G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
35th INDEPENDENT COMPANY NEW YORK VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Mustered Out: 5/3/65 Hart Island, NY
As America’s War of the Rebellion wound a close, with patriotic fervor having long faded, recruiting efforts, especially in New York State, often fell to professional “bounty brokers” who scoured the countryside armed with lucrative financial incentives (bounties) that enriched the recruiter, earned the recruited more than a year’s working wage, and sated the manpower needs of the northern war machine.
(Henry) Richardson’s Independent Company New York Volunteers was a 113-man assemblage likely organized in this environment. One of ten such “independent” companies, organized “at large,” the unit was also know as the 35th Company Independent New York Volunteers, a numerical tag probably assigned by the state to keep track of recruitment quotas.
Following organization the 35th traveled to Hart Island, a Federal induction/training/separation facility located adjacent to Brooklyn in Long Island Sound. The 35th traveled to Hart Island, a Federal induction/training/separation facility located adjacent to Brooklyn in Long Island Sound. Likely the 35th was destined to be given an alphabetical identity (Co. A,B,C, etc.) within a new or existing combat regiment.
However, with, the war’s end following Confed. Gen. R.E. Lee’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia to Fed. Gen U.S. Grant and the Army of the Potomac on 4/9/65 at Appomattox Court House, VA, units such as the 35th were no longer needed. As such, the company was disbanded without ever having left its birth state or firing a shot in anger.
Residence: Inf. Not Avail. Age: 28.0 yrs.
Enrolled: 3/5/65 Lockport, NY Rank: Pvt.
Mustered Out: 5/3/65 Hart Island, NY
Highest Rank: Pvt.
*Note: The surname appears as either Vaughn or Vaughan on various public and family documents. However, as the Vaughn spelling is most numerous and often signed by Levi himself, it is the one used herein.
Levi Vaughn was born 2/13/37 in Lindsay, located in “Canada West” or “Upper Canada,” an area that became part of the Province of Ontario when Canada dominionized in 1867. All that is known about his birth family is that his father’s name was Thomas Walter, he had at least one sibling, a brother named Walter, and at various times in the early 1800s the Vaughn family lived on both sides of the U.S./Canada border.
While there is no available information on Levi’s formative or teenaged years, by the time he enlisted in the U.S. Army (as Vaughn) during the waning days of the War of the Rebellion, his occupation was listed as “sailor.” This is perhaps not surprising as both his area of birth and the community where he enlisted were not far from the shores of Lake Ontario. Very likely the 5’8”, fair complexioned Levi joined the military to collect a $200 enlistment bonus, (this may also explain why he joined the army and not the navy) a portion of which was still owed him when his all-too-brief soldiering career came to an end two months later. While Vaughn family lore has him “shot in the knee,” considering the history of his unit, if such an injury occurred it would most likely have been accidental. However, neither military service nor pension documents allude to such a wounding.
Discharged from the U.S. Army Levi reportedly settled in the community of Leavitt, MI. It was likely there on 3/20/67 he married Pennsylvania born Mary Carpenter. (Levi’s brother married Mary’s sister Harriet.) The couple produced two children, Henry E. (1868) and Alice (1870) before Mary died of childbirth complications in 1872. On 9/14/73, also in Leavitt, farmer Levi Vaughn remarried to 19 year old German born Catherine Elizabeth Andreas (b.8/17/54). The second Mrs. Vaughn bore twelve children: Fredrick Andreas (3/2/75), Sophrona (1/25/77), Lovina, (b/ unk.), Levi Jr. (6/10/81), Olive M. (2/16/83), Joseph (2/15/85), Daniel (11/26/86), Mary Maria (6/10/89), Christina (9/8/91), Evelyn (8/1/93), Catherine Elizabeth (9/24/95), and Sarah Lovesa (6/29/98). (4 died of diphtheria within three weeks of one another during November/December 1885).
In 1890 while living in Stetson, Michigan Levi began what was to be a long, perhaps sometime devious, but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to obtain a U.S. Government disability pension based on being permanently disabled by rheumatism which he claimed stemmed from his days of Civil War soldiering. An 1893 rejection of the request is significant for two reasons; first, it noted he had not served the minimum 90 days required to be pension eligible. Second, it refers to a company “H.” Where this designation stemmed from is not known. Perhaps Levi’s unit was to have become company “H” in a now unnamed regiment before it was decided their services were no longer needed. Levi’s pension file contains a rather poignant letter written in September, 1899 in which he seemingly pleaded with the U.S. Pension Office to grant him a disability stipend. Again, no success.
Finally, in 1907/1908, following passage of another pension act pertaining to Civil War veterans he once more seriously sought to obtain such a payment. In this instance his attorney was fellow veteran Robert T. Warner (Mausoleum). Unique to this application is Levi’s claim that in 1863, under the name of Levi Bowen (A captain Bowen was involved in his enrollment into the 35th.) he had served as a private in company “H”, 49th New York cavalry. The pension department pointed out there had been no such unit! When all was said and done, Levi’s pension request was, for a final time, denied because he had only served 65 days in the 35th.
The Vaughn family lived in Michigan until August, 1899 when they moved to the Puget Sound area of Washington State. Why the move was made is not documented. Apparently they first settled in Snohomish, but in November, 1902 removed to the Pierce Co. community of Hillhurst near present day Fort Lewis. The Vaughns remained in Hillhurst until November, 1904 when they moved north to Everett. Then, likely around 1909/10, the family resettled in the community of Getchell east of Marysville. While there Levi was employed in the local sawmill. Levi’s final place of residence was in the Home Acres area along the Snohomish River east of Everett. It was there the former Civil War veteran died on November 2, 1918.
Buried at Grand Army of the Republic
Patrick & Kathleen Floyd
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