8 Replies Latest reply on May 7, 2022 4:47 PM by Claudine Burnett

    Seeking records of Elizabeth Bouton

    Claudine Burnett Wayfarer

      I am seeking information on Elizabeth Bouton (b.1827?, New York - d. 1910, Los Angeles). According to the Los Angeles Times of October 27, 1905, Elizabeth Bouton served as a special agent of the Federal government during the Civil War, she was also a newspaper correspondent during the early years of the war.  This is from the Los Angeles Times: "While connected with the Department of the Mississippi, Miss Bouton went on many missions of peril. She was later transferred to the Department of the Ohio and afterward served in the Department of the Cumberland. For President Lincoln, she visited all the army hospitals and presented a report on the conditions found. This resulted in many changes of benefit. So important did her work become she was officially recognized by the Government and was commissioned to present reports on the care and condition of the wounded at the front."  She served under her brother General Edward Bouton during the last year of the war. Any information on her and her role in the Civil War, along with leads to the newspaper articles or reports she wrote would be appreciated.

        • Re: Seeking records of Elizabeth Bouton
          Louise Bouton Wayfarer

          Hi Claudine, Elizabeth Bouton was my great grandfather’s sister. I have a picture somewhere of Elizabeth. It was nice to see a reference to the information that was passed down. My sisters never really believed me before! My great grandfather had my grandfather with a younger 2nd wife when he was in his 60’s. My grandfather had my father in his 30’s. My GGGrandfather’s trunk and history was left to me by my grandparents. That is one of the reasons everything was kept together, not lost and only moved a few times. I joined History Hub tonight when I came across your post.

            • Re: Seeking records of Elizabeth Bouton
              Claudine Burnett Wayfarer

              I agree the obituary from Elliot Schneider is incorrect. It is from the Los Angeles Herald 12/1/1910. She was his sister. There is lots about General Bouton, just check the historic Los Angeles Times, available online. Did you know there was a Bouton Lake? The remnants are now part of the Lakewood Country Golf Club. In July 1888, Bouton plotted a townsite to be known as Bouton for the area north of what is now Carson and east of Cherry. His future townsite needed water so he drilled a well. Instead he discovered lots of water which resulted in a 200 acre lake, about 14 feet deep named Lake Bouton. The water, which he sold to the city of Long Beach, was more profitable than building a town, though eventually the town of Lakewood was built on the drained lake. I was preparing an article about the lake when I ran across his sister Elizabeth, who I found most interesting. Hoping to find more. Did your trunk left to you have anything about Elizabeth? I would love to have a picture of her.  Please contact me using How To: Contact Another User

               

              You probably know this, but thought I would share info from his obit in the LA Times (11/26/1921) First married in 1859 to Margaret Fox a native of New York who died in California in 1891. He married again in 1894 to Elsa Johnson. Besides all his Civil War accomplishments, another  was when 3 Mexican and American bandits captured Bouton and a companion in 1879 in California then they were carrying $180000 in gold to purchase sheep. Chained and ordered to march under the guns of bandits, the general detected a weak link in the chain which bound him and quietly worked it loose, grabbing a gun he shot every one of his captors. One counter shot slightly wounded him.

               

              Glad to have found a Bouton relative.

            • Re: Seeking records of Elizabeth Bouton
              Elliot Schneider Guide

              Claudine,

               

              Here is an article I found. Looks Like her son was General Edward Bouton., in the army

               

              Larger memorial image loading...

                • Re: Seeking records of Elizabeth Bouton
                  Louise Bouton Wayfarer

                  This newspaper obituary is confusing. Gen. Bouton was born 1834. His mother died when he was a child. Gen Bouton was married to Elsa Johnson(died in her sixties). They had one son who was my grandfather. The General had a sister named Elizabeth Bouton who died in Los Angeles. Elizabeth Bouton never married. Do you know what newspaper this was from?

                • Re: Seeking records of Elizabeth Bouton
                  Jason Atkinson Guide

                  Dear Ms. Burnett,

                   

                  Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

                   

                  We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 44 record series created by the Department of Mississippi and 2 record series created by the Department of Ohio in the Records of U.S. Army Continental Commands (Record Group 393). For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at archives1reference@nara.gov.

                   

                  You may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience as we balance mission-critical work and the safety of our staff during the pandemic.  Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information.


                  Also, you may wish to search the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress for any correspondence with President Lincoln.

                   

                  We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

                  • Re: Seeking records of Elizabeth Bouton
                    Louise Bouton Wayfarer

                    I did not know that the general actually got shot! At least I didn’t remember that. I have a picture of Elizabeth Somewhere. She fascinates me even more than the general. It sounds like she did things that were so unusual for a woman back in those days. I also did not know about property near Carson. All the family stuff I have is kind of buried back in the garage. But when I do get to it I promise I will get you the picture of Elizabeth.

                      • Re: Seeking records of Elizabeth Bouton
                        Claudine Burnett Wayfarer

                        I did get a response from the National Archives which I am passing on:

                        On the lists of records for the Departments of Mississippi and Ohio in RG 393 generated by the History Hub, I would speculate that the only series that might contain relevant information would be "Records Concerning Two or More Individuals, 1861-1867" (entry A1-1 2635), "Citizen Files, 1861-1867" (entry A1-1 2636), "Two or More Citizens Files, 1861-1867" (entry A1-1 2637), and "Records Concerning Two or More Persons, 1861-1870" (entry A1-1 3525). These types of files usually pertained to civilians who came in contact with military or federal officials during the war. Unfortunately we do not have the staff or resources available to review these records in greater detail, but they are available for public research at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.

                         

                        It's not really clear what type of special agent Elizabeth Bouton might have been, as she is not listed in our internal finding aid on "Well-Known Women in War Department Records" . I did check the indexes to the series "Correspondence, Reports, Accounts, and Related Records of Two or More Scouts, Guides, Spies, and Detectives, 1861-66" (entry 31) and "Correspondence, Reports, Appointments, and Other Records Relating to Individual Scouts, Guides, Spies, and Detectives, 1862-66" (entry 36) in the Records of the Provost Marshal General's Bureau (Civil War) (Record Group 110), but she did not appear in either.