G.A.R. Post: John Buford Post #89 Everett, WA
60th NEW YORK VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: 10/30/61 Ogdensburg, NY
Mustered Out: 7/17/65 Alexandria, VA
The 60th, a three year unit also known as the 1st St. Lawrence regiment, was to serve in both the “eastern” and western” theaters of war. It left the state for Washington on 11/4/61 and was stationed in that vicinity during the ensuing winter. The following spring it was assigned to Gen. Dix’s railroad brigade before, in midyear, moving into the Shenandoah Valley to participate in the Virginia campaign.
That September at Antietam, MD the regiment lost 22 killed, wounded and missing. Posting at Harper’s Ferry, VA and winter quarters at Stafford Court House followed. In May ’63 the 60th lost 66 at Chancellorsville and, at Gettysburg, PA, suffered dearly in the defense of Culp’s Hill. Shortly thereafter the regiment was stationed at Bridgeport, AL.
In the “west” the regiment was present at the battle of Wauhatchie, TN and during the Chattanooga campaign. As a veteran organization the 60th shared in the Atlanta campaign, the march to the sea, and north through the Carolinas. Final muster was in Virginia.
Residence: Inf. Not Avail. Age: 17 or 19 yrs.
Enlisted: 2/10/64 Hammond, NY Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 2/11/64 Malone, NY
Deserted: 6/22/65 at Bladensburg, MD
Discharged: To date 6/22/65 on 6/7/1923
Highest Rank: Pvt.
*Note: The Cemetery headstone surname is “Pettys.” The same spelling is used in local newspaper obituaries. On military documents, however the name is reflected as Pettic, Pettis, and Petrie as well as Pettys!
Specifics on William Pettys’ life are scarce. This is primarily due to the fact that as a Civil War deserter who was not exonerated until late in life, he was not eligible for a government pension stipend and therefore did not leave behind a paper trail of documents that could provide a wealth of personal data.
William appears to have been born in upper New York’s Franklin Co. The year is uncertain. Military records give his enlistment age as either 17 (b. d. 1847) or 19 (b.d. 1845). On the other hand, his age at death in 1927 is noted as 77 years. This would have him born circa 1850, but only 14 years old when he joined the U.S. Army as a bounty recruit of 1864…. Whatever his age, by May of ’64 the 5’4 ½” former farmer/laborer was marching through Georgia with Union Gen. W.T. Sherman.
There, on 5/27 during the battle of Dallas, he received an unspecified wound, which apparently hospitalized him through August. By June, 1865, with the war ended, William, unable to await his regiment’s final muster, deserted.
In doing so he was charged with not turning in the following U.S. Government property: 1 knapsack and straps, 1 haversack, 1 canteen and 1 half shelter tent. Total value $9.60.
Next available information places William in Washington State circa 1907. Along the way he had married a woman named Minnie (b. 10/24/54 or 55 Milwaukee, WI). The couple produced five children (three boys: Henry E., Lawrence and G.J., and two daughters: E.W. and Mabel), who would survive into adulthood.
Likely William and Minnie came to the Puget Sound area to be near the families of several of the children who were living in the region. William died 2/7/27 at home in Everett after what was described as “an extended illness.” Minnie lived to the age of 92 years. She died 4/18/47 and is buried beside William.
William J. Petts was Post Commander in 1907
Buried at Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Snohomish
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