Charles Leonard in the Civil War

Most men living in the United States in the 1860s participated in the Civil War and there are many places to look for information about them. (Click here to see my Military resources!) In this blog, I will share my research on men named Charles Leonard, living in New York, at the time of the Civil War.


In June of 1863, my 3rd great-grandfather, Charles R. Leonard, was counted among the men "subject to do military duty". He was a married farmer, age 32, living in Groton, Tompkins County, New York. This information matches what we believe to be true of Charles. He was born in December of 1830, which would make him 32 years old in June of 1863. He would have turned 33 later that year. His family was still living in Groton when the 1865 New York State Census was taken two years later.

Since no further proof of his service had been found (that I know of), I believed he was not called to serve. However, I recently found a potential match in the Civil War pension index, shown below. I hope to obtain a copy of the file from the National Archives to share soon. The cost is currently $80 (minimum), so if you'd like to see it sooner, scroll down and use the donation button to help facilitate this acquisition for the family!



The pension index indicates that Charles lived in Groton in 1903 and was in 9th Regiment, New York Infantry. Charles Russell Leonard did live in Groton in 1905, so this also matches!


This also corresponds with an entry under "Unassigned Recruits" in the book The Ninth New York heavy artillery : a history of its organization, services in the defenses of Washington, marches, camps, battles, and muster-out, with accounts of life in a rebel prison, personal experiences, names and addresses of surviving members, personal sketches and a complete roster of the regiment, by Roe, Alfred Seelye, 1899. [Link] The relevant excerpts from the book are shown here:


Notice, however, that in this list it indicates he enlisted on January 28, 1864, but he was 29 years old. This would make his birth year about 1834, which does not correspond with what we know about Charles Russell Leonard. Was it a clerical or transcription error? Looking back at the 1905 New York State Census, we see, however, that his age was given as 72. The census was taken in June, so that would make his birth year 1832. Was he really born in 1830?


Notice also, Charles lived in Groton in 1864, but the "Unassigned" list indicates Cortland. Did he enlist in Cortland? Perhaps he lived near the border of the two towns?


Another resource, Smith's History of Cortland County [Link], Chapter XX, page 253, under "History of the Town of Cortlandville", indicates he was paid a bounty of $300 in October of 1863. The "Unassigned Recruits" list indicates he enlisted January, 1864. Perhaps he enlisted multiple times, as this was not uncommon. (Click here for page image). Transcription:


Call of October 17th, 1863 Bounty paid to each, $300. Edward P. Merritt, Henry Hollenbeck, Abel G. Tuttle, George Ellsworth, John R. Beden, George L. Waters, Wilson J. Dayton, John G. Cobb, Alfred B. Hicks, Darius Lindsley, Frank Dolson, John D. Frederick, Franklin Hotchkiss, Daniel Johnson, Albertus Pierce, Sylvester Rounsevell, Isaiah Simpson, John L. Mann, John B. Daball, John Paulson, William H. Mason, Andus Berggren, John Lundin, James Stowell, H. Deloss Cole, Franklin D. Russell, William Otis Tiffany, Joseph Hicks, Clark A. Edgecomb, George A. Marshal, Michael P. Masten, Oringer Stimpson, Harrison Webster, Nathan P. Allen, William C. Tripp, Peter C. Carr, Stephen A. Hastings, James M. Boorr, John Sullivan, Peter Smith, William Jones, Henry Ward, Robert Gilmore, John Jones, James Pierce, Charles H. Waters, Charles A. Van Hagen, Frederick B. Farnham, Charles R. Leonard, William A. Clark, John W. Stebbins, William Brown, Isaac Benson, Adin W. Danes, James H. Curtis, William Hollenbeck, Charles B. Hollenbeck, Caspar Hable, Theodore F. Noble, William H. Burdick, George W. Newton, John W. Dougherty, Winfeld S. Carrier, John J. Joyner, vet., Archibald Bowker, John H. Crocker, Edmund Andrews, Gillispie B. Corwin, vet., Lyndon H. Goodenough, John C. Sherman, Charles H. Estabrook, Barney Carter, George W. Barrett, Albert G. Wood, vet., Martin Edgcomb,vet., William H. Myers, vet., John Van Rennsselaer, Watts L. Bishop, vet., John Corl, Elwood F. Gates, Roswell Johnson, Charles Francis, vet., Franklin J. Johnson, Samuel Hammond, Darius S. Ellis, George Harrington, Albert J. Jarvis, vet., Robert Arlow, Charles W. Cook, William H. Galpin, Thomas G. Meacham, James Simpson.


Another resource, the Report of the Adjutant-General, corresponds with the "Unassigned Recruits" list above, reporting the following:


U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles Name: Charles R Leonard, Age at Enlistment: 29, Enlistment Date: 28 Jan 1864, Rank at enlistment: Private, Enlistment Place: Cortlandville, NY State Served: New York, Service Record: Enlisted in Company U, New York 9th Heavy Artillery Regiment.


It may also help to know that this regiment was "Organized at Auburn, N.Y., as the 138th Regiment New York Infantry and mustered in September 8, 1862. Left for Washington, D.C., September 12, 1862. Designation changed to 9th Heavy Artillery December 9, 1862." The regiment lost 461 men during service. Read more about this regiment at civilwararchive.com.



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A search of all men named Charles Leonard, arranged by State, is shown here. As you can see, there were many men sharing the name:


New York (Dist. 26) - Charles T Leonard born abt 1825. Unmarried

New York (Dist. 23) - Charles Leonard born abt 1826.

New York (Dist. 4) - Chas Leonard born abt 1827.

New York (Dist. 19) - Charles Leonard born abt 1828.

New York (Dist. 25) - Charles W Leonard born abt 1828. Married

New York (Dist. 26) - Charles J Leonard born abt 1829. Married

New York (Dist. 31) - Charles W Lenhart born abt 1829. Married

New York (Dist. 17) - C W Leonard born abt 1830. Married

New York (Dist. 26) - Charles R Leonard born abt 1831. Married (*Shown above)

New York (Dist. 17) - C C Leonard Jr born abt 1836 . Married

New York (Dist. 28) - Charles N Leonard born abt 1837. Unmarried

New York (Dist. 17) - Chas H Leonard born abt 1838. Married

New York (Dist. 26) - Charles R Leonard born abt 1840. Unmarried (*27th Reg NY Vols (Infantry), enlisted Oct. 12, 1861, Private, age 22, Binghamton, NY, mustered out at Elmira on May 31, 1863. NARA Pub #T289. See also Beer's Atlas on Rootsweb.)


Illinois - Chas P Leonard born abt 1821. Married

Illinois - Charles P Leonard born abt 1822.

Illinois - Charles O Leonard born abt 1827.

Illinois - Charles Leonard born abt 1835. Unmarried

Indiana - Charles E Leonard born abt 1839. Unmarried

Indiana - Charles G Leonard born abt 1840 . Unmarried

Iowa - Charles B Leonard born abt 1823.

Iowa - Chas E Leonard born abt 1833. Married

Kentucky - Chs E Leonard born abt 1820.

Maine - Charles H Leonard born abt 1835. Unmarried

Maine - Charles H Leonard born abt 1835. Unmarried

Massachusetts - Chas D Leonard born abt 1825.

Massachusetts - Charles A Leonard born abt 1827.

Massachusetts - Charles E Leonard born abt 1831. Married

Massachusetts - Chas W Leonard born abt 1833. Married

Massachusetts - Charles S Leonard born abt 1835. Unmarried

Massachusetts - Charles Leonard born abt 1836. Married

Michigan - Chas S Leonard born abt 1820.

Michigan - Charles Leonard born abt 1827.

Minnesota - Charles Leonard born abt 1837. Married

Minnesota - Charles Leonard born abt 1837.

Missouri - Charles Leonard born abt 1839. Unmarried

New Jersey - Charles Leonard born abt 1829. Married

Ohio - Charles Leonard born abt 1825.

Ohio - Charles S Leonard born abt 1828.

Ohio - Charles J Leonard born abt 1831. Married

Ohio - Chas K Leonard born abt 1837. Unmarried

Ohio - Chas Lemert born abt 1837. Unmarried

Pennsylvania - Charles Leonard born abt 1827.

Pennsylvania - Charles Leonard born abt 1833. Married

Pennsylvania - C L Leonard born abt 1837. Unmarried

Rhode Island - Charles R Leonard born abt 1832. Married

Rhode Island - Charles T Leonard born abt 1839. Unmarried

Vermont - Chas S Leonard born abt 1831. Married

Vermont - Charles R Leonard born abt 1833. Unmarried

Vermont - Chas Q Leonard born abt 1833 . Married

Vermont - Calvin C Leonard born abt 1839. Unmarried

Wisconsin - Charles A Leonard born abt 1839. Unmarried


Copies of Civil War pension files can be purchased from the National Archives. The current fee is $80 for the full packet of files up to 100 pages. Visit archive.gov for more information and ordering information. To request copies, complete and submit NATF Form 85.


Cannon illustrations from "Hand-book of field fortifications and artillery; also manual for light and heavy artillery", by Egbert L. Viele, 1861. [Link]


Click here to learn more about my ancestor, Charles R. Leonard.


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