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Curtis C. Bisbee Civil War Pension File

Original documents from the National Archives

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[Bureau of Pensions]

Curtis C. Bisbe was born at Lebanon, Madison County, New York in 1838, and moved in 1857 with his parents, Joseph C. and Sally Ann Morey Bisbee, to the State Line Community in Amity Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania.

Curtis enrolled on August 8, 1862, at Wattsburg (Erie County, Pennsylvania) in Company F, 111th Pennsylvania Volunteers to serve three years or for the duration of the War. He was mustered in as Private and Recruit on September 2, 1862, at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. With only 15 days experience, he was wounded in the left leg at Antietam, a wound that virtually ended his military service.


The Battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg as the South called it) in Maryland, took place on Wednesday, September 17, 1862. According to the National Park Service, Antietam was the first major Civil War engagement on northern soil and the bloodiest single day battle in American History. There were more soldiers killed and wounded on that day (23,000), than had been killed in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, and Spanish-American War combined. It is interesting to note that Clara Barton, Civil War nurse and founder of the Red Cross, was present at the battle of Antietam and helped tend the wounded in the field even as the battle raged.

In January, 1863, Curtis was discharged at Smoketown Hospital, Maryland, where he was treated for the wound he received at Antietam. According to "History of Erie County, Pennsylvania," he tried to reinlist but was not accepted because of his injuries. Curtis returned to Amity Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania, and remained there the rest of his life.

The documents show that Curtis married Miss Effie Teed, September 10, 1884. He died at home, October 29, 1902, with no insurance on his life. At the time of his death he had two daughters under age 16, Lola and Bertha, who would be eligible for dependant minor pensions based on Curtis' service.

His Widow Effie had no income except for her daily labor and one third the income of a 200-acre farm valued at $3000, against which there was over $1200 in debt.

Curtis' daughter Bertha died in 1904. Effie remarried, November 30, 1905, Brocton, New York. When Lola turned 16 in 1906, she was no longer legally entitled to a dependant's pension. In 1908 she married James Proper.

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