OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS

 

 


MILITARY HISTORY
OF THE
8TH REGIMENT OHIO VOL. INFY.
ITS
BATTLES, MARCHES AND ARMY
MOVEMENTS

By FRANKLIN SAWYER,
LIEUT. - COL. OF THE REGIMENT, AND BREVET BRIGADIER-GENERAL
------------------
EDITED BY GEO. A. GROOT, CHAIRMAN PUB. COM.

 


CHAPTER I.

1861.

ORGANIZATION OF THE REGIMENT - CAMP TAYLOR AND CAMP DENNISON -
THREE MONTHS' MEN.

     On the first call of President LINCOLN for seventy-five thousand men after the fall of Fort Sumpter, the peaceful and quiet communities of the Northern States were suddenly converted into one great military camp, stretching from the Atlantic to the base of the Rocky Mountains.
     The question was not, "Who will go?" but, "Who, and how many of us will the Government accept?"
     For Northern Ohio, Camp Taylor, at Cleveland, was the place of rendezvous.  Governor DENNISON's Order was dated the 16th day of April 1861, and in a few days several thousand men, partially organized, and assembled at Camp Taylor, anxious to be mustered into the service.
     The troops were to be enlisted for three months.  Out of this material the EIGHTH REGIMENT OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY was formed.  The organization, as to companies, was completed on the 29th day of April, as follows:

HERMAN G. DEPUY, Colonel
FREEMAN E. FRANKLIN, Lieut. Colonel.
HENRY F. WILLSON, Major.
CHARLES A. PARK, Adjutant
BENJAMIN TAPPAN, Surgeon
SAMUEL SEXTON, Surgeon's Mate
COMPANY A. COMPANY F
Ezra W. Clark, Jr., Captain
Benjamin F. Ogle, 1st Lieut.
Charles W. Barnes, Ensign.
George M. Tillotson, Captain
Charles M. Fouke, 1st Lieut.
Everton J. Conger, Ensign
COMPANY B. COMPANY G.
William Kenney, Captain
William Delaney, 1st Lieut.
Christopher Keary, Ensign.
William E. Haynes, Captain
Edward F. Dickinson, 1st Lieut.
Creighton Thompson, Ensign.
COMPANY C. COMPANY H.
Francis W. Butterfield, Captain
Enoch W. Meriman, 1st Lieut.
David Lewis, Ensign.
William W. Starr, Captain
Chas. A. Park, 1st Lieut.
Harry C. Laundon, Ensign.
COMPANY D. COMPANY I.
Franklin Sawyer, Captain
Horace Kellogg, 1st Lieut.
Daniel C. Daggett, Ensign.
Elizur G. Johnson, Captain
Lewis Breckenridge, 1st Lieut.
Daniel W. Houghton, Ensign
COMPANY E. COMPANY K.
James E. Gregg, Captain
John Bixby, 1st Lieutenant
Wilbur F. Pierce, Captain
Henry W. Fritz, 1st Lieut.
Otis Shaw, Jr., Ensign.


     All of these companies appeared exceedingly well;  the men were well built, well sized, and the average age was about twenty-three years; they were all drawn from active pursuits of life of good character and habits, in prime health, but generally ignorant of drill, military discipline and the duties of a soldier, and were all burning with patriotism, and eager to avenge to insulted FLAG.
     These companies, the men of which were entire strangers to each other, were crowded together in the barracks of Camp Taylor, then in command of Gen. JABEZ W. FITCH.  Some four thousand other troops were also quartered here, among them the Seventh Ohio.  The men were, however, tolerably well quartered, fed at a public table, prodigiously lionized by the citizens and swarms of country cousins.  Then commenced our soldier life with a "send off" that put anything like "home sick" out of the question.
     On the 2d of May the regiment started for Camp Dennison.  The first night out the men were quartered at the barracks at Camp Jackson, Columbus, while most of the officers took lodging at the hotels in the city.
     Late next day, the 3d of May, 23 arrived at Camp Dennison in the midst of a cold, dreary rain storm and were ordered into a wheat field, on low bottom land, to camp for the night.  We were, of course, without tents of any camp equipage whatever and not one of the men had probably ever occupied quite so large a bed room as that wheat field, or slept on the ground in a rain storm.  The mud was knee deep, the wheat quite tall, and a more disconsolate set of men were never looked upon.
     Temporary shelter could be made by transporting lumber on their backs, but the men seemed disinclined to the task, and stood about shivering in most melancholy mood.  The neighborhood was reconnoitered - in force - and some old mills, storehouses, unoccupied dwellings and barns belonging to John Kugler and others were taken possession of, fires built, and the men were soon quite merry over their rations. 
     The next day details were made for the purpose of building our huts which were built according to military regulations, under the direction of Col. ROSECRANS, State Engineer.
     Regular drills were now required, camp guard detailed and military discipline attempted.  This at first was far from being realized.  The vast distance between officer and private, known to the old fuss and feather veteran was not comprehended by these "raw recruits."  The awkward salute, and the equally awkward response, the complaints of the soldiers, the criticisms of officers, the odd mistakes, the blundering commands, the tricks, the jokes of Camp Dennison were for a long time the source of endless merriment, with all parties.
     Gen. JACOB D. COX, who was in command of the camp, comprehended the situation admirably, and the while avoiding everything that appeared arbitrary and unnecessary, soon had a contented camp with very commendable submission to military discipline.
     There were some characters, however, about camp whose influence was most prejudicial, among which was one Col. DEVILLER, who professed to have been in the French service, in Algiers, as a Zouave.  He was abusive to the men, obtained possession of the arms of sentinels by trick and then had them arrested and sent to the guard house, and frequently provoked rows and broils with the men, and in some instances gave them blows.
     Soon after arriving at Camp Dennison an election of regimental officers resulted in the selection of Capt. H. G. DEPUY, Co. E, Colonel; Capt. F. E. FRANKLIN, Co. A, Lieutenant Colonel; Capt. H. F. WILLSON, Co. H, Major; Dr. BENJAMIN TAPPAN, of Steubenville, was commissioned Surgeon, and Dr. SAMUEL SEXTON, of Cincinnati, Assistant Surgeon; Rev. LYMAN N. FREEMAN, Sandusky, Chaplain; Lieut. CHARLES A. PARK, Co. H. Adjutant, and Lieut. DANIEL C. DAGGETT, Co. D, Quartermaster.
     This completed the organization of the three months regiment.  There were encamped here at this time the following regiments, viz:  the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth and Thirteenth, besides one or two batteries.  There was considerable delay in furnishing clothing and camp and garrison equipage, and guns were not issued to the three months regiments at all.  Still drills were required, and both officers and men made commendable progress in the art military.
   The troops suffered much from sickness, especially from measles, which broke out in camp and was especially virulent.
     It soon became apparent that these troops, as three months organizations, would not be ordered to the seat of war, and on the 1st day of June an order providing the plan and authority for their re-organization for three years was promulgated.

RE-ORGANIZATION FOR THREE YEARS.

     Recruiting parties were at once sent home for the purpose of filling up the companies.  Very many of the three months men were unable to enlist for three years at this time, but, it was not on account of a want of patriotism on their part.  Many of them were men who were engaged in business, which they had temporarily left, and which required their attention before they could re-enlist for three years.  Most of these men were, however, soon found severing their country with zeal and fidelity in the Army of the Union.
     All of the Companies, except Company "I," of the  Eighth, readily organized for three years and were mustered into the service by Lieut. PELOUZE, U.S.A., on the 22d and 24th days of June with the following officers:

COMPANY A.

Captain - Albert H. Winslow, New York
1st Lieut. - Benjamin F. Ogle, Tiffin, O.
2d Lieut. - Charles W. Barnes, Tiffin, O.

COMPANY B.

Captain - William Kenney, Cleveland, O.
1st Lieut. - William Delaney, Cleveland, O.
2d. Lieut. - John Lantry, Cleveland, O.

COMPANY C.

Captain - Francis W. Butterfield, Bucyrus, O.
1st Lieut. - David Lewis, Bucyrus, O.
2d Lieut. - Jacob P. Hunpung, Bucyrus, O.

COMPANY D.

*Captain - Franklin Sawyer, Norwalk, O.
1st Lieut. - Daniel C. Daggett, Norwalk, O.
2d Lieut. - Anthony S. Sutton, Norwalk, O.

COMPANY E.

Captain - James E. Gregg, Sandusky, O.
1st Lieut. - Wells W. Miller, Sandusky, O.
2d Lieut. - Alfred T. Craig, Sandusky, O.

COMPANY F.

Captain - George M. Tillotson, Fremont, O.
1st Lieut. - Charles M. Fouke, Fremont, O.
2d Lieut. - Edward W. Cook, Fremont, O.

COMPANY G.

Captain - William E Haynes, Fremont,
1st Lieut. - Edward F. Dickinson, Fremont, O.
2d Lieut. - Creighton Thompson, Fremont, O.

COMPANY H.

Captain - Ora O. Kelsee, Medina, O.
1st Lieut. - Philo W. Chase, Medina, O.
2d Lieut. - Charles A. Wright, Elyria, O.

CAPTAIN K.

Captain - Wilbur F. Pierce, Medina, O.
1st Lieut. - Henry W. Fritz, Medina, O.
2d Lieut. - Otis Shaw, Jr., Medina, O.

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*Capt. Sawyer being promoted to the Majority, Lieut. Dagget became Captain and Lieut. John Reid, 1st Lieutenant, July 8.
See Appendix for statement of Promotion and Roll of Company.
--------

     The day after the muster the Regiment proceeded to elect Regimental officers, which resulted in the choice of H. G. DEPUY for Colonel, CHARLES A. DEVILLER for Lieutenant-Colonel and CHARLES A. PARK for Major.  DEVILLIER, however, became Colonel of the Eleventh, and the organization of the Regiment was completed by the following appointments by the Governor:

Colonel - H. G. Depuy
Lieut. Colonel - Charles A. Park
Major - Franklin Sawyer
Surgeon - Benjamin Tappan
As't. Surgeon - Samuel Sexton
Chaplain - Lyman N. Freeman
Adjutant - Joseph R. Swigart,
Quartermaster - Herman Ruess.

     Company "I" joined the Regiment in September near Grafton, Virginia, with RICHARD ALLEN, Captain WILLIAM M. PEARCE, 1st Lieutenant, and AZOR H. NICKERSON, 2d Lieutenant.
     Company "B" was assigned the right of the Regiment and Company "D" the left.  These companies were armed with the Enfield rifle and were drilled for and destined to act as the skirmishers for the Regiment.  The other Companies were armed with the old smooth-bore musket.
     The Regiment had now been at Camp Dennison over two months and had acquired considerable proficiency in drill.  Even at this early period of the Regiment's existence its future grand history seemed assured, because at all times it was orderly and obedient, and was composed of excellent men who had enlisted from a sense of duty to their country.  The frequent visits of friends of the members of the Regiment and the good cheer they brought with them and an opportune visit of the Norwalk band for a few days, had a cheering effect and made the hours pass rapidly and pleasantly away.  On the 8th of July 1861, the Regiment received orders to break up camp and be in readiness to move that day.

 

 

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