VANNUYS, Samuel Watson

Date of birth: 22 January 1841, Franklin, Johnson County, Indiana

Date of death: 20 September 1864

Source: Franklin Jeffersonian, Franklin, Johnson County, Indiana, Saturday Morning, October 22, 1864

Capt. Samuel Watson Vannuys
    This accomplished and gallant officer was 
 born within the present corporate limits of 
 the city of Franklin, on the 22d day of 
 January, 1841.  Consequently he was in the 
 23d year of his age, when he gave up his 
 life for the life of his Government.  
 Previous to the rebellion, he was preparing 
 himself for a collegiate course; and in 
 the excellent Hopewell Academy, had already 
 made rapid progress in his studies.  In 
 many of the important branches of education 
 he had become proficient, and was industriously 
 preparing to enter College when the atrocious 
 rebellion broke out, and patriots were called 
 to the rescue of the Country.  He left his 
 school-abandoned his studies and, although, 
 of fine, manly form, and commanding personal 
 appearance, he modestly stepped into the ranks 
 as a common soldier, in the Company of Capt. 
 Lambertson which afterwards formed Company "F," 
 7th Ind. Vols.  He served in this capacity 
 between one and two years, sharing all the 
 dangers and hardships of the field and camp, 
 when all the officers of his Regiment, joined 
 in a recommendation to Governor Morton for his 
 promotion.  There being no vacancy in his Regi-
 ment, and as there were no new Regiments then 
 forming, his papers were forwarded to Washington, 
 and he was appointed to a first Lieutenancy, 
 in the 4th U.S. Colored Regiment. He accepted 
 the position, and engaged with zeal in the 
 training of these Colored patriots, in the 
 use of firearms, and the duties of the soldier.  
 He was astonished at his success, and their 
 aptness in learning the whole manual of arms.  
 Nor was he long in doubt as to their possession 
 of that indispensible requisite of the soldier - 
 bravery in the face of danger.

   Such was his success, in training his Company, 
that his superior officers became convinced that 
he was "born to command," and was soon promoted 
to a Captaincy.  He served as Captain but a 
short time, until he was placed upon the General's 
staff, and when he was killed, he was Acting 
Adjutant General of the 4th U.S. Colored Regiment, 
3d Brigade 3d Division, 18th Army Corps.

   On the 20th of September, a charge upon some 
rifle pits of the enemy was ordered.  General 
Duncan with his staff and 600 men, were the 
attacking party.  The General was wounded and 
will, probably, lose a leg.  Captain Vannuys 
was killed, and another staff officer was 
severely wounded.  Four  of their five horses 
were killed, and 390 of the 600 men engaged were 
either killed or wounded.  Captain Vannuys' horse 
was killed and he led his men on foot  to within a 
very few yards of the rebel pits, when they were 
met by such a murderous fire, as no men on earth 
would stand.  The men recoiled, and as they turned 
our Hero received a shot in the neck, severing 
the carotid artery, and, it is supposed, killing 
him instantly.  The men were Soon rallied and 
reinforced and returned to the charge and drove 
the enemy from their works. Although, not more 
than 20 minutes elapsed between the retreat 
and the return of the attacking party-the enemy 
had robbed him of his watch, money and clothes.

   Thus fell the gallant Watson Vannuys.  His body 
was embalmed and sent home to his stricken parents 
and friends, and we had the pleasure of beholding 
once more, the noble form of the fallen Patriot 
and Hero.  

Submitted by Hutchinson & Cortright

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