Saturday, October 21, 2017

SIBLING SATURDAY ~ Corp. John E. Hunter and his brother Isaac C. Hunter–Union and Confederate soldiers

Union vs confederate

I have come across the first instance in my family where brother opposed brother in the Civil War.  Much has been written in recent months about this subject.  But, I’ll stay out of the political debate and just report history as it related to my own family.

It all began when I requested and received the Civil War Pension File for my 2nd great granduncle John E. Hunter.  Until a few weeks ago I knew only an approximate birth year and place for John E. Hunter.  After contact with a cousin, via DNA, I have begun to fill out his life.  Please refer to my blog post here if you’d like to read about that cousin connection.

Another brother in that same family has been a mystery to me too.  All I had on Isaac C. Hunter was an approximate year of birth and place.

After receiving the pension file for Corp. John E. Hunter I learned the following.  That he had served with Company H, 6th Regiment, Ohio Cavalry from Oct 1861 until the end of his term of service in 1864.  During that time he had been taken prisoner of war for a short time and also sustained a gun shot wound to his left shoulder.

After his discharge from the service he married and had a son, but his shoulder continued to cause him pain and an inability to do any hard labor.  To try and improve his health he went to Shreveport, Louisiana where his brother Isaac C. Hunter was a River Boat Pilot.  John Hunter was, according to his brother’s deposition, able to work with him for a while on the river boat.  However, John became ill and ended up being treated by a physician while at Isaac’s home.
In reading Isaac’s deposition (see image below – click on it to enlarge it) I learned that they didn’t agree about the war and had “very little to say about it.”  That, of course, makes me want to know more.

HUNTER_John E_CivilWarPension File 58-annot

Here is a close up of the section of the page outlined in red above.

HUNTER_John E_CivilWarPension File 58-cropped

Transcription from excerpt above – “He told me he was wounded in the U.S. Army, but said very little about it, we did not agree about the war, and had very little to say about it, I don’t know on what part of his person the wound was."

As I was able to conduct further research (and thanks to my cousin Amy) Isaac C. Hunter’s FindAGrave memorial was located. Memorial #7425900.  On the memorial you will see that Isaac aka Ike was a Private in the 1st Btn Co E Trans-Mississippi Confederate Cavalry C.S.A.  Isaac Hunter was also a member of Benevolent Association of Confederate Veterans.

NOTE:  I have no experience in looking for or finding Confederate records.  Now I get to learn something new.

It was quite obvious that these two brothers fought on opposite sides during the war.  I am still trying to find military records that would tell me more about Isaac Hunter’s service for the Confederate Army.

This is the first time I have found a member of my family who served in the Confederate Army.  It seems the majority of both mine and my husband’s family came to and stayed in the northern states.  You always read about brothers fighting against brothers, but I’d never heard of my own family on opposite sides. 

I have more information to share about these Hunter brothers, but I’ll save that for another post.

If you believe you are connected to this family, I’d love to hear from you.  Please get in touch with me.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2017 Diane Gould Hall


  1. Love this idea of Sibling Saturday, Diane! My grandson's last name is Hunter. His line comes out of Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania; Philadelphia; and Burlington Co., New Jersey. They came out west after WWII, when Theo's great-grandfather, who served in the military, was stationed locally. Common name, of course, but you never know where you'll find a connection!

    1. Thanks Miriam, but I can't take credit for the idea. It came from Thomas MacEntee's Geneabloggers prompts. They are quite helpful and I refer to them often. My Hunter's were from PA too, but as far as I know, on the west side near Pittsburgh and toward the center in Mifflin County. But, as you said, who knows? I would love it if we could find a cousin connection between us.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Can't wait to hear more about this search for confederate records. I don't have any civil war veterans in my family, that I know of but I love to hear about the files, they are such a rich source.

    1. Anna - thank you for leaving a comment :)
      I can't imagine that you don't have a single ancestor who fought in the Civil War. Unless all of your family came to the U.S. after 1865, then it makes total sense.
      Otherwise, I would check some of your grand uncles and cousins. It seems as if they all applied for pensions for one reason or another. That $8 pension made a difference to folks back then and it went up through the years.
      Good luck


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.