Six Foot Two with Green Eyes and Auburn Hair: John Rampley Enlists in the 78th Illinois

There are many relatives for whom I don’t have photographs. John Rampley is one of those individuals.

This card from his compiled military service record at the National Archives provided details on his physical characteristics at the time of his enlistment.

Being raised on a farm, the florid complexion didn’t really surprise me, but to be perfectly honest I was surprised that he was six feet two inches tall. Members of my paternal side of the family (from which John hails) were not known for being overly tall. It is also indicated that he had green eyes and auburn hair.

John enlisted in Quincy, Illinois, on 4 August 1862 and was living in Breckenridge, Hancock County, Illinois, at the time of his enlistment.

We’ll post other images of his compiled service record in future posts. The others are not as detailed as this one and generally indicate his presence on various muster rolls throughout his service.

What physical characteristics of your family are lurking in military records?


4 thoughts on “Six Foot Two with Green Eyes and Auburn Hair: John Rampley Enlists in the 78th Illinois

    • Yes. His brother (who is my actual ancestor) served in the exact same unit. All other Rampleys were back east (Indiana, Ohio, and Maryland) at that time. But that’s a good point–making certain you have the same person.

  1. Heidi B Good says:

    Do you know what was meant by florid complexion? I have several of these descriptions in my hubby’s family line. I do have a picture of the brother of the soldier in question his old age and he looks just like his great great grandnephew. I could see the grandnephew described as having a florid complexion only after vigorous exercise, otherwise he is the palest of white as can be otherwise. The short stout gene seems to run in the family – is this a clue?

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