Wednesday, December 15, 2010

George Persons - early life and military service

George E. Persons was born on January 9, 1832 in Genesee, New York according to his death certificate1. It is unclear whether this is Genesee County, New York, or the town of Genesee in Allegany County, New York. All records of George agree that he was born sometime between 1832 and 1835 in New York. I currently have no information on his parents or siblings. He moved sometime before 1864 to Knoxville, Marion County, Iowa.

The next record found for George is his enlistment in the Civil War as a private in Company A of the 33rd Iowa Infantry Regiment on February 26, 1864 in Marion County, Iowa. On July 12, 1865 he transferred from Company A of the 33rd Iowa Infantry to Company A of the Iowa 34th Infantry. Finally, on September 26, 1865 he was mustered out at St. Louis, Missouri2

It is not certain at this time how much combat he was involved in. The Iowa 33rd took part in the ill-fated Red River Campaign and the subsequent Battle of Jenkin's Ferry on April 30, 1864, and the 33rd lost 123 men in the battle. They returned to Little Rock on May 3, 1864 and remained on garrison duty there until October 30, 1864, and at that time they escorted a supply train to Fort Smith, Arkansas marching there and back. On January 21, 1865 they marched from Little Rock to Mount Elba, Arkansas and back. They left Little Rock again on February 14, 1865 and traveled by steamboat to New Orleans, and then by rail to Navy Cove, Alabama. They then marched to Mobile, taking place in the siege of Mobile from March 27th to April 8th, 1865. They then marched from Spanish Fort to Fort Blakely and on arrival witnessed its capture by union forces. They then crossed Mobile Bay and went into Mobile to Whistler Station. From there they marched to McIntosh Bluff where they remained until June 1, 1865, when they traveled on the ocean steamer "Continental" to Brazos Santiago, Texas and then to the town of Bagdad. At this point George would have received his transfer orders to the Iowa 34th, marching to Galveston, Texas, and then to Houston and finally being mustered out3.

I have sent away for George's pension application and military service record, which should give more personal details about George's service. More on this when they arrive.
1.Missouri State Board of Health. death certificate 30778 (1911), George E. Persons; bureau of Vital Statistics, digital image. Missouri Digital Heritage. ( : accessed 15 Dec 2010).
2.George E. Persons, Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: ( : accessed 15 Dec 2010), 2009.
3.Guy E. Logan, Roster and Record of Iowa Troops In the Rebellion, Vol. 5. Historical Sketch of the 33rd Iowa Infantry. Available at: : accessed 15 Dec 2010.

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