Azariah Cottman Pusey
- Born: 29 Dec 1842, MD 4360
- Marriage (1): Julia Emily Parsons on 15 Feb 1871 in Worcester Co., MD
- Died: 24 May 1924, Somerset Co., MD
- BuriedMale: Abt 27 May 1924, Pusey-Maddox Cemetery, Worcester Co., MD
Served as Private in Company E, 1st Maryland Regiment (Calvary) CSA from Nov 1862 to Jan 1864 (1890 Veterans Schedule, service records in the National Archives). The 1890 Veterans Census was intended to only be for Union veterans of the Civil War and that threw this compiler off thinking he had served for the Union. However, a deeper dive showed that soem CSA vets were included especially from border states because there were units with like names on bith the USA and CSA sides. Plus, Azariah used an altered first name to sign up so his service records are not immediately apparent at the Archives - they are listed under the file "O.C. Pusey." However, there is no question that Azariah and this O.C. Pusey are indeed te same individual.
AZARIAH COTTMAN PUSEY (1842-1924) - I did more research and put together hist real story as there was an old family story that states he joined the Union Army in the Civil War but deserted and joined the CSA. From the records, it does not seem he actually joined the Union Army at all but did join the CSA cavalry. Confusion resulted because he is listed in the 1890 Veterans Schedule Census which was meant to capture service records for Union vets only. However, for border states like Maryland, some CSA vets got entered into that record because of the confusion that there were like-named units on both sides. Plus, Azariah evidently changed his first name to Osiah C. Pusey to try and not be detected as he fled south. This made it more difficult to nail down his service records - TILL TODAY! (6/21/2020)
Here is the family story as exists on a taped interview from a son of Azariah, Gorman Pusey, in 1973: he recounts that Azariah was inducted initially into the Union army but then deserted to rejoin his family. When the Confederate army came through they told him that he was now in the Confederate army and that if he deserted, they would shoot him. Azariah was surrounded by Union forces at the Battle of Gettysburg, and as Gorman recounted when their rifles were trained on him, one officer said "Don't shoot the son of a bith", to which Gorman added "And that's how my papy came to have me".
This is a family story that no doubt got altered a bit as it was handed down through more than 100 years but, it is based in fact for the most part. From what I have found from the actual records, Azariah joined the CSA in Nov 1862. The fact that he deserted from the Union Army cannot be confirmed in the records. My guess is that he was indeed drafted to serve in the Union but defected to the south before joining as many young men did in this area back then. Also, the story of him getting confronted by Union soldiers and let go is based in fact but not entirely correct as, his official records show he was taken as a POW near Winchester, VA on Jun 12 1863 and immediately exchanged two weeks later when he continued service with his CSA unit.
Also, the Gettysburg capture is family fiction as the 1st MD Cavalry saw no action at Gettysburg as they were confined to provost duty on the periphery the battle. Here is what historians say about the 1st MD Cavalry and Gettysburg: "Just short of Carlisle, Gilmor was directed to report to General Ewell somewhere south near a town called Gettysburg. Upon his arrival on the 1st, Gilmor was directed to provide support to Pogue's and Carter's batteries. Co. A., was placed on provost duty in the town, and saw no action. As the battle progressed the 1st Md. was used exclusively as couriers and to support artillery. They saw no mounted action, despite what some historians write about their taking part in the great cavalry battle east of Gettysburg on the third day."
All this stated, the story of Azariah Pusey is fascinating and I would have loved to sit down and have a beer with the gentleman and have him tell his story - here it is as it exists in my files now based upon research with the National Archives:
His Civil War service record is filed under "O.C. Pusey" at the National Archives but, in it, he is referred to variously as O.C., Oriah, Uriah, Uzariah, A.C. Pusey. His record states he signed up on Nov 29 1862 in Richmond, VA by Capt. R.B. Winder with Captain William I. Rasin's Company (known as Winder's Cavalry), Maryland Line, CSA. Winder's Cavalry became the 1st Maryland and Azariah was assigned to Company E therein.
Nov 29 1862 - mustered in at Richmond, VA as age 20 "for the War"
Feb 28 1863, his record states he was charged for "use and risk of a horse" $35.80 - this is when he was evidently issued a horse for his duties
Jun 12 1863, listed as captured by the 2nd Division, 8th Army Corps USA near Winchester, VA. His description is age 20, 5'-8" tall, fair complexion, dark eyes, dark hair from Somerset Co., MD and part of Co. E., 1st Maryland Rebel Volunteer Cavalry. He was arrested by Col Schell of the 87th PVI (PA volunteer infantry?)
Jun 12 1863, listed as a POW under Gen'l. Schenk on a roll taken at Winchester, VA, was on prisoner exchange and sent to Fortress Monroe, VA on Jun 26 1863 (POW for 2 weeks)
Jun 26 1863 roll, at Camp Lee, possessing a horse valued at $230
Jun 30 1863, listed on receipt roll for clothing
Jul/Aug 1863, listed as PRESENT, for risk and use of a horse, $24.00. He was "last paid" on Jun 30 1863 by Maj. Mason
Sep/Oct 1863, for risk and use of a horse, $24.00.
Nov/Dec 1863, listed as PRESENT, He was "last paid" on Oct 31 1863 by Capt. Dorsey
Apr 1 1864, listed as PRESENT, detailed as a teamster in the Regt., Last paid on Jan 1 1864 by Capt. Dorsey
Mar 30 1864, listed on receipt roll for clothing
Jul/Aug 1864, listed as PRESENT, detailed as a teamster, Last paid on Jan 1 1864 by Capt. Dorsey
Sep 30 1864, issued clothing
Nov/Dec 1864, listed as PRESENT, detailed as a teamster, Last paid on Mar 1 1864 by Capt. Dorsey
Apr 26 1865, listed as paroled part of Lee's Army when the Civil War ended
Azariah married Julia Emily Parsons, daughter of Patrick W. Parsons and Julia Downing, on 15 Feb 1871 in Worcester Co., MD. (Julia Emily Parsons was born on 04 Jan 1851 in MD,4361 died on 06 Jan 1935 in Worcester Co., MD and was buried about 09 Jan 1935 in Pusey-Maddox Cemetery, Worcester Co., MD.)