by Roxy Triebel
Click the thumbnails to see larger images.
Ambrotype photos circa 1865
David Van Kleeck (1839-1902) married Rachel Emily Osterhout (1842-1874) in 1865 after David returned from the Civil War and these photos were probably taken about that time. These tiny ambrotypes have survived the years well, but still need a bit of digital retouching to get rid of a few scratches and all the lint that David seems to have accumulated. I digitally blurred the background in David's photo a bit to try to make him stand out a bit more.
A photo of David in uniform. This required a LOT of brightening as the original tintype is badly faded.
Another photo of David Van Kleeck after he'd started growing his beard and mustache.
David and Rachel are both buried in Palentown Cemetery in Ulster County, New York along with several children who died young, David's second wife, and her youngest son with David.
David enlisted in the Union Army in 1862. He was enrolled August 10, 1862 in Company B of the 120th Regiment of the New York Volunteers and was discharged June 2, 1865. His description was given as follows: "Age 23 years; height 5 feet 6 inches; complexion, Dark; hair, Black; eyes, brown"
He was wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness - "... struck on the left side of the sturnam (sic.) by a gun in the hands of a soldier from which injury he has never recovered. Also that at Fairfax Courthouse in 1862 he was taken sick with Typhoid Fever which has also helped to contribute to his physical disability."
"... he was treated in hospitals as follows: 1st in Reg. Hos. for Fever at Fairfax Courthouse from there sent to St. Allucious Hos. at Washington. Then to the Episcopal Hos. Philadelphia & remained nearly a year in 1862 & 1863. Thence to Chestnut (hard to read that word - may be "Chester" instead) Hill Philadelphia. Thence to Fort Schuylar. After being injured in the Wilderness 1st Reg. Hos. thence to Rhode Island, Portsmouth Grove & remained about a year in 1864 & 65."
It looks like great-great-grandpa spent most of the war in various hospitals, but he did eventually come home in one piece when so many others were not so lucky. One of David's older brothers, Francis, for example, died in Andersonville prison camp, leaving behind a wife and three children (see the entry for Francis Van Kleeck on the Van Kleeck index page).
© 1987 by Dorothy E. Smith and 2001 by Roxy Triebel or the original contributor.
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