Monday, July 23, 2012

Military Monday - Americas Piper, Forgotten Civil War Soldier, Mt. Vernon, IL

I saw this tin type, circa 1861, on eBay and knew instantly I had to have it because the seller did his research and discovered the subject was from Mt. Vernon, IL, my hometown.  On the back he is identified as Americas Piper.

Americas (or Americus) Piper was born about 1841 in Illinois to Wiley and Matilda Piper.  The Pipers are easily found in the 1850 and 1860 Jefferson County, Illinois censuses.  In 1860 they had seven children, Amercus D. 18, Manirva E. 17, Charles A. 15, Harry M.13,  Julia A. 10, Henry R. 7 and Wiley S. 4.  Wiley Piper supported his family as a farmer.

The next year on 1 Aug 1861 Americas enlisted as a Private in the Union Army in the 44th Regiment, Illinois Infantry.  Two years later he was killed in battle on 20 Sep 1863 at the Battle of Chickamauga.  I don't know where Americas is buried, but using the Jefferson County Illinois Genealogy Trails page I was able to discover that many of Americas' immediate family are buried in the West Salem Cemetery in Mt. Vernon, IL.  His mother died in November 1863, just two months after his death in battle, his father died before 1870.

This picture was most likely taken right before he went to war and I am thrilled to have it. I thought it was important that a record was made somewhere of Americas Piper's short life.


  1. I'm glad too that you gave us his story. I'm always sad to see that last photo or draft registration just prior to a person's death. I think, "They were happy on that day."

  2. That's certainly important, well done. A lot of people lost their life in the Battle of Chickamauga. I wonder if he has any surviving relatives.


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