Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sometimes you get disappointed (or not)

I have copies of the compiled service records for three brothers that fought in the War of 1812.  When I wrote off for the records I was pretty excited hoping to find some really cool gems.  Initially the documents look a tad disappointing but there is still information to be gleaned.

Here are the records:




So what can I actually glean from these records.  I have also added some questions that I start asking as I go through these records.


  • William was in the 10 and 20 Consolidated Louisiana Militia.  He is listed as being in Captain Thomas Neasom’s Consolidated Company, 10th Regiment, Louisiana Militia. This unit apparently merged with the 20th at some point.  I need to research the history of this company for a couple of reasons.  The most obvious reason is why was a man from Mississippi in a Louisiana unit?  (You didn’t know he was from Mississippi but he was).  I actually know that answer to that but I will save that for another blog post.  I would also like to see a timeline of what action this unit saw so that I will know what sort of service William had.
  • Assuming he was at least 16 years of age, he would be born before 1799.
  • He died after 11 Feb 1815.
  • He was a private.  Since these rolls are dated close to the end of the war he probably wasn’t promoted and was discharged as a private.
  • He joined this company on 25 Dec 1814.  Odd day.  
  • He transferred in from Captain U. Chaun’s [ Chanu’s, Chavis’ ? spelling]  company, 10th Regiment.  Again, I need to do some research on this unit.  This means that he was actually in the Militia prior to 25 Dec 1814. 
  • He served until at least 11 Feb 1815.  The war officially ended on 18 Feb 1815 so this too is interesting.


  • Silas also joined this unit on 25 Dec 1814.  There is another name given that is associated with this unit, Lieutenant Colonel William Willis.  Silas was also transferred in from Captain U. Chaun’s [Chanu’s, Chavis’ ? spelling] company.
  • Assuming he was at least 16 years of age, he would be born before 1799.
  • He died after 22 Mar 1815.
  • He was being paid 8 dollars a month for his service.  Not earthshattering but interesting nonetheless. 
  • He was a private and most likely was discharged as a private.
  • His muster roll specifically states “New Orleans.”   Could he have been at the famous Battle of New Orleans?  The Battle of New Orleans was fought from 23 Dec 1814 until 08 Jan 1815.  Since he was attached to this unit on the 25th of December it looks like his unit was brought in for reinforcements.  He was in fact there.  His bounty land application specifically mentions the Battle of New Orleans.
  • His muster roll and payroll are for 25 Dec 1814 through 22 Mar 1815 which is after the war.  Interesting.  Cleanup duty maybe?


  • His records mirror Silas’

I now want to find the history of the 10 and 20 Consolidated Louisiana Militia as well as the 10th Regiment Louisiana Militia.  I want to do a little research on the three commanding officers mentioned.  I also need to research Mississippi units that merged into Louisiana ones.  I would like to know if these three transferred in from a Mississippi unit originally. 

These records along with Bible records, tax rolls and territorial census records come together to show that these three men were in fact brothers.  In the Testing Your Lineage post I talked about not relying on a single piece of evidence.  I thought I would give this as an extra example to you.  It would be easy to say that these three were brothers because they had the same surname, they were in the same militia unit and they joined that militia unit on the same day.  However, without other evidence you could not make that assertion.  Why?  Because one of them could have been a father or an uncle or a cousin to the others.  It is even possible that none of them were brothers and that they weren’t related at all.  Don’t fall into that trap.

Even when you get a document that doesn’t seem like it has much pertinent information you can always squeeze a little out of it.


Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis





  1. Michelle, is that a typo, or did two of these brothers live to be well over 100yo?

  2. Typo :) I have fixed it. As far as when they really died....

    William - after 1819 (last tax roll I have him on. He doesn't appear on the 1820 but he could have moved away so I can't say that he died between 1819-1820 yest)

    Silas - between 19 Feb 1856 (he was in court) and 18 Aug 1860 (1860 census). I know he didn't move away because his entire family is still in Perry county. (Yes, it is possible but very unlikely)

    James - 21 Mar 1871. He has a tombstone :)

  3. Michele -- you left us hanging! We're researching another private in Capt Neasom's Co. who started in Kentucky and somehow ended up in Louisiana. What was the reason you found for William Simmons of Mississippi joining a Louisiana regiment?

  4. Casey, Powell A. Louisiana in the War of 1812. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: n.p., 1963.

    There are several examples of Mississippi units being merged into Louisiana units, one being Captain Turby E. Thomas' Company of the Mississippi Volunteers became part of the 1st Battalion of Louisiana Volunteers. "How this unit became part of a Louisiana battalion is not known." [page 5]. There are many instances of officers listed in Mississippi units being later listed in Louisiana units [page 6].