William H. Doxtader Collection (LC.00132)
The collection consists primarily of family Civil War pension records and a photocopied history of the 36th Indiana Infantry. Albert and Daniel Doxtader both served in that regiment. Philander Doxtader served in the 115th New York Regiment. Many of these pension records were collected and submitted by the widows of Philander and Daniel. These legal documents shed light on how Philander's wife, Louisa Doxtader (maiden name Barlow) and Daniel's wife, Matilda Doxtader (maiden name Bullock) were able to secure widow's and/or minor children's pensions after the deaths of their husbands (Philander in 1886; Daniel in 1862).
Philander Doxtader was born c. 1834-1835 in Oppenheim, New York, to Maria (maiden name Casselman) and Henry Doxtader. He enlisted as a private in Company E of the New York 115th Infantry Volunteers on August 14, 1862. On September 15, 1862, Philander was taken prisoner at Harper’s Ferry along with over 12,000 Union troops after their commander, Col. Miles C. Dixon, infamously surrendered. Paroled the same day, the regiment marched to Camp Parole in Annapolis, Maryland, then were sent by boat to Baltimore, and then, by freight car to Camp Douglas in Chicago. Constrained by the prisoner exchange rules of the Dix-Hill Cartel, the paroled Union prisoners could not “perform any duty usually performed by a soldier, until exchanged.” Parolees were not given travel passes or furloughs to return home out of the fear that they would never come back for duty, so they remained confined within Camp Douglas for months awaiting a formal exchange. The already unsanitary conditions at Camp Douglas were exacerbated by the massive influx of paroled soldiers, which created severe overcrowding issues.
According to James H. Clark’s history of the 115th New York Infantry, The Iron Hearted Regiment, the 115th were housed in horse stables at the Illinois state fairgrounds, with four to sixteen men per stall. By November 1st, almost everyone in the regiment had become ill and forty had died. Throughout November, a boycott took shape in which thousands of parolees refused to perform guard duties and some used lumber to block the road leading into Camp Douglas. The 115th were one of the few regiments who did not join the boycott, and so they were employed by the commanders to take up arms as guards and instructed to shoot if necessary (which they did on more than one occasion). The actions of the 115th made them pariahs among their fellow parolees, who turned their frustrations upon them in the form of taunts, threats, and physical attacks. It is unclear what role Philander played in all of this. In November, he was simply listed as performing extra duty as a carpenter at Camp Douglas. The regiment was exchanged on November 20th, and sent to Washington, D.C.
Philander was employed in many capacities. On January 8, 1863, he volunteered (along with eighty other infantry soldiers) to join a nighttime gunboat operation at West Point, in which they seized Confederate supplies and destroyed any visible means of transporting more in. Throughout 1863, he served at Beaufort and Coosaw Island, South Carolina. He performed extra duty as a teamster, a provost guard, and in the Quartermaster Department.
On August 16, 1864, Philander suffered a gunshot wound at the Second Battle of Deep Bottom on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia. His hand and part of his forearm were amputated shortly thereafter and he was sent to a convalescent hospital in Beverly, New Jersey. On December 3, 1864, he transferred to a rehabilitation hospital at the intersection of Broad and Cherry Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Then, on May 9, 1865, Philander went to the military hospital in Chester, Pennsylvania, where he was discharged due to his disability and mustered out of service on May 22.
Philander married Louisa Barlow (1839-1910) in Onondaga, Michigan, on June 26, 1873. Louisa was born on December 26, 1839, in Oneida, New York, to Orange and Elizabeth (maiden name Whaley) Barlow, and their family moved to Onondaga, Michigan, sometime in the 1840s to establish a farm. According to the 1860 census, Louisa worked as a teacher at a community school. She became acquainted with Philander through Albert Doxtader’s 1868 marriage to Martha Longyear, since Martha’s brother William had married Louisa’s sister Ann Edith in 1865. In 1871, Philander relocated from New York to spend the winter with William and Ann Edith Longyear at their farm in Leslie, Michigan. Albert and Martha housed Philander in Onondaga until he married Louisa in 1873. The couple then moved to a farm across the street from the Longyears in Leslie. Louisa and Philander had one son together, George Gaylord Doxtader (1877-1948) and the 1880 census listed Philander as a farmer and Louisa as a homemaker. In 1881, they moved to Kent County, Michigan, and on June 19, 1882, Philander was appointed as the county’s postmaster.
They briefly returned to Leslie a few years later, then, in 1885, with Philander’s health in decline from heart and kidney disease, he and Louisa moved to Varina, Henrico County, Virginia, close to the place where Philander suffered his debilitating wound during the war. Philander died on July 9, 1886, and Louisa took charge of their 133 acre farm. Struggling to make ends meet, Louisa moved to Richmond by 1891, hoping to find work in the city’s growing manufacturing sector. It is unclear where she worked, but it is likely she, like most other women who moved to Richmond from rural communities, found work in the textile factories. She lived at 2913 Franklin E. for two years with Samuel M. Oliver, then moved across the street to 3006 E. Franklin in 1893. By 1908, Louisa was living in Oakland, California, with her son George, who had taken a job as a sailor. The 1910 census (taken in April) indicated that Louisa was committed to the King’s Daughters Home for Incurables, where she died shortly thereafter on May 25, 1910.
Albert Albathia Doxtader was born on October 22, 1838, in Montgomery County, New York. Sometime in the 1850s, Albert moved to Randolph County, Indiana, to farm with his brother Daniel. Like Daniel, Albert enlisted in Company K of the 36th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers on October 1, 1861. Albert joined as a corporal, and Daniel, a private.
Albert was severely wounded on April 7, 1862, at the Battle of Shiloh. He suffered a gunshot wound on his left side and was not found for over a day. Doxtader was sent home to recuperate after reportedly trying to flee the hospital at Evansville, Indiana, to rejoin his regiment. Albert was promoted to sergeant on August 11, 1862, and he returned for duty. Albert’s three-year term of service expired on September 21, 1864. On April 7, 1865, he reenlisted for a year as a private with Company K of the 6th Infantry Regiment of U.S. Veteran Volunteers and was stationed at Washington, D.C. In May 1865, he was hospitalized for a throat ailment that was attributed to exposure. Albert was mustered out of service on April 6, 1866.
Albert married Martha Longyear (1844-1928) on January 8, 1868, in Phoenicia, New York. They had three children together: Harry Doxtader (1868-1951), Guy Otto Doxtader (1870-1958), and Glen Nelson Doxtader (1875-1934). Albert died on February 19, 1928, of gangrene. It is unclear whether this was a complication of his war wound or not. Martha died less than two weeks later from chronic myocardial degeneration.
Daniel Doxtader’s birth records are missing. The 1855 New York State census lists him as 28 years old, whereas his army enlistment documents from 1861 claim he is 26 years old. This puts his birthday in 1827 at the earliest, and 1835 at the latest.
He married Matilda Rachel Bullock (1836?-1913), from Fulton County, New York, on January 21, 1852, and they had one daughter together, Idella (1852-1930), born on November 5, 1852. On the 1855 New York State census, Daniel was listed as a lawyer. Sometime after, they moved to Randolph County, Indiana, to become homesteaders and upon Daniel’s enlistment in the military, his occupation was “carpenter.”
Daniel enrolled as a private in Company K of the 36th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers on September 20, 1861, and was mustered in on October 24, 1861. While on duty near McMinnville, Tennessee, he became ill and was sent to a hospital in Nashville on September 3, 1862. He died on November 5th from either dysentery, typhoid fever, or a combination of the two.
Matilda remarried on July 1, 1865, to Nereus Baldwin (1840-1901) a Quaker and photographer who operated a gallery in Farmland, Indiana, from 1860-1869. They moved to Lawrence, Kansas, in 1869, then to Park City in 1872, and two years later, they settled in Wichita, where they raised three children together, amassed a small fortune, and spent the rest of their lives.
The following link depicts Nereus’ photograph of Matilda with their children Fred and Moscaline: http://www.wichitaphotos.org/graphics/wschm_BaldwinChildren-2.jpg