Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - Stillman Sanders

Stillman Otis Sanders

Representing: Union

Unit History

  • 4th Minnesota Infantry F

See full unit history

Stillman Sanders
Full Unit History

Organized: Summer/Fall, 1861 Ft. Snelling Minneapolis, MN
Mustered In: 10/1/61 Ft. Snelling Minneapolis, MN
Mustered Out: 7/19/65 Louisville, KY

Organized: Ca. April/May, 1863
Mustered In: Inf. Not Avail.
Name Designation Change: Ca. October, 1863

Organized: 10/10/63 Rock Island, IL
Mustered In: Name change from 19th Invalid Corps
Mustered Out: 1/23/66 by detachments

Regimental History


The 4th, a three year western theater regiment was organized during the summer and fall of 1861 and mustered into Federal service by companies which were then sent out on garrison duty. Company "A", mustered on October 4th, company "B' on October 2nd and company "C" on the 7th were immediately sent to Ft. Ripley, MN. Companies "D" (10/10), "E" (11/27),"F" (10/11) and "G" (11/22) were sent to Ft. Abercrombie Dak. Terr.  In March, 1862 all assigned companies were recalled to Ft. Snelling and the following month the 4th "headed south" to Mississippi.

In Mississippi the 4th ended up in the trenches before Corinth, remaining there until the Rebel evacuation of that city? It then moved to Iuka where it experienced its first baptism of fire during the battle for that place.

Moving back towards Corinth in October, the regiment participated in the battle for that city and, after it's fall, remained there building fortifications. Then followed the movements toward and investment of Vicksburg which lead to that city's capture on 7/4/63. Following that, the 4th, with its brass band lead Federal troops into the city and became part of the army of occupation. Scouting and other expeditions completed the year of 1863.

1864. With 3/4 of the regiment having re-enlisted as veteran volunteers, following home furloughs, the 4th joined the forces of Union General W.T. Sherman as they moved upon and captured Atlanta, GA and then marched to Savannah on the sea.

During the early months of 1865 the 4th was part of the Union force that marched northward from Georgia through the Carolinas. With the fall of The Confederacy the unit marched to Richmond, VA and participated in the Grand Review in Washington City before moving to Louisville, KY for final muster.

Regimental losses: 3 officers killed or mortally wounded; 3 officers died of disease, accidents, etc.; 58 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded; 175 enlisted men died of disease, accidents, etc.


During the American Civil War the Invalid Corps was created under a War Department order dated 4/28/63. The purpose of the organization was to make suitable use in a military or semi-military capacity, soldiers who had been rendered unfit for active field service on account of wounds, disease, etc. contracted in the line of duty, but were still fit for garrison or other "light" duty. Due to soldiers' dislike of the "invalid" tag the name of the organization was quickly changed to the Veteran Reserve Corps. No details are available pertaining to exact duties and locations of those assigned to either the 19th Battalion Invalid Corps Co. "I" or the 4th Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps Co. "D" in both of which Private Stillman served. All VRC units were discontinued in 1866 when "reserve" troops were no longer considered necessary.

Soldier History

Residence: Inf. Not Avail.  Age: 25.2 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 11/4/61   Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 11/4/61
Transferred Out: 11/13/63 to IC
Highest Rank: Pvt.

SOLDIER: (19th IC)
Residence: Inf. Not Avail.  Age: 27. 10 yrs.
Transferred In: 11/13/63 St. Louis, MO   Rank: Pvt.
Transferred Out: 2/11/64
Highest Rank: Pvt.

Residence:  Inf. Not Avail. Age: 28. 1 yrs.
Transferred In: 2/11/64 Rank: Pvt.
Mustered Out: 11/18/64 Chicago, IL
Highest Rank: Pvt.

Family History


According to Stillman Otis Sanders he was born 1/4/37 in Herkimer, Oneida Co., NY. The U.S. Census for 1840 placed the Sanders family in Marcy, Oneida County. Had they moved during those three intervening years or was the community change merely a paper designation of what was thought to be the nearest "town" in a rural, agricultural society?  We likely will never know.

Stillman's parents were Otis P. (b. 1810 NY) and Thankful Clarissa (nee Martin b. 1810 MA) Sanders. The Sanders were a farm family.

According to the 1850 census, which then placed the Sanders clan in Elk Grove, Cook Co., IL young Stillman, or as he was listed, Otis, was the fourth of nine known Sanders children. Those older than he were Delana (b. 1832), Mary J. (b. 1834) and Aaron M. (b. 1835). Those younger were Laura A. (b. 1839), Josiah (b. 1840), Charles (b. 1842), William (b. 1843) and George (b. 1845). All nine were born in New York.

No documental information is available pertaining to Stillman until, on 11/4/61 at Ft. Snelling located near Minneapolis, MN, the 24 year old farmer enlisted in Captain White's Company of the 4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. White's organization would soon become Company "F" of the 4th.

At enlistment vital statistics for the healthy, robust Stillman, who was then residing in Morton County, MN with a family other than his own, were as follows: Height - 5'7 1/8"; Complexion - fair; Eyes - blue; Hair - light brown. As noted earlier, the new army private had, up until then, been a farmer.

Company "F" muster rolls for the last months of 1861 show Private Sanders present with no unusual notations. The same hold for the first half of 1862. Then, following the 10/3-4, '62 battle of Corinth, MS appears the notation that during a 10/4 charge upon the enemy by the 4th and Co. "F," Private Sanders fell while jumping a fallen tree. The victorious Federals then pursued the retreating Confederate forces Private Sanders appears present for duty until 12/25 when he was noted as being absent, "sick in hospital." While it was not noted at the time, later testimony would reveal that Private Sanders' fall had resulted in a rupture of his right side.

As 1863 dawned, muster rolls showed Private Sanders away from his company on detached duty at the brigade level quartermaster's (materials) department. That assignment reportedly began 1/26 and continued onto October when he was reported as being sick in the hospital, first at Corinth, MS and, by 11/1 in Paducah, Kentucky. The reason for the hospitalization was the rupture injury which, by 11/13, resulted in the private being transferred from his company and regiment to the 19th Battalion Invalid Corps (This organization subsequently became Co. "D", 4th Regiment Veterans Reserve Corps). Because of his injury Stillman was no longer considered fit for the normal field duties of a soldier. While in the VRC and stationed at Rock Island Barracks located in Rock Island, IL his assigned duty would be that of company cook.

Exiting the military on 11/18/64 after settling up financial accounts for clothing, bounty, pay, etc. Stillman chose to settle not in Minnesota, but in Iowa. What this decision was based upon is not documented.

Of prime significance to Stillman's Iowa residency is that at some point, during the calendar year 1868 in Hamilton County's Weber City, he married to Artimecia "Artie" (b. 1829 PA nee Flower) Miller; a widow without children. The U.S. Census for 1870 found Stillman and Artie farming in or near the community of Cass also located in Hamilton County. In the household was 80 year old Keziah Flower. Likely this was Artie's aged father.

Around 1878 Stillman quitted Iowa for the plains of Nebraska.  Again, what prompted this move is not documented, but it was likely due to the opening of or availability of new farm lands. It is assumed that Artie travelled with him, but interestingly, the 1880 census for Steele City Jefferson County, located in the southeast corner of the state along the Kansas/Nebraska border shows only Stillman. There, he is listed as a boarder who was employed as a laborer.

With the dawn of the 1880s the U.S. Government began a serious pension program to deal with the ailments - many of them War-related - plaguing aging former soldiers, sailors and marines who had helped "save the Union." Still suffering from the rupture which dated back to 1862, Stillman dived into the paperwork chase which generally preceded the granting of a coveted monthly financial stipend. As part of this grueling process a number of Stillman's former "comrades" were deposed. All said that after the charge at Corinth the formerly healthy Sanders had complained of being ruptured.

As the pension-seeking process ground on the Sanders made another move. This 1886 change of scenery was from Nebraska to the wilds of Washington Territory. Once again, no documentation is available pertaining to the westward shift. Settlement in the far northwestern corner of the country was apparently in the west of the Cascade Mountains County of Chehalis (Present day Grays Harbor County). There, on 11/19/87, Stillman was appointed postmaster for the small, rural community of Artic.

In 1891 as part of the continuing pension process Stillman apparently underwent a medical examination. Although the exam is alluded to in available documentation, the results are not at hand. There are more details pertaining to a second, 1893, exam, for which Stillman had to travel from Artic to the nearby community of Montesano.

At the time of the second exam Stillman was claiming suffering and the inability to perform manual labor not only from the rupture/hernia, but rheumatism, heart disease and di Aureus (a form of staff infection). As noted at the time, while the rupture had occurred during the Civil War's battle of Corinth, the rheumatism had been first felt while in the army, but especially so during the past twenty years. As for the heart disease, that had begun about fifteen years earlier and affected him three or four times per year.  Thrown in for apparent good measure were deafness and hemorrhoids.

The upshot of all the preceding activity was that based on the heart disease and rupture/hernia Stillman was granted a pension of $8 per month. While the starting date of the stipend is not known, at the time a doctor wrote that the former infantry private, instead of receiving $8 per month, should be pensioned at $30 per month.

In 1898 the occasion of another medical examination noted the Sanders community of residence as Melbourne, WA Chehalis Co. However, the U.S. Census for 1900 placed "Otis" - parentheses by author - in Artic, Chehalis Co., WA. While once again, while there is no mention of Artie, farmer Sanders is noted as having been married for thirty two years.

Artie Sanders died 11/29/02 in North River, Chehalis County, WA. No information is available regarding to her passing or where she was/is buried.

1907. By March 3rd of this year Stillman had departed southwestern Washington and moved to the Snohomish County community of Startup located east of the City of Everett in the foothills of the western Cascade Mountains. Again, there is no explanation for the northwesterly move.

Christmas, December 25, 1908. In Everett, Snohomish County, Washington Stillman remarried. His new bride was also a widow. Her name was Martha “Margaret” Betts (nee Waldren/Walden/Warden b. 5/5/43 or 47 IN, IA or PA). Her husband, John Betts, had died in January, 1908 and was/is buried in the Sultan, Snohomish County, Washington cemetery.

The census tallies for both 1910 and 1920 found Stillman and Martha residing in the rural Snohomish County community of Wallace (now Startup). During the years that intervened Stillman's pension grew to the doctor's wish level of $30 and, finally, to $40 per month.

Stillman Otis Sanders died on 11/15/20. Cause of death was chronic Bright's (kidney) disease. The location of his passing was his home located at 324 Elizabeth St. in Monroe where he and Martha had obviously moved prior to his death. Notification of the old soldier's death was by Mrs. Margaret Sanders.

The obituary presented by Morton G.A.R. Post #10 of Snohomish contained some interesting information on Stillman not reflected elsewhere. In part, it reads as follows:  "Comrade Stillman Sanders.....departed this life at Monroe, Washington November 15th 1920 having reached his four score and 4 years..... For many years his life was devoted as a Minister of the Gospel striving to make the world better persuading the people to better thinking, better living and a new realization of life's duties and responsibilities. During a residence of seven years at Startup, this County before taking up his residence at Monroe, he was Superintendent of a Sabbath School devoting his life to youth. In passing away of Comrade Sanders we have lost a useful Citizen and a true American and Patriot." D. Lew Paramour, Adj. (Snohomish GAR cemetery: Mausoleum); J.H. Miller (Snohomish GAR cemetery: Row 21, Site #3) Comm.

Burial was in the Sultan community cemetery.


After Stillman's passing, Martha began the paperwork process in order to continue receiving  any accrued pension funds that still may have been owing to the old soldier prior to his death as well as at least an on- going  portion of his government pension. This proved to be somewhat difficult because of her late husband's name having appeared, at times in civilian life as Otis S. Sanders. The situation was apparently further complicated by her being a second wife. All this ultimately prompted one party to write on her behalf to the U.S. Bureau of Pensions saying (in effect) she is who she says she is, so quite harassing her. While as of 4/28/21 Martha Sanders did receive a pension no information pertaining to the dollar amount is available in the present document file.

Information is not available pertaining to the passing of Martha Sanders or where she was/is buried. 


Buried at Sultan Community Cemetery

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