So Sad – The Photo Was Not My Ancestor

Yesterday, I wrote about a photo that a distant cousin thought was our Civil War ancestor. You can read about that here (Authenticating a Civil War Photo). I wanted to verify this, so did some searching.

It turns out that the soldier in the photo is from the same company as our ancestor and was in Andersonville Prison at the same time. I discovered this by running the photo through Tineye.

Results of the TinEye search on the photo.

Results of the TinEye search on the photo.

The link it provided didn’t work, so my next step was to run the link through The Wayback Machine. That’s a site that stores defunct web sites.

When I saw the results, a web site from 2008, I then googled the topic and found where the page currently resides. Here’s the story about the soldier that the photo actually shows. His name is Lambert Rogier.

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Make Copies of Information You Find Online

You may think it sufficient to bookmark a site that relates to your ancestor. Alas, the Internet shifts, changes, and sites can disappear.

I recommend saving a screen shot on your computer or using a clipping app like Evernote. Even that isn’t enough insurance. What if your computer crashes. Go one step further and print a paper copy to keep.

Last year I’d found a great website about Belgians in the Civil War. It included half a dozen men who were in my great-great grandfather’s company and several were in Andersonville with him. The profiles on this site were most informative and probably written from the pension files of these individuals.

I made a few notes and saved a link, thinking I could always go back for more details later. Unfortunately the profiles are now gone from online. If I want that information, I’ll need to order their pension records. That’s an expense I wasn’t planning on, so I’m really regretting that I didn’t print all that information when I first found it.

Henri Devillez served in Company G, 93rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry with my ancestor. In 2012, I visited his grave in Leopold, Indiana.

Henri Devillez served in Company G, 93rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry with my ancestor. In 2012, I visited his grave in Leopold, Indiana.

I’ve included a few notes about him and other enlisted men of Company G on a web page where I was stockpiling links. From now on, I’m also printing out all that I find.

Treasure Chest Thursday: My Great-Great-Grandfather’s Diary

A treasure that our family possesses is the well-worn pocket diary that belonged to our Civil War ancestor. He must have bought it right before being mustered out. At the top of the first page, he wrote August the 4 1865.

The first few pages list the men in Company G, 93rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Probably he wanted to note all their names so he would remember them. After three years together, I imagine they all felt very close. The first name in the list is Jerome Spilman, Capt.

The names fill the first twelve pages of the diary. He breaks it down into officers, enlisted men, those that died, those that were discharged, ones that were transferred and ones that deserted.

I sure wish the diary included details from all the years he was in the Union Army. Maybe he had an earlier one but it was lost while he was in Andersonville Prison. You can read more about Andersonville here.

The diary that Abraham Tower recorded the names of the men he served with in the Civil War

The diary that Abraham Tower recorded the names of the men he served with in the Civil War

Finding Regimental Histories

If you know what regiment and company your Civil War ancestor was in, then you’ll find a wealth of information searching on that. Usually you can find out the names or roster of people in a company (usually about 100 men). From my great-great grandfather’s pension record, I knew he was in Company G, 93rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry.

When you search for the regiment, try variations like “93 Indiana Infantry” and “ninty third Indiana Volunteers.” Sometimes you find sources such as an old book on the regiment that has been placed online. Most of these can be searched by name inside the book.

Some information is available through the state archives, so go to those sites once you know what state your ancestor’s regiment was from. The regimental histories give a list of the places, some dates and the battles the regiment was in. This lets you see where your ancestor was during different times of the war.

I found it helpful to map out the movements of the regiment so I could visualize it better. This is my web page Tracking the 93rd Indiana Infantry‘s locations during the Civil War.

Civil War Topics by Virginia Allain

Civil War Topics by Virginia Allain

Sorting Out Your Research on a Civil War Ancestor

I’ve been reading widely on the Civil War, attempting to fill in the gaps about my ancestor’s experience during those harrowing times. To keep track of what I find and to share it with others, I’m curating the information and resources on small web pages on Squidoo. The site is free to use.

So far I’ve made 36 Squidoo lenses (their term for web pages) about Abraham Bates Tower and various aspects of the War Between the States. My topics range from What Was in a Civil War Soldier’s Backpack to A Civil War Christmas. I’ll share my links here in case you are needing any of these topics.

Civil War Topics by Virginia Allain

Civil War Topics by Virginia Allain