Civil War soldiers came to SW Colo.
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (1861-1865), the Montezuma County Historical Society is pleased to offer information on the men who came into our area. Previous articles published in the July, August, September, October and November issues of the Cortez Journal have given the names of some of these men who are buried in the various cemeteries. The veterans now buried in the Cortez Cemetery will conclude this series of articles. The government stones designating service in the Union Army have a large shield engraved in the marker with the name, grade, rank and unit. There are no Confederate government markers in this cemetery; however, it is hoped further research will allow us to obtain a government stone to mark the grave of a Confederate soldier. This marker has a “cross type of emblem within a circle” with the name, rank and grade followed by the letters C.S.A. The Confederate soldiers buried in the Cortez Cemetery have family stones — some designating their service.
Fred Oliver ( -1914). Reported as Civil War Soldier. He lived north of Cortez in a tent when he passed away. No further information has been found and information is needed.
Matthew Orr (1842-1915). Union Army. Co. H — 86th Indiana Infantry. He was wounded in the Battle of Chattanooga and taken prisoner to Libby Prison. Owing to disease contracted in the army, he was an invalid for much of his life. He was reported to be an early day photographer in Cortez.
Albert Parker ( -1898). Union Army. Co. F — 21st Reg. Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Obtained the rank of Sergeant. He died in April 1898 in Cortez as a result of injuries received when he fell out of the hayloft in the stable across the street from the Parker Hotel on Main Street. Mrs. Emma Parker was the owner of this hotel.
Charles Robert Pettingill (1858-1937). Union Forces. Served in the Indian Wars in Arizona under Gen. Nelson (post Civil War service). He lived at Granath Mesa above Dolores. His son stated, “his father’s unit chased Geronimo up in the Uncompahgre River area.”
William Randolph (1845-1928). Union Army. Co. D — 17th Kansas Cavalry. Lived north of Cortez on the John Thompson place between Cortez and Dolores. For many years we were unable to find evidence of his military service; however, he now has a very nice marker at his gravesite.
Davis Hanson Sayler (1842-1933). Union Army. Co. B — 7th Maryland Infantry Army of the Potomac — Corporal. He served under General Grant in the Battle of Pittsburg. He received a bullet wound through the mouth at the Battle of Petersburg. After five months in the hospital, he received an honorable discharge, as he was physically unable to return to the ranks; he was awarded a pension of $12. Mr. Sayler homesteaded in the area around Totten Lake and later was a downtown merchant of Cortez. He was the owner of several rental properties on Main Street. In 1930 he opened the Star Grocery on the north side of Main Street in Cortez. “Dad” Sayler was well known in the area and served as postmaster in Cortez in 1900. He participated in the parades, etc. honoring the servicemen and was one of the last surviving veterans of the Civil War.
Thomas W. Shultz (1845-1922). Army of the Confederacy in 3rd Field Battery, Missouri Light Artillery. His service records indicated he surrendered at New Orleans, La., on May 26, 1865, and was paroled at Shreveport, La., on June 8, 1865. During the time he resided in this area his occupation may have been a wheelwright and blacksmith in early Cortez history. In 1920 he was living with his daughter, Mary Lewis of Mancos; however, he later resided at the County Farm near the site of the present Cortez Airport, where he passed away. Recent research may result in Mr. Shultz having a government marker denoting his military service.
Thomas H. Shields ( -1910/11). Union Army. Co. B. — McLaughlin’s Ohio Cavalry. In 1909 he was farming near the Mesa Verde. No further information was found on his service.
David Orvil Simonds/Simmons (1848-1930). He is listed as “old soldier” in Cortez Cemetery Records. Research found he may have served in the Civil War and in the Indian Wars. No further information was found on his service.
Allen L. Thompson (1833-1909). Union Army. Co. H. — 1st Lt., 2nd Iowa Infantry. He came to Cortez in 1887. In 1888, Mr. Thompson started the first mercantile business in Cortez with his son, Frank. In 1890 he sold his business to the Guillet Brothers. Mr. Thompson was the first commander of the Grand Army of Republic Post organized in Cortez.
James Thornhill (1819-1891). Union Army. Co. G — 9th Missouri Cavalry. Information in the records of the old cemetery books in Cortez stated his name was Thornell but the army got his name as Thornhill, and afterwards he kept this name. No additional information was found on this man.
George William Turner (1845-1938). Union Army. Co. E — 11th U.S. Infantry, Vermont. Records found in Vermont indicated that Mr. Turner did not return to Vermont to be discharged. Mr. Turner was not aware of this at the time of his death and did not know he had to return to Vermont to be discharged from his service — even if the War was over.
James Wall ( -bef. 1911). Confederate Army (per newspaper article). Additional information could not be found on Mr. Wall.
Walter Wasson ( -bef. 1898). Union Army. Co. H — 48th Wisconsin Infantry. Article written by GAR Post in Cortez states he was deceased prior to January 1898. He received a pension. No further information could be found.
Stephen D. Winbourn (1833-1908). Confederate Army. Wagoner, 2nd Regiment, N.C. Infantry (State Troops). He served with the first Maryland Campaign to Gettysburg. In 1866 he moved to Missouri, and soon afterward crossed the plains with a mule train from St. Joseph to Denver. He remained in the Denver and Pueblo area, and in 1884 sold his ranch. After remaining a short time at Mancos, he homesteaded in the Montezuma Valley near the existing airport, where he raised horses and mules, along with farming. Winbourn was a carpenter by trade. He died as a result of injuries sustained when he fell off the roof of the family home in Cortez.
The Civil War soldiers left many descendants who reside in the area today. We offer their names in the event you were not aware your relative might have served in the Civil War. We have limited information on a portion of these men: Stout Atherton (Union — Iowa); John B. Baskett (unknown); Henry F. Booz (Union — Pennsylvania); George F. Brawner (Union — Wisconsin); John Y. Carpenter (Union — Arkansas); John C. Clark (Union — Kansas); John Clark (Union — Battleship Hartford); E.H. Cooper (Union — Illinois); Charles A. Cooley (Union — New York); Jasper Critton (unknown); John R. Curry (Union — Iowa); Walter F. Davis (Union — Colored Marine Service); Algernon S. Dutton (Union — Colorado Cav.); A.P. Edmonson (Union — Missouri); Carl A. Ellermeyer (Union — Iowa); Harry French (Union — Illinois); S.F. French (Union — Vermont); Daniel V. Hamilton (Union — Ohio); Ezra Hambleton (Union — Missouri); Benona Hammond (Union — Michigan); A.J. Hanna; (Union — Kansas); James W. Hanna (Union — Ohio); R.C. Hanna (Union — Kansas); George A. Jackson (Confederate — Texas); W.H. (Muldoon) Kelly (Confederate — state unknown); Frederick Kramar (Union — state unknown); Adolph Krumpanitzky (Union — state unknown); (first name unknown) Larkin (Union — state unknown); Malcolm McCwaig (McQuaig) (Union, Regular army — state unknown); Miles B. Marshall (Union — Kansas); William Maslen (Union — Michigan); Uhlrich Michaels (Union — Pennsylvania); B.F. Morrison (Union — Wisconsin); George W. Morton (Union — Michigan); J.T. Owings (Union — Indiana); William S. Routt (Union — Ohio); A.T. Samson (unknown state or service); John A. Scurlock (Confederate — state unknown); Joe Smith (no record but reported to be “Colonel Smith”); Daniel G. Sterling (Union — New York); David J. Wells; (Union — Illinois); Alonzo M. Wilson (Union — West Virginia); Chris “Crist” Wisecarver (unknown state or service). Other men mentioned in various news articles as Civil War men were: Lewis Cass Kennedy; J.J. Hollingsworth; E.P. Lehman; J.E. “William” Medaris; William Henry Myler; John E. McCoy; Daniel McLaughlin; William Park; F.W. Rineau and John C. Turner.
This completes our series on Civil War history. We appreciate the interest shown in “Preserving our History to Enhance the Future” through phone calls and personal contact with us.
Please consider becoming a member of our group — please contact Louise Smith (Membership: 564-1815) or Kelly Wilson (Chairman: 565-9242).
History Symposium, 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8, Methodist Church, Cortez. Fred Blackburn will speak on the Wetherill Brothers of the Mesa Verde. (No admittance charge, refreshments will be served; a good chance to visit with old friends). Vivienne Kenyon is History Programs Chairman (565-7714).
Volume 4 “Great Sage Plain to Timberline — Our Pioneer Ancestors” available soon. Contact Virginia Graham (565-7767) or June Head (565-3880), co-editors.
Volumes 1, 2, 3 can be purchased at Books, 124 Pinon Drive in Cortez (565-2503). These four books might be nice Christmas gifts if the recipient has interest in our pioneer history.
June Head is the historian for the Montezuma County Historical Society. She can be contacted for comments, corrections or questions at 565-3880.