My great-grandfather, Asahel Mann, served during the Civil War with the 15th Army Corps, Co. A, 4th Iowa Cavalry, Union Army, as did his brother, John. In a letter written to his father in Iowa, June 20, 1863, John says,
"This morning I seat myself under the shade of a beech tree to write you a few lines. We are all well and in good health. We are on picket about one mile from camp. We are camped 14 miles in the rear of Vicksburg.
"There has been the heaviest firing going on this morning that I have heard since the fight commenced. There is a constant roaring of the cannons.
"Day before yesterday, our company was ordered to charge. We raised the whoop and here we went. They turned the other way and broke for the brush. We had to run through a corn field over very rough ground and over ditches. In running one mile 12 horses fell. My horse fell twice with me. Out of that number of horses falling, there wasn't a man hurt.
"We have just got our new arms, Sharpe carbines. We are armed now just as well as any regiment of cavalry, and I think can do just as good fighting."
Two days later, in battle near Vicksburg, John Mann was killed. He was 27 years, 6 months old.
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