1863: Paschal Arthur Pullman to Margaret (Wilson) Pullman


Re-enactor at Thompson’s Station

This week-long diary and letter was written by Sergeant Paschal Arthur (1836-1864) Pullman of Co. B, 19th Michigan Infantry. Paschal enlisted on 4 August, 1862, at Allegan, Michigan as a Corporal, at the age of 26. He mustered in on 5 September, 1862, was promoted to Full Sergeant, then promoted to Full 2nd Lieutenant on 23 May, 1864.

Paschal died in action, on 20 July, 1864 at Peach Tree Creek, near Atlanta, Georgia. He was in command of his company when he was killed. He is buried in the Marietta National Cemetery.

Paschal was the second son of Ellery Phillips Pullman (1786-1862) and Eliza Arichouser (1818-1901) of Allegan County, Michigan. He had 6 siblings — 4 brothers and 2 sisters. In the 1860 census, Paschal is listed as working as a Carpenter/Joiner. His father and brothers were all farmers.

Paschal’s older brother, George Pullman (1835-1864) served in Co. I, 5th Michigan Cavalry who fought under the command of Gen. George A. Custer at Gettysburg. He was taken prisoner during the battle of James City near Madison and Leon, Virginia, in October 1863 and was taken to Andersonville Prison where he died on 12 April 1864. He is buried in grave 515 at Andersonville.

Paschal’s two younger brothers also served in the Civil War — Harvey with the 19th Michigan and Walter with the 13th Wisconsin.

On 1 January, 1861, Paschal married Margaret Wilson, daughter of Albert and Melissa Palmer Wilson. Paschal left not only a wife, but a son — Levi “Lee” W. Pullman (1862-1950). Lee was born 26 April, 1862, in Allegan, Michigan, and was just 5 months old when his father mustered in. Margaret filed for her Widow’s pension on 9 September, 1864. She later filed a petition for Lee, on 12 February, 1868, asking that she be appointed Lee’s guardian. Margaret filed for Lee’s pension from the U.S. government on 2 March, 1868. Margaret remarried on 18 January, 1868 to James Madison Williams, in Allegan, Michigan.

The 19th Michigan left their rendezvous camp in Michigan on the 14th of September 1862, and proceeded by rail to Cincinnati. Crossing the Ohio River into Covington, Kentucky, they proceeded down to Florence, Crittendon, Falmouth, Cynthiana, and Paris on their way to Lexington, which was reached on Oct. 29, 1862. While posted at Lexington, the 19th Michigan, the 33rd Indiana, the 85th Indiana, and the 22nd Wisconsin were joined together to form the 1st Brigade (Coburn’s) within the 3rd Division of the Federal Army of Kentucky. This brigade was commanded by Colonel John Coburn of Indianapolis. These four regiments in Coburn’s Brigade would see action together for the remainder of the Civil War.

The 19th Michigan was then successively posted at Nicholsville, Kentucky (Nov. 13, 1862) and Danville, Kentucky (Dec. 12, 1862) — the location of Camp Dick Robinson, recently evacuated by C.S.A. forces under General Braxton Bragg. Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s “Christmas Raid” of 1862 provided some excitement for the men of the 19th Michigan as they marched in pursuit of the Confederate cavalry from Danville to Lebanon, Kentucky, in bone-chilling rain on Dec. 26 -28, 1862. Coburn’s Brigade was then sent to Louisville, Kentucky on Jan. 26, 1863 before being loaded onto river boats [Woodside and Golden Era] for transport down the Ohio and up the Cumberland to Nashville where they arrived on Feb. 7, 1863. Not long after leaving Nashville, the regiment exchanged their Austrian .55 caliber rifle muskets for new Enfield .577 caliber ones.

From Nashville, the 19th Michigan was assigned to foraging detail in the area of Brentwood — a few miles south of Nashville. In this letter, Paschal describes leaving the transport boat at Nashville and embarking on 9 February toward Franklin on the Franklin Pike. Less than a month later they would see their first serious engagement with the Confederates at Thompson’s Station.


Monday, February 9th 1863

Warm, cloudy, smoky day at 8 a.m. We are ordered to get ready and move off from the boat. Walter came down to the boat. He walked about 1 mile with us. We marched 3 miles southeast of town on the Franklin Pike and pitched our tents in a beautiful grove. I finished capping off my journal and wrote to wife. Warm cloudy night. Some rain.

Tuesday, February 10, 1863

Warm, cloudy day. Rained a little. I wrote a letter to Abs folks. [My brother] Harve is not very well. I got a letter from wife p.m.  Rains in eve.

Wednesday, February 11, 1863

Beautiful, warm day. Seems like spring. I wrote to wife a.m. Theodore Wilson was here to see us. [Erastus] Purdy is quite sick. We were out on battalion drill in a beautiful woods. It was a hard drill. [Stephen] Ostrander and I went and got some hay to sleep on.

Thursday, February 12, 1863

A little cooler today. It rains a very little. We did not have company drill a.m. Went out on battalion drill p.m.  The major drilled us. I wrote a long letter to wife.

Friday, February 13, 1863

Warm, cloudy a.m. We had company drill. [Capt. Elisha B.] Bassett drilled us. Clear p.m. We went out and drilled in the manual of arms. Walter came up to see us and stayed all night. He feels well. I got a good letter from wife.

Saturday, February 14, 1863

Warm, cloudy, rainy day. We stayed in tents, drew new guns p.m. They are Enfield rifles. I got a letter from [brother] George. Wet night.

Dear, I will finish this letter. We are to march in the morning. We are going to Franklin, about 15 miles from here, to guard the Mechanics and Engineers, while they build a ridge.

Purdy has been taken to the hospital in Nashville. He is a sick man but he has got good pluck and I think will get along after awhile. Dear, how would you like to have me get transferred into the Mechanics & Engineers Regiment. Privates get 17 dollars and corporals 20 per month. I think it is just the place for me. Harve is in for it. They live much better than we do — that is, they live more like white folks. They have regular cooks detailed, so you see they can have a more uniform and healthy kind of living. I must hurry and bring this to a close for I will have to go on guard soon. My guard duty don’t amount to much.

I wish I could be by your side this Sabbath evening. I think I would have one good kiss — or 100. But dear, I will make up for lost time when I get home, if I live to see that happy day which I hope is not far distant. Oh say, my head has got well where the hard cracker box wounded me. It is a fine evening. I wish this miserable war was at an end.

Goodbye for this time, dear. I send my love to you and lots of kisses. Write me often and send one or two envelopes every time. From your true and affectionate husband to my beloved wife, Maggie Pullman



2 thoughts on “1863: Paschal Arthur Pullman to Margaret (Wilson) Pullman

  1. My 3x Great Grandfather was George Pullman. I have a photo of Paschal if you wish to place it with your article. There is a letter of his at the Bentley Museum at the Unviversiry of Michigan explaining the death of his commanding officer.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s