Thursday, December 18, 2008

Who Says You Can't Take Them With You?

I posted sometime back about regular army officers taking favored enlisted men with them to volunteer units when they received volunteer appointments. The initial discussion was here about Captain J. Irvin Gregg of Company G, 6th US Cavalry, and how he had his first sergeant, Andrew F. Swan, commissioned after he took over the 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Captain Swan commanded Company C.

Apparently the tendency ran in the family. When Captain Gregg's first cousin, David McMurtry Gregg, left Company E to command the 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry, he took one of his enlisted men with him also.

Henry J. Ladd was born in Rome, New York in 1832. His enlistment documents describe him as 6 feet tall, with hazel eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion. He was working as a conductor at the time of his enlistment. Henry was enlisted into Company E, 6th US Cavalry by Lieutenant Wade in Cleveland, Ohio on August 14, 1861. He achieved the rank of commisary sergeant prior to his discharge on July 19, 1862 to accept an appointment as the second lieutenant in Company L, 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry at Harrison's Landing, Virginia.

There could be some other reason for this appointment other than the regimental commander's intercession, but I haven't been able to come up with another plausible one. I can't find any other connection between someone born in New York and working in Ohio with a Pennsylvania regiment. The arrangement apparently didn't work out, as Lieutenant Ladd was discharged for unknown reasons on April 27, 1863.

In another case, I have truned up several members of the 6th and 2nd Cavalry regiments who were enlisted into Adjutant General Office positions as sergeants later in the war by Major Lawrence Williams, who left the regiment in 1862 under dubious circumstances. Several of these sergeants received government positions shortly thereafter. More on this as I turn up more information.