Monday, May 9, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - A Soldier's Story

Today I'd like to look at copies of Thomas Nelson Bean's service during the Civil War.

Thomas was born 09 Jan 1823 in Monroe County, [West] Virginia, and was one of thirteen children born to William and Rachel [Wiseman] Bean.

I am sure much forethought was put into Thomas' decision to enter the War, as he wasn't exactly a young man at the time. The earliest date of enlistment on the following documents appears that he enlisted in October of 1863, making him 40 years of age when enlisting.

The following card is the from the front of his file....

note that the spelling is "BEANE" on his surname. In this family, the spelling has varied greatly over the years.

We note also on this card that he enlisted as a Private, and was discharged the same.

Here we find that Thomas is assigned to Company K, the 22nd Virginia Infantry.
He is at this time stationed in Lewisburg [Greenbrier County], and is counted "Present" on this Muster Roll.

The following April [1864] finds him still in Lewisburg, with the same company.
He is found "Present" at Muster Roll.

During the Civil War, two bridges were located near Lewisburg, and these were guarded heavily to prevent Union forces reaching the Ohio River and the rail lines nearby.

On this Muster Roll, dated 01 May 1864, we find that he is still in Lewisburg. However, he has now been transferred from Company K to Company F.

This Muster Roll is dated for 30 Apr 1864 [the day prior to the one above]. It is with his new company, "F". Here we find the exact date of his transfer, Apr 20. He is now assigned to Camp Gauley. And is counted "Present" in this Muster.

From 01 May 1864 to 31 Oct 1864, we find that Thomas is no longer present for Muster Roll. The notation states he "deserted about May 11".
One must remember that Thomas was married, and had eight children [7 of whom were still living] at this time. He was a farmer by profession, and his family probably suffered terrible hardship at his being away from them.

This last document is a clothing receipt during his time in servic e.

We may never know exactly why Thomas deserted the Confederate Army. Perhaps because as long as he was stationed at Lewisburg he could get home occasionally to tend to his family, and once transferred to Camp Gauley [an additional 51 miles from his home] he was afraid of never getting back to help them. We may only speculate.

Sometime shortly thereafter, Thomas packed up his family and they moved to Boone County, Kentucky. And it was there that he died 10 Apr 1911.

1 comment:

Claudia's Genealogy Blog said...

I had attended a conference and the speaker said that "deserter" meant that the soldier was not present. He could have been sick or some other factor could have prevented him from being "present"