Berry-Miller Genealogy

It’s never cut and dry…

Topic: Civil War Solider for the Confederates and POW, Felix St. Vrain
Family Name Associations: St. Vrain, specifically, Mister Felix St. Vrain
Location: Barrie, Ontario, in the lovely rain.
Mood: Confused
Music: George Strait – I Get Carried Away

What does that even mean, cut and dry, I mean I know it means simple, but really… Cut and dry, or is it dried?
Hehehe… Here’s what it means. Fitting that it comes from Frontier terms and I’m stuck in the 1860s right now.

So we know that Felix St. Vrain was born at St. Vrain Fort, New Mexico in 1842. The first son of Marcellin St. Vrain and Red, a Sioux woman of noble heritage.
We know that in 1851, Marcellin took his sons from the fort to live with himself and his new wife, Elizabeth Jane Murphy in St. Louis, Missouri. His sons were educated along side their step siblings.
We know that when Civil War broke out, both Felix and his younger brother Charles served with the Confederates, Felix was placed in Company A, 2nd Missouri Infantry. Charles didn’t join until the last year of the war, he served with Company E, 39th Missouri Infantry.

This is when things start to get confusing. And resources run out the window…

The Fort’s site about Marcellin states that Felix fought a variety of battles. Battle of Iuka, Battle of Corinth, Battle of Grand Gulf, and Vicksburn. There the Unit surrendered on 4 Jul 1863, was immediately paroled and merged with the 6th Missouri Infantry.
Then participated in the Battle of Atlanta, Kennesaw Mountain, Allatoona Pass, Franklin, Mobile and Fort Blakely. (Note: Well, his regiment participated, somewhere in here he became a POW)
Felix St. Vrain died as a Prisoner of War in 1864.

St. Vrain Fort’s Marcellin St. Vrain Page

So finding a grave shouldn’t be too hard, right? Actually, FindAGrave has a listing… Of course we did a photo request right away, eager to prove where Felix’s final resting place is.

Felix St Vrain at Finns Point

We get an immediate response form Debbie – Who rocks and we’re very thankful to. But now we have more of a problem. Felix St. Vrain has a listing followed by ‘PA’ as in, his state of representation. Huh?
And uhoh… He’s listed on the Union Memorial.

Mark rushes off to e-mail Debbie and ask more questions.
How is it that Felix St. Vrain is listed as from Pennsylvania and serving with the Union Army???

Okay, here are my theories.

St. Vrain is NOT a common last name, it’s localized around Ceran and Marcellin and their descendants. It was pretty much chosen, from what we can tell, as their family name, based on a small town in France near where Jacques originated from. More of the family took names like DeHault, or Delassus, or even Luziere.
In the 1860 time frame, there are NO hits for a St. Vrain family in Pennsylvania.

A. It’s a misprint. They weren’t exactly organized about how POWs were kept, let alone how they were buried or where. Felix got shuffled around, a few names looked like they could have been St. Vrain and they just did what they could when the monument committee was trying to sort out the mess of Fort Delaware.

B. Felix got captured in 1863 and somehow decided he was switching sides. He signed up with the Union in Pennsylvania, then died at Fort Delaware. (The most unlikely suggestion, and the one with the biggest holes in it!)

C. Felix was captured as a Prisoner Of War shipped to Fort Delaware, and signed with the Union as a Prison Guard. The whole Pennsylvania thing is a point of confusion… Maybe he needed to be from some northern state and they made it up.

Seriously, we are so stumped. There HAS to be answers here.
I’m having a diet pepsi… And maybe chocolate. There has to be some rewards for getting this cross-eyed over 150 year old questions.

Always one for making things pretty, Jenn is our resident artist. M├ętis, British Home Child Descendant, family historian and genealogist, she is always looking into some new branch of research and encourages historical preservation and education.


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