William H Bartley is my maternal 2nd great grandfather. His parents were William H. Bartley and Sarah Horner. He was born in 1831, probably in Newburgh, N.Y and died in 1880.
William’s wife was Almina Austin and they had 5 children: Charles, Cyrus, Amanda, William P., and J. Simms. The names of the spouse and the children are found on the 1875 census. (Caution: spelling of names on the census are not always accurate). His first son, Charles, is my great grandfather!
The most interesting facts I could find about William is his military service. At age 30, on August 12, 1862, he enlisted to serve three years in the 128th New York Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered in as a Private into the H Company.
The 128th, nicknamed “Old Steady”, fell under Colonel David S. Cowles, and was mustered into service on September 4, 1862. They first headed for Washington, D.C. in early September aboard the steamship Oregon. Their first efforts to engage were on a jaunt to Gettysburg to confront General J.E.B. Stuart and the Confederates – note that this is one year BEFORE the actual Battle of Gettysburg, and as it went, there was no action to be found, because the Confederates retreated.
Following this, the regiment was attached to General Nathaniel Bank’s Department of the Gulf, whose task was to open the Mississippi River to the Union. They were engaged at Pontacachoula, Louisiana and then moved on to New Orleans and played a major role in the Siege of Port Hudson, where Colonel Cowles was killed in action. They participated in the surrender of Port Hudson on July 9, 1863, taking heavy losses. Having been injured during this battle, William was discharged “for disability”, on July 25, 1863, at Barracks Hospital, New Orleans.
I do know that he was not an “invalid” at all, since when he got home, he and Abigail had three more children and in 1875, they resided in Newburgh, where William worked as a ship’s carpenter.
His regiment did go on to additional battles and they sadly ended up as prisoners of war, taken first to the infamous Libby Prison, and, then, most of them, on to Salisbury Prison, from which they were released in 1865.
For some very interesting articles and stories about the regiment, you can click the links at the end of this article. On page 52, of the Civil War Newspaper Clippings page is the listing of William’s return.
For those who know me, you won’t be surprised at all to hear that after researching William H. Bartley, and learning of his Service and his life, I sat and cried like a baby. I am so completely moved by the stories of our military and when it’s family it truly just reduces me to tears. I’m so proud to be a descendant of William’s!
Copyright: Hinkley Perry Geneaology, Anita Perry-Strong, 2017