Discussion The oldest man to serve.

Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Location
Texas
Something tells me that this has been talked about before but I wanted to dredge this one back up. The "Graybeard" regiment was an Iowa regiment made up of men that were all over forty, but Curtis King of Hendricks county claimed to be in his eighties when he enlisted! Do you think he was lying to beef up his story? The only other soldier I can think of near that age in the War would be Edmund Ruffin and he was only in his late sixties.

So what do you folks think? I'd actually like to do a whole other post on older men in the War, but for now lets stay with this.



 

FedericoFCavada

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Location
San Antonio, Texas
5x great-grandfather, maternal side
Name:Samuel Moore
Enlistment Age:60
Birth Date:abt 1802
Birth Place:New York, USA
Enlistment Date:4 Oct 1862
Enlistment Rank:Private
Muster Date:6 Nov 1862
Muster Place:Iowa
Muster Company:A
Muster Regiment:37th Infantry
Muster Regiment Type:Infantry
Muster Information:Enlisted
Muster Out Date:24 May 1865
Muster Out Place:Davenport, Iowa
Muster Out Information:Mustered Out
Side of War:Union
Survived War?:Yes
Residence Place:Waterloo, Iowa
Title:Roster & Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of Rebellion
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Location
Texas
5x great-grandfather, maternal side
Name:Samuel Moore
Enlistment Age:60
Birth Date:abt 1802
Birth Place:New York, USA
Enlistment Date:4 Oct 1862
Enlistment Rank:Private
Muster Date:6 Nov 1862
Muster Place:Iowa
Muster Company:A
Muster Regiment:37th Infantry
Muster Regiment Type:Infantry
Muster Information:Enlisted
Muster Out Date:24 May 1865
Muster Out Place:Davenport, Iowa
Muster Out Information:Mustered Out
Side of War:Union
Survived War?:Yes
Residence Place:Waterloo, Iowa
Title:Roster & Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of Rebellion
Oh wow! That's incredibile act of Patriotism to do that at his age.
 

frontrank2

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Location
Mt. Jackson, Va
 

Don Dixon

Sergeant
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Oct 24, 2008
Location
Fairfax, VA, USA
The 37th​ Iowa Infantry (“The Greybeards,” “The Silver Grays”) was organized at Muscatine on 15 December 1862 and was mustered out of service on 24 May 1865. The Governor’s intent in creating the regiment was to recruit men over 45 years of age to shame younger men into volunteering. Six hundred of the troops were over 50, 48 were over 60, and nine were over 70. As a result, during most of its service the 37th​ served as provost guards, logistics guards, or guards at prisoner of war camps, including Gratiot Street prison in St. Louis; at Alton and Rock Island, Illinois; at Camp Morton, Indianapolis, Indiana; and at Cincinnati, Ohio. The Confederate prisoners of war housed at the Gratiot Street prison described the solders of the 37th​ as “old gentlemen – kindly and fatherly.”

But, of course, that couldn't have been since guards at those places were noted in the Lost Cause mythology for their brutality.

Regards,
Don Dixon
 

Rhea Cole

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The history of the Grey Beard Regiment is both admirable & amusing. Those of us who have aged out of the more active living history presentations often spend time around the fire speculating on doing a 37th Iowa impression. Apparently, the geezers were not very impressive on parade, drawing the ire of superior officers. We could do that impression in our sleep.

Inspector August Clark reported on the 37th when they were guarding prisoners at Alton, Illinois:

"...a regiment of decrepit old men & the most unpromising subjects for soldiers I ever saw."

37 th Iowa.jpeg


images-151_v_1459017002.jpeg

Drummer Nicholas Ramey was 72 when he formed up with the 37th.
He received a medical discharge.
Many of the men who volunteered for the 37th were veterans that had served during the War of 1812, War with Mexico & various Indian Wars. The average age was 57. Curtis King of Muscatine IA was, at 80, the oldest man sworn into a regiment during the Civil War. He was a drummer & did not serve for very long.

The 37th finished their wartime service 24 May 1865 doing guard duty at a prison in Ohio. When they mustered out on May 24, 1865, 1/2 of the original compliment were present for duty. 145 men died of disease & 364 were discharged for disabilities. Four men were wounded in a skirmish while guarding a train. Two of men died of wounds, the only loss members of the regiment suffered due to enemy action during the war.

Source:
Iowa Valor, by Steve Meyer
 
Last edited:

Rhea Cole

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The 37th​ Iowa Infantry (“The Greybeards,” “The Silver Grays”) was organized at Muscatine on 15 December 1862 and was mustered out of service on 24 May 1865. The Governor’s intent in creating the regiment was to recruit men over 45 years of age to shame younger men into volunteering. Six hundred of the troops were over 50, 48 were over 60, and nine were over 70. As a result, during most of its service the 37th​ served as provost guards, logistics guards, or guards at prisoner of war camps, including Gratiot Street prison in St. Louis; at Alton and Rock Island, Illinois; at Camp Morton, Indianapolis, Indiana; and at Cincinnati, Ohio. The Confederate prisoners of war housed at the Gratiot Street prison described the solders of the 37th​ as “old gentlemen – kindly and fatherly.”

But, of course, that couldn't have been since guards at those places were noted in the Lost Cause mythology for their brutality.

Regards,
Don Dixon
Lost Cause might well be an accurate description of most of the men in the 37th.
 
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