Back on September 4th, I wrote about my trip to the Atlanta branch of the National Archives. There, I found the service record index card for my 4x Great Grandfather, Wiley Powell. Using the information from that card, I submitted a research request via the National Archive's online research request form. I filled out the form on September 4th and only 15 days later, they shipped my records.
I was a little disappointed in the records I received; this three page service record:
The information that I did receive will allow me to further research what exactly my ancestor was doing during his service. Unfortunately, it's not exactly uplifting.
Wiley Powell joined the 1st Georgia Militia, Bowman's Company, on 16 May 1838 in New Echota, Georgia. This date coincides with the May 23rd deadline for Cherokee Indians to voluntarily relocate to Indian Territory and New Echota was the Cherokee's capital. It's pretty much certain that Wiley was involved in rounding up the Cherokee who did not voluntarily leave on their own.
You never like to find out upsetting things about your ancestors. However, facts are facts and there's no point burying the information. I plan to do more research on the 1st Georgia Militia and Bowman's Company to find out more about Wiley's activities during this tragic time.