Nicholas Robbins Family
ROBBINS CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS AND SAILORS
A Summary of Records and Memorials of Family Members Who Served in the War
Compiled by Lawrence G. Robbins
Editor's Introduction: In this, the second in a series of Robbins Civil War Soldiers and Sailors, Lawrence G. Robbins has paid tribute to twelve more of our ancestors who served in the Civil War. As I read of the battles and travels of those highlighted below, I am amazed at the breadth of their participation: The First and Second Battles of Bull Run; Antietam; Fredericksburg; Chancellorsville; Gettysburg; Wilderness; Cold Harbor; the Siege of Petersburg, and more. Union and Confederate, army and navy, our ancestors contributed according to their convictions.
Please join me in extending very special thanks to Lawrence for his continued research of our Robbins family. His work not only enhances the knowledge of our ancestors, but contextualizes their contributions to the history of the U.S.
ROBBINS CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS AND SAILORS
INTRODUCTION: This series is dedicated to the memory of those in our family who served in the U. S. Civil War, also known as the War Between the States, whether as members
of the Union or the Confederate Armies. More than 3,000,000 participated in the war and it has been estimated that 750,000 of those participants were killed in action or died of war wounds and war related diseases. The Civil War took a tremendous toll on a generation of men. Among males in the Union States, ages 20 to 45, the death toll was ten percent and among their Confederate counterparts in that age group, thirty percent died.
This series focuses on those family members who served in the war, the battles they fought, the wounds they sustained and for some, the final sacrifices they made. By the time the Civil War began, family branches could be found throughout New England and eastern Canada, in the mid-Atlantic States, the Midwest, the Northwest and California. Only a few family branches moved into the South prior to the Civil War but we will record and honor what Confederate cousins can be found.
Most of the information used in this compilation was found on-line at three websites. They are:
Ancestry.com – “U. S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865” for military service records including enlistments, musters, general service data including military branches and units, ranks and promotions, terms of service, discharges and pension records.
National Park Service, U. S. Dept. of the Interior – “The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System” for overview of service, regimental details, deployments and casualty summaries.
Wikipedia.org – Civil War overview, military organizations, deployments, campaigns and battles, including order of battle and troop movements.
Supplementary information sources are noted at the end of each profile.
Family members and friends having information about descendants of Nicholas Robbins who served in the Civil War are encouraged to submit for publication in this series. In addition to biographical information and service records, all Civil War related photos, correspondence and other types of memorabilia are most welcome. Please contact Julie Callahan by email at for submittal arrangements.
STEPHEN C. ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born October 31, 1833 at Ashford, Windham County, Connecticut, son of Benjamin Robbins and Clarissa (Whitman) Robbins. Unmarried. Died November 19, 1915 in Bristol, Connecticut.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted as a Private in Co. B, Connecticut 12th Infantry Regiment on December 5, 1861. That Regiment departed for Mississippi in February, 1862, where it was attached to the Union Army’s Department of the Gulf. The Regiment’s campaigns in Mississippi and Louisiana in 1862 included several attacks on Confederate facilities along the Mississippi River in the spring and the capture and occupation of New Orleans during the summer months. Various operations around Louisiana followed later that year and into 1863, including various battles to gain control of ports along the Mississippi River north of New Orleans. The Regiment participated in the battle and siege of Port Hudson, north of Baton Rouge, which began in May, 1863 and ended with the Confederate Army surrender on July 9th. Operations in western Louisiana and Sabine Pass, Texas followed in 1863. In early 1864, the Regiment returned to occupation duty in New Orleans, where it remained until redeployment to Virginia in July, 1864. In November, 1864, Stephen C. Robbins mustered out of Company B of the Connecticut 12th Infantry and transferred to Company A of that Regiment, where he would remain until the end of the War. After arrival in Virginia, the Connecticut 12th Infantry Regiment was assigned to the Army of the Shenandoah and participated in General Philip Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign during the final months of 1864. The Regiment remained in that locale on occupation duty until the Confederate Army surrender in April, 1865. Following brief assignments in Washington DC and in Savannah, Georgia, Stephen C. Robbins mustered out on August 12, 1865.
Pension Record: Application filed by Stephen Robbins on September 2, 1890 for service in the 12th Connecticut Infantry Regiment. Re: Application No. 941035, Certificate No. 677801.
Supplementary Sources: “United States Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards”, on-line at Family Search website (Re: FHL GS M/F # 001635940). Note: In addition to his pension payment records, this source supplied the date and place of death of Stephen C. Robbins.
AMASA B. ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born April 7, 1842 in Woodstock, Oxford County, Maine, son of Oliver Robbins and Ann (Thurlow) Robbins. Married Elizabeth (“Lizzie”) Margaret Rowe on April 2, 1866 in Maine. Died October 20, 1910 in Maine and buried at Norway Pine Grove Cemetery in Paris, Oxford County, Maine.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted as a Private in Co. E, Maine 10th Infantry Regiment on October 4, 1861. Departed Portland, Maine for Baltimore, Maryland soon after enlistment. After five months in Baltimore area, the Maine 10th Infantry Regiment was attached to the Railroad Brigade of the Army of the Potomac and assigned to guard duty along the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad between Martinsburg and Charleston, West Virginia followed by operations in the Shenandoah Valley in May and June, 1862. The Maine 10th Infantry Regiment was then reassigned to the II Corps of the Army of Virginia and served in the Northern Virginia campaign in August and September, 1862, including major battles at Cedar Mountain and Antietam. After the Battle of Antietam, the Regiment was attached to the XII Corps of the Army of the Potomac and participated in operations at Brunswick, Maryland and Fairfax and Stafford, Virginia during the winter of 1862-1863. In May, 1863, the Maine 10th Infantry Regiment returned to Portland, Maine at the end of their enlistment period and mustered out. After six month’s leave, Amasa Robbins and other veterans from the Maine 10th Infantry, reenlisted in the newly organized 29th Maine Infantry Regiment at Augusta, Maine and mustered in as a Private in Co. C on December 17, 1863. The 29th Maine Infantry Regiment left Maine for New Orleans on January 31, 1864, where it was incorporated into the XIX Corps, Department of the Gulf upon arrival. Following six months of campaigning in Louisiana, the Regiment was reassigned to the Army of the Shenandoah in Virginia, where it participated in General Philip Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign during the summer and fall of 1864 followed by occupation duty in that region until the Confederate Army surrender in April, 1865. The 29th Maine Infantry Regiment remained in service for several more months with occupation duty assignments at Savannah, Georgia and Darlington and Hilton Head, South Carolina. Amasa Robbins mustered out on February 22, 1866.
Pension Record: Application filed by Amasa B. Robbins on June 11, 1889 for service in Co. E, 10th Maine Infantry Regiment and Co. C, 29th Maine Infantry Regiment. Re: Application No. 423383, Certificate No. 737061. Widow’s application filed by Lizzie M. Robbins on October 31, 1910. Re: Application No. 951568, Certificate No. 714725.
Supplementary Sources: Find A Grave Memorial # 42006051, created by stargazer, September 15, 2009.
Personal Data: Born September 2, 1829 in Guilford, Piscataquis County, Maine, son of Chandler Gray Robbins and Mercy (Prince) Robbins. Married Sarah W. Lombard on December 5, 1849 at Guilford. Died December 31, 1904 at Saco, York County, Maine.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted as a Private in Co. B, Maine 20th Infantry Regiment on August 29, 1862. Regiment departed for Washington DC in early September, where it was assigned to V Corps of the Army of the Potomac. The Maine 20th Infantry Regiment was held in reserve at the Battles of Antietam (September 17, 1862) and Fredericksburg (December 13, 1862) and was unable to participate in the Battle of Chancellorsville (May, 1863) due to a smallpox quarantine. The next major battle was at Gettysburg (July 1-3), where the Maine 20th Infantry Regiment distinguished itself at Little Round Top. Having been assigned the extreme left flank of the Union line, the Regiment came under heavy attack from the Confederate forces. After two hours of continuous fighting and low on ammunition, the 20th Maine fixed bayonets and charged downhill into the midst of the surprised Confederates, who scattered, thus ending the assault on the Union line at Little Round Top, a turning point in the Battle of Gettysburg. After Gettysburg, the Maine 20th Infantry Regiment participated in the Army of the Potomac’s campaign to defeat General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate forces as they retreated across northern Virginia during the fall months of 1863. A series of minor battles failed to result in a decisive victory for either side but did result in the southerly withdrawal of Lee’s army away from Washington DC and toward Richmond. At some point during the Battle of Gettysburg or the subsequent campaign in Virginia, Albion Robbins was apparently wounded or became ill as his records indicate that he was mustered out of the Maine 20th Infantry Regiment on November 22, 1863 and transferred into Co. H of the 13th Regiment of the Veteran Reserve Corps. The Veteran Reserve Corps was a military reserve organization created to make use of soldiers, who had been rendered unfit for active field service on account of wounds or disease contracted in the line of duty. No record was found on the type, location and length of service for Albion Robbins as a member of the Veteran Reserve Corps.
Pension Record: Application filed by Albion Robbins on February 17, 1866 for service in Co. B, 20th Maine Infantry Regiment and Co. H, 13th Regiment of the Veteran Reserve Corps. Re: Application No. 103022, Certificate No. 72433. Widow’s application filed by Sarah W. Robbins on March 9, 1905. Re: Application No. 823618, Certificate No. 591695.
Supplementary Sources: None
JAMES C. ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born September 3, 1838 in Chautauqua County, New York, son of Melzar Robbins and Aurelia (Sprague) Robbins. Married (1) Sarah Frost on December 25, 1860 in Jo Daviess County, Illinois, and (2) Emily Buss on December 18, 1869 in Lafayette County, Wisconsin. Died in 1921 at Belmont, Lafayette County, Wisconsin.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted as a 1st Sergeant in Co. B, Illinois 45th Infantry Regiment on November 20, 1861. The 45th was organized at Galena, Illinois and mustered into Federal service on December 25, 1861 at Camp Douglas in Chicago. Leaving Chicago in mid-January, the Regiment marched to Cairo, Illinois, where it was attached to the First Division, 2nd Brigade of the Union Army Corps commanded by General Ulysses S. Grant, later called the Army of the Tennessee. General Grant began a campaign in January, 1862 to gain control of the Tennessee River system. Meeting limited resistance, the army was able to capture two Confederate forts in northern Tennessee, Fort Henry and Fort Donelson and to move south along the Tennessee River to Pittsburg Landing, a few miles north of the Mississippi border. On April 6th the Confederate Army launched a surprise attack on the Union encampment, touching off the Battle of Shiloh, one of the major battles in the Western Theater of the Civil War. Both sides suffered great casualties in what was one the bloodiest battles in United States history up to that time. According to a later biographical record, James C. Robbins was among the 8400 Union troops wounded in the Battle of Shiloh. After two days of fighting, the Confederate troops were forced to retreat, ending their hopes that they could block the Union advance into northern Mississippi. Following Shiloh, Grant’s army, including the 45th Illinois Infantry, continued their advance across Mississippi, capturing Jackson on May 14th and engaging Confederate forces at Port Gibson, Raymond and Champion Hill. On May 18th, Grant’s army laid siege to Vicksburg, cutting off river traffic along the Mississippi. On May 9th Sergeant James C. Robbins was mustered out of the 45th Illinois Infantry Regiment and commissioned as a Captain in the newly formed 9th Louisiana Infantry, a Union Regiment of colored enlisted men officered by whites. The first military action of this regiment was at Milliken’s Bend, fifteen miles upstream of Vicksburg, where they thwarted a Confederate attempt to cut the supply line to General Grant’s forces during the siege of Vicksburg. There were many casualties during the Milliken’s Bend engagement and the 9th Louisiana Infantry Regiment was subsequently reorganized as the 5th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Regiment (USCHA). Campaigns for which the USCHA provided artillery support included expeditions from Vicksburg to Rodney, Fayette, and Yazoo City, Mississippi. According to his biography, Captain James C. Robbins resigned from the army on November 20, 1864 on account of physical disability resulting from his war wounds.
Pension Record: Application filed by James C. Robbins on April 23, 1893 for service in the 45th Illinois Infantry Regiment, the 9th Louisiana Infantry Regiment and the 5th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery Regiment. Re: Application No. 1107014, Certificate No. 955154. Widow’s application filed by Emily Robbins on June 4, 1921. Re: Application No. 1174979, Certificate No. 909216.
Supplementary Sources: (1) Commemorative Biographical Record of the Counties of Rock, Green, Grant, Iowa and Lafayette, Wisconsin, compiled and published by J. H. Beers and Company, Chicago, 1901 and (2) Find A Grave Memorial #103227142, created by Marci Cranston Hess, January 7, 2013.
WALTER W. WRIGHT
Personal Data: Born January 18, 1842 in Hillsdale County, Michigan, son of John C. Wright and Esther (Robbins) Wright. Married Harriet M. Davitt around 1870 in Michigan. Died July 3, 1890 at Hudson, Lenawee County, Michigan.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted at Adrian, Michigan on June 20, 1861 as a Private in Company E, Michigan 4th Infantry Regiment, which soon after departed for the front in northern Virginia. Upon arrival, the Michigan 4th Infantry Regiment was attached to the Army of Northeastern Virginia commanded by Gen. Irvin McDowell. The Regiment participated in the First Battle of Bull Run at Manassas, Virginia in July, 1861, and in the defense of Washington DC between August, 1861 and March, 1862. The Union Army forces in Virginia were reorganized during this period and the Michigan 4th Infantry Regiment became part of the newly formed Army of the Potomac under the command of Gen. George McClellan. The main goal of the new army was to capture the Confederate capitol at Richmond, Virginia. The Peninsular Campaign was launched in March, 1862 to accomplish this goal. The battles involving the Michigan 4th Infantry Regiment during this campaign included Howard’s Mill (April 4), the Siege of Yorktown (April 5-May 4), Hanover Court House (May 27-29), Mechanicsville (June 26), Gaines Mill (June 17) and Malvern Hill (July 1). Walter Wright was shot in the thigh during the Battle of Malvern Hill and later discharged on account of his wounds. His war records indicate his muster out was on November 18, 1862 at Warrenton, Virginia. Malvern Hill was the last battle of the Peninsular Campaign. The Army of the Potomac had reached the outskirts of Richmond but Gen. McClellan did not have the confidence that his army could capture the capitol. From Malvern Hill he withdrew his forces to Harrison’s Landing on the James River, which was protected by Union Navy gunboats, and from there to northern Virginia to reinforce the Union’s Army of Virginia commanded by Gen. John Pope.
Pension Record: Application filed by Walter W. Wright on June 25, 1879 for service in Co. E, 4th Michigan Infantry Regiment. Re: Application No. 294457, Certificate No. 186604. Widow’s application filed by Harriet M. Wright on July 11, 1890. Re: Application No. 437646, Certificate No. 377121.
Supplementary Sources: Find A Grave Memorial #36391403, created by Forget me not!! , April 26, 2009. Note: The compiler of this Memorial has added information on Walter Wright’s Civil War service, including his battle wounds and military discharge, which she has received from George Wilkinson, Collector and Historian of the 4th Michigan Infantry Regiment.
FRANCIS H. ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born July 10, 1837 at Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, son of Edmund Robbins and Nancy B. (Chandler) Robbins. Married Sarah J. Holmes on January 11, 1859 at Plymouth. Died at Plymouth on June 10, 1882.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted on April 16, 1861 for a three month tour of duty as a Private in Company B, Massachusetts 3rd Infantry Regiment. Left Boston aboard the steamer, “S. R. Spaulding” on April 17th, arriving at Fortress Monroe, Virginia on April 20th. After arrival the Regiment participated in an expedition to Norfolk, Virginia to destroy the Confederate navy yard at that locale and an expedition to Hampton, Virginia to secure the village and drive off the Confederate military in the vicinity. Thereafter, the Regiment was tasked with strengthening the fortress and general garrison duty for the balance of its tour of duty. Ordered home on July 16th and mustered out on July 22nd. On March 31, 1864, Francis H. Robbins enlisted for a second tour of duty, this time as a member of the Signal Corps. The Signal Corps was in its infancy at the time of his enlistment and Georgetown, Washington DC was the training center. During the closing months of the Civil War, field deployments were primarily to strategic points near the Virginia battlefields, where towers could be erected to conduct surveillance on Confederate troop movements. Francis served as a Private in the Signal Corps for about three weeks prior to being discharged at Georgetown on April 21, 1864 due to a physical disability.
Pension Record: None
Supplementary Sources: “History of the 3rd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry” by Lisa Shea, on-line article in Lisa’s Genealogy Pages at www.lisashea.com.
RUFUS B. ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born in September, 1845 at Woodstock, Oxford County, Maine, son of Oliver Robbins and Ann S. (Thurlow) Robbins. Married Caroline Gessewein on May 3, 1869 at Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. Died at Grand Forks, Grand Forks County, North Dakota on January 18, 1921.
Service Record: Served in the Union Navy. Enlisted at Chicago, Illinois in October, 1863. His pension records indicate Rufus B. Robbins served aboard three ships during the Civil War: The U.S.S. Great Western, a sidewheel steamer used by the Navy as a supply ship, transporting ammunition and other ordnance from Cairo, Illinois to Union naval ships operating along the Mississippi River and its tributaries; The U.S.S. Romeo, a tinclad sternwheel gunboat which operated along the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers until severely damaged by Confederate shore batteries while towing a sister ship to safety in August, 1864; and the U.S.S. Red Rover, a sidewheel steamer, originally a barracks ship, which was captured from the Confederate Navy in April, 1862 and refitted and recommissioned in October, 1862 as the U.S. Navy’s first hospital ship. The U.S.S. Red Rover served for two years along the Mississippi River, where she took on and treated the sick and wounded, delivered medical supplies and sent medical personnel ashore when needed.
Pension Record: Pension issued to Rufus Robbins on August 28, 1890 for service as a “Landsman” (seaman recruit) aboard the U.S.S. Great Western, the U.S.S. Romeo and the U.S.S. Red Rover. Re: Certificate No. 11271. Payable to widow, Caroline Robbins, by order dated October 27, 1921.
Supplementary Sources: (1) “U. S. Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933” (Rufus Robbins), on-line at familysearch.org; (2) “Civil War Naval History”, on-line at www.historycentral.com; and (3) “Uncle Sam’s Webfeet: The Union Navy in the Civil War”, an article by Glenn F. Williams in the International Journal of Naval History, Vol. 1, No. 1 (April, 2002).
AMERICA C. ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born in January, 1834 in Woodstock, Oxford County, Maine, son of Nathaniel Robbins and Nancy (Keen) Robbins. Married Isabella Warren around 1858 in Maine. Died in June, 1908 at South Paris, Oxford County, Maine.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted as a Private in Co. B, Wisconsin 3rd Infantry Regiment on April 21, 1861 at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Later promoted to full Corporal. Following muster in June, 1861, the Regiment moved to Hagerstown, Maryland, where it was attached to the Union Army for campaigns in Maryland and Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. In October, 1861, the Wisconsin 3rd Infantry Regiment was attached to the Union’s Army of the Potomac and fought in several major battles in northern Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania between late 1861 and July, 1863, including Cedar Mountain, Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. At the Battle of Gettysburg, the Wisconsin 3rd Infantry Regiment formed part of the XII Corps under the command of General Henry W. Slocum, which fought for the high ground at Culp’s Hill and at Cemetery Ridge, where a portion of the XII Corps was deployed by Slocum to reinforce Union forces trying to hold their position during Pickett’s Charge. After three days of battle, Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Hill were in Union hands and Lee’s Army was in retreat back into Virginia. After a few weeks of pursuing Lee in northern Virginia, the Wisconsin 3rd Infantry Regiment was reassigned to the Army of the Cumberland and sent to Tennessee to guard the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad from Confederate attacks. In the spring of 1864 the Regiment participated in General William T. Sherman’s campaign in northwest Georgia, including battles at Resaca, Cassville, New Hope Church, Pickett’s Mill and Marietta. The three year enlistment of America Robbins ended during the Georgia campaign and his records indicate he was mustered out of the Army on June 29, 1864.
Pension Record: Application filed by America C. Robbins on April 25, 1889 for service in Co. B, 3rd Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. Re: Application No. 701359, Certificate No. 463022. Widow’s application filed by Isabella Robbins on June 22, 1908. Re: Application No. 898576, certificate number not listed.
Supplementary Sources: None
ANDREW J. ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born in February, 1845 at Woodstock, Oxford County, Maine, son of Charles Robbins and Mary A. (Cotton) Robbins. Married Almeda Wilmarth around 1870 in Wisconsin, Died in 1917 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and buried at Omro Junction and Union Cemetery at Omro, Winnebago County, Wisconsin.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted as a Corporal in Co. F, Wisconsin 18th Infantry Regiment on December 1, 1861. Mustered in on March 15, 1862 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Soon after the Regiment left for the war front in Tennessee. Upon arrival, the Wisconsin 18th Infantry Regiment was attached to the Union’s Army of Tennessee, seeing its first action at the Battle of Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862. This was one of the major battles in the Western Theater of the Civil War. Both sides suffered great casualties in one of the bloodiest battles in United States history up to that time. The Union Army forces, under the command of General Ulysses S. Grant, prevailed at Shiloh and began its advance into the deep south. Major operations involving Wisconsin’s 18th Infantry Regiment during Grant’s campaign in Mississippi included Corinth (May-October, 1862), Iuka (September, 1862), Port Gibson (May, 1863), Jackson (May, 1863) and Champion’s Hill (May, 1863). On May 18, 1863, Grant’s forces began their campaign to take control of Vickburg, Mississippi. The Union siege and assaults on this Confederate stronghold lasted seven weeks and with its surrender on July 4th, the Union Army gained control of the Mississippi River, a major turning point in the war. As President Lincoln was to say: “The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea.” In October, 1863, Wisconsin’s 18th Infantry Regiment was attached to the 15th Army Corps of the Union Army for a campaign in the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennessee and adjacent areas of northeast Alabama and northwest Georgia. His Civil War enlistment records indicate that Andrew Robbins was promoted to Sergeant sometime prior to January 1, 1864, when he reenlisted in the 18th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment for the duration of the war. His Regiment continued as part of the 15th Army Corps, under the command of William T. Sherman, and participated in the Atlanta Campaign (May 7-September 2, 1864), the Battle of Allatoona (October 5, 1864) and the “March to the Sea” across Georgia to Savannah (November 15-December 10, 1864). Following the siege and surrender of Savannah on December 21st, Sherman’s forces moved north through the Carolinas. The Confederate Commander-in-Chief, Robert E. Lee, reorganized the remaining Confederate forces in the Carolinas and appointed General Joseph E. Johnston to command them and stop Sherman. The two armies met in battle at Bentonville, North Carolina, March 19-21, 1865. The Union Army prevailed on the field but the remaining Confederate forces escaped during the night of March 21st. They remained at large until April 26th when General Johnston surrendered to General Sherman at Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina. This was the end of the Civil War, General Lee having previously surrendered his forces at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on April 9th. Following the end of the war, the Wisconsin 18th Infantry Regiment participated in the Grand Review of the Union Army at Washington D. C. on May 24th and was then moved to Louisville, Kentucky for post-war duties prior to being mustered out on July 18, 1865.
Pension Record: Application filed by Andrew J. Robbins on October 10, 1890 for service in Co. F, 18th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. Re: Application No. 938648, Certificate No. 655138. Widow’s application filed by Almeda Robbins on August 16, 1917. Re: Application No. 1106028, Certificate No. 839052.
Supplementary Sources: (1) Find A Grave Memorial # 77370001, created by Jim and Mary and added September 30, 2011 and (2) Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
LOUIS F. DELESDERNIER
Personal Data: Born August 27, 1837 at Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, son of George H. Delesdernier and Jane L. (Robbins) Delesdernier. Married Eliza Jane Grainger on February 14, 1867 in Harris County, Texas. According to his widow’s pension application, Louis F. Delesdernier died on December 5, 1888 at Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida. His memorial gravestone at Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Harris County, Texas, gives the date of death as December 1, 1888.
Service Record: Served in the Confederate Army and the Confederate Navy. Enlisted as 3rd Sergeant in the Rio Grande Infantry Regiment on March 9, 1861 for six month’s service under Col. John S. Ford at Brazos Santiago, Texas, a port town at the mouth of the Rio Grande River. The Federal fort and army depot at this town had been seized by Texas troops two months before the outbreak of hostilities at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and a battery had been set up by the Texans to protect shipping to and from south Texas. By December, 1861, the Union Navy had set up a blockade along the Texas Coast and the Rio Grande Infantry Regiment was moved up the Rio Grande River to Brownsville, Texas. Confederate Army records indicate that Louis Delesdernier also served at Galveston, Texas in 1861 as a Private in Co. L of the Lone Star Rifles, the same unit as his brother, George Delesdernier. The Lone Star Rifles were later incorporated into the Texas Brigade (sometimes referred to as Hood’s Brigade after its commander, John Bell Hood), which was later to distinguish itself on several battlefields in Virginia and at Gettysburg. It does not appear that Louis Delesdernier ever went east to Virginia with his brother. His widow’s pension application indicates that he had enlisted in the Confederate Navy by March 19, 1862 and that he served aboard the CSS General Sterling Price, the CSS Danube, and the CSS Selma over the next two plus years. The General Sterling Price was a side-wheel steamer converted into a ram boat, which served on the Mississippi River during the defense of Memphis, April-June, 1862. She was disabled and sunk on June 6th. The Danube was a gunboat or “floating battery” anchored in Mobile Bay between 1862 and 1864 and the Selma, also a Confederate gunboat operating in Mobile Bay, was prominent in the crucial Battle of Mobile Bay in August, 1864, the largest naval engagement of the Civil War. She was the last Confederate ship in that battle to surrender. There is no other record of naval duty in his widow’s pension application, so perhaps the surrender of the Selma on August 5, 1864, marked the end of his Confederate naval service.
Pension Record: Widow’s Application for Confederate Pension filed by Eliza Grainger Delesdernier on December 11, 1928 at Houston, Harris County, Texas.
Supplementary Sources: (1) Confederate Army Enlistment Records and Civil War Pension Files at Fold3 by Ancestry.com website, and (2) Find A Grave Memorial #86311978 (Louis Fred Delesdernier) , created by Dave & Lee Burns, March 6, 2012.
GEORGE H. DELESDERNIER
Personal Data: Born April 17, 1842 at Eastport, Washington County, Maine, son George H. Delesdernier and Jane L. (Robbins) Delesdernier. Unmarried. Died June 27, 1862 at Gaines’s Mill, Hanover County, Virginia. Memorial gravestone at Trinity Episcopal Cemetery, Galveston, Galveston County, Texas.
Service Record: Served in the Confederate Army. Enlisted as a Private in Co. L of the Lone Star Rifles of Galveston, Texas in 1861, the same unit as his brother, Louis Delesdernier. The Lone Star Rifles were later incorporated into the Texas Brigade, sometimes referred to as Hood’s Brigade after its commander, John Bell Hood. The Texas Brigade was transported east to Virginia during the winter of 1861-1862, where it was attached to General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. During the Spring of 1862, the Texas Brigade participated in several battles aimed at stopping Union Army advances toward Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy, including the Battle of Eltham’s Landing on May 7th, the Battle of Seven Pines on May 31st and June 1st, and the Battle of Gaines’s Mill on June 27th. The Texas Brigade was particularly effective at Gaines’s Mills, where it broke through the Union lines, captured a battery of guns and then repulsed a Union cavalry counterattack. At the end of the day, the Confederate Army had won a significant victory, forcing the Union Army into retreat and away from Richmond. However, the costs were high for the Confederate forces, which lost 1500 of the 57,000 troops it put on the field at Gaines’s Mill, including George Delesdernier. The Texas Brigade went on to distinguish itself as a hard fighter at several of the major battles in the Eastern Theater of the Civil War, including Second Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Wilderness and Cold Harbor.
Pension Record: None
Supplementary Sources: (1) Confederate Army Enlistment Records at the Fold3 by Ancestry.com website, and (2) Find A Grave Memorial #126937371 (George H. Delesdernier), created by Floyd Lanny Martin, March 26, 2014.
FREDERICK W. ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born December 25, 1826 at Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, son of Josiah Robbins and Rebecca (Jackson) Robbins. Married Mary D. Wade on August 21, 1850 at Plymouth. Died on January 20, 1884 at Plymouth.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted as a Private in Co. H, Massachusetts 18th Infantry Regiment on August 24, 1861. Regiment departed for Washington DC on August 28th. Duty at Fort Corcoran in the defense of the Capitol until October, then encamped for winter at Hall’s Hill, Virginia, where it was incorporated into the Army of the Potomac. Commencing in the Spring of 1862, the Massachusetts 18th Infantry Regiment participated in all the major battles in the Eastern Theater, including the Siege of Yorktown, Virginia (April 5-May 4, 1862); the Second Battle of Bull Run (Aug. 28-30, 1862); Antietam, Maryland (Sept. 16-17, 1862); Fredericksburg, Virginia (Dec. 12-15, 1862); Chancellorsville, Virginia (May 1-5, 1863); Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (July 1-3, 1863); the Bristoe Campaign and Rappahannock, Virginia (October and November, 1863); Wilderness, Virginia (May 5-7, 1864); Spottsylvania Court House, Virginia (May 8-21, 1864); Cold Harbor, Virginia (June 1-12, 1864); and the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia (June 16-October 21, 1864). The veterans, including Frederick W. Robbins, left the front on July 20, 1864 and were mustered out on September 2, 1864. Thereafter the remainder of the 18th Massachusetts Infantry was consolidated with the 32nd Massachusetts Infantry. Frederick W. Robbins suffered from near-sightedness and was assigned to commissary duty, where he served for three years, accompanying his regiment through all its campaigns and battles. He was promoted to Full Commissary Sergeant on October 12, 1862, the rank he held until the end of his service.
Pension Record: Application filed by Frederick W. Robbins on April 2, 1880 for service in Co. H, 18th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. Re: Application No. 354595, Certificate No. n/a . Widow’s application filed by Mary D. Robbins on August 15, 1884. Re: Application No. 402222, Certificate No. 326933.
Supplementary Sources: (1) Union Regimental Histories for Massachusetts at The Civil War Archive website, and (2) Biographical Reviews, Atlantic State Series, Vol. XVIII (Plymouth County, Massachusetts), Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1897.
Questions or comments about the series are most welcome and may be addressed to Julie Callahan at If you have information about a Robbins ancestor who served during the Civil War, whose information is yet unpublished on NicholasRobbinsFamily.org, please contact us to discuss publication.