Tuesday, June 3, 2014

52 Ancestors: #22 Edmund B. Clayton (1833-1864)

Edmund B. Clayton, my 1st cousin 5x removed, was born on this date in 1833, in Freeman, Maine, the third of ten children born to Bartholomew Clayton and Mary Tarr, and their second son.

Edmund stayed close to home in Freeman in his youth, and is enumerated in the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Censuses. However, as the winds of war began to blow across even that northern country, Edmund made a decision that would decide the course of his short life.

Together with his brother, Collamore, he traveled to nearby Farmington, and there enlisted on November 1, 1861, as a private in Captain Constantine Taylor's Company L of the 1st Maine Cavalry. Less than four months later, on February 22, 1862, Edmund was promoted to the rank of Corporal.

Photo credit : Donnie Nunley / Creative Commons

Edmund was wounded on August 20, 1862, at the Battle of Brandy Station, in Virginia. But it was almost two years later, still in Virginia, that Edmund was taken prisoner during the Battle of St. Mary's Church, on June 24, 1864.

Excerpt: History of the 1st Maine Cavalry

The history of the 1st Maine Cavalry during this period of the Civil War recounts the extreme heat and thirst from which both soldiers and horses suffered. It is no wonder, then, that being sent to Andersonville Prison was, for many, a death sentence.

Edmund did not last long at Andersonville. By the time he arrived there, the prison population has risen to over 21,700. He died of scorbutus (often called scurvy), on the 6th of October of 1864. He was 31 years old. 

He is buried in the Andersonville National Cemetery.

The Maine Monument at Andersonville
Photo credit: Kevin Frye

There is also a cenotaph planted in the Starbird Corner Cemetery, in Freeman, Maine, just a few paces from my third great grandfather, which I discovered and photographed last summer.

Photo credit:

Union Cavalry
[CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


1850 US Census; Census Place: Freeman, Franklin, Maine; Roll: M432_253; Page: 229A; Image: 443, Edmund B Clayton.

1860 US Census; Census Place: Freeman, Franklin, Maine; Roll: M653_435; Page: 852; Image: 267, Edmund B Clayton.

A history of Farmington, Franklin County, Maine : from the earliest explorations to the present time, 1776-1885. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. Andersonville Prisoners of War [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.

Ancestry.com. U.S., Adjutant General Military Records, 1631-1976 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

Ancestry.com. U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

E.B. Clayton grave marker, Andersonville National Cemetery, Andersonville (Sumter County), Georgia; courtesy of Kevin Frye, Descendants of Andersonville Prisoners Facebook Group.

E.B. Clayton cenotaph, Starbird Corner Cemetery, Freeman (Franklin County), Maine; photographed by Pamela Schaffner on 5 August 2013.

Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.

"Maine, Veterans Cemetery Records, 1676-1918", index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KXQC-2MW : accessed 25 May 2014), Edmund B Clayton, 1864.

National Archives and Records Administration; Burial Registers of Military Posts and National Cemeteries, compiled ca. 1862-ca. 1960 ; Archive Number: 44778151; Series: A1 627; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92.

National Cemetery Administration. U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.

National Park Service. U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.

Tobie, Edward P. History of the 1st Maine Cavalry, 1861-1865 (Boston: Press of Emery and Hughes, 1887), pp. 293-300, 633.


This is the 22nd in a series, “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks,” coordinated by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small.

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