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Index to Civil War Enlistment and Discharge Papers

Stephen Bouck January 12, 2005

Submitted by Byron R. Hawley

Stephen Bouck's Civil War Enlistment and Discharge Papers

     I've attached my Great-Great Uncle Stephen Bouck's Civil War Enlistment and Discharge Papers. (note: The document is a pdf file and requires Adobe Acrobat® Reader to view it. A free Acrobat Reader program can be downloaded from by clicking on the icon

     He was from Middleburgh, NY in Schoharie County and was one of Christian Bouck's descendants. His father was Bartholomeus Bouck and mother Elizabeth
Mattice. His paternal Grandparents were Johannes Bouck and Margaretha Gertrude Vrooman.
     He was a farmer up until the time of his enlistment. He died on August 15th, 1895 at the age of 58. He was married to Lovina Esterbrooks on October 24th, 1859 in Broome County, NY. I found an old newspaper clipping in a file cabinet at the Middleburgh library announcing the marriage.
     He served in the 18th NY Light Cavalry Regiment (aka Cornish Light Cavalry). He enlisted in Albany in September 1864 and mustered out in either Louisiana in 1865 or Brownsville, Texas in 1866. The papers implied both. This Cavalry was involved initially as a state militia in quelling the infamous New York (Gangs of New York) riots before being impressed into service in the Civil War. Based upon other records, the privations of disease caused more casualties to this unit than the war did. He was a Private throughout the war. His pension papers indicated that he never applied for a pension, although his widow did.
     My Great Grandmother Eva Bouck Hawley handed down stories about him getting his thumb cutoff by an angry Virginia farmer that he tried to befriend (farmer to farmer). In his pension papers, it referenced an injury to his right hand around Christmas 1864, which would have placed him at/around LaFourche Plantation and Bonnet Carre, LA at the time of his injury. So the story's topic (a scythed thumb) was probably accurate, but it was Louisiana and not Virginia. I'm guessing that his thumb still roams the Louisiana swamps at night looking to be reunited with his body. Stephen Bouck is the namesake for three generations of Hawley's (my Dad, Brother, Nephew). The story is the basis for a family curse involving injury to the thumbs of male members of the family.

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