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
Nicholas Robbins Family
Editor's Introduction: The U.S. suffered a dreadful loss of lives during the Civil War, the magnitude of which is almost unimaginable. Those who fought deserve remembrance. This edition of The Nicholas Robbins Family Newsletter does just that. Editor Emeritus, Lawrence G. Robbins, has embarked on a project to document the descendants of Nicholas Robbins who served in the Civil War. This newsletter is the first installment of his research. It is a treasure trove of information about our family's heroes.
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 will focus 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.
ALBERT W. ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born January 28, 1842 at Augusta, Oneida County, New York, son of Lorenzo Robbins and Clarissa (Guthrie) Robbins. Married (1) Eliza N. Bishop around 1868 and (2) Sara Dudley around 1893. Died in 1914 and buried at Knoxboro-Augusta Cemetery, Oneida County, New York.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted August 12, 1862 at Augusta, New York. Mustered in as a Private in Co. G, 117th Infantry Regiment, New York Volunteers on August 13, 1862. Regiment removed to the Washington DC area later in August, where it was deployed in defense of the Capitol until April, 1863, when it was attached to the Union Army’s 7th Corps for a campaign in southeastern Virginia. Regiment next attached to the Union Army’s 10th Corps for operations around the Charleston, South Carolina area from July, 1863 through April, 1864, when it was redeployed back to Virginia. There the New York 117th Infantry Regiment participated in several battles along the James River south of the Confederate Capitol at Richmond, Virginia, including Swift Creek, Drewry’s Bluff and Bermuda Hundred. Albert W. Robbins was severely wounded at Drewry’s Bluff on May 16, 1864 and removed to the Union Army hospital at Fort Monroe, Virginia for treatment and rehabilitation. Mustered out of service on June 18, 1865.
Pension Record: Application filed by Albert W. Robbins on September 2, 1865 for service in Co. G, 117th Infantry Regiment, New York Volunteers. Re: Application No. 86430, Certificate No. 184261. Widow’s application filed by Sara D. Robbins on September 12, 1916. Re: Application No. 1072210, Certificate No. 817974.
Supplementary Sources: (1) New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, Unit History Project for 117th Infantry Regiment, compiled and published on line and (2) Find A Grave Memorial # 26689899, created by Andrew L., May 8, 2008.
CHARLES W. ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born May 18, 1834 at Yarmouth, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, son of James P. Robbins and Susan (Crosby) Robbins. Married Hannah G. Silsby around 1869. Died February 19, 1932 at the Washington Veterans Home in Retsil, Kitsap County, Washington and buried at the Washington Veterans Home Cemetery.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted as a Private in Co. K, Maine 18th Infantry Regiment on August 21, 1862. Regiment removed to Washington DC area and deployed in defense of the Capitol at the Cameron and Parrott Batteries near Alexandria, Virginia. Regimental designation changed to 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment in January, 1863. In May, 1864, the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment was attached to the Union Army’s II Corps Heavy Artillery Brigade commanded by General Robert O. Tyler and sent to the Virginia front. On May 19, 1864, Charles W. Robbins was wounded during an engagement with Confederate forces at Harris Farm near Spotsylvania Court House. From there he was sent to Lincoln Hospital in Washington DC for treatment and rehabilitation. Mustered out of service on April 10, 1865.
Pension Record: Application filed by Charles W. Robbins on May 20, 1865 for service in Co. K, 18th Maine Infantry and Co. K, 1st Maine Heavy Artillery. Re: Application No. 66389, Certificate No. 45584.
Supplementary Sources: Find A Grave Memorial # 5559527, created by Carolyn Farnum, June 21, 2001
JOHN SIDNEY ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born April 7, 1844 at Apple River, Jo Daviess County, Illinois, son of Daniel P. Robbins and Janette (Munsil) Robbins. Married Sophia Franciska Luttermann around 1882. Died March 26, 1927 in Los Angeles, California.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted July 11, 1863 at Stockton, California as a Private in Co. L, California 1st Cavalry Regiment. After training at Camp Union near Sacramento, California and Drum Barracks in Wilmington, California, Company L deployed to the Arizona Territory in April, 1864 to provide defense against Apache attacks on U. S. Army installations and encampments at Reventon, Tubac, Fort Bowie and Fort McDowell. Mustered out at Maricopa Wells, Arizona Territory on May 17, 1866.
Pension Record: Application filed by John S. Robbins on July 14, 1897 for service in Co. L, 1st California Cavalry Regiment. Re: Application No. 1194602, Certificate No. 993168. Widow’s application filed by Franciska Robbins on April 2, 1927. Re: Application No. 1575769, Certificate No. A-3-9-28.
Supplementary Sources: The compiler gratefully acknowledges personal data and family records for John Sidney Robbins supplied to him by Hal Hileman of Long Beach, California.
Personal Data: Born July 26, 1841 at Abington, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, son of Bartlett Robbins and Mary (Hersey) Robbins. Unmarried. Died October 23, 1925 in Maine and buried at North Auburn Cemetery, North Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine.
Service Record: Served in the Union Navy and Army. According to his pension record, Loring Robbins served in the U. S. Navy during the years 1862 and 1863 aboard two ships engaged in blockading the Virginia and Carolina coasts, the USS Ellen and the USS Sebago. His pension records also indicate service aboard the USS Ohio, possibly after the USS Sebago was damaged when she ran aground in June, 1863 and returned north for repairs. Throughout the Civil War the USS Ohio was a receiving ship docked at Boston, Massachusetts. His pension records also notes service in the U. S. Army Signal Corps. The U. S. Army Register of Enlistments records his enlistment as a Private in the Signal Corps on February 24, 1864 at Georgetown, Washington DC and his discharge on August 26, 1865, also as a Private. The Signal Corps was in its infancy during this period and Georgetown 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.
Pension Record: Application filed by Loring Robbins on July 24, 1901 for service in the U. S. Army Signal Corps and aboard the U. S. Navy ships “Ellen”, “Sebago” and “Ohio” (1862-1863). Re: Application No. 1273457, Certificate No. 1084014.
Supplementary Sources: Find A Grave Memorial # 32587775, created by Alan and Jane, January 2, 2009.
WILLIAM HARRISON ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born September 2, 1844 at Abington, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, son of Bartlett Robbins and Mary (Hersey) Robbins. Unmarried. Died June 7, 1863 at Port Hudson, Louisiana and buried at Baton Rouge National Cemetery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted as Private in Co. E, 4th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in 1862. The 4th Regiment was mobilized at Camp Joe Hooker in Lakeville, Massachusetts in September, 1862 and moved to New York in late December and on to New Orleans, Louisiana in January, 1863. In Louisiana, the 4th Regiment was integrated into the Union Army as part of the First Brigade, 3rd Division, 19th Army Corps of the Department of the Gulf. Commencing in late May, 1863, the 4th Regiment participated in an assault on Port Hudson, a vital Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River a few miles north of Baton Rouge. The Confederate defenses held and the Union Army settled into a siege which lasted seven weeks ending with the Confederate surrender on July 9, 1863. William Harrison Robbins died on June 7, 1863, either from wounds received in the initial assault or as part of the siege which followed. His grave marker at the Baton Rouge National Cemetery reads: “W. H. Robbins, Mass.”
Pension Record: None
Supplementary Sources: (1) Ohio State University, “Battles & Leaders of the Civil War”, Vol. 3, p. 599, published on line and (2) Find A Grave Memorial # 3222642, imported from U. S. Veteran’s Affairs, March 4, 2000.
THADDEUS PARKER ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born November 13, 1841 at Plympton, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, son of Lewis Robbins and Elizabeth P. (Backus) Robbins. Unmarried. Still living in 1910 according to the 1910 U.S. Census for Malden, Massachusetts. No further record found.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted August 11, 1862 as Private in Co. A, Massachusetts 20th Infantry Regiment. The 20th Regiment had already been incorporated into the Army of the Potomac at the time of his enlistment and was engaged in several campaigns in northern Virginia and Maryland from mid-August through mid-September, 1862, including the Battle of Antietam, Maryland, September 16-17. Other major battles in which the 20th Regiment participated during the next twelve months included the Battle of Fredricksburg, Virginia, December 11-15; the Chancellorsville Campaign of April 27-May 6, 1863 and the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 2-4, 1863. His service records indicate that Thaddeus P. Robbins mustered out of the 20th Regiment on September 4, 1863 and that he enlisted in the U. S. Army Signal Corps at Boston, Massachusetts on March 29, 1864. He served in the Signal Corps for the balance of the war and was mustered out as a Private on August 17, 1865. The Signal Corps was in its infancy during his time of service and 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.
Pension Record: Application filed by Thaddeus P. Robbins on January 13, 1905 for service in Co. A, 20th Massachusetts Infantry and the U. S. Army Signal Corps Volunteers. Re: Application No. 1330093, Certificate No. 1103882.
Supplementary Sources: None
JOHN SPRAGUE ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born July 7, 1832 at Carver, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, son of Chandler Robbins and Sarah (Burgess) Robbins. Unmarried. Died August 30, 1862 at Manassas, Virginia in the Second Battle of Bull Run. Memorial monument at Lakenham Cemetery in Carver, Massachusetts.
Service Record: Enlisted in Co. E, Massachusetts 18th Infantry Regiment on August 24, 1861. Two days later the Regiment departed for Washington DC. Soon after arrival, the Massachusetts 18th Infantry Regiment was attached to the V Corps of the Army of the Potomac under the command of Maj. General Fitz John Porter. After winter encampment in northern Virginia, the Army of the Potomac moved south toward Richmond, the capitol of the Confederacy. Many engagements with Confederate forces followed throughout the spring and into the summer but the Army of the Potomac was unable to overcome the Confederate defenses around Richmond. In mid-August, 1862, several units of the Army of the Potomac, including the Massachusetts 18th Infantry Regiment, were redeployed from southeast Virginia to points west of Washington DC in northern Virginia. On August 30th the Union and Confederate forces engaged in a major battle near Manassas, Virginia, the Second Battle of Bull Run. The Massachusetts 18th Infantry Regiment was in the thick of it and more than half of its men were killed or wounded during the battle, John Sprague Robbins being among those who died. The Massachusetts 18th Infantry Regiment was later reinforced and went on to distinguish itself in some of the major battles in the Eastern Theater of the Civil War, including Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor and Petersburg.
Pension Record: None
Supplementary Sources: Find A Grave Memorial # 92891537, created by Sandra Lennox, July 1, 2012.
OSCAR EDWIN ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born November 27, 1842 in Chautauqua County, New York, son of Hiram Robbins and Emily (Richardson) Robbins. Married Lucina E. Perry on December 24, 1865 at Gratiot, Wisconsin. Died September 6, 1923 at Warren, Jo Daviess County, Illinois and buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Warren.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted August 9, 1862 as Private in Co. H, Illinois 96th Infantry Regiment. This regiment was composed of men from Jo Daviess and Lake Counties, Illinois and was mustered into Federal service on September 6, 1862. Following initial training, the Illinois 96th Infantry Regiment was attached to the U. S. Army Sixth Corps and was engaged in campaigns in the Western Theater from October, 1862 to November, 1863. Major battles involving the Illinois 96th Infantry Regiment during this phase of the war included: Defense of Cincinnati, Ohio, October, 1862; Battle of Fort Donelson, Tennessee, February, 1863; Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia, September 19-20, 1863; and the Battle of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, November 24-25, 1863. The Union victory at Lookout Mountain opened the door to the Union Army invasion of the Deep South culminating in the destruction of Atlanta, Georgia in July and August, 1864. The Illinois 96th Infantry Regiment participated in the Union Army march across Georgia in 1864, then returned to Nashville, Tennessee, where they spent the final months of the war. Oscar Robbins was mustered out at Nashville on June 10, 1865.
Pension Record: Application filed by Oscar Robbins on May 12, 1888 for service in Company H, 96th Illinois Infantry. Re: Application No. 654505, Certificate No. 707341. Widow’s application filed by Lucina E. Robbins on September 13, 1923. Re: Application No. 1209901, Certificate N. 943694.
Supplementary Sources: (1) “Genealogy Trails” website, Jo Daviess County, Illinois Obituaries, published on line and (2) Find A Grave Memorial # 53735407, created by LN, June 15, 2010. In addition the compiler gratefully acknowledges personal data and family records for Oscar Edwin Robbins supplied to him by Hal Hileman of Long Beach, California.
RICHARD R. ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born May 16, 1834 at Woodstock, Oxford County, Maine, son of Oliver Robbins and Ann S. (Thurlow) Robbins. Married Omitt H. Rowe around 1858 in Maine. Died July 14, 1897 in Maine and buried at Norway Pine Grove Cemetery in Paris, Oxford County, Maine.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted as Private in Co. F, Maine 9th Infantry Regiment on September 21, 1861 at Augusta, Maine. Regiment departed Maine for Washington DC soon after muster. Deployed in defense of the Capitol through October 8, 1861, when it was attached to the Union Army’s X Corps and redeployed to South Carolina. The Regiment’s campaigns on the southern front between October, 1861 and April, 1864, included the capture and occupation of several Confederate forts and installations along the South Carolina and Florida coasts. The Regiment then was redeployed to the northern front, where it participated in many of the major battles in the final year of the Civil War, including Drewry’s Bluff, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Strawberry Plains, New Market Heights, Chaffin’s Farm and Fair Oaks in Virginia and the capture and occupation of Wilmington, Goldsboro and Raleigh in North Carolina. Following the surrender of the Confederate Army in April, 1865, occupation duties in North Carolina continued until July 13, when the Maine 9th Infantry Regiment was mustered out. Richard R. Robbins had advanced to the rank of Sergeant by the end of his service in the Civil War.
Pension Record: Application filed by Richard R. Robbins on April 17, 1877 for service in Co. F, 9th Maine Infantry Regiment. Re: Application No. 234249, Certificate No. 185611. Widow’s application filed by Omitt H. Robbins on September 30, 1897. Re: Application No. 663002, Certificate No. 465161.
Supplementary Sources: Find A Grave Memorial # 42006048, created by Stargazer, September 15, 2009.
Personal Data: Born in 1841 at Burrillville, Providence County, Rhode Island, son of Isaac Robbins and Lydia (Phillips) Robbins. Married Harriet M. Osborne on July 5, 1871 at Hanson, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. Died on January 8, 1899 at the Home for Disabled Soldiers in Chelsea, Kennebec County, Maine and buried in Togus National Cemetery in Chelsea.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted May 2, 1861 at Providence, Rhode Island as a Private in the First Light Artillery Battery (a.k.a. Tompkins Battery), Rhode Island Volunteers for a three month term of service. Deployed to Washington DC area and attached to U. S. Army brigades defending the Capitol and stopping Confederate Army advances in northern Virginia. After term of service was complete, the First Light Artillery Brigade returned to Rhode Island and was mustered out on August 6, 1861. On September 6, 1862, Philander Robbins enlisted as a Corporal in Company K, Seventh Rhode Island Infantry Regiment. Soon after enlistment this regiment moved to Washington DC, where it was attached to the U. S. Army’s Ninth Corps. The Seventh Regiment fought in major battles in both Virginia and the west, including Fredericksburg, Virginia in mid-December, 1862, and at Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi in the summer of 1863. Following the Mississippi campaign, the Regiment was deployed to Lexington, Kentucky to defend against Confederate guerillas during the winter of 1863-1864. In the Spring of 1864 the Rhode Islanders were called back to the Virginia front for the closing year of the war. Major battles for the Seventh Regiment during this period included Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg. Philander Robbins, by then a sergeant, suffered a gun shot wound to his left wrist on April 2, 1865 during the taking of Petersburg by Union forces. After the surrender of the Confederate Army at Appomattox Court House on April 9th, the Seventh Regiment returned to Rhode Island and was mustered out on June 9, 1865.
Pension Record: Application filed by Philander Robbins on December 29, 1890 for service in First Battery, Rhode Island Light Artillery and Co. K, Seventh Rhode Island Infantry Regiment. Re: Application No. 972415, Certificate No. (none listed). Widow’s application filed by Harriet M. Robbins on January 31, 1899. Re: Application No. 691282, Certificate No. 480467.
Supplementary Sources: Find A Grave Memorial # 2869247, imported from U. S. Veteran’s Affairs, March 4, 2000.
EDWARD L. ROBBINS
Personal Data: Born April 22, 1836 at Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, son of Henry Robbins and Betsy B. (Churchill) Robbins. Married Mary J. Paulding on August 20, 1861 at Plymouth, Massachusetts. Died June 22, 1906 at Wollaston, Massachusetts.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted in the Third Massachusetts Infantry Regiment on October 1, 1862 at Lakeville, Massachusetts. Regiment mustered for nine month term of service and removed to Boston, Massachusetts. From there they sailed to New Berne, North Carolina, arriving in late October. The Third Regiment was attached to the U. S. Army’s 18th Corps for various expeditions around North Carolina in the fall of 1862 through the spring of 1863, then returned to Boston. Edward L. Robbins was discharged from the Third Massachusetts Infantry Regiment as Sergeant Major on May 29, 1863 and commissioned as Second Lieutenant in Company B of the Second Regiment, Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, on June 4, 1863. Over the summer and fall of 1863, the Second Regiment was deployed around eastern North Carolina to man heavy artillery at forts captured from the Confederacy by the Union Army. Lieutenant Robbins was assigned to Fort Macon, a fort guarding shipping routes along the Atlantic Coast near Morehead City. In November, 1863, Lieutenant Robbins fell ill and was granted leave by the Fort Macon commander. The monthly post reports and enlistment records indicate that the illness continued into February of the next year and that Second Lieutenant Edward L. Robbins was mustered out of the Army on February 24, 1864.
Pension Record: Application filed by Edward L. Robbins on January 2, 1903 for service as Sergeant Major in the Third Massachusetts Infantry and as an officer in Company B, Second Regiment, Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. Re: Application No. 1294401, Certificate No. (none listed). Widow’s application filed by Mercy J. Robbins on July 2, 1906. Re: Application No. 851614, Certificate No. 621322.
Supplementary Sources: None
CHARLES M. ROBINS
Personal Data: Born June 3, 1831 in East Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut, son of Gurdon C. Robins and Julia (Savage) Robins. Married Rebecca Jane Burke around 1870 at Harlan, Shelby County, Iowa. Died in 1918 at Rocky Ford, Otero County, Colorado and buried at Valley View Cemetery in Rocky Ford.
Service Record: Served in the Union Army. Enlisted on May 11, 1861 as a Second Lieutenant in Co. A, Connecticut 4th Infantry Regiment. Soon after, the Regiment was deployed to Washington DC for defense of the Capitol. When the Connecticut 1st Heavy Artillery Regiment was formed out of the Connecticut 4th Infantry in January, 1862, Lieutenant Robins was commissioned as an officer in the latter regiment and on February 23, 1862 he was promoted to full Quartermaster of that regiment. The Connecticut 1st Heavy Artillery Regiment remained on duty at Fort Richardson in Washington DC until it was attached to the Army of the Potomac in April, 1862, supplying artillery support during the Army’s Virginia Peninsula campaign. Regiment returned to Washington DC area in August, 1862 and resumed its duties in defense of the Capitol. Charles M. Robins mustered out of the Connecticut 1st Heavy Artillery Regiment on September 10, 1862, upon receipt of a commission as Captain in the U. S. Volunteers Commissary Department. He continued in this capacity for the balance of the war. He was promoted to Brevet Major on July 18, 1865 and mustered out on August 25, 1865.
Pension Record: Application filed by Charles M. Robins on July 12, 1890 for service as an officer in Co. A, Connecticut Fourth Infantry Regiment, as Quartermaster of the Connecticut First Heavy Artillery Regiment and as Captain and Major in the U. S. Volunteers Commissary Department. Re: Application No. 805636, Certificate No. 640630. Widow’s application filed by Rebecca J. Robins on December 16, 1918. Re: Application No. 1133538, Certificate No. 875749.
Supplementary Sources: (1) The Civil War Archive, Union Regimental Histories, “Connecticut 1st Regiment Heavy Artillery”, and (2) Find A Grave Memorial # 47353958, created by Patricia Cole (Gerlock), January 31, 2010.
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.