OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS

A Part of Genealogy Express
 

Welcome to
VINTON COUNTY,  OHIO
History & Genealogy


Source:  A Standard History of the Hanging Rock Region of Ohio
- Publ. The Lewis Publishing Company - 1916

CHAPTERS:

I II III IV V VI

THE CIVIL WAR
Page 609

 

     It speaks well for Vinton County that while it had but one company in the cavalry regiment it furnished at the expiration of more than three years and a half of service, one major, three out of eight captains, and two lieutenants.

SCATTERED IN MANY COMMANDS.

     The Seventy-fifth Infantry had Company I as its Vinton County contingent, and after nearly four years of hard service capped its career by assisting in the capture of Jefferson Davis, the ex-president of the Confederacy.
     Company B of the Ninetieth Ohio Infantry, Company F of the One Hundred and Fourteenth, and Company K of the Twelfth Ohio Cavalry, were formed of Vinton County soldiers, the last named doing especially valiant service against Morgan's raiders in West Virginia.  Companies D and K of the One Hundred and Ninety-fourth Infantry (a one year regiment) were also raised in the county and served their allotted period, while scattered soldiers in small numbers were drawn into such commands as the Twenty-seventh, Thirtieth, Thirty-first, Thirty-sixth, Forty-third, Sixty-sixth and One Hundred and Seventy-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry regiments, the First Ohio Heavy Artillery, the Seventeenth United Colored Regiment and the First United States Veteran Volunteer Engineers.
     The last named command were Charles L. White, afterwards superintendent of the Union schools at Zaleski, prosecuting attorney of the county and a lawyer of high standing, as well as half a dozen other plucky young men whose after careers were not so noticeable.
     Three companies of the One Hundred and Forty-eighth Regiment Ohio National Guards, also performed duty in Virginia for 100 days in 1864.

SURGEONS AND CHAPLAINS.

     This general review of the participation of Vinton County in the War of the Rebellion would be incomplete without a mention of the individuals who did what they could to comfort the wounded and the dying, and in every way to uphold the physical and spiritual well-being of those engaged in the grim business of war.
     Dr. David V. Rannels, of McArthur, was commissioned as assistant surgeon in August, 1862, and assigned to duty in the Fifth Ohio Cavalry.  In October, 1864, he was commissioned as surgeon, and remained with the same regiment until May 5, 1865.
     Dr. H. H. Bishop, of Wilkesville, was also a surgeon in the Tennessee army.
     Dr. Charles French, of McArthur, was assistant surgeon of the Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
     Rev. G. W. Pilcher, of Vinton County, was chaplain of the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, Col. Robert G. Ingersoll's regiment.  He being in Illinois in 1862, enlisted in that regiment and was commissioned as chaplain.  He remained in the service two years.
     Rev. John Dillon, of Vinton County, was chaplain of the Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
     Vinton County fully maintained the patriotic reputation of Ohio which stood so firm and high during the entire period of the Civil war.  One out of every fourteen of its population responded to the various presidential and gubernatorial calls for troops; in other words, more than one thousand four hundred of her sons went to the front, drawn from an average population of 14,000.  The war fever broke out early and never abated from Fort Sumter to Appomattox.  All ages and both colors were represented in the Union ranks, the Seventeenth United States Colored Regiment having a number of enlisted men from the county.

COMMISSIONED OFFICERS FROM TWO REGIMENTS.

     The Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry and the Second West Virginia Cavalry mustered the largest number of Vinton County recruits.  In the Eighteenth, the following commissioned officers were from the county:
Col. T. R. Stanley, Capt. Ashbel Fenton, Company B, who died April 14, 1863, of wounds received DEcember 31, 1862, at Stone River; First Lieutenant Dunkle, promoted to captain, died June 9, 1863, at home from disease contracted in the line of duty; Capt. William L. Edmiston, Company H, resigned August 30, 1862; Capt. Alexander Pearce, Company D, mustered out with regiment, November 9, 1864; Capt. Homer C. Jones, Company B, mustered out with regiment; Capt. Perley G. Brown, Company A, mustered out of regiment; First Lieut. John G. Honnold, Company B, mustered out of invalid corps at expiration of service (Lientenant Honnold was permanently disabled by a gone shot wound in the knee at Chickamauga); Lieut. Sylvanus Bartlett mustered out of engineer regiment in 1865 (Lieutenant Bartlett was transferred to United States Engineer Regiment and promoted to first lieutenant); First Lieut. William H. Band, resigned September 26, 1862, and died of disease contracted in the service.
     Company D, of the Second West Virginia Cavalry, was virtually composed of Vinton County men, and these commissioned officers were: "home boys:" Capt. H. S. Hamilton, resigned, date unknown; First Lieut. George W. Snyder, resigned February 24, 1863; Second Lieut. Edwin S. Morgan, promoted to captain, Company K, and major of regiment, and mustered out with his command; Alexander Ward, first sergeant Company D, promoted to first lieutenant Company A, mustered out with regiment; Joseph Amkrom, promoted to captain Company G, transferred to Company E and mustered out with regiment; First Sergt. W. S. McLanahan, promoted to second lieutenant Company D, and mustered out with regiment.

EIGHTEENTH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY.

     The Eighteenth Infantry, as a three months' regiment, was commanded by Timothy R. Stanley of Vinton County, who took command of the regiment when it entered the three years' service.  As two full companies came from that section of the state and eleven men from Vinton County served as commissioned officers of the regiment at various periods, it is thought best to give quite an extended history of the command.
     It originated April 18, 1861, when James L. Aikin, a young attorney "volunteer soldier."  William J. Rannells was the second man to enlist, but there was no hesitancy on the part of the people, and on the 20th of April the company was more than up to the maximum.  These people - farmers, laborers, furnace men, artisans, business men generally- came from all parts of the country and represented all classes of society, all political parties and all religious denominations.
     They enlisted for three months and organized the company by electing Judson W. Caldwell (A Mexican soldier) as captain; Henry S. Hamilton, first lieutenant; and Alexander Pearce, second lieutenant.  The company remained at McArthur, drilling and getting ready for the field, for about four weeks.  They were sworn in by a "Squire," but not mustered in until May 28, 1861.  They were mustered into service at Marietta by Lieutenant, afterward General Sill.  The muster roll at the adjutant general's office in Columbus shows that the company numbered ninety-nine privates, four corporals and four sergeants.
     After the muster-in of the company it was ordered to Parkersburg, West Virginia, where it was united with other companies from Ohio, and the Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry three months' regiment was formed by the selection of Timothy R. Stanley, of Vinton County, as colonel; William M. Bowles, of Scioto County, as lieutenant colonel; and William H. Bisbee, as major.  Lieut. Alexander Pearce  was appointed adjutant, and John C. Paxton as quartermaster.
     Thus organized the Eighteenth went into service in the valleys and mountains of West Virginia.  The regiment served its time doing much duty as was assigned to it, suffering such hardships as fell to its lot, many of which were owing to the then unprepared condition of the general Government or the State of Ohio to properly clothe and feed the troops.  It was engaged generally in guarding railroads, bridges, etc.  It returned to Ohio in August and was mustered out August 28, 1861.
     The Government at Washington having learned that the suppression of the Rebellion was more than a three months' contract, had issued a call for more troops, and before the three months' men had been mustered out, men were being enlisted for "three years' service."
     Ashbel Fenton, George W. Dunkle and H. C. Jones had recruited "squads" of men which, consolidated, made a company.  These men were mostly from Swan, Brown and Elk townships, a few being from Clinton and Richland.  The company organized August 12, 1861, by electing Ashbel Fenton, captain; George W. Dunkle, first lieutenant; and H. C. Jones second lieutenant.  Thus organized the company went to Camp Wool, Ohio, where another company under Captain Miller, of Ross County, was encamped, and there became the nucleus of the Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  In the first part of September another company was formed in Vinton County, which organized by electing William L. Edmiston, captain; Perley G. Brown, first lieutenant; and William H. Band, second lieutenant.  Two companies, C. and G, came from Athens County; K, from Meigs; F, from Washington; D. and I, from Gallia and Meigs; and Company E also came from Ross County.
     Captain Fenton's company became Company B, and Edmiston's company became Company H on the organization of the regiment.
     The regiment was organized September 6, 1861, at Camp Wool, T. R. Stanley being mustered as colonel, Josiah Given as lieutenant colonel, and C. H. Grosvenor as major.
     The regiment was ordered to Camp Dennison, Ohio, early in September, when it went into camp of instruction; Alexander Von Schrader, afterward inspector general of the Fourteenth Army Corps, acting as "drill sergeant."  In November the regiment was ordered to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, by way of West Point.  At Elizabethtown it was brigaded with the Nineteenth and Twenty-fourth Illinois and Thirty-seventh Indiana under Colonel Turchin of the Nineteenth Illinois.
     This brigade formed a part of Gen. O. M. Mitchel's division of the Army of the Ohio.  The regiment remained at Elizabethtown and "fought the measles" some four or five weeks when the division went to Bacon Creek, where it remained until the first part of February, 1862, when it left its last camp of instruction and started south.
     The division marched to Edgefield, opposite Nashville, reaching there February 24.  General Mitchel was then ordered to move upon the Memphis & Charleston Railroad through Murfreesboro and Fayetteville.  His division of three brigades of infantry, three batteries of light artillery and a regiment of cavalry was an independent command.  The division left Nashville in March and made a bold and rapid advance through Murfreesboro, Shelbyville and Fayetteville to Huntsville, Alabama, reaching there April 7.  The town was taken, 170 prisoners captured, besides fifteen locomotives, 150 passenger and freight cars, and a large amount of stores and property of great value to the enemy.  Immediately Colonel Turphin's brigade was sent westward to seize Decatur and Tuscumbia.  General Mitchel's mission seemed to be to keep the enemy out of Middle Tennessee and North Alabama, to give Generals Grant and Buell an opportunity to clear the Cumberland River, get possession of the enemy's stronghold and whip the Confederate army if possible.  Whatever the object was, it will remain forever a fact that General Mitchel pushed his commands into the enemy's country by forced marches, rapid marches, night marches as well as day marches, from point to point, with a degree of energy, skill and audacity unequaled in the history of any infantry command in the late war.  He controlled the country from Nashville to Huntsville, Alabama, and from Bridgeport to Tuscumbia.  His command had no general engagement, but was engaged in numerous skirmishes, and small battles which kept the enemy clear of his territory.
     The Eighteenth Ohio was stationed at Athens, Alabama.  May 1, 1862, they were attacked by Scott's rebel cavalry, supported by infantry and artillery.  General Mitchel ordered the regiment, after it had held its ground for some time, to retire toward Huntsville.  This took the command through the village.  The citizens seeing the regiment falling back threw up their hats.  The rebel women waved their handkerchiefs.  Some shots were fired from the houses, and the tirade of abuse was such that the officers had hard work to keep the men from firing into the citizens.  The enemy's cavalry seemed cautious about coming too close, and the artillery was badly aimed, so that little harm was done.  General Turchin coming to their support with the Nineteenth Illinois and some artillery, the regiment faced about and drove the enemy out of town and out of that vicinity.  This was the occasion when Turchin's brigade "went through" Athens.  Some companies of the Nineteenth Illinois contained some as hard characters as could be enlisted in Chicago, and with such men as leaders, and the soldiers feeling outraged at the conduct of citizens who had been properly treated by them, with Colonel Turchin's European ideas of war customs, there was scarcely a store or warehouse that was not pillaged.
     Colonel Turchin laid in the courthouse yard while the devastation was going on.  An aide-de-camp approached and the colonel remarked:
     "Vell, Lieudenant, I dinkk it ish dime to shtop dis tam billaging."
     "Oh, No, Colonel," replied Bishop, "the boys are not yet half done jerking."
     "Ish dot so?  Den I schleep for half an hour longer," said the colonel, as he rolled his fat, dumpy body over on the grass again.
     The boys of the Nineteenth Illinois used the word "jerk" in the sense of "steal" or "pillage."
     This gave the two regiments the expressive title, "Turchin's Thieves."  It secured Turchin a court martial and dismissal from the service, but President Lincoln, recognizing the services of his brigade and the fighting qualities of Turchin, made him a brigadier general in the very sight of Buell's kid-gloved policy.  This served, however, as a lesson to the reel citizens, and although it didn't make them love us any more, it rebel citizens, and although it didn't make them love us any more, it taught them that we were at least entitled to decent treatment, if not to respect.  On May 29th General Mitchel started an expedition to Chattanooga.  The Eighteenth accompanied it.  Turchin's brigade marched through, and on June 7th Chattanooga was being bombarded from the north bank of the Tennessee River.  Kirby Smith having reenforced the town, the command returned to Shelbyville.
     After the command of Buell's moved back to Tennessee from Corinth the old Turchin brigade was broken up, and the Eighteenth Ohio, nineteenth Illinois, Sixty-ninth Ohio and Eleventh Michigan formed a new brigade under Colonel Stanley.  This was assigned to Gen. James S. Negley's division.  This brigade remained at Nashville during Buell's march across Kentucky.  It was on the right of Negley's division at Stone River, Negley's division being on the right of General Thomas's army.
     On the morning of December 31, 1862, General McCook's command, still on the right of Thomas's line, gave away.  This allowed the rebel army to swing around and envelop Negley's command, but the brigade commanded by Stanley stood firm under a terrific fire, and the ground was held until our reserve came up.  Seeing the enemy pressing across a small cleared field, and that they would gain great advantage thereby, Rousseau rode up to Colonel Given and asked him to charge the enemy.  The enemy were flushed with what seemed certain victory, and were rushing forward with new spirit.  When Rousseau asked Colonel Given if he could make the charge, Given replied:  "I can do anything," and the order to charge was given.  The charge was made in gallant style, the enemy fairly hurled back with the bayonet.  General Rousseau spoke of it as the most gallant charge of that terrible battle.  On Friday, January 2d, the regiment was again heavily engaged; in fact, it was in the thickest of the fight on Friday as well as on Wednesday.  The regiment lost this battle:  Captain Fenton, Company B; Captain Taylor, Company E; Captain Stivers, Company K; Lieutenant Blacker, Company E; and thirty-two enlisted men killed. Lieutenant Colonel Given; Captains Welch and Ross, and Adjutant Minear, with 143 men, were wounded.
     The Eighteenth remained in the same brigade and division until after the battle of Chickamauga.  It bore its part through the Tullahoma campaign, and was in some sharp engagements.  It also bore its part in the Chickamauga campaign and through that terrible but misjoined battle.  In the battle of Chickamauga it lost heavily in killed and wounded.  Six commissioned officers were wounded, among them Captain Brown, Company A, and Lieutenant Honnold, Company B, both of Vinton County.
     After the Battle of Stone River Lieutenant-Colonel Given was made colonel of the Seventy-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  Major Grosvenor was promoted to lieutenant-colonel, and upon the death of Captain Fenton, Captain Welch was made major of the regiment.  During the summer of 1864 the regiment remained at Chattanooga, Colonel Stanley being in command.  In August the rebel cavalry under Wheeler and other daring rebel generals began a series of raids to destroy the railroads and bridges between the army and Nashville.  The work of driving them back and restoring roads and bridges fell to the Eighteenth Ohio, Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania and a few other old regiments assisted by new colored troops.  The marching over the hot pikes in August and September can hardly be described; after several forced marches the command was mounted, and the men having been unused to horseback riding for nearly three years, the suffering was terrible, but the command could get over more miles of road, and come nearer taking care of Wheeler than it could on foot.
     During some twenty days and nights the men were almost constantly in the saddle, this, too, after nearly three years of foot soldiering, and it wore out the men and ruined the horses. Wheeler was driven out of Tennessee and the regiment again, dismounted.  They were never envious of cavalrymen after this "horse-back" experience.
     A large number of the Eighteenth reenlisted as veterans, but not enough to maintain the organization of the regiment, so that in November the regiment was ordered to Camp Chase, Ohio, where it was mustered out November 9, 1864.
     After the regiment was mustered out the veterans of the regiment, together with the veterans of the First, Second, Twenty-fourth and Thirty-fifth Ohio regiments, with such recruits as had been enlisted, were consolidated and formed a veteran regiment, called the Eighteenth Ohio, under command of lieutenant-colonel, after colonel and brevet-brigadier-general, C. H. Grosvenor.
     This new organization got into fighting shape before the Battle of Nashville, which was fought, December 6, 1864.  In this battle the new organization of old soldiers made up of the veterans of five fighting regiments was lasting honor by gallant conduct.  On the 19th it participated in the bloody and finally successful assault upon Overton Hill.  It here lost four officers out of seen and seventy-five men killed and wounded out of less than two hundred.
     Attached to General Stedman's command the Eighteenth followed Hood's defeated army to Huntsville, and two days later assisted in the capture of Decatur.  In April, 1865, the regiment went into camp near Fort Phelps.  In July it accompanied General Stedman's command to Augusta, Georgia.  Oct. 9th the order came for its honorable discharge; it returned to Columbus, Ohio, and was mustered out.  Having seen much hard service and having left upon the battlefields of the South many gallant men, it leaves a record of which those who come after it need never be ashamed.

SECOND WEST VIRGINIA CAVALRY.

     As soon as the Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, three months' men, were mustered out, Serg. H. S. Hamilton and others began recruiting men for the three years' service.  Desiring to go into the cavalry service, and there being no opportunity to join a regiment of Ohio cavalry, they went to Virginia and assisted in forming the Second West Virginia Cavalry.  This company organized by electing Henry S. Hamilton, captain; George W. Snyder, first lieutenant, and Edwin S. Morgan, second lieutenant.  It was mustered into service November 8, 1861.  The regiment was made up of Ohio men, and organized by selecting Wm. M. Bowles as colonel; John C. Paxton, lieutenant-colonel; Rollin L. Curtis and John J. Hoffman, majors.  It never had but ten companies, hence only two majors.  Its first service was the General Garfield, aiding in driving the forces under Gen. Humphrey Marshall from the fastnesses of Eastern Kentucky.  In 1862 the regiment was under General Crook for its gallantry.  Colonel Bowles resigned in June, 1862, and Lieutenant-Colonel Paxton was promoted to Colonel.  May 7, 1863, Paxton was succeeded by Wm. H. Powell, who was promoted to colonel.  During 1863 the regiment was in the Kanawha Valley and in the mountains of Southwestern Virginia.  During the year it was engaged in many sharp skirmishes and some severe engagements, notably at Wytheville, on July 18, where Colonel Powell was wounded and taken prisoner.
     In May, 1864, the regiment was attached to the Third Brigade of General Averill's division, Colonel Powell commanding the brigade.  This command participated in several engagements, was constantly on duty, and received honorable mention by General Averill for its coolness under fire and skillful evolutions in the face of the enemy.
     The Second West Virginia was with General Sheridan's army during his brilliant campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, taking an active part in the engagements at Winchester, Virginia, July 19, 1864; Moorfield, West Virginia, August 7; Bunker Hill, Virginia, September 2 and 3; Stephenson's Depot, September 7; Opequam, September 19; Fisher's Hill, September 22; Mount Jackson, September 23; Brown's Gap, September 26, and Weis's Cave, September 27, 1864.  This campaign won for Colonel Powell the rank of brigadier-general, and the gallant Custer added his compliments and thanks to those of Crook and Averill.  The adjutant-general of West Virginia says of his regiment: "No regiment in the service from any State has performed more arduous duty than the Second Regiment, West Virginia Cavalry, and none have better deserved the compliments and praises it has received.
     The Second West Virginia Cavalry belonged to General Custer's famous Third Cavalry Division, and was present when Lee surrendered.  General Custer being at the front received the flag of truce.  General Custer's order thanking his command, when the Third Division was disbanded, is as dashing as Custer himself, and inasmuch as the Second West Virginia Cavalry helped to make the record to which the general refers, we give an extract from it as follows:  "The record established by your indomitable courage is unparalleled in the annals of war.  Your prowess has won for you even the respect and admiration of your enemies.  During the past six months, although in most instances confronted by superior numbers, you have captured the enemy in open battle, 11 pieces of field artillery, sixty-five battle-flags and upward of 10,000 prisoners of war, including seven general officers.  Within the past ten days, and included in the above, you have captured forty-six pieces of field artillery and thirty-seven battle flags.
     "You have never lost a gun, never lost a color, and have never been defeated.  And, notwithstanding the numerous engagements in which you have borne a prominent part, including those memorable battles of the Shenandoah, you have captured every piece of artillery the enemy has dared to open upon you.
     "And now, speaking for myself alone, when the war is ended, and the task of the historian begins; when those deeds of daring which have rendered the name and fame of the Third Cavalry Division imperishable are inscribed upon the bright pages of our country's history, I only ask that my name may be written as that of the commander of the Third Cavalry Division.
                                                                                      "G. A. CUSTER, Brevet-Major-General."
     Company D aggregated 117 men, nearly all from Vinton County.  The regiment did not reenlist as veterans enough men to keep up the organization to the minimum number, and they were not entitled to a colonel.  This left the regiment in command of Lieut.-Col. James Allen, Maj. E. S. Morgan and Maj. Charles E. Hambleton.  Some of the companies were consolidated, and a new company joined the regiment in 1864, under Capt. A. J. Smith of Jackson County.  This new organization gave the regiment only eight companies, but the regiment maintained its place in the brigade and division, and its identity among the grand army of heroes that made such men as Sheridan and Custer famous.  The regiment was mustered out June 30, 1865.

THE SEVENTY-FIFTH OHIO INFANTRY.

     In the fall of 1861 Henry B. Lacy, then prosecuting attorney of Vinton County, received a recruiting commission and began the enlistment of men for the three years' service.  George Fry, of Vinton Station, also enlisted a squad of men; these consolidated and organized a company by selecting George Fry as captain; Judson W. Caldwell (of H. B. Lacy as second lieutenant.  This company went to Camp Wool, Ohio, and joined the Seventy-fifth Ohio Infantry, becoming Company I of that regiment.  After remaining some time at Camp Wool and failing to complete the regimental organization, they were ordered to Camp McLean, near Cincinnati, where some four companies of men, under Col. N. C. McLean, were trying to form the Seventy-ninth Ohio Infantry.  These two parts of regiments were consolidated - being six companies of the Seventy-fifth and four of the Seventy-ninth Ohio.  Of this regiment, the Seventy-fifth, N. C. McLean was made colonel; R. A. Constable, of Athens, lieutenant-colonel, and Robert Reilly, major.  Henry B. Lacy was appointed quartermaster.  The most of the regiment was mustered in in December, 1861.
     The Seventy-fifth remained at Camp McLean from instruction and drill until about the last of January, 1862, when it went to West Virginia, arriving at Grafton, January 29, 1862.  On the 1st of March it was assigned to General Milroy's brigade, and began active service early in the spring of 1862.  Its first fight was at Monterey Courthouse, April 12, 1862.  On May 8, at Bull Pasture Mountain, Milroy fought a division of Stonewall Jackson's army for several hours with the Seventy-fifty and Twenty-fifth Ohio Infantry, and held the enemy in check until night came to his relief, when a successful retreat was effected.  Stonewall Jackson reported this fight as the "bloodiest of the war for the number engaged."  Colonel Harris was severely wounded, and eighty-seven men were killed and wounded in this engagement.  Shortly before the Battle of Cross Keys (June 10, 18620 the Seventy-fifth was brigaded with the Fifty-fifty, Seventy-third and Eighty-second Ohio regiments, under General Schenck, and this was known as the "Ohio Brigade."  At the Battle of Cross Keys the Ohio Brigade did good service.  Immediately after this battle General Schenck was given command of a division, and Colonel McLean was placed in command of the Ohio Brigade - he having been made a brigadier-general.  The Seventy-fifth was also at Cedar Mountain, August 8, but was not heavily engaged.
     On August 30, 1862, at Groveton, near the old Bull Run battlefield, General Pope attacked Jackson and a severe fight took place.  The Seventy-fifth here had hot work.  The regiment lost twenty-one men killed and ninety-two wounded.  The color bearer of the Seventy-fifth was killed and another severely wounded.  January 12, 1863, Colonel Constable resigned;;;; Lieutenant-Colonel Reilly was promoted to colonel, Colonel McLean having been commissioned brigadier-general November 29, 1862.  William J. Rannells was promoted to second lieutenant December, 1861.  First Lieut. J. W. Caldwell resigned December 14, 1862.  September 21, 1862, Lieutenant Rannells was promoted to first lieutenant.  Captain Fry resigned June 10, 1863; Rannells was promoted to captain and David B. Caldwell to second lieutenant, Company I.
     May 2, 1863, the Ohio Brigade was engaged in the Battle of Chancellorsville, where it behaved gallantly.  In the short space of half an hour the Seventy-fifth lost 150 men killed and wounded.  Colonel Reilly fell mortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg.  The Seventy-fifth was under fire every day of the battle and lost heavily.  Out of 292 enlisted men, 63 were killed and 106 wounded, besides the lost of 34 prisoners.
     Three commissioned officers were killed, seven were wounded.  Among the severely wounded was Capt. Wm. J. Rannells.
    
In August, 1863, the Ohio Brigade was sent to Charleston; afterward it was sent to Folly Island; thence to Jacksonville, Fla., where it was mounted and was known as the Seventy-fifth Mounted Infantry.  In its new capacity as cavalry it did good service in Breaking up the system of blockade runners and preserving order, but it did not have a chance to forget its fighting qualities; it had frequent skirmishes, and not unfrequently with forces far out-numbering it.  August 17, 1864, the regiment was attacked by a strong force of the enemy, and, being surrounded, it fought till its ammunition gave out, when it was decided to cut its way through the enemy rather than surrender.  In this they partially succeeded.  They lost, however, fourteen men killed and thirty wounded; these with about sixty men and twelve officers fell into the hands of the enemy and were held as prisoners until 1865, excepting Captain Rannells, who bought a guard for $600 and made his escape in November, 1864.  September 21, 1864, what was left of the Seventy-fifth captured an entire company of the Second Florida Cavalry, with their horses, arms, etc.  In October, 1864, Companies A, B, and C were sent to Camp Chase, Ohio, and mustered out.
     After the fall of Savannah, the veterans of the regiment were organized into a veteran battalion under Capt. William J. Rannells.

ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTEENTH OHIO.

     Company F was recruited in Vinton County and organized by electing Cornelius Karnes, captain; Elbridge L. Hawk, first lieutenant, and Samuel L. Wilson, second lieutenant.
     The company was mustered in August 12, 1862, at Circleville, Ohio.  In September it went into camp at Marietta, Ohio, where it remained some six weeks in camp of instruction.
     On December 1st it started to Memphis, Tennessee, and arriving there in due time it became a part of Sherman's army.  From this time forward the One Hundred and Fourteenth "saw active service."  The regiment was  a part of the assaulting column upon the enemy's works at Chickasaw Bayou, December 26, 1862, and was severely engaged on that day and the day following.  It was here that Lieut. Samuel L. Wilson lost his leg; and although he lived some years and was afterward clerk of the Common Please Court of Vinton County, yet he eventually died from the effects of that wound and amputation.
     Phillip M. Shurtz was made second lieutenant, vice Wilson honorably discharged.
     The One Hundred and Fourteenth was in the battle at and helped to capture Arkansas Post, January 11, 1863.
     After this they went to Young's Point, Mississippi, on the Yazoo River.  Here they suffered severely from sickness; over one hundred men of the regiment died in the space of six weeks.
     From Young's Point they went to Millikin's Bend, where they remained until April, 1863, when they, with the army under General Grant, moved against Vicksburg.
     Captain Karnes
resigned February 6, 1863; First Lieut. E. L. Hawk was promoted to captain; Second Lieut. James Duffy also of Vinton County, was made first lieutenant of the company.
     The regiment was in the whole of the great campaign against Vicksburg.  It was at the Battle of Thompson's Hill, May 1, 1863; Champion Hills, May 16,; Big Black Bridge, May 17, and the Siege of Vicksburg.  It was at the Battle of Thompson's Hill, May 1, 1863; Champion Hills, May 16; Big Black Bridge, May 17, and the Siege of Vicksburg.

TWELFTH OHIO CAVALRY.

     In September and October, 1863, a company of men was recruited in Vinton County for the Cavalry service.  It organized by electing William A. Gage, captain; James J. Defigh, first lieutenant; and Charles S. Rannells, second lieutenant.
     It went into camp at Cleveland, where the regiment (the Twelfth Ohio Cavalry) was organized November 12, 1863, by the selection of Robert W. Radcliff, colonel; Robert H. Bentley, lieutenant-colonel; John F. Herrick, Miles J. Collier and Erastus C. Moderwell as majors.  Captain Gage's company was Company L.  One-half of the regiment, including Company L, were ordered to Johnson's Island to guard prisoners of war; the other half remained at Cleveland until the return of the men from Johnson's Island, when the regiment went to Dennison, where it was mounted and equipped in the spring of 1864, and from which point it started south.
     In May, 1864, it was brigaded with the Eleventh Michigan Cavalry and Fortieth Kentucky Mounted Infantry, under Colonel True, of the Fortieth Kentucky, and it was assigned to the division of General Burbridge.
    
On May 23, 1864, the command of General Burbridge started to Saltville, Virginia, to destroy the Confederate salt work, but on nearing Bund's Gap it was learned that the rebel general, Morgan, was pushing his command into Kentucky on a raid; thereupon the command of Burbridge turned back to take care of Morgan.  Lieutenant Defigh was in command of Company F through the fight at Mount Sterling, and until the regiment reached Lexington.
     On June 9, 1864, the command reached Mount Sterling, which place Morgan had captured on the day previous.  After a sharp fight with some convalescents of the Twelfth, under Sergt. Wm. L. Brown, of Company L, who went into service from McArthur, it was not until Sergeant Brown fell, shot dead on the line, that the little band surrendered.
     On reaching Mount Sterling General Burbridge threw forward the First Battalion of the Twelfth, including Company L, and by a gallant dash upon the enemy routed them, recaptured the Union soldiers taken the day before, together with the captured stores and a number of Confederate prisoners with stores of the enemy.  Morgan retired to Cynthiana, where Burbridge followed him up again, made an assault and routed General Morgan's command, taking a large number of prisoners.  The Twelfth Ohio Cavalry was in the advance in this fight as well as in that at Mount Sterling.  These two fights closed Morgan's loss at Cythiana was very heavy and he was compelled to march back to Virginia."  Rev. T. Sonour, in his "Morgan and His Captors," says: "Morgan's prestige was gone, and from this time (the Cynthiana fight) he sinks out of sight as the worst whipped rebel general ever sent on a raiding expedition."  President Lincoln telegraphed his thanks to General Burbridge and his command.  In these engagements First Lieutenant Defigh, of Company L, but commanding Company F, led a gallant charge and was mentioned for his dash and pluck.  During a portion of the fight at Mount Sterling Company L was commanded by Lieut. C. S. Rannells, leading the company in the charge in which Defigh led Company F.  We have made mention of these fights with Morgan more in detail than we otherwise would, from the fact that when the rebel raider came to Vinton County he did not get his just deserts, and it is some consolation to know that Vinton County men helped to close his military career.
     After having cut short Morgan's raid into Kentucky, Burbridge again started for Saltsville, Virginia, arriving there October 2, 1864, throwing forward the Fourth Brigade, the Twelfth taking its usual place in advance.  A severe engagement took place, lasting all day.  The enemy was supported by artillery and reinforced by General Early with 5,000 men, and the Federal forces were compelled to retire.  Finding his forces outnumbered and the enemy strongly entrenched, General Burbridge returned to Lexington, Kentucky.  At this fight the Twelfth lost forty-nine men killed and wounded After the command returned to Lexington it was placed under command of General Stoneman and bore its part in the celebrated "Stoneman and bore its part in the celebrated "Stoneman's Raid." In these the Twelfth Ohio had some hard fighting, and a carefully prepared history of the regiment mentions some daring charges made by the Twelfth.  In one of these command became surrounded and Lieutenant Defigh was taken prisoner, but in the haste and excitement they forgot to disarm him.   When a rebel soldier gave him a harmless blow with his saber and innocently inquired, "You d__n Yankee s_n of a b__, how does that feel?"  Defigh drew his saber, struck the fellow a blow across the head and, turning his horse toward his friends, made good his escape.  Stoneman's raids into Virginia required a great deal of endurance and the men suffered terribly.  Besides this, they were for days in the presence of the enemy, fighting more or less severely.  At Yadkin River, ten miles from Saulsbury, they fought a heavy force under Pemberton, captured 1,304 prisoners and 3,000 stand of small arms, the Confederates being beaten and utterly routed.  The command was in the rear of the Confederacy for weeks, destroying railroads, bridges, stores, arsenals, and capturing prisoners.  It captured the great rebel cavalry, General Wheeler and his staff, also the vice president of the Confederacy and his escort.  It marched and fought and worked during the winter and spring of 1864 and '65 in a manner which seems almost incredible.  One, of the last Stoneman raid, our historian, Captain Mason, says: "For sixty-nine days it had not drawn a Government ration or seen the national flag.  During that period it had swept around a circle that lay through six states, and measured with all its eccentric meanderings fully a thousand miles.  It had shared in the last and longest cavalry raid of the war."  In speaking of the Twelfth, General Burbridge says:  "I had no better regiment under me, and at Mt. Sterling, Cynthiana, Kingsport, Marion, Wytheville and Saltville the regiment and officers distinguished themselves."  They returned to Camp Chase, Ohio, and were mustered out November 24, 1865.

"ONE HUNDRED DAYS' MEN.

     The One Hundred and Forty-eighth Regiment of Ohio Infantry (National Guards) were in the "one hundred days" service.
     In response to a call from Governor Brough the three companies of the National Guards from Vinton County went into camp at Marietta, in May, 1864.  One of the Companies was distributed to supply deficiencies in other commands, but Company C (Capt. Joseph J. McDowell) and Company H (Capt. Isaiah H. McCormick) were retained intact.  The regiment spent its hundred days of service at Harper's Ferry, Washington, Bermuda Hundred and City Point.  The troops were not  called into action, although Lieut. Samuel G. Scott, of Company H, died at Bermuda Hundred and a number of men in the regiment - none from Vinton County - were killed by an explosion of ordnance at City Point.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL PHILLIPS.

     There were about fifty men in three companies of the Forty-third Infantry, among whom R. E. Phillips, who went into the service as second lieutenant of Company E, became most prominent.  Soon after the Battle of Shiloh he was promoted to the first lieutenancy, and was afterward made lieutenant-colonel of the Fifty-ninth United States Colored Infantry.  He served in that capacity until his resignation in December, 1863.
     About forty men enlisted in Companies C and K, Thirty-sixth Infantry, mostly from the southeastern part of the county.  Wilkesville Township sent quite a number into that command, as well as into the ranks of the Seventeenth Colored Regiment.
     Many Vinton County men joined the Eleventh Ohio Light Artillery, which was commanded by Frank Sands  This battery lost more men killed in the Battle of Iuka than any other company form Vinton County ever lost in any one battle.

ONE YEAR MEN.

     Two companies of the One Hundred and Ninety-fourth Ohio, one year men, were from Vinton County: Company D, Capt. John Gillilin commanding, and Company K, Capt. Henry Lantz commanding.  They served from February, 1865, to the following October.  They served first in the Kanawha Valley, then in the Valley of the Shenandoah, and finally in garrison duty at Washington City.

 

 

CLICK HERE to Return to
VINTON COUNTY, OHIO
INDEX PAGE

CLICK HERE to Return to
OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS
INDEX PAGE

FREE GENEALOGY RESEARCH is My MISSION
GENEALOGY EXPRESS
This Webpage has been created by Sharon Wick exclusively for Genealogy Express  2008
Submitters retain all copyrights