Chester’s Kingsbury brothers

This past April, Susan Allen of Charlestown, N.H. donated a Vermont Civil War record for Daniel Perry Kingsbury to the Chester Historical Society. I was aware of George Washington Kingsbury of Chester and wondered if the two men were related. Yes, they were brothers.

Kingsbury
Daniel Kingsbury’s Vermont Civil War Record. Photo provided by Sue Allen

Daniel Perry Kingsbury

Daniel was born in 1831. His father, Ira, died in 1852. The Gassetts farm was sold and the family moved to Chester village. Prior to the Civil War, George and Daniel were partners in a jewelry business in Chester.

Daniel enlisted for the Civil War on Sept. 15, 1862 in Company K, of the 16th Vermont volunteers. He was mustered out of service on Aug. 10, 1863. The 16th was at Gettysburg July 1 through July 3.

From Peck’s roster: “On June 30th, after a forced march of six days in heavy marching order, the regiment reached Emmettsburg, and a rest was taken there for the night. About 10 o’clock the next morning the sound of battle was heard in the direction of Gettysburg, and the regiment moved on at noon in that direction as rapidly as possible. The weather was intensely hot, the men were weary and foot-sore, but every man readily and quickly fell into line.

  “The usual hilarity of a start did not prevail, but instead each man’s face bore a grave, determined look. At 5 o’clock the regiment was in full view of the terrible scene. Shells bursting in the air, smoke of burning buildings, the roar of artillery, wounded men being borne to the rear, citizens of the town and vicinity fleeing for their lives, cast a gloom over the men, but the ranks gathered up closer and the sturdy men commenced nerving themselves for the emergency…”

Makes you proud to be a Vermonter, doesn’t it? The temperature this day was in the upper 90s with high humidity. The men were wearing wool uniforms.

Daniel moved around after the war. A son, William Kingsbury, was born in Townshend, Vt. in 1869. George Perry Kingsbury was born in Alstead, N.H. in 1872. The family is buried in the Lower Cemetery in Langdon, N.H.

Daniel’s Vermont Civil War Record was cleaned, UV glass added, and the original walnut frame cleaned. This service was performed by The Framery of Vermont in Chester. It should survive another 150 years.

  George Washington Kingsbury

George W. Kingsbury was born in Gassetts in 1840. On Sept. 15, 1862, George enlisted as a private in Company H 16th Vermont Regiment. Both brothers enlisted the same day.

Kingsbury
George Washington Kingsbury. Photo provided by Chester Historical Society

The following excerpts are taken from an old journal: “Kingsbury served twelve years in the Indian country, in California, Oregon and Arizona. He was actively engaged in the Civil War from 1862-1865 and in the Modoc Indian war of 1873 and was a member of the military commission for the trial of Capt Jack [Kintpuash] and other Modoc Indian prisoners. When Capt Jack was hung, Capt Kingsbury put the rope around his neck. He was also engaged in the Apache war of 1880-1883.

  “Although often in great danger Capt Kingsbury was wounded only once. When 2nd Lt of Company F 17th Vt-Regiment at Spotsylvania Court House, Va when engaged in the Battle of the Wilderness on the night of May 15th, 1864. While on duty as Lt of the picket, in front of the enemy, as he was going the rounds, he was shot in the left breast, one half inch from his heart, by one of his own men.

  “A little Masonic emblem was noticed on his clothing and Lt George Kingsbury rec’d the care one Mason brother gives another. Undoubtedly he was indebted to the Masons for the care that saved his life. Word came North, “seriously if not fatally wounded”. Brother Dan went to him and when able to come brought him home. With the aid of Mother and sister tenderly nursed back to health and strength. He was honorably discharged and received three brevets. One for gallant and meritorious service at the Battle of the Wilderness, Va.

  “Appointed 2nd Lt Regular Army Oct 25, 1864 by President and Sect of War U.S. and assigned to the command of Company D 23rd Reg’t. He was stationed at Jeffersonville, Indiana from Dec 1864-May 1865. It was here that he met his soon to be wife, Sarah.

For the twelve years he was in the Indian wars Sarah remained with him in the rough and dangerous western outposts.

  “Kingsbury retired from the Army in 1884 and returned east to settle in Clifton Springs, NY. George died June 22nd, 1897 and was buried in his full dress uniform next to his wife Sarah in Clifton Springs.”

Instead of an old saying I offer an explanation of the word “o’clock.” Today we say three o’clock but what does o’clock mean? In the old days when someone asked what time it was the answer would be “Three of the clock.” This was abbreviated to “Three o’clock.”

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