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J. Kelt

J. Kelt

Federal (USV)


John Kelt

Home State: Massachusetts

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 21st Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

He enlisted at Annapolis Junction, MD as a Private in Company H, 21st Massachusetts Infantry on 17 October 1861. He was promoted to Sergeant on 5 June 1862.

On the Campaign

He was wounded in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant of Company C on 24 November (to date from 18 September 1862), vice Lt Holbrook, but was dismissed from the service on 7 August 1863 by sentence of a General Court Martial - he was found guilty of being absent without leave between 18 and 20 July 1863.

He enrolled again, as First Lieutenant, Company E, 37th New Jersey Infantry for 100 days service on 23 June 1864. They were are garrison duty and briefly in the trenches at Petersburg, VA, then returned to New Jersey where he mustered out with them on 1 October 1864.

References & notes

His Massachusetts service from Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines1 and his Compiled Service Records,2 via fold3. His New Jersey service from the Record.3 The connection to the 37th NJ found in a December 1901 record at the Record & Pension Office, US War Department. His photograph from one in the MOLLUS-Mass Collection at the US Army Heritage & Education Center.

He may be the John Kelt buried in Auburn, CA in 1901 [memorial].

More on the Web

See a large version of his photograph and notes from his court martial over on the blog.


1   Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Adjutant General, Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, 8 Vols, Norwood (MA): Norwood Press, 1931-35, Vol. 2, pg. 634  [AotW citation 26501]

2   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers who served in US Volunteer organizations enlisted for service during the Civil War, Record Group No. 94 (Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 26503]

3   State of New Jersey, Adjutant-General's Office, and William Scudder Stryker, Adjutant General, Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War, 1861-1865, 2 volumes, Trenton: John L. Murphy, Steam Book and Job Printer, 1876, Vol. 2, pg. 1101  [AotW citation 26502]