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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

A private wrote about the war

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 10:47 am

My great-grandfather, George W. Geiger, enlisted in the army at Wesley Chapel, Eel River Township, Allen County, on Aug. 7, 1862, and left for Camp Allen on Aug. 18. He served as a private in the Infantry, Company E, Regiment 88 Indiana; Brigade 17. He left Fort Wayne on Aug. 26, was mustered into the army Aug. 29 in Indianapolis and was sent to Louisville on Sept. 1. He fought in the Battle of Perrysville, Ky., in October 1862. Harvey, George's brother, also served in the 88th Indiana. Harvey sent home a pattern of his hand drawn on a piece of paper picked up from the battlefield. Both George's and Harvey's hand prints were incorporated into a quilt made by the women back home. I have that quilt.

My mother transcribed George's letters to his wife, Rebecca, so family members could have copies of them.

— Janice Parquet, Churubusco

Relatives were gunner, bugler

Joseph Poinsett was my great-great-uncle, born about 1831 in Germantown, Ohio. He was a cooper, which is a barrel maker. His parents, Peter and Mary Rockhill Poinsett, came to Allen County about 1834.

During the Civil War he enlisted for three years in Co. E 47th Regiment, Indiana Infantry, organized at Indianapolis on Dec. 4, 1861. He was promised a bounty of $100 from Allen County to enlist for three years, and received clothing worth $12.50.

According to his papers, he saw action as a gunner and cannoneer at Fort Custis, Helena, Ark. He also saw action at Madrid and Riddles Point, Mo., in March 1862 and Fort Pemberton, Miss., in March 1863.

His papers showed his last payment February 1863. He had $2 on him when he died of dysentery in Van Buren Hospital in Milliken's Bend, La., on June 3, 1863. He apparently was buried there since there is no record of his being buried in Fort Wayne.

I believe if he had lived he would have been with General Grant when he lay siege to Vicksburg in the summer of 1863.

My paternal great-grandfather, David Eggiman, was born Aug. 30, 1842, in Allen County. During the Civil War, he enlisted at Attica in the 126th Regiment, 11th Cavalry, Co. K as a private, and was mustered in Indianapolis Jan. 9, 1864.

He was a bugler and became a leader of the regimental band. His regiment was stationed mainly in Tennessee, Kentucky and northern Alabama.

From his records it appears he was present until about October 1864 when he became sick and was sent to Brown General Hospital in Louisville, Ky.

Another note said he was furloughed from the hospital and on Surgeon's Certificate for his inability (David) to travel, his furlough was extended to Feb. 1, 1865, since which time nothing further had been heard of him.

During this time, he apparently came to Fort Wayne to wed Dena Hunsche in November 1864, who was expecting their first child, and stayed long enough for a son named Peter to be born in December. He was picked up as a deserter and arrested February 1865 with a reward of $30 and $5 for transport.

He was again playing in the regimental band and had an honorable discharge in September 1865 in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

— Shirley Poinsett Slater, Fort Wayne