Utica Saturday Globe
April 27, 1907
Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin
The Youngest Soldier.
Monroe Truesdell Was in the Cavalry Before He was 14 Years Old.
Monroe Truesdell, of Big Hollow, N. Y., makes the claim that he was the youngest man in the Federal army in civil war—excluding drummers, of course. He was born in the town of Lexington, New York State, September 13, 1848. On September 11, 1862, two days before he was 14 years old, he enlisted in the Fourth New York Cavalry and entered service immediately, being assigned to the Army of the Potomac. He served under Custer, Kilpatrick, Merritt and Sheridan and was on the staff of Warren and Sheridan. He claims to have carried the first dispatch from Warren to Grant when the latter took command of the Army of the Potomac at Culpepper, Va. Gen. Cesnola once told him that he was the swiftest bearer of messages he had ever known.
When Sheridan went to the Shenandoah Valley to meet Early, Truesdell went with him. Up to this time he had only received a bayonet wound through the left leg and a buckshot wound in the right side. At the battle of Winchester he was shot through the right lung and shoulder. He was sent to a hospital. Returning to his regiment he was promoted to commissary sergeant for services at Winchester. Later the Fourth New York Cavalry was consolidated with the Ninth and Truesdell was rendered supernumerary. He was then offered a commission as lieutenant on scout duty on the frontier but preferred to remain with his old comrades. When Lee surrendered he helped parole prisoners in the Valley. He was discharged April 30, 1865.
After leaving the army he went into business in several branches and is now located at East Jewett in the lumber business. He has recently returned from a trip through the south, during which he inspected several of the old battlefields.