Re: Lightning Ellsworth - His Last Roll Call
- Thanks much Nancy for all of your census info assistance.
This is just in from Dave Gaddy, historian of the Signal Corps
Association (1860-1865) of what he has on George A. "Lightning"
Ellsworth. I have also phoned signal re-enactor Chuck Lee of Baton
Rouge in hopes that he will work with the city's historical society to
locate George's grave and have also alerted Jim Wilson,
Editor-in-Chief of the Morse Telegraph Club's "Dots and Dashes" to
Notes From Dave...
From my notes: B. 24 July 1843 in on the north side of East Lake,
Prince Edward county, Canada. At age 11  taken by father to
Whitby, Ontarion, cty, 30 mi. from Toronto. At 14  in Illinois
as night tep op Peoria Junction (later Chenoa), Chicago, Alton, and
St. Louis. St. Louis at 15-16, about two years; Galveston, TX at age
17, 9 Sep 1860. Houston, TX (at age 18?) enlists in "Bayou City
Guards," which became Co. A, 5th Texas Infantry.
In the old "Signal Cipher," Vol. 6, No. 10, Oxt 1992, is a quote from
"Civil War Times," XXII, No. 6. Oct 1983, pp. 22-27, which cites
training at SFB Morse's tel school. (Did Morse also have a school in
Chicago at the appropriate time?)
Impression I have is that he was a "knight of the road," an itinerant
operator, and that the war years were a lark for him. (He was with the
CS covert operators in Canada for a time.) Resumed his nomadic life
after the war. In the 1880 US census, he was listed as a boarder and
tel op, age 37, b. Canada, parents b. NY and Conn, living in Kirkwood,
St. Louis, MO 15 June 1880. Attended Nashville Confed reunion 1897.
Died "at his key" c1899 working as tel op for Western Union at
Antonio, LA, West Baton Rouge Parish. Obit in Confed Vet.
Can't confirm the Morse School training. For a kid of 14, seems more
likely he learned "side-saddle" with experienced op, but then... .
I've found no indication of marriage or family. Only picture I've seen
is that terrible one in "Confed Vet,"  obviously late in life
You prob have, in our Archive, a copy of my article, "The Canadian
Confederate Wire-Tapper," printed in "Colloquy", newsletter of the
former Security Affairs Support Association, Vol. 8, No. 2, Mar 1988,
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "drnancytodd" <drnancytodd@...>
My guess is that he [Geo. A. Ellsworth] would have been buried around
Antonio where he died which is in West Baton Rouge, or New Orleans,
which was where he evidently was living according to census records.
info about George A. Ellsworth & family
Thanks for posting the information you received. Fascinating! Given
the Louisiana pension info sure does look like George was married even
while being a "knight of the road." Please keep us posted. I'm curious
now about this gentleman.
One of my other interests is genealogy and I found a couple of
Ellsworth posts you might find helpful.
This one was posted by a descendant of O. J. Vinet and his wife
Elizabeth Ellsworth Vinet, daughter of George and Mary. If you click
on the Glen Vinet link it will reveal his email address. He might know
This one was posted by someone looking for graves of Texas civil war
soldiers, including George. No one replied to his query but he might
have found something anyway.