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James Curtis Milligan
27 December 1840 - 28 April1924
By : Pam Vaughan

 
      Milton Wiley Milligan went off to fight in the Civil War with one of his brothers, James C. Milligan who was slightly older than Milton.

      From the National Archives and Records Administration, we ascertained that James, too, was part of the 110th Illinois Infantry, Companies H and D. Company H was consolidated into Co. D probably because of the casualties involved. The Company Descriptive Book lists James as being "22 years of age, 5 ft. 10 in., eyes blue, hair black, born in Perry Co. Ills.," occupation listed as farmer. He was enlisted on Aug. 13, 1862 in Pinckneyville by Capt. Murphy for a term of three years. In various documents names were listed as Miligan or Jas. C. Milingen.

      On 21 November of 1862, he was detached to the Pioneer Corps which we can assume was a battalion of engineers. From January of 1863 to October of 1863, he was again detached to Pioneer Corps. In November and December of 1863 the muster roll of Company F, 3rd Battalion, Pioneer Brigade has him listed as present and working as a battalion teamster. In March and April of that year, the roll shows him stationed at Murfreesboro, Tennessee at the same time as his brother. As mentioned in Milton's account (also on this web site,) this was just after the Stones River Campaign and no doubt had to do with the occupying forces. Alongside Milton in May of that year, he is listed as stationed at the Elk River Bridge in Tennessee where a garrison was located. He then moved on in September and October to Chattanooga where he was present at the muster roll of the Pioneers. It also listed him as part of Co. H in the 110th Regiment Illinois Infantry, so perhaps the Pioneer Corps was part of Company H. In December of 1863, he is listed on duty as the company teamster for Company F of the 3rd Batt'n Pioneer Brigade.

      January and February of 1864 shows James in his proper place as the company teamster, but March sees him absent on furlough. In April he is Absent without leave. May and June 1864 has him listed on sick furlough since March 25/64.

      In January 16, 1865, a $30 reward is offered for his whereabouts. In an item received from the National Archives titled, "Statement of Service Reference Slip," James C. Milligan of Co. D, 100th Ill. Infantry dated 3 March 1913 states, "Any record subsequent to January 16, 1865 when arrested. Received at Cairo, Ill., January 17, 1865, Present with detached soldiers at Fort Wood, Bedloe's Island, New York Harbor, on roll Jan. and Feb. 1865. Signed Johnson H." It goes on in new handwriting, "James Milligan 2 Battalion Pioneers, was arrested Jan 16, 1865 by Pro. Mar. [Provost Marshall] 13th Dist See and turned over to military authorities at Cairo Jan.17, 1865. Reward $30." New handwriting states: R.R. Div. Book 249 Records of Cario [sic], Ills show James _____ Milligan Pvt. 110 Ills. Infy admitted Jany. 17, 1865 Supposed deserter. Released Jan. 23 1865. Lt. Col. Hamilton $22. Nothing additional as to whereabouts formed." Signed "Harley." The "Descriptive List of Deserters Arrested" form was dated Jan 17 1865 and signed by the Provost Marshall 13th Dist of Illinois. It states that he "deserted April 25, 1864 at Perry Co., IL. Arrested Jan. 16, 1865 at Pinckneyville, Ill. Reward $30. Endorsement on list shows that the men named therein were received at Cairo, Ill. Jan. 17, 1865." Cairo is at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers so was a strategic place during the Civil War. Located there was Fort Defiance but stationed on all sides of the rivers were Union soldiers. Also located on these documents was the fact that he was sent after his arrest (probably by train) to Fort Wood on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor. The fort was built during the War of 1812 and during the Civil War, it was a medical facility; probably his claim of illness was being checked out by the military. What is significant about Fort Wood today is that its star shape is now the base for the Statue of Liberty.

      He was arrested, investigated, and sent back to service. He apparently wasn't court martialled, and they bought his story of being sick. Maybe he was sick of the war?! By 1865 they probably just needed bodies to send into combat.

      When I visited Perry County in August of 2001, I discovered why he had deserted. His father died on 25th of May 1864. He and his brother, Joseph P., were co-executors of their father's will. Probably when he returned home in March on leave, his father was ill and so he stuck around. His father left no will, so the probate was settled in October of 1866.

      He was mustered-out at Washington D.C. on June 8, 1865. He had paid $25 for arms and still owed $75. They ask you to give your life and you pay for the arms. His discharge certificate was furnished Jan. 23, 1880, and we can assume that it was sent to James.

      James' Civil War pension application, a short one, dated 8 Feb 1887 was at Ancestry.com. I also received his full pension application from the NARA. His wife's name was listed as Flora Evaline Milligan, and she applied for her widow's pension 23 May 1924 from New Mexico where they lived for 35 years. They were married on 29 December 1869 in Richview, Washington Co, IL by Rev. Thomas Brown. James Milligan was also a building contractor for 35 years. In May of 1924, they were living at 434 Francisco St., Santa Fe, NM. The Declaration of Widow's Pension form was witnessed by Madison M. Milligan and Kathleen Milligan of Santa Fe, NM. This is James and Milton's brother and sister-in-law; Madison is listed on 1860 Federal Census Records as being part of the same family. Madison Milligan, by the way, was well known physician in New Mexico.

      One record that was found in the DuQuoin genealogy name card file says that after James died, Flora married a Mr. Lipe, a common name in Perry County and that she is buried in Perry County. It also has Carl as James and Flora's son but we later find that this is not true. In fact it was a Samuel Milligan who married Flora Rees; they had a son named Carl Roscoe Milligan who married Pearl Lipe.

      Our James and Flora's kids were
Herbert Oran (b: 1870),
Mabel Hopkins (b: 1873), and
Lauros Richard (b: 1875)
according to James' own hand in the pension file.
Their last residence was at 401 W. 57th St., Los Angeles. It is also listed on the death certificate provided by NARA as their son Lauros' address. On James application when he was 83 (the year before he died), he needed full time nursing aid. He had stomach trouble, chronic diarhea, and pneumonia "which has left me practically helpless." It has his residence listed as 323 Aspen Ave., Flagstaff, Arizona. James is buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery, Los Angeles Co. His death certificate from Los Angeles County listed the cause of death as prostate cancer. Flora's pension file from NARA says she died 9 April 1928. We can assume that she is buried alongside James.

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Sources:
National Archives and Records Administration
Ancestry.com
1850-1860 Census Records
Death Certificate of Forgus M. Milligan; Perry County, IL Probate Box #314, file 294
      which contains Forgus Sr. and Forgus M.'s estate probate records.

 

 


2007-2008 GWayne Hinton

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