Sunday, July 07, 2013

crosses to bear

cross family

in a back corner of the restvale cemtery in seneca falls ny stands a family monument with a line of those civil war era veteran headstones. this is the cross family, whose sons who went off to fight in the civil war and of whom three didn't come back.

these are the five that we know of because of these grave markers:

william sr.CROSS, WILLIAM H.—Age, 43 years. Enlisted, September 16,
1861, at Seneca Falls; mustered in as private, Co. K, September 28, 1861, to serve three years; discharged for disability, June 12,1862, at Fairfax Seminary, D.C.

regimental history, 50th Ny engineers

asaCROSS, ASA D.—Age, 28 years. Enlisted, June 6,1863, at Rochester; mustered in as private, Co. D, Eleventh Artillery, June 21, 1863, to serve three years, which became Co. M, this regiment, July 25, 1863; reported missing in action, May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Va., and at muster out of company; no further record.
regimental history, 4th heavy artillery


CROSS, AMES N.—Age, 24 years. Enlisted, May 18, 1861, at Seneca Falls, to serve two years; mustered in as private, Co. K, May 22, 1861; died, November 11, 1862, at Newark, N. J .

regimental history, 33d NY infantry

CROSS, LEMUEL B.—Age, 23 years. Enlisted, August 12, 1862, at Seneca Falls, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. A, September 14, 1862; wounded in action, June 3, 1864, at Cold Harbor, Va.; mustered out with company, June 22, 1865, at Richmond, Va.

CROSS, JAMES G.—Age, 21 years. Enlisted, August 9, 1862, at Seneca Falls, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. A, September 14, 1862; captured in action, June 15, 1864, near Petersburg, Va.; died, no date, at Florence, S. C.

regimental histories, 148th infantry

lemuel's obituary reads in part:

Full Masonic Funeral
Services for L.B. Cross
Seneca Falls, Aug. 24—The body
of Lemuel B. Cross. 89, who died
in Syracuse late Sunday following
several years illness was brought
here at noon today and taken to
Sanderson's Undertaking rooms
in State Street. Full Masonic ritualistic
funeral services in charge
of Pocahontas Lodge 211, F. & A. M.,
of which Mr. Cross
was the oldest member were held at
Sanderson's Undertaking rooms
at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon with
a Masonic burial In Restvale cemetery.
Mr. Cross was born in the town
of Tyre, six miles north of this
village and made his home here
for more than 80 years. Six years
ago, owing to falling health, he
moved to Syracuse to make his
home with his daughter, Mrs. Edward Kuney,
where he died sunday.
Mr. Cross was the owner of
Seneca County's first automobile
which created much curiosity as it
ran through the streets of the village.
He was a veteran of tho Civil
War and a member of Cross Post
78, G. A. R. serving during the
four years of the war with the
old 14Sth regiment, New York
Volunteer, in many of the major
battles of tho war. With his father
William H. Cross and five brothers,
Lemuel B. Cross enlisted at the beginning
of the war. He and his father and two brothers,
George and Norman, returned;  two other brothers
starved to death in Llbbyville Prison and another
was never heard from after the war ended.
Cross Post, 78, G. A. R. here
was named after the father and
six sons that enlisted for the war.

george cross's service record can be found in the roster of the 4th heavy artillery, along with asa:

CROSS, GEORGE M.—Age, 21 years. Enlisted, April 30, 1863,
at Seneca Falls; mustered in as private, Co. D, Eleventh Artillery, June 21, 1863, to serve three years, which became Co. M,
this regiment, July 25, 1863; wounded, date and place not stated; discharged for disability, July 25, 1865, at Harewood General Hospital, Washington, D. C. 
norman is harder to track down.

we know that the william h. cross of the 50th engineers is william h. cross senior. there are two other cross men named on the grave marker, william h. cross junior and norman p. cross.

there were only two norman crosses listed as fighting for the whole of the union side in this war, and one of them is a new york man listed as norman f. cross. it would be common and quite frankly expected for either a headstone or the military record to confuse an "f" for a "p", but given norman's birth year, 1849, he would have been very young (fifteen) at his enlistment in 1864, which is not impossible or even all that uncommon, but the service record lists him as being 21.

still, large farm boys were known to pass for older so it's not impossible. what strikes me as very, very improbable is that a sixteen year old passing for 22 a year later would be commissioned a second lieutenant in the cavalry.

what i think most likely is that the record of norman going to fight in the war is simply lost, which kind of makes sense if you consider his age at the time of the war and a newspaper account from 1867 in which he is caught stealing wheat.

if you're eighteen years old and you're back form a war that you joined underage and your father came back disabled and three of your brothers didn't come back at all, you might not be equipped ideally to support yourself and might take up stealing turkeys to get by.

Norman Cross, living near Seneca Falls,
has been arrested for stealing 30 bushels of.
wheat from the barn of Michael Hoster.—
Cross is of a respectable family and has hitherto sustained a good character.
He confesses the wheat theft, and also that he recently
stole some turkeys from another neighbor,
giving as the motive—want of money.

so here's what i'm going with, by grave monuments, newspaper clippings, and census data: there was william and lucy, with their sons asa, amos, lemuel, james, george, william, and norman, and their daughter harriet.

william senior and six of his sons fought in the war.

three sons returned.

i started out wanting to tell the story of those men in the war, but took up a lot of space figuring out who the players are, so i'll split that into a second post.

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