Will the real John Trout please stand up?! Part Deux

by Sarah Webb. 0 Comments

     Already I’m liking John Trout a lot. Since learning John Trout was a laborer when he enlisted in the Civil War I knew he was “regular folk.” Because of my own ancestry, I must be predisposed to rooting for the underdog. John Trout was not an officer; he was not able to read or write. My own paternal ancestry, descendants of William H. Powers, includes several farmers and laborers who fought in the Civil War. Since many were also poor and uneducated, there are not a lot of written records left behind. Military records have filled in gaps for me that I otherwise would not have known. To me, John Trout is a “salt of the earth” kind of guy.

      I returned to the National Park Service database to read up on “1 Regiment Maryland Cavalry Potomac Home Brigade.” From the NPS website I learned Cole’s Cavalry is associated with this regiment and company H recruited in Frederick County in February-April of 1864 – exactly during the time I showed John A. enlisted. I scan the description…..blah, blah, blah…let’s see, something else relevant. Oh! The unit was between Keedysville and Frederick in July 1864 – possibly engaged in the Battle of Monocacy!

     As I look at all the records closer, I wonder if all 3 military records were related: The enlistment, the POW record and the transportation requisition. Fold3.com was the one that listed the POW record as “John Trour.” Looking closer at the original document, it looked to me like it was “John A. Trout” without the “t” crossed.


Image courtesy of Fold3.com

     The transportation requisition has him returning to his cavalry unit in Baltimore by July 1865. I learned Cole’s Cavalry mustered out from Baltimore around that time. All the dates work. All the descriptions of the regiments don’t – but they’re close. And then there was that strange pencil notation “Andrew J.” on the POW record above the name John A. Trout. That still bothers me.


Image courtesy of Fold3.com

      By now my field trip was growing longer! 

      Not only was I headed to theMaryland Room, I had to make a stop at a cemetery in Park Mills as well as the Monocacy Battlefield. I needed to refresh what I knew about the Monocacy battle. And besides, maybe they had some cavalry information!

     Whew! All this from my laptop and recliner before even leaving the house! I realize I have to prove the John Trout in the newspaper is the same one as the John A. Trout in the military records. If he is, our “venerable wife-hunter” is a survivor of a confederate prison! The hunt is on!

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