In a recent spate of deeper interest in my family past, and in conjunction with a sale on Ancestry for their DNA test, I have been doing some digging into my potential Civil War ancestors. I have found a few, either an uncle or a short bit of service. Not to take away from those men, but I was hoping for something a bit more "exciting."
David Christian Smith, my fourth great uncle, served a total of five weeks in Company B, 13th Ohio Infantry, in their three month configuration. Not sure why he didn't finish his term, as he lived a long life.
Jacob Cooper, my 3rd great grandfather, served in Company G, 133rd Ohio Infantry, which was a "hundred days" regiment, raised to serve in the rear areas in 1864 which would allow other three year regiments to join the fighting. The 133rd, and perhaps Jacob Cooper, went to Bermuda Hundred, where they built trenches, then onto Fort Powhatan, where they repaired telegraph lines. They also built a magazine and an 80 foot tall signal tower. Important work for certain, but not as sexy as a unit on campaign and in battle.
With a bit more digging, I found a connection to the 12th Ohio. I am about 95% certain that Jacob C. Weikel, my great great grandfather, actively served in the 12th, and then spent a month in the 23rd Ohio. The 12th was part of the Kanawha Brigade, later division, and served mostly in (West) Virginia. Involved at Carnifex Ferry, South Mountain, Antietam, Cloyd's Mountain, and several smaller engagements, the 12th had a solid reputation, even though its first colonel, John Lowe, had a bit of a death wish based on his performance at Scary Creek, and he took a shot to the forehead in the 12th's opening movements at Carnifex.
Jacob apparently enlisted in the 12th on June 25th, 1861 at the age of eighteen. He served his three years with Company I of the 12th before being transferred to Company K, 23rd Ohio on July 1st, 1864. He mustered out with the 23rd on July 24th at Winchester, Virginia. According to the official roster of the 12th, he was made corporal November 24th, 1862, and made sergeant April 1st, 1864.
At Antietam, according to the regimental monument:
This Regiment advanced to this place on the afternoon of September 17, 1862. It moved from extreme left of Union line of battle exposed to a severe flank fire and held their position the remainder of the day. Its loss was 17 men killed and 25 men wounded, total 33.
And according to the War Department tablet for Ewing's Brigade:
On the evening of September 16th, Ewing’s Brigade formed line under cover of the ridge east of the Antietam, and southeast of the Burnside Bridge. On the morning of the 17th it followed the left bank of the Antietam to Snavely’s Ford where it crossed and moving up the right bank of the stream until nearly abreast the bridge, advanced in support of Rodman’s Division over the hills and ravines to this point where it met and temporarily checked the advance of A.P. Hill’s Division. Its left having been turned by the enemy, it fell back to the cover of the rolling ground east of this tablet.
At this time I do not know if Jacob was present at Antietam, or any other battle that the 12th took part in, but based on the fact he did serve three years with the regiment and was mustered out with the 23rd in Virginia, that would indicate that he was actively involved with the regiment most of the war.
So perhaps I have a "sexy" story after all!