G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
1st MAINE VOLUNTEER CAVALRY
Organized: 10/31/61 Augusta, ME
Mustered In: 11/5/61 Augusta, ME
Mustered Out: 8/1/65 Augusta, ME
A three year, twelve company, eastern theater regiment, the 1st was raised “at large” within the state of Maine. It remained “in state” until spring, 1862 when it moved into Virginia where the unit was split in two. In May one portion of the regiment saw first action in at Middletown in the Shenandoah Valley while covering Union Gen. Bank’s retreat to Williamsport.
The resulting loss was 176 horses and equipments. As a complete entity, the 1st was engaged that July at Cedar Mountain. Engagements at Brandy Station and Second Bull Run followed. The severity of service to which the regiment was subjected can be inferred from a bare recital of battles in which the 1st participated between late 1862 and early 1865: Fredericksburg, Aldie, Middleburg, Upperville, Gettysburg, Shepherdstown, Sulpher Springs, Mine run, about Richmond, Old Church, Todd’s Tavern, Ground Squirrell Church, Hawes’ Shop, Cold Harbor, Trevalian Station, St. Mary’s Church, Deep Bottom, Reams’ Station, Wyatt’s Farm, Boydton Road and Bellefield.
Following the November ’64 expiration of original enlistments, remaining veterans of the 1st, along with new recruits, joined with the 1st D.C. cavalry to participate in the closing battles of the War. Total wartime deaths within the regiment from all causes: 508 officers and enlisted men.
Residence: Lee, ME Age: 33.2 yrs.
Enlisted: 9/24/61 Augusta, ME Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 10/19/61
Discharged: 11/25/64 Augusta, ME
Highest Rank: Sgt.
*NOTE: Elisha’s surname has been noted as Cleaveland, Clevland, and Cleveland. However, since all documents signed by the veteran feature Cleaveland, that spelling is used herein.
Elisha Brown Cleaveland was born 7/1/38 in Lee, Pnobscot Co., Maine to parents Caleb D. (b. NH) and Pricilla (nee Brown b. ME) Cleaveland. Other than that he had at least one sibling, older brother William (b. 10/34), no information is available on his birth family, formative, teenaged or young adult years.
On the same date in 1861, Elisha and brother William (Row: 13 Site:11) joined the 1st Maine cavalry. They were both to serve in Company “A.” At the time of enlistment the dark complexioned Elisha was not only above the average age (26.7 yrs.) of most Civil War soldiers, at 6’1” tall he was also well above the average height of 5’7”. His occupation was listed as “lumberman.”
Elisha was, undoubtedly, a big strong lumberjack working in the forests of Maine. Elisha’s military career appears to have been a positive experience. For one, he quickly moved to the rank of corporal and then sergeant. The latter position he held until discharged. Secondly, despite his unit’s intensive combat history, there are no records of his being wounded. Thirdly, his only brush with illness was a six day bout of diarrhea (July 10-16, 1864) from which he recovered and returned to duty.
His three-year enlistment behind him, Elisha returned to Lee, Maine. There, on 3/24/66, he married Myrtle C. Thompson. The union produced two children: Lois (b. 9/15 or 19/ 62) and Alice (b. 7/14/74). The Cleaveland family resided in Maine until 1876 when they removed to Snohomish County, Washington Territory. Why the move was made is not documented. Perhaps Elisha was following the timber industry. In 1910 his brother William and family also moved to the area. Myrtle Cleaveland died in August, 1881.
Following her death it appears Elisha may have remarried to Adah Clark who bore him a son, Elisha Cleaveland, Jr. However, if this was the case, the fate of Adah and Elisha, Jr. is unknown as neither was mentioned in his obituary. On 10/27/13 the Everett Herald noted that Elisha Cleaveland, former lumberman and cavalry trooper had died the previous day at the home of his niece, Mrs. Julia Bowman. Cause of death was listed as “senile decay.” Dead at the age of 75 years and 4 months, he had been receiving a $25 monthly government stipend based on his Civil War soldiering.
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
©2016 Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State • All Rights Reserved.