Augustus DeSchuyler – A substitute who emmigrated from Belgium, and “enlisted for the money”

Augustus De Schuyler  (AKA, Schuyler, Augustus) - 

Born in Belgum, he read the leftlets put out by the New England cotton mills advertising for Europeans to work in the US.  He left for the cotton mills in New England.   Once at Newmarket, he was taken in by all the recruiting going on during the later part of the war.  Local men were progressivley more reticent to enroll, especially after seeing their family members, friends and neighbors come back maimed or detailing the true horror stories of the war.  As more and more factories  advertised for an overseas manufacturing  workforce to supplement the missing men who had gone off to war,  the recruiters began targeting those same foreign workers with promises of  larger bounties, grants of  land out West, and quicker citizenship.

With the better enducements tempting the newcomers,  Augustus eagerly became a “Substitute” who enlisted and mustered in from Newmarket  on 31 Mar 1865 at age 23 as a Private in Company G, 4th Infantry.  He mustered out five months later, with fuller pockets on 28 Aug 1865.   

Born 11 Aug 1842, the son of Saul and Catherine De Schuyler ( both of whom lived to be over ninety years of age),  Augustus De Schuyler had few of the early advantages which are now considered the birthright of American children but he was taught to be honest and industrious and on such good foundation built his business career.

During youth and early manhood he worked in flax, cotton, silk, and other mills in his own land but all the time cherished a hope of finally reaching America and this hope became a reality in March 1865.  After boarding a vessel at Antwerp he had to transfer at London, England and from there, he went by tram to Liverpool at which port he was able to secure passage on a steamer for the United States.

About 18 days later he was safely landed at Portland , Maine.  There he left by train to Newmarket Junction. NH and the town cotton mills.  He reached the United States near the closing months of the war and on account of the money inducement offered, he decided to enlist in an organization then re-forming.  After viewing a variety of Recruitment posters, and after listening to a local recruiter - on 29 Mar 1865 he chose to enlist as Private in  Company G,  4th NH
Volunteer Infantry.  He served for six months, mainly in North Carolina, and was then honorably discharged.

Company G, 4th NH Infantry

During the War, the 4th New Hampshire Infantry Regiment lost 3 officers and 82 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, and 5 officers and 194 enlisted men to disease.  At the time of De Schulyer’s enlistment, the only service directly assigned to the 4thInfantry would have been to guard the railroad from Little Washington to Goldsboro, NC until August when the Company mustered out.  In one year (1864-1865) the Federal Military Railroad, with 365 engines and 4,203 cars, delivered over 5 million tons of supplies to the armies in the field. The North Carolina line was one trunk of the Union controlled line.

(photo: Western North Carolina Rail Road)

In November 1878  Mr. De Schuyler married Miss Catherine McDonough, who was born in County Sligo, Ireland.  A daughter of Matthew and Mary Fenly McDonough, she was two years old when her parents moved from Ireland to Manchester, England and lived there until she came to the United landing at Dover NH on July 6, 1865.  Mr and Mrs De Schuyler belonged to St. Mary’s Catholic Church at Dover.  In his political views he was an independent, sometimes-Republican. He moved to Dover attracted by promise of work in his own line, and for 20 years subsequently he continued as an employee of Sawyer’s Woolen mills.  Afterward for 13 years he was caretaker of St Mary’s cemetery at Dover. He was a highly respected retired resident of Dover.  

(photo: Goldsboro Rail Road during the Civil War)