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Sawyer, Nathaniel Chandler


Age: 41, credited to Brattleboro, VT
Unit(s): USV
Service: drafted, paid substitute; later enl 7/21/63, comn MAJ and PYMR, USV, m/o 7/20/66

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 08/15/1822, Lancaster, MA
Death: 10/25/1910

Burial: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA
Marker/Plot: 01/0266
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Courtesy of Arlington National Cemetery
Findagrave Memorial #: 49308692


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 9/22/1900, DC; widow Martha P., 11/15/1910
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: None


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Arlington National Cemetery, VA

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

Nathaniel C. Sawyer


Col. Nathaniel C. Sayer Dead

Brattleboro Newspaper, 25 Oct. 1910

Was Examiner in Pension Bureau Many Years

and Formerly Paymaster of United States Volunteers

Col. Nathaniel Chandler Sawyer, 88, for a long time an examiner in the pension bureau and formerly paymaster of United States volunteers, died in the home of A.H. Hines on Green Street where he and Mrs. Sawyer had been living since September. He had been ill with paralysis a number of years and his death had been expected for five or six weeks. Mr. Sawyer was born in Lancaster, Mass., Aug. 15, 1822, and was a son of Esquire Ezra Sawyer and Eliza H. Sawyer, his father being one of the most prominent men in the town at that time. He attended the schools in Lancaster, and when a boy moved with his parents to South Lancaster, now known as Clinton. He continued his studies in the schools of that town until his graduation, when he took up his life's work, that of an accountant. He remained in Clinton until his marriage to Miss Martha Palmer of that town, March 4, 1856, when he came to Brattleboro and began work for Fisk & Cheney's Canadian express. Soon afterwards he took a position as teller in the First National bank.

When the war broke out Mr. Sawyer wished to enlist, but the bank officers wanted him to stay at home and they paid for a substitute to go in his stead. Then came Lincoln's call for 500,000 more men, and Mr. Sawyer laid down the pen, paid the bank the money they had given his substitute and enlisted July 21, 1863. He was major and paymaster of United States volunteers, his commission being signed by President Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. He was stationed in Washington and was accompanied there by Mrs. Sawyer, who also did valiant duty during the war. The living expenses were so high in Washington that they were compelled to live in Baltimore, and the secessionist feeling was so strong in that city that Mr. Sawyer was compelled to dress in civilian attire many times, although he would [have] preferred much to wear the uniform of his country. While stationed in Washington he disbursed more than $3,000,000 to the men of Gen. Sheridan's army. On March 13, 1865, he was brevetted lieutenant-colonel of United States volunteers for conspicuous bravery and meritorious service in rescuing a pay trunk, containing $250,000 from Mosby's daring band of guerrillas. Shortly after this he was ordered to the Pacific coast and, with Mrs. Sawyer, made the rip by way of the Isthmus of Panama.

On reaching San Francisco he was ordered to pay the soldiers in many of the western forts, and the work was particularly hard and dangerous at that time, not only because the Confederates were dangerous enemies, but the Indians had taken advantage of the country's difficulties and were upon the war-path. Mr. Sawyer traveled from fort to fort, through all sorts of adverse weather and many dangers, and never faltered in his work for his country. On July 20, 1866, he was mustered out of service.

He returned to Brattleboro and once more entered the employ of the bank, where he remained until the institution was wrecked by the defalcations of its president and cashier, the late Silas M. Waite, in 1880. In 1883 he went to Washington as a clerk in the pension bureau, and became special examiner for the bureau and held that position until removed for political reason by President Cleveland. He was again appointed to the bureau during President McKinley's administration. In 1907, his health being so poor that it was impossible for him to remain in Washington, he went to Plymouth, Mass., where he lived until Sept. 28 of this year, when he and Mrs. Sawyer came back to the town where he had lived so many years in his younger days.

Always interested in politics, he was a staunch Republican and Mrs. Sawyer read to him daily the news of political developments and current events from the Boston and Washington daily papers. He was fond of reading as long as he was able and had a fund of valuable information always at his command. He remembered many events of the Civil war and could tell interesting stories of many of the great men of the country. His motto fairly may be said to have been exemplified truly in his life. It was "Semper fidelis,"-always faithful. Besides his wife Mr. Sawyer leaves one son, G. Edwin Sawyer of New York.

He was a member of Columbian Lodge, F. & A.M., was the last surviving charter member of Fort Dummer chapter, .A.M., and a charter member of Beauseant Commandery, K.T.

Following prayer in the home, funeral services were held in St. Michael's Episcopal church at 11:30 today, Rev. Andrew Harper, rector, officiating. The body was placed in the mausoleum in Morningside cemetery, a Knights Templar service being held there. Later the body will be taken to the National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., a spot always dear to Col. Sawyer.

Death of Mrs. N. C. Sawyer

Occurred in Home of Mrs. Carrie Richardson

Did Valiant War Work During Civil War

Brattleboro Newspaper, 5 Dec. 1919

Mrs. Martha (Palmer) Sawyer, 84, widow of Col. Nathaniel Chandler Sawyer, died at 1 Wednesday morning in the home of Mrs. Carrie Richardson of 24 Prospect Street, where she had been cared for the past 10 weeks. While Mrs. Sawyer had been in failing health many months, death was due to a weak heart incident to her advanced years.

She was born April 7, 1835, in Hallowell, Me., a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Palmer. Later the family moved to Clinton, Mass., where on March 4, 1856, Miss Martha Palmer was married to Mr. Sawyer. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer came to Brattleboro where Mr. Sawyer was employed by Fisk & Cheney's Canadian express, later taking a position as teller in the First National Bank. They went to Washington, D.C., in 1863, Mr. Sawyer having been commissioned major and paymaster of the United States volunteers in the Civil War. His commission was signed by President Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. They lived in Baltimore during the war and Mrs. Sawyer did valuable also.

Soon after Major Sawyer received his brevet as lieutenant-colonel of the United States volunteers in March, 1865, he was ordered to the Pacific coast and was accompanied by Mrs. Sawyer. They made the trip by the way of the Isthmus of Panama. After Col. Sawyer was mustered out of service on July 20, 1866, they returned to Brattleboro. Col. Sawyer entering the employ of the bank. In 1883 they went to Washington where he had a position in the pension bureau. In 1907, an account of Col. Sawyer's ill health they went to Plymouth, Mass., where they remained until late in September, 1910, when they came back to Brattleboro.

While living in Washington, Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer observed their golden wedding anniversary March 3, 1906, when a reception, arranged b friends, was attended by many of the government officials.

Since Col. Sawyer's death Oct. 25, 1910, Mrs. Sawyer had lived at the home of Mrs. George E. Crowell and for two years past, had lived in the home of Mr. and Mrs. E.A. Knight in West Brattleboro.

Mrs. Sawyer leaves one son, G. Edwin Sawyer of Buffalo, and one granddaughter, Mrs. Broughton Beecham of Baltimore; also two sisters, Mrs. Joseph Miner of Clinton, Mass., and Miss Nellie Palmer of Cambridge, Mass.

Mrs. Sawyer was one of the oldest members of St. Michael's Episcopal church, uniting with the society soon after coming to Brattleboro after her marriage and always had retained her membership here. She and Colonel Sawyer sang in the church many years. She was versed in ornithology and lectured at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington on several occasions. She was considered an expert in Kensington embroidery.

The funeral will be held at 11:15 this forenoon from St. Michael's Episcopal church. Rev. W.C. Bernard will officiate, and the body will be taken later to Washington, D.C., for burial beside the body of her husband in Arlington cemetery. G. Edwin Sawyer of Buffalo came from that city yesterday to attend the funeral.

Contributed by Joann Nichols.

St. Albans Messenger, 11/3/1910.

Prominent Brattleboro Men Dead.

Two of Brattleboro's most prominent residents, Samuel H. Hunt and Col. Nathaniel C. Sawyer, died with 24 hours of each other.

Mr Hunt was found dead in the yard of the S. A. Smith factory, where he was employed, Wednesday night, October 26, death having been caused by apoplexy. He was 72 years old and a veteran of the Civil War. He had been connected with manufacturing firms in Guilford and Brattleboro since 1873.

Colonel Sawyer was 88 years old. He was for many years a teller in the now defunct First National Bank of Brattleboro. As a paymaster in the Union army he was brevetted for bravery in rescuing from the Mosby guerillas $25,000. A large part of his life had been passed as an employee of the pension department in Washington, D.C.