Wednesday, April 4, 2012
George W. Ware: A Civil War Career Cut Short
When I first studied George W. Ware, my 3rd great grandfather and his involvement in the Civil War, I was enthused. I figured if anyone had a story to write about it would be him. All I knew at the time was that he enlisted in 1862 for three years and his regiment saw action at Shiloh and several dozen battles in Mississippi, Georgia and up through the Carolinas. Although there is a story, it certainly wasn't what I had expected.
The online genealogy databases has George W. Ware enlisting on January 9th, 1862 and the battle of Shiloh in Tennessee began on April 6, 1862. But all his disability and pension and military records state on many different forms that he enlisted into Company D of the 15th Iowa infantry on September 1862, nearly 5 months afterward. Although not a veteran of Shiloh, he was at the Second Battle of Corinth, Mississippi where some serious hand to hand combat occurred along with heavy losses on the confederate side.
George W. Ware's military career wasn't much of a career for just short of two months after enlistment, it came to an end. On October 25, 1862 at the Holly Springs camp near Lagrange, Tennessee when a wagon became stuck after hitting a tree stump, George helped get it unstuck by helping to lift it and in the process severely sprained his lower back. He was carried to his tent and inspected by camp surgeons but there is no word that they were able to do anything for him. He moved with the rest of his regiment down to Lake Providence, Mississippi and while the rest of his company worked on digging a canal between the lake and the Mississippi river in an attempt to bypass the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg, George lay in the Lake Providence hospital where he still suffered from his lower back sprain along with a new affliction. The new affliction was deemed chronic diarrhea and eventually that led to disease of the rectum. Ouch!
The pension papers, all 106 pages of them, were full of neat information and included previously unseen (at least to me) items such as their marriage license, Sarah's middle name (Jane) along with her county of birth in Virginia (Augusta), the birth dates of several of their children and confirmation on the death dates of George and Sarah. The one bit I had been hoping to find out was George's middle name. The records spelled out Sarah's but George always just used the middle initial of W. with no record of what W stood for.
My 3rd great grandfather George W. Ware was the first of my eight ancestors whom I was able to obtain all their military records and it was very interesting to interpret and read them. It will probably take me many evenings over the course of many weeks to fully process the records for all the clues and information they contain. With seven more to go after him, I have quite a project on my hand.