The America Civil War

Monday, December 3, 2018 2:15 PM

A number of the family served in the America Civil War after they left Ontario. This article will focus on a couple of those people. More specifically Peter and his younger brother Mathew, sons of William, and their older cousin Mathew Hamilton Udell, a son of Mathew.

Mathew Udell and Mary Hamilton were married in Markham, Ontario on 3 May 1825 by Rev. William Jenkins. Mary was born on the 6th of November 1806 the same year that her husband Mathew was born. He was the son of John Udell “the hunter” and Margaret Brown. Mathew was named after his grandfather Mathew Udell, a longtime soldier with the British Army. Mathew and Mary’s children were Elizabeth(Mary) circa 1830, Mathew circa 1835, Susan circa 1835 and Abner circa 1846. Mathew Udell, the father was tried and sentenced to 5 years in Kingston for forging a pound note. This followed the rebellion of 1837/38 in which his brother Joseph was put in jail after his involvement in the event at Montgomery’s Tavern on Yonge Street in December of 1837. Mathew was convicted at the infamous spring assizes of 1846 in which the Toronto newspaper reported “It was hinted more than once during the Assizes there was no need of being very particular, that if the prisoners were not thieves, they were, at all events rebels; that if not punishing offenders, they were crushing political opponents…”.

The elder Mathew had a younger brother William born in 1807. He married Margaret Laur on the 6th of June 1826 in Pickering Ontario. They had 10 children three of the boys were William born circa 1837, Peter born circa 1839/40 and Mathew born circa 1843/44. The father William also married Elizabeth Cunningham and Hannah Titus and had more children. The father William was living in Burton, Genesee, Michigan in Markham, Ontario in 1851 and in 1860, as evidenced by the census taken that year, not far from Lapeer, Michigan. By the 1870 census they had moved to White Pigeon, St Joseph’s, Michigan. His son William was recorded as living in Lapeer, Michigan in 1870.

So, on the 2nd of November 1861 Peter and Mathew Udell both enlisted at Lapeer Michigan, Peter at the age of 22 and Mathew at the age of 18. Both listed their residence as Lapeer Michigan. Both were enlisted in Company D, Michigan 1st Engineer on 6 December 1861. So, youI conclude that these were the sons of William and Margaret (Laur) Udell. Peter died pf Typhoid Fever on 9 March 1862 and is buried at the Nashville National Cemetery.


Shortly after Peter’s death Mathew was “Mustered out” on 4 April 1862 after being promoted to a full Artificer.

Mathew Hamilton Udell, son of Mathew, is recorded in pension records as serving with Company K and D of the 1st Engineers Regiment of Michigan and with the Ohio 29 Infantry. He is recorded as enlisting in 1861 and being discharged in 1865 with the rank of Sergeant and as living in Clyde, Allegan, Michigan in 1880. However there is another record (the eleventh census of the United States) Special Schedule for Surviving Soldiers, where he is shown as having served 4 years, six months with the 29 Ohio Infantry Regiment. For somereason Mathew H. Udell also used William H. Clark as an alias, this is evident from the military service records where he is recorded in both names and both specifically say that the second name is an alias. Could it have something to do with his father’s death?

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