In an order of Colonel H. B. CARRINGTON, Adjutant-general of the State, organizing the militia, he assigns fifteen companies as the necessary quota from Butler.
The Eleventh Regiment and the right wing of the Third Regiment were ordered to Camp Dennison on Monday, the 29th of April. The train had thirty-three cars, and was cheered in every village or hamlet it passed through. Flags and handkerchiefs were waved from every farm-house along the road, showing the sentiment of the people.
It began raining before sleep reached them, but the next day all was fair. On Friday it rained all day long. Over four hundred buildings were put up in all-seven to one of the companies from Butler County. The fare was not exactly the kind to please epicures. Bread, rice, beans, salt pork, and coffee constituted the table. As one grim humorist remarked, three-fourths of the pork was pure fat, the remainder all fat. Still the soldiers enjoyed themselves. They laughed and cracked jokes, and met the situation with good humor. Their friends at Hamilton did not neglect them, and sent forward bountiful supplies of provision and clothing.
Captain Fred. HESER left Hamilton for Camp Dennison on the 22d, with seventy or eighty good fighting men, to join the Porschner regiment, which was to join Fremont's column immediately.
One of the earliest companies raised was by William Clement ROSSMAN. It was attached to the Third Ohio Infantry, its colonel being Isaac MARROW, of Columbus; its lieutenant-colonel, John BEATTY, of Morrow County; and its major, J. Warren KEIFER, of Clark County. The regiment was at first at Camp Jackson, but afterwards at Camp Dennison. The three months' service had expired before they were called upon to take the field, and a great portion of the regiment re-enlisted. On the 20th of January they were supplied with arms and ammunition, and ordered to Grafton, Virginia, being the first three years' regiment to leave the State. At Rich Mountain, although present, the regiment was not engaged, as the fighting was in the rear of the fortification. It joined in the pursuit of the enemy, and afterwards assisted in fortifying the passes of the Alleghenies.
The rebels, under General Robert E. LEE, attacked their position at Elkwater Junction, on the 11th of September, driving in the pickets as they advanced. Colonel John A. WASHINGTON, of Mount Vernon, Virginia, was killed in this contest. It returned to Cincinnati on the 28th of November, re-embarked for Louisville, and thence marched to Camp Jenkins, four miles distant where the army of the Ohio was organized. It was placed in the Third Division, General Ormsby M. MITCHEL commanding. It went into Winter-quarters at Bacon Creek. Colonel MARROW here resigned, and promotions followed throughout the entire regiment.
From this camp, which it left on the 22d of February, 1862, it went to Bowling Green, entering that place just as the rebels left it, and then going to Nashville. It took an active part in all the events of that stirring and brilliant campaign, including the capture of Murfreesboro, and the occupation of Shelbyville and Fayetteville. In the battle of Bridgeport the Third acted its part. In the latter part of August General BRAGG, with the rebel army, made a bold push towards Louisville, Kentucky, and BUELL concentrated his forces in that direction. The march northward was extremely fatiguing. The roads were very dry, and there was scarcely and water, but they reached Louisville on the 25th of September.
Shortly after, in marching out, it was a part of the forces that engaged with the rebels at Perryville. It fought bravely and valiantly, nearly one-third of its number being brought to the ground. Color-sergeant William V. MC COUBRIE was shot down while carrying the flag a little in advance of the guard, and five others subsequently shared the same fate. The last hero who held the standard aloft was a beardless boy of seventeen, David C. WALKER, who successfully carried it through the action, and was made color-sergeant on the filed by Colonel BEATTY. General ROUSSEAU, after the close of the action, rode up to the regiment and thanked it for its gallant conduct. Its loss in the action was two hundred and fifteen killed and wounded.
In April, 1863, the Third was detached from the army proper, and in company with the Fifty-first and Seventy-third Indiana, Eightieth Illinois, and two companies of the First Alabama cavalry, was dispatched to destroy the Rome Iron Works, and the foundries and arsenals also situated there. On the 30th of April, the command was attacked by General RODDY, with a large cavalry force. After a fierce contest the enemy were soon routed, but General FORREST was near by, and soon after made a fresh attack. After a severe engagement he was compelled to retreat. (Drawing of the Battle of Stones River by Kurz and Lang)
Shortly after, the rebels again engaged, the Union troops losing a large number of men. The horses and men were both worn out, and it was determined to send forward two hundred and fifty of the best mounted men to destroy the iron works and Rome. Ferry-boats could not be found at the Catoosa River, the troops going up the road four miles to a ford, which wet their ammunition. FORREST came up again, and demanded their surrender, which they were compelled to yield.
They were immediately sent to Belle Isle, and from there to Libby Prison, the officers being retained there until a late period in the war. The men were paroled, and afterwards exchanged. They were stationed at various places until the conclusion of their term of service, many of the officers and men then re-enlisting in other regiments.
Henry SMITH, of Captain ROSSMAN's company, Third Ohio Volunteers, died at Annapolis, Maryland, February 21, 1863, from wounds received at the battle of Stone River. He was wounded and taken prisoner at Murfreesboro, and removed from there to Richmond, Virginia, where he was exchanged. His remains were brought to this city.
Company F, Second Regiment, were quartered on the 24th of June at Grafton, Virginia. On the way they were treated with great kindness. At one village the people turned out in crowds, and bountifully supplied the soldiers with bread and butter, cakes, pies, and other delicacies. On their way they met a company form Oxford. In West Virginia they had their first experience in a march of any length. They found the accouterments were heavy. It was pretty hard work to carry a knapsack as full as it would hold, and forty rounds of ammunition, with a belt for bayonet and caps, a haversack with two days' rations, a plate, knife, fork, cup, and spoon, and gun weighing ten pounds; this formed a good load for a strong man.
On the 8th of August, 1861, the Butler Pioneers, or Company A, Twenty-sixth Ohio, were at Summersville, West Virginia. They had seen some service. The company had volunteered to break up a nest of rebels, some twenty miles from the regimental camp. They were gone three days, returning successfully and bringing back with them two prisoners of WISE's army, one a lieutenant.
Captain MARGEDANT, of the Engineering Corps, won the most favorable mention from the press for his enthusiasm, personal exposure, and admirable services in reconnoitering, at constant personal risk, the enemy's lines. Forty men were in the Ninth Regiment which left under Captain MARGEDANT, and about twenty-five men, under Lieutenant William H. MILLER, attached to the Twelfth. It also contributed about forty men to the regular army.
Recruits were taken in Hamilton for the Martin Guards of the Fifty-eighth Regiment. N. C. McLEAN, Colonel; William H. MARTIN, of the Hamilton and Dayton Railroad, Lieutenant Colonel; and Robert REILY, of Cincinnati, Major. W. T. TIBBITTS was the authorized recruiting agent.
John FITCH, a member of Company D, Thirty-ninth Regiment, died in the hospital at Camp Foster, near Macon, Missouri, on the 29th of November, 1861, aged twenty-four. He was from Butler County. He was buried with honors. Colonel GROESBECK led the regiment to the graveyard, three volleys were fired over his grave, and the chaplain, Rev. B. W. CHIDLAW, made an eloquent address and offered up a fervent prayer.
The military committees of the several counties met in Hamilton on the 16th of July, and selected Hiram Strong, of Dayton, as lieutenant-colonel; A.A. PHILLIPS, of Hamilton, as major; D. P. THURSTON, of Dayton, as adjutant; and John EASTMAN, of Eaton, as quartermaster.
On the 17th of the same month the line officers were recommended by the military committees, and on the next day most of them were mustered into the service and recruiting [for the 93rd Ohio] commenced in earnest, the work being greatly facilitated by the patriotic people who contributed to pay the necessary expenses of the campaign.
On the afternoon of the 14th of August Companies A and B, having filled their quotas, went into quarters at "Camp Dayton". On the 19th of the same month the mustering of the regiment by companies was commenced, and by the middle of the afternoon of the 21st the whole regiment had been mustered into service and armed.
The regiment broke camp on the 23d of August, 1862, and got aboard the cars en route for Lexington, Kentucky, where they arrived on the evening of the 24th.
The companies from this county were as follows:
Company D. - Captain, Daniel BOWMAN; first lieutenant, Timothy REGAN; second lieutenant, Charles SUTPHIN; first sergeant, Dan. V. BONNELL.
Company C. - Captain, H. H. WALLACE; first lieutenant, John E. CHATTEU; second lieutenant, Bennett C. WILCOX; first sergeant, Alex. SCOTT.
Company F. - Captain, Robert Joyce; first lieutenant, Henry RICHARDS; second lieutenant, Arthur C. MORGAN; first sergeant, Alexander JOHNSON.
D was recruited in Middletown and vicinity; C at Hamilton, Oxford, Darrtown, and Seven Mile; F at Venice.
The following contains a list of the killed and a few names of the wounded of the Ninety-third in the fights at Chattanooga:
Killed. - Major Will BIRCH; Company A, Privates David MOSS, John D. FUNK, ......PRUTSMAN; Company B, Andrew LUKENBEN, J. SPEELMAN; Company F, Amos MCNIEL; Company G, Wesley CASSELL, John MURPHY; Company H, J. SCHNERF; Company K, James HARRIS, John BLAIR, James BAIRD.
Wounded. - Lieutenant Will BROWN, Captain BOWMAN, Sergeant Major Oscar GOTTSHALL, Privates Oscar MOODIE, Charles ANDERSON, James FITZPATRICK.
This list is derived from Leroy DAVIES, who was not a member of the Ninety-third, but, to use his own words, was anxious to see the fight. So, when the ball opened, he engaged a partner (a Spencer rifle), and was lucky enough to be one in the taking of a rebel battery, when he received notice to quit in the shape of a minie ball. The letter speaks of the death of Jacob WETSEL, of the Sixty-ninth, and of the severe wound of Jacob REES, who was seriously injured.
Alfred A. PHILLIPS, the major of this regiment, was born in Orange County, Indiana, May 5, 1825. He was the son of Albert H. PHILLIPS, who was born March 1, 1795, and died in July, 1872, and Mary HOLLOWELL, who died in June, 1845, aged forty-five years. He was married December 20, 1855, in Hamilton, to Miss Emma C. RUSH, who was born in Addison County, Vermont, August 2, 1832. She is the daughter of Horatio S. RUSH, who died in October, 1875, and Caroline DE LONG, who is still living. Mr. and Mrs. PHILLIPS had six children. Nellie was born August 31, 1857; Alice, June 8, 1859; Bertha, September 4, 1861; Lottie, February 9, 1865; Alfred, September 9, 1866, and Josephine, April 11, 1869. Mr. PHILLIPS was sheriff of Butler County from 1860 to 1864, and deputy sheriff for seven years prior to that time. At the outbreak of the Mexican war, being then only about twenty-one years of age, he enlisted, and went out as a member of Company I, First Ohio Regiment, under Colonel MITCHELL, serving one year. During the late war he was the major of his regiment, staying in the field, however, only one year, as he was called back by his official duties in Butler County. Major PHILLIPS during life followed different pursuits. He spent three years in Arkansas, owning and having control of saw, grist, and shingle mills, together with a large plantation containing over four thousand acres. In 1863 he owned a third interest in a distillery at this place, and in 1866 he purchased the other two-thirds, which he carried on till 1869, when he sold. He carried on a distillery one year at Lawrenceburg. After that he was the proprietor of the Phillips House, now known as the Central House, at the corner of High and Front Streets. At the time of his death, which happened from sunstroke in July, 1881, he was conducting another place of the same name, being the house now occupied by Judge HUME.
Captain LEFLAR, of the Eighty-third Regiment, wrote in the middle of February, 1863:
"The country down here is low and flat, but I think it is a great cotton region. We can see Vicksburg plainly from our camp, and the gunboats very often of a morning wake the people up in Vicksburg for breakfast by sending a few shell among them. We are still working away at the canal, which is already eight or ten feet wide, and from four to six feet deep. If we should succeed it will cut Vicksburg off from the river entirely, making a new channel for the river. many doubt as to the success (and I confess I am one of that number) from the fact that they failed to dig down to the sand so as to give it a chance to wash. The present bottom is of smooth black mud. The river is rising very fast, and is just over the banks.
"The health of the soldiers is any thing but good. We have but twenty-five men for duty, though I must say my company has not been reduced altogether by sickness; there have been five desertions from my company to the enemy. I will give you a list of them: Corporal John R. HANCOCK, Oxford; Jerome B. BENNETT, Hamilton; George POPP, Oxford; David RAMSEY, Pleasant Run; Jeremiah ROBBINS, Mt. Pleasant. There were only two of these men that left the boat the evening previous to the fight, and they were not seen during the engagement. The company fought nobly for three hours and forty-five minutes, at which time the fort was surrendered. The following are the names of those who were wounded in the engagement: Hiram SMITH, thigh; William H. HALL, ankle; Jacob STRAUB, foot; Bryan MCGILLAN, shot through left cheek and came out at the right ear; Angus HINE, slightly in head, not disabled form duty; Erastus MARTIN, cheek slightly, not disabled for duty.
"We have lost one man since we left Memphis, Sergeant David THOMPSON, who died from disease of the throuat. Sergeant THOMPSON was a worthy man and a good soldier, and was universally liked by his comrades. We buried him at Millikin's Bend, on the Mississippi River. Our hearts went with him to the grave.
"The soldiers are dying off very fast here. In a short walk to-day I counted thirty-four newly made graves at our hospital. I am still in good health as usual."
James P. CLARK, aged nineteen, enlisted into the service at Amanda; was wounded at Arkansas Post, and died in hospital at Memphis.
John T. NEGUS, aged twenty-eight, enlisted into the service at Middletown; was detailed as commissary-sergeant at Camp Dayton. Having been relieved from duty there, he started to rejoin his company. He died March 11th at the post hospital, at Lake Providence, Louisiana, of small-pox.
Richard V. HANNA enlisted at Westchester; died in Hospital boad D. A. January March 15, 1863.
At a meeting of Company H, Eighty-third Regiment, at Smith's plantation, April 25, 1863, Captain LEFLAR was appointed chairman, and J. A. WITMER, orderly sergeant, secretary. Resolutions were reported by a committee for the purpose, and unanimously adopted, saying that as it had pleased Almighty God to remove from their ranks Sergeants David THOMPSON and Jacob C. STROBRIDGE; Corporal Erastus M. MARTIN; Privates Louis SNIDER, John BRIDGE, William BONNELE, Aaron FREAME, and Timothy SEDWELL, as a token of respect and esteem for the deceased they would wear the usual badge of mourning on parade and review for the next thirty days.
They died martyrs in the cause of their country, and under the folds of the proud and glorious old flag of their forefathers. The soldiers deeply and sincerely sympathized the the families and friends of their deceased brothers in arms.
A letter from a member of Company H, when quartered near Vicksburg, in the latter part of June, 1863, says:
"We are now encamped on the line of the Jackson and Vicksburg Railroad, about two miles from the court house, and within a few hundred yards of the enemy's works. Our tents are pitched in a hollow just deep enough to escape the enemy's bullets and cannon balls. We are crowded almost one tent upon another, just out of reach of any breath of air which may be stirring the favored regions above, and consequently almost insufferably hot; with this proviso, the regiment is quite healthy, and never was in better spirits. Every body feels contented and satisfied of a speedy and successful termination of the siege. We have been before this place so long (ever since last December), thinning our ranks by disease and the bullet, that it will be a happy moment for us when we can reach the goal we have so long tried for. In our present camp, though in no great danger, we are still never safe. Bullets and cannon balls are whistling above and around us continually, and never a day passes but what several poor fellows are brought by from the hills above us wounded or dead. Our line approaches in front of this brigade have been carried almost immediately under the enemy's works. They consist of three lines of rifle-pits or parallels, two of which are completed, and the third one, bringing us within a stone's throw of the enemy's fortification, or nearly so. Squads from the negro regiments being raised in this vicinity assist in digging the trenches and help toward the progress of the work materially; they seem to hold very light the danger from the enemy's missiles, and work with a steadiness and perseverance greatly to be commended. Picketing in the advanced positions is getting to be very dangerous work. Members of our company on picket in the advance rifle-pits had some very narrow escapes day before yesterday, as we had four men seriously wounded, two of them mortally. Being so near their works the rebels can use percussion shells, in lieu of hand grenades, with great efficiency, and they give our men considerable trouble. Conversations often unsue between our men and the enemy's pickets, sometimes ending with a friendly 'good night,' and at other times a volley of musketry.
"Since leaving the Mississippi we have all lost many and true friends, and our country honest and tried patriots. John WITMER, Orderly-Sergeant Company H, was killed while gallantly leading his company in the charge on the 22d; with him friendhsip and love for his country were traits whose influence will never cease. Out of eighty-six men with which the company crossed the Ohio River at the memorable siege of Cincinnati, only twenty now are left for duty, and of its officers, that unflinching patriot, Captain F. M. LEFLAR, is the only one that now remains. With but little or no assistance from his ex-lieutenants, he has always been present with his company, and always ready to do any duty which it may fall to his lot to perform, and as a friend and faithful soldier he will be always remembered by those who knew him."
In the Summer of 1862, about the time Cincinnati was threatened by the rebels, who were in arms close at hand, Robert CHRISTY, of this city, a prominent lawyer, who now lives in Washington, D. C., was at the head of a movement for establishing a military force here. It had been authorized by the County Democratic Convention, and had for its ostensible reason the necessity of opposing the Confederate forces, should they come on this side of the line. Governor TOD, who was in a patriotic way doing all in his power to serve his country, had some fears that the force might be used against the Union, rather than for it, and refused to give his consent to its authorization. "Whether it was intended," he said in this letter, "by this proceeding to interfere with the voluntary enlistments now being made over all the State, in response to the President's recent calls for troops, is now immaterial. Believing such to be the effect, I feel it my imperative duty to direct that you, and all associated with you in the effort to raise said regiment, at once desist. It is hoped that you and your associates will give cheerful obedience to this order, and join all loyal citizens of the State in their efforts to suppress the unholy rebellion in the manner designated by the national authorities."
David BECKETT, major in the Sixty-first regiment, was born in the year 1838, in Butler County, Ohio, his parents being Robert and Mary CRAWFORD BECKETT. He was educated at the Miami University, where he graduated in 1860. In the year of 1861, on the breaking out of the war of the rebellion, he entered the Union army as a private soldier. In 1862 he was made a captain, and in 1863 was promoted to the rank of major. He participated in the battles of Fredericksburg, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, and Kenesaw Mountain. At the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, he was killed, leaving behind him a reputation for gallantry and manliness which all might envy. He left a wife, but no children to bear his name.
Colonel Robert REILY, of the Seventy-fifth Ohio, was a native of this county, and in his death the people of this region mourned another martyr to the cause of freedom. He fell, his right knee being badly shattered by a minie ball, at the battle of Chancellorsville, on Saturday, May 2d, in a gallant effort to check the rout of the Eleventh Corps of Hooker's army, before the overwhelming advance of the rebels under Jackson.
The retreat of our right wing left him in the hands of the enemy. His thigh was amputated the next morning, the 3d, but he survived the operation only a few hours.
Robert REILY was born in Hamilton, June 1, 1820, and was the third son of that well known citizen, the late John REILY. He commenced active life in the store of W. P. H. HULBERT, of Cincinnati, as a clerk in 1836, and in 1843 became a partner in the establishment. The financial success of the firm was remarkable - much of it being due to the popular manners and efficient industry of Mr. REILY. In 1852 he retired to a beautiful farm near Lockland, on the Cincinnati Hamilton, and Dayton Railroad. When this rebellion broke out, his glowing patriotism led him at once to throw all his influence and energy upon the side of his country, and from the first echo of rebel cannon fired against Fort Sumter, until the Autumn of that year, he did every thing which, as a civilian, was in his power to strengthen the hands of the government in the mighty struggle before it. In September, 1861, he entered with Colonel MCLEAN and others, with his characteristic ardor, into the effort to raise the Seventy-fifth regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, locating the regimental rendezvous near his residence. The success of the undertaking was largely owing to his personal popularity and liberal energy. He voluntarily chose the lowest rank of the field officers; was commissioned major of the regiment, accompanied it into Virginia, where, under Milron, Schenck, Fremong, Sigel, Burnside, and Hooker, successively, it was continuously engaged in hard marching and hard fighting. Colonel MCLEAN was soon appointed brigadier, and Lieutenant-colonel Constable having been taken prisoner, Major REILY became commander of the regiment, and led it in nearly all the battles, receiving, in 1862, his commission as colonel.
Although by nature modest, gentle, and averse to all violence, yet no sooner had he entered the army and taken upon himself the character of a soldier, than he showed himself, as have many other men of his class in this war, to possess the characteristics of a hero. In battle he was ever at the post of danger, riding fearlessly up and down the lines where the men needed either his voice or his example. He never asked a soldier to go where he was not willing to lead
Among the last words uttered to his faithful attending surgeon were these: "I did not run from the rebels, nor did my regiment flinch under my command." But bravery was not the most valuable of his qualifications as an officer. He carefully and constantly sought and cared for the highest interests of his men, temporal and spiritual, sympathized with them in their hardships and sufferings, and to the utmost of his power provided for their wants, physical and moral. As a natural consequence, the soldiers idolized him. The adjutant-general of his division, in a letter to a friend, says: "This is the saddest of our misfortunes since the division has been in the army. We have lost many brave and good officers, but none so universally known and respected. He was admired by all, both as an officer and a Christian."
Colonel REILY was firm in discipline. He allowed no drunkenness, profanity, or vulgarity, which he could prevent. Observance of the Sabbath, where practicable, was one of his unfailing requirements. He was a man eminent for piety, generosity, and conscientiousness. He never united with any Church, but was in every sphere a "professor of religion." He had no fondness for a soldier's life. His eyes were turned with longing to his home and family.
Company K, Eighty-sixth Ohio, whose term of service expired in February, 1864, passed through Hamilton, on the way to their homes at Oxford and vicinity. The company was raised by Captain McFarland, who upon the organization of the regiment was elected lieutenant-colonel, a position he continued to hold, being most of the time in command of the regiment. The Eighty-sixth had a hard time of it their last Winter, being at Cumberland Gap through all the severe weather, and kept on the alert by the proximity of the enemy. Colonel McFarland, after coming home, resumed his duties as professor of mathematics in Miami University.
Captain THOMPSON, of the Seventy-second, wrote home to his father in February, 1863:
"In my last you had an account of our march down into Mississippi and back, since which we marched from Moscow, by way of Bolivar and Purdy, to Corinth, nearly one hundred miles, in six days, over miserable roads, and through incessant rain. Arriving in Corinth during the storm, we encamped in an open field, nearly a half mile from the woods, to which we must go for tent poles, as well as fire wood, and this, too, in one of the coldest rain-storms I ever witnessed. That night it snowed an inch, and froze hard enough to bear a man. Many of us nearly froze in our wet clothes, and we could neither get warm nor dry, as it rained out our fires, and we could have none in our tents, as we had no stoves. I had nothing but a tent-fly, which I have used since we left Memphis, and which is like spreading a sheet over a pole to shed the rain, as it is open at both ends, and the wind drives the rain through from end to end. Finding I could not live thus, I found shelter with Dr. METCALF, of the Seventh Illinois, who kindly compelled me to stay with him while we remained at Corinth.
"Sunday, February 1st, we left Corinth, coming on the railroad by way of Jackson, Tenn., and arrived here the same night in another cold rain-storm, and now, having traveled four hundred miles since November 12th, we are again nearly at our starting place.
"The officers of the Illinois regiments in Corinth, with many other officers, met at Corinth the other night and passed resolutions, denouncing the Illinois traitors at Springfield, and tendering their services to the governor, to come home, if needed, and put down home traitors, believing them to be more damnable than rebels South. I never saw a more determined spirit in any body of men than they showed, irrespective of party. Many of the best speeches were made by good old Democrats, Colonels BAINE and WILCOX making the best speeches I heard.