Conflict Period:
Civil War (Union) 1
Army 1

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Personal Details

Full Name:
Joseph Multer 1

Civil War (Union) 1

Army 1
C 1
Discharge Rank:
Pvt 1
Enlistment Rank:
Pvt 1
Military Unit:
134th Infantry 1
New York 1

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  1. Civil War Service Index - Union - New York [See image]


Private Joseph E. Multer

Summit, New York


    Joseph E. Multer was born in 1840, at South Worcester, Otsego, NY, the son of Phillip Multer & Mary Comstock.  His mother was the the granddaughter of Peregrine Comstock, a Revolutionary soldier who was in Col. Latimer's regiment of militia, which lost heavily at the battle of Saratoga.  Joseph's early days were spent in South Worcester and in Charlotteville, Schoharie, NY.  Like his father and his grandfather, Joseph E. Multer was a farmer.

    Philip Multer, father of Joseph E. Multer,  was the son, and one of thirteen children of Joseph Molter and Susan Becker.  They lived in South Worcester, Schoharie, NY.   Joseph Molter was an extensive farmer, having at one time as many as one thousand acres of land.  He erected a spacious colonial style home overlooking the Charlotte valley.  Joseph Molter was a soldier in the War of 1812 and made Captain of the militia. He served in New York City.  "He was a large built man, very active and stirring, and was a hard worker."  Joseph Molter, the senior, was the son of Dr. Joseph Molter.  

        Philip Multer was "born just before the breaking out of the War of 1812, during hard times and suffering of the masses, he was early put to labor.  At about ten years of age he was set to plowing, and kept at hard labor early and late, hardly knowing a holiday or rest, except on the Sabbath days.  An idle day of recreation was unknown to him when able to move. At about the early age of 16 yrs., through means of hard toil and exposure, he contracted the Catarrh, which finally culminated in the Asthma, with which he was afterwards afflicted more or less up to the time of his death.  He was a life of toil, of suffering, and almost without a ray of sunshine.  With a shattered constitution so early obtained, he sank to an early grave.  He was an incessant reader when not at work and his mind was well stored with Ancient and modern history.  He was strictly temperate, but of quick impulses, and if he had his faults, few had less than he, as he was outspoken and honest in his views.  He has left a wife and four children, an aged mother, six brothers, six sisters, and numerous other relatives to mourn his loss. Language would fail to express our feelings, while we pen these few lines in commemoration of our brother, whose decease has broken the family circle."

    In response to the Civil War call, Joseph E. Multer mustered in as a Private, Company C, 134th New York Volunteers, on 22 September, 1862, at Schoharie, NY.   He was described as a farmer; single; private.  Joseph Multer was 21 when he enlisted in August 1862.  The 134th was serving with Coster's Brigade (1st Brigade), XI Corps, when on July 1, 1863, it slowed the onslaught of Confederate General Hay's Louisiana Tigers allowing the balance of the Union army to fall back to Cemetery Hill, Gettysburg, PA.

    PVT Multer did full service until he was shot in the left leg below the knee on July 1, 1863 at Gettysburg, PA.  He was initially treated in a fetid field hospital, probably at the Culp Barn, and later transferred to St. John's College Hospital at Annapolis, MD.   

    The commander of C Company, CPT Solyman G. Hamlin, was captured at Gettysburg during the same battle as PVT Joseph Multer.  CPT Hamlin was taken to Richmond, VA, where he was detained at Libby Prison.  A disheartening letter written by CPT Hamlin, in which he described the despicable conditions of prison life, was published in the Schenectady Republican in November 1863.  CPT Hamlin, after an eight month's stay at Libby Prison, was transferred to Macon Georgia, then to Charleston, and finally to Salisbury Confederate Prison, NC, where he escaped on November 24, 1864, to rejoin the 134th NYV at Savannah during General Sherman's "march to the sea." 

    Joseph rejoined his regiment in October 1863 in Lookout Valley, Tennessee and fought with General Sherman.  While building breastworks he was wounded in the left side by a log thrown down by comrades after a Confederate shell explosion at Rocky Face Ridge, Marietta, GA.  Joseph was treated at Nashville, TN, for internal injuries to his lungs and his left elbow.  He rejoined the regiment at Savannah and spent the rest of his time with the regimental quartermaster.  Joseph Multer's injuries are described in his Invalid Pension Certificate:

State of New York
County of Delaware SS
In the matter of the increase of the Invalid Pension Certificate to 118648 of Joseph Multer.
Personally came before me County Clerk & Clerk of the County Court a Court of record in & for the County and State above named Joseph Multer late a private in Co. C 134th Regt. Of New York Vols. a citizen of the Town of Summit in the County of Schoharie & State of New York well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit and who being duly sworn declares in relation to said case as follows: that his claim for increase Cert. No. 118648 was rejected on the ground that he was receiving all that was entitled to on account of gun shot wound in his left leg & that he is not disabled by injury to his left side.  The claimant wishes to amend his said application for increase and add to the same as follows: That the extent of his disabilities contracted while the military service of the U.S. as a member of the above named organization is as follows, that he is now drawing pension at the rate of four dollars per month for gunshot wound in the left leg the ball entering the leg in front about six inches above the ankle and emerging at the back of the leg passing near the bone and cutting the tendons & muscles of the leg.  That in consequence of said wound the left foot is numb, the ankle swollen and he believes himself entitled to a very much larger pension on account of the same than he is now receiving. He further says that near Marietta Ga. About June 14, 1864 while a number of the above named organization and in the line of his duty while engaged in building breastworks that a number of soldiers with claimant was carrying a heavy log when a shell from the batteries of the Confederates came very near and past of his comrades who had hold of the log let it go & the log fell upon deponent across his body and his left arm nearly crushing him injuring him severely in the left side and also badly injuring his left arm. That when said log was removed from his body he was unable to get up or walk & that when the Regt. moved deponent was taken in an ambulance & put into the General Hospital No. 3 at Nashville, Tenn.
He further says that the injury to his side was internal & injured his lung and that said lungs have troubled him ever since; that he is frequently entirely disabled by said injury to his side & becomes so weak that he can scarcely speak aloud; that he suffers great pain in his side so severe at times that he is unable to move or speak.
He further says that said injury has resulted in disease of lungs & that he wishes to amend his application by claiming for disease of lungs. He further says that at the time he was injured as before said the said log fell also upon his left arm and badly injured the elbow joint so that he has never since been able to straighten his left arm. That he is greatly disabled by said injury to his arm and desires to have said application amended so that he may claim for the same. He further says that while in said service at Fairfax Court House VA he contracted mumps and while sick with the same in his tent a storm came and blew down his tent & he was thoroughly drenched. This was about Jan 1862. That in consequence of said exposure his mumps became very much worse & his jaws have troubled him ever since sometimes cramping so that for a time he is unable to shut his mouth. Also in consequence of said exposure to mumps he is now and has ever since suffered with partial loss of hearing. Also in consequence of said exposure to mumps he is now and has ever since suffered with deformed and painful testicles, that when he takes cold they are very painful and troublesome & greatly disables him and he wishes to amend his application in that respect as to his disabilities which have resulted from mumps. That he hereby appoints with full power of substitution J. I. Goodrich of Delhi, New York as his true and lawful attorney to prosecute his claim.
His Post office address is Charlotteville, Schoharie Co., N.Y.
22 June 1886
Joseph Multer


Charlotteville, NY
August 26th 1886
Hon John C. Black, Com.
Dear Sir
In my claim for Invalid Pension No 118648. In reply to yours enclosed of the 16th. The Claimant Joseph Multer late of Co. C 134 NY Vols. has ever since discharge lived at Charlotteville N.Y. My occupation has been farming. While in the service of US near Fairfax Court House, VA, 1862 I was sick with the mumps. During a violent wind & rain storm the tent I with comrades was occupying was blown down by exposure to the storm the mumps became much worse.  I was taken to regiment Hospital received treatment by Dr. Wm. H. Hoag surgeon of my regiment. By results of mumps I am now and have ever since suffered with deformed and painful testicles, cramping of lower jaw & partial loss of hearing.   July 1st 1863 at the battle of Gettysburg I received gun shot wound in my left leg. By reason of wounded leg I am sometimes compelled to use a crutch. About June 14th 1864 at the Battle of Kennesaw mountain near Marietta Georgia I was helping comrades lift a log over our front line for breast works, a bursting shell near us caused the log thrown down. I was caut (caught) under the falling log and crushed to the ground injuring my left side and arm. This occurred before or about midnight. I stayed with my company until morning. The regiment received orders to move. I was unable to walk by reason of the injury I received to my side. I was sent to Gen. Hospital at Nashville Tennessee for treatment. I had violent coughing spells and passages of blood and difficult breathing. After partially recovering from my injury I was examined and advised to join the Invalid Corps for I would not be able to endure active service again. I preferred to join my regiment, which I did at Savannah. I wasn’t able for duty. I stayed with our quartermaster most of the time until discharge. Ever since the injury to my side occurred my lungs have been troublesome as indicated by difficult and labored breathing on exertion, hard coughing spells and since 1868 I have coughed and raised a good deal of offensive matter every time I take cold. My injury is aggravated and worse. I have never since said injury been able to do hard or heavy work and a large portion of every year I am unable to do any manual labor. I have had treatment by Dr. Norwood of Schoharie, NY. I have every year taken medicine for cough and pain in my injured side such as Ayers Cherry Pectoral & Halls Balsam and other cough mixtures which partially relieves my suffering but fails to permanently cure.
Yours very respectfully
Joseph Multer
Co. C. 134 N.Y. Vols.


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