From A History of Allen and Woodson, KS concerning my Great Grandfather James Monroe Purcell:
"At the time of the Civil war Mr. Purcell's patriotism prompted his enlistment in the union army, and in February, 1862, he joined company E. of the Seventh Missouri State Militia. He aided in recruiting the company and after serving for six months was honorably discharged on account of physical disability. After recovering his health he re-enlisted as a member of company I, Forty-fifth Missouri infantry, under Colonel Weir, of Boonville. The regiment operated against Price in Missouri and later went to Nashville, Tennessee, where Mr. Purcell was engaged in guard duty. At Jefferson, Missouri, he very narrowly escaped being wounded or killed, having a boot heel and a button from his coat shot away. He continued at the front until the war was over, when, the country no longer needing his services, he returned to his home."
As a double enlistee, he owned the two pistols he had been issued. While not in great condition, I am pleased to have them in my possession, part of our family tradition.
I don't have any further details. The account confirms a family legend about losing the heel.