For this week’s 52 Ancestors Challenge, I’ve decided to focus on the short life of my husband’s 3rd great grandfather, David Harrison Caylor.
David was born around 1836 in Pennsylvania to Henry and Rebecca Caylor. At some point, he headed west to the rural farming community of Patch Grove, Grant County, Wisconsin. On January 14, 1858, he married Catherine Rice, daughter of Tobias and Clarinda (Barhan) Rice. David and Catherine had 3 children: Rebecca Ann, Susan Catherine and John Henry.
Although life in Wisconsin seemed quiet, the rest of the nation was in turmoil and found itself in a Civil War. On August 13, 1862, the 26 year old David enlisted at nearby Mount Hope by Thomas Bintliff, and then headed to Camp Randall in Madison, Wisconsin to become part of the 20th Infantry Regiment, Company I along with several of his neighbors. Records showed that David had hazel eyes, with dark hair and a dark complexion.
The regiment was mustered into service on August 23, 1862 and then left Wisconsin for St. Louis on August 30th. The regiment stayed in St. Louis until September 6th, then traveled by train to Rolla. They stayed there for a week, then marched 135 miles to Springfield, Missouri, arriving on September 24th.
However, the long march and camp conditions were too much for young David. While camped in Springfield, he contracted typhoid fever and died on October 28, 1862. He left behind very few personal effects: great coat, blanket, pair of cotton drawers, pair of cotton pants, handkerchief, no money, a small notebook with a note that he loaned $100 to Arthur Jackson on the 10th of September. He was buried in a makeshift cemetery near the hospital. In 1867, his body was exhumed and was buried in the Springfield National Cemetery.