1st OREGON VOLUNTEER CAVALRY
Organized: 2 to 4/62
Mustered Out: 11/20/66
Organized from the state “at large,” in mid 1862 the initial five companies of the 1st were ordered to forts Walla Walla and Vancouver in Washington Territory as well as a number of other locations throughout present day Idaho and Oregon.
An additional six companies were authorized and raised in 1863. Throughout the tenure of the 1st the role of its troops was to protect emigrants and miners from Indian attacks.
In this vein elements of the regiment participated in numerous expeditions and skirmishes with various Indian bands.
Residence: Info. Not Avail. Age: 30 yrs. (est.)
Enrolled: 11/27/61 Rank: Pvt.
Highest Rank: Sgt.
John Lemual Hurley was born in Illinois. The year was most likely 1830. All that is known about his birth family is that he had at least one brother and one sister. No document entries relate to his formative years. As for his teens, Mr. Hurley’s obituary noted he had “crossed the plains in ‘49” and subsequently “mined the mountains all along the coast.”
In 1861 John entered the U.S. Cavalry serving in the Pacific Northwest. There he rose to the rank of sergeant. In later life when applying for a government disability pension based on sight and jaw afflictions as well as rheumatism which he attributed to his military service he claimed he had been discharged 6/62 at Ft. Boise, Idaho Territory. The pension claim, however, came back from the government’s Adjutant General’s Office noting that he had “deserted 7/18/63 as sgt.” It appears a pension was not granted.
By 1868 the former Union cavalryman had settled in Snohomish, Washington Territory. He remained there until his death 11/4/98 at the age of 68 years. The Civil War vet never married. While the cause of death was not specified, Mr. Hurley’s obituary noted he had long been troubled with asthma and, although sick only a short time before his passing, his death was “expected and his old friends were with him to the last.” John Lemual Hurley’s gravesite was without a marker until April, 2003.
Buried at Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Snohomish
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