Saturday, May 19, 2012

The curious case of Lewis L. Terry's possible Civil War service

We all get by with a little help from our friends. In my case, that friend is Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, who commented on my previous post Why aren't these Civil War pension index cards the same? wherein I begin to chronicle my research for a certain Lewis L. Terry's possible involvement in the US Civil War. Pam pointed me to three entries in the Missouri Digital Heritage Soldiers Records: War of 1812-WWI located online at

With Pam's detailed information, I was anxious to follow up on what the great state of Missouri had to say about her soldiers. Though, on further review, I believe the state has a copy of the Missouri section of the War Department's carded index and has digitized them on the Missouri State Archives website for convenience of their researchers.

I located the entry below for a Lewis L. Terry, 4th sergeant in Captain Flint's 43 regiment, infantry volunteers, company F. This man enlisted 19 Aug 1864 in Bancroft, Mo.; mustered in 6 Sept. 1864, S. Joe, Mo, and he mustered out 30 June 1865 at Benton Barracks, Missouri, which Pam says is near St. Louis.   The image shown below is located here on the Missouri State Archives website in .pdf format. (At Mr. Myrt's suggestion, I used my trial copy of SnagIt to capture the .pdf image and add the caption with the URL.)

A SECOND ENTRY spotted by Pam also lists a Lewis L. Terry. This man is a corporal, Company M, 4th Regiment, Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia. The image shown below is located here on the Missouri State Archives website in .pdf format. (From this you can see I added a more detailed caption with the URL.)

Though for a Lewis W. Terry, I copied this card as well. This man served 47 days between April 29th and Nov 15, 1865 as a private in Company A, 54th Regiment Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia. Here is the link to the original image on the Missouri State Archives website. I need to decipher the relationship, if any, between these various Terry soldiers.

THOUGH THESE ARE POSTED AT THE  MISSOURI STATE ARCHIVES, I THINK THESE ARE FEDERAL COMPILED SERVICE INDEX CARDS. On the first and third cards, there are the barely legible notations including the phrase "from the Office of the Auditor, War Department, Wash., D. C." To me this means that these cards are most likely the service records index cards created by the War Department. I believe that the  Missouri State Archives decided this record group was relevant and decided to maintain a microfilm (now digitized) copy of Missourians involved. I am out on a limb here, but I think a comparison with extant service index cards from Fold3 may be in order.

In fiddling around, I discovered by clicking on the link for the unit, there is an alpha listing of soldiers who served in the 43rd Regiment. It was on this alpha listing that I discovered Company F had a lot of men with the surname Terry, though only one Lewis was listed. It might be interesting to see who they each are. Perhaps in their pension files they mention one another? 

Now I should look for
Aaron Terry, Company F
David F. Terry, Company F
David M. Terry, Company F
Lewis L. Terry, Company F
Robert L. Terry, Company F

That all these Terry men served in the same unit is mighty intriguing. 

In the 4th Regiment, Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia alpha listing of soldiers we see the following:
David Terrie, Company A
Lorenzo D. Terry, Company A
David Terry, Company A
Lewis L. Terry, Company M
Robert J. Terry, Company M 

I feel like Alice in Wonderland. Things just get curiouser and curiouser.

Looks like I'll eventually become an expert on the Terry men who served in the state of Missouri during the Civil War. Mr. Myrt suggests I study the unit history to see if these units merged at some point.

Pam, did you know there is a Horace B. Sayre who served during the Civil War in the same 43rd Regiment, but in Company A not Company F as my possible soldier? Small world, eh?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont 

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