Civil War Journal  of Herbert E. Cotes of New Woodstock, Madison County, NY



8th Kans. Co. I

Cotes Family History

The Journal



Herbert E. Cotes Family History

Herbert E. Cotes

(July 2, 1841 – October 3, 1862)

Sergeant Herbert E. Cotes was the son of Harvey and Cecelia Perkins Cotes of Cazenovia, New York. Herbert was born on July 2, 1841, in Cazenovia, NY. The Madison County Eagle1 reported that Harvey Cotes died in Cazenovia, 28 July 1843, age 30 years, leaving an aged father, wife and two children. He was buried in New Woodstock Cemetery. Guardianship records2 of Madison County show that on August 13, 1846, Herbert and his brother Franklin H. were placed under the guardianship of their grandfather, Stillman Perkins of Cazenovia. This action was petitioned by their mother, Cecelia Cotes.

In 1849, Cecelia Cotes was remarried to Oran Putman Damon and removed to  New Woodstock, a small town 8 miles south of Cazenovia. The 1850 census of New Woodstock lists both Cotes brothers living in the Damon home along with a three month old half-brother, Edwin Damon. Census records of 1860 continue to show the Cotes/Damon family living in New Woodstock although both Cotes brothers are listed with the surname Damon. In 1880, Oran P. (age 64) and Cecelia (age 61) Damon were living with their son and daughter-in law, Edwin (age 30) and Mary (age 29) Damon, and their grandson, Frank (age 6). 

Herbert and his brother, Franklin,  attended Cazenovia Seminary and were listed in the First Fifty Years of Cazenovia Seminary6 as:
  Coats, Herbert E., Woodstock. 1857. Deceased.
  Cotes, Franklin H., New Woodstock, N.Y. 1859. Merchant in Monmouth, Ill.

The Report of the Adjutant General of Kansas, July 1867,  states that on October 20, 1861, Herbert E. Cotes of Moline, Illinois, enlisted in the Union Forces of Kansas, and was mustered as a Private with the Eighth Regiment Kansas Volunteers – Cavalry, Company I. He was promoted to Corporal January 30, 1862, and to Sergeant May 20, 1862.

Herbert’s brother, Franklin H., settled in Monmouth, Warren County, Illinois. According to Herbert's Journal writings, Frank visited with his brother at the military hospital established on the fairgrounds in St. Louis from August 29 through September 1, 1862. Herbert reported to be feeling better and Frank left the morning of September 1, four weeks before Herbert died. Frank married Carrie R. Wilson3 of Ohio on September 25, 1865 in Warren County, Illinois. In 1880, he is working as a miller and living in Monmouth, Illinois with his wife and eight year old son, George.

Conflicting dates exist for the death of Herbert E. Cotes. The Adjutant’s Report4 recorded that Sergeant Herbert E. Cotes died of disease, St. Louis, Mo., October 3, 1862. Various cemetery records in Madison County, NY list his date of death as September 24, 1862.5

He is buried next to his father in the New Woodstock Cemetery in New York, and the date on his gravestone reads September 24, 1862.

Herbert’s mother, Cecelia Perkins Cotes Damon, died on March 29, 1880, and is also buried in New Woodstock Cemetery.

The diary of this Civil War soldier was returned to the Perkins family. Through Herbert’s grandfather, Stillman Perkins, the diary has remained in the possession of the Perkins descendents for the past 142 years.

The diary was given by:

Stillman Perkins (Cazenovia, NY) 1796-1878 to his son Esli Squier Perkins 1821–1897;
Esli Squier Perkins (Cazenovia, NY) to his daughter Julia Perkins Newton 1854 – 1941;
Julia Perkins Newton (Cazenovia, NY) to her daughter Zenana Newton Gillett 1875 – 1937;
Zenana Newton Gillett (Cazenovia, NY) to her daughter Pauline Gillett Ottinger 1902 -1997;
Pauline Gillett Ottinger (Leland, Michigan) to her niece Julia Ingles Gillett Hendrick.

Julia Hendrick
March 13, 2004

1Mary Keysor Meyer. Abstracts from Madison County, New York Newspapers in the Canastota Public Library. Westminster, Md: Willow Bend Books, 2002, p. 61.

2Madison County Courthouse, Wampsville, NY. Guardianship Records, August 13, 1846 (microfilm).

3Marriage License, State of Illinois, Warren County, issued September 18, 1865, certified September 25, 1865, Volume C: page 11.

4Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kansas, Vol. 1. - 1861-1865. Leavenworth, Kansas: Bulletin Co-operative Printing Company, Chicago. 1867. Retrieved March 15, 2004 from

5Daniel H. Weiskotten.  New Woodstock Cemetery, Town of Cazenovia, Madison County, NY. Cazenovia, Fenner and Nelson History Pages (Madison County, New York) . Retrieved March 15, 2004 from

6Anonymous. First Fifty Years of Cazenovia Seminary, Its History--Proceedings of the Semi-Centennial Jubilee--General Catalogue. New York: Nelson & Phillips, 1877, p. 453-454.

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