LEWIS A. ATKINSON was born in Gallia County,
Ohio, Apr. 24, 1821. He spent his boyhood and
earliest manhood in school and at work on the farm.
When eight yeas of age he united with the Methodist
Episcopal church, of which he remained a faithful and
consistent member until death. He was converted in
1843, and on Sept. 18 of the same year was licensed to
exhort. Just thirty-nine years from the day he
took out his first paper of authority to preach,
God gave him a call to a better country. He
received license as a local preacher May 9, 1846, and
the same year he joined the Ohio Conference and entered
upon the active work of the ministry. He was
married to Miss Amanda Long, Nov. 13, 1850.
He continued in the work of the ministry until bodily
affliction compelled him to retire from the active work.
His ministry was very earnest and very successful.
His energy was greater than his strength, so that he was
compelled to give up the regular ministry while yet
comparatively in early years, though he never ceased to
preach when he could. He had been in nearly every
neighborhood in Southern Ohio, and it is estimated that
he has buried 300 people. He received authority to
solemnize marriages in Scioto County, Ohio, Oct. 24,
1848. There is no record to show how many people
he joined in marriage up to the time he entered the
army, but the papers that he has preserved show that
since the war he has joined in marriage 216 couples. In
1862 he enlisted in the army in defense of his country.
Through all the years of his army life no braver man
stood on the battle-field than he. Through all
these years of trying army experience no man maintained
a higher character as a devoted, consistent Christian
than did he. On Sept. 20, 1862, Governor David
Tod appointed him First Lieutenant Company K,
Ninety-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Just twenty
years from the day of his appointment he was buried.
Jan. 3, 1864, he received his appointment as Captain of
Company G, of the same regiment. He passed
unharmed through all the battles of his regiment except
the last two. He was dangerously wounded in the
battle of Winchester, Va., Sept. 19, 1864. He came
home about two weeks after he received his wounds,
suffered extremely for five weeks, went back and
received his discharge Feb. 3, 1865, and returned home.
Sixteen months later he had a relapse and was confined
to his room one year. He was Auditor of Jackson
County from March, 1867, to March, 1869, and his
political and official character was without a stain.
In 1872 he had another relapse from which he did not
recover for about thirteen months. Sunday, Aug.
13, 1882, he had another relapse, and after the most
intense suffering died from the effects of his wound,
Sept. 18, 1882, at Jackson, Ohio. Before going
into the battle in which he was wounded he called his
soldiers to order and offered up a prayer to God in
their behalf. Before the battle closed he fell,
bleeding and maimed, and eighteen years from the very
day of his wounds he lay shrouded in his coffin.
July 20, 1882, just two months before his burial, his
friends, to the number of about 300, gathered at his
home, and gave to him and his wife the pleasant surprise
of their presence, accompanied by presents to the value
of $300, as tokens of their esteem and love. The
only time during all his last sickness, when his intense
suffering seemed to relax, was for about five minutes,
which he spent in expressing his high appreciation of
the recent ovation given by his friends and neighbors.
This was to him the crowning event of his life and
seemed to him in a great measure to repay him for the
sacrifices and devotion of years gone by. Mr.
Atkinson had a deep Christian experience, and a
consistent life which commanded the confidence of all
who knew him. His whole life was a grand testimony
to his integrity and nobility of character. He was
always on the right side of any great moral question.
A man of strong convictions, he was unswerving in his
fidelity to the truth. In him was no guile or
hypocrisy. Although he is gone, his influence
still lives and can only be measured by eternity itself.
In the language of another: "Lewis A. Atkinson,
the Christian husband and father, the Christian citizen,
the Christian minister, the Christian public officer,
the Christian soldier and the Christian sufferer is at
History of Lower Scioto Co., Ohio - Publ. Chicago:
Inter-state Publishing Co. 1884 - Page 543