A Father’s Letter

Wedding picture of NB Hancock and Lulu Pearl Brace

Nathan Brink Hancock and Lulu Pearl Brace. Married December 31, 1902 in Narka, Kansas.

When I first started researching my family history in 1998 one mistake I made was not asking enough questions. Now, the people who have the answers to the questions I didn’t ask have passed away.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day and on this day I wanted to share with my cousins the family story of a broken hearted father. In reality I don’t think many of my cousins even know this father, grandfather, great grandfather and great, great grandfather.

Below is the printed transcription of a three page letter dated June 21, 1904, from Nathan Brink Hancock to Lulu Brace Hancock. Brink, as he was called by his family, and Lulu were married December 31, 1902 in Narka, Kansas. When he wrote this letter on June 21, 1904, Brink Hancock was living in Fairbury, Nebraska and Lulu was living at her parents home in Narka, Kansas with baby Bernard Floyd Hancock who was born May 18, 1903. After Bernard’s birth Lulu was very ill and needed help to care for herself and her baby.

20160618_172832

Fairbury June 21 – 04

Dear Lulu:

I thought as I was not busy today I would answer your letter of last week. I my self am not feeling the best in fact not well at all. I was sorry that you wanted me to come down Sat. night and that I couldn’t be with you. I am sure there is no one who wants to see any one worse than I have you for a long time.

I was looking at our picture when I opened my trunk. So if this letter isn’t wrote all right don’t think anything of it for it almost gets away with one when I look at such a nice picture and to think that our lives should be bloted as they have in the past.

I walked down to the docket this morning when the train came in and I was quite sure I saw Bobby Hall on board. I didn’t pay much attention. I think now that I will come to Narka next Sat. perhaps to stay a week. I don’t know just how long but not for good as I haven’t any home to stay at any more. If I come I will make it a point to see you while there but maybe not Sat. night. For if the folks are in town I can ride out with them and save walking. I will have to close for this time for lack of time if I get this off on the eve. mail.

I would be glad to hear from you before Sat. if convenient.

I am yours.

N.B.H.

Written across the blank top of page 3 is the following message:

I hope this will find you in good health as its an awful thing to feel “bad”

Good Bye

I have seen a copy of a letter sent to the Republic County, Kansas court house by Bernard’s mother in 1935 asking for records on the father of Bernard Floyd Hancock. The clerk replied the records no longer existed because of a fire. I have been told that Bernard searched for years for his father but could not locate him.

In 1910 Lulu Hancock married John Baber. I have a copy of the marriage license for Lulu and John Baber which includes the date of divorce from Nathan Brink Hancock. My contact, Bev Porter, from the Hancock family tells me that when Brink was notified of the divorce he came to Colorado but could not locate Lulu and therefore never met his son Bernard Floyd Hancock.

Brink lived in Lincoln Nebraska and worked for the University there. Brink did re-marry and had a son named Leland Merle. Brink died in 1949, Merle died a few years ago but census records indicate he has two sons.

For me this is a sad story. What force kept Lulu and Brink apart? Bernard was lucky to have John Baber for a step-father, he loved him very much. But, he always knew his father was out there somewhere. All that time passing by and they never connected.

NBHANCOCk

Nathan Brink Hancock

Bernard Floyd Hancock 136 copy

Bernard Floyd Hancock

Nathan Brink Hancock, Theresa Frary Hancock, James Rosser Hancock, Leland Merle Hancock 1925 Narka KS

What’s In A Name?

What’s in a name? Stories. Even if the story is a little far fetched or not quite accurate, a name can tell you a lot.

Here is Jerry’s story.

Signe Viola Stalter and Jerry Frimpter Stalter

Signe Viola Stalter and Jerry Frimpter Stalter

My dad, Jerry Frimpter Stalter, while we were growing up, told us his name was really Perry, not Jerry and that his middle name was not Frimpter but should have been Trimpter. His reason, he told us, was because his mother’s Norwegian accent was difficult to understand and the people at the hospital put down the wrong name for his birth certificate. Ok, dad, good story!

Now for the facts, ma’am just the facts:

Signe Helmeena Anderson

Signe Helmeena (Anderson) Stalter

Jerry’s mother, Signe Helmeena (Anderson) Stalter was born in Bruce, Rusk County,Wisconsin in 1902. Her parents Hinberg and Signe (pronounced Sena) Anderson traveled from Norway to America in 1892. So, it was easy to believe that Signe, the daughter, could have an accent because it was obvious that her parents would have Norwegian accents.

(click on the pictures to make them larger)

Frimpter tombstone

Frimpter Headstone

During my genealogy research I found the family name Frimpter. The Frimpter name was the maiden name of Jerry’s grandmother Sarah (Frimpter) Stalter, mother of Perry Stalter, grandmother to Jerry. Check, question answered. Proof found.

Perry Stalter

Perry Stalter

Even though I had the answer to the Frimpter/Trimpter story I was puzzled by the Perry/Jerry part of the story.

Baptism registration for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

Baptism registration for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

Well this week was my lucky week. You can sign on to Ancestry through Labor Day for free and I used this opportunity to check out my “hints” since I am no longer a member of Ancestry. I found a reference to the baptism of Jerry Frimpter Stalter and to my surprise he was baptized Perry Frimpter Stalter. Check, question answered. Proof found.

His name probably should have been Perry.

(Growing up, everyone called him “Bud.”)

Makes me feel pretty good about the stories my dad told.

Young Sena and Himberg Anderson

Young Sena and Himberg Anderson

When Did Grandpa Hancock Get To Colorado?

Tough question to answer. Here is my methodology for finding an answer.

Fact #1 – What I do know – Bernard Floyd Hancock was born 18 May 1903. His mother was Lulu Pearl Brace who married Nathan Brink Hancock 19 December 1902 in Narka, Kansas. Unfortunately Nathan or “Brink”  Hancock as he was called by his family and Lulu never lived together. Lulu stayed with her parents, John and Mary Phoebe “Birdie” Brace until she married John Baber in 1910 in Elbert, Colorado, which was the same year she divorced Nathan Brink Hancock. Lulu received a letter from Brink Hancock date June 21, 1904 and it was mailed from Fairbury to Narka, Kansas.

Fact #2 – What I do know – The first formal record of John Brace in Colorado shows up in 1904 when John purchased land described as being three miles west of Elbert, Colorado. The 1900 census shows Johns Brace in Narka, Republic County, Kansas and the 1910 Census shows John Brace in Elbert, Colorado. One record in the Elbert paper indicates John Brace rented a house in Elbert prior to purchase of property in 1904. The 1910 census shows Lulu Pearl Brace Hancock and Bernard Hancock living in Kiowa and Bernard is shown as being 7 years old.

The  picture below has been digitally enhanced (lightened) and shows a house with a small child and a large dog in the yard. Markings on the back of the picture indicate the child in the picture is Bernard Hancock.

Bernard Hancock and dog

(click on picture to enlarge)

Based on the dates I know and the child in the picture above, which appears to be a child anywhere from 1 year old to 2 years old I would say John Brace and his wife Birdie and Lulu Brace Hancock came to Colorado in late summer or early fall in 1904 with Bernard.

That would indicate the picture above would have been taken in Elbert, Colorado.

If you enlarge the picture the window frames items sitting on a table. The dog may be an Irish Setter. A lot of dirt in the yard and no trees! The barn may be made of sod (very difficult to tell).

Fact #3 – What I know – Below is another picture of Bernard Hancock as a child with his mother Lulu Brace Hancock later to marry John Baber, Birdie Brace and Lois Emmerette Goodell Totten (seated) who had just become a widow following the death of her husband William Franklin Totten 11 November 1903. This picture was taken in Elbert.

Four Generations

Four Generations

Another interesting point is the property where John Brace and Birdie Brace lived, described as three miles west of Elbert was just across the road from the property where Mary Francis Foreman and her parents Grace Irene Squires who married Robert Sidney Foreman, lived for a short time with Grace’s parents Edwin and Mary Selina Squires.

The Second Time Around, Now I know!

Sorting through boxes after our recent move I came across two yearbooks belonging to my mother who graduated from Loveland High School. “The Chieftain” from 1942 and 1943. I was aware I had the yearbooks but I never took the time, until today, to look through and read each page. In the past I have posted many pictures of my mother as a young woman, never being able to date them accurately. The second time around now I know!

The Chieftain 1943

The Class of ’43

   “On the opening day of the 1939-40 school term, 150 bewildered freshmen gathered not in the high school auditorium as was the usual custom, but in the little red church across the street to receive their first instructions. They had no study halls and no assemblies except pep meetings which were held in the grandstand. All of these unusual arrangements were necessary because of the construction work on the new junior high building.”

Loveland High School 1942

   Various school activities included pep rally’s to cheer on the football team which was state champion in 1939 having played against Pueblo on the Loveland field. They marched in the Costume Day parade in downtown Loveland. As sophomore’s in the 1940-41 school term many of the students became contributing members of the football and basketball team and cheerleaders and majorettes.

   The third year at Loveland High School 1941-42 the “juniors” had 18 boys receive their letter in football, and continuing participation in basketball cheerleading and school spirit continued. The class presented the play “Mama’s Baby Boy,” which was a great success.

Evelyn Hancock Junior Year 1942

Evelyn Hancock
Junior Year
1942

  In the forward of the 1943 year book for this class of seniors a warning was included  “WARNING: Due to war conditions, we were not able to get water-proof covers for your year book, so take special care of them. There may be other things in this year book that you do not approve of, but due to shortage of materials and other difficulties, many plans had to be modified.”

   The students returned to school in the fall of 1942 as stately seniors, and as such were allowed to leave the auditorium first.  Again the Loveland Indians brought honors by winning the state championship from the Salida Spartans. Due to the shortage of labor on the farms we began school a week earlier and then allowed two weeks vacation to work in the beet fields. The senior year also included attending school on five Saturdays so the students could end the school year early.

Evelyn Hancock Senior Year 1943

Evelyn Hancock
Senior Year
1943

    “One of the most pleasant memories the seniors of 1943 will carry with them when they leave Loveland High School will be the memory of a class party held on March 12. The party was held in the music room, and dancing and games were the diversion of the evening. Refreshments of pop and doughnuts were served.”

The class sponsor was called back to the Army, leaving mid-term and 6 senior boys left school to serve in World War II.

Future Homemakers Club 1943 Second row, 1st on the left

Future Homemakers Club 1943
Second row, 1st on the left

(click on the pictures to enlarge)

 

Family History Thanksgiving Story 2013 – Mayflower Passenger George Soule

From the Pilgrim Hall Museum

Explore this link to share the stories of the pilgrims and the origin of Thanksgiving.

http://www.pilgrimhallmuseum.org/thanksgiving.htm

Remember our ancestor was George Soule, a servant/teacher for Edward Winslow’s children.

George had been orphaned when his home burned and his parents died. His brother Robert raised him. When he heard of the opportunity to go to the new world, he did so with the Edward Winslow family.

George Soule was a signer of the Mayflower Compact. A document where all of the people agreed to govern as a group.

Read more from the Pilgrim Hall Museum web site.

AT THE FIRST THANKSGIVING:

4 MARRIED WOMEN: Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Elizabeth Hopkins, Susanna White
Winslow.

5 ADOLESCENT GIRLS: Mary Chilton (14), Constance Hopkins (13 or 14), Priscilla Mullins (19),
Elizabeth Tilley (14 or15) and Dorothy, the Carver’s unnamed maidservant, perhaps 18 or 19.

9 ADOLESCENT BOYS: Francis & John Billington, John Cooke, John Crackston, Samuel Fuller
(2d), Giles Hopkins, William Latham, Joseph Rogers, Henry Samson.

13 YOUNG CHILDREN: Bartholomew, Mary & Remember Allerton, Love & Wrestling Brewster,
Humility Cooper, Samuel Eaton, Damaris & Oceanus Hopkins, Desire Minter, Richard More,
Resolved & Peregrine White.

22 MEN: John Alden, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, William Bradford, William Brewster, Peter
Brown, Francis Cooke, Edward Doty, Francis Eaton, [first name unknown] Ely, Samuel Fuller,
Richard Gardiner, John Goodman, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland, Edward Lester, George
Soule, Myles Standish, William Trevor, Richard Warren, Edward Winslow, Gilbert Winslow.

FAMILY GROUPS:
 ALDEN: John
 ALLERTON: Isaac with children Bartholomew, Mary, Remember; the Allerton servant
William Latham
 BILLINGTON: John & Eleanor with sons Francis, John Jr.
 BRADFORD: William
 BREWSTER: William & Mary with sons Love, Wrestling; their ward Richard More
 BROWNE / BROWN: Peter
 CARVER: The Carver ward Desire Minter; the Carver servant John Howland; the Carver
maidservant Dorothy.
 CHILTON: Mary
 COOKE: Francis with son John
 CRACKSTON: John
 EATON: Francis with son Samuel
 ELY: Unknown adult man
 FULLER: Samuel with nephew Samuel 2d
 GARDINER: Richard
 GOODMAN: John
 HOPKINS: Stephen & Elizabeth with Giles, Constance, Damaris, Oceanus; their servants
Edward Doty and Edward Leister.
 MULLINS: Priscilla
 ROGERS: Joseph
 STANDISH: Myles  TILLEY: Elizabeth
 TILLEY: Tilley wards Humility Cooper and Henry Samson
 TREVOR / TREVORE: William
 WARREN: Richard
 WINSLOW: Edward & Susanna with her sons Resolved White & Peregrine White; Winslow
servant George Soule
 WINSLOW: Gilbert
Note: In Of Plymouth Plantation, William Bradford lists the Mayflower passengers and also tells us who died during the
first winter of 1620/1621 and spring of 1621. No other ships arrived in Plymouth until after the “First Thanksgiving”
celebration. The Pilgrims at the “First Thanksgiving” are all the Mayflower survivors.

Edwin Squires – Vicksburg Campaign, February 1863

As described by Arthur Robinson in is Memorandum and Anecdotes of the Civil War 1862 to 1865, on December 28th orders were read for the 33rd Regiment to return to Memphis. Companies of the 33rd Regiment quartered very comfortably just outside the Memphis city limit until February 7, 1863.

“The morning of February 7th, 1863, we were paid four months’ pay, issued five days’ rations, 60 rounds of cartridges and a sheet of canvas 5 feet by 6 feet, with buttons on one edge and stake loops on the other, so that two sheets could be buttoned together, which we called dog tents. These were to be our tents and shelter. Our quartermaster had been around and taken an inventory of our camp. That meant there was something in the wind. That afternoon, on dress parade, there were orders read to be ready to march to the city landing by 6 A.M., leaving our tents and camp stand. This was not approved by some of the boys.They did not like the idea of leaving our comfortable camp for some new regiment to occupy and enjoy, and there were a good many pranks played, such as splitting the forks of the stakes that supported the bunks, burying blank cartridges in the fireplaces, or stuffing the chimneys with old blankets and castoff clothing; any thing that would be likely to give annoyance to the new occupants.

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Dog tent

We were in line promptly at 6 o’clock the morning of the 8th, and were marched to the city landing. There we stacked our arms and lay awaiting our turn for loading on the boats. There were three boats assigned for our brigade. (A brigade consisted of 3 to 6 regiments; a regiment was 10 companies of 100 men, so a brigade could be 3000 to 6000 soldiers.) The 3d Iowa and the 41st Missouri were embarked on the White Cloud, a large boat and the one that first brought our regiment to Memphis. The 14th Illinois was next, on the Queen, a stern wheeler; our regiment, the 33d Wisconsin, on the Natchez, a stern wheeler, and we were started down the river in that order, leaving Memphis at 11 o’clock A.M. The third day, as we neared Young’s Point, the White Cloud was fired into by a masked battery from the east bank. We answered with a volley of musketry, and our boat in the rear was ordered to land at a landing a short distance above, the other two going down the river. Our regiment was landed and marched across the bend about two miles, where we came in sight of the battery, two guns. They had spied us and were off in a gallop. Here they had another embrasure and would have given the boats another shot had we not surprised them. We pursued them four miles. We then marched back to Iuca, twelve miles below where we had landed, and found our boats awaiting us there. We were not molested again in our going down the river, and arrived at Milican’s Bend the 12th, where we were disembarked and went into camp.

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February 13th we awoke in the morning to find our camp flooded with water from the river, everything was drenched, and we were wading out to higher ground, and the boys were singing the nautical song as they marked out. “Mark Twain, Mark above water Twain, nine feet, no bottom.” It was quite amusing to see how cheerful the boys took their wetting. The country is a flat level and protected by a levee, a bank of earth thrown up along the bank of the river. This had washed out or broken in many places, letting the water in.

Grant was concentrating his army here and some had already gone below Grand Gulf, on this side of the river. Troops were moving south every day. We were in sound of the gunboats’ fire on Vicksburg. There was a large lot of army stores here, which we were guarding, unloading from boats every day and wagon trains were loaded and sent down below Vicksburg. There was a deserter came to our camp the 17th and reported that there was a rebel camp up the river about 30 miles, near the mouth of White River, where they had a small steamboat and two barges that they were crossing men to the east side with; that their camp was secreted on a bayou entering the White River, a camp of 500 men, commanded by Colonel Gurley.

We had received orders to be ready to march at 10 o’clock, issued five days’ rations, 40 rounds of cartridges and light camp outfit, two wagons loaded with picks and shovels and were marched up the river twenty miles, where we apparently go into camp, but only until darkness, when our regiment was divided into two troops. Companies K and I were sent up the river to the mouth of White River; the balance of the regiment was marched west in the cypress swamp over a corduroy road. We moved with great caution. I must here state that our picks and shovels were unloaded at the river, where they were put in array as if we were to work on the levee, ostensibly for a blind, to lead the rebels, if any were spying our movements, to think our purpose was to repair the levee.

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Engineers building a “corduroy” road.Wood was put down in swampy areas to make a road.

We were moving with great caution, probably having gone twelve miles, when we came to a halt, and there one company was detached, turning their ponchos wrong side out over their shoulders. They marched on and we heard them halted by the enemy’s picket. The rebel who had come to our camp was dressed in rebel uniform and was sent up, announcing a friend with the countersign. He relieved the picket and told him that they are on the march to cross the river. This ruse was followed up until we relieved all their sentinels and we stationed our pickets and disarmed the rebels. Then we marched in on their camp and took them totally by surprise without firing a gun. We found their guns stacked and took possession of them before we aroused them. The jig was up. We had captured 400 prisoners, with their entire camp outfit and we guarded them in their own camp until daybreak, when we burned everything that would burn–the two scows and steamboat–and marched out to where we had formed our camp and were back in Milican Bend February 20th in our old camp. The Johnnies were sent up the river the next day. They wanted a boat ride, and they got one. They had been ferrying troops across the river to the east side at night and secreted their boat during the daytime. This had been the source of reinforcements to Pemberton for some time.

We remained at Milican Bend guarding the army stores until the 28th of March. That afternoon we were ordered to embark on a boat and with two of the marine boats were sent up the Yazoo River after dark. The fleet ran the blockade that night and the sky was red with shell from our  mortar fleet, and the rebel batteries were pouring their shot into our fleet. Our motive was to blow out the blockade in the Yazoo river while the fleet passed Vicksburg, but it was found impracticable, as the rebels had it covered in range of four of their siege guns and were on the alert, and commenced shelling us before we could reach the blockade. They had spies out all along the river.

We returned to Milican Bend and were in our old camp again. The river was very high and the Yazoo was flooding the whole country on its north bank, which is nearly all cypress swamp. The mortar fleet was firing shell into Vicksburg every night. It made a beautiful sight as the fuse twirled with the revolution of the shell, but they must have created sad havoc in the city,and it made me shudder with horror for the poor people who were within their range. Was is cruel! War is inhuman.”

Edwin Squires – March to Holly Springs, Mississippi, December 1862

At the river, St. Louis, MO

When Company E left Cairo, Illinois for Memphis it was on the  packet White Cloud. This is a picture of the river at St. Louis with all the timberclads, steamships and packets loading and unloading troops and supplies. Most of the port cities on the Mississippi looked like this with movement of soldiers and supplies during the Civil War. In 1849 a fire erupted at the port in St. Louis and most of the ships including the original White Cloud and about 4 blocks of businesses and home were destroyed. Cost of the destruction was $5,000,000.

The second White Cloud was a 345 ton sidewheeler built in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. In 1857 the homeport for the White Cloud was St. Louis. After service in the Civil War the White Cloud was destroyed in an ice squeeze at St. Louis.

Enfield Rifle

The Enfield Rifle

The 33rd Regiment of Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers were fitted with the Enfield Rifle. It was a musket, with ramrod and bayonet. The writings of Arthur Robinson talk about using either the bayonet or the ramrod to cook their bacon or hold their cup of coffee over the fire to cook.

Bell Tent

This is an example of a bell tent. Arthur Robinson describes the men of Company E  “divided into twelve messes of eight men to a tent and paired off in two’s as bunkmates.”

In the words of Arthur Robinson from his Memorandum and Anecdotes of the Civil War  here is what the men of Company E faced after the skirmish at Coldwater and on the march to Holly Springs in 1862. Holly Springs, Mississippi was the camp where Union supplies were stored in Major General Ulysses S. Grants strategic plan to take over Vicksburg.

“On December 2d we were ordered to strike camp and be ready to march by 7 A.M.; were issued two days’ rations and cartridges to fill our cartridge box, 40 rounds, with 20 rounds extra, and at 7 o’clock we were on the road, leading south-east toward Holly Springs, Miss. We marched probably fifteen miles that day and camped that night at Pleasant Valley, a large Baptist school on the Tallahatchie river. We had barely gone into camp when the long roll was beat and we hustled to our guns, when the rebel cavalry came dashing in on us, and run right through our camp, but with no great damage to us, only upsetting a few cans of coffee that had been placed on our fires, “one of Forest’s daredevil raids.” We gave them a parting volley as they passed. We had not stationed our pickets when they made their charge, but we gave them a warm reception. This was the first time we had met with such a surprise, and we were a lot of excited boys for a short time, a feeling that is hard to describe, “something like an ague shake.” We soon got down to business again, preparing our evening meal and eating it with as much relish as if nothing occurred to disturb us out of the ordinary. On the morning of December 3d we were on the march by 4 o’clock for Holly Springs. During the night there had been a dispatch by courier that Forest had captured the place and burned the army stores there, and was tearing up the railroad tracks. We were put through on a forced march and arrived at about 4 P.M., to find the place evacuated. They had plundered the camp and torn up about two miles of railroad between Holly Springs and Grand Junction. They had gone in the direction of Grand Junction. Pap Thomas’ cavalry was in hot pursuit. We camped at Holly Springs and repaired the railroad and garrisoned the place. I was detailed for picket duty that night and nearly froze while on my post. It had turned cold, with rain. Our rations were about exhausted and the track torn up. Forest had burned all the supplies at Holly Springs, and the country had been stripped of everything for miles by both the rebels and our army.

We were put on quarter rations until supplies could be brought from Memphis. The morning of the 4th there was a forage train sent out to procure feed for the mules. Stafford was on the detail from our mess. They were sent to the south of Holly Springs to a large plantation on the Tallahatchie. A negro had reported that the old planter had an abundance of corn and provender secreted, and had described the place as to finding everything, but would not go with the boys for fear of his life. There were 200 men detailed to guard the train, and they soon found everything as the negro had reported and came back to camp with a full load and plenty. Stanford was a good forager and our mess was well supplied with chicken, goose, yellow yams and corn cakes.We had gone into an old, deserted camp, and it was only a few days until our boys were infested with vermin and disease, which took five of our company in a very short time. Rafe Stafford, my bunk mate, was the first. Poor boy, he was taken with dysentary and died within a week after our arrival at Holly Springs. Charles Smith, Nat Goodwin and two of our Norwegian boys were all buried within twenty days. Brother Hiram was very sick and I feared that he would be next, but he pulled through, by my careful nursing. We were barely over with dysentery when the smallpox broke out. Joe Hall, of our company, was the first to come down with it. Very fortunately it did not spread in the regiment. His tent was left under quarantine and our camp was moved some distance and only one other of our company had been exposed. Brainard Rider, who remained and nursed Hall through his sickness. The rainy season had set in and the red clay hills of Mississippi were a perfect bog. There were many of the boys sick with chills and fever, dysentery or the jaundice, and there was not a day passed while we remained at Holly Springs that there was not some poor boy of our regiment buried and it cast a gloom over the whole camp.”

The 33rd Regiment lost a total of 202 men during the Civil War. 3 Officers and 30 enlisted were killed; 2 officers and 167 enlisted – died from disease.

More later on their march to Vicksburg.