Sunday, February 25, 2007

Working for a Living

I was curious this afternoon what cavalrymen were paid monthly during the Civil War. Several times over the last week, I have seen references to someone being paid “as a corporal of cavalry”, with nary a mention of what that amount might be. So I turned to the bookshelf, and found some help from Robert M. Utley’s Frontiersmen in Blue on page 36.

Privates were paid $11a month in the infantry and artillery, $12 a month in the cavalry
There was no mention of corporals, but sergeants earned a whopping $17 a month. Longevity pay was introduced in 1854, providing $2 extra a month during the second (five year) enlistment, and an additional $1 for each enlistment after that. In addition, they received their uniforms, rations and quarters.

I’ll feel much better when payday rolls around in a couple of days after reading that.

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