Frederick Young

Born: Nov. 4, 1841, Rochester, New York
Allegiance: Union
Highest Rank: Private
Units: Company F, 140th New York Volunteer Infantry
Occupation: Cooper
Died: April 11, 1897
Buried: Cavalry Cemetery, Niles, Michigan

When Frederick William Young enlisted in Company F of the 140th NY Infantry, Aug. 20, 1862, he was a 21 years old Cooper, described as being 5' 4 3/4" tall, with dark complexion, grey eyes and brown hair.

Frederick's military career can be summed up in one word "hard." In August of 1863, Frederick was found guilty of leaving his regiment without authority during the Battle of Gettysburg. He was sentenced to forfeit all pay due him for one year, except that necessary for food and clothing. He was also ordered to hard labor with the regiment for the same period. Frederick Young was returned to regular duty on April 28, 1864; but, his troubles didn't end there. Less than two months later, he was in Andersonville.

On June 2 1864, Frederick Young was one of 48 members of the 140th New York captured at Bethesda Church, Virginia. (See below.)

On March 8th, 1865 Frederick Young was paroled at College Green Barracks, Annapolis, Maryland. Frederick Young returned to duty and was mustered out with his company June 6th, 1865.

After the war Frederick Young married and had five children. On April 11th, 1897, after a long illness, he passed away at age 56.

Excerpt from "The Sons of Old Monroe", by Brian A. Bennett.

Bethesda Church

Date: June 2, 1864, Bethesda Church (near Cold Harbor, Virginia).

Conditions at daybreak promised yet another hot, humid day. Fifth Corps' commander G.K. Warren had his hands full that morning-he had been ordered to extend his left in order to make contact with the Eighteenth Corps.... When completed, the dispositions placed the right of the Fifth Corps in the vicinity of Bethesda Church. The Ninth Corps was ... placed in support of Warren's right. Griffin's division was massed near Bethesda Church,... with instructions to connect with skirmishers of the Ninth Corps. These two bodies of troops, however, were separated by a deep, heavily-timbered ravine.

The remainder of the morning and early afternoon produced little more than desultory firing.... The relative quiet was interrupted at 3 p.m. by a severe thunderstorm. The unexpected downpour broke the heat but also brought another surprise: three Confederate divisions crashing down on the right of the Union line. One of the gray divisions fell on the Ninth Corps' flank, instantly scattering the pickets. The triumphant Confederates quickly moved through the cover of the ravine and rolled onto the Fifth Corps' skirmishers.... and it was not long before the Confederates crashed into the main line of the Fifth Corps.

Griffin's division had been hastily formed into line; Ayres on the left, Bartlett in the center and Sweitzer on the right. The sudden call to arms startled everyone, including one stunned private in the 140th, who remembered that "to my astonishment and that of us all we leave our position in double quick time."

The rain thickened and as the deploying Federals struggling through the underbrush, the dripping foliage made it almost impossible for them to keep their paper cartridges dry. "The rebels poured out of the woods in front, coming on the double quick," stated Pvt. Sylvester Brewer of Co. D. "When the rebs. were within a hundred yards of us the word came. 'Aim low, Fire!' " Brewer remembered four attacks by the Confederates, as well as the reaction of one of his comrades to the unique opportunity to fight behind defenses: "When repulsing them the last time . . . our [first] sergeant, James Carson, generally a cool and collected officer, yelled, 'Boys, we've built miles of breastworks and this is the first time we have had a chance to fight behind them. Give them particular Hell.' "

Griffin's men repulsed the attack on their front but the flanking Confederates put their right in jeopardy. "The first intimation we had that this was the case was when the bullets commenced pinging at us from behind and our brigade commander came hurrying up shouting that the 'Rebs' were in our rear and every man was ordered to look out for himself," remarked a member of the 146th New York. "For a time all was confusion." Private Brewer and his comrades "were startled by the rebel yell in our rear. We turned and not twenty feet from us was a heavy line of rebels charging fiercely upon on us. . . . They ordered us to 'drop them guns, Yanks.' We did it without any further ceremony. . . ." A good number of the division did not successfully run the wet, smoky gauntlet, including 48 Zouaves of the 140th. Among those accompanying Brewer to the Confederate rear were his orderly sergeant, Jimmy Carson. Two of Carson's counterparts from other companies were also captive: First Sgts. Henry Cramer, Company B, and John Hartel, Company F. Company B also had its first lieutenant, George Curtis, snatched up by the Confederates....

After the initial confusion, Ayres' brigade was rallied and reformed behind an inner line of earthworks. "The bullets again flew like hail, likewise shells and rifle fire," but the new line held until reinforcements from Cutler's Division [of the Fifth Corps] appeared. The Confederates were ultimately driven back to their original position. Twelve members of the 140th were wounded and when added to the 48 captured, the engagement cost the regiment 60 men, decreasing its strength to near 200 men.

This feature courtesy of Krisiti Wainscott-Moen. For further information, see also Kristi's Frederick Young website.

Last Updated: 12/07/98