Tracy Bardwell Tracy Bardwell

Name: Tracy Bardwell
Company: A
Veteran; promoted Corporal; wounded at Nashville.
  • Date:  1843
  • Place: Crawford County, Pennsylvania
Mustered In
  • Date: December 19, 1861
  • Rank: Private
  • Age: 19
  • Residence prior to military service: Crawford County, Pennsylvania; Utica, Winnebago County, Wisconsin (1850); Wasioja, Dodge County, Minnesota (1855, 1860)
  • Vocation prior to military service: Farmer
  • Date: April 27, 1906
  • Place:  Bemidji, Beltrami County, Minnesota
  • Burial:  Greenwood Cemetery, Beltrami County, Minnesota
Mustered Out
  • Date: September 6, 1865
  • Rank: Corporal
  • Age: about 23
  • Residence following military service: Martin County, Minnesota (1870); Spruce Hill, Douglas County, Minnesota (1880); Eagle Bend, Wood County, Minnesota (1883); Bemidji, Beltrami County, Minnesota (1897)
  • Vocation following military service: Farmer

Tracy Bardwell Biography and Civil War Narrative

Tracy Bardwell was born in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, in 1843. He was the son of Orrin R. and Ann (Tracey) Bardwell. Orrin was either born in New York or in Whately, Franklin County, Massachusetts on September 22, 1811. Ann was born in 1812 in New York. The Bardwell family moved from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin when Tracy was two years old. The 1850 U.S. census shows the Bardwell family living in Utica, Winnebago County, Wisconsin. The census record shows Tracy's age as 6 years old. Other children in the household were brother George (age 15), sister Matilda (age 13), brother Delos (age 11), sister Welthea (age 9), and son Byron (age 3). All of the children were born in Pennsylvania except for Byron, who was born in Wisconsin.

In 1855 the family relocated once again, moving on to Dodge County, Minnesota. Tracy attended school in Wasioja. According to the 1857 Territorial Census, the Bardwells lived in Township 107, Range 17, Dodge County, Minnesota. Tracy's sister Mathilda is not listed in the 1857 census, but a 27-year-old New York born Allen Bardwell is also listed in the household, as are farmers Frank Mamgard, Slyvanny Westcutt, and Fredric Noble--all in their 20s and all born in New York.

The 1860 census shows Delos (age 23), Wealthy (age 19), Tracy (age 14), and Byron (age 13) living in the same household in the Village of Wasioja, Dodge County, Minnesota. Delos' occupation was listed as "Farmer."

On Thursday, December 19, 1861, Tracy Bardwell enlisted as a Private in Company A of the 5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. His older cousin, Lemuel Bardwell enlisted on the same day. Another cousin, Theodore Bardwell (Lemuel's brother) also enlisted a month and a half later on February 4, 1862.

The Bardwell cousins and most of the 5th Minnesota regiment were transported south in May. Following some unhealthy living conditions at Camp Clear Creek near Corinth, Mississippi, both Theodore and Lemuel were discharged for disability. Theodore was discharged on October 28, but died en route home on November 14. Lemuel was discharged on December 9.

During his service as a private in the 5th Minnesota, the regiment participated in the Battle of Corinth (October 3-4, 1862), the Siege of Vicksburg (May to July 1863) and numerous other campaigns and engagements.

On February 13, 1864, Private Bardwell re-enlisted as a veteran, and along with the other 5th Minnesota veterans, he received a veterans furlough from June 17 to August 17. He was wounded in the left shoulder at the Battle of Nashville on December 15-16, 1864. He was promoted to Corporal, and on September 6, 1865, Corporal Tracy Bardwell was discharged with the regiment.

Tracy BardwellFollowing his discharge, Tracy Bardwell settled and farmed in Martin County, Minnesota. In September 1866, Tracy married Caroline M. Steiner (born in New York in 1847). About 1868, a daughter, Viola, was born to them. According to the 1870 U.S. Census, the Tracy Bardwell family lived and farmed in Fairmont, Martin County, Minnesota. Also living with them is 6-year-old Nelson Sterner, born in New York. During the 1870s, Tracy and Caroline had two sons: Frederick, born about 1872 in Minnesota, and Bert Orin, born July 1879 in Spruce Hill Township, Douglas County, Minnesota.

The 1880 U.S. Census shows the Bardwells -- Tracy, Caroline, Viola, Frederick, and Burt -- living in Spruce Hill, Douglas County, Minnesota. Listed in the census has "step-son" and "Laborer," 16-year-old Amos N. Sterner also lived with them. Next door lived Tracy's brothers, Byron B. (32-year-old farmer) and George S. (46-year-old laborer), and his parents: Orin (age 72, laborer, blind) and Ann (age 66, keeping house). On March 2, 1883, Tracy's father, Orrin Bardwell, died in Minnesota City, Winona County, Minnesota. One month later, on April 3, Tracy's mother, Ann Tracey Bardwell also died. Tracy moved to Eagle Bend, Wood County, about 1883.

The 1895 Minnesota census records 50-year-old Tracy Bardwell as a Farmer in Beltrami County. Living with him are his brother "Biron" (age 46) and sons Fred (age 22) and "Birt" (age 17).
Tracy Bardwell Gravestone
In December 1902, Tracy's son Bert married Clara Gertrude Anderson in Fergus Falls, Otter Tail County, Minnesota. Clara was born in Iowa in 1882, the daughter of Richard Blakely Anderson and Eliza Arvilla (Ann) Sherman. Bert and Clara would have five children: Ross Vernon (born February 2, 1905), J. Hazel (born 1907), Laurence Richard (born 1909), Delbert Orin (born 1911), and Edna M. (born 1924).

On March 12 and 13, 1903, Tracy Bardwell was a delegate to the 37th encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic held in Minnehaha Hall, St. Paul, Minnesota. He represented the 21-member Post No. 174 in Bemidji.

Tracy Bardwell died of bright's disease at the home of his son Fred, at 6:00 am on April 27, 1906. The funeral was held the following day at 2:00 pm at the court house and was conducted with G.A.R. post 174 of Bemidji. He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery, Beltrami County, Minnesota.

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