Thursday, June 16, 2011

It Would Be Nice to Know More

Confederate service records are notoriously incomplete or even lacking altogether. Some men of the 28th Texas Cavalry (dismounted) who fell killed or wounded during the Red River campaign had no compiled service record yet they appeared in newspaper casualty lists. Regional folklore states that there were men who rushed to arms to protect Texas and perhaps that explains these mystery men. How many other Confederates served with no surviving official documentation?

And then there is the case of “Bob.” Recently, I browsed through the compiled service records for the 24th Texas Cavalry that are available online through There is a record for “Bob (Indian)” a private who enrolled in Company G on January 18, 1862 in Polk County; on April 11, 1862 he was officially mustered in. Sadly, there is no other information about Bob. With no surname or enlistment age provided, there is little chance that he can be identified in the 1860 census. Possibly another soldier in the 24th Texas Cavalry mentioned him in a surviving letter or a diary but the likelihood of that is probably slim. It would be nice to know more. During the Civil War, there certainly was more than one way to become “unknown.”

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