144th NEW YORK VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: Summer/Fall, 1862 Delaware Co., NY
Mustered In: 9/27/62 Delhi Delaware Co., NY
Mustered Out: 6/25/65 Hilton Head, NC
Discharged: July, 1865 Elmira, NY
The 144th New York, a three year western theater regiment, was recruited in Delaware County, New York. It was organized at Delhi and mustered into Federal service on 9/27/62. Leaving the state on 10/11 it was stationed in the defenses Washington City until April, 1963.
After departing Washington the regiment aided in the defense of Suffolk, VA before participating in a demonstration against Richmond. The unit then moved to Charleston Harbor, SC. There, during the winter of 1862/'63 it was engaged at Folly and Morris islands and took part the siege of Fort Wagner and the bombardment of Fort Sumter and the city of Charleston.
In early 1864 the 144th was engaged with the enemy at Seabrook and John's islands, SC. It was then ordered to Florida where it was chiefly involved in raiding expeditions, but also active at Camp Finnigan.
Returning to South Carolina the regiment again saw action on John's Island. It then fought at Honey Hill and Deveau neck.
DURING THE FALL OF '64 regimental numbers were reduced to between three and four hundred men through battle and disease. THE REGIMENT WAS RECRUITED BACK TO NORMAL STANDARDS (approx.1000 men) WITH ONE YEAR RECRUITS FROM ITS HOME COUNTY before being mustered out of existence at Hilton Head, SC.
Regimental losses: Officers killed or mortally wounded = 2; Officers died of disease, accidents, etc. = 4; Enlisted men Killed or Mortally wounded: 37; Enlisted men died of disease, accidents, etc. = 174.
Residence: Downsville Delaware Co., NY Age: 34.5 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 9/3/64 Norwich Chenango Co., NY Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 9/6/64 Norwich, Delaware Co., NY
Mustered Out: 6/25/65 Hilton Head, SC
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Although in later years there would be some question about his date of birth, Henry A. Tiffany would claim and Federal government would accept that he was born March 29, 1829 in Delaware County, New York. Likely, his community of birth was Hamden or Hamden Center.
Henry’s parents were Thomas Jefferson (b. 1802 or '03 Hamden Delaware Co., NY) and Louisa (nee McIntyre b. 1803 or '04 NY) Tiffany. By trade Thomas was a shoemaker.
Henry was the second of four Tiffany children born to Thomas and Louisa. Older than he was Brother William (b. 1823). Younger than he were Sylvanus (b. 1832) and Harriet (b. 1838). As with Henry, his three siblings were born in the state of New York.
In 1859 in Hamden Center, Delaware Co., NY Henry married to Adelia H. Babcock (b. 1844 NY). In 1860 the young Tiffany family was farming in Colchester, Delaware Co., NY
Henry and Adelia would produce nine children. However, the names of only eight are found within available documents. Their first child, daughter Amelia, was born in 1859.Those who followed were: Sylvia Ardel (b. 1862 NY), Clarence (#1 b. 1863 NY d. unk.), Clarence (#2 b. 1868 NY), Birdie (b. 1869 NY), Jessie Warren (b. 1878 NB), Charles "Charlie" Tracy (b. 1877 NB),and Franklin "Frank" (b. 1883 NB). As noted by the states in which the children were born, at some point between 1869 and 1878 the Tiffany family quitted New York and removed to Nebraska. Before this, however, there was a war to be fought.
In April, 1861 America was beset with a civil war. By September, 1864 the bloody conflict was still raging. That was when father and farmer Henry Tiffany left his home and hearth to volunteer his services to his country. His enlistment was in the locally rooted 144th New York infantry. His enlistment was for one year. Likely, his enlistment was at least partially prompted by financial gain because for enlisting Private Tiffany was eligible for a $100 bonus or "bounty." In a day and age when a private soldier's pay was $13 per month, $100 was a LOT of money. The enlistment was credited to the19th congressional and 41st sub districts of New York.
At enlistment we get our first look at Private Henry Tiffany the physical man. He was 5' 10" tall, had black eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion. Interestingly when he signed his enlistment papers it was not with his name, but His X Mark. It thus appears that, at the time Henry could not write his own name. While he would later write his name on documents, "making his mark" would again rear its head during the latter part of his life. More on this, later.
From Norwich it appears Private Tiffany first travelled to Hart Island located in the harbor of New York, NY. From there he was forwarded to his unit which was, at the time, stationed in Hilton Head, SC. Fist assigned to company "B", by the time he joined his regiment at Hilton Head on 9/25/64, our private had been reassigned to company "I". He would remain with this company throughout his period of service.
Although likely not considered significant at the time, the only incident of any note on Private Tiffany's service record occurred between July 5th and July 14th, 1865 when he was stationed in Elmira, NY. Between those dates he was hospitalized for remittent fever. As we shall see, medical issues stemming from this period would plague Henry for the remainder of his life.
The War and military service behind him, Henry returned to his family and farm in New York. As his community of residence had been noted as Downsville County, NY at enlistment, we are assuming that is the home location to which he returned. He and his family did not remain there long, however, as by 1870 they had removed to Beaver Creek located in Seward Co., NB. The availability of new farming land likely prompted the move, but exactly when it occurred is not documented. The Tiffany family would live for a decade or more in Nebraska with another of their areas of residence being in or near the community of Lincoln located in Furnas County.
By 1887 the Tiffany family had made another significant move. As of that year they were living in Spokane, Spokane County, Washington Territory. Again, what had prompted the move and when it had occurred is not known. It may, however, have been during the early 1880s as a resident of Medical Lake, located near Spokane would later testify that as early as spring of 1883 Henry did some work for him and he recalled him as complaining about having asthma and difficulty breathing. The condition being especially troublesome during periods of damp weather.
This brings us to the matter of U.S. Government disability pensions. With the onset of the 1890s the government became acutely aware that those who had soldiered in the cause of saving their country so many years before were now aging and plagued with a number of maladies which they traced back to the privations suffered while in the service of the nation. Such had long been the case with those who had lost limbs, etc., but now the field was expanded to those who suffered rheumatism, heart, kidney, lung and other physical damages. Henry was no exception.
In May, 1894 Henry applied for a government stipend based on his hospitalization experience in 1865. According to his telling, while on duty at Elmira NY he had been hospitalized by disease contracted by the hardships and exposure of soldiering. Not only had he been hospitalized, but after the war he continued to suffer breathing difficulties stemming from that period of time.
Affidavits were obtained from soldier comrades, relatives, neighbors and acquaintances who had known Henry both before the War and after. All claimed he had been healthy when he enlisted, but was sick when he returned home. Worse, his conditions had not improved as the years went on, so he remained pale and sickly. At some point Henry was granted a government stipend which, at the time of his passing would amount to $22.50 per month.
As most of the U.S. Census for 1890 was destroyed by fire, we do not know where the Tiffanys were living at that time. They were, however, likely still in Washington as that continued to be their state of residence in 1900. By that time, however, they were no longer in the eastern portion of the state but the western portion, their community of residence being noted as Sultan River (Sultan) located in Snohomish County. According to one document their move westward may have been completed by December, 1895.
By 1907 Henry's physical and mental health were markedly beginning to go downhill. In late December, 1907 he responded to a pension office inquiry into his age by saying his family records had been lost and he had little, but a dim memory of his age. The controversy continued into 1910 when, on 10/1 he wrote “That I alleged I was born 3/29/29 is correct. Any discrepancy in dates has been because I have been very sick the last two years. For the past year I have
been continually under a doctor's care. For that reason I could not sign my name and made a mark instead. For the same reason my memory is almost blank."
On 1/27/12 Adelia died. No details are available pertaining to her passing. She was/is buried in the Sultan Cemetery.
Henry died on 9/23/15. At the time of his final pass in review the old soldier was 86.5 years of age. He was/is buried beside Adelia in Sultan.
Buried at Sultan Community Cemetery
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