Corporal David McNeil
Fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry
Fifth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry
David McNeil was a twenty year old when he enlisted on July 3, 1861 in the Fifth Iowa Infantry. His older cousin Henry McNeil began the war as a Fourth Corporal alongside him. Sadly, Henry would perish from disease before his first Christmas in uniform. David would do his best to vindicate his cousin's sacrifice during the following years. When the Fifth Iowa Infantry concluded its honorable service, McNeil was one of its veterans who elected to continue their military service as a trooper in the Fifth Iowa Cavalry.
David enlisted as a private, but his cousin had enlisted as a corporal. After Henry's death, David became a noncommissioned officer himself. The dates of his promotions:
Seventh Corporal -- October. 21, 1862
Although his cousin did not survive to see the final victory, David lived to fulfill the promise both of them had made together on July 3, 1861 to preserve the Union.
Third Corporal -- June 1, 1863
Second Corporal -- July 17, 1864.