Mustered out as a Corporal

63rd Indiana

Private
Joined
Jun 15, 2020
Location
Back Home In Indiana
My great grandfather mustered out of the 63rd Indiana Infantry at the end of the War as a Corporal. Nowhere in his service record does it state a specific date or reason for this promotion.

Can any of you knowledgeable folks shed any light on if this....was it probably somewhere during the course of the war and not commonly noted in service records? Did this often happen at the end of the war?

Any possible insights or opinions are welcome...I learn a lot reading many of your posts on various topics.
 

lupaglupa

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Well I hit a dead end. I can find what you did - in as a private, out as a corporal. I checked the Adjutant General's Report for Indiana - they have a profile of the regiment and its officers but no information on each soldier. I looked at the Gibson County information but they didn't have Thomas either. I even checked newspapers. Nada.

I will say that it's most probable that he was promoted on merit. They had an opening due to a promotion or casualty and Thomas seemed like a capable person who would do well with more responsibility. That was the case for most people getting promoted. He was in for a long stretch - almost exactly three years. It might be well worth getting his pension file from the National Archives.
 

63rd Indiana

Private
Joined
Jun 15, 2020
Location
Back Home In Indiana
I've detailed in another thread how our family and specifically my father, thru some Depression era shenanigans was homeless during the depression and knew almost nothing about his family. He knew his great grandfather served with the 63rd Indiana because he has two headstones (family and military) with names alternately spelled Ship and Shipp...military headstone got his regiment wrong (62nd). Thru a chance meeting, I was connected to an elderly gentleman who was a distant relative and had copies of his naturalization papers, muster papers, service record, some pension records, etc, which he provided me with...also pictures of Thomas and a picture of some of the regiment in 1891 at a reunion at Thomas' home presumably in honor of the death of General Sherman. A few researchers over the years have provided me a copy of a letter mentioning Thomas (his friend AJ Mcgarrah was killed at Resaca), and pension affidavits written by Thomas on McGarrah's parents.

A few folks here have told me that I need to contact the National Archives because they've modernized and quite possibly have more info. Alas, the pandemic has, at last check in August, rendered their services unattainable at the moment.

With little to no specifics concerning Thomas, I've always wondered WHAT was the cause for promotion and WHEN might it have happened.

Here it is listed on page 5 Ship, Thomas Haubstadt, May 1 (date of muster) Mustered out May '65 as a Corporal


thomas 2 stones.png
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Haven't gone looking yet, but on his compiled service record should have bimonthly company muster roll reports in it indicating a soldier's presence or absence along with his rank. You say that you have his service records - when does his rank switch from Private to Corporal, and does that coincide with his regiment being in any particular battles? I'm wondering if maybe it might have been a field promotion.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2020
Location
Hoboken living, CNY raised
I just compiled a list of every officer and NCO for the regimental project I'm working on. The official records are pretty scanty about promotion dates, and I can use period sources to fill in some of the blanks, not all.

That said, I can say with some certainty that I have not seen an account of why a Private was made an NCO or a Corporal was made a Sergeant, beyond newspapers from home saying he's a good guy and his friends have reason to celebrate.
 

63rd Indiana

Private
Joined
Jun 15, 2020
Location
Back Home In Indiana
His service records are a bit mixed up with some dates out of order, but each one lists him as present, but never mentions rank. His brother died in April 1864 in Knoxville and his good friend was killed May 14 at Resaca. He was admitted to Big Shanty field hospital after the Battle of Kennesaw with pneumonia and returned in August or September. He got a furlough for a few days in 1863 in the winter.
 

Fairfield

Sergeant
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Since he was still alive in 1890 and if he was a member of GAR, you might check his post to see if it kept biographical entries (ours here in Maine did). It is highly likely that he wrote something about the promotion because it is something worth bragging about.

His obituary also might say. I couldn't find one in the newspaper database that I use but it is likely that you might obtain one from either the historical society or library in the town where he died. Some historical societies, in fact, maintain databases of local residents and anytime they come upon mention of some relevant event, they add it.

Some Maine regiments maintain museums or other centers--it may be true for some of the Indiana regiments too.
 

rpkennedy

Lt. Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
May 18, 2011
Location
Carlisle, PA
New York's records sometimes indicate a date for a promotion but that is definitely not a hard and fast rule. There are a lot of records that say "promoted to sergeant, no date" or "reduced to ranks, no date" and, without further information, it's difficult to nail down a timeline for that particular soldier. That said, they almost never give a reason why a particular soldier was promoted or demoted and that information, if it exists at all, has to be found in regimental histories, letters home, or pension records.

Ryan
 

63rd Indiana

Private
Joined
Jun 15, 2020
Location
Back Home In Indiana
A lot of good replies so far....seems as if not knowing why is oftentimes commonplace, and with no detailed oral or written history because of the beforementioned underhanded dealings in my dads family, perhaps I'll never know.

Please keep the advice/information coming....it's interesting. If nothing else, maybe I'll just tell folks he beat General Hood in a left handed arm wrestling match and was promoted for his efforts! :bounce:
 
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