G.A.R. Records Lost for Pap Thomas Post…1911

George Angus Barclay was an old soldier and he participated in the GAR – Grand Army of the Republic.

Much to my disappointment, the records for his local GAR post were lost in a fire. I did find his brother Alexander’s which survived.  There was some information but not as much as I had hoped.  Apparently the GAR gave George a big funeral and it would be great to have that information in more detail.

There was an article in the newspaper for Brainerd Dispatch May 26, 1911, page 1 column 6 titled:

Roster of Heroes Dead – List as Compiled for Dispatch by Pro. J.A. Wilson,

A Veteran of the Civil War.

Old Soldiers GAR

Old Soldiers GAR

There are over 80 names mentioned in the article.  It goes on to state that the Old Grand Army Records Were Destroyed in Odd Fellow Hall Fire of Last year. George appears about 23 names down: Geo. Barclay, 9th Minn. Inf.

There is a book titled: “Brainerd’s Half Century,” by Ingolf Dillan, published in 1923 by the General Print Co., in Minneapolis.  On page 138 there is a listing of the members of the Pap Thomas Post No. 30 with “Not Here” as the title?  George Angus Barclay is listed as sixth person down on the list.

There are muster rolls for the Pap Thomas post 30, located at Brainerd, County of Crow Wing, Minnesota.

Age: 48 years old and born in Connecticut

Residence was Pine River

Occupation Lumber

Entry into service August 18, 1862

Rank Wagoner, company [J or I] 9 Minnesota

Final discharge August 24, 1865, rank Wagoner, Co. [J or I] 9 Minnesota

Length of serve 36 months to end of war.

At the very least there is the newspaper account of the condition of the GAR Records for Pap Thomas Post No. 30 so we at least know the state of those documents.

George Angus Barclay is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd.

Brother Alexander Barclay’s Civil War Service…

Let us turn our attention to Alexander Barclay’s Civil War Service record and see if we cannot find any clues to this mystery of which brother “Marched to the Sea’ with General Sherman.  I obtained Alex’s Civil War service record from the National Archives before they increased the fee and see the Blogroll to the right for the link.

Fort Snelling 1820-1830

George’s brother Alexander Barclay mustered in to the Civil War at Fort Snelling approximate one year before George.

I visited Fort Snelling near Minneapolis and St. Paul.  The photo shows the fort as it was in about 1827, which is 34 years earlier than the Civil War but inside the museum buildings they have maps and pictures that show the fort through the years.  It gave me an idea of what it might have been like for both George and Alexander.  The Minnesota Historical Society has many historical properties like this that you can visit if you become a member and travel in Minnesota.  I have a link under Blogroll to the right for the society.

Alexander’s Civil War Service record was listed under “Barkley.”  Alex has 27 cards in his service record.

1. Company Muster-in Roll:  (All cards have B, 4, Minn at the top)

Alex Musters In

 Alexander Barkley, Pv, Capt. Donaldson’s Co., 4 Reg’t Minn. Vol.s* (*This organization subsequently became Co. C, 4 Reg’t. Minn Inf.), Age 19 years. Ft. Snelling, Minn. Oct. 7, 1861, joined for duty and enrolled Sept 25, 1861 at Ft. Snelling for 3 years.  R.M. Elliott, Copist.2.  Company Muster Roll:

Alexander Barkley, Pv, Co., C, 4 Reg’t Minnesota Infantry. Nov. & Dec. 1861, Present, R.M. Elliott, Copist.

3.  Company Muster Roll:

Jan & Feby, 1862, Present, R. M. Elliott, Copist.

4.  Company Muster Roll:

Mch & Aprl, 1862, Present, R.M. Elliott, Copist.

5.  Company Muster Roll:

May/June 1862, Present, R.M. Elliott, Copist.

6.  Company Muster Roll:

July & Aug, 1862, Present, R.M. Elliott, Copist.

7.  Company Muster Roll:

Sept & Oct., 1862, Present, R.M. Elliott, Copist.

8.  Company Muster Roll:

Nov & Dec., 1862, Present, R.M. Elliott

9.  Company Muster Roll:

Jan & Feb., 1863, Present, R.M. Elliott, Copist.

10.  Special Muster Roll:

Dated Apl 18, 1863, Present, Remarks:  Sick in quarters., J.R. Funk, Copist.

11.  Company Muster Roll:

Mch & Apl, 1863, Present, J. R. Funk, Copist.

12.  Company Muster Roll:

May & June, 1863, Present, J.R. Funk, Copist.

13.  Company Muster Roll:

July & Aug. 1863, Present, Jr. R. Funk, Copist.

14.  Company Muster Roll:

Sept & Oct, 1863, Present, J.R. Funk, Copist.

15.  Company Muster Roll:

Nov & Dec, 1863, Present, J.R. Funk, Copist.

 16.  Detachment Muster-out Roll:

Alex Musters Out!

Muster-out to date Dec 31, 1863, Last Paid to Oct. 31, 1863. Roll dated Huntsville, Ala. Feb. 5, 1864.  Clothing account:  Last settled Dec 31, 1862; drawn since $23.23, due soldier $18.77.  Due U.S. – $100.00.  Remarks:  Dischged by virtue of re-enl. as Vet Vol. under the provisions of G.O. 191 series of 1863 from the W.D., H.E. Arnold, Copyist.


17.  M. and D. Roll of Veteran Volunteers:

Roll dated Huntsville, Ala. Feb. 5, 1864. When enlisted Jan 1, 1864, When mustered into date Jan 1, 1864.  Bounty paid, $60.00. Remarks: Remustered as Vet. Vol. under G.O. No. 191, War Dept. Series 1863., Wines, Copist.

NOTE:  There were two enlistment papers in Alex’s file. 

First page:  his “Volunteer Enlistment” in Alabama at Huntsville.  Alexander Barkley born in Hartford Co., Connecticut, aged nineteen years, by occupation a soldier do hereby acknowledge to have volunteered this first day of January 1864 to serve as a Soldier in the Army of the United States of America for the period of 3 years….sworn and subscribed to at Huntsville, Ala. this 1st day of January, 1864 before Wm. T. [Killbridge], Reg’t 4th Minn., signed Alexander Barkley. Examined by E. W. Cross, 4th Minn. Vol. Inft. Examing Surgeon..the soldier has hazel eyes, light hair, light complexion, is 5 ft, 3-1/2 inches high. [James C. Edson, Cprt. 4th Reg. of Minn. Voltrs. Mustered into service…C. 4th Reg. of Minnesota Vol. on the first day of January, 1864, at Huntsville, Alabama, [     ] W. Osborne, Capt. 12th Infantry, A.C. M. 3rd Div. 15th Army Corps.

The second page was the “Declaration of the Recruit” which repeats much of the same information listed above.

18.  Company Muster Roll:

Jan & Feb. 1864, Present, Vet. Vols., J.R. Funk, copist.

19.  Company Muster Roll:

Mch & Apl, 1864, Present, Remarks: Vet Vol., J.R. Funk, Copist.

20.  Company Muster Roll:

May & June, 1864, Present, Sullivan, Copist.

21.  Company Muster Roll:

July & Aug., 1864, Sullivan, Copist.

22.  Company Muster Roll:

Sept. & Oct., 1864, Present.  Remarks:  Promoted from Private Oct. 12, 1864 S.O. 47, Regt. Hd. Qrs., Sullivan, Copist. Corpl. Alexander Barkley, Co. C, 4th Reg’t Minnesota Infantry. 

23.  Company Muster Roll:

Nov. & Dec., 1864, Present, Remarks:  Promoted from private Oct. 12, 1863 S.O. 47, Regt. Hd. Qrs., Sullivan, Copist.

Note:  Sherman’s March to the Sea started on Nov. 18, 1864.

24.  Company Muster Roll:

Jan & Feb, 1865, Present, Remarks:  Appointed from private Oct. 12, 1864. S.O. 47, Regt. Hd. Qrs., Sullivan, Copist.

25.  Company Muster Roll:

Mch & Apr. 1865, Present, Remarks:  Promoted from private Oct. 12/64 S.O. 47, Reg. Hd. Qrs., Sullivan, Copist.

26.  Company Muster Roll:

May & June, 1864, Present, Sullivan, Copist.

27.  Co. Muster-out Roll:

Final Muster Out!

Alexander Barkley, Corpl., Co. C, 4, Reg’t, Minn. Inf., Age 21 years, roll dated Louisville, Ky, July 19, 1865, Muster-out date, July 19, 1865, Last paid Apr. 30, 1865. Clothing Account: due U.S. $15.00.  Due US for arms…$0, Bounty paid, $210.00; due $190.00. Remarks:  Promoted from Private Oct. 12/64. Easterling, [Compant/Compaut].

Note:  Brackets indicate that I cannot read the writing and I am guessing.

There is nothing in Alexander’s Civil War Service record that states anything unusual about his service other than he re-enlisted at the end of 1864 and was promoted to Corporal about the time of Sherman’s march.  The spelling of the Barclay name as “Barkley” means that Alex used a different version than his brother George.

In the next post we will examine the events of Co. C, 4th Reg’t of the Minnesota Infantry and we will discover some very interesting information!

Civil War Service Records for George…

George Barclay served from August 15, 1862 to August 24, 1865.  He had 23 cards in his Civil War Service File with various numbers.  There was a #75 at the top of the summary card.  

D.C. Shoemaker a retired career military man who had served in the Quartermaster Department and a Civil War buff was kind to help me interpret some of the information on George’s Civil War service record cards.  D.C. and I were co-workers in years past and I was lucky to be able to sit with him and learn.  I have not had any military experience and D.C.’s help was greatly appreciated.  

D.C. began by pointing out that G.O. stands for “General Orders – “plan for attack.”  The other designation is S.O. (like S.O. 38) “Special Orders – “make part of another unit.”  

D.C. also explained that the term “muster” was more like a roll-call where they would line up the men and actually count them and physically take stock of what they had.  

George's Civil War Service Cards


1.  The Company Descriptive Book 

George Barclay, Co., I, 9 Reg’t Minnesota Inf.  

Description:  Age 18 years, height 5 feet 4-3/4 inches tall, Complexion: dark, Eyes: dark; hair dark . Where born:  Enfield Co., Conn. Occupation:  farmer 

Enlistment:  When:  Aug 15, 1862, Where: Shakopee, By Whom. Jos R. Ashley, term 3 y’rs, Remarks: none. J. Baker Copiest.  

The Civil War Pension file gives his weight at 125 lbs in 1892.  This information from his pension file, is of course years later.  As you can see he was not a large man.  

2.  Company Muster-in Roll:  

George Barclay, Wagoner, Co. I, 9 Reg’t Minnesota Inf. Age 18 years, Appears on 

Company Muster Roll of the organization named above.  Roll dated Fort Ridgely, Oct. 12, 1862.  Muster-in to date August 15, 1862.  

Joined for duty and enrolled: When Aug. 15, 1862, Where Shakopee, Minn. Period 3 years.  Bounty paid $25.00/100; due $ 0/100. Remarks: Premium paid $200; advanced pay $13.00. Signed J. B. Jones, Copyist.  

3.  Company Muster Roll Card 

George Barclay Wagoner, Co. I, 9 Reg’t Minnesota Infantry Appears on 

Company Muster Roll for Oct. 12 to Oct 31, 1862, Present, Remarks: Wagoner Q.M. Dept., signed J.B. Jones, Copyist.  

4.  Appears on Returns as follows:   

Return - A Summary


November, 1862. Teamster; Jan. 1863, Teamster in Q.M. Dept.; April 1863, Co. Cook. Oct. 1863. On extra duty in R.Q.M. Dept.; Dec. 1863, Acting Q.M. Serg’t.; Jan. to Sept. 1864, Mch, 1865 R.Q.M. Dept, *Appears also as Barklay & Barkly, signed C. H. Underwood, Copyist.   

Note:  R.Q.M refers to Regimental Quarter Master.  Teamster meant he drove the team. D.C. explained that as Acting Sergent at Q.M. it indicates that he was promoted to “brevet.” This means he had the title, the authority, but not the pay. 

5.  Company Muster Roll – Every card from this point on states he is a Wagoner with company I, 9th Reg’t. Minnesota Infantry. 

for from enlistment to Dec. 31, 1862, Present, sign J.B. Jones, Copyist.  

6.  Company Muster Roll 

for Jan. & Feb. 1863, Present, signed J.B. Jones, Copyist. 

7.  Company Muster Roll 

for March & April, 1863, Present, Remarks: Cook for Company, signed J.B. Jones, Copyist. 

8.  Special Muster Roll 

for dated April 11, 1863, Present, signed J.B. Jones, Copyist. 

9.  Company Muster Roll 

for May & June, 1863, Present, signed J.B. Jones, Copyist. 

Note:  D.C. thought he was put on light duty because he could have been sick or injured. 

10.  Company Muster Roll 

for July & Aug. 1863, Present, signed J.B. Jones, Copyist.  

11.  Company Muster Roll 

for Sept. & Oct., 1863, Present, Remarks: Daily duty Q.M. Dept., signed J.B. Jones, Copyist.  

12.  Company Muster Roll 

for Nov. & Dec. 1863, Present, Remarks: Daily duty in Q.M. Dept., signed J.B. Jones, Copyist.   

13.  Company Muster Roll 

for Jan. & Feb. 1864, Present, Remarks: Daily duty in Q.M. Dept., signed Howel, Copyist.   

14.  Company Muster Roll 

for Mch. & Apr. 1864, Present, Remarks: Daily duty in Q.M. Dept., signed Howel, Copyist.   

 15.  Company Muster Roll 

for May & June, 1864, Present, Remarks: On daily duty in Q.M. Dept., signed Howel, Copyist.   

16.  Company Muster Roll 

for July & Aug, 1864, Present, signed Howel, Copyist.   

17.  Company Muster Roll 

for Sept. & Oct, 1864, Present, Remarks: On daily duty in Q.M. Dept., signed Howel, Copyist. 

18.  Company Muster Roll 

for Nov. & Dec. 1864, Absent.  Remarks:  “On [D.S.] with Brigade Quartermaster since November 22, 1864, signed Howell, Copyist.  

19.  Apears on Muster Roll of enlisted men on detached service at Hd. Qrs. 2 Brig., 1 Div. , Detachment, Army of Tenn. 

Muster Roll - Army of Tenn


for Nov. & Dec., 1864, Station: in the field Tenn. Present, Detailed from Co. I, 9th Minn, Infy in Q.M.D. SO. 38 Hd Qrs. 2d Bridg. 1st Div 16, A.C. November 22, 1864, signed Granes, Copyist.  

Note:  Sherman’s March to the Sea started on Nov. 15, 1864! 

20. Company Muster Roll 

for Jan & Feb. 1865, Present, signed Howell, Copyist.  

21. Company Muster Roll 

for Mch & Apr. 1865, Present, signed Howell, Copyist. 

22. Company Muster Roll 

for May & June, 1865, Present, signed Howell, Copyist.  

23.  Co. Muster-out Roll dated 

Ft. Snelling Minn. Aug. 24, 1865, Muster-out date, Aug. 24, 1865, Last paid to Feb. 28, 1865.  Clothing account: due U.S. $10.72/100.  Bounty paid $25.00; due $75.00. Remarks.  Retains knapsack, haversack (like a duffel bag) and canteen, under provisions of G.O. No. 114 C.S. A.G.O. 

Note:  C.S.A.G.O means Chief of Staff, Adj. General Office.  

Mustering Out


Based on this service record, I don’t think George was at Vicksburg which was fought from March to July 1863 and he wasn’t at Chattanooga which was in late 1863.  

D.C. wrote to me in an email, in March of 2001, to help me understand the structure of the military units in the Civil War: 

Here goes:  A regiment was the smallest independent unit at that time.  Regiments have (usually small) numbers like the 3rd Infantry or the 10th Artillery.  A regiment might have as few as one battalion or as many as eight.  Each battalion might have from two to five companies, each with a letter, starting with A, B, and so on.  Company letters would run in succession through the regiment; a second battalion might have companies D, E, and F, with the next battalion having G, H and so on.  Each company would have two to four platoons of about 40 men each, numbered 1st platoon, 2nd platoon, etc. which will give you an idea of the size.  So from smallest to largest, it runs platoon, company, battalion, regiment, division, and army.  Regiments could be formed into divisions of two or more regiments, pretty much at will.  Platoons always stayed with their companies, and companies always stayed with their battalions, but regiments could be switched around at times.  The composition of a regiment or a division might be hard to pinpoint without some official history from the time or the area and territorial forces would be less well documented than state’s divisions.” 

Another website gives even more details on the structure of the military in the Civil War:  http://www.civilwarhome.com/armyorganization.htm 

Armies, Corps, Divisions, Brigades, Infantry Regiments 

So what is the Army of the Tennessee?  Back to Wikipedia for a description:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army_of_the_Tennessee

The Civil War and Minnesota!

My great-grandfather George Angus Barclay mustered into the Civil War a year after his brother Alexander Barclay.  Their father John Barclay also served for a very short time as a carpenter, which was his occupation.   They all served out of Minnesota.  

In the Logsled to Snowmobiles book written by the town of Pine River for their bicentennial in 1973, it is implied that George and Alexander entered military service together.  This did not happen.  Alexander went in first in Sept 1861 and George followed him a year later.  There father served much later in the war.  

“…and together they enlisted on August 15, 1862 in the Union Army! pg. 104 Logsleds to Snowmobiles.  

The date of August 15, 1862 is correct for George’s enlistment.  He mustered in at Fort Ridgely http://www.mnhs.org/places/sites/fr/  It was two days before the Dakota Indian uprising began!  (See the Wikipedia article link given below.) 

I worked at a local community college in years past and a coworker of mine had retired from the Army.  He had served in the Quartermaster’s Department and was a Civil War buff.  We sat down and I showed him the records I had received and he studied them.  He told me:   

First, I was lucky to get the Civil War service and pension files for a lot of the more common soldiers did not get recorded.  Apparently my ancestors had skills that were needed. 

Secondly, George might have been too young and small to enter with Alexander, who was about 19 years old in 1861 when he mustered in.  George maybe needed to mature physically or get some skills?  My great-grandfather was not a big man as you will see.  George would be 18 in 1862 and that might have been why he was delayed although I am aware that younger boys were in this war.  It is fun to speculate.  

Back in 2001 I had the good fortune to travel to Minnesota and visit the state.  I became a member of the Minnesota Historical Society and they offer admission to various historical sites among them are Fort Ridgely and Fort Snelling.  

Fort Ridgely, Minnesota


Fort Ridgely Museum


I was told that the farmers in the area took away the stones to use in their houses and fields after the Civil War.  These stones had been used to build the barracks and other buildings at Fort Ridgely.  The only remains are the outlines of the buildings in the ground so that is why you don’t see anything except the museum and monument.  The museum has a lot of wonderful exhibits and one in particular was the soldiers’ uniform.  I have often wondered what happened to George’s coat and was told he probably worn it till it wore out.  

They also have exhibits about the Dakota Indian uprising.  I asked if George would have received any training and the volunteer at the museum told me that he probably was just dumped into the fight fresh.  The monument you see in the first photo has the names of the soldiers that didn’t survive the conflict imprinted on it.  

Wikipedia has some very interesting information about this conflict:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakota_War_of_1862  

The Fort Ridgely volunteer also got excited and looked George up in his records and found him.  

“George became a wagoner with Company A, Ninth Volunteer Infantry. pg. 104 Logsleds to Snowmobiles. “ 

This statement is true about George’s service in the Civil War but he was in company “I” not “A.”  He was a wagoner and he did serve and survived.  A lot of men did not for my coworker friend told me that it was a cruel war.  

I was very fortunate to order the civil war service and pension records for George, Alexander and John Barclay before The National Archives (NARA) increased the cost.  In my opinion it is worth it.  I have learned so much about my ancestors from these files.  

I will describe the Civil War experiences of these three men in the following posts.