John (George) Bellotte (Bellotti), 62d NYSV

unioneagleWhile researching the 62d NY, it is not unusual to find a variety of occupations among the personnel; carpenters, butchers, barbers, ministers, architects, farmers, silversmiths, blacksmiths and so on.  But every once in a while you may run across a rare individual among the enlistees with the occupation listed as “soldier”.  European immigration to New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore did much to refill the Union ranks after Antietam, Shiloh, Gettysburg and other high casualty battles during the Great Rebellion.  Their reward was a swift granting of citizenship of the United States after the War.

Those who declared themselves as soldiers upon enrolment were usually veterans of the various revolutions that swept through Europe between the 1830s and 1870s. One such individual was John B. Bellote.  John was born in Sardinia in 1835, 1836, or 1837 (dates vary between various official records).  There were also several variations to the spelling of his name (ranging from George Ballotti, John Bellotti or John B. Bellote).  There is evidence that John fought in the wars for the unification of Italy as a sailor in the King of Sardinia’s Navy.  However, no proof was found on which side he fought.  He immigrated to New York City in 1855. Both of John’s parents are listed by post war American Censuses as being born in either Germany or Italy.  The geopolitical turmoil that existed along the northern border of Italy and the shared border with the Austrian-Hungarian Empire shifted control of the region between the various military and political factions which would continue until the 1870s.  Thus National origin of birth would change decade by decade, depending which nation controlled a particular area and at what particular time.

Enlisting on May 6th , 1861 in New York City, John B. Bellotte, at the age of 24, was mustered into Co. B., of Anderson Zouaves. He was described as being 5’3’’ tall, dark eyes and dark haired with a dark complexion.   On June 30th , 1861 he was transferred to Co. I as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on August 31st, 1861 and was again promoted to Captain on April 4th, 1862. He was discharged from the 62d on June 23rd, 1862. No reason was given.

On July 10th, 1863, in Albany ,New York ( under the name of George Ballotti ) the former officer with the 62nd was mustered into Co. C of the 55th New York State Volunteers as a 1st Lieutenant. His enlistment record recognized his previous service in the 62d.  At the beginning of the Great Rebellion, the 62d was brigaded with the 55th New York (Garde De Lafayette)  as well as the 102d Pennsylvania and the 6th New Jersey, at Saltersville, New Jersey.  He was discharged from the 55th New York on January 17th, 1863 and on July 10th, 1863 enlisted in the 17th New York Volunteer Infantry in Albany, New York as an Adjutant to the Union Sharpshooters .  Enlistment records for the 62d, the 55th and the 17th, confirmed that John (George) did honourable service in all three regiments.  The reasons for three enlistments in three separate regiments within a three year period was not found.  No official discharge from service was found.

(Note: “George” was used in all official documents after his transfer to the 55th New York. For clarity “John” is used in this article, except where the name “George” is referred to in official documents. – Ed.)

Although no official discharge  papers were found, the fact that John Bellotti would later receive a pension would provide an indication that he indeed had an honourable discharge.  On the Pension Form, a Martha Bellotti was listed as widow.  Martha Bellotti was born in Germany in July, 1842 and immigrated to New York in 1863.  Also in 1863, John and Martha married and eventually would have six children;  George (1865-), Dominick (1866-), Augustus (1868-), Lucy (1872), Charles (1876-) and Frank (1881-).  John would file for naturalisation on October 15, 1868 and the family would live in Amsterdam City, New York for the rest of the 19th Century. John would work as a cutter, cutting material for an article of clothing from a pattern and eventually would become a full tailor.  His son apprenticed as a cutter following in his father’s footsteps.  Unfortunately for the family, daughter Lucy, as reported in the New York Times, committed suicide on  February 4, 1892.  A Federal Census had Lucy being at home and next to her name was printed (bds).  The researcher has not been able to find its meaning.  It may be extremely obvious to others, but not to this researcher and any assistance in translating this abbreviation would be greatly appreciated.

On January 9th, 1901, the Boston Transcript announced the death of “George B. Bellotti”, but lists his rank as Colonel.  No information was found whether this was an honorary title, possibly within the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), or a self-given title he used after the War. The date of death also matches the date that Martha filed for a widow’s pension.  Between 1909 and 1913, son George died and Martha was living with her son, Frank, who was employed as a painter.  On November 27th, 1915, Martha died with her estate settled by her son Frank and filed with the Wills and Probate Records of Amsterdam, New York.  No records could be found regarding the location of John or Martha’s internment.

Research article by Joe Basso



Departure of the Anderson Zouaves (August 22, 1861)

unioneagleDeparture of the Anderson Zouaves

The Anderson Zouaves, Col. RIKER, embarked at a alte hour last evening, for Washington, via the Central New-Jersey Railroad. The Kill-von-Kull arrived at the island about 1 o’clock P.M., and commenced to receive the camp equipage on board, but it was late in the night before they were on board and under way. At last accounts they were on their way to Elizabethport.

This regiment is very well equipped, having besides the regular uniform of gray, a fatigue dress, with three blankets each, and other necessary outfit. They are enrolled for three years.

The following are the names of the principal officers: J. La Fayette Riker, Colonel; J.S. Tisdale, Lieutenant-Colonel; McLean, Adjutant; J.J. Yates, Quartermaster; J.A. Stevens, Assistant-Quartermaster.

 The New York Times., August 22nd,  1861.

Let Us Have Liberty and Union (August 22, 1861)

unioneagleGen. Wool in New York

 Major General John Ellis Wool arrived in New York on Thursday evening, and was, notwithstanding his somewhat unexpected arrival, handsomely received. A procession under the escort of the Anderson Zouaves, passed through the principal streets, and General Wool was loudly cheered. At nearly 12 o’clock, the Seventh Regiment Band, having played a variety of airs, General Wool appeared on the balcony of the St. Nicholas Hotel and spoke as follows :

Fellow-Citizens: I thank you for this unexpected honor. Nothing is more gratifying to a soldier’s feelings than the good opinion of his fellow-citizens. I do not, however, regard it merely as a compliment personal to myself, but on behalf of my country, my bleeding country, which is now contending for the most precious rights. But yesterday we were a great people, commanding the admiration of the world, with an empire extending from the frozen regions of the North to the tropical regions of the South, and with a population of more than thirty-one millions, enjoying a prosperity unparalleled in the history of nations. Every city and hamlet was growing rich, and none so much so as those at the south.

But this is not so to-day. And for what reason? For nothing under God’s heavens but because the South wants to extend the area of Slavery. Nothing else but that. The only question with you is whether you will support free speech, free government, free suffrage, or extend  the area of Slavery. This was the happiest country on the face of the globe a few months since, with a government more kind than any other in existence, where man could walk abroad in his own majesty, and none to make him afraid. Never sacrifice that government, but maintain it to the last. I thank you gentlemen, for the honor you have done me. [Great and long continued cheering.]

The band then struck up the “Red, White and Blue.” As a pause was made in the music, cries were made for the appearance of Gen. Wool, and in response he came forward and said:

“Gentlemen, a few words more; though I am too hoarse to speak, I have only to say to you let us have liberty and union, the whole Union and nothing but the Union, now and forever. Goodnight.” [Great cheers]

Gen. Wool was accompanied by but one Aide.

 Berkshire County Eagle (Pittsfield, Mass.), Thursday, August 22, 1861.

Private Edward Kelley (Kelly), Co. H.

unioneaglePrivate Edward Kelley (Kelly) enlisted on the 4th May, 1861 aged 19 and mustered into Co. H on the 30th June, 1861. He was wounded at the Battle of Williamsburg on the 5th May, 1862. He is reported in the “New York Times” of 23/5/1862 (p.7) as amongst the wounded at Hygeia Hospital. Edward died at Hampton Roads that same day. He is buried at Hampton National Cemetery, VA., Plot: 4833. 

Reference: Tierney, J. (2006). Roster of the 62nd NYSV Anderson Zouaves. Unpublished.


A Mass of Humanity ( July 5, 1888)



Gettysburg Heroes

Events of Their Celebration on the Battlefield.

General Sickles, Gordon and Hooker and Gov. Beaver Addresses the Veterans. 

GETTYSBURG, Pa, July 1. – All day the trains have been arriving until the streets are filled with a mass of humanity, and boarding and lodging are at the highest possible premium. The Ninth New York militia came at 8 o’clock, marched at once to their headquarters on the lawn before the Spring hotel, here 250 tents had been pitched for them. The members of the New York Excelsior brigade, which will dedicate its monument here to-morrow, arrived a little later and the veteran corps from Washington came at about 12 o’clock. At half past 10 o’clock the veterans formed and led by the Frankford band marched across the road to the National cemetery and on through this to the vine clad rostrum where religious services were held. The scene was very impressive and when Chaplain Sayres had finished his sermon, more than a thousand voices joined in singing “America” In the evening the usual dress parade was observed and it recalled most vividly the scenes of the battle. Immediately after the parade a sacred song service was held and the band gave the usual evening concert. The camp presents a charming appearance to-night with the numerous electric lights brilliantly illuminating it, and the little knots of veterans gathered before each tent discussing the great conflict and the part they played in it…

GETTYSBURG, July 2. – The second day of the reunion opened clear and beautiful. No cloud menaced the enjoyment of the visitors and the terrible battle of twentyfive years ago was on the lips of everyone. Trains with thousands of passengers rolled into the town, and the great crowd has grown larger until the place is filled fuller than at any time since the memorable days of 1863. At 10 o’clock the five regiments of Green’s brigade, the 78th, 102d, 60th, 137th, and 149th, New York, dedicated their monuments on Culp’s Hill and immediately afterwar a reunion of the brigade was held. Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum, who commanded the right of the Federal line during the battle, and Brigadier General George S. Greene, the brigade commander, made addresses…

In addition to these memorials there were dedicated to-day monuments of the following regiments: Battery D. First New York Artillery, Captain Thomas W. Osborn, of New York city, orator; the 62d New York (Anderson Zouaves) Hon. Edward Browne, orator; the 64th New York on the second corps line; the 149th New York, Gen. Henry A. Barnum, the former colonel of the regiment being the orator; the 4th New York independent battery at the Devil’s Den; the 86th New York, Charles A. McMaster, Esq. orator; the 68th Pennsylvania (Scott Legion) on the highest crest of the exposed ridge at the Peach Orchard, Hon. Harry G. Bogert, orator; the 98th Pennsylvania, J. F. Loeble, orator; the 145th New York, Gen. George H. Sharpe, orator; the 110th Pennsylvania, Capt. J. C. M. Hamilton orator; the 41st New York Infantry; the 105th Pennsylvania, Rev. A. T. McClllan, orator; the 62d Pennsylvania, Gen. J. B. Sweitzer, orator; the 52d New York, on the second day’s field; the 40th New York; the 15th New York battery’s monument and the 9th New York cavalry, Lieut. Col. W. G. Bentley delivering the oration at its monument. 

Weekly News and Democrat (Auburn New York), Thursday, July 5, 1888, Page 1 

Anderson Zouaves Newspaper Clippings

Contributed by J. Tierney


Raising of the Stars and Stripes ( July 5, 1898)

unioneagleThere was no organised general celebrations of the day and no parade of any magnitude. The incident of greatest interest in the lower part of the city was the raising of the Stars and Stripes at sunrise at the Battery by the Anderson Zouaves, Capt. Morse, and Anderson Williams Post, G.A.R., Adjt. Hendrickson. These two bodies formed at Military Hall, in the Bowery, before daylight, and, headed by the Sixty-ninth Regiment band, marched to the Battery, where they drew up in company front on opposite sides of the pole. The band played “America” and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and then two Sergeants, one from each company, drew to the top of the pole a new flag, bought for the occasion by the men engaged in the raising. The band played “The Red, White and Blue,” and Judge Kemple of Virginia made an address. 

New-York Times, July 5th  1898.