My great grandfather, William Brown Field, was part of the Illinois 89th. He joined at age 16, in 1863. He was from Galena, Illinois. After the Battle of Nashville, he became part of the 59th and went to Texas where he was discharged after the war. I found letters at National Archives that he sent in hopes of getting a pension. In one letter, the administrator in Washington asked him if he was ever at risk. He wrote back and said he was almost killed in the Battle of Atlanta. Family lore says he was a drummer boy, but we have no proof of that. He was orphaned and raised in Galena by a Presbyterian minister named Aratus Kent. Kent knew Lincoln and Lincoln spoke on more than one occasion in Galena, so we feel certain that young William actually saw Lincoln. He died in an old soldiers home in Los Angeles, near what is now Beverly Hills, and is buried in that military cemetery near Westwood, UCLA. Died in 1913.
I just found your information on the web. I would love to read anything you have written. I would love, really love, to see if I could find a picture of him. There are no family photos, although I do have his discharged framed and on my wall. He faded away when my grandfather was about 14. Took the train to Los Angeles and they did not see him again. Somewhere there is a list of the things he had when he died, sent to my great grandmother by the War Department. Not much, but one curious item -- he owned a telescope -- and an Ingersoll Watch.
Thank you for what you have gone to archive our history. I do hope to hear from you, if possible.