Stephen Byerla is my third great-grandfather. He was born in 1841 and died in 1907. What made me linger on him for a little while was the fact that he was in the American Civil War (and the fact that his middle name is Byerla just makes me laugh–who names their child that, really?) I was always interested in the Civil War and to know that a member of my family fought in the war was absolutely amazing to me.
I found his draft registration, which stated that he signed up for the war in 1863, on the Union side. He was originally in the Ohio 117th Infantry but was transferred to Company I Ohio 1st Heavy Artillery Regiment. I wanted to know where he was in the war because how cool would it be if he fought at Gettysburg or Antietam? I mean, I know it wouldn’t have been cool to have witnessed that because what were the odds he would have survived? But still, to know a great grandfather to be at a famous battle would have been really something.
Sad to say, his time during the war wasn’t very exciting. His company was mostly in Kentucky doing guard duty and occasionally chasing down some Confederate stragglers. He survived the war and eventually became a postmaster.
I tried to do Google some information about his regiment, but it didn’t tell me much more than what I found on Ancestry. Kind of a bummer, but still cool that he was a part of a major turning point in American history. I wonder if any of his other siblings or cousins were a part of the war, as well? Time and research can only tell.