G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
1st LIGHT BATTERY WISCONSIN VOLUNTEER ARTILLERY
Organized: 9/61 La Crosse, WI
Mustered In: 10/10/61
Mustered Out: 7/19/65 Camp Washburn Milwaukee, WI
The 1st, a three-year “western theater” battery, remained in-state until 1/23/62 when it moved to St. Louis, MO. From there it joined an expedition to Cumberland Gap, TN that necessitated hauling their 20 lb. Parrot guns over steep passes by hand. In December, ’62, after a side trip to Virginia, the unit joined Union Gen. Sherman’s forces at Memphis, TN and started toward Vicksburg, MS.
The battery then played a prominent roll in the first attack on that city. During the Vicksburg campaign the battery fired over 12,000 rounds, the result being its Parrots became so worn and unserviceable they were replaced with 30 lb. models. After Vicksburg’s fall the 1st aided in the reduction of Jackson, MS. December, 1863 found the 1st at New Orleans, LA being equipped as horse artillery.
At this time an inspecting committee said of it:” A more self sustaining, self-reliant body of men cannot be found in the U.S. Army.” In April, ’64 the battery covered Union Gen. Banks’ retreat in the Louisiana/Texas Red River Expedition. In May it was engaged at Alexandria. On 11/26 the unit accompanied a cavalry expedition to West Pascagoula, MS, and then returned to New Orleans and Baton Rouge where it remained until returning home for final muster.
Original strength: 155. Gain by recruits, 112; substitutes, 2; reenlistments, 34; total: 303. Officers killed/mortally wounded, 0; died of disease/accident, 1. Enlisted men killed/mortally wounded, 5; died of disease/accident, 22; desertions, 7; transfer, 14, discharge, 48; mustered out, 212.
Residence: Juneau, WI Age: 23.8 yrs.
Enlisted/Mustered In: 9/7/61 Rank: Pvt.
Mustered Out: 7/19/65 Milwaukee, WI
Highest Rank: Sgt.
John Curtis was born 1/5/38 in Candor, Tioga Co., New York to parents Hiram and Eliza (Dekeman) Curtis. No additional details are available on his birth family. In 1846 the Curtis family moved to Trempleau Co., WI. It was there, with the outbreak of the War of the Rebellion, the 5’8”; ruddy complexioned carpenter entered the U.S. Army.
Subsequent health impairments would be injury, rather than wound, related: Oct. 16 to Nov. 17, ’61 treated for illness. No diagnosis. Dec. 1862 at battle at Hayne’s Bluff, (near Vicksburg) MS incurred piles (hemorrhoids). Sept. 1863 contracted disease of the liver and, 7/1/64 incurred injury to left testicle. Despite his ailments John successfully completed his term of service and reenlisted as a veteran. By the time the war ended he had been promoted to corporal and, finally, sergeant.
Leaving the military Mr. Curtis returned to Wisconsin where he took up farming and, on 2/13/67 married Indiana born Alzoa Kidder. The union would produce six children: Emma Alzoa (12/1/67), Alenson Kidder (9/1/68-5/5/89), Archie Robert (6/25/75), Clyde Chapin (7/24/78), John Hiram (10/21/80), and Luke Oscar (8/13/84).
In 1891 at the age of 53 the former Union artilleryman sought a government invalid pension based on his wartime service. The pension was granted as; by the time of his death he was receiving $30 per month. John and Alzoa moved from Wisconsin to Snohomish County circa 1905. The move was likely made in order to be near the families of their five surviving adult children who resided in Snohomish and other nearby communities. It appears the couple first settled in Everett and, in 1909, Snohomish.
Mr. Curtis died at home 5/6/15 at the age of 77 years and 4 months. Cause of death was Mycardial degeneration and, contributing, senile arteriosclerosis. The death certificate noted his occupation as carpenter. Alzoa died in late 1934 at the age of 90.
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
©2016 Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State • All Rights Reserved.