U. S. Army Provost Marshal’s Office Pass No. 11382 (1863)

Source: Shirley Kilpatrick Collection #10.1.d.

Staff Person: Jonathan Dembo

Description: U. S. Army Provost Marshal’s Office Pass No. 11382 was issued in Union-occupied New Orleans on 4 February 1863.  It allowed John A. Miltz of New Orleans to travel from New Orleans to New York on the Steamer EMPIRE CITY.  It is accompanied by Miltz’s oath of allegiance as a U. S. citizen dated 8 October 1862 and his certificate of citizenship filed in a New York court on 12 October 1868.   A search of both Confederate and Union Civil War records has revealed a tale of complex and divided loyalties.   John A. Miltz, it seems, served in both Confederate and Union units in Louisiana during the Civil War.  The records even reveal the possibility that Miltz may have been serving on both sides at the same time.   John Miltz enlisted first on the Confederate side in Company B, of the 4th Louisiana Infantry on 25 May 1861.   However, he was also listed as serving as a private in Company I of the Chalmette Regiment, Louisiana Militia, between March and May of 1862 when he might have been on leave from the 4th Louisiana Infantry.   He was again serving with the 4th Louisiana Infantry when he was captured at Baton Rouge, Louisisan on 5 August 1862 and appears on a list of Confederate prisoners held on the U. S.  prison ship ALGERINE on 5 October 1862.  After signing his oath of citizenship, on 8 October 1862, he was apparently released.  However, it appears that he then reenlisted as John Metz, again on the Confederate side  but this time in  Company F of the 20th Louisiana Infantry Regiment.  This unit had been formed in February 1862 but in December of 1862 it was consolidated with the 13th Regiment due to severe losses it suffered at the Battle of Shiloh.  It then suffered very heavy casualties at the Battle of Chickamauga and by December 1863 had lost 43% of its strength.  Whether because of the hard fighting or some other reasons, Miltz then left the 13/20th soon after.  It was at this point that he obtained his pass to leave New Orleans and travel to New York.   By October 1864, however, he had returned to Louisiana and had enlisted on the Union side in the 1st Louisiana Cavalry Regiment.  He served in Companies E., C. & H. under a variety of names, including John Maltz, John Matz, John Meltz, or John Metz (but not John Miltz).  He then appears on the roster of the 2nd Louisiana Cavalry Regiment (Union), which was organized in New Orleans in November 1863.  He again registered variously as John Maltz, John Matz, John Meltz, or John Metz.  Starting as a private he eventually gained promotion to corporal.  Apparently, he enjoyed his service with the Union forces better than he had the Confederate side for after the war he returned to New York where he obtained his U. S. Citizenship.  How these documents found their way into the Kilpatrick Collection remains a mystery.

One thought on “U. S. Army Provost Marshal’s Office Pass No. 11382 (1863)

  1. Dear Hai Lipan:

    Thank you for reading our blog and for your very kind comments about my U.S. Army Provost Marshal’s Office Pass No. 11382 (1863) post. I do not read French very well, but I hope that I was able to provide you with some useful and entertaining information. Please do return to see our most recent posts. I think you’ll be equally happy with them. Best wishes,

    Sincerely,

    Prof. Jonathan Dembo
    Special Collections Curator
    Manuscripts and Rare Books Dept.
    J. Y. Joyner Library
    East Carolina University
    Greenville, NC 2834

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