of an asylum for those who had lost the ability to care for themselves. With her family history of mental health issues and the fact that her marital status of "divorced" could only mean she was no longer the wife of Harrison Kingsley (and he was still alive until 1901) would seem to point to Lucy O. being confined to an asylum rather than living in a retirement home for the elderly.

In 1900, Phineas was eighty and lived with Cornelius O. Billings (1863-1933) and his wife, Flora A. Morgan (1866-1933). Phineas' relationship to Cornelius was given on the Federal Census form as "grand father in law".[44] Cornelius' mother was Mary O. Blood, Phineas' daughter.[45] Cornelius Obadiah Billings was a farmer who lived in Middlebury, Vermont on Munger Street in 1900. Phineas, like his ex-wife, Lucy O. Hewett, before him, claimed to be widowed when, actually, he was either separated or divorced from Lucy O. It seemed, since she had remarried in 1894, that they were legally divorced.[46] The "D" word had a much greater stigma associated with it in 1900 than it does today. Phineas lived out the remaining days of his life in retirement within Cornelius' home on the old Homer Bain farm on Munger Street in Middlebury. Death came to him on March 28, 1906. Cause was attributed to the effects of Brights' Disease, a chronic inflammation of the kidneys.[47]

In Gardner, Massachusetts at 162 Pearl Street, Lucy O. Hewett Blood Kingsley continued to enjoy her respite in the old folks home. She had been an "inmate" there for nearly ten years when she finally died on the first of January, 1907 from old age.[48]


1., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908, Death for Phineas H. Blood; Ibid., Lyon/Stewart Family Tree for Phineas Homer Blood.
2. Ibid., 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Charles Blood.
3. Ibid., 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Charles Blood.
4. Ibid., 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Charlott Allen.
5. Ibid., Towle Family Tree and Thompson/Hancel/Cranston Family Tree for Phineas or Phinihas Homer Blood.
6. Ibid., Anderson Family Tree for Lucy Ordelia Hewett; Ibid., Lyons/Stewart Family Tree for Phineas Homer Blood.
7. Ibid., Anderson Family Tree for Israel Hewett and Lucy Backus.
8. Ibid., 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Phmeas Blood.
9. Ibid., 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Phineas Blood.
10., Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Vermont, p. 3, image 311563220. Hereinafter referred to as Compiled Service Record.
11. Ibid.
12., Soldiers Pay by William C. Moffat, Jr., Cincinnati Civil War Round Table, January, 1965.
13. Vermont in the Civil War/Units/Seventh Vermont Infantry.
14. Ibid.
15. Vermont Infantry.
16. Ibid.
17. Vermont in the Civil War/Units/Seventh Vermont Infantry.
18. Vermont Infantry.
19. Vermont in the Civil War/Units/Seventh Vermont Infantry.
20. Vermont Infantry.
21. Ibid.
22., Compiled Service Record, p. 19, Certificate of Disability, image 311563266.
23. Ibid., Compiled Service Record, p. 14, image 311563252.
24. Ibid., Compiled Service Record, p. 3, image 312987509.
25. Vermont in the Civil War/Units/Artillery/2nd Battery Light Artillery by John W. Chase, Captain;,/Ship Island (Mississippi).
26. Ibid.
27., Compiled Service Record, p. 15, Certificate of Disability For Discharge, image 312987524.
28. Ibid.
29. Ibid.
30., 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Phineas Blood.
31., U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 for Phineas H. Blood.
32., 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Phineas Blood; Ibid., 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Lucy O. Blood.
33., The Brandon Union, Fri., Oct. 18, 1889; Ibid., Middlebury Register, Fri., Jan. 3, 1896; The Brandon Union, Fri., Jun 4, 1897; and the Burlington Free Press, Fri., Mar 30, 1906.
34., 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Lucy O. Blood.
35. Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908, Marriage, Mary O. Blood; Ibid., Death, Morgan, Mary.
36. Ibid., Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 for D.S. Nichols (Damas).
37., Boston Post, Fri., Mar. 14, 1879.
38., Anderson Family Tree for Lucy A. Blood; Ibid., Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 for Lucy Young.
39. Ibid., Massachusetts Probate Records for Lucy Blood.
40. Ibid., 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Lucy O. Blood.
41. Ibid., 1880 U.S. Federal Census for George Blood.
42., Memorial #139914907 for George Israel Blood;, Boyden Reporter, Fri., Nov. 18, 1898 (two articles) and the Hawarden Independent, Feb. 6, 1959.
43., 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Lucy O. Blood; Ibid., U.S. City Directories for Lucy O. Blood.
44. Ibid., 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Phineas H. Blood.
45. Ibid., Family Tree for Flora Agnes Morgan.
46. Ibid., 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Phinneus H. Blood.
47., The Burlington Free Press, Fri., Mar 30, 1906;, Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 for Phineas H. Blood.
48., Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 for Lucy O. Blood.

Courtesy of Bernie Noble.


Phineas H. Blood, age 84, 11 months, and 26 days, died at the home of his granddaughter, Mrs. C. O. Billings, on East Munger Street, Wednesday evening. The funeral services will be held at two o'clock this (Friday) afternoon at the home of Mr. Billings, Rev. W. H. Washburn will officiate. The interment will be in the Munger Street cemetery at New Haven, A.J. Blanchard having charge.

Source: Middlebury Register, March 30, 1906
Courtesy of Deanna French.

Previous Page