WAR OF THE REBELLION.
through the winter of 1860-61, the country here as elsewhere was
in a feverish state of excitement, consequent upon the
dissatisfaction existing in many of the Southern States, and
their avowed intention of secession. Such action, when
carried to its logical conclusion could only end in civil war;
consequently, the minds of the people were in some degree
prepared for the intelligence that Fort Sumter had been fired
upon, and that war had actually begun.
Sunday, April, 1861, was a dark day, as the wires told
of the bombardment of Sumter by the rebel forces under
Beauregard, and the final surrender of Major Anderson and
the brave men under his command. The attack startled
and alarmed the people like the ringing of fire-bells in the
night. Monday morning brought the news of President
Lincoln's Proclamation for volunteers; and soon after came
word of the firing on the Sixth Massachusetts, as it was
marching through Baltimore, on its way to defend the beleaguered
National Capital, and the death of two or three of its men.
"Handle the bodies tenderly," telegraphed Governor Andrew;
"Give them every needful care and attention, and all expenses
will be paid by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." These
words were read out at New Lexington as well as in almost every
other telegraph office in the land, and at once introduced to
the people everywhere, the great and popular war Governor of the
Lyman J. Jackson, Prosecuting Attorney of Perry
county, who had not been a supporter of President
Lincoln in the contest of the preceding year, asked and
obtained leave of Governor Dennison to enlist a
company, in compliance with the proclamation of the President.
A muster roll was made out and a meeting held at the Court House
at night. Speeches were made by Mr. Jackson and
W. H. Free, after which they signed their names to the
muster roll. Other speeches were made, and other names
secured to the roll. The next morning enlisting still went
on. Volunteers began to flock in from Somerset, Straitsville,
and other parts of the county. Meetings were held at the
Court House almost every day and night. Judge Whitman,
of Lancaster, came over and made a memorable two hours speech at
the Court House, urging the right and necessity of maintaining
the integrity of the Union at every hazard and to the last
In a few days, the roll of the military company was
full, and the enlisted men assembled at New Lexington and
elected Lyman J. Jackson, Captain; Wm. H. Free,
First Lieutenant, and Benjamin S. Shirley, Second
Lieutenant. The company after organization, remained at
New Lexington several days; the men were constantly drilled by
[Page 107] -
Captain and Lieutenants, and other persons. A large
quantity of red flannel was purchased, and a shirt made for each
man of the company. The ladies met at the Court House, and
with shears, needles, thimbles, and sewing machines, soon had
all the garments completed. These, when donned by the
boys, and worn without coats or vests, made quite a striking
uniform. The weather was warm, and the company was
drilled, dressed in this style, and, when off duty, the boys
walked about the streets, or stood in groups, clad in the same
novel and picturesque costume. The sound of the fife and
drum was almost incessant, and the very air appeared to be full
of the pomp, grandeur and circumstance, if not the woes and
horrors of war. The town was full of people from the
country, mostly the friends and relatives of the volunteers.
One Sunday was spent in New Lexington after organization.
It was passed in drill and warlike preparations, very much the
same as other days, with the exception that on the green, in
front of the M. E. Church, at the regular hour of service.
Rev. L. F. Drake preached to the soldiers and people from
the text: "In the name of the Lord we will raise up our
banners." A copy of the New Testament was here presented
to each member of the military company. Take it all in
all, this was the strangest and most memorable Sabbath ever
spent in the town.
Captain Jackson's company was ordered to
report at Camp Anderson, Lancaster, Ohio, at which place it was
mustered into the service for three months, as Company E of the
Seventeenth O. V. I. A very large crowd was present at the depot
when the boys left for Lancaster, and the scene was truly a
memorable one. The boys gave a long, continued cheer, as
the cars moved away. The regiment was soon after ordered
to join the forces under General McClellan, then
operating in Western Virginia." The members of Company E
first stepped upon the "sacred soil" at Benwood, opposite
Bellaire, and were successively stationed at Clarksburg,
Grafton, Buckhannon, and other neighboring towns; and barely
escaped being in the battle of Rich Mountain. Just before
this battle. General McClellan called for
the Seventeenth Ohio, but the regiment had been divided and
separated, and when that fact was reported to him, he ordered
the Nineteenth Ohio in its place, which regiment was engaged in
the battle. Company E participated in a number reconnoissances,
and a memorable expedition to Ravenswood. The company, in
connection with others of the Seventeenth, was engaged in
breaking up rebel camps and recruiting stations, and driving
recruiting officers out of that part of Virginia. In this
way it did good service. They were in a number of
skirmishes, and on one occasion encountered a force under O.
Jennings Wise, son of Governor Wise,
and worsted it. Young Wise was glad to get
away. On one of these scouting expeditions.
Lieutenant Free and a detachmǝnt
captured a number of influential and active rebels who were
taken to Camp Chase under Free's charge, and consigned to
the military prison there. In a number of ways, these
three months men did effective service. At the expiration
of about four months, instead of three, as enlisted for, the
Seventeenth regiment was withdrawn from the field, and mustered
out at Camp Goddard, Muskingum county. These raw troops
returned to their homes bronzed, fatigued, and almost worn out
[Page 108] -
service; but no deaths or casualties occurred in the company
from Perry county. A majority of the company soon after
enlisted in three year regiments, and served in all parts of the
country, where the war waged. The men of the old original
Company E are dead or widely sundered now. Of the hundred
men or over, who marched down the hill to the depot on that
April day in 1861, probably less than a dozen could now be
mustered together in Perry county. The living are widely
scattered, but many are dead, and their graves are about as
widely separated as the abodes of the living.
The following is a correct copy of the muster roll of
|Henry L. Harbaugh,
William R. Hays.
Adams, John, Jr.;
Baisore, John D.;
Berkey, George W.;
Carroll, James R.;
Colborn, James P.;
Colborn, John H.;
Colborn, Sylvester C.;
Cooksey, Obed S.;
Curran, Patrick F.;
Denny, Robert H.;
Dolan, James T.;
Doughty, John W.;
Drury, Henry B.;
Freeman, John W.;
Hickman, Thomas N.;
Hickman, R. Fletcher;
Jackson, William S.;
Lidey, J. Warren;
Lucas, Peter P.;
Larimer, Samuel B.;
Mason, Horatio N.;
Morgan, Reuben H.;
Petit, Levi L.;
Saffell, Richard C.;
Saladee, John W.;
Spencer, Henry W.;
Studer, William A.
Whipps, Andrew J.;
Williams, Columbus L.;
Wright, Francis M.
THIRTY-FIRST O. V. I.
- When President
Lincoln issued his first call for volunteers for three years
or during the war, John W. Free of New Lexington was
doing business at Straitsville, and had been elected Captain of
an independent Military company, organized at that place under
the laws of Ohio. He promptly asked and obtained leave to
raise a company for the three years' service, went at once to
work, and in a few days had his muster roll full and running
over. A majority of the members of the home military
company enlisted, embracing nearly halv of the three years'
company as enrolled for the war. The celebrity with which
this body of brave men was enlisted for the service,
[Page 109] -
is almost incredible. Not many persons knew the fact that
Mr. Free was authorized to raise a company, until it was
announced that it was full. The men were enlisted
principally in Saltlick, but Monroe, Pike and Monday Creek
townships also contributed. It should be remembered, too,
that the company was raised just after the Bull Run disaster,
when the whole country was depressed and it was known that
enlisting for the war meant business, and that of the most
serious nature. Captain Free came up home on
Saturday evening, announced that the ranks were full, the
enlistment roll completed, and that his men would be in New
Lexington the ensuing Tuesday morning to take the cars for Camp
Chase, Columbus, for active service. That a full company,
for so long a term of service could be raised in so short a
time, it was almost impossible to believe; and many, no doubt,
were impressed with they idea that matters were exaggerated.
But the sequel proved that everything reported was solid fact.
Many of the people of New Lexington knew nothing of the
enlistment of the company, and those who did know something of
it, were wholly unprepared to witness such a demonstration as
About ten o'clock in the forenoon, a great cloud of
dust was seen to rise in McClellan's lane, about a mile
south of town. It was produced by the members of
Captain Free's company and their friends, in buggies,
expresses, carriages, wagons, on horseback and afoot, preceded
by a good martial band, altogether making a procession of nearly
two miles in length. In many cases, not only fathers and
brothers, but mothers, sisters, cousins and sweethearts
accompanied accompanied the boys to this place. As the
imposing and altogether unprecedented procession moved into
town, windows, doors, balconies and sidewalks were filled with
spectators, handkerchiefs and flags were waved, and cheer upon
cheer was given for the Union and the starry banner that
symbolized it. Just such demonstration the town never saw
before or since, and probably never will begin. When the
volunteers got aboard the cars, there were many tearful words
and sad farewells, as well as many a jovial laugh and cheerful,
kind goodby. As the train slowly moved away, from the
platforms and car windows came a half tremulous yet loud and
exultant cheer, that will linger long in the memory of those who
heard it. Many of those brave boys never saw home or
friends again; and of those who did on furlough of some kind,
many died afterward in hospitals, on the march, in their tents,
or amid the awful carnage and surroundings of the battle field.
Many of them repose in unknown graves. Captain J. W.
Free's company reported promptly at Camp Chase, and was at
once assigned as Company A of the Thirty-First Ohio.
A few days later, and early in September, 1861, W.
H. Free, who had just been mustered out of the three months'
service, obtained authority to enlist a company of three years'
men, and in a week or two he reported at Camp Chase, with his
command full, and his company was assigned as Company D of the
Thirty-first. Oliver Eckles of New Lexington, was
commissioned as First Lieutenant.
This company was recruited principally in Pike,
Saltlick, Monroe and Clayton townships, in Perry county. A
few of the men were from over the border in Athens and Hocking
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Before the three months' troops had been mustered out, Henry
Harper of Somerset had enlisted part of a company for the
three years' service; but when Captain Jackson, of the
three months' company, reached home, Harper gave way to
Jackson who, assisted by Lieutenant Henry C. Greiner
and James W. Martin, filled up the company, which
came to New Lexington and took the cars for Camp Chase, where it
was assigned as Company G of the Thirty-first.
On the 21st of September, the regiment was ordered to
the field. Companies A and B had been previously detailed
for duty at Gallipolis, Ohio, but they were also ordered to join
the main body of the regiment at Cincinnati, from which place it
soon after went to Camp Dick Robinson, in Kentucky, where it
remained several months, preparing by drill and discipline for
more active and dangerous service. The regiment was
ordered to Mill Springs, to assist Gen. Thomas;
but the roads were very bad, the rivers were swollen, and it
failed to reach Thomas in season to participate in the
battle fought at that place. After this the Thirty-First went
down the Ohio and up the Cumberland river to Nashville,
Tennessee, where it was among the first Union troops to march
into that city. It then moved southward with Buell's
army, and the boys trod the bloody field of Shiloh; but the
fight was over and the rebel troops in full retreat.
The Thirty-First was engaged in various service
in Tennessee and Alabama, until the race between Buell and
for the North opened, when the regiment marched through
Murfreesboro northward to the Ohio river at Louisville. From
this point the regiment again turned its steps southward. At the
battle of Perryville, the division to which it belonged was
partially under fire, and could plainly see the bursting shells
and hear the awful roar of battle, and stood anxiously waiting
the order to advance into the fight. But the order never came.
This was perhaps one of the most trying hours the boys of the
regiment ever experienced.
The Thirty-First was actively engaged at Stone
River, but the enemy on this part of the field gave way
before a bayonet charge, and there were no severe losses. The
regiment was next engaged at Hoovers Gap, where it behaved
splendidly and assisted in driving the rebels from a strong
position. Chickamauga came not long after, and the Thirty-First
was sharply engaged on both days, and suffered severely,
especially on the first day of the fight. Company A was
fearfully depleted. The other companies from Perry suffered
almost as much. A battery that had been captured by the rebels,
was recaptured by a detachment of the Thirty-First Ohio, led by
Captain W. H. Free. On the second day of Chickamauga, after the
disastrous rout and disorganization of most of the Federal army,
many of the Perry and Fairfield boys, members of the
Seventeenth and Thirty-First, kept together, as well as they
could, and when orders were given by General Thomas, commander
of the army of the Cumberland, to which they belonged, to form a
second line of battle, and throw up temporary breast-works, they
joined heartily in the movement. Captain J. W. Stinchcomb, born
and brought up in Thorn township. Perry county, but in command
of a Fairfield county company, was very active and conspicuous
in the formation of this famous second line of battle. So much
so. in fact, that he is men-
[Page 111] -
tioned by General Thomas in the official report of the battle. His loud hoarse voice was heard above the din, rallying the
scattered soldiers, and his stalwart form almost tottered
beneath an incredible load of rails. A private soldier of the
Thirty-First facetiously remarked that he "never had the most
distant idea how many rails were a load for a man, until he saw
'Jim' Stinchcomb in the business at Chickamauga."
B. Walker, of the Thirty-First, was under arrest that day, and
without a sword, in consequence of some red tape disobedience;
but when the army was disorganized he appeared to have as much
command as anybody, and worked bravely and effectively for the establishment of the second line of battle. The successful
forming and holding of this second line was what saved the
remnant of Rosecrans' army Chattanooga and all south of the
Ohio. Had that line been given up, and Thomas' army defeated,
the seat of war would have been transferred from the South to
the States north of the Ohio. Thousands of soldiers, of course,
formed on this famous second line, but the author only attempts
to sketch the part taken by a group of Perry soldiers and those
acting directly with them. Longstreet's men who, only a little
over two months before, had fought so bravely in a vain endeavor
to storm the heights at Gettysburg, made charge after charge
upon the line here, and several times appeared to be on the
verge of driving the "Boys in Blue" back; but at short range
they received such a deadly fire as no troops on earth could
withstand. The side of the hill was strewn thick with the dead,
wounded and dying. General Longstreet has lately said that when
this assault failed, the Confederate cause was about the same as
lost. No Union soldier who witnessed or encountered the charge
of Longstreet's men on this memorable Sabbath afternoon, ever
had or expressed any doubts of their heroism. The Federal soldiers after the rout, and retreat of several miles, had
become desperately cool, and the deadly volleys they fired into
the approaching columns of the foe, were among the most
fearfully destructive of the whole war. As night drew on, and
Longstreet's command failed to take the ridge, the dream of
invading the North forever vanished from the minds of the
Two young neighbor boys, members of Company A,
not fully comprehending the reason for rapidly retreating to a
better position, and vexed and crying at the condition of
affairs, declared that they did not go to war to run this was
and that they would not run from those men any longer. In spite
of all remonstrances they lingered behind, loading and firing at
the advancing foe, until they were shot down, at the same time. Their two graves, with head-boards giving their names, name of
Company and number of regiment, to which they belonged, situated
some distance from any other graves, have been seen by more than
one traveler and newspaper correspondent. Their remains were
afterward disinterred and transferred to a national cemetery.
Soon after Chickamauga came Mission Ridge. The
Thirty-First Ohio was one of the first regiments to ascend this
eminence, in advance of order by the Commanding General. The
firing was heavy and continuous, but the boys pushed up the
hill; the rebels first overshot and then became panic stricken,
and the loss was not severe. It is well to remember that
the successful battle of Mission Ridge was fought and
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gained without orders, and the credit or discredit of it belongs
properly to the enlisted soldiers and line officers.
Soon after Mission Ridge the Thirty-First re-enlisted
and came home on veteran furlongh. The reception of
the Perry county Companies will not soon be forgotten. A
telegram from Columbus gave the time they would arrive.
Colonel M. B. Walker, of Findlay, Ohio, wishing, as he said,
to visit the county that furnished more men for his regiment
came home to New Legington with the boys. The
National and Regimental colors were in the hands of soldiers
from Perry, and the flags also came along. Hundreds of
people assembled at the depot, short as the notice had been.
The veterans at once formed, and preceded by a band of martial
music, and the color-bearers holding aloft the torn and tattered
flags, marched up the hill and into the Court House, where a
reception speech was made by Judge R. F. Hickman.
Colonel Walker responded on behalf of the veterans in a
thrilling and eloquent speech. The Court House was full to
overflowing, and altogether it was a very memorable occasion.
The soldiers then broke ranks for a bountiful supper that had
been prepared for them by the ladies of New Lexington. For
thirty days the veterans had a good time at home, where the
regiment received about as many recruits as it had veteran
When the regiment returned to the field, with ranks
well filled up, it almost immediately entered upon service in
the Atlanta campaign under the general direction of General
Sherman. In a few days after reaching the front it was
in the assault upon Resaca and encountered serious losses.
The regiment subsequently took part in all the important battles
of the Atlanta campaign, with the single exception of Jonesboro.
When Atlanta was gained the regiment marched into
Alabama in pursuit of Hood, but the chase was given up
and the National troops returned to Atlanta.
On the 16tgh of November, 1864, the Thirty-first left
Atlanta and started with Sherman on his "March to the
Sea." It participated in the many vicissitudes of this
grand march and the campaign up through the Carolinas.
After the surrender of Lee and Johnson it marched with the main
army to Richmond and then to Washington City, where it took part
in the general review. After this it was transferred to
Louisville, Kentucky, where it was mustered out, July 20th,
1865. The the regiment was at once sent to Camp
Chase, Ohio, and the men paid and discharged.
The Perry soldiers of the Thirty-first O. V. I. have a
military record of which they, their friends, and the
county may be justly proud. The names of Stone River, Hoover's
Gap, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Resaca, Atlanta, Kenesaw, and
numerous other battles, tell the story of the conflicts through
which they passed.
As previously stated, the regiment received many
recruits while at home on furlough, and the Perry companies
obtained more than their full quota. Company A,
especially, had been fearfully decimated in the service, and
came home on veteran furlough with thin ranks. This
Company received many
recruits, but they were mostly boys, many of whom were not over
thirteen or fourteen years of age, and several of
[Page 113] -
them younger brothers or sons of men who had died in the
service. Company A received about thirty young
recruits. When on their way to Newark to enlist the group
of young striplings looked very unlike soldiers, but when they
returned in the evening, dressed in soldier clothes, they did
not look like the same squad of boys. They were mostly
small, as well as young, and became known as the "Babies of the
Thirty-first." Members of other companies were in the
habit of twitting those of Company A about the time and trouble
they must have to wash and dress their "babies." But these
"babies" learned to fight bravely, and several of them were
killed in battle or died in hospital, and their bones
repose in Southern soil, which the sacrifice of their young
lives contributed in restoring to the dominion of the old flag.
An incident which occurred in the early part of
the war, at Camp Dick Robinson, is worthy of preservation. The
Thirty-first Regiment, at that time had a splendid band, and
Captain Bill Free and others thought they would get up a
serenade for General Sherman, Accordingly, twenty or thirty
soldiers, under the direction of Captain Free, repaired to
Headquarters and blew a melodious blast of music upon the
stillness of the night air. General Sherman was more prompt than
the serenaders anticipated, and appeared before the sweet and
captivating strains of music had ceased. "What do you want?" he
demanded. Some one timidly answered, "A speech." "A speech, a
speech!" yelled the General. "Do you think I am
and want to make a speech? Who are you, anyway?" " Soldiers of
the Thirty-first Ohio," Captain Free responded. And then, as the
Captain used to say, some idiot added, "Principally from Perry
County." "Go to your own quarters immediately," roared
Sherman, "and quit stealing Dick Robinson's rails, or
you all put in the guard-house." The serenaders unceremoniously
left quite crest-fallen.
Just about that time General Sherman was
reported crazy, and the detachment at first thought there must
be some truth in the report, whatever their opinions may have
been later. Sherman himself saw new light on the "rail" and
kindred questions before the close of the war. He also learned
to make a creditable speech, as the world knows.
THIRTIETH O. V. I. - When the late Rebellion commenced John
W. Fowler as Captain of an independent military company at
New Lexington, but at the time absent from home, and
consequently took no part in the organization of the three
months' volnnteers. However, when President
Lincoln issued the proclamation for volunteers from three
years or during the war, Captain Fowler, who in the
meantime had returned, applied for and obtained permission to
raise a company; and assisted by James Taylor and
William Massie, who were commissioned Lieutenants, went
heartily to work, and in a few weeks the company was raised, and
promptly reported at Camp Chase near Columbus, and was mustered
into the service as company d of the Thirtieth O. V. I.
Two days after the regiment was ordered to the field. On
the second of September, 1861, the regiment reached Clarksburg,
Virginia. It then marched from Charleston to Weston, and
there received its first camp equipage. September 6th, the
regiment joined the command of General Rosecrans, at
Sutton Heights. Company D, Captain Flower's,
[Page 114] -
and two other companies, were ordered to remain there and the
rest of the regiment and command marched off on other
expeditions. The detachment at Sutton was not idle.
The men were kept constantly on the alert, and were frequently
engaged in sharp conflicts with the bush-whackers. The
skirmishes were almost continual, and the force was none too
strong to hold the position. Two or three of the
detachment were killed and several wounded, while at Sutton.
On the 23d of December, the companies that had been
stationed at Sutton, joined the regiment at Fayetteville, and
went into winter quarters. In April, 1862, it broke up
winter quarters and went to Raleigh. After this the
Thirtieth, with the first brigade of General Cox's
division, fell back to Princeton, and then went into camp on
Flat Top Mountain. About the middle of August, the
regiment with Cox's division was ordered to join the army
in Eastern Virginia. The troops were conveyed in
transports to Parkersburg, there boarded the cars, passed
through the National capital and joined the army under command
of General Pope. The regiment was under fire at the
second battle of Bull Run, though not very actively engaged.
After this disaster to the National cause, and the subsequent
crossing of the Potomac by the rebel army, the regiment marched
through the city of Washington by the way of the city of
Frederick, and on toward south Mountain. At the battle of
South Mountain, which quickly followed, the division to which
the Thirtieth belonged, was among the first to be engaged.
Company D was in the hottest of the fight and suffered severely.
Five or six of the company were killed outright, and twice as
many wounded, several of whom died in a few days in consequence
of their wounds. The company was subsequently in the
hottest of the fight at Antietam, but did not meet with such
severe losses as at South Mountain. Captain Fowler
was wounded in the battle, and one private instantly killed,
being shot in the head.
After remaining a few days near the Antietam
battlefield, the Thirtieth, with the division of which it was a
part, was ordered back to West Virginia. Here it remained
until about the first of December, when the command to which it
belonged, was ordered to join the great army under General
Grant, operating with a view to the capture of Vicksburg.
It moved down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and joined the
Western Army at Young's Point, where it went into camp.
This was an unhealthy locality, and there was much sickness in
consequence, from which the Perry boys did not escape.
Captain Fowler was seriously sick for several weeks.
When the time for action had come, the Thirtieth moved down the
western banks of teh Mississippi, and crossed with the army at
Grand Gulf. During the investment of Vicksburg, the
Thirtieth participated in the preliminary battles and in several
assaults on the enemy's works and suffered considerable losses.
It was there at the surrender of the place. Soon after
this the regiment was transferred to the army at Chattanooga,
and bore an honorable part in the successful and decisive battle
of Mission Ridge.
In March, 1864, the regiment re-enlisted, and, like
other regiments, was sent home on veteran furlough, to have a
good time and fill up its thinned ranks with recruits.
Captain Fowler's company was warmly welcomed upon is arrival
at New Lexington. There was a reception
[Page 115] -
and addresses at the court house, and a supper afterwards.
After the memorable thirty days at home, and ranks greatly
strengthened by recruits, the Thirtieth boys bade friends
good-by and returned again to the front. They were in the
long and arduous Atlanta campaign, and joined in the pursuit of
Hood's forces into Alabama. In the battle of Jonesboro,
the Thirtieth lost heavily. It was one of Sherman's
regiments in the famous march through the heart of the
confederacy to the sea, and was of the attacking force that
stormed Fort McAlister. The regiment marched up through
the Carolinas and took part in the battle of Bentonville, one of
the last engagements of the civil war. Lieutenant
Benjamin Fowler and others were wounded in the battle.
The Thirtieth marched on with Sherman, up through
Virginia, including the late rebel capital, and on to Washington
D. C., where it participated in the great review. Soon
after the regiment was ordered to Louisville, Ky., and
afterwards to Little Rock, Arkansas. On the thirteenth of
August it was ordered to Columbus, Ohio, where the men were paid
and discharged on the 22d of the same month. The regiment
was in the service about four years, and it is estimated that,
during its term of service, it traveled a distance of thirteen
Lieutenant W. S. Hatcher of Company D in this
regiment, had some remarkable episodes in his military life.
He was captured in the neighborhood of Vicksburg, early in 1863,
and with others forwarded to richmond, and placed in the
celebrated Libby prison. He had not been there long until,
as he states, a fellow prisoner came rushing down stairs and
inquired: "Where is the man from New Lexington, Perry
county, Ohio?" Hatcher said he was the man, and the
interrogator announced that his name was Henry Spencer,
and he was born and brought up in Somerset, Perry county.
Of course they shook hands heartily, and could talk over.
They had never seen each other before, but their fathers were
acquainted; they came from the same county, and could talk over
familiar things. This Spencer was Captain in a
Wisconsin regiment. He was a son of E. A. Spencer,
formerly of Somerset, and State Senator in 1855-56.
Hatcher and Spencer both remained in Libby for
several months in the year 1863. They were both singers,
and when the inmates of Libby learned by the colored grapevine,
that Vicksburg had fallen and Gettysburg was won, they were of
those who crowded around the prison windows, and roared out in
song, under the lead of Chaplain McCabe of Delaware,
Ohio, Mrs. Howe's glorious Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Hatcher and Spencer afterward, with other
officers, were sent to Charleston, South Carolina, and placed
under the fire of the bombarding fleet, in retaliation for
something done on the Federal side, alleged to be in
controvention of the laws of war. when this confinement
and exposure was over, they were put on the cars to be removed
to Salisbury or Andersonville, as they supposed.
Hatcher, Spencer and three other officers, determined to
make an effort to escape. They were being transported in
box cars, and were not running at a very high rate of speed, and
it was after dark. At an agreed signal, Hatcher and
comrades pushed aside the guards and jumped out. The shots
of the guards hurt no one, and the whole five escaped, with only
slight bruises, while the train passed on. The five
escaped men moved off at a rapid pace. They had to flank a
[Page 116] -
ing, some time in the night, and Hatcher and two comrades
went to the right of it, and the two others to the left; they
were to come together after the house was safely passed.
The two parties failed to meet as expected, and they did not
dare to make any outcry. After waiting and searching
around for some considerable time, with no success, Hatcher
and party resumed their journey.
They had a weary, painful tramp of about forty days.
They walked at night and secreted themselves in daytime.
They lived on corn from the fields, or walked into the negro
cabins in the night session and got corn bread and bacon.
They hesitated, at first, but hunger drove them and they walked
boldly and trustingly into negro quarters, and were never
betrayed. On one occasion they were delayed in finding a
good hiding place, and were seen by a white man, a little after
daybreak. They hurried on and concealed themselves the
best they could. It was not long until they heard a
commotion, and saw armed men riding about in search of them.
Some of the men and dogs came uncomfortably near, but the boys
were not discovered. When Hatcher and comrades
reached the Tennessee river, they knew not what to do, and were
almost in despair. There were no boats available, and
their negro aids were also disheartened at the prospects.
Finally, a negro came who thought he could procure a boat some
distance away. The fellow run a great risk. He had
to take it clandestinely, and return it before daybreak.
The boat was secured, and, in company with four or five blacks,
the three weary, half-starved men crossed to the northern side.
Standing on the northern bank of the river, the boys began to
feel that they would once more reach the Union lines and see
"God's country." They shook hands with their black
deliverers and bade them good by. They told them that they
had no money or anything else to give them; even the brass
buttons from their oats had been presented, one by one, to other
negroes, until all were gone. The colored men said they
did not expect or want anything, and were glad to be able to
help the soldiers on their way North. But the boys had no
reached a part of the country much infested by rebel guerillas,
and where numerous Union prisoners, almost "Out of the jaws of
death and the gates of Hell," had been recaptured and taken back
to prison. The weary, discouraged boys once more had
recourse to the blacks. Seeing an intelligent looking
negro, one of the party accosted him and asked how he thought
they might reach the Union lines. "Yes, massa, I can take yous
to whare there is a Company of cavalry.' "That is just
what we do not want to find," was the quick reply. "But
dey is Union cavalry," persisted the darkey - "white
Southern men." No came the most anxious consultation of
the long trip. At last it was decided to trust the negro
and go with him to the camp of the "Union Cavalry." They
found the cavalry just as reported. They were citizens of
Northern Georgia, who adhered to the Union. The Commander,
with a number of his men, escorted Hatcher and companions
to the Union lines.
Their two comrades, from whom they became separated the
first night of the long tramp, came in the next day, about
thirty miles farther down the line. The two parties had
only been from twenty to thirty miles apart all the way through,
but heard and knew nothing of each other, until they reached the
[Page 117] -
SIXTY-SECOND O. V. I. -
The Sixty-Second Regiment recruited more men from Perry than any
other one in the service, unless possibly the Thirty-First.
There were three distinct companies from this county and two
other companies ol the regiment were composed of men about half
of whom were from this county. Captain A. M. Poundstone
resigned his position as Superintendent of the New Lexington
schools, - and, in connection with Lieutenants Harry S.
Harbaugh, of Saltlick, and Samuel B. Larimer, of
Mondaycreek township, recruited Company C of the regiment.
The enlisted men of the company came chiefly from Pike,
Saltlick, Mondaycreek and Clayton townships.
Company D was recruited principally in Reading
township, by Captain B. A. Thomas, assisted by the
Lieutenants. Company H was raised by Captain N. D.
Hufford and Lieutenants, the most of the men probably coming
from Saltlick, but several other townships also contributed men.
A few of the men were enlisted over the border, in Hocking
county. Company A was recruited by Captain Edwards,
of Roseville, Muskingum county, and the Perry county portion of
its men came principally from Harrison, Clayton and Bearfield
townships. The Lieutenants were probably from Perry.
The Perry men in Company K were recruited mostly in Pike,
Clayton, Jackson and Mondaycreek townships, by Lieutenant
The Sixty-Second rendezvoused at Camp Goddard, near
Zanesville, and was there organized and mustered into service in
November, 1861. The regiment remained in camp drilling and
waiting until January, 1862, at which time it was ordered to
report to General Rosecrans, commanding a body of
troops in Western Virginia. It was not long in responding
to the order, and was soon in actual service at the front.
The regiment supported a battery in the first battle of
Winchester, in which engagement Stonewall Jackson's
men were worsted. Afterwards for months the Sixty-Second
marched and counter-marched through Western and Northern
Virginia. It was near at hand at the battle of Port
Republic, but not actively engaged.
The last of June, 1862, the Sixty-Second was ordered to
join General McClellan's defeated army, at
Harrison's Landing, which it did, going by way of Fortress
Monroe. In August, it was in the retreat down the
peninsula to Yorktown. In January, 1863, the regiment was
sent first to Beaufort, and then to Newberne, North Carolina.
Afterward to Port Ro3'al, South Carolina, where it lay in camp
at Helena Island. Folly Island and then at Morris Island.
July 18th, 1863, came the ill-advised, desperate and
bloody assault upon Fort Wagner. In the unavailing and
disastrous charge, the regiment lost one hundred and fifty men,
in killed, wounded and prisoners.
A few facts in connection with the death of an enlisted
soldier, kill- ed in this charge, is worthy of relation here.
Henry Sands, of New Lexington, was an educated and
accomplished young man from the north of Ireland, who marrying
here, left a wife and one child to risk his life for his adopted
country. His letters, published in the Perry County Weekly
at the time, and giving an interesting and graphic picture of
the doings of the regiment up to the date of his death, were
read by many who will read this sketch of the Sixty-Second.
The pictures, keepsakes, memorandas and other writings, found in
his pockets, touch-
[Page 118] -
ed the hearts of the rebel soldiers, and under a flag of truce,
these things were given into the keeping of the comrades of the
dead soldier, to be sent to his bereaved family. But the
dead body of the young patriot was buried in a trench with many
others, on the spot where they met their heroic death.
In January, 1864, the Sixty-Second, having re-enlisted,
came home on veteran furlough. The writer witnessed the
arrival of the regiment at Zanesville amid the welcome plaudits
of assembled thousands. With the steady, systematic tread
of veterans, the regiment marched up Market and down Main
streets to a point opposite the court house, where reception
speeches and responses were made. After these ceremonies
were over, a public dinner was given the returned veterans.
The Perry county companies were to reach New Lexington about 4
p. m., where reception ceremonies were to take place at the
court house and afterward a public supper. But the moving
of the train was for some cause delayed, and it was nearly
midnight when the cars reached New Lexington. At four
o'clock, and for hours thereafter, the neighhood of the
depot was crowded with an expectant throng of people; but as the
train did not come, and there was no news from it, the large
assemblage dwindled away, and not a great many were present to
receive the returning braves. But the court house was
quickly lighted up, the bell rang, the drums beat, and before
the veterans had marched up the hill from the depot, the court
house was nearly filled with people. Dr. F. L. Flowers
made the reception speech and Quartermaster Craven W. Clowe
responded in behalf of the soldiers. After this came the
When the veteran furlough expired the regiment was
ordered to Washington City, and next to the front, near
Petersburg, Virginia. During the summer of 1864 the regiment was
almost constantly under fire, participated in frequent
engagements and general battles, and nearly always suffered
Deep Bottom was a conflict that does not stand out very
conspicuously in the Nation's annals, but it was a place of
serious import to the Sixty-second Ohio and to friends at home.
Many of the brave sons of Perry were there laid low. The
action was at first a successful advance, then it was not
supported as intended, and the Union soldiers were compelled to
fall back under a murderous fire. How much of it was bad
generalship, and how much the unavoidable fortune of war, will
probably never be known. A soldier just from the burial of
his dead comrades at Deep Bottom, surrounded by the wives,
mothers, and children of those so lately killed in battle, was
one of the most distressing scenes in Perry county during the
war. After the sorrowing friends had withdrawn some one
ventured to inquire of the soldier if he thought "they could
take Richmond." "Take it; I guess we will! Its a
hard road to travel; but we'll go there." This remark
illustrated the spirit of the soldiery and the times.
In the spring of 1865 the Sixty-second participated in
the unsuccessful assault upon Petersburg. It was, also, in
the charge upon Fort Gregg, where the regiment suffered
severelly. It was, also, a participant in the engagement
at Appomattox Court-house, the last conflict between the veteran
troops of Lee and the National forces.
About the last of August, 1865, the Sixty-second was
[Page 119] -
with the Sixty-seventh, and the consolidated regiment was
mustered out of service in December, 1865, the Perry veterans
being in the service a little more than four years.
The Sixty-second can bear upon its banners, Winchester,
Morris Island, Fort Wagner, Deep Bottom, Petersburg, Fort Gregg,
Appomattox Court house, and numerous other engagements, named
and unnamed, along the lines in front of the Rebel capital
during the last year of the war.
NINETIETH O. V. I. —
The organization of this regiment was completed at Circleville,
Ohio, in July, 1862, under the auspices of the military
committees of Perry, Fairfield, Hocking, Vinton, Pickaway, and
Fayette counties. Company H of this regiment came from Perry
county. It was enlisted by Captain N. F. Hitchcock
and Lieutenants Feeman and Selby. The men of
which it was composed came, nearly all, from the townships of
Monday Creek, Pike, Reading, Hopewell, Thorn and Madison.
The regiment was completed and mustered into service August
28th, 1862. The next day it was on its way to the seat of
war, and reported without delay to the commanding officer at
Lexington, Kentucky. Soon after the regiment joined
Buell's army and entered upon a forced march through heat
and dust, and almost without water fit to drink, which was very
hard upon new recruits. The regiment had a little rest at
Louisville, and then followed after Bragg southward
through Kentucky. It was near the battle of Perryville,
but through some mistake the division to which it belonged was
not ordered into action.
After the battle of Perryville the Ninetieth did much
marching and counter-marching through Kentucky and Tennessee,
often skirmishing with the enemy, and at one time taking over
two hundred prisoners. In November, 1862, the regiment
went into camp near Nashville, Tennessee. In the latter
part of December it moved with the main army in the direction of
Murfreesboro. On the morning of the 31st of December, the
first day of the Stone River fight, the Ninetieth became hotly
engaged and behaved very gallantly, but the Federal forces were
overpowered and obliged to fall back. The Ninetieth in
this, its first engagement, suffered a loss of one hundred and
thirty men in killed, wounded and missing. The regiment
was also in the second day's fight, but fortunately the loss was
not heavy On the same day it occupied the hill on which
was massed the forty pieces of artillery which drove the last
considerable body of the rebel forces over Stone River.
The Ninetieth lay in camp near Murfreesboro until about the last
of June. When General Rosecrans again moved
in the direction of the enemy, the regiment did its full share
of hard marching that resulted in flanking the rebel army out of
Tennessee. It was engaged both days at the sanguinary
battle of Chickamauga, and lost about ninety men in killed,
wounded and missing. The regiment was engaged in various
scouting duties, building fortifications, guarding rebel
prisoners, etc., until the commencement of the Atlanta campaign.
For over one hundred days, and throughout this harassing and
eventful campaign, the Ninetieth was constantly on duty and
participated in nearly all the important battles which
eventually resulted in the fall of Atlanta. This
[Page 120] -
regiment, unlike most of the others made up in part of Perry
county men, instead of going with Sherman on the march to
the sea, was left with the National forces which were to look
after General Hood, and the safety of Nashville and the
North. The regiment returned almost over the very ground
gone over during the advance toward Atlanta. It was
engaged in the battle of Franklin, one of the fiercest and most
desperate struggles of the war. The Ninetieth was also in
the sanguinary and decisive battle of Nashville, where
General Thomas and the brave men who composed his command,
gave Hood and his forces the fearful staggering blow that
not only badly defeated, but almost annihilated his army, thus
saving Ohio and Indiana from imminent peril, and making
Sherman's march to the sea a brilliant success, which
otherwise might have been of no advantage, if not a general
disaster to the Union cause. After the defeat of Hood
the Ninetieth followed in pursuit as far as the Tennessee River.
After this regiment was successively encamped at Huntsville,
Alabama, and Nashville, Tennessee, until the collapse of the
Southern Confederacy in the surrender of Lee and
Johnson, and the close of the terrible civil war. The
regiment was ordered to Ohio and mustered out at Camp Chase.
HUNDRED AND FOURTEENTH O. V. I. - This
regiment was organized at Camp Circleville, in August, 1862, and
came from the counties of Perry, Fairfield, Pickaway, Fayette,
Hocking and Vinton. Companies G and I were enlisted in
Perry county. Company G was raised by Captain Ephraim
Brown and Lieutenants Hiram Thomas and others.
The men composing this company were chiefly from Pike, Monday
Creek and Jackson townships. Company I was raised by
Captain L. F. Muzzy and Lieutenants J. D. Coulson and
W. H. Goodin, the men coming principally from Pike,
Reading, Clayton, Hopewell and Madison townships.
The regiment was mustered into service September 11th,
1862, and remained at Camp Circleville until about the 20th of
September following, when it marched across the country to
Chillicothe, and there took the cars for Marietta, at which
latter place it was stationed until the first of December, 1862,
in the mean while occupied in drilling and taking other lessons
in the science of war.
In the latter part of December, the regiment started on
transports down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to Memphis,
Tenn. Soon after it joined Sherman's army in the
first expidition against Vicksburg. The regiment
landed at Chickasaw Bluffs, and was soon hotly engaged in the
battle that ensued at this point, losing several men in killed
and wounded. The assault was unsuccessful: the Federal troops
were repulsed and ordered aboard the boats. Returning from
Chickasaw Bluffs, and no longer menacing Vicksburg, the army
moved up the river and on up to Arkansas Post. A landing
was there effected, the Post attacked, and after a brief but
sharp engagement, it surrendered. After the reduction of
Arkansas Post, the regiment was ordered to Young's Point,
Louisiana, and went into camp at that place. This camp was
very unhealthy, and while lying there, the regiment lost about
one hundred men from malarial diseases. In March, 1862, a
removal was made
[Page 121] -
to Milliken's Bend, and the regiment remained in camp there
until General Grant ordered the movement against
The One Hundred and Fourteenth was in all this
campaign, and participated in the battles of Thompson's Hill,
Champion Hill, Black River Bridge, and the long, painful siege
of the beleagured city. The regiment lost a number
of men at Thompson's Hill, Black River Bridge, and in the charge
at Vicksburg, on the 22dof May. During the siege,
Colonel Cradlebaugh, the regimental commander, was
very severely wounded.
After the fall of Vicksburg, July 4th, 1863, the One
Hundred and Fourteenth marched and countermarched, or moved by
rail on a number of minor expeditions into the State of
Louisiana. In November, 1863, the regiment embarked at New
Orleans and sailed across the Gulf to Texas. This proved
to be a somewhat stormy voyage, and most of the men soon became
very sea-sick. Captain Ephraim Brown of New
Lexington, felt so well on the water for a while, that he was
disposed to make a little sport of his comrades for collapsing
so easily; he declared the sensation was just "splendid," and
strikingly reminded him of riding over a cornfield at home on a
load of hay. It is enough to say that the Captain's
"riding on a load of hay," failed to hold out according to
promise, and he could not have comprehended a joke, if that
article had floated around, as plentiful as blackberries on
The regiment and accompanying troops were the first
National forces that occupied the State of Texas during the war.
It remained at different points in Texas until April, 1864, when
it re-crossed the Gulf, and formed a junction with General
Banks at Alexandria, to which point his command had
fallen back, after its disastrous expedition up the Red River
country. The One Hundred and Fourteenth joined the
National forces in the general retreat from Alexandria to
Morganza, Louisiana, on the Mississippi. This was one of
the severest and most trying marches of the war, as the
retreating forces were constantly harassed by the enemy on flank
In January 1865, the regiment was ordered to Barrancas,
Florida, from which point it participated in the investment and
capture of Mobile, the last battle of the war, for the place was
captured on the day that Lee surrendered.
John H. Kelly, of New Lexington, who was Major
of the regiment, was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and then to
Colonel of the regiment. When acting as Lieutenant
Colonel, he was frequently in command of the regiment, as
Colonel Cradlebaugh had been severely wounded at
Vicksburg, and eventually resigned. Captain V.,
M. Ogle, of New Lexington, served for a while as
Quartermaster, but resigned before the close of the war.
Rev. Theodore Stowe, also of New Lexington, served as
Chaplain, and was mustered out with the regiment.
Rev. Stowe was perhaps the most abstemious and
exacting Chaplain in the whole army. Colonel Kelly
once invited his brother officers, including the Chaplain, to a
good, sociable dinner in his tent. Colonel Kelly
being a strictly temperate man, used no stimulating liquors, but
did not taboo tobacco, and consequently the tent soon after
dinner, began to get pretty well filled with tobacco smoke.
Chaplain Stowe be-
[Page 122] -
gan to remonstrate, whereupon the Colonel took him to one side
and gently told him that the tent was his house, the officers
there were his invited guests, and he did not want him to make
remarks that might be considered offensive. The mild
looking Chaplain, raising his hand and pointing his long, bony
finger in the direetion of the tent, slowly replied:
"Colonel, I known the rag is yours, but no man has a
proprietorship in God's pure air, and it is both
ungentlemanly and wicked to pollute it." This closed the
debate, and the Chaplain retired from participating in the after
As previously stated, the Perry companies of the
regiment suffered greatly from malarious diseases while encamped
in the neighborhood of Vicksburg; and at the time the movement
upon that place was ordered, the sick men were directed to be
sent home. About twenty men of the Perry companies reached
New Lexington by special train one Sabbath morning, without any
previous announcement whatever. They were all weak and
emaciated, and had to be placed on beds and hauled up into town,
and to their several homes. Some of them were too weak to
hold up their heads. They remained at home several weeks,
and some of them months; but they nearly all finally recovered,
and rejoined their companies. The arrival of these very
sick men, in such a weak and debilitated condition, was a
distressing and pitiful sight. But even these sick men
were more fortunate than others; for many a stout, hardy son of
Perry died and was buried on the banks of the Mississippi.
HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SIXTH O. V. I. -
Company K of this regiment was enlisted in Perry county, from
the townships of Thorn, Hopewell and Madison, and chiefly from
the first named township. Captain Reuben Lampton of
Thornville, was authorized to raise the company, and enlisted
the men, though D. J. Callen, a native of the county, and
afterward a somewhat noted polititian of Mercer county,
assisted him very much. The company came to New Lexington
to take the cars, accompanied by quite a procession, headed by
the venerable Rezin Franks, and marching to the lively
strains of martial music. The company first went to
Circleville, Ohio, to be organized as a part of the Ninetieth,
but was afterward transferred to Steubenville, and became a part
of the One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth. The regiment was
mustered into service about the first of September, 1862.
It was stationed for a few weeks at Parkersburg, and afterward,
for about the same length of time, at Cumberland, Maryland.
In the spring and summer of 1863, the regiment served in West
Virginia, and suffered much from sickness. In June of this
year, the One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth was in the affair at
Martinsburg, a surprise to the Union forces, which resulted in
the capture of the place, and a victory for the enemy.
Soon after this the regiment was ordered to join the Army of the
Potomac. It was subsequently detached therefrom to go to
New York to assist in enforcing the draft. After the draft
troubles were over the regiment rejoined the Army of the
Potomac. Before the opening of Grant's campaign
against Richmond, in the spring of 1864, the One Hundred and
Twenty-Sixth was taken from the Third and placed in the Sixth
Corps, took part in every important battle from the
[Page 123] -
crossing of the Rapidan, early in May, unil the crossing of the
James, in the latter part of June, including The Wilderness,
Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor. At Spotsylvania, Captain
Reuben Lampton was instantly killed, and thus perished a
brave and generous soldier. The One Hundred and
Twenty-Sixth lost heavily in those great encounters with the
Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Lee.
In July, 1864, the regiment was detached from the Army of the
Potomac and sent into Maryland, where it fought in the battle
Monocacy, and subsequently took part in the pursuit of
General Jubal Early's Army.
In September, 1864, the One Hundred and Twenty Sixth,
with the Sixth Corps, having been ordered to join General
Sheridan's command in the Shenandoah Valley, moved
against the rebels and participated in the battle of Winchester,
losing heavily in officers and privates, killed and wounded.
Captain Williams of Madison township, was severely
wounded in this battle. The regiment was also in the
battle of Fisher's Hill. It was also engaged at Cedar
Creek, and was with the advance, when General Sheridan, a
Perry county boy, came on the ground, and turned what seemed to
be a serious disaster, into one of the most glorious and
decisive victories of the whole war.
In December, the One Hundred and Twenty--sixth, with
the whole Sixth Corps, were again transferred to the Army of the
Potomac. In April, 1865, the regiment went inwith the old
Sixth Corps, in the charge upon the Rebel fortifications.
This was an awful struggle, but at last the enemy was driven
from this entrenchments, and the fall of Richmond became
certain. The regiment was engaged in the pursuit of Lee's
army. After the surrender, the One Hundred and
Twenty-Sixth and Corps were ordered to push through to Danville,
to assist in the capture of General Johnson's army.
But when they reached Danville, Johnson had already
surrendered to General Sherman. Soon after the
surrender of the rebel armies, the One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth
marched through Richmond to Washington city, and was mustered
out in the latter part of June.
Few regiments saw more hard service and did more
fighting than the One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth.
Martinsburg, Bristow Station, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold
Harbor, Monocacy, Winchester, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek,
Petersburgh - these tell their own story, in terms more eloquent
than the tongue of orator or pen of historian. While the
memory of the terrible civil war remains, the struggles,
sufferings and heroic fighting for the flag by the Perry boys of
the One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth can never be forgotten.
SEVENTEENTH O. V. I.
The line officers from Perry county, and their friends, who had
been in the Seventeenth in the three months service, for some
reason, did not take kindly to the reorganization of the
regiment for three years, but preferred other regiments, that
were aso in course of formation. Yet the Seventeenth
contained about one company, in the agregate, of Perry
county men, enlisted by Captains Stinchcomb and
Rickets, and Lieutenants Benjamin Showers and Owen
Brown, the men coming chiefly from the townships of Thorn,
Monday-creek, Pike and Saltlick. Lieuteant Showers,
who was a citizen of New Lexington, had been a private of compang
A of the
[Page 124] -
First, O. V. I. in the three months service. As Captain
Stafford's company from Lancaster came through New
Lexington, he joined it and went to Columbus, and was with it
until mustered out, including a participation in the Bull
Run battle. He was the first soldier to leave Perry county
for the war. Captain Showers and Lieutenant
Brown were citizens of Perry, and Captain
Stinchcomb, was, also, formerly a citizen of the county.
Captain Ricketts was a citizen of Hocking, but recruited
a number of men in the neighborhood of Maxville, Perry county.
The seventeenth was organized in September, 1861, and
reported at Camp Dick Robinson, early in October. It was
soon after engaged in the battle of Wild Cat. It also
participatd at Mill Springs. It was on its way to Shiloh,
but arrived on that historic ground after the battle was over.
It afterward, with Buell's command, pursued General
Bragg through Kentucky, and was close at hand, but not
engaged in Perryville. It participated, actively, in the
battle of Stone River. It was in the thickest of teh fight
at Chickamauga, both days, and lost heavily, in killed and
wounded. It was also in the storming force at Mission
Ridge. In the latter action, when Major Butterfield
fell, mortally wounded, Captain Showers of New Lexington,
next in rank, took command of the regiment and successfully
completed the charge that Butterfield had so bravely
In the latter part of January, 1864, the Seventeenth
re-enlisted and came home to enjoy veteran furlough the
regiment, with ranks well filled, returned to its place at the
front. It was engaged at Resaca, Kenesaw, Peach Tree
Creek, and Jonesboro, the last battle of the Atlanta campaign.
Colonel Ward having resigned, Captain
Showers (now Lieutenant Colonel) assumed command of the
regiment, and led it under Sherman on the great promenade
to the Atlantic, at Savannah. The regiment was in the
campaign of the Carolinas, and took part in the battle of
Bentonville, one of the latest of the war. It then marched
through Richmond and on to Washington taking a part i the grand
review of veteran troops at that place. The regiment was
mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, in July, 1865.
Rev. James H. Gardner, who was chaplain of the
Seventeenth Ohio, more than two years, was born and brought up
in the town of Rehoboth, Perry county, and has many relatives in
the county. When the war broke out, he was in the south,
at the head of an educational institution, of some kind.
The war broke up the college, and Rev. Gardner joined a
conference, and was appointed to a circuit, a part of which was
inside of the union lines. He took the appointment with a
view of finding a way out of the Southern Confederacy. As
soon as he got inside the Union lines, he abandoned his horse
and saddle-bags, reported in the proper way, and soon among
friends and relatives in the tents of the Perry county boys of
the Thirty-First Ohio. He soon came North, spent a few
weeks and returned to the front as Chaplain of the Seventeenth
Ohio, in which position he remained until the muster out of the
Lieutenant Colonel Showers was captured in the
Atlanta campaign, but succeeded after many hardships in making
his escape from a rebel
[Page 125] -
prison, and reached the Union lines in time to lead his regiment
in the great "March to the Sea."
The distinguished bravery of Captain J. W.
Stinchcomb, of this regiment, and the leading part he took
in rallying on the second line at Chickamauga, are more fully
stated in the sketch of the Thirty-First Ohio. It is
enough to say here that he was not unnoticed by brave old
General Thomas, being handsomely mentioned in his official
report of the battle.
SIXTY-FIRST O. V. I.
- The principal part of Company G, of this
regiment, was enlisted in Perry county, the men coming mostly
from Pike, Jackson, Reading and Monroe townships. The
Company was mainly recruited by Lieutenant Young, though
Colonel S. F. McGroarty visted the county, made a number
of rallying speeches, and gave his personal efforts and
influence to the raising of the men. A brother of
Colonel McGroarty became Captain of the Company, when
The Sixty-First was organized at Camp Chase in April,
1862, and in May left the camp for Western Virginia, soon after
joining General Fremont's army, who in a short time was
succeeded by General Pope. The regiment was on hand
at Cedar Mountain, but was not actively engaged in the fight.
It was engaged at Second Bull Run, and was with the forces that
covered the retreat, along the Centerville pike, in the
direction of Washington. It was also sharply engaged at
Chantilly. It was ordered to join General Burnside,
in his operations against Fredericksburg, but before its arrival
the battle had been fought and lost. The regiment was
warmly engaged at Chancellorville, losing five men killed and a
large number wounded. The Sixty-First was of the troops
that opened the fight at Gettysburg, being thrown out as
skirmishers, met in force, and compelled to fall back in great
haste and confusion to Cemetery Hill. The regiment lost
heavily in killed, wounded and prisoners. Thomas J.
Smith, of New Lexington, Captain of the Ewing Guards, and
Commander of the troops in the "Corning War," was taken prisoner
at Gettysburg. He was then only about sixteen years old.
In September, 1863, the Sixty-First, along with the
Eleventh Corps was transferred to the Western army, under
General Grant. It left brandy Station, West Virginia.
September 26th, and arrived at Bridgeport, Alabama, Oct. 1st.
Soon after the regiment got into a fearful fight at Wauhatchie
Valley, in which action Captain McGroarty, the Commander
of the Perry County Company, was killed. It also was in
the battle of Mission Ridge, after which it was sent to the
relief of the National forces at Knoxville, Tennessee, but soon
after again rejoiced rejoined the main army.
In March, 1864, the regiment re-enlisted and came home
on veteran furlough, of thirty days; after its expiration, much
strengthened by new recruits, it returned to the front and
joined the army at Rocky Face Ridge, May 7th, and immediately
entered upon the Atlanta campaign. The regiment was
engaged at Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw, Peach Tree Creek, and in the
number of minor affairs, som eof which were serious enough to
the Sixty-First, at least. After the fall of Atlanta, the
regiment promenaded with Sherman to the sea. It was
on the campaign
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through the Carolinas, and engaged at the battle of Bentonville.
At Goldsboro, North Carolina, the Sixty-First was consolidated
with the Eighty-Second Ohio, the consolidated regiment taking
the name of the latter. The Perry county boys, with the
consolidated regiment, joined in the march through to Richmond,
and the grand review at Washington.
September, 1865, the regiment was mustered out, paid
off and discharged at Columbus, Ohio.
The Perry soldiers of the Sixty First, though not so
numerous as those of some other regiments, have a military
record unsurpassed by any. Cedar Mountain, Second Bull
Run, Chancellorville, Gettysburg, Mission Ridge, Resaca, Dallas,
Kenesaw, Peach Tree Creek, Sherman's March to the Sea,
the Campaign of the Carolinas, Bentonville and other minor
engagements tell in part the story of the trials, perils and
sacrifices of the regiment, a full history of which can never be
HUNDRED AND TWENTY-NINTH O. V. I. -
Company K, of the One Hundred and Twenty-Ninth - a six months
regiment - was enlisted in Perry county, by Captain A. D. S.
McArthur and Lieutenant James Taylor, the men coming
principally from the townships of Pike, Pleasant, Madison,
Monroe and Saltlick. The regiment was organized at Camp
Taylor, Cleveland, in August, 1863, and was promptly ordered to
active duty, and assigned to the Ninth Army Corps. The
regiment left Camp Nelson for Cumberland Gap, joining the forces
already congregated at that point, under the command of
General Burnside. Cumberland Gap was a strongly
fortified position, but when a demand was made for its surrender
by the commander of the National forces, the demand was readily
complied with, and the whole garrison fell into their hands.
The Perry soldier boys were of the opinion that the bloodless
victory was due to the strategy of General De Courcy, who
paraded his men and batteries in a circle, so as to mislead the
rebel Commander to believe that there was a very large force
investing his position. After the surrender of Cumberland
Gap, the regiment remained in the vicinity until about the first
of December, when it left and had repeated skirmishes with the
enemy. The regiment operated in East Tenessee all winter,
suffering greatly from lack of clothing, provisions and other
necessary supplies. But the Perry soldiers endured the
hardships and privations better than many of their companions.
From East Tennessee the regiment went to Camp Nelson,
Kentucky, and from there to Cleveland, Ohio, where it was
mustered out of the service in March, 1864. Like all the
other short time regiments, it will be observed that the time
for which this regiment enlisted was considerably extended.
Many of the Perry boys after reaching home, in a few days, or
weeks, enlisted in other regiments and again entered tht
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTIETH O. N. G.
- The Legislature of Ohio, at the session of 1863-64, passed a
military act providing for a home organization of the Ohio
National Guard, for the purpose of protecting the State from
actual or threatened invasion. Companies were organized under
this law with great rapidity, in nearly all the counties of the
[Page 127] -
State. In May, 1864, Governor Brough issued a
proclamation calling this large body of men into active service.
At the time of the call to the field, there were six full
companies of men organized under this statute in Perry county.
The Perry county companies were ordered into camp at Zanesville,
Ohio. They all reported promptly, on a wretchedly
inclement day, at New Lexington, and immediately took the cars
for the place of rendezvous. These companies, with a
number of others from neighboring counties, were organized into
the One Hundred and Sixtieth regiment. The Lieutenant
Colonel, D. W. D. Marsh, the Major, Henry L.
Harbaugh, the Adjutant, Robert F. Hickman, jr., and
the Chaplain, Rev. James White, were elected from the
Perry county companies. Samuel Lyons,
Andrew J. Tharp, David C. Fowler. Wm. H.
Spencer, Henry C. Greiner and George Ritchey
were the Captains; James T. McCormick, John T. Ball,
Levi Bowman, Francis M. Wright, James F.
McMahon, John H, Huston, Simeon Hansley,
Thomas J. Post, Andrew J. Whipps, Abner M. White,
William Stalter, and Austin J. Watts were
Lieutenants. These were the line officers from Perry.
The companies were all strong in numbers, and, previous to being
called out, had been duly equipped, as well as fully uniformed
in the National blue.
The regiment remained in camp at Zanesville but a few
days, when duly mustered into the service, it was soon on its
way to Harper's Ferry, the place to which it had been ordered.
It was not suffered to remain idle, but was at once sent to work
guarding supply trains along the Shenandoah Valley. These
supply trains were frequently attacked by Mosby's men and
other guerrillas, and skirmishes were at times, of almost daily
occurence. In one engagement with Mosby's
command, several men in the One Hundred and Sixtieth behaved
very gallantly. Fourteen rebels were killed in the action.
Mosby learned by dear experience, that it was no fun to
capture supply trains in charge of the One Hundred and Sixtieth
O. N. G.
The regiment was required to march and countermarch, up
and down the Shenandoah Valley, most of the time exposed to the
fire of skulking bushwhackers, and in continual apprehension of
attack by guerrillas in force. Ohio in the War
says: "That of all the Ohio National Guards, the One Hundred and
Sixtieth, probably, can show the most continued service in the
Andrew J. Wright, of New Lexington, died in his
tent at Maryland Heights. Nathan S. Kelley, also of
the same place, took sick and died at Maryland Heights. He
was the Republican nominee for County Auditor at the time, and
had he lived, would doubtless have been elected. Wright
and Kelley were both highly esteemed citizens, and the
news of their death dispelled the illusion that the "Hundred
Day's Service" was mere play. Private Marlow, of
Captain Fowler's company, was captured, and never heard
from, and probably died in a rebel prison.
On one of the trips down the Shenandoah Valley, the One
Hundred and Sixtieth brought along a number of young girls out
into "God's Country," as the soldiers were wont to call the
North. These girls did
[Page 128] -
not have a very elegant conveyance, but they got "Out of the
Wilderness" safely, nevertheless. One of these girls
afterward married a well-known citizen of New Lexington, and yet
rsides in that town.
The One Hundred and Sixtieth was mustered out and paid
off at Zanesville, September 7th, 1864, having been in the
service four months lacking three days.
The conscription of these Hundred Days men worked great
hardships in many communities. The men belonged
principally to the same localities, that had already contributed
heavily in volunteers to the three years service, and, in many
cases, there was no one left to plow the corn or save the
harvest; but women - wives, sisters and mothers of the absent
soldiers - took the farm work in hand, and pushed it with an
energy and success, that was one of the many wonderful things of
the war period.
When the men reached home, after the muster out at
Zanesville, it was easy to see that the "Hundred Years War," as
sometimes called, had been no holiday, Many of the men
were sick and disabled, and those who were not, looked fatigued
and haggard, resulting no doubt from irregular and insufficient
sleep, as well as almost continual harassments, and
apprehensions of attack, while guarding supply trains through an
enemy's country, where guerrillas and bushwhackers were almost
as thick as blackberries.
The One Hundred Days men were not volunteers in the
strictest sense; but they turned out cheerfully and promptly at
a gloomy period of the war, served their country faithfully and
well, and are justly entitled to consideration in any important
history of those eventful and perilous times.
- A historical outline has been given of the companies from
Perry county which served in the war of the Rebellion.
But, in the very nature of things, the full details of this war,
as of other wars, must forever remain unwritten. And it
should be further kept in mind, that numerous other soldiers
from Perry served in the war of 1861, who were not members of
any of the companies the history of which has been herein
sketched. There were detachments of men from Perry in the
Sixteenth, Eighteenth, Thirty-Second, Forty-Sixth,
Seventy-Fifth, Sixty-Eighth, One Hundred and Twenty-Second, and
perhaps other infantry regiments. There were also
individual soldiers from Perry in many other infantry regiments.
There were detachments of men from Perry in several of the
cavalry regiments, notably in the Ninth and Tenth, and
individual soldiers in others who enlisted form this county.
The county was also represented in the Sharp Shooters, Heavy
Artillery, and quite a strong detachment from New Lexington and
neighborhood served in the Signal Corps. It is not
possible, even were it desirable, to follow these men and their
commands through the long, weary and tortuous civil war.
Perry county furnished its share of Generals, Colonels,
Lieutenant Colonels, Majors, Adjutants, Quartermasters,
Chaplains, Surgeons, Captains, Lieutenants, and about three
thousand men in the ranks, who fought, and bled, and suffered,
on almost every battlefield and hard march of the great war.
They fought in the early battles of the war at
[Page 129] -
Bull Run, at Rich Mountain, at Wild Cat, and at Mill Springs.
Perry boys were also with the noble General Lyon at
Wilson's Creek, and afterward made that long wearisome retreat
under General Sigel to Rolla, Missouri. Perry
soldiers marched with the Regulars in McClellan's advance
up the Peninsula and participated in the series of disastrous
but bravely contested battles that surged around the rebel
capital in the summer of 1862. They fought at
Fredericksburg, at Chancellorsville, at Second Bull Run, at
South Mountain, at Antietam, and at Gettysburg. They were
engaged at Shiloh, at Perryville, at Stone River, at
Chickamauga, at Mission Ridge, at Chickasaw Bluffs, at Arkansas
Post, at Thompson's Hill, at Champion Hill, at Black River
Bridge, and in the long, wearisome siege of Vicksburg.
They fought at Rocky Face Ridge, at Dallas, at Resaca, at
Kenesaw, at Peach Tree Creek, and Jonesboro. They charged
at Fort Wagner, at the Wilderness, at Spotsylvania, at Cold
Harbor, at Deep Bottom, at Hatcher's Run, at Five Forks, at Fort
Gregg, and at Petersburg. They trod the bloody fields of
Monocacy, of Winchester, of Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek.
They Were at Franklin, at Nashville, at Bentonville, at
Appomattox, and at the capture of Mobile, the closing battle of
the war. As members of cavalry regiments, they rode and
raided with Sheridan, Stoneman, Wilson, Pleastanton and
They suffered and died, or endured incredible hardships
at Libby, Belle Isle, Andersonville, Salisbury, Lawton and other
rebel prisons. They - some of them - made their escape from
those prisons, and hiding by day, and walking by night, fed and
otherwise assisted by the faithful negroes, after toilsome days
and nights of peril, once more reached in safety the Union lines
and the starry flag. They died in battle, in camp, in
hospitals, on the march, in rebel prisons, every where, and many
of them occupy nameless and unknown graves, far distant from
home and friends, and all that they loved so well. They
cheerfully sacrificed their lives that there might be but one
country from the Lakes to the Gulf, and from Ocean to Ocean, and
that the Republic established by their fathers might live.
THE MORGAN RAID. - The celebrated John Morgan and
his troopers, in the famous raid through Indiana and Ohio, took
in Perry county on his way. He only raided through two
townships, however, coming in on the Sunday Creek road into
Monroe township, and going out in Bearfield township, near
Porterville. This was in July, 1863. It was in
consequence of Morgan's invasion of the North, that
Governor Tod ordered out the Militia of Southern Ohio.
Morgan, in his northward journey through Athens county,
appeared to be heading for New Lexington, and, in fact, he gave
out the word that he intended to visit and plunder the town.
A citizen of Vinton county, who had for a while resided at new
Lexington, followed up the raiders, mingled and talked with some
of them, and believing that they really intended to sack the
town of New Lexington, made a detour around Morgan's
command, and being splendidly mounted, urged his steed along the
ridges and valleys, and over the hills, determined to give his
friends warning of the threatened danger. The weather was
warm, the Vinton county friend had left his home in a hurry, not
dreaming of taking so long a ride, and
[Page 130] -
was minus coat, hat and shoes. Barefooted and bareheaded,
with his flowing locks streaming in the breeze, he plied the
whip, and his magnificent charger, in a foam of sweat, and with
nostrils distended, dashed furiously on. The chivalrous
rider's trousers, by the swift motion of the galloping horse,
had worked up to the knees, and leaning forward, horse and rider
might almost be mistaken for one being. They dashed into
town at the south end of Main street, and the entire length of
the street was speedily traversed, wile every few rods, in a
stentorian voice, came the terrifying words, "John Morgan
is coming! John Morgan is coming!!" The
people of the place by the daily journals, and private
telegrams, were appraised of the movements of Morgan, and
knowing that he was not far off, were prepared to believe that
he might be coming this way, and they feared that the cry of the
friendly horseman might be realized. The men of the town
were nearly all in the army. The few that remained held a
brief consultation, and two leading citizens were sent out on
the road on which Morgan was to come, instructed to
surrender the town, with the view of thereby saving a useless
destruction of life and property; as, under the circumstances,
it was agreed on all sides that no successful resistance could
be made. Money and other valuables were hastily secreted,
horses were hurried off to supposed places of safety, and
numerous persons left town and took refuge in the country.
There was anxiety, of course, but no general panic occurred, and
the most persons calmly and quietly awaited events. But
nine o'clock - ten - eleven - twelve - came, and no Morgan
and men put in an appearance, and it began to be evident that
the great raider had given New Lexington the go-by. But
many people remained up all night, and others procured horses
and sallied out to learn, if possible, what direction Morgan had
taken. It was ascertained, the next day, that when
Morgan reached the neighborhood of Sunday Creek cross-roads,
he filed square to the right, gave Millertown a visit, and then
passed on to Chapel Hill. From this place he went to
Porterville, and near this point passed out of Perry into Morgan
county. Morgan and his command camped all night on
Island Run, near Porterville. From Sunday Creek
cross-roads to New Lexington, is about the same distance as to
Island Run, where Morgan encamped, and had he not changed
his course, and possibly his original intention, New
Lexington or neighborhood might have had the doubtful honor of
entertaining him and his band over night.
The general character of Morgan's raid is well
known, and only some of the incidents that occurred in Perry
county will be related here. The stores in Millertown and
Chapel Hill were sacked, all the whisky that could be found was
confiscated, and the farce of buying and paying for a few
articles went on, while wholesale robbery and destruction
occurred without rebuke or interruption.
A plucky lady of Monroe township, who was riding along
the road, gave the raiders a piece of her mind. They
did not retaliate in words, but gently lifted the lady fom the
saddle and appropriated her horse. Dr. W. H. Holden,
of Millertown, then on a tour of visits to his patients, was
promptly relieved of his horse, but was kindly permitted to
retain his saddle-bags, which he carried the remainder of the
way on his arm, as he trudged homeward on foot. A farmer
was hauling a load of hay
along the road. His team was halted, the harness stripped
from the horses in a twinkling, and there the farmer sat upon
his load of hay a much astonished and bewildered individual.
There was a wool-picking party at the house of a farmer; quite a
number of ladies was there and supper was just announced.
Morgan's men came in uninvited, appropriated all the
seats, and remarked that it was very impolite to take precedence
of the ladies, but they were in a great hurry and could not
afford to wait. What they left in the way of eatables was
hardly worth mentioning. Good fresh horses were everywhere
picked up, and the jaded animals turned loose. The raiders
also sent out scouting parties right and left, to gather up a
fresh supply of horse-flesh.
On the night that Morgan was expected in New
Lexington, D. W. D. Marsh, Sill Colborn and
James R. Carroll, rode out for the purpose of discovering
the whereabouts of the rebel force. They struck the trail,
followed it up, and just at daybreak, without being aware of the
near proximity of the enemy, rode in to the camp at Island Run,
near Porterville. They were ordered to halt by some of the
band who were on the alert. Marsh laid whip to his
horse and dashed oft' through the woods. Colborn
and Carroll thought it would be safer to stay. They
parleyed with the raiders, who told them they were prisoners and
must go along. Colborn and Carroll were
taken some forty miles, and turned loose in Guernsey county.
Their horses were, of course, taken by the raiders. They
were with the raiders in the skirmish at the crossing of the
Muskingum, near Eaglesport, where one citizen was killed, and
several of the raiders wounded, one severely. Colborn
and Carroll reached home in due time, reporting that they
had been treated to a very invigorating ride, though they
acknowledge it to have been a rough one.
One of the Morgan men got sleepy and fell
behind, within the limits of Perry county, and was "gobbled" up
as a prisoner. He was brought to New Lexington, and, under
all the circumstances, was something of a curiosity. The
populace crowded around him, and some remarks not complimentary
were made. He did not like the looks of things, and said
that all he asked was to be treated as a prisoner of war.
He was sent to the military prison at Camp Chase. The
raider who was so severely wounded at Eaglesport, on the
Muskingum, lay for some weeks at a hotel in Zanesville, but
finally convalesced and was sent to a military prison.
Hobson's Cavalry were on the trail of Morgan,
and only two or three hours behind. Several of the
soldiers gave out, came to New Lexington, and slept a day or two
in the court house yard. The most they needed was rest and
something to eat, which they got, and soon went on their way.
Hobson's Cavalry seized fresh horses, but Morgan,
coming along first, had the pick. But the pursuers gained
on the raiders, nevertheless.
This was the last of John Morgan in Perry
county but not the last of the John Morgan scare.
Some days after this, and while he and his band of men were yet
in Ohio and uncaptured, late one evening, a ''solitary horseman"
came into New Lexington, announcing that Morgan had been driven
back across the Muskingum, and that he was making his way in
this direction, this time burning houses, barns and other
[Page 132] -
property. The horseman referred to had heard of the
approach of the Morgan band, seen the fire of the burning
buildings, and had indisputable information that it was the
Morgan raiders who were doing the dreadful incendiary work.
When the astounding news reached New Lexington,
Colonel Lynch of Circleville, and a battalion of
Pickaway county Morgan pursuers, were at the depot
conferring with Governor Tod as to discharge from
further service. The command had been around in the wake
of Morgan, but being infantry could do nothing effective
in the work, and Colonel Lynch very sensibly asked
that they might be discharged.
When the messenger brought the report that Morgan
was surely approaching, Colonel Lynch hooted at the idea,
and said it was impossible. The order discharging the
Pickaway battallion was received, but Colonel Lynch,
without announcing it, decided to remain over night, organized
his command and marched it up the hill. He established a
sort of military head quarters in Butler & Marsh's
law office, and sent out pickets on all the principal roads
leading to town. These faithful sentinels remained out all
night, and the people of New Lexington, for the most part, slept
in quiet and security. But no raiders made their
appearance. The whole thing was a "bugabook," of the
hugest kind. There was no intentional deception, and now
the false news of the second coming of Morgan
originated, was never satisfactorily ascertained.
The Pickaway county volunteers, after their night's
vigils, were breakfasted by the ladies, and entertained in the
most hearty and hospitable manner, and they were as much honored
and respected as though the enemy had been really in the
vicinity, and the town in the most imminent danger. The
Pickaway boys did, indeed, deport themselves handsomely, and
were well treated in return. The next morning they took
the train for home.
Some little time after his last fright, Morgan
and his men were captured in the eastern part of the State.
The leaders were not treated as ordinary prisoners of war, but,
for a time, found a home in the Ohio State Prison.
Morgan and some of his officers escaped therefrom and
succeeded in reaching the South. But the great raider did
not survive the war. He was shot and killed when on one of
his characteristic expeditions, while trying to make his escape
from a house where he had remained over night, which was
surrounded by Union soldiers, for the purpose of capturing him.
He tried to make his exit and was shot dead.
THE MARIETTA CAMPAIGN.
- In July, 1863, David Tod, Governor of Ohio, called upon
the independent military companies and militia of some fifteen
or twenty counties of South-Eastern Ohio, to rendezvous at
Marietta, to protect the southern border of the State. The
State Militia had recently been enrolled and organized under a
statute supposed to meet the emergencies of actual war.
This was a wholesale conscription, and the entire militia force
of a majority of the townships of Perry promptly reported at New
Lexington to take the cars for Marietta.
The militia were neither armed nor equipped, but they
were determined to obey orders. New Lexington had an
[Page 133] -
company commanded by Captain D. W. D. Marsh, and of
course it was included in the call, and responded. The
conscripts poured in and fairly overwhelmed the town of New
Lexington. The "troops" traveled by rail to Zanesville, and then
by boat down the beautiful Muskingum, some of the "boys"
pathetically singing "The Girl I Left Behind Me." There
was much discomfort aboard the boats, but all safely arrived at
Marietta, the objective point. The like of the militia
camp at Marietta was probably no where else seen during the war.
There were no fire-arms and few equipments or conveniences of
any kind. But the men lay in camp there two weeks and did
the duty required of them. There were several good-sized
scares during the short campaign, but no rebel gunboats came up
the dark ravines, as sometimes announced, and John
Morgan and his troopers did not put in an appearance, though
anxiously expected. At length the militia were mustered
out, and embarked on boats up the Muskingum, and then traveled
by rail to New Lexington. The whole campaign was without
casualty, but abounded in fun, if the stories of participants
are to be fully credited. The whole demonstration was no
doubt designed as a scare, and it probably was not without
effect on the notorious John Morgan and other
raiders. At any rate, as the events of the war grow dim, many a
man will remember that he, at least, was in the Marietta campain,
and a soldier in the service of his country. bAnd it is
possible, in the distant future, that men may draw pensions from
the United States government, in consideration of their
"fourteen days' " service during the great war of the rebellion.
BURNING SCARE. - In July, 1863, a barn was burned in
Madison township, and at the same time one was burned in Madison
township, and at the same time one was burned in Hopewell
township. These barns were full of grain and the loss was
heavy. In the first case there was writing on the walls of
the house, threatening to burn it, also, and do sundry other
dreadful things. It was alleged that the barn was burned
by persons who were disguised and wore masks, and after
frightening the lady of the house nearly out of her senses,
until she ran across the fields to a neighbor's, the masked men
retreated to the woods and became lost to sight. It was
just in the twilight of evening that the affair took place, and
nothing was done that night, but the next morning the whole
country was aroused, and when it was learned that another good
barn had been burned, a few miles distant, the alarm was great
among farmers, and they all rallied and joined in the effort for
the apprehension of the incendiaries. The people of the
townships of Madison, Hopewell and Reading, turned out in great
force, and large numbers of men were also present from the
southern part of Licking county, and the western part of
Muskingum. There were miles of men in line, stationed
along roads, and many of them armed with such weapons as the
country afforded. The fields, woods, ravines and all good
hiding places were searched, but no suspicious characters were
found. It is possible, of course, that the guilty persons
may have mingled in the throng, and even joined in the search.
For many nights farmers watched their houses and barns, and
scouting parties were constantly on the alert; but as no more
burning was done, the interest and dread gradually died away.
[Page 134] -
day, and after the lapse of so many years, it is impossible to
conceive of the general and widespread excitement that prevailed
at that time. The incendiaries were never discovered, and
the question of who did set fire to the buildings, is yet
shrouded in mystery. But, in some way or other, the
burning is believed to have been directly or indirectly
connected with the war, and therefore a part of its bitter
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