G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
2nd MINNESOTA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: June, July, August, 1861 Ft. Snelling, MN
Mustered In: June, July, August, 1861 Ft. Snelling, MN
Mustered Out: 7/11/65 Louisville, KY
This three-year “western theater” regiment first performed in-state garrison duty before departing for Louisville, KY in Oct., ’61. On 1/1/62 at Mill Springs, KY the 2nd was engaged in near hand-to-hand fighting with the enemy during which they captured sorely needed tents and camp equipment. The unit next moved to Shiloh, TN, but arrived several days after the great battle. Encampment in Mississippi followed.
After a number of small engagements, interspersed with guard duty, the 2nd was under fire at Chickamauga, GA where they assisted in the repulse of Breckenridge’s Confederate division and stood with Union Gen. Thomas (The Rock of Chickamauga) in the defense of Horseshoe Ridge. During this engagement the 2nd lost 162 killed and wounded. The regiment was next in the trenches around Chattanooga, TN for two months before capturing the first breastworks at Missionary Ridge and participating in the assault which carried the crest. This action cost the unit 21% in losses while other regiments in their brigade suffered only 8% casualties.
1863 ended with almost four fifths of the regiment re-enlisting. 1864 found the 2nd in Union Gen. Sherman’s Atlanta campaign. With the fall of that city the regiment marched to the sea then northward through the Carolinas, skirmishing as it went. Participation in the Grand Review at Washington preceded final muster.
Residence: Mondovi, WI Age: 18. 0 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 7/30/61 Lake City, MN Rank: Pvt.
Discharged: 7/11/65 Louisville, KY
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Claudius B. Pritchard was born 7/23/43 in Racine, WI. All that is known about his birth family is that his New York born father was named James. There is also no available information on his formative years.
In 1861 the 5’5 ½” teenaged farm boy was one of the first to heed his country’s call to arms. However, why the Wisconsin native joined a Minnesota regiment is not known. While he was to serve two enlistments in a unit that was exceedingly combat-active, there are no records indicating Private Pritchard was ever wounded or taken seriously ill.
Leaving the military Claudius returned to Wisconsin where he lived in Buffalo and Dunn counties. On 3/23/83 in Cedar Falls, WI he married Malissa Goodall. The couple would produce at least four children: Milly May/Mae (3/24/84), Almeda Malissa (1/16/86), Emily (5/19/89), and Nettie Edna (5/11/92).
By 1907 the Pritchard’s were residing in Everett, WA. Records are silent as to why they moved westward. Perhaps it was to be near the families of their adult children living in the Puget Sound area. Malissa Prichard died 7/25/11 in Everett.
On 2/16/13 Claudius remarried to the twice-wed Mary McKenzie. The two remained together until Claudius death on 4/2/15. Cause of his passing was noted as: “acute gastritis caused (by) eating large quantity of green onions. Contributing: senility and a weak heart.” At death, the 71.8-year-old former Union soldier was receiving a government disability pension of $25 per month. Mary continued to receive the same stipend until her death on 9/6/19
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
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