(Brian White Collection)
In his history of the town of Alburg, the late Allan Stratton mentioned "Four Indians" as enlisting for the Civil War, but did not name them.
Joseph Bero, Peter Laflin, David Loran, and George Squires enlisted in Alburg on 15 December 1863, and were sent to Brattleboro, arriving there on the 18th.
Among the remains of the Adjutant General's records after the disastrous fire in 1945 were the enlistment contracts for Bero, Laflin and Squires (listed as Square), listing their place of birth as St. Regis, and recruit declarations for them, tentatively assigning the recruits to Co. E, 1st Vermont Cavalry, according to their "Declaration of Recruit" forms.
Bero had previously enlisted, on 21 January 1861 in Malone, as a private in Co. E, 98th New York Infantry, but was discharged on 26 July 1862 "by order of Secty of War."
Charles B. Mead, Co. F, 1st U.S. Sharpshooters, recorded the following in his diary on 14 February 1864:
"... Three Indians from Western New York came to our Company today - Squires, Laughlin [Lafflin] and Loran."
And four days later:
"Teaching my Indians how to do picket duty."
Laflin was assigned to Co. F, 1st U.S. Sharpshooters, and was killed in action at Weldon Railroad on 22 June 1864. He is apparently buried in an unmarked grave in Virginia.
Loran and Squires were assigned to Co. F, 1st U.S. Sharpshooters, transferred to Co. E, 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters as the regiments were consolidated into one, and then Co. G, 4th Vermont Infantry when the Sharpshooter units were dissolved.
Loran died 21 March 1885 in Brasher Falls, New York. His final resting place has yet to be determined (He is incorretly listed by the Sons of Union Veterans Burial Registration database as buried in Riverside Cemetery, Union City, Michigan.)
Squires died 3 May 1900, aged 55, and is interred in the Mohawk Council Cemetery, Hogansburg, NY.
There may be a fifth man. Although his Compiled Military Service Record indicates he was born in Clarendon, VT, Alonzo Levins was born in St. Regis in 1844, moved to the Rutland area as a child, served in Co. H, 6th Vermont Infantry, and died in 1939, the last surviving G.A.R. member in Rutland. Interment was in Evergreen Cemetery, Rutland. There is currently no further indication of his ethnicity.
"The Final Civil War Diary of Charles B. Mead of Company F, First U.S. Sharpshooters," Rutland Historical Society Quarterly, 32:1, 2002, page 8.
Miscellaneous Cards and Personal Papers from the Adjutant General's Files (www.fold3.com) subscription:
Bero, Joseph (enlistment contract)
Bero, Joseph. (Casualty sheet)
Laflin, Peter (enlistment contract)
Laflin, Peter (Declaration of Recruit)
Square, George (sic) (enlistment contract)
Square, George (sic) (Declaration of Recruit)
New York, Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900 for Joseph Bero, 98th New York Infantry, ancestry.com
Burial of George Squires listed in Mohawk Council Cemetery, Hogansburg, Franklin County, New York, Northern New York Tombstone Transcription Project.
Franklin, NY CW Draftees 1863, newyorkroots.org.
Extracts from pension file for Sarah Loran, widow of David. including his date and place of death, his identification as "an Indian" in a physician's deposition, and depositions by Joseph Bero and George Squires, lifetime friends of Loran. www.nedoba.org.
Aurora's Family Tree, citing birth and death dates for Joseph Bero, not further documented, ancestry.com (subscription)
Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts of New York State Volunteers, United States Sharpshooters, and United States Colored Troops [ca. 1861-1900]. (microfilm, 1185 rolls). Albany, New York: New York State Archives. (ancestry.com, subscription)
See also Canyon Wolf's discussion of the Alburgh 'Indians'.