was this confederate soldier captured during the war?

+7 votes
I'm trying to chase down a family tale about William Condra Black (Black-8566). As I remember hearing it from my grandmother, William ended up moving west to the Oregon territory after he was captured and imprisoned for a time by Union forces.

I found a number of digitized service records which seem to refer to my research subject, for which I cannot see details behind the Fold3 paywall [1].

I'm hoping someone can help me clarify if there are any clues among those service records, or identify where to go looking for details which might confirm or deny this tale.

[1] https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/results?count=20&query=%2Bgivenname%3AWilliam~%20%2Bsurname%3ABlack~&collection_id=1932374
WikiTree profile: William Black
in Genealogy Help by Steve Lewis G2G Crew (850 points)
I don't have an answer to your question, but I did find a possible photo for him, posted online here:
The name fits - and it would be an unusual name - and the description (thin face) also fits. There's a very good chance it's the right man!

4 Answers

+11 votes
Best answer
Fold3 has Records from Gratiot Street Prison in St Louis Missouri for a  William C Black. He was captured in Howell County Missouri on 15 Feb 1863.  He gave his age as 36 and said that he was born in Jefferson County Tennessee. He said that he currently lived in Howell County Missouri.

The prisoner also stated that he had a wife and two children. He stated that he was a stone mason by trade, but was a merchant when the war broke out.  The prisoner asked to be exchanged.  He was sent back to the CSA and rejoined his command 10 May 1863.

A description from the prison shows him as about 5 9 or 10 with bushy grey hair, blue eyes about 130 lbs with a thin face.

His service records show that he had deserted while in Mississippi and gone home to Missouri in 1862.  While he was at home he was arrested by the Union forces. After he was exchanged and sent back to the CSA in Mississippi he eventually deserted again and went back to Missouri.

If you think this is your guy let me know.  I can download the files for you.
by Karen Raichle G2G6 Mach 7 (73.5k points)
selected by Mindy Silva
The fact that he claims birth in Tennessee makes this messy and may mean that my grandmother's story was based on a poor match in her genealogical research [1].

See also https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN7Y-ZG2

Thank you for the research effort
+2 votes

The bio page has a confusing comment.  

is likely to be the US civil war veteran (listed as a member of 4th Regiment, Missouri Infantry - Company B - mustered at Howell County, Missouri to serve the confederacy)

There is a record for William Black in the 4th Missouri Cavalry CSA.  There is only one record that says he deserted in Aug 1863.  
Missouri was a confusing state---it was divided between Union and Confederate and a lot of guerrilla fighters.  

If he deserted he could have joined a Union regiment from Missouri.  I checked and there are dozens of Wm Black in Union regiments.

Another option is that a Confederate prisoner who wanted to fight for the Union were assigned to a US regiment and sent out West to fight the Indians.  There are a lot of regiments to search through.

Also, the company he was in with the 4th Missouri Cav CSA was originally called Preston's Battalion.  Sometimes, you can go to the records for the original unit and find more info, but  I checked it and there were no Black's.

Need more info.  

by Steve Cole G2G6 Mach 1 (15.3k points)
+2 votes
I found service records on Fold 3 to be very helpful.  I found relative's pension records from War of 1812 and the Civil War.  They had marriage dates, place of residence, and I even found my relatives signature.  Usually, around Memorial Day Fold 3 will allow some access for free.  Good luck!
by Teri McIntire G2G Crew (970 points)

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