29 May 2017

Memorial Day

I have recently come across a March 25, 1863 article in the Swedish language American newspaper Hemlandet that described the local Swedes in the Chautauqua Regiment, the New York 112th Infantry.  The article was written by Carl Johan Neil (aka Charles Neil from Harmony) and listed the Swedes in various companies and described their activity up until the end of February 1863.


From countrymen in the New York 112th regiment. 

Names of the Swedes who last year enrolled in the New York 112th Volunteer regiment: 

Company A: Teodor Pettersson from Jamestown, Chautauqua Co., N. Y. 
Jan Petterson, ditto. 
Jan A. Peterson, ditto. 
William Peterson, Fluvanna. 
Johan August Nathanaelson, Town of Poland. 

Company F: Ekelund, Jamestown, 
Jan Larson, ditto. 
Augustus Jons, ditto. 
Jan Swenson, ditto. 
William Swanson, Warren co. Pa. 
August Janson. Bucklins Corner [Gerry].

Company H: George Thompson, Mayville. 
John Dalen, ditto. 
Carl Gorman ditto. 

Company E: Andr. Anderson, Mayville. 
Peter Johan Peters, ditto. 
Peter Larson, Portland. 

Company G: Gustaf Spencer, Portland. 
Fredrik Lindal. Mayville. 

Levant Sharpshooters: Alfred Linquist. 
Jan Larson from Fluburg [Frewsburg], dead. 
Conrad Bens, dead, Town of Eilre [Ellery], (raised and named by an American.) 
Fredrik Janson, Sugar Grove, courier with this regiment. 

Company D: Johan Janson from Busti. 
August Neil, Harmony. 
Carl Johan Neil, ditto.

These twenty-six Swedes had enlisted in 1862 in the Chautauqua Regiment and the independent company of the Levant Sharpshooters (NY 1st Battalion, Company 7).  The article was written after six months of duty and noted that two countrymen had died.  By the end of the war, seven more of the Swedes on this list had given their life for their adopted county, including the author of this Hemlandet article, Charles Neil.

Company H 
George Thompson [i1941] died from a shell wound in the right thigh 25 Apr 1863 at Black Island, SC, likely burial in Beaufort National Cemetery, Section 27, Site 2560.  He was baptized August Andersson born 16 Jul 1833 in Liared parish, Älvsborgs län.  He had emigrated from his home parish in 1852 and lived in Iowa where he married in 1856 then moved to Chautauqua County and enlisted in Westfield.  Pension documents indicate that his widow Christina died in 1902.

John Dalen [1850.063] died as a prisoner of war at Salisbury, NC on 6 Jan 1865. He had been taken P.O.W. at Chaffins Farm, VA on 29 Sep 1864 and is likely buried in Salisbury National Cemetery (Findagrave #109659725); however his name, or any variation (John A. Delain), is not included in the US Veterans Affairs Nationwide Gravesite Locator database. Johan Alfrid Dahlén was born 21 Nov 1840 in Djursdala parish in Kalmar län.  His family received their exit permission from that parish in 1849, but the family arrived aboard the Swedish barque Virginia on 3 Sep 1850 in New York City and later settled in the Town of Pomfret (Fredonia) in northern Chautauqua County.

Company E
Andrew Anderson [i3198] died 17 Jan 1865 in hospital from wounds received in the Fort Fisher battle. He is likely buried in Wilmington National Cemetery (Findagrave #109698564) but his name is not included in the US Veterans Affairs Nationwide Gravesite Locator database.  Andrew Anderson was born about 1838, and lived in Brocton, Town of Portland.  His origin and immigration have not yet been identified.

Peter J. Peterson [1851.008] died 19 Jan 1865 from wounds received in the battle for Fort Fisher. He had been previously wounded in action at Cold Harbor. He is likely buried in Wilmington National Cemetery (Findagrave #109667407) but his name is not included in the US Veterans Affairs Nationwide Gravesite Locator database.  Peter Johan was born 27 Nov 1842 in Vimmerby parish, Kalmar län, and emigrated with his family in 1851 who settled near Mayville in the Town of Chautauqua, Chautauqua County.

Peter Lawson [1853.034] died 8 October 1863 in hospital at Folly Island, SC and is buried in Beaufort National Cemetery, Section 27, Site 2431.  Peter Larsson was born 10 Oct 1844 in Björketorp Parish, Älvsborgs län, and emigrated with his family in 1853 who settled in the Town of Portland in northern Chautauqua County.

Levant Sharpshooters
John Lawson [ 1852.226] died of disease, December 20, 1862, at Suffolk, VA and is buried in Hampton National Cemetery, Section C, Site 1997.  The Hemlandet article lists him as Jan Larson from Fluburg, and the New York Adjutant General report indicates that he enlisted in the Town of Ellery, however the Town Clerks' Record of Soldiers and Officers who served notes that he was from the Town of Carroll suggesting that he was from Frewsburg not Fluvanna (Town of Ellery). His birthdate and parents names identify him as Lars Johan the son of Anders Larsson and Anna Johansdotter born 30 June 1844 in Hillared parish, Älvsborgs län, who emigrated with his family in 1852 from neighboring Ljushult parish and settled near Ivory in the Town of Carroll.

Pvt Joseph C. Benz (image edited),
New York State Military Museum,
Item PA.199.0014.0088 

Conrad Benz died from disease 2 Nov 1862 in Suffolk, VA and was buried in Hampton National Cemetery, Section B-H, Site 4594.  Conrad Bens was described in the Hemlandet article as a countryman from the Town of Ellre [sic, Ellery] who had been raised and named by an American family.  He has not been identified in the 1855 NY State census, but he is enumerated in the 1860 US census living/working at the Erasmus Darwin Strong farm in Ellery. Benz was listed as born in Germany in the Ellery Town Clerk's Report.

His older brother, Joseph C. Benz, was raised by the same family and served in the New York 72nd Infantry, Co. B.  All listings for his brother indicate place of birth as Germany and in the censuses of 1900 and 1910 he indicated that he had arrived in America in 1853 (age 12).

While listing Conrad Benz from Ellery, Charles Neil ommitted any listing for †Andrew Johnson [1852.155] who died 3 Jun 1864 in the battle of Cold Harbor and was buried in Cold Harbor National Cemetery, Section A, Site 6. This was Anders Gustaf Svensson born 29 Aug 1840 in Asby Parish, Östergötlands län who emigrated with his parents in 1852 and settled in Columbus Township, Warren County, Pennsylvania. The Ellery Town Clerk records listed the same birth date and indicated that his father was S.P. Johnson, an almost certain reference to Sven Peter Jonsson (S.P. Jones) of Columbus.  The Ellery Town Clerk record incorrectly listed his place of birth as Germany.

Company D
John Johnson died 18 Nov 1864 at Fort Monroe, VA from the wounds he received in the battle at Darbystown Road.  His burial location is uncertain, but he might be interred as "J Johnson" in Section E, Site 1157 or as "Jno Johnson" Section E, Site 222 in Hampton National Cemetery. He was listed in the Hemlandet article as Johan Janson from Busti, but his origin and immigration have not yet been identified.

Charles Neil [1852.099] died 29 Aug 1863 at Folly Island, SC from disease, six months after writing this article for Hemlandet. He is buried as "Charles Niel" in Beaufort National Cemetery, Section 27, Site 2451. Carl Johan Nihl was born 5 Jun 1820 at Husartorpet Nr. 74 Kallersebo in Målilla parish, Kalmar län, the son of Nils Fredrik Nihl and Christina Magnidotter. He was the only soldier from our area who had previously served in the Swedish military.

His father was career military, a husar (calvaryman) in the Överstelöjtnantens skvadron of the Smålands lätta Dragoner.  The Smålands Husarregemente's origins dated back to the 16th century. Husar Nils Fredrik Nihl died from typhoid in 1843.

Carl Johan enlisted in November 1840 in the Aspelands Compani of the Calmare Regemente. From 1842 until retiring 3 Mar 1852 he was stationed as a reserve infantry soldier at Soldattorp No. 73 Backen u. Ryds Nerby in Järeda parish.  He was listed in the muster rolls as Carl Johan Nilsson Hjelm, the military surname Hjelm (hjälm = helmet) recurring at this soldattorp. He and his family left from this post for America in 1852.

The Nihl family emigrated from Målilla and Järeda Parishes in 1851 and 1852 and settled in the Town of Harmony in Chautauqua County.  Charles's wife, Louisa, whose father was also a husar, never remarried, and died 29 Aug 1886 in Harmony. Only four of their nine children survived to adulthood. A family history written by Rosa Neil Crandall in 1908 is a unique and interesting description of the lives of the early Swedes in Chautauqua County.  See The Neil family, Sweden-America, 1718-1908. Albion, N.Y.: A.M. Eddy Press. 1908. It is available as a digital edition.

Left:  Charles Gorman, 112th NY Infantry shown in military uniform.
Right:  Kalmar Regemente 1845 uniform (shown with N.C.O helmet)

It is curious that Charles Neil, Augustus Neil, Augustus N. Jones and Frank Jones who were all sons of career military husars did not enlist with the NY 9th Cavalry. This may indicate the importance of the timing of the enlistment over individual interests or background.

Additonal Notes

Augustus Blood [1851.188] who was taken in by Luther Blood and raised by Asa Blood in Portland is likely listed by Neil as Gustaf Spencer, Portland. Spencer likely refers to Blood's use of the surname Swanson (his father was Jonas Peters Svensson who died three years after arriving in America). 

Fredrik Janson, Sugar Grove, the courier or newspaper correspondent for the Levant sharpshooters is an unknown reference.  There is no entry for this person in the Report of the New York Adjutant General for this regiment.  This might refer to Frederick J. Johnson [1846.003], one of the founders of the settlement in Chandlers Valley, but it seems unlikely since he was 44 years old in 1862.

The thirty-five per cent (35%) fatality rate is high but not among the worst of the war.  In addition to these deaths, several veterans returned to the area disabled, including Augustus N. Jones [i0527], the younger brother of my great, great-grandfather. He was wounded at the Battle of Cold Harbor and lost the use of his right arm. After the war he lived in Sugar Grove and then Jamestown, but never married.

Other Regiments

The death toll in other local regiments was similar.  In total, about 25 Swedes from the area died for the Union cause.  As with research in general about Civil War veterans, the information is inconsistent and at times ambiguous. For additional information see the previous blog on the participation of Swedes in the Civil War.

New York 72nd Infantry Regiment

F. Maurits Fincke [1854.008] died of typhoid fever 21 Dec 1862 in Jamestown after being discharged for disability 17 October from chronic diarrhea and was buried in Lake View Cemetery, Cypress Section, Lot 45. He was one of the first wave from Chautauqua County who enlisted with Col. James M. Brown to fight for the Union in the first month of the war.  Fincke signed-up as a private in Company B of the NY 72nd Infantry Regiment and was soon reassigned as a hospital steward, but not as a surgeon.  At his discharge, Fincke was serving at the US Army (Marcus Ward) Hospital in Newark, NJ, a 4-storey warehouse converted to medical facility that received the injured via the adjacent rail line.

Fincke daily diary, May 1862 at Fort Scott, Arlington, VA
Frederic Mauritz Finke was born 14 Dec 1815 in Stockholm.  He received his medical training there and then moved to Karlshamn where he was the physician for the Alms house.  He married Lovisa Harms in Karlshamn in 1842 and the family emigrated in 1854 - his wife giving birth to a so
n, Ely Wilhelm Frederick Fincke, aboard the Cambria en route to America.  The family first lived in Brooklyn, but Fincke encountered difficulty finding work because of his limited English.  After a year, the family relocated to Jamestown, but the doctor found similar conditions in the village and his family lived in poverty.

After Fincke’s medical discharge he returned to Jamestown in time to be the attending physician for his wife who died from consumption on 28 November 1862.  Fincke died three weeks later leaving two orphaned sons:  Gustavas M. Finkey who was serving in the NY 100th Regiment and Ely who was taken in by the Jamestown lawyer Levant Brown. The tragic effects of the Civil War on the family continued when Gustaf was captured 6 May 1864 at Drewry's Bluff, VA, and imprisoned at Andersonville.  He survived the ordeal, but on release was described as a broken man.  Gustaf settled in Michigan and died 8 Mar 1919 in Augusta, Kalamazoo County. The younger son used the name Ely Brown and died 8 Dec 1932 in Wickliffe, Lake County, Ohio.

Otto Nelson [1851.118] died from his wounds 16 Dec 1861 at Williamsburg, VA and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 13, site 12749. Otto Nelson enlisted in the Town of Kiantone and indicated that he was 21.  He is very likely to have been Nils Otto Larsson born 24 Mar 1837 in Västra Eneby parish, Östergötlands län, who emigrated with his widowed mother and siblings in 1851.  Two of his unmarried younger sisters used the surname Nelson suggesting that their mother, Stina Nilsdotter, had adapted her patronymic name to Nelson in the United States.

John A. Peterson [1852.015] died from his wounds 10 May 1862 at Williamsburg, VA.  There is a marker for him at Hessel Valley Lutheran Cemetery, however he was likely buried at Yorktown National Cemetery (although he is not listed in the US Veterans Affairs Nationwide Gravesite Locator database). He was born 1&nbspJun 1836 in Lönneberga parish, Kalmar län, and emigrated with his family in 1852, settling in Sugar Grove township, Warren County.

Andrew Johnson [i1943] died of disease 20 Feb 1864 as a prisoner of war in Richmond, VA. The location of his burial is unknown.  Johnson was born about 1834 and according to pension documents he lived in the area of Stenberga parish, Jönköpings län. His origin and identity remain undocumented, however, he is possibly Anders Gustaf Johansson, born 31 Mar 1828 in Skirö parish, who emigrated in the same year (1853) and from the same parish (Stenberga) as his future wife.  In Oct 1855 he married Johanna Maria Jonsdotter in Busti in a ceremony celebrated by Rev. Bargland (sic, B.G.P. Bergenlund).  Andrew Johnson has not been identified in the 1860 U.S. census, but his wife and children were enumerated in Meeker County, Minnesota in the household of her siblings.  After the war, Johanna remarried and remained in Minnesota.

New York 9th Cavalry Regiment

Frederick Lawson [1850.031] died 11 Jun 1864 at Trevilian Station, Louisa County, VA, during the largest cavalry battle of the war.  His burial location is unknown although some of the dead were buried as unknown soldiers in Oakwood Cemetery in Lousia, VA.  Nils Fredrik Larsson was born 4 Oct 1838 in Pelarne parish, Kalmar län and emigrated with his family in 1850, settling in Sugar Grove township.

Charles J. Jones [1851.044] died of disease 19 May 1862 at City Hospital, New York City, NY, burial location unknown.  Carl Johan Carlsson was born 25 Oct 1839 in Viserum parish, Kalmar län and emigrated with his family from Vimmerby in 1851. His parents, Charles P. and Helen M. Jones, settled in Sugar Grove Township.

Charles Peterson [i1937] died of disease 4 Dec 1862 at Chantilly, VA, and was buried in Lake View Cemetery (Jamestown), Monument Hill Section, Lot 7, Row 1, Grave 3. Charles Peterson is very likely to have been Carl Johan Petersson who was born 13 Feb 1835 in Stora Åby parish, Östergötlands län, likely emigrated in 1853, and worked in the Town of Ellicott/Jamestown. Carl Johan's sister, Mrs. Lars August (Mary) Johnson died from consumption 18 Aug 1864 in Jamestown.

John A. Barge [1851.092] died of disease 7 June 1862 at David's Island Army Hospital, New Rochelle, New York, and was likely buried on the hospital grounds. Many of these soldiers were later re-interred at Cypress Hill National Cemetery, Brooklyn/Queens, New York. John A. Barge was almost certainly Johan August Berg who was born 14 Aug 1838 in Hässleby Parish, Jönköpings län who had emigrated with his parent in 1851, and worked in the Town of Busti. There is almost no documentation about this soldier, although he entered at age 23 and rose from private to sergeant in Company F.

New York 49th Infantry Regiment

Ole Olstrom [i3217] died 17 May 1863 in Williamsburg, VA according to the compiled list of soldiers from the Town of Ellicott.  Olstrom was listed as enrolling August 1862 as a private at age 24 (b. 1838). Olstrom is not included in the roster of the Adjutant General for the 49th Infantry nor other documentation located so far. His name, regiment and death date are uncertain; his identity and origins are unknown.

This list by the Town Clerks included deaths as "reported by the families to which the deceased belonged when at home" but there is no indication for the source of this information and there was no family with this surname in our area during this time period. The New York 49th was not in the vicinity of Williamsburg in May 1863, but it was there in May 1862.

This is very possibly a misreported listing for a soldier named Ole Ole, who enlisted 23 Jun 1861 in Staten Island in the New York 72nd Infantry Regiment, Co. G and who died from his woulds 18 May 1862 in Williamsburg and is buried in Yorktown National Cemetery. This soldier's identity and origin are unknown as is any connection to our area.

Coincidentally, there was an Ohlstrom of the correct age living with Germund Johnson [1846.007] in Goodhue County, Minnesota in 1860. This was the young Methodist minister, Nicholas S. Ohlstrom who died 28 Sep 1864 at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri, likely from malaria.  He was buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Section 34, Site 3395 (he is listed with his name misspelled as Nichalas S. Olstrum). Ohlstrom had been appointed in August 1862 to raise a company of recruits in Goodhue County for the Minnesota 6th Infantry Regiment (The Stillwater Messenger, August 12, 1862, p 3) but was not mustered in due to poor eyesight.  He enlisted later in the war with the Minnesota 7th Infantry Regiment, Co. F.  His origins in Sweden or Norway and his emigration are unknown.

New York 154th  Cavalry Regiment

Elias B. Skone [i3138] died of disease 2 May 1863 at Chancellorsville, VA, and was buried in a battlefield grave. He enlisted in the Town of Portland.  His identity as a Swedish child who had been taken in by an immigrant Irish family named O’Hare is confirmed by the 1855 NY and 1860 US censuses, but his origin and emigration remain unknown (possibly from Skåne).

111th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment

John Anderson [1852.046] died 14 Oct 1862 at Antietam, VA, burial at Antietam National Cemetery, Site 3716. Johan Gustaf Johansson (Andersson) was born 18 Aug 1838 in Hult parish, Jönköpings län and emigrated with his family in 1852, settling near Wrightsville in Warren County.

Charles Hultberg [1851.034] died 20 Jul 1864 at Peachtree Creek, GA, burial location unknown. He had been wounded previously at Cedar Mountain, VA. on August 9, 1862.  Carl Magnus Hultberg was born 25 Jun 1846 in Frödinge parish, Kalmar län and his family emigrated from Vimmerby in 1851, settling in Sugar Grove Township. His older brother Andrew served in the same company and was taken as a prisoner of war the same day that Charles was killed.

Peter J. Lind [1855.005] died 15 Sep 1862 at Alexandria, VA and was buried at the Soldiers’ Home Cemetery, Site D 4221 (now the US Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery) Washington, DC. His name is included on the Lind family monument in Berea Lutheran Cemetery. Peter Johan Hansson was born 6 May 1843 in Hässleby parish, Jönköpings län and emigrated with his parents in 1855 and settled near Wrightsville, Warren County.

John Lind [1855.007] died 28 Dec 1864 at Savannah, GA and was buried at Beaufort National Cemetery, Section 38, Site 4414. His name is included on the Lind family monument in Berea Lutheran Cemetery. Johannes Hansson was born 24 Jun 1847 in Hässleby parish. He was a younger brother of Peter J. Lind.

Pennsylvania 64th Cavalry Regiment

Charles G. Agrelius [1851.106] died 24 Aug 1862 in the US Army General Hospital in Chester, PA, and was buried at Philadelphia National Cemetery, Section A, Site 71. His name is included on the Agrelius family monument in Elmwood Cemetery, Lindsborg, KS. Carl Gustaf Agrelius was born 26 Dec 1840 in Järstad parish, Östergötlands län, his family emigrated from that parish in 1851 and settled in Brokenstraw Township, Warren County.

Pennsylvania 83rd Infantry Regiment

Andrew P. Agrelius [1851.107] died 15 Oct 1864 as a prisoner of war at Florence, SC, and was likely buried at Florence National Cemetery in an unmarked grave. His name is included on the Agrelius family monument in Elmwood Cemetery, Lindsborg, KS.  He enlisted in the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment and was captured 5 May 1864 at the Battle of the Wilderness where he was mistakenly reported killed in action. Agrelius was a prisoner of war at Andersonville before his transfer to Florence Prison. Anders Peter Agrelius was born 23 Jul 1843 in Järstad parish. He was a younger brother of Charles G. Agrelius.