WAR OF THE
COMPANIES A, E,
and G, TWENTIETH OHIO REGIMENT.
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.
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
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
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,
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.
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
Captain W. H. Jacobs, Apr. 19, 1863;
mustered out Nov. 5, 1865.
First Lieutenant Benjamin A. F. Greer,
Sept. 4, 1861; promoted to captain
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
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;
Captain Samuel J. Hasler, Jan. 6, '65;
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
Second Lieutenant Samuel J. Hasler, Apr.
8, 1863; promoted to first lieutenant.
Captain W. L. Waddell,
Apr. 22, 1864; mustered out with
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.
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.
Second Lieutenant, Lyman N. Ayres, Sept.
First Sergeant Peter
Weatherby, , Sept. 3, 1861.
Sergeant William W. McCracken, , Sept.
Sergeant John B. Aringdah, , Sept. 3,
Sergeant Christian W. McCracken, , Sept.
Sergeant Charles H. Dalrymple, , Sept.
Corporal Abner P. Lefever, , Sept. 3,
Corporal James E. McCracken, , Sept. 3,
Corporal William A. Brown, , Sept. 3,
Corporal Russel B. Conant, , Sept. 3,
Corporal William B. McMahon, , Sept. 3,
Corporal Isaac Cassell, , Sept. 3, 1861.
Corporal William Allison, , Sept. 3,
Corporal Andrew J. Strong, Sept. 3,
Wagoner, Aaron V. Lambert, , Sept. 3,
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,
Berkholder, Henry C., Sept. 3,
Ball, James W., Sept. 3, 1861.
Brown, Thomas, Sept. 3, 1861.
Bird, Charles E., Sept. 3, 1861.
Bailey, Thomas E., Sept. 3,
Brocaw, Abram, Sept. 3, 1861.
Brollies, Jacob, Sept. 3, 1861.
Blackburn, Wilbur, Sept. 3,
Chancey, Corryden, Sept. 3,
Crill, William, Sept. 3, 1861.
Couter, Jacob, Sept. 3, 1861.
Condon, John T. Sept. 3, 1861.
Carpenter, Joseph, Sept. 3,
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,
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,
Gordon, Joseph, Sept. 3, 1861.
Hawk, John R., Sept. 3, 1861.
Hotchkiss, Charles W., Sept. 3,
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,
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,
Johnson, Jesse, Sept. 3, 1861.
Kinney, W. H., date of
enlistment, Sept. 3, 1861.
Lidderdale, William, Sept. 3,
Lion, Baker W., Sept. 3, 1861.
Lambert, Curtis L., Sept. 3,
Melick, Jesse, Sept. 3, 1861.
McGaughey, Alexander L., Sept.
Miller, Absalom, Sept. 3, 1861.
Miller, James I., Sept. 3, 1861.
Needles, Alexander I., Sept. 3,
Pollock, John, Sept. 3, 1861.
Pollock, Edwin W., Sept. 3,
Pears, John S., Sept. 3, 1861.
Royce, James M., Sept. 3, 1861.
Rigby, Lucian, Sept. 3, 1861.
Runyan, Johnson J., Sept. 3,
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,
States, Benjamin F., Sept. 3,
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,
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,
Walters, John W., Sept. 3, 1861.
Wensel, Aaron L., Sept. 3, 1861.
Wright, Lester, Sept. 3, 1861.
Winterbottom, Edward S., Sept.
Waterfall, Samuel, Sept. 3,
Whitney, Milton, Sept. 3, 1861.
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,
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,
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,
Hogland, Solomon, Oct. 10, '61.
Jones, George B., Oct. 1, '61.
Kelley, Caleb J. McN., Oct. 1,
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,
Long, George M., Oct. 15, '61.
Linstead, Henry, Oct. 15, '61.
Miller, William H. H., Oct. 1,
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,
Oury, Silas, Oct. 1, '61.
Oury, George, Oct. 1, '61.
Picard, Richard, Oct. 1, '61.
Robinson, William R., Oct. 1,
Robinson, Alonzo, Oct. 1, '61.
Russell, Cornelius, Oct. 15,
Ross, William, Oct. 5, '61.
Stevenson, John D., Sept. 4,
Smith, Henry, Sept. 20, '61.
Swales, Charles W., Sept. 20,
Swales, Darius R., Sept. 20,
Smith, Silas, Sept. 20, '61.
Sapp, Napoleon M., Sept. 20,
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,
Shadrack, Oliver K., Oct. 5,
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,
Walker, Charles R., Sept. 4,
Workman, Wilson, Sept. 20, '61.
Williams, Henry M., Sept. 4,
Waddle, William L., Sept. 4,
Wiggins, Warren, Sept. 20, '61.
Waltz, Thomas, Oct. 15, '61.
Waddle, James H., Oct. 15, '61.
Waltz, Obediah, Sept. 20, '61.
Wiggins, John, Oct. 15, '61.
Welker, Simon, Oct. 5, '61.
Yarnell, Thomas, Sept. 20, '61.
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.
Second Lieutenant Nathan Bostwick, Oct.
First Sergeant Edwin C.
Day, Sept. 10, '61
Sergeant Samuel H. Davis, Sept. 9, '61.
Sergeant Julius C. Bostwick, Oct. 19,
Sergeant Joshua E. Clark, Sept. 24, '61.
Sergeant Eli C. Hollister, Oct. 21, '61.
Corporal Curtis W. Powell, Sept. 21,
Corporal William S. Phillips, Sept. 9,
Corporal Philip A. Bronscom, Sept. 21,
Corporal George F. Bostwick, Nov. 15,
Corporal William A. Phillips, Sept. 24,
Corporal Caleb Leidey, Oct. 25, '61.
Corporal Charles F. Cochran, Sept. 24,
Corporal Joseph A. Robinson, Nov. 4,
Arnold, Edwin T., Nov. 4, '61.
Brown, Lewis, Sept. 15, '61.
Barrible, William, Sept. 29,
Balch, William G., Sept. 17,
Bartlett, George V., Oct. 31,
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,
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,
Hunt, Richard C., Sept. 14, '61.
Huntsberry, Urius, Sept. 14,
Hirsh, John, Nov. 7, '61.
Hassler, Samuel J., Oct. 21,
Hunt, David, Oct. 25, '61.
Hunt, Leroy, Oct. 21, '61.
Johnson, C. V., Sept. 21, '61.
Lockwood, Henry H., Sept. 14,
Lockwood, Eliakim, Sept. 14,
Lewis, David F., Sept. 14, '61.
Larmer, Henry, Sept. 15, '61.
Larmer, Franklin C., Oct. 19,
Larmer, Robert A., Oct. 19, '61.
Lamson, David M., Oct. 19, '61.
Manson, William C., Oct. 19,
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,
Singer, Gilbert, Sept. 27, '61.
Stinmates, Richard, Oct. 21,
Speelman, Lewis, Oct. 18, '61.
Tarr, Alexander B., Sept. 14,
Vance, John, Sept. 10, '61.
Woods, David W., Sept. 14, '61.
Whitman, William H., Sept. 10,
White, Joseph, Sept. 17, '61.
White, Romayne, Sept. 27, '61.
Woodward, William W., Oct. 20,
Watson, John, Oct. 23, '61.
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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;
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
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.
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
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.
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
- 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.
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
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
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.
Greer reports the following losses in the three
Knox county companies in this battle:
|Company A, Lieutenant Ed. Nutt
Killed - D. B. James and Benjamin
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
Killed - Sergeant John Canavan
and Cornelius Russell
|Wounded. - Lieutenant
Woodmancy, Ed. Knox, J. McMahon, A. J.
Patchen and William Rose
Missing - Corporal M. Long and
Company G, Captain Nathan Bostwick
Killed - Corporal Charles
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.
following were the losses in company I, part of
which was from this county - Captain W. L. Waddell
|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.
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
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
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 >
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