A Wounded Survivor of the War of 1812: Nottingham New Hampshire’s Colonel Joseph Cilley (1791-1887)

Colonel Joseph Cilley

Colonel Joseph Cilley (1791-1887)

There were several men by the name of Joseph Cilley in the early annals of New Hampshire’s military history.  To clarify–“The elder son [of Greenleaf Cilley] was known as Colonel Joseph Cilley, his grandfather was General Joseph Cilley, and his great-grandfather was Captain Joseph Cilley.

For this story I have focused on the first mentioned, Colonel Joseph Cilley. During the War of 1812 he was originally commissioned an ensign, on 6 July 1812, in Capt. John McClary’s company, Eleventh Regiment, United States Infantry (then commanded by Col. Isaac Clark of VT). Joseph Cilley was promoted to 2nd Lieut. 6 July 1812, then again promoted 1st lieutenant on March 17, 1814 and transferred to the Twenty-First United States Infantry, commanded by Colonel Miller. He was breveted Captain after the Battle of Niagara NY. It was not until 1827 that he was appointed an aide on the staff of then New Hampshire Governor Benjamin Pierce, with the rank of colonel, by which he was known for the rest of his life. Continue reading

The Lost Faces of World War One — Part Three

This is the continuation of a series of stories about men who died in World War 1, and whose photographs appeared in a publication called “Our Nation’s Roll of Honor.” The original post and explanation can be found at this link.  There will also be a complete listing of all the names researched at that same blog post.

THE LOST FACES OF WORLD WAR ONE: Our Nation’s Roll of Honor (Part 3)


BOLT Bernard S Bethlehem PAPrivate Bernard H. Bolt
South Bethlehem PA
Died of Wounds

Bernard Herman Bolt was born 9 Nov 1898 Germany, and died of wounds 29 May 1918 in France.  He was the son of Friedrich Carl Gustav & Wilhelmine Friederike Marie Sophie (Meinke) Bolte, and he immigrated to the United States about 1903 with his family.

In March (29) of 1918, “he was one of an American patrol, officer, sergeant and 3 men who took four prisoners from a German outpost position. Quietly slipped up behind and covered six Germans. One was Bernard Bolt of South Bethlehem PA.”  –Colorado Springs Gazette, April 1, 1918, page 8.   He was awarded the French War Cross for aiding in this capture. Continue reading

The Edgerly and Cloutman Families of Farmington, Alton, and New Durham New Hampshire

Patience Tash (Edgerly) Cloutman

Patience Tash (Edgerly) Cloutman

The face of Patience Tash (Edgerly) Cloutman looks out from an ancient tintype photograph. I suspect that she sat for her portrait around the time of the Civil War, as her dress style was of that era. She would have been in her fifties and probably already a widow.

She had been born in 1803, and lived her entire life near the seacoast, in New Durham and Farmington, New Hampshire. When he husband died in 1854, she still had two of the younger, under-aged children at home. Her life probably was not an easy one. Her forehead is greatly wrinkled, perhaps from worry. She had lost her husband, and then a few years later her oldest son. She would live a long time, dying in 1894 at the age of 91. Continue reading

Musician and Music Teacher, Orson Lafayette Mason (1849-1923): Descendant of Capt. Hugh Mason in Cheshire County NH

Orson Lafayette Mason, music teacher of Cheshire County NH

Orson Lafayette Mason, music teacher of Cheshire County NH

Orson Lafayette Mason‘s very interesting face looks out from a scratched tintype photograph that I purchased on a popular auction site. He wears a stylish hat, and his mutton chop sideburns add to the impressive look.

He would have appeared very “dapper” during his time.  This photograph at some point belonged to one of his grand children (based on the “Grandpa Mason” written in pencil at the top).  He had progeny, but it is impossible to determine its origin (as you will see from his genealogy later on.

Orson was born in 1849, just before the Civil War in the still small town of Dublin, New Hampshire. His father was a brick mason which must have kept him busy with all the mill buildings being built in this area.  Continue reading

WW2 U.S. Infantry Casualty of Operation Overlord: Capt. Jeremiah Aidan Sheehan (1911-1944)

Photograph of Capt. Jeremiah A. Sheehan with wife Helen Marie and daughter Marguerite. Photograph copyright Marguerite Sheehan Redwine, used here with her permission.

Photograph of Capt. Jeremiah A. Sheehan with wife Helen Marie and daughter Marguerite. Photograph copyright Marguerite Sheehan Redwine, used here with her permission.

Jeremiah Aidan Sheehan was born 8 October 1911 in Manchester NH to Irish immigrants, Daniel & Mary Agnes (Sullivan) Sheehan. He grew up in a his parents home at 430 Auburn Street, a house that overlooks the very park named after him. His father Daniel was a tinsmith. Jeremiah attended the local schools of the city, graduating from Central High School [probably], and later the University of New Hampshire in 1934, with a Bachelor of Science degree [confirmed by UNH Alumni office] as a premed major.

He had served as a 2nd Lieutenant in New Hampshire’s National Guard (Battery F, 2nd Battalion, 172nd Field Artillery), and in 1941 when he was called to active duty in the United States Army. He was assigned to the 343rd Field Artillery Battalion, 90th Division as a replacement. At some point, the 90th was sent to Fort Hood, Texas. According to his daughter Jeremie, it is here where he met (at the officer’s club) and married Miss Helen Marie Wise of Louisiana and where his first child was born.  As D-Day approached he was shipped to Europe.  Continue reading