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(Source:  History of Shelby County, Ohio and Representative Citizens.
Evansville, Ind. - A. B. C. Hitchcock - 1913 - 913 pgs)
(Transcribed by Sharon Wick)

(Shelby Co., Ohio, Military Index)


     Shelby county bore its full share in the great contest in the sixties.  As the years have passed this war has shown that it had far more to do with the world's history than the mere settlement of our own local questions.  Theremopylae and Marathon held back the lower civilization of Persia, which was hurled against the higher civilization of the Greeks.  Lepanto witnessed the destruction of the Turkish Mohammedan fleet and Christian civilization was granted a new life.  The hands on the dial of time moved forward.
     In the sixties the North had free speech, free schools and above all the right to labor without stigna.  In the South free speech was at the risk of a life; there were no common schools worthy of the name and the laborer was put upon the level of the slave.  For a century this kind dominated its people, and they had a lower and a higher civilization separated by the only imaginary or natural lines.  It was a conflict between them that called forth the warriors.  The destruction of slavery lifted not only our land but the whole of humanity to a higher plane and the conflict continued until the grave was dug so deep that a resurrection could never be possible.  Our political status was placed on a safer foundation and our soldiers look at it with eminent satisfaction.  This satisfaction is very much enhanced when the results are more fully known and realized.
     Had the Southern Confederacy succeeded, the first thing would have been the reestablishment of negro slavery on such a firm basis, that it would have remained for centuries, with all its evil influences, not only on their own people but with a reflex action on our side.  They being the stronger, would have compelled the North to enter into such a treaty as would have made every civil officer responsible for the escape of their negro chattels.  We would have been compelled to use all diligence, and to invoke all the powers of law to apprehend and hold property that belonged to the other side.  From the Atlantic to the Pacific the border would have had its fortifications which would require armaments and men - this on both sides.
     In addition to this, each side would have required an army of revenue officers, to guard and collect the revenue according to such tariff laws as might have been enacted.  All this expense would have come from a divided country, harrassed by constant internecine contests.
     The right of secession would have been settled affirmatively and we would have had that to face.  New England would have said that she had no frontier to guard and why should she be taxed for the civil and military expenses - and she would have seceded.  Likewise the Pacific coast, guarded on the east by the Rockies, would have done as New England did, and how could it be helped?
     Disintegration would surely have followed and we would have gradually become separate principalities without prestige or power.  Taxes would have increased so that, as a whole, the amounts now paid as pensions would be but a drop in the bucket.  Opportunity for English extension would have been manifest and in the course of time the English flag would have floated where now is the Star Spangled Banner.
     Shelby county sent into the ranks much of its best blood and when times of stress occurred, her soldiers carried themselves through with credit and honor to their country.  On their return home they took up the work their hands had laid down and never faltered in their civil duties any more than in their military ones.
     The organization of the Grand Army of the Republic became a national one, and almost every community had its post.  A call was made April 5, 1881, for the purpose of establishing one in Sidney.  The charter members were C. W. McKee, W. A. Nutt, Thomas Wright, W. A. Skillen, W. M. Van Fossen, E. E. Nutt, Albert. Wilson, J. A. Montross, G.'S. Harter, H. B. Neal, Hugo Stahl, C. R. Joslin, J. S. Laughlin, J. C. Haines, C. E. Fielding, H. A. Ailes, Reuben Smeltzer and Pember Burch. The name selected was "Neal," in honor of Capt. William D. Neal, Company K, Twentieth O. V. I., who was killed in front of Kenesaw mountain, June 26, 1864. At the date of compiling this history there have been mustered 489 veterans, coming from twelve different states and representing all arms of the service.
     The post has passed through many vicissitudes, and yet was. generally prosperous, as it had the sympathy of a large majority of our citizens.  But age is fast thinning its ranks. Many live at a distance and the attendance is now small and soon Neal Post, No. Sixty-two, G. A. R., Department of Ohio, will be numbered among the things that were. In the organization Neal Post has borne no small part. On May 16, 1894, Capt. E. E. Nutt was elected Ohio department commander for one year. He appointed from the post, T. B. Marshall as his adjutant and H. C. Roberts as his quartermaster. At that time the department had nearly 44,000 members in some 650 posts.
     To formulate the necessary orders; receive and reply to the thousand and one questions was a task of no small dimensions. The year's administration was a very successful one and much praise was accorded to Commander Nutt in consequence. While in this connection it seems proper to give Mr. Nutt's history, both civil and military, as he was all his life one of the leading citizens of the county.
     He was born near Sidney in October, 1837, on a farm and prepared himself for college. When teaching a district school he resigned and enlisted in the three months' service upon the firing on Fort Sumter. The regiment was the Fifteenth O. V. I. At the expiration of his enlistment, he joined the Twentieth O. V. I. for three years and advanced from private to captain. From the official records of the war, and while a lieutenant, he was awarded a silver medal for conspicuous bravery in the battle near Atlanta, July 24, 1864, by Maj .Gen. F. P. Blair, His civil life was uneventful. He engaged in the grain trade, which he successfully pursued, and except for an interval of a few years continued until the close of his life in 1911. Outside of his business he was always interested and took an active part in various municipal affairs, chiefly in school matters.  His influence was long felt and he was considered a man of forceful character, a lifelong republican in politics and a professing Methodist in religion. 'The post now numbers eighty and its present commander is Dr. B. M. Sharp.


Shelby County, Ohio Military
Company I, 15th Regiment O. V. I.
Company I, 20th O. V. I.
50th O. V. I.
99th O. V. I.
118th O. V. I.
Battery M - 1st Ohio Light Artillery
Neal Post
Monumental Building
Tablet Roster - At Rest
Spanish-American War - Co. L

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