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Anderson Zouaves Research

Private Edward C. Elliott, Co. I

Edward Elliot's Gravestone
Cypress Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.

As the fighting during “the Great Rebellion” continued into 1865, the recruiting for replacements continued. These “reccees” (a derogatory  slang expression used by veteran troops for new replacements.  It is the foundation for today’s term; rookie.) were not trusted by those who had already proved themselves on the battlefield, because many of these reccees were bounty jumpers who would desert as soon as possible and enlist in a different regiment for the sole purpose of financial gain. Many states by this time offered bounties of $1500 or more to meet the enlistment goal.  Many of the Irish, who immigrated at this time, enlisted right off the boat to serve, encouraged by the bonus and the automatic citizenship offered to honorably discharged veterans who had fought for the Union. Many of these late recruits were transported from training camps to their regiments shackled, so they would not desert en route to the battlefield.  It was difficult to separate the patriotic recruit who had just turned 18 and could not enlist beforehand, from professional bounty jumpers. There is a common story told about young recruits who were below the age of legal enlistment, who would write the number 18 on a piece of scrap paper and place it with his shoe.  When the recruiter asked the recruit his age, they would answer “I am over 18.”

 One of the men who enlisted honorably to serve was Private Edward C. Elliott who enlisted in the 62d and was mustered into Co. I on April 11th, 1865.  Although he only serve for 6 months, he did fulfill all the requirements of his enlistment contract and thereby should be researched along with the rest of the long- term veterans.

 Edward Elliott was born in 1843 in New Haven Connecticut to William Elliott and Mary Cushing Elliott, both of whom were born in Ireland and farmed near New Haven.  According to his enlistment data he was 5’5” inches tall with blue eyes, brown hair, and fair complexion. It is not known how much military action he encountered, but he was discharged along with the rest of the Regiment at Fort Schuyler, New York. The Federal Census of 1870 showed Edward living in Litchfield, Connecticut working as “Cutlery”

 Edward married Alice Lough  in 1875 and they produced eight children; Mary Elizabeth (b. 1876), Edward C. (b. 1877), James (b. 1880), John George (b. 1884), Alice C. (b. 1885), Phillip (b. 1888), and William Francis (b. 1890).  On July 15, 1885, he applied for a pension under an Invalid status. Both the 1900 and 1910 Federal Censuses showed Edward employed as a “textile polisher,” renting a home in Westfield Town, Massachusetts.  Private Edward C. Elliott died of valvular disease of the heart at Noble Hospital in Westfield Town on April 29, 1910 is buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery .  Alice filed for a pension under a widow’s status on  May 9th, 1910 and following him in death in 1922.

Research article by Joe Basso

Photo Credit: Joe Basso

Originally appeared in AZ Research Blog February 2, 2016