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Lieutenant George K. Jenkins 21st Illinois Volunteer Infantry & 6th U.S. Volunteer Infantry

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Item No. CV74432 Category


Carte view of Lieutenant George K Jenkins. Initially Jenkins would muster as a musician with the 21st Illinois Volunteer Infantry in June, 1861. The regiment would see action in a number of battles over their tenure. Corinth, Stone’s River, Chickamauga, Kennesaw Mountain and several other serving with the Army of the Ohio and Cumberland. George would be transferred into the Veteran Reserve Corps in mid October, 1863. Whether not that was due to a wound received or an illness issue I’m not sure. At some point he was discharged although the date was not given. In May, 1865 he would be commissioned a 1st lieutenant in the 6th U.S. Volunteer Infantry while living in Chicago. The regiment was composed of ex-Confederate POW’s recruited from a number of Federal prison camps and placed under command of Federal officers. They would mainly serve out west arriving at For Leavenworth, Kansas in May, 1865. The regiment would see service in Nebraska, Colorado and the Plains of Utah before mustering out during the fall of 1866. Jenkins would spend the majority of his service on detached duty serving as post adjutant at Fort Kearny. It appears however that Jenkins would get into a bit of trouble. In June, 1866 he would be relieved of his position and ordered to report to the commanding officer of his company under arrest. Granted a leave of absence to return home to attend to some urgent matters, he failed to return back to his post after the expiration of his granted leave. In August he would send a military telegram from home resigning his commission and stating that an urgent matter at home required his presence. There does seem to have been some mix up regarding an extension for leave. The War Department would report that no formal extension of leave had been granted but that Jenkins would be authorized to remain home and await a formal discharge with the remainder of his regiment. Whatever the mix up was it appears that it was forgiven and he was allowed to be discharged with the regiment without further issue. This is a wonderful view of Jenkins dressed in his officers uniform and cradling his sword in his lap. He sports this grey, wide brimmed felt slouch cap with a Spruce branch resting on the table beside him for decoration. An old pencil inscription on the reverse reads “George Jenkins Jamestown, Ohio”. An identical ink signed view resided in the famed Herb Peck collection.

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