You're welcome, John. Dan Carroll first enlisted in Nov 1866; assigned to Company M of the newly formed Seventh Cavalry. His first enlistment was a rather rocky one; he was put in arrest twice, court martialled and sentence to loss of pay; and evidently an underage enlistee he applied for discharge as a minor. Obviously this was denied. He made corporal after six months; made sgt in Jan 1869 but lost his stripes. His First Sgt. was John Ryan; who in his memoirs, (Ten Years With Custer, Sandy Barnard ed. p.142) mentions Carroll:
"There was a young man in my company, a sergeant by the name of Daniel Carroll. One of the storekeepers had a very handsome daughter, and Carroll, of course, made love to her and the next thing was a marriage and when the company left that section of the country, (South Carolina), of course, Mrs. Carroll went with company...."
Ryan mentions losing track of Carroll after his discharge; that he was "quite a friend of mine".
Carroll's second enlistment put him in Company B commanded at that time by the aging Captain William Thompson. He apparently settled down. No disciplinary issues; not sure if he participated in the 1873 Yellowstone Expedition; listed as on detached service as baker, cook and telegraph messenger. Listed as Pvt. Co B in Crossing the Plains With Custer (Horsted & Grafe) for the 1874 Black HIlls expedition.
He apparently had ties to New York as three of his four enlistments occurred there.
Memoirs of 1st Sgt Ryan offer some new insights to Sgt Daniel Carroll. Daniel is my great grandfather and I’ve had a very difficult time trying to nail down some important facts, one of which was his actual age when he originally enlisted in 1866. His pension records list his birth year as 1840. If he in fact enlisted as a minor his birth year would have been significantly later. I don’t have the records pertaining to his request for release from service and would appreciate an insight on the source of the information.
I also noted that he married a young lady from South Carolina sometime during his first enlistment. Family records as well as an affidavit included in his army pension file indicate he married Annie Moran in 1886, presumably in Chicago. Are there any details as to the name of the bride and where and when the marriage took place?
A third point of interest is where Daniel was born. Military enlistment records indicate both Maryland and Illinois as his places of birth. i’ve been unable to find any records indicating where he was actually born. I’m curious, if he originally enlisted as as minor and requested release from service is there any military documentation as to why his request was denied?
If I had to guess I would say Carroll's application for discharge as a minor was denied due to lack of documentation. You stated you weren't sure of his birth date. Maybe he couldn't prove his age; or perhaps he wasn't really under aged and was simply trying to get a discharge. Whatever the case it seems odd that an enlistee himself would initiate the attempt. Minimum enlistment age at the time was 21; however any number of soldiers were under aged at the time of enlistment. Recruiters would often allow them to join up if they looked near the required age; those under 21 could enlist with parental permission. Theodore Goldin was discharged in 1877 after it was found out he was under aged; while there were a few teenagers who died with Custer, one possibly as young as 15.
The invoice/file number for Carroll's discharge attempt is 948015
One tidbit I left out; Sgt. Ryan told Walter Camp in a 1909 interview that Carroll was nicknamed "Knobby Dan".
Steve, thanks for for your insights and the file number for Daniel’s discharge attempt. I suspect you’re correct, Daniel really didn’t know his age or couldn’t prove it. The nickname, “Knobby Dan” is precious.
The Camp/Ryan interview cited is from the BYU collection, Harold B. Lee Library. These interviews are contained in the book Custer in '76, Ken Hammer ed. I don't have that book in my personal collection so can't tell you the context of the "Knobby Dan" label. No clue what it refers to. You can get a used copy cheap off abebooks.
The soldier in photo seated next to Sgt. Ryan has been identified as Sgt. William Capes, who was Ryan's temporary successor as Company M's first sergeant.
Yes, soldiers often had photos taken. Since Carroll's B Co. was posted to Ft. Lincoln, it is entirely possible he posed for a studio portrait. A frontier photographer, Orlando S. Goff, operated a studio in Bismarck and Ft. Lincoln where he took photos of soldiers posted there during the Seventh Cavalry/Custer years. For more on Goff:
The Goff photo collection is spread out among various historical societies (listed in the article) as well as private collectors. The article also contains some Bismarck street scenes which Dan Carroll likely witnessed during his enlistment.
The book G. A. Custer, His Life and Times, by Glenwood J. Swanson contains just about every photo taken of individual Seventh Cavalry soldiers during the ten year Custer era. No photo of Dan Carroll with the B Co. group. Page 168 shows five Goff Ft. Lincoln portraits of unidentified soldiers. Who knows? Maybe one of them is Knobby Dan. Also, on page 165 is a beautiful photo of twenty-five men of Company B with Lt. Edward Mathey, in full dress uniforms. Caption states this was taken "after the Little Big Horn battle and before the Nez Perce campaign..." Records indicate Lt. Mathey took seven month leave of absence beginning 25 Oct 1876. Whether this photo was taken before he left on leave or after he returned (and just before Co. B took the field in the Nez Perce War) is unknown.
This book by Swanson, by the way, you can NOT get cheap!
Last Edit: Nov 11, 2017 17:02:23 GMT -5 by stevewilk
Post by johncarroll73 on Nov 13, 2017 6:42:09 GMT -5
Steve, Swanson's book definitely isn't cheap ($175-$200 from what I gathered), but I did find a copy at the West Point Library 60 miles from me in NJ. Going there would be fun and to think I could visit the Custer memorial too!
Also, I found copies of 'Custer in 76' and 'Custer's First Sergeant'(a book that also mentions Daniel Carroll) at the New York City public library.
My father, Dan Carroll, bought a copy of '10 years with Custer'. In it, my great great grandmother Annie Moran is also mentioned, which came as a pleasant surprise to me. And to think there may be another branch of our family from Daniel's first wife is amazing.
Is Custer really the one buried at W Point you think?