Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - William Cleaveland

William H. Cleaveland

Representing: Union

G.A.R Post

  • Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, Snohomish Co. WA

Unit History

  • 1st Maine Cavalry A

See full unit history

William  Cleaveland
Full Unit History

Organized: 1861
Mustered In: 11/5/61

Regimental History


This twelve company, three- year regiment was organized from the state “at large” and mustered into Federal service in November 1861. However, it did not leave Maine until March, 1862. After that, either in part or as a whole, the 1st saw almost continuous hard service from Middletown and Brandy Station in VA through Frederick, South Mountain, and Antietam in MD.

One indication of the unit’s level of activity is that by 9/12/62 it had gone through nearly 700 mounts. 1863/64 would find the 1st engaged in a laundry list of actions- both well and little known- from Pennsylvania through Virginia.

Total unit casualties in 1864, alone, would run to 295 officers and enlisted men. Its original enlistees discharged, the 1st would finish the war with a mixture of veterans, recruits, and members of the 1st D. C. Cavalry. Final muster was at Petersburg, VA 8/1/65 with arrival back in Augusta on the 9th.

Soldier History

Residence: Lee, Me.   Age: 27.11
Enlisted: 9/24/61 Old Town, ME   Rank: Private
Mustered In: 10-19-61 Augusta, ME
Discharged: 11/25/64 Augusta, ME
Highest Rank: Cpl.

Family History


ED. NOTE: The preceding birth - to - death biographical profile was written in August, 2018. The original was created during the early years of the Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State project and suffered from both size and resource material limitations. While this new profile is much more detailed than the original, it still lacks the in-depth detail of newer bios which draw heavily upon pension and other veteran-related documents housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.


Ed Note: The surname of this family has been found as Cleaveland, Clevland and Cleveland. Because the Cleaveland spelling is found on William’s headstone, it is that spelling we are using herein.


William Howard Cleaveland was born 10/16/34 in Springfield Penobscot Co., Maine. His parents were Caleb Downing
(b. 11/9/00 Columbia, Grafton Co., NH. Note: Caleb's ancestors reportedly came to American from England on the Mayflower.) and Pricella Ripley (nee Brown b. 12/16/13 Waldo Co., ME) Cleaveland. As best as can be determined Caleb, at one time or another was a farm laborer or miller by trade.

 William was the oldest of three boys. Those younger than he were Elisha Brown Cleaveland (b. 7/1/38 Lee, ME) and Charles Addison Cleveland (b. 1844 Lee, ME). All three brothers served in the 1st Maine Cavalry during the American Civil War. William and Elisha survived the conflict, Charles did not. Private Charles Cleaveland was captured by the enemy on 5/24/62 at Middleburg, VA. Transferred to a prison in Richmond, VA he died there later that same year. His place of burial is not known.

 A "lumberman" (logger) by trade, William joined the U.S. Army in September, 1861. By mid-July of the following year (est. date) he had been captured by the enemy, imprisoned, released and returned his unit. (Note: It is not known if William and Charles were captured on the same date and location.)

 June, 1863.  Again, Private Cleaveland was being held in a Confederate POW camp located near Brandy Station, VA.

 1864 began on a more positive note for our private. On some unidentified date prior to mid-year William was promoted to the rank of corporal. That aside on 7/18/64 his rising military star came to an abrupt halt as, during actions around Snicker's Ferry, VA, he received a wound which would result in the amputation of his right arm above the elbow. Corporal Cleaveland spent the remaining months of his army enlistment in military hospitals.

Back in the civilian world, on 1/16/66 William married 14.9 year old New Hampshire born Ellen Darling (b. 4/4/51) in a ceremony conducted in Colebrook located near the far northwest corner of that state. The union would produce four children: Charles Addison (b. 5/10/67 NH), George D. (b.12/26/69 NH), Julia May (b. 8/16/71 NY) and Lillian Best (b. 8/7/75 NY).

 After their wedding William and Ellen set up house and started their family in New Hampshire. As of 1870 their home was located in or near Columbia Coos Co., NH. The U.S. census for that year noted William's occupation as "farmer." While the 1880 census found them in the same location - with William noted as being both a farmer and a lumberman - , by looking at the birth states of the last two of the Cleaveland children, during the intervening decade the family had apparently removed to New York and then returned to New Hampshire. No documental details are available to explain these moves.

There is no census data on the Cleavelands for 1890 as most of that population tally was destroyed by fire. In 1900, however, they were still in Columbia, NH. That was not the case a decade later.

 By the time of the census of 1910, William and Ellen had quitted New Hampshire and travelled across the county to resettle in Snohomish, Snohomish County, Washington. The move reportedly was made the previous year. Specifically, what drew the Cleavelands to the Puget Sound region is not known, but it was perhaps because William's brother, Elisha had moved here earlier. (Elisha is buried in the Snohomish Grand Army Of The Republic ("G.A.R.”) Cemetery).  Also, by this time one or more of their adult children likely resided in the region. Speaking of children, in 1910 Ellen confirmed that she had given birth to four, three of which were still living. Which one had died is not known.

 Former Civil War trooper William H. Cleaveland died 12/29/27 at the Snohomish home of Mrs. Charles Martin (one of his married daughters). His Everett Herald obituary noted that the 93.2 year old had passed away after having been ill for several days. William was survived by his wife, son Charles, and one daughter as well as nine grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren. Internment was/is in the Snohomish G.A.R. Cemetery.

 Ellen survived her husband by six years. She died 2/7/33 and was/is buried beside William in Snohomish.



Buried at Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Snohomish
Row: 22
Site: 5

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