Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - John Twiss

John Webster Twiss

Representing: Union

G.A.R Post

  • Isaac Stevens Post #1 Seattle, King Co. WA

Unit History

  • 4th New Hampshire Infantry H

See full unit history

John Twiss
Full Unit History

Organized: Summer, 1861 Manchester New Hampshire
Mustered In: 9/18/1861 Manchester New Hampshire
Mustered Out: 8/23/1865 Raleigh, NC

Regimental History


The 4th New Hampshire was a three year infantry regiment. It served in both the eastern and western theaters of the American Civil War.

Leaving the state on 9/27/1861, the 4th travelled to Washington City. It remained there until 10/9 when it boarded the side wheel steamer "Baltic" and sailed to Port Royal, SC. The voyage was harrowing as off Hattaras for three days the vessel was buffeted by a terrible storm. Then, it struck Frying Pan Shoals.

Arriving Port Royal the unit participated in the (11/7) battle for that place After the capture of Hilton Head the regiment remained there until 1/26/1862 when it again embarked on ships for an expedition along the southern coast that lead to the capture of Fernandina, Jacksonville and St. Augustine, FL.

June 10th 1862 found the 4th engaged with the enemy at James Island, SC. In October (10/22) it fought in the battle of Pocotaligo, SC before going into winter quarters at Beaufort. Regimental returns then showed that during 1862 the regiment had lost one hundred eighty nine men, or almost one-fifth of its active members.

Spring, 1863 opened with an attack on Morris Island, SC. Then followed the siege of Charleston. Next came the long (7/10 - 9/6/1863) siege and attacks upon Ft. Wagner. The siege of Charleston, SC concluded the year and spread into 1864.

In early 1864 many men of the 4th re-enlisted. Thirty day furloughs home followed.

Returning the field in May, 1864 the 4th moved northward to Virginia where it sought to capture Richmond via the Bermuda Hundred peninsula. This period saw battles at Drewry's Bluff (5/14 - 16 & 20 1864) and near Bermuda Hundred itself (5/17 - 19 & 21 - 28, 1864).

After meeting the enemy at Cold Harbor, VA (6/4 - 12/1864) the 4th crossed the James River and joined the Union movements around Petersburg, VA. On 6/16/1864 it participated in the first attack upon that city.

When the 6/16 attack failed, Federal forces settled into siege trenches. During this period the 4th lost fifty killed and wounded while performing ordinary trench duty.

At end of July (7/30/1864) the 4th was in the crater or "mine" fight. It next saw action at Deep Bottom (8/14 - 16) and New Market Heights (9/29/1864).

1865. At the dawn of that year the 4th moved, again to North Carolina. There, it fought with the enemy at Ft. Fisher (1/15/1865) and Ft. Anderson (2/18/1865).

The fighting war ended, the 4th was quartered at Raleigh, NC.  There it received final muster. It was then ordered to Concord, NH were it was disbanded.


Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 4   ; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 5; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 93; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 182.

Soldier History

Residence: Dunbarton, NH   Age: 30.1 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 9/23/1861   Rank:  Pvt.
Mustered In: 9/23/1861
Mustered Out: 9/24/1864
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Discharge: Pvt.

Family History



NOTE: The birth - to - death biographical profile of John Twiss was created in January and February, 2022 during the Covid-19 medical pandemic. It contains less depth of detail than many other biographies within this website because military service, pension and other veteran-related files housed in Washington, D.C.'s National Archives were not available. At a later time those documents may be obtained and the data contained therein added to the narrative which follows.

John Webster Twiss was born 8/3 or 4/1831. His place of birth was Dunbarton Center Merrimack County, N.H.

Twiss' parents were Paige Twiss (b. 4/16/1796 Chelmsford Middlesex County, MA - 2/16/1844 Dunbarton Center Merrimack County, NH) and Elizabeth (nee Evans b. 9/14/1800 Essex County, MA - d.9/28/1850 Dunbarton Center Merrimack County, NH) Twiss. The Twisses were a farm family.

As best as can be determined, John was the fourth of at least six Twiss children: Older than he were Charles Paige/Page Twiss (b. 12/6/1828 Dunbarton Center Merrimack County, NH), Edward R. Twiss (b. 9/18/1`831 Dunbarton Center Merrimack County, NH - d. Same) and Lavinia E. Twiss (b. 7/20/1835 Dunbarton Center Merrimack County, NH). Younger than he were Benjamin Twiss (b. ca. 1843 NH) and George Twiss (b. Unk.).

On 9/23/1861 John enlisted in the U.S. Army. His unit was the 4th New Hampshire Infantry.  Private Twiss served in the military for three years. Without accessing his military service records all that can be said about his enlistment stint is that he survived the trials, tribulations and privations of war and returned to civilian society.

Exactly where John resided after leaving the military and how he supported himself are unknowns. He has not been located in the U.S. Census tally for 1870.
Jumping ahead another decade, the only available documentation on John from 1880 indicates that on 5/26 of that year, in Indiana, he married. His bride was Ida A. Knapp. Ida had been born on 3/9/1861 in Ohio. How, when and where the two met are unknowns.  After wedding the couple settled in Ohio.

During their time together John and Ida produced two children: Edith Twiss (b. 3/1881 OH) and Russell Travers Twiss (b. 11/1886 WT). Both were living in 1900.

In 1885 John and Ida moved their fledgling family the Puget Sound Region of the Pacific Northwest. What drew them to the Seattle King County area is not known.  According to John's 1920 obituary, arriving here the family "settled on a ranch across Lake Washington (east of Seattle) on what is now known as Mercer's Slough. A rowboat was the only means of crossing the lake."

Continuing with the obituary, after one year on the slough, the Twiss family relocated and took up residence in Seattle proper. In Seattle John opened a tobacco shop in the "old Bellevue Hotel at First Avenue and Battery Street where he remained in business for more than twenty years. He retired fourteen years ago" (1906).

John Webster Twiss died on 11/7/1920 in the 909 East Harrison Seattle home he and Ida shared with married daughter Edith and her husband. It was Edith who notified authorities of the death.

Cause of the old soldier's passing was listed as "starvation." A constriction of his esophagus had begun some six weeks earlier. According to the Washington State death certificate, a physician began seeing John for the throat ailment on 10/29/1920. Sadly, the condition killed him in a matter of days. On 11/8/1920 he was buried in Seattle's Lake View Cemetery.

Dropping back  thirty years, in 1890 John had applied for and been granted a U.S. Government disability pension based on his Civil War soldiering. A twelve dollar per month stipend began on 7/29/1890 and, as best as can be determined increased to fifty dollars per month by the time of the seventy nine year old’s death.

Not long after John's passing the widowed Ida petitioned the U.S. Government to continue receiving at least a portion of her late husband's monthly allowance. That petition being granted, Ida continued to receive a monthly allowance until the time of her death. Without accessing her pension file, however, those monetary amounts remain unknown.

According to available documentation, Ida lived out her years in Seattle. And, in 1920 when John died, she still had many ahead of her.

Ida died in Seattle King County, WA on 12/7/1947. Burial was in Seattle's Lake View Cemetery with John.

Posted: 3/4/2022



Buried at Lake View Cemetery Seattle
Site: Lot 499

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