25 January 2015

Loose Trains and Bolts in the Gut Part VI

In an attempt to get a little more information on Henry Markham of the Iowa Graybeard Regiment, I decided to search the "Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Iowa" (M541) from the National Archives and Records Administration which is available online on Fold3.

There were two Henry Markhams from Iowa with "General Index Cards." There was a Henry E., who was a captain in the 8th Iowa Infantry and Henry C. who was in the 37th Iowa.

The card for Henry E. was the first one that came up on my search results and had I been hasty I could have requested information on the wrong person.

Of course a careful reading of the card would have indicated the unit was wrong, but sometime careless researchers conclude that something is "close enough" and that maybe the Henry of interest simply mustered into that unit before he was transferred to another one. Had that been the case, the "see also" would likely have contained a reference to service in another unit. Fortunately in this case, "scrolling" to the next index card located the entry for the Henry from the Graybeard Regiment (the 37th Iowa).

If the Henry of interest had not been located, searching for variant spellings may have been in order.

One never wants to assume that there's only one man with a first and last name combination. It's always possible that there is more than one.

As of this writing, Fold3 only has the index card for the compiled service records for the state of Iowa, so I can't get those from that site.

We'll have to see if the compiled service record for Markham makes any reference to the little train incident in Memphis in the summer of 1864.
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