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Sarah Powers Webb

Educator * Writer * Researcher   

Encouraging curiosity in students of all ages! 



Blog 2 The Real John Trout

Posted on 10 September, 2013 at 17:10

I was hooked from the FNP blurbs to uncover what I could about John Trout!

I decided to take a “field trip” to look up the original FNP articles on microfilm in the Maryland Room based on the clues from the excerpts.  Before I left I investiaged John Trout’s military connection with online resources.  Having found several Civil War veterans in my own family, I know that military records can provide a wealth of information. 

The paper said he was a Union veteran.  I first searched on one of my favorite websites, the National Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database.    I came up with a “John W. Trout” who served in the 13th Maryland Infantry.  I didn’t have a middle initial from the newspaper, but this looked promising.  There were other “Trouts” in the list, but no other “Johns.” 

I needed to confirm if John W. Trout was the correct man, so I next tried

Oh, dear. 

From the results I see there are a slew of Trouts in Maryland and some from Frederick County.  I find one “John Trout” living in New Market in 1860, so I tried the 1850 census.  As I scroll the list I discover a “John A. Trout” in the Buckeystown district in 1850– bingo.   Buckeystown is closest to Park Mills, the location indicated by the FNP.  From the records I can see that by 1860, John A. Trout would be the right age to fight in the war.

Since there are a couple of “John Trouts” in Frederick County in 1860 I return to and re-filter my search answers to look only for “birth, marriage & death” records.  Ancestry links some death records to another great website: I want to see if someone has added John Trout’s name to 

Sure enough! Turns out there is a John Andrew Trout buried in Flint Hill, Maryland.    I discover Flint Hill is on Park Mills Road.  I write down the obituary information, the location of the grave, and add it to my growing list for my field trip. 


Check and check. 


The memorial also references military service for John A. Trout, and lists his unit as “Co. H 1st Maryland Cavalry.”  However, a caveat:  I take what I find here as a clue, not as a fact, unless I can prove the information.


Last, I return to to filter “military results.”  I’m fairly sure I’m now looking for John A. Trout, not John W. Trout, so I want to see what pops up when I add the middle initial. 


Eureka!  I found a volunteer enlistment paper for John A. Trout! has a relationship with, a company that is digitizing military records.  It is subscription based.  Regardless, has already saved me several trips on the MARC train to visit the National Archives where most of the Civil War veterans’ records are kept, so I find it’s worth the price.



I quickly click on the link to the compiled military service record (CMSR):

  • John A. Trout, from Frederick County, Maryland, enlists in “Cole’s Calvary” on February 29, 1864. 

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  • I notice an “X” for his signature.   Citizens who could neither read nor write their signature often signed an “X” to indicate the mark for their name.  This piece of information tells me John A. Trout did not have much education.  Also, it gives me the impression that the Trout family had modest resources. 

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  • Also, one other piece of information I notice – his physical description.  In my experience it is unusual:  5’ 4¼” inches.  That seems short even for 1864! 

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I also find one other document associated with a John Trout (no middle initial):  a cover envelope which lists that he is with the “1st Maryland Cavalry” and it includes a “Requisition for Transportation” from July 19, 1865:

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Hmmm….the regiment description doesn’t quite match and there isn’t any other identifying information on it.


But wait, there’s another record in for “John Trour.”  That’s strange – it’s such a close name.  So I review the record:

Image courtesy of photo Picture6-Trour.jpg

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It includes a cover page for John A. Trour, a private in Co., H, 1 Potomac Home Brigade Maryland Infantry.  (Really?  It had to be infantry, not cavalry!)


The record inside was a “Memorandum from Prisoner of War Records.” 


Wait!  What??  “John A. Trour” was a prisoner of war??

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In reviewing the document I noticed:

  • The memo states that he was captured at Monocacy, Maryland, July 9, 1864.
  • In addition to what is shown in the graphic above, it states he was paroled at Richmond, Virginia on February 20, 1865 and reported to a hospital on February 22, 1865. 
  • I noted there was also a strange pencil mark above the name which read “Andrew J.”


Wait!  Back Up!  Wasn’t that the date of THE battle of Monocacy?? 


Are these 3 documents related??  Is this the John Trout I’m after?



Categories: John Andrew Trout, Civil War, Family History

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