Sepia Saturday 402: Second in a series on my Union Army great-great grandfather Arthur Bull and his final years in Salamanca, Cattaraugus County, N.Y.
On 21 July 1886 — seven months after receiving his Union Army pension — my great-great grandfather Arthur Bull, 52, mustered into the Grand Army of the Republic in Salamanca, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y.
Having recently moved to Salamanca from the Adirondacks, he probably missed the colleagues, friends and family that he and his wife Mary left behind.
What better way to make connections at his new home than by signing up with a fraternal organization of Civil War veterans who were around his age, shared similar wartime experiences and faced the same pension challenges?
Nathan Crosby Post 550
Specifically, my ancestor joined Nathan Crosby Post 550 of the Department of New York, Grand Army of the Republic — headquartered in Salamanca, N.Y.
He appears as A. T. Bull on the membership roster in the post’s Descriptive Book, which is filed at the New York State Archives and also available online as digital images.1
From entries in the Descriptive Book, it appears that Post 550 was founded in April 1885 by a group of about twenty Salamanca Civil War veterans from various ranks and regiments of the Union Army. Over time the post grew to thirty-seven members as more locals — as well as new arrivals like my ancestor — mustered in.
My ancestor’s details
The Descriptive Book used by Post 550 appears to be standard issue, with printed ledger column headings to facilitate handwritten entries. The table below excerpts the penned listing for my great-great grandfather Arthur T. Bull, member No. 30.
|Arthur T. Bull listing in the Descriptive Book of Nathan Crosby Post 550 NYS GAR – Salamanca, N.Y. – Source: Ancestry.com – New York, Grand Army of the Republic Records, 1866-1931 2|
|30||A.T. Bull||52||Greene Co., NY||Salamanca||Tanner|
|Entry into the Service|
|Jan. 4th, 1864||Private||F||H. A. NY||—||—|
|Date||Rank||Co.||Regiment||Length of Service||Cause of Discharge|
|Aug. 24th, 1865||Private||F||H. A. NY||1 year 2 m.||General Order|
|Date of Muster into the GAR: July 21st, 1886|
I was grateful to find this GAR information about my ancestor Arthur Bull — particularly since he probably provided the information himself, lending accuracy to the particulars.
Here we find Arthur’s age, birthplace, occupation and military service details — all of which reinforce what I have learned about him from other sources.
Of special interest
Of special interest is his service time, given in the book as 1 year 2 months. This is shorter than the 1-year-7-month period between when Arthur entered and mustered out of the Union Army.
However, he was was away in hospital for war-related illness for a total of about five months. Did the GAR only count active, front-line duty when registering members?
The other new information is Arthur’s 21 July 1886 muster date into the GAR — which shows him integrating into Salamanca, N.Y., community life by joining the veterans’ group after his move there.
What more can I learn about my great-great grandfather Arthur Bull and the GAR? More in the next post. Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.
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