William Benton Page in Civil War
Excerpts from daughter Jennie Page's Notes

File contributed by Dorothy Wiland [ DorothyWiland@hotmail.com ]


I received a xeroxed copy about thirty years ago when I lived in Athens, Ohio. The notes were sent to me by my Great Uncle Page Dawson from Batavia, Ohio. Twenty years passed, the zerox became almost unreadable, so I typed out a copy as close to the original as I could and that copy sat in my file for another ten years before I had time to resume any time with it.

William Benton PAGE was born 9 Jul 1825 in Clermont County, Ohio. He was the son of Abner PAGE and Jane Culet PIGMAN. On 18 Sep 1850 he married Mary Ann IRETON born 7 May 1831. She was the daughter of Anthony IRETON and Martha MARSH from Clermont County, Ohio. Wm and Mary Ann had two daughters, Levanda PAGE born 16 Sep 1852 and Mary Iona PAGE born 29 Dec 1853. The family moved to Union City, Darke County, Ohio, where William taught school. On May 8, 1854 William's dog came to the school house and barked wildly. William went home and found that Mary Ann had died.

William's second marriage was to Patsey Provence GREGG of Laurel, Clermont County, Ohio, 28 Sep 1856. Their children were: Jane Curlet (Jennie), b. 22 Jul 1857, Martha Ellen (Ella) b. 15 Jun 1856 who married Thomas Perry COOPER of Merom on 3 Jun 1885, John Asbury b. 29 May 1862 who married Earlida REED of Merom. The 1850 Census of Brown Twp, Darke County shows William page on p. 485. In Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellions 1861-1866, Vol VIII, published Cincinnati, The Ohio Valley Press, 1888, the roster of Co. H, 110th OVI is listed William B. Page, sergeant, age 36 when entered service on Aug. 8, 1862, mustered out with company June 25, 1865.

Patsy left William 23 April 1876 and he filed for divorce in the city of Monticello, Pratt County, Illinois, 2 Sep 1878. He thereafter married a woman named Eva A. (surname unknown). William Benton PAGE died in Sullivan, Indiana, 7 Mar 1880. There is no will on file. Patsy PAGE died in Sullivan, Indiana, 28 Jan 1887 and is buried in the Merom Cemetery, Sullivan, Indiana. In the PAGE section there is a child buried, Flossie Fern aged 4y 5m 2d. On same stone is listed Patsy and Jennie C. I assume that John Asbury, Jennie's brother, had a small child, Flossie, who died young. It appears that both his mother and his sister are also buried there. Therefore, assuming that Jennie did not marry.

NOTE: No corrections to spelling, punctuation, grammar or phrasing have been made. I have copied the notes as best as I could read them.

Excerpts from Jennie Page's Notes

"William Benton Page was married to Mary Ann Ireton of Clermont Co., O. He moved to 40 acres of timber in Dark Co., O., built a cabin and lived in it. Two girls, Lavanda and Mary Iona were born to them. Mary Ann died when Onie was 3 months old. He took the two girls back to Clermont County to their grandfather Ireton where they lived until they were married.

"After about 1 yr [overprinted 2] Wm married Patsey Provence Gregg-daughter of Rev. James Gregg of the M.E. church and Nancy McCormack-daughter of Rev. Francis McCormick, a former M.E. preacher. Patsey Provence was born October, 1827 in Rush Co. Indiana, near Andersonville where her father died. Her mother moved to Clermont County, Ohio with her family consisting of these 8 children-John Gregg of Washington Court House, O, Rebecca (Ross Martin), Mary Ann (Gee), Fannie, Nannie, Lucinda (Lowe Whittier), Francis, Patsey. The McCormicks were originally from Virginia. The McCormick's Harvester Company people are a branch of the same family. Patsey's family are of Scotch-Irish and French descent. Williams's family are pure English.

"William had a good income for that day. He taught school for a number of years and was one of the 'typical School Master's' of the day and truely believed and practiced, 'No licken no larnen!' 'Spare the rod and spoil the child.' His pupils had to be able to spell through the Spelling Book before they might begin to read and cipher.

"Woo be unto the urchin who dared to have an opinion of his own--or who dared refuse to obey the command of the master. But-He was an industrious, consciencious worker. When he undertook to do any work he never stopped until it was done and done thoroughly. He was a good friend and neighbor-a good nurse in sickness.

"Patsey Gregg was a dressmaker by trade. She had a dressmaking shop in Cincinnati in the 40th. She was a neat sewer and an economical cutter. I well remember the roll of silk pieces she had, of dresses she had made. One of my greatest pleasures in early childhood was to have her tell me to whom the dresses, like the scraps belonged.

"William and Patsey lived with her mother near Laurel Ohio for the first year of their married life. Jane Curlet their oldest child was born there July 22. In November or December following they moved to Dark County Ohio 6 miles north of Union City. Martha Ellen and John Asbury were born there. Asbury in the log cabin in the woods.

"When the Civil War broke out; when President Lincoln issued his call for '100 day Men' in April '61 William volunteered for '3 years or until the close of the war.' He went to Madisonville Merco County [Mercer Co.?] to volunteer. Among his commrads were-Hex Embank, the Harder brothers. He was sent to camp Dennison at Milford Ohio on the little Miami River for training or mobilization.

"Mrs Patsey Page was left at home on a little farm in the woods only a few acres of which was cleared. She had a cow-she bravely undertook to care for her three small children. Jennie 5, Ella 3, Asbury 3 mos. old. William was in Co. H 110 O Infantry in Sept. or Oct. Mother took us children and went to Milford-across the River from Camp Dennison where she had a cosin Frank Mears living. We stayed at Cosin Frank's at night. During the day we would go to Camp Dennison to father. I well remember the white tents in rows-the cooking over fires-the tables and eating rice out of new tin frie pan on a stool. Different nurses brought their food to father's mess - to have a woman cook it-mother cooked for father's mess, while she was there.

"One day father took us to the guard house where a man was being punished by being Bucked and gagged-that is placed flat on his back his armes and legs staked fast and his mouth held open by a stick placed between his teeth. "I can well remember seeing the troop drill.

"Father's Regiment was expecting to receive orders to move East at noon the following day. Mother took us early, to the camp that morning, that we might say Goodbye to father. But the order had come for them to move at midnight. So they were gone when we got there. Mother went to the tent of an officer whom she had met while visiting father, in order to learn the particulars of the moving and where they had gone.

"While they were talking, I wanted something to eat. The Officer called his Colored servant and told him to get some bread and butter for me. When he came with it-I would not take it from him-but wrapped myself up in Mother's wide dress skirt. The negro grinned. I well remember his white teeth. He gave it to Mother, then I took it. As we were going back to Milford-walking on the RR a train came behind us. Mother did not hear it-Altho it whistled-the fireman climed out on the cowcatcher and as the train came upon us he caught hold of us and pushed us off the track. Mother always said she was to greef stricken that she supposed that is why she did not hear it. After spending a few weeks with her people, she went back to the little farm in the woods, there to help the Brave Boys at the front win the war, by keeping the 'Home fires burning.'

"Father was place in 'The Army of the Potomac' when he was East. He was kept in this Division all throu the war. I have heard him speak many times of the different commanders-McClellen, Hood, Sheridan, Grant. He was in the Battle of Cedar Creek when the Union Army was routed and when Phil Sheridan made his famous ride on his black horse 'Sheridan's Ride.' Father saw him as he came upon his men in full retreat-his horse covered with foam-and called out- 'Right, about Face, Charge to rout the Enemy.' Forward he rode with his saber in his hand his men seeing him, turned with a yell and a rush drove the enemy back and gained the day.

"I well remember when John Morgan made his raid across the Ohio River up into Ohio. Uncle Bob Hartman rode up to our yard fence one morning and said 'The Rebles have crossed the Ohio River and are on the way here. Mother turned round with a disparing look and gesture and said 'Well; children! We don't know what day the Rebles will be her!' I began to cry for I thought a Reble was the most terrible thing one could possibly met.

"I well remember the Battle of the Wilderness. I would ask mother many times a day-'If she thought our father had been killed yet?' It was an aweful suspense, waiting for the slow way of getting news in those days.

"I have heard father tell about it-the men were so tired and sleepy that they would go sound asleep, when the roops were ordered to halt. He said he woke many a poor tired soldier up as they started forward again. The battle raged for 3 days-during this time there was no chance to eat-only as they ate what was in the Haver sack without cooking. They were never allowed to sit or lie down.

"Father was in the 2nd battle of Bull Run; the Battle of the Wilderness; Cold Harbor; Appomattaz Court House; Spotselvania; the Siege of Fredricksburg; the Siege of Richmond. He was there when Richmond fell. He saw Gen. Lee and Pres. Jef-Davis. When the word reached the lines that Lee had surrendered the Boys went wild-they yelled. Some cried like children. They gathered their officers off their horses and carried them down the lines-passing them over their heads from one to another.

"He was mustered out in July 1865 and came home on Sunday. We were at church at Castle S.H. when the word came. Of course Mother had Ella and Asbury to help along so could not go as fast as I could. The folks tryed to get me to run on ahead before we turned off the road but I would not do it. But after we reached the woods path then I ran. Sure enough there lay a man on the floor between the beds fast asleep. He had pulled his woolen shirt off and hung it on the fence. It had 'Grey Backs' on it. I ran back to the yard and called to Mother 'He is here.' then I went back and tryed to waken him. I did not know what to say to him so I said say __________ [unreadable] children have come home!" But of course that did not awaken him. It did not take long for Mother to get him awake when she got there.

"My! what storys he used to tell us of the war. I never tired of listening to them. I can remember of Mother knitting socks to send to him and one time when the folks in the neighborhood were sending a box to the boys Mother put in some of her nice rolls of butter. I remember the letters that came and were sent. Mother said I never refused to take one of the 2 smaller children so that she could do something for the soldiers: the wood choppings the neighbors made to get wood for us-Mother hoeing the corn, so she could have enough to feed the stock.

"My mother worked hard and endured many hardships and privations in order that the Union might stand...I had the pleasure of meeting a number of my father's comrads and messmates-two of whom remember Haz Enbank and Caft Harder. It was at a Sunday S.S. picnic-I spoke- I think I met 12 or 15 of the old men. I met Capt. Harder. He gave me a hearty welcome. He introduced me to others. The old men crowded around the platform when I spoke and as I came from the platform they crowded around the step to shake hands with me and give me an invitation to attend their reunion and invite me to their homes. They told me that I need never be ashamed of my father's record as a soldier. He never refused to obey an order or go where duty called and never gambled nor drank and indulged in the vices that so many soldiers indulged in.

"That day will always be a bright spot in my memory.     Jennie C. Page"

Then she added:

"He was under McDowell in '62 in the seige of Fredricksburg. The very last of Aug '62 he was in the 2nd Battle of Bull Run under Gen. Pope-resigned and McClellen took charge. He met Lee at Antieam Green (Sharpsburg) Sept. 17 one of the bloodiest battles of the war. The 'boys in Blue' and the 'boys in Gray' lay in ranks like swaths of grass. Burnside took command then followed the battle of Fredricksburg-Dec. 31, 62-he was defeated-Fighting Joe Hooker replaced him.

"Sometime during the war he was made Sergeant. The 110th O Re. was called the Bloody 10th. It was in more hard battles than any other regiment and when it was mustered out it only lacked 2 mane of (unreadable) killed as many as the original no in it.

"When the war songs first came out they were printed on letter paper, the soldiers could write letters home on the other side. Father sent these songs home. I remember the pretty flag that would be printed above the soand and [unreadable] on the words being read to me so often that I almost knew them.

"While he was stationed in Cedar Mt. in Virginia he whittled out some finger rings from the cedar roots and sent Ella and I. I have one of those rings in my possession at this time. I also have the powder horn he carried during the war. Nora Page Crow has an enlarged picture of father from one he sent home during the war. It is a good picture of him. He had dark brown hair and gray eyes, fair complexion. He stood 6 ft in his sock feet.

"In 1870 he and the family moved to Sullivan Co Indiana 3 miles east of Merom. He died at Grandfather Buffs March 7, 1880 and is buried at Sullivan on the same lot with Grandmother and Grandfather Buff. His grave is marked by a stone put up by the US Gov or G.A.R.'s."

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