Wednesday, October 7, 2015

In the Army

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Reamus F. Flatt enlisted in the Confederate Army in Overton County, Tennessee. He joined Company G, 25th Tennessee Infantry on 25 September 1862. Reamus was just 15 years old. The service record shows two names - Reams Flatt and Foster Flatt. Another service record card shows "R F Flatt and R. Foster Flatt."
Source: Fold3.

Flatt was present on the muster roll for November-December 1862, and January through April 1863. It looks like he deserted in Jackson County, Tennessee by 30 May 1863. At some point after June 1863, Flatt must have rejoined the company. He appears on a roll of prisoners of war forwarded from Louisville Military Prison to Rock Island POW camp in January 1864. The card shows he was captured in Adair County, Kentucky on Christmas, 25 December 1863.

Flatt was moved from the military prison on 6 January 1864 and sent to Rock Island by 29 January 1864. He appears on a roll of prisoners received at Rock Island on 1 February 1864. Flatt next appears on a roll of prisoners who enlisted in the US Army for frontier service on 6 October 1864.

On a card for prisoners of war who desire to take the oath of allegiance, dated 18 March 1864, the remarks note that Flatt was "only 15 years old". I take this to mean only 15 when he enlisted, as he would have been nearly 17 at the time.

Flatt next appears in the service rolls for the 2nd US Volunteers. The card confirms he was born in Jackson County, Tennessee and provides some physical characteristics. Flatt was 5 foot 7, with grey eyes and dark hair. The file also includes his volunteer enlistment paper.

While serving in the 2nd US Volunteers, Flatt would have been at Fort Dodge, Kansas and protected the mail routes between Fort Lyon, Colorado and Arkansas. Flatt mustered out of service on 7 November 1865 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Flatt's time in Kansas enabled him to cross paths with a famous American, William F. Cody, also known as Buffalo Bill Cody. I'll save the description of Flatt's post-Army life for the next post.

The Arkansas History Commission has a six-page file on "Robert Foster Flatt", which was submitted on behalf of Flatt's widow as a Confederate pension. I have ordered a copy of the file, and I am hoping it arrives early next week. It appears the boy who began as Reamus (or Rames) Flatt, enlisted in the Confederate Army as a kid barely 15, later went by the name Robert Foster Flatt. It is good to see he was able to leave behind his difficult home life and start fresh on the frontier. More to follow.

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