91st PA--John Kern alias John Groff

John Kern alias John Groff

Name

He enlisted under the alias John Groff (9, 10).

Before the war

He was born in Germany (8). He was born on 10 March 1847 (8 (18 in 1861), 12 (10 March; 14 apparently in 1861, quoting John Dortt).

His family lived in the same house as John Dortt's, apparently starting about in 1859 (12).

When he enlisted, he was a huck[ster] (8).

Description

When he enlisted, he was 5 feet 3 inches tall, and had a light complexion, grey eyes, and light hair (8).

During the war

He also served in company B and A of the 2nd Pennsylvania Cavalry (9, 10). He also served in company B of the 1st Pennsylvania Provisional Cavalry (9, 10).

He enlisted and was mustered into service on 1 November 1861 (1, 8, 10). He was enlisted for three years, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Captain Casner (8). He was mustered in as a private in company K, by Lieutenant T H Parsons (1, 8, 13, 14).

On 26 June 1862, he was in Prince-Street Hospital, Alexandria, Virginia (11). He had a sprained ankle, from being thrown from a horse (11, 12).

Because of his ankle problems, he deserted on 18 September 1862, while on the march from Monocacy to South Mountain (6, 12 [17 Sep 62]). Sergeant Coster asked fifer Matthew McFetridge to carry Groft's gun for a while, which he did (12). Captain Casner gave him permission to ask Dr Knight if he could ride in the ambulance (12).

At some point, his father wrote to the Secretary of War (12). The letter was forwarded to the 91st, but unfortunately we do not know what it said (12). (Given the evidence at his court martial, I suspect his father claimed Groft was underage, and asked that he be discharged (12).)

On 5 February 1863, Lt Col Doster ordered that he be returned to the 91st (12). He was returned to the regiment 8 March 1863 (2, 12 [7 Mar 63]).

He was tried by court martial beginning on 25 March 1863 (12). He pled not guilty to the charge and specification (12). Howard W Shipley testified for the prosecution, but knew nothing, because he was placed in charge of the company after Groft had left (12). Second Sergeant George G Coster testified that he noticed Groft not answering at the roll call (12). Coster and Fourth Sergeant Robert Chism testified that he had hurt his ankle when he was thrown from a horse, and that his health was bad (12). Chism also testified that the march to Antietam was "very tiresome" (12). Captain John F Casner and John Dortt testified for him (12). The Court found him guilty of absence without leave, and sentenced him to lose all pay and allowances then due him, to do police duty for four hours a day for ten days (except Sunday), while still attending to all required company and regimental duties, and to make good the lost time (12).

He deserted on 29 April 1863 while on the march, near Chancellorsville, Virginia (1, 7, 10 [29 Mar]).

He is reported absent without leave beginning 13 August 1863 (3, 4). On 24 August 1863, he was dropped as a deserter (5). He was a private, in company K (13, 14).

After the war

On 28 December 1908, he applied unsuccessfully from New Jersey for a pension (9, 10).

Sources

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) (John Groff)

2 consolidated morning report, 91st PA, 8 March 1863 (Private Groff)

3 consolidated morning report, 91st PA, 10 August 1863 (no one from company K is absent without leave)

4 consolidated morning report, 91st PA, 13 August 1863 (not named)

5 consolidated morning report, 91st PA, 24 August 1863 (John Groff)

6 company K, register of deserters, entry 23 (John Groff)

7 company K, register of deserters, entry 25 (John Groff)

8 company K, descriptive roll (John Groff)

9 pension index, by name (John Kern alias John Groff)

10 pension index, by regiment, 91st PA Infantry, company K (and second card) (John Kern alias John Groff)

11 'The sick and wounded Pennsylvania soldiers in Washington', Philadelphia Press Saturday 28 June 1862, page 1 (John Grott)

12 court-martial record, National Archives and Records Administration, record group 153 (Records of the Judge Advocate General (Army)), John Groft, 25 March 1863, LL 231 (John Groft)

13 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (John Groft)

14 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (John Groff)

Sources checked unsuccessfully

1890 US census, veterans schedules
a John Kern was living in New Brunswick, Middlesex, New Jersey, but the census has no information about him

index to compiled service records

[index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania]
[transcribed 1 May 2014, from Fold3]


Groft. John
Co. K, 91 Pennsylvania Inf.
Pvt. | Pvt.
REFERENCE CARD.
Original filed under
Groff. John

GENERAL INDEX CARD.


[card 2, transcribed 1 May 2014]

Groff. John
Co. K, 91 Pennsylvania Inf.
Pvt. | Pvt.
See also [blank]

GENERAL INDEX CARD.

court-martial record

[court-martial record, National Archives and Records Administration, record group 153 (Records of the Judge Advocate General (Army)), John Groft, 25 March 1863, LL 231]

[page 1]

LL 231

[page 2]

Head Quarters 3rd Division 5th Corp
Camp near Falmouth Va April 15th 1863.

General Orders No 19

II.. Before a General Court Martial convened at the Head Quarters, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Corps, Army of the Potomac, by virtue of General Orders No 10, dated February 24th 1863 and Special Orders No 14 dated March 19th 1863 both from these Head Quarters, and of which Lieut. Col. D. N. Rowe is President, were arraigned and tried:--

1. John W. Cobb, Assistant Surgeon 134th Regt Penna Vols.

Charge.--"Absence without leave."
Specification.--In this: that the said John W Cobb, Assist. Surgeon 134th Regt P.V. having been detached from his said regiment by order of the proper superior medical officer of the 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps for duty at the Hospital of the said Division located near Stonemans Switch, Virginia, on or about the 11th day of December, did without proper authority leave the said hospital and go to his home in the State of Penna and did remain absent from the said hospital without proper authority for the space of twenty five days. All this at the hospital of the said Division near Stoneman's Switch, in the County of Stafford, state of Virginia, on or about the 31st day of December 1862.

To which Charge and Specification the accused John


[page 3]

W Cobb Assistant Surgeon 134th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers pleaded as follows.

To the Specification.--"Not Guilty."

To the Charge.--"Not Guilty."

The Court having maturely considered the evidence adduced, does find the accused, John W. Cobb, Assistant Surgeon, 134th Regiment Penna Vols, as follows.

Of the Specification.--"Not Guilty."
Of the Charge.--"Not Guilty."

The proceedings and findings of the Court in the case of John W. Cobb Assistant Surgeon 134th Regiment Penna Vols. were returned to the Court by the reviewing officer for reconsideration. And the Court after having carefully examined the review are of opinion: "That the offense with which Assis. Surg. Cobb is charged consisted in his absence from Division Hospital, and cannot consistently with that view of the case and the evidence adduced alter their findings."



2. Michael Galliger [sic], private company "D" 91st Regt Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Charge.--Desertion.
Specification.--In this, that the said private Michael Galliger, Co. "D" 91st Regt. P.V. when on his

[page 4]

way from hospital at Providence R.I. to join his company and regt did fail to join it. This at Philadelphia, State of Penna. on or about the 15th day of September 1862 and the said Michael Galliger of Company D 91st Regt Penna Vols. was arrested by Sergt Robert H. Sinex and turned over to the Military Authorities at Philadelphia State of Penna on or about the 24th day of January 1863 and was returned to his company and regt on the 7th day of March 1863.

To which charge and specification the accused Michael Galliger, private Company "D" 91st Regt Penna Vols. pleaded as follows:

To the Specification.--"Not Guilty."
To the Charge.--"Not Guilty."

The Court having maturely considered the evidence adduced finds the accused, private Michael Galliger, company "D," 91st Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers:

Of the Specification.--"Guilty."
Of the Charge.--"Not guilty of Desertion but Guilty of Absence without leave."

And the Court does therefore Sentence him private Michael Galliger, company "D" 91st Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers:--"To forfeiture of all pay and allowances due him to date, to do police duty for four hours per day for twenty


[page 5]

days (Sundays excepted) and at the same time to carry a ball and chain attached ball not to exceed 12 lbs weight chain about six feet long. And make good the lost time at the expiration of his term of enlistment.


3.--Charles H. Neide private company "D" 91st regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Charge.--Desertion.

Specification.--In this that the said private Charles H. Neide, Company "D" 91st Regt P.V. did desert his company and regt. This at Alexandria, Va., on or about the 28th day of June 1862. And the said Charles H. Neide of Company "D" 91st Regt Penna Vols was arrested by the military authorities at Philada State of Penna on or about the 24th day of January 1863 and was returned to his company and regt on the 7th day of March 1863.

To which Charge and Specification the accused, Charles H. Neide, private Company "D" 91st Regt Penna Vols, pleaded as follows:--

To the Specification.--"Guilty."
To the Charge.--"Guilty."

And the Court does sentence the prisoner, Charles H. Neide, private Company "D" 91st Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.--"To loose [sic] all back


[page 6]

pay and allowances up to date and to serve seven (7) months after the expiration of his term of enlistment, to be publicly reprimanded, and the charge and sentence read at first dress parade after promulgation of sentence.



4.--John Groft private company "K" 91st regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers:--

Charge.--Desertion

Specification.--In this, that the said private John Groft of Co "K" 91st Regt Penna Vols did desert his company while on the march from Frederick City Md to Antietam Creek Md, this on or about the 17th day of September 1862. And the said private John Groft of Co. "K" 91st Regt Penna Vols was returned by order of Lt. Col. Doster Private Marshal of Washington D.C. on the 5th day of February 1863 and returned to his company on the 7th day of March 1863

To which Charge and Specification the accused private John Groft Company "K" 91st Regiment Penna Vols, pleaded as follows.

To the Specification.--"Not Guilty."

To the Charge.--"Not Guilty."

The Court having maturely considered the evidence adduced finds the accused:--

Of the Specification.--Guilty, with the exception of the word "desert" for which substitute



[page 7]

the word "leave."

Of the Charge.--"Not Guilty--but Guilty of Absence without leave."

And the Court does therefore sentence private John Groft company "K" 91st Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers:--"To forfeiture of all pay and allowances due him to date to do police duty for four hours per day, Sundays excepted, for ten days and to attend to all company and regimental duties required, and make good the lost time at the expiration of his term of enlistment."

5.--Corporal Dennis Reilly, company "A," 126th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers:--

1st Charge.--Desertion.

Specification.--In this that the said Dennis Reilly a Corporal of Captain Doebler's company "A" 126th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers having been duly enlisted in the service of the United States did on or about the twenty-fourth day of October A.D. 1862, while his Regiment was in camp near Sharpsburg Md absent himself from said regiment without proper authority and did so remain absent for the period of 120 days at the expiration of which he returned to his regiment at camp near



[page 8]

Falworth Va All this at camp near Sharpsburg Md on or about the 24th day of October 1862.

2nd Charge.--Absence without leave.

In this that the said Dennis Reilly, a corporal of Captain John Doebler's Company A 126th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers having been duly enlisted in the service of the United States did on or about the twenty fourth day of October A.D. 1862 while his regiment was in camp near Sharpsbury Md. absent himself from said regiment without proper authority and did so remain absent for the period of 120 days at the expiration of which he returned to his regiment at Camp near Falsworth Va. All this at Camp near Sharpsburg Md on or about the 24th day of October 1863.

To which Charges and Specifications the accused Dennis Reilly a corporal of Captain John Doebler's company pleaded as follows:--

To Specification of 1st Charge.--"Not Guilty."

To 1st Charge.--"Not Guilty."

To Specification of 2d Charge.-"Not Guilty."

To 2nd Charge--"Not Guilty."

The Court having maturely considered the evidnece adduced finds the accused:

Of Specification to 1st Charge:--"Guilty."

Of 1st Charge.-"Not Guilty."

Of Specification 2nd Charge.--"Guilty."

Of 2nd Charge.--"Guilty."


[page 9]

And the Court does therefore sentence Dennis Reilly a corporal of Captain John Doebler's Company A 126th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers: "To be reduced to the ranks, forfeit two months pay and allowances, make good two months after the expiration of his term of enlistment, and his sentence to be read and he publicly reprimanded by the Regimental Commander at the first dress parade after the promulgation of the Sentence."



6.--Jesse Dutter private in Captain James M Clarke's Company (G) 134th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers

Charge.--Desertion.

Specification.--In this that the said Jesse Dutton private in Captain James M. Clarke's Company (G) one hundred and thirty fourth Regt Penna Vols having been duly enlisted in the service of the United States did on the morning of the eleventh (11th) day of December eighteen hundred and sixty two whilst his company and regiment were on the march from camp near Falmouth Va to Fredericksburg Va leave the ranks of his said Company and Regiment without proper authority and did so remain until he was arrested by Lieut Col Doster Provost Marshal, Washington, D.C. January 4th 1863 for desertion and returned to his Regt under guard March 7th 1863.


[page 10]

All this occurring on the march from Camp near Falmouth Va to Frederickburg Va on the morning of the eleventh day of December 1862.

To which Charge and Specification the accused Jesse Dutton private of Captain James M. Clarke's Company "G" 134th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers pleaded as follows:

To the Specification.--"Not Guilty."

To the Charge.--"Not Guilty."

The Court after having maturely considered the evidence adduced find the accused:

Of the Specification.--"Guilty."

Of the Charge.--"Not guilty of Desertion but guilty of Absence without leave".

And the Court does therefore sentence him the said Jesse Dutton a private of Captain James M. Clarke's Company "G" 134th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers:--"To forfeit all back pay and allowances, and to make up the lost time, viz. three months, at the expiration of his term of enlistment, and be publicly reprimanded by his regimental Commander on the first dress parade after the promulgation of the sentene; and charge find and sentence to be read at the same time."



II. In the case of Assist. Surgeon John W. Cobb it is with regress that the General Commanding finds himself obliged to disapprove the findings of the


[page 11]

Court. Viewing the offense to be absence from duty without leave, he cannot send Assist. Surgeon Cobb before the Court for trial a second time for what he deems essentially the same offence. Surgeon Cobb therefore escapes the punishment which is justly due. He took advantage of assignment to a duty which removed the physical difficulties of his leaving his post without authority to absent himself from duty, thus betraying his want of that high sense of honor that should characterize the Officer.

In the cases of Michael Galliger, private of Company "D" 91st Regt Penna Vols and John Groff private of Company "K" 91st Regt Penna Vols, the proceedings findings and sentence are approved, and will be immediately carried into effect by the Regimental Commander.

In the cases of Charles H Neide private of Company "D" 91st Regt Penna Vols and Corporal Dennis Reilly Company "A" 126th Regt Penna Vols, the proceedings, finding and sentences are approved, and the Sentences will be carried into effect so far as it is practicable, under the direction of the Regimental Commanders.

In the case of Jesse Dutton, private in Captain James M. Clarke's Company "G" 134th Regiment Penna Vols, the proceedings, findings and sentence



[page 12]

are approved and confirmed. The forfeiture of all back pay and allowances is understood to mean all pay and allowances due at the time of trial. The sentence will be carried into execution under the direction of the Commander of the Regiment, so far as is practicable.



By order of
Brig. Genl. A. A. Humphreys
Comdg Division

Carn McClellan [?]
Asst Adjt. Genl.

[page 13]

Head Quarters 3d Division 5th Army Corps
General Orders No 19

LL 231

Proceedings of General Court Martial in cases of
Ass't Surgeon John W. Cobb. 134th P.V.
Priv. M. Galliger Co. "D." 91st P.V.
" C. H. Neide Co. "D." " "
" John Groft Co. "K." " "
Corp. D. Reilly Co. "A." 126th "
Priv. Jesse Dutton Co. "G." 134th "

[page 14]

Proceedings of a General Court Martial which convened at the Head Quarters 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps, in pursuance of the following Order.

Head Quarters 3rd Division 5th Army Corps
Camp near Falmouth Va Feby 24th 1863

General Orders No 10

A General Court Martial is hereby appointed to meet at the Head Quarters of the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps, on Wednesday the 25th inst, at 10 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as practicable, for the trial of such persons as may be brought before it.


Detail for the Court.
Lt. Col. D. W. Rowe, 126th Regt Penna Vols - President
Lt. Col. R. C. Dale, 123rd " " "
Major Joseph Anthony 129th " " "
Captain Geo. S. Miles 126th " " "
Captain J. Adams Vena [?] 134th " " "
Captain J. S. Bell 123rd " " "
Captain A. F. Cavada - Judge Advocate
No other officers than those named can be assembled without manifest injury to the service.

By command of
Brig Genl. A. A. Humphreys
Comdg Division

(Signed)
Carsll MClellan
A.A.A. Genl.

[page 15]

Head Qrs 3rd Division
5th Corps March 15th /63

Lieut Col. D. W. Rowe

The General Commanding Division directs that immediately after the case now before the Court Martial shall be finished, you consider yourself relieved from duty with the Court and that Lieut. Col. Dale assume the Presidency of the Court thus vacated by you.

Very Respectfully
Your Obt Servt
(Signed) Carsll MClellan
A. A. Genl.


Head- Qrs. 3rd Divn.
5th Corps March 19th 1863.
Col. F. B. Speakman
Cmdg 2nd Brigade

Colonel

Lt. Col. R. C. Dale, 123rd P.V. having been detailed on a commission to examine into the cases of officers absent without leave &c. he is hereby relieved from duty on the Court Martial now convened at Hd Qrs 2nd Brigade 3rd Div. as soon as the case now before the court shall be finished.

Captain David E. Adams, 123rd Regt P.V. is hereby detailed to fill the vacancy thus made in the Court.

By command of

[page 16]

Brig Genl. A. A. Humphreys
Comdg Div.
(Signed) Carsll MClellan
A. A. Genl.


Head Quarters 3rd Division 5th Corps
March 19th 1863

Special Orders No 14

Captain E. G. Rehrer A.D.C. will relieve Captain A. F. Cavada AAD.C. as Judge Advocate of the General Court Martial assembled at Head Quarters 2nd Brigade by virtue of General Orders No 10 of February 24th 1863 from these Head Quarters


By Command of
Brig. Genl. A. A. Humphreys
Comdg Division
(signed) Carsll MClellan
A. A. Genl.

Head Quarters 2nd Brigd 3rd Divn 5th Corps
March 25th 1863

The Court then proceeded to the trial of John Groft, private of company "K" 91st Regt Penna Vols., who, having heard the order convening the Court read, was asked whether he had any objection to any of the members of the Court named therein, replied [sic] in the negative.



[page 17]

The Court was then, in his presence, duly sworn by the Judge Advocate, and the Judge Advocate duly sworn by the President of the Court.

The prisoner John Groft private of company "K" 91st Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers was then arraigned on the following charge and specification; viz.

Charge.--Desertion.

Specification.--In this, that the said Private John Groft of Co "K," 91st Regt Penna Vols. did desert his company while on the march from Frederick City Md to Antietam Creek Md. this on or about the 17th day of September 1862 And the said Private John Groft of Co "K" 91st Regt Penna Vols. was returned by order of Lt. Col. Doster Provost Marshal of Washington D.C. on the 5th day of February 1863 And returned to his company on the 7th day of March 1863.

To which Charge and Specification the prisoner pleaded as follows:


To the Specification.--Not Guilty.
To the Charge.--Not Guilty.

All persons required to give evidence were required to withdraw and remain in waiting until called for.

2nd Lieut. Howard W. Shipley of Company "G" 91st Regt Penna Vols a witness for the prosecution, was duly sworn and testifies as follows: viz.

Witness.--I had just been transferred to the Company



[page 18]

before the charge was made out. I know nothing at all of the circumstances.

Question by Judge Adovcate. When you came to the company, how was John Groft reported on the morning reports?

Answer. He had been dropped from rolls and morning reports entirely.

Question by Judge Advocate. Do you know whether he was ever reported as a deserter?

Answer. Not from my own knowledge.

Question by Judge Advocate. Is the prisoner here, John Groft private of Coy "K" 91st Regt P.V.?

Answer. I cannot say. I have been transferred to the coy from Coy "G" since his alleged desertion.

Question by Judge Advocate. Why did you prefer the charge?

Answer. I was ordered to do so by the commander of the regiment. A slip of paper came from Provost Marshal's Head Quarters, which had on it what the charge was, by whom arrested, and when arrested; that was all I believe.

Question by Judge Advocate. Do you remember by whom the arrest was made, according to the paper referred to?

Answer. Lt. Col. Doster.

Question by Court. When did the prisoner rejoin his coy and regiment?

Answer. I cannot say the exact date, sometime near the first of this month.



2nd Sergeant George G. Coster, Co "K" 91st Regt Penna Vols a witness for the prosecution being duly sworn testifies.


[page 19]

Question by Judge Advocate. Is the prisoner here, John Groft private Company "K" 91st Regt Penna Vols?

Answer. Yes Sir, he is the prisoner.

Question by Judge Advocate. State to the Court what you know of the absence and alleged desertion of the prisoner? [sic]

Answer.--All I know in regard to his absence is, as acting 1st Sergeant my duty to [sic] call the roll at the end of each march, at tattoo and reveille, and calling his name on the roll I noticed he did not answer. That was on the 18th of September on the field of Antietam Md I never heard more of him, but heard he had fallen out of the ranks. I knew that his health was bad, he had been thrown from a horse whilst on duty at or near Pohick Church, his ancle [sic] was either broken or sprained.

Question by Judge Advocate.--How long before he fell out of the ranks on the march to Antietam was it that he was thrown from his horse?

Answer.--I did not see him fall out of the ranks. I was at the right of the Company and it was dark. About three months; the latter part of June, if I am not mistaken.

Question by Judge Advocate.--Did you report him at any time as a deserter and when?

Answer.--I cannot tell exactly; I marked him as absent without leave some weeks after he missed roll call; I was then ordered to report him as a


[page 20]

deserter by the Captain in making out my morning report.

Question by Judge Advocate.--Did you know the prisoner before he enlisted in the service of the United States?

Answer.--No Sir, I had never seen him.

Question by Judge Advocate.--Do you know the age of the prisoner?

Answer.--No Sir, I do not know his age.

Question by Judge Advocate.--What was the general character of the prisoner before his leaving the company?

Answer.--Good.

Question by Judge Advocate.--Did he at any time during the march ask permission to fall out of the ranks or complain of his leg?

Answer.--I think he did ask permission but I am not positive; I had heard him complain of his leg from the day we left Washington, 14th of September. He complained that he was exhausted and I asked one of the fifers of the company Mathew McFetridge to carry his gun for him a while and he did.

Question by Court.--Did he ever in your hearing say anything of his intention to desert?

Answer.--Not that I can recollect.

Question by Court. Was he in uniform or in citizens [sic] dress when he returned to his company and regiment?

Answer. In citizens [sic] clothes.

Quest by Court.--Do you know of his being in any hospital after he fell out on the march to Antietam?

Answer.--No, I do not.



Robert Chism, 4th Sergeant, Company "K," 91st Regt Penna Vols



[page 21]

a witness for the prosecution was then called in and duly sworn.

Question by Judge Advocate.--Is the prisoner here, John Groft, private of company "K" 91st Regt Penna Vols?

Answer.--Yes Sir, he is.

Question by Judge Advocate.--State to the court what you know of the absence and alleged desertion of the Prisoner? [sic]

Answer.--All I know about it is that he left the company somewhere between Monocacy river and Antietam creek on the march to Antietam, on or about the 17th of September.

Question by Judge Advocate.--Do you know whether he had permission to leave the company?

Answer.--No sir, I do not. I heard that he had, I don't know it.

Question by Judge Advocate.--Do you know for what purpose he left the Company?

Answer.--No Sir.

Question by Judge Advocate.--Did you hear him complain on that march of being exhausted?

Answer.--Yes Sir; I heard him say that he could not march any further with his foot, several times.

Question by Judge Advocate.--Do you know what was the matter with his foot?

Answer.--Yes sir, he got thrown off a horse, got his foot sprained. I cannot recollect the time, it was on the Telegraph road from Alexandria to Occaquan creek.

Question by Judge Advocate.--Was that March to Antietam a tiresome one or not?



[page 22]

Answer.--I do not know what it was to any one else, but it was a very tiresome [sic] to me.

Question by Judge Advocate.--Did you know the prisoner before he enlisted?

Answer.--No Sir, I did not.

Question by Court.--Did the prisoner at any time in your hearing prior to that march, say anything about his leaving the company or intending to leave it?

Answer.--Not that I can remember of.

Question by Court.--How old is the prisoner?

Answer.--I do not know.

Question by Court.--When did he rejoin the company?

Answer.--On or about the 7th of March he came to the regiment from Division Head Quarters.

Question by Court.--Do you know or have you heard of him being at any hospital whilst absent?

Answer.--I heard that he was in a hospital in some village, I cannot remember the name. I heard one of the Sergeants of the company say so, cannot say which one it was.

Question by Court.--Do you know about where the village is?

Answer.--In Maryland somewhere on the route between Washington and Antietam Creek.

Question by Court.--Do you know of your own knowledge or by letter where the prisoner was during any part of the time that he was absent from his company and regiment, and if so state where? [sic]



[page 23]

Answer.--No I do not I have heard that letters came either from him or his mother to some members of the company. I never saw the letters.

The prosecution here closed. John F. Casner, Captain of company "K" 91st Regt Penna Vols a witness for the defense was then called and duly sworn.

Question by Judge Advocate.--Is the prisoner here, John Groft, private company "K" 91st Regt Penna Vols. [sic]

Answer.--He is.

By Judge Advocate.--State to the Court what you know of the absence and alleged desertion of the prisoner.

Witness.--It was on the 17th September 1862 we left Monocacy creek about half past three in the afternoon marched on towards Antietam; while we were on the march some distance, I don't know how far we had got, Groft came to me and said to me that he could not get along, that his leg hurt him, or words to that effect. I then told him to go to the rear and ask Dr Knight if he could put him in the ambulance and I supposed he had got in for I did not see anything more of him.

Question by Judge Advocate.--What was the first you heard of him after that and when did you hear it?

Answer.--The first I heard was some months after, that I heard anything more of him [sic]. I then heard that he was in Philadelphia.


[page 24]

Question by Court.--Did you ever hear him say that he was going to desert?

Answer.--No, I don't think I did.

Question by Defence.--Did you ever receive any paper or document concerning this case from the War Department or Adjutant General's Office at Washington, D.C.?

Answer.--I received a document through the Regimental Head Quarters.

Question by Court.--Have you such document with you? if so show it to the Court.

The document was then produced by the witness and handed to the Court. The document purported to be a letter from the father of the prisoner to Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secy of War, with endorsements referring it to the commanding officer of 91st Regt Penna Vols. The court was cleared for deliberation on the propriety of admitting this document as evidence, and it was finally ruled out.

The examination of witness was then resumed.

Question by Judge Advocate.--Do you know or did you ever hear that the prisoner was in any hospital after the march to Antietam?

Answer.--Not after the march.

Question by Judge Advocate.--Do you know of his having made exertions to get back to his regiment or company prior to his arrest?

Answer.--I do not.

Question by Judge Advocate.--What was the general character of the prisoner before the march to Antietam?



[page 25]

Answer.--Good.

Question by Judge Advocate.--What time of day was it that you told him to go to the rear, on that march?

Answer.--I think it must have been about dusk, as near as I can recollect.

Question by Court.--Do you know the age of the prisoner?

Answer.--I think he was about nineteen when he was enlisted. I think that was the age he gave me.

The examination of the witness here close, and the hour of 3 P.M. having arrived, the Court adjourned to meet again tomorrow March 26th at 10 o'clock A.M.



Head Quarters 2nd Brig, 3rd Div, 5th Corps
March 26th 1863

10 o'clock A.M. In consequence of the illness of Major Joseph Anthony, President of the Court, the requisite number of members of constitute a Court could not be convened.




Head Quarters 2nd Brig 3d Div, 5th Corps
March 27th 1863

The Court met at 10 o'clock A.M. Same members present as at last sitting. Case of Private John Groft continued. Private John Dortt company "K" 91st Regt Penna Vols. a witness for the defense was then called and duly sworn.

Question by Defense.--How long have you known



[page 26]

Private John Groft?

Answer.--Four years.

Question by Defence.--Have you lived near his house, and do you know his father and mother?

Answer.--We lived in the same house. I know his father and mother.

Question by Defense.--Did you ever hear either of them say how old their son John was?

Answer.--I heard his mother say that on the 10th of March he was 14 years of age. It was about two years ago it was before I enlisted.

The accused having no further testimony to offer, the case was submitted to the Court by the Judge Advocate without further remarks. The Court was then cleared for deliberation, and having maturely considered the evidence adduced find the accused, Private John Groft, of company "K" 91st Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, as follows.

Of the Specification.--Guilty, with the exception of the word "desert" for which substitute the word "leave".

Of the Charge.--Not Guilty.--but guilty of "Absence without leave".

And the Court do therefore sentence Private John Groft, company "K" 91st Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers:--"To forfeiture of all pay and allowances due him to date, to do


[page 27]
[note that a page appears to be missing here]

Hd Qrs 3d Div, 5 Corps
April 15th 1863

Proceedings of Genl Court Martial, convened by virtue of Genl Orders No 10 Feby 24 1863 from these Hd Qrs

Case of John Groft
Private Coy "K" 91st P.V.

L L 231


[page 28]


Head Quarters 2nd Division, 12th [sic] Army Corps
Near Aquia Creek, Va. May 16th 1863

Hon Jos Holt
Judge Advocate Gen'l

Sir,

I have the honor herewith to transmit to your Office in accordance with Art 90 Articles of War, proceedings of a Gen'l Court Martial, convened by Special Orders No 18, of these Head Qrs.

In December 1862, I was Judge Advocate of a Gen'l Court Martial, convened at Harper's Ferry, most of the proceedings of which were lost in transportation of the command to Dumfries shortly after the Battle of Fredericksburg; a few of these in a much defaced condition were afterwards recovered, and they are also herewith respectfully forwarded for file in your Office.


With high regard, Sir,
I have the honor to be
Very Respectfully Yr [?]

H. H. Nilson [?]
Capt + Judge Advocate


[page 29]

Head Quarters 2nd Division, 12th [sic] Army Corps
Near Aquia Creek Va. May 16th 1863

Hon Jos Holt
Judge Advocate Gen'l

Sir,

I have the honor herewith to transmit to your Office in accordance with Art 90, Articles of War, proceedings of a Gen'l Court Martial, convened by Special Orders No 18, of these Head Qrs.

In December 1862, I was Judge Advocate of a Gen'l Court Martial, convened at Harper's Ferry, most of the proceedings of which were lost in transportation of the Command to Dumfries shortly after the Battle of Fredericksburg; a few of these in a much defaced condition were afterwards recovered, and they are also herewith respectfully forwarded for file in your office.

With high regard, Sir,
I have the honor to be,
Very Respectfully, Yrs [?]

H. H. Nilsonl [??]
Capt + Judge Advocate.

[page 29]

Head Quarters 3rd Div,
5th Army Corps,
April 16th 1863

Brig Genl L. Thomas
Adjutant General
United States Army

General.

I have the honor to transmit herewith Proceedings of General Court Martial convened by orders from these Head Quarters, in the cases of


Asst Surgeon Jno W. Cobb 134th Pa Vols
Corporal Dennis Reilly 126th " "
Private Michael Galliger 91st " "
" Chas H Neide 91st " "
" Jno. Groft 91st " "
" Jesse Dutter 134th " "

together with the order promulgating the proceedings.

I have the honor to be
Very Respectfully,
Your Obt. Svt.
A. A. Humphreys
Brig Genl Comdg Div

[page 30]


Hd Quarters 3rd Div 5th Corps Apl 16 /63
Humphreys A A Brig Genl
transmitting Proceedings of Genl Court Martial, in cases of
Surgeon Cobb
Corpl Reilly
Private Galliger
" Neide
" Groft
" Dutter

L L 231

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