A Part of Genealogy Express

Welcome to
Knox County, Ohio
History & Genealogy

History of Knox County, Ohio
From 1779 to 1862 Inclusive:
Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes and Incidents of Men Connected
with the County from its First Settlement:
together with
Complete Lists of the Senators, Representatives, Sheriffs, Auditors,
Commissioners, Treasurers, Judges, Justices of the Peace, and other Officers of the
County, also Those Who Have Served in a Military Capacity From Its
First Organization to the Present Time.
and also A Sketch of Kenyon College, and Other Institutions of Learning and Religion
By A. Banning Norton
Richard Nevins, Printer.

pg. 296



Organization of Three Companies in Knox County -
Roster of the Officers and Muster Rolls of Companies -
Expedition to Warsaw, Kentucky -
Operations of the Regiment During the War, Muster-Out and Return
Inscriptions on its Banners - Medals Awarded.

     THE Twentieth Ohio volunteer infantry was organized in the spring of 1861, and entered the three months' service, but as Knox county was not represented in this regiment at that time, it is not within the province of this chapter to speak of that service.
     Upon the reorganization of the regiment for the three years' service, during the first days of October, 1861, more than three companies from this county were attached to it.  Companies A, E. and G, were nearly all from this county; also a part of company I, and a few others from the county were scattered through other companies of the regiment.
     Company A was recruited partly in Chesterville and vicinity, and partly in Fredericktown and vicinity, by Dr. Elisha Hiatt of the former place, who became captain, and William Rogers and l. N. Ayers of Fredericktown, who became first and second lieutenants, respectively.  The company numbered one hundred and thirteen men.  The surplus was subsequently attached to company I.
     About the same time (August, 1861), George Rogers, of Mount Vernon, and John N. Cassell, of Fredericktown, began recruiting, and soon had about one hundred men each.  Captain Cassel was very materially assisted in recruiting his company by Nathan Bostwick, who subsequently became second lieutenant of the company.
     Dr. Hiatt's company was presented with a beautiful silk flag by the ladies of Fredericktown, upon its departure from that place.  These two companies rendezvoused at Camp Chase late in September, 1861, and soon after were sent to Camp King, near Covington, Kentucky, where, on the twenty-first of October, the regiment was organized.
     This regiment was fortunate in having some of the very best officers in the service, and it became in consequence, one of the most efficient.  Charles Whittlesey, its colonel, was a West Point graduate, an eminent engineer, geologist, and student.  Its lieutenant colonel, Manning F. Force, was a lawyer of Cincinnati, a gentleman, a scholar, a soldier, and subsequently became brigadier general.
     Following is a roster of the officers from Knox county in this regiment, and the muster rolls of companies A, E, and G, with the date of muster into service:


Captain Elisha Hiatt, September 3, 1861; resigned February 22, 1862.
Captain William Rogers, February 9, 1862; resigned April 26, 1862.
Captain Lyman N. Ayres, November 14, 1862; mustered out December 18, 1864.
First Lieutenant William Rogers, September 3, 1861; promoted to captain.

[Pg. 297]

First Lieutenant Lyman N. Ayres, Feb. 22, 1862; promoted to captain.
First Lieutenant John G. Stevenson, Apr. 20, 1863; mustered out Dec. 18, 1864.
Second Lieutenant Lyman N. Ayres, Sept. 3, 1861; promoted to first lieutenant Feb. 22, 1862.


Captain George Rogers, Sept. 4, 1861; resigned Feb. 16, 1863; subsequently colonel of Fourth United States colored regiment
Captain W. H. Jacobs, Apr. 19, 1863; mustered out Nov. 5, 1865.
First Lieutenant Benjamin A. F. Greer, Sept. 4, 1861; promoted to captain company B.
First Lieutenant William H. Jacobs, Apr. 19, 1862; promoted to captain.
First Lieutenant George Thoma, June 11, 1865; mustered out with the regiment.
Second Lieutenant William H. Jacobs, Sept. 10, 1861; promoted to first lieutenant.
Second Lieutenant John G. Stevenson, Jan. 28, 1863; promoted to first lieutenant and quartermaster.


Captain John N. Cassell, Sept. 4, 1861; resigned Jan. 5, 1863.
Captain George L. Mellick, Dec. 3, 1862; died Oct. 20, 1863
Captain Nathan Bostwick, Jan. 1, 1864; promoted major
Captain Samuel J. Hasler, Jan. 6, '65; declined promotion.
Captain Joshua Clark, Jan. 11, 1865; mustered out with regiment.
First Lieutenant George L. Mellick, Sept. 7, 1861; promoted to captain.
First Lieutenant Nathan Bostwick, Apr. 24, 1862; promoted to captain.
First Lieutenant Samuel J. Hasler, Apr. 20, 1863; mustered out.
First Lieutenant Jesse L. Felt, June 11, 1865; mustered out with regiment
Second Lieutenant Nathan Bostwick, October 18, 1861; promoted to first lieutenant.
Second Lieutenant Samuel J. Hasler, Apr. 8, 1863; promoted to first lieutenant.


Captain W. L. Waddell, Apr. 22, 1864; mustered out with regiment.
First Lieutenant N. C. Waddell, Dec. 3, 1862; promoted to captain.
First Lieutenant William L. Barrington, June 11, 1865; promoted to captain.
Second Lieutenant N. L. Waddell, Feb. 11, 1862; promoted to first lieutenant.
Second Lieutenant William Rush, Dec. 3, 1862; promoted to first lieutenant.

     Muster roll of company 'A, Twentieth Ohio regiment, mustered into service Sept. 14, 1861:


Captain Elisha Hiatt, date of enlistment Sept. 3, 1861.
First Lieutenant William Rogers, Sept. 3, 1861.
Second Lieutenant, Lyman N. Ayres, Sept. 3, 1861.


First Sergeant Peter Weatherby, , Sept. 3, 1861.
Sergeant William W. McCracken, , Sept. 3, 1861.
Sergeant John B. Aringdah, , Sept. 3, 1861.
Sergeant Christian W. McCracken, , Sept. 3, 1861.
Sergeant Charles H. Dalrymple, , Sept. 3, 1861.
Corporal Abner P. Lefever, , Sept. 3, 1861.
Corporal James E. McCracken, , Sept. 3, 1861.
Corporal William A. Brown, , Sept. 3, 1861.
Corporal Russel B. Conant, , Sept. 3, 1861.
Corporal William B. McMahon, , Sept. 3, 1861.
Corporal Isaac Cassell, , Sept. 3, 1861.
Corporal William Allison, , Sept. 3, 1861.
Corporal Andrew J. Strong, Sept. 3, 1861.
Wagoner, Aaron V. Lambert, , Sept. 3, 1861.


Allen, Ira B., date of enlistment, Sept. 3, 1861.
Ayres, Van B., Sept. 3, 1861.
Bryant, Mitchel, Sept. 3, 1861.
Barry, Edwin, Sept. 3, 1861.
Blackburn, William, Sept. 3, 1861.
Berkholder, Henry C., Sept. 3, 1861.
Ball, James W., Sept. 3, 1861.
Brown, Thomas, Sept. 3, 1861.
Bird, Charles E., Sept. 3, 1861.
Bailey, Thomas E., Sept. 3, 1861.
Brocaw, Abram, Sept. 3, 1861.
Brollies, Jacob, Sept. 3, 1861.
Blackburn, Wilbur, Sept. 3, 1861.
Chancey, Corryden, Sept. 3, 1861.
Crill, William, Sept. 3, 1861.
Couter, Jacob, Sept. 3, 1861.
Condon, John T. Sept. 3, 1861.
Carpenter, Joseph, Sept. 3, 1861.
Cassell, Levi, Sept. 3, 1861.
Clink, James, Sept. 3, 1861.
Colony, Erastus, Sept. 3, 1861.
Dyer, Archibald, Sept. 3, 1861.
Devoe, Edward, Sept. 3, 1861.
Dunn, David H., Sept. 3, 1861.
Davis, Arnold, Sept. 3, 1861.
Ebersole, George W., Sept. 3, 1861.
Everts, Levi B., Sept. 3, 1861.
Foot, Wilber, Sept. 3, 1861.
Fogle, Robert M., Sept. 3, 1861.
Gibson, A., Sept. 3, 1861.
Gallagher, Caleb W., Sept. 3, 1861.
Gordon, Joseph, Sept. 3, 1861.
Hawk, John R., Sept. 3, 1861.
Hotchkiss, Charles W., Sept. 3, 1861.
Howe, Joel, Sept. 3, 1861.
Harris, Daniel, Sept. 3, 1861.
Harris, Ephraim, Sept. 3, 1861.
Hobbs, Madison, Sept. 3, 1861.
Hartwell, Oliver C., Sept. 3, 1861.
Haden, Joseph, Sept. 3, 1861.
Isenbarg, Jacob, Sept. 3, 1861.
Jones, Henry G., Sept. 3, 1861.
James, David B., Sept. 3, 1861.
Johnson, James H., Sept. 3, 1861.
Johnson, Jesse, Sept. 3, 1861.

[Pg. 298]

Kinney, W. H., date of enlistment, Sept. 3, 1861.
Lidderdale, William, Sept. 3, 1861.
Lion, Baker W., Sept. 3, 1861.
Lambert, Curtis L., Sept. 3, 1861.
Melick, Jesse, Sept. 3, 1861.
McGaughey, Alexander L., Sept. 3, 1861.
Miller, Absalom, Sept. 3, 1861.
Miller, James I., Sept. 3, 1861.
Needles, Alexander I., Sept. 3, 1861.
Pollock, John, Sept. 3, 1861.
Pollock, Edwin W., Sept. 3, 1861.
Pears, John S., Sept. 3, 1861.
Royce, James M., Sept. 3, 1861.
Rigby, Lucian, Sept. 3, 1861.
Runyan, Johnson J., Sept. 3, 1861.
Rigby, Major, Sept. 3, 1861.
Runyan, Malan T., Sept. 3, 1861.
Ransom, Gavin M., Sept. 3, 1861.
Randall, John D., Sept. 3, 1861.
Rowley, Artemus C., Sept. 3, 1861.
States, Benjamin F., Sept. 3, 1861.
Skillman, Abram, Sept. 3, 1861.
Sams, Joseph, Sept. 3, 1861.
Seely, Andrew J., Sept. 3, 1861.
Swaney, James, Sept. 3, 1861.
Thrift, Thomas B., Sept. 3, 1861.
Turner, John M., Sept. 3, 1861.
Trump, George M., Sept. 3, 1861.
Taylor, Samuel, Sept. 3, 1861.
Weider, Adam C., Sept. 3, 1861.
Walker, Benjamin F., Sept. 3, 1861.
Walters, John W., Sept. 3, 1861.
Wensel, Aaron L., Sept. 3, 1861.
Wright, Lester, Sept. 3, 1861.
Winterbottom, Edward S., Sept. 3, 1861.
Waterfall, Samuel, Sept. 3, 1861.
Whitney, Milton, Sept. 3, 1861.

     Muster roll of company E, Twentieth Ohio regiment, mustered into the service October 15, 1861:


Captain George Rogers, Sept. 4, 1861
First Lieutenant Benjamin A. F. Greer, Sept. 4, '61
Second Lieutenant William H. Jacobs, Sept. 10, '61.


First Sergeant Selby Byron, Sept, 4, '61.


Atherton, William, Oct. 1, '61.
Ashton, Silas, Oct. 14, '61.
Beaver, Morgan, Sept. 20, '61.
Bigbee, William, Sept. 20, '61
Baker, Leroy C., Oct. 1, '61.
Bennett, John B., Sept. 19, '61.
Bumpus, Alexander, Oct. 1, '61
Boyd, George, Oct. 14, '61.
Canavan, John, Sept. 16, '61.
Clark, William H., Sept. 20, '61.
Coram, John, Oct. 1, '61.
Davis, Henry M., Sept. 6, '61.
Dudew, Daniel, Sept. 6, '61.
Dowds, Elijah P., Sept. 20, '61.
Elder, Frank, Oct. 1, '61.
Elder, Clifford O., Oct. 10, '61.
Felt, Jesse S., Oct. 20, '61.
Frazier, Abram, Sept. 20, '61.
Fowler, John, Sept. 30, '61.
Fiddler, Charles, Oct. 5, '61.
Farnham, E. B., Oct. 12, '61.
Hersch, Peter, Sept 20, '61.
Hagarman, Amos, Sept. 20, '61.
Hartsook, Engelbert, Sept. 20, '61.
Hogland, Solomon, Oct. 10, '61.
Jones, George B., Oct. 1, '61.
Kelley, Caleb J. McN., Oct. 1, '61.
Knox, Edward, Oct. 15, '61.
Kenzie, William, Sept. 20, '61.
Knox, Charles, Oct. 1, '61.
Ligget, Thomas, Sept. 20, '61.
Lee, Alexander, Sept. 20, '61.
Lafever, William P., Sept. 20, '61.
Long, George M., Oct. 15, '61.
Linstead, Henry, Oct. 15, '61.
Miller, William H. H., Oct. 1, '61.
McClerg, Albert, Sept. 20, '61.
McKee, Squire, Sept. 20, '61.
McMahan, Joseph, Oct. 1, '61.
Miller, Hiram W., Oct. 1, '61.
Mowry, David, Oct. 5, '61.
Norick, Lot, Sept. 20, '61.
Oldroid, Osbern H., Oct. 15, '61.
Oury, Silas, Oct. 1, '61.
Oury, George, Oct. 1, '61.
Picard, Richard, Oct. 1, '61.
Robinson, William R., Oct. 1, '61.
Robinson, Alonzo, Oct. 1, '61.
Russell, Cornelius, Oct. 15, '61.
Ross, William, Oct. 5, '61.
Stevenson, John D., Sept. 4, '61.
Smith, Henry, Sept. 20, '61.
Swales, Charles W., Sept. 20, '61.
Swales, Darius R., Sept. 20, '61.
Smith, Silas, Sept. 20, '61.
Sapp, Napoleon M., Sept. 20, '61.
Speakman, Thomas, Sept. 20, '61.
Sapp, John A., Oct. 1, '61.
Shiner, John H., Oct. 1, '61.
Stull, Philip, Oct. 1, '61.
Stoughton, Nathaniel, Oct. 5, '61.
Shadrack, Oliver K., Oct. 5, '61.
Taylor, William D., Oct. 5, '61.
Tucker, Charles, Sept. 20, '61.
Trott, William, Sept. 20, '61.
Thomas, George, Oct. 1, '61.
Thomas, James, Oct. 15, '61.
Van Buskirk, Johnson, Sept. 10, '61.
Walker, Charles R., Sept. 4, '61.
Workman, Wilson, Sept. 20, '61.
Williams, Henry M., Sept. 4, '61.
Waddle, William L., Sept. 4, '61.
Wiggins, Warren, Sept. 20, '61.
Waltz, Thomas, Oct. 15, '61.
Waddle, James H., Oct. 15, '61.

[Pg. 299]

Waltz, Obediah, Sept. 20, '61.
Wiggins, John, Oct. 15, '61.
Welker, Simon, Oct. 5, '61.
Yarnell, Thomas, Sept. 20, '61.

     The following is the muster-out roll of company G, Twentieth Ohio regiment, mustered into the service November 18, 1861:


Captain George Rogers, Sept. 4, 1861
First Lieutenant Benjamin A. F. Greer, Sept. 4, '61
Second Lieutenant William H. Jacobs, Sept. 10, '61.


First Sergeant Selby Byron, Sept, 4, '61.


Captain John N. Cassell, Sept. 4, 1861.
First Lieutenant George L. Mehick, Sept. 7, '61.
Second Lieutenant Nathan Bostwick, Oct. 18, '61.


First Sergeant Edwin C. Day, Sept. 10, '61
Sergeant Samuel H. Davis, Sept. 9, '61.
Sergeant Julius C. Bostwick, Oct. 19, '61.
Sergeant Joshua E. Clark, Sept. 24, '61.
Sergeant Eli C. Hollister, Oct. 21, '61.
Corporal Curtis W. Powell, Sept. 21, '61.
Corporal William S. Phillips, Sept. 9, '61.
Corporal Philip A. Bronscom, Sept. 21, '61.
Corporal George F. Bostwick, Nov. 15, '61.
Corporal William A. Phillips, Sept. 24, '61.
Corporal Caleb Leidey, Oct. 25, '61.
Corporal Charles F. Cochran, Sept. 24, '61.
Corporal Joseph A. Robinson, Nov. 4, '61.


Arnold, Edwin T., Nov. 4, '61.
Brown, Lewis, Sept. 15, '61.
Barrible, William, Sept. 29, '61.
Balch, William G., Sept. 17, '61.
Bartlett, George V., Oct. 31, '61.
Beardsley, Charles, Nov. 2, '61.
Chambers, Merrett, Oct. 19, '61.
Case, Elisha W., Nov. 1, '61.
Camp, Curtis H., Sept. 9, '61.
Cochran, George M., Sept. 24, '61.
Cochran, Josiah, Sept. 14, '61.
Coffing, John W., Sept. 9, '61.
Darling, John, Sept. 9, '61.
Duncan, George, Sept. 29, '61.
Dunn, David H., Oct. 10, '61.
Dunn, James, Sept. 23, '61.
Davis, Robert, Oct. 10, '61.
Davis, Isaac S., Oct. 25, '61.
Ewers, Thomas G., Sept. 22, '61.
Fry, John D., Sept. 14, '61.
Fox, John, Sept. 9, '61.
Frazier, John, Oct. 10, '61.
Fishburn, Josiah, Oct. 21, '61.
Grimes, James, Sept. 9, '61.
Haller, Newton S., Sept. 11, '61.
Hunt, Richard C., Sept. 14, '61.
Huntsberry, Urius, Sept. 14, '61.
Hirsh, John, Nov. 7, '61.
Hassler, Samuel J., Oct. 21, '61.
Hunt, David, Oct. 25, '61.
Hunt, Leroy, Oct. 21, '61.
Johnson, C. V., Sept. 21, '61.
Lockwood, Henry H., Sept. 14, '61.
Lockwood, Eliakim, Sept. 14, '61.
Lewis, David F., Sept. 14, '61.
Larmer, Henry, Sept. 15, '61.
Larmer, Franklin C., Oct. 19, '61.
Larmer, Robert A., Oct. 19, '61.
Lamson, David M., Oct. 19, '61.
Manson, William C., Oct. 19, '61.
Merihew, John L., Sept. 10, '61.
Manning, S. A., Nov. 7, '61.
Milt, Enoch, Sept. 9, '61.
Newton, William, Nov. 4, '61.
Phillips, Joseph, Sept. 9, '61.
Porter, George, Sept. 27, '61.
Pitkin, John G., Oct. 19, '61.
Poland, Edwin G., Nov. 2, '61.
Ransom, Thomas L., Sept. 9, '61.
Reeder, Aaron M., Sept. 7, '61.
Rolland, Joseph, Sept. 15, '61.
Rush, Ezekiel B., Oct. 19, '61.
Redman, Samuel Nov. 15, '61.
Smith, Jonathan, Oct. 23, '61.
Smith, William C., Oct. 23, '61.
Smith, Marion S., Sept. 27, '61.
Simon, James H., Sept. 27, '61.
Stilley, Benjamin F., Sept. 17, '61.
Singer, Gilbert, Sept. 27, '61.
Stinmates, Richard, Oct. 21, '61.
Speelman, Lewis, Oct. 18, '61.
Tarr, Alexander B., Sept. 14, '61.
Vance, John, Sept. 10, '61.
Woods, David W., Sept. 14, '61.
Whitman, William H., Sept. 10, '61.
White, Joseph, Sept. 17, '61.
White, Romayne, Sept. 27, '61.
Woodward, William W., Oct. 20, '61.
Watson, John, Oct. 23, '61.

     During the winter of 1861-2 the regiment was engaged in guarding several batteries in rear of Covington and Newport.  Four companies, including companies A and G, were sent during the winter into an insurrectionary district near Warsaw, Kentucky.  While on this service company G, Captain Cassell and Lieutenant Bostwick, had the pleasure of organizing and conducting a secret expedition with sixty picked men.  They were absent several days, and succeeded in capturing a score or more noted and influential secessionists and bringing them prisoner to camp, where they were given a fair trial and sent north as prisoners.
     On the eleventh of February, 1862, the entire regiment, except company K, embarked on steamers for the Cumberland river.
     The Twentieth arrived at Fort Donelson on the evening of February 14th and was under fire to some extent on the fifteenth.  It marched to the ex-

[Pg. 300]
treme right of the army, was placed in reserve, and was compelled to stand the severe test of seeing crowds of stragglers falling back from the front and in being forced to hear their wild reports of disaster and defeat; but notwithstanding these discouragements the regiment passed through its first real battle with no little credit to every man.  After the battle the regiment was sent north with the prisoners, and became scattered all over the land.  Lieutenant Bostwick, in command of company G, escorted eleven hundred rebel prisoners to St. Louis, from which place, in company with a portion of company C, they escorted all the officers captured at Fort Donelson to Camp Chase, thence to New York and Boston.
     The regiment was again brought together in March, and on April 6th while in camp near Adamsville, heard the booming of the guns at Pittsburgh Landing, and at 3 o'clock P.  M. of that day they marched to the field, going into position on the right of the army, and passing a comfortless night in the rain.  The regiment participated in the next day's battle with considerable loss and is fully entitled to share the glory of the victory.  It was commanded during the engagement by Lieutenant Colonel Force, Colonel Whittlesey being in command of a brigade.  During the advance on Corinth the Twentieth remained on duty at Pittsburgh Landing.  Death and sickness held a carnival in its camp, and it was accustomed to appear on parade with scarcely one hundred men.  After the fall of Corinth the regiment moved to Purdy, and there joining its division, marched to Bolivar, when it was left as a part of the garrison on the sixth of June, 1862.  Aug. 30, 1862, the rebel General Armstrong with fifteen regiments marching to destroy railroad communications northward, was held in check all day by the Twentieth Ohio, a portion of the Twenty-eight Ohio, and two companies of the second Illinois cavalry.  The steady fire of the skirmishers of the Twentieth did much toward restraining the enemy from any attack in line.
     Late in the afternoon two companies, G and K, of the Twentieth were captured by a cavalry charge, but not until after a desperate fight and the repulse of two previous charges.  In this affair company K was commanded by Lieutenant Mellick, Captain Cassell being absent and Lieutenant Bostwick commanding company C.  The affair was considered of so much importance that Colonel M. M. Crocker, commanding the post of Bolivar, was promoted to brigadier general to date from the day of the engagement.  Colonel Force, Major Fry, Captain Kaga, Adjutant Owens, Lieutenants Ayres, Hill and Mellick, were especially and honorably mentioned in the official report of General Leggett, who commanded the brigade in this battle.  The two companies, G and K, which fell into the hands of the enemy were taken to Vicksburgh, and within thirty days were exchanged and returned to the regiment.
     The regiment assisted in driving Price from Iuka, on the twentieth of September, and in the engagement between Hurlburt and Price at the crossing of the Hatchie, near Metamora, Tennessee, it arrived on the field at four o'clock P.M. with a wagon train loaded with supplied, having marched twenty-eight miles since ten A. M.  The supplies were immediately turned over and the regiment marched in pursuit of the rebels the same night.
     During the winter of 1862-3 the regiment marched from place to place, being almost continually on the move, and was attached to the Third division (Logan's), Seventeenth corps.
     On the twelfth of May the regiment deployed in advance of the corps as it approached Raymond, Mississippi, and while resting with arms stacked, was fired upon from a dense thicket beyond a small stream.  The regiment immediately formed and advanced across the creek, using the bank on the opposite side as a breastwork.  For an hour the strubble was severe, and especially so to the Twentieth, as the regiments on the right withdrew their lines a little distance to the rear, and the flank of the Twentieth was exposed to a making cross fire.  Every man stood firm until the line again advanced and the rebels gave way.  The regiment lost in this engagement twelve killed and fifty-two wounded.
     All the officers of company E were shot down, and Private Canavan of that company was promoted to a sergeantcy on the spot for skilfully managing the company during the engagement.  Captain  Wilson was decorated with the Seventeenth corps medal of honor, in silver, for gallantly assembling his skirmishers under the very muzzles of the

[Pg. 301]
enemy's guns in  the first charge.  Wilson was for a time captain of company E.  Lieutenant Weatherby of company A, being on the extreme right of the skirmish line with his company, and being cut off from his regiment, assembled his company and reported to the nearest regiment, the Eighty-third Illinois, and fought as a part of that regiment until the end of the battle; when, as the company marched to join its regiment, the Eighty-first showed their appreciation of its services by giving three hearty cheers for the "Twentieth Ohio boys."
     The regiment moved on through Clinton, Jackson, Bottom Depot, to Champion hills, where it was early pushed forward to a strong position in a ravine, under such a fire that it was dangerous for a staff officer to approach with orders.  Though the adjoining regiments on either flank were pushed back as the enemy moved up in mass, the Twentieth held its ground without wavering till its ammunition was exhausted; it then fixed bayonets and prepared to maintain its position, but the Sixty-eighth Ohio came to its assistance from the reserve and the enemy was driven back.
     Crossing the Big Black the regiment reached the rear of Vicksburgh and acted as support to be assaulting party on the twenty-first of May.  It then went to work in the saps, mines and trenches.
     The following is an extract from a letter written by one of the Twentieth Ohio boys about this time.

     Our division is on the main road from Jackson to Vicksburgh, which the rebels have well fortified.  The first fort is a large one on the right of the road running into the city; the rear of this fort is open, and some distance beyond are two more forts which command the first one, so that should we succeed in taking the first one we could not hold it.  We are digging a ditch ten feet deep and six feet wide to run into the fort and are now within twenty-five feet of their works.
     Our men are very much exposed to the fire of their sharp shooters while digging.  Company H was out yesterday working on the ditch and had two men shot dead.  Our whole regiment was out the other day sharp shooting.  Company G fired nine thousand cartridges, but could not tell how many took effect.  Our company after dark took a position on the left of the fort, in a hollow, within twenty-five feet of the rebels, and could hear them talking, but we did not shoot, for we were exposed to their fire, and if they found we were there they would soon scatter us.  During the night some of the boys of the other companies conversed quite freely with some of the rebels.  One called to one of Company H and said "what's the use of firin' at a feller what you don't know?"  Another said, "we are goin' to have a new general," and when asked who it was he said "general starvation."  Seven of the regiment were wounded in this day's work.
     May 25th our regiment was out sharp-shooting near the same fort.  This was the day the flag of truce came from General Penberton, asking to be allowed to march out with the honors of war.  As soon as the flag was discovered both sides ceased firing, and all mounted the works anxious to see what we had been shooting at.  There were equally anxious to see what the Yankees looked like.  We talked at a distance for awhile, then met half way and talked for half an hour or more.  The conversation at first was about fathers, brothers, cousins, and friends; and some near relations met and shook hands.  Some of the rebels went back and some did not.  When the Seventh Missouri, Federal charged the Sixth Missouri, rebel, fathers, sons and brothers met in deadly conflict.
     The confederates offered three dollars in confederate money for three hard crackers, but our boys refused.  Toward evening we went back to our rifle-pits, and the rebels to their strongholds.  We had orders not to fire until 8:30 that night, and not then unless the rebels commenced.  We hoped they would surrender, and watched anxiously for the white flag until 8:30,, but were disappointed.  The bullets began flying over us as thick as ever, and we opened out with guns from a musket up to a thirty-two pounder.
     On the twenty-second there was to be a grand charge by the First brigade, supported by ours.  We felt that should we be ordered to charge we should lose one-half or two-thirds our number.  The brigades were ordered out, but for some reason the order was countermanded, and we returned to our quarters with very dirty clothes, for we had lain in the road nearly an hour, and the dust was also thick we could almost cover ourselves with it.  We had orders to lie down, and every man was as flat as a pan-cake in a second, for the bullets began to zip, zip, and buzz over our heads as thick as hail stones.  In moving out we had one man killed and six wounded in the regiment.
     We were under fire from the nineteenth of May to the twenty-eighth, then started, with seven days' rations, with four other brigades under General Blair, to meet Johnston if he could be found.  We marched forty-five miles, and returned by way of Yazoo river.
     Of our fight at Raymond I presume you have heard.  The Illinois boys were given all the praise.     .      .     Our regiment was the first in the fight.  De Golyer's battery was on our right, and we lay in the edge of the woods, when we heard the rebel yell, and knew they were coming down upon us through the woods on a charge.  We had orders to take arms and move forward.  We moved about fifty feet, when we came to the banks of a stream; the water was knee-deep and banks quite high.  We made no halt  here, for we could see the rebels coming at us.  We crossed the stream and took shelter under the opposite bank just in time, for the rebel line dropped into a ditch about twenty-five feet in front of us.  We were not long in giving them some of Lincoln's pills, and they returned Jeff's best.   We fought them in full sight from an hour and a half, during which time they tried several times to charge our line, but the Twentieth was firm, and although our brave boys were falling fast, we determined to hold the position as long as we had a man left.  We felt that the result degended upon our action.  If we pave way we would have been slaughtered before we could have re-crossed the creek, and our whole division cut to pieces.  After the battle we marched to town, two miles, which we reached about dark.  We (company E) went into the fight with thirty-two men, and came out with sixteen.  We were ready the next morning with sixteen men to go into battle; but

[Pg. 302]
it was a sad thing at roll-call to find half our number gone.  We had no commissioned officers.  Lieutenant Stevenson, who was in command, was wounded.
     On the fourteenth we reached Jackson without having fired a shot.  Our company took charge of the prisoners that night, and the next morning we were on the march to Vicksburgh.  We fought at Champion Hills on the sixteenth.
     The following is a list of the killed and wounded of company E, at Raymond, May 12th:
Killed - Orderly Sergeant Byron Selby, Corporal John C. Waddle, privates Parker Douds and Leroy C. Baker. 
     Wounded - Corporal Abram Frazier, privates Darius Swail Johnson Van Buskirk, Thomas Buskirk, Thomas McGovern, Joseph McMahon, William Trott, Jacob Baker, Josiah Workman, James H. Waddell, Thomas Yarnell, Daniel Duden, Lieutenant John G. Stevenson.
     Thomas McGovern, Darius Swail, Johnson Van Buskirk, William Trott,
and Thomas Yarnell were made prisoners at the Raymond hospital and taken to Mobile.  The rest were not able to go and were paroled.
     The Ninety-sixth is close to us..  We have beautiful fireworks some nights when the mortar-boats send two hundred and twenty-five pound shells over the city.  Lieutenant Henry Davis has been appointed captain of company C, and Lieutenant Jacobs, captain of company E.

     Regarding the work of the regiment in the trenches before Vicksburgh, the following from a correspondent on the ground, gives a vivid picture of the condition of things:

     Imagine it - men work all day, and never once stand upright; load their pieces upon their hands and knees, extending the rammers out of the embrasures, while others ply the shovels to replace the earth knocked away by the hostile projectiles.  Here where the bushes have been allowed to stand in the embankment, if you will rise up cautiously and peep through, you will see the shovel of earth as it is thrown up and falls upon their line two hundred yards away.  You must be wary, and you must drop promptly on your knees when you see a puff of smoke, for they suspect that some one is looking through the bushes.  You will have sufficient time to drop down into safety, for the smoke will puff out white and distinct a quarter of a minute before the sound of the discharge reaches you, or the ball whizzes by, or thuds in the thrown up dirt.
     Better take off your hat, for it can be seen more distinctly than the naked head, and don't betray any nervousness should the ball, which will surely come, shower dirt upon your head, else those old artillerymen will laugh at you.
     Now, if you want to go to the rear, stoop low and double-quick it until you get under cover of the woods.  It is only eight or ten rods.  Oh! there is no danger.  They won't hurt you - more than a hundred men have run across there to-day; every one has been fired at and only three have been struck.  You see they only get a glimpse of you, and can't get good aim.  They will shoot over you, or behind you, or ahead of you.

     June 26, 1863, the regiment, marching with the Second brigade, withdrew to Tiffin, near Black river, in order to observe the movements of Johnston.  After the fall of Vicksburgh, it camped at Bovina station, on the Mississippi Southern railroad, but was shortly ordered to join Sherman's army besieging Jackson.  It returned to Vicksburgh July 30th, and encamped in the outskirts of the city.  In the latter part of August the Twentieth formed part of an expedition to Monroe, on the Ouachita river, and returned to its camp at Vicksburgh, Sept. 1st.  October 7th, the regiment crossed the Big Black at Messenger's Ferry, skirmished slightly at Boquechitto creek, advanced toward Canton as far as Livingston, thence to Clinton, and then over the old Champion Hills battleground to Big Black and Vicksburgh.  In January, 1864, two-thirds of the men present re-enlisted for three years more, and the Twentieth was brigaded with the Thirty-second, Sixty-eighth, and Seventy-eighth Ohio.  Feb. 3, 1864, the regiment crossed the Big Black and joined in the celebrated Meridian expedition.  In crossing Baker's creek a rebel battery opened upon the column.  The Twentieth rapidly formed a line of battle and the battery retired.  The regiment was compelled to march in line of battle until late in the afternoon, as the rebels placed their battery on every hill-top, and skirmished briskly along the road.  In spite of this the head of the column passed over eighteen miles, and camped at Jackson that night.  Passing through Brandon the troops reached Morton, and from this point to Meridian the Twentieth acted as rear-guard to the whole army the greater portion of the distance.  After arriving at Meridian the regiment assisted in destroying ten or fifteen miles of railroad, and then marched to the wagon corral on Chunkey creek; and being misdirected by a rebel, it marched eight miles to advance three.   The next day is rebel's house was burned in order that he might remember the time he had the pleasure of misdirecting the Yankees.
     February 20th, the regiment marched on its return as part of the convoy for seven hundred wagons.  It marched by way of Hillsborough and Canton, and reached Vicksburgh March 4th.  It was now allowed its veteran furlough, and the Knox county boys enjoyed thirty days at their homes.
     May 1st they rendezvoused at Camp Dennison, by and proceeded to Cairo, Illinois, and from there steamer to Clifton, Tennessee.  From this place the regiment marched via Pulaski, Huntsville, Decatur and Rome (over the Sand mountains), two hundred

[Pg. 303]
and fifty miles, joining Sherman at Acworth on the ninth of June.  In the advance from Acworth the Twentieth formed the escort to the wagon-train, but finally joined its brigade on the twenty-third at Bushy ridge, near Kenesaw mountain.
     On the night of the twenty-sixth, the Twentieth with its division, marched to the left of the line, and at eight o'clock the next morning moved vigorously and with great noise upon the enemy, the object being to divert the enemy's attention from the general assault made by other portions of the National line.  The division advanced to within easy range of the rebel works, near Marietta, and was exposed to the concentrated fire of four batteries.  Having succeeded, to a certain extent, in accomplishing its object, the regiment engaged in another demonstration on the rebel works in front of its camp, at 3 P. M.; and, advancing up a thickly wooded hill till within one hundred yards of the enemy's works, sustained a brisk musketry fire till dark.  On the second of July, the regiment marched with its corps to the mouth of Nickojack creek, where the enemy was found intrenched.  After the evacuation of the works at Nickojack, the regiment was employed in picketing the river, which was lively business, as the rebels kept up a constant and accurate fire during the day.  On the sixteenth of July the regiment crossed the Chattahoochie at Rossville, and on the twentieth reached the rebel works before Atlanta.
     The regiment took a position on the twenty-first in the advanced line, and on the twenty-second firing was heard in its rear.  The regiment formed in the works, but as the rebels advanced the men leaped the parapet and faced toward the enemy.  The rebels pressed up to and around the regiment, and the bullets came from front, flank, and rear, and according as the fire was hottest in front or rear, the men of the Twentieth leaped their works and delivered their fire in that direction.  Cartridges became scarce, but portions of companies A, F, and D, risked their lives and obtained, in  the very face of the enemy, five cases of ammunition, which were piled up near the regimental head quarters; but even this supply was insufficient, and the ammunition of the wounded and dead was distributed, and charges were made to capture the rebels for their cartridges. At 4 P. M. many of the men had only two or three cartridges left.  The batteries in Atlanta threw shell upon the rear of the brigade, the enemy redoubled their fire in front and placing a captured gun within fifty paces of the flank of the Twentieth, raked the regiment with cannister.  Orders came to withdraw from the works and form a new line, and the Twentieth slowly retired, the men turning now and then to fire their last cartridge at the foe.  In the new line the Twentieth was placed in reserve, with the exception of a detachment of about one hundred, who were posted in the works on Force's hill, and fought desperately until the close of the battle.  In this engagement the Twentieth lost forty-four killed, fifty-six wounded, and fifty-four missing.  Instances of personal daring were numberless.
     The following extract regarding this desperate conflict is from a letter written on the twenty-fourth, two days after the battle, by Captain B. A. F. Greer, of Mount Vernon, who was at the time in command of company B:

     On the twenty-second instant a desperate battle was fought on the left of our army, caused by the enemy massing their forces and endeavoring to turn our flank.  The Twentieth had the misfortune to be hotly engaged and lost heavily.  The enemy are in possession of part of the ground fought over, so we cannot tell exactly what the loss is.
     The regiment had built breastworks and began fighting from behind them, but soon the enemy came up in our rear, and obliged us to jump to the opposite side of our works.  The enemy would change front and rear at the same time, compelling us to meet and repulse a charge first in front then right moving across our works no less than ten times.  Often the opposing lines would meet on top of the works, when the bayonet, sword, clubbed musket, and even the first, were used with murderous effect.  I cannot give a more detailed account of the fight.  We held our own, only closing up to the right on our works, yielding about one hundred yards of them.
     General's Blair, Sherman and Leggett estimated the rebel dead lying around our works, upon the ground fought over by our regiment, at one thousand.  General Sherman said that each man had made himself a hero, but that we had violated all the rules of civilized warfare by not surrendering when so completely surrounded.

     Captain Greer reports the following losses in the three Knox county companies in this battle:

Company A, Lieutenant Ed. Nutt commanding.
Killed - D. B. James and Benjamin Wilson
Wounded. - Corporal Levi Cassell and Privates G. W. Ebersole, G. M. Moodie, P. H. Conner and A. Davis.
Missing. - M. F. Runyan, Samuel Taylor, E. Colony and C. W. Dalrymple.
Company E, Lieutenant E. R. Woodmancy commanding.
Killed - Sergeant John Canavan and Cornelius Russell

[Pg. 304]

Wounded. - Lieutenant Woodmancy, Ed. Knox, J. McMahon, A. J. Patchen and William Rose
Missing - Corporal M. Long and Henry Linstead
Company G, Captain Nathan Bostwick commanding.
Killed - Corporal Charles Beardsley
Wounded - E. W. Case, D. B. Linstead and D. Pitkin.
Missing. - Captain Nathan Bostwick, Corporal Fayette Bostwick, Reason Brown, G. M. Cochran, B. F. Stilley, and Loyal G. Vance.

     The following were the losses in company I, part of which was from this county - Captain W. L. Waddell commanding:

Killed - E. Campbell, F. G. Ailes, H. Reed, W. Wickleam, B. Dodds, T. M. Govern and J. Van Fossen.
Wounded - A. Williams, E. Fuller, O. Hupp, P. McBride and J. Sparling
Missing - Lieutenant William Rush, William Barrington, T. J. Watson, G. A. Irwin, E. M. Evans, N. Warfield, F. Crow F. Moore and B. Penman.

     When it is considered that the ranks of the above companies had already been greatly thinned in previous battles, these losses clearly indicate the desperate character of the conflict.  Among the noble young men whose lives went out in this battle none were more worthy, more highly respected, or gave greater promise than Corporal Charles Beardsley, an only son of Platt Beardsley, of Milford township.  It will be observed, also, that Sergeant John Canavan, who had been promoted from the ranks for gallantry on a previous occasion, went down in this battle.
     Captain Nathan Bostwick and his son Fayette were both wounded and both fell into the hands of the enemy.  The latter was taken to Andersonville prison pen, where he suffered all the horrors of that famous - or infamous - place.  He succeeded in making his escape and paddling down the Ocomulgee river reached the Federal gun-boats in safety.
     Captain Bostwick was taken to Macon, Georgia, and subsequently to Charleston, South Carolina, crossed Port Royal ferry and advanced until the enemy was found entrenched beyond a rice swamp.  The Twentieth deployed as skirmishers, charged the enemy's work in fine style, and the regimental colors were soon waving from the parapet.  At dark the troops encamped before the fortifications of Pocotaligo, and, on the morning of January 13th, it was assigned camping ground beyond the railroad station at Pocotaligo, where it remained until January 30th, when it started on the Carolina campaign.
     The head of the column struck the enemy February 13th near the bridge across the North Eddisto

[Pg. 305]
at Orangeburgh.  Two companies were deployed as skirmishers, and soon the regiment advanced on double-quick, and drove the enemy back to their fortifications, which were concealed by a turn in the road, and from which the rebels opened fire.  The regiment deployed as skirmishers, advanced through the swamp in water icy-cold and waist deep, opened fire on the enemy on the opposite side, stood until late in the afternoon, and was relieved.  The next day it crossed the river and engaged in destroying the railroad.  In this affair the National loss was light.  The regiment marched through the smoking ruins of Columbia, and destroyed the railroad as far as Winnsborough.
     February 24th it was rear guard; reached Cheraw March 3d, and Bennetsville the 6th.  On the twentieth it reached Bentonville, where it fortified on the twenty-first, expecting an attack, but the enemy withdrew and on the twenty-fourth the regiment reached Goldsborough.
     After two weeks rest the regiment pushed on to Raleigh, and April 15th moved toward Johnston's army.  On the way it became known that Johnston had asked terms of surrender; the men seemed crazy with joy; they shouted, laughed, flung their hats in the air, threw their knapsacks at each other, hugged each other, stood on their heads in the mud, and were altogether worse than children let loose from school.  Leaving Raleigh May 1st the regiment marched via Richmond to Washington; was in the grand review May 24th; thence was sent to Louisville, Kentucky, and, July 18th, back to Columbus, where it was mustered out of service.  Thus ended an organization which had made a record second perhaps to no other among the glorious records of war.
     The regiment may inscribe upon its banners the following summary of engagements:  Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Bolivar, Matamora, Mississippi, Central Expedition, Thompson's Hills, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hills, Siege of Vicksburgh, Meridian Raid, Big Shanty, Kenesaw, Nickojack, Atlanta, Siege of Atlanta, Jonesborough, Lovejoy Station, Pursuit of Hood, March to the Sea, Pocotaligo, Orangeburgh, and Bentonville.  It lost nearly four hundred men in battle.
     Nine medals are known to have been awarded for special gallantry, viz: to Lieutenant Colonel Stevenson, Captain Ed. E. Nutt, Sergeant William Blackburn, Sergeant John [Rinehart," Sergeant Robbins, and Privates John Alexander and M. Elliott.

< See Chapter XXXIV. - War of the Rebellion - Continued >



This Webpage has been created by Sharon Wick exclusively for Genealogy Express  2008
Submitters retain all copyrights