U.S. Paymaster’s Account Book & 61 Checks To Soldiers, Etc.


Most of the 61 check are made out to officers of New Jersey regiments, some signed by those officers, all signed by Major Nathan Sharpless Brinton, PM, USA.

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This small collection of account book and 61 checks from the United States Depository (First National Bank), Trenton, New Jersey, in the year 1865 were maintained in the accounting records of Major Nathan Sharpless Brinton, Paymaster, USA. The small pocket sized account book only uses 6 pages to records his cash deposits totaling $520,000.00 and each disbursements against that amount.  All 61 entries are represented by each of those cashed or deposited checks.

Most of the checks are made out to officers in a couple of New Jersey Volunteer regiments. I have photographed most of the officers, none of the enlisted and other companies or individuals requiring renumeration from Paymaster Brinton.

The checks in this group date from July 21, 1865, to August 10, 1865.  I am assuming that the checks represent final payment for services at discharge.  Here are some of the officers represented here;

  • Charles Rodman Paul.  7th, 15th & 2nd New Jersey Infantry, 3 brevets, USA until 1901.
  • Lt. Henry W. Baldwin,   2nd & 7th New Jersey, POW Wilderness.
  • Lt. James H. Demarest, 8th New Jersey, Capt. by brevet.
  • LtCol. James W. McNeely,  10th & 2nd New Jersey.
  • Capt. George S. Russell,  2nd, 5th, & 7th New Jersey. LtCol. -not mustered.
  • Lt. Francis Gallen,  7th New Jersey.
  • Capt. Sylvester W. Nafew,  7th New Jersey.
  • Capt. David H. Ayres, 27th, 5th & 7th New Jersey.  Signed.
  • Lt. William H. Powers,  5th & 7th New Jersey.
  • Lt. Thomas Fagan, 7th New Jersey.
  • Capt. (George) Louis Pultz, 7th New Jersey. Signed
  • Capt. William Ramage,  ?
  • Lt. Peter H. Dye, 3rd, 5th & 7th New Jersey.
  • Lt. A. Duffies  ?
  • Lt. William Murphy, 7th New Jersey.
  • Lt. G. H. Millen, 7th New Jersey.
  • Capt. Charles C. Dally, 5th & 7th New Jersey.
  • Lt. John J. Perrine, 5th & 8th New Jersey, discharged at Trenton, Aug. 3 (check dated Aug 4).
  • Lt. Edwin F. Lamb, 8th New Jersey.
  • Capt. Frederick Young, 6th & 8th New Jersey.
  • Lt. William Hartford, 8th New Jersey (prior enl service in 3rd U.S. Artillery).
  • Capt. Benjamin Murphy, 8th Infantry.
  • Capt. S.W. Nafew, 7th NJ, 2nd check issued this pile. Signed.
  • Capt. Martin L. Jennens, 7th New Jersey.
  • Lt. Jesse C. Morgan,  7th New Jersey.
  • Lt. George W. Jackson, 5th & 7th New Jersey.
  • Private Thomas W. Spink, mustered as substitue Co. E, 5th NJ; 7th NJ, and POW.
  • Private Garrison Andrews, discharged for Disability, Aug 4, 1865, 14th New Jersey Infantry.
  • Private David Bertsch, discharged from Ward Army Hospital Aug 4, 1865,  2nd New York.
  • Lt. George W. Preston,  5th & 7th New Jersey.
  • Lt. William H. Clark, 5th & 7th New Jersey.
  • Private Joseph W. Walton, private, discharged from Ward Army Hospital, Aug 4, 1865, wounded at Gettysburg.
  • Lt. William Thompson, 7th New Jersey.
  • Lt.Col. Henry Hartford, 2nd check, 8th NJ, signed; & signature of Lt.Col. John W. Newell, Paymaster, USA.
  • Lt. Christian Lubrecht, 3rd New Jersey Cavalry.

The other names I can’t clearly identify, as there are more than one option, or they are companies, contractors, etc.


Nathan Sharpless Brinton, was born 10 November 1829 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He married Mary D. Buckley, and the two apparently had no children. Brinton was commissioned in the Union Army as a Major and Additional Paymaster 1 June 1861. On 4 August 1865 Brinton was brevetted Lieutenant Colonel, and honorably mustered out 1 October 1865. He died 25 September 1914, and his wife died August 13, 1913.

Most of the information obtained in my quick search, concerned the Steamer Ruth that was put of fire in August 1863 by Southern espionage, and caused the loss of 2.6 million dollars of Union Army payroll where Brinton was responsible.  This was a lengthy investigated and eventually Brinton was exonerated.    One other brief account mentioned that he was a friend of Abraham Lincoln.

Not blood and guts, but an interesting aspect to war; everybody wants to be paid. A complete little Civil War time capsule, that amazingly has remained intact all these many years..


Additional information

Weight .7 lbs