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Richard A. Terhune

Orange Beads
4 October 1840
Wortendyke, Bergen Co., NJ
Son of:
Rev. Jacob R. Terhune and
Margery Stansfield
Margaret Ellen Winters
2 Dec. 1865
Godwinville, Bergen Co., NJ
15 October 1915
Paterson, Passaic Co, NJ
1st NY Engineers
(Serrell's Engineers)

My great great grandfather, Richard A. Terhune, enlisted in the 1st New York Engineers Co. H, on 22 Jan. 1862 in New York City. A mason by profession, he was a fairly short man, only 5 feet, 6 inches, with auburn colored hair, blue eyes, and light complexion. His enlistment paper gives his weight as 140 lbs. and a distinguishing feature of a scar on his left shoulder from a burn.

Richard entered a Regiment that was composed of twelve companies (A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,K,L & M) Most of the companies of the 1st New York Volunteers were mustered by December of 1861, and sent to Washington and then on to Fortress Monroe in Hampton Roads. They were assembled there with the forces under General T.S. Sherman that were to sail with the expedition under the command of Admiral DuPont, for Port Royal Sound, South Carolina.

The Regiment completed its organization in early 1862 (when my ancestor joined) and became the 10th Corps Engineers in the Department of the South. For more information on this Regiment, go to the page about the 1st New York Engineers.

The official mustering out date for this Regiment was 15 July 1865, but Richard was mustered out on 21 January 1865 at Varina, Virginia.

About eleven months after he was mustered out, Richard married Margaret Ellen Winters and they lived in Franklin Township, Bergen County, New Jersey. Sometime around 1877, Richard, Margaret, and children, Anna, George, Daniel and Barney moved to Rush County, Indiana. (The 1880 US Federal Population Census gives this bit of information.) The family lived in Indiana until about 1882. Eva is the only child born in this state. Fred was born in 1883 after the family returned to New Jersey.

Eventually they moved to Paterson, Passaic Co., NJ where Richard died in 1915 of tuberculosis. This was a time when not much was known about the treatment of TB. Shades and curtains were all pulled in a house, windows closed, allowing no fresh air in the house. (My grandmother, Edna Miller Speer, shared this information about her grandfather's illness.)

Richard had been collecting a pension under the Act of June 27, 1890. To qualify for a pension under this act, a former Civil War soldier was required to have:

  1. an honorable discharge
  2. a minimum service of ninety days
  3. a permanent physical disability not due to vicious habits (did not have to have originated in the service)

My great great grandfather applied because of rheumatism, impaired eyesight, pains in his back, and "disabilities due to age". When he died, he had last been paid $25 as his pension, a large amount for that day.

Pension Record from the National Archives, Washington, DC

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