Friday, February 15, 2013

60. Closing In On William James O'Neill

    William James, the oldest son of Alexander O'Neill of New Albany, Indiana, has presented a brick wall to me for several years. Now it looks like I'm making some progress with him.
     William served in the 23rd IN Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, but disappeared after that. I couldn't find him in New Albany or on any postwar census searches. He enlisted with the rest of the 23rd on July 12, 1861, for three years. A card file in the Indiana State Archives says he was mustered out on July 23, 1865. Wrong!
     William's three years were up on July 12, 1864, and he evidently left the unit then. He may have returned home to New Albany briefly, but then he enlisted in the U. S. Navy on October 11, 1864, at Cairo, Illinois, as an Ordinary Seaman and received a bounty of $60. He left the Navy on September 18, 1865, as an Acting Third Assistant Engineer.
     I had tried earlier to get a pension file from the National Archives on William as an Army veteran, but they couldn't find one. Easy to understand now!
     I just recently did a pension search on Ancestry for the Navy and William turned up there. When I order the file, the Archives couldn't find it. Frustrating!! I am not deterred, though, as I have the file and fiche number, so I'm sure I'm close on that.
    Anyway, that's our status now. William is much closer that ever before--stay tuned for further developments...

This record started the new search.