1st WISCONSIN VOLUNTEER HEAVY ARTILLERY*
Mustered Out: 9/21/65 Washington D.C.
*Note: During the American Civil War a cavalry or infantry regiment could generally expect to serve and fight as a unit. Such was not the case with artillery regiments which seldom, if ever, came together as an entity. Instead, individual companies/batteries (generally 6 cannon and their crews) were assigned where needed. As such, here we are focusing not on the entire three-year history of the 1st Wisconsin, but on that of company/battery “D”.
The “Heavies” were primarily comprised of larger caliber, less mobile or even stationary cannon utilized primarily in the defensive protection of fortifications.
Thus, following being mustered into Federal service on 11/7/63, company/battery D left Wisconsin for New Orleans, LA and garrison duty in Ft. Jackson. In July, 1864 the unit moved to Ft. Berwick, Brashear City, LA where it remained until June, 1865. Company/battery D was mustered out 8/18/65.
Residence: Menasha, WI Age: 28.7 yrs.
Enlisted/Mustered In: 11/6/63 Camp Washburn Milwaukee, WI Rank: Pvt.
Discharged: 9/13/64 New Orleans, LA
Highest Rank: Pvt.
NOTE: The original birth – to - death biographical profile of Leeman Underhill was written during the early years of the Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State project. As a result it was limited in length and by the availability of research resources.
The biography which follows was written in June, 2018. Although it is more detailed than its predecessor it lacks the depth of ore recent additions to this website which draw heavily upon veteran-related military, pension and other files housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Editor
Leeman Underhill was born on 3/19/35. Documentation is unclear on whether he was birthed in Canada or Schenectady, NY. His parents were John (b. unk.) and Cynthia (nee Dodd b. 1788 New Brunswick, Canada) Underhill.
Based on available U.S. Census data Leeman was the second of two Underhill children. Older than he was sister Malinda (b. 1829 Canada).
By 1850 Cynthia, Malinda and Leeman were farming in Porter Niagara Co., New York. Cynthia was head of the household with no mention of John. Either the couple had divorced or John had died.
According to Leeman pension family information he married Julia Frances Rundlett (b. 8/22/42 Etna Somerset Co., MA) on 8/9/1864 in Lanesborough MA. The union produced two children: Julia Frances (b. 1860 ME) and Clara Louise (b. 10/9/61 Bayport Washington Co., MN).
Based on the birth states of their children, after marriage Leeman and Julia initially settled in Maine, then moved to Minnesota. By the time he enlisted in the military, however, the Underhills were residing in Wisconsin.
Entering the U.S. Army in 1863 school teacher Leeman found sickness, not Johnny Reb, to be the greatest threat to his wellbeing. Assigned to Ft. Jackson near New Orleans, LA in mid ’64 Private Underhill contracted illnesses which would lead to his being granted a medical discharge from the military, and plague him the rest of his life.
According to Leeman, “I contracted indigestion and heart difficulty…. I was taken in a fevered and almost insensible condition to the hospital….After some treatment it took the form of chronic diarrhea…I have been a partial invalid ever since… not being able to work more then 1/3 of the time (and having to avoid) heavy labor such as lifting.”
Julia Underhill died on 8/9/64 in Lanesborough, MA. The cause of her death was typhoid fever.
At the time of Julia’s death Leeman was still in the military. Available documents are silent on how her passing was handled by Private Underhill and his family. Also not known is who assumed care of their two children.
After leaving the military Leeman settled in Michigan. As with many returning Civil War veterans, exactly where he settled is not documented. Post- war he turned to farming.
On 6/2/66 as a resident of Lowell Township Kent Co, MI Leeman married a second time. The new Mrs. Leeman Underhill was 24-year-old, previously wed, Mary S. Camp (nee Cooley b. 1843 MI). Mary brought two children into the relationship: Medora L. Camp (b. 1863 MI) and John H. Camp (b. 1864 MI).
In 1910 Mary claimed to have birthed nine children four of whom were then living. Unless she had borne a third, unnamed child by Mr. Camp, she and Leeman produced seven children only six of which are documented: Leeman L. (b.1/31/68 MI), Almiron (b. 1870 MI) Silvius S. (b.3/30/72 Grand Traverse C., MI), Truman J. (b. 7/1775 MI), Ada G. (b. 7/27/79 KS), and Charles C. (b.8/17/82 MN).
As of 1870 the Underhills were residing in Long Lake Grand Traverse Co., MI. A decade later, in 1880 they were in Jefferson Republic Co., KS. In both locations Leeman noted his occupation as being “farmer.”
By 1885 Leeman and family were living in Wymore Gage Co., NB. Leeman’s occupation was there listed as stone mason.
Most of the U.S. Census for 1890 was destroyed by fire. The U.S. Veterans roll that same year placed Leeman in Peninsula Grand Co., Michigan.
As of 1900 Leeman, Mary and son Charles were residing in Medina Hennepin, Co., Minnesota. Rather than in a home of their own they were under the roof of Leeman’s married daughter, Clara, her husband and family.
1910. A new decade. A new U.S. Census. Mary was then residing in Tacoma Pierce Co., WA with married daughter Ada and her family. Interestingly, Leeman’s whereabouts are not documented. Whether or not the couple had spit up is not known.
Leeman Underhill died on 1/21/14 in Mukilteo Snohomish Co., WA. He was aged 78 years and 10 months Cause of the Civil War veteran’s passing was senility. Burial was/is in the Grand Army Of The Republic (G.A.R.) Cemetery in Snohomish, Snohomish Co., WA.
At the time of his death Leeman was receiving a $40 per month U.S. Government disability stipend based on ailments or other debilities which traced back to his days of Civil War Soldiering. After Leeman’s passing Mary applied for and was granted a portion of her late husband’s pension stipend. More on this, shortly.
As of 1920 Mary was still living with - by then - widowed daughter Ada. At that time they were residing in in Hoquiam Grays Harbor Co., WA.
Mary died on 8/24/25 in Sedro Woolley Skagit Co. WA. When she had gone there, why she had gone there and with whom she was residing are not known. At death she was receiving $30 of her late husband’s pension. She was/is buried beside Leeman in Snohomish.
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