Mary Davis request for son's discharge, Portland, 1864Item 76608 info
Maine Historical Society
As evidenced by Mary Davis's letter to Shepley, soldiers sometimes enlisted expecting to do particular jobs. If they were assigned another duty, they sometimes believed they should be able to leave the army.
Mary O. Davis of Portland sought Shepley's help in having her son, Pvt. Horace O. Davis of "Baker's Cavalry" (the 1st Maine Cavalry) discharged.
She wrote that her son had been promised he could serve as a musician, but after an illness, that position was no longer open. She said Pvt. Baker was unfit to be a soldier.
Davis had enlisted as a musician in Co. A of the 25th Maine Infantry in September 1862. He was "returned to ranks" on Jan 10, 1863 -- in other words, moved from the rank of musician to the rank of private.
When the 25th Maine was mustered out in July 1863, Davis's enlistment probably was not up and he was transferred to the cavalry unit.