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Saturday, November 26, 2016

"Dear Uncle Sam"

Cousin Georgia had given me the keys to our family's history, now I had to start opening doors to flesh out the details.

I knew from my cousin's letter that my great, great grandfather George Hill came to the United States from an area near the city of Eisenach in Sachsen Weimer, Germany at the start of Civil War. His wife was thought to have died soon after reaching Texas. During the first year that George was in Texas, he worked as a teamster hauling cotton from Houston to Hempstead, Texas. On August 4, 1862, he was hired to replace a soldier by the name of Adam Wangemann who had some business dealings that he had to attend to. It was through this route that George Hill enlisted as a private in Company C, First Infantry Battalion, Waul's Texas Legion in Brenham, Texas.
At the end of cousin Georgia's letter, she mentioned that the General Services Administration in Washington, D.C. had George's confederate war records and that they recorded that he was a six foot blond with blue-gray eyes. I had to get my hands on these records!

Using my best 10 year old penmanship, I wrote a letter to Washington and asked how much it would cost to get my great, great grandfathers war records. A few months later a package arrived in the mail containing copies of the complete collection of muster rolls that mentioned George Hill and his service in Waul's Legion. A small bill for the search was included. I was thrilled beyond belief! There in black and white was my grandfather's name written down on a Civil War muster roll. It recorded how much pay was due from enlistment and noted that he was a replacement for Adam Wangemann. To a farm boy in Texas in the 1960's, this was about as exciting as it could get! I was proud to be a southerner in the great state of Texas and doubly proud that I had an ancestor who fought in the "War Between the States."

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