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A Civil War photo found in a file containing family records.

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Posted 6 years ago


(32 items)

I found this photo in a file containing some of my family records. I do not know why it was there or who it is. He looks like maybe an officer in the Union Army. There is a name on the back and the last name looks like it might be Sprauge. If anyone can give me any info ie. the persons rank it might help to find out who it is. Thanks

Mystery Solved


  1. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
    He is a Civil War veteran wearing a Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) hat-- look at my items to see a grouping of GAR items and an explanation of the organization.

    Your guy APPEARS to be "Elwin L. Sprague" of the 46th Mass. Infantry. They served in NC with little enemy contact.

    I will check a database later this evening and post some more information if I can confirm the ID.

  2. roadside roadside, 6 years ago
    Thanks Scott
    That gives me allot to go on . I will get to work on this. I appreciate any more help you can give.
  3. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
    NPS lists site lists him with two alternate names: "Edwin H." and "Elwain H." along with "Elwin L.".

    This is not untypical when records were recorded by hand and there were high rates of illiteracy.

    The HDS site only lists ONE Sprague in the 46th Mass and it is "Edwin N. Sprague":

    Edwin N. Sprague
    Residence Springfield MA; a 21 year-old Farmer.
    Enlisted on 8/20/1862 as a Private.
    On 9/25/1862 he mustered into "A" Co. MA 46th Infantry
    He was Mustered Out on 7/29/1863 at Hampden Park, Springfield, MA

    Based on the HDS records-- the dates work with an 1841 birth.

    I am confident this is your guy.

  4. roadside roadside, 6 years ago
    Now I need to find out how or if he relates to my ancestry. There is some reference to the name Sprauge in some of the family bibles and books that I have. Most of the family came from the Conn. area. I can find references of other ancestor's that also served in the 46th Mass. Infantry. I have a feeling I am going to spend a lot of time on this one.
  5. roadside roadside, 6 years ago
    Thanks again for your help Scott :)
  6. roadside roadside, 4 months ago
    scottvez Just want to update you. I found his obituary in some family documents. See the 4th picture I added to the post. Thanks
  7. scottvez scottvez, 4 months ago
    Nice-- confirms what we had already discovered about his service.

    Make sure you keep the obituary documentation with the photograph for future generations.

    Were you able to determine where he falls in your family?

  8. roadside roadside, 4 months ago
    I thought you would be interested to see your input was spot on. I have just started to get back to the research and have not found anything new relating to the family yet.. I had to put it on the back burner for awhile. I will keep you posted.
  9. scottvez scottvez, 4 months ago
    Good luck!


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