Ira K. Bailey

Ira enlisted in Battery G, 1st Michigan Light Artillery on December 17, 1861. But he found that he greatly admired the officers of the regular army 5th Cavalry Regiment and transferred to their unit in November of 1862. Twenty-six letters to his parents are preserved in the Bentley Library at The University of Michigan, dating from just before his first enlistment to six days before he was wounded in the battle of Beverly Ford, Virginia on June 9, 1863. In Ira’s letters home he talked about camp life, food, the weather, movements of the regiment toward Cumberland Gap, foraging and skirmishing and a battle near Kelly’s ford. But Ira was mainly concerned about writing and receiving letters and getting his pay home safely. Ira died on Jun 15, 1862 from his wounds received during battle, but he lives on through his letters.


JoAnne P. Miller