Hi Alan, et al,
That's why I posted the question about my ancestor. There is nothing in his CMSR or his pension file that indicates a special skill or him being ill or injured, at the time. He was a "farmer" in all censuses pre and post-war. He was with his unit "in the front lines" from his return to combat after Vicksburg, first at Missionary Ridge and until just before Kennesaw Mtn.
My first question is, is "bottoming shoes" adding soles to new manufactured shoes or did they take old shoes and put new soles on them? It had never occurred to me, that other than field/battlefield repairs, they might have reworked old shoes.
Second, if he did not have a leatherworking or cobbling skill and if he was not wounded or sick, were some men picked by chance or lottery to go behind the lines and perform other work? His family did live near Atlanta, in Fulton County. As I ponder all the possibilities, I'm wondering if a family situation might have cause his commanders to give him special consideration? I've found nothing to indicate this from my genealogical information, but who knows?
I'd just like to know if others have seen these sorts of assignments without the soldier having a particular skill or infirmity that might have led to this type of assignment.