Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Archibald A Adams


Archibald A Adams was born 1 OCT 1799 in Pennsylvania and died 23 SEP 1866 in Gardner Township, Johnson County, Kansas. He is buried in Plot #10 in the Gardner City Cemetery, Gardner, Johnson County, Kansas. In 1825 he married Mary Ann Grannis. She was born 19 FEB 1806 in Pennsylvania, and died 17 Sep 1880 in Prophet Town, Whiteside County, Illinois. 

Due to an error on the death certificate of their son, Samuel S Adams, Archibald's wife is often erroneously listed as Mary Crossett.

Archibald and Mary Ann had thirteen children. The eldest son, Samuel S Adams, married Annie Brown, daughter of John Brown, the abolitionist of Harper's Ferry fame. Stories passed down through the Adams family relate the fact that Archibald and his family lived near Owen Brown in Ohio and were friends with John Brown, and Archibald was a dedicated believer in John Brown's work to eradicate slavery. In 1857 Archibald moved his family to Kansas, near the Brown cabin just outside of Osawatomie, Kansas. One descendant of Archibald recalls the fact that one of Archibald's sons (John Adams) was born in Kansas and grew up hearing about John Brown his entire life.

Archibald, the story goes, was so angered by "Robert E Lee hanging John Brown" that he joined the Union Army at 62 years of age! He was mustered into Company G Kansas 5th Cavalry which was merged into Company I Kansas 5th Cavelry, on 14 Nov 1861.  According to his military record:

1861, November 14 – Fort Lincoln, KS Archibald A. Adams is 62 years old with an occupation of Blacksmith. He enrolled as Private in I Company, 5th Regiment, Kansas Cavalry, at Fort Lincoln, KS at the age of 62 by Capt Hayes. on the side of the Union. His son, Augustus, enlisted in the same Regiment exactly one month later on December 14, 1861. (Film Number M542 roll 1)
1862, February 7 – Fort Scott, KS (per Muster Roll) or Fort Lincoln, KS (per Descriptive Roll) Archibald was mustered into service by Lieut Bowman. His physical description is 5', 10 1/2", dark complexion, dark eyes, grey hair. 1862, July and August Reported as "Deserted", but in fact went home on "sick furlough" on December 2 (or 27th), 1861 and was home sick in January, 1862. Left home on May 1 to report back to his Company, but sickness caused him to turn back home".

1862, November – Kansas City, MO Archibald was hospitalized for "amaurosis" (blindness).  1862, Winter – Fort Lincoln, KS Archibald is attacked with neuralgia of the right leg and thigh and couldn't stand while on guard duty at Fort Lincoln.

1863, January 5 – General Hospital, Kansas City (MO) Archibald was "discharged on Surgeon's Certificate of Disability at Kansas City, MO". Cause: Amaurosis of long standing and general debility consequent upon old age. His eyes failed him on account of old age and is otherwise unfit for duty on account of the infirmities consequent to old age. He has been reported a deserted since Mar 31, 1862 but has really been sick and in hospital ever since that date. No further information on file" (US Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865, Film No M542, Roll 1).

His Gravestone reads 

Archibald A Adams
Co. G 5th Cavalry
Co. I 5th Cavalry
Oct 1 1799 - Sept 23 1866
Friend and follower of 
John Brown

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