Uniform Identification Needed For Company E, 4th Regiment of the Iowa Volunteer Calvary

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Mar 18, 2019
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#1
Would the soldier in the attached tin type photo be a Corporal (2 stripes)? Any way he could have been a Private based on the uniform?

I believe this person to be my 2nd Great Grandfather Jeremiah J Sparks (1839-1917) of Lynn Grove Township, Jasper County, Iowa. He served in Company E, 4th Regiment of the Iowa Volunteer Calvary from July 5, 1861 to Jan. 1865.

The problem is that every document or record I've come across on Ancestry.com says Jeremiah was a Private. I also have his discharge papers stating he was a Private. I don't know where to look for official records beyond Ancestry for his full service record. Would it have been possible for him to be a Corporal at some point but not all? He mustered out in 1863 and then transferred or re-upped and mustered out again in 1864 according to an Iowa history document transcribed below.

4th Calvary Regiment
Rank In: Private
Rank Out: Private

Service Record
Enlisted in Company E, Iowa 4th Cavalry Regiment on 23 Nov 1861.
Mustered out on 28 Jun 1863.
Transferred to ??? on 28 Jun 1863.
Mustered out on 04 Dec 1864 at Memphis, TN.

The reasons I WANT TO BELIEVE this to be a photo of Jeremiah are:
-- It was found in a keepsake purse of my Great Grandmother Maude Sparks Newell (Jeremiah's daughter). The purse also contained a few other historical documents of Jeremiah's such as post Civil War land loan documents from the late 1860s.

-- The eyes, nose and facial structure of this man 'matches' my known pictures of Jeremiah in later life (age 40s and beyond).

-- I have Jeremiah's original Civil War discharge papers and it confirms rank of Private.

-- A 1st cousin had the purse and only now made me aware of it so it has been in the family.

-- My great grandmother, the owner of the keepsake purse containing the photo had some uncles who served in the Civil War but their photos look nothing like this person.

Your thoughts on all this and expertise appreciated.

JJSparks5.png
 

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#2
Would the soldier in the attached tin type photo be a Corporal (2 stripes)? Any way he could have been a Private based on the uniform?

I believe this person to be my 2nd Great Grandfather Jeremiah J Sparks (1839-1917) of Lynn Grove Township, Jasper County, Iowa. He served in Company E, 4th Regiment of the Iowa Volunteer Calvary from July 5, 1861 to Jan. 1865.

The problem is that every document or record I've come across on Ancestry.com says Jeremiah was a Private. I also have his discharge papers stating he was a Private. I don't know where to look for official records beyond Ancestry for his full service record. Would it have been possible for him to be a Corporal at some point but not all? He mustered out in 1863 and then transferred or re-upped and mustered out again in 1864 according to an Iowa history document transcribed below.

4th Calvary Regiment
Rank In: Private
Rank Out: Private

Service Record
Enlisted in Company E, Iowa 4th Cavalry Regiment on 23 Nov 1861.
Mustered out on 28 Jun 1863.
Transferred to ??? on 28 Jun 1863.
Mustered out on 04 Dec 1864 at Memphis, TN.

The reasons I WANT TO BELIEVE this to be a photo of Jeremiah are:
-- It was found in a keepsake purse of my Great Grandmother Maude Sparks Newell (Jeremiah's daughter). The purse also contained a few other historical documents of Jeremiah's such as post Civil War land loan documents from the late 1860s.

-- The eyes, nose and facial structure of this man 'matches' my known pictures of Jeremiah in later life (age 40s and beyond).

-- I have Jeremiah's original Civil War discharge papers and it confirms rank of Private.

-- A 1st cousin had the purse and only now made me aware of it so it has been in the family.

-- My great grandmother, the owner of the keepsake purse containing the photo had some uncles who served in the Civil War but their photos look nothing like this person.

Your thoughts on all this and expertise appreciated.

View attachment 297815
A couple of observations, most likely the individual depicted is an infantryman, based on the musket and belt plate, the tinting also seems to bear this out as it appears the stripes are infantry blue. A cav soldier would most likely have a saber or carbine in the picture.
 

major bill

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#3
I would question why a private would wear corporal chevrons. Try to discover if the 4th Iowa Volunteer Cavalry were issued 9 button jackets instead of the motel common 12 mounted jacket. You could also see if other Iowa units were being issued 9 button jackets.
 
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#6
It may also be a another relative from your family... researching their brothers, cousins ect might yield some interesting results. Look to see if Jeremiah was in a infantry unit prior to Nov 1861, many 3 month men wound up reenlisting, usually into whatever unit would take them and was recruiting at the time. That led to a lot of branch changes. You may find that he was an infantry corporal, only to either get demoted at some point or to take a demotion in order to get back into action.
 
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#8
Welcome from the UK and from The First Bull Run/ Manassas Forum.

As to your question I have to agree that the image is of an infantry corporal.
 
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#9
A couple of observations, most likely the individual depicted is an infantryman, based on the musket and belt plate, the tinting also seems to bear this out as it appears the stripes are infantry blue. A cav soldier would most likely have a saber or carbine in the picture.
Thanks for the reply. Every record I can find indicates he was in the 4th Calvary and not the 4 Infantry. Still looking.
 
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#10
It may also be a another relative from your family... researching their brothers, cousins ect might yield some interesting results. Look to see if Jeremiah was in a infantry unit prior to Nov 1861, many 3 month men wound up reenlisting, usually into whatever unit would take them and was recruiting at the time. That led to a lot of branch changes. You may find that he was an infantry corporal, only to either get demoted at some point or to take a demotion in order to get back into action.
Yes, I'm still considering and researching. Everything I have found so far indicates Calvary only. He had 4 brothers who also served in the Civil War one was a drummer, one was in the navy and the others were Privates in the Calvary also. I have pictures of everyone...later in life...and none of the brothers look similar to each other. Only Jeremiah seems to match the photograph so far. Looking now at Jeremiah's wife's brother's and they all served in the Civil War also (picture was found in their daughter's keepsake purse). They have a completely different family look that I can tell. One did start in the Calvary and move the Infantry but he was a Private also...and doesn't look like the picture.

Notice the ??? below...I put those there because the record didn't have anything. However I found another record of Jeremiah's brother in law that had transferred to the Infantry in that space. I need to get to the Adjutant General's records like someone suggested.

Service Record of Iowa Soldiers
Enlisted in Company E, Iowa 4th Cavalry Regiment on 23 Nov 1861.
Mustered out on 28 Jun 1863.
Transferred to ??? on 28 Jun 1863.
Mustered out on 04 Dec 1864 at Memphis, TN.

Lastly see on his discharge papers the stamp is right over where it would say Calvary or Infantry. To my eye it says Calvary...as does every other record I can find.

JJSparksDischargePapers.jpg
 

ucvrelics

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#11
Welcome From THE Heart Of Dixie. Below is his Iowa index card and he was in Co, E 4th Iowa Cav. As @Package4 stated the photo is on an Infantryman and the the pistol is a studio prop. The man in the photo was not cavalry. What were the brother's names that may solve the mystery.
1553039569193.png
 
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Messages
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#12
Welcome From THE Heart Of Dixie. Below is his Iowa index card and he was in Co, E 4th Iowa Cav. As @Package4 stated the photo is on an Infantryman and the the pistol is a studio prop. The man in the photo was not cavalry. What were the brother's names that may solve the mystery
Here you go:

Stephen J Sparks (drummer in 40th IA Infantry) - I have photos of him. The picture is definitely not him.
John Robinson Sparks - Navy as far as I can find
William Preston Sparks - Can't find records other than draft registration. Picture is not of him.
George W Sparks - Substitute to Company C, Iowa 10th Infantry Regiment on 03 Oct 1864.Mustered out on 15 Aug 1865 at Little Rock, AR. Picture is not of George...face features do not match.
 
Last edited:

ucvrelics

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#13
Here you go:

Stephen J Sparks (drummer in 40th IA Infantry) - I have photos of him. The picture is definitely not him.
John Robinson Sparks - Navy as far as I can find
William Preston Sparks - Can't find records other than draft registration. Picture is not of him.
George W Sparks - Substitute to Company C, Iowa 10th Infantry Regiment on 03 Oct 1864.Mustered out on 15 Aug 1865 at Little Rock, AR. Picture is not of George...face features do not match.
Well that pretty well settles it. The photo is not of any one of the folks above nor it Jeremiah Sparks.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
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#14
I appreciate everyone's thoughts and help on this. Though I WANT it to be Jeremiah I'm not going to accept it as him unless I can get some other evidence that he was a Corporal in the Infantry also or other some explanation. Probably will never know for sure unless more family history shows up. Thanks again.
 



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