Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Robert C. Kenzer


In July 1861, 101 farm boys and shopkeepers left northern Indiana to do their part to save the Union. These men, who formed Company G, 19th Indiana Infantry, served with distinction in the famed Iron Brigade. They received their baptism of fire at Brawner's Farm in August 1862. They served for four years, suffering on such battlefields as Antietam, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness. Twenty-five soldiers never returned home as they died during their service. The rest scattered across the country, living out their lives struggling with disabling illnesses and wounds. This study provides a micro-history focusing on a small group of men. It looks at the Civil War from the bottom up, revealing the experiences of the men who actually fought and died in the war. So many Civil War publications look only at generals or armies and lose sight of the common soldiers. This thesis particularly emphasizes how the unit's command politics shifted from a democratic selection process to one based more on merit.