Private Thomas Milton Chambers

Fifth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry

Private Thomas Milton Chambers is one of those numerous troopers who enlisted fraudulently--by falsifying his true age. The official rosters indicate that he was eighteen when he enlisted, but the obituary below indicates that his actual age was three years younger than that.

Chambers was captured in the battle at the Chattahoochee River, along with a number of his companions, on July 31, 1864. He completed his service to the nation as a prisoner of the Confederates, finally being mustered out on July 18, 1865, at Clinton, Iowa.

Like millions of his comrades, Chambers was a proud member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and his fellow veterans were there to help lay him to rest.

Thomas M. Chambers whose death occured [sic] at the Soldiers Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dec. 17, 1901 was born in Georgetown state of Illinois. The family soon after moved to Bellevue, Iowa where he spent his boyhood days. At the age of 15 years he enlisted in Co. H 5th Iowa Cavalry and was captured by the confederate forces and confined in the famous Andersonville prison about 9 months. After the close of the war he returned home and followed steamboating on the Mississippi river, and later he was employed in the government service until about a year ago he was compelled to give it up on account of failing health.

On the 19th day of December 1883 he was united in marriage with Miss Allie James of Le Claire by this union three girls were born. He was a charter member of John R. Buckman Post G.A.R. and also a member of Howard Lodge No. 55 of Le Claire, A.O.U.W. He is survived by a wife and two daughters, Lottie and Mae, and also four sisters, three who reside in Chicago and Mrs Leach of Moline, who mourn his death.

His remains were brought to his old home in Le Claire and buried in the city cemetery by his old comrades of the Grand Army and brothers of Howard Lodge. The funeral service was held at the residence of Thomas James and conducted by the Rev. Tinkham of the Presbyterian church.

Special thanks to Jim Garber, great-grandson of Chambers, for the obituary and additional information about his ancestor.

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