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1st Vermont Cavalry
Biographies/Obituaries
Jerome B. Hatch

A Brief History of
Jerome Bonaparte Hatch
1837 to 1894

THE EARLY YEARS

Jerome B. Hatch; photo courtesy of Peter FloodJerome Bonaparte Hatch was born on January 17th, 1837 in Compton, Quebec, Canada, which is located in the Eastern Townships, now known as Estrie. This part of Quebec has traditionally been the major English speaking part of the province and is where many Loyalists from the American Revolution settled. It should be noted that his obituary incorrectly stated that he was born in Cabot, Vermont. No written record of his birth has been discovered in either Quebec or Vermont, but there is a document he signed which stated that he was born in Compton, "Canada East". His place of birth being in Quebec was also confirmed on numerous census returns and other documents..

Jerome was the son of Estes Hatch IV (1805 - 1838) and Susanna Chase Lyford (1808 - 1904). He descended from a long line of military members. His grandfathers (John Lyford and Estes Hatch III) as well two of his great grandfathers (Lt. Thomas Lyford and Joseph Morse) served in the Revolutionary War. Another great grandfather (Captain Estes Hatch Jr.) and a great great grandfather (General Estes Hatch Sr.) served during the French and Indian War.

His parents were married on 27 October 1827 in Cabot, Vermont. It is not known why the family may have been living in Quebec at the time Jerome was born. The US Census for 1830, shows that Estes Hatch (his grandfather) was living in Middlesex, Vermont, and also shows his father, Estus Hatch (a misspelling) living in Plattsburgh, New York. Jerome's brother, Marshall Estes Hatch was possibly born in Cabot, Vermont in 1828, and his brother Gonsalvo Cordoba Hatch (born in 1833) was born in "Canada East", meaning Quebec. Jerome had one sister, Adelina Lorama, who was born in Hopkington, New York, about 1833 or 1834. His father died suddenly on June 19th, 1838 in Quebec, when Jerome was only 17 months old. He was buried on his brother Peter Hatch's farm in Montpelier (later East Montpelier), Vermont. Shortly after his father died, his grandfather, Estes Hatch Sr., a veteran of the Revolutionary War, died on December 30th, 1838 in (East) Montpelier. His father and grandfather were buried next to each other, on the family farm. (These grave sites remained undisturbed until 1969 when a new road destroyed the small cemetery. The headstones are currently missing.)

Where the family went immediately after his father's death is only speculation on this point. One possibility is that his mother, with four small children to care for, may have moved back to her family's home in Cabot, Vermont, which is where she was born on September 22nd, 1808. She was the 5th of 9 children of John Lyford and Mima Morse. It would be very difficult for a single woman in 1838 to support the family on her own, so turning to her family for support would be a logical thing to do. The next year she remarried in Cabot on December 5th, 1839. Her new husband was Dearborn Senter, a farmer and former captain in the state militia. He was a recent widower, his wife Abigail having died in Danville in 1837. He and his first wife had at least 8 children between 1820 and 1833, so the marriage was something both families benefited from. After Dearborn and Susanna married, they had two more children, William Henry Harrison Senter (1840) and John H. Senter (1848).

In 1850, the census showed that Dearborn, Susanna, and their two children, were living in Cabot, but neither Jerome nor his two brothers nor sister were living with them. The 1850 census shows that his brother Marshall was working as a "dyer" working in a mill in Manchester, New Hampshire. The census also showed Jerome as a 13 year old, living in Cabot with John and Olive Edgerton, along with other non-related individuals. He was attending school.

MARRIAGE & FAMILY

The next record of Jerome occurs on March 15th, 1857 when he married Ellen Salome Hopkins in Cabot. Records concerning Ellen's history are limited as well. She was born in either Cabot or (East) Montpelier in 1839. Her parents were George W. and Hannah (Harris) Hopkins. In 1850 the Hopkins family was living in East Montpelier and by 1860, they had moved to Cabot. Jerome's and Ellen's first child was a son, who they named Estes Jerome Hatch. He was born on August 7th, 1859 in Cabot. Jerome's occupation at the time was recorded as a farmer. The records of their other children's births are limited. It is known that they had three more children. One son, Carl Max Hatch was born in 1875 in Litchfield, Minnesota, but a search of records at the Meeker County Court House in Litchfield failed to turn up any records of this birth. The couple had another son, George W. Hatch, on September 26th, 1861, born in Vermont. On this birth certificate, Jerome's occupation was listed as a mechanic. Jerome's and Ellen's final child, a daughter, Maude Blanche Hatch, was born in Dwight, North Dakota in 1883.

On August 27th, 1860, the census showed that the family was living in Cabot, and consisted of Jerome (age 23), Ellen (20) and Estus (an error in spelling his name), one year old. It also shows that Jerome was a carpenter and joiner, and was born in "L. Canada". Jerome's occupation appears to have change from a farmer in 1859, to a carpenter and joiner in 1860 and finally a mechanic in 1861. Like many people both then and now, he appears to have taken work when and where he could find it and was very flexible.

THE CIVIL WAR YEARS

What ever plans Jerome and Ellen had for their life were changed in 1861, when South Carolina seceded from the Union following the election in 1860 of Abraham Lincoln as President. South Carolina was eventually followed by ten additional southern states, including the most important of the slave holding states, Virginia. On April 12th, 1861, troops from South Carolina fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. This began the American Civil War, the deadliest war in American history. In April, President Lincoln called for volunteers for military service. The assumption in both the North and the South, was that it would be a short war. Troops from the North and the South, thought that they would be home by Christmas. This proved to be a terrible misjudgment.

The first Hatch family member to enlist was Gonsalvo Cordoba Hatch, one of Jerome's brothers. On June 1st, 1861, he enlisted in the Third Vermont Infantry Volunteers and was assigned to Company G as a private. He was mustered into service on July 16th of that year. Jerome's half-brother, William Senter, enlisted in the 6th Maine Infantry Regiment on July 15th.

During the summer of 1861, a proposal was made by Lemuel Platt to Governor Fairbanks of Vermont, to raise a cavalry regiment. The governor declined, but the US Secretary of War, Mr. Cameron, knowing of the reputation of Vermont horses and soldiers, agreed, and commissioned Platt as Colonel, and granted him authority to raise troops. Forty-two days later, the first troops were in camp, with uniforms and horses, but most were without weapons at this time. No doubt, Jerome and his brother Marshall, would have given enlistment much thought. After all, they both had lives in Vermont, and Jerome had two young sons. In Montpelier, on October 26th of that year, both Jerome and Marshall enlisted as privates in the First Vermont Cavalry Regiment, for a period of three years. (The regiment had several recruiting stations around the state between October 4th and October 15th.) At the time of his enlistment, Jerome was a carpenter according to both his re-enlistment papers and also his post war pension documents. On November 19th they were mustered into service in Burlington, and the two brothers joined the forming regiment, most likely at Camp Ethan Allen, near the Chittenden County fairgrounds in Burlington, near the corner of North Street and North Avenue. In the words of the regiment's assistant surgeon, Ptolemy O'Meara Edson, "they had enlisted in the companies by counties, and had, by election generously given into the hands of men entirely their equals in lack of military training and in many cases no way their superiors in courage, patriotism or intelligence, the superior positions , honor and pay of company officers ". William Wells was elected captain of Company C, which was made up of men from Washington County, and was Jerome's and Marshall's company. (Captain Wells will play a role later in Jerome's service during the war.) The uniforms worn by the Vermont troops consisted of dark blue jackets trimmed with yellow braid, brass scales on the shoulders, light blue trousers black hats turned up on one side, top boots and brown cloth overcoats. For their service as privates, the brothers were paid $ 7.00 per month by the state of Vermont, in addition to the $ 13.00 per month federal pay. Jerome's muster-in roll records the valuation of his horse at $112 and the value of his horse equipment at $31.63.

On November 19th, 1861, the First Vermont Cavalry Regiment was mustered into service with 966 officers and men. Jerome Hatch became a private in Captain Bartlett's Company, which later became "Old Company C, 1st Regiment Vermont Cavalry". In December the regiment headed for Washington D.C. by rail, taking up one hundred and fifty-three cars in five separate trains. On the way, they marched down Broadway in New York City and were cheered by thousands of spectators.

At Annapolis, Maryland, the First Vermont was joined with the Fifth New York Cavalry and a battalion of the First Massachusetts. The head of this new brigade was General John P. Hatch, a New Yorker and West Point graduate. (It is not known if this Hatch was any relation to Jerome Hatch, but it is possible, as the original Hatch ancestors of Jerome, Thomas and Grace, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1633, had over a thousand descendants over the intervening 228 years.) The muster roll for Company C for January 1862, shows that Jerome was detailed as the company cook. It must have been a thankless job, trying to cook for the entire company with the rations issued by the Army, especially for the many farm boys who were probably used to home cooking. The muster rolls show that he retained this position until June of that year. On April 1st, 1862, the regiment was sent to the front near Middletown, Virginia. Here the men saw their first signs of combat, including wounded men, dead horses, destroyed equipment and fresh graves. On April 8th, Company D (not Jerome's company) exchanged the first gun shots by the First Vermont Cavalry in the war, in a skirmish with Confederate soldiers under Turner Ashby. Shortly after, on April 12th, Jerome's brother, Marshall, was discharged for disability. What that disability was is not known. It was not uncommon for men and officers to be discharged for that reason. During the course of the war, 340 enlisted men from the First Vermont Cavalry were discharged for disability.

During the course of the war, the First Vermont listed 75 engagements with Confederate units. These include both famous battles, which changed the course of the war, as well as minor skirmishes. Some of the better known battles include Cedar Creek, Cold Harbor and Gettysburg. It should also be noted that not all the regiment's units participated in each engagement, and that even if Jerome's company did participate, it is not always clear that he was involved. At times up to one third of the regiment may have been on the sick list. The conditions the men lived and fought under were very primitive and ideas of bacteria, infection, and hygiene were well below today's standards. During the war, men also had leave and temporary assignments, which might take them away from their unit for a period of time. There are some things which are known for sure about Jerome's service during the war however.

In May of 1862, Union General Nathaniel Banks, being pressured by Confederate Generals, Stonewall Jackson and Jubal Early, retreated north up the Shenandoah Valley, in what has become known as Bank's Retreat. On June 15th, the First Vermont Cavalry went into camp at what was known as "Camp Hatch", two miles from Winchester, Virginia, which was named after a Union General, not after Jerome Hatch. Shortly after Companies C, E, F, and K, scouted Snicker's Ferry. It was while at Snicker's Ferry, that Jerome went to see the regiment's doctor, Dr. Edson. Jerome and several others were suffering from what was diagnosed as scurvy. His mouth was so sore, that he could not eat. "A detachment was immediately sent out for beef, sheep etc." Jerome went to a mill to obtain flour, and "had soft bread made". "A wagon was sent to Harper's Ferry for vegetables. We sold our bacon to the natives that brought us cherries &c.".

On Christmas Day in 1862, only eight months after the unit's first engagement, Jerome was promoted to Quarter-Master Sergeant for Company C. It should be noted that the date of the promotion was shown as December 29th on the company muster roll for December, so the exact date is in question. He must have performed well and been respected to be promoted to this position, which he held for most of the remaining war.

The next time Jerome Hatch's name is mentioned in a history book is during the Gettysburg campaign. The First Vermont Cavalry suffered many casualties, in the skirmishes leading up to the fighting at Gettysburg, during the main engagement, and in the fighting which continued as the two armies separated. On July 3rd, the First Vermont Cavalry participated in Farnsworth's Charge. It is almost certain that Jerome Hatch participated in this charge, as his company was involved. Writing of that futile and deadly charge, Captain H. C. Parsons said, "... each man felt as he tightened his saber belt that he was summoned to a ride of death". On the afternoon of July 8th, 1863 Major Wells (the former Captain of Company C mentioned earlier) was ordered to lead his battalion in a cavalry charge down the Hagerstown Road. Due to the recent fighting, his unit was down to only 60 men. Late that afternoon, the unit charged the Confederates and engaged in hand to hand fighting. Major Wells was engaged in a saber fight with a Confederate officer and received a cut by the Confederate's saber. George G. Benedict's book on the Civil War recorded the following. "While so engaged in the front, he was attacked from behind by a trooper, received a blow across the back, and was in serious danger, when sergeant Jerome B. Hatch, who was lying pinned to the ground by his horse which had fallen on him, disabled one of Well's assailants by a shot from his revolver, and Wells beat off the other". As author Joseph Collea Jr. wrote in his 2010 book on the First Vermont Cavalry, "Without the quick action of Sergeant Hatch, the 1st Vermont could have been summarily deprived of its future commander" . It is clear from this, that Jerome saved his commanding officer's life. It was important enough to those involved, that it was included in the book, Vermont In The Civil War, 1861-1865, Volume II, which was published 36 years after the event, in 1888.

Later that month, on July 27th, Jerome returned to Vermont to help gather conscripts to join the Union cause. Not much is known about this trip, where he went in Vermont, or what he did while home. One would assume that he would have used some of his time there to visit with his family. Having just fought in the battle of Gettysburg, he would likely have been received home as a hero of that great Union victory. The company muster roll shows that he returned to his unit in Virginia on October 5th, 1863.

The following winter, on February 24th, he was discharged and re-enlisted as a "Veteran Volunteer" for a period of three additional years. This was done under provision of General Order Number 191, Series of 1863, of the War Department. Perhaps he was motivated by a sense of patriotism (he did name his second son George Washington Hatch) or perhaps it was the $402 federal bounty he was paid for re-enlistment, combined with a 30 day leave, which made up his mind. What ever his motivation, he remained in the service until the end of the war. It was noted on his re-enlistment, that he had "furnished horse & horse equipements since Jany 15, 1864". His re-enlistment papers, signed at Stevensburg, Virginia, shows that he was 5 feet 9 inches tall, with blue eyes, light hair and light complexion. The papers indicated that he volunteered at Danville, Vermont, which is the town which he was credited to. (Sometimes people enlisted from towns other than where they resided.) He was re-enlisted by Lieutenant John Williams. The North Star (published in Danville, Vermont), in it's issue of January 24th, 1879, lists Jerome B. Hatch as being one of those who enlisted and were credited to that town. His brother Gonsalvo, who had previously re-enlisted, on December 31st, 1863, remained in the Third Vermont Infantry Regiment, but transferred to Company I on July 25th, 1864.

On March 31st, 1864, Jerome started a 35 day furlough. Where he went is not known, but a logical assumption was that he spent some, if not most, of that time in Vermont with his wife and children. Based on his pension documents the following is known. In early May, Jerome and his bunkmate, Thomas S. May, both returned from veterans leave (furlough) to rejoin their unit. Upon their arrival in Washington, D.C., they were informed that their unit had moved, and both men were ordered to Camp Stoneman, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel E. M. Pope, of the 8th New York Cavalry. Shortly there after, Sergeant Hatch was ordered by Lt. Colonel Pope to take a detachment of men to guard a ford across "one of the Mattapony Rivers", near Spotsylvania, Virginia. It was dark out, about 10:00 PM, and the unit was heading up a hill in dense forest. The unit was fired upon by what was thought to be Confederate troops, but which later turned out to be Union forces under General Burnside. The advance guard turned and made a hasty retreat. In their haste in the dark, one of the soldiers ran against Hatch's left knee, wrenching him from his horse and throwing him to the ground. He was then "trampled on by their horses" and received severe injuries to his left hip and stomach. His unit then fell back to the foot of the hill, and remained there until morning. Q-M Sergeant Hatch was not able to proceed with his command and his injury was reported to Colonel Pope. He was placed in an old stable, while his friend Tom May, found a surgeon to examine Q-M Sergeant Hatch, the next morning. The surgeon ordered him to the hospital boat, then in the river. He was assisted to the ship, the Ashland, by his friend. He was brought to Armory Square Hospital in Washington, D.C, on May 10th, where he remained until June 16th. He was sent to the military hospital in Brattleboro, Vermont, where he arrived on June 21st. While there, he was given a furlough to visit his family, from July 2nd to July 21st, 1864. He celebrated the 4th of July on crutches, with his family. He returned to the hospital in Brattleboro, until he was discharged on September 7th. He then returned to the First Vermont Cavalry unit, on October 12th, 1864. It should be noted that there are some minor conflicts in the actual dates for some of the above. The information was taken from pension documents, which were in part, written down in 1886, over 20 years after the incident. It is not surprising that people's memory of the exact date may not be perfect. One document reports the injury as occurring on May 16th, another on May 18th. In any case, the basic facts are all in agreement as to what happened. Later that year, on November 19th, Jerome Hatch became the Quarter-Master Sergeant for the entire First Vermont Cavalry Regiment. This was a promotion, since prior to this, he was Quarter-Master Sergeant for only his company. He was transferred to the non-commissioned staff on November 19th.

By 1865, almost everyone realized that it was only a matter of time before the Union forces defeated the Confederates. The Union forces had laid siege to the Confederates at Petersburg, Virginia. On the night of April 2nd, after Union breakthroughs south and west of the Confederate defenses, General Robert E. Lee ordered his troops to evacuate Petersburg and Richmond. General Lee then retreated with the Army of Northern Virginia, to the west along the Appomattox River. Their goal was to follow the Richmond and Danville Railroad and head southwest, to meet up with Confederate forces under General Johnston in North Carolina. Both Union armies, the Army of the Potomac, under General George Meade, and the Army of the Shenandoah, (to which the First Vermont was then attached) under General Philip Sheridan, with General U.S. Grant in overall command of both armies, pursued the retreating Confederates. Early in the morning on April 3rd, 1865, the First Vermont attacked the North Carolina cavalry under General Roberts at Namozine Creek, causing them to retreat. Later that day, there was an engagement at Namozine Church. The Third Cavalry Division under General George Armstrong Custer was engaging Confederate General Fitzhugh Lee's forces. A detachment consisting of the First Vermont and the Eighth and the Fifteenth New York, under brigade commander Colonel Wells, (the same person whose life Jerome Hatch saved in 1863), was pursuing the Confederate rear-guard forces. After six miles of pursuit, the Confederates made a stand at the crest of a hill near Namozine Church. General Rufus Barringer had set up a defensive line near the church made up of the Fifth, Second, and First North Carolina cavalry regiments. Total Confederate forces in the defensive line amounted to approximately 800 men. Colonel William Wells ordered the Eighth New York cavalry regiment to flank the Confederate left held by the First North Carolina. The Vermonters attacked the Second North Carolina head on, and drove them back to the main body, "which was attacked by Wells with most of his brigade, and routed with the loss of the Confederate brigade commander and 350 prisoners and a field piece. The gun was captured by Q.M. Sergeant Jerome B. Hatch of the Vermont regiment, and of the prisoners a large portion were taken by the Vermonters....". Captain Horace K. Ide remembered this event in his regimental history of the First Vermont Cavalry (written in 1872 and first published in 2000). "Down the road we went pell mell and on after them. Lieutenant Hatch overtook a gun and with a pistol persuaded them to return with it." (Records show that Jerome Hatch was still a Quarter Master Sergeant at this time.) The captured gun belonged to McGregor's Battery, and was the only Confederate artillery piece involved in the battle. This became one of the 39 cannons captured by the First Vermont Calvary during the Civil War.

Six days later, on April 9th, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, General Robert E. Lee surrendered his forces to Union General, and future President, Ulysses S. Grant. On that very day, the First Vermont participated in the last cavalry charge in the Civil War by the Army of the Potomac. What was probably unknown to both General Grant and Quarter-Master Sergeant Hatch, was that they were related. Both were direct descendants of Jonathan Hatch and Sarah Rowley (who were married April 11th, 1646 in Barnstable, Massachusetts), which made them fifth cousins. Shortly after the Lee's surrender, on April 14th, 1865, Quarter-Master Sergeant Jerome Hatch was commissioned an officer and became a First Lieutenant. Twelve days later, on April 26th, the commission was formally issued. He was mustered in as a First Lieutenant for Company C, on May 1st at Petersburg, Virginia.

While the surrender of General Robert E. Lee is generally thought of as being the end of the Civil War, it was not. Lee was the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, and not all Confederate forces immediately surrendered. On April 24th, the Vermonters were ordered south, to North Carolina, to confront the forces of Confederate General Joseph Johnston's army. On April 27th, just four miles from the North Carolina state line, news reached the regiment that General Johnston had surrendered. On the 29th, the division headed back north, their fighting days were finally over.

On May 19th, Colonel Wells, the officer whose life Jerome saved during the Gettysburg campaign, was promoted to Brigadier General, and shortly after replaced General Custer as commander of the Third Division of the Army of the Shenandoah. The First Vermont Cavalry took part in a number of victory reviews, including the Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac, in Washington, and on June 7th, it participated in one for Vermont troops in front of Governor Smith. On May 8th, the unit headed home to Vermont, arriving in Burlington on the 13th. Many officers and enlisted men were discharged, but First Lieutenant Hatch, remained in service for a while longer. He was one of 6 officers and 200 enlisted men assigned in six companies to become the Frontier Cavalry, to duty on the northern frontier, at various locations in Vermont and New York. His brother Gonsalvo was discharged from service on July 17th. On July 21st, Jerome transferred to Company B. Finally on August 9th, he was mustered out of service with the remaining members of the First Vermont Cavalry Regiment, at Burlington.

When he was mustered out, he had last been paid on April 30th, over three months earlier. He had been in military service for nearly four years, having enlisted at age 24.

THE POST WAR YEARS

After the war he returned to Cabot and his wife and sons. On June 10th, 1867, he was paid $10 from the State of Vermont for a "bear certificate" .

We know that a large number of former members of the First Vermont Cavalry moved to Minnesota after the war. Jerome Hatch and his brother Gonsalvo, eventually made the move west as well. Since many of those who moved to Minnesota were from the same unit, it is possible that this was discussed by the soldiers during the war. Talk probably turned to what their plans were after the war ended. The thought of vast areas of cheap flat fertile land, which was not full of glacial till, must have been very appealing to many Vermont farmers. In the July 1st, 1868 edition of The Cabot Advertiser, Jerome and Gonsalvo placed an advertisement on the front page, offering their 216 acre farm in the east part of Cabot, for sale. The farm was in a state of good cultivation, with running water at both the house and barn. It was offered for sale at a "bargain price".

On 8 June 1869, Jerome and Gonsalvo filed a total of six deeds with the Town Clerk in Cabot. The brothers bought and sold land, as Jerome disposed of his holding before moving to Minnesota. Gonsalvo purchased 50 acres of the farm from Jerome for $ 400. He then transferred his interest in the remaining 166 acres to Jerome for $1,000. Jerome and his wife Ellen, then mortgaged this parcel, which was, "all the land we own in Cabot", to Jacob May of Peacham, Vermont, for $1,000. The next year, on 27 September 1870, Jerome and Ellen sold their 166 acres to William H. Barr for $ 3,000.

The census of Cabot taken on June 2nd, 1870 listed Jerome as a farmer with real estate worth $3,000 and personal property worth $1,600. Also living in the household was his wife Ellen, who was keeping house, and sons Estes, age 10, and George, age 8, both attending school.

In late 1870, he and his family moved to Litchfield, Minnesota. In Litchfield Jerome started seeing Doctor F. E. Bissett for treatment cause by his being trampled by horses back in Spottsylvania in 1864. He was being treated on average of 12 to 15 times per year. Another physician, Doctor Kennedy also treated Jerome. He stated that Jerome had a weakness and numbness of his left hip and thigh. He also recorded that his left thigh measures two inches less in circumference than his right and that he had a fracture of the sternum, producing "pressure upon the stomach and other internal vicera".

In 1872, he joined the Litchfield Masonic Lodge # 89. On March 20th, 1873, Jerome received a Homestead land grant of 80 acres in Meeker County, Minnesota, from the land office in Litchfield. The land was in Township 119 N, Range 30 W, on the 5th base line. A second homestead grant occurred on March 30th, 1880. This was for 78.37 acres of land in Wright County, Minnesota, in Township 119 N, Range 26 W, on the 5th base line.

Jerome and Ellen had two more children after the war, Carl Max Hatch, born on 31 March 1875 in Litchfield, and Maude Blanche Hatch, born 29 August 1883 in Dwight, North Dakota. It would thus appear that the family left Minnesota for a short time, and was living in North Dakota. During their time in Dwight, A. J. Wakefield was boarding with the family. Mrs. Minnie Larson was working for the family and help take care of Ellen and the newborn. Shortly after Maude was born, the family returned to Litchfield. It is said that Ellen ran a boarding house in Litchfield and raised canaries.

The 1875 Minnesota census of Litchfield showed that the Hatch household consisted of Jerome (age 38), Ellen (age 35), Estes (age 15), George (age 13), Carl (age 1), and a 24 year old woman from Sweden, named B. Anderson. It is not known if she was a friend of the family or perhaps a housekeeper or how long she lived with the Hatch family.

In Litchfield, on October 6th, 1879, Jerome filed a declaration for an Invalid Pension. The declaration stated that he was "disabled from obtaining subsistence by manual labor by reason of his" injury during the war. Records for the land office in Duluth, Minnesota show that on February 20th, 1882, 80 acres in Township 52N, Range 23W, on the 4th base line, in Aitkin County, were granted to Jerome B. Hatch as a homestead. This was the third homestead grant in Minnesota for Jerome.

On November 1st, 1885, he filed another affidavit for his pension claim. It stated that since his injury, he had suffered from "constipation, diarrhea, violent attacks of neuralgia in the stomach and head". It also stated that he had much pain in his hip every hour since his injury. He also said that since he was discharged, he had been a superintendent of a building and had also been an "agent and collector". The documents did not state if the pension was approved or not, however, after his death, his wife, Ellen, was awarded a widow's pension of eight dollars per month, which was paid until her death in October 1904. Jerome became a charter member of the Frank Daggett Post # 35 of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) in Litchfield, and donated $20 to help construct the G.A.R. Memorial Hall in 1885. He also became the G.A.R. post commander for one year and was a member of the post's "Last Man Club". He was among those participating in the first encampment of the post in 1886. His file at the G.A.R. mentioned that he hated to have his picture taken, however a few photos of him at this encampment do exist.

In 1889 and 1890, he exchanged a number of letters with John H. Buxton, a former comrade of his in Company C of the First Vermont Cavalry. At the time, Jerome was considering selling his land in Minnesota and moving back east, possibly to Maryland, where John Buxton was living. He thought Minnesota was "a splendid country to live except the winter". He was inquiring from Mr. Buxton, as to the cost of land in Maryland of between 10 and 20 acres. He mentioned his wife (Ellen), his three sons, and his "darling little Maude" who was six and a half at the time. In one letter he also asked Mr. Buxton for help in securing employment if and when he moved to Maryland. He also asked for his friend help with his claim for a disability pension.

Jerome Hatch was recorded as living in Litchfield in the Special Schedule of Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Widows, as part of the 1890 US Census. In his biennial report for 1891-92, the Vermont Adjutant General requested a photograph of First Lieutenant Hatch for the Regimental Frames at the Vermont State House.

Jerome Hatch never did move to Maryland. He remained in Minnesota, and on February 5th, 1894, he died after lingering near death for several months with consumption. He was buried in the Lake Ripley Cemetery in Litchfield. His death was reported at the Fifteenth Annual G.A.R. Encampment in Saint Paul, Minnesota in February 1895.

After his death, his wife Ellen moved back to Vermont. Estes, Carl and Maude also made the move to Vermont. In December 1895, Ellen was living in West Derby, Vermont. She also lived for a time in New Hampshire, and eventually settled in Vermont. At some point (after two years in Minnesota by one source), his brother Gonsalvo moved back to Vermont as well, settling in Cabot. His daughter Maude moved to various places and eventually settled in Massachusetts with her husband and moved to Florida after they retired. Jerome's son Estes, moved from Vermont to Massachusetts. His son George, was the only child who remained in Minnesota. He did however live and work for a time in Idaho and North Dakota. In 1903, Ellen was living with her daughter Maude in New Hampshire. She died in Warren, Vermont in 1904, where she may have been living with her son Carl and his wife Ruth.

NOTES

One version of his death says that Jerome died in Canada while working in the woods. His obituary contradicts this story. His obituary also states that he was promoted to Captain, but records show that he was a First Lieutenant when he was discharged. His grave stone also lists him as being a First Lieutenant.

There is a photograph of Jerome in his G.A.R. uniform, taken in 1885 at the Weeks Photography Studio in Litchfield, Minnesota. His cavalry uniform is said to be on display in Montpelier, Vermont. Efforts to locate it have not been successful however.

In 1916, the town of Danville, Vermont erected a monument to soldiers credited to the town, on the town green. On the side listing the names of sergeants, is the name Jerome B. Hatch.

Obituary

Independent Review (Litchfield, MN), February 10, 1894

J.B. HATCH DEAD

J. B. Hatch, who lingered between life and death for several months, with consumption, died last Monday morning. The funeral was held Tuesday afternoon, and was conducted by the Masonic lodge of which he was an honored member.

Jerome B. Hatch was born in Cabot, Vermont, in 1837, where he remained until 1879. He was one of the first to respond to his country's call at the commencement of the civil war, and served about four years. He enlisted as a private, but owing to his many acts of bravery, was made a captain, and made a splendid officer.

March 17, 1857 he was married to Ellen S. Hopkins, and in 1879 they came to this city where they have since resided. Mr. Hatch leaves a wife, three sons and a daughter to mourn his death. He was a charter member of Frank Daggett Post G.A.R. and served as commander of the Post one year. His death will be mourned by a large circle of friends.

Corrections to Jerome B. Hatch's obituary

  • It is most likely that he was born in Compton, Quebec and not Cabot, Vermont. However records for either location have not been located.
  • At the time he was discharged from the 1st Vermont Calvary in 1865, he was a First Lieutenant, not a Captain.
  • Other records show that Jerome moved to Minnesota by 1870 .

Documents from Jerome's pension record

Contributed by Peter Flood, Jerome's great-grandson.

Check this soldier's record