Private Samuel Brown
Fifth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry
Samuel G. Brown did not enlist in the war effort at its outset. Perhaps his family circumstances or his health prevented him from doing so. However, on February 22, 1864, at the age of twenty-eight, he enlisted in Company B of the Fifth Iowa Veteran Cavalry Consolidated. He would ride with the regiment through the close of the war, mustering out with his comrades on August 11, 1865 at Nashville, Tennessee.
In 2001 the sword and discharge papers shown above were auctioned on the internet. Perhaps Brown's family line had ended… or, even worse, they no longer cared about the heritage he had bequeathed them. This tragedy would be even more regrettable to the many of us who possess not a single physical token of our ancestor's military service.