John B Meunier
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C.W. Soldiers

Belgian Civil War soldiers in Indiana 

Old soldier's Home

Comp. D, 53rd Indiana Volunteers Infantry



drafted 24 March 1865 Perry Co. Ind.


discharged Louisville Ky, 21 July 1865


5 feet 6 1/2 inches






brown (black)


greys (hazel)


14 december 1831, Belgium




Occupation laborer
other info. Prot.  R/W

Biography :

Jean Baptiste Meunier was born December 14, 1831 in Chiny, Luxemburg province. A cooper by trade, he was with his father and step-mother family, one of the first family of the Belgian settlement of Leopold, Perry county, Indiana, arriving there around 1850. It seems Jean Baptiste joined them later, he stated his arrival in Perry county being about 1859. He was drafted at the end of the Civil War and remained in the service only a few months. With him, two other Belgians from Leopold were drafted: Jean Baptiste Belva and Nicholas Goffinet.

The few service they have seen was resumed in their claims for a pension: After being drafted, they were sent to Jeffersonville, Indiana. After examination by a surgeon, they were mustered in the service and sent to Indianapolis. The recrues joined the regiment in time for the Grand Revue in Washington before being sent back to Indiana by way of Louisville, Ky. The regiment was transported by cars from Washington D.C. to Louisville Ky in open cars., most of them open cars. Belva testified : "Each car was crowded and traveled very slow - we were 3... days in going from Washington D.C. to Parkesburg Va.  When they got to Parkersburg, they left the train and went from there to Louisville Ky on a steamboat and were there in camp about six weeks, from the 18th of June through the 21st of July before being discharged".

After the war he went back in Belgium I suppose as he stated in his claim when admitted to the Soldiers' Home, suffering of deafness and catarrh contracted 30 years ago in “Europe”, to say around 1867. In 1891, when filling his papers for a pension, he stated being a resident of the poor house at Vincennes for the last six years. He was a resident of the Soldiers' Home from June 1897 till May 1907, when he left at request. A single man with no relatives. He was still living alone, following the 1910 census in Tell City, Perry county, 78 y.o., a cooper unble to remember the year he emigrated. It’s the last trace I find of him.

Sources :
Marion Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, Marion, Indiana
Pension Files at the NATIONAL ARCHIVES :
Invalid: application # 864000 certificate # 597929