Civil War Collection, 1861-1866

RECORD GROUP: County Clerk
RECORD SERIES #: 1300
SERIES: Civil War Collection
DATES: 1861-1866
VOLUME: approx. 10 cubic feet (15 manuscript boxes, 3 map cabinet drawers & 1 flat box)

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*** Search Civil War Bounty Payments or
Civil War Muster Lists***

ABSTRACT
These Civil War records were kept by the County Clerk and pertain to Monmouth County volunteers. They concern soldiers from many companies and many New Jersey regiments and also include men from other units, Afro-American troops, and a few naval and marine enlistees. Types of records include:

  • Bounty Payment Vouchers for Furnishing a Substitute
  • Bounty Payment Vouchers to Dependents
  • Certificates of Exemption
  • Certificates of Non-Liability
  • Letters from A. A. Provost Marshal General’s Office
  • Letters from NJ Adjutant General’s Office
  • Letters from Provost Marshal’s Office
  • Muster Lists
  • Volunteer (formerly Medical) Certificates
  • Volunteer Bounty Bonds & Notes
  • Vouchers for Enlisting Colored Volunteers (Subsistence and Transportation)
HISTORY
On April 17, 1861, two days after President Lincoln made his first call for troops, New Jersey’s Governor Charles S. Olden issued his own proclamation calling for 3,120 volunteers to help in the Union cause. The initial call for volunteers required the recruits to serve for three months. The majority of Monmouth County volunteers were mustered into Company A and G of the 3rd Regiment on April 27, 1861. Other Monmouth County men, for various reasons, enlisted in other counties and as far away as New York and Philadelphia. By April 30, 1861, the Monmouth volunteers met with the entire New Jersey Brigade for their march to Washington.

As the war dragged on, call after call was made, each time for more volunteers and for longer terms of service. Another large group of Monmouth County men were raised under President Lincoln’s call of August 4, 1862, for 300,000 nine-month and three-year volunteers. At that point, it was thought the government would have to resort to a draft, but within a few weeks, New Jersey’s quota had been filled with more than enough volunteers.

The Monmouth County men were placed in nine Monmouth County companies of the 28th Regiment (nine months, mustered in September, 1862, mustered out June and July, 1863); the 29th Regiment (nine months, mustered in September, 1862, mustered out June and July, 1863), and the 14th Regiment (three years, mustered in August, 1862, mustered out June, 1865). The 14th, 28th, and 29th were all raised at Freehold’s Camp Vredenburg, which is now part of the Monmouth Battlefield State Park.

Most Northerners underestimated the determination and stamina of the South and few imagined the war would last for four years. It became increasingly difficult for the states to fill their quota with volunteers. The enthusiasm of volunteers did not last and, on March 3, 1863, President Lincoln was forced to order the first draft call through “An Act for enrolling and calling out the National forces.”

Most Northerners underestimated the determination and stamina of the South and few imagined the war would last for four years. It became increasingly difficult for the states to fill their quota with volunteers. The enthusiasm of volunteers did not last and, on March 3, 1863, President Lincoln was forced to order the first draft call through “An Act for enrolling and calling out the National forces.” Few in the North were happy with the drastic draft measure and believed that encouraging volunteers would help fill the states’ quotas. In 1863, New Jersey’s Governor Parker issued a final call for volunteers before resorting to the draft. To lure recruits, he authorized the Boards of Chosen Freeholders in the counties to offer bounty payments for each volunteer ranging from $100 to $500.

At a Special Meeting held August 11, 1863, the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders met to discuss ways to raise the necessary funds to cover the cost of the bounty payments. The result of the meeting was a resolution to petition the State legislature for an act to authorize the Board to issue bonds and to raise the money to pay for the bonds and interest by increasing taxes assessed to each township. It was also agreed that each volunteer receive a $200 bounty payment. Since Monmouth offered one of the lowest bounties, it was not unusual for Monmouth residents to sign up in other counties or other states where payments were much higher.

The Board also directed that the County Collector maintain records of all monies disbursed for the war effort. Bounty payments were issued by the County Collector to the volunteer once he received written notification from the Adjutant General verifying that the recruit had been accepted and mustered into service.

Payments also were made to civilian recruiters who had persuaded a friend, relative, or neighbor to help serve in the cause. There are many instances of payments made to individuals who recruited “colored” volunteers (enlistment of African-American troops was authorized on January 1, 1863). Not only did the recruiters receive payment for obtaining a volunteer, they also received payment for subsistence and transportation to deliver their volunteer to a nearby camp.Substitution also became a routine procedure. To avoid service, men eligible for the draft were permitted to find a substitute who was not draft eligible.

SCOPE AND CONTENT
During the war, military record keeping became a massive job at the federal, state, county and municipal levels. The units include 1st, 2nd & 3rd Calvary, 1st Artillery, and 25 different Regiments. Besides form documents, this record series also contains general correspondence concerning enlistments, transfers, promotions, deaths, desertions, discharges, out of state records, etc., sometimes hand-noted on a small piece of scrap paper and interfiled with the other documents.

Bounty Payment Vouchers for Furnishing a Substitute (Boxes 1-4, Microfilm Roll 1)

Since the County Collector held the final responsibility for monies disbursed, the Civil War records include bounty payment vouchers issued by the Collector and signed by the volunteer certifying that he did receive his payment. The voucher usually gives the Regiment and Company but, in some cases, the voucher contradicts the muster list information. A supplemental group of vouchers, arranged by voucher number, includes payments made during 1865 and are filed at the end of the collection. One manuscript box contains “Civil War Substitute Vouchers.”

Bounty Payments in this series of 113 principals consists mostly of two documents per file. The first document is a handwritten letter on stationery from the Provost Marshal’s Office, 2nd Congressional District, in Trenton, certifying that a substitute mustered into service on a specified date for one-three year term in place of the principal. The second document is an Order to Pay signed by the County Collector. Substitutes were entitled to receive $200-$300 dollars for their service of 1-3 years, by virtue of a resolution passed by the Board of Chosen Freeholder on December 24, 1864, related to President Lincoln’s call of December 19, 1964. Some files include Form 30½, a Certificate of Exemption on Account of Furnishing a Substitute. The Certificates of Exemption have a physical description of the principal. Not all files have multiple documents. Each principal is numbered and the records are filed by number. The lowest number is 201, highest is 372. Some numbers are missing. The bounty was paid to the principal, not directly to the volunteer. Dates range from September 1864 to April 1865.

Bounty Payment Vouchers Supplement (Box 15)

A supplemental set of bounty payments were paid to volunteers in 1865. The vouchers are arranged by voucher number. Other such vouchers are interfiled in the General Records.

Bounty Payment Vouchers to Dependents (Boxes 5-14, Microfilm Rolls 2 & 3)

The Monthly Bounty Payment Vouchers to wives and widowed mothers are entitled “County Collector of Monmouth County” and are payments to the wife or widowed mother while the husband or son remained in active service. The women would bring their vouchers to the town collector and, after endorsement, receive their payments. The vouchers include the husband’s name, regiment, company, and town. The vouchers are dated and arranged alphabetically by wife or widowed mother’s name. The County Collector form was preprinted for Six Dollars for the month, and are signed by a Chosen Freeholder and numbered on the back.

Certificates of Exemption (Boxes 1-4, Microfilm Roll 1)

“Certificates of Exemption on Account of Having Furnished a Substitute (Form 30½)” includes the name of the draftee. These certificates show when, where, and by whom he was drafted but do not identify the regiment and company. For the draftee, they contain: age, height, complexion, eyes, hair, when and where drafted, term, amount paid, date, and are numbered on back. These records are filed by month in General Records and numbered on the back.

Certificates of Non-Liability (Boxes 1-4, Microfilm Roll 1)

The records include a few examples of “Certificate of Non-Liability to be given by the Board of Enrollment, Form 31.” The document verifies that the named individual proved that he was not subject to military duty, and states the reason for his exemption. They are signed by the Provost Marshal and President of the Board of Enrollment and by the Surgeon of the Board of Enrollment. The certificates are numbered on the back. An acceptable reason could be “having furnished an acceptable substitute.”

Letters from A. A. Provost Marshal General’s Office (Boxes 1-4, Microfilm Roll 1)

These letters from the “Office A. A. Pro. Mar. General, N.J., Department of Credits,” certify that the named volunteers are credited to a township. Often they are for several volunteers, listing the branch (Army, Navy, or Marines), and length of service. They are numbered on the back. It also verifies the amount paid to the volunteer.

Letters from NJ Adjutant General’s Office (Boxes 1-4, Microfilm Roll 1)

These are numerous handwritten letters on stationery with the letterhead from the State of New Jersey, Office of Adjutant General, in Trenton, notifying the County Clerk and County Collector to add or strike names from the muster list of a regiment. Some letterheads state “U.S. Mustering Office, Trenton, N.J.” but mention Adjutant General’s Office on the back. Information found in these letters verified the soldier’s status in active service so that the County Collector could issue bounty payments and the monthly payments to wives and widowed mothers. A typical letter from the Office of the Adjutant General gives a soldier’s regiment, company, and date of muster in or discharge date. Sometimes it mentions a dependent, such as the soldier having a widowed mother depending on him for support. There are spelling inconsistencies in the names, the regiment and company, the name of the wife or widowed mothers, and sometimes in the date of death or desertion.

Letters from Provost Marshal’s Office (Boxes 1-4, Microfilm Roll 1)

This subseries contains letters on stationery from the Provost Marshal’s Office of the 2nd Congressional District of New Jersey, certifying that a substitute was mustered in. It names the principal and his residence, along with the name of the substitute, date he entered service and the term in years. They are numbered on the back.

Muster Lists (Boxes 1-4, Oversized in Map Cabinet 3, & Microfilm Roll 1)

The muster list was a very important record of each regiment and company and includes the volunteer’s name, place of residence, and marital status. In most cases, the name of the wife or widowed mother, who received a monthly State payment while the soldier lived, is noted on the muster list. Notations are found on the lists concerning promotions, transfers, deaths, desertions, and discharges. The lists are interfiled according to the date the regiment was mustered into service, except for oversized muster lists which are stored flat in a map cabinet; 1682 records, indexed in a separate database.

Volunteer Bounty Bonds & Notes (Vault, flat box)

There are 23 Monmouth County Volunteer Bonds, that are large, fanciful, documents with ornate borders, written out to a person (with township identified) lending money to the county. The Bonds have a raised county seal, many with various interesting and colorful U.S. revenue stamps, and are in denominations of $100-$25,000. Most are dated, witnessed and numbered. Some still have an interest bearer coupon still attached. The county agreed to pay 6% interest to the person lending the money. The value of some bonds is assigned to other persons. Some bonds are written to the same person, while others are to a corporation. The Monmouth County Notes are of a similar concept but smaller and less formal documents, documenting when a person lent money to the county and collected 6% interest. Some are to women. Several people have multiple bonds for different amounts, given at different times.

Volunteer (formerly Medical) Certificates (Boxes 1-4, Microfilm Roll 1)

The Civil War record series includes 147 “Volunteer Certificates.” These records contain the volunteer’s name, age, height, date, Congressional District, township credited, are numbered on back. Occasionally the Company and Regiment are named. Some certificates are for more than one recruit. The Acting Assistant Surgeon and Assistant Mustering Officer signed the certificates. The surgeon certified that he examined the recruits and found them sound and capable for all military duty. A separate Access database is available in Archives.

Vouchers for Enlisting Colored Volunteers and for Subsistence and Transportation (Boxes 1-4, Microfilm Roll 1)

The County Collector issued payments to reimburse civilian recruiters for enlisting “colored volunteers” for subsistence and transportation expenses. The vouchers include the names of the volunteers and, in some cases, a brief physical description of the volunteer. In addition, the voucher indicates the cost for meals and fees in transporting the volunteer to the camp. The series also includes a number of vouchers pertaining to Navy enlistees and a few Marines. The vouchers are numbered on the back. The payments were authorized under a resolution adopted by the Board of Chosen Freeholders on January 14, 1864.

ARRANGEMENT
The records are organized in subseries as described above. Arrangement within series varies and is alphabetical, chronological, or by number. The series is arranged, within the General section on microfilm Roll 1, in strict chronological order by date of correspondence, voucher, certificate, or muster list. Muster lists are filed by the date the Regiment was mustered into service. Dependent bounty payments to wives and widowed mothers are arranged on microfilm Rolls 2 and 3 in alphabetical order. The supplement of 1865 bounty payments has been microfilmed separately.

ACCESS RESTRICTIONS
This collection is open to researchers.

USE
The records are on microfilm and are available for public use. Digitized Muster Lists and Bounty Pay to Dependents are available and searchable on OPRS. Printouts of indexes are arranged alphabetically by name of soldier, town, regiment, company, and “Colored troops.”

REPOSITORY
Monmouth County Archives
125 Symmes Drive
Manalapan NJ 07726
Tel. 732-308-3771

ACQUISITION INFORMATION
These records were transferred by Jane G. Clayton, Monmouth County Clerk, to County of Monmouth, Archives and Records Center before 1999.

PROCESSING INFORMATION
The Civil War records were microfilmed August 18, 1993. An Access database containing 2,957 records of Civil War Bounty Payments was created October 9, 1996. An Access database containing 644 records of Civil War Bounty Payments to Dependents was created December 24, 2004. Bounty Pay to Dependents and Muster lists were scanned July 28, 2012. An Access database containing 116 records of Volunteer Bounty Bonds and notes was created March 10, 2015. The finding aid was created February 1994, updated August 1996, and updated by George Joynson in March 2016.

RELATED MATERIALS
Minutes of the meetings of the Board of Chosen Freeholder contains Civil War related actions taken by the Freeholders. The original minutes for the Civil War period (Volume 4) are missing and only selected abstracts are available. The Archives also has a collection of reference books on the Civil War.

In addition to the nine Monmouth County companies, volunteers were also represented in other state-wide regiments listed in the following table:

MUSTERED IN REGIMENT TERM MUSTERED OUT
May 1861 2nd Regiment, Infantry 3 years July 1865
August 1861 1st Artillery, Battery A 3 years June 1865
September 1861 1st Artillery, Battery B 3 years June 1865
August 1861 4th Regiment, Infantry 3 years July 1865
August 1861 5th Regiment, Infantry 3 years July 1865
August 1861 6th Regiment, Infantry 3 years October 1864
September 1861 1st Calvary 3 years May 1865
September 1861 7th Regiment, Infantry 3 years October 1864
September 1861 8th Regiment, Infantry 3 years June, July 1865
Sept. & Oct., 1861 9th Regiment, Infantry Riflemen 3 years June & July 1865
December 1861 10th Regiment, Infantry 3 years June, July 1865
August 1862 11 Regiment, Infantry 3 years June 1865
August 1862 14th Regiment, Camp Vredenburg 3 years August 1862
August 1862 13th Regiment, Infantry 3 years June 1865
September 1862 12th Regiment, Infantry 3 years June, July 1865
September 1862 22nd Regiment, Infantry 9 months June 1863
September 1862 23rd Regiment, Infantry 9 months June 1863
September 1862 25th Regiment, Infantry 9 months June 1863
September 1862 28th Regiment, Camp Vredenburg 9 months June, July 1863
September 1862 30th Regiment, Infantry 9 months June 1863
August 1863 2nd Cavalry 3 years June 1865
September 1863 2nd Cavalry 3 years November 1865
September 1863 1st Artillery, Battery C 3 years June 1865
September 1863 1st Artillery, Battery D 3 years June 1865
September 1863 1st Artillery, Battery E 3 years July 1865
September 1863 34th Regiment, Infantry 3 years April 1865
October 1863 35th Regiment, Infantry 3 years May, July 1865
December 1863 Freehold Infantry N/A January 1864
January-March 3rd Cavalry* 3 years June, August 1865
June 1864 45th Regiment, Infantry, U.S. “Colored” 1,2,3 yrs. November 1865
August 1864 127th Regiment, Infantry 1,2,3 yrs. October 1865
September 1864 38th Regiment, Infantry 1 years June 1865
September 1864 42nd Regiment, Infantry 1,2,3 yrs. December 1865
Oct. 1864; Mar.1865 40th Regiment, Infantry 1,2,3 yrs. July 1865
February 1865 32nd Regiment Infantry, U.S. “Colored” 3 years August 1865
2nd DC Special Forces

* Included 36th Regiment

CONTAINER LIST

Manuscript Boxes:
1 Civil War Records General, 1861-1862, (sorted by month):
2 Civil War Records General, 1863, (sorted by month):
3 Civil War Records General, 1864, (sorted by month):
4 Civil War Records General, 1865-1866, (sorted by month):
5 Civil War Records General, Dependent Bounty Vouchers, A-B (sorted by dependent’s surname):
6 Civil War Records General, Dependent Bounty Vouchers, C (sorted by dependent’s surname):
7 Civil War Records General, Dependent Bounty Vouchers, D-F (sorted by dependent’s surname):
8 Civil War Records General, Dependent Bounty Vouchers, G-I (sorted by dependent’s surname):
9 Civil War Records General, Dependent Bounty Vouchers, J-L (sorted by dependent’s surname):
10 Civil War Records General, Dependent Bounty Vouchers, M-O (sorted by dependent’s surname):
11 Civil War Records General, Dependent Bounty Vouchers, P-R (sorted by dependent’s surname):
12 Civil War Records General, Dependent Bounty Vouchers, S (sorted by dependent’s surname):
13 Civil War Records General, Dependent Bounty Vouchers, T-V (sorted by dependent’s surname):
14 Civil War Records General, Dependent Bounty Vouchers, W-Z (sorted by dependent’s surname):
15 Civil War Records General, Supplemental Bounty Payment Vouchers (sorted by voucher number):

Map Cabinet #3:
DR-608 (11) Series 1300 Civil War Muster Lists, 4/1861-12/1861
DR-609 (12) Series 1300 Civil War Muster Lists, 1/1862-10/1862
DR-610 (13) Series 1300 Civil War Muster Lists, 10/1862-10/1864

Vault:
Flat Box, Civil War Volunteers Bounty Bonds 1-25 & Interest Notes