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Kezer, Oliver L.

MILITARY SERVICE

Age: 45, credited to Georgia, VT
Unit(s): 13th VT INF, 17th VT INF
Service: enl 10/23/62, m/i 10/23/62, Pvt, Co. K, 13th VT INF, m/o 7/21/63; enl 1/2/64, m/i 1/5/64, Pvt, Co. A, 17th VT INF, pow 9/30/64, Poplar Spring Church, d/prison 1/27/65, Salisbury NC

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations

VITALS

Birth: 05/27/1817, Wilmont, NH
Death: 01/27/1865

Burial: Binghamville Cemetery, Fletcher, VT
Marker/Plot: 13
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Denis & Karen Jaquish
Findagrave Memorial #: 23638364

MORE INFORMATION

Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, widow Mary Ann, 5/4/1865; minor, 9/17/1897, VT
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: 13th Vt. History off-site

DESCENDANTS

2nd Great Grandfather of David Lowell Gustafson, Monroe, CT

2nd Great Grandfather of Michael L. Russell, West Lebanon, NH

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BURIAL:

Copyright notice

Tombstone

Tombstone

Binghamville Cemetery, Fletcher, VT

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


Biography

OLIVER L. KEEZER enlisted from the town of Georgia, Vt., as a substitute for Orrin Hubbard, and on October 23, was enrolled and mustered in the same day, the only man in Company K or the Thirteenth Regiment from that town except William Ryan, that joined Company A, 13th Vermont Volunteers. He was an old man and must have been led to volunteer by some peculiar circumstances. He was past 45 in October, 1862. He joined Company K after we arrived at Washington and while we were in camp on East Capitol Hill, called Camp Casey, and was mustered in on the same day, October 23rd, 1862. Now you wonder how this irregularity came about. 1 will explain as I recall and understand the situation. There were two Hubbard boys who enlisted from the town of Swanton, Oscar and Orrin, both all right and acceptable and both went with us to Brattleboro, Vt., on September 29th and remained there until October 9th, the day before we were mustered into the United States service. Our uniforms had been distributed and they with the rest of us dressed up as soldiers and participated in the drills and the duties of camp to this date, October 9th. On this 9th day of October word came from home to the Hubbard brothers that death or dangerous illness had suddenly occurred in the Hubbard family, and to come home, if possible, at once. This communication was taken to the adjutant and inspector general's office, Peter T. Washburn, and leave of absence from the company was granted for two weeks, the order being signed by Peter T. Washburn. They returned home to Swanton in haste uniformed, on the same night. Oscar returned and joined his company at Camp Casey October 23rd, 1862, and was then mustered into the United States service. Orrin did not return, but Oliver L. Keezer came with Oscar in place of his brother, dressed in the same uniform that Orrin had worn away when he went home on leave of absence. Why Orrin did not return I never knew, but I think on account of death in the family, and it was decided best to get some one to take Orrin's place, and old Oliver L. Keezer was dug up somewhere down in Georgia as a proxy for Orrin. Whether ever examined and passed by a medical examination is very doubtful but Oliver came apd some kind of a military necromancy, presto change, took place, and Keezer was accepted and mustered in, good, bad or indifferent, and nothing said. Keezer was a total stranger and the boys thought it was a bad trade, for he was twice as old as Orrin Hubbard and was nowhere his equal in education, general appearance or physical ability to endure army life.

Orrin volunteered and was with the company, doing duty like the rest for five or six weeks, and then secured Keezer to take his place in Company K. He took oft his uniform that he wore home and put it on Keezer and started Mm Świth his brother, Oscar to Washington, D. C, to join Company K in his place. They arrived before their furlough expired and he was duly enlisted and mustered in, and all went well. Orrin remained at home, and lived in Georgia as a prosperous farmer all his life until about January, 1906^ when he died. Keezer did duty for a while, but the climate and life was too much for him and in April, 1863, was sent to the general hospital and never returned to our company for duty. He came with others and joined us at Brattleboro, Vt., coming with Surgeon Nichols, who found him with others of our regiment in the hospitals about Washington. He was mustered out with the regiment July 21st, 1863. He was not to blame for sickness, for some of our very best were taken sick and were never after able to do duty, some were discharged before the expiration of their service, and others who had spent considerable time in the hospital, were mustered out with the regiment. One thing is certain that Keezer did not serve over time for he enlisted October 23rd, and was mustered out July 21st, less than nine months from the time he was mustered into the United States service. Most of us enlisted in August and were mustered out in July, eleven months in the service and a good many of the boys claimed before we started on the march to Gettysburg, that our time was out, and when we left camp on the Occoquan we should march direct to Washington and be sent home, and that accounts for a few fellows of Company K starting off on that last march so heavily loaded down. They thought they were on the way home by the way of Alexandria and Washington, but such were doomed to disappointment. The most of us knew full well we should be needed. We knew General Lee was in the Shenandoah Valley with his whole army moving north as fast as possible and we had sat on the banks of the Occoquan for days and watched General Hooker's army cross the Occoquan in all haste on his way north to intercept General Lee before he should be able to reach Washington, and every hour of the day and night for ten days we expected to hear the beat of the long roll preparatory to follow, and thus it was, but that I may not do injustice to Comrade Keezer or my friend, Orrin Hubbard, in whose place he went, am glad to say that Keezer re-enlisted into Company A, 17th Vermont Regiment, and there distinguished himself as a valiant soldier. He was taken prisoner September 30th, 1864, and died in that horrid prison pen at Salisbury, N. C, January 27th, 1865, and was there buried. Oscar Hubbard as you know died in June, 1863, at Camp Widow Violet and that his remains were sent home to Vermont.

Source: Sturtevant's Pictorial History, Thirteenth Regiment, Vermont Volunteers, War of 1861-1865, p. 739

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