G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish WA
12th WISCONSIN VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: 10/61 Camp Randall, Madison, WI
Mustered Out: 7/16/65 Louisville, KY
This three-year regiment, known as the "Marching Twelfth," left the state for Kansas in early 1862 as one unit selected for a New Mexico expedition that, after a lot of hard marching, was abandoned! It then found itself in Kentucky rebuilding railroads and ridding the countryside of guerillas and bridge burners before skirmishing in the south that fall as part of the Army of the Mississippi.
1863 found the regiment involved in the investment of Vicksburg, the second battle of Jackson and at Big Shantry where six of its companies charged 2 miles through the timber, capturing the first skirmish line of the enemy and dislodging a brigade from rifle pits. In 1864 the 12th was engaged at Kennesaw Mountain, Bolton, MS, in two fierce engagements before Atlanta, GA, at Jonesboro, and at Lovejoy’s Station.
It then joined the “March to The Sea”; assisted in the investment of Columbia of Savannah and the subsequent Carolinas Campaign, Following the capture of South Carolina the regiment took part in the triumphant Grand Review in Washington D.C. Final muster came in Louisville, KY.
Residence: Green Bay, WI Age: 23 yrs. (est)
Enlisted/Enrolled: 10/2-12/61 Green Bay, WI Rank: Pvt.
Mustered Out: 7/16/65 Louisville, KY
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Available record provides no date of birth for James Roe. However, based on his given age when later applying for a government disability pension, the year is estimated to be 1837/38. Also, we have no insight into his birth family, the possibility of his having siblings or his childhood and formative years. All that we know about his pre war life is that he was employed as a “steamer pilot.”
The first military entry on Private Roe is his being sick in the hospital at Leavenworth, Kansas during March/April of 1862. The nature of the illness is not noted. After re-enlisting on 1/2/64 he is next noted as having been wounded in action 8/11/64 before Jonesboro, GA. According to his telling, a rifle ball struck him in the right thigh near the hip joint, passed through that thigh and a portion of his testicles then entered the left thigh exiting it above the bone. The wounding placed him in hospitals at Marietta, GA and Chattanooga, TN before sending him home on a thirty-day furlough. Although he later rejoined his regiment and was mustered out with his company, he was reportedly unable to perform (regular) duty for a period of six months.
Returning to Wisconsin, the 5’6”, blue-eyed veteran almost immediately (9/7/65) married Albina Darling. The union would produce one child: Stephen A. (9/12/66). In 1875 the now 37-year-old Roe was still living in Wisconsin. There he began the application process for a government disability pension based on his Civil War wound. He Claimed that although he was still a steamer pilot, he often couldn’t work because he couldn’t “lift or walk or work to much advantage” due to rheumatism he had contracted as a result of the old wound.
Also, he claimed that because of exposure suffered while marching from Atlanta to Savannah, GA he had lost the use of his right eye. While military researchers could find no record of the latter ailment, said pension was ultimately granted as, at the time of his death, James (who in 1875 apparently could not write his name because “his mark” was acknowledged by two witnesses) was receiving a $17 per month government stipend.
By 1898 the Roe’s had moved to the Puget Sound area, perhaps so they could be near their son and his family. It appears they first settled in Snohomish, but at some point moved to Sedro Woolly. There on 11/20/05 James Roe died. A newspaper at the time read as follows: “Some months ago he cut his knee with a drawing knife. The wound healed, but a short time ago a little grandchild in play, struck him and the wound reopened. Blood poisoning set in and death followed.” It is estimated James Y Roe was 67 years of age.
Buried at Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Snohomish
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