Civil War Records of Samuel C. Hanscom


Co. Regiment / Ship From To Residence/ Credit Occupation Notes
A (the "California Hundred") 2nd Ma. Cav. Private; enl. Nov. 24, 1862; must. Dec. 10, 1862, 1862; prom. to Corpl.11, 1864.   San Francisco, Calif. lumberman

age 28;

killed July 6, 1864 near Aldie, Virginia.

MASSCW, 6:233

Service Record (select pages from the National Archives): x
Service Ledger (Town of Acton): x


Co. Regiment Date Filed Type App. No. Cert. No. State Beneficiary/Remarks
A 2nd Ma. Cav. Sept. 30, 1889 mother 405 569 362 553 Mass. Elizabeth Hanscom

Pension File (select pages from the National Archives):  4 pages  (PDF*)

Grand Army of the Republic



Date July 6, 1864
Place Aldie, Virginia
Cause killed in action
Burial Mount Zion Baptist Church Cemetery, Aldie, Loudoun County, Va (Find A Grave Memorial# 7325184, Retrieved 2016-11-09.
Survived by

Additional Information

Samuel Hanscom, age 15, is recorded as an inhabitant of Wilton, Maine in the 1850 federal census, in household (dwelling no. 8) with Joel and Elizabeth Hanscom:
Joel Hanscom, 48
Elizabeth Hanscom, 48
James Hanscom, 16
Samuel Hanscom, 15
Sarah E. Hanscom, 13
Sarah A. Wheelwright, 6
("1850 United States Federal Census," Neither brother survived the war.

The 1855 state census records parents Elizabeth and Joel Hanscomb as residents of Acton, Mass. Joel and Elizabeth Harvey Hanscom, both born in Maine, are also recorded as residents of South Acton in the 1865 state census (Lainhart, 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts State Census for Acton: 19, 75). 

Samuel's sister Sarah E. Hanscom, 23, married Francis Tuttle 2nd, 24, a tailor, on April 5, 1860, in Acton, Mass. (Acton marriage register, "Massachusetts Vital Records 1841-1910," vol. 136, p. 35,

Samuel's father Joel Hanscom died in Acton on December 2, 1870, at the age of 68 (Annual report, Town of Acton, Massachusetts, 1870: 17). His mother, Elizabeth (Pierpont) Hanscom died in Concord, Mass. on November 11, 1894, at the age of 93 (Concord death register, "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," She is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Acton. (Find A Grave Memorial# 114128198, Retrieved 2016-11-09).

The names of Samuel C. Hanscom and his brother James P. Hanscom are recorded on the Acton Memorial Library Soldiers' Tablet, "Our Honored Dead."


Letters of Samuel C. Hanscom
Corporal, Co. A, 2nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry
(AML 2016.3)

1863 July

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Gloucester Point July 19th [1863]

Dear parents I rite
to you once more to let
you know that am
wel.  we are setteled here
in camp agane and it
semes likley that we shal
stay here for som time.
most all of the tropes
have gone away from
here douring the last
weak. I beleve they have
gon to washington to
help bag Lee but I
here that Lee has gon
on his way rejoysing.
He semes to have the nack
of marching all round
the armey of the Potomac

[page 2]

and fiteing them when
he likes.  I heer that
they are trying Charles-
town agane I hope they
will fetchit this
time.  Thare seems
to be a grate deal of troble
in new york about
the draft.  I hope
that it will be put-
down without delay
if they have to hang the
hole crowd of roughs that
are making the troble.
I am geting tierd of
laying here in camp
agane and hope we will
joyn our ridgament
son. Gen Foster com
to yorktown last
night and he is

[page 3]

going to revew this
batalion to day and
I must go and get reddy.
I have not got eny
letter or paper this last
weak and serpose they
have ben miscared and
will com this weak. but
I must close  giv my
love to all.  rite as
often as posible

Sam Hanscom


1863 August

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Centervil Aug 15th 1863

Dear Parents
We are in a new
camp agane you see, we got here
yestaday after three days on
the road one day of witch was
spent in a hot chase after
Mosbey and som of his gang. We
run them about twenty miles
but did not suckseed in catch-
ing them, they camped within
a mile of us the nite before but
we did not know it til seven
oclock in the morning when
two suttlers came in that he
had jest robed of thare teems
and wagons in ten minets after

[page 2]

thare was 40 of us started after them
and altho the day was a hot one
we went on a smart trot and
som times on a galope. We had a
white man that was rased in
the country for a guide, and we soon
came on his track and pushed
him so hard that he had to
leav the wagons and go on as
fast as he cold without them
and as he had two [h]ours the
start on us he reched his
hideing plase before we cold
overtake him the guide sed
it was no use to go ferther and
so we halted for a cople of
houres and then started back
and got to camp about twelve
oclock at nite three or four of our
horses gave out on the trip but
we helped ourselves to eny we
cold find on the road and
got back with more than


[page 3]

we started with, the next
day we started for this
plase but took aroundabout
way and about dark came to
a lot of wagons that Moesby
had taken a few days before
and had ben fritend away
before he had time to go through
them and as we had ben on short
rations for two days of corse we
helped ourselves and brot away
all we cold and wit live wel for a few days. We have
a good camp here and the
most of our ridg is here it is
the first time that we have
ben with them but as I have
got som work to do about my
tent I must close I recived
your letter of the 12 last nite
give my love to all.
Sam Hanscom


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Centervil Aug 30th 1863

I recived your letter of the 25th
and was glad to here from
you and to here that you are all
wel I am in first rate helth and
thare is not much sicknis in eny
of the camps about here, the nites
are getting quite cool and we begin to want our blankets witch we left
in Washington. We have spent the
pased weak in hunting Moesby
as usuel without much suckses.
Last saduday twentyfive men
of this ridg went to Washington
with 100 condemned horses and started
back on monday with as menny
new ones when about half way
through they wer atacked by
Moesby with 60 men they wer
taken by serprise but forte

[page 2]

as wel as they could under the
circumstances each man had three
horses hitched to his saddle and
when the rebs charged in among them
nearly all were dismounted by
thare horses geting tangeld and
thrown, but som of the boys
got together at an old house clos
by and emted thare pistols among
them and then made thear escape
as best they cold the rebs got most
of the horses and seven or eight prisners
and left fore of thare number dead
and one wounded in the road the
wounded one was brot in to camp
but has since died. Of our men two
wer kiled and one wounded
throw the stomack he is not expected
to recover. 10 of the men
belonged to this Co and the rest
to the Cal. Bat one of the kiled
and the wounded one belong
to this Co. As soon as the news [?] got
to camp the hole ridg started

[page 3]

in presute and we chased them
for three days but only got a few
prisners but they say that Moesby
was severly wounded in the scrape
and we have hered since that he
is not expected to live but we
cannot find whare he is I
hope he has got his dose.
I recive my paper reguly evry
weak I wish you wold send
me som more stamps as I am most
out give my love to all hands.
Sam Hanscom


1863 September

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Centervile, Sep 6th 1863

Dear parents
I have not recived
eny letter from you this
last weak and supose that it
hase ben delayde on the road.
We have ben dooing the same
old round of duty as usual
onley we have not ben out
on ascout this weak. We have
not heard enything of Moesby
latley onley that he is dead
but that needs conferming
thare is no doaut that he
was badley wounded the
other day and may be dead.
Our man that was wounded died
three days ago that makes five
men that have gonin since
we have ben in the War and som

[page 2]

have ben discharged and
others transferd to other companys
so that we dont muster more than
seventyfive now and not more
than fifty for dooty. Cap
Read is to be permoted to
major and Cap Washben is to have
comand of this company. Our horses
are in bad conditon and with
the hundred that Moesby got
from us Ieavs nearly half of
the ridg dismounted. I am in
good helth and so are most of
the ridg the wether is geting
quite cool and comfertbale but
the flies are so thick here in
the tent that I cant rite
enymore, give my love to
all hands
Sam Hanscom


[side 1 image, side 2 image]

Centerville Sep 20th 1863

Dear Parents
I will rite
you a few lines to let
you know that I am wel. I
recived your letter of the 15
the other day and was glad
to hear from you and to
heer that you wer all wel.
I have jest com in from
a two days scout in the mountens
around Leesburgh, we captured
three graybacks and had severel
little spats with small parties
and som hard runs after them
but it is all most imposable
to catch them among the hils
they have so meny hideing plases.
The third Bat of this ridg has
gon to Md in comand of

[page 2]

Capt Read acting Major and
I here that he had a scirmish
the other day and got rather
the worst of it but we have not
heard any perticklers of it. I heer
that we are going to joyne him
soon. The wether is geting very
cool and we have had a considerable
rain in the last weak. I get the
journal evry weak give my
love to all
Sam Hanscom


1863 October

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Fairfax C.H. Oc 8th 1863

Dear Parents
I will
rite you a few lines this
eavning to let you
know that I am wel it
has ben longer than usual
since I have riten but I
have ben out on a scout
nearly all the time since
my last leter when we
came in we found the camp
had ben mooved to this place
that was on monday and since
that time I have ben bisey
fixing for winter quarters
and this eavning is the first
chance I have had to rite.
We had a very good time
on our croose allthough

[page 2]

we went rather hungry
som times after our squad
had ben out a weak serching
in vane for gorilers the hole
brigade came out and brot
our horses to us and we went
as far as snickers gap but
did not meat any forse
of rebs allthough thare was
som three hundred on the
mountain but they scaterd
as soon as they saw us and
they wood not stand to
fite an eqel number so the
cornel ordered us to scater
among the bus in small partes
and we had som fine chases
after them we staded all day
but did not catch but two
of them as soon as they find
they are hard pushed they
will sorender without more
trubel they dont want to

[page 3]

fite but rob tranes is
thare game. I dont know
wether we will stay here
this winter or not but
hope we will for it is
a plesent  plase. You spock
about socks in your letter
I have plenty that I draw
from the quartermaster
and they are very good ones.
But I must close for it is
geting late giv my love to
Sam Hanscom


1864 April

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Vienna, Va. Apr 15th

Dear Parents
I will
write you a few lines to
let you know that I
am well I recived your
letter last night and
was glad to heer from
you I roat you last
sunday you must have
recived the letter before
this. I recived the box it
was about ten days on the
road and som of the pies
wer spoiled but the rest
of the things wer in good
condition and went first
rate. We are having plesent
wether now and it begins

[page 2]

to look like spring.
They have mooved our picket
line out to Difficult Run
som two miles in advance
of where we have ben this
winter and I think by the
aprence we shal stop here
som time yet. We get
no news from the front
now but if it holds good
wether for a weak or two I think
we will heer from them. But I will close give
my love to all
Sam Hanscom


[side 1 image, side 2 image]

Vienna, Va. Apr 23th 1864

Dear Parents
I will write you
a few lines to let you know
that I am well. 1 recived your
letter of the 10 last thursday
but have had no time to anser
it til today. We have ben
out on a scout nearley all the
weak around Leesburg and
have taken a number of priseners
and kiled two and wounded
three to bad to be mooved, one
of the priseners is a captain, he
was engaged in concripting
and gathering up all the forage
he could find in the county.
We had one man kiled and three
wounded shot while on picket

[page 2]

in Leesburg. Last night
the rebs returned our viset
and atacted the picket several
of the 16 N.Y. wounded one man
and went off with sixteen of there
horses, the noos got into camp
about sunrise and they routed
out this company to hunt down
the rebs Col. Lowell toock comand
and in less than ten minets we wer
after them, out about three miles
we came on the track of a small
squad and the Col. sent ten
of us after them with orders to
go to a serten place and if
we did not find them to return
to camp we went as far as we cold
through the pine woods without
eny road the rebs had scatterd
in diferent directions and when
we came out on the road thare
was onley six ahed of us, an old
man at work near the road told

[page 3]

us they wer half an hour ahed
of us but I think he was a reb
we had got as far as orders
permitcd so we went a little
ferther and then came back to
camp. The other partey has not
com in yet I hope they will
catch som of the rebs. We are having
warm wether now and it begins
to look like spring the peach
trees are in blosom, but I must
close giv my love to all
Sam Hanscom


1864 June

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Falls Church June 18" 1864

Dear Parents
I recived your
letter of the 8th two or three
days ago and thort I wold
not answer it til today.
We have ben out to the
battlefield of the Wild-
ernes and have ben gon
seven days the place is
riteley named for it is
a wildernes of all kinds of
timber for miles around.
We crossed the Raphanock at the
U.S. ford and went to Chanse
ervile and from thare we toock
the plank road into the
wildernes and now we cold
se som sines of the
battle the trees wer spotted

[page 2]

with bulets and we saw menny
placeses whare the ded had ben
berred when we had gon a
mile we came to whare the
fite was the hottes the rebs
had rifle pits on both sides
of the road and thare must
have ben hard fiteing to have
taken them and here the ded
lay unbered thikley on both
sides of the road blew and
gray about equel the trees
wer spect with bulets and
none above eight feet from
the ground so they must
have shot wel. Here we found
three or four teems belonging
to cidersons, they wer loded
with stuf they had picked
up on the battle ground
the men sed they lived fifteen
miles away. I presom they
belong to the FFV they

[page 3]

wer in good buisness with
the Buzards robing the dead
thare wer six of us in advance
and we went through them
for thare diner it was boiled
han and buisquet and butter
and made us a good meal and
we needed it. Our buisnes was
to recapture a lot of our wounded
that the rebs had taken,
about five miles into the wildemes
we came to a number of tents
with the red flag flying
over them but thare was onley
thirtey or fortey rebel wounded
thare to bad to be moved our
wounded had ben taken away
the day before and wer on the
way to som rebel prisen.
From this place we turned to
the rite and went across onto
the pike a distence of five
miles to a place called Locus

[page 4]

grove here we found a little
patch of cler ground and
a lot more of hospittle tents
thare wer fortey two of our
wounded here and about fortey
more had died most of the
wounded had a leg off onley
two or three hit in the bodey
thare was one of our sergents and
two reb sergents in charge
of the hospittles both the reb
doctors wer drunk when we got thare and had
quite a lot of rifle whiskey
on hand stil. The boys wer glad to
see us and wer glader stil when
we told them we wer going to take
them away we loded them into
the amberlances and came back to
chancervile on the pike this road
is wharc the hard fiteing was
don, on the 6th of May, and the ded
wer laying in the road and
on both sides of it. We camped
that night betwen chancervile
and the river and started for home
the next morning. The journel
has stoped coming and I dont want
it eny more give my love to all
Sam Hanscom


1864 July

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Washington July 25th 1864

Respected Lady
I trust you will pardon
a stranger for addressing you a
few lines when you learn the
painful duty that I have to
perform which is to announce to
you the death of your noble and
patriotic Son who was shot in
a Guerrilla fight on the 6th inst
near Aldea, Va. I had hoped
that an abler pen than mine had
informed you of his fate ear this, but
learning today that it had been
neglected I opened your letter to
learn the address. Ah little did you
think when you pened those words of
hope and council for his comfort and
benafit that ear it reached him
his Eyes would be dim in death.

[page 2]

But he died like a true
patriot and hero. He lived but a
few hours after receiving the fatal
shot but was concious of his
approaching end and expressed a
willingness to die for his country.
We who had come with him from
the peacefull shoars of California to
help our country in her hour of trial
and nead and had served beside
him for a year and a half wer much
grieved at his loss for our prolonged
acquaintance had taught us to love and
respect him. For SamI was a noble
boy. But a fatal rebel bulet took
him from us and we can only respect
and honor his memory and emulate
his example Pleas excuse this hasty scroll
I would write you more of the particulars
but for want of time. So adieu for
the present from John Winship
To Mrs. Elizabeth Hanscom  Co A 2nd Mass Cav


1864 August

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On the March from
Charlestown, Va Aug.9/64
Elizabeth Hanscom
I recd your
Letter of July 21st some
days since but have had
no opportunity to answer
until now. I am very sorry for
I know your anxiety.
Your Son was killed near Aldie,
Va by Mosby's Men, along
with several of his companions,
he was shot through the head
he lived but a few hours
& had every care that the
circumstances would allow
he was buried near Little
River Church, Va near
where he fell. I know of
no way you could
obtain his body as he

[page 2]

lies within the Enemies
lines, he recd the usual
burial of those who fall
in the field. I do not
think his grave is in
anyway designated, such
things however worthy the
Soldier or gratifying to
his friends - at times is
impossible - I have
his Bible, a likeness
& some few of his keepsakes
that I gathered up after
writing you at Falls Church
but we were ordered away
so sudden that I placed
them with the Co. property
which is now stowed in
Washington. I will send
them to you the first
oppertunity. I am very
sorry I could not answer
before, but I have been


in the Saddle 30 days
steady. The Regt has lost
heavily this Summer –
but we in common must
bear our loss - and for
our great personal &
National sacrafice hope
for a sure reward.
Hoping & trusting we may
all meet again, I
Your Friend
H.G. Burlingham
2d Lt Co A 2d Mass. Cav


1865 June [?]

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United States Sanitary Commission. [crossed out]
While laying at Falls
Church, Va. your son & myself
camped to gether, when he went
out on that unfortunate raid, he
left in my charge, his effects.
At the time of his death, his watch,
money etc the rebels took from
his person. I should have sent
his other effects to you, but the
invasion of Washington by Early
than taking place, we were ordered
to the front and as all Company
baggage had to be stored, I sent
his personal property with the rest.
After the campaign in the Vly we
went into winter quarters – at Camp
Russell - Shendh Vly - our blankets
were then sent to us. I procured
Sam's & sent it to you - also his
jacket - via Adam's Express

[page 2]

3 days ago, we recd the rest of the
Co. baggage, and I hasten to send
to you, the rest viz - a daguerotype,
his bible, sewing kit etc on
receipt of which I wish you would
wright, and inform me You can
direct - Co A 2nd Mass. Cav,
Washington, D.C. We expect to be
mustered out of the service soon
and on our arrival in Mass, any
information that I can give you
in regard to your son - will be
with pleasure.
I remain Your
Most Obd’t Serv’t
Chas H Powers
Co. A 2nd  Reg Mass Cav
Camp near Clouds Mill, Va
June 8th   [1865?]






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