Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lewellyn W. Larrabee

8th Corporal, Co., K, 12th Iowa Infantry
Mortally wounded April 6, 1862. Died April 28, 1862.

Shiloh National Cemetery

The mystery of Lewellyn W. Larrabee: When I sat down this morning I thought this was going to be a quick picture post. I was wrong. Using The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, I discovered there are several variant spellings of his name, his first name being spelled variously as Lewellyn or Lewellen; where his middle initial appears all sources agree it is W.; and his last name is spelled variously as Larrebee, Larrabee, Larabee, Laribee and Larubee.

Also in The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, in all except 1 instance of the various name spellings he is listed as having been a member of the 13th Iowa Infantry, he was not, he was actually a member of the 12th Iowa Infantry, and all other sources list him accordingly so. This headstone (pictured above) stands in the 12th Iowa Infantry Section of Shiloh National Cemetery.

All sources where rank is given agree he was a member of Company K and enlisted as a private and died an 8th corporal.

Now about his wounding and burial. Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, volume 2, p. 490 lists him as a member of Co. K, 12th Iowa Infantry as follows:

“Larrabee, Lewellyn. Age 22. Residence Marion, nativity Maine. Enlisted Sept. 8, 1861. Mustered Nov. 25, 1861. Killed in battle April 6, 1862, Shiloh, Tenn. Buried in National Cemetery, Jefferson Barracks, Mo. Section 51, grave 55.”

Why would a soldier, killed in battle at Shiloh, Tennessee be buried at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri? Because he wasn’t killed at Shiloh. According to list of “Killed Wounded and Missing of the 12th Iowa Infantry Volunteers” which appeared in the April 22, 1862 issue of The Daily State Register (Des Moines, Iowa), “L. W. Laribee” was listed as wounded in the lungs, but not as killed.

A listing for Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery found on states that Lewellyn Larrebee died April 28, 1862 and was buried that same day in plot: 51 0 773

I have therefore concluded, until further research can be done, that Lewellyn W. Larrabee, 8th Corporal, Company K, 12th Iowa Infantry, received a mortal wound in his lungs on April 6th, 1862 and at some point before April 28th was taken to the hospital at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri where he died and was buried.

It is likely that when the bodies of the 12th Iowa were reinterred in the National Cemetery at Shiloh, that one of the exhumed bodies may have been misidentified as Lewellyn Larrabee.

SOURCES: The Civil War Soldiers And Sailors System, listings for Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery; Shiloh National Cemetery; Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, volume 2, p. 490; “Killed Wounded and Missing of the 12th Iowa Infantry Volunteers,” The Daily State Register, Des Moines, Iowa, April 22, 1862

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