Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - William Bigelow

William Henry Bigelow

Representing: Union

Unit History

  • 10th Minnesota Cavalry G

See full unit history

William Bigelow
Full Unit History

Organized: Summer, 1862
Mustered In: By Companies At Different Dates
Mustered Out: 8/18/65 Ft. Snelling, MN

Regimental History


The 10th, a three year western theater infantry unit was formed during the summer of 1862.  During its tenure it fought in two wars, one of which was a war within a war.

In 1861 civil war had erupted in America. A year later, in 1862, Native American Indian tribes began a bloody uprising on the country’s western frontier - Minnesota and The Dakotas. Before dealing with Johnny Reb, the 10th had to face red skinned hostiles.

During the latter part of 1862 men of the 10th assisted in the defense of New Ulm MN. Others helped defend Ft. Ridgley (SW area of MN near Dakota Indian Res.) and took part in the battle of Wood Lake. Another group guarded Native American prisoners on the Yellow Medicine agency. Scouting and burial details preceded companies "A", "B", "F", "G" and "H" being present during the 12/26/62 mass execution of convicted hostiles ad Mankato, MN.  The regiment then settled into winter quarters at Ft. Ridgley and on the Winnebago reservation.

In June, 1863 the regiment left Camp Pope IA with an expedition to the Missouri River.   That sortie saw engagements at Big Mound and Dead Buffalo Lake. The latter clash saw 4000 Indians assault the troops flanking them on both sides. After this the 10th moved to Ft. Snelling where it was furloughed.  Provost (military police) and garrison duty at Ft. Snelling followed.

On 4/22/64 the 10th turned its attention to Johnny Reb as elements of the regiment were ordered to Columbus, KY and to Island No. 10 in Mississippi (on Kentucky bend on MS River).  Ordered to Memphis, TN that June, the regiment participated in several expeditions before being held in reserve during the battle of Tupelo, MS.

After Tupelo the regiment pursued the forces under Confederate generals Forrest and Price. Encamping at Nashville, TN the unit fought in the battle of that place on 12/15 - 16/64. During that action it participated in the charge upon the enemy's principal positions forcing back the Rebels at the point of the bayonet. Of the maneuver Union Gen. Thomas called it "the handsomest feat of arms (I) ever saw.: During two days of fighting the 10th lost nearly 70 men.

1865. After winter quartering at Eastport, TN (West banks of the TN River) the 10th was sent to Alabama to take part in the siege of Mobile. After the fall of that city it moved to Montgomery, AL and to Meridian, MS before returning to Minnesota for final muster. 


Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 2; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.:4; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 35; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.:111.

Soldier History

Residence: Le Sueur Le Sueur Co., MN   Age:
Enlisted/Enrolled: 9/16/62 Le Sueur Le Sueur Co., MN   Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 9/16/62 Le Sueur Le Sueur Co., MN
Mustered Out: 8/19/65 Ft. Snelling, MN
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Discharge: Pvt.

Family History


No birth month or date has been found for William Henry Bigelow. He was, however, born in the state of New York sometime during the calendar year of either 1847 or 1848. His parents were Ransom (b. 10/10/23 Essex Co., NY - d. 6/18/90 Delta, CO) and Emily Susanna (nee Ladd b. 3/6/28 Essex Co., NY - 6/1/70 MN) Bigelow. The Bigelows were a farm family.

Based on available U.S. Census data, as best as can be determined, William was the eldest of six Bigelow children. His younger siblings were: Charles E. (b. 1849 NY), Lewis Ladd (b. 2/28/51), Fred (b, 3/12/53 - d. 1858), Mary E. (b. 7/5/55 Clinton Co., NY) and Frank Leslie (b. 8/30/58 Le Sueur Co., MN). All birth dates are subject to error.

It appears Ransom moved his family approximately every 10 years. In 1840 they were in Crown Point, Essex Co., NY. In 1850 they were still residing in New York, but at that time in Black Brook located in Clinton Co. As of 1860 they were in Le Sueur Le Sueur Co., MN. 

On 9/16/62 William left his parents' farm and joined the U.S. Army. According information obtaining from an on-line database pertaining to American Civil War soldiers, sailors and marines, William was 18 years of age when he enlisted. This would mean that he was born ca. 1844. Based, however, on his birth year most likely being 1847 or 1848, he was most likely 16 or 17 years old when he joined up.......................


Private Bigelow would subsequently serve three years in Company "G" of the 10th Minnesota Infantry. Without accessing his military service files found in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., all we really know about those three years is that he was not killed, wounded or stricken down by serious illness. He survived the conflict and, in August, 1869 returned to civilian life.

It appears highly likely that departing the army William returned to his parents' farm, or at least their home in Le Sueur Co., MN. In 1870 he was living with them in Lanesburgh which is located in Le Sueur County. At that time both he and his father were employed as carpenters.

The next we learn about William's life comes from 1878. On 5/6/78 he married. The ceremony took place in Gregg, Texas. How and when William got there or where and when the two had met, we will likely never know.

William’s bride was Alletta Love Kilburn/Kilbourne (b. 1856 KY). The marriage would be the first and last for both.

Alletta would bear William three children. All were living in 1910. They were: Leroy E. (b. 3/79 MN), Florence E. (b. 9/83 NN) and William L. (b. 2/86 MN).

As noted by the birth state of Leroy, after marrying William and Alletta settled in Minnesota. Although they cannot be found in the 1880 census tally, in 1885 they were residing in Worthington which is located in Nobles County, MN.

1900. A new century. A new decade and a new census. At some point in time after the birth of Florence ca. 1883/'84, the Bigelows quitted Minnesota and removed to Delta, Delta Co., CO. As William's father died there on 6/18/90 likely the move was connected with the Bigelow patriarch's passing.

Interestingly, William is not noted as being in the Colorado household. He later would note his occupation as "miner", so maybe when the census tally was away from the home mining in another part of the state. Maybe he had even gone to Alaska during the 1898 gold rush........................

How long William and family remained in Texas is not known. Perhaps it was only long enough to settle his late father's affairs. When the family had moved to the Pacific Northwest is not documented, but by 1910 the family - William (identified as Fred), Alletta as well as widowed son Leroy and his two children were residing in Ward 10 Seattle King Co., WA. It is in this census tally that William (Fred) noted his occupation as "miner."

William and Alletta would live out their remaining years in Washington. By 1920 they were residing across Puget Sound from Seattle in the Kitsap County community of Fargaria. A decade later, in 1930 they were back in King County in Woodland. In both instances the two previously mentioned grand children were in the home.

William H. Bigelow died on 1/1/38 in Seattle King County, WA. Details of his passing are not available, but most likely it was from the effects of old age. When visited by death William was 89/90 years of age. Burial was/is in the Seattle Grand Army Of The Republic (G.A.R.) Cemetery located near the northern end of that city's Capitol Hill.

Dropping back some years, in 1909 (under the act of 1890) former Private William Bigelow began the paperwork process to obtain a U.S. Government disability pension based on his days of Civil War soldiering. On 3/22/09 the pension request was granted with a stipend of $12 per month being granted. Over the next decade the stipend would grow until, when William died he was receiving a sizeable $50 per month.  

Most often when a pensioned, married Civil War veteran died his widow would apply for and receive for the rest of her living days, at least a portion of her late husband's stipend. Sadly, in the case of Alletta Bigelow that did not happen. She died on 1/23/38 just weeks after William's passing. Burial was/is in the Seattle G.A.R. Cemetery. 


Buried at Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Seattle

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