|Birth: ||Sep. 1, 1837|
|Death: ||Sep. 19, 1862|
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Ira's parents were Ira and Salina (Moses) Kelton. His father and sister, Frances Salina (d. aged 2 1/2) died before Ira was born and his mother remarried 8 years later, Benjamin H. Franklin. He had one sister from his mother's 2nd marriage, Mary Louisa (Franklin) Chamberlain.
He lived in Holden, Mass., was a Gunsmith and never married.
From "An elaborate history and genealogy of the Ballous in America" his own mother, Salina's, quote about her son, Ira: "He grew to manhood, and gave promise of a true and noble life, but was cut down in the early part of the late war of the Rebellion, at the age of 25 yrs. after having faithfully served his country but one short year. He had risen from the ranks to a Captaincy in the 21st Regt. Mass. Vols.". (His aunt, Mrs. Tolman, said "he fell mortally wounded at Chantilly, VA., Sept. 1, 1862 and died 19 days after in hospital at Georgetown, D.C.") "Thus was wrenched from me, by the ruthless hand of cruel and relentless war, the last remaining hope of my early life, the comfort and solace of my declining years."
Ira applied to West Point in 1857 but his application was denied, not because of lack of character but from lack of connections. When the call for volunteers was issued after Fort Sumter was fired upon he quickly enlisted and his leadership is clearly evident through his rapid rise in the ranks, the proof being in,
His service record: Enlisted as a Corporal on 19 Apr 1861 at the age of 23.
Enlisted in Company B, 3rd Rifles Regiment Massachusetts (The Holden Rifles) on 19 May 1861.
Promoted to Full Sergeant on 3 July 1861.
Mustered out Company B, 3rd Rifles Regiment Massachusetts on 3 Aug 1861.
Commission in Company C, 21st Infantry Regiment Massachusetts on 23 Aug 1861.
Promoted to Full 2nd Lieutenant (As of Co. C 21st MA Infantry) on 23 Aug 1861.
Promoted to Full 1st Lieutenant on 28 Feb 1862.
Promoted to Full Captain (of Co."D")on 17 May 1862.
Died from wounds Company C, 21st Infantry Regiment Massachusetts on 25 Sep 1862.
Mortally wounded, twice in the knee, at the Battle of Chantilly in Virginia on 1 Sept 1862 (his birthday), he was captured and had his leg amputated by rebel surgeons. He was paroled and taken by ambulance to Seminary Hospital in Georgetown arriving on September 8th where he later died from his wounds. His body was returned to his hometown of Holden, MA. where his grave is in Grove Cemetery. His name is also inscribed on the top of LIBERTY'S Panel 1 of the white marble, CIVIL WAR MEMORIAL TABLETS in the Holden Town Hall. The Memorial Tablets were erected in 1876 to honor the Thirty soldiers from Holden, MA. that never came home from the war.
Ira Kelton (1807 - 1837)
CAPT. IRA JUDSON KELTON
Co A. 21st REGT. MASS. VOLS.
WOUNDED AT CHANTILLY, VIRGINIA Sept 1 1864
DIED AT GEORGETOWN D.C. SEPT. 19, 1862.
AGED 25 YEARS 19 DAYS
CIVIL WAR MEMORIAL TABLETS, Holden Town Hall:
CAPT. IRA J. KELTON
DIED OF WOUNDS
SEPT. 24, 1862.
Note: Sources: CW Service Records, MA Birth and Death Records, The history of Holden, MA., family history. His death date varies on several sources as Sept 19, 21, 24 and 25. I am using the date from his tombstone and family records as his death date.
Plot: Section B Lot 3
Created by: Roselady
Record added: Aug 09, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 95086119