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Dutton, Nathan Bigelow


Age: 41, credited to Pittsford, VT
Unit(s): 11th VT INF, 12th VT INF
Service: enl 8/19/62, m/i 10/4/62, Pvt, Co. G, 12th VT INF, m/o 7/14/63; enl 12/7/63, m/i 12/12/63, Pvt, Co. C, 11th VT INF, tr to Co. A 6/24/65, m/o 8/25/65

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 05/25/1821, Jaffrey, NH
Death: 05/26/1866

Burial: Forestdale Cemetery, Brandon, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone photographer: Bill Powers
Findagrave Memorial #: 162587774


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 10/16/1865; widow Hannah C., 6/11/1866
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: See Benedict's Army Life in Virginia

Webmaster's Note: The 11th Vermont Infantry was also known as the 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery; the names were used interchangably for most of its career


3rd Great Grandfather of Kim Russell, Cuyahoga Falls, OH

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Copyright notice


Forestdale Cemetery, Brandon, VT

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.

Nathan Bigelow Dutton and Hannah C. Briggs

by Bill Powers, Brandon, Vt

Nathan Bigelow Dutton, son of Nathan B. Dutton and Sally Baldwin,[1] was born about 1821 probably in Leicester, Addison Co., Vermont.[2] After his parents died, Nathan was still living in Leicester in 1847, probably with his older brother, William T. Dutton.[3] The following year, he and his brother were living in Brandon, Rutland Co., VT.[4]
Nathan was a resident of Jamaica, VT on 7 Sep 1850 and lived with Joseph M. Hitchcock, and his wife, Louisa, both 37.[5] Three weeks later, Nathan was back in Brandon when on 20 Sep 1850 he married 17 year old Hannah C. Briggs. Officiating at the wedding was C.A. Thomas, D.D., Pastor of the Baptist Church in Brandon.[6] Hannah was born on 12 May 1832[7] in Vermont, daughter of James and Drusilla (Bullis) Briggs. James, 53, and Drusilla, 55, were living in Brandon in 1850 where James was a laborer.[8] James had been born in 1796 and died in 1864.[9] Drusilla was born in 1796 and died on 4 Nov 1875.[10] Both are buried in the Forestdale, VT cemetery.[11]
Nathan and Hannah had six children during the 1850s but only two survived that decade.[12] In 1860, Nathan, also known as "Bigalow," 39, and Hannah, 28, were living in Brandon where he worked for the railroad. Their household included daughters: Louisa J., 4, and Clara M., 8/12; and servant, Betsey Spooner, 38.[13] On 18 Aug 1861, a son, Nathan B., was born to them, but died of whooping cough two months later on 17 Oct 1861.[14] The following year, on 7 Dec 1862, their last child and daughter, Ellen E., was born at Brandon.
In 1862, Nathan, along with many others from Brandon, heeded President Lincoln's call and joined his fellow Vermonters in the Civil War, or as it was then called, the "1861 War."
Nathan first enlisted from Brandon as a private and wagoner in Company "G," 12thVermont Infantry Regiment on 19 Aug 1862.[15] The Twelfth Regiment was organized in response to President Lincoln's call of 4 Aug 1862 for 300,000 militia for nine months' service. It included ten companies of Vermont volunteer militia, among which was Allen Grays Company "G" of Brandon. The regiment was organized in obedience to the state constitution, the privates electing the company officers, and these electing the field officers.
The regiment went into camp at Brattleboro, VT on 25 Sep 1862; was mustered into the United States service 4 Oct and left for the field on 7 Oct. It went into camp on Capitol Hill, Washington, 10 Oct, being attached for three weeks to Derrom's Brigade of Casey's Division.[16]
On 30 Oct, the Twelfth moved to Virginia's Munson's Hill. The following day it went to Hunting Creek. The regiment remained at "Camp Vermont" near Hunting Creek until 12 Dec 1862. From there it went on picket duty near Fairfax Court House until 20 Jan 1863. While there, on 28 Dec 1862, they successfully defended against the attempt by Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry to capture supplies and garrisons at Fairfax Court House. On 20 Jan 1863, the regiment moved to Wolf Run Shoals, VA, where it was occupied for three months on guard duty.[17]
Evidently, Nathan did not take part in the engagement with Company "G" against J.E.B. Stuart and his rebel force. Nor did he move with the regiment to Wolf Run Shoals. On 17 Feb 1863, he wrote the following from Fairfax, where he was on duty.
Fairfax Courthouse Feb the 17/63
Father & Mother[18] & dear Friends
I seat my self to rite you a few lines to lett you know how I am. I am pretty well now but have been some sick but am better and hope these few lines will find you enjoying the same blessings for that is one great & good things of this life but there is something to be connected with it to make us happy in this world. It is a very stormy day here today & I should like to know if it stormed up there. It snows hard all day so that I have not done any thing besides feed the horses. That is anuf for such a day as this. This is about the first stormy day that there has been that stormed but what I have had to harness my team and go somewhere but yesterday I started 4 teams aftyer forage. Some don't have to go out today but we shal have to go in a day or to & there will be mud anuf now. I tell you for we did not have much before only about one foot deep. I went to the station yesterday and some of the time the wheels were in to the hub about 12 hundred lbs was al that I could haul with 4 horses & I got a good teem. You may tell Hannah that I have not got a letter from Lovina yet. I have not had a fight with the rebels yet nor havent seen a great manny of the cretures yet but may before long. But don't peas much while ther is so much mud for they can't get here unless they waid in mud. There is no nuse here we have a very good plaice for a camp but it ain't like a house after all Wear all Pretty well in this tent now there is some cases of the measels & jaundise but I have been lucky as yet. I have had the jaundise but not bad and hope I shant. I should like to come home if I could but don't see any chance for it now but hope I shal live & you to meet again in Brandon. There is some talk that our time is out in may but I don't put much faith in it but hope it is so far the time seems long but I shal have to wait til they see fit to let me come for it will do no good to worry about it but after all I have to think about home & friends well I must close for it is getting cold in the tent so good bye, write, give my love to all this from your son who thinks of you often.
Nathan B. Dutton
to James Briggs[19]
On 1 May 1863, the Twelfth regiment was sent to Warrenton Junction, VA to guard the railroad, which it did for a week and then moved on to Rappahannock Station where it guarded the railroad until 18 May. Then it was deployed at Bristoe's and Catlett's Stations until the first of June; then at Union Mills, VA until the twenty-fifth. From there it marched to Gettysburg, PA arriving on July first. From here it was detached from its brigade and guarded the train at Westminister, MD for four days. From 4-6 July it guarded the train as it transported prisoners to Baltimore. From Baltimore the Twelfth went to Vermont, arriving at Brattleboro on 9 July, and there mustered out and disbanded on 14 July.[20] Three days later, Nathan was discharged on 17 Jul 1863 having served 10 months and five days.[21] The service of the Twelfth was such that it suffered no losses in battle; but did lose 67 men due to disease.[22]
With discharge in hand, Nathan returned home to his family in Brandon and met for the first time his young daughter, Ellen E., who had been born in his absence on 7 Dec 1862.[23]
Nathan remained at home only a few months. As winter approached, Nathan journeyed south from Brandon to Pittsford, VT where he re-enrolled on 7 Dec 1863 in Company "C," 11th(1stArtillery) Regiment of Vermont Volunteers. The term of enlistment was for three years or during the war. He mustered into service as a Private on 12 Dec 1863 at Brattleboro, VT in Company "C" commanded by Capt. William Goodrich.[24] The 1stRegiment of Heavy Artillery had been organized at Brattleboro and mustered in as the 11thInfantry on 1 Sep 1862. It left for Washington, DC the same month. The designation of the regiment was changed to the 1stHeavy Artillery on 10 Dec 1862.[25]
During the summer of 1863 and late into the year, the 1stArtillery, 11thVermont Volunteers was stationed in three forts due north of Washington, DC: Fort Slocum, where the regimental headquarters was stationed; Fort Massachusetts (later Fort Stevens) at the village of Brightwood, four miles from Washington: and Fort Totten, near Rock Creek Church. Fort Slocum, an immensely strong fort, lay between Stevens and Totten.[26] As an additional recruit, Nathan joined his unit at Fort Slocum where on 25 Dec 1863 he was directed to be a teamster.[27]
The barracks built the year before were now inadequate for the augmented regiment. New wooden barracks, each 100 feet long, were built, some of them inside the forts, and a new hospital building was erected, which in size and convenience compared well with some of the general hospitals in the vicinity of Washington. The regiment settled down for the winter of 1863-4 in as wholesome and comfortable quarters as were ever possessed by any regiment in the army.[28] Such was the environment into which Nathan was assigned. Unfortunately for him, life took an abrupt turn for the worse. 1st Lt. Charles W. Clark, the Regimental Quartermaster recounted on 19 Jan 1866 the misfortune that befell Nathan:
"Private Dutton while in the line of his duty on or about the seventeenth day of January 1864 at Fort Slocum D.C. while driving a team in my charge as Regtl. Quartermaster was accidently thrown from the wagon and a wheel of the same passed directly over his body near the small of his back injuring him to that extent that he was unable to do duty."
Nathan was taken to his quarters and treated by the surgeon until on or about the first of May 1864 when he was taken to Fort Slocum Hospital in Maryland. He was there a short time and then taken to Harewood Hospital near Washington DC, where he spent a few days. Then he was removed to the Germantown Hospital at Germantown, PA and remained about five weeks. Nathan transferred from there to the hospital at Montpelier, VT where he entered on or about 18 Jun 1864. He remained there until about 12 March 1865. From here he was sent to his regiment at Burkesville, VA where he rejoined them on 22 Apr 1865. From that time, he was at Fort Foot Hospital near Washington DC, sick with the injury in his back. He suffered chronic diarrhea and chills resulting from the back injury. Also, his spine received an "affectin" [infection]. His back was lame, "swollen, exercised with constant pain, in his back, also has chronic diarrhea, discharges occuring from 6 to 8 per day." He was "wholly unabell to labor to obtain his subsistance has cough pains in his left side & through his shoulders, [and] cannot lay on his left side."
Nathan never returned to active service and was transferred in Aug 1865 from Company "C" now commanded by Capt. Silas B. Tucker to Company "B" in the same regiment, commanded by Capt. George A. Bailey. Nathan was a private, on the Muster Out Roll Out of Company "B" when he was honorably discharged at Fort Foot, Maryland on 25 Aug 1865.
Nathan applied for an invalid pension on 4 Oct 1865. On that same date, Cyrus Porter, an examining surgeon, reported from Rutland, Vermont that: "I certify that I have carefully examined Nathan B. Dutton ... an applicant for an invalid pension, by reason of alleged disability resulting from injury from waggon, run over. In my opinion the said Nathan B. Dutton is one half incapacitated for obtaining his subsistence by manual labor from the cause above stated." Porter went on to say that Nathan has "chronic inflammation in the lumbar region, with pain and tenderness, cannot lie on the back or left side, large scar in the lumbar region near the spinal column. Also has chronic diarrhea 6 to 8 operation in 24 hours." He also stated that "the disability may improve by time." On 8 Mar 1866, Nathan received approval for a "one third" disability for the "injury to back alone."
Unfortunately, the application for the invalid pension was still pending when Nathan died at home in Forestdale on 26 May 1866.[29] Nathan's tombstone display's Hannah's feelings for her departed soldier husband:

Not on the Battle Field
Where many fall in pride
But in our own dear home
My soldier husband died.30

With Nathan's death, Hannah qualified for a widow's pension under the Congressional Act of 14 Jul 1862. Now 34, and still a Brandon resident, Hannah submitted her application three days after Nathan's death on 29 May 1866.
On 25 Jul 1866 Congress passed another act granting renumeration for widows who had children. On 10 Dec 1866, Hannah submitted a claim for a pension increase because she had three daughters who were under the age of 16 years.
Charles Backus a "practicing Physician & Surgeon of Brandon" supported her application for increase by reaffirming the cause of Nathan's death. He stated on 26 Dec 1866 that Nathan died "of chronic diarrhea and a lumbar abscess resulting from an injury received in his back." Backus had been acquainted with Nathan for more than 25 years before Nathan enlisted and had been his family physician. He also attended upon him after his discharge and return from the service, and for several weeks previous to his death. He concluded his evaluation stating that: "I am of the opinion and believe that he [Nathan] died of an injury & disease which he received & contracted in the service. He was unable to labour when he returned from the service & did not recover from his injury & disease so as to be able to do any work up to the time of his death."
Both of Hannah's claims were approved. She received a widow's pension of $8 per month beginning 26 Aug 1865, and $2 per month for each of her three children commencing on 25 Jul 1866.
On 4 Nov 1866, Hannah had her three daughters baptized by J. Newton Fairbanks in St. Thomas' Church in Brandon.31
In 1880, Hannah, 48, was keeping house in the town of Brandon (Forestdale). Living with her was her 17 year old daughter, Ellen E., who worked as a servant.32 A near neighbor was Charles Hewett, an engineer, and his wife Hattie, both 25.33 Hannah was still living in Brandon in 1890.34
Hannah died on 20 Sep 1900 at age 68. She and Nathan are buried in the Forestdale Cemetery. Children:

  1. Albert E. Dutton, age 19months, d. 28 Jan 1852, bur. Forestdale, VT.
  2. Infant daughter, d. 29 Nov 1853, bur. Forestdale, VT.
  3. Infant son, d. 11 Nov 1854, bur. Forestdale, VT.
  4. Jennie Louisa, b. 18 Feb1856. [She married Philo K. Rickert.]
  5. William, b. 20 Jan 1858 & d. 19 Feb 1858 of lung disease. Burial place unknown.
  6. Clara M., b. 17 Sep 1859 at Brandon, VT. [She married Mitchell LaRock.]
  7. Nathan B.; b. 18 Aug 1861 & d. 17 Oct 1861 of whooping cough in Brandon. Burial place unknown.
  8. Ellen E., b. 7 Dec 1862 at Brandon, VT. [She married Adolphus LaRock.]


1. Leicester, VT deed 8:206, 16 Apr 1847.
2. Census, 1860, Vermont, Rutland Co., Brandon, 30 Jun 1860, P.O. Brandon, p. 43/87: Bigalow Dutton & family.
3. Leicester, VT deed 8:206, 16 Apr 1847.
4. Leicester, VT deed 8:352, 17 May 1848.
5. Census, 1850, Vermont, Windham Co., Jamaica, 7 Sep 1850, p. 252. Joseph M. Hitchcock & family, including Nathan B. Dutton
6. Brandon, VT Town Clerk's vital records; and Civil War Pension Record
7. Tombstone inscription, Forestdale Cemetery, Forestdale, VT
8. Census, 1850, Vermont, Rutland Co., Brandon, 10 Sep 1850, p. 191/96. James Briggs & family
9. Tombstone inscriptions, Forestdale Cemetery, Forestdale, VT
10. Vermont Vital Records
11. Tombstone inscriptions, Forestdale Cemetery, Forestdale, VT
12. Vermont Vital Records; and tombstone inscriptions, Forestdale Cemetery, Forestdale, VT
13. Census, 1860, Vermont, Rutland Co., Brandon, 30 Jun 1860, P.O. Brandon, p. 43/87: Bigalow Dutton & family.
14. Brandon, VT Town Clerk's vital records
15. Census, 1890, Vermont, Rutland Co., Brandon. Hannah C. Dutton, Civil War widow
16. "Vermont in the Civil War," Vol. II, by G.G. Benedict. Burlington, VT. The Free Press Association. 1888. Pages 402-405.
17. "A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion," Vol. III Regimental Histories, by Frederick Henry Dyer. New York. 1959. Page 1653.
18. Note: In this context "father and mother" refer to James and Drusilla (Bullis) Briggs, Nathan B. Dutton's mother and father-in-law. Nathan's biological parents had died prior to 1850.
19. Civil War letter quote provided by Nancy (Rounds) Leonard; and Tippi (Rounds) Comden, 1553 Tretter Dr., Pittsburgh, PA 15227-3734. [Note: "Lovina" mentioned in the letter was Nathan B. Dutton's sister.]
20. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion," Vol. III Regimental Histories, by Frederick Henry Dyer. New York. 1959. Page 1653.
21. Census, 1890, Vermont, Rutland Co., Brandon. Hannah C. Dutton, Civil War widow
22. "A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion," Vol. III Regimental Histories, by Frederick Henry Dyer. New York. 1959. Page 1653.
23. Civil War Widow's Pension Record for Hannah C. Dutton, certificate #92858; and Vermont Vital Records.
24. Civil War Widow's Pension Record for Hannah C. Dutton, certificate #92858
25. "A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion," Vol. III Regimental Histories, by Frederick Henry Dyer. New York. 1959. Page 1648.
26. "Vermont in the Civil War," Vol. II, by G.G. Benedict. Burlington, VT. The Free Press Association. 1888. Pages 348-9.
27. Civil War Widow's Pension Record for Hannah C. Dutton, certificate #92858
28. "Vermont in the Civil War," Vol. II, by G.G. Benedict. Burlington, VT. The Free Press Association. 1888. Pages 349-50.
29. Civil War Widow's Pension Record for Hannah C. Dutton, certificate #92858
30. Tombstone inscriptions, Forestdale Cemetery, Forestdale, VT
31. Civil War Widow's Pension Record for Hannah C. Dutton, certificate #92858
32. 1880, Vermont, Rutland Co., Brandon Town, ED 170 [probably Forestdale], 17 Jun 1880, p. 26/46: Hannah Dutton & dau. Ellen E.
33. 1880, Vermont, Rutland Co., Brandon Town, ED 170 [probably Forestdale], 17 Jun 1880, p. 26/46. Charles Hewett & wife, Hattie, both 25 and m. within the year
34. Census, 1890, Vermont, Rutland Co., Brandon. Hannah C. Dutton, Civil War widow.

Contributed by William J. Powers, Jr., Lake Dunmore, VT.,