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 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 n 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 will go on to command a brigade in the Army of West Tennessee.  U.S. Grant will 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 undertake 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.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Colonels of Spring Grove - Joseph Good

Joseph Good was a native Cincinnatian, being born in the Queen City on November 11th, 1841, and passing away September 17th, 1893.  He was a commission merchant, who is someone who buys or sells products for a percentage of the sales price.

His military service was with the 108th Ohio Infantry.  Mustered in as captain of Company B on August 25th, 1862 (at Camp Dennison), Good would serve as Provost Marshal of Gallatin, Tennessee from December 12th, 1862 until March 31st, 1863.  In April of 1863 he was serving a Frankfort, Kentucky.  He was promoted to major on July 31st, 1863, to lieutenant colonel on March 30th, 1864, and finally to colonel of the regiment on May 18th, 1865, and was mustered out at that rank on June 9th of that same year.

Good is buried in Section 86, Lot 140.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Colonels of Spring Grove - Samuel Sparks Fisher

Born April 11th, 1832 in St. Joseph County, Michigan, Samuel Sparks Fisher would drown at the age of 42 on a canoe trip at Conewago Falls in the Susquehanna River, on August 14th, 1874.  Fisher had graduated Philadelphia Central High School in 1851 and after the war would serve as the U.S. Commissioner of Patents from 1869 to 1871.  

While residing in Cincinnati during the war, Fisher became colonel of the 138th Ohio Infantry on May 14th, 1864 (at Camp Dennison) and was honorably mustered out on September 1st of the same year, the 138th being a one hundred days regiment.

Fisher is buried in Section 77, Lot 106, in Spring Grove.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Colonels of Spring Grove - Samuel H. Dunning

Samuel H. Dunning was colonel of the both the three month and three year 5th Ohio Infantry, the latter being organized at Camp Dennison.  He resigned his commission on August 13th, 1862 due to ill health and concerns about continued exposure required of active duty.  He would later serve as the 2nd District's Board of Enrollment Provost Marshal during the first part of 1865.

Dunning was born on August 12th, 1822 in Washington City (D.C.).  In civilian life he was a monument builder and marble dealer, and would pass away on January 9th, 1893.

Dunning is buried in Section 47, Lot 25.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Colonels of Spring Grove - William Biddle Cassilly

Born in Pittsburgh in April, 1824, William Biddle Cassilly was educated in Cincinnati at Woodward High School where he remained one year.  His civilian occupations, most likely post Civil War, were as merchant and insurance agent.  He would serve on Cincinnati's city council from 1852-1854.   Cassilly would serve as a 1st Lieutenant in the 10th Ohio Infantry (three months), then as a lieutenant colonel in Missouri's Benton Cadets.  After mustering out of the Cadets on January 8th, 1862, he would serve as lieutenant colonel of the 69th Ohio Infantry, and then move into his colonelcy of this regiment on August 10th.  Cassilly would receive a gunshot wound in his left arm at Stones River, and be reported by his brigade commander, Timothy Stanley, as being so drunk that he was unfit to command, and Cassilly was dismissed.  Cassilly would pass away on July 22nd, 1888.

William Biddle Cassilly is buried in Section 57, Lot 2, at Spring Grove.

The Colonels of Spring Grove - William K. Bosley

Bosley was born on January 1st, 1825, in Baltimore, Maryland.  He would pass away on December 1st, 1866 in Cincinnati.  He was a wall paper merchant and a postal clerk in his civilian career.  Bosley was the colonel of the 6th Ohio Infantry Regiment (three months), and then colonel of the 6th Ohio Infantry (three years), the latter at Camp Dennison.  He was discharged for disability on August 19th, 1862 due to a chronic lung disease.  Bosley led the 6th at Cheat Mountain.

Bosley is buried in Section 23, Lot 72, in an unmarked grave, a perfect opportunity for a group such as the Sons of Union Veterans to have a marker installed.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Colonels of Spring Grove

Spring Grove Cemetery is the resting place for numerous Union (and one Confederate) generals who served in various capacities during the Civil war.  The grave-sites of men such as Joseph Hooker, William Lytle, and a few of the Fighting McCooks can be found within the bucolic landscape that Spring Grove offers.  However, not to be forgotten, are those colonels who also gave to the Union war effort and who also rest within Spring Grove.

The cemetery website has a map where one can locate the generals, and below I have created a map for the colonels with their names in blue.  Click on the picture for a larger version.

The following series of posts will provide a bit on each of these colonels and where they can be found in Spring Grove.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

A Duel Between Friends?

I've been doing a bit more cursory research into a duel that took place between James P. Fyffe and Carr B. White, two gentlemen buried in the same cemetery in Georgetown, Ohio.  This duel is fresh on my mind as I told the story at the 59th Ohio monument to two of my friends on the recent trip to Shiloh.  I have come across two stories about the duel, well, actually it is mentioned in several places with little to great detail.  I will relay the crux of the most detailed story here.

Both men were from the same area in southwestern Ohio, and both joined the 1st Ohio Infantry during the Mexican-American War.  White served as Second Lieutenant in Company G and was promoted to Captain in February, 1847.  This promotion created bad blood between White and Fyffe, who was also serving in Company G.  The misunderstanding grew to such a level that Fyffe issued a "challenge to mortal combat" to which White accepted immediately.  James F. Harrison, grandson of former president William Henry Harrison, acted as Fyffe's second, and Ferdinand Van Derveer, later colonel of my home county's Civil War regiment, the 35th Ohio Infantry, was White's second.  The two seconds tried to diffuse the situation, to no avail.  The duel had to be put off until after the 1st Ohio mustered out, as Zachary Taylor, commanding the force the 1st Ohio was a part of, made it clear that dueling would not be tolerated.  The duel would not occur in Mexico, although one story stated that it did.

On May 17th, Van Derveer informed Harrison:

Dear Sir, - In accordance with your request, I hereby give you, in writing, a statement of the preliminary arrangements entered into between you and myself concerning an affair wherein Lieutenant Fyffe and Captain White are the principals. Time, 1st of June; eight o’clock in the morning. Place, battle-ground below New Orleans. Weapons, pistols. Distance, fifteen paces. Any alterations may be made by the consent of both parties.

It is interesting to me that the location chosen was the site of the Battle of New Orleans.  However, once again the movement of the regiment prevented the duel from taking place on Old Hickory's victory site.  As the regiment moved north along the Mississippi River, the steamboat on which they were being transported stopped to take on wood along the Arkansas shore and that taking on fuel would be a two hour process.  It was decided to conduct the duel during this lull.  At daybreak, June 10th, Fyffe and White met in a cotton field to settle their differences.  Harrison had taken ill, so Fyffe's second was taken by Lieutenant James Moore.  Neither White or Fyffe had fought a duel, and Fyffe did not even have a pistol.  White had slipped into New Orleans two purchase a pair of long dueling pistols, and he allowed Fyffe to use one of his pair.  With pistols loaded, the men facing each other only  twelve paces apart (a change from the original terms), Fyffe's back to the Mississippi, and with the sun at his back, his outline was silhouetted in the morning sun.  With their right sides facing each other, Van Derveer counted out "one, two, three - fire!" and both men fired, and missed.  The shooters were convinced by the interjection of others present that honor had been served, and the two men shook hands after both explaining and making concessions on their respective positions.  

One story mentions that men from the regiment were straining to see the duel from the steamboat, but could not due to the distance the and vegetation along the shore.  The story goes on to mention that after waiting what seemed to be a frustrating amount of time, the two men were seen walking back to the boat, arms draped over each other's shoulders.  

This much is known:  Fyffe opened a law practice in a building that was owned by White in Georgetown, so the men must have been on friendly terms.  White would go on to have his own successful Civil War career in the 12th Ohio, while Fyffe died in January, 1864, after battling a long illness said to have been contracted at Shiloh.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

United States Regulars at Shiloh

Encampment - Cavalry
On my recent trip to Shiloh at the conclusion of our tour with the esteemed Tim Smith, three of us traipsed some portions of the battlefield to locate the United States Regular monuments.  Beyond my obvious predilection for all units Ohio, I also have a place for the small groups of Regulars that graced the western armies.  At Shiloh there are units from all three branches on the field.  

To locate the U.S. cavalry monument, we parked at a pull off near the park's main entrance and crossed over the highway into some high and very wet grass.  After walking a few hundred yards in tick country, we located the encampment tablet and the monument, buried in the woods a bit, for Company C, 2nd Cavalry and Company I, 4th Cavalry.  The monument is impressive, and obviously not visited often.  

We walked back to the car and drove to Duncan Field.  The infantry monument is in the north woods line at Duncan.  It is of the same style as the cavalry monument, and denotes the actions of the 15th, 16th, and 19th Infantry Regiments.  As these units were part of the Army of the Ohio, there are no encampment tablets.

We then drove over to north of the bloody pond to locate the artillery monument.  Battery H, 5th Artillery, and Batteries H & M, 4th Artillery, are represented on this monument.  The monument is once again is the same style as the previous two.

My next trip will hopefully capture pictures of these monuments on a sunny day, as well as the engagement tablets for these units.

For more information on the U.S. Regular infantry in the Western Theater, Mark Johnson's That Body of Brave Men: The U.S. Regular Infantry and the Civil War in the West is a detailed study with several pages on the Regular's involvement at Shiloh.

Front - Cavalry
Rear - Cavalry
Front - Infantry
Rear - Infantry
Front - Artillery
Rear - Artillery


My first trip to Shiloh was an amazing one indeed!  With fellow members of the Chickamauga study group, I made my first visit to this iconic battlefield.  Rolling in on a Wednesday afternoon, I did the basic tourist option of taking the driving tour so as to familiarize myself to the park and the terrain.  I was immediately impressed with Shiloh's monument and tablet system, its wooded areas with plenty of open fields, and the pristine feel of the park.  Being where it is, the tourist traffic is not heavy, and the recreational users few, allowing the group to really immerse itself into all that it is Shiloh.  Even the visitation on Saturday seemed to be very low.  I understand that Shiloh sees only 300,000 visitors per year, so that would explain the dearth of tourists.

Our first two days of touring, led by David Powell, covered the April 6th fighting.  Tour day one of April 6th was a focus on the Confederate left, with the opening at Fraley Field to the Sherman/McClernand counterattack.  Tour day two started with Spain Field and ended at Dill Branch Ravine.  Dave provided a fantastic tour, and his knowledge of Shiloh is top notch.  Our third touring day was spent with Shiloh author Tim Smith, and we walked the Confederate defensive line for April 7th, as well as covered Lew Wallace's route from Crump to the battlefield.  Tim is the epitome of a tour guide having the ability to mix details with a humorous delivery that I could listen to for days.  Having him in my car for the Wallace route was grand, and he played along with our antics with gusto.

We enjoyed some meals at various places in the area.  The Corner Restaurant, near the battlefield, was very good, although we overwhelmed them on Saturday and service was a bit off.  Try their banana pudding!  Hagy's was okay.  Everyone says to go there, and we did, but I believe it is overpriced.  I was told the catfish there was no better than the Corner Restaurant (I don't do catfish myself), and Hagy's is about twice the price.  Smith (not Smith's, and no relation) in Corinth had great food, a cool atmosphere, a nice beer list, and terrible service (our waitress was okay, but getting our food was an adventure, and waters took about an hour to arrive at the table).  

On the way home I spent over three hours walking all of Parker's Crossroads with one of the guys from the group.  He had not been there before, and I had only walked about 50% of the trails on my visit there last year during a pouring rain.  It is a very well interpreted, maybe over interpreted, battlefield.  I say over interpreted as much of the information shared on one interpretive panel would appear on one or more other panels.  But they do have about fifty panels to read so the details of the battle are definitely covered.  They also have an impressive amount of artillery (some pieces from Shiloh) and a wonderful visitor's center.

Our group is already planning our 2020 trip, and it might be a return to Shiloh as there is so much more there, and at Corinth, to cover.


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