Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

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James Dial

James Dial, 1823-1880, was one of many men from Hamilton County, Illinois who enlisted in Company D of the 6th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry in 1861. James Dial served until he was discharged in January 1865. James Dial was with the 6th Cavalry when they participated in Grierson's Raid from LaGrange, Tennessee to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This was one of the most daring cavalry actions of the Civil War. The book, Butternut Guerillas by Larry Underwood, is a very good fictionalized account of that raid. The affidavit below was a result of Grierson's Raid and there is no current knowledge if James Dial was ever compensated for the horse.

State Of Illinois, Hamilton County
In the matter of claim for horse lost in the service.

James Dial late private Co. D 6th Ill. Cavl. of Hamilton County, State of Illinois personally came before me ... in and for aforesaid county and state John Cox, Phillip Fans and James Knight of the County of Hamilton, State of Illinois who, I hereby certify are respectable and creditable persons and who being duly sworn declare in relation to the aforesaid claim as follows- that they were members of Co. D 6th Ill. Cavl. and knows of their personal knowledge that Private James Dial of said company had in said service a gray horse 15 hands high and thereabouts and of the full value of one hundred and thirty dollars which he afterwards traded (swoped) to Moses Mendon of said company and regiment. And that he traded the horse he got from said Mendon to Phillip Fans of said company and the 6th Regiment. And that he traded the horse he got from said Mendon to Phillip Fans of said company and 6th Regiment for a sorrel mare. And that on or about the 27th day of April 1863 on a forced march from La Grange, Tennessee, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana near Union Church Mipisippi . Said James Dial lost said mare under the following circumstances. We had stoped to get dinner and unsaddled our horses and said soldiers mare being at the time very nearly fagged out lay down and our pickets were sudonly attacked and we were ordered to mount and reinforce them, said soldiers mare refused to get up and after a diligent effort he was unable to get her up and was compelled to abandoned her or be made prisoner himself. And that on or about May 15th, 1863 he was remounted on a horse which he purchased from Hary McLier? of said company of regiment (who is know deceased). They further state that neither of said horses ever belonged to the United States government (that is during their use in said service) but that they were the individual property of said soldiers. They further state that said mare was in lieu of the gray horse on which said soldier was mounted on entering said services and was worth one hundred and thirty dollars further that they have no interest in the prosecution of said claim either direct or indirectly. Subscribed and sworn to before me this ... day of April 1876 and I certify that the mistake? in line 26 of the words (sorrel mare) and made before signing and that I have no interest in the prosecution of this claim.

Photograph and information submitted by John O'Neal, Bradbury Camp #149, Pennsylvania Department, SUVCW, West Chester, Pennsylvania.


James Dial

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