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Maj John Franklin Trout
Birth: Aug. 16, 1843
Lancaster County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: May 23, 1912
Jersey City
Hudson County
New Jersey, USA

Husband of Anna J. MARSTON (1845-1925)

John Franklin TROUT was born 16 Aug 1843 in Landisville, East Hempfield Twp, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph Samuel TROUT (1815-1902) and Christina MCDOWELL (1817-1843), and the 2nd great-grandson of the immigrant Johann Wendel Georg TRAUT (1689-1760). The youngest of five children, John was educated at the academy in Millersville, just southwest of Lancaster, PA.

With the coming of the Civil War, John (age 18) enlisted on 24 Apr 1861 as a Private in Co. "A," 10th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (90-day enlistment), seeing service in Chambersburg, Harpers Ferry and the Martinsburg areas, then mustering out at Harrisburg, PA on 31 Jul 1861. John soon re-enlisted on 2 Sep 1861, this time with Co. "B" of the newly organized 45th PA Infantry, and now as a "seasoned veteran," very quickly advanced through the ranks to First Sargent of Co. "B" on 24 Sep 1861; 2nd Lt. of Co. "H," 1 Aug 1862; Captain of Co. "C," 15 Jan 1863; full Major 31 Mar 1865; and finally being mustered out 17 Jul 1865 at Alexandria, VA.

The 45th Pennsylvania had seen nearly constant and exceptionally heavy fighting throughout the war, to include the battles of South Mountain, Antietam, Siege of Vicksburg, Siege of Knoxville, Strawberry Plains, (both) Battles of the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and finally the Siege of Petersburg which resulted in the collapse of the Confederacy. It was during the Siege of Petersburg that (then) Captain John F. TROUT was captured on 30 Sep 1864 along with approximately 150 other men by the rebels during the Battle of Peebles Farm. After briefly being held at Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia, he was soon transferred to the notorious Salisbury Confederate Prison, Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina for about 6 months. When he was finally released, he managed to rejoin his regiment in the field near Farmersville, Virginia on 6 Mar 1865 during the closing weeks of the war, where he was almost immediately promoted to full Major on March 31st.

Following the war, John F. TROUT applied for and accepted a commission in the "Regular" US Army as 2nd Lt., 9th US Infantry effective 15 May 1866. Four months later, on 15 Sep 1866, John married Anna J. Marston (1845-1925) in Washington, DC, the daughter of Thomas Hand Marston (1817-1874) and Martha Forman (1826-1912), immediately taking her with him on his first field assignment as (acting) Post Commander, Camp Ruby, Nevada where he was responsible for protecting the overland stage route and enforcing the treaty with the Western Bands of the Shoshone Indians. John was soon promoted to 1st Lt. on 10 Nov 1867. However, his career was abruptly interrupted when he was dismissed 2 Jan 1869 as the result of a General Court-Martial finding him guilty of "conduct unbecoming an officer," the charges and specifications alleging an attempt to persuade his commanding officer to join him in a scheme to defraud the government in issuing forage. The evidence must have been decidedly in question since Trout was fully reinstated 25 Mar 1870, with his rank as 1st lieutenant still dating from 10 Nov 1867, but now being re-assigned to Co. "B," 23rd US Infantry, and was posted at Camp Date Creek, Arizona Territory on 12 Sep 1872. John again brought his wife, Anna to this desolate desert station, and except for a short period when a captain was present, he commanded the post from Jan 1873 until it was abandoned 25 Aug 1873. Next, he was assigned to Fort Whipple, Arizona Territory, where he commanded a detachment working on building the military telegraph line from San Diego, California to various Army posts in Arizona Territory. John next served at Camp Verde, AZ Ter. from 31 Oct 1873 to 5 Jul 1874 when his company departed for the Department of the Platte at Omaha Barracks, Nebraska. While based of Omaha, Lt. Trout played a key role providing emergency supplies to homesteaders who had been nearly wiped out by a devastating grasshopper plague. In the spring of 1875, John commanded the infantry escort, while also serving as the quartermaster for Col. Richard Irving Dodge's survey expedition in the Black Hills. By Jan 1877, he had been assigned to Fort Dodge, Kansas; then in Feb 1879, while using Fort Supply, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) as his base of operations, John played a key role in constructing and fully commissioning the new Cantonment North Fork Canadian River. Next came Fort Crawford at the Cantonment on the Uncompahgre in Colorado in Mar 1881; then his final assignment was based out of Fort Union, New Mexico from Mar 1882 until 15 May 1883 when John was forced to finally accept medical retirement after having been continually plagued by a debilitating injury that had occurred 8 years earlier in August 1875 while on the Black Hills Expedition when a tree fell on his leg, crushing his ankle.

John Franklin Trout had truly distinguished himself in virtually every assignment, drawing unmeasured praise from his superiors, such as Col. David Irving Dodge who proclaimed without hesitation that "John was worth fully six of any of his other officers." At small commands such as Camp Ruby and Fort Whipple, he had often served as Commander of Post, and in virtually all other assignments, he not only commanded a company of infantry, but he also was often noted as serving as the A.A.Q.M. (Acting Assistant Quartermaster) as well as the A.C.S. (Acting Commissary of Subsistence), and on occasion, even the Post Adjutant. John Franklin TROUT's remarkable military supply and commissary administrative skills would later serve him extremely well in civilian life.

After his medical retirement due to disability, his health recovered and John quickly put his military skills to good use as the head of the Commissary Department for the Pullman Sleeping Car Company for 11 years from 1883-1892, being responsible for all Pullman Car food and beverage service and for the handling of all foodstuffs by the company on its cars. On 1 Oct 1892, John next accepted a position as Superintendent of Dining Cars for the Pennsylvania Railroad, being promoted in 1900 to become the superintendent of all dining cars and restaurants in the entire Pennsylvania Railroad system. During this same period in 1904, the US Army upgraded his retirement pay to that of a Captain. John Franklin TROUT was anticipating retirement in September 1913 at the age of 70, but died suddenly at his home in Jersey City, New Jersey on 23 May 1912 where he and wife Anna had lived since sometime before 1900. Interestingly, his funeral services were hosted by his sister-in-law, Emma, at her home at 919 I Street, NW, in Washington, DC, followed by interment at Rock Creek Cemetery. With his truly remarkable military career, it is interesting that he was not buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

John's widow, Anna J. Marston, who had faithfully followed him during 46 years of marriage, having lived the very hard and lonely life of an Army wife at not less than 9 dusty frontier forts during the Indian wars, outlived John by 13 years and died 12 May 1925 in Washington DC, just two days short of her 80th birthday, and was buried at his side in beautiful Rock Creek Cemetery. Sadly, no children were born to this marriage, but John Franklin Trout's legacy will live on in any serious history of early frontier forts and outposts in the American West.

Source: My article (lightly edited) as published in the TROUT Family Historian, No. #67, Nov 2012. All rights reserved. Craig H. Trout

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Family links: 
  Joseph Samuel Trout (1815 - 1902)
  Anna J. Marston Trout (1845 - 1925)
  Abraham Trout*
  John Franklin Trout (1843 - 1912)
*Calculated relationship
Rock Creek Cemetery
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Plot: Sec. L, Lot 54 1/2, Site 1
Created by: Craig H. Trout
Record added: Jan 04, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 82933586
Maj John Franklin Trout
Added by: Craig H. Trout
Maj John Franklin Trout
Added by: Craig H. Trout
Maj John Franklin Trout
Added by: Craig H. Trout
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Capt., 45th Pennsylvania Infantry. Union Prisoner of War, captured on September 30, 1864 at Peebles Farm, Va.
- Tony Klingensmith
 Added: Mar. 5, 2017

- Country girl ♦
 Added: Mar. 7, 2014
Thank you for your life of patriotic service to Our Country.
- Craig H. Trout
 Added: Aug. 30, 2013
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This page is sponsored by: Craig H. Trout

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