In addition to the three-months men and the veterans of the Civil War, the Legion of Indiana was organized for home protection. Companies of the Legion were known as "Home Guards." During the Civil War several of these companies were organized in Hancock county, known as:
Fortville Guards, organized June 4, 1861. James H. Perry, P. Bond, captains; John K. Faucett, first lieutenant; Charles Doty, second lieutenant.
Hancock Guards, organized June 10, 1861. Alexander K. Branham, Henry A. Swope, captains; Henry A. Swope and William E. Hart, first lieutenants; William E. Duncan, William Lindsey, George H. Walker, Joshua Edward, second lieutenants.
Brandywine Guards, organized August 26, 1861. Robert Andis,captain; Ezra Fountain, first lieutenant; John M. Dixon, second lieutenant.
Anderson Guards (New Palestine), organized September 13, 1861. Thomas C. Tuttle, captain; Conrad Shellhouse, first lieutenant; George W. Stineback, second lieutenant.
Vernon Township Guards, organized, 1863. Sylvester Gaskins, captain; Thomas J. Hanna, first lieutenant; Perry J. Brinegar, second lieutenant.
Union Hancock (Cavalry), organized,1863. Taylor W. Thomas, captain; Solomon F. Kauble, first lieutenant; William E. Henry, second lieutenant.
Jackson Guards, organized, 1863. John A. Craft, Joseph H. McKown, captains; Joseph H. McKown, John M. Davis, first lieutenants; Asa H. Allison, second lieutenant.
The last three companies were organized during the excitement of the Morgan raid in 1863. At this time these companies were organized and known as the Hancock Battalion. Its officers were: Alexander K. Branham, Lee O. Harris, majors; Solomon F. Kauble, adjutant; Orlando M. Edwards, assistant surgeon.
A company was also organized in Buck Creek township. Another company of about forty German boys was organized and drilled at New Palestine by Dr. Buchel, a German physician. Greenfield boys, too young for service, were organized as the Greenfield Union Cadets, with the following officers: Hamilton Dunbar, captain; James W. Knight, first lieutenant; James Gapen, second lieutenant; Oscar Thomas, third lieutenant.
The Home Guards, however, were continually changing because the boys were constantly enlisting in the volunteer companies. Dr. Buchels company at New Palestine finally disbanded because practically all of its members had enlisted in the active service. Some of the other companies maintained their organizations throughout the war by continually filling their ranks with recruits.
Each company had its own drill ground. In the smaller towns the school grounds or commons were appropriated or the boys drilled on the streets. Adjoining the town of Greenfield on the northeast lay a large blue-grass pasture. It included a tract lying east of State and north of North streets, and was owned by Benjamin Osborne, a resident of Kentucky. Here the Hancock Guards gathered once a week, usually on Saturday afternoons. The drilling of the company on the slope and hill north and east of the branch in the region of Grant and East streets, was a very familiar sight in those days.
Two of these companies, the Hancock Guards, under Capt. A. K. Branham, and the Anderson Guards, under Capt. Thomas C. Tuttle, were in the active service about a week during Morgans raid. Captain Branhams company was mustered in on July 11, 1863, as Company E of the One Hundred and Fifth regiment of Indiana Volunteers. The company at that time was composed of:
Alexander K. Branham, captain
William E. Hart, first lieutenant
George W. Walker, second lieutenant
John Hatfield, first sergeant
Joshua Edwards, Freeman H. Crawford, William Mitchell, Samuel W. Barnett, sergeants
Samuel E. Duncan, Jacob Wills, Nathaniel Snow, James L. Dennis, corporals. Privates- Daniel Acker, Fred Alliman, Asa A. Allison, J. M. Baker, N. B. Ballenger, A. J. Banks, Thomas M. Bedgood, Calvin Bennett, George Bennett, David Bixler, Samuel Boyer, J. L. Burdett, N. F. Burford, Leroy Bush, Milton Catt, D. B. Chittenden, X. N. Church, Charles Cliff, John Dailey, Odell Despo, S. T. Dickerson, Ephraim Duncan, John Egger, William Evans, G. W. Glass, David S. Gooding, Lemuel W. Gooding, James Hood, Charles Hook, Q. D. Hughes, Ferdinand Hafner, Vincent Hinchman, Samuel Jones, Hiram Kern, John P. Larid, A. B. Lineback, Matthias Martin, John McCordhill, Stephen R. Meek, Charles G. Offutt, B. H. Pierce, Benjamin Porter, John Porter, William Porter, B. T. Rains, T. C. Rardin, Hugh Short, Alfred Skinner, M. A. Sleeth, H. A. Swope, Ezekiel Thomas, Samuel Thomas, John Walker, Sr., Isaac Waller, Thomas Wellington, David W. West, J. M. Williams, A. D. Wills, William H. White.
After reaching Indianapolis the One Hundred and Fifth regiment, of which this company formed a part, was ordered to the southern part of the state. The adjutant-generals report gives the following facts concerning the trip: "After Morgan had left Indiana it was reported that he was returning to capture Lawrenceburg. The regiment moved out to check him, and while getting into position an indiscriminate firing took place among the men, resulting in killing eight and wounding twenty." Among those killed in the action were Ferdinand Hafner and John Porter. William E. Hart died later of his wounds. Among the wounded who recovered were Captain Branham, David S. Gooding and Benjamin T. Rains. The company was mustered out on July 18, 1863.
On July 10, 1863, the Anderson Guards, under Capt. Thomas C. Tuttle, were mustered in as Company D of the One Hundred and Sixth regiment of Indiana Volunteers. The members of the company were:
Thomas C. Tuttle, captain
Conrad H. Shellhouse, first lieutenant
G. W. Stineback, second lieutenant
James G. Boyce, first sergeant
William M. Moore, James. T. Rice, F. M. Tattman, John M. Toon-sergeants
Herny Gates, G. H. Kirkhoff, Eb. L. Toon, David N. True-corporals
Privates- George Baily, L. B. Belor, T. J. Belor, A. C. Bowler, Samuel Burk, G. W. Carr, Moses Conner, M. P. Davis, John Dorman, Bluford Easton, Charles Eaton, Charles W. Eaton, John W. Eaton, Leland M. Eaton, Lewis Eaton, Thomas Eaton, W. T. Eaton, John Elliott, J. M. Ely, John England, Joseph Everson, Benjamin Fowler, Francis Furry, W. T. Gibson, David Gray, George W. Gray, John H. Gray, John Gundrum, G. W. Harris, William Harris, Adam Hawk, T. W. Higginbotham, Thomas J. Hobbs, Edward Hudson, John Johnson, John Kingery, William Kitchen, John Manche, H. M. McRoberts, Andrew McHaugyy, G. F. McNamee, Lewis R. Murphy, Steward Nichols, Perry E. Rice, E. H. Richardson, H. W. Richardson, John Russell, H. A. Schreiber, C. W. Shellhouse, Oliver P. Swift, John Stewart, Pressley H. Stirk, Andrew Stutsman, H. G. Stutsman, Ashley Sutherland, Andrew Thompson, Oliver H. Tuttle, Jefferson Ulrey, Roland Vest, H. B. Ward, George Wright.
This company went as far as Cincinnati, then returned and was mustered out on July 17, 1863, without having been in any engagements.
Excitement ran high during Morgans raid and everywhere the soldiers received ovations. Companies were marched into Indianapolis, and several passed through this county over the National road. It was a common occurrence for people who lived along the road to call for three cheers for Abraham Lincoln when a company marched past. Of course they were always given lustily. But even under the most serious conditions a little amusement and nonsense were mixed with their patriotism. The cheers were frequently followed by a call for three groans for John Morgan. The response of disconsolate discords would sometimes have done credit to a company of oriental mourners.
At the outbreak of the Civil War the patriotic sentiment of the county expressed itself in the attitude of those who had to stay at home, as well as in the enlistment of the men. Oratory flourished in the county. The eloquence of the speakers was surpassed only by the irresistible sentiment of patriotic songs sung by groups of girls in every community. The forms of David S. Gooding, R. A. Riley, W. R. Hough and others as they spoke from goods boxes on the street or at picnics and other patriotic meetings in the townships, are sill familiar to those who lived through that period. But no less clear to memorys eye and ear are the choirs and groups of young ladies and the songs they sang in patriotic support of those who felt the weight of the nations burdens. They were kept busy learning songs. They learned them during the day to sing them in the evening. Though at first there was more or less enthusiastic excitement about the war, after the great armies began to face each other and the newspapers reported the heavy tolls in human life, then anxiety for those at the front filled the hearts of those who were left at home. Then the papers were not scanned with idle curiosity; these were the hours "that tried mens souls." And who now, even among those who understand the power of music over the minds and hearts of men, can measure the moral effect of the loyal attitude of those girls, and who will attempt to say to what degree their songs, and the eloquence of speakers, strengthened the hearts of fathers and mothers and brothers during that great struggle?
The women and girls of the county gave more than moral support to the Union cause. In practically every community a society was organized that sewed, scraped lint, solicited, etc., and prepared such articles as could be used by the men in the field. These societies usually worked under the directions of the Indiana branch of the United States Christian Commission or the State Sanitary Commission.
During the early part of the war some of the societies made "comfort bags." A "comfort bag" consisted of a piece of cloth with a number of pockets sewed on one side, into which stamps, combs and other small articles could be placed. The "bag" was made to be rolled together and tied so that the articles could not be lost. Often the girls slipped their names and addresses into one of the pockets, and many of them later received letters from the recipients, thanking them.
Underwear, shirts and socks were made in quantities and sent to the front. In some communities the older ladies cut out garments and the girls sewed them. The sewing societies generally had a regular day for meeting.
At Greenfield a number of ladies met at the Christian chapel on October 15, 1861, and organized the Greenfield Military Aid Society. Mrs. Lot Edwards was elected president and Mrs. P. A. Thayer, secretary. The society appointed a soliciting committee of three, also a committee of tow for cutting clothes. Other societies were also organized, of one of which Mrs. Morris Pierson was president and Mrs. R. E. Barnett, secretary. Among the girls who took an active interest in the work of these societies were Alice S. Barnett, Frances S. Pierson, Inez L. Gwinn, Estella Bailey, Mary A. Oakes, Julia Mathers, Malinda Ogle, Amanda Barnett and Cerena Martin. Possibly a better idea of the work that was accomplished by these societies may be had from a notice given by the Ladies Military Aid Society, calling a meeting at the court house at Greenfield on September 17, 1861, at two oclock p.m. The following is a portion of the call that was printed in the local paper:
"It is desired, hoped and expected by those active in the good work that all the ladies of the town and county will be promptly present at the time and place appointed. Every lady attending is expected to bring all the old cotton and linen she can conveniently spare for the purpose of making bandages and lint. Those who have none of these desirable goods are expected to bring with them a little change, as it will not go amiss in securing necessary articles for the sick and wounded. This is the crisis of the war, and preparations should be made for the wounded of the impending battles."
In response to a call of the governor of Indiana for clothing and blankets for the soldiers, a citizens mass meeting was held at New Palestine on Tuesday evening, October 15, 1861. A large number of people were present. Thomas Tuttle addressed the meeting for a time, whereupon a committee of sixteen (two in each school district) was appointed to receive what the people had to contribute for this purpose. The committee solicited articles from the people and deposited them with R. P. Brown, at New Palestine. These articles were then boxed by Mr. Brown and forwarded to Indianapolis. In the issue of the Hancock Democrat of October 23, 1861, also appears the statement that the ladies of Hancock county responded nobly to the above call of the governor.
The old Masonic Hall at Greenfield came to be a regular meeting place for the workers. One day each week was "open day" at the hall, when young ladies, and young gentlemen, too, gathered there to scrape lint. For this purpose old linen was collected, cleaned perfectly, and then cut into strips about one and one-half inches wide. The strips were then laid on clean boards and scraped with clean knives. The lint had to be prepared very carefully so that no thread at all remained in it. Many boxes of it were sent form this county to the above named commissions, from whom it was sent to the field hospitals to be used in stanching the flow of blood.
In addition to this work funds were raised by giving suppers, entertainments, tableaus, etc. On Christmas night, 1862, the young ladies of Greenfield gave a tableau party at the Masonic Hall. The price of admission was ten cents and the proceeds were given to the Ladies Soldiers Aid Society. The local papers made a very favorable report of the party, making special mention of the singing of Flora Howard and Alice Pierson and others, and of the music rendered by Professor Eastmans band.
On July 16, 1863, a supper was given at the Masonic Hall by the ladies of Greenfield. Cakes, pies, chickens, bread, etc., were solicited and a sumptuous repast was served. An admission fee of twenty-five cents was charged, and the proceeds were used for the benefit of the societies.
This is merely illustrative. The following letters also indicate what was done by the women and girls, not only in Greenfield, but in all parts of the county:
Office of State Sanitary Commission
Indianapolis, Indiana, Jan. 3, 1863
Mrs. Cath. Edwards:
Madam:-Yours of the 31st Ult. is at hand. The Packaage of scoks came to hand this morning. No contribution could have been more acceptable than socks. We have great difficult in keeping a supply.
Please tender the ladies of your society our thanks for the very liberal donation to the suffering of our army.Yours truly,
The package referred to above contained fifty-six pairs of socks which had been purchased with money from concerts given by the young ladies. The following letter is also self-explanatory:
Indiana Branch United States Christian Commission
G. W. Clippenger, Pres.
James M. Ray, Treas.
J. H. Croll, Secy
Charles N. Todd, Cor, Secy and Gen. Agt.
Miss Fannie Pierson:-
Your letter and two boxes of nice things came duly to hand. The articles are very acceptable, and in behalf of the Commission I wish to thank you and all you associates for their generous contribution to the cause of the country and the good of the soldiers. We hope you will continue on the good work as long as it may be necessary. In the midst of rejoicing at the prospect of returning peace, our hearts are filled with gloom and mourning at the sad news that our good President is dead! What a terrible calamity! One of the purest and noblest of men has gone.Yours truly,
Charles N. Todd.
General subscriptions were also made to support the work of the commissions, and in the issue of May 14, 1863, of the Hancock Democrat, we find the following: "Subscribers to the sanitary fund who have not paid are requested to call on W. R. Hough, who is authorized to received the same."
The patriotic sentiment of the county asserted itself further in expressions of loyalty and in the measures taken to spport the government. Just after the election of Lincoln, when the dark clouds of war were gathering, the following editorial appeared in the Hancock Democrat, from the pen of its editor, David S. Gooding:
In the dark hour when the clouds lower around us, and gloom hovers over the land; when fearful forebodings of terrible disaster and final overthrow of our government are weighing down and saddening the hearts of patriotic and intelligent men, North and South, East and West, our duty as watchman upon the walls of our political Zion impels us to cry aloud and spare not, and tell our people of their political sins. This we well endeavor to do. Our people must not expect us to cry Peace, when there is no peace. Within the next four months, one or more states of this Union will have gone from among us to return no more forever. God only knows what results will follow. Perhaps Civil War, with all its horrors, and the separation of the free and slave states, with the final disruption of the best government on which the sun ever shone. The handwriting is upon the war Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin! In the madness of the our, the people seem to have forgotten the God of their Fathers, and to have spurned Heavens favors to them.
The cloud, which in the days of John C. Calhoun was but the size of a mans hand, has spread until it now overspreads the heavens above us. We will not deceive you, fellow citizens; Northern Abolitionists and Southern Disunionists have fanned the flames of civil discord and sectional hatred until the fiery volcano is about to burst forth, and with it destroy the hopes of the world. There is but a faint hope, a mere possibility, that the union of these states can be perpetuated and maintained inviolate. For this, while there is hope, however faint, let us, if possible, awake the people to the danger, and labor for the desired end. Let us not forget to look to the God of our Fathers, to calm the agitated sea of public mind, and drive away the black, lowering, tempestuous clouds of disunion and treason."
The following editorial taken from the issue of January 9, 1861, of the Hancock Democrat, also reflects the feeling and state of mind of the people at that time:
"We hope the citizens of the town and vicinity will turn out on Saturday next to see and hear what the Hancock Guards will have to do and say, Grim visaged war, with its attendant horrors, is brewing in the distance, and the strong arms and stout hearts of our citizen soldiers will be in requisition to sustain the honor and glory of our Nations flag, and the authority and supremacy of her Constitution and laws.
Judge Gooding will certainly entertain the Guards, and those who may be present, with an address.
The Greenfield Sax-Horn Band has consented to be present and enliven the occasion with our national airs and other music."
The report of this meeting made in the issue of January 16, 1861, is also interesting for the spirit it reflects:
"At a meeting of the company on Saturday last, held pursuant to notice, being participated in by a respectable number of citizens irrespective of party, of which Col. George Tague was chosen president, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:
"Resolved, By the Hancock Guards and the citizens here assembled, that in view of the present imminent danger to the perpetuity of our county the constitution and laws are our only safety; that we pledge ourselves to stand by those in power who faithfully maintain the one and execute the other; and that in the language of General Jackson, this Union must and shall be preserved.
Before the adoption of the resolution, the meeting was addressed by Judge Gooding and Major Riley, in appropriate and eloquent language."
Notices like the following appeared almost weekly in the local papers:
"You are hereby commanded to appear at your armory in full dress on Saturday, January 12, at two oclock, P.M. The Hon. David S. Gooding will address the company, and such others as may be present, immediately after parade, in the court room.
The following editorial, taken from the issue of January 16, 1861, of the Hancock Democrat, shows that the feeling of the people in relation to secession was becoming more clearly defined. It also reflects the argument then current among those who were opposed to a vigorous prosecution of the war. This is another editorial from the pen of Judge Gooding:
Much is being said and written by the sympathizers with South Carolina in her treason to the government of our fathers, against coercion and war on the South. We know of no sane man who proposes to make war on the States of people of the South, to compel them to remain in the Union, but we do know patriotic citizens who are in favor of all public officers doing their sworn duty, not excepting the President of the United States, whose duty it is to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and who regard it as the duty of all good citizens to aid and assist in the execution of the laws if necessary. In the faithful execution of the laws, no war is made on any state or section. There can be no war growing out of the faithful execution of the laws, unless resistance is made to the lawful authority of the government. If such resistance is made, the responsibility and consequences will be on those who resist and defy the government. Our government always has coerced lawless men to obey the laws or submit to the punishment. Whenever it ceases to coerce it will cease to be a government. All governments coerce obedience to the laws. A government without this power would be impotent for good, and a miserable delusion. Only such persons as commit treason or resist the execution of the laws must be subdued. Men in the South who are patriots, must be protected in person and in property as fully and completely as any others are protected. In short, treason and resistance to law must be put down whenever they occur, and by whomsoever committed in any and every part of the country. When law-defying men seize the property of the government, some men cry out, Dont coerce them to yield it up, let southern ultraists get "mad" and make civil war. We are disgusted with such miserable stuff. If we are men let us talk and act like men. If we are patriots, let us show it by taking the side of our government in a war with traitors."
On February 20, 1861, a county Union mass meeting was held at Greenfield for the purpose of appointing delegates to the 22d of February mass meeting at Indianapolis. The people assembled elected Jacob Slifer, president; Landen Eastes and James Collins, vice-presidents, and M. C. Foley and William Mitchell, secretaries. At this meeting every citizen of the county favorable to the Union and the Constitution was appointed a delegate to the state mass meeting. Dr. Hervey, Judge Gooding, W. R. Hough and James L. Mason addressed the meeting, after which Judge Gooding offered the following resolution, which was adopted unanimously:
"Resolved, that as citizens of Hancock county, we are in favor of any reasonable and honorable compromise that will restore peace, harmony and prosperity to the country, and that to make such compromise effective, we are in favor of maintaining the Union, the Constitution, and the Laws."
The quality of the loyalty of the citizens assembled at this meeting is further evidenced by their refusal to adopt the following resolution. It was tabled with hardly a dissenting vote:
"Resolved, that we are opposed to what is termed coercion, but are in favor of an honorable and peaceable adjustment of the present difficulties."
On Monday, April 12, 1861, there was a patriotic demonstration of the people at Greenfield, at which the principal feature was the raising of the flag on the cupola of the court house, "to wave until peace is restored." The Sax-Horn band was in attendance, and the people were addressed by James P. Foley, Judge Gooding and W. R. Hough.
On April 16, 1861, a meeting was held at the court house for the purpose of making arrangements for a county mass meeting to express the feelings and sentiments of our people in regard to national troubles. A. K. Branham was called to the chair. R. A. Riley made an eloquent and soul-stirring speech, instilling into the minds and hearts of the audience veneration for the constitution, obedience to the laws, and love for the flag. A committee was appointed to make arrangements for a county mass meeting to be held on Saturday, April 20, 1861. On this committee were placed the names of David S. Gooding, E. I. Judkins, M. W. Hamilton, George Barnett, William Mitchell, R. A. Riley, Dr. J. A. Hall, A. T. Hart, A. R. Wallace and Morris Pierson.
On April 20, 1861, a citizens meeting was held as had been planned. James Tyner was elected president of the meeting; Robert A. Barr and James P. Foley, vice-presidents, and Thomas Bedgood and William Frost, secretaries. The people were first addressed by Judge Gooding and Capt. R. A. Riley, after which the following resolutions were adopted:
"Whereas, war exists by the rebellious act of the so-called Southern Confederacy in attacking and capturing Fort Sumter, a government fortification, occupied by government troops, under the command of the gallant Major Anderson; and whereas, the city of Washington is in immediate and imminent danger of being attacked by forces from said rebellious confederacy, therefore,
Resolved, that as patriots and loyal citizens of the state of Indiana and of the United States, we will sustain and defend the proper authorities of said government in all constitutional and legal efforts to maintain the Union and defend the right and honor of the country.
Resolved, that the public good and national honor requires a vigorous prosecution of the war, to a speedy and honorable peace.
Resolved, that our senator and representative in the State Legislature be requested to cooperate in the appropriation of men and means, with the friends of the vigorous prosecution of the war now existing by the act of the so-called Confederacy."
After the adoption of the above resolutions the people listened to W. R. Hough, Rev. S. Hood, Elder A. I. Hobbs and Rev. J. C. Taylor.
On Saturday, May 4, 1861, a Union meeting was held at New Palestine for the purpose of organizing a company of Home Guards. B. F. Stewart was elected chairman of the meeting, and John C. Shockley, secretary. Speeches were made by Samuel Shockley and Rev. Roberts. The sentiment of the gathering was "strong for the Union and the Stars and Stripes at all hazards." David M. Dove, Benjamin Freeman and Rev. Roberts were appointed as a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws. The company became known as the Anderson Guards, and was under the command of Capt. Thomas C. Tuttle during the Morgan raid.
On August 5, 1861, the citizens of the county gave a reception to Captain Rileys "three-months men" who had just returned from western Virginia. The address of welcome was made by Judge Gooding. Captain Riley responded on behalf of his company giving an interesting account of how they had passed the time after leaving Camp McClellan. He also gave a description of the battle of Rich Mountain. The reception was given in Piersons grove, which adjoined Greenfield on the southwest and which was located west of Pennsylvania street and south of the railroad. At the noon hour dinner was spread on the green in various places to suit the convenience of the immense crowd. All feasted sumptuously and in the afternoon patriotic addresses were made by Rev. Hill and Judge Gooding.
About the same time Captain Carland from Connersville was marching over the Brookville road with a company of volunteers. On August 8, 1861, they reached New Palestine. The New Palestine band and an escort of horsemen marched out to meet them. About three miles east of town the colors of Captain Carlands company became visible. From this point the procession was headed by Henry Mickle, carrying the stars and stripes, guarded by two men from Captain Rileys company. At seven oclock p.m., Union Hall (the second story of the old school house) at New Palestine was filled to overflowing. B. F. Stewart was chairman of the meeting, and addresses were made by Captain Carland, Rev. B. F. Jones, Rev. Ward and Capt. Thomas C. Tuttle to encourage enlistments.
The citizens of Buck Creek township, without reference to party, gave expression to their feelings at a grand Union picnic near Mt. Comfort on Saturday, August 10, 1861. A basket dinner was enjoyed at the noon hour. The military company of the township was present, and in the afternoon patriotic addresses were made by Dr. Hervey, Judge Gooding and Captain Riley.
The sentiment of the people of the county was again appropriately voiced in the following editorial in the Hancock Democrat, on the occasion of the boys of Company B of the Eighth regiment taking their departure from Greenfield, about the middle of August, 1861:
"On Monday last Captain Walls left for Indianapolis with a company of Hancock boys to enter the service of the United States for a term of three years or during the war. It will be a part of the Eighth regiment as reorganized, and will retain its former position in regiment. The scene at the depot as the boys passed through, the large number of men, women and children who had gathered in from all points of the county to witness the departure, was sad and sorrowful in the extreme. God bless the noble-hearted boys, and preserve and protect them in the patriotic and hazardous duties they have voluntarily taken upon themselves! May they all safely return at the expiration of a term of service to receive the warm embrace of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and kind friends left behind."
On December 21, 1861, another great Union meeting was held at Greenfield, and resolutions were adopted similar to many others that are given herein. The first year of the war closed with our county stanch and loyal in the support of the Union cause. Whenever an occasion presented itself, expression was given by the people to this feeling of loyalty, and to no one in the county was more credit due for his fearless and outspoken loyalty than to Judge Gooding, whom our younger generation remembers simply as an old man. But the expressions which were so generously made at the opening of the conflict did not become fewer as the war progressed, and as the strain and the burdens became heavier.
During the summer of 1862 the citizens of Brandywine township gave a Union picnic near Rigdons in that township. A very large gathering of people, estimated at three thousand, was present and listened to the stirring and patriotic appeal of Judge Gooding in the afternoon.
The citizens of Fortville and vicinity held a Union mass meeting at Fortville on April 24, 1863. Robert Faucett was elected president of the meeting and W. E. Thomas, secretary. The Hon. Thomas C. Stillwell, of Anderson, made an address, after which the people assembled adopted the following resolutions:
"Resolved, that it is an undisputable fact that all political parties, of whatsoever name, have heretofore avowed their unalterable attachment to the Federal Union;
"That we hold ever man who is now in favor of its dismemberment, as false to all former professions of attachments to it, and a present enemy;
"That as we cannot individually have the conduct of the war, each his own way, we feel it our duty, as good and loyal citizens, to leave its direction to those who have been legally chosen to direct;
"That resistance to law is revolutionary in its tendency, and that any attempt to embarrass the government in the execution of the revenue, conscription, or any other law of the United States, will be promptly met and suppressed by the loyal people of Indiana;
"That we are in favor of all measures adopted by Congress for the suppression of the present unrighteous and causeless rebellion;
"That we are in favor of all the measures adopted by the President with the view of sustaining the government and carrying on the war;
"That we tender Governor Morton our sincerest thanks for his arduous and untiring effort in behalf of the soldiers, the state and the nation, and we feel that he richly merits the enviable title of the soldiers friend;
"That the miscreants in our midst, who attempt to create dissatisfaction in the ranks of the gallant soldiers, and induce them to desert the colors made glorious by their valor or repeated battle-fields, are meaner traitors than the armed rebels of the South; that they are entitled to, and will receive, the scorn of all honorable men;
"That we cordially endorse General Burnsides order, transporting northern rebels beyond the Federal lines, where they legitimately belong;
"That we deeply sympathize with our soldiers now in the field, and pledge them our cordial support and earnest prayers, until this ungodly rebellion is crushed, and our flag shall triumphantly wave over our once glorious Union."
On June 6, 1863, a large Union mass meeting was again held at the court house in Greenfield. A feature of the day was a long procession under the command of Captains Walls and Tuttle. Capt. Thomas C. Tuttle, of Sugar Creek township, was elected president of the meeting; James P. Foley and Thomas Collins, vice-presidents; David C. Priddy and Henry B. Wilson, secretaries. The speakers of the day were Capt. R. A. Riley, General Dumont, Judge Gooding and Captain Tuttle. Strong appeals were made for the support of the government. Before adjournment Judge Gooding offered the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted :
"Resolved, that this large meeting of Union men and women is devotedly attached to the Union and the Constitution, and for the purpose of perpetuating the former and maintaining the latter, we are in favor of the vigorous prosecution of the war to suppress the rebellion and reassert the authority of the government over every foot of its territory, and that in our opinion the rebellion and the war ought to cease at the same time.
"That all former party divisions ought to be ignored for the common purpose of saving our imperiled country.
"That we are proud of the gallant Union army in the field against the rebellion, and that we most heartily sympathize with the families and friends of such as have been slain in battle, or otherwise, lost their lives in the service.
"That our honor is pledged that the families of the soldiers from this county shall not want in the absence of their husbands and fathers, and that we hereby demand of our county commissioners and gents that our pledge be honorably, faithfully and fully kept; and that the honor and patriotism of Hancock county be not tarnished by a single act of bad faith."
July 4, 1863, was celebrated in many parts of the county with picnics, where people listened to patriotic addresses. Greenfield celebrated at Piersons grove. Music was furnished by a choir, and W. R. Hough made an eloquent and patriotic speech in the afternoon. After speaking, the young people engaged in cotillion dancing until late in the day.
Immediately following this celebration came the news of the fall of Vicksburg, which was the occasion for another celebration. The following report from the local papers reflects the feeling that was aroused in the hearts of the people of the county by the success of the Union army:
"The fall of Vicksburg, though long expected, when officially announced to the country, causing every loyal heart to leap with joy and brought renewed hope to the wavering and doubtful mind of a speedy determination of the present causeless and unnatural fratricidal war, and a closer, more perfect, and fraternal union of all the states at no distant day. Our own people partook of this joyous feeling and gave vent last evening to their outpouring patriotism by illuminations, bonfires, speeches and all manner of rejoicings. People from the country for miles around quit their harvest fields and came to town to participate in the grand reunion of loyal hearts. All life was animation, and everyone, young and old, seemed pleased with himself and the rest of mankind. It was a grand day, or rather night, for Greenfield, and will long be held in memory by all who love their country and venerate its glorious institutions. All honor to the noble and gallant army, that by its patience, endurance, skill and bravery, under the scorching rays of a southern sun, overcame almost insurmountable obstacles, and gained the most decisive victory of the war.
"During the evening speeches were made by D. S. Gooding, W. R. Hough, William Martin, Drs. Hall and Ballenger, S. T. Kauble and H. J. Dunbar."
Another mass meeting was held by the citizens of the county on February 13, 1864, after the draft orders for three hundred thousand volunteers and two hundred thousand volunteers respectively, had been made by the national government. Possibly the firm loyalty of the people never found a nobler expression than in the adoption of the following resolutions by the people assembled at Greenfield on that day. It must be borne in mind that in many counties of the state there was opposition to the draft, and in some of them open resistance. This resolution was offered by Judge Gooding and unanimously adopted by the people:
"Whereas, this country is still involved in civil war; and
"Whereas, traitors in arms, and their sympathizers not in arms, persist in their purpose of overthrowing the government of the United States; and
"Whereas, it will require all the power of a united, loyal people to suppress the formidable, wicked and causeless rebellion, and thereby restore a permanent peace, so desirable to all Union men; therefore,
"Resolved, that we will still continue to give to the government of the United States, through its legitimately constituted authority,, our unhesitating and hearty support in its efforts to suppress the rebellion, and conquer a peace."
The fall of Richmond and the surrender of Lee were announced in large headlines in the local papers, and the news was received with great rejoicing by the people. The issue of the Hancock Democrat of that date gives the following description of the general celebration of the event in that county:
"The reception of the news of the surrender of General Lee and his rebel hordes, in our town early on Monday morning last, was the occasion of great and lasting joy. Bells were rung, bonfires were built, powder was freely used, and all business was suspended for the day. Men, women and children thronged the streets and greeted each others as they had not greeted each other before. The dark hours were past; the day began to dawn and all was safe. The county, in spite of rebel sympathizers at home and abroad, and difficulties that can not be told, was redeemed, regenerated and disenthralled, and stood up among the nations of the earth, more powerful than when the great struggle began. And our patriotic people rejoiced as became the sons and daughters of freemen- as became the fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers, the wives and children of the brave and gallant men who went out from the midst in the dark hours of our peril, to do or die in the effort to save the country from its then impending ruin. Appropriate, eloquent speeches were made by several of our public speakers.
"At night, a large number of houses along the principal streets, business as well as private, were beautifully illuminated. Martial music paraded the streets followed by a mass of patriotism of either gender. A stand was extemporized at Walkers corner, and a crowd gathered around to hear the speeches. Messrs. Hough, Judge Gooding, Ballenger, Riley, Hall, Colonel Gooding, Mason, White, and others spoke to the crowd."
But hardly had the morning of peace dawned with such glorious splendor filling the hearts of the people with gladness, when the day was overcast with the dark clouds of horror and sorrow at the news of the Presidents assassination. The great headlines with the picture of a booming cannon which joyfully announced the surrender of Lee in the local papers, gave way to heavy lines of mourning in the following issue.
The remains of President Lincoln passed through the county at 5:47 a.m. on Sunday, April 30, 1865. A pilot engine, with one car attached led the way about one mile in advance. The train carrying the state officers and some of Governor Mortons invited guests brought up the rear, being about one hour behind. Many citizens from all parts of the county were at the depot at Greenfield, hoping to get to see the coffin in which the martyred President lay, but the train did not stop. The cars were decorated and heavily draped in black and looked solemn and somber.
During the summer of 1865 the soldiers who had enlisted were welcomed home in squads and companies. No one knows quite so well as those who lived through it all how good it seemed to meet with friends and loved ones and to resume the quiet, prosperous life that our good county offers.
As soon as Ft. Sumter had fallen and the first call for volunteers had been made, our board of county commissioners took action. At the June session of the board, 1861, the west room of the west wing of the court house, which had been built in 1845, was set apart as an armory for the storing of arms and military equipage of the companies of the Legion of Indiana. The sheriff was ordered to remove everything from the west room to the east room of said wing, and the auditor was ordered to notify all persons who owned property in the west room to remove the same within thirty days. On the same day that this room was set apart as an armory the board also made the following order for the proper
"Ordered;, that the township trustee in each township in the county be, and he is hereby appointed, authorized, and empowered to ascertain the names, ages and condition of the wives and families of all soldiers resident in his township, in the service of the state of Indiana and of the United States, and to procure the necessaries and reasonable comforts of ordinary life for such of them as are now or may hereafter be in actual need during the said service of said husband or father as the case may be, and to distribute the same as circumstances and the necessity of the case require, economically, impartially and honestly, and each of said trustees is requested to procure a record and keep a strict account of all his doings, together with the names, ages and conditions of the beneficiaries herein, and to supply only such families as have no other source of supply; and in all purchases, whether upon written orders or otherwise, the seller must accept county orders in payment, to be issued at the next succeeding term of this court upon the certificate of the proper trustee as to the justice of the claim. And it is further ordered that before proceeding to the performance of the duties hereinbefore enjoined and ordered, each of said trustees respectively shall take and subscribe an oath, honestly and impartially to discharge the duties hereinbefore required of him; and it is further required of each of them to report to this court at its next regular term a full and perfect account of all his doings under oath."
Other men were also appointed from time to time as "agents" to aid in giving proper care to the soldiers wives and children. Their duties were the same as those designated in the order above. In the main these men were conscientious and made bona fide efforts to give proper care and comfort to those who were then without other support. Sometimes, however, dissatisfaction arose. Several "agents" were removed by the board. In one instance a petition was filed by the wives of twelve soldiers, asking for the removal of the certain "agent" on whom they were dependent for the necessaries of life. The cause for which the asked his removal were set out in the following petition:
TO THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS:
"We, the undersigned, soldiers wives, respectfully ask the board of commissioners of Hancock county to remove the present agent pretending to furnish assistance to soldiers wives and families; we ask it for several reasons; his wife has abused and insulted some of us a different times and he himself has been niggardly and mean in his allowance to us, and had invariably required us to buy our goods at one certain house when we believe we could have done better at other places; this is only a part, but we think sufficient to ask his removal and appointment of some good man in his stead,"etc.
The evidence in the above matter seems to have sustained the allegations of the petition. The agent was promptly dismissed by the board and another appointment mad.
At the January session, in 1863, of the board of commissioners, the following order relative to furnished houses for the families of enlisted men was made:
"Ordered by the board that the agents heretofore appointed to aid in furnishing necessaries for soldiers families are hereby instructed that in case when the furnishing of a house becomes necessary and proper, that the agent make a reasonable allowance in such cases, but avoid in every instance the making of a contract or proposition to rent any property whatever as such agent."
The large number of claims allowed during the war in the execution of the above orders made by the county commissioners shows that the county government made a bona fide effort to relieve those at home of as much suffering and hardship as possible. Each month from one to twenty claims were allowed, aggregating sometimes several hundred dollars per month. The manner in which the relief orders were drawn shows that the commissioners were generous, yet careful to guard against imposition on the county. Theirs was not a work nor an attitude of charity; it was patriotism operating from a business viewpoint.
TO ENCOURAGE ENLISTMENTS
By September 2, 1862, the county had furnished thirty-three and one-fifth per cent of its fighting strength. The following table shows the number of men enrolled in the service, also the number subject to draft:
The county offered bounties to volunteers that the quota might be filled without having to submit to the draft. At the July session, 1862, the board of county commissioners ordered, "that the sum of twenty-five dollars be appropriated out of the county treasury to each and every citizen of Hancock county who may volunteer in the United States service for three years or during the war under the call of the President of the United States."
In the fall of 1863, when President Lincoln made a call for three hundred thousand volunteers, it became evident that larger bounties would have to be offered if the county was to escape the draft. The county commissioners did not want to take upon themselves the entire responsibility of so great a matter, which involved so heavy an indebtedness upon the county, without knowing pretty definitely how the people of the county felt about it.
A citizens mass meeting was held at Greenfield on Saturday, November 8, 1863, to give an expression upon the propriety of giving a bounty through the county commissioners to volunteers under the late call of President Lincoln for three hundred thousand troops. Captain Riley was chosen president, and Robert P. Brown, secretary. Dr. B. F. Duncan offered the following resolution:
"Whereas, the President of the United States has recently issued his proclamation for three hundred thousand volunteers to infuse new life and vigor into the prosecution of the war for its suppression; and
"Whereas, it is desirable that the quota allotted to Hancock county should be raised by volunteers prior to the 5th day of January, 1864, therefore,
"Resolved, that as an inducement to our fellow citizens to volunteer in the common defense of our country, and in addition to the bounty offered by the general government, the board of county commissioners of Hancock county are hereby authorized and instructed by this meeting of citizens and taxpayers of the county to cause an order upon the county treasurer for the sum of one hundred dollars to be issued to each and every person who shall or may volunteer under the present call for three hundred thousand volunteers, and be accepted as a recruit in the United States service, and be accredited upon the quota allotted to Hancock county. This bounty to be continued until the quota shall have been filled.
"Resolved, that the secretary present the action of this meeting to the board of commissioners at the meeting of said board on Monday, November 9, 1863."
After a general debate the resolutions were adopted by a unanimous vote.
A resolution to appoint a central committee of five to aid and assist in the volunteering, with authority to appoint additional committees for each township, was then adopted. The president appointed William Mitchell, Morgan Chandler, George H. Walker, John W. Ryon and John C. Rardin as such committee.
After an excellent and appropriate speech by Captain Riley the meeting adjourned.
The above resolutions were duly presented to the commissioners on Monday, November 9, 1863, and the board received them with due courtesy, but having been called for a specific purpose could transact no business other than that for which they had been called. A special meeting of the board of commissioners was called for Saturday, November 21, 1862, to determine the matter.
In order to satisfy and assure the county commissioners of the feeling of the taxpayers upon the matter of the bounties, petitions were circulated in each of the townships for the signatures of taxpayers asking for the allowance of such bounty.
The following form of petition was used and signed by person irrespective of party affiliations:
"We, the undersigned, citizens and taxpayers of Hancock county, Indiana, herby request the board of county commissioners to give a bounty of one hundred dollars to every person who volunteers, and shall be accepted as a soldier in the United States service from this county under the last call of the President for three hundred thousand volunteers to prosecute the present war, provided that no bounty be given after the quota of the county is filled."
The following gentlemen were appointed as township committees to circulate the petitions and report to the central committee: Blue River, James P. New, N. D. Coffin; Brown, Dr. William Trees, W. L. Garriott; Buck Creek, Thomas J. Hanna, James Collins; Brandywine, Alfred Potts, John Roberts; Center, William F. Pratt, William Mitchell; Green, Edward Voluntine, Robison Jarrett; Jackson, John Barrett, George W. Sample; Sugar Creek, Robert P. Brown, Dr. William Dye; Vernon, Nimrod Lightfoot, Rev. William Anderson.
Satisfied with the showing thus made the board of county commissioners at a special meeting on November 21, 1863, made another order allowing a bounty of one hundred dollars on county orders "to each volunteer who may be accepted from this county under the call of the President of the United States for three hundred thousand volunteers.
"Under said call in making this allowance the county commissioners would appeal to the citizens of the county to take up these orders when issued at par upon the following terms and condition to-wit: If the quota of the county was proportionately divided among the townships the following would be the result: Blue River, 12; Brown, 13, Brandywine, 11, Buck Creek, 12; Center, 33, Green, 13; Jackson, 21; Sugar Creek, 17; Vernon, 18.
"It is recommended that the citizens of each township take up these orders to an amount equal to the number of volunteers each would have to furnish, where the volunteer does not take the orders himself. And further, that when the citizens of a township fail to take up the orders within fifteen days after the issuing of the same any citizens of the county may have the privilege of taking the same."
Though a very earnest effort was made during the latter part of the war when the heavy calls for volunteers were made to replace the men whose terms were expiring, to fill the countys quota by volunteers without having a man drafted, the endeavor did not wholly succeed. Loyal men gave of their time and energy, and the young men came forward and enlisted, so that when the drafts were made the numbers still required were small.
The amount of money expended by the people of Hancock county to aid the government in suppressing the rebellion and in giving relief to the families at home was enormous, as shown by the reports of the county auditor and the adjutant-general of the state of Indiana. The amount under the head of "Bounty" includes what was paid for substitutes. No report on relief was made by Brown, Brandywine and Buck Creek townships. The following is a statement of the amounts expended:
|Blue River||27,030.00||$ 100.00|
|Total Townships||$ 236,798.61||$10,077.80|
It is impossible to arrive at a proper appreciation of the fine loyalty of the people, or form a correct estimate of the strength of southern sympathy without viewing this phase of the countys history in its relation to the state as a whole.
It became a notorious fact soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, that not only Indiana, but that, Illinois, Missouri and other Northern states were honeycombed with a secret organization known as the "Knights of the Golden Circle," and later as the "Sons of Liberty." The purpose of this organization was to give aid to the South. At the trial at Indianapolis, in 1864, of Harrison H. Dodd, grand commander of the "Sons of Liberty," on a charge of treason, the evidence showed that forty-five counties in the state had been fully organized by this secret order; that local lodges or "temples" had been organized in other counties, and that its membership consisted of more than eighteen thousand men. The evidence adduced in that trial further showed that members were sworn to secrecy and to the performance of acts designed to aid the South and embarrass the North. Among the obligations taken were those of supporting Jefferson Davis, North and South; of aiding in the release of Confederate prisoners in the North, and of aiding the Confederates when they should invade the northern states. To weaken the Union arms it was the plan of the order to encourage desertions and to resist recruiting. To this end township organizations were effected for the protection of deserters from the Union army, and open resistance was made to the enforcement of the draft in some counties. The evidence further showed that well defined efforts were made in various ways to cripple the work of the state authorities in sending reinforcements to the field. These efforts were directed toward securing the passage of legislative acts and resolutions unfavorable to the Union cause; toward securing expressions of popular disapproval of the war, and toward disseminating a disloyal feeling among the people. The Union men in the Legislature had to be on their guard constantly to prevent harmful legislation. The following excerpts taken from resolutions adopted by the citizens assembled in mass meetings in six different counties in the state, also illustrate the degree to which these efforts found a response. May more could be added to the list:
"We declare the proposed draft for five hundred thousand men to be the most damnable of all outrages perpetrated by the administration upon the people.
"Our interest and inclination will demand of us a withdrawal from the political association in a common government with the New England states.
"We regard the lives of white men as of more value than the freedom of the negro, and we have given the last man and the last money we are willing to give for the present abolition war.
"We are opposed to the war under any and all circumstances, and we are opposed to the further continuance of this unholy and unnatural strife.
"The further prosecution of this war will result in the overthrow of the constitution, of civil liberty, of the federal government, in the elevation of the black man and the degradation of the white man in the social and political status of the county.
"That we are unqualifiedly opposed to the further prosecution of this abolition war; and believing that in its continued prosecution there await us only the murderous sacrifice of legions of brave men, ignominious and disgraceful defeat, shame and dishonor at home and abroad, public ruin and the serious endangerment of our liberties, we unhestitatingly declare that we are for peace, the cessation of hostilities, an armistice, and the peaceful settlement of existing difficulties by compromise or negotiation, through a national convention.
"We are unqualifiedly opposed to the further prosecution of this abolition war, and, believing that in its further prosecution there awaits us only the murderous sacrifice of our national honor * * * *we solemnly declare that we will not furnish another man or another dollar to carry on this abolition war."
As set over against the above resolutions, the following were adopted by the citizens of Hancock county, assembled at Greenfield in mass meeting, January 16, 1861:
"Resolved, by the Hancock Guard and the citizens here assembled, that in view of the present imminent danger to the perpetuity of our country, the Constitution and laws are our only safety; that we pledge ourselves to stand by those in power who faithfully maintain the one and execute the other; and that in the language of General Jackson this Union must and shall be preserved."
February 3, 1864: "Resolved that we will still continue to give to the government of the United States, through its legitimately constituted authority, our unhesitating and hearty support in its efforts to suppress the rebellion and conquer a peace."
Though we have these splendid expressions of loyalty the county also had its Southern sympathizers. They made known their attitude toward the solution of the problems then before the government by wearing the "butternut" colors. Men and boys wore "butternut" suits, and women and girls wore butternut garments and decorations. Among the decorations worn, the "butternut pin," made of a cross section of a butternut, -and which, by the way, when polished makes a very pretty pin, - was one of the most popular methods of giving expression to Southern sympathy. Because of the use of the "butternut" colors and pins for such purposes the sympathizers with the South were known as "butternuts." By the abolitionists or radicals who felt that circumstances demanded the application of a stronger term, they were called "copperheads." The men and women who lived in the county during that period have very clear recollections of the extent to which the butternut colors were displayed.
It was never proven in any court that the Knights of the Golden Circle or Sons of Liberty ever organized a "temple" in Hancock county. There was a very deep-seated conviction, however, in the minds of a vast majority of the people, whether right or wrong, that such an organization did exist, and that among its sworn members were included some of the most prominent families of the county.
Open and combined resistance by overt acts were never offered in the county to the work of the national government. Meetings, however, were held in the county, attended by men who were lukewarm in the Union cause, if not in open sympathy with the Confederacy. Many of them supplied themselves with firearms. Union men also had their meetings, sometimes behind locked doors and in rooms where arms were stored. Theses conditions gave great concern to the people of the county. Acts of open violence occurred in nearby parts of the state, which intensified this feeling of uneasiness. The "Battle of Pogues Run," the discovery of arms packed in boxes marked "Sunday School Books," and the efforts, or at least the rumors of efforts, to release the Confederate prisoners at Indianapolis, are still fresh in the memories of the people then residents in this community.
Though open resistance was never offered to the national government, feeling, as stated above, was very intense in the county and frequently found expression in fistic encounters and street brawls. Stones and other missiles sometimes came flying out of the darkness, and people, especially those most active, felt the insecurity of life and property during those years. An instance is still recounted of a stanch Union man who stood in the light of a bonfire listening to a Union speech, and who was unceremoniously awakened from his reverie by being hit on the head with a brick. Another incident is also told of a radical Union man who came down the street and threatened to drive his wagon over the body of a "copperhead" who had been knocked down in a brawl, unless his friends should drag his body out of the way. Frequently attempts were made to snatch the butternut pins or other emblems from the persons of men and also of women and girls. These little encounters sometimes led to good-natured scraps and sometimes to bitter fights. Such instances, and they could be multiplied, illustrate the mental and nervous strain to which the county was subjected during those years. To appreciate the terribleness of this strain more fully than it can be portrayed here, one needs but to converse with the men and women who lived through it.
Though there were "butternuts" in the county, and though there was a strong conviction current that many of them were also sworn members of the Knights of the Golden Circle, these matters do not seem to have affected the social relations of the people. Families attended the same church, ladies were members of the same clubs and societies, men engaged in business together, and all people maintained their neighborly relations, to all outward appearances at least, about the same as before the war. Yet, to the minds of the stanch, loyal, Union people the wearing of the "butternut" during that hour of the nations peril savored of treason. This same attitude toward the Southern sympathizers also found expression in the mass meetings of the citizens of the county. The following resolutions adopted by the people assembled at Fortville on April 23, 1863, must be viewed in this light or their significance is lost:
"Resolved, that the miscreants in our midst, who attempt to create dissatisfaction in the ranks of our gallant soldiers, and induce them to desert the colors made glorious by their valor on repeated battlefields are meaner traitors than the armed rebels of the South; that they are entitled to and will receive the scorn of all honorable men.
"That we cordially endorse General Burnsides order, transporting Northern rebels beyond the Federal lines, where they legitimately belong."
The following preamble to the resolutions adopted by the citizens assembled in mass meeting at Greenfield, February 13, 1864, contains the same thought:
"Whereas, traitors in arms and their sympathizers not in arms persist in their purpose of overthrowing the government of the United States, etc."
The feeling, excitement and experiences of the people of the county may be viewed from several angles from expressions in letters written at the time. Following are a few illustrations:
"All is excitement here, but thanks to Him who rules the hour, we are not alarmed and exasperated by the arising as yet of one dark monument of infamy, disgrace and shame- a traitor.
"Although the report of political feeling and difficulty a short time ago would have plainly implied the reverse, old Hancock stands almost as a unit for the stars and stripes, the Union with the constitution and the administration. Democratic and Republican parties are for the time erased from the face of sentiment and now we have but one party and that standing bravely for the stars and stripes of the United States of America, for the protection of our great national fabric of liberty, for the enforcement of our laws and for the maintenance of our national dignity. Truly old Hancock is alive and for the first time in her life united in a common cause." (April 23, 1861).
"The greatest excitement prevails here. Union meetings are being held almost every evening. Patriotic speeches are being made and troops raised to defend our country. The second company in this place was filled out yesterday. The first one to Indianapolis last Saturday evening. The others are ready to go at any time they are called. Your brother----belongs to the second company.
"I parted with some very near friends on Saturday, two dear teachers and several classmates. It was hard indeed to part with them, but I could bid them Godspeed for I knew they were engaged in a glorious cause-the cause of liberty, and what more could they fight for? It was really a distressing sight to see parent parting with sons-perhaps the only one- sisters with brothers, and friends with friends, but it was most affecting to see husbands and wives parting. Mr. R. A. Riley is captain of the company. A company of the ladies intend going out to the camp today." (April 28, 1861).
"Your letter and another was brought me; the moment my eyes fell upon them I recognized them as from---, and my brother-in-law, whom I heard had fallen at ----. I held them for some time before I could determine which to open first, but as sister was anxious to hear the news I tore brothers open and read far enough to find that he had not yet repented of his treachery. I then threw it down and took up yours, which I knew to be from a true-hearted loyalist." (July 12, 1861).
"Each night as I lie down to rest the question naturally comes up, "Where is ---tonight?" Then I can but contrast your condition with mine; I, here at home surrounded by kind friends and all the blessings of life, while you are in a strange land, exposed to every imaginable hardship and danger, surrounded by enemies who are seeking your life, and not knowing when you lie down at night that you will be permitted to behold the dawn of another day. Although such thoughts are continually revolving in my mind I would not have you for a moment think that I wish you to abandon the cause. No,----, duty calls loudly upon every loyal citizen to aid in suppressing this rebellion and I hope and pray that God will give you health and strength to continue your efforts.
"Much as I would like to see you I would not have you neglect your duty a single day to gratify my desire." (From a young lady to her soldier friend, September 22, 1861.)
"Tell--- that I will be at home bye and bye and she and I will organize the Home Guards, then those vile copperheads must square themselves to the American eagle or leave the county. Saw the boys in Taylor Thomas company- all looking hearty. (From a soldier, March 31, 1863.)
The all-absorbing topic of conversation at the outbreak of the Civil War and during the war was the Union. Would the Union prevail or would disunion triumph? Everywhere, on the street corners, in the country stores, at the meeting places, and in the homes, people were discussing the state of the Union. "Union" and "Dis-union" could be heard on all occasions. They became catch words. Though conditions were serious, people did not lose their sense of humor. The following advertisements taken from the local papers of the county show how the advertisers took advantage of the use of these words to attract popular attention:
New York Store removed!
E. B. Holliday having removed his New York Store
To the Masonic Temple, etc.
TAKE NOTICE !
|Greenfield, Hancock County, Nov. 17, 1860||Auditors Office|
|Those indebted to the School Funds of the County who have failed to pay their installment of interest due, etc.|
|L. Sparks, A. H. C.|
"At the Burk Allen house, on the evening of the 24th, by Rev. J. Hill, Mr. D. McCarter, M. D., to Miss Cornelia Thorpe, of Anderson. Thus has another single state seceded, not from but into the union. May the union be perpetual and blissful and may no irrepressible conflicts arise to disturb it."
The decoration of soldiers graves was not generally observed in this county for several years after the close of the war. The first definite steps, it seems, were taken in 1869. A petition was circulated on which about fifty names were secured, calling a meeting of the citizens at the court house at Greenfield on Tuesday evening, May 25, 1869, at the ringing of the bell. The purpose of the meeting was to make arrangements for decorating the soldiers graves. This petition was published over the following names in the Hancock Democrat: Lot Edwards, George W. Dove, C. C. Mays, James H. Carr, Benjamin F. Rains, Andrew J. Banks, Robert E. Barnett, Henry B. Wilson, Thomas Kane, William Wilkins, Nelson Bradley, C. F. Lockwood, M. Marsh, William R. Hough, Hammet J. Williams, John C. Dunbar, Phil H. Boyd, A. Hough, R. A. Riley, M. L. Paullus, Amos C. Green, John C. Rardin, Lionel E. Rumrill, D. S. Gooding, Henry A. Swope, A. K. Branham, Hamilton J. Dunbar, William Mitchell, Andrew T. Hart, William S. Wood, Thomas Carr, Stephen D. Lyon, Noble P. Howard, R. P. Brown, John Tague, E. B. Grose, John A. Riley, Pressley Guymon, J. A. J. Martin, Henry C. Chapman, Samuel W. Barnett, F. H. Crawford, Frank Hafner, Q. D. Hughes, John A. Hughes, M. M. Adams, Charles G. Offutt, Jacob T. Barnett, J. Ward Walker.
The meeting at the court house was well attended. On motion of Judge Walker, Monday, May 31, was selected as the day for decorating the graves. Capt. M. L. Paullus was appointed marshal for the day, and Capt. Adams L. Ogg. and Maj. Lee O. Harris, assistant marshals. The following committees were appointed:
On Battle Flags- A. P. Williams, William Mitchell, H. A. Swope.
To Place Flags on Graves William M. Johnson, Thomas Carr, Shelton Osborn.
On Flowers and Evergreen-First ward, Mrs. E. P. Thayer, F. H. Crawford, E. B. Grose; second ward, Mrs. M. L. Paullus, A. P. Williams, Nelson Bradley; third ward, Mrs. J. Ward Walker, George Y. Atkison, Q. D. Hughes, L. W. Gooding; fourth ward, Mrs. H. J. Williams, S. W. Barnett, J. J. Mason; fifth ward, Mrs. H. B. Thayer, Lot Edwards, A. J. Banks, M. M. Adams.
To Carry Flowers and Strew Flowers on Graves- Maggie Galbreath, Hattie Stitz, Alice Chittenden, Emma Lineback, Lizzie McGregor, Sallie Dove, Sallie Walker, Lou Offutt, Mollie Carmikle, Minerva Dennis, Anna Tague, Ella Crawford, Fannie Foley, Jennie Sloan, Emma Boyd, Pet Guymon, Clara Preston, Ella Barnett, Lizzie Dunbar, Dollie Skinner, Vira Gooding, Linda Ogle, Mollie Price, Annie Hammel, Annie Thomas, Sue Wilson, Alice Barnett, Fannie Pierson, Mellie Ryon, Rose Bedgood, Maggie Barnett, Linda Osborn, Mollie Oakes, Cinda Gebhart, Fannie Branham, Ella Barnett, Cassie Rardin, Bell Gorman, Laura Brown, Vessie Montfort, Pauline King, Alice Winn, Fannie Carr, Bell Reed, Fannie Kiefer, Eliza Chandler, Minnie Sebastian, Mittie Carr.
The following order of formation of the procession was adopted:
This service was largely attended. Decoration day, however, did not become established at once as it is now, and judging from the newspaper reports not much interest was taken in it for several years. In 1877 a number of soldiers again called a meeting of our citizens at the court house to arrange for a decoration service. This call was as follows:
"We, the undersigned soldiers of the late war, desire that the 30th of May be observed in memory of our fallen heroes, and request the citizens of Greenfield and Hancock county, irrespective of party, to meet at the court house next Saturday evening, the 19th inst. to make necessary preparations. (Signed) W. T. Snider, Edmond P. Thayer, J. Andres, Harrison D. Spangler, Henry C. Rumrill, E. C. Duncan, J. C. Meek, T. W. Thomas, Alonzo Ford, David Bixler, James Mahan."
We have no report of the number of citizens attending this meeting, but various committees were appointed and arrangements wer3e made for the observance of the day. In giving a report of the exercises, however, the writer in the Hancock Democrat said:
"Yesterday was Decoration day and we are sorry to say it was not generally observed by our citizens. The ceremonies at the graveyards were solemn and interesting. The speech of our young friend, Mr. James A. New, at the new cemetery, is well spoken of by all who heard the address. At the old graveyard, Captain Riley entertained the people with a few of his eloquent remarks. Mr. Martin, who was appointed to deliver the oration, was absent from the city. If these ceremonies are to kept up in the future, it would be well for all citizens to meet and pay a proper tribute to the nations honored dead."
The day was observed by the soldiers of the county from year to year after 1869, but it was not until fifteen or twenty years after the war that the general public took such an interest in the ceremonies as the day deserved. Usually a patriotic address was made, and either a choir or a band furnished music for the occasion. The following is the program that was followed at Greenfield in 1879:
Music by the Band
Singing by Choir
Oration by George W. Duncan
Singing by Choir
Poem by Lee O. Harris
Music by Band
Decoration of Soldiers Graves
In 1884 the following was the program on Decoration day: Marshals of the day, E. P. Thayer, Joseph Baldwin; member of the Grand Army of the Republic met at their post room at one oclock p.m. sharp. And at half past one oclock formed in front of the court house in line of march in the following order:
The Greenfield Cornet Band
Officers and member of the G. A. R. Lodges
Of the city and County
The Citizens Band
Mayor and City Council
County and ex-County Officers
The Philadelphia Brass Band
Ex-Soldiers and Citizens on Foot
The Dobbins Band
Citizens in Carriages
March to the New Cemetery
Vocal Music, Greenfield Musical Club
Prayer, Rev. D. R. Love
Vocal Music, Greenfield Musical Club
Poem read by Mrs. Ephraim Marsh
Decorating Graves by Comrades of the G. A. R.
Music by the Band
Salute the Dead
Reformed in same Order, Marched to the Old Cemetery
Vocal Music, Greenfield Musical Club
Prayer, Rev. William Anderson
Vocal Music, Greenfield Musical Club
Essay, Mrs. I. P. Poulson
Decorating the Graves by Comrades of the G. A. R.
Music by the Band
Salute the Dead
The above are typical of the programs that were given for a number of years.
During the first ten or fifteen years of the observance of this day it was the custom at Greenfield to have addresses made at both cemeteries. In fact it seems to have been the custom in most parts of the county to have the address given at the cemetery, or in a grove near the cemetery, if the weather permitted. This was continued for a number of years until the soldiers became advanced in years and were unable to endure the strain of standing while listening to an address.
On May 31, 1915, fifty years after their return from the front, the decoration of the graves of their heroes was observed at Greenfield in the usual manner. Committees had been appointed as follows: Flowers and evergreen, John A. Barr, E. A. Henby; Outside cemeteries, Philadelphia, William Hutton; Sugar Creek, Squire McKinzie; Mt. Lebanon, Alexander Osborn; Currys Chapel, Joseph Martin, Edward Martin; Caldwell, George Crider; Hinchman, Daniel Wirtz; Marking graves, John A. Barr, Jerry Ferrin, George W. Johnson; Finance, W. W. McCole, Harry G. Strickland, Hays Smith, Frank Lynam; Publication, Marshall Winslow, Elmer T. Swope; Program, Henry Winslow, Dr. J. M. Larimore; Conveyances, Stephen D. Jackson, John H. Duncan; Music, John Barr, Taylor Morford; Marshal of the day, James Shelton.
The line was formed at the court house, led by the marshal of the day; the Greenfield band, followed by the soldiers; Sunday school children marched single file on either side of the double column, carrying small American flags. The procession was followed by the Relief Corps, civic orders, citizens and vehicles.
The veterans and citizens met at the court house at one oclock and proceeded to the Christian church at 1:45. There a patriotic address was delivered by William A. Hough. Following the services at the church the procession formed on East Street, marched to Main, thence west to State, thence south to cemetery, and thence east to the mound in Park cemetery. At the mound the usual services were observed, including the reading of the general order for the observance of Decoration day, parts of the ritual of the Grand Army of the Republic, and the firing of the salute. Following the services at the mound the graves of the soldiers were decorated with flowers that had been gathered by the veterans or that had been contributed by patriotic citizens. After these services the line reformed and marched north on Meek Street to South Street, thence east to the old cemetery, when the salute was again fired and the graves decorated. At the close of the services at the old cemetery the procession moved north to Main Street, and thence west to the court house.
The above is typical of the manner in which the day has been observed at Greenfield for the past fifteen or twenty years. It is also typical of the manner in which the day has been observed for many years in different parts of the county.
Just a half century has passed since the men returned from the front. Their number has grown small, and the survivors no longer tread with the firm step with which they once advanced. Many of them are no longer able to "fall in" and march with their comrades on this hallowed day. Patriotic and loving friends are glad to attend them. Children march with them and carry flowers for them or wave their little flags in patriotic salute. When another half century shall have passed away the memory of these things will have become sacred to them. That they saw the veterans of the great Civil War and participated in their ceremonies will be one of the sweet stories to tell their childrens children.
During the eighties the soldiers were inspired on several occasions to live over again the experiences of the Civil War in so far as that could be done without harm to anyone. On October 1, 1884, a sham battle was planned for Boyds grove, just north of the city of Greenfield, which has since become known as the fair grounds. This event was "written up" in the issue of the Hancock Democrat of October 2, 1884, as follows:
"Although the soldiers reunion was throughout a very enjoyable affair, the sham battle on Friday was perhaps the most interesting part to most of our citizens, especially to the young people, giving them a very good idea of actual war. The fight took place in the field north of the grove and was in plain view of the crowd. At two oclock the rebel forces, under command of Comrade Jefferson C. Patterson, repaired to the west side of the field, posted a piece of artillery and awaited the attack. The Union forces, led by Capt. E. P. Thayer, also accompanied by a piece of artillery, marched from the camp east through the woods and entered the field from the east. A rebel picket, under charge of Comrade G. W. Watts, was posted at the southeast corner of the field and opened fire as soon as the Union forces were descried. Commander Patterson at once ordered a skirmish line under command of Capt. Lee O. Harris, which deployed in front of the advancing forces and the fight began between these and a picket line on the Union side under command of Comrade A. J. Bridges. The Union line continued steadily to advance, and as soon as they reached the brow of the hill opened with their artillery. This was the signal for the skirmishers to fall back, and the rebel line advance to the attack under command of Capt. J. H. Carr, assisted by Col. R. A. Black, while Comrade G. W. Duncan led on the Union line. The two commanders, Thayer and Patterson, were ubiquitous, galloping here and there over the field where their presence was most needed. Marshall Gooding served Commander Patterson as a volunteer and did valiant service. The first advantage was gained by the Union forces, who came near turning the left flank of the rebels, but reinforcements were promptly sent and they were driven back. Then the same maneuver was tried by the rebels on the Union left flank, but without proper support, and Captain Thayer promptly threw forward a force and captured it. A countercharge was made, however, and, after a sharp fight the rebels recaptured their guns. After the fight had progressed, with varying success, for some time, the Union gun became exposed without sufficient support and was captured, but was promptly retaken. Finally, as per program, the rebel gun was captured and held. Their force was outflanked and surrendered and were marched as prisoners into camp amid the general shouts of everybody, including the prisoners themselves. And so ended one of the most enjoyable affairs ever witnessed in Greenfield. Persons who had seen numerous sham contests of this kind declared this the best they ever saw."
Other sham battles were fought in the count, and of course they always aroused a great interest among the people.
When General Grant died in 1885, services were held in different parts of the county in his memory, and tributes were paid to his patriotism and his great leadership. At Greenfield a meeting was held August 8, at the Masonic Hall. Alexander K. Branham called the meeting to order, after which the funeral service of the Grand Army was read. Capt. R. A. Riley made a few appropriate remarks and Hon. William R. Hough, chairman of the memorial committee, offered a series of resolutions which was adopted. A large number of people attended this meeting.
At New Palestine services were also held, a report of which appeared in the Hancock Democrat as follows:
"A week before this memorial took place a number of our citizens met at the Methodist Episcopal church for the purpose of making arrangements in appointing committees for the different purposes. Some of these committees were composed of fire and brimstone and the composition was thought a mistake, but they all harmonized and tried to do the best they knew how to make the affair creditable in honor to the deceased General Grant. The arrangements were completed and the day came. At five oclock in the morning the roar of the cannon announced that the day set apart for the burial service of the nations loved one was at hand. This was followed by the tolling of the different church and school house bells in town. Many of our citizens went to work and draped their residences and business places in mourning, and some were profusely and exceedingly fine and attracted much attention. Arrangements had been made, if the weather was favorable, to hold the services in the grove, which looked discouraging for a while, but the day turned out the best that could be expected. At one oclock the church bells commenced ringing, which was the signal for forming a procession to march to the grove; and the same was composed of all classes and nationalities, and men who fought under Grant and under Lee marched by the side of one another. A citizen of this township served in Lees army from the beginning to the surrender, and he marched with the boys in blue in this procession. The procession was marshaled by James Greer, an old soldier, with the New Palestine Military Band at the head, which played several melodies and funeral dirges as they passed through the streets; next, the Sunday schools, citizens on foot, and next the vehicles. They marched west on Mill Street, south on Walnut to Main, east on Main to Bittner Street, thence south to Joseph Fritts grove. The procession eclipsed everything ever witnessed heretofore. Arriving at the grove appropriate arrangements had been made in the way of seats, and the speakers stand draped in mourning, which gave a mournful appearance. Some one thousand and five hundred people had congregated to pay the last tribute of respect to the nations illustrious dead. David M. Dove acted as president on the occasion, and the ceremonies were carried out according to program, which consisted of vocal music by the choir, prayer and reading Scripture by Rev. Lowden. Hon. Charles G. Offutt was orator of the day. He delivered an eloquent oration, eulogistic of the life and achievements of General Grant. He lauded Grant as a military leader, and said he was one of those who thought General Grant made a mistake when he left the army. He showed that General Grant was a man of a noble character, which he exhibited at Lees surrender. Offutts address was well received and one and all whom we have heard speak of it were much pleased with the same and spoke of it in the highest terms of praise. Rev. Lowden, A. Black and James Greer followed in short addresses, which were all appropriate and eulogistic in honor of the great captain of the age. The presiding officer, in the name of the citizens assembled, thanked the orators of the occasion and the New Palestine Military Band for their kind attendance. A universal solemnity, well fitted for the occasion, prevailed, and thus ended the service in New Palestine in honor of Americas dead heroes, such as the people of our town had never seen before. Business was entirely suspended.
Patriotic enthusiasm soon became very intense in the county when war was declared against Spain in 1898. Solomon D. Kempton Post, Grand Army of the Republic, at Fortville, offered their services to the government, and adopted resolutions endorsing the course of President McKinley. A company of young men was also organized at Fortville, but never succeeded in being mustered in because of the great number offering their services from all parts of the state. Hundreds of young men from all parts of the county were eager to enlist but only a few were taken. Edwin P. Thayer, Jr.., of Greenfield, lieutenant-colonel of the Second regiment, Indiana National Guards, was commissioned as lieutenant-colonel of the One Hundred and Fifty-eight regiment, Indiana Volunteers. This regiment was mustered into service May 10, 1898. It moved to Chickamauga May 16, but on account of the unsanitary condition of the camp location was moved to Camp Poland, near Knoxville, Tenn., on August 25. It was ordered back to Indianapolis on September 12 and given a furlough of thirty days. On October 17 it reassembled and was discharged on November 4. The following men from Hancock county were in the regiment:
Edwin P. Thayer, lieutenant-colonel; Horace Swope, commissary-sergeant.
Samuel M. Seward
John Fisher, Geordie Slifer, Elmer Thomson, Bernard Rider, Clarence C. Wiley, Winfield Roland, Edward Shelby, Paul; Morford, Charles W. Baker, Robert W. Gough, John M. Walton, Juett Messick, Frank T. Atkison, William Patterson, Arthur G. Lunsoford, Charles New. Albert Baker, Thomas T. Owens, Edward Lewis.
Albert C. Barnes, George Kiger, Clinton M. Reeves, Edward Williams, Jesse S. Grigsby, Osro H. Coffin, David O. Scott, Jesse Barrett, Oral O. King, William E. Smith
Henry Hubig, Mack Warrum.
George Mealey, Charles A. Gordon, Water O. Stuart
Edward Waltz, from Sugar Creek township, enlisted in the regular amy and was at the front at Santiago.
William Cloud, also of Sugar Creek township, who happened to be in Texas at the time, enlisted with the famous "Rough Riders," organized by Col. Theodore Roosevelt. He was stricken with typhoid fever, however, while in camp at Tampa, Fla., and was unable to proceed with his regiment.
Server companies of militia have been organized in the county since the Civil War that have not been called into active service. The first of these companies was organized on January 23, 1874, with forty-eight members and was known as the
The company was named in honor of Maj. A. K. Branham, though Mr. Branham never had any personal connection with the company. Within about a year the company enrolled about one hundred men from Greenfield and vicinity. Its first officers were James N. Wilson, captain; R. A. Black, first lieutenant; Newton L. Wray, first sergeant; George W. Johnson, first corporal.
This company took part in several state encampments and made a very favorable impression.
In October, 1889, another company was organized by Capt. E. P. Thayer, Jr. At home this company was known as the "Greenfield Light Infantry." Officially it was at first designated as the Third Separate Company in the "Legion of Indiana." On February 3, 1891, it was assigned to the Second Regiment, Indiana National Guard, as Company F. The officers of the company were: Captains, Edwin P. Thayer, Walter O. Bragg; first lieutenants, Harry G. Strickland, Walter O. Bragg, Homer A. Bragg; second lieutenants, Walter O. Bragg, Noble Warrum, Clare Clark, W. C. Creviston, Stephen G. White was first orderly sergeant of the company. The company was mustered out in 1892.
Another company was organized by Capt. Walter O. Bragg on July 25, 1900. Its first officers were: Walter O. Bragg, captain; Clifford Gery, first lieutenant; John C. Jenkins, second lieutenant. It was maintained until about 1907. Clifford Gery, Albert L. Barnes and Frien B. Atherton each in turn serves as captain of the company. The boys took part in several state encampments and participated each year in the Decoration day services at Greenfield.
After the organization of Company F, mentioned above, Captain Thayer was promoted to the rank of major in the Second regiment, Indiana National Guard. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War he was commissioned as lieutenant-colonel of the One Hundred and Fifty-eighth regiment, Indiana Volunteers, and accompanied the regiment to Camp Poland, near Knoxville, Tenn. Much to the disappointment of Colonel Thayer and his comrades the regiment was not permitted to proceed to the front. After the discharge of the regiment Mr. Thayer was appointed colonel of the Second regiment, Indian National Guard, which rank he held for a year or two until he withdrew from the militia.
Hancock county has had two graduates from the Unites States Military Academy, at West Point. The first was Gen. Oliver P. Gooding. He received his appointment in July, 1853, and graduated in July, 1856. He entered the regular army as a second lieutenantt and was advanced until he was brevetted brigadier general of volunteers, on March 13, 1865. He received this recognition for gallant conduct in the assaults on the enemys works at Port Hudson, Louisiana, in 1863, and for distinguishing conduct throughout the Red River campaign in 1864.
Gooding also distinguished himself at the battle of Perryville, Ky., October 8, 1862. In Lossings "Encyclopedia of United States History, we read: "Meanwhile, Colonel Goodings brigade had been sent to the aid of McCook and fought with great persistence for two hours against odds, losing fully one-third of its number, its commander being made prisoner." At this battle he was also severely shocked and injured by the bursting of a shell near him, from which he probably never entirely recovered. He resigned from the army March 20, 1865.
Samuel Vinton Ham, son of ex-County Treasurer George W. Ham, of Brown township, was born December 25, 1867. He was appointed to the military academy June 12, 1888, and graduated June 11, 1892. On the day of his graduation he was appointed second lieutenant in the United States regular army. He served five years in Arizona, and in 1897 was appointed professor of military science and tactics at DePauw University. In July, 1898, he was promoted to the rank of captain and assistant quartermaster of United States volunteers and joined the Miles Relief Expedition in Cuba in the Spanish-American War. He also took part in the Porto Rico campaign until the signing of the peace protocol. He was then transferred to Cuba where he served as depot and purchasing quartermaster for the war department until 1902. From 1902 until 1906 he served as construction quartermaster in the defenses of Baltimore Harbor and at Salt Lake City.
He then joined the United States troops in the Philippine Islands, serving in the campaign in the islands of Leyte and Samar in 1906 and 1907. He was the commanding officer of the United States forces that fought the important engagement near Lapaz, Leyte, Philippine Islands, December 6, 1906, for which action high commendation was paid him by all the commanding generals on duty in the Philippines. In 1909 he was transferred to California, but in 1910 was returned to the Philippines. In 192 he was sent to Kansas and from 1913 to 1915 he served in Oregon, California and Arizona. At present he is stationed along the Mexican border.
In 1909 he was promoted to first lieutenant in the United States service, captain in 1901 and major in 1915.
Frien B. Atherton was for a time captain of Company M, Second regiment, Indiana National Guard. His knowledge of military tactics had been received during three years of service in the regular army of the United States. He enlisted in the regular army on January 9, 1900, and became a member of Battery A., Third regiment, United States Coast Artillery. With other recruits he was at once sent to the Philippine Islands, where he remained until August, 1900. At that time the Boxer uprising occurred and his regiment was sent to Tientsin, China. He remained there from August 20 until November 4, 1900. His regiment stood side by side with the German, French and British troops to protect their citizens against the Chinese mobs. In November, 1900, he was again removed to the Philippine Islands, where he served through the insurrection from November 22, 1900, until July 4, 1902. In the autumn of that year he returned to Angel Island, California, and was honorably discharged on January 5, 1903.
As a young man his life was clean. Soon after entering the service of the United States he was appointed secretary of the Young Mens Christian Association, and this membership was maintained during his college life, after his discharge from the army.
Throughout his service in the army he saved his money with the idea of finishing a college course. Like so many other young men, however, who were unaccustomed to the intense heat of the tropical sun, he was unable to withstand the hot climatic conditions of the Islands. Before his discharge symptoms of "falling sickness" developed, and when he reached Angel Island he was physically unable to work. In September, 1903, he had recuperated sufficiently to enter Butler College, and then began one of the most heroic as well as one of the most pathetic struggles ever made in fact or written into fiction. During the next six years he was a student at college, two years in the preparatory department at Butler, and four years at the Ohio Northern University, at Ada, Ohio. During these years he battled bravely against the weakness contracted in the Islands. His genial, social qualities made him popular with his fellows, and his knowledge of military tactics won him the command of the battalion at Ohio Northern University. Here he also met the young lady who consented to share his life with him. In 1909 he graduated from the university, having majored in mechanical engineering. He passed examinations successfully for admission to the apprentice course offered to college graduates only who have taken as their major mechanical engineering. During the latter years of his college life his affliction became more acute, attacks more frequent and more violent, and at the end of the first year with the Westinghouse concern he suffered a complete physical and metal breakdown. His weakened body had been overtaxed by his long-sustained effort and had reached the limit of its endurance. The companys physician had to tell him that it was unsafe for him longer to work with surrounding machinery; that he must seek the open country and be burdened with no responsibilities whatever. He tried, but Gods great out-of-doors could not restore to his mind and body what had been lost.
To this time he had scorned the idea of asking for aid. He was superbly independent. It was this, the finest and manliest of his qualities, that the agents of his government failed to understand or they would have dealt more generously with him. The time had come when he could not maintain himself. The strong will that had carried him forward, the keen intellect that had opened for him the mysteries and niceties of science, the clean, wholesome personality that had made him a world of friends-all were hopelessly wrecked. There was no future. The past was dark, the present hazy, with just enough light to discern the impossibilities- the home, the wife, and the standing with his fellows. In a moment, as a darker shadow passed over him, he drew down the veil of eternity, but he had given to the world a splendid, exalted effort.
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 288-328.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI April 5, 2002.
Return to 1916 Index | Return to Hancock Co. Main Page
|Tom & Carolyn Ward / Columbus, Kansas / email@example.com|