Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - James Entwistle

James Entwistle

Representing: Union

Unit History

  • 9th US Infantry H

See full unit history

James Entwistle
Full Unit History

Organized: March to November, 1855 Fortress Monroe, VA
Mustered In: Inf. Not Avail.
Mustered Out: Presently Active

Regimental History


The 9th U.S. Regular Infantry regiment which exists today traces its roots to 1855. After its organization the unit was sent from Virginia - via Panama - to the Pacific Northwest's Washington Territory. Arriving here in January, 1856 it served in the American Indian Wars of 1856 through 1860.

The pre-civil war era saw regimental headquarters and companies "A", "B", "C", "E", "F", "G", "I" and "K"  stationed at Fort Vancouver located in Vancouver, WT. Companies "D" and "H" were moved northward to Ft. Steilacoom near present-day Tacoma in Pierce County, WT. There, they were plunged into operations against the Nisqually, MUCKELSHOOT, Puyallup and Klickitat tribes in the Puget Sound War.

With the onset of the American Civil War in April, 1861 the 9th was ordered east. Those orders revoked, the regiment remained in the west, but not in the Northwest. It garrisoned posts in and near San Francisco, CA. and provided provost (military police) guard duty in that city until late, 1865.

Information Not Available

Soldier History

Residence:  Inf. Not Avail.   Age: 22.3 yrs. (est.)
Enlisted/Enrolled: 5/30/55   Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: Inf. Not Avail.
Deserted: 11/9/61 Washington Territory
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Desertion: Pvt.

Family History


NOTE: The cradle - to - grave biographical profile of James Entwistle was created in November, 2020 during the Covid - 19 medical pandemic. It does not feature the depth and detail of other biographies found on this site because military and other veteran-related files which may be housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. were not accessible. At a later date available documents may be obtained and any pertinent data contained therein added to the narrative which follows. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

 As best as can be determined James Entwistle was born in February, 1833. The place of his birth was Harlem, New York City, New York.

Both of James' unnamed parents were born in England. Lacking is any data regarding their coming to America or having children other than James.

Beyond his birth, the first available information pertaining to James comes from his 5/30/55 enlistment in the United States regular army. His regiment was the 9th Infantry which was assigned to duty in the Pacific Northwest's Washington Territory.

 Without Private Entwistle's military service records, all that can be said regarding his military tenure is that on 11/9/61 he deserted from the 9th for a third and final time. The previous year, in Washington Territory he had wed to a woman of the MUCKELSHOOT Indian tribe.  The third desertion may have occurred when the 9th was either ordered east or southward to California. Our private obviously did not want to leave his wife or the Puget Sound region. James would live out his life in King County, WT/WA. 

James' bride's tribal surname was Mary Polotaibda. Her "white" name was Mary Showay or Williams. Her date of birth is an unknown.

As best as can be determined, Mary gave birth to two daughters and two sons by James. The Entwistle children were: Dora (b. 4/10/62), William (b. 12/22/64), James (b. 8/20/69) and Mary (b. 1872). All were apparently born in Tolt (present day Carnation) King County, Washington Territory.

A 7/25/71 census for King County, WT notes James as a farmer. Under his roof were his three children. Not mentioned was his wife, Mary. The omission may have been due to her Native American heritage.

According to Dora Entwistle Donaldson Olson her mother, Mary, died in 1n 1873 "somewhere along the Snoqualmie River" in King County. No details of her passing are known. Neither is her final resting place.

On 8/23/73 in King County, WT James remarried. The second Mrs. Entwistle was Sarah Kelly/Kelley. Sarah had been born in New Brunswick, Canada during 1842.

James and Sarah would produce four children. They were: Elizabeth (b. 1874 WT), Mamie (b. 1876 WT), David (b. 1879 WT) and Celia (b. 1882 WT). All but Elizabeth were living as of 1900.

Throughout the remainder of James' life he and Sarah farmed in eastern King County, WT/WA. Censused communities of their residence were King County (1880), Snoqualmie (1885), Tolt (present day Carnation) (1887), Snoqualmie/Fall City (1889) and Preston (1900).

James died, tragically on 10/30/02. The story of his drowning was told in the Seattle Star, October 31, 1902, page 1: "He was apparently on a railroad trestle over Smith's Cove, Seattle (*) in the very early hours of October 30. At about 2:15 am three men heard cries of help at the same time a train passed over the trestle; by the time they found a boat, the cries had stopped and they found nothing in the darkness. On the morning of the 31st, after a storm had hit the area, a beachcomber found the body on shore at the foot of Thomas Street, half-covered with sand. A watch found in his pocket had stopped at 2:30 am. ("**) Burial was/is in the Tolt (Carnation) Cemetery located in Tolt/Carnation King County, WA.

Although James left a last will and testament it is not known what, of value, he was able to leave his wife and children. On 10/1/00 he had petitioned the U.S. Government to obtain a disability pension stipend based on his "Civil War" military service. Because of his "deserter" status the request was denied. Later, a few days before his death, he also filed for an Indian Wars pension. Again, no certification of grant was issued.

Following James' death Sarah remained in King County. She died in Seattle, WA on 7/19/12. She was/is buried beside James in the Tolt (Carnation) Cemetery.

*Smith's Cove, now Smith Cove is a body of water in the northern part of Seattle King County, Washington's Elliot Bay. Today is the home to the Port Of Seattle's Piers 90 and 91 as well as a marina.


** Courtesy Denise Otteson.


Buried at Carnation Cemetery aka Tolt

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