1861, The American Civil War – Coxon v Coxen v Coxson





Battle_of_Antietam_by_ThulstrupThe American Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865.

Coxon, Coxen and Coxson were fighting on both sides.


The Union faced secessionists in eleven Southern states known as the Confederate States of America. It was originally formed by seven slave states – South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. 


After the Civil War began in April, four slave states – Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee – also declared their secession and joined the Confederacy.




Battle_of_Spottsylvania_by_Thure_de_ThulstrupSoldiers on both sides were young and inexperienced; most were in their teens or early twenties.


In the North, they were farmers and factory workers and newly arrived Irish immigrants; some were African Americans—both escaped slaves and, after 1862, free blacks who were recruited for the United States Colored Troops.


In the South, they were farmers, mechanics, and students. Most were volunteers who joined for the cash bounty or the monthly salary ($13 for privates in the Union army; $11 in the Confederate army).


Many were draftees unable to pay a substitute to go in their stead. Many died in their first months from illness or wounds. Those who survived learned to be soldiers in the daily drills and discomforts of camp life, miles-long marches, and the terror of battle.






Coxon fights Coxen fights Coxson


The soldiers, sailor and cavalry recorded with our name who fought in the American Civil War.




Men were recruited usually from the county where they lived into their local regiment. Later, with so many casualties the soldiers were moved to other regiments. The same name shown with different regiments may be for that reason. [Where the name is shown with alternates in the military record then both names are listed e.g. Coxson (Coxen)]


















Confederate Infantry Soldiers


  • Edward Coxon (Coxen) – 2nd Regiment, Louisiana Infantry “Louisiana Zouaves”
  • Edward Coxson (Toxson) – 1oth Regiment, Louisiana Infantry “Lee’s Foreign Legion”
  • Edward Coxson – 22nd Regiment, Louisiana Infantry “Theard’s-Herrick’s”
  • John Coxon (John H Coxen) – 1st Regiment, Arkansas Infantry “Colquitt’s”



Private_Edwin_Francis_JemisonConfederate soldiers were often forced to outfit themselves. They wore various uniforms, although gray jackets became common, often with felt slouch hats.


Many had no knapsacks; instead they looped their bedrolls across their chests when they marched. Tents were scarce. 


Men kept tobacco and pipes, a bit of soap, maybe foraged apples in their haversacks. Many immediately cooked and ate their three-day ration of fatback and cornbread, rather than packing it.


They filled their canteens with buttermilk or cider, and kept a cup to dip water from streams. They carried their muskets, but most had no cartridge boxes, so they stuffed ammunition into their pockets.



Union Infantry Soldiers


  • Edward Coxson – 86th Regiment, US Colored Infantry
  • Francis Coxon – 9th Regiment, Maryland infantry
  • George F. Coxon – 11th Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry
  • John L. Coxson – US Army (Regular Army)
  • John L. Coxson – 12th Regiment, Maryland Infantry
  • John P. Coxon – Veteran Reserved Corps
  • Jonathan Coxon (Caxon) – 21st Regiment, New Jersey Infantry
  • Joseph Coxson (Coxen) – 63rd Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry
  • Joseph Coxson – 51st Regiment, New York Infantry
  • Joseph Coxon – 105th Regiment, Pennsylvania infantry “Wildcat Regiment”
  • Mark S. Coxson – 12th Regiment, New York State Militia
  • Mark Coxson – 84th Regiment, New York Infantry National Guard
  • Richard Coxon – 19th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • W. P. Coxon (Wm H Coxson/W H Caxson) – Captain, 176th Regiment, New York Infantry “The Ironsides”



Union_Private_infantry_uniformUnion troops were well-outfitted, even overburdened, with army-issued supplies and equipment.


They wore regulation uniforms of heavy wool—in just two sizes—with leather-billed caps and stiff shoes.


Atop knapsacks stuffed with extra clothes, a weekly change of underwear, and personal “truck,” they carried rolled-up wool and rubber blankets and half a tent. 


They filled haversacks with salt pork, hardtack, coffee, sugar, dried peas, pressed sheets of desiccated vegetables, and perhaps a pickle.


They slung canteens and cartridge boxes over their shoulders and carried muskets.







Union Sailors


  • Jesse C. Coxson – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Cook on USS Santee and USS Winnipec


USS Santee (1855)

USS Santee (1855)

The American Civil War was not only resolved on land, the naval blockade of the South played a large role in the Union victory.

USS Santee was a wooden-hulled, three-masted sailing frigate. She was one of its last sailing frigates in service. She was outfitted with heavy guns and a crew of 480; the USS Winnipec was a gunboat.






Union Cavalry


(see more detail at our post on ‘The US Cavalry’)


  • Emanuel R. Coxon (Coxen) – 9th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry
  • George Coxon – 12th Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry
  • George R. Coxen – 1st District of Columbia Cavalry
  • John P. Coxson – 9th Regiment, Kansas Cavalry


Recruiting_poster_New_York_Mounted_RiflesIn the early American Civil War existing Union cavalry regiments were reorganized and renamed into six cavalry regiments. 


Cavalry saw a role as part of screening forces and in foraging and scouting. The later phases of the war saw a truly effective cavalry force fighting as scouts, raiders, and, with repeating rifles, as mounted infantry. 












The Union won the war, which remains the bloodiest in U.S. history. 


The war had its origin in the factious issue of slavery, especially the extension of slavery into the western territories. 


Four years of intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 soldiers dead, and destroyed much of the South’s infrastructure.


The Confederacy collapsed and slavery was abolished in the entire country.



[Acknowledgements and thanks: US National Park Service, National Museum of American History, Bill Brown, Wikipedia]

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