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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Local Civil War Vet Remembered

Contributor:
Dallas Bogan on 27 July 2004
Source:
Dallas Bogan, Warren County, Ohio and Beyond (Bowie Maryland: Heritage Press, 1979) page 190
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

This week we will feature another Civil War veteran, namely W.A. (Andy) Hathaway. Andy was a veteran of the War between the States and served with the 35th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was born in Warren County, Ohio, December 21, 1840. Mr. Hathaway was serving on the skirmish line near Corinth, Mississippi, when he was shot through the right shoulder, the ball passing clear through. He was mustered out and returned to the Warren County area and began a career on the railroad that lasted until his death.
For forty years he pulled the throttle on a railroad engine. His first stint was working on the "Sheepskin Road," along with the Zentmyer boys, the line running between Morrow and Zanesville.
His next employment was in Indiana with the Lake Erie & Western R.R., the assignment lasting more than fifteen years, thence on to Moberly, Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.
During his profession he was involved in many exciting and dangerous events. Several times he was forced to jump from the cab while the train was at full speed. Once the explosion of the boiler blew him out bodily.
His age forced him to give up his active life on the railroad. He therefore was employed by the Wabash Company in a position around the shops and yards. During the last year of his life, he was unable to work because of a heart ailment. He died December 14, 1913, in St. Louis, Missouri.
The following is a copy of a letter taken from The Western Star, written by Mr. Hathaway during his service in the Civil War.

Camp near Corinth, Miss.
March 23, 1862.

Dear Mother, I received your letter this morning and will hasten to answer. I have met with a little misfortune since I last wrote to you. As the Rebels keep falling it has kept us on the skirmish line and picket fighting for the past two weeks. On last Saturday, May 17, we were called early in the morning to go on the skirmish line. We soon found the enemy.
About 11 o'clock I was shot through the right shoulder, the ball striking on the center, glancing around the bone and coming out on the center. I have suffered considerable but at present my arm seems to be improving and the opinion of our doctor or surgeon is that I shall not be disabled, but they cannot always tell as the bone may be slightly fractured. Very poor accommodations here for wounded men, have but one blanket and lay on the ground.
Soldier life is quite a prison life; there is no thought taken for the private soldier, there is too much old Brittain yet in the American people. Think perhaps I will have an opportunity to get leave of absence and go home while I am disabled for duty.
I would have written sooner but couldn't on account of not having use of my arm.
Andy Wilson was buried yesterday. He died Wednesday, May 21st. I was in to see him in the morning; he was very low, requesting me to see if I could not get him home. (He was lying in an old house the regiment was using for a hospital.) In a few moments after he spoke to me he became unconscious.
I went to camp, found all the boys of our company had gone on picket except Mort Eby. He had a fellon on his hand. We went back to the hospital but for no good, he (Andy) died in a few minutes after we arrived. His death was caused by the phthisic; he was buried yesterday with all the honors and respect that we were able to furnish under the circumstances. Col. Vanderveer, Maj. Boynton and Gen. McRooks Ades were present. Maj. Boynton read a chapter in Bible and performed the burial ceremony. Boys took great interest and pains in making headboard and in putting picket fence around his grave. Mort Eby informed his brother John in regard to this. Would have written to him long before his death but no letters are allowed to depart until after the battle here, may be some time before you receive this.
There is a report that we have the Rebs surrounded and expecting a fight any minute. I am getting terribly bloodthirsty and would like to have revenge; nevertheless I would "just as leave stay in the rear." Tell sister Navine I received her letter, also one from brother Perry; will answer whenever an opportunity presents itself.
Received a letter from Neal and John Conner; they are much pleased with soldier life. Never mind, they have not seen the elephant yet.
I have twenty dollars that I have no particular use for and would send it to you, but think it would not be safe at present, as it is doubtful about the mail reaching you. We are going to be paid soon and if I do not get a furlow I will have an opportunity to send by some one as there is someone detailed expressly to take money to the homes of the boys of our regiment.
You spoke about some of the boys drinking; I have not seen a drop of liquor since I was at Louisville. Our commissary receives whiskey sometimes but the officers generally gobble it up. Privates do not get a smell.
Soldier life is rough and there are great temptations to resist and few inducements to live a moral life, but I can say that soldiering has made but few drunkards, "comparatively speaking with civil times," as they have no opportunity or privileges to get it.
I will bring my letter to a close. The boys from Freeport are all enjoying good health with few exceptions. Tell the Connor girls I am all right on a goose. Received a little jolt in the right shoulder is all.
George Hide is the hardiest one in the regiment, seldom ever complains. Tell Wm. Goes' wife he is well and doing fine. George Bates has not yet arrived. Tell Frank I consider myself slighted; she never gave me an invitation to that party. Give my respects to all enquiring friends, a share of my love to you and sister.
Hoping I may have an opportunity to visit you soon, I am your affectionate son,
ANDY H.


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This page created 27 July 2004 and last updated 8 January, 2009
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