1882 COUNTIES OF 
LaGRANGE and NOBLE INDIANA HISTORICAL and BIOGRAPHICAL

Chicago F.A. Battey and Company Publishers 1882
 

CHAPTER IV.
Part 2

BY J. H. RERICK, M. D.
NAMES OF SOLDIERS WHO SERVED IN WARS PRIOR TO 1861 — PUBLIC SENTIMENT WHEN SUMTER FELL — THE CALL TO ARMS — COLLECTION OF SANITARY STORES — VOLUNTEERS AND RECRUITS — THE DRAFT TERROR — SOLDIERS’ AID SOCIETIES — LA GRANGE COUNTY’S ROLL OF HONOR — BATTLES PARTICIPATED IN — DISLOYALTY — ENTHUSIASTIC UNION MEETINGS — ANECDOTES 

    Upon reaching Indianapolis, the company found companies and regiments organized in sufficient number to fill Indiana's quota, and the illusive prospect of a ninety days' war then prevailing, no more companies would be received. The men were informed that they could disband and go into other companies if they could find room, or otherwise return home. About thirty joined other companies, and the rest, disheartened, came back. Twenty-one of those who entered the service joined Company B, Seventeenth Indiana Infantry, and all, with one exception, were credited to Boone County. The names of these men were John C. Lamson, Joseph S. Case, Harrison Boyd, Alfred Crawford, William Christ, Joel Crosby, William H. Crosby, Daniel Flynn, Flavius J. George, William P. Hall, Alfred Helper, George M. Helper, Derrick Hodges, Orpheus C. Kenaston, Lewis Randolph, Milton E. Scott, William Wigglesworth, Henry Wirt, Robert White, William Baxter. Nine others, James Dever, M. Randolph, Franklin Haskins, Jack Springsteed, James Hanson, Charles North, Edwin Bennett, James Cassidy, Michael Campbell, joined other regiments. These thirty men have the honor of being the first volunteers to get in the service from this county. Four of those who returned, George A. Lane, C. M. Burlingame, F. A. Spellman and J. W. Vesey, went at once to Michigan and enlisted in the Fourth Regiment; F. A. Spellman was killed in battle.

    Capt. Roy remained at Indianapolis a few weeks, assisting in the drilling of the troops assembled, and then returned to this county and commenced the organization of a company for the three years' service. A large number of those who first enlisted rallied around him at once, and the balance necessary for the company were obtained at Ligonier and Goshen. This new company reached Indianapolis July 2, 1861, and was mustered in as Company A of the Twenty-first Indiana Regiment July 20. Those who went into this company from this county were Capt. William Roy; Sergts. John A. Bevington, Harvey B. Hall, Lewis Apple; Corpls. James R. Rheubottom, Joseph W. Talmage, Alfred Sargeant, George A. Lane; and Privates Alfred E. Charter, Thomas Cole, Benjamin F. Culbertson, Enoch R. Culbertson, Bennice Dryer, Perry O. Everts, Harvey J. Gillette, John Hone, William Harrison, Charles Haskins, Simon Humbert, James Ingram, Jonathan Irish, Thaddeus P. Jackson, Albert N. Johnson, Isaac Knight, Oscar Law, David E. Markham, Luther F Mason, Leonard N. McLain, Adam W. Meek, James Nash, Harvey Olmstead, William H. Paulius, Enoch Perkins, DeWitt M. Pierce, Andrew J. Ritter, George D. Robbins, Daniel Smith, Peter Smith, Halsey F. Skadden, Edwin R. Temple, George W. Vanormin, William B. Warren, Ira J. Woodworth.

    This latter company had hardly gone away before another company was begun. A notice was issued to join in the organization of this by William B. Bingham, July 2. While the company was being recruited, William Dawson- of Indianapolis, who had just returned from the three months' service, came by LaGrange, and was invited to take charge of the drilling of the men. At the election of officers he was chosen Captain. This company was quartered toward the last mostly at Lima, whose citizens contributed blankets, clothing, etc., for the comfort of the boys, and also $130, to provide the men with red flannel shirts, with which to march into camp. Donations were also made by citizens of LaGrange and elsewhere. The company set out for the Fort Wayne camp on the 13th of September, but before leaving, it was presented with a flag by the patriotic women of Lima. Before presenting the flag, Miss Rebecca Williams made the following address:

  Capt. Dawson - In behalf of Lima's patriotic daughters, I present to you, and through you, to our brave volunteers, this glorious banner of liberty, this flag of the free, proud emblem of our National existence and of our National power. To your care it is henceforth entrusted. it will be yours fearlessly to maintain its honor, and with it the honor of our cause and country to preserve it from insult at the hands of foes and traitors, even, if need be, at the cost of dear life. Fighting beneath its shadow, your courage is to be tested, your valor displayed, your laurels won. And you shall fight, not for yourselves alone, but for the privilege of transmitting to the future generations a Government the noblest, a Constitution the wisest, a Liberty the sweetest, that ever blest a fair land since creation's dawn.
    I scarcely need refer you to the story of our past; you know full well the story of American independence; how, long years ago, through fierce and bloody conflicts, our fathers marched to glorious victory, the Stars and Stripes floating triumphantly over them; how,  wrapped in the shining folds of this same banner, many a Revolutionary hero lies quietly 'neath the daisied sods of a thousand pleasant valleys. The peace so highly prized, and dearly purchased by our ancestors, bestowed by them upon their children, a precious legacy, to be handed down in turn to those who should come after, they fondly trusted might never again be imperiled. Save a few dark clouds across the bright sun, naught for many years has occurred to dim the clear sky of our National prosperity. We have boasted loudly of the strength of our Union, cemented by bonds of love, of peace, and happiness at home; of power and influence abroad. Alas! that our hands folded so lightly in calm assurance of fair winds and smooth seas, did not, by God's help, sooner seize the helm of our noble ship of state, and with firm grasp guide her 'mid threatening storms and tempests to a quiet harbor. Alas! that our our ears attuned only to music, which plays softest around the hearthstone, from the lips of little children, or in kindly tones of friendship greeting, should be assailed by the distant mutterings of the cannon's thunder, whispers of the dead strife already commenced in our land. You will go forth, erelong, with thousands, to taste the stern realities of life upon the battle-field. Be assured our warmest sympathies and most fervent prayers will always follow you. Live nobly up to every duty, face bravely every danger, look well that the spirit of true patriotism prompt every action, and never, for one moment, let a thought of petty revenge or cruel hatred dwell in your brave hearts. And, in that good time coming, when right and humanity shall triumph, when peace shall once more be restored and secured to us, God grant you may return, an unbroken number, to rejoice with us ever more in the blessings of an eternal liberty.

    After an eloquent reply on behalf of the company, by the Rev. B. Farrand, Mr. F. C. King made an unexpected presentation from the ladies of LaGrange, of a Testament to each soldier, and accompanied the gift with these remarks:

    Brave Volunteers- As a slight token of your noble spirit, we could not present you a gift more precious in its teachings, or more costly as containing hidden treasures than the Word of God. In it is contained precepts and examples, that will prepare you, not only for good and faithful soldiers of our country, but also of the cross, and as you go forth to fight your country's battles, will teach you to fight the good fight of faith. Read it, love it, and obey its holy teachings, and in your own experience you may have it to say:

"This little book I'd rather have
Than all the golden gems
That in a monarch's coffer shine,
Than all their diadems."

    The original officers selected by the men were: Captain, William Dawson; First Lieutenant, Ebenezer R. Barlow; Second Lieutenant, Thomas Burrnell; Orderly, George Salpaugh. The company was assigned to the Thirtieth Regiment, as Company G. The formation of this company had not been completed before another had been begun again, under the leadership of William B. Bingham. On October 17, 1861, this company was ready to start for camp at Fort Wayne, where a large concourse of citizens met at the courthouse to see them start, and bid them Godspeed. The Standard of that week says: "Capt. Bingham formed his company on Main street and marched them to the Methodist Church, where, in behalf of the company, he thanked the ladies who had so kindly furnished them with many of the necessaries of camp life; and the company joined in three hearty cheers for the soldiers. We have seldom witnessed a more enthusiastic or spirited occasion. The company was then marched to the south part of town, where wagons  were in waiting to convey them on their journey. There was no lack of teams and many more were offered than was necessary. Quite a number of our citizens accompanied them as far as Wright's Corners, where they took dinner, and reported, having been furnished by the citizens of that village and vicinity with a most beautiful repast, free to all. Five or six volunteers were enlisted at that place, and Capt. Bingham went into camp with a full company."

    The ladies of LaGrange presented each of the soldiers, before starting, with a neat and serviceable blue woolen Zouave jacket, trimmed with velvet. On the road to Fort Wayne the company held an election, with the following result: Captain, William B. Bingham; First Lieutenant, Joseph W. Danseur; Second Lieutenant, Jacob Newman; Orderly Sergeant, Hiram F. King. Capt. Bingham returned home the next week for a few days, when a meeting was called at the court house (October 25) for the purpose of presenting him with a sword that had been purchased by the citizens, in demonstration of their high regard, and as an appropriate token of their confidence in him as a soldier. A. B. Kennedy, Esq., made the presentation speech, which was responded by the Captain, thanking the donors for the elegant and significant present and pledged his honor that the weapon should never be dishonored while in his possession. Patriotic songs were sung and short speeches made by Revs. D. P. Hartman and Cathcart. This company became Company H. of the Forty-fourth Indiana Infantry. No more companies were organized in the county in the year 1861, but numbers of men volunteered from time to time to fill up the ranks of these companies, and other commands. Dr. J. H. Rerick enlisted in Capt. Dawson's company, but before its muster-in he was appointed Assistant Surgeon of the Forty-fourth Indiana, and commissioned September 12, 1861, and assisted in the organization of that regiment. There was up to this time about three hundred enlistments from the county. Such a number called forth suddenly to war, by Government illy prepared to furnish a vast army, and from communities horror stricken at the idea of bloody strife, could but cause intense anxiety in the homes the volunteers had left. Soldiers' aid societies, especially by the women, sprang up, for supplying the soldiers with bedding, clothing and daintier food. On the 1st of November, 1861, a Ladies' Soldier's Aid Society was regularly organized at LaGrange, adopting a Constitution and ByLaws, and the ladies in the townships were requested to form auxiliary societies. The officers elected at this meeting were: Mrs. John Kromer, President; Mrs. W. Cathcart, Vice-President; Mrs. Laura Butler, Secretary; Mrs. C. O. Myers, Treasurer. The committee consisting of Mrs. John W. Welch, Mrs. Isaac Carpenter, Mrs. Fred Everhart, Miss M. A. H. Menelaus, Miss H. Ford, Miss S. Lougher, and Directresses- Mrs. F. C. King, Mrs. D. P. Hartman, Mrs. A. Elison.

    A number of Union meetings were held during the summer and fall. One was held at the court house on the evening of the 21st of August, which was addressed by Hon. William Mitchell, then Member of Congress from the district, and who had witnessed the first Bull Run battle. Rev. C. Cory of  Lima, presided at this meeting and J. H. Rerick acted as Secretary, and Jo___ B. Wade, A. B. Kennedy and Joseph Cummings as Committee on Resolution. The resolutions requested the County Commissioners to provide for quartering the troops and to make appropriations for the maintenance of the families of volunteers, that a committee of five be appointed to canvas the county promoting enlistments, and that Lieut. William Dawson, of Col. Wallace's famous regiment, be requested to remain and aid in raising and drilling a company. The committee appointed to canvass the county were J. B. Wade, Ja___ Newman, William Barlow, Hiram Smith and Rev. J. P. Force. The next evening, a similar meeting was held in Lima, at which Rev. C. Cory  presided and J. S. Castle acted as Secretary. The Committee on Resolution, O. H. Jewett, J. M. Flagg and J. P. Force- reported strong war resolutions and requested the County Commissioners to provide for soldiers' families. A committee, consisting of W. Rawles, J. H. Morrison, N. Stacy, O. H. Jewett and S. Herbert, was appointed to canvass the northern part of the county.
 
 

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