I went on July 30th, 2007 to the library to find the Civil War Records for Bluford Mason on microfilm. Here are my findings:
These pages say that Bluford Mason was a Private of Capt. Thomas H. Bomar's Co. (Chestatee Artillery), Georgia Vols.
He enlisted on July 1, 1862, in Dawson County, by Lt. Taylor, for a period of 3 years, in the war.
He appeared on the Company Muster Rolls for July & Aug 1862, Sept & Oct 1862, Nov & Dec 1862, and Jan & Feb 1863 as being Present.
These records show the new Regiment name: (New) Co. N (Chestatee Light Artillery), 38 Reg't Georgia Infantry (Wright Legion).
The first one (on left) has dates written in of Jan 1 to Aug 31, 1864. Right below that it says "Roll is dated Sept. 15 1864 and shows payment from January 1 to April 30, 1864."
Bluford's roll status is that he is Absent sick since May 22, 1864.
The other paper (on right) is dated..."showing payment from April 30 to Aug 31, 1864."
Bluford's roll status shows him Absent with leave on sick furlough since July 7, 1864.
These next papers indicate that Bluford appeared on rolls of deserters from the Rebel Army.
The page on the left seems to be saying that Lt. Comdg. Wm. W. Wright of Military Prison, Chattanooga, Tenn received this roll from Provost Marshal, District of the Etowah, Tenn, on July 30, 1864.
Bluford's report ? was received by Wm. Wright? on July 28, 1864?
They claim that he deserted at Cold Arbor (Harbor), VA on May 6, 1864
Remarks say that he entered US lines at Altoona July 26, 64. Oath admit July 28.
The page on the right seems to be information from the Lousiville KY prison, which was under Federal/Union command. I'm not sure what it's saying exactly.
The page to the left here says that Bluford was named on a Register of Prisoners of War received at Military Prison, Louisville, KY, and that he'd been captured at Cherokee Co. GA.
Doesn't say when, but the paper to the right says he signed to an Oath of Allegiance to the United States and sworn to at Louisville, KY, August 3, 1864.
It lists his place of residence as Cherrykee (Cherokee) Co, GA.
He is described as having Light complexion, Light hair, Blue eyes, and 5 feet 8 inches tall.
He was sent from the Dept. of the Cumberland to be released north of the Ohio River.
Although they claim Bluford deserted the rebel army on May 6, 1864, his name appeared on a receipt roll for clothing, on May 14, 1864.
The next couple of papers are Bluford's medical records. I don't know why the card on the left lists him as L. Mason, but it is in with all his other records, and also, if you remember, he was listed in the Company Muster Roll above as having been "Absent sick since May 22, 1864."
In this record, his name appeared on a morning report of Jackson Hospital, Richmond, VA on May 24, 1864.
His complaint seemed to be Int Febors.....I have no idea what that could have been.
The other record (on right) shows that his name appeared on a morning report of Jackson Hospital, Richmond, Virginia, on June 23, 1864.
His complaint wasn't listed, but he was given 30 days furlough.
Again, going back to his Company Muster Rolls, he was shown as being "Absent with leave on sick furlough since July 7, 1864."
My conclusion from the provided records was that Bluford did not desert the rebel army on May 6, 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA because:
- he was issued clothing on May 14, 1864
- he was in the hospital sick May 24, 1864
- he was in the hospital sick June 23, 1864
He was given 30 days furlough from service either on June 23 or July 7, 1864. We can assume he went home because:
- he listed his place of residence as Cherokee Co, GA
- he was captured at Cherokee Co, GA
Whom was he captured by?
If we say, okay, he took the 30 day furlough, then just didn't go back afterwards, then he was a rebel deserter, and the rebel army came looking for him.
If so, he apparently wasn't hiding, and they found him mighty quickly. His furlough had only been over on July 23rd - or wasn't even over yet until Aug 7th.
And, if the rebel army was the ones that had captured him for deserting....would they have taken him to the Federal/Union Prison in Louisville KY and had him sign the Oath of Allegience to the US Army and to be required to stay up North for the remained of the war?
It's my completely non-professional opinion that he was captured by Union troops while at home on furlough.