Monday, March 17, 2014

52 Ancestors: Week 11 The Civil War

I was so excited this week to FINALLY find an ancestor that served in the Civil War.    At the time of the Civil War - my family, for the most part, is either in Utah, or on their way to Utah.  I have TONS of relatives who served in the Revolutionary War, WWI, WWII - but not so much in The Civil War.

Alphonso Ray
I also have literally thousands of DNA hits with people who are living in, or who's families come from the south.   I have yet to find any ancestors in the southern part of the United States.  Because of this mystery - I keep an eye out for anybody serving in The Civil War, or moving to the south, or even Virginia!!!

Last week, while trying to look at some of the several thousand "shaky leaves" - I ran into Alphonso Ray, my 2nd cousin, 4x removed.  Here is his story - the parts that I know of.......

Alphonso Ray with his wife and children

Alphonso Ray was born May 16, 1831 in St. Lawrence, New York.  On September 2, 1864 he joined the Union troops fighting in The Civil War as a private, assigned to Company F.    At some point he became a Sargent and he served until he mustered out on June 5, 1865 at Alexandria, Virginia.

Company F was part of the 2nd Regiment in the NY Calvary, which became better known as The Harris Light Calvary. 

There is not a lot of information specifically about Alphonso Ray during his time in The Civil War, but there is a lot of information about The Harris Light Calvary.  They participated in several key battles toward the end of The Civil War, and were present at the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox.

Some of the key battles that The Harris Light Calvary participated in during the time that Alphonso was with them were:

  • Battle of Opequan, Winchester
  • Battle of Cedar Creek
  • Sheridan's Raid
  • Appomatox Campaign

Following The Civil War, Alphonso Ray returned to his family in New York, and in 1870 he moved to Kansas where he lived until his death on December 18, 1912.   He was married to Frances Bailey and had 7 children.

Sources: - The Winfield Daily Free Press

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