Monday, February 4, 2013

Mystery Monday: Why did Francis Goddard of Norwich join the Confederate Army in Alabama?

  I blame John Banks... For those of you who don't know who I'm talking about, John runs a Civil War blog dedicated to Connecticut soldiers. On January 23, he wrote about a Civil War soldier buried in a Norwich cemetery. Not a big deal, right? Wrong. This soldier's regiment was the 3rd Alabama. And John provided just enough detail to get me really interested.
  So I started my own research (John, apologies, some of what I found overlaps with what you already had...) First stop, Google. I just like to see what has already been done. Find-A-Grave and one pro-Confederate site (ugh), and a useful Norwich Bulletin article. Turns out Goddard's been a mystery in Norwich for years. Next stop, the census. I was able to find only two listings for Francis or "Frank." In 1850, he is listed as age 13, living in the household of his parents James B. and Jane N. Goddard. Although the two oldest children are recorded as born in Connecticut, the family lives in New Rochelle, New York. The 1870 census places "Frank," now 28, still with his parents and working in a pistol and gun manufacturer in Brooklyn. Finally, a few articles on Google Books provide more details on his parents. The Chronotype of 1873 indicates that Jane N. was born Jane Newton Adams and provides a sketch of the family. The Quarterly Register and Journal of the American Education Society suggests that the two may have met and initially resided in Norwich.
   What happened to "Frank" in 1860? How does he get to Alabama? Why?

I'd love to see if anyone could find an answer.


  1. Bryna: Just saw this, a year late! Hmmmm.... perhaps it's time for me to do some more digging on this one. Here's a soldier I am particularly interested in. ( did some cursory searching. If you could find out more, that would be great. I will go to D.C. soon to pull his records on the National Archives: