Saturday, June 25, 2022

Looking Back

22nd New York Infantry, A. A. Robinson
As I mentioned the other day, we passed over the battlefield of Manassas (First and Second) not too long ago. I mentioned that my great-grandfather - Private Joseph Goodrich, Company K, 22nd New York Volunteer Infantry - had fought in that battle and, according to family legend, had been captured there.

As his obituary states that he served with his regiment until it mustered out on the 19th of June, 1863, I can only surmise that he was exchanged (the North and South did exchange prisoners of war early in the war) or perhaps that family legend has it wrong. I need to look into that further. I'm sure my nephew, The Young Vermonter, has that information somewhere, He's the family genealogist.

At any rate, those chaps in the opening photo served with my great-grandfather in the 22nd New York. Hell, for all I know one of those fellows could be my grandfather. I've never seen a picture of the old boy. As he was a private, the two fellows on either side can be ruled out, they're both corporals. The more I look at the picture, the more I convince myself that the fellow in the middle has something of a familiar aspect to him. A family resemblance, if you will. But I don't know.

He died at the age of 64, in 1905, when my grandfather (one of his sons) wasn't ten years old yet, having come along in 1896, when Grand-père Joseph was already 55. I grew up knowing that he had had my grandfather rather late in life. What I didn't know was that Grand-père Joseph's original family name had been Gaudry. The Young Vermonter tracked down that interesting tidbit a few years back. I always wondered why we were not related to any of the other various and sundry Goodrich families in the area.

Now my grandfather Louis, one of Joseph's three sons, had four sisters as well. None of whom I can remember meeting. At least one of the daughters spoke French her entire life, not having a word of English, again according to family legend. For you see, Grand-père Joseph had been born in Quebec, ya know, north of the border. French was the language they used at home apparently.

I remember my grandfather telling us tales of our name actually not being Goodrich but was something along the lines (as best as I can remember) Dubonnier de Goodry. That's the phonetic spelling as I remember it. Obviously the "Goodry" bit is actually "Gaudry." Gramp also knew a couple of songs in French that my mother always admonished him not to sing around my brothers and I. (Also "Goodry" kinda-sorta sounds like "Goodrich," pronounced in a pseudo-French kind of way.)

Anyhoo, an interesting feature of French names is that often there would be one name followed by a second, with the word "dit" sandwiched in between. In essence, the first name would be the actual family name of the person, the second was what the person was called, "dit" being the French for that. So perhaps I misheard and Gramp was actually saying something else. But he would only tell us these tales of his French-Canadian background when he was in his cups. Which was usually when my mother and grandmother tried to herd him away from the bairns¹.

Anyway, I did some digging, remembering bits and pieces of information shared with me by The Young Vermonter. Here's what I found -

The majority of his unit's service during its most active period was with John Pope's Army of Virginia (oddly enough, a northern army named for a region, not a river) in Irwin McDowell's Third Corps:

Army of Virginia
Major General John Pope

Third Corps:
Major General Irvin McDowell

First Division
BG Rufus King (ill)
BG John P. Hatch (w)
BG Abner Doubleday

First Brigade
BG Hatch (w), Col Timothy Sullivan

22nd New York: Col Walter Phelps, Jr.
24th New York: Col Timothy Sullivan, LtCol Samuel Beardsley (w), Maj Andrew Barney (w)
30th New York: Col Edward Frisby
84th New York (14th Militia): LtCol E.B. Fowler (w), Maj W.H. de Bevois
2nd United States Sharpshooters: Col Henry A.V. Post

Note that his division, the First, went through three commanders in fairly short order during the fighting around Manassas, Brigadier General King having taken ill, Brigadier General Hatch (Grand-père Joseph's brigade commander) took over, after he was wounded, one of the other brigade commanders, Abner Doubleday (yes, that Doubleday) took over the division.

The regiment was hard used at Second Manassas.

The regiment lost 10 officers and 42 men killed or mortally wounded, 9 officers and 55 men wounded, and 4 officers and 60 men missing out of 379 engaged. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas was mortally wounded and Captain George Clendon of Company E wounded. (Source)

Grand-père Joseph was one of those, I suspect, 60 men missing. Some dead, bodies not recovered, some falling into Confederate hands as POWs. To be exchanged at a later date, before the war turned even more brutal.

Prior to seeing combat at Manassas, Grand-père Joseph saw combat of a different sort in the streets of Baltimore, MD when a mob attacked his unit as it passed through on the way to the nation's capital.

While transferring between train stations in Baltimore, Private Edward Burge of Company I was shot and killed by a mob. The regiment returned fire, wounding several civilians, before Baltimore police intervened. (Source

The 22nd New York was a "two year" regiment, most of the men signing on for just two years. some signed on for three and were transferred to other regiments when the 22nd was mustered out.

Duty in the Defences of Washington, D. C., till March, 1862. Advance on Manassas, Va., March 10-15. Camp at Upton's Hill till April 9. McDowell's advance on Falmouth, Va., April 9-19. Duty at Fredericksburg, Va., till May 25. McDowell's advance on Richmond May 25-29. Operations against Jackson June 1-21. At Falmouth and Fredericksburg till August 6. Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 16-September 2. Fords of the Rappahannock August 21-23. Battles of Gainesville August 28. Groveton August 29, and 2nd Bull Run August 30. Maryland Campaign September 6-22. Battles of South Mountain September 14; Antietam September 16-17. Duty in Maryland till October 29. Advance on Falmouth, Va., October 29-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. "Mud March" January 20-24, 1863. At Belle Plains till April 27. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Operations at Pollock's Mill Creek April 29-May 2. Fitzhugh's Crossing April 29-30. Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5. Three years men transferred to 76th and 93rd New York Regiments Infantry. Mustered out June 19, 1863, expiration of term. Regiment lost during service 11 Officers and 62 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 28 Enlisted men by disease. Total 102. (Source)

As for Grand-père Joseph's particulars -

GOODRICH , JOSEPH.—Age, 18 years. Enlisted, May 25, 1861, at Port Henry, to serve two years; mustered in as private, Co. K , June 6, 1861; mustered out with company, June 19, 1863, at Albany, N. Y.  (Source)

There is even an extant muster role in existence, at this Source (Warning, PDF.)


One of the veterans of the civil war in the person of Joseph Gaudry, alias Goodrich, died on the 12th inst., at the St. Johnsbury Hospital at the age of 64 years and six months, after an illness of over three months, which he bore in a truly edifying spirit of Christian resignation and patience. At the opening of the civil war in 1861, Mr. Gaudry enlisted in the 22nd regiment of New York and took part in ten of the principal battles of the war, among them that of Bull Run. He was one of the war pensioners. On his return to Vermont he made his home in Danville. He leaves a wife and seven children, three sons and four daughters, two of whom are married; Mrs. Patrick Demanche and Mrs. Paquin, both of St. Johnsbury. The funeral was held Friday morning from Notre Dame de Victoire church, Rev. J. A. Boissonault officiating.

Source: St. Johnsbury Caledonian, April 19, 1905
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau. (Source)

I often wonder what he was like. I'm sure the war changed him in many ways. Remember, his service was when the North was suffering defeat after defeat at the hands of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. No doubt when thinking about re-enlisting (if he did), all those defeats probably made him say not just "No," but "Hell, no!"

Hard to say, I know very little about him.

Unlike another relative of mine who served in the Civil War (or whatever your particular dogma cares to call it) on my mother's side of the family, Pliny Gammell. I'm not a descendant of his but he's the only other relative I know of who served in the 19th Century in North America. I wrote about him here.

We have letters of his, even a picture. I rather wish we had the same for my great-grandfather.

Ah well, perhaps I'll get to meet him in the afterlife. Sure hope so.

¹ Bairn is Scottish for baby or child. My grandmother was born in Scotland and came over when she was not yet a teen, as I recall.


  1. Those corporal stripes are really noticeable aren't they? Family history can be really interesting eh Sarge? The same time your great-grandfather was surviving the Civil War mine was running around Europe, nobody having emigrated yet.

    1. Meant to stand out in the smoke and confusion of battle.

  2. Amos Hill was my great-great grandfather. Enlisted in a/the Pennsylvania regiment early in the Civil War. I have read and once had in my possession his photograph which had writings on the back describing capture and POW status served in Andersonville. Wounded by shrapnel and one mini-ball in his leg. After his release he went on to become a member of the NYC P. D. The writing was done by his daughter Etta who I remember visiting as a 4-5 year old in Topeka KS. His experience as a soldier implies phycological interrupts occurred like your ancestor certainly went through.

    Take care Sarge and glad to read the post.


    1. It's good to remember those who have gone before, keeps a small part of them alive in my reckoning.

  3. That was super interesting Sarge! Thank you!

    To our knowledge, no-one on my mother's side served on either side in the Civil War. Possibly on my father's side, but no-one seems to have done the historical research to get us there.

    But there is a little bit - For example, my great-granny, who we visited in the home state of my father, we always thought came from that state. Turns out in looking at the history, she was actually born about 60 miles from where we live in New Home. My father has a picture of her up from the 1890's on the wall. She must be under five in that picture. When we visited her she was in her late 90's. It somewhat makes me smile that I have the privilege of seeing her in some way at the two bookends of her life.

    (And she was tough woman in her 90's still. Painted her living room solo when she was 94. Still gardened, still got up every morning when we were there and cooked us a breakfast of bacon, eggs fried in bacon fat, toast, and grits. Here is hoping I held on to a least some of her genes.)

  4. I have relations who served on both sides of the Revolution and both sides of the Civil War. Sadly, only now, do I become interested in their doings and lives. Great reading of yours.

    1. It does seem that as we age we look more towards the past and where (and who) we came from.

  5. Maternal side of the family tree, an ancestor from Wisconsin was a member of the "Iron Brigade" and was in several battles. On the paternal side we are shirttail relatives of a member of the Colorado Militia who was at Glorieta Pass, NM.

  6. Ah, yes, history is extremely interesting, although well written historical fiction such as we are treated to here, is a reasonable facsimile.

    The 22nd New York (variously termed as Infantry, State Volunteers or State Militia) was armed with the British made Pattern 1858 two band .577 caliber rifles. These had 33 inch barrels and used a ridiculously long sword bayonet that looked fierce but was worthless as a sword, and very awkward as a bayonet. But, they looked cool in photos!

    There are a ton of photos in the Library of Congress on the 22nd NY Infantry, apparently taken near Harpers Ferry shortly before Antietam. None noted as Company K, but who knows, maybe Joe photobombed someone else's session with Mr. Brady.,+22nd&sp=1

    The 22nd was there for both Bull Runs, the peninsula campaign, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. Undoubtedly they earned the right to sink into their cups to escape the horrors they saw and inflicted. But, on the bright side, it appears that their sanitation procedures were well above average as their non-combat deaths were far fewer than combat losses, a rarity prior to WW1.

    Freedom is not free, and they had to fight other Americans to preserve it.
    John Blackshoe

    1. Sad but true, and oh so necessary.

      The photos are of the 22nd New York State Militia, they were a three-month outfit, mustering out in September 1862, only to be resurrected again in 1863 for another short period, long enough though to get credit for serving in the Gettysburg campaign. The histories of the two regiments are here , my great-grandfather's unit, and here , the latter being the militia unit those pictures are from.

      The two regiments are often confused.

  7. Well between my recent brush with Ancestry and this story, I went and bit the bullet by joining Only been on it today and I'm already at the My Great Grand Parent level, AKA born in the late 1800's.

    Reading about your family's military history confirms my belief that LtCol Grossman's version of the statement "War is Hell" is the better one.

    “I am sick and tired of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.”


    1. "... and as such cannot be refined." to finish with a dash of W.T. Sherman.

      War is unadulterated horror, anyone advocating for such a thing is completely insane. There are times when war is necessary (like when you've been invaded or attacked), those who start wars must have a special place in Hell reserved for them.

  8. The first name of my grandfather was Ulay, a name never used by any other McCollor. In the Civil War, a friend of my great grandfather Peter lay wounded and dying. He asked Peter if he ever had a son to name the boy after him. So, the friend's name lives on in our family history...


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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