John Foster Military File

F 80 NY
John Foster, Corpl, Co. C, 20 Reg't New York State Militia

Contributed by Sandie Webber



John Foster was born in Stephensville (Alcove), Albany Co. NY on 12 Aug. 1829
He died there on 27 August 1888. He is buried in the cemetery down the road from the church at Medway, Greene Co., NY. He was married to Elizabeth Sickles in the Town of Coeymans 17 Nov. 1849 (town records)
 
(Sentence mitigated by direction of the President of the United States. At that time, Abraham Lincoln.)
Family history recalls John as deserting because he was worried about his children.

Appears on List Of Deserters from the organization named above.  List forwarded to the Provost Marshall General, dated Aqua Creek, VA Mar. 23, 1863
Deserted Jan. 3, 1863 at Halls Landing, VA.
 
Same information as first 2 rows of above, regarding name and company:
Private - Appears on Company Muster Roll for dated Dec. 31, 1861.  Present or absent - not stated.
Company Muster Roll for Mar and April 1863 - Deserted January 3, 1863
Appears on Special Muster Roll for April 1863.  Deserted Jan. 3/63.
Appears on Regimental Return for August 1863.  Date Aug 24, 1863 at Warrenbow? Junction.  Returned from desertion.
 
Company Muster Roll for July and August 1863 - Returned under arrest August 26/63
Appears on Regimental Return for Oct. 1863.  Present or absent - absent.  Remarks - in arrest.
Private - Company Muster Roll for Sept and Oct. 1863, absent.  Remarks: Returned from Desertion Aug. 26, 1863.  In arrest at the Provost Marshal Head Quarters.
Appears on Regimental Return for Nov. 1863 - absent.  In arrest.
Corporal - Appears on Company Descriptive Book (List of Noncommissioned Officers) of the organization named above.
Rank is Corporal.  Date of appointment Nov. 7, 1863.  Reduced to the ranks. Sent to Dry Tortugas by sentence of Genl. C. M. O.  (This was a federal prison, an island, off the coast of Florida).
Corporal - Descriptive List of Deserters for the month of dated Dec. 26, 1863. Returned Aug. 27, 1863, Warrenton Junction.
Private - Appears on Company Muster Roll for Nov. and Dec. 1863 - absent.  In arrest at Provost Marshall General Headquarters for Desertion.
Private - Appears on Company Muster Roll for Jan. and Feb. 1864 -absent.  In arrest at Provost Mar. General Headquarters. Headquarters for Desertion.
 
Appears on Regimental Return for February 1864 - absent.  In arrest.
Appears on Regimental Return for April 1864 absent.  In arrest Headquarters. Provost Marshall General.
Appears on Regimental Return for March 1864 - absent.  In arrest at Headquarters Provost Marshall General.  See roll for Mar and Apr 1864.
Appears on Company Muster Roll for March and April 1864 - absent.   In arrest at Head Quarters. Army of Potomac for Desertion.
Appears on Regimental Return for May 1864 - absent.  In arrest.
Appears on Company Muster Roll for May and June 1864 - absent.  In arrest at Headquarters. A. of P.
Appears on Regimental Return for June 1864 - absent.  In arrest.
Appears on Company Muster Roll for July and Aug. 1864 - absent.  In arrest for desertion
Appears on Regimental Descriptive Book of the regiment named above.  Description. Age 33 years; height 6 feet --- inches. Complexion is florid.  Eyes - blue; hair - dark.  Where born - Greenville, NY.  Occupation is stone mason.  (I am sure he has previously stated being born in Stephensville (Alcove).   Enlistment on Sept 15, 1861 at Kingston by Capt. Tappan for a term of three years.  Deserted Apr. 5, 1862.  Returned Sept. 1862 South Mountain Sept 14, 1862 Antietam. Sept. 17, 1862 Fredericksburg.  Dec. 12 to 15 (Unknown)? at Halls Landing, Va.  Jan. 3, 63 Returned in arrest Aug. 27, 1863.  Returned to duty without trial but with loss of all pay and allowances during his absence and the money paid for his apprehension and at the expiration of the time lost by Desertion.
Private - Appears on Company Muster Roll dated Oct. 31, 1861.
Private - age 33 years.  Appears on Company Muster-in Roll of the organization named above.  Roll dated Kingston, NY Oct. 23, 1861.  Muster in to date Sept. 15, 1861.  Joined for duty and enrolled Sept. 15, 1861 at Kingston - period war years.  Mustered in by Capt. H. C. Bankhead.  Book mark: Sec 280A (E.B) 84
 
Private - Appears on Company Muster Roll for 30 Sept to 31 Dec. 1864 - Discharged Sentence of CM
Private - Appears on Company Muster Roll for Sept. and Oct. 1864.  Discharged by sentence of General Court Marshal.
Appears on Regimental Return for August 1864 - absent.  In arrest. Pro. Mar. Gen. Hd Quarters.  Note on this page - he will be released from confinement and restored to duty with his Regiment per. S.C. 371 A.G.O. Oct. 28, 1864 (stamped July 14, 1890 and the number 1467908 here)
Appears on Regimental Return for May 1862 - absent.  Absent without leave since April 5, 1862.
 
Corporal - Appears on Regimental Return for Jan. 1863.  Date Jan. 3.  at Hall's Landing.  Deserter.
 
Corporal - Appears on Company Muster Roll from Oct. 31, 1862 to Feb. 28, 1863.  Deserted Jan. 3, 1863.
 
Private - Appears on Company Descriptive Book (Register of Deserter) of the organization named above.  Deserted Jan. 3, 1863 at Belle Plain VA.
Appears on Regimental Return for July 1864 - absent.  In arrest.
Appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above.  Description.  Age 33 years; height 6 feet.  Complexion is florid, eyes blue and dark hair.  Born at Greenville NY and is a stone man.  Enlistment on Sept. 22, 1861 at Kingston by Capt. Tappen term war years.  Remarks.  Deserted Apl. 5, 1862 South Mountain Antietam Fredericksburg.  Deserted Jan. 3, 1863.  Returned under arrest Aug. 25, 1863.  Sent to Dry Tortugas by sentence of Genl. Court Martial.
Appears on Company Descriptive Book (Register of Men Discharged)  - item is blank.
Appears on Regimental Return for Dec. 1864.  Remarks Mail Boat
 
Original (For a Board)
Claim No. 468.387
 
Name of claimant - John Foster; Rank - Sergeant Company C, Regiment, 80 NY Volunteers. Address of the Board, Albany, Albany Co. NY; Date of examination Jan. 23, 1884.
We hereby certify that in compliance with the requirements of the law we have carefully examined the applicant, who claims that while in the service of the United States at or near a place named Bull Run VA, and while in line of duty, on or about the spring day of 1862, he incurred a fracture of the right knee pan and that in consequence thereof he is 1/4 disabled for earning his subsistence by manual labor.  His pulse rate is 76 per minute; respiration 18; his temperature normal; his height is 5 feet and 11 inches; he weighs 182 pounds, and states that he is 56 years of age.  Touching the cause and degree of the disability for which he claims a pension, he makes the following statement:  Applicant is a man well developed, muscles firm, speech indistinct, the result of attacks of paralysis, one nine years and the second three months ago.  Skin and tongue, heart (Unknown) ), spleen and abdomen normal.  Tendon of knees and other joints normal.  The patellas of knees are normal.  We detect no evidence of fracture in either.  There is not perfect freedom of action in either knee joint because of thickening to a very moderate extent, the result of former inflammatory action.
The examination reveals the following objective facts in support of his statements: There is some pain and weakness of knees by changes in weather and on severe exertion.  Disability of knees one quarter.  We find no evidence of Disability - from any disease nor injury excepting as above stated.
Following blanks not filled in - From the existing condition and the history of this claimant, as stated by himself, it is, in our judgment, ----- probably that the disability was incurred in the service as he claims, and that it has not been aggravated or prolonged by vicious habit.  He is in our opinion, entitled to a ---rating for the disability caused by ----, -- for that caused by-----, and ------ for that caused by ------, the sum of which aggregates ---------
Charles H. Porter, President.,
Wm H. Bailey, Secretary
Herman  (Unknown)??ell, Treas
The Board.
 
Letter received in 1934
To the Commissioner of Pensions-Dear Sir: About 5 years ago, there was some correspondence between your department and W.E. Brady, Service Officer, American Legion in regard to a request for a pension for Mrs. Loretta Smith of this town, daughter of John Foster, Co. 80 NY Infantry.  Correspondence to be quoted Prvd. CC 335 ZWS. (Whatever that is).  John Foster, a veteran of the Civil War lies in a nearby cemetery.  His grave is marked all right for identification.  He himself never received a pension nor any remuneration for his services.  Whey the correspondence (in 1929) was not carried out to a logical conclusion, I cannot say, but my neighbor, John Foster's daughter, Mrs. Loretta Smith, an elderly woman now in need, has appealed to me to bring the matter to your attention with the idea of securing an adjustment of this long overdue pension.  She is the last of his descendants and now in need.  Will you give this matter your attention, if you please, and advise what steps might be taken in the matter.  It seems too bad that a deserving relative of a soldier in the Civil War, a fine upstanding patriot, as I understand it, should suffer at this late day for want of a pension which should have been awarded to him during his lifetime.  I see a note in pencil on a memorandum returned from Washington as follows Sec I SO46837.  This may be of help in identifying the correspondence.  Address any necessary communication to me as I am writing in her name and for her interest.  Any attention you may give this matter will be much appreciated.  Respectfully yours, Mrs. SB Hallock, 61 New St. Coxsackie, NY.
Reply dated August 10, 1934.  Written to Mrs. SB Hallock, 61 New St., Coxsackie.
FOSTER, John XC-896 955
Dear Madam:  This is in reply to your letter of April 3, 1934, relative to whether Mrs. Frank Smith, daughter of the above-named deceased veteran, would be entitled to pension on account of the service rendered by her father.  A report from the records of the War Department in the case shows that the veteran was dishonorably discharged on September 3, 1864, being a deserter, and it is not shown that his death was the result of his military service.  There is no law under which the daughter would be entitled to pension.  The veteran filed a claim for pension January 2, 1883, which was denied on the ground that he deserted the service and was dishonorably discharged.  All future communications relative to this case should bear the veteran's name and refer to the number XC-896 955.  Respectfully, El Bailey, Director, Widows and Dependents Claims Service.
"A" Declaration for Original Invalid Pension. "A"
State of New York, County of Green
On this 15th day of May A.D. one thousand eight hundred and eighty-two personally appeared before me Supreme Court the same being a Court of Record of the County and State aforesaid John Foster a resident of New Baltimore, County of Greene, State of New York who being by me duly sworn according to law on his solemn oath, deposes as follows, to wit:<BR>
"I am the identical John Foster who was enrolled on the --- day of September 1862 in Company "C" of the 20th NY State Militia, commanded by Captain Tappin and I was honorably discharged at --- on the ----- day of ---- 186-- and my age is now "55" years.  While in the service aforesaid, and in the line of my duty I received the following disability, to wit:  At Centreville VA in month of ---- --- 1863 I was on a train with Rebel prisoners going from Bulls Run to Washington and I slipped and struck on my right knee breaking knee pan and I am lame from this and claim pension on my disability.  I was in hospital at Albany in July, August and September 1863.  I was sent to Albany NY for my discharge in the month of --- 186 - and as they did not have my descriptive list I got no discharge.  I have never been employed in the Military or Naval Service of the United States otherwise than set forth above.  Since leaving the Service, I have resided at Medway, Greene County, NY and my occupation has been stone mason before my entry into the Service aforesaid.  I was of good, sound physical health, being at enrollment a stone mason and I am now greatly disabled from obtaining my subsistence by manual labor by reason of my disabilities above stated, received in the service of the United States and I make this Declaration for the purpose of being placed in the Invalid Pension Roll of the United States.  I hereby appoint and empower, with full power of substitution, J.B. Cralle of Washington, DC my true and lawful Attorney to prosecute my claim.  My post office address is Medway, County of Greene, State of NY.  (Signed by John Foster) - claimant's signature.  Attest: Two Witnesses - Henry Harden and Jasp?(Unknown) Gibbons.  This Declaration must be made before some Clerk of a Court of Record.  If acknowledged before a Notary or Justice, it will be worthless.
 
Pvt. - Appears on Company Muster Roll for January and February 1862.  Not stated whether present or absent.  Appears on Regimental Return for March 1862.  Absent. Sick furlough Kingston, NY Mar. 30, 1862 Division. H.Q. 2 days.
 
Pvt. - Appears on Company Muster Roll for March and April 1862.  Received a furlough before last pay day and has not  yet returned.
Pvt. - Appears on Regimental Return for April 1862.  Absent.  Absent without leave April 5, 1862 Baileys Cross Road VA.
Notation
Book mark: 280-A - 1884
Adjutant General's Office, War Department, Washington, January 11, 1864
Tried by G.C.M. at Brandy Station. January 17, 1864 on the charge of desertion found guilty and sentenced to be shot to death with musketry at such time and place as the Commanding General may direct.  Sentence mitigated by direction of the President of the US to discharge from the US service with forfeiture of all pay and allowances due and imprisonment during the war at Dry Tortugas, Florida for G.C.M. 287 (Unknown)? Sept. 2, 1863  Received at Ft. Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, Florida.
 
Corporal - Appears on Descriptive List of Deserters Arrested.  List dated Aug. 12, 1863 and signed by the Provost Marshal, 13 District of NY.  Deserted Jan. 2, 1863 at Hall's Landing.  Arrested Aug. 3, 1863 at Greenville, NY.  Expenses $11.85.  Endorsement on list shows that the men named therein were received at Fort Columbus August 13, 1863.
Pvt. - Appears on List of Deserters confined at Fort Columbus, New York Harbor, by order of A.A. Provost Marshal General and forwarded to Washington, D.C. August 14, 1863.  Roll dated Ft. Columbus, NY August 15, 1863.  Apprehended at Kingston.
Pvt. - Appears on Co. Muster-out Roll dated Portsmouth, VA January 29, 1864.  Deserted January 3, 1863.  Returned in arrest Aug. 25/6 S.G.C.M. Sent to Dry Tortugas, Fla. for 3 years.  Book mark: Gen. G.C.M. O. 287 War Department.
 
"A" Invalid "A" Claim for Pension, Original.  Filed by JB Cralle, US Pension Attorney, Washington, D.C.
Stamped Jan. 2, 1883 - Invalid "A" Claim for Pension.  Original.  And personally appeared Henry Harding residing at New Baltimore and Jay Gibbons residing at Greenville persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit and who being by me first duly sworn according to law, say they were present and saw John Foster the claimant sign  his name (or make his mark) to the foregoing declaration; that they have every reason to believe from the appearance of said claimant and their acquaintance with him, that he is the identical person he represents himself to be; and that they have no interest in this claim for Pension.  Signatures of Witnesses, Henry Harden and Jay Gibbons.  Sworn and Subscribed before me, this 15th day of May A.D. 1882.  Signatures. John Avery (spelling?), County Clerk for Greene Co. NY.
 
Additional Evidence, Proof of Origin,
Claimant John Foster Co. C 20th NY Volunteers, Original. Inv. Pension, No. 468,387.  Stamped May 7, 1886. And deponent further states that he is well acquainted with the claimant, having known him for at least 26 years and further, that his knowledge of the facts above stated is derived from said acquaintance, and from having served as private of Company C of the 20th Regiment of New York Volunteers from the ---- day of 1861 to the ------day of 1864.  And deponent further stated that the claimant was a sound and able-bodied man at and prior to enlistment, so far as he knew, and that he is totally disinterested in this claim.  Post office address of affiant is Schodack Landing, Rensselaer Co., NY.  Signature of Affidavit.  Wm. H. Hallock, State of New York, County of Rensselaer.  Sworn to and subscribed before me this day by the above named affiant, and I certify that I read said affidavit to said affiant, including all the words erased and all the words added, and acquainted affiant with its contents before he executed the same.  I further certify that I am in no wise interested in said case, nor am I concerned in its prosecution; and that the said affiant is personally known to me and the he is a credible person.  Certificate of Official character of magistrate on file.  Silas Cargon (spelling?), Justice of the Peace.
 
Private John Foster Company C NY State militia sentenced to discharge from the US service with forfeiture of all pay and allowances due, and imprisonment during the war at Dry Tortugas, Florida.
 
He will be released from confinement and restored to duty with his regiment by order of the president (at that time this was ) of the United States
 
E. D. Townsend
Assistant Adjutant General
 
Oct 28th 1864
 
Captain Schuyler
 
Dear Captain.
 
I have the honor to call your attention to General Orders No 206 War Department, Adj
General's office Jun 3, 1864 in regard to the execution of sentences of Court Martial in certain cases and to inquire whether under that order, John Foster of this regiment tried last winter for desertion and UNDERSTOOD to be sentenced to be shot to death cannot be disposed of.
 
He has conducted himself with great dec.... since he has been in arrest, having acted as Commissary for the prisoners and been very faithful. If the pardoning power could be anticipated in his favor, I should be very glad to see it exercised. There are many other prisoners here (never belonging to my regiment) under sentence & awaiting trial. In most of the cases of my men (awaiting trial) I would like to be authorized to release them or just return them to duty, subject to trial thereafter.
 
I am captain,
 
Very Respectful
Your Adjutant
Theodore B. Gate
 

For Affidavit of Officer or Two Comrades.  This affidavit should be made by a Commissioned Officer, if possible, but if it be impossible to secure the testimony of an officer, get the affidavits of two of your comrades instead.  This blank will answer in either case.
 
State of New York County of Rensselaer, SS: on this 16th day of April A.D., 1888, personally appeared before me a Justice of the Peace in and for the aforesaid County, duly authorized to administer oaths, Wm H Hallenbeck aged 57 years, a resident of Schodack Landing in the County of Rensselaer and State of New York who being duly sworn according to law, stated that he is acquainted with John Foster, applicant for Invalid Pension, and knows the said John Foster to be the identical person of that name who enlisted or volunteered as a --- in Company C 80th Regiment of New York Volunteers., and who was discharged at --- on or about the --- day of -0--- 186- by reason of ----.
That the said John Foster while in the line of duty, at or near Centersville in the State of Virginia, did on or about the 11th day of March 1862, become disabled in the following manner, viz.: That while lifting a wagon on the Railroad, the said claimant fell and injured his knee; that he knows personally that the said injury existed at time of claimant's discharge from the service.  That the facts stated are personally known to the affiant by reason of having been present at the time, and seeing the claimant when he received the fall, and also saw his knee.
 
Another sheet which has the date of Nov. 23, 1888 written on the side.
War Department, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, Dec. 22, 1864.  Sir:  In reply to your letter requesting a Descriptive List of John Foster, a Private in Company C, 80th Regiment New York Volunteers, I have the honor to furnish the following "Descriptive List," obtained from the records of this Office: which, from the want of the necessary date, which is in the possession of the Company Commander, is only "partial".
Name, Rank and Regiment, Description, &c.
John Foster, a Private in Company C 80th Regiment of New York Volunteers is 33 years of age; but no further "description" can be obtained from the files of this Office.  He was enrolled on the 15th day of Sept. 1861 at the Town of Kingston in the State of New York by Capt. J. R. Tappan and mustered into the service of the United States on the 23rd day of October 1861 at the town of Kingston in the State of New York by Capt. McMahen to serve for the period of 3 years or "during the war".
Account of Pay ---- nothing listed.
Account of Clothing - The files of this Office furnish no account of clothing; it must be obtained, if obtained at all, from his Company Commander.
Remarks.  On Muster Roll for Sept. and Oct. 1864 he is reported "Discharged by sentence of General Court Martial.
Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, Sam G. Lreck (hard to read) Assistant Adjutant General.  To JH Butler, 1st Lt. 2nd US Army Mustering Office, Albany, NY.
 
Another page - Department of the Interior, Pension Office, Feb. 1st, 188 could be 3 or 8.
Sir:  Please furnish this Office a report of hospital treatment in the Claim No. 468387 of John Foster, late a Sergeant Co. C 80th NY Volunteers, from the data given below.
Disability from falling on Railroad train at Centralia VA, --- from Bull Run to Washington, DC with prisoners.  May or June 1863 broke knee cap of right knee.  Treatment as follows: In Hospital at Albany, NY July, August and September 1863.  Discharged - Not discharged.  Relates being sent to Albany for discharge having no descriptive list and got no discharge.  Very respectfully Wm. Dudley, Commissioner.  The Surgeon General USA.

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