Middletown in the Civil War now online

The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown (HSM) is pleased to make available a new online collection detailing the lives and service records of 242 Civil War veterans from Middletown.

Visit Projects/Middletown in the Civil War on this website. The five-year project to document all Middletown Civil War veterans was begun in 2012, the 150th anniversary of the start of the war, and was completed and posted on Veterans Day 2017.

The collection features an alphabetical spreadsheet with names, birth and death dates, parents’ names, military units and other information on the veterans, as well as what happened to them during and after the war. Further details are provided in individual profiles. An introduction explains the project. A gallery of photographs and a list of sources rounds out the collection.

The individual profiles were compiled using information from census records, online and published family and community histories, pension files, newspaper accounts and other sources. The backgrounds of 306 men that were shown in various accounts to be Middletown veterans were researched and their profiles are included, although just 242 turned out to have significant enough connection to Middletown to be listed on the spreadsheet.

HSM requests that additions, corrections or omissions be sent to history@catskill.net.

Research conducted by HSM President Diane Galusha with assistance from volunteer Jim Goehlke showed that 38 Middletown men were killed in the war, or died of disease. Many are buried in national cemeteries near where they fell.

Forty-two men were wounded or disabled, and several endured months in Confederate prisoner of war camps. A few were shown to have deserted, or simply disappeared from the record.

The war was a family affair; 39 sets of Middletown brothers served. Two families (Close and Morse) sent four young men; five families sent three siblings, and nine fathers went off to war with their sons. Four fathers did not return.

A number of Middletown veterans were natives of other countries – Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Prussia and England. While the majority of veterans returned to raise families, resume farming or run shops or businesses, many ex-soldiers left Middletown after the war to settle in Kansas, California, Texas and other states. A number of local men ended their lives in veterans’ homes from Ohio to Maine.

Explained Galusha, “Each of these names has a story behind it that reflects both the price paid by this one small town, and its ability to nurse the wounds and carry on after the most divisive and destructive war in the nation’s history. We are proud to share what we’ve learned about these men, their families and Middletown’s role in the Civil War.”