Forming a Research Plan for Little Eddy, Part II

Yesterday, I started making a research plan to find out more about Edward Dwyer’s service in the Civil War.  I wrote down what I know of Edward’s early life and his service in the Kansas and Missouri regiments in the Union Army as well as his 1866 entry in a Saint Louis city directory.  This leads me to many questions, which I am going to work on today.

Edward had just turned 15 when he enlisted in the 8th Regiment Kansas Volunteers, Company K,  and was mustered in as a private on 02 Jun 1862.  He was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, and lived there all his life; he was a resident of Saint Louis when he enlisted.  Why did he choose a Kansas regiment?  There were several officers from Saint Louis and Patrick Callahan enlisted the same day as Edward as a private, was promoted to musician and was discharged the same day as Edward.  What was their relationship?  How old was Patrick?  Did he lead Edward into this great adventure?  What did Jeremiah and Anna think of this?  Did they know?  Edward was a young-looking 15 if the photo is any indication.  According to a later muster and description roll when he was 17, he was only 4 feet 8 inches tall.  It is hard to believe that a recruiter would not have known that he was under age!

What information is available for Kansas volunteer regiments?

What happened when Edward and Patrick were discharged in Nashville on 04 Jun 1863?  Did they return to Saint Louis?

Did Edward enlist prior to 29 May 1864?  He would have just turned 17 the week before.  Was this a cut-off for joining?  Did Patrick join again with him, or what happened to him?

Edward’s Muster and Descriptive Roll lists his as plumber.  Did he learn this skill while he was (presumably) home between Jun 1863 and May 1864?

Would the signed order (S.O.) of General Canby exist anywhere?  What type of information would it contain?

Where did Edward go when he deserted?  How long was he gone?  What happened to his drum?  Did a sentence of General Court Martial result in anything other than the loss of pay?

Edward was only back with Company A about six weeks when he was mustered out.  Did he not have to serve the entire three-year period of his enlistment because the war had ended?

Finally, who was A.W. French and what was his relationship to Edward?  What is this card referring to?

If you missed the other parts of Edward’s story, here are links to them:
Military Monday – Little Eddy the Drummer
Military Monday- Edward Dwyer in the Civil War, continued
Tuesday’s Tip — Forming a Research Plan for Little Eddy
or his family’s stories:
Mystery Monday – Jeremiah Dwyer, county Tipperary to Saint Louis, Missouri
Mystery Monday – Anna Rooney, county Clare to Saint Louis, Missouri
Workday Wednesday – Jeremiah was a Drayman


Tuesday’s Tip — Forming a Research Plan for Little Eddy

The last two Mondays I have written about Edward Dwyer in the Civil War, Little Eddy the Drummer and Military Monday- Edward Dwyer in the Civil War, continued.  Yesterday I looked at Edward’s Missouri service, using the Civil War cards which I had downloaded from when I had a subscription.  I didn’t do anything with the information then, but now I’m trying to use my time without subscriptions (this journey of Genealogy in the Recession) to further my research in other ways and to write my family history.  Last Friday, I highlighted some of the things that I learned in Marian Pierre-Louis’ webinar “”Plan Your Way to Research Success.”  Today, I’m going to begin work on creating a Research Plan for Edward Dwyer — feel free to add your comments or e-mail me at with any suggestions.

The first thing about a Research Plan is to focus on one person — Little Eddy — keep the focus narrow — find out about his military service — and write down what I know:

Edward Dwyer, born 22 May 1847, in Saint Louis, Missouri 1

In 1860 Jeremiah Dwyer and his family were living in St Louis Ward 7, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri.  The household included Jerry, 40, drayman, $3000, $400; Ann, 34; Edward, 12; Mary, 9; Laura, 2.  Edward and Mary attended school within the year. 2

8th Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K
mustered in as a private 02 Jun 1862 [age 15]
promoted to musician
discharged 04 Jun 1863, Nashville [age 16]
Patrick Callahan, also resident of St. Louis, same dates 3

7th Regiment Missouri Infantry, Company F
enlisted 29 May 1864, St Louis, musician [age 17]
enrolled for a period of 3 years
bounty due $100, credited 8 ward St Louis
joined as recruit with consent of guardian
mustered in 25 Jun 1864, Memphis
Detached as musician at Gen. Hosp. Nashville Tenn
transfer 04 Dec 1864
11th Regiment Missouri Infantry, Company A
Deserted 30 Sep 1865
Returned from desertion 01 Dec 1865.  Stop one month pay sentence of a G.C.M.
Muster-out 15 Jan 1866, Memphis, Tenn
Clothing Account due soldier $11.77   Bounty paid $180; due $120.
Age 17
Stop one months pay proper sentence of Court Martial.
Stop $5.00 for one drum complete.
Reference to A.W. French 4

1866, Dwyer Edward, student Bryant, Stratton & Carpenter’s College, Olive, cor. 5th 5


1 Baptism record from St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, on microfilm at the St. Louis County Library, Frontenac

2 U.S. Federal Census, 1860. St Louis Ward 7 , St Louis (Independent City), Missouri, page 169; Online publication – Provo, UT, USA:, Inc., 2004.Original data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860. M653, 1,438 rolls..  Accessed on (date unknown).

3Extracted from Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kansas, Vol. 1. – 1861-1865.Leavenworth, Kansas: Bulletin Co-operative Printing Company, Chicago. 1867. Eighth Regiment Kansas Volunteers – Infantry, Company K

4 NARA M405 Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Missouri, Record Group 94, State: Missouri, Roll 0473, Eleventh Infantry, Cr-D; Roll 0441, Military Unit Seventh Infantry, D-Fi. Accessed on (date unknown).

5 City Directories for St. Louis, Missouri, 1866. Publisher Edwards Greenough & Deved. Page 340. Accessed Sep 2011

Military Monday- Edward Dwyer in the Civil War, continued

Last week I wrote about Edward Dwyer in the 8th Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment that served in the Union Army during the Civil War:  Little Eddy the Drummer.  Edward served from 02 Jun 1862 to 04 Jun 1863; he was mustered out in Nashville, Tennessee, having turned sixteen on 22 May.  Did he then go home to Saint Louis?  I’m not really sure.  I’ve been going over the records that I downloaded from (now fold3) some time ago.  I remember being excited to find Edward Dwyer, but something must have taken me away from his story.  Now I don’t have access to those records, and it’s frustrating.  But I’m going to try to put together what I have.

First I made a spreadsheet of his service records (I’m a spreadsheet person, if you haven’t guessed.  I make spreadsheets of everything, including clothing purchases, especially on sale and with a coupon!).

Here is the Muster and Descriptive Roll for Edward Dwyer, Musician:

I love the physical description given:  hazel eyes, dark hair, light complexion, and height 4 feet 8 inches!

Occupation Plumber is an important clue that he is my Edward Dwyer as I have later Saint Louis City Directories where he is listed at the same address as his father Jeremiah and Edward’s occupation is given as plumber.

On the Muster and Descriptive Roll, he is 17 years old, and the remarks state “Joined as a Recruit with consent of Guardian.”  I wish that I had these types of records for Edward’s service in the Kansas Regiment when he had just turned 15 years old!

So, looking at the muster rolls, I am immediately faced with a contradiction:

Although both of these cards clearly state that Edward enlisted 29 May 1864 in St. Louis, Mo, the second card states that he appears on Company Muster Roll for Feb 29/64 to June 30, 1864.  Would the muster roll for the entire company show him as an additional enlistment during this time period?  Or was Edward in the company prior to May?

He continues to be on Muster Roll cards for July & Aug 1864 and Sept & Oct 1864.  The next card for Edward Dwyer, Music, Co F, 7 Reg’t Missouri Inf. is a transfer to 11th Mo Infty.  Roll Dated Nashville Tenn Dec 14, 1864; it gives the same enlistment and muster in information as previous cards.

The next group of cards is for Edward Dwyer, Musician, Company A, 11th Missouri Infantry.  The summary card says “See also 7th Mo Inf.”  On the Muster Roll for Nov & Dec 1864: Joined for duty and enrolled May 29, 1864, St. Louis, Mo, period 3 years; absent; Detached as musc. at Gen. Hosp. Nashville Tenn.  Transferred from 7th Mo Inf Dec 4/64 S.O. 153, Gen Canby”

Edward is present on Muster Roll cards for Jan & Feb 1865, Mar & Apr 1865, May & Jun 1865, July & Aug 1865.  The Sept & Oct 1865 card has remarks:  Deserted Sept 30″/65 and lists the supplies missing (I think): one Shelter Tent, one Drum Complete, one Knapsack Haveret [haversack?] one canteen

On the Nov & Dec 1865 Muster Roll card, Edward is again present.  Remarks:  “Returned from desertion Dec 1″/65.  Stop one month pay sentence of a G.C.M.” [General Court Martial]

The last card is a Muster-out Roll, Co A, 11 Reg’t Missouri Infantry, dated Memphis Tenn Jan 15, 1866.  Muster-out to date Jan 15, 1866.  Last paid to June 30, 1865.  Clothing Account:  due soldier $11.77.  Bounty paid $180; due $120.  Remarks:  “Age 17.  Stop one months pay proper sentence of Court Martial.  Stop $5.00 for one drum complete.”

Looking at all of this information, I definitely need to do more research into the Civil War, especially desertion and court martial.  I think that it was not an uncommon occurrence.   I would love to know more about Edward, Little Eddy:  Where did he go?  Was he gone from Sep 30 to Dec 1 (2 months) or only the one month that they stopped his pay?  Apparently he returned with most of the supplies, but what happened to his drum?

Also, when did Edward enlist in the Missouri Infantry?  He was mustered out of the Kansas Regiment 04 Jun 1863 in Nashville.  Did he remain in Tennessee until he joined a Missouri unit, or did he return to his family in Saint Louis?  The Muster and Descriptive Roll says that he enlisted in St Louis, Mo, May 29, 1864, but was mustered in June 25, 1864, in Memphis.  And then, there is the Muster Roll for Feb 29, 1864!

Edward enrolled for a period of 3 years.  He was mustered out of the 11 Reg’t Missouri Infantry, Co A, on Jan 15, 1866 so he did not complete his three years.  Were enrollment periods adjusted once the War ended?

There is also the question of Patrick Callahan, the other musician from St Louis who was mustered into the Kansas Regiment on the same date as Edward and also discharged at the same time in Nashville.  I would like to check the Civil War records to find if Patrick also joined the Missouri Infantry companies that Edward did.

And one final intriguing card, that I must have overlooked the first time:

Who might this be?  And is there any connection to my French family?


National Archives Catalog Title:  Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Volunteer Organizations During the American Civil War, compiled 1890-1912, documenting the period 1861-1866
Publication Number: M405
Record Group 94
State:  Missouri
Roll 0473, Eleventh Infantry, Cr-D
Roll 0441, Military Unit Seventh Infantry, D-Fi
Accessed from, date unknown

Military Monday – Little Eddy the Drummer

Edward Dwyer, born 22 May 1847, enlisted in the 8th Regiment Kansas Volunteers, Company K,  and was mustered in as a private 02 Jun 1862.  He was barely 15 years old. Edward was born in Saint Louis and had lived there all his life so I wondered why he enlisted with the Kansas Volunteers to fight in the Civil War.  The table below shows that the captains and several other officers were also from St. Louis.

Edward was promoted to the rank of Musician.   He was mustered out 04 Jun 1863 in Nashville, Tennessee.  Patrick Callahan, also a resident of St. Louis, enlisted and was discharged on the same dates as Edward; he was also promoted to Musician — this is an avenue I definitely need to explore further.

Source:  Extracted from Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kansas, Vol. 1. – 1861-1865.Leavenworth, Kansas: Bulletin Co-operative Printing Company, Chicago. 1867.  Eighth Regiment Kansas Volunteers – Infantry, Company K   [Note that I clipped pieces important to Edward’s service to create this table.]

The following, from the Wikipedia article 8th Regiment Kansas Volunteer Infantry, is a detailed service listing of Company K during the time Edward was with them.

1862.  Companies B, E, H, I and K moved from Leavenworth to Columbus, Ky., May 28-June 2, and to Union City, Tenn., June 8-11. To Trenton, Tenn., June 16-17. To Humboldt, Tenn., June 26, and to Corinth, Miss., July 2-3. Companies B, E, H, I, and K moved from Corinth, Miss., to Jacinto July 22, 1862, and to Eastport, Miss., August 3-5. March to Nashville, Tenn., August 18-September 4, thence to Louisville, Ky., in pursuit of Bragg September 11-26. Pursuit of Bragg into Kentucky October 1-16. Near Perryville October 6-7. Battle of Perryville October 8. Lancaster October 14. March to Nashville, Tenn., October 16-November 7. Reconnaissance toward Franklin December 9. Near Brentwood December 9. Assigned to provost duty at Nashville December 18, 1862 to June 9, 1863.

Edward’s 16th birthday was shortly before he was mustered out.  What more can be said than he had certainly had an eventful year.

It seems likely that this photo was from early in his Civil War service.  My daughter said that he looks like he is about five.  I think he could easily be mistaken for a little boy playing dress-up, playing at being a soldier in a war — not serving in the Civil War.

The photo is in the possession of a cousin who is a descendant of Edward’s half sister Cecilia Dwyer Weaver; Celia is a sister of my great grandmother Laura Dwyer French.  If you’d like to read more about Edward and his parents, see Mystery Monday – Jeremiah Dwyer, county Tipperary to Saint Louis, Missouri or select the Category “Dwyer” under “Surnames” in the drop down list to find additional posts on Jeremiah and on my great grandmother Anna Rooney Dwyer.

Next Monday I’ll continue Edward’s Civil War service with his enlistment in a Missouri regiment.

Military Monday – Researching your Ancestors

Following up on last Monday’s post on The War of 1812, I want to expand a little on some of the things I learned in Peggy Clemens Lauritzen’s webinar The War of 1812 – America’s “Forgotten” War.  I also want to give you a list of some of my favorite sites for military information.  All of these sources are free, of course.

Peggy gave a great overview of the major battles of the war, and she pointed out many places to look for records.  She especially encouraged us to look at County Histories to find military lists and other local information about our ancestors. wiki was another source she highly recommended, U.S. Military Records.

Another research aid that Peggy uses is a great idea:  a spreadsheet of ancestors who served in the military.  She has all military events as columns, across the top (French & Indian War, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, etc). She lists ancestors/family members down the left side, as rows.  She fills in all the information she knows for each person, such as the name of the Battle, the Regiment, the pension file, and if the person died.  Here is a rough first draft for some of my ancestors (click on the spreadsheet to see it enlarged):

This is a great way to keep track of the data that you have collected, and to see any holes that you have, research that still needs to be done.  As you can see, I have also listed research I want to do.  For example, I know that David Stewart had a land warrant for 902 ½ acres recorded on 21 Oct 1783.  He served in the 1st Light Dragoons 1777-1778 and I need to find out if this warrant is a bounty for that service.

You can go through your list of family members and identify which ones were of an age to have served in which wars.  Or, if you’re not quite ready for that level of investigation, you can simply add a person to the list as you find information for them.  I am creating a spreadsheet for my direct line ancestors which shows their ages during each war.  It shows their age at the beginning and end of each war if they were over 10.  By color coding it, I can easily see who I need to investigate.

Here are some sites that I especially like:
Southern Campaign Revolutionary War Pension Statements
Jacob Martin, my 4th great grandfather, served from North Carolina and his pension application is found here.  The amount of information that it gives not only on his service and his residences but also on his siblings is invaluable.  Ideally, I would like to see the original, but for now, I can use this free source.

Civil War Diaries & Letters Transcription Project
Take some time to read these first-hand accounts of soldiers’ lives in the Civil War.  Wendell Dorn Wiltsie wrote three diaries which are in this collection.  His entries describing the battle injury and subsequent death of his brother, captain of the company, are heartbreaking in their simplicity.  The change in tone of his writing throughout the war, the dirt on the pages, his pride in voting for Abraham Lincoln, all of these entries transport us to another world. My own connection to Wendell makes these diaries that much more special:  Wendell’s mother, Rachel Dorn Wiltsie, was the second cousin of my 3rd great grandmother, Rachel Dorn French.

US Dept of Veterans’ Affairs Nationwide Gravesite Locator
Enter a name and find out where your ancestor is buried as well as information about his service.  See a map of the cemetery.  Spouses may be buried there as well.

National Park Service
Explore these links to find out great details about the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War.  Be sure to click on “Stories,” “People” and “Places.”  For example in the Civil War under Stories, there is a section called “The Ordeal of the Border States.”  This includes information about the Springfield, Missouri, area, including the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, which was so important in the lives of my gg grandfather Jay Lansing French and his brother J Schuyler French [if you missed it, see Schuyler’s letter in the newspaper.]  Also be sure to take your time with the “Soldiers and Sailors Database” found in the Civil War section; it has 6.3 million records.

Don’t forget that War of 1812 records are free on until the end of the month.  Only about 3% of the pension files are online at this time, however.  Other publications include Letters Received By The Adjutant General, 1805-181; War of 1812 Prize Cases, Southern District Court, NY; and War of 1812 Service Records for Lake Erie and for Mississippi.

All of this should keep you busy for quite some time, and all within your recessionary budget!

A free search with a free image led me to a discovery that is priceless!

In my blog post last Friday I talked about following Thomas MacEntee’s advice to search for non-New Yorkers in the New York papers on (this was one tip from his “Finding Your New York Ancestors” Legacy webinar).  I was able to find an article about my granduncle living in Missouri, Horton I French.  So I decided to try another unusual name.

This time I searched for Schuyler French.  He was my great great grandfather’s brother, and they were born in the Schenectady area — so there was a New York connection.  And Schuyler is a somewhat unusual name, although less so in that part of New York.

All the entries seemed to be Schuyler at the end of a sentence and French at the beginning of the next one (Schuyler Street, I think, and then French governess, French dressmaker, etc etc).  But I was persistent.  There were only 66 results so that wasn’t bad.  And I found one blurb of Mrs. Schuyler French of Holla, Mo. (that’s Rolla, OCR can have some difficulty with those old newspapers) visiting her sister — that was in an article for Twenty Years Ago Today; those are always fun.

So, encouraged with this find, I plugged on.  And what I found made me blink several times: Schenectady NY Evening Star and Times, 1861, a letter written by Mr. Schuyler French.

This letter had been written by him in Rockford, Illinois, on 12 Aug 1861, after escaping from Springfield, Missouri.  [For all you history buffs, the Battle of Wilson’s Creek was 10 Aug 1861.]  He described how difficult it was to get out and how his Uncle, Paymaster in the Confederate Army, was able to get him a pass from a Rebel General that allowed him to get through.   He told of leaving everything but their clothing behind and how he had just gotten “a nice lot of new furniture, and had everything as nice and comfortable as could be desired…”

Schuyler’s letter told of the devastation in Springfield and you could feel his contempt for the Rebels.  It was a remarkable look into a life in Missouri in the Civil War.

And then it got even better.

He described what had happened to his brother — my gg grandfather!  “My brother has suffered severely from the southern army.   They took possession of the store the first day they came into Springfield….”  The letter gives a detailed account of it all.

Growing up, I had heard this story, but I heard that both sides had looted the store.  You see, my gg grandfather, Lansing French, was married to a woman born in Virginia, and I’m pretty sure that she, at least, was partial to the Rebel side.  One more look into the divisions caused by the Civil War.  In fact, her mother, my 3g grandmother, would not lower the flag when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated — a story that was handed down in more than one line of the family so you can see how important that Virginian heritage was!

The letter does not tell where my gg grandfather was.  Was he in Rockford, Illinois, with his brother?  The family story is that my gg grandfather took his family to New York and stayed with his brother Alonzo over the winter.  We know that a daughter was born in New York.    At some point, Lansing joined his brother who had a shoe store in Rockford  (that’s the family story again).  But we also know that Lansing was a sutler* in the Second Arkansas Cavalry (organized in Springfield, Missouri) from Mar 1864 to Aug 1865; and was in the city elections of Springfield in Sep 1865.

So there are still more questions to be answered (aren’t there always?!).  But finding this letter was an unexpected gift.

And it was the result of a tip in a free webinar and a search at a free site with images of newspapers that are available free.   What does that say about genealogists?  So many people volunteer their time to further the cause.  And that makes Surviving the Recession that much easier — and that much more special.



*A sutler or victualer is a civilian merchant who sells provisions to an army  in the field, in camp or in quarters. The sutler sold wares from the back of a wagon or a temporary tent, allowing them to travel along with an army or to remote military outposts. (Wikipedia)