11th Vermont Infantry (aka First Heavy Artillery, Vermont Volunteers)
BiographyJohn Milo, Jr.
From the time he enlisted in the Army and for the rest of his life, John Milo, Jr., as he would become known as, was actually born "Theophilus Malo" on September 15, 1847, in Franklin, VT. He was baptised on April 18, 1848, at St. Mary's Parish in St. Albans, VT. His parents were Theophile Malo (aka Theophile Ayet-Malo, aka Theophile Maleau, aka John Mollo, aka John Milo) and Marie Plouffe (aka Mary Ploof). John was the second child born to Theophile Malo and Marie Plouffe.
John was living in Swanton with his parents and 7 other siblings at the time he and his Father went down to Northfield for the Son to enlist and the Father to reenlist. On July 21, 1863, his Father, Theophile Malo, aka John Milo, Sr., had just come back from a 9 month term in the Civil War (see John Mollo, 13th Regiment, Infantry, Co. K and John Milo, Eleventh Infantry Regiment, Co. K). Four months later, both Father and Son left Swanton and headed for Northfield where they enlisted. (Bigger Bounty) John, Jr., enlisted for a 3 year term on November 14, 1863, just 5 days before his Father, John Milo, Sr., reenlisted on November 19, 1863, for a second term of 3 years. Both served with the Eleventh Regiment, and mustered in on December 1, 1863, in Brattleboro, VT.
When John, Jr., enlisted, he was only 16 years old and he lied when he said he was 18 on his Declaration of Recruit. His father had to sign the consent In Case of a Minor Form for him, because he was not 21 years of age as was required. John, Jr., went from being the head of the household and looking after his mother and siblings for the 9 months that his father was away during his first term of service in the Army, to then enlisting himself in the Army at such a young impressionable age of just barely 16. He stated that he was a farmer when he enlisted. How he must have clung to every story his Father told him upon his Father's return (Battle of Gettysburg, etc.) and how he must have daydreamed of the exciting and gallant adventure he would experience first hand when he served in the Army himself. It is unfortunate for him that his Military Records and Pension Records paint quite a different story.
John was described as being 5 ft. 6 inches tall, black hair, black eyes and dark complexioned. He could not write and signed all important documents with an X mark. On March 2, 1864, John, Jr., disappeared from Post Pollux, DC of Fort Totten, Delaware. He was found 2 days later on March 4, 1864, on Laurel Street, dressed in street clothes, without a pass, acknowledging being a deserter. He was convicted of desertion, fined $30.00 and confined to FT. Delaware, Delaware for 6 months, during which time he was also fined for loosing his Haversack and Canteen. His Father, John Milo, also disappeared from the Co. for those same two days in March, apprehended the same day, but served only two months in confinement. The Father's records don't state that he was found in civilian clothes or lost any Govt. issued items, or acknowledged himself as being a deserter. One has to wonder if the Father went after the Son to bring him back.
John served the rest of his term with his Co. and mustered out on August 25, 1865, from Washington, DC. with an honorable discharge.
John married twice. However, the first marriage, having never been dissolved legally, allowed for his first wife to come forward after John's death with the claim of still being his lawful wife. She was successful in receiving his Pension after he died. John married Mary Gour (aka Mary Gould, aka Mary Goar) on May 12, 1866, in the town of Barnard, VT. The marriage record states that he was a farmer from Swanton and she was from the town of Brookfield. She was listed as being 23 at the time and he was listed as being 22 years old, but according to his baptism record, he would have only been 18 at the time of this marriage. They had 4 sons together: Joseph, Napolean (aka Paul), Frank and George Milo. From some accounts, theirs was a rocky marriage. John moved his family around a lot, changed jobs and went where the work took him, but always remained in the same area as his parents and his siblings and where their families lived. The "Milo's" were a tight knit family and migrated together down through Vermont, into New Hampshire, down into Massachusetts, and finally into Connecticut. They were farmers, woodchoppers, teamsters, and laborers. John left his first wife in the vicinity of Danbury, CT. sometime around 1885, and married a second time, telling his second wife that he was divorced. He married Martha Edes, a woman from England, on April 24, 1889, in Furnace Hollow, Stafford Springs, Connecticut, by Agustus Spellman. John and Martha lived in Stafford Springs, Rockville, and Montville, just to name a few places; all towns in Connecticut. They had 6 children: Mabel May, Alice, Henry, Edna, Gladys, and Howard. Even after marrying a second time, it appears that John would leave his family for weeks at a time while he found work elsewhere. He seemed to have a restless spirit and was a troubled man. One has to wonder if it had anything to do with the horrors he experienced as a young boy in the Army.
His records claim that he contracted rheumatism while in Petersburg, VA. and spent time at a Regimental Hospital. He also claimed to have been treated for rheumatism by a Doctor Van Druin in Warren, VT. the winter after his discharge from the Army. On March 24, 1899, while in Rockville, CT. John filed a Declaration for Invalid Pension, stating he was suffering from Rheumatism and a rupture. On May 6, 1901, in Rockville, CT. John filed another Declaration for Invalid Pension, stating he was suffering from Rheumatism, Disease of the Rectum, Heart Disease, and Prostrate trouble. John claimed to have gotten his rheumatism from exposure and from sleeping on the ground while in the Army, but claimed he contracted it right before he was discharged. In his records are also affidavits from witnesses who claimed that he often could not support his wife and children because he could not work due to the effects that the rheumatism had on his body. They said his hands would swell, were inflamed, and that he also had problems with his feet, his back, and his neck. Often times he would be laid up and unable to work and maintain his family as he should have and how he wanted to do. John began receiving a pension of $6.00 per month for his partial disability. On December 13, 1905, in Montville, CT. John applied for an increase in his pension.
On July 23, 1910, John died in Montville, CT. of Cerebral Apoplexy. Most of the information on his death record was incorrect, such as his age, where he was born, and even who his mother was. He was listed as being 67 at the time he died, whereas he would have actually been 62 years old when he died. It stated he was born September 18, 1843, when in fact he was born as Theophilus Malo on September 15, 1847. His death record also stated he was born in Rutland, VT. but his baptism record shows he was born in Franklin, VT. and baptised in St. Albans. His death record states that a woman named Mary Muchan was his mother when in fact Marie Plouffe gave birth to him and raised him. His second wife, Martha Edes was the informant.
John's obituary that was posted in the Norwich, CT. Bulletin on July 26, 1910, page 7, states:
"John Milo. On Monday afternoon the funeral of John Milo was held from his late home in Palmertown, where he died Saturday night as the result of a "shock." He was 67 years of age and had resided in the town about ten years in all, having lived here at three different times. He retuned home there about three weeks ago from Waterbury. Burial was in the Comstock Cemetery, where the committal service was conducted by Rev. Mr. Wilcox. The arrangements were in charge of Funeral director Gager. The deceased was a soldier in the Civil War and well known in Montville. He was twice married and is survived by his second wife and a number of children by both marriages."
On August 8th, 1910, Carrie Bush, the sister to Mary Gour, John's first wife, came forward from Hartford, CT. and gave a sworn affidavit that her sister Mary and John Milo, Jr., had been married, had marital problems and parted ways but that they never divorced and although John remarried, her sister Mary never remarried. She also stated that when John and Mary were married in Barnard, VT. in May of 1866, the Clerk there recorded Mary's name wrong as Gould when it should have been Gour. On August 25, 1910, John's first wife, Mary Gour, came forward from Danbury, CT. and claimed her Widow's Pension.
Three months after John died, on October 15, 1910, his second wife Martha Edes remarried a Robert Cochran in Montville. The family seemed to disappear after that, with many of John's children appearing later to have moved to the Bridgeport, CT. area.
John is buried in the Comstock Cemetery in Uncasville, CT. in Lot # 220. Directions: In CT. get on RT. 32 going towards Norwich, the Cemetery is off Depot Rd. and Peter Avenue. He is buried not far from a tool shed. You will come to St. Patrick's Cemetery first which is right next to the Comstock Cemetery. John is buried with a Civil War headstone, and his grave site is on the edge of a road that runs through the cemetery. His headstone has been cracked in two by what appears to have been a car going off the road, and in fact, his father's Civil War headstone is in better condition than his.
Contributed by Carol Milo Morgan, South Bend, Indiana, John Milo Jr.'s great-grandneice.