Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - Rufus Pattison

Rufus Pattison

Representing: Union

G.A.R Post

  • Lucius Day Post #123 Monroe, Snohomish Co. WA

Unit History

  • 183rd Pennsylvania Infantry A

See full unit history

Rufus Pattison
Full Unit History

Organized: 1863
Mustered In: Late 1863 and early 1864, Philadelphia, PA
Mustered Out: 7/13/65 Washington, D.C.

Regimental History


  This three year eastern theater regiment was recruited from throughout the State of Pennsylvania. It was to serve its entire term of existence with the Army of the Potomac and, unlike most "high numerical" regiments formed in 1864, was not assigned to “back water” guard and garrison duty, but was almost immediately sent to the front where it remained on combat status until mustered out of Federal service. Known as the "Fourth Union League" regiment, the 183rd contained a very large number of very young recruits who would not have passed muster during the early stages of the war.

  As soon as it was organized the 183rd joined the Army of the Potomac in the field along the Rapidan River.  Federal General U.S. Grant was just beginning his bloody overland campaign which, ultimately, would bring an end to four years of civil conflicts.

  The regiment’s baptism of fire came in the Wilderness in May, 1864, but did not suffer severe losses. Such was not the situation of the mid-May fighting around Spotsylvania Court House, VA. There the regiment lost heavily. Such was the case again at the North Anna River as Grant slogged his way southward. In mid June additional members of the unit were lost during the initial Federal assaults along the lines in front of Petersburg.

  On 7/19/64 veterans and recruits of the 72nd PA infantry were transferred into the 183rd. Now ensued a period of reorganization and drill until engaged at Deep Bottom July 27-29. It again crossed the James River in August and was partially engaged at Strawberry Plains and again at Deep Bottom August l4-20.

  Returning to Petersburg the 183rd was active at the battle of Reams Station (8/25/64) and shortly thereafter was detailed for duty at Cedar Road Station guarding the railroad. Toward the end of September it returned to the Petersburg trenches.

   Except for a reconnaissance to Hatcher's Run in December, it was not combat active again until February, 1865. On 2/5 it shared in the action at Dabney's Mill and on 3/25 it was active again on the Petersburg front losing one killed and ten wounded.

   March, 1865 came to an end with skirmishing and action along the Boydton Plank Road. On 4/2 it was warmly engaged during the Union breakthrough of the Rebels’ Petersburg defenses.. From that time onward the regiment saw little fighting even though it was constantly on the march After the surrender of Confed. Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia to U.S. Grant at Appomattox Ct. House on 4/9, it moved to Alexandria, VA and participated in the 5/23 Grand Review in Washington City before receiving final muster. 

Soldier History

Organized: 1863
Mustered In: Late 1863 and early 1864, Philadelphia, PA
Mustered Out: 7/13/65 Washington, D.C.

Family History


  Rufus E. Pattison was born 11/17/44 into the Pennsylvania farm family of Elias (b. 1801 NY) and Asenath (nee Ward b. 1807 NY) Pattison.  The Pattison's had moved to Pennsylvania from New York State some years prior to Rufus' birth. Rufus' birthplace was likely in or near the community of Amity in Erie County, PA as this is where the U.S. Census found the Pattison's in both1850 and 1860.

  There were at least nine children born to Elias and Aseneth of which Rufus was the seventh: Rhoda (b. 1828 NY), Charles (b. 1830 NY),Sylvia (b. 1835 PA), William (b. 1839 PA), George (b. 1841 PA), Rosina (b. 1843 PA), Rufus, Roswell (b.1848 PA) and Alice (b. 1851 PA). No documentation or other specific information is available pertaining to Rufus' childhood, formative or teenaged years, but without doubt he was raised working on his parents' farm.

  In August, 1864, three months short of his twentieth birthday Rufus joined the U.S. Army volunteers. For enlisting he likely received a handsome monetary bounty or, as would be called today, "bonus."

  Private Pattison's vital statistics at enlistment were noted as follows: Height 5'5", Complexion fair, Eyes dark, Hair brown, Occupation farmer. His period of military service appears to have been fairly benign. The only incident of significance being that circa the  fall of '64 he contracted chills, fever, rheumatism, chronic diarrhea  as well  as disease of the liver and bowels from exposure and drinking stagnant water. For this laundry list of ailments he was ordered into the hospital by a surgeon. How lengthy his hospital stay was is not known.

  Military life behind him Rufus returned to Pennsylvania to help work the family farm in Amity. His health, however, was not good. In later years someone who had known him since boyhood wrote that he was healthy when he entered the army, but when he came home he was sick and under a doctor's care. Further, he was basically an invalid suffering from rheumatism and chronic diarrhea when he left Pennsylvania about 1870.

  On 2/16/69 Rufus married Eclesta Higgins (b. 5/1/49 NY) at Findley Lake, Chautauqua County, New York. The couples' first child, Mina Almira was born exactly one year later.  Rufus and Eclesta would produce four additional children, three sons and one daughter: Fred Otis (b. 10/29/72 WA Terr.), Ora Eden (b. 2/12/75 WA Terr.), Celia "Sela" (b. 11/11/1878 WA Terr.) and Golda Rufus (b. 10/15/83 WA Terr.).

  Following The War of The Rebellion many former Civil War soldiers pulled up stakes in their home states and moved elsewhere, many ultimately ending up in the Pacific Northwest. Most hopped from location to location as they moved westward, but not the Pattison’s. In July, 1871 Rufus, Eclesta and daughter Mina left Pennsylvania and moved directly to Washington Territory where they settled on and homesteaded property in the Tualco Valley located one mile or so of modern day Monroe located in Snohomish County, in the Puget Sound region of western Washington.  Just how Rufus learned of this region and why he and his family made the dramatic jump westward is not known.

  Homestead papers on the Tualco land were filed in January, 1872, with the home stead ownership becoming final in 1877. In an affidavit from March 3, 1877 a third party characterized the Pattison homestead essentially as follows:” I have known him (Rufus) for five years. He is head of a household consisting of his wife and three children. He has built a house of cedar boards 13 x 20 feet. It is floored and roofed with cedar. It has two rooms, four doors, four windows, a fireplace and stove. It is comfortably furnished. He has since built a cedar post barn 18 x 24 feet and has lumber for another barn all ready to be put up. It will be 30 x 70.  He also has all necessary outbuildings. He has planted an orchard of sixty trees, built a road of one half mile and has six acres fenced and another five or six slashed.”

  During the years to follow receiving title to his homestead, life - at least according to what documentation is available - was seemingly fairly placid for Rufus and his family. Information from l889, the year Washington Territory became Washington State, has Rufus, Eclest and all four children in the home. In addition to farming his land, about this time he was also receiving an unspecified U.S. Government monthly disability stipend based on ailments which traced back to his days of Civil War soldiering.

  In 1910 the household consisted of Rufus, Eclesta, Gold and Fred. Son Ora died the following year, the circumstances of his passing are not known.

  Rufus Pattison, former Civil War soldier died in Monroe on 8/9/16. At death he was aged 71.10 years. Cause of passing was cerosis of the liver with perfuse hemorrhaging contributing. Burial was in the Monroe I.0.0.F. Cemetery.

  Following Rufus's death Eclesta began the paperwork process to continue receiving a portion of her late husband's Civil War-related pension. Although no documents are available regarding the outcome of this process, likely she succeeded in receiving some amount of a monthly stipend

  Celesta remained in Monroe until her death. However, it is unclear if her residence continued to be the family homestead until the time of her passing on 3/14/29. She was buried beside Rufus in the Monroe Cemetery.


Buried at IOOF Cemetery Monroe
Row: 100F
Site: FO8

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