Emmit G. Latta of Friendship, NY

The information published here was obtained and submitted by George Latta, Branch 13 of the Latta Family. 

For the official website of the LATTA Family, go to:  --  Look to Branch 4 for the Latta's in Friendship NY.



Emmit G.Latta in the Papers of Abraham Lincoln.


On December 5, 1864, fifteen-year-old Emmit G.Latta of New York went to New
York City and enlisted as a private in the Union Army.  In 1861,
Army regulations required all recruits be "above the age of eighteen and
under thirty-five years"
While in camp with his company at Fort Morton,Virginia, Emmit Latta was
thrown from a horse and injured his arm on January 5, 1865.

A few days later, Emmit's father, Samuel E. Latta, wrote to President
Abraham Lincoln, seeking to have his son discharged from service.

...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...
Affidavit of Samuel E. Latta
10 January 1865
Application for the release of a Boy 15 years old from service
This is to certify that my son Emmit G Latta was born on the 28th day of May
1849 in the Town of Wirt
Allegany Co New York and that I the undersigned am his Father and that I
sent him on other business from
home and that without my knowledge or consent he was induced to enlist into
co F 1st U.S. Light artillery
and is now at Fort Morgan, on Arlington heights and that I wish to have him
Yours &c
Samuel E Latta
Friendship Allegany Co N. Y
To the hon. Abraham Lincoln
President US Washington D. C
P S. will get this endorsed by two Congressmen if
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 10th day
of Jan 1865
Saml Drury
J[ustice] p[eace]
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

A few days later, President Lincoln ordered the
Secretary of War to discharge Latta upon refund of
"any bounty received."

...   ...   ...   ...   ...   ...   ...   ...

Latta's pension records indicate that he received a discharge at Fort Morton, Virginia.

On April 7, 1865, Latta again enlisted as a private in the Union Army, this time in
Company I, 19th New York Cavalry Regiment.
Fifteen-year-old Latta entered his age as seventeen on his enlistment form,
and his father signed the consent, although he entered Emmit's age as sixteen.

After the war ended, the Army honorably discharged Latta on July 19, 1865. A year
later, Latta re-enlisted as a private in Company A, 4th U.S. Infantry.
According to family history, he spent this time as an engineer,

helping to locate railroad beds in the Rocky Mountains and exploring the Yellowstone region.

He was discharged from service at Fort Fetterman, Wyoming, in 1869. Latta returned to
Friendship, New York, and later made a name for himself as an entrepreneur and inventor,

eventually patenting scores of improvements for bicycles and typewriters.