Signed by Medal of Honor Recipient, Lieutenant James S. Casey
7 3/4 x 10, printed form, filled out in ink.
Fort Columbus, N.Y.,
New York, Jany. 8, 1863
Received, from SIMEON DRAPER, Provost Marshal General, the following described person, a deserter, viz.:
Name, James M. Newbury
James S. Casey
1 Lt. 5 Inf.
Light age toning and wear. Uncommon and very desirable deserter related document signed by a U.S. Medal of Honor recipient.
James S. Casey: (1833-99) Born in Philadelphia, he joined the 7th New York State Militia at the outbreak of the war, in April 1861. He was commissioned 2nd lieutenant, in the 5th U.S. Infantry, on August 5, 1861. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant, September 25, 1861; captain, December 1, 1863; and brevet major, March 25, 1865, for his gallantry in action at the battle of Fort Stedman, Virginia. After the war he became a Companion of the New York Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Casey served under former Civil War General Nelson A. Miles, in the Black Hills War, earning the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry in leading his command in an assault against a superior number of Indians in the battle of Wolf Mountain, Montana, on January 8, 1877. He was promoted to major of the 17th U.S. Infantry, on June 27, 1884; lieutenant colonel, of the 1st U.S. Infantry, on April 23, 1890; colonel, of the 22nd U.S. Infantry, on January 21, 1895; and he retired from the army on January 28, 1897. Colonel Casey was buried at Vale Cemetery, in Schenectady, New York.
James M. Newbury: He was 18 years old when he enlisted as a private, on August 21, 1862, at Marbletown, N.Y., and was mustered into the 156th New York Infantry. Apparently released as a deserter, he rejoined his regiment, and died of disease, on February 11, 1863, at New Orleans, Louisiana.
WBTS Trivia: Fort Columbus, N.Y., played an important role in the military life of New York City as the largest army post defending the city. As the closest major army post to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, Fort Columbus for many years served as a first posting or a major departure point for newly graduated cadets shipping to army posts along the Atlantic or Pacific coasts. Many future generals in the Civil War were posted to or passed through Fort Columbus as young junior officers. Among them were Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Thomas J. Jackson, Joseph E. Johnston, John Bell Hood, Theophilus H. Holmes, Abner Doubleday, Henry W. Halleck, James B. McPherson, John G. Barnard, Horace Brooks, and others.
In December 1860, and April 1861, the Federal Army secretly dispatched troops and provisions from Fort Columbus to relieve the besieged garrison at Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. In the early years of the Civil War, the north barracks were used to hold Confederate officers taken as prisoners of war pending transfer to other Union prisons such as Johnson's Island, near Sandusky, Ohio, Fort Delaware, Delaware, or Fort Warren, in Boston Harbor. Major General William H. C. Whiting died of dysentery in February 1865 in the post hospital shortly after his surrender at the Battle of Fort Fisher, North Carolina. He was the highest ranking Confederate officer to die as a prisoner of war at Fort Columbus.