1st Alabama Cavalry - Est. 1862
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It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Glenda McWhirter Todd. She passed away on September 3, 2017 surrounded by her family. She was a historian, genealogist, and author who prided herself on being a descendant of Andrew Ferrier McWhirter of the 1st Alabama Cavalry, USV. Her work over the past two decades and her dedication to the 1st Alabama Cavalry has created a legacy that will last for years to come.

Her life's work has touched thousands of people through the years, and I am glad that I had the pleasure to work with her as long as I did. My hope is that her work will live on for years to come to educate and inspire a new generation.

Stories about Troopers from the 1st Alabama

Picture Tombstone Combined Service Record

Frank Cortez Burdick

Frank Cortez Burdick was born in 1838 and was the son of Russell Burdick. He enlisted on 11 June 1861 in Belleville, Illinois. On 25 June 1861 in Caseyville, Illinois, he mustered into Company C of the 22nd Regiment of the Illinois Volunteers. He was promoted to Captain on 18 December 1862. Much like other officers of the day, he furnished his own horse and equipment.

On 8 September 1862, he enlisted with a commission as 1st Lieutenant, Company A, First Alabama Cavalry near Bridgeport, Alabama. and He served until his final discharge as Captain on 22 December 1863.

He was married to Nancy Margaret Feltman in Winston County, Alabama. Later in life, he was a clerk, teacher, county clerk, and probate judge of Wisntson County. He alse assisted in re-estabishing postal service in Northeast Alabama after the war ended.

About the Author
Devine Entrekin Turnbow is a descendant of Frank Cortez Burdick and a member of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War Tent No. 4. She also has another direct ancestor and 7 or 8 ancestors not direct that served in the 1st Alabama.

Submitted by Reita Burress, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War Tent No. 4.

By Sallie Cox

After Frank Burdick's father, Russell Burdick, died he went to New York City and worked as a clerk in a store. He remained there until he enlisted in the Union Army for service in the Civil War.

He enrolled on 25 June 1861 at Centralia, Illinois as a private in Company C, 22nd Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, later Sgt., commanded by Col. Daugherty, and discharged 8 September 1862. He re-enlisted 8 September 1862 with a commission as 1st LT., Company A, First Alabama Volunteer Cavalry near Bridgeport, Alabama (near Chattanooga, TN), and served until his final discharge as captain on 22 December 1863.

He applied for a pension (#463519) on 30 October 1862, based on a disability. According to his pension papers "he was greatly disabled and was compelled to resign his position as Captain." His widow, Nancy Margaret Feltman Burdick, and the older children were away from home when he died. She applied for a widow's pension (#292479) on 26 September 1888 which was denied on the grounds that the soldier's death was not the result of military service. The claim was referred for special examination, and several depositions were taken and affidavits obtained.

In April of 1927, Probate Judge John B. Weaver wrote to the U.S. Pension Department on behalf of his "door neighbor" Nancy M. Burdick to inquire if she was not entitled to more than $30.00 per month in pension benefits. A 13 June 1927 response from Winfield Scott indicted she would be entitled to no such increase as she was not the wife of soldier during his period of service.

Fernando "Frank" Cortez Burdick was left behind in the surgeon's tent after having contracted the disabling condition. He was treated by the post surgeon in his tent for 27 (or 37) days, being unable to leave it. Between his illness and apparent paperwork confusion of mustering out of the Illinois regiment to accept a promotion into the First Alabama Cavalry, he somehow wound up being reported "deserted" 27 August 1862, though another roll reports him left sick in Tuscumbia, Alabama on 27 August 1862. A War Department communication dated 11 May 1888 reports "The charges of desertion of 27 August 1862, and on Regtl return for December, 1862, against this man are removed as erroneous."

He received his discharge 23 December 1865 and remained in Alabama which began the Burdick family there. He was a clerk, teacher, county clerk, and probate judge of Winston County; and he assisted in re-establishing postal service in northwest Alabama. See also, petition to Brig. Gen. Wm. Smith on behalf of Fernando "Frank" Cortez Burdick to be appointed Register of Votes, by loyal and true Union Men formerly of the 1st Alabama Cavalry.

Among his friends were the Feltman brothers from Walker County in Alabama. When he obtained his army discharge in 1865 he remained with his Feltman friends and married Nancy Margaret Feltman and they made their home in Winston County, Alabama. Both are buried at the Burdick Family Cemetery near Houston, Alabama which was named for his family and is maintained by the Houston Community.

Database created and maintained by Ryan Dupree.

Service records compiled by Glenda Todd and used with her permission. This and other information about the history of the First and the men who fought with the unit can be found in her book, First Alabama Cavalry, USA: Homage to Patriotism.

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