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Volume I: Chapter XII, pp 293-301

"Darke County During the Civil War"

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      We have noted the mixed character of Darke county's early population, its early isolation, and backward development. By 1860, however, great improvements had been made, railway and telegraphic communications had been established with the older communities and the weekly "Democrat" and "journal" kept the people well informed on the happenings of the outside world as well as on those of a local nature. The firing on Fort Sumpter, on April 12, 1861, and Lincoln's first call for volunteer troops on April 15, 1861, were soon heralded in Greenville. Had the inhabitants been imbued with the spirit of national patriotism, and would they respond to the President's appeal? An extract from Beer's "History of Darke County" answers these questions and gives a graphic description of the enthusiasm of the times. "The response from Darke county was prompt, determined and practical. Union meetings were held at Greenville, Union and Hill Grove. Speeches, fervent and patriotic, were delivered, and within a few days three full companies of volunteers had been raised. On Wednesday afternoon of April 24, three companies had left the county--two from Greenville, led by Capts. Frizell and Newkirk, and one from Union, under Capt. Cranor, aggregating full three hundred men. These troops were mustered into the United States service as Companies C, I and K of the Eleventh Ohio, and on April 29, went into Camp Denison, where they rapidly learned the discomforts and expedients of military life, shouting and cheering as they marked the arrival of fresh bodies of improvised troops. At home, the people manifested their zeal by generous contributions for the support of soldiers' families. One hundred and sixty citizens of Darke are named in the Greenville journal of May 8, for a sum subscribed to that end of $2,500. The mothers, daughters and sisters sent to camp boxes of provisions; the men freely contributed of their means to aid the loyal cause. Bull Run was fought, and soon three months had gone by and the volunteers returning to Greenville were discharged only to re-enter the service for a longer term.

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Two companies were soon ready for the field. As the magnitude of the struggle developed, the People of Darke county became yet more resolute in their desire to assist in restoring the union of the States. Meetings continued to be held; addresses full of fervid appeals were uttered, and a continuous stream of men gathered into camps, were organized and moved southward. The enlistment's ill the fall of 1861 was for three years. The Fortieth Regiment contained about two hundred men from Darke. In the Thirty-fourth was a company of eighty-four men who were sent with their regiment to Western Virginia. In the Forty-fourth, a company went out under Capt. J. M. Newkark. On October 28, the ladies of Greenville met at the court house and organized as "The Ladies' Association of Greenville for the relief of the Darke County Volunteers." They appointed as officers, President, Mrs. A. G. Putnam; secretary, Mrs. J. N. Beedle, and treasurer, Mrs. J. L. Winner, and formed a committee to solicit donations of money and clothing. Public meetings continued to be held at various points; recruiting was stimulated, and on November 6, it was reported that the county had turned out 200 volunteers within twenty days. Letters came from men in the field descriptive of arms, tents, rations, incidents and marches. Novelty excited close observation, and there were reports of duties, health, and all too soon came back the news of death. Heavy tidings is always that of death, and a sad duty to the comrade to tell it to the one watching and waiting at home. This was often done with a tact, a kindness, a language that horlored the soldier writer, and tended to assuage the grief of the recipient. Such was the letter penned by Thomas R. Smiley, of the Thirty-fourth, from Camp Red House, West Virginia, to Mrs. Swartz, telling of her son's death, by fever, and closing with these words: "Hoping and praying that God will sustain you in your grief, I most respectfully subscribe myself your friend in sorrow." No wonder the right triumphed, upheld by men of such Christian and manly principles.

      "The families' of soldiers began in midwinter to suffer, and the following extract from the letter of a wife to her husband, a volunteer from Darke county, will show a trial among others borne by the soldier in the sense of helplessness to aid his loved ones. It is commended to the perusal of any who think war a pastime. She wrote: "I have so far been able to support myself and our dear children, with the help that the relief committee gave me; but I am now unable to

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work, and the committee has ceased to relieve me. I am warned that I will have to leave the comfortable home which you left us in, and I will have to scatter the children. Where will I go and what will become of me? Don't leave without permission, as it would only be giving your life for mine. I will trust to God and live in hope, although things look very discouraging. Do the best you can, and send money as soon as possible." During the earlier part of the war, letters told of minor matters, but later accounts were brief and freighted heavily with tidings of battles, wounds and deaths.

      In July, 1862, the clouds of war hung heavy with disaster. East and West, terrible battles were fought, and the Southerners, with a desperate, honorable courage, forced their way into Maryland and Kentucky. New troops volunteered by thousands, and joined the veterans to roll back the tide of invasion. At the time, John L. Winner was Chairman of the Military Committee of Darke county, whose proportion of the call for 40,000 men from the State was 350 men for three years. The following shows by townships the number of electors, volunteers and those to raise

Township Electors Volunteers To raise
Greenville 925 175 10
German 265 27 27
Washington 255 38 13
Harrison 370 40 34
Butler 310 21 43
Neave 200 17 23
Richland 193 12 27
Wayne 325 65 --
Twin 350 32 38
Adams 320 37 27
Brown 215 27 16
Jackson 260 31 21
Monroe 175 24 11
York 120 9 15
Van Buren 200 32 8
Allen 95 10 9
Mississinewa 130 15 11
Franklin 170 29 5
Patterson 125 32 --
Wabash 110 12 10
Total 5,113 685 348

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      This table, while creditable to all, is especially so to Wayne and Patterson. Mass meetings were called, volunteers urged to come forward, bounties were offered, and responding to call by Gov. Tod, the militia was ordered enrolled. Along in August, recruiting proceeded rapidly; young and middle-aged flocked to the camps, and soon four companies (three of the 94th and one of the 110th were off to the camp at Piqua. On September 3, 1862, eight townships had exceeded their quota. There were 4,903 men enrolled and 201 to be raised by draft. Successive calls found hearty responses. In May, 1864, three townships had filled their quotas, and the draft called for 186 men.

      The services of the military committee of Darke deserving of honorable record is hereby acknowledged by a list as it was at the close of 1863: Daniel R. Davis, Capt. Charles Calkins, Capt. B. B. Allen and W. M. Wilson, secretary.

      "How well Darke county stood at the close of the war may be learned from the following statistics: The quota of the county in December, 1864, was 455. Of these; 384 volunteered, 24 were drafted, and 408 furnished. Over 1,500 volunteers were out from the county. It is a pleasing duty to briefly place upon the pages of home history a record of those regiments wherein Darke county men rendered service to their country. Brief though it be, it is a worthy meed of honor."

      The demonstrations attending the departure and return of the troops during the war can, scarcely be imagined by one who has never. witnessed such a scene. On the day of departure the soldiers from various parts of the county would assemble in the public square around the old court house. Fathers, mothers, wives, sweethearts and large numbers of children accompanied them and bid them "good bye" with hugs kisses, tears and "God bless you." When the time for departure arrived the companies fell in and marched south on Broadway to Third street and then east on the latter street one block to the station of the Dayton & Union railway, on the, southwest corner of Third and Walnut streets, where they embarked for Columbus, or the place of encampment.

      The history of the various regiments which were composed partly of companies from Darke county would make intensely interesting reading, but, on account of the volume of such material and the limited space at the disposal of the

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writer the reader must be content with a brief sketch of each regiment.

Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

      Three companies of this regiment were recruited in Darke county, in response to the first call in April, 1861, to serve three months. Company C was first commanded by Capt. J. W. Frizell, who was succeeded by R. A. Knox, with C. Calkins and Thos. McDowell as lieutenants. Company K was organized by M. Newkirk with H. C. Angel and Wesley Gorsuch as lieutenants. They joined the regiment at Camp Jackson (now Goodale Park), Columbus, 0. Co. I was organized at Union City, Ohio, under Captain Jonathan Cranor. Before seeing service the regiment was re-organized on June 20th, mustered in for three years, and sent in July on a scout up the Kanawha during which the Colonel of the regiment was captured. Lieutenant Colonel Frizell, of Greenville, then took charge of the regiment and soon set out for Charleston. On the advance they drove the enemy from their works at Tyler Mound, and with much difficulty pursued them to Gauley Bridge. They participated in two skirmishes, near New River in August, d uring which one man was killed and several wounded. Winter quarters were established at Point Pleasant early in December and here the troops remained until April 16, 1862, when an advance was made to Gauley Bridge. In August the Eleventh was moved to Parkersburg, and took rail for Washington, D. C., going into camp near Alexandria. From this point they proceeded beyond Fairfax Station in an attempt to stay the Confederate advance from Manassas, but were compelled to fall back within the defenses at Washington. In September the Eleventh advanced into Maryland, where they successfully engaged the enemy near. Frederick City, Sharpsburg and Antietam Creek. On October 8, they began a rough march to Hagerstown, Md., from which point they were transported to Clarksburg. Here they suffered from exposure in November on account of shortage in tents, blankets and clothing. Later they were sent to an outpost in the Kanawha valley where they erected good winter quarters and recovered strength for t he coming campaign. Part of the regiment remained stationed at this post while another part guarded the Gatiley fords. In January, 11,363, the command tinder Gen. Cook was transferred to Nashville, Tenn., via the Ohio and Cumberland

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rivers. From this point they proceeded to Carthage, fortified their position, endeavored to counteract the advance of the Confederates in that region. On May 27, they marched to Murfreesboro, and were placed in the Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, under Gen. George H. Thomas. From this time the regiment bore an honorable part of the following engagements: Hoover's Gap, Tenn., June 25, 1863; Tullahoma, Tenn., July 1, 1863; Chickamauga, Ga., Sept. 19-20, 1863; Lookout Mountain, Tenn., Nov. 24, 1863; Mission Ridge, Tenn., Nov. 25, 1863; Ringgold, Ga., Nov. 27, 1863; Buzzard Roost, Ga., Feb. 25, 1864; Resaca, Ga., May 16, 1864.

      The original members of this regiment (except veterans) were mustered out in June, 1864, by reason of expiration of term of service. The veterans and recruits consolidated into a battalion and remained in service until June 11, 1865.

The Thirty-Fourth Regiment.

      Company K composed of eighty-four men was enlisted by Capt. Thos. R. Smiley from Darke county, and regularly mustered into service at Camp Dennison, Sept. 10, 1861, for a term of three years. The regiment was ordered into Western Virginia, and posted at Gauley Bridge. It was engaged in the following battles: Princeton, Fayetteville, Cotton Hill, Charlestown, Buffalo, Wytheville, Averill's Raid, Panther Gap, Lexington and Beverly in West Virginia; Manassas Gap, Cloyd's Mountain, Clove Mountain, Piedmont, Buchanan, Otter Creek, Lynchburg, Liberty, Salem, Snicker's Gap, Winchester, Kernstown, Summit Point, Halltown, Berryville, Martinsburg, Opequan, Fisher's Hill, Strasburg and Cedar Creek in Virginia and Tonocacy Gap, Md.

The Fortieth Ohio Infantry.

      This regiment was organized at Camp Chase in the fall of 1861 to serve three years. All of Companies E and G, the greater portion of Company I and parts of F and K of this organization were recruited from Darke county. The following men from this county served as officers in this regiment:

      Jonathan Cranor, colonel; resigned.
      James B. Creviston, adjutant; resigned.
      Harrison E. McClure, adjutant; mustered out.
      William H. Matchett, assistant surgeon; mustered out.

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      John D. Gennett, captain of Company E; resigned.
      Charles G. Matchett, captain of Company G; mustered out.
      Andrew R. Calderwood, Captain of Company I; resigned.
      Wm. C. Osgood, first lieutenant of Company E, promoted to captain;
      James Allen, promoted to captain from sergeant; mustered out.
      Clement Snodgrass, promoted to captain from sergeant; killed at Peach
                               Tree Creek, July 21, 1864.
      Benjamin F. Snodgrass, promoted to first lieutenant from sergeant;
                               killed at Chickamauga, September 20, 1864.
      Cyrenius Van Mater, first lieutenant of Company G; killed at Chickamauga.
      John T. Ward, second lieutenant of Company E; resigned.
      William Bonner, second lieutenant of Company G; resigned.
      J. W. Smth, second lieutenant of Company 1, promoted to first lieutenant,
                               then to Captain; mustered out.
      John P. Frederick, first lieutenant of Company F; resigned.
      John M. Wasson, promoted to second lieutenant; mustered out.
      David Krouse, second lieutenant of Company F, promoted to first
                               lieutenant; mustered out.
      Isaac N. Edwards, sergeant, promoted to lieutenant; mustered out.
      James A Fisher, sergeant, promoted to lieutenant; mustered out.

      This regiment left Camp Chase for Kentucky December 17, 1861. During the war it bore an honorable part in the following conflicts: Middle Creek, Ky., Pound Gap, Ky., Franklin River, Tenn., Tullahoma Campaign, Tenn., Chickamauga, Ga., Lookout Mountain, Tenn., Mission Ridge, Tenn., Ringgold, Ga., Resaca, Ga., Dallas, Ga., Kenesaw Mountain, Ga., Peach Tree Creek, Ga., siege of Atlanta, Ga, Jonesboro, Ga., Lovejoy Station, Ga., and Franklin, Tenn.

The Forty-Fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

      Capt. John M. Newkirk who had organized Company K of the Eleventh Regiment for three months' service, as before noted, left that organization when it was reorganized and later became Captain of Company G of the Forty-Fourth Regi-

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ment, which was mustered into service at Camp Clark Springfield, Ohio, in October, 1861, to serve three years. It soon began service in West Virginia, where winter quarters were established. The principal engagements in which this regiment took part were Lewisburg, W. Va., May 23, 1862, and Dutton's Hill, Ky., March 30, 1863.

      In January, 1864, its designation was changed to the Eighth Regiment Ohio Cavalry.

Eighth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.

      As above mentioned, this organization was the successor of the 44th Regiment 0. V. I., from which it was formed in January, 1864. This regiment was retained in service until July 30, 1865. During its short term of existence it took part in the following engagements: Covington, Otter Creek, Lynchburg, Liberty, Winchester, Fisher's Hill, North Shenandoah and Cedar Creek, Virginia; Martinsburg and Beverly, W. Va. It was mustered out at Clarksburg, W. Va.

Sixty-Ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

      Two companies of this regiment were recruited in Darke county, Company D under Capt. Eli Hickcox, and Company E under Capt. David Putnam. Jas. Devor and Jas. Wharry also served as Captain of Company D during the course of the war; Jas. Tip King and Win. S. Mead as first lieutenants; J. W. Shively and Win. J. Faulknor as second lieutenants. Geo. W. Moore and Nelson T. Chenoweth served as Captains, John M. Boatman, Jacob J. Rarick and Jacob Leas as first lieutenants in Company E. Captain Hickcox was promoted to Major. L. E. Chenoweth was promoted from private in Company E to quartermaster sergeant. J. T. King to first lieutenant; A. N. Wilson from private to Hospital Steward. This regiment was organized in the state of Ohio at large, from October, 1861, to April, 1862, to serve three years. On the expiration of its term of service the original members (except veterans) were mustered out, and the organization composed of veterans and recruits, remained in the service until July 17, 1865.

      This organization took creditable part in the following engagements: Gallatin, Stone River, Chickamauga and Mission Ridge, Tenn.; Resaca, Dallas, Pumpkin Vine Creek, Kenesaw Mountain, Marietta, Chattahoochie River, Peach

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Tree Creek, Atlanta and at Jonesboro and Savannah, Ga., on Sherman's march to the sea. Their last engagement was at Bentonville, N. C.

The Ninety-Fourth Ohio Volunteers.

      This regiment was organized at Camp Piqua, some three miles above Piqua, Ohio, on the farm originally owned by Col. John Johnson, to serve three years with Col. Joseph W. Frizell, of Greenville, as commander. Three companies were enrolled from Darke county as follows: Company F, with Thos. H. Workman as captain, W. H. Snyder, first lieutenant and H. A. Tomilson, second lieutenant; Company I, with Wesley Gorsuch as captain, G. D. Farrar, first lieutenant, Chas. R. Moss, second lieutenant; Company K, with Chauncy Riffle as captain, Samuel T. Armold, first lieutenant, M. G. Maddox, second lieutenant. Before being equipped they were, hurried to Lexington, Ky., late in August, 1862, and on August 31, became engaged at Tate's Ferry. During the course of the war they engaged creditably in the following battles: Perryville, Ky.; Stone River, Tenn.; Tullahoma Campaign, Tenn.; Dug Gap, Chickamauga, Ga.; Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge, Tenn.; Buzzard's Roost, Resaca, Pumpkin Vine Creek, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, Smyrna Camp Ground, Chattahoochie River, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta and Jonesboro, Ga.; Bentonville, N. C.; and Johnson's Surrender.

One Hundred and Tenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

      Was organized at Camp Piqua, in August, 1862, and contained two companies from Darke county, Joseph C. Snodgrass being captain of one. Col. J. W. Keifer was in command. This regiment was ordered to Parkersburg, Va., October 19th. It served honorably in the following battles: Union-Mills, Winchester Heights, Stevenson's Depot, Wapping Heights, Brandy Station, Orange Grove, Wilderness, Spottsylvania C. H., New River, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Ream's Station, Snicker's Gap, Charleston, Halltown, Srnithfield, Opequan, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, Cedar Springs, Petersburg, Jetlersville, Sailor's Creek and Appomattox in Virginia and Monocacy, Md.

One Hundred and Fifty-Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

      This regiment was recruited largely in Darke county, eight companies being comprised of local men. Col. David Putnam, who had formerly served as Captain in the 69th Regiment, was the commanding officer, and John Beers was Sergeant-Major. This regiment left Greenville May 2, 1864, and was discharged Sept. 1, 1864, having been employed on the skirmish line in Virginia, to guard wagon trains and relieve the veteran soldiers, who were needed at the front. They were not in any important engagement. In Hunter's raid down the Shenandoah valley this regiment had charge of a provision train of 214 wagons, and marched from Martinsburg to Lynchburg, on the old Cumberland pike. It then marched over the Blue Ridge mountains to White Sulphur Springs, where it had its main engagement. From this point it marched to Webster, Va., a total distance of about 535 miles entirely on foot. After this the regiment went to Cumberland, Md., where it remained until the return to Camp Dennison and discharge.

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