PVT Neville Preston


PVT Neville Preston

Ohio, USA
Death 30 May 1864 (aged 21)
Alexandria City, Virginia, USA
Burial South Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot ,
Memorial ID 125224488 View Source

Pvt Neville Preston served in Co F, 37th Massachusetts Infantry. Before his enlistment on 8 Aug 1862, he worked as a painter, according to his compiled military service records. He stood six feet tall and had a light complexion, dark hair, and hazel eyes. Carded records show that he was on sick leave and also hospitalized in New England for part of 1863, but returned to duty in January 1864. Pvt Preston was shot and wounded in the battle of Spotsylvania Court House on 21 May 1864. A hospital record shows a diagnosis of “Amputation of 1st Toe right foot for G.S.W.,” and lists his nearest relative as Sophia Preston of South Hadley. He was initially treated at a field hospital, and died of "Tetanus from G.S. wound" at Sickel Barracks, a Union Army hospital in Alexandria, VA.

Among his personal effects were a pocket book, five photographs, a diary, postage stamps worth 39 cents, and $2.15 in currency, as well as a rubber blanket, a woolen blanket, and uniform items. The compiled military service record includes an affidavit signed by Pvt Preston’s father, Joel, at South Hadley, on 14 Jun 1864. It gives permission for the family pastor, the Rev Hiram Mead, to receive the effects and deliver them to the late soldier’s family.

The affidavit also suggests a plan to transfer Pvt Preston’s remains to South Hadley: “...he does hereby authorize Rev. Hiram Mead to do all business necessary for the recovery of the Body of his Son and all the Effects belonging to him and sign all documents or receipts…” For unknown reasons, Pvt Preston's remains were not transferred to Massachusetts for another 26 years.

According to the bound inked burial register for Alexandria National Cemetery in Virginia, Pvt Preston was buried there on 30 May 1864. His national cemetery interment form indicates that his remains were removed from Alexandria on 18 Feb 1890. He now shares a family monument with his parents and other close kin at Evergreen Cemetery in South Hadley.

A town death record, made at South Hadley in 1864, shows that Pvt Preston was born in Ohio and died in Alexandria, VA, on 30 May 1864, at the age of 21 years, 4 months, and 15 days. His date of birth is calculated as 15 Jan 1843. He is listed as a single male, “Farmer & Soldier,” son of Joel and Mabel Preston.

Joel Preston, father of Neville, filed pension application 288,632 on 5 Dec 1881, according to a carded index record.

Further research

The full pension folder associated with Neville Preston should be available at the National Archives. The Archives might also have additional medical and service records for him. Date of birth was calculated from age at death; a birth record was not found. Some census records show that the whole Preston family was born in Massachusetts, but Ohio is the likelier place of birth for Neville and one or more siblings. Records made by the Rev Hiram Mead might be available.


Compiled military service records, via Fold3. Website has copious records about Pvt. Preston.

U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962. Burial in grave 1972 at Alexandria National Cemetery; removal on 18 Feb 1890. Via Ancestry.

U.S., Burial Registers, Military Posts and National Cemeteries, 1862-1960, for Alexandria National Cemetery. Burial in grave 1971. Via Ancestry.

Massachusetts town and vital records for South Hadley. Death of Neville Preston in Alexandria in 1864. Via Ancestry.

Civil War pension index card naming Joel Preston. Via Ancestry.

U.S. Census 1850, 1860, 1870. Via Ancestry.

Massachusetts state census 1855. Via Ancestry.

Civil War draft registration records, Massachusetts 9th district. Via Ancestry.

Massachusetts town and vital records for Newton, MA. 1874 marriage of Sophia Preston. She was the sister of Neville and probably the next of kin named in his hospital record. This source lists Mabel (Smith) Preston as Sophia's mother. (Other records show that Mabel’s formal name was Mehitable.) Via Ancestry.

Gravesite Details

1944 Evergreen Trans.

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