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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Following is a letter written by my great-great-grandmother's first husband, George Davis, describing his unit's participation in the Battle of Champion's Hill. A battle that took place as Grant's Army pursued the Confederates toward Vicksburg.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 13 Aug. 1862 while in Deep Creek, Iowa for the period of three years. He was 27 years old and 6 ft. 1 in. tall. Had brown hair, blue eyes and a "fair complexion". He was paid a bounty of $25, with a premium of $2 for enlisting.
He was assigned to Company A, 24th Iowa Infantry Volunteers. The company Muster-In Roll, dated 17 Sept. 1862, gave his rank as 1st Sergeant. Best information I have found seems to indicate his unit was issued Enfield rifles during this battle,
In June 1863, while serving in the campaign around Vicksburg; George became sick and was sent up the Mississippi River to a hospital in Memphis, Tenn. George died there on June 5th or 6th. Cause of death was listed as "chronic diarrhoea". It has been estimated that about 100,000 on each side died of it during the war. Disease actually killed more soldiers in the Civil War than combat.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I typed up our family genealogy for my grandmother some years back and this is from that. Nothing like a personnal connection to peak one's interest in history.

Not exactly sure what an "orderly" was then, and why his rank was listed as 1st Sgt. Wonder if he would have been issued a pistol, and/or sword. Have been unable to find any info on pistols his unit would have carried.

Also no clue as to how long a "rod" is?
 

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IIRC "Orderly Sergeant" was a Mexican War era term for "First Sergeant", not sure when the latter term became official. It was fairly common for a new recruit who was literate
and could write well-no typewriters back then-to be promoted to First Sergeant immediately
after enlisting, no pool of long term regular NCOs to draw on. A sergeant or above would have worn and NCO's sash and sword-officially. And I presume you mean he enlisted on August 13, 1862.
A "rod" is an old measurement of length-a surveyor's rod was 16.5 feet, I recall reading in Boy's Life over forty years ago
that another version of a rod was the measurement of the left feet of fourteen men lined up for church.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thank you for replies - really glad I posted now! Right off hand - I don't know if he was promoted - will have to check my docuements. From his letter it appears his unit's officers and men were decimated - so quite probable. Just wish there was a date on that roster. He has'nt been given his due in the genealogy due to the fact that he had no children - went off to war right after marriage. His wife later married my great-great grandfather. I have his diary from the 2nd Iowa, and a personal account of another battle.

Sorry about typo - yes it was 1862 he enlisted (have corrected).
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
For anyone interested in Civil War weapons: in "24th Iowa Infantrty; Chronology of Events and Biography of Amos S. Stevens" it states "On July 6th they moved by rail back to Algiers, where they were issued new Springfield rifles to replace the old Enfield rifles they had been using". This was in 1863.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here are other letter from George Davis that were apparently cut from a local newspaper. Unfortunately no one kept track of which newspaper. Guessing they were written to someone other than his wife - parents possibly. Gives a second account of the same battle in the 2nd letter. Hopefully ledgeable - may have to blow up to read.
 
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