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John Bisbee Civil War Pension File

Original documents from the National Archives

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[Bureau of Pensions]

John Bisbee enrolled in Company F, 157th New York Volunteers on the 30th day of August, 1862, at Hamilton, New York. The 157th N.Y. Volunteer Infantry gathered at the fairgrounds in Hamilton in August of 1862. This camp was to become known as Camp Mitchell. On September 19th, 1862, the regiment was officially mustered into federal service, and on September 25th the regiment left Camp Mitchell for Camp Chase in Arlington Heights, Virginia.

[Battle of Chancellorsville]

On the muster roll of Company F for the months of May and June, 1863, Bisbe is reported absent-sent to 5th Division Hospital near Brooks Station, May 3rd, 1863. The nature of his sickness is not stated. Brooks Station was on the railway line between Washington, D.C., and Fredericksburg, Virginia, near the village of Dumfries. On May 1 - 5, 1863, the 157th N.Y. Volunteers participated in the battle of Chancellorsville, and it is likely there that John Bisbe received a gunshot wound to the right arm.

From August 1863 until the end of the war, the 157th operated in South Carolina. On July 10, 1865 the Regiment was mustered out of service at Mount Pleasant (near Charleston), S. C.

In 1870, John applied for disability pension in Madison County, New York, because of a gunshot wound to the right arm received in battle. The pension was granted and sometime thereafter, he moved to Eaton County, Michigan. In 1877, his pension ceased and John did not appeal it because he thought the medical board had decided his disability ceased to exist. In 1881 he moved to Benzie County and in 1888 he applied for restoration of his pension. His mother-in-law, who had also moved to Michigan, testified that John could not do any heavy labor because his right wrist would swell and lay him up for three or four days. In 1907 his pension, $12 per month, was re-authorized.

John died in 1908 and his widow, Elvira, applied for and received a widow's pension. In her testimony she describes her home in Benzie Co., Michigan, as a piece of sandy soil with small clearing on which is log house and log barn valued at $250.00 which would rent for about $30 or $40 per year. Elvira died on 19 December 1910 at which time her pension of $12 per month was terminated.

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