Three times since the organization of the county have our citizens heard the NationŐs call to arms. Each time the people have responded enthusiastically.
The first call was made at the outbreak of the Mexican War in 1846. Company D, Fifth regiment, Indiana volunteers, was organized in Hancock county under James K. Bracken. The company was mustered in October 8, 1847, to serve during the war. The Fifth regiment was under the command of Col. James H. Lane, and served with General Scott until July 28, 1848, when it was mustered out.
The company organized at Greenfield was composed of the following men, as nearly as can be ascertained:
James R. Bracken, captain
Andrew M. Patterson, first lieutenant
James Hamilton, second lieutenant
Hugh J. Kelly, third lieutenant
Micajah Francis, first sergeant
Henry Ramsey, second sergeant
Isaac Tamplin, third sergeant
Lewis T. Osborn, Robert Walker, Robert Smith, corporal
Henry Galloway, musician
Privates- Joseph Anderson, Ezra Conoway, Robert H. Caldwell, William H. Chapman, Sylvester Childers, John Chapman, John L. Liming, William Black, Moses B. Cook, Burt W. Jackson, Jared Arnold, Jacob Cohee, John Childers, Alexander Andis, William R. Gaston, James H. Carr, William Daily, Alexander Cook, Samuel Chapman, Richard Lindsey, Joseph Chapman, Cicero Chapman, Solomon Kauble, William Banks, Harvey Carr, Alfred Denny, Robert P. Andis, Daniel Goodwin, Noah Carr, Miles Elsbury, Isaac N. Ferree, John Furgason, James H. Gray, Templeton Hatfield, James Hubble, William Jordon, Thomas Lineback, Eli Marsh, Jefferson Nugen, James Reed, Jesse Shoate, Hiram Tyner, Hugh McClellan, Edward Pierson, John L. Scott, Andrew Flowers, Henry Galloway, James Goble, James Huntington, George W. Johnston, ---Jameson, Samuel Liming, Thomas Maston, John Probasco, Robert Romack, George Street, Henry Martin, Adams L. Ogg, Howard Richardson, Robert Smith, Washington Flowers, Henry Goodwin, Jeremiah Hendren, Willliam Jones, William K. Jacobs, James Kinghan, Rigby Marsh, James Montgomery, James Parks, Newton Scott, George Tooley, William Mitchell, Andrew Pauley, ---Russell, Seorge W. Swain, John Tryon, Matthew L. Paullus.
Little can be said of the experiences of these men at the front. The following letter preserved by the writerŐs people and published in the Hancock Democrat on June 21, 1877, gives us just a glimpse of what they saw and experienced:
"My Dear Wife and Children:
Again I am placed in my tent, very tired, but cheerful and happy as ever I was in my life, and I suppose that I need not say that I hope that these few lines may find you enjoying the same state of health, as I do think you will be ready to acknowledge and believe that my very soul has always been wrapped up in the love of my family.
We have traveled six hard daysŐ march toward the city of Mexico, and will have some ten or twelve more before we get there, as it is very laborious moving a large army. The whole county through which we have passed is hilly, mountainous and rocky, but looks romantic, and in some places very pretty, as the trees are now covered with blossoms, but there is but little fruit. There is but little danger here, or indeed do I think there is but little danger any place in this country, as we can hear of no army any place in the government. There are a few guerillas along the road but dare not appear or show fight. I saw one who had just been killed and some of the boys say they saw six or eight more. I was out hunting and saw a few black fellows, but they run like devils, and I got no shot. There were but two of us, A. Pauley and myself, but it appears as though one can chase a dozen. There is still no immediate prospect of peace.
On the ascent from Vera Cruz to Mexico the climates succeed each other, as it were by stories, and in our travel we have passed through every variety of vegetation. The tropical plants are succeeded by the oak, and the salubrious air of Jalapa replaces the deadly air of Vera Cruz. The sky is generally cloudless, and but very little rain, and a succession of hills, seemingly at some day the boundary of lakes are now the limits of extensive plains or rolling prairies but the rocks or stones all very near the surface. The country is barren because it is very dry and stony, but every steam is accompanied with some fertile land. The snow is in sight on the mountains and contributes much to cool the air now, as it is cloudy; and it is said to be the coldest day ever experienced in this country. It would be called cold in our country in May. The coffee bush grows here. The berries are now ripe, and is a small red berry, very juicy, and as poisonous as can be.
The timber is low and crooked. I have seen no tree in the country that would have made a rail cut. Everything, weed, bush and tree, except the scrubby oak and orange bush and coffee bush has thorns on. The thorns resemble the thorn on the honey locust, but they are more crooked and as thick as they can grow from top to bottom, leaf and all.
On March 27, 1879, a notice, signed by Thomas H. Branham, Robert Smith, Jerry H. Hendren, Robet P. Andis and Adams L. Ogg, and published in the local papers, called a meeting of all Mexican War veterans at the mayorŐs office at Greenfield for the purpose of organizing an association of the veterans of that war. The following veterans were present at the meeting: Adams L. Ogg, John Roberts, Jerry H. Hendren, Robert P. Andis, Dr. E. W. Pierson, Thomas H. Branham, Louis T. Osborn, John H. Childs, Alexander Andis and Newton Scott. An organization was effected with Adams L. Ogg, president, and Thomas H. Branham, secretary. Although there were but a few of the soldiers left it seems that this organization was maintained for several years. Annual meetings of the veterans were held in different parts of the state as long as any survivors were able to attend. The state encampment was held at Greenfield in 1904.
There are no longer any members of this company living in Hancock county. Among its last survivors were Robert Smith, James H. Carr and Jeremiah Hendren, who departed this life five or six years ago. Jeremiah Hendren, the last of our Mexican War veterans, died on October 29, 1911.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 255-257.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI March 17, 2002.
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