The American Civil War
In the spring of 1861, decades of simmering tensions between the northern and southern United States over issues including states' rights versus federal authority, westward expansion and slavery, exploded into the American Civil War (1861-65). The election of the anti-slavery Republican Abraham Lincoln as president in 1860 caused seven southern states to secede from the Union to form the Confederate States of America; four more joined them after the first shots of the Civil War were fired. By the time it ended in Confederate surrender in 1865, 620,000 soldiers had died through battle and disease, millions more had been injured and the population and territory of the South devastated.
Our connection with the Civil war was that Thomas Benjamin Herbert (1837 - 1887), the eldest son of Thomas Herbert and Sarah Brinkhurst fought on the side of the North from 1863 until the end in 1865.
Thomas had joined his father in the business on leaving school, and married Mary Ann James on 10 Sep 1863 in St Pancras. He then had a huge row with his father, disappeared from the family and was not heard of until the 1870s.
It later transpired that Thomas had emigrated to the USA and enlisted under the assumed name of James Goodwin. Recent research of the passenger lists for Herbert and Goodwin in the brief period from 10th September to 30th October 1863 show only one match, a J Goodwin who left Liverpool on the SS Europa around 21st September and arrived in Boston on 3rd October.
James Goodwin was enrolled on 7th November 1863 in Pemberton, New Jersey and mustered into service two days later at Trenton, New Jersey, as a private in 'K' company of the 34th Regiment New Jersey Infantry Volunteers. He was promoted to sergeant a year later, then commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in Fort Spanish, Alabama on 1st April 1865.
At the end of the Civil War he was discharged in Selma, Alabama on 30th April 1866. He took out American Nationalisation papers in 1884, and died of TB in the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Montgomery, Ohio. He is buried in the Dayton National Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio.