Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sergeant Shelby Raper "Uncle Andy".

The following came from the 86th., Indiana infantry reigmental history.

Sergeant Shelby Raper (better known as " Uncle Andy," he being 65 years of age when enlisted) came up and stepped
on line with those that preceded him. I said to him: " Dncle Andy, where's your men?" He gave the salute, and said: "Here's all of Company I," and asked to be put on duty. I told him to go back to his quarters as I couldn't use him, he being the acting Orderly of the company. He said he hated to be the only man in the company for duty, and thinking they might pull through without a detail had reported six men for duty, but wouldn't do so any more, as he saw it caused me some trouble and delay, as I had to order three men from other companies and wait for the Orderlies to go back and bring their part of the detail. " Uncle Andy " was a true patriot, a good soldier and a Christian gentleman. He was so anxious to serve his country that he gave a barber in Madison, Indiana, five dollars to shave him and cut his hair and black it (his hair being snow white), in order to pass him into the service. He passed for 44 years of age. He was a stout-built, florid complexioned man. Although he was 65 years of age when entering the service, he served his country honestly and faithfully for two years and ten months, without losing a day except when wounded. He received a minnie ball through one of his thighs at the battle of Chickamauga, but returned to duty in due time. "Uncle Andy" passed beyond the river of death some three years ago, being about 93 years of age. May the choicest blessings of heaven rest upon him as a just reward is my heartfelt wish.
Authors note.  Shelby Raper, First Sergeant, Residence White Hall, Mustered in August 27, 1862, Dischaged December 27, 1863.

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