Civil War Veteran 

Paul sylvester Willis


Civil War Service

14th Regiment , New Hampshire Infantry, company B

Paul mustered with the 14th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company B on September 24th, 1862.  From November 1862 to April 1863, the 14th N.H. was assigned to Washington D.C. for picket and patrol duty along the upper Potomac River.  After that duty, the 14th N.H. performed guard duty at the Old Capitol Prison, transporting prisoners and deserters at the Navy Yard Bridge.  The regiment took leave from the war to return home and vote in the spring election.  Then, on March 16th, 1864, they left for New Orleans to participate in the Red River Campaign, but it had ended before their arrival.  The regiment served a few additional posts before returning to Virginia in June 1864.  In July of 1864, the regiment joined General Sheridan’s Army of the Shenandoah.  As part of this army, they fought in The Third Battle of Winchester on September 19th, 1864, Battle of Fisher’s Hill on September 22nd, 1864, and in The Battle of Cedar Creek on October 19th, 1864.  The regiment was near Augusta and Savannah, Georgia, on July 8th, 1865, where the 14th N.H. mustered out of service in Savannah.



Paul Sylvester Willis was born in Winchester, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, on January 6, 1830.  He was the sixth child of Caleb Willis and Lydia Willard.


In 1850 Paul was a live-in laborer at the Richardson Farm in Marlow, Cheshire, New Hampshire.  He met Laura Mariah sometime between 1853 and 1855, and they were likely married in 1855.  Their son Frank H. was born on December 5, 1856, in Acworth, New Hampshire.  Soon after, his daughter Ida Marie was born on January 22, 1857, in Stoddard, New Hampshire.  His wife, Laura Mariah, passed away on August 11, 1858, in Stoddard, New Hampshire, at 26.


In 1860, just over a year after his young wife passed away, he lived with his elderly parents in Alstead, New Hampshire.  He only brought his oldest child, Frank, there to live.  His daughter, Ida, lived with her maternal Uncle, George Benjamin Tyler, and his wife, Mary in ???. Living with his parents, widowed, and with two children probably led him to volunteer for the army and fight in the Civil War.  He enlisted on August 30, 1862, at 32 years old.

After the War

After Paul returned to New Hampshire, He moved to Langdon, New Hampshire.  While there, he met a young 19-year-old, Elsie E. Howe, from Grafton, New Hampshire.  She was the daughter of Rufus Howe and Susan (Stuart) Howe.  Rufus died when Elsie was only five years old.  Paul and Elise wed in Chester, Vermont, on November 25, 1868.  At 38 years old, Paul was nearly 20 years her senior.


Paul and Elsie lived with his son Frank in Langdon for two years before moving to Winchester, New Hampshire, in 1870.  The move to Winchester, where he was born, was likely so they could be closer to his family and his daughter Ida.  When they moved to Winchester, Paul started to work in a sawmill.  They lived in the same area as his brother Wilber and his family.


While living in Winchester, Paul and his family would start to farm.  Now 24 years old, his son Frank would help on the farm while Elsie took care of the household.  In the 1880s, Paul and Elsie would move again.  This time their travels took them to East Westmoreland, New Hampshire.  While in East Westmoreland, they would have a daughter.  Eva Susan Willis was born on September 28, 1887.  When Eva was born, Paul was 57 years old, and Elsie was 36.


Another move happened in about 1892 to Westminster, New Hampshire.  They would not stay for too long.  In about 1896, they moved for the last time to Brattleboro, Vermont.


In Brattleboro, Paul would begin farming again.  Elsie would tend to the household, and Eva was attending school.  They purchased a house on Highland Street in Brattleboro, becoming part of the community.  Paul was a member of the Sedgwick G.A.R. in Brattleboro.  Paul slowed down in early 1902 and would have to stop working.  Paul Sylvester Willis died on October 10, 1906, at 4:30 am, in Brattleboro, Vermont, from organic heart disease at 75.  He was buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Bellows Falls, Windsor, Vermont.  He shares a gravestone with his wife Elsie E. and daughter Eva Susan.