Hallock, John

11th New York Cavalry
Company E
Middle Island

John M. Hallock
11th New York Cavalry
Sergeant, Company E
Middle Island

John M. Hallock was born in Bellport on January 14, 1844. A boatman by trade, he was seventeen years old when he joined the Union Army on December 7, 1861.

Hallock enlisted with a cavalry regiment called "Scott's 900," named in honor of Thomas A. Scott, Assistant Secretary of War, who was a friend of the regiment's commander, James B. Swain. The regiment was organized on Staten Island over the winter of 1861-62. It was composed mainly of New Yorkers from both rural and urban areas. Commander Swain tried to distinguish his unit from all others. It was rare to have a volunteer unit of cavalry. Swain decided that his unit would be a regiment of Regular Calvary and not under State command.

Hallock must have made a good impression because a month after he enlisted he was promoted to sergeant. The regiment spent the winter on Staten Island, while the regiment grew to 850 men. Their days were spent in the constant drilling necessary to make farmers, clerks, boatmen and teachers into a crack cavalry outfit.

The regiment finally left New York on May 5, 1862, after being sent to Washington, D.C. The men were stationed at Meridian Hill at an encampment they named Camp Relief. At Camp Relief, there was a huge parade ground where the regiment practiced and drilled with swords and revolvers. An oval track that ran around the parade ground was used for exercising the horses.

Throughout the summer, the regiment made raids on suspected Confederate recruiting areas in Maryland and captured many new rebel recruits. The company saw its first action in June when it was attacked at Leesburg, Virginia, where they drove Confederate cavalry back. Two days later, they were attacked by a larger Confederate force and had to withdraw.

On August 13, 1862, a cavalry patrol raided Rockville, Maryland, and captured a major Confederate recruiter. On September 23, Hallock and fellow Coram resident, Elisha Overton, also of Company E, were detached from the regiment to perform Provost duty at Rockville. The Provost's job was to provide a military presence and order. Their responsibility in this case was to discourage any further recruitment by Confederate forces.

Hallock rejoined the unit in November. He was sent on a seven-day patrol to protect workers who were sent to fix telegraph lines that were cut by Confederates. Company E was moved to Poolesville, where they stayed until April of 1863. During this time, they were involved in constant skirmishing with Confederate cavalry under the command of John Mosby.

Company E was moved to Maryland Heights for May and June and participated in an engagement at Bolivar Heights on June 30. The regiment suffered seventeen casualties in this engagement. They returned to Camp Relief in July, and remained there December. In the meantime, Hallock was granted a sixty-day furlough from September until the end of October.

While they were in Washington, part of the regiment was detailed to escort President Lincoln around Washington, and from the White House to his residence at the Soldiers Home. They also provided guard duty at night for the President.

The regiment was ordered to join the Army in the Gulf in February of 1864. They boarded the steamer, Thomas A. Scott, and were sent to New Orleans. Upon arriving in New Orleans in March, the regiment was separated and quartered at three different plantations. Hallock was again detached from the regiment and placed a Doyal's plantation. He rejoined Company E in July and was stationed at Manning's plantation until August, when he was injured.

Hallock, John
Union Cavalry at Baton Rouge Louisiana. Notice the officers tents up front, under cover, creating shade from the opressive Louisiana heat.

On August 5, 1864, Confederate cavalry attacked Doyal's plantation, which was weakly guarded. They captured seventy-five members of the regiment. Company E was called to assist. While skirmishing with the Confederate cavalry, Hallock was thrown violently onto the horn of his saddle, rupturing his testicles.

Hallock was sent to the University U.S.A. hospital and stayed from August until November 27, 1864. After recuperating, he rejoined Company E and performed light duties until his discharge on January 10, 1865, when his term of enlistment expired.

After being discharged, Hallock returned to Coram, where he stayed briefly before moving to Wisconsin. There, he married Laura Messenger in September of 1867. They had one child who died at the age of one. John and Laura were married only a short time, for she died in June of 1869. Two years later, he married Emma Masters on November 30, 1871, in Royalton, Wisconsin. The couple moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in 1876. John and Emma had two children, Stella and Judson.

While living in Wisconsin, Hallock returned to earning his living on the water: he became a steamship engineer. His wartime injuries, however, took their toll. After he applied for a pension, Sergeant Walter Tuffy, a former member of Company E, filed an affidavit in support of Hallock's claim:

Near Rockville he was attacked with chronic diarrhea, and laid off from duty for several weeks. I remember visiting him in the hospital where he was being nursed by a family named Henning. I also remember he was troubled more or less for the balance of his term of service being frequently on the sick list from that cause, and from what I believed to be a rupture of his testicles which he received while doing duty in La. during the summer of 1864, by being thrown on the pummel of his saddle on one of our raids after guerilla parties and from which he was sent to the Regt. Hospital…

Hallock's application was granted, and he was given a disability pension for his wartime injuries.

John M. Hallock passed away on December 12, 1922.

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