Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Killed in Action: Lambert Scott 23rd Kentucky Infantry

Here is another story I have found in my research of Civil War soldiers and sailors from  Campbell County, Kentucky. 

Camp Near Murfreesboro, TN, March 30th, 1863

Mrs. Sara Scott




It becomes my painful duty to inform you of your husband’s death. It was caused by the wound he received at the Battle of Stones River Dec. 31, 1862, while fighting gallantly for his adopted country. His wound was not considered dangerous at that time, but he caught cold, and death ensued. 


You have the sincere sympathy of his comrades in arms, both men and officers in this your hour of bereavement. Enclosed you will find the necessary papers to enable you to receive his back pay and whatever allowances that are due him from the Government.


If there should happen to be any trouble about your receiving the pay & etc., address me at any time and I will render you any assistance in my power and madam I am 


Very Respectfully,


Geor. W. Northup, Capt. Co B

23rd Reg Ky Vol. Infy. 


This was the sad news Sarah (Parker) Scott received early in 1863, as the Civil War was continuing to create such sadness for families throughout the divided nation. 


Lambert Scott had been born across the Atlantic Ocean in Dublin, Ireland around 1815, and by the mid-1850s had arrived in Kentucky, where he married Sarah in Jefferson County on April 23, 1856. 


Four years later, they were living in the Carthage district of Campbell County one of the state’s northernmost counties, where he worked as a school teacher. They had two daughters and shared their house with four boarders, possibly relatives of Sarah.  


When the Civil War started in April of 1861, Lambert was one of many immigrants who chose to fight on behalf of their new country. He enlisted as a sergeant in Captain George Northup’s Company of the 23rd Regiment, Kentucky Infantry, which became company B of that regiment. He enlisted at Camp King on September 18, 1861 and officially mustered into the service on December 8. He signed up for a standard three-year term and his post office address was listed as Newport. 


When he joined the army, he stood 5 feet 10 ¾ inches tall. His complexion was noted as being “light” and he possessed gray eyes and gray hair. 


The 23rd Kentucky recruited many men from Campbell County and then fought in numerous major battles and campaigns in the Western Theater of the Civil War. Included on their resume was the bloody Battle of Stone’s River, a Union victory sometimes called the Battle of Murfreesboro, near Nashville, Tennessee.


It was during this fierce contest that Lambert became a casualty of war, suffering a gunshot wound in the neck on December 31, 1862. He survived this injury on the battlefield and was sent to Nashville Hospital Number 4, but his luck worsened there, when he died of his wound on March 22, 1863. 


According to the National Park Service, the Union Army suffered losses of about 1,700 men killed, 7,800 wounded, and 3,700 missing at this battle.1 Lambert was just one of those approximately 13,200 casualties from those three brutal days, and was buried in what is now known as the Nashville National Cemetery.


A note in Sarah’s widow’s pension file also contained this certification of the sad event:


I hereby certify that Lambert Scott late a Sergeant of Company B., 23rd Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Infantry did while on the said service and in the line of his duty at the Battle of Stone River Dec. 31st, 1862, receive a gunshot wound in the neck, in consequence of which he died in the Hospital No. 4 at Nashville, Tenn. March 22nd, 1863.


            Given under my name at Readyville Tenn. this 18th day of May 1863,

            Henry G Shiner, 1st Lieut., commanding co. B


Another document, signed by fellow Campbell Countian Robert Townsend, indicates that Lambert had no personal effects to send home. 


Lambert’s will directed that any debts he owed be paid, then left “all my estate of every kind which I may have at my death” to Sarah. 


When Sarah was in the process of getting her widow’s pension, a May 1863 document shows she had moved to Fulton, Ohio, probably to live with family.

On October 15, 1881, the Cincinnati Enquirer published a story that a man in England was trying to locate Lambert’s widow Sarah because “there is a large estate left to her in England.” A reader of the newspaper had informed the journal that Lambert had died in Nashville as a “soldier in the rebel army.” This report was erroneous, as he was a United States soldier, but it remains unknown if this mistake was corrected or if the Englishman ever found Sarah. The story did note that she had resided in the northeastern section of Campbell County.2

Sarah passed away on November 8, 1904, per a document in her pension file.

From findagrave memorial 157997478


1https://www.nps.gov/articles/the-battle-of-stones-river-the-soldiers-story-teaching-with-historic-places.htm  Accessed July 22, 2022

2Cincinnati Enquirer, October 15, 1881


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