G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
1st U.S. ENGINEER BATTALION
The U.S. Engineer Battalion was organized 5/16/46 with one (A) company. By Act of Congress 8/6/61 the Engineer troops were increased by creation of three additional 150 man companies. Elements of the 1st, a regular army unit, were responsible for mapping duties, designing and supervising construction of bridges, fortified earthworks and other offensive projects needed to help move or protect an army in the field.
The 1st began service in the defenses of Washington until moving into Virginia during the Peninsula Campaign. The Battalion accompanied the Army of the Potomac through all of its eastern theater campaigns culminating in the fall of Petersburg, VA and the surrender of Confederate Gen. R.E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in April, 1865. Assimilated into the U.S. Army regimental system, the tradition of the 1st continues to this day in the civilian and military activities of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Residence: Inf. Not available Age: 17.11 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 4/6/65 New York, NY Rank: Pvt.
Discharged: 4/6/68 Yerba Buena Island, San Francisco, CA
Highest Rank: Artifice (Private First Class)
Eldridge Morse was born 4/17/47 on a farm in Wallingford, CT. He is said to have spent his early years “studying” before entering the U.S. Army during the waning days of the War of The Rebellion. Following initial service in the east (New York) he was transferred to California where, in 1868, he was honorable discharged.
Leaving the Army, Eldridge briefly retuned to his hometown before reportedly moving to Albion, IA where he taught school and practiced law, being admitted to the Iowa bar association in 1869. From the fall of that year through the spring of 1870 he attended the University of Michigan.
After marring Martha (Mollie) Turner, one of his “older” Iowa students on 4/26/71, the 5’7”, fair complexioned Eldridge and his wife moved to the Puget Sound area of Washington Territory. Arriving here, they stayed in Seattle for “a few months” before, in 1872, taking over a homestead (the McLlaughlin place) near Snohomish City. There, on 4/1/72 a son, Edward, would be born. In Snohomish Eldridge practiced law for “a few years,” thus making him the first attorney in the county.
In 1876, in association with fellow Civil War vet Albert Chase “Doc” Folsom he founded the Northern Star, the first Puget Sound area newspaper. The pair was also influential in the construction and operation of the Athenaeum (Cathcart Bldg.) which once stood on the corner of Ave. D and 1st Street in Snohomish and served as a library, theater, and museum.
On 3/10/76 Mollie Morse died. In 1877 Eldridge remarried to Fannie Oliver. The union would produce one son, Oliver (11/7/78) who, at age 15 was killed in a Michigan hunting accident. Eldridge and Fannie divorced in 1881. In 1887 Eldridge wed for the third, and final, time. His bride was the twice-married Mrs. Alice Turney (Henderson, nee Mathews). The couple would produce five children: Belle (3/7/89), John (10/2/90), Arthur (3/29/92) Harley B. (10/19/93), and Roland I.
Eldridge Morse, soldier, teacher, lawyer, and newspaperman “retired” to his farm in 1888 where he concentrated on “studying.” However, when on 5/21/00, Mollie died, the now 53 year old father was left alone to feed, clothe, train and educate five children ranging age from near four to eleven years of age.
By 1904 the now toothless civil war vet sought a government disability pension claiming a number of ailments including poor eyesight, heart problems chronic catarrh (infection), partial paralysis of the right thigh, rheumatism, plus weakness of the stomach and kidneys. Said pension was granted and, at the time of his death on 1-6-14 at the age of 66.8, Eldridge was receiving payments of $15 per month.
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
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