Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Alpheus Randal Eastman -Private - 10th Minnesota Volunteers

Post (C) Doris McCraw

aka Angela Raines

Photo (C) Doris McCraw

This month Alpheus R. Eastman is the focus of the Civil War Veterans in Evergreen Cemetery. 

Eastman was born in November in Maine, probably in 1839 or 1840.  

He volunteered for the Civil War and was inducted in Minnesota. How he made it from Maine to Minnesota looks to be lost to time. We know he was living in Medford, Steele County, Minnesota, at the time of his enlistment. What makes Alpheus so interesting there is more than one Alpheus Eastman from Maine. In fact, there was an Alpheus K. Eastman, and an Alpheus R. Eastman who enlisted in Maine and immediately deserted. 

To the best of my ability, I have followed the trail that appears the Alpheus Randal Eastman buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Eastman was inducted on August 13, 1862, at the age of twenty-one. He served in Company A of the 10th Minnesota Infantry as a private. His Civil War record states he served in the Civil and Indian Wars. On January 16, 1865, he transferred to the Veterans Reserve Corps. 

For those who are interested below is a copy of Eastman's discharge papers:

Accessed through Ancestry

On June 1, 1866, Alpheus filed for a pension as an invalid. Below is a copy of the filing.

From Ancestry

At the time of his death of Chronic Bright's disease on January 11, 1905, he was living at 921 S. Corona St. in Colorado Springs, CO.

Bright's Disease is an inflammation of the kidneys. It can be caused by toxins, an infection, or an autoimmune condition. In its acute stage, the kidneys are severely inflamed. There is usually increased blood pressure and severe back pain.

In his book, "The 10th Minnesota Volunteers, 1862 – 1865:  A History of Action in the Sioux Uprising and the Civil War..." by Michael A. Eggleston he states in the early part of the preface:

".. Members of the 10th Regiment [Eastman's regiment] served from the organization of the Regiment in August 1862 until its final muster in August 1865. The experience of this Regiment is unique. Its members fought in two wars over a period of three years. Because this Regiment shared an experience with few other Civil War units and only a summary of the service was published in 1890, the story needs to be told. Volunteers who signed up to fight the Confederacy suddenly found themselves fighting the Sioux in the Minnesota Indian War instead. After two years of fighting the Sioux, they move south to fight the Confederate Army in a series of battles in the West."

The journey of these veterans is fascinating and sad. They went through so much and so many don't have any personal written records. Their stories are inferred from the official documents that remain. Hopefully, this series will shed some light on their lives and lead to further research.

For those who may have missed the earlier posts:

Helen Rood Dillon - Prarie Rose Publications

Virginia Strickler - Prairie Rose Publications Blog

Henry C. Davis - Western Fictioneers Blog

Chester H. Dillon - Western Fictioneers Blog

For anyone interested, I have a monthly substack newsletter: Thoughts and Tips on History

Until Next Time: Stay safe, Stay happy, and Stay healthy. 




  1. This story is particularly sad. That his regiment was involved in the Indian situation out west and also the Civil War conflict with the Confederacy in the space of three years is an interesting thing to consider. How disjointed and unsettling this must have been for so many soldiers.

    1. I'm actually going to add some new information I've located. I agree with your observation. I can't imagine. Alpheus was not an easy one to follow but so worth the effort. Doris

  2. Doris, again, a wonderful post that lets us get to know the men who, up to now, people only knew as a name on a headstone. This is just a wonderful series you're doing, and even if I can't read it always the day you post I will make sure to come over and read it at some point, you can be certain of that! Thanks so much for this series of posts. I learn something every single time!

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. I've come across some additional information that makes this story even more fascinating to me. I'll try to slip an extra post in with the information. Doris