G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
154th NEW YORK VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: 9/24/62 Jamestown, NY
Mustered Out: 6/11/65 Bladensburg, MD
The 154th, a three year regiment, was recruited in the counties of Chautagua and Cattaraugus in the far southwest corner of New York State. It left the state almost immediately following federal muster and was assigned to the Army of the Potomac.
In May, 1863 the unit suffered severely in the disaster which befell that army at Chancellorsville, VA. In July, it again suffered severely in the first and second day’s fighting at Gettysburg, PA. The 154th concluded the year in the western theater where it saw action at Wauhatchie and Missionary Ridge, TN.
1864 found the 154th still in the west fighting from Chattanooga, TN to Atlanta, GA. It concluded its combat career by marching northward with Union Gen. William T. Sherman during the Carolinas campaign. After participating in the May, 1865 Grand Review in Washington, D.C., the regiment was mustered out of service.
Residence: Inf. Not Avail. Age: 22 yrs
Enlisted/Enrolled: 8/13/62 Great Valley, NY Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 11/5/61 Madison, ME
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Seth Covell was born in 1840 in the state of Pennsylvania to parents John (b. NY 1804) and Serena (nee Rice b. either VT or NY 1808) Covell. He had ten siblings: Augusta, John Harrison (b/1/23/32 PA), Louisa, Louis/Lewis, Emma (b. ca. 1836), Washington, Edmund, Lucy, Franklin, and Charles M. No information is available pertaining to Seth’s childhood, formative, or teenaged years.
In 1862, at the age of 22 years, Seth enlisted in the United States Army. Army records represent his surname as Covell, Covel, Covill, Corvell, Covelli, Covelle, and Covall. Seth’s older brother John joined the same company and regiment two days later. On May 2, 1863, during the battle of Chancellorsville, VA, Seth was captured by Confederate forces. By May 9th he was in prison in Richmond but was paroled on May 15th at City Point, VA. He was then transferred to Camp Convalescent, VA, where a “Memorandum of Prisoner of War” form noted that on July 12, 1863 Private Covell had deserted, but later “rept’d back of his own accord.” The return to duty, however, was to be short lived as a final documental entry noted “on roll dated Aug 10-63 as having deserted from Camp Convalescent, VA since July 31-63.”
While it appears Mr. Covell permanently deserted the military, apparently no action was ever taken regarding the offense and the 154th was never notified. Company H’s muster roll continued to carry him as absent of his fate. Company H’s muster roll continued to carry him as absent “taken prisoner at Chancellorsville May 2, ‘63” through final muster in June, 1865. That final muster document noted “No discharge given” and indicated Seth was still owed $75 of a $100 enlistment bonus/bounty.
Seth’s whereabouts during the latter 1860’s and throughout 1870s is not known. However, by 1882 he had married a previously wed woman identified only as Harriet (b.ca 1860 NY) and the couple was living in Wisconsin where the first, and ultimately all, of their six children were born: Earl W. (b.1882), Birney/Barney (b.1887), Frank W. (b.1892), Walter W. (b.1896), and Annie S. (b.1899).
It appears that in this post-war era Mr. Covell was employed as a logger. In 1901 the Covells moved westward and settled on a ranch in the rural community of Machias located in Snohomish County, Washington. The move may have been motivated by Seth following the timber industry to the forests of the Pacific Northwest, but as it came relatively late in his life, it was more likely made to be near the families of adult Covell children who lived in the region.
The Covells’ next move appears to have been to Seattle in 1911. Again, the why of the move was not documented, but three of their sons lived in that city. It was in Seattle circa late August or early September, 1912 that Seth received unspecified injuries in a street car accident. The injuries lead to his death two months later. His death and burial were noted in the 11/4/12 issue of the Everett Herald newspaper. Harriet reportedly died shortly thereafter on 1/12/13.
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
Mt. Lake Terrace, WA
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