In my ongoing exploration of the enlistment documents and muster rolls of the 6th US Cavalry, I’ve come across several sets of brothers and cousins recently. The natural assumption would be that these relatives would initially enlist in the same unit to be together. What I have discovered in the case of these three brothers, however, was a reunion from other units into the 6th Cavalry during the war.
Richard H. Mecum was born on April 6, 1839 in Lycoming Co. PA. He enlisted as a private in Co. C, 11th Pennsylvania volunteers on April 16, 1861 and was honorably discharged at Harrisburg PA on August 15, 1861. He then enlisted in Co. F, 84th PA Infantry and was immediately made a sergeant. On October 25, 1862 he transferred into Co. L, 6th US Cavalry as a sergeant. He was sworn into the regiment by Lieutenant Ira Claflin near Knoxville, Maryland. Richard was discharged at the end of his term of service at Cedar Creek, VA on October 25, 1864 as a private. After the war, he settled in La Porte county, Indiana, where he married and settled down. He died there of heart disease on May 18, 1909, and was buried in Paltous Cemetery, La Porte, IN.
Jared M. Mecum born in Muncey, PA in 1839. He enlisted as a private in Company H, 5th PA Reserves on June 21, 1861. He deserted from this unit on October 28, 1861, and was sworn into Company A, 6th US Cavalry by Lt Claflin the same day. His 6th US Cavalry enlistment documents describe him as 22 years old, 5’6” tall, with dark hair, hazel eyes, and a light complexion. He was discharged at the expiration of his term of service as a private on June 22, 1864 at White House, VA. After the war, he returned to Pennsylvania, where he married and settled. Jared Mecum died on April 4, 1901 in St. Mary’s, PA.
Charles W. Mecum was born on January 15, 1843 in Muncey, Lycoming County, PA. He enlisted in Co. F., 84th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry on 7 October, 1861. Lieutenant Claflin enlisted him into Company A, 6th U.S. Cavalry on October 27, 1862 at Knoxville, MD. His 6th Cavalry enlistment documents describe him as 19 years old, 5’4 ½” tall, with dark hair, hazel eyes and a dark complexion. Charles was discharged at the expiration of his term of service as a private at Harrisonburg, VA on October 7, 1864. After the war, he settled in Tioga County, PA, where he married and settled. He died on May 25, 1926 in Elmira, NY, and was buried in Hart Cemetery, Liberty, Tioga County, PA.
A fourth brother, William Mecum, enlisted into Company H, 5th PA Reserves with Jared on June 21, 1862 as a private. He didn’t survive long enough to “jine the cavalry” with his brothers, however. William died on July 27, 1862 of wounds received during fighting at Charles City Crossroads, VA on June 30, 1862.
Concerning the Mecum Brothers: Only ROBERT, Charles and Jared were brothers. Note: It is Robert H. Mecum, not Richard. In addition, William Mecum WAS NOT a brother to the other three. At best, he was a cousin, and in 1860 lived with his widowed mother in Franklin Township, near Lairdsville, Lycoming Co., PA. Other information essentially correct.David L. RichardsGettysburg, PA (historian, collector and author, Eighty-fourth PA Vols.}