Capt. NOYES Samuel Bean

Capt. NOYES Samuel Bean[1]

Male 1842 - 1870  (27 years)

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  • Name NOYES Samuel Bean 
    Prefix Capt. 
    Born 10 Dec 1842  Meredith, Belknap, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Military Between 15 Aug 1862 and 24 Apr 1864  [4
    as a Private with Co. I, 12th NH Inf. Regt 
    _UID BC770D38EB9ED5118A06444553540000A7B3 
    Died 15 Jan 1870  Tilton, Belknap, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 5
    • Few Union units were as esteemed for their collective strength as the 12th New Hampshire Infantry. It was magnet for strapping young fellows from the farms that dotted the state’s White Mountains. "No wonder that a regiment, having so many giant-like men, should have been called the 'New Hampshire Mountaineers,'" mused one of its captains, Asa Bartlett, about the origin of the unit’s nickname.

      But not everyone fit that ideal, including a young man named Samuel Bean Noyes. A frail high school student from the village of Meredith on Lake Winnipesaukee, he stood five feet, seven inches tall without his brogans. Noyes preferred the classroom over the playing field, and so it was perhaps something of a surprise when he left school in September 1862 and joined the Union Army. He enlisted in the 12th, explained Bartlett, from a sense of duty.

      The officers recognized that Noyes was not combat material from the moment he mustered into the regiment, and assigned him to light duty as a mail carrier. He didn’t mind; Noyes became a welcome figure about their Virginia camp that winter as he delivered letters and packages from home to his comrades.

      Bartlett put it gently when he referred to Noyes in the regimental history. "Here is the face of one who entered the service beardless and fragile in looks, but who stood the hardships of active service by being slightly favored at first."

      Bartlett and other officers might have been too protective of Noyes. Charles Tripler, an Army physician, argued in his 1858 book "Manual of the Medical Officer" that smart and small soldiers were preferable: "Quickness of perception, enterprise, and intelligence, certainly do not depend upon bulk of body, but are found comparatively much more frequently in men of small, than in men of large stature. The bulky man, from a consciousness of physical force, due as much to weight as to nerve, may ordinarily possess more physical courage; but the quick-witted, active little fellow, who instinctively makes up, by intelligence and address, for the difference in physical force, thus training and disciplining his mind, however unconsciously, to meet and grapple with superior strength, will make the best and most reliable soldier."

      Noyes would soon prove Tripler right. In May 1863, after more than half a year as a mailman, his superiors assigned him to regular duty. The timing of the assignment was significant; the Mountaineers had lost more than half their number in the Battle of Chancellorsville early in the month and were in desperate need of men.

      Noyes was one of 224 Mountaineers who arrived on the Gettysburg battlefield on July 2. They and the rest of their corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Daniel Sickles, took up a position along main Union line. Sickles, a political general with no formal military training, executed one of the most controversial moves of the three-day engagement when he marched his forces ahead of their assigned place in the line. The change created a half-mile gap between his troops and the rest of the Union Army.

      The Confederates promptly exploited the gap. They poured into the open space and wreaked havoc on the exposed federals. "In the very centre of this terrible conflict stood the Twelfth New Hampshire Regiment, while thick and fast fell its brave and gallant members," stated Gettysburg historian John B. Bachelder. The 12th was forced back with heavy casualties and almost lost their colors. Nearly a hundred Mountaineers were killed or wounded, including Noyes, who suffered a gunshot to the shoulder.

      Noyes and the 12th served through the rest of the war. William F. Fox, in his treatise "Regimental Losses in the American Civil War," listed it as one of his vaunted 300 "Fighting Regiments" in the Union Army, a list of those who saw the most action and losses, in grim recognition of its high casualty rate.

      Noyes returned to the regiment after a four-month recuperation and received his corporal’s stripes. In the spring of 1864, he left the Mountaineers to become a second lieutenant in the First United States Volunteer Infantry. The newly organized regiment was recruited from the ranks of Confederate prisoners of war confined at Point Lookout prison camp in Maryland; those who pledged allegiance to the federal government and traded their ragged gray garments for Union blue were derisively referred to as "galvanized Yankees" by Southerners who remained loyal to the crumbling Confederacy.

      Noyes went home to New Hampshire for a brief visit about this time and sat for his portrait in a Concord photograph studio. His image was captured in the popular carte de visite format, a French style that became a world phenomenon after it was introduced in 1854. Indeed, "Cardomania" was all the rage in America during the war years. One of the advantages of the format was that multiple paper prints could be inexpensively produced from a glass negative. Photographers typically offered a dozen cartes de visite for a few dollars. Noyes likely purchased at least a dozen and distributed them to family and friends.

      The First Volunteers were ordered to the West in the summer of 1864. By this time Noyes had advanced to captain and commander of Company B. He and his men were ordered to Dakota Territory, where they garrisoned Fort Union, an old trading post located at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers. On Nov. 28, 1864, Native Americans attacked Noyes and a detachment of his company on their return from a trip to supply cattle herders with rations. Noyes suffered a minor wound, the details of which were not reported.

      Noyes mustered out of the army in 1865, and opened a grocery store in Chicago. Poor health forced him to close up shop after less than a year, and he returned to New Hampshire. In 1866 he married Annette Curry. Their union ended in 1870 after Noyes died of tuberculosis. His wife and a son, Harry Lincoln Noyes, survived him.
    Person ID I7639  Noyes Family Genealogy
    Last Modified 11 May 2013 

    Father NOYES Enoch W.,   b. 12 Jul 1812, Plymouth, Grafton, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Sep 1853, Meredith Village, Belknap, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 41 years) 
    Mother BEAN Mary L.,   b. 21 Jun 1821, Meredith Village, Belknap, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Jun 1863, Meredith Village, Belknap, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 41 years) 
    Married 1 Jul 1840  Meredith Village, Belknap, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 6
    • (The Noyes Descendants, Vol. I says 1840.)
    Family ID F2811  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family CURRY Annette Caroll,   b. 11 Aug 1845, Northfield, Merrimack, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 15 Mar 1866  Sanbornton, Belknap, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 5, 7, 8
     1. NOYES Harry Lincoln,   b. 28 Aug 1868, Chicago, Cook, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. NOYES Mary Josephine,   b. 14 Feb 1870,   d. 14 Mar 1871  (Age 1 years)
    Last Modified 2 Jan 2021 
    Family ID F2812  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    2nd Lieut. Samuel Bean Noyes (1864)
    2nd Lieut. Samuel Bean Noyes (1864)

  • Sources 
    1. [S6279] Newspaper-New York Times, Ronald S. Coddington; Samuel Noyes, Mountaineer; 10 May 2013; 11 May 2013;

    2. [S65] Book-Noyes-The Noyes Descendants, Vol. I, p.276.

    3. [S1093] Book-Lineage and Biographies of the Norris Family, R929.2 N854., p.108.

    4. [S4240] Internet-Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, Register of Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire 1861-65.

    5. [S4765] Book-History of Northfield, NH, viewed; 20 May 2010; p.76; Samuel Bean Noyes.

    6. [S1028] Book-Lane Genealogies Vol 1, R929.2 L265 v.01., p.77.

    7. [S1308] Book-A Genealogy of Runnels and Reynolds Families, R929.2 R9433., p.292.

    8. [S4877] LDS-New Family Search, 11 May 2013; Samuel B. & Nettie C. (Curry) Noyes marriage record; New Hampshire, Marriages, 1720-1920: Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M73152-4; GS Film number: 1001288; Reference ID: 2:3WC94RR.