Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Tragic Story of William McKnight

William McKnight was a member of Company K, 7th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, during the Civil War.  McKnight was born in New Brunswick, Canada, on July 2nd , 1832.  His father Thomas was from Scotland, so William was a Canadian, of Scottish heritage, fighting for the Union, in an Ohio regiment.  McKnight was a resident of Rutland Township, Meigs County, Ohio, prior to the war.  On March 8th, 1855 he married Samaria Braley of nearby Langsville, and the union would produce six children, Leila, Thomas, Susan, Mary, and twins Martha and Myrta, the latter who were born on July 4th, 1863.  Prior to the Civil War McKnight earned a living as a blacksmith and would implore his wife to collect on debts owed by locals while he was awaiting for his pay while serving, as opposed to her obtaining from their families.

William joined the 7th OVC on September 12th, 1862 and was made sergeant on November 8th, 1862.  The 7th was known as the River Regiment as most of the companies were raised from men from counties along the Ohio River.  Organized at various locations around the state (Columbus, Ripley, Athens, Pomeroy and Gallipolis), the regiment served three years and was involved in numerous engagements and battles during the war.  

During the Great Raid of 1863, John H. Morgan was chased across Ohio by the 7th Ohio, but McKnight was not with the regiment during this time as he was at Nicholsville, Kentucky training new men for the regiment.  On the raid Morgan's command passed through Langsville, where McKnight owned a house and Samaria and the six children, including the two week old twins, were living.  The story goes that Samaria was in the act of fleeing as she had heard that Morgan's men would not treat civilians respectfully, but Morgan himself reassured her that no harm would come to Samaria or the children.  While waiting for his command to complete crossing a nearby water obstacle, Morgan spent time conversing with Samaria.  Regardless, when William found out that Morgan was literally on his front porch, he became infuriated with the thought that the horse thief Morgan had the audacity to speak to Samaria.

At Cynthiana, Kentucky, during Morgan's Last Kentucky Raid, Second Lieutenant William McKnight* would have his chance to seek "revenge" on Morgan.  On the early morning of June 12th, 1864, the 7th Ohio Cavalry, part of Stephen  Burbridge's Federal force that had been chasing after Morgan, encountered the Confederates on the east side of town.  The resulting fight, which lasted about one hour, resulted in the complete rout of Morgan's men, and during the chase McKnight was mortally wounded on his left side.  He languished for a few days before dying.  In his pocket was found a poem he had written to Samaria in April, 1852.  The paper was stained, perhaps from William's mortal wound.  

At home in Langsville was a twenty-six year old Samaria, and her six now-fatherless children, aged nine and under, including the eleven month old twins who would never remember their father.  Samaria never remarried, and was supported by her family, and later her daughter who lived with Samaria into her old age.

While certainly not the only soldier from Canada to fight during the Civil War, it is interesting to note that William supported the Union given his non-American background.  And while the Second Battle of Cynthiana is but a small footnote in the annals of Civil War history, his death left as much home front impact  as any fellow soldier killed at Chickamauga, or Shiloh, or Gettysburg.

* McKnight had been promoted on April, 19th, 1864.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Breweries Along the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail

If you are like me, and seemingly the more Civil War aficionados I meet this holds true, you enjoy a good craft beer after a day of battlefield exploration.  The John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail across Ohio is one long exploratory route, and it can take a few days to drive the route and peruse the interpretive panels along the way.  Stretching from Harrison on the Ohio-Indiana border, and ending near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, the trail is over 500 miles long.  Driving the trail can be thirsty business, and this article is to provide you with breweries along the way to enjoy while pondering the Great Raid.

As these breweries are all nearly locally owned, there is an unfortunate possibility that they may not be in existence in the future as small businesses do come and go.  As of this writing these locations are open and ready for you to enjoy their craft beer offerings.  Let them know that you are driving the Morgan Trail when you stop in!  Also keep in mind that many of these breweries have limited days of the week that they are open for business - plan accordingly by checking their websites for open times.

We'll go county by county, following the trail from west to east.  There is also the five and dime rule - in larger urban areas the breweries listed are within five driving miles of the trail, while in rural areas the breweries are within ten miles.  And as many breweries often changing their taps, I will not provide a synopsis of what beers are available...let your own palette lead you based on the offerings of the day!

Hamilton and Butler Counties
Fibonacci Brewing Company, 1445 Compton Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45231 - fibbrew.com
    Brink Brewing Company, 5905 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45224 - brinkbrewing.com
      Swine City Brewing, 4614 Industry Dr, Fairfield, OH 45014 - swinecitybrewing.com
        Cincy Brewing Co., 607 Shepherd Dr Unit 5, Cincinnati, OH 45215 - facebook.com/cincybrewingco
          DogBerry Brewing, 9964 Crescent Park Dr, West Chester Township, OH 45069 - dogberrybrewing.com
            March First Brewing and Distilling, 7885 E Kemper Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45249 - marchfirstbrewing.com
              Fretboard Brewing Company, 5800 Creek Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45242 - fretboardbrewing.com
                Nine Giant, 6095 Montgomery Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45213 - ninegiant.com
                  HighGrain Brewing Company, 6860 Plainfield Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45236 - highgrainbrewing.com
                    MadTree Brewing, 3301 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45209 - madtreebrewing.com
                      Bad Tom Smith Brewing, 5900 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45227 - badtomsmithbrewing.com
                        Fifty West Brewing Company, 7668 Wooster Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45227 - fiftywestbrew.com
                          Narrow Path Brewing Co., 106 Karl Brown Way, Loveland, OH 45140 - hnarrowpathbrewing.com

                          Clermont County
                          Little Miami Brewing Company, 208 Mill St, Milford, OH 45150 - littlemiamibrewing.com

                          Brown County
                          Sons of Toil Brewing, 14090 Klein Rd, Mt Orab, OH 45154 - sonsoftoilbrewing.com

                          Jackson County
                          Sixth Sense Brewing and Taproom, 175 E Main St, Jackson, OH 45640 - sixthsensebrewing.co

                          Meigs County
                          Maple Lawn Brewery, 110 Mulberry Ave, Pomeroy, OH 45769 - facebook.com/maplelawnbrew

                          Gallia County
                          Merry Family Winery and Old Mill Craft Beer, 2376 OH-850, Bidwell, OH 45614 - merryfamilywinery.com

                          Athens County
                          Devil's Kettle Brewing, 97 Columbus Rd, Athens, OH 45701 - devilskettlebrew.com
                            Little Fish Brewing Co., 8675 Armitage Rd, Athens, OH 45701 - littlefishbrewing.com

                            Guernsey County
                            Southside Brewing Co, 62920 Georgetown Rd, Cambridge, OH 43725 - georgetowntavern.com

                            Jefferson County
                            Hightower Brewing Company, 3445 Co Rd 16, Rayland, OH 43943 - facebook.com/HightowerBrewingCompany
                              Dungeon Hollow Brewing Company, 572 Co Rd 22A, Bloomingdale, OH 43910 - dungeonhollow.com

                              Columbiana County
                              Numbers Brewing Company, 127 N Beaver St, Lisbon, OH 44432 - numbersbrewco.com

                              Monday, August 26, 2019

                              The 59th Ohio Infantry

                              Isaac Penny - Company H
                              A few days ago I started a Facebook page on the 59th Ohio Infantry, raised from men (and perhaps two women) from Brown, Clermont, and to a lesser extent, Highland Counties.  Why did I start another Facebook page?  Because the more I learn and study about this regiment, the more I become convinced that a regimental history might be a good book project to tackle.  But, I also know that I am not the best researcher out there - I love learning, but digging in, and having the bulldog determination to see a project like this through is a bit daunting.  And really, where does one start?  How do I know what libraries and repositories might have information on the 59th?  Luckily knowing a few folks on Facebook who are Civil War experts is starting to yield some results, and it might lead to a collaborative effort with a noted author, who has offered to work on this together, if we find there is enough source and primary material to put together a good story on the 59th.  More on this later if it comes to fruition.

                              Because the men from the 59th were mostly from Brown and Clermont Counties, finding their graves has also become a bit of obsession for me.  I've already adopted the grave, through the Civil War Augusta Adopt-A-Soldier program, of Sergeant Nathaniel Yates, who is actually buried in Payne Cemetery in Augusta.  Yates must have moved to Bracken County after the war, and most likely with his brother, as I have also found the brother's grave in another cemetery outside of Augusta.  There are also another half dozen men from the 59th buried in Bracken County, and this really got the bug going for me.  To that end I have created a virtual cemetery on Find A Grave, and at this time have 132 men of the 59th listed.  I will visit as many of these men as I can, and do a little cleaning of their stone, so that their grave will attract a few visitors as we think about their stories.

                              UPDATE:  Now 210 men on the Find A Grave virtual cemetery.

                              Nathaniel Yates' grave in Augusta, Kentucky

                              Wednesday, July 31, 2019

                              Dodds Cemetery

                              Every day on my commute to and from work I pass through the crossroads of Dodds.  From the crossroads I can see the Dodds Cemetery.  Last year I decided to stop to see if there were any Civil War veterans buried there, and came across three men who served in Ohio regiments during the war.  While there, I did a bit of stone cleaning on the markers for these three men in an effort to help them stand out in this small cemetery, where dozens of vehicles pass every day.

                              Over the last few months I could look out my car window and see the white stone of one veteran stand out, and I knew that the clean up I did last year was successful.  His crisp white headstone is definitely something that draws the eye, and I hope that more people stop at Dodds to visit.

                              Today I stopped at the cemetery on my way home, and was surprised to see that someone had placed grave markers and flags for these three men.  I also saw close up the effects of my cleaning efforts.  I will say the stones are looking much better.


                              Sunday, July 28, 2019

                              Where Did They Come From? Name Origin of Augusta Union Dead

                              Alpheus McKibben - Hillside Cemetery
                              Unlike most of Kentucky, which was settled from Virginia via the Cumberland Gap, the settlements along the Ohio River were founded by men and women not of Scots-Irish ancestry, but of mostly English.  The Ohio River route was traveled by those coming from the mid-Atlantic colonies and states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and the surnames of those men fighting in the Union home guard for the most part reflected that heritage.

                              Drake, Augustus C. - The name is either from Anglo-Saxon or Middle English origin and can mean dragon or snake.

                              Landen, Charles A. - An Old English name, most likely from Landon, meaning long hill.

                              McKibben, Alpheus - Irish (they are everywhere!).  The Gaelic form is Mac GiobĂșin.  Mc or Mac means "son of."

                              Story, William B. - Story is an old Norse name, which became ingrained in England as part of the numerous raids by the Norse, and occupation of parts of England.

                              Taylor, B.W.H. - Taylor stems from French and Latin and used in England as an occupational name. In Latin taliator means "to cut."

                              The Civil War Augusta group has an Adopt-A-Soldier program in place to mark those fallen Home Guard men.

                              Monday, July 8, 2019

                              Greenwood Cemetery Stories

                              In doing research for the tour I am leading in October at Greenwood Cemetery in Hamilton, I am coming across some rather interesting stories of the Civil War veterans buried there.  I've been focusing mostly on the 35th Ohio and the various colonels, and have found quite a few men who were discharged during the war that came home and passed away while the war was still raging.  I also have come across a story of a veteran who, after the war, was in a small town in the north part of Butler County, missed the train to take him home, decided to walk along the rails to the next town, and was killed on the tracks by the Chicago express.  The accident took place between two towns where a curve in the tracks was located which is why the train did not see the veteran until too late.  Now, I question this a bit.  Having spent my younger years a few miles from this location, there is only one slight bend on the rail line, and the sight lines are rather long.  Now, in the later portion of the 1800s there may have been more trees along the tracks, blocking the view from the engine...plus a train, especially an express train moving at presumably a higher speed, cannot stop on a dime.

                              The rail line was not likely moved in the intervening years as the valley it runs through is constricted in some areas by a creek.  And of course the area may have been more wooded in the past, but the land there has been farmed for generations so most likely was farmed when the accident occurred.  

                              I am purposely being vague with details as I will be sharing the full story during the tour.  It is far more interesting than what I have shared thus far.

                              Wednesday, July 3, 2019

                              More Boys From Butler County

                              As stated in yesterday's post, there were more men that served as individuals beyond the regiments previously mentioned.  Individual Butler Countians served in the following units:

                              4th Ohio Cavalry
                              28th Ohio
                              74th Ohio
                              75th Ohio
                              108th Ohio
                              127th Ohio (5th USCT)

                              I would venture to state that there were probably at least 5,000 men from Butler County to serve in the Civil War.  If so, that means nearly 14% of the county citizenry were in one of these units.

                              Tuesday, July 2, 2019

                              The Boys From Butler County

                              As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am from Butler County, Ohio, sandwiched between Cincinnati and Dayton.  During the Civil War the population of the county was about 36,000, and the men from the county did more than their share when it came to serving in the war.  Here is a breakdown of units and companies that were raised in Butler County:

                              1st Ohio Cavalry - one company
                              3rd Ohio - one company
                              5th Ohio Cavalry - parts of two companies
                              9th Ohio - one company 
                              12th Ohio - two companies
                              26th Ohio - one company
                              35th Ohio - five companies
                              58th Ohio - one company
                              69th Ohio - five companies
                              83rd Ohio - one company
                              93rd Ohio - three companies
                              167th Ohio - nine companies

                              Taking the above, if each company is 100 men, then Butler County contributed at least 3,000 men, or 8.33% of the county population, to the war effort.  That 3,000 number would be very much on the low end, as more recruits were added to units as the war progressed.  For example, the 35th Ohio had a total of 1,700 of men that would eventually be on its muster rolls, even though a regiment was supposed to be 1,000 men strong. 

                              Next post I will mention the other regiments that had Butler County men serving, just not as full companies.

                              Monday, July 1, 2019

                              Ancestors

                              At Mound Hill Cemetery, a beautiful cemetery located in Eaton, Ohio, are some of my ancestors, at least two of whom served during the Civil War.  Daniel Cooper, my third great-uncle, joined the 35th Ohio on September 7th, 1861, and served all three years.  Originally part of Company G, he transferred to Company C and served as corporal.  He was discharged on July 16th, 1864 in Columbus, Ohio for wounds received on September, 20th, 1863 at the Battle of Chickamauga.  Jacob Cooper, my third great grandfather, must have felt the urge to not be outdone by his son by joining the 133rd Ohio, a hundred days regiment, on May 2nd, 1864, and was discharged on August 20th.  The roster of the 133rd shows that Jacob was 24 when he joined, but this must have been incorrect as he was 50 in 1864.  His pension records show Company G, with his wife as Harriet as his widow, and she is indeed Jacob's wife (and my possible connection to George S. Patton, Jr. as Harriet was a Patton). 


                              Tuesday, June 25, 2019

                              The Colonels of Greenwood - Michael Clarkson Ryan


                              Michael Clarkson Ryan's Civil War career is the least impressive of the colonels buried at Greenwood, but his civilian career was rather notable.  Born in April, 1820 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, his family moved to Hamilton in 1832.  Ryan graduated from Miami University in 1839, and then Cincinnati Law School in 1842.  He was both a newspaper editor and a lawyer, and was a founding member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity while at Miami.  He also served as the Butler County Prosecuting Attorney from 1848 to 1852 and Clerk of Courts 1852 to 1858 .  

                              Ryan was commissioned at the colonel of the 50th Ohio but before the regiment was able to be mustered in died of illness on October 23rd, 1861.  The 50th did not complete its organization until the summer of 1862.

                              Ryan is buried in the Hill Section, Lot 446.


                              Monday, June 24, 2019

                              The Colonels of Greenwood - Thomas Moore

                              Thomas Moore was born in Canada on July 27th, 1822.  He attended Miami University, was a lawyer, and served in the Ohio Senate from 1860 to 1862.

                              Moore became colonel of the 167th Ohio Infantry (a one hundred days regiment) on May 16th, 1864 and was honorably mustered out on September 8th.  The 167th served in West Virginia, guarding supply trains.

                              Moore passed away two days after his seventieth birthday on July 29th, 1892,  He is buried in the Hill Section, Lot 400.

                              Sunday, June 23, 2019

                              The Colonels of Greenwood - John Minor Millikin

                              John Minor Millikin, Jr. (he used Minor as his first name) was born on July 9th, 1834, in Hamilton, Ohio.  His father was a successful farmer in Butler County, having some notoriety with breeding Poland hogs and serving as the President of the State Board of Agriculture and as an attorney.  Minor attended Hanover College in Indiana for two years, then moved on to Miami University in 1852 where he became friends with Whitelaw Reid and also became noted for his speaking ability and original writing, being a prominent member of the Erodelphian Society.  After Miami Minor went to Harvard Law School. 

                              Returning to Cincinnati in 1855, he married Mary Mollyneaux of Oxford, and the couple spent a twelve month honeymoon in Europe.  Returning to the United States, Millikin purchased the Hamilton Intelligencer, a Republican newspaper, and served as editor for two years.  After disposing the newsletter he farmed near his father's property.  

                              When the Civil War broke out, his name and his horsemanship led Millikin to join Captain Burdsall’s Independent Cincinnati Company of cavalry, where Millikin provided funds to purchase twenty-four horses.  Millikin was at first sergeant, then lieutenant, and campaigned in (West) Virginia.  He received an enforcement from his men as being the best of the leaders of the unit, and was appointed as major for the 1st Ohio Cavalry, a three year regiment.

                              While serving in the 1st, Millikin took the bold and noble step to ask the colonel of the regiment, Owens Perkins Ransom, to resign his commission.  This was not a move to take over the regiment on Millikin's part, but a friendly attempt to have Ransom understand that his drinking ways were not productive for the regiment's conduct.  Ransom took the advice of his friend, and did resign his colonelcy. 

                              Ironically, Millikin received the promotion to colonel of the 1st on January 11th, 1862, which caused a stir among the officers of the regiment due to Millikin's age and rank.  One of those complaining was the brother of the governor of the State of Ohio.  Millikin was discharged on March 15th, due to an adverse report by a board of examination, but was reinstated by President Lincoln on June 6th after Lincoln declared the proceedings of the board void.  This led to the resignation of a few officers, including the governor's brother.  During the time of Millikin's discharge from the regiment, he served on George H. Thomas's staff.

                              At Stones River on the morning of December 31st, Millikin showed his personal bravery and understanding of a tactical situation when his regiment was ordered to break up attacks of Confederate cavalry attempting to move into the Federal rear.  In an effort to protect a wagon train, Millikin swung his regiment about in column of fours and ordered a charge against a superior force, which now included Confederate infantry and artillery.  Millikin was at the forefront of the charge, and found himself and a small group of the 1st cut of from the remainder of the regiment.  In parrying with a group of assailants, Millikin was shot in the neck with a revolver, which killed him.  The rest of the regiment charged into the melee in order to retrieve Millikin's body.  Upon learning of Millikin's death, Thomas wrote a letter of condolence to Millikin's parents.

                              I do not yet have the details on Millikin's funeral in Hamilton, but based on Millikin's family standing, it was most likely a large affair, similar to William H. Lytle's in Cincinnati, in which the citizens of Hamilton would have turned out in large numbers as the funeral procession made its way to the cemetery.  It is difficult to speculate Millikin's future career, both during the Civil War and his civilian life after the war, but his is an interesting story and the potential seemed to be limitless for this man.

                              Millikin is buried in the Millikin Section, between Lots 185 and 205.

                              Saturday, June 22, 2019

                              The Colonels of Greenwood - Lewis D. Campbell

                              Lewis Davis Campbell was born August 11th, 1811, in Franklin, Ohio.  Like many officers of the Civil War, his occupation was lawyer.  Prior to the war he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1849 to 1858, and would serve in the same capacity after the war from 1871-1873.  He was appointed U.S. Minister to Mexico from 1866-1867.

                              Campbell's brother-in-was was Colonel Robert Reily of the 75th Ohio.  Campbell was appointed colonel of the 69th Ohio on October 2nd, 1861, but would resign on August 9th, 1862 after facing charges of "Drunkenness and Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman While on Duty", another commonality among officers during the Civil War.  These charges, though unproven, caused Campbell to write of his resignation "the unfriendly relations and incompatibility of feeling which subsist between some of the officers and myself...the constant strain on my physical and intellectual energies for the last nine months in recruiting the regiment and endeavoring to make it effective."

                              The 69th had been raised in southwestern Ohio, organized in Hamilton and Camp Chase, and guarded railroads in Tennessee until seeing its first major action at Stones River.  William B. Cassilly would take over as colonel of the 69th after Campbell's resignation.

                              Campbell would pass away on November 26th, 1882 in Hamilton.  He is buried in the Hill Section, Lot 468.


                              Thursday, June 20, 2019

                              Greenwood Cemetery

                              I am working to become a docent at Spring Grove, hoping to lead some Civil War tours there that focus on the colonels and some generals and other Civil War persons that are buried within the grounds.  I also am approaching Greenwood Cemetery, in Hamilton, Ohio, about leading or helping with a history tour there.  There are a couple of notable men buried there, Brigadier General Ferdinand Van Derveer and Colonel John Minor Millikin.  I'll provide more details on these two men in future posts, but the former was the colonel of the 35th Ohio, and later led "Cumberland's Iron Brigade" at Chickamauga, where the brigade as a whole had their most intense action.  The latter was colonel of the 1st Ohio Cavalry and was killed at Stones River.  There are also numerous other Civil War soldiers buried at Greenwood, and over the coming months I hope to delve into some of their stories.  More on this to come!

                              Monday, June 3, 2019

                              American Battlefield Trust Annual Conference

                              I spent a lovely five days participating in the annual conference of the American Battlefield Trust.  It was an amazing time, from the talks, to tours, to meals, and to getting to know a lot of new faces and seeing a few folks I have met over the years.  My Cynthiana tour went well I believe, and I enjoyed getting to read a few first person accounts during the Richmond tour, which saw the local association providing an excellent pot luck lunch during the day.  I also got a chance to get over the Camp Nelson, one of the newest National Park Service sites.

                              The major of Cynthiana, the staff at the historical museum, and the folks from the Episcopal Church all provided a small town welcome.  My friend Bill Penn was able to sell some copies of his book during our stop at the museum.

                              I am already planning to attend the Color Bearer event in Savannah, as well as the annual conference in Virginia next year.



                              Sunday, June 2, 2019

                              The Colonels of Spring Grove - Crafts James Wright

                              Crafts James Wright served as the colonel of the 13th Missouri Infantry, effective August 3rd, 1861.  He was nominated as a brigadier general on May 22nd, 1862, but the nomination was tabled by the U.S. Senate and Wright remained a colonel.  The 13th Missouri changed its designation to the 22nd Ohio on July 7th, 1862.  Wright would go on to command a brigade in the Army of West Tennessee.  U.S. Grant would endorse a recommendation for Wright's discharge on August 10th, 1862 for insubordination.  Grant will write "From the day Col. Wright first reported to me for duty, to the present time, he has been the cause of more complaints from his immediate commanders than any six officers of this command.  He has constantly raised the question of rank with those immediately over him...and he is constantly raising points and occupying the time of his superior officers with a correspondence, useless to the service, and to some extent insubordinate."  An examination board recommended that he be discharged on account of physical disability having slept in the rain and mud the night of April 6th at Shiloh.

                              Wright was born on July 13th, 1808 in Troy, New York.  He graduated from West Point, Class of 1828.  He was a lawyer, newspaper editor, and a journalist.  He resided in Glendale, a Cincinnati suburb, before the war, and lived in Chicago 1875-83.  He died on July 22nd, 1883 in Chicago, and is buried in Section 84, Lot 7.

                              This concludes the Colonels at Spring Grove series of posts.

                              Wednesday, May 29, 2019

                              The Colonels of Spring Grove - John Fox Wiltsee

                              John Fox Wiltsee was ironically enough an undertaker in his civilian life.  It is fitting that one in his profession would select such a beautiful cemetery for a final resting place.  Born on June 15th, 1823 in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey, Wiltsee attended Woodward College in Cincinnati.  His Civil War career was brief as he led the 2nd Ohio Volunteer Militia for one month from September 4th to October 4th, 1862.

                              Wiltsee died on March 29th, 1899 and is buried in Section 46, Lot 113.

                              Tuesday, May 28, 2019

                              The Colonels of Spring Grove - Daniel Weber

                              Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on December 13th, 1833, Daniel Weber's civilian life included serving as a U.S. customs official, working as a blacksmith, clerk of Probate Court, and as a livestock commission merchant after the war.  He also was sheriff of Hamilton County from 1869-70.

                              Weber's Civil War career started on July 20th, 1861 as first sergeant of Company D, 39th Ohio.  He was promoted to second lieutenant on July 31st, first lieutenant on September 1st.  In 1864 he was promoted to captain of Company I on March 7th.  He would then serve on the staff of Brigadier General John Fuller that same year.  Promoted to major on January 29th, 1865, then lieutenant colonel on February 10th, and finally colonel on May 18th before being mustered out on July 9th.

                              Weber would pass away on October 7th, 1892 and is buried in Section 17, Lot 25.

                              Monday, May 27, 2019

                              The Colonels of Spring Grove - Charles Henry Sargent

                              Charles Henry Sargent was a merchant before the war.  Born in Cleveland on April 25th, 1819, Sargent had attended Norwich University in Vermont and was a brigadier general in the Ohio Volunteer Militia from 1857-58.  After the war he worked for the Cincinnati Enquirer as a traveling agent, and was the assistant adjutant general on the staff of Governor William Allen, 1874-75.

                              Sargent's Civil War career started when he was appointed colonel of the 52nd Ohio on October 10th, 1861.  However, the 52nd did not complete its initial organization and was consolidated into the 61st Ohio on April 23rd, 1862.  He was mustered out of service on May 28th, 1862.  Sargent was appointed provost marshal, 1st District of Ohio on April 30th, 1863, but the appointment was canceled on May 12th of that same year.

                              Sargent is buried in Section 45, Lot 32, having died on December 12th, 1891.

                              Sunday, May 26, 2019

                              The Colonels of Spring Grove - Robert Reily

                              Robert Reily was born in Butler County, Ohio, on June 1st, 1820.  Prior to the Civil War he was a dry goods merchant.  His brother, Colonel James Reily, a Confederate who commanded the 4th Texas Cavalry, and his brother-in-law, Colonel Lewis D. Campbell, commanded the 69th Ohio.  Reily was the founder of Wyoming, a suburb of Cincinnati.

                              Reily became major of the 75th Ohio on September 18th, 1861. promoted to lieutenant colonel on December 3rd, 1862, and then took over as colonel of the regiment on March 1st, 1863.  At the battle of Chancellorsville, Reily received a gunshot wound in the right leg, which was amputated.  Unfortunately, the amputation did not save his life, and he died on May 3rd.

                              Reily has a newer monument at Spring Grove, which can be found in Section 46, Lot 39.

                              Saturday, May 25, 2019

                              The Colonels of Spring Grove - Frederick John Mayer

                              Frederick John Mayer may have the least notable Civil War career of any colonel buried in Spring Grove.  He served as colonel of the 6th Ohio Volunteer Militia* from September 14th until October 2nd, 1862, during the threat to Cincinnati due to the Confederate invasion of Kentucky that summer, and having taken over that position from Colonel Theodore Haffner, who had served in the 9th Ohio (three months).  Mayer, born in Stuttgart on February 10th, 1822, had a more impressive civilian career, serving as Hamilton County commissioner, 1862-64, then as postmaster of Cincinnati, 1864-66, and as Hamilton County treasurer, 1871-72.  He was also a saddler, most likely prior to the war.

                              Mayer died on June 22nd, 1882.  One can find his grave location in Section 22, Lot 42, but his exact location is unmarked.  Another potential project for the local Sons of Union Veterans camp.

                              *From Ohio Civil War Central - On September 2, 1862, Major General Lew Wallace, the commanding officer of United States soldiers in Cincinnati, issued an order, requiring each city councilman to organize the adult males in his respective city ward into one hundred-man militia companies. The city eventually provided Wallace with three regiments or thirty companies of men, with the first one being the 6th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Militia, plus a company of cavalry and an artillery battery.

                              On September 10, 1862, the 6th crossed the Ohio River and took up a position near Fort Mitchell in Kentucky. Smith's Confederates withdrew on September 12, prompting officials to order the 6th to return to Cincinnati on September 13. The organization spent the next few weeks performing garrison and provost-guard duty in the city, before being discharged from service on October 4, 1862.

                              On July 5, 1866, the United States Congress authorized payment for the members of the 6th Regiment equal to one-month's pay during the Civil War. To legally process the payments, the federal government had to muster the 6th Regiment into the regular service. Officials mustered the regiment into and out of service on November 8, 1866, with the official in-date being September 2, 1862 and the out-date being October 3, 1862.

                              Friday, May 24, 2019

                              The Colonels of Spring Grove - Stanley Matthews

                              Stanley Matthews is likely more known for his civilian
                              career than his Civil War efforts, having served in the Ohio senate prior to the war, and in the United States senate after the war, before becoming an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1881-1889.  Born on July 21st, 1824 in Cincinnati, Matthews attended Woodward High School and graduated from Kenyon College in 1840.

                              His Civil War career began as the lieutenant colonel of the 23rd Ohio (of Hayes and McKinley fame), and then he became colonel of the 51st Ohio on October 23rd, 1861 when the previous colonel resigned.  He served as provost marshal of Nashville from February to June, 1862.  Matthews was nominated for a brigadier generalship in April, 1862, but the nomination was tabled by the U.S. Senate and Matthews never received his commission.  Matthews would hold brigade commands from July, 1862 through April, 1863, when he resigned on the 11th of that month to accept office of superior court judge in Cincinnati.

                              Matthews would die on March 22nd, 1889 in Washington D.C.  He is buried in Section 36, Lot 106.

                              Thursday, May 23, 2019

                              The Colonels of Spring Grove - Philander Parmele Lane

                              Philander Parmele Lane was born in Nassau, New York, on October 5th, 1821.  Prior to the Civil War he was an iron worker and machinist.  He would be commissioned as captain of Company K of the 11th Ohio, where he would cause a bit of a ruckus by preferring charges against the 11th's colonel, Charles A. DeVilliers.  The latter would be dismissed for habitually abusing officers under his command, fraudulently obtaining monies from the regimental sutler, and seizing goods from citizens.  Lane would become colonel of the 11th on September 17th, 1862 as a result of the Battle of Antietam.  Lane would lead the regiment at Chickamauga, and resign on October 26th, 1863 due to business concerns.  

                              Lane after the war would be a manufacturer of engines and milling machinery.  He would die on December 6th, 1899 in Norwood.  He is buried in Section 22, Lot 67 at Spring Grove.

                              Lane would be the subject of a rather large book published in 1920 that focuses mostly on his Civil War experiences.

                              Wednesday, May 22, 2019

                              The Colonels of Spring Grove - Robert Kirkup

                              Colonel Robert Kirkup was born in Scotland on August 18th, 1831.  He helped organize the Cincinnati Independent Highland Guards, which became part of the 5th Ohio.  He became second lieutenant in the 5th Ohio (three months at Camp Harrison on April 20th, 1861 and then three years at Camp Dennison on June 10th).  He was promoted to captain of Company D on August 2nd, 1862, and while serving as captain received a gunshot wound in his left arm at the Battle of Cedar Mountain.  He was promoted to lieutenant colonel on September 26th, 1864, and then became colonel on July 25th, 1865.  Kirkup participated in some of the most notable battles of the war, including Port Republic, Antietam, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, and throughout the Atlanta Campaign, and Bentonville.

                              Kirkup lived until April 11th, 1925 when he passed away in Avondale.  In civilian life he was a brass finisher and then a brass foundry operator.  He is buried in Section 73, Lot 182 in an unmarked grave, providing yet another opportunity for the Sons of Union Veterans to mark his grave.

                              Tuesday, May 21, 2019

                              The Colonels of Spring Grove - John Kennett

                              John Kennett was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on March 9th, 1809, his father being involved with the United States Embassy.  Kennett would pass away on December 12th, 1898 in Avondale, a suburb of Cincinnati.

                              He attended at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and prior to the war was a tobacco agent.  After the war he was an insurance agent.  His son was a brevet brigadier general (Henry G. Kennett, also buried in Spring Grove).

                              John Kennett was colonel of the 4th Ohio Cavalry from August 30th, 1861.  He would command the Cavalry Division of the Army of the Ohio and then in the 14th Army Corps.  He resigned his commission on January 23rd, 1863 due to physical debility caused by a "stricture of the urethra of long standing, that has given rise to chronic cystitis and organic disease of the kidneys."

                              Kennett is buried in Section 47, Lot 77.

                              Monday, May 20, 2019

                              The Colonels of Spring Grove - William Graham Jones


                              William Graham Jones was a U.S. Army regular prior to the war, having served as a second lieutenant in the 10th U.S. Infantry as of December 29th, 1860 after graduating from West Point in the Class of 1860.  He was taken prisoner at San Antonio, Texas on May 8th, 1861 and was exchanged on February 20th, 1862.  He become an acting aide-de-camp to General Andrew Porter, and then lieutenant colonel of the 71st Pennsylvania on June 18th.  He resigned his commission on September 4th, 1862, stating "in consideration of the fact that I am not now in command of the regiment, Col. Wistar having joined."  He became acting aide-de-camp on the staff of Major General Edwin Sumner, the Colonel of the 36th Ohio on April 18th, 1863.  He was captain of the 10th U.S. Infantry on June 1st, 1863.  

                              Jones would suffer a gunshot wound to the pelvis at the battle of Chickamauga on September 19th, 1863 which would prove to be mortal.

                              Jones was a native Cincinnatian, born on February 23rd, 1837.  He is buried in Section 47, Lot 83.

                              Sunday, May 19, 2019

                              The Colonels of Spring Grove - Frederick Charles Jones

                              Frederick Charles Jones was born in Pennsylvania, near Greensboro, on December 16th, 1834.  His family moved to Cincinnati in 1846.  He graduated from Woodward High School in Cincinnati in 1853 and served as a lawyer (prosecuting attorney for the Police Court) prior to the Civil War.  

                              He was an aide-de-camp on the staff of Joshua Bates from April to August 1861 with the rank of captain.  He become lieutenant colonel of the 31st Ohio in October that same year.  On February 18th, 1862, Jones became the lieutenant colonel of the 24th Ohio, and was promoted to colonel of the regiment on May 14th for "gallantry on the field of battle."  Jones suffered a gunshot wound on his right side at Stones River and died on December 31st while charging a Confederate regiment.

                              Fort Jones, part of the defensive works built at Camp Nelson, is named for him.

                              Jones is buried in Section 21, Soldier's Circle B, Center, in an unmarked grave.  He is the highest ranking officer buried in Lot B and is ceremoniously buried at the center of the concentric rows "as if in command of the soldiers around him".  His grave site marking would be another project for a Sons of Union Veterans camp to take on.

                              Saturday, May 18, 2019

                              The Colonels of Spring Grove - Leonard Armstrong Harris

                              Admittedly, Leonard Harris is one of my favorite obscure personalities of the Civil War.  His later career is more known, having served as mayor of Cincinnati from 1863-66 and as a U.S. Collector of Internal Revenue.

                              Leonard Armstrong Harris was born on October 11th, 1824, in Cincinnati.  Prior to the Civil War he was a locksmith and a magistrate.  He joined the 2nd Ohio Infantry (three months) on April 17th, 1861 as a captain in Company I in Columbus.  He became colonel of the three year 2nd Ohio on August 8th at Camp Dennison.  He would hold brigade command in the Army of the Ohio from August 10th through November 5th, 1862, leading the brigade ably at the Battle of Perryville where his brigade held its position for several hours.  He was also present at the Battle of Ivy Mountain.

                              Harris would resign his commission on December 24th, 1862, due to a back injury, stating that the injury "has increased to such an extent that I am now satisfied from the advice of my physicians and my feelings that I will never be fit for duty."  Yet, while mayor of Cincinnati, Harris would become colonel of the 137th Ohio, a one hundred days regiment, mustering out on August 19th, 1864.  It is interesting to speculate Harris' Civil War career had he not resigned shortly before the Battle of Stones River as he had performed admirably during his tenure as colonel of the 2nd Ohio.

                              After the war Harris would also serve on the Board of Managers of the National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers from 1878 until 1890.  He would pass away on July 5th, 1890 in Cincinnati.

                              Harris is buried in Section 103, Lot 160.

                              Friday, May 17, 2019

                              The Colonels of Spring Grove - John Brown Groesbeck

                              John Brown Groesbeck was born on March 3rd, 1820 in Cincinnati.  He attended Woodward High School, and in civilian life was a lawyer, banker and stock speculator.  He would become the brother-in-law of Major General Joseph Hooker, who is also buried in Spring Grove.  He would commit suicide by drowning on April 12th, 1879 in New York City.  

                              Groesbeck would become colonel of the 39th Ohio Infantry on August 16th, 1861, the 39th having organized at Camp Colerain and Camp Dennison.  He would go on to brigade command in the Army of the Mississippi,  Groesbeck resigned his commission on July 8th, 1862.  His reasoning for resignation was due to the fact that he had served for one year without being absent from his regiment, and that wanted to return to "my former pursuits and habits of life, being more congenial to my taste."  

                              Groesbeck is buried in Section 22, Lot 55.

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