Places of Rest & Remembrance #4 | Joseph Burkey
Like the life and times of Fifth-Great-Grandfather — and Revolutionary War vet — Jacob Crites, the details of the childhood, married life and final days of Joseph Burkey are mostly elusive.
But we’re pretty clear on his war record and the activities of his company during the Civil War.
Joseph Burkey is Colt’s Third-Great-Grandfather, related on the Johnson side. He’s the father of Anna Burkey, who would marry Clement Johnson. The line continues thus:
Joseph Burkey/Amanda Stevenson – Anna Burkey Johnson – Charles Johnson – Erma Johnson Foutz – Fred Foutz – Colt
Joseph was born May 18, 1840, probably near Guernsey, Ohio, where the Johnson clan called home. In the 1850 census there is a Joseph Burkey Sr. there in Oxford, born in 1805, with a wife named Jane and a bustling household, of which an 8-year-old Joseph Jr. is part. The dates almost line up — in the vein of census inaccuracies and subsequent leeway.
Joseph is next found in a Guernsey County census in 1860, in the home of James and Emeline Scott, listed as a laborer. Joseph and Jane Burkey appear as neighbors on the same census page, a couple households higher up.
In between is the great Civil War. And in 1880, we again catch up to Joseph Burkey in Guernsey County, this time farming and married to a Mary J. Burkey, born about 1830 and 10 years his senior, with a household of five young children, including Sarah E. A., age 13. A 75-year-old Joseph Burkey senior is also among the family.
What makes the three records hold at least loosely together are the birthplaces of Joseph Burkey’s father in Pennsylvania and mother in New Jersey, the consistent ages of the particulars, the birth year of Mary J., which is consistent with Amanda Stevenson’s in family lore, and the 1867 birth year of Great-Great-Grandmother Anna Burkey Johnson.
As to the rest, and the latter details of Joseph’s life, it’s a bit murky. We don’t know when Amanda died. An 1890 census that was largely destroyed by fire keeps us from catching up with Joseph again until shortly before his death in 1900. By then he is living in Warren Township, Tuscarawas County, and remarried to Clara (Kerr) about 5 years. She is 47 and childless; he is 60. He works as a farm laborer and owns the house he’s living in. Again — this record matches up with birth year and with parents born in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, respectively.
We also match the couple to Joseph’s pension record, which lists Clara as dependent. There is the curious notation next to invalid status, in March 1885, and records Clara’s widowhood in December 1901, a full year after Joseph’s death. But who knows with bureaucracy and paperwork?
Joseph is buried in New Cumberland Cemetery, near Atwood Lake, Ohio. Clara is there, too, — her stone bears a death date of June 26, 1911. The grave of Amanda Stevenson is nowhere to be found.
Joseph Burkey – Civil War Service
What we do know is that Joseph Burkey enlisted as a private in Company B of the 126th Infantry on May 17, 1864 at age 23. He was drafted, according to Army records.
He was mustered out at the same rank on June 19, 1865 in Baltimore, Maryland.
The record of his Ohio regiment is set forth below. Joseph would have seen action the year’s worth of battles throughout Virginia, just after Spotsylvania Court House.
ONE HUNDRED and TWENTY-SIXTH INFANTRY
One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Infantry. – Col., Benjamin F.
Smith; Lieut.-Cols., William H. Harlan, Aaron W. Ebright, Tho-
mas W. McKinnie; Majs., George W. Voorhes, William G. Williams.
This regiment was organized at Camp Steubenville from Sept. 4
to Oct. 11, 1862, to serve for three years and was sent to
Parkersburg, W. Va., a few days later. It remained in the
western part of Virginia during the succeeding winter and
spring, and in June was engaged in a brisk skirmish at Martins-
burg, in which Co. I was captured entire by the enemy. At
Bristoe Station in October the regiment and its corps took part
in a fight with a portion of Lee’s army, and for many days
thereafter were engaged in skirmishing with the enemy up to
Centerville. After spending the winter at Brandy Station, the
regiment in April, 1864, went to Rixeyville, where it remained
until the opening of the grand campaign under Gen. Grant, in
his march on Richmond. It took part in every engagement of the
campaign, from the crossing of the Rapidan to the crossing of
the James. The loss of the regiment at Spottsylvania was 16
killed and 54 wounded, and in front of Cold Harbor it was in
the assault of Ricketts’ division, 6th corps, on the enemy’s
works, carrying and holding them under a heavy fire. After
crossing to the south side of the James the regiment partici-
pated in all the marches, skirmishes, etc., of the 6th corps,
up to July 2, when it went into entrenchments at the Williams
house, 5 miles south of Petersburg. Four days later it em-
barked for Baltimore, and there took cars for Monocacy Junction
where it played an important part in the severe battle of Mono-
cacy, in which it lost heavily. It marched in pursuit of Gen.
Early’s army and participated in engagements at Snicker’s gap,
Charlestown and Smithfield. It was in the battle known as the
Opequan, losing a large number in killed and wounded. In the
action at Fisher’s hill the regiment performed a conspicuous
part, losing 4 men killed and 17 wounded. Then it was engaged
in a number of marches and counter-marches, arriving at Cedar
creek just in time to take part in the memorable battle of that
name. In December it rejoined the Army of the Potomac and
spent the winter in the trenches around Petersburg. In a
charge on the enemy’s picket lines on March 25, 1865, the regi-
ment behaved with great gallantry, being the first to enter the
entrenchments. At 3 a. m., April 2, it went into position in
the front line of battle and participated in the charge which
was to dissipate the last hope of the Confederate States. The
regiment was mustered out on June 25, 1865. It lost during its
term of service 9 officers and 111 men killed; 10 officers and
379 men wounded; aggregate, 509.
Source: The Union Army, vol. 2
Fought on 9 Oct 1862.
Fought on 14 Jun 1863 at Martinsburg, WV.
Fought on 15 Jun 1863 at Williamsport, MD.
Fought on 15 Jun 1863 at Martinsburg, WV.
Fought on 14 Oct 1863 at Bristoe Station, VA.
Fought on 27 Nov 1863 at Mine Run, VA.
Fought on 6 May 1864 at Wilderness, VA.
Fought on 7 May 1864 at Wilderness, VA.
Fought on 9 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
Fought on 10 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
Fought on 12 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
Fought on 13 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
Fought on 18 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
Fought on 21 May 1864 at North Anna River, VA.
Fought on 30 May 1864 at Hanoverton, VA.
Fought on 1 Jun 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA.
Fought on 2 Jun 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA.
Fought on 4 Jun 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA.
Fought on 6 Jun 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA.
Fought on 19 Jun 1864 at Bermuda Hundred, VA.
Fought on 22 Jun 1864 at Weldon Railroad, VA.
Fought on 22 Jun 1864 at Petersburg, VA.
Fought on 9 Jul 1864 at Monocacy, MD.
Fought on 21 Jul 1864 at Snicker’s Gap, VA.
Fought on 9 Aug 1864 at City Point, VA.
Fought on 28 Aug 1864.
Fought on 19 Sep 1864 at Opequan, VA.
Fought on 21 Sep 1864 at Flint Hill, VA.
Fought on 22 Sep 1864 at Flint Hill, VA.
Fought on 22 Sep 1864 at Fisher’s Hill, VA.
Fought on 19 Oct 1864 at Cedar Creek, VA.
Fought on 12 Nov 1864 at Middletown, VA.
Fought on 25 Mar 1865 at Petersburg, VA.
Fought on 2 Apr 1865 at Petersburg, VA.