Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Alexander McCormick, Co. B 9th MN Infantry, my 3x great-grand-uncle

My most recent genealogical find confirmed that John Fleming McCormick of Pennsylvania was my 4th great-grandfather, the son of John McCormick who had been born in 1748 in Ireland and died in Pennsylvania in 1844. The elder John, my 5th great great-grandfather, was apparently a Revolutionary War soldier. One report I saw claimed he was an ensign in the 4th company of Pennsylvania militia, Colonel Plunkett's 3rd battalion, 1776. I am not overly familiar with the Revolutionary War military, so that will have to be part of my further research on this piece of family history.

One of John Fleming's sons was William Taylor McCormick, my 3 times great-grandfather and another was Alexander McCormick, my 3 times great-grand-uncle. I surprisingly found that Alexander was a private in company B of the 9th Minnesota Infantry in the Civil War. Finding another Civil War soldier in my family tree was a fun surprise, but in Minnesota? Wow - double shock. 

Alexander was born on November 25, 1817 in Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania.

On November 25, 1858, he married Drucilla Perkins in St. Anthony, Minnesota. The 1860 census showed that they had two daughters, though one was thirteen years old, so perhaps he had had a previous marriage. It showed his occupation as minister.

 Alexander then enlisted in the 9th Minnesota on August 20 1862 in Minneapolis. He served a three-year term and mustered out on June 7, 1865

The 9th Minnesota was not a regiment familiar to me, so I looked it up, wondering if it had been at any famous battles - maybe I had a second family member at Gettysburg or perhaps one at Vicksburg? - but I found out that its service was not like that of the regiments other of my ancestors had joined.

In its early existence, its companies spent time at various frontier posts in conflicts against Native Americans. According to one source, Alexander's Company B participated in campaigns against the Sioux in Minnesota in August and September of 1862. 

In late 1863, the regiment began being part of the war against the Confederacy, spending time in Missouri and throughout the Western Theater of the Civil War. One article describes their service, including their combat in two battles against the men of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate victory at Brice's Crossroads and then a Union success at Tupelo. 

In December of 1864 these men fought during the Union's smashing victory at Nashville. Alexander and his comrades then aided in the capture of the city of Mobile,Alabama  in early 1865 and mustered out of the service in August of that year.

Alexander passed away on January 14, 1877 in Knob Noster, Missouri, but I have not yet found where he is buried.

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