Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bovina in the Civil War - Soldier Biographies II

Samuel Bouton was born in Roxbury in 1830, the son of Nathaniel Bouton and Elizabeth Corbin.  His service in the war appears to have been relatively brief.  He enlisted in Company H of the 8th Pennsylvania Battery in Scranton in May 1861 and was discharged less than three months later at the end of July 1861.  He was in Bovina in 1863 when he was registered for the draft but saw no subsequent service.  Married to Ann Gillie in Andes in 1864, the couple lived in Lake Delaware, where he died in 1912.  Samuel is buried in Bovina.

Known more familiarly as Sinclair, John Sinclair Burns, was Bovina's first Civil War casualty.  He was born in Bovina on August 29, 1841, the son of John and Nancy Burns.  On his 21st birthday, he enlisted for three years in Company E of the 144th NY Volunteer Infantry.  The following spring, on April 4, 1863, Sinclair died at the Fairfax Seminary Hospital in Virginia of typhoid fever.  His remains were sent back to Bovina for burial.
Andrew Chisholm was one of the many victims of typhoid fever in the Civil War.  Born November 1, 1839, Andrew was the son of Andrew Chisholm.  He enlisted in Company E of the 144th Infantry on August 19, 1862 in Bovina and was paid a bounty of $150. A little over a year later, on October 19, 1863, Andrew died at Folly Island, South Carolina.  He was buried on Folly Island, though there is also a memorial stone in the Bovina Cemetery.

James Clark was from Delhi, and appears to have spent most of his life there, but was living in Bovina at the time of his death.  Born in 1830, he enlisted in the first year of the war, joining company I of the NY 72nd Infantry.  He mustered out in June 1864 and settled in Delhi for some time.  By 1890 he was living in Downsville.  In the 1900 census, he was listed as widowed and living in Bovina.  He died in Bovina in 1902 and was buried in the Bovina Cemetery.

Brothers John and Solomon Coulter, sons of James and Nancy Coulter, enlisted in the 144th New York Infantry in August 1862.  John was quite successful, as a soldier and after his military service.  Born on April 19, 1842, he enlisted on August 15, 1862 and was paid a bounty of $150.  At the time of his enlistment, he was described as six feet tall with blue eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion.  John enlisted as a Sergeant and was promoted several times, becoming a 2nd Lieutenant before he was discharged on July 12, 1865.  After the war, John headed west, settling in Georgetown, Colorado.  In 1874, he married Annie Gaffney Leggett, a widow, and adopted her two children.  His career was quite successful, becoming a lawyer and a justice of the peace and, later, mayor of Georgetown.  John also served one term in the state legislature.  He moved to Moffat County, Colorado in 1900, continuing his legal practice.  In 1915, he moved to Boulder and retired from the law.  On New Year's Day, 1919, John Coulter died of heart disease and senile dementia at the age of 78.  He was buried in Boulder.

John's younger brother Solomon was not so lucky.  Enlisting a week after his brother, Solomon also was paid a bounty of $150.  He was a couple of inches shorter than his brother but also had blue eyes, black hair and a fair complexion.  A little over two years after enlisting he became yet another victim of typhoid fever, dying on September 23, 1864, in South Carolina at the age of 20.  There is conflicting information as to whether he was buried at Hilton Head, SC, where he died, or back in Bovina, where there is a memorial stone.


  1. Good stuff, Ray. We needd more local historians to do what you're doing: building a research base AND telling your citizens about their past.
    Bob A.

  2. Thanks Bob. And thanks for including your name. I've gotten a few comments from anonymous.