He was born in Tyrone, Ireland, in 1829/30. [source: date: 5, 12 (56 in 1883). place: 5]
When he enlisted, he was a farmer. [sources: 5, 12 (gardener)]
When he enlisted, he was 5 feet 9 inches tall, and had a light complexion, light eyes, and light hair. [source: 5]
He enlisted and was mustered into service on 1, 2, 12, or 21 October 1861. He was enlisted for three years, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Captain Sinex. He was a private in company H. [sources: 1, 5, 6 (12 Oct), 9 (2 Oct), 11, 12 (21 Oct, or 2 Oct)]
He was transferred to company D on 4 December 1861. [sources: 1, 6]
He deserted at Alexandria, Virginia. [sources: 3, 4, 5]
In his pension application, he claimed that he was transferred first to Fredericksburg, Virginia about 24 May 1864, then to Emory US General Hospital at Washington DC about 20 July 1864, and finally to the US General Hospital at Broad and Prime Streets Philadelphia, in October 1864. He claimed to spend several weeks there, but didn't explain what happened after that. [sources: 12]
According to official records, on 24 May 1865, he was admitted to Harwood General Hospital, Washington DC, with a gunshot flesh wound of the back. [source: 12]
From the May-June 1864, through the May-June 1865, muster rolls, he is reported absent wounded. He owned the US $23 for his gun, and $16 for his arrest. [source: 12]
According to the company muster-out roll, he was absent, in hospital, at muster out. He was a private, in company D. [sources: 1, 11]
On 22 March 1883, he unsuccessfully applied from Pennsylvania for a pension. Since he was discharged, he had been living near Darby, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and working as a farm laborer. He claimed to be partly disabled because of his wound. He was living at 4708 Rhinehart Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [sources: 7, 9, 12]
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman. History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, state printer, 1869-71. 5 volumes. 'Ninety-first regiment', volume 3, pages 186-233. (In the roster)
2 consolidated morning report, 91st PA, 3 November 1863 (Priv Adams)
3 company D, register of deserters (William Adams)
4 company D, register of deserters (William Adams [second entry])
5 company D, second descriptive roll, entry 12 (William Adams)
6 company H, register of men transferred (William Adams)
7 pension index, by name (William Adams)
8 'The Ninety-first Pennsylvania volunteers', Philadelphia Inquirer 8 June 1864 page 3 (Wm Adams)
9 pension index, by regiment, 91st PA Infantry, company D (William Adams)
10 National Archives Archival Research Catalog (accessed 24 July 2010) (William Adams)
11 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (William Adams)
12 pension documents packet, selected from pension application file, application 476,767 (William Adams)
Respectfully returned to the Commissioner of Pensions. William Adams, a Private of Company "D", 91 Regiment Penn Volunteers, was enrolled on the 21 day of Oct, 1861, at Philadelphia, Pa for 3 years, and is reported: on Roll for May + June /64, Absent wounded May 10 /64 at which time the Regt was in action at Spottsylvania, Va. So borne to Aug. 31 /64 Sept + Oct /64 Absent, with remark, "wounded May 10 /64 due U.S. $23 for Gun +c and $16 for arrest, Sentenced by Gel. C. M. to lose five dollars per month for one year." So borne to June 30 /65. M.O.R. of Company dated July 10/65, absent Sick in Hosp'l no discharge furnished.
Location of wound or nature of sickness not stated.
Regimental Hospital Records or Company Morning Reports are not on file.
Respectfully requested of the ADJUTANT GENERAL U.S.A. a report of service and disability in the case No. 476.769, of William Adams. Co. D." 91." Pa. Inftry.Disabled by g.s. wound in left side received at Spottsylvania, Va. May 10", 184
On this 20th day of March A.D. one thousand eight hundred and eighty Three personally appeared before me Depy Prothy of the Common Pleas a Court of Record within and for the county and State aforesaid William Adams aged 56 years, who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that is [sic] the identical William Adams who was ENROLLED on the 2nd day of October, 1861, in company D of the 91st regiment of Penna Vols commanded by Col Gregory
and was honorably DISCHARGED at [blank] on the [blank];
That his personal description is as follows: [blank]
That while a member of the organization aforesaid, in the service and in the line of his duty at Spottsylvania in the State of Virginia on or about the 10th day of May, 1864 he Received a Gun Shot wound of left side this while in action and engaged with the enemy.
That he was treated in hospitals as follows: Field Hospital until about May 24th 1864 Then Fredericksburg Va until about July 20th 1864. then Emory US Genl Hospl Washington DC until Oct 1864 Then US Genl Hospl Broad + Prime Sts Phila for two weeks.
That he has not been employed in the military or naval service otherwise as stated above [blank]
That he has not been in the military or naval service of the United States since the [blank] day of Oct 1864
That since leaving the service this applicant has resided in near Darby Delaware Co Penna in the State of Penna and his occupation has been that of a Farm Laborer
That prior to his entry into the service above named he was a man of good, sound, physical health, being when enrolled a Gardener
That he is now Partially disabled from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor by reason of his injuries, above described, received in the service of the United States; and he therefore makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the invalid pension roll of the United States. He hereby appoints with full power of substitution and revocation William B. Rose of 717 Sansom Street. Phila. Pa his true and lawful attorney to prosecute his claim. That he has never received never applied for a pension; that his residence is No. 4708 Rhinehart street Philada Penna and that his post office address is 4708 Rhinehart Street. Phila. Pa
William Adams X his mark
Samuel L McElwee
W H Scholendorn
(Two witnesses who can write sign here.)
Also personally appeared William Simmons residing at 4708 Rhinehart Street, Philada, and Samuel J McElwee residing at 437 North 63rd St Phila, persons whom I believe to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who being by me duly sworn, say that they were present and saw William Adams the claimant sign his name, (make his mark) to the foregoing declaration; that they have every reason to believe from the appearance of said claimant and their acquaintance with him that he is the identical person he represents him self to be; and that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim.
William Simmons X his mark
Samuel J McElwee
(Signatures of Affiants.)
W H Schloendorn
Samuel L McElwee
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 20th day of March A.D. 1883 and I hereby certify that the contents of the above declaration, &c., were fully made known and explained to the applicant and witnesses before swearing, including the words [blank] erased, and the words [blank] added; and that I have no interest, direct or indirect in the prosecution of this claim.
E A Smith
Clerk of the Depy Prothy [sic]
CLAIM FOR PENSION.
US PENSION OFFICE. MAR 22 1883
William Adams Applicant
Co. D, 91st Reg't
Enlisted Oct 2nd 1861
William B. Rose
717 Sansom Street