On August 14, 1862, my great-great-grandfather, Ira Sayles, volunteered “to serve as a soldier in the Army of the United States of America, for the period of THREE YEARS, unless sooner discharged by the proper authority.” The forty-four year old teacher from Alfred, New York joined others gathering at the recruiting station in Almond, Allegany County, New York. The blue-eyed volunteer swore that he would “bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America” and that he would serve “them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whomsoever.” He stood five foot eight inches tall, his hair still dark and full. Having pledged to observe and obey the “orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles of War,” Ira Sayles signed his name. The next day Private Sayles was mustered into Company H of the 130th Regiment of the New York Volunteers Infantry.
*** Thank you, cousin Sharon, for sharing this photograph of Ira Sayles.