A “Casualty Sheet of Wounded” was filled out for my great, great grandfather Arthur Bull when he applied for his Civil War pension in 1885. It’s a small document, just one page front and back, that I had somehow missed in the bulging folder where I keep copies of his military and pension records.
Wondering where and for how long Arthur was in hospital, I finally sat down to take a good look and was surprised to read that he was “transferred to New York June 16th 1864” and “Arrived June 18, at De Camp Hospl.”
New York? I assumed injured Union soldiers were treated near the front. Now here was Arthur being transferred back to his home state from the Virginia battlefields.
I looked up De Camp General Hospital to see exactly where it was located and found descriptions and old lithographs of the facility as it once stood on Davids Island in Long Island Sound near New Rochelle, N.Y.
But wait, there’s more.
The casualty sheet named the Hospital Register of the New England Soldiers’ Relief Association as the source of information about Arthur’s transfer. I looked them up online. Founded in 1862 with offices on lower Broadway, the group’s mission was “to aid and care for all sick and wounded soldiers passing through the city of New York, on their way to or from the war.”
My ancestor passed through New York City? Where I live today? And the group’s headquarters was in lower Manhattan right near my job?
Wow, this casualty sheet was some document! What would I discover next about Arthur’s wartime years?
© 2014 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.