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Johnsburg Goes to War: 1861-1865

This is my third column researching men from Johnsburg who served in the Union forces in Civil War. The information, pictures, letters and diaries of these men and their families I will share at a program scheduled for the Tannery Pond Community Center in Sep. of 2011.

Three of the four men in this week's column were married when they enlisted and served for more than three years. These men may have been particularly patriotic or, perhaps, they went off to war to escape the boredom of farm work or to escape a listless marriage. It is just as likely they enlisted for the bounty, sometimes as much as $200, which they needed to help feed their growing families.

If you have any information on the men listed below, or from past lists in this column, please contact me at 215-3009 or pearsall.glenn@gmail.com. Thanks.

Glenn L. Pearsall

Better, Levi

Born March 28, 1842 in "Canada East". Son of Charles and Polly (Wells). Enlisted May 3, 1861 at age 19, within three weeks of the firing on Ft. Sumter, as a private in the 22nd NY Volunteers. Discharged on Feb. 17, 1863, but re-enlisted the following Aug. in the 69th NY Vol. Infantry. Discharged Jun. 17, 1865, two months after Lee's surrender at Appomattox, VA.

Bills, Smith

Born Nov 12, 1833. Son of Daniel and Pamela (Bennet). Married when he enlisted Aug. 28, 1862 for three years. Private in the 96th NY Vol. Infantry. Discharged on Sept. 15, 1863.

Brainard, William Julius

Born Feb. 25, 1831 in "Canada East". Son of Andrew and Mary Ann (Billings). Married when he enlisted for three years with the 96th NY Vol. Infantry. Discharged on ?/18/1865.

Cleveland, George

Born May 5, 17, 1828, son of Benjamine and Betsy (Stackhouse). Age 33 and married when he enlisted Nov 12, 1861 for three years as a private in the 93rd NY Vol. Infantry. Discharged June 11, 1863 and re-enlisted six weeks later as a private for one year in Co. A of the 91st NY Vol. Infantry. Discharged March 6, 1865.

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