When the first call of President Lincoln was made at the outbreak of the
Civil War, a fife and drum corps was organized by Capt. Reuben A. Riley, Henry
Snow and others, who made a circuit of the county to stir up enthusiasm in the
enlistment. A company was organized and mustered in at Indianapolis on April
22, 1861, as Company G of the Eighth regiment, Indiana volunteers (three-months
service). The muster roll is as follows:
Reuben A. Riley- captain
John Stephenson- first lieutenant
Lee O. Harris- second lieutenant
John M. Stevenson, first sergeant
Marion M. Stevenson, Pilatiah Bond, John S. Edwards-sergeants
John H. Duncan, Samuel Marsh, John S. Chittenden, Henry Snow, Elberlee S. Duncan-corporals
Jacob Mullen, George P. Stevenson, Sylvester L. Shorn- musicians
William W. Alexander, John S. Allison, Lusettus Anderson, Jacob T. Barrett, Benjamin Bond, Arthur B Brown, James Buchanan, William Campbell, Martin V. Chapman, James L. Clayton, Thomas Day, Charles Dipper, Jesse D. Dobbins, Martin Dunn, Frederick Dye, John Dye, Jr., Samuel Dye, Benjamin Elliott, Orando Ellis, Alfred Gapen, William Gapen, Jabez E. Harrison, Charles Hartner, William G. Hill, Jacob Hook, Aaron Hutton., Milton Jackson, George W. Johnson, Henry Jones, Isaac Jones, Thomas S. Jones, Miller J. Laporte, George L. Lipsicomb, John A. Lynam, Seth Marsh, Lot. W. Martin, Thomas M. Martin, Jasper C. McKelvey, George F. McName, Henry Market, Henry Mickle, John A. Morford, Marion Philpott, John Pope, Newton Pope, Jasper Rawlings, James S. Reeves, Nicholas Remeshart, George Rynerson, William H. Scott, William J. Scott, Conrod H. Shellhouse. Joseph T. Short, William H. Short, Aaron A. Sleeth, William Sleeth, Lafayette A. Slifer, Levi Slifer, George W. Smith, Andrew Stutsman, Calvin Sullivan, George W. Travis, David N. True, Elijah Tuttle, David Ulery, John Wolf-privates
On starting for the front this company was presented with a large flag made by several of the Greenfield ladies, Mrs. Permelia Thayer, Mrs. A. P. Williams, Miss Alice Pierson, Miss Martha Meek and others. The flag was made in the house now occupied by Mrs. Permelia Thayer, on the north-east corner of Main and Pennsylvania streets in the city of Greenfield.
The "three-months men" were mustered out on August 6, 1861, after having been as far east as Virginia, and having participated in the engagement at Rich Mountain in that state. Many of them, however, re-enlisted at once for a period of three years, or during the war.
ADDENDUM: Martin Stephenson died July 20, 1861, of wounds, at Rich Mountain Virginia. James Buchanan, wounded at Rich Mountain, Virginia, July 11, 1861. Samuel Dye died of wounds at Indianapolis, May 18, 1861. Andrew Stutsman, wounded at Rich Mountain Virginia, July 11, 1861.)
It is exceeding difficult, if not impossible, to make a complete roll of the men who enlisted as volunteers from this county and who were among the veterans of the Civil War. By far the great majority of our boys enlisted in Indiana regiments. But many, who were temporarily absent from home, also enlisted in other states, and Indiana has no record of their names. In going over the records in the adjutant-generals office, page by page, it is still practically impossible to make a correct roll, since in so many instances the record is incomplete, failing to show the residence of the men. In such cases personal acquaintance would be required with each man to determine accurately to which county he belongs.
Below is given the roll of enlisted men from our county as nearly correct as we have been able to make it. Some of the men who enlisted as private soldiers were later commissioned as officers. Others were transferred to different regiments. Some of the officers were also promoted from time to time. This accounts for some names appearing several times, especially in the companies that were filled almost entirely with Hancock county boys. The men have been grouped in companies, showing their associations during the war.
Among those who always claimed Hancock county as their home, but who were not credited to this county, were Gen. Oliver P. Gooding, who was for many years in the regular army, but who was appointed colonel of a Massachusetts regiment during the war, and who rose to the rank of brigadier-general. Adams L. Ogg, who was in Iowa, organized a company there and was captain of Company G, Third Iowa volunteers.
The following men enlisted and were credited to Hancock county:
Reuben A. Riley-captain
Solomon T. Kauble, William H. Pilkinton-first lieutenant
John H. Duncan, Lee O. Harris, William H. Pilkinton- second lieutenant
Elias Marsh-first sergeant
James Furry-commissary quartermaster sergeant
William A. Pope-commissary sergeant
Jasper N. Pope, James T. Pope, Milton T. Morris, John Galliher-sergeant
George S. Andrick, George H. Alford, David Bellville, Joseph Marsh, William G. Ritchie, George W. Miller, Rezin D. Collins, William W. Price-corporal
William Smith, Herman Ridlin-bugler
Jared C. Meek-blacksmith
John R. Hoobler-wagoner
George H. Alford, Alexander Andis, George S. Andrick, Perry H. Andrick, William S. Ayers, David Bellville, Landon Bellville, John Breece, John Burnwick, Marion T. Burris, Francis M. Brizendine, John J. Chapman, John Copeland, Charles W. Campbell, Charles Campbell, Samuel P. Cottrell, Jonas H. Davidson, John Day, John Dye, William Daugherty, George W. Duncan, John Egger, Morris Font, John Galliher, William H. Gooding, Benjamin F. Gant, Henry C. Gant, Lewis Gillum, Sanford Grigsby, Henry Harris, Nathaniiel Haskett, James Hudson, Adam Hutton, Milton Jackson, Almon Keefer, John Kellum, John Kiger, Paul Kowan, Hiram Lawson, Thomas Mack, Joseph Marsh, Albert Martin, Joseph Martin, Henderson McFarland, George McGee, Jesse McKinney, Jared Meek, Marshall M. Meek, Ransom M. Meek, George W. Miller, Albertus Milroy, William P. Mints, William H. Pilkinton, James T. Pope, Jasper N. Pope, Peter S. Pope, William A. Pope, Isaac Powers, William Price, James Pugh, Jeremiah Reedy, Herman Ridlin, William G. Richie, John Rockey, John A. Samuels, William M. Sleeth, Andrew I. Smith, Oliver H. Smith, John H. Smith, Zachariah T. Snell, Jonathan Snow, John H. Taylor, James Thomas, Ralph L. Thompson, Samuel C. Thompson, Henry W. Thornton, John Vail, Charles J. Willett, Ephraim P. Witham, John Wort- privates.
George W. Jackson- colonel
William R. Walls- major
William R. Walls, John C. Rardin- captain
John C. Rardin, John B. Harrod-first lieutenant
John B. Harrod, John V. Hinchman-second lieutenant
Benjamin F. Alexander, Asubry E. Anderson, James D. Anderson, George S. Bailey, Jacob T. Barrett, Henry Beachman, John Bennett, Frederick Blessinger, Jacob Buchel, James Burris, Leroy Bush, Frederick W. Byfield, Thomas Cady, Michael Chancery, Calvin Clark, Joseph Conner, David Connett, Alexander Copper, Joseph Craining, William H. Cross, Charles E. Church, George W. Crews, Rossville Curry, John W. Davis, Odell Despo, Ephraim C. Duncan, Andrew Dunn, John Egger, James Elmore, Charles Everts, Othniel Fisk, Joseph J. Gray, Isaac Grigsby, John Grigsby, Mark Hamilton, Wilson Hamilton, Patrick Hanley, William Harvey, Thomas R. Henner, Joseph V. Hinchman, James Hook, Edward Hudson, Willis Hudson, Joseph Hutton, Francis P. Jones, Henry Jones, Mathias Kiger, Charles A. Kirkhoff, William Lamb, Deane Lewis, John S. Loehr, John Manche, John C. McCorkle, Andrew S. McGahey, Daniel McPhall, Ambrose Miller, Reuben Niles, Aaron D. Nixon, George Parker, Joseph H. Pauley, Ephraim Parmon, George Parsons, James W. Pilkinton, Franklin R. Poole, Aaron J. Rawlings, William Robison, Joseph M. Russell, Christian H. Seers, Francis O. Seers, Isaac Shaffer, James Shaffer, John W. Sherrill, Hugh Short, August Smith, William Smith, John Steward, Calvin Sullivan, Daniel Thornton, John A. Vernon, Benjamin Waller, William H. Waller, Marcellus Walker, .John H. Wallls, John J. Winn-privates
Albert Alyea, Samuel P.Anderson, Samuel E. Collins, Isaac Lane, Thomas J. Lincolnfelter. Isaac McBane, James T. Reynolds, Benjamin T. Robison, Samuel C. Willis
Samuel H. Dunbar, Stephen A. Jones, Philander Smith, William R. Walls-captain
George H. Black, Samuel H. Dunbar, William G. Hill, Stephen A. Jones, Solomon T. Kauble, Philander Smith-first lieutenant
Samuel H. Dunbar, William G. Hill, Nicholas Miller, Philander Smith- second lieutenant
William G. Hill-first sergeant
John S. Chittenden, William Short, Philander Smith, Elijah Tuttle-sergeant
William Branson, David M. Dove, William Gapen, James Hawkins, Richard Lamb, Richard Leamon, Thomas M. Martin, Aaron Scott-corporal
John S. Davis, John Ulrey-musician
David Adams, William W. Alexander, Andrew J. Alyea, John A. Alyea, John B. Anderson, William T. Askins, Abijah Bales, Noah Bixler, George Black, Jacob Bower, William Branson, John Brock Samuel S. Brooks, Henry Bush, James Bush, John Bush, Charles H. Clapper , Levi Collier, George M. Davidson, Joseph Davis, Charles E. Deppery Alexander Derry, James Derry, Samuel H. Dillman, Jacob Dinkle, Thomas Dinkle, George W. Dixon, John Dorman, David Dove, William C. Dove, Samuel Dunbar, Fred Elsbury, Amos Everson, Ira B. Fountain, Andrew J. Fuller, Eli Gapen, John C. Gephart, Andrew J. Gilbert, Henry Goar, James M. Goble, Charles G. Gunn, Cyrus Haines, John Hall, William Hill, Francis H. H. Hudson, Thomas J. Huston, John Jack, John Jackson, John Jennings, Isaac T. Jones, Stephen A. Jones, Thomas Jones, Solomon T. Kauble, Christian Kreager, Albert Lake, Peter Lamb, Richard Lamb, Richard Leamon, Isaac Lineback, Adam F. Louder, Alfred Louder, James Louder, William Louder, Henry Mann, Jacob Martin, William McConnell, Henry McCorkle, Isaac McGee, Stephen B. Meek, Francis Miller, W. H. H. Morgan, Emanuel Morris, Jacob Mullin, Azor M. Nixon, Marion Philpot, Nicholas Reamsheart, Christian Redmire, Samuel Robinson, Benjamin A. Roney, Edward H. Roney, Francis M. Sanford, Aaron Scott, James P. Scott, John Scott, Ebenezer C. Scotten, John. B. Scotten, William W. Scotten, William H. H. Seeley, Peter Sellery, Martin Shelton, Samuel Shelby, William H. Siplinger, Wilson S. Slifer, George W. Smith, Philander Smith, Lewis Snell, William T. Snider, Ruel Stevens, Henry P. Thomas, William S. Thomas, Isaac P. Thompson, Elijah Tyner, John Ulrey, James M. Underwood, John N. Underwood, John S. Welling, William Welling, John Wiggins, Lawson Wiggins, Edwin H. Wilcoxen, Adams F. Wilson Alfred Wilson-privates.
John G. Hendricks
John Baker, Henry H. Burris, John W. Long, Stephen R. Meek, Robert J. Smith
John Brock, John W. Ellis, James P. Mendenhall
Joseph F. Bartlow, James M. Bragg, Jonathan Bundy, Simeon Dennis, Henry Frederick, Henry Kinsey, Thomas W. Mondon, Lawson Rash, Thomas H. Robb, William Simmons, Daniel Welt, John M. White, Joseph Wolf, Robert T. Wood,
Albert Banta, John H. Bolander, Jacob Brantlinger, James W. Cooper, James S. Davidson, Lewis C. Davis, Francis M. Hays, William McKinley, William Personett, Eli Prickett, James T. Russell, William H. Russell, William Sanders, Rufus Scott, John W. Simcox, Isaac Whetsel,
Granville Bellville, Oliver Dillman, John Lockwood, William F. McCorkle, James Pauley, John Price
John S. Hackleman
Henry Collins, Albert Roberts
Henry S. Davidson
Stephen Bedgood, Herman Kunz
John J. Earl, William Rudrick, Charles J. Williams
John W. Grenier
Solomon D. Kempton- lieutenant-colonel
Noble P. Howard- assistant surgeon
Gordon Browning- commissary sergeant
Thomas B. Noel-captain
Solomon D. Kempton-first lieutenant
James Huston-second lieutenant
John W. Statts, first sergeant
Newton S. Dexter, John Hall, Isaac P. Ringwalt, Peter Statts,-sergeants
Homer L. Buntrum, Samuel P. Colwell, William G. Elliott, William O. Irish, Richard Jones, Alexander H. Lile, Anzi W. Thomas, Various Virgin- corporals
Robert Alfont, John L. McConnell-musicians
Eli Abney, Harrison H. Adams, Benjamin F. Alexander, Christopher Alt, Albert Alfont, George Alley, Hammer L. Bentreen, William F. Bright, John C. Burris, Isaac Butcher, Edward Clampett, George W. Clark, Darius Collins, Samuel P. Cottrell, Newton Dexter, James Dowling, Robert Faucett, Joseph A. Gwinn, Ulysses P. Haskell, William Hasley, Claud Hugeneard, William O. Irish, Brazil Johnson, James C. Jordon, Herman Kassler, Albert Keffer, John D. Kirkman, George W. Knotts, Michael Larkin, Cornelius Laymon, James H. Lewis, James N. Lister, John W. McConnell, Ira McCullom, Amos McGuire, Harrison McGuire, John A. Messler, Theodore Mosier, Ransom Olney, George Romack, John H. Savage, Thomas Sherman, Edward Smith, James A. Watson, William R. Windle, David T. Winn, Joshua Winn, Levi Wiseman-privates
Eastly Helms-first lieutenant
Benjamin F. Alexander, Abraham Whelchel-sergeants
Alexqnder Bannon, James Barnard, Ezekial Cooper, Milton Curry, Jacob Hiday-corporals
John Waterman- wagoner
Benjamin F. Alexander, Richard Allison, Samuel B. Allison, Abraham Bannon, John H. Bannon, Thomas B. Bannon, William C. Bannon, James Barnard, John Brantlinger, John B. Boone, Davis Catlin, Robert Chitwood, John Clark, John C. Cottrell, Thomas Cottrell, James H. Crossley, Milton Curry, George Denny, Alfred Dobbins, James Dunham, Henry Edwards, William H. Ellingwood, Andrew Forgey, Hugh Forgey, Archibald Gardner, Hiram Gardner, John Ginder, Jacob Hiday, Thomas Hiday, James Humphreys, John Hunter, Mell Hunter, James Lister, James M. Lister, Samuel Lister, Elijah Lunsford, Elijah Marshall, Joseph McGuire, Erasmus Myers, George Piper, Amos Rash, Daniel Rash, Thomas M. Rash, John T. Rash, John W. Reynolds, David Richards, John S. Sample, William Scott, Jacob Shaffer, Milo Shaffer, William Shaffer, Peter Shaffer, Dezra Shroy, Joseph Shaffer, Hiram Shaffer, Freeman Shull, John Shull, Marcellus B. Waler, George D. Walker, Aaron C. Wright, William Wright, John Whelchel-privates.
Samuel Applegate, Elijah Elsbury, Aaron Bills, Nelson Bills, William H. Bolander, William Brantlinger, John Brooks, Abner Brown, Benjamin Brown, Amon Bucy, Joseph D. Camp, George W. Camp, Nicodemus Camp, William Camp, David Davidson, Jacob Hooker, Elijah Horton, James Luntsford, Michael H. Mack, William Olvey, Francis Vanzant, Jesse Vanzant, Joseph Vanzant,
Thomas J. OReilly, Ebenezer Toon, Oliver H. Tuttle
The Greenfield band enlisted and became the regimental band for this regiment. Professor Eastman, prominent in Greenfield musical circles at that time, was its leader. The following were the members: Omer, Arnold, Samuel W. Barnett, F. M. Crawford, James E. Cravens, James H. Crowder, William Elliott, Albert G. Griffith, William E. Hart, John W. Lambertson, Edwin M. McCrarey, Samuel M. Martin, John H. Noble, William L. Ogg, Martin E. Pierson, Thomas E. Richardson, James T. Reed, Henry Snow, Nathan Snow, James F. Stewart, Alfred M. Thornburgh, David Youst.
Abram Cly, John Cly, Joseph L. Hartley, J. Holden, Leroy Holding, Peter Lamb, Theodore Ward
Lemuel Bailey, Shelton Bailey, William Bannon, John Cahill, John Clark, William Mesler, William J. Shull, Mark Thompson
James G. Boyce, Samuel Burk, John Davis, Irvin B. Lutes, Richard Meek, William Sapp, Conrad Shellhouse, William J. Siberry, William Siberry, James Roberts, Charles C. Wilson, Jefferson Ulery.
Perry J. Rhue
Benjamin Griffith, Jefferson Roland, Thomas S. Surgnar, Charles S. Smith, John Varner, Samuel Walker.
Thomas L. Brooks, Oliver Bartlow, Henry Carroll, Alexander Foley, Jackson Galloway, Abraham Miller, John O. Moore, Adam Parkhurst, Robert Pauley.
Thomas Burris, Moses Conner, James D. Cunningham, Manley Colburn, Benjamin Elliott, George D. Owens, Marion Owens, William Rynerson, Andrew Stutsman, David M. True.
Alpheus T. Collins, James A. Lacey, Nimrod Lacey
John S. Welsh, Thomas C. Welsh
Reason Shipley, Vinton Whitehurst
Jonathan Dunbar- first lieutenant
Seth Marsh-second lieutenant
William Curry, Henry C. Duncan, John Hook- corporals
James K. Banks, Moses Burris, Taylor B. Burris, Cyrus Creviston, Ebenezer Cross, William Curry, James Dorman, Henry Duncan, Jere Ferrin, John Hook, Benjamin Hudson, Seth Marsh, John Rittenhouse, George Slifer, Jesse Stump, Wellington Thomas, Ralph L. Thompson, George Windsor, Elisha Whorton-privates
John K. Henby
George W. Farris, William N. Kitchen, George W. Owen, Leroy Wagoner
William Anderson, John W. Chappell, William Chappell, John L. Duncan, Reason Hawkins, Joseph Shutes, David Snow.
W. W. Ragan, Taylor Thomas- first lieutenants
Samuel Marsh, W. W. Ragan- second lieutenants
Henry C. Perkins- first sergeant
Aaron Hutton- sergeant
Samuel Marsh, Aaron Sleeth, corporals
Andrew J. Bridges-musician
Henry Anderson, Lucellus Anderson, Joseph B. Atkison, Perry Beaver, Seth Bellville, George W. Berry, Harrison Berry, John G. Berry, William R. Berry, Harrison Black, William H. Boman, Conde Burns, Isaac Cannon, George W. Carr, Oliver Carson, Noah W. Carr, Richard M. Casto, William Casto, Archibald Coleman, Charles M. Dubois, John W. Dubois, Theodore Edwards, John Grigsby
Alexander Handy, Caleb Holden, Joseph Hubble, Jacob Kessler, Joel H. Knight, John S. Loehr, Samuel Marsh, Edward Martin, Joseph Martin, John Mayor, Nathan C. Meek, Christian Meyer, John Mitchell, Augustus Munden, Asbury Neal, Thomas ODonnell, Benjamin Osborn, Jasper Osborn, James M. Personett, James M. Price, James K. Ragan, W. W. Ragan, Bert Scott, James Scott, Stephen L. Stowder, James Watson, John Whitecotton, James M. Whittaker, William Whittaker, George W. Wiggins, Jasper M. Wingfield, John M. Williams, Wesley Williams-privates.
John A. Craft, Isaac T. Earl-captains
John A. Craft, Isaac T. Earl-first lieutenants
John A. Craft-first sergeant
Oliver Bartlow, Jeremiah Boyer, Samuel Boyer,William Boyer, Joseph Brooks, Daniel Burk, Eden Burris, William T. Byers, Henry Carroll, George L. Chandler, Homer Craft, Americus Fish, Granville Fisk, James M. Fletcher, John W. Fletcher, Charles H. Fort, Lorenzo D. Fort, Henry C. Garrett, John D. Gibbs, Hiram Griffith, Thomas H. Griffith, John V. Halley, William H. Jones, Jonathan Keller, William F. Lakin, George W. Landis, Charles W. Lemay, John Madison, John McCorkle, Benjamin Miller, Thomas E. Niles, Lewis B. Parris, John Probasco, Joseph M. Reynolds, Joseph Roland, Ira Shaffer, Robert A. Smith, James Thomas, John M. Tygart, Thomas M. Tygart, Marshall Vandyke, Michael Ward, Charles H. Weaver-privates.
James W. Adams, William R. Renan
Isaac Alfrey, Melvin Brooks, NehemiahBrooks, Samuel DeCamp, George Garbrick, Abram I. Helms, William H. Hiembles, John Kinneman, Byron Kurtz, John Ledmore, William H. Sanders, Jeremiah Sherman, John Sherman, George W. Wallace, Joel R. Woods.
John G. Dunbar- major
John G. Dunbar-captain
John G. Dunbar, first lieutenant
George W. Ashcraft, Daniel Beeson, Jesse Black, Alfred P. Boyce, James M. Boyce, Nelson Boyce, Martin Breece, Alfred Brock, Thomas J. Carr, James M. Elliott, James B. Gapen, William Gapen, Thomas Glass, George Hall, Samuel T. Hook, Dudley Hudson, William Hutton, Francis M. Jones, Charles W. Killenbarger, Jacob Leonard, William H. Lucas, William Morgan, August Muth, David Muth, John Pope, Isaac Richey, Joseph B. Richey, George Robertson, Ralph Robertson, George Shaw, Bayan Sheets, Isaac Stutsman, William Tague, Clay Willett, William H. York-privates
Sydney Moore, William Reynolds- sergeants
Ransom R. Alvey, George H. Jackson, James M. Jarrett, Cornelius Mingle-corporals
Ransom R. Alvey, John Blanton, Thomas J. Brinegar, Andrew Brown, Isaac Chappel, Cornelius Collins, Benjamin T. Cooper, John W. Cooper, Philander Cox, Tunis Dangler, Enos Denny, Andrew J. Eakes, Joseph R. Eakes, Robert Faucett,, Richard Foster, William J. Franklin, James Frazier, Charles Harvey, Peter Hudson, William H. Hunt, George H. Jackson, Huander Jackson, James M. Jarrett, Hiram Leonard, Benjamin Loomis, John G. Loomis, Neal McCole, Francis M. Pardue, Lewis Price, William Reynolds, William H. Roberts, Samuel Steele, Samuel Torrence, William Torrence, William Valentine, James S. Walker, William Wallsmith-privates.
Ezra Buchanan-first sergeant
Christian Brier, Charles H. Burris, William Collins, Amos Deshong, James Dillman, Michael N. Dunn, F. M. Eastes, James A. Eastes, Henry Eikman, Fred Knoop, William Knoop, George Kuntz, George F. Langenberger, John L. Lynch, Cyrus P. McCord, Samuel McDuffey, Christian F. Meyer, William Miller, John P. Murphy, Henry Philpot, Anton Rabe, Samuel Roney, Jacob Sewell, Joseph H. Snider, John Stanley, Martin V. Stanley, Christian Spilker, Henry Sumwalt, Leroy Vanlaningham, Anthony Wishmeyer, William C. Wright-privates.
John Allen, Sylvester Barrett, Amos C. Beeson, John C. Beeson, Harmon W. Boles, John W. Boles, Nathan Catt, John N. Cline, Benjamin F. Conner, Charles W. Cook, Daniel Copeland, Warren Cross, John H. F. Fouty, Jacob H. Gibbons, Fleming Glass, David Harrison, George W. Johnson, William Langford, James H. Lewis, Nimrod Low, John McBane, William T. Miller, Solomon Richardson, John W. Richey, Samuel Richey, John H. Scott.
Robert P. Andis, James H. Carr, Isaiah Curry, George Tague-captains
John M. Alley, Robert P. Andis, Isaiah Curry, George Tague-firist lieutentants.
Robert P. Andis, James R. Brown, Isaiah Curry, Henry Miller-second lieutentants
Isaiah Curry- first sergeant
John M. Alley, Thomas Holland, Perry McQuerry-sergeants
Richard J. Barrett, Thomas J. Collins, Tilghman Collyer, John B. Herrod, Amos Milner, Larkin Potts, Lewis F. Richman, William Shipman, Henry C. Tyner-corporals
Andrew Curry- fife, William R. Curry-drum-musicians
Thomas P. Mealis- wagoner
George H. Allen, Richard Allen, Samuel D. Allen, John M. Alley, Henry Ashcraft, Salem C. Ashcraft, Garrett Baldwin, Jonathan Baldwin, Joseph Baldwin, Augustus M. Barrett, Richard J. Barrett, George W. Blakely, Nathaniel Blakely, Joseph H. Boman, Samuel Bright, James R. Brown, James Bussell, John L. Butcher, Loran Butterfield, James W. Cass, Wesley S. Catt, William Catt, John H. Collins, Thomas J. Collins, Tillghman H. Collyer, James A. Cook, Andrew Curry, William Curry, Zachariah B. Curry, Jacob Davis, Nimrod Davis, William Fletcher, James Flowers, John N. Flowers, James Gard, Samuel Gard, Alonzo M. Gibbs, Charles B. Hamilton, John M. Harlan, Samuel H. Harlan, Abram Hedges, John H. Herrod, George B. Hudson, Riley Kinghan, Thomas McGuire, Perry McQuerry, Amos Miller, Henry Miller, Thomas J. Miller, Job Milner, Joseph T. Milner, William Milner, Elisha Morford, John A. Morford, Joseph B. Morford, George S. Morris, James Murphy, Charles Myers, John Nibarger, Harrison Nibarger, Lemuel I. Nibarger, Thomas J. Nibarger, Christian Ortel, William H. Power, Nevil Reeves. Oliver Reeves, Riley A. Reeves, William W. Reeves,.Lewis F. Richman, Michael Ridman, George Roland, James Q. Sample, Charles W. Scott, Isaac P. Shaw, William R. Shaw, Francis M. Shipley, Reason Shipley, James J. Shipman, William Shipman, William Siddell, Levi Slifer, Edward C. Smith, Henry Tibbetts, Henry Trice, Seward Vandyke, Robert H. Vernon, Samuel W. Waters, William Wilson, William M. Wilson, Madison Winn, Vinton Withurst, Jeremiah Wood, Henry W. Wright, Michael J. Youse,
David L. Anderson, John P. Armstrong, David O. Bennett, John Bogg, Jacob Everson, Levi M. Kennedy
James M. Berry, Thomas W. Dickey Henry M. Edmunds, Robert Reynolds, Mark Thompson,
John Barr, Cornelius Bartlow, Henry H. Bevel, Eli Black, Joseph Burk, Wesley Carroll, Wilson Catt, William Chapman, Edward Coffin, Francis M. Cooper, Allen Curry, John Drake, George W. Dugan, Richard Frost, James Jack, William P. Lacey, Jeremiah Oldham, Newton C. Reeves, Joseph Steffey, Vanes Virgin, Isaac Waller, Robert W. Wood, Isaac Wyant
W. H. H. Rock- second lieutenant
Asa Allison, Cornelius Barlow, Henry Barr, Phillip Denny, George J. Dille, Eli Gordon, Perry Lynam, Andrew Ormsten, James C. Pratt, Ira Shaffer, Joseph Steffey, William C. Watson-privates
Lee O. Harris, John B. Howard- first lieutenants
Oliver Andis, James M. Baker, Charles W. Basey, Calvin Bennett, George W. Bennett, David Bixler, William Bracken, John D. Carmichael, David Carson, Lansford Clements, Martin Coble, Oliver P. Cochran, William Curry, Henry Dawson, Milo Dickson, David Gray, John A. Gross, Jacob Hook, Elijah Hunt, John W. Hunt, Robert Johnson, Fred C. Keft, Wesley Kinder, Gilman Lane, Thomas W. Lankford, Riley Madden, Eli N. Marshall, Isaac Miller, Robert Morical, William H. McFadden, William Myers, Samuel T. Patterson, Cornelius Ramsdell, Aaron Reitsell, William R. Shirley, Asa Smith, Addison Soots, Oliver Strahl, Hamilton Welling, Morris Whittaker, James L. White, Christian Wishmeyer, Leven T. Young-privates
John Courtney, John A. Sandy, Solomon Stranbrough, John Welsby.
Thomas L. Purdue
Adam Bird, Lewis H. Brown, Francis M. Christian, David Clark, Robert M. Dunlap, Joseph Fetron, Anthony Hansing, Henry Hensing, Thomas W. Lankford, Jacob Miller, Reuben Pardee, James E. Reynolds, William H. Smith, Oliver Squires, Jacob Volmer, Elijah White, William Woodall,
Henry Snow- captain
Nelson Hunt and Junius Hunt (colored)
The soldiers from Hancock county were, in the main, kept in the western theater of the war during the early part of the struggle. Many were in Arkansas, Missouri, with Grant along the Mississippi, with Thomas, Rosecrans and Buell, in Kentucky and Tennessee and a very large number were with Sherman on his famous march to the sea. In the latter part of the war these troops were, of course, with Sherman and Grant in the eastern field. But what the veterans of the Civil War have done has been written large on the pages of the nations history, and no attempt will be made to detail that story here.
It was a common practice for the men at the front to return their savings to their families from time to time. Frequently a number of them who had come from the same locality sent their money in one amount to some person in whom all had confidence. In February, 1863, for instance, the men of Company B, Eighth Regiment, forwarded to Capt. A. K. Branham one thousand, eight hundred and twenty dollars to be distributed to persons in various parts of the county. We cannot know at this time just whose money was included in this amount, but after a large part of it has been distributed Captain Branham inserted a notice in the Hancock Democrat that the money belonging to the following persons would be sent as directed by them: William Everson, Abram Hanes, Thomas Lake, Mrs. Mary A. Snell, New Palestine; Samuel Fuller, Cordelia Shelton, Catherine Jones, Julia Scotten, Philadelphia; Hamilton Welling, Christian Kreager, Cumberland; John M. Miller, Rebecca Davis, Cleveland; John Jackson, Pendleton; John Roney, Mt. Comfort.
In October, 1863, Andrew T. Hart received a package containing one thousand, one hundred and thirty-seven dollars from Company B, Ninety-ninth regiment, for the following persons: Benjamin Reeves, Lysander Sparks, Rosannah Hamilton, James Milner, Phoebe True, Jesse Allen, Louise E. Shaw, Mary C. Curry, William Watts, Thomas Bright, Margaret Milner, Sarah Curry, Sarah Milner, Elizabeth Reagan, J. H. Curry, Daniel Butter field, Susanna Redman, Eleanor Hudson, L. J. Youse, Elizabeth Cass, Catherine McGuire, Joseph Morford, Martha Tibbits, Willard Lowe.
These instances might be multiplied, but they illustrate the practice of the soldiers in sending home their money, either for the use of their families, or to be saved until their return from the war.
Some of the personal experiences of the boys, however, and something of their military life, is reflected from the following letters. The first two letters, from Lee O. Harris and R. A. Riley, give the experiences of the company of "three-months men" who went to the front from Hancock county. The third letter, from Samuel A. Dunbar, gives a good idea of the campaigning of Company B, Eighth regiment, in Arkansas, while the last one, written by a member of Company B, ninety-ninth regiment, comes from the field of heavy fighting around Missionary Ridge.
"Camp Benton, VA., June 25,61
Editor Hancock Democrat and friends at home:
I am now writing in the shade of a tree, in Camp Benton, which is situated on one of the highest hills in Western Virginia. Below me lies a beautiful valley, stretching between the lofty hills. A beautiful stream winds its way through it, while at the foot of the hill on which our camp is situated, lies the town of Clarksburg, the capital of Western Virginia. It has a beautiful site, situated her on the summit of this lofty hill, the valley lying in quiet beauty below me, and mountain on mountain piled to the clouds ands stretching away in every direction as far as the eye can reach. Both regiments are encamped upon this hill, and are now busy fortifying it. A wall, breast-high, is now almost completed, extending entirely around the hill, and a battery of six cannon is stationed on one side. Our position is one of the strongest natural defenses I have ever seen and commands the whole of the surrounding country. The enemy have no access to the town except over the mouth of our cannon, a hard road to travel, I believe.
A regiment of the Ohio troops arrived in town today; there was a regiment here before we arrived, and another picketed along the railroad from Parkersburg to Grafton. The boys are all in fine spirits and eager for the fight, though I do not anticipate an attack at this point, now that we are all so well prepared. It is reported that ex-Governor Wise is on Laurel Ridge, about thirty miles from here, with five thousand men, yet, in this position we do not fear twenty thousand. Several secessionists have been captured and brought into camp, but released on swearing allegiance to the government. Having given you a general description of our camp, I will go back and tell you how we got here.
On Wednesday morning, June 19, I was awakened about three oclock by the blowing of trumpets, rattling of drums and shouting of men; such a noise I have never heard before. It sounded like the howling of fiends or the midnight orgies of devils. On inquiring the cause I learned that we had received our marching orders and, notwithstanding I am a quiet man in the main, I was infected with the general joy and shouted long and loud. I ran to the door of my tent and saw soldiers running, jumping, turning handsprings and summersets, and making the most extravagant demonstrations of joy. They were considerate enough to leave off, however, as soon as all were completely exhausted, and the longest winded could not shout above a whisper. Shortly after breakfast we began to take down our tents and pack our baggage, and before noon we marched to Indianapolis, where we embarked on the cars, and taking the Lawrenceburg & Cincinnati railroad, we were soon flying on our course on the wings of steam, followed by the shouts of hundreds who had collected to see us off. Everywhere along the road it appeared as if the whole community had collected along the track and greeted us with shouts and waving of hats and handkerchiefs. At Greensburg the patriotic citizens were awaiting us, and as soon as the train stopped, the cars were surrounded by detachments armed with well charged baskets, buckets and pitchers, and immediately began the attack, filling our haversacks with provisions of every imaginable kind. Our men faced the music like heroes and pitched into the eatables with a will. Long life and great happiness to the noble hearts of Greensburg! May heaven bless them as they deserve! At six oclock we arrived at Cincinnati. Here we were met by the city military, amounting to nearly two thousand, who escorted us to the Fifth street market house, where we were regaled with a splendid supper. All Cincinnati was alive with excitement; the streets were crowded from one end of town to the other, and at every turn the cry was, Huzza for the Indiana troops! Huzza for the Eight and Tenth! On the corner, near the market house, was a banner with this inscription, Cincinnatians Welcome to the Noble Sons of Indiana: May God bless and preserve you! We marched from the market house to the Marietta & Cincinnati railroad and embarked on the cars, where we lay all night, and on the next morning started for Marietta, a town about two hundred and fifty miles up the river. Through Ohio we were met and welcomed with the same demonstrations of joy that we witnessed in Indiana. At Chillicothe we were welcomed with another attack of provisions and good things. We arrived at Marietta about dark, when we were marched on board of steamboats, where we lay all night. Next morning we sailed down the river to Parkersburg, where we remained until Saturday night, when we embarked on board the cars on the Baltimore & Ohio railway and started en route for this place, arriving here on Saturday about noon, where we are likely to remain for some time. You shall hear from me again soon if my life is spared to write.
L. O. Harris, U.S. A."
Mr. Editor-Dear Sir:
Since our march from Indianapolis, such has been the constant hurry and bustle, care and toil, that I have never had time to write when I could command paper and ink, that I have not written you before. We first set foot on Virginias sacred soil at Parkersburg, the third day from Indianapolis, from thence two days after to Clarksburg by railroad through tunnels of pitchy darkness and over dizzy precipices. The road was guarded all along. At Clarksburg (the capital of western Virginia (we took possession of a hill about three hundred feet high, immediately south of the town, commenced to fortify it, and about 1 oclock A.M. Capt. Loomes flying battery six pieces arrived. It was hauled to the foot of the hill, and there we took it apart, attached long ropes, and piece at a time, with two hundred men to a piece, pulled it up to the top, and by daylight had cannon, ammunition and all in position on the hill, and commanding the whole surrounding town and country within its range. We then resumed work on our fortification, and by night had a breastwork from six to ten feet high, for nearly a mile, in an oblong circle. The traitors had prepared to burn the town, and expel or hang all Union men there, the day after our arrival. We were too quick for them, and they fell back to a pass called the Valley of Death, in the Rich Mountain, within five miles of Beverly, where they were strongly fortified at a pass called Camp Garnett, one and one-half miles further on the Beverly road, and at the Valley of Death they had breastworks of logs and rocks, probably 400 yards in length and two pieces of artillery (that we captured). I think they had three. At 4 P.M. on the 50th, six companies of the 8th and 10th Indiana Volunteers marched to the advance, on hearing that they were coming to give us battle. We took our position in advance of our encampment-consisting of eight regiments-in line of battle but the rebels went back to their holes again. The 8th regiment, that is, six companies of it, held their position on the field for the night, and Company I, consisting of 53 men, rank and file-33 of Company I, and 20 of Company E-took the picket guard, running a chain of sentinels within two hundred and fifty-nine yards of their fortification, and then transversely with the same, and remaining sleeplessly vigilant the entire night. Just after daylight on the morning of the 11th, six companies of the 8th, 10th, and 13th Indiana, and the 19th Ohio regiments filed right leaving the road, without cutting one for their access, and climbed over Rich Mountain, through heavy woods, barrens, thickets, among the laurel and huckleberries, among rocks, cliff and precipices, on dizzy heights and sightless depths, a distance of from 12 to 15 miles, entirely flanking and surprising the enemy in the Valley of Death.
We arrived on the battlefield at about half-past 1 P.M., when the picket fired on our advance guard led by Capt. Chris. Miller, of the 10th, severely if not fatally wounding him, and also wounding severely in the arm one of his men. The skirmish then commenced, on our side, while round shot, bombs, and spherical-case shells hissed and bursted over our heads. We continued skirmishing for over an hour, waiting for the Ohio regiment to come up, to get our positions, and for the cessation of one of the heaviest rains I have ever seen fall. Thus drenched and chilled, the Ohio regiment came up the mountain in sight and the rain ceased, when the 10th Indiana regiment engaged their left wing out of good range of their artillery. The left wing of the 8th lay right in line, view and range of their artillery, when they fired a shell that exploded directly over them (the 8th), then a round shot that went through a tree about 12 feet over the heads of the 8th. I told Col. Benton that the enemy had a point blank range on the regiment, and to let the regiment lie down. The command was given and the boys dropped, when instantly a charge of grape poured over them, about breast high but harmless. The enemy cheered, thinking the regiment was cut to pieces (as the afterward told me) while indeed the boys were lying like crouching tigers, waiting for the command to pounce upon them. We remained there for about half an hour, when the word came, and the boys went down the hill over rocks, logs and brush, firing and advancing, without much order-for that was impossible, from the nature of the ground-but with terrible precision, shooting with direct aim at every moving object distinguishable in the smoke before them. Then followed the most sublime and terrible concerted regimental firing that ever waked the echoes of that old mountain. Company I, commanded by Lieut. Walls, directed their fire upon the gunners of their artillery, and leaving but one standing, and him wounded in the hand and side. Then the rush from the cannon from both sides, when our men hoisted one poor fellow off of the cannon with their bayonets. The enemy gave way, and the retreat commenced, and firing after and pursuit. Neither of the latter continued long. Then came the congratulations over the victory, mixed with the groans and cries of the wounded and dying, then the searching and care for the wounded. Then a collection and burial of the pale and bloody dead. The busy and bloody-handed surgeons, with lint, chords, bandages, saw, scalpels, probes and bullet forceps were busy bandaging and dressing what could be saved, and amputation hopelessly shattered and lacerated limbs. I walked over a part of the battlefield that evening, and I hope never again to witness such a sight of blood and carnage. At one large rock about 20 feet long behind which the enemy had concealed, shooting over, there laid piled upon and across one another, sixteen men, every one of whom was shot through the brain. I will not further attempt to describe the carnage. The enemy had between 1,800 and 2,200, with two pieces of artillery which we captured. The six companies of the 8th, 10th, and 13th Indiana Regiments. amounting to about 1,500 to 1,700 men, did the fighting, the Ohio being held mainly in reserve, and coming in just as the close.
The counted dead of the enemy on the field is 131 and is doubtless more than double that number, as many were seen carried off. Some were found in the bushes and coal banks and among the rocks over a quarter of a mile from their breastworks. We have about 900 prisoners, six pieces of artillery, a large amount of small arms, seventy-two wagons, and from $60,000 to $100,000 worth of captured military property. Upon the rebels being so terribly defeated, slaughtered and routed at the Valley of Death, they fled into the mountain-they abandoned their arms, camp tents, ammunition and fortifications at Camp Garnett, one and a half miles distant and in the night left all, some even throwing away their blankets and coats and fled to the mountains. They also fled from Beverly, five miles distant. The next day a flag of truce was sent in and seven hundred who had been in the battle, came in a body, stacked their arms, and surrendered themselves prisoners of war. They, with those taken in the battle and since swelled their numbers to about 900, as before stated.
I am informed, by a messenger from there, that General Morris captured 1,800 rebels at Laurel Hill, together with their cannon, arms, and military stores, on the next day after the battle. Yesterday a detachment was sent from here to Stanton, twelve miles form here, and a messenger came back today saying they had fled panic stricken from there.
The war in western Virginia is ended for the present, if not forever.
None of Company I were killed or missing. Sergeant M. M. Stephenson was severely wounded by a musket ball a little above the right knee, the ball passing below the bone without breaking it. The hemorrhage was great, but upon its being staunched, reaction took place, and he is now doing well, and will probably recover without material lameness or injury. James Buchanan was wounded in the fleshy part of the hip, just above the hip joint, but got up, straightened his leg, tried it, cursed the traitors, and fought on with redoubled energy. Andrew Stutsman was wounded on the knee by a fall on the rocks while making the charge. Charles Weaver had his wrist bruised and sprained by the bark and splinters knocked from a tree near which he was, by grape shot. All who were in the battle were brave to a fault. Our boys were much fatigued and exhausted by hunger, cold, rain, watching, marching and fighting, but are getting rested and ready for more work if needed soon. The health of most of them is tolerable, some are suffering with diarrhea and some with flux. Three or four are in the hospital, none dangerous I think.
While I have been telling of the enemys heavy losses, etc., I had almost forgotten to speak of our own. Thirteen of the Indiana troops were killed, and about forty wounded.
My own health is poor and broken down. Five days ago I was taken with diarrhea, and from weakness, loss of sleep, hunger, and the long, toilsome march over the mountain, and the sudden cold and heavy rain, I sat down, cramping and exhausted, by a tree, in the midst of the battle, delivering the command to Lieut. William R. Walls, who gallantly led the boys through the balance of the fight. Shot, shells, grape, musket and rifle balls were bursting and hissing over and around me. There is an excitement and sublimity in a well contested battle, that can neither be appreciated or realized by any one who has not witnessed it and participated in it. Our boys who were left behind to guard the camp, and too sick to make the toilsome march, are filled with regret and chagrin because circumstances forbade their participation in the fight.
We expect to be home again in a few weeks, bringing Company I back without the loss of a man. My paper is exhausted. My compliments and love to all.
Having had no opportunity for a long time to write to you, or anybody else, and supposing that our friends are anxious to hear from us, I hasten to write you. I joined my regiment at Sulphur Rock, on the 11th of June, and on the 22nd we left there for Clarendon, on White river, to join our gun boats. We approached said point by easy marches, until the day we entered Augusta, when we marched eighteen miles. The day after we arrived, at 2 oclock in the morning, Companies A and B, of the 8th, under command of Maj. Thomas Brady, and a battalion of cavalry, commanded by Col. Baker of the 1st Indiana, by special order, went in search of a regiment of rebels, mostly conscripts, under Col. Matleck. After a march of ten miles we came upon their camp freshly evacuated. The infantry deployed as skirmishers in the cane brake, which is the hottest and hardest work ever the lot of man to perform. We remained thus for two miles, rallying at a point on the river, three miles above a ferry where the butternuts were crossing. Col. Baker hastened forward, arriving a little too late, but in time to fire one of his mountain howitzers, killing two and dispersing them in every direction. He took their camp equipage and provisions. While this was going on Maj. Brady heard of a train concealed four miles above our position in the cane brake, and of course we made for it. We found five wagons richly laden with the good things fixed up by the special friends for palates of the traitors. They didnt get it. We eat our supper, saved our breakfasts, and turned the balance over. This was on the Fourth of July. On the 5th we returned to camp, arriving tired and worn out. The next morning at two oclock we left camp and marched sixteen miles, halting on the bank of Cache river. The road on each side of the stream having been blockaded by the rebels cutting timber across it,- a game they have played until it is played out. When our advance arrived at this point a small party of them, concealed in the blockade, fired upon the guard, hitting nobody. Our men killed one, who fell into our hands, and knocked seven off their horses, but they got away badly wounded or dead. Lieut. Hill, who commands the pioneers of the brigade, went to work on the blockade and in two hours had a road cut through and the troops passing over. In the morning a portion of the 11 Wisconsin and 1st Indiana Cavalry went out upon the road in advance to feel for the Texas Rangers, who we knew were in the neighborhood. About noon they came upon about two thousand of the gentlemen lying along the side of the road. Our boys went into them with fury, both sides fighting like fiends. More cavalry and the 33d Illinois were ordered forward first, and then the 8th. We arrived upon the ground and drove the rebels five miles, when night came on, and they got away from us. News of this fight spread like wild fire through rebeldom, and upon our arrival here we found that transports had been sent from Memphis to Clarendon, to gather up the remnant of our army, supposed to be cut to pieces and in a starving condition. The rebels everywhere throw it in our faces, and crowed loudly. Poor, deceived fools, why did they not know the true result of the engagement? We found nearly 200 of their dead upon the field, and their wounded filling every house along the road. Our loss was between forty and fifty,-eight killed and the balance wounded. The night after the fight we encamped beyond Cotton Plant, on a bayou. The next day we marched to Clarendon, a distance of 35 miles, under the hot sun of this climate, and through the deepest sand and the thickest and most suffocating dust. For miles we had to march without water, and when we did get any it was swamp water, the filthiest you ever saw in any swamp. This march beats everything in our military history, and had we not been ironclad we never could have stood it. On our arrival at Clarendon we found that our boats had from some cause or other given us out and retired. Duvalls Bluff, above Clarendon, was evacuated by the rebels, they retiring to Little Rock. On the 11th we left that point for this, and by some management not in army regulation our wagons, provisions and camp equipage were started upon one road, and we upon another. Our suffering would have been extreme had it not been for 4 crackers to the man which we found in a wagon belonging to Curtis quartermaster. On this scanty allowance we traveled 18 and 23 miles a day until last night. Our train arrived this morning, we having lived from the time we started until this morning on four crackers to each man. We are now encamped on the bank of the Mississippi, Helena is a beautiful little town, clean and neat. Shortly after our arrival a trading boat came down and you should have seen the effect it had upon the men. So long shut up in the darkness of Arkansas hills and swamps, cut off form all correspondence with friends and the world, exposed to danger and disease, almost naked, and but a few days rations of crackers left, you can imagine how exhilarating the sight of a boat would be. We are below Memphis about 100 miles. Last night was a moon light one, and Lieut. Hill and myself, after the camp had become still, seated ourselves upon the bank of the river and looked upon a scene as beautiful as I ever saw. At this point the river is one and a half miles wide, Mississippi forming the other side.
The Indiana troops are almost naked, having drawn but few clothes since leaving Otterville, and but few uniforms can be found among them. We wlll get a new suit here and cut a stiff. Lieut. Bill Hill, with his pioneers attended the train and through the most desperate swamps building and cutting roads with an energy and celerity that drew from General Benton a very high compliment. This morning the camp is all gayety and life. The boys are enjoying the highest spirits. Besides the prospects for bread, meat and clothes, we have a faint hope of being ordered out of Arkansas.
Col Baker and his cavalry are covering themselves with glory. They fear nothing; fight any force, no matter how large, when or where they find it.
Gen Hindman lives here, Gen. Curtis occupying his mansion, with the stars and stripes floating above it. The health of our company continues excellent, much to our surprise. Our friends can rest assured that for the present we are all doing well.
S. H. Dunbar,
8th Indiana Regiment
N.B. In the fight I have spoken of, at one time the rebels were in the woods, but in hearing distance. The Wisconsin boys were supporting the Indiana howitzers, when they heard the command given by the rebel commander, "Take the gun! Our boys came to a ready, and the line of rebels came rushing forward. Wisconsin waited until they came within fifty yards, when they poured a desperate volley into the, charging bayonets immediately, and throwing the enemy into confusion. They rallied again, after which one of our boys yelled out to them: Here is that gun, why in the hell dont you come and take it?
Headquarters 88th Indiana Infantry,
Near Vicksburg, Miss., May 28, 1863
I wrote you from Port Gibson a day or two after the fight of the 1st Inst. I then informed you of the loss of Company B, and presume ere this you have published it to our friends. Since that writing we have engaged in the unfortunate engagement of Champion Hills and "Black River Bridge, not having a man hurt in either. On the 19th inst. our artillery opened on the fortifications protecting Vicksburg, and skirmishing began. Our division was at once thrown forward, in rifle range of the rebel works, and a spirited fight at once began with the rebel sharpshooters. We soon discovered that we could effectually silence their artillery by keeping a storm of bullets pouring into their port holes. We played this game upon them without material loss, until the 22nnd of May, when General Grant peremptorily ordered that at 10 oclock A.M., the whole line should charge, reaching from the Yazoo to Warrenton. Upon this announcement being made to the men, a gloom and hopelessness was visible on every face. All were fully convinced that is was a mad move, and that we would meet slaughter and defeat. Nevertheless, at the appointed hour, we fell into line and moved forward. The column had been in motion but a few moments when the enemy opened upon it from rifle pits and forts, with musketry, grape, shell and schrapnel. Confusion at once began. Men fell dead and wounded at every step. Many being wounded were afterward killed, and the slaughter was terrible. The 8th started in the charge with 446 men, losing in killed and wounded, 114. The 33d Illinois with a less number of men, lost the same, the 99th Illinois lost 170. And other regiments, so far as I can hear, suffered in the same proportion, - Company B started into the charge with 43 men, officers included. Its loss was 13 wounded and 3 killed.
On the 20th, while advancing our brigade from a hollow to one nearer the enemy, Alfred Wilson was killed by a grape shot striking him on the head. He did not die immediately, and when assistance was sent to remove him to the hospital he would not be removed from the field until he laid hold of his gun, which he persisted in carrying with him. On the following morning while the company was sharp shooting, Richard Lamb was killed by a Minnie ball striking him in the bowels, and George N. Black was slightly wounded in the shoulder. He did not leave the field, though in too much pain to load and shoot, but carried water from the spring to the boys while they fought. On the day of the charge we lost as follows:
First sergeant, Frank Mays, killed.
Private, John Scotten, killed
Alfred Lowder, died from woundsWounded:
Corporal, F. M. Miller, slightly in chin
Corporal, Wm. W. Welling, severely in side and arm
Corporal, Clark McDonald, slightly in hip
Private, Thomas M. Martin, arm amputated
Private, W. W. Alexander, severely in arm
Private, Wm. N. Siplinger, slightly in foot
Private, Charles Clapper, slightly in arm
Private, Andrew J. Fuller, painfully in ankle
Private, James N. Underwood, arm amputated
Private, Wm. H. Morgan, collar bone broken
Lieut. W. G. Hill, painfully in right hand
The wounded are doing as well as the circumstances will permit. They are generally cheerful and confident of recovery. I understand they will be sent north as soon as possible. We are reducing Vicksburg by siege, since to attempt to take it by storm is folly and madness. Our regiment is lying on the protected side of a hill, in four hundred yards of the rebel works. Musket balls whiz harmlessly above us while our artillery keeps the air filled with the smoke of powder and the earth trembling. The enemy does nothing with its artillery. Toady, for the first time, two or three fired a shot at one of our batteries. Scarcely had the report been heard when Capt. Klauss of the 1st Indiana let a shell fly and blew up the seceshs caisson, killing a good many of them doubtless, besides leaving a tremendous moral effect. At night war ceases, except an occasional shot between pickets who stand within one hundred yards of each other. A few days ago the enemy sent in a flag of truce, giving us an opportunity to bury our dead that were left on the field after the fatal charge. The rebels came out of their holes by thousands, while the surrounding hills were covered with blue uniforms, gazing on the novel scene. Many of each side met, shook hands and conversed freely. Solders, both rebel and Union, were unanimously of the opinion that they in an hour like that could settle the war, if submitted to them. One rebel said he wished the truce would last forever. I heard of several instances where friend found friend, and in two or three cases, brother met brother. Desertions frequently occurred. The number no doubt would be double, did they not keep so rigid a guard. Two nights ago I was working in our ditches when two strapping Dutch boys who had escaped, jumped almost on top of me. After they were assured that it was all right, and got into the right place, they were the happiest fellows I ever saw. They give a dreadful account of the rebel rations and of the terror which our artillery and sharpshooters keep them in. If we succeed in keeping at bay the apprehended attack in the rear a little longer, Vicksburg will surely surrender. The mortar fleet I liked to have forgotten. It opens after dark and keeps up a terrible shelling during the night. The city has been on fire several times, but they have succeeded by some means in extinguishing the flames. The mortars surely scare them awfully, and I dont see how they help killing many. It is generally thought that hard fighting here is over, but nobody knows. The rebels before surrendering may come out and make a last desperate effort to escape. The nights are lovely and only when disturbed by the occasional crashing and bursting of shell, are so serene and still that we can hear the town clock in the city.
Let our ladies at home know that everything they do, no matter how little, for the comfort of our sick and wounded, is fully appreciated, and does much more good than they could imagine. Too great a quantity of the delicacies, and of clothes, etc., cannot be sent here. The probability is that we will remain here sometime. Many will be wounded, and many and many more will be sick in consequence of the climate and the way we have to live. Our men have but one suit of clothes, and that is deficient, worn and dirty. We have no time outside of the ditches to wash, and when a man falls sick or is wounded he can only look to the efforts of friends at home and the sanitary commission for clean clothes. Ladies, do all you can for us. We need your assistance.
None of the Greenfield boys have been hurt, and without one exception have been in the fight and have done their duty manfully. Our company is sadly in need of recruits and must be filled up. There is no difficulty in getting into any company the recruit may designate. Will not some of our young men make the break and come to our assistance? I will write again after, and perhaps before the fall of Vicksburg.
Following is another letter from Mr. Dunbar, dated October 18, 1863, at Vermillionville, Louisiana:
Suddenly our Brigade has received orders to march. It goes alone, and starts tomorrow morning. Our mission is not for letters or newspapers, as we expect with all the secrecy that can be exercised, to have some warm work. I write merely that you may present to their friends the names of Company B, left in the hospital in New Orleans. They are, John W. Underwood, Amos W. Everson, Elijah H. Tyner (nurse), Henry McCorkhill (sent from Berwick), George M. Davidson, Francis N. C. Hodson, Albert W. Lake.
I did not feel apprehensive of the death of any of them, even when they left, ague and diarrhea being the principal diseases. They had been sick but a few days, and with the excellent attention which I learn is bestowed upon the sick in hospitals in that city, I have no doubt they will soon recover,
John Scott, a good citizen of Brandywine township, who had deservedly many friends throughout his neighborhood, died in hospital at New Orleans, September 11th. All must sympathize with his afflicted family and honor his memory for his good qualities.
Searg. Cyrus Hanes and Elijhah Tuttle of Company B, in company with four others, after receiving instruction from the General, left, --on a critical mission. They pressed an oyster boat, sallied out into the Gulf, and from thence through innumerable bayous, lakes, and bogs, far into the interior of Louisiana, passing themselves among the enemy for smugglers. They accomplished, to the full satisfaction of the power that sent them, all they were sent to perform, returning in ten days from the date of their departure. They frequently saw and conversed with detachments of the enemy. Too much honor can not be awarded the men who will brave every danger, take life into their hands, peril everything for their country, and in obedience to others. Let the names of all such gallant actors stand out in bold relief, high on the scroll of honor.
Sam H. Dunbar
Editor, Hancock Democrat:
On Monday, November 23d, our division rested quietly behind a range of hills, near the Tennessee River, waiting for the engineers and pontonniers to complete the preparations for throwing a pontoon across the river. The work was done, the attention of the rebels was drawn to the extreme right, where General Hooker was making some heavy demonstrations, and a favorable opportunity for our crossing presented itself; accordingly we were ordered to be ready to march at 4 oclock next morning. Morning came, November 24, and we set off. The day was foggy and misting rain. We reached the river bank, which was lined with heavy cannon, ready to belch forth destruction to any one who might oppose our crossing.
Our workmen had been busy at work all night, and the pontoon was about half completed. The boats were used as ferry boats until ready to be placed in their positions in the bridge. We embarked immediately, crossed, stacked arms and waited for our artillery, ammunition wagons, horses and ambulances, which could not be brought over until the bridge was completed.
All was over by 9 oclock A. M., and we were ready to advance. A very short distance now lay between us and the enemy on Missionary Ridge. Our artillery kept up a languid fire on them from across the Tennessee, besides which very little seemed to be doing in the way of battle. We prepared to advance. Our guns were loaded and capped. Skirmishers were thrown out to the front and flanks, four or five from a company. Sergt. George W. Watts, Wesley S. Catt, Charles Meyers, and Christian Ortle were detailed from Company B. All things being ready, we moved on slowly, at a left face, the thick under brush rendering it next to impossible to preserve a line of battle.
Our skirmishers soon waked up the rebs. A brisk firing was commenced in front. We halted a short while, to give time to the skirmishers. We could now plainly see the summit of the first hill, but no enemy appeared thereon. We advanced slowly and halted near the top, when the rebs opened fire on us with their artillery. Fortunately our Chief of Artillery was with us, and got the precise location of the rebel battery. He immediately ordered up Richardsons battery, and opened on the enemy with one twenty-four pounder and several guns of smaller caliber. The rebs, who had been overshooting, lowered their pieces and replied vigorously for a while, the balls shaving very close, Our boys who were carrying balls from the caissons ran almost on all fours, while the balls hissed over their heads, and showered the limbs of trees around them. One projectile knocked off the whole top of a tree and hurled it into a regiment of the second brigade; but owing to some expert dodging, no one was injured. The rebs having one gun dismounted, and fearing for the safety of the remainder, removed their battery from view, and were silent the remainder of the day.
Our skirmishers were advancing down the opposite side of the hill, and driving the rebel skirmishers up the next ridge on which they were fortified. The night found us. We rested on our arms, expecting a vigorous renewal in the morning.
The 1st brigade of our division lay on our right, and the second on our left, leaving us to occupy the center. Gen. Ewing, our division commander, ordered our brigade to fortify their position, and to remain as a reserve. We sent at the work with energy, and, by midnight, had a row of rifle pits stretching for half a mile, and facing the rebel works.
Gen. Ewing, Gen. Blair, our corps commander, and Gen. Sherman all established their headquarters with us, and also the signals were displayed near our regiment. This was very interesting to us, as we could witness the maneuvers, and hear the dispatches that were constantly coming and going. They kept the aids busy.
The morning of the 25th dawned. The fog had cleared away, and the sun rose in his radiant splendor; all was yet quiet. Both armies had been maneuvering during the previous night, and now lay in plain view of each other. Gen. Hooker had advanced his lines far up the mountain, while strong batteries and earthworks lined the valley at the foot of Missionary Ridge. The operations of the day were opened by a broadside from Richardsons battery, aimed directly at the rebel works on the next ridge, plainly visible; and not more than half a mile distant. The rebel guns replied. Our guns opened from across the Tennessee, the rebs returned the compliment. The boom of cannon then came up from the battle below, and were only answered by the canonical language of Missionary Ridge. The cannonading was now terrific along the entire line, from the summit of Lookout to the banks of the Chicamauga. The surrounding hills and mountains smoked like so many volcanoes, and the thunders of artillery rolled along the valleys of the Tennessee. Oh, how sublime! The reverberations among the hills reminded me much of the poets beautiful description of "A Thunderstorm on the Alps. The noise of battle increased; the sound of musketry and of the charge was continually heard.
Until this time, we were admiring the scent, and estimating the distance of certain guns by the difference between seeing the flash and hearing the repot. Some of the boys were mounted on trees to obtain a better prospect, but our admiration ceased when we saw or wounded come limping in, supported on either side by their more fortunate comrades, or born on litters; some with heads bleeding, others with their shattered limbs dangling powerless by their sides. At first the sight was revolting, but when we could begin to count our wounded by scores and hear their stores of narrow escape, and hear their groans, we got mad and wanted to fight. If the 3d brigade had been turned loose, they would have stormed the very gates of purgatory; but No said Gen.Ewing, you must hold this ridge.
Just then Brig. Gen. Corse of the second brigade was carried in with a severe wound in his thigh. He swore a blue streak as he passed. Says he, If they had wounded me in the head, or some place in the body so that I could keep the field I would not care; but they have shot me in the thigh and I must retire. Gen. Ewing started to go to him, but he shook his head and Ewing returned.
The first brigade now formed in the valley, and were ordered to carry that part of the ridge in their front. This brigade consisted of the 12th and 10th Indiana, and the second and 90th Ill. They made a brilliant effort, and carried the rebel works. Col. Loomis, their brigade commander, rode up to Gen. Ewing and informed him that he had gained the heights as ordered, but with severe loss, especially in point of officers. The Col. of the 90th Illinois fell mortally wounded; the Lieut. Col. of the 100th Indiana, was wounded; Capt. Brouse of the same regiment was killed, and many others. Hardly had Col Loomis returned to his command, when the rebs charged and recaptured their old works, driving the first brigade entirely from the ridge. (I think, however, that this was a preconcerted arrangement, to draw the rebs into a trap.) They retreated back across a piece of timberland, while the rebs poured in volleys of shot and shell at their glittering bayonets. The air was fairly vocal with the sound of exploding shells and hissing fragments.
About this time, Christian Ortel of our own company was carried in, severely wounded in the thigh. He was a noble young man, and had the love and esteem of all who knew him. His wounds proved fatal. He died December 17, and now rests in the cemetery at Chattanooga.
Stern is the decree of fate which hath bound him,
And laid him to rest by strangers hand;
No loved ones near to weep around him,
As he sleeps alone in a strangers land.
It is sweet to die for ones country.
The stars and stripes were now unfurled from Point Lookout and the sound of battle died away as the shadows of evening covered the hills and valley; all hushed to quiet; we retired to rest and ere mornings light Gen. Bragg with all his army was hurrying toward Atlanta.
The above letter was evidently written by Marshall Alley, whose name appears on the muster roll as John M. Alley.
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 257-288.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI March 26, 2002.
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