Private Nelson Sprague

Fifth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry

Four different Spragues served in the Fifth Iowa Cavalry. Three transferred into the regiment from the Fifth Iowa Infantry, and only one began his service with the mounted regiment with which all four ended the war.

Nelson Sprague was an eighteen year old resident of Des Moines when he enlisted on August 2, 1864 as a "substitute" for John B. Miller. The roster of the Fifth Iowa Cavarly Consolidated calls him a "representative recruit for John B. Miller," and lists his residence as Polk County, Iowa.

The young man did see combat, despite his late entry into the war. In the engagement at Duck River, Tennessee on November 28, 1864, he was taken prisoner. Fortunately he survived his captivity and mustered out of the regiment on June 12, 1865 at Clinton, Iowa.

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