Fold3.com is providing free access to their Confederate records this month. My confederate ancestry is verrrry limited, but I thought I’d check it out.
Here are the enlistment papers for my ancestor James Benjamin Houdeshell, using the common alternative spelling of Howdyshell.
Benjamin enlisted in Company A, 14th Regiment of the Virginia Militia as private. He was 20 years old. He mustered in on 17 September at Wardensville, Hardy County, Virginia for 6 months. He traveled 36 miles to enlist.
The record just previous to Benjamin’s was for Adam Howdyshell. Adam enlisted in Company A, 14th Regiment, Virginia Militia on 17 September 1861 in Wardensville, Hardy County, Virginia with Captain Dinges for six months. He, too, had come 36 miles to enlist.
The record just after Benjamin’s was for Westfall Howdyshell. Notice how, once again, all the details match.
These men were likely Benjamin’s older brothers Adam and George W. Houdeshell. The three appeared at Winchester on the muster rolls for September 10th through December 12th, 1861.
To the best of my knowledge, all three survived the war. Benjamin and George went on to marry sisters from up north—Phebe and Mariah Mayes from Snow Shoe Township, Centre County, Pennsylvania. Benjamin settled near his wife’s family in Pennsylvania while the rest of his family moved west to Ohio and Missouri.
I also found a record of a John Howdershell who was allegedly a member of the Imboden Rangers and took part in the attack on the the B&O railroad. But I do not know if this was a relative or even possibly their brother John W. Houdeshell. This John was captured on 28 Oct 1862 and sent to Cairo, Illinois on 13 Nov 1862.1