"He [Stonewall Jackson] will wake up some morning to find his stonewall all gone to thunder and his soul singing rebel anthems with the Devil and his Angels in Hell."
Private Lewis Simpson was small, only five feet five inches tall, with a light complexion, gray eyes, and-in spite of his young age-white hair. He was almost albino in appearance. Now he was a member of the Union Army--a private in Company K of the Eighty-ninth New York Volunteers. The Eighty-ninth formally joined together at the barracks in Elmira, New York late in November. They became known as the Dickinson Guard and left for Washington, D.C., on December 6, 1861. [His sister] Mary Jane worried about him--a lot.
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Private Lewis Simpson, Company K, 89th NY Volunteers
Aug 1862 | Fredericksburg, Virginia
"Dear Sister, . . . He [Stonewall Jackson] will wake up some morning to find his stonewall all gone to thunder and his soul singing rebel anthems with the Devil and his Angels in Hell. May God arrest him in his mad and reckless career and convert his guilty soul over to taking the oath of allegiance to our dear good old Uncle Sam before it will be everlasting too late for him to repent." (Letter from Lewis to sister Mary Jane Beardsley written on August 18, 1862 from the front lines near Fredericksburg, Virginia.) From Whither thou Goest by Patrick D. Simpson. Photo of Private Lewis Simpson from the collection of the Frazier Farmstead Museum.
The sister of Private Lewis was Mary Jane Beardsley to whom he wrote a number of interesting civil war period letters that are in the archives of the Frazier Farmstead Museum.
My 90 years young mother is Brenda Steunenberg Richards, her mother was Frances Wood Beardsley Steunenberg (my grandmother), the daughter of Eva Beardsley Wood and granddaughter of Mary Jane, the sister of Private Lewis Simpson. So I believe that makes Mary Jane my great great grandmother and Private Simpson my great grand uncle. Won't swear to it though.
See the related "The Cross Story" from the Frazier Farmstead Museum website.
Lewis L. Simpson - Member of the 89th New York Volunteers, Company K
1863 | Wells Bridge, New York
Lewis L. Simpson joined the Union Army as a Private in Company K, 89th Regiment of New York Volunteers on September 17, 1861 at the Village of Unadilla, in Otsego County, N.Y. Co. K was commanded by Frank Burt.
On September 14, 1862 Lewis received a wound in the left knee by a mini ball at the battle of South Mountain in Maryland (Fox's Gap). Because of this wound, Lewis's left leg was amputated just above the knee at the United States Hospital in Maryland, on or about September 17, 1862. On February 5, 1863, Lewis L. Simpson received a Certificate of Disability for Discharge. Five days later, in Washington, D.C., he applied for a Pension.
Lewis returned home and died in May 1, 1863. There may have been contributory negligence on his part causing the necessity for a second amputation, and consequently the fatal result. There may have been surgical malpractice in the case. Lewis had never married nor were there any children. He was buried in the Methodist church cemetery in Sand Hill, New York, a tiny settlement near Wells Bridge, New York. Both military and pension records exist for Lewis as his mother later applied for his pension.
5109-B2 New Hope Road,
Raleigh, NC 27604.