He was born in 1830/31, in West Chester, New York. [sources: date: 2 (33 in 1864, though the card has 23). place: 2]
When he enlisted, he was a seaman. [source: 2]
When he enlisted, he was 5 feet 8 inches tall, and had a dark complexion, hazel eyes, and dark hair.
He enlisted and was mustered into service on 15 March 1864, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was assigned to company B. He was a private. His enlistment was credited to the 5th ward of Philadelphia (in the first congressional district of Pennsylvania). Lt J A Gregory recruited him, and Wm C Stackhouse witnessed his signature. [sources: 1, 2]
His name is on a Muster and descriptive roll of a detachment of US Volunteers forwarded for the 91st, dated 20 March 1864. However, he deserted from the recruiting rendezvous. When the men were sent to the barracks, he wasn't present, and the receiving officer erased his name from the roll. [source: 2]
1 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (John Bliss)
2 compiled service record (John Bliss)
I, John Bliss born in Weschester [sic] in the State of New York aged Thirty three years, and by occupation a seaman DO HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE to have volunteered this Fifteenth day of March 1864 to serve as a Soldier in the Army of the United States of America, for the period of THREE YEARS, unless sooner discharged by proper authority: Do also agree to accept such bounty, pay, rations, and clothing, as are, or may be, established by law for volunteers. And I, John Bliss do solemnly swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whomsoever; and that I will observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles of WarSworn and subscribed to, at Philada. Pa. this 15th day of March 1864. BEFORE Chas Snyder 2nd [?] Lt. [?] + Supt. M.O.
I CERTIFY, ON HONOR, That I have carefully examined the above-named Volunteer, agreeably to the General Regulations of the Army, and that, in my opinion, he is free from all bodily defects and mental infirmity, which would in any way disqualify him from performing the duties of a soldier.H K [??] Mason
I CERTIFY, ON HONOR, That I have minutely examined the Volunteer, John Bliss previously to his enlistment, and that he was entirely sober when enlisted; that, to the best of my judgment and belief, he is of lawful age; and that, in accepting him as duly qualified to perform the duties of an able-bodied soldier, I have strictly observed the Regulations which govern the recruiting service. This soldier has Hazel eyes, Dark hair, Dark complexion is 5 feel 8 inches high.J A Gregory
I, John Bliss desiring to VOLUNTEER as a Soldier in the Army of the United States, for the term of THREE YEARS, Do Declare, That I am Thirty Three years and [blank] months of age; that I have never been discharged from the United States service on account of disability or by sentence of a court martial, or by order before the expiration of a term of enlistment; and I know of no impediment to my serving honestly and faithfully as a soldier for three years.GIVEN at Philada