Monday, August 4, 2014

Civil War Blogpost Challenge ~ Military Monday

For Bill West's Civil War Blogpost Challenge, I looked at my database to see which of my ancestors might have fought in the U.S. Civil War (150 years ago). I find that I can't add much more to what I have already shared about the service of my ancestors in the Civil War.


My maternal grandmother's ancestors were in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. I have written about my second great grand uncle, James M. Lysle, who died in Virginia, serving for the 63rd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. I share his picture here again. His youngest brother, George Lysle, my second great-grandfather, was born in 1845, possibly too young to serve, but working in a coal company, perhaps he provided help in the war effort in other ways.

There were a few other Alstons and Lysles (great-uncles and/or distant cousins) who served from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania, Veterans Burial Cards, 1777-1999, at, is a good resource to determine Civil War service. I do not find my third great grandfather, James Freeland, who died on March 1, 1863, at about age 48, according to his gravestone (see his FindAGrave memorial) or my third great-grandfather, Samuel Hunter, who also died in 1863 at about age 49, in this database, or in Civil War records at, so it appears that they may not have fought, but perhaps served in other ways.


My maternal grandfather's father's family was in Maine (see second great-grandfather Henry Copeland's draft information here). It looks like he was exempted from service.

My maternal grandfather's mother's family was in Chicago. I wrote about what I could find about second great-grandfather Samuel S. Greeley's service (building sewers) here.


My paternal grandmother's mother's family (Ashby) was in Kentucky. See a Civil War draft registration for second great-grandfather Daniel M. Ashby here. Again, I don't know if he served, but that is one branch of my family where cousins may have fought cousins, as I can see the Ashby surname in both Union records and Confederate records.

My paternal grandmother's father's line (Adsit) did not have men of the right age to serve: second great-grandfather, James M. Adsit, was born in 1809 and his son, Charles C. Adsit was born in 1853. I do find one mention of James M. Adsit in the Civil War Widow's Pensions file at Fold3, which I share below.

Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Veterans of the Army and Navy Who Served Mainly in the Civil War and the War With Spain, compiled 1861 - 1934., record for Edward D. Hall.
Mother's Pension Claim
No. 14,126
Additional Evidence
State of Illinois     }
County of Cook    }   Affidavit of death of claimant's husband.
October 26, 1863  }
I, James M. Adsit, banker, doing business at No. 39, South Clark street, in the city of Chicago, county and state aforesaid, depose and say that Edward D. Hall, senior, husband of Maria Hall, the above claimant No. 14,126, for a mother's pension, came to his death, suddenly, in a fit of apoplexy, at my bank aforesaid on or about 7th of August 1861.


My paternal grandfather's family (direct Pyle and McAlpin ancestors) don't appear in any Civil War records as far as I can tell. Second great-grandfather, James Pyle, was about 38 years old in 1861 so he was within the age range to serve, but with children born to his wife in July 1861, February 1863 and August 1864, it doesn't look like he was away from home. Second great-grandfather, David H. McAlpin, was a bit older, having been born in 1816, so it was unlikely that he would have served. He also fathered children during the 1860s, so he wasn't away from home either.


  1. I don't think that I have any direct ancestors who fought in the Civil War, but I should more systematically dig through historic records to confirm that.

    1. Sheryl, even if you find a collateral uncle or cousin, some of the records are quite interesting to look at. I recently found a Civil War Pension application for a second great grand uncle with some interesting facts.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.