Blade, William M.
William Miner Blade was born January 31, 1841 in Berne to Nicholas Blade (B. abt 1803, D. 1860-1865) and Hannah Yager (B. abt 1806, D. after 1880). He was the middle child of eight.
Marriage & Children
William married a woman named Elizabeth after June 1, 1865 but before 1870. Unfortunately her parents are unknown. They had the following children;
- Jacob Blade (B. 1867, D. probably bef 1880)
- William Miner Blade Jr. (B. 1869, D. Oct 8, 1933)
- Lillian Blade Westfall (B. 1878, D. Jan 20, 1960)
On October 23, 1904, he married Catherine M. Truss of Ballston Spa. They were married by Reverend H. N. Dunning of Albany. Catherine was about 12 years younger than William.
Early in his life, William worked as a farm laborer. At the time of his enlistment in the Civil War, William was working as a merchant. After he had recovered from the his health issues related to the war, William was a conductor for the Railroad. By 1880, he began to have health issues and was working as a peddler.
|Place of Birth:||Berne, NY|
|Date of Birth:||13 Jan 1841|
|Names of Parents:||Nicholas (Blade) and Hannah Yager|
|Term of Enlistment:||3 years|
|Enlistment Date:||6 Aug 1862|
|Enlistment Place:||Berne, New York or Albany, NY|
|State Served:||New York|
|Regiment:||7th Regiment NY Heavy Artillery|
|Promotion Date:||18 Aug 1862|
|Promotion Rank:||Full Corporal|
|Promotion Date:||1 Mar 1863|
|Promotion Rank:||Full Sergeant|
|Promotion Date:||6 Aug 1863|
|Promotion Rank:||Full Private (Reduced to ranks)|
|Captured at:||Petersburg, VA|
|Captured on:||16 Jun 1864|
|Imprisoned at:||Andersonville, GACharleston and Florence, N.C.|
|Paroled at:||North East Ferry, NC|
|Paroled on:||26 Feb 1865|
|Muster Out Date:||23 May 1865|
|Muster Out Place:||Baltimore, MD|
|Additional Remarks: Enlisted at the age of 21. He mustered out from the hospital in Baltimore. "Taken prisoner at Battle of Petersburg on June 15th 1864 taken to Andersonville and kept there three months, Charleston N.C. for one months, Florence 4 months. Still living, discharged May 26, 1864. P.O. Address West Berne Albany Co N.Y." While at Andersonville prison he watched Nathaniel Wright of Berne slowly starve to death. When William was released from prison he only weighed 75 pounds and it was a long time before he could walk again.|
|Sources Used: Ancestry.com, American Civil War Soldiers & Andersonville Prisoners of War; 1865 census Berne, Albany Co., NY; Annual Report of the Adjutant-General of the State of NY for the year 1898; Howell, George Rogers, History of the County of Albany, NY from 1609-1886, W. W. Munsell & Co., 1886, page 817; Keating, Robert, Carnival of Blood: The Civil War Ordeal of the Seventh New York Heavy Artillery, Published by Butternut and Blue, Baltimore, Md 1998; Town and City Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War|
As Walt Whitman said upon seeing the Union soldiers as they were released from a Confederate prison, "Can those be men? Those little livid brown ash streaked monkey-looking dwarves-are they not really mummified dwindled corpses?"
In 1850 William was living with his parents and siblings in Berne. His father Nicholas Blade was an innkeeper who was born in Germany. Living with the family was Hannah Mayer (B.abt 1765). Ten years later, William was now 19 years of age and working as a farm laborer for David Conklin in Preston Hollow in the town of Rensselaerville. After serving in the Civil War, William married and began to start a family with Jacob born in 1868 and William in 1869. In 1870, they lived in the city of Albany in a two family home and William worked as a conductor for the Railroad. In about 1878, William's daughter Lillian was born. In 1880, still living in the city of Albany, William was working as a peddler. The 1880 US Census only documented William's children William and Lillie, so it appears that his son Jacob had died by then. On June 25, 1880, William filed for an invalid pension associated with his Civil War service. At some time between 1880 and 1900, William's wife Elizabeth died and he moved back to his hometown of Berne. In 1900 William Sr. was living with his son William Jr. in a house in Berne that William Sr. owned. They were supported by William Jr.'s job as a steward in a hotel. On October 23rd 1904 William was married for a second time to Catherine M. Truss of Ballston Spa by the Reverend H. N. Dunning of Albany. In 1905 or 1906 William attended the reunion of the 7th Heavy Artillery in Albany with a banquet at Keelers. In 1910 William was still living in Berne with his wife Catherine and son William Jr. In late January 1916, William "took a hard fall."
William Miner Blade died on August 5, 1916 and was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Berne. His gravestone confirms that he was a survivor of Andersonville Prison. William lived an incredibly long healthy life for a Confederate prisoner of war. Many of the other survivors died with in a decade or two after their release due to the starvation and diseases they faced.
Additional Research Notes
Lived in the The Christopher Engle House at his death and willed it to the Albany Assoc of the Blind.
Town and City Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War
Taken prisoner at Battle of Petersburg on June 15th 1864 taken to Andersonville and kept there three months, Charleston N.C. for one months, Florence 4 months. Still living, discharged May 26, 1864. P.O. Address West Berne Albany Co N.Y
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Keating, Robert, Carnival of Blood: The Civil War Ordeal of the Seventh New York Heavy Artillery, Published by Butternut and Blue, Baltimore, Md 1998
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Bernehistory.org
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 1870 US Census, Albany, Albany Co, NY
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 1880 US Census, Albany, Albany Co, NY
- ↑ Altamont Enterprise Oct 13, 1933.
- ↑ "Mrs Lillian Westfall", Altamont Enterprise Feb 5, 1960 section 2 page 6.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Married" Altamont Enterprise October 28, 1904.
- ↑ US Censuses
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 Town and City Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War
- ↑ Stapleton, Euretha Wolford, Town of Berne Historian, “Our Heritage”, Published by Town of Berne, 1977.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 1850 US Census, Berne, Albany Co, NY
- ↑ Civil War Pension Index, www.ancestry.com
- ↑ The Slingerlands Bulletin
- ↑ 1910 US Census, Berne, Albany Co, NY
- ↑ "Berne", Altamont Enterprise Jan 21, 1916.