Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - John Morrow

John Morrow

Representing: Union

G.A.R Post

  • John Buford Post #89 Everett, Snohomish Co. WA

Unit History

  • 20th Massachusetts Infantry K
  • 47th New York Infantry H

See full unit history

John Morrow
Full Unit History

July and August, 1861 Camp Massasoit, Readville, MA
Mustered In: 8/28/61
Mustered Out: 7/15 or 7/16/65 Washington, D.C.
Discharged: 7/28/65 Readville, MA


Summer 1861 New York, NY and Brooklyn, NY        
Mustered In: 9/14/61 East New York, NY
Mustered Out: Raleigh, NC 8/30/65

Regimental History


  *NOTE: Service in this regiment was under the name James Henry   

  The 20th, a three-year "eastern theater" regiment left Massachusetts on 9/14/61 to spend its entire existence with the Army of The Potomac. Its initial out-of-state destination was Washington City where it was engaged in picketing along the Potomac River.  On 10/21 it saw first action at the disastrous union attack at Balls Bluff/Leesburg, MD. There it lost 94 officers and men, 38 of which were killed or mortally wounded. Additional picketing along the Potomac then filled the 1861/'62 winter.

  In March, 1862 the regiment was sent to Virginia's Shenandoah Valley before being ordered to the Peninsula as part of Union Gen. George B. McClellan's efforts to capture the Rebel capital city of Richmond. On the Peninsula it participated in the siege of Yorktown as well as the battles of Fair Oaks, Allen's Farm, Glendale/Nelson's Farm and was slightly engaged at Malvern Hill. A six- week stay at Harrison's Landing then preceded a move to Alexandria, VA from whence it moved upon Frederick, MD.

  September 17,1862 Antietam/Sharpsburg, MD found the 20th severely engaged in the West Wood where it lost 141 officers and men, 20 of whom were killed or mortally wounded. The combat year of '62 ended with the regiment at Fredricksburg where it was one of the units to cross the Rappahanock River in boats to push the enemy back through the city's streets before assaulting Marye's Heights. Once again, regimental losses were severe with total casualties mounting to 200 of which 48 were killed or mortally wounded.

  After wintering at Falmouth, VA May, 1863 found the 20th involved in the Chancellorsville campaign during which it remained at Fredricksburg suffering only a small loss. Midyear, however, found it heavily engaged at Gettysburg, PA near the Union center where another 43 officers and men were killed or mortally wounded. Action at Bristoe Station, VA and the Mine Run Campaign capped the fighting for '63.

  1864. As Union forces under Generals U.S. Grant and George Mead began moving southward the 20th was engaged at The Wilderness and in the 5/12 assault upon the Bloody Angle at Spottsylvania. Again, many men and officers were slain in both engagements. The actions at the North Anna River and Cold Harbor which followed increased the regiment's death count.

  During actions around Petersburg, VA the 20th was involved in both movements to Deep Bottom and then the action at Reams' Station. It was during the latter engagement on 8/25 the regiment suffered a great disaster when, being outflanked by the enemy. On this occasion all but one officer and ten men were taken prisoner. New recruits and returned convalescents then brought the shattered unit up to the status of a three company battalion which was engaged at the Boydton Road after which it went into winter quarters.

  In early 1865 the 20th saw action at Hatcher's Run and during the final 4/2 assault upon Petersburg. Afterwards it joined in the pursuit of Confed. Gen. R.E. Lee's forces as they moved westward to Appomattox Ct. House.

  With the War ended, the 20th moved to Washington, D.C. There it received 223 men from the 37th MA before being mustered into history.



  The 47th, a three-year unit also known as the "Washington Grays" was recruited in New York City, NY and nearby Brooklyn, NY. It left the state immediately following Federal muster and moved to Washington, DC from whence, in October, it embarked for Hilton Head, NC. From that point onward, except for a period in the spring and summer of 1864 when it was transferred northward to join U.S. Overland Campaign in Virginia,   it served in the southeast sector of the "eastern theater.”

  Having moved south from Washington, the regiment was stationed at Hilton Head until 1/1/62 when it was ordered to Beaufort, SC during operations against Port Royal ferry. Afterwards it returned to Hilton Head before moving to Edisto Island in February. The 47th remained there until ordered to James Island in the harbor of Charleston, SC
in June. During this period it was engaged at Secessionville.  On 7/1/62 the unit once again returned to Hilton Head performing guard and picket duty into the ensuing fall and winter.

  Mid-1863 found the 47th actively participating in the failed Federal assault upon Ft. Wagner located in Charleston harbor. Following the assault it remained in the Charleston area for the remainder of the year.

  1864. In February the regiment participated in a Union expedition into Florida. At Olustee, FL on 2/20/1864 the 47th suffered 313 killed, wounded and missing. It then proceeded up the St. John's River as far as Palatka before returning to Hilton Head.

  During the spring of 1864 Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant began amassing troops for his Overland Campaign into Virginia. As part of this massing, in April the 47th was ordered northward to that state, first being assigned to the Army of The James on Bermuda Hundred and, by midyear, the Army of The Potomac. While with the latter army the regiment participated in the battles of Cold Harbor, took part in the first assault on Petersburg, was present at the Petersburg mine explosion and was actively engaged at Strawberry Plains, Fort Harrison and on the Darbeytown Road.

  Following muster-out of original members who had not re-enlisted in July, with returning veterans and recruits the 47th continued to function as a field regiment. In December, 1864 it was ordered to Ft. Fisher, NC and played a part in the reduction of that stronghold. It then passed the remaining months of the War in the Carolinas serving at Smithfield, Ft. Anderson, Wilmington, Cox's Bridge and Bennett's House. Final muster was at Raleigh, NC in August, 1865.

Soldier History

SOLDIER: (20th)
 Inf. Not Avail.   Age: 24 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 7/15/64   Rank: Pvt.
Deserted: 11/30/64
Highest Rank: Pvt.

SOLDIER: (47th)
Inf. Not Avail.   Age: 24 yrs. 
Enlisted/Enrolled: 11/30/64 New York, NY   Rank: Pvt. 
Mustered In: 11/30/64
Mustered Out: 8/30/64 Raleigh, NC
Highest Rank: Pvt.

Family History


  Very little is known about the pre-Civil War years of John A. (or E.) Morrow. He was apparently born on April the second. However, birth years range from 1839 to 1841. Place of birth was Farmersville, Youngs County, Ontario, Canada. His death certificate would later list his father' name as Alexander (b. Scotland), but did not mention his mother. This is noted only because  a Morrow family consisting of father (William B. 1820 Ireland), mother (Latesha (b. 1811 Ireland) and four  children: Mary A. (b. 1842 Canada), John (b. 1844 Canada), William (b. 1847 Canada) and Latesha (b. 1849 Canada) has been found in the 1860 census for Carlton, Orleans County, NY. Although the birth year for John (1844) differs from the one found in Civil War veteran John Morrow's pension file (1840), this may be the birth family of John Morrow buried in Everett, Washington's Evergreen Cemetery, but we'll probably never know for certain. Finally, we also do not know when or why the Morrows and/or John came to the U.S.  

  When it comes to Mr. Morrow entering military service during the War of the Rebellion, matters are even less clear than those pertaining to his roots. During his latter years he would tell a story about in 1863 joining the 22nd and then the 20th Massachusetts Infantry in Greenfield, Hampden Co., MA during May, 1863 under the name James Henry. While that name was not on the rolls of the 22nd, it does appear on those of the 20th under company K with the notation that private Henry was absent since date of enlistment which was not in 1863, but in 1864.

  On 12/12/91, while under oath, Mr. Morrow testified that circa May, 1863, at Greenfield, Hampden Count, MA he was enlisted in and mustered into the 22nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry after being drugged by an unidentified individual. He then served faithfully in his regiment until one day in November when he left the regiment under the following circumstances: "I was taken sick in the barracks at Gallups Island, Boston Harbor. Sent from there to Camp Distribution, MD.  Was taken sick there and sent to the Hospital at Mt. Pleasant, D.C. I got a furlough from there to go to New York City to vote at the Presidential Election. (Ed. Note: Presidential election was in 1864.) While in Washington, D.C., waiting for transportation I caught cold and when I reached New York my feet and legs swelled and I was under the care of Doctors for 35 days. My furlough was for 15 days only and I knew I was down as a deserter so I reenlisted in the 47th Reg. N.Y. Vet. and served until the close of the war."

  On August 17, 1896 he further testified as follows: (Caps and punctuation presented here as typed:) "That he is the identical James Henry who was a private in Company K in the 20th Regiment of Mass. Inf. Vols. that he was enlisted in said company and regiment on our about the 15 day of July, 1864 at Springfield in the County of Hampden, and the State of Mass.; that he served faithfully until on or about the 30th day of October, 1864 when, without any intention of deserting, he left the regiment under the following circumstance:

  I will now give a True Statement of my Enlistment in a Mass. Reg. and why I left it as Near as I can Remember the facts I left New York City in company of a man by name J. Doyle when we arrived at New Haven Conn. we were Met by One Wm. Stevens and as I Afterwards found out was a Bounty Broker - and a J. Doyle Was One of his tools. He insisted on Staying Over Night with his Friend Stevens it Was in the evening we Sat Down to have a game of cards to Pass away the Evening (Stevens kept a Saloon) and In Drinking Soda Water they Drugged me and kept Me Smoking cigars until Next Morning they took me to the recruiting station in that Place where I was Rejected then  they took me to Greenfield, Mass. and Sold Me as a Substitute I was in that condition that I had No Control of My Self But Do Just as they told me to Do and I Did not Realize that I was Enlisted Until Gallups Island Boston Harbour Where I came Near Dying from the Effects of the Dope they gave me I was taking with cramps in the Stomach and the Doctors worked with me nearly two Days Before I go Refief One of the Doctors name was Crane or Flagg I don't Remember Which the Other I cannot remember it Was Some Weeks Before I Was ale to be Around and then I Was Sent With Others Down near Georgetown Maryland and Was Sent to Build a Fort at at Arlington Heights it Was Rainy Weather and I caught cold Was Taken with the Diarreah and Typhoid Fever set in and Was Send to Camp Distgsribution Where I lay for a long time With the Fever then was Transferred to Mount Pleasant Hospital Near Wash. D.C. Was Thair until some time in the Later Part of October By a general Order that all In the hospital unfit for Duty could get a Furlough home to vote I applied for One and got a 15day Furlough to go home to New York City Was taken Down Sick on the Way home was un der the Doctors care for 4 or 5 weeks When I was able to get around. Knowing I Was down as  Deserter and Remembering the Way I was Drugged and Sold as a stustitute in Mass under the name of James Henery and before I left N.Y. City On that Trip for Boston I was Offered $2700.00 to go as a substitute But Refused it for I had no Discharge for War and Stevens and Doyle only gave me $100.00 and afterwards understood they got $1000.00 for Me in that Deal in New York Citty I went and Enlisted in Co. H 47 N Y V Under My True name John Morrow. On the First Day of January 1864 and Served With that Co. and Reg Faithfully until Aug. 30th 1865 When I was Mustered out With My Co. and Regiment at Raleight N.C. By Reason of Close of the War. This is a True Statement as Near As I can Remember."

  Private Morrow's military service records from the 47th NY Infantry show that he enlisted 11/30/64 as a "substitute" for a man who had been drafted.  Mr. Morrow's "Substitute Volunteer Enlistment" document indicates that man's name was John S. Sammis, esq., and his address was, as far as can be determined, 50 Beach St. NY, NY. The enlistment was based upon an undisclosed monetary consideration.  

  At enlistment private Morrow was noted as being 24 year of age (this would put b.d. in 1840), 5'6 3/4" tall, with a light complexion, light hair and gray eyes. His occupation was listed as "carpenter."

  Private Morrow's enlistment was for one year. He joined the 47th, from the recruit depot, on 12/30/64.  While with the 47th, company muster rolls indicate he was always present except during a period of "detached service" during June and July, 1864. He was mustered out in August, '65 with his company and regiment. 

  Exactly Where John Morrow settled after his army discharge is not known. By all accounts, however, it was in the New York/New Jersey area.

  Somewhere between 1865 and 1868 John married for the first, and only, time. His wife was likely named Amilie although documental she is often referred to as "Amelia." or "Emily." She being of French and German heritage, "Emily" was possibly an Americanization of the French-based Amilie. (no nee b. NJ.)   

  While this was John's first marriage, Amilie/Amelia/Emily had been previously wed, likely to a man with the surname Martin as the 1870 U.S. Census noted that besides John and Amilie/Amelia/Emily's first child, John (A.), Jr.,  also in the home  were Mary Martin (b. 1859 NJ), Elizabeth Martin (b. 1861 NJ), and Matilda Martin (b. 1865 NJ). In 1910 Amilie/Amelia/Emily would inform the census that she had born ten children, five of whom were living.

  In addition to John (b. 1868 NJ), John and Amilie/Amelia/Emily produced two additional children: Edwin T. (b. 1876 MI) and Lucy (b. 1879 MI)

  As can be deduced from the birthplaces of their children, John and family left New Jersey following the birth of their first child. The 1870 census placed them in Richfield, Genesee County, Michigan, while the 1880 census found them still in Michigan, by that year they were residing in or near the community of Wexford in Wexford County. In both censuses John's occupation was listed as "carpenter."

  Although no census data is available for 1890, available paperwork places the Morrows in the community of Bay View, Skagit County, Washington State in 1891. When and why they had moved to the Puget Sound area is not known. Once there, John began the paperwork to see if he could obtain a U.S. Government pension based on his period of Civil War service. That process, which also included efforts to remove the taint of desertion from his record, would contain some unusual twists and turns and result in an interesting end.

  It was during this period that the previously cited sworn testimony of December, 1891 was given. The veracity of that testimony was rejected on 1/7/92 with a decision made by the U.S. Pension Office that because of his desertion from the 20th MA, "The War Department cannot recognize to legality of this (47th NY) enlistment nor any claim for service rendered...Thereafter (deserting) the law views him as in a continuous station of desertion during the whole of this (47th) enlistment."

  Morrow, however, was not one to give up. As such, as previously presented, in August, 1896 again gave sworn testimony pertaining to his military service. This too was rejected. Finally, on December 23, 1913 during the second session of the 62nd Congress of the U.S., Washington Senator Miles. Poindexter introduced into the Senate Bill S. 3869 which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs. The bill, to amend the military record of John Morrow read, as follows: "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of American in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of War be, and he is hereby, authorized an directed to amend the military record of John Morrow, who enlisted and served under the assumed name of James Henry, in Company K, Twentieth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and to issue to him an honorable discharge in his true name of John Morrow." On 5/28/14 a printed Adverse Report from the Committee on Military Affairs    recommended action on S. 3869 be "indefinitely postponed on the grounds that The official records of the War that James Henry enlisted as a substitute on July 15, 1864; was received at Gallups Island, Boston Harbor, on the following day; deserted there from August 7, 1864; was arrested at Baltimore, Md., August 25, 1864; admitted to Augur General Hospital, Alexandria, VA, from rendezvous of distribution September 12, 1864, with remittent fever; transferred to and entered Mount Pleasant General Hospital, Washington, D.C, October 21, 1864 with debility from miasmatic disease; furloughed for 2 days November 2, 1864; failed to return and was reported a deserter November 30, 1864"

  Additional documentation notes that on 3/6/14 Congressional Representative J.A. Falconer, of Washington State submitted H.R. 127681 to the U.S. House of Representatives, also seeking to lift the Morrow charge of desertion.  A copy was also sent to the War Department. Again, action on this bill was later indefinitely postponed and, the request for removal of the desertion charge denied "on the ground that enlistment in the 47th (was) solely done for (the) purpose of securing (a) bounty or other gratuity to which (he) would not have been entitled had he remained under his original enlistment." Case closed. No pension.

  In terms  of Mr. Morrow's whereabouts during the years prior to and during the  process of trying to clear his military record, the 1900 census for the Western Washington State community of LaConner located in Skagit County, noted John as a carpenter and married, but residing as a boarder in the home of William and Mamie Kind. No mention is made of Amilie/Amelia/Emily. Perhaps the couple had separated. On the other hand, John may have been living away from home on a carpentry job as  available evidence points to the Morrows settling in the Snohomish County City of Everett Washington circa 1902 and  the 1910 census for Everett listed John , still a carpenter now 70 and his wife, 68,  residing together in Everett. The same was true for 1920 although by this time John had retired from carpentry. Also in the 1920 Morrow home was their 34 year old granddaughter Emily and (apparently) her two children, Fay, aged 15 years and Elizabeth, age 9.

  John Morrow, alias John Henry, died 8/10/22. At death the former Civil War soldier was circa 82.4 years of age. Cause of death was listed as Agina Pectoris or heart disease for which he had been treated by a physician since mid March.  Notification of the death was by Mrs. Emily Morrow.

  The old soldier's passing was at his home which the death certificate listed as 2411 Oakes Ave. Everett. The Everett Herald obituary placed the address at 2122 Oakes. In addition to being a member of the Masonic lodge, The Herald also indicated Mr. Morrow to be survived by his wife Emma, sons A.J. of Wenatchee and E.T. of Burlington and one daughter, Mrs. Steefried in California. Burial was in Everett’s Evergreen Cemetery.

  Amilie/Amanda/Emily Morrow died in October, 1926. She is buried beside John.


Buried at Evergreen Cemetery Everett
Row: 16
Site: 19

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