Ira S. Brooks was my maternal 4th great-grandfather. He was born between 1818 and 1821 and died in 1878. His wife, Amy, filed for his pension in 1878. The form states that he was in "F 76 NY Inf.". A search on archive.org for "New York Seventy Sixth" produced a book called "History of the Seventy-sixth regiment New York volunteers; what it endured and accomplished; containing descriptions of its twenty-five battles; its marches; its camp and bivouac scenes; with biographical sketches of fifty-three officers and a complete record of the enlisted men". On page 420, under "Privates" in "Company F", we find "Brooks, Ira S., discharged at Washington, D.C., in 1862".
In this book, you can find a complete record of the events and battles the regiment experienced. The New York 76th was credited with firing the first shot (aside from skirmishes of the cavalry) at Gettysburg in 1863, but since the record states that Ira Brooks was discharged at Washington, D.C. in 1862, we can assume he only participated in the first four battles the regiment fought in. They were the Battle of Rappahannock Station (read more on Wikipedia), the Battle of Warrenton Sulpher Springs, the Battle at Gainesville, and the Second Battle of Bull Run (read more on Wikipedia). After these four battles, in September of 1862, the unit stopped off at Washington, D.C., for a short rest (see p. 145). It appears likely that this was when Private Ira S. Brooks was discharged.
The captain of Company F was John H. Ballard, who was born in Cortland, New York. A biography and sketch of Capt. Ballard is found on page 392, shown here:
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If anyone has information or a sketch or photograph of Ira S. Brooks, please share!