MAJ Marion Patterson

MAJ Marion Patterson

Clarendon, Orleans County, New York, USA
Death 22 Mar 1912 (aged 71)
Blue Rapids, Marshall County, Kansas, USA
Burial Blue Rapids, Marshall County, Kansas, USA
Plot D-54
Memorial ID 21009685 · View Source
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Just a month after the Civil War started, Marion Patterson, born May 11, 1840 in Clarendon, Orleans, New York, was one of a multitude of highly patriotic Americans who first answered President Abraham Lincoln's call for volunteers to put down the rebellion.

Young Marion enlisted as a Private in Company F, 13th New York Volunteers. He serves for 3 months and is "discharged for reason of minority" on August 30, 1861. But not before he watches 58 of his comrades die at the Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861.

Marion goes back home and teaches for one year before enlisting again on his birthday May 11, 1863 in Company B, 11th New York Heavy Artillery, as a Sergeant. He was promoted to 1st Sergeant when the 11th New York Heavy Artillery was consolidated with the 4th New York Heavy Artillery in October 1863 at Fort Ethan Allen, Virginia. Their job is to defend Washington.

On December 2,1863, Marion goes before General Silas Casey's board in Washington D.C., and is appointed 1st Lieutenant in the 22nd Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, Company F. He is asked to report to Camp William Penn near Philadelphia. The 22nd is newly formed and trained at this time. By March of 1864 they head for Yorktown, Virginia, and are assigned to garrison duty. Part of that duty is to fortify areas along the James River. One such place being a Fort Pocahontas near Wilson's Landing. By June of 1864, Marion and the 22nd are heading the charge at Petersburg. This is a bloody time, with many gains and loses to Union forces. Battles at New Market Heights and Chaffin's Farm ensue by early fall, places where the 22nd fight on the front lines. A bad defeat at the Second Battle of Fair Oaks takes place on October 27, 1864. Marion, still alive and fighting, brings back the colors of the regiment, an act that has much to do with his promotion to Captain just a month later.

Marion is appointed Captain of the 19th Regiment, U.S.C.T., Co. E on December 13, 1864 at Fort Monroe and is mustered in by January 1, 1865 at Chaffin's Farm. Though the regiment is in battle at such places as Hatcher's Run, Marion is asked by Headquarters (25th Corps., Army of the James) and Special Order 43, to participate in a Military Board, for purposes of promotions and commissions of various officers. The Board consists of 4 members, Brevet Brig. Gen. Draper, Brig. Gen. Thomas, Col. Sedgewick and Capt. Marion Patterson. Special Order is signed by Maj. Gen. Weitzel. Marion is relieved of his duty in connection with the Military Board on February 20, 1865 and within one month has asked for a furlough to visit family in New York and a very sick sister. He is granted 20 days and leaves Virginia on March 19, 1865. Coincidentally, Richmond falls by April 3 as the 19th is part of the first wave to capture that city. One wonders if he feels like he missed out, being that the regiment may have seen a rare visit by Abraham Lincoln the next day. Marion returns to his regiment on April 8, and the very next day, April 9, 1865, the 19th USCT is at Appomattox Court House for the surrender by Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy.

Between mid April and early June 1865, Marion is on several general court martials, acting as a Judge Advocate. It's possible he's been doing this for quite some time, as there is paperwork to suggest this. And it must be a busy time, the war having officially ended and the clean up taking place.

The 19th Regiment, along with the entire 25th Corps, are assigned and leave for Brazos, Texas on June 5, 1865. Their duty is to essentially guard the border with Mexico along the Rio Grande and intimidate the French who had placed Maximilian into power as Emperor of Mexico. He spends the next year and half near and around Brownsville, Texas, and is mustered out there on January 15, 1867. He, along with his regiment, go to Baltimore by steamer ship, where the soldiers received their final pay and discharge papers. Marion is officially discharged from the Army on February 4, 1867 and is soon after given the honorary promotion of Major and Brevet Lieutenant Colonel in the Army's Volunteer Force for "Gallant conduct in front of Richmond and efficient services during the war.

After returning to civilian life, Marion settles in Lockport, New York, where he marries Eliza Van Wagoner on May 11, 1869. They eventually have six children, Morgan, Julia, Elizabeth, Freda, Lena, and a son who died in infancy.

On May 11, 1871, Patterson and his family move to Blue Rapids, Kansas. He lives here with his wife and family for the rest of his life, working as a farmer and raiser of livestock. Though in 1890, Marion runs for a seat in the Kansas State Legislature and wins. He serves one term, 1891, and returns to Blue Rapids sometime after. Marion's wife dies unexpectedly on December 1, 1897, and by 1905, Marion has built a new home in Blue Rapids City and sells the farm. Marion himself dies on March 22, 1912. He, his wife and two children are buried together at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Blue Rapids. Marion was buried with full military honors.

Marion and Eliza are the 2nd great grandparents of Kevin West. And though I did not know him personally, his many letters and Civil War journal reveal him to be a compassionate, intelligent and gentle man. And I am inspired by him.

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  • Created by: Kevin Thomas West
  • Added: 18 Aug 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21009685
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for MAJ Marion Patterson (11 May 1840–22 Mar 1912), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21009685, citing Prospect Hill Cemetery, Blue Rapids, Marshall County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by Kevin Thomas West (contributor 46930153) .