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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Maxwell And Kell Franklin Twp. Participants In Civil War

Contributor:
Dallas Bogan on 13 September 2004
Source:
original article by Dallas Bogan
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

BRIGADIER GENERAL O.C. MAXWELL was born about two and one half miles southeast of Franklin, Ohio, February 2, 1837. Craig, as he was called, came to early manhood in Franklin. He was engaged as clerk in his uncle James Maxwell's grain house. Assuming the trade of grain dealer himself, he entered the trade of dry goods at a later date. A partnership deal was struck with M.V. Barkalow in the shoe business.

At the age of twenty-four he enlisted in the cause of the Union. He had been Orderly Sergeant of the Franklin Greys, an organization knitted together by the residents of Franklin. As Second Lieutenant he went with his company at the call of the President. A vacancy occurring by the resignation of P.S. Turner, First Lieutenant, Mr. Maxwell was promoted to this position and held the position until the close of the three months service.

With the return of his company, he obtained a Captain's commission and reenlisted many of the three months' boys. His company was assigned to the Second Ohio, and became Company B of that organization. His Captaincy's rank was designated as of August 31, 1861.

For gallantry on the field, he was promoted to the rank of Major, December 24, 1862, and on December 31, 1862, he was promoted for gallantry, to Lieutenant Colonel.
On February 1, 1864, he was discharged after receiving severe wounds while in combat. While at home, he was elected Warren County auditor.

After recovering from his wounds, he reentered the service March 14, 1865, as Lieutenant Colonel of the 194th O.V.I. He was promoted to Colonel, October 22, 1865, and was mustered out with his regiment October 24, 1865.

He had, on March 13, 1865, been Brevetted Brigadier for gallant and meritorious service. After the war, he received a medal bearing the appropriate inscription, "Imperium in Imperio" with the motto of the State of Ohio, which medal was given to but four other persons in the state of Ohio.

He was wounded in the leg at Perryville, and was crippled for life; wounded in the throat at Stone River and received several minor wounds, from the effects of which a naturally strong constitution brought him safety.

He died on December 5, 1872, in his room at the Phillips House, Dayton, Ohio, having, in a state of desperation, caused by his financial difficulties, taken his own life by a shot from his revolver. Mr. Maxwell died at the age of thirty-six.


COLONEL JOHN KELL was a native of Germany. He spent his life mostly in America, and when the Mexican War broke out he was a resident of Steubenville, Ohio. He joined the service of the country participating in the Mexican War.

He came to Franklin about 1856 and opened a tailor shop. President Buchanan made him Postmaster.

Being experienced in the Mexican War, Mr. Kell's military awareness allowed him to organize a unit in Franklin known as the "Franklin Greys." The color of the uniform was the designating factor, which conceived the name of the Franklinites. The early organization of the company allowed the company to be the first group to leave the county for service under the call of the President for 100 day's volunteers. This organization consisted of Capt. John Kell; First Lieutenant, P.S. Turner; Second Lieutenant, O.C. Maxwell; Orderly, I.M. Snell. This company became Company E, First Ohio Volunteers.

They were assigned to duty around Washington, D.C. It has been reported that one of the "Franklin Greys" fired the first shot of the First Battle of Bull Run. In this battle the company suffered two casualties; the rebels captured A.B. Spader and a shell fragment blinded another.

When the company returned from the three months service, Mr. Kell was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry and reenlisted. He was killed at the battle of Stone River. His body was brought home and was buried in the Franklin Cemetery.


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This page created 13 September 2004 and last updated 17 March, 2009
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