08 January 2010

Stephen L. Collins Civil War Records

Yesterday I downloaded copies of 27 pages of Civil War Documents from Stephen L. Collins' service file.
I have known for some time that he was listed as a private in Company "M", 2d Nebraska Cavalry. The indexed listing also indicated he had deserted. The most interesting documents were, the enlistment paper (shown above), and Stephen L.'s, 3 page, handwritten response to his charge of desertion.

His enlistment paper was interesting for a number of reasons, transcribed below:
Volunteer Enlistment
Territory of Nebraska, Town of Nemaha City
I, Stephen L. Collins born in Jefferson County, in the state of New York, aged 42 years, and by occupation of Minister of the Gospel, do hereby acknowledge to have volunteered this 16th day of March, 1863, to serve as a soldier in the Army of the United States of America for the period of nine months unless sooner discharged by proper authority. Do also agree to accept such bounty, pay, rations and clothing, as are, or may be, established by law for volunteers. And I, S. L. Collins, do solemnly swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honorably and faithfully, against all their enemies or opposers [sic] whomever and that I will observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles of War.
Sworn and subscribed to, at Nemaha City this 16th day of March, 1863, before R. W. Furnas, capt Co 2nd Neb Cav.
S. L. Collins
I certify, on honor, That I have carefully examined the above named Volunteer , agreeable to the General Regulations of the Army, and that in my opinion, he is free from all bodily defects and mental infermity [sic], which would in any way, disqualify him from performing the duties of a soldier.
C.F. Stuart (Examining Surgeon)
I certify, on Honor, That I have minutely inspected the Volunteer previous to his enlistment; and that he was entirely sober when enlisted; that, to the best of my judgment and belief, he is of lawful age; and that, in accepting him as duly qualified to perform the duties of an able-bodied Soldier, I have strictly observed the Regulations which govern the Recruiting Service.
This soldier has Black eyes, Light hair, Dark complexion, is 6 feet - inches high.
S. F Cooper (2nd Regiment Nebraska Volunteers, County? Luet & Recruiting Officer.
Of particular interest: he lists his place of birth as Jefferson County, New York and his age (as of March 1863) is listed as 42 (b. abt 1820 if his birth month is May). In later records S.L. indicated he was born in Erie county New York, and his birth year as 1819. His physical description is listed as: 6 ft tall, black eyes, dark complexion, and light hair.

More to follow.