Friday, September 14, 2012

Ambrose B. Martindale, Confederate Conscript, Union Volunteer

[Way back in May, Bill West of the West In New England blog issued the Second American Civil War Genealogy Blog Challenge. This post is my entry.]

Years ago I was told my great-grandfather Ambrose B. Martindale had served in both the Confederate and Union forces during the Civil War. But, despite searching in what seemed like every possible record group, I could find no record of Confederate service. Then, about two years ago, a fellow genealogist posted on a mailing list about a new digitized record collection on (now Fold3): Unfiled Papers and Slips Belonging in Confederate Compiled Service Records; National Archives Records Administration, Publication M347. The writer had found an ancestor from southeastern Missouri in those records. Ambrose was originally from southeastern Missouri so I decided to check there. Voila! I found him. This is the story based on documents found there.

Ambrose was a private in Company A of Crawford’s Battalion of the Arkansas Infantry, mustered into service about 15 July 1862, in Sevier County, Arkansas. The battalion’s only engagement during the war was at the Battle of Arkansas Post, January 9-11, 1863. On that day, Ambrose was serving with the artillery and suffered a broken leg due to the recoil of the cannon. The battalion surrendered and most of the soldiers were taken prisoner. Ambrose ended up in the hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. In the documents that were filed while he was in the hospital as a POW, he made the following statement:

“I never was in any rebel camp except the one I belonged to. I was conscripted, I did not join voluntarily.
I do not wish to be exchanged. I am willing to take the oath of Allegiance and enroll. I don’t know that I am able to give bond.
[signed] Ambrose B. Martindale”

The following letter was also among the documents:

“City General Hospital
St Louis Mo March 30 1863

Col F A Dick
Provost Marshal Gen'l


At Mrs C. J. Filleys request, I have the honor to address you in reference to the discharge of A. B. Martindale, a Prisoner of War, now in this Hospital, he has applied to be released on oath and Bond [?] Mrs Filley is desirous of getting him, to his uncle in St. Francis [Francois] Co in this State, as soon as possible. And if you will give this case your attention you will oblige her, and Yours Most Respectfully
By Order J. I. Hodgen Sims[?] Vol[?]
for C Antwell”

Ambrose had several maternal uncles in St. Francois and Washington counties, but other information leads me to believe that the uncle referred to this letter was James Daniel Eaton. The relationship of Mrs. Filley to the Martindales and Eatons is unknown.

Ambrose was released on 6 April 1863 on taking the Oath of Allegiance; there is no evidence of a bond being filed.

In September 1864 at Potosi, Missouri, Ambrose enlisted, and in November 1864, was mustered in with Company E of the 50th Regiment, Missouri Infantry. He was appointed Corporal on 16 March 1865 and mustered out at St. Louis on 20 April 1865. He immediately re-enlisted with the same company and was appointed Sergeant on 22 April 1865. Ambrose was mustered out on August 11, 1865, thereby ending his military career.

Sources for the information in this post are:
  1. A. B. (Ambrose B.) Martindale; Unfiled Papers and Slips Belonging in Confederate Compiled Service Records; National Archives Records Administration, Publication M347; digital images, “Civil War Soldiers – Confederate – Misc,” ( : accessed 10 May 2010).
  2. “Crawford’s Arkansas Infantry Battalion,” Wikipedia ('s_Arkansas_Infantry_Battalion : accessed 14 Sept 2012).
  3. Compiled service record, Ambrose B. Martindale, 50th Regiment, Missouri Infantry; Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Volunteer Organizations During the American Civil War, compiled 1890 - 1912, documenting the period 1861 - 1866, Civil War; 94; digital images, "Civil War Soldiers - Union - MO," Footnote ( : accessed 28 Jan 2011).

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

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