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Bonville, Adolphus


Age: 18, credited to Fair Haven, VT
Unit(s): 7th VT INF
Service: enl 1/7/62, m/i 2/12/62, PVT, Co. C, 7th VT INF, reen 2/24/64, pr CPL 7/1/64, pr SGT 11/18/64, m/o 3/14/66

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 06/12/1844, Keeseville, NY
Death: 11/07/1915

Burial: St. Marys Cemetery, Fair Haven, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Steve Didio

Findagrave Memorial #: 0
(There may be a Findagrave Memorial, but we have not recorded it)


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 12/30/1885; widow Kate, 12/13/1915, VT
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: VT
(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


2nd Great Granduncle of Steven A. Didio, Oro Valley, AZ

2nd Great Granduncle of William J. Bonville, Grants Pass, OR

2nd Great Granduncle of Susan Bonville Kiernan, Trinity, FL

2nd Great Granduncle of Steve Didio, Oro Valley, AZ

3rd Great Granduncle of Dani Roberts, Fair Haven, VT

Great Grandfather of George P. Bonville, Pinehurst, NC

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St. Marys Cemetery, Fair Haven, VT

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


Adolphus Bonville was born June 12, 1844 in Keeseville, NY, and migrated to Fair Haven, VT, to work in the slate mills. He served in Co. C, 7th Vermont Infantry from time of its formation to mustering out at war's end. He rose to sergeant of the company. Later he was a founder and Commander of the local G.A.R. chapter, Bosworth Post 53. His service record is as follows:

Date of Enlistment: Jan. 7,'62 Age 17
Date of Muster: Feb. 12,'62
Prom. Corp. July 1,'64;
Prom. Sergt. Nov. 18,'64;
Mustered out March 14,'66

Organized at Brattleboro and mustered February 12 1862, the regiment went via New York City and by ship to serve in the Dept. Of the Gulf, assigned first to defense of New Orleans, and in mid-June, to take part in the ill-fated initial attack on Vicksburg. The siege of Vicksburg lasted 28 days before the force withdrew to Baton Rouge after suffering severe losses from battle and disease. Back in Baton Rouge they engaged in a major battle on August 5, leading to the evacuation of that city and withdrawal toward New Orleans. The diary of a man in Co. C. from Fair Haven relates that on July 22, 1862, while in the hospital at Baton Rouge, that "A. Benville of Fair Haven lay on my right & Bro Tyler of Fair Haven lay on my left." A. Benville was Adolphus Bonville, confirmed by the muster rolls in the National Archives. This indicates that Adolphus was taken ill or wounded during the siege of Vicksburg, which continued until July 26. The regimental commander reported that, on the retreat from Vicksburg, "The Seventh Regiment formed the rear guard. The organization that had started out thirty-six days previous nearly eight hundred strong, had now less than one hundred fit for duty, and at a review that occurred a few days before the battle of Baton Rouge, two or three of the companies were not represented at all, their services being needed in burying the dead."

The Seventh was ordered to Pensacola, FL., Oct 13, 1862, and served on garrison duty there and in Forts Barrancas and Pickens. Official records indicate that the regiment was split between Fort Barrancas (Co. C and I) and Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island. The unit history reports, "It passed through two seasons of yellow fever, one of which was a very malignant type. Several severe combats were had with the enemy, in all of which the members of the Seventh acquitted themselves with marked credit." In late 1864 Adolphus and others who re-enlisted went on furlough home from 10 August to 27 September, after which they were assigned to New Orleans.

While stationed at Annunciation Square, New Orleans, the Seventh Regiment was principally employed in guard duty, and Adolphus was assigned as the drill sergeant for new recruits joining the regiment. On the 19th of February the regiment was ordered to Mobile Point to take part in the Mobile Campaign. The regiment on the 17th of March began a march to flank the defenses of Mobile on the eastern shore of the bay. The march, which was one of almost unparalleled difficulties in the way of mud, rain and exposure, continued until the 23rd, when the regiment went into camp on the north fork of Fish River.

During this terrible ordeal Adolphus' health broke down battling the rain and mud that, the records say, mired down animals, wagons and men Adolphus obviously was a survivor type of person, but not without cost to him physically. He related in his affidavit advocating his younger brother William's pension, "During the march to Mobile City he (William) would take my knapsack and carry it --- in addition to his own --- when I was so fatigued that I could not carry it." The tremendous hardships faced by the regiment on that march from Mobile Point to Spanish Fort are described in "Mobile, 1865; Last Stand of The Confederacy," Chapter 3.)

At Spanish Fort the Seventh Vermont was positioned in front of the earthworks midway between Spanish Fort and the work known as Red Fort. The men lay down under a heavy fire from the guns of Red Fort, which raked the approach through a ravine, and of musketry. An historian of the 7th remarked: "For thirteen days and nights in succession there had not been a moment that the Seventh was not exposed to either musketry or artillery fire, or both." The fort was abandoned and the works occupied by the Union forces on the 8th of April.

On the morning of the 11th the division containing the Seventh marched to Stark's Landing, where they embarked for Mobile on transports. During this march news of the fall of Richmond reached the troops, but the war was still a month more winding down in Alabama. They drove north into Alabama until May 9, 1865, when the rebels finally surrendered. During May and June the regiment was at McIntosh Bluffs, AL, engaged in building a fort (which Adolphus related later that they never completed). The unit was then shipped to Texas, first to Brazos, then to Clarksville and to Brownsville on August 2, where it remained as part of "the Army of Observation." The mission was both to watch for possible activities by rebels who had fled across the Rio Grande, and also to be a force in readiness to "observe and wait development of operations of Maximilian and his French allies, then in Mexico."

Adolphus was mustered out in Brownsville with the regiment March 14, 1866. The men went home together where on April 6, 1866, at Brattleboro, the regiment disbanded. The history relates, "The regiment served longer, lost more men from disease, and more of its members re-enlisted for the war than was the case with any other single Vermont organization." Its major battles were at the siege of Vicksburg, Baton Rouge, Gonzales Station (FL), siege of Spanish Fort and Whistler's Station (AL).

Adolphus married Katherine Holleran of Hydeville, VT, July 20, 1868, and raised six children. They resided in Fair Haven. An 1881 directory listed him as living on S. Main St., employed as a lamp bottom finisher. In 1870 they lived at 36 S. Main St.

In 1910 census he was owner of his own slate manufacturing business and owned his home on South Main St.

Adolphus died 7 November 1915 at the Old Soldiers' Home, Bennington, VT. He was buried in row 67, South section, St. Mary's Cemetery, Fair Haven.

Source: Contributed by William Bonville, Grant's Pass, OR, Adolphus' grandnephew, from family information.


Death of Adolphus Bonville

Adolphus Bonville, a Civil war veteran, company C, 7th Vermont Infantry, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs.Martin Eagan, on Carnarvon street at 7:10 o'clock Sunday night after several months' illness with a complication of diseases. He was about 72 years old and is survived by his wife, three daughters, Mrs. E.J. Sayder of Brattleboro and Mrs. Dennis Hogan and Mrs. Martin Eagan of this place, three sons, Harry, Frank and Edward, all of this place, and by one brother, Edward. He was a member of J.H. Bosworth post, G.A.R., of this town. The funeral will be held at 9 o'clock Wednesday morning in St. Mary's church. Burial will be in the Washington street cemetery.

Source: Rutland Daily Herald, November 9, 1915
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.