Ancestors in the Civil War

Rod Myers

Valentine Myers – 115th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company H

My great grandfather, Valentine Myers, served in the Civil War with Company H, 115th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He emigrated from Germany in 1858, settling in Minier, Illinois, where he engaged in farming. Along with many other new arrivals to the U.S.A. he answered President Lincoln’s call and enlisted in 1862.

On the last day of the Battle of Chickamauga Creek he was taken prisoner and for the next 17 months he spent time in five different Confederate prison camps. The majority of this time he was at Andersonville in Georgia. As General Sherman was making his March to the Sea, Private Myers was transferred along with many other prisoners who were still ambulatory to the Florence Stockade in South Carolina.

At Florence, he served as a surgical nurse. A soldier with severe gangrene in both feet was presented to the surgeons for amputation of both feet. The surgeon declined, saying that the man was so ill that he would not survive and he felt he should go to heaven with his feet on. Grandfather Myers felt differently, and with the skills he had acquired in the prison hospital, he removed both of the man’s feet with a pocket knife. The man survived, got prosthetic feet and visited Grandpa in 1906 at his farm in Minier, Illinois.

I’m glad Grampa Myers made it!