Cadet Laurence Simmons Baker received a congressional appointment in 1847. When roll was called on his first day of classes, he learned his name had been altered from “Laurence” to “Lawrence”.
Other soldiers found changes made to their names after enlistment. Drummer boy Julian Scott ended up with a middle initial “A”, and was thus known as Julian A. Scott. At the age of 16, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor for gallantry under enemy fire.
John A. Drummond was 15 when he joined the Confederate army. Fearing his father would have him discharged for being underage, he enlisted as John Anderson. He fought much of the war with the Davis Guards.
Another underage enlistee was Frederick Henry Dyer. He joined as a musician under the name of Frederick H. Metzger with Company H of the Seventh Connecticut Infantry.
Other fighting men made modifications to their names so they would appear to have been descended from ancestors from the British Isles.
The ease with which people changed their name wouldn’t be possible today and makes me wonder if a lot of us go by the altered instead of the original names of our ancestors.
From the book More Civil War Curiosities by Webb Garrison.