Biographical Profile of Pvt. Charles Mudd, 108th U.S. Colored Infantry

Pvt. Charles Mudd, Company C, 108th U.S. Colored Infantry
Pvt. Charles Mudd, Company C, 108th U.S. Colored Infantry*
Charles Mudd Muster and Descriptive Roll
Charles Mudd Muster and Descriptive Roll
Charlie Mudd sipped milk and nibbled chicken as he recovered from measles at a military hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, during the fourth summer of the war. He periodically received medicine ordered by the doctor assigned to his case. The twenty-five-year-old formerly enslaved private, who had labored in his enslaver’s fields about sixty-five miles away in Washington County, joined the newly formed 108th U.S. Colored Infantry without his enslaver’s consent in June 1864.415

Charles Mudd was one of three brothers who served in black regiments.416 Less than a month after Mudd enlisted, he fell ill while on duty in Louisville, as measles swept through the regiment. Mudd’s illness might have been avoided. About a year earlier, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman proposed one way to reduce disease in rookie regiments. He suggested that inexperienced recruits be distributed among veteran regiments instead of being lumped together in new organizations. By doing so, Sherman explained, they “would learn from the sergeants and corporals and privates the art of taking care of themselves, which would actually save their lives and preserve their health against the host of diseases that invariably attack the regiments.”417 Authorities did not act on Sherman’s suggestion. The army’s medical corps did make substantial improvements that contributed to the health and welfare of the troops. None of these changes prevented Mudd from getting sick. He recovered after two weeks in the hospital and rejoined his company. He spent the next twenty months at locations in Kentucky and Mississippi and guarding Confederate prisoners of war at Rock Island, Illinois. He served as a corporal for most of his enlistment but was reduced to the ranks for an undisclosed reason before he mustered out of the army in March 1866. He returned to Washington County and became a farmer in Springfield. He married Harriet McIntire in 1867. She died in 1872, possibly from complications of childbirth. She left Mudd widowed with a three-year-old son. Mudd married Rose Howard later that year, and they lived together until his death from influenza in 1915 at about age seventy-four.418

Excerpted from African American Faces of the Civil War by Ronald S. Coddington.
Copyright 2012 by Johns Hopkins University Press. Reprinted by permission of the author and Johns Hopkins University Press.

See Footnotes

415 Mudd’s military service record lists his owner as A. Mudd. This may be Austin Mudd (1801–1874) of Springfield, Kentucky; according to federal slave schedules, he owned eight slaves in 1850 and two in 1860.
According to great-great-grandnephew Adrian Wells, John Donatus Mudd (1805–after 1884) of Springfield owned Charles Mudd. This may be Donattus Mudd, who owned thirteen slaves according to the 1850 Slave Schedules but is not mentioned in the 1860 Slave Schedules. Adrian Wells (great-great-grandson of George Henry Mudd, brother of Charles) to the author, July 6, 2009.
416 Jack Mudd served in the 107th U.S. Colored Infantry. George Henry Mudd served in the 109th U.S. Colored Infantry. 
417 Jack Mudd served in the 107th U.S. Colored Infantry. George Henry Mudd served in the 109th U.S. Colored Infantry. 
418 Rose Mudd pension record, NARS.

*Photo courtesy of the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum

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