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Warren County in the War
Part XI

Beginning on Saturday, October 31, 1885, the Lebanon Gazette, a bi-weekly newspaper published in Lebanon, Ohio, published this 12 part series


Publication Date Part SubTitle
October 31, 1885 Introduction Warren County in the War.
October 31, 1885 Part I The First War Meeting in Lebanon.
November 7, 1885 Part II More about the Early Days of the War - The Meeting in Washington Hall was not the First War Meeting in Lebanon - Important Addition to the History of Those Stirring Days.
November 14, 1885 Part III April, 1861, in Waynesville - A Glorious Story of Patriotism - The Firing on Sumpter Arouses the Town - Flying the National Colors - A Cannon at the Top of a Union Pole - The Great Assemblage in front of Oscar J. Wright's.
November 21, 1885 Part IV Up with the Flag - Judge George J. Smith Orders the National Colors Flung to the Breeze at the Courthouse. - A Roll of Honor - Company F, 12th O. V. I. - Taking the Boys to South Lebanon
November 28, 1885 Part V First Papers From an Old Soldier - More To Follow - Military Companies in Lebanon Prior to the War - the Old Warren Guards - Very Interesting Local History - The Early War Days at South Lebanon - First Meeting in the Old School-House and a Speech by Lawrence Smith, of Lebanon.
December 5, 1885 Part VI Second Papers from an Old Soldier - The "Lebanon Rifles" - They Offer Their Service to the Government. - Early War Days at Morrow - Company A, of the 12th Ohio - Off To Columbus and Down to Camp Dennison - Starting the First Campaign
December 12, 1885 Part VII Some Corrections by Captain Sausser - Interesting Additional Items - The Early War Spirit in Maineville - Volunteers for Many Regiments - Hamilton Township Not Behind Other Parts of Warren County.
December 19, 1885 Part VIII Third Papers from an Old Soldier - Recruiting and Muster in of Company A, 35th Ohio, With a Full List of Officers and Privates - Also Something of Company F, of the same Regiment - The Friends of the Cause at Lebanon - Facing the Realities of a Soldier's Life.
January 2, 1886 Part IX Early Days at Harveysburg - Enlistment of Ex-Auditor Randall and History of the Recruiting Expedition of Captain Parshall.
January 9, 1886 Part X A Complete List of the Officers and Privates of Company F, 12th O. V. I., As Organized for the Three Years' Service; A Queer Combination - Testaments and Liniment; The Old Sanitary Committee of the South Lebanon Pike.
January 16, 1886 Part XI The Death of Jabez Turner, The First Man the County Lost in the Great Struggle as told by an Eye Witness.
January 30, 1886 Part XII Life at Camp Dennison - Drilling and Preparing for the Battles the were to Follow - How the 12th Ohio Spent its Two Months of Probation.

LEBANON GAZETTE.
Gazette Printing Company, Proprietors.
OFFICE IN GAZETTE BUILDING, ON MULBERRY STREET.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 1886.

WARREN COUNTY IN THE WAR.
XI.

THE DEATH OF JABEZ TURNER, THE FIRST MAN THE COUNTY LOST IN THE GREAT STRUGGLE, AS TOLD BY AN EYE WITNESS.

In the story of the early days at Harveysburg has been told of the enlistment of Jabez Turner. He was among the first men who came to Lebanon from Massie Township and his was well up in the list of names of the men who made up Company F, of the Twelfth. He was a plasterer by trade, tall, finely built, weighing about one hundred and sixty-five pounds, was of medium complection, and, in short was almost the ideal man for a soldier.

At Harveysburg, he was well known and his memory is preserved there yet. Many of the houses at that village are finished by his handiwork. His reputation at the time of the breaking out of the war was of the best. He was known as a quiet, law abiding citizen and one who had many warm friends. But although quiet, he was patriotic and the firing on Sumpter was an appeal to him that was irresistible. As soon as he could make his arrangements he came to Lebanon and enlisted.

The history of his movements for several weeks is that of Company F. After his enlistment, he returned to Harveysburg and spent his remaining time in arranging the private affairs so that his family might be well provided for during his absence, which at that time, all expected would not be for more that the hundred days at the upmost. He came to Lebanon and marched to South Lebanon with the company at the time of the great demonstration. He returned with them to the fair ground when the railroad was unable to accommodate them. On the 23d of April, the marching orders came, and on the following day the whole company, Turner included, marched to Morrow, and there was joined by Company A. Arriving at Columbus, the whole company was sworn in on the following day. On May 3d the regiment was organized and a few weeks later found them at Camp Dennison hard at work. On the 19th of June the whole regiment was reorganized for the three years’ service.

Early on the morning of July 6th, the regiment started for the field of action, which was on the Great Kanahwa. At the mouth of this river they were joined by the 11th Ohio and the 2nd Kentucky. They took boats and proceeded up the river. On the 19th of July, the 12th was ordered forward on a reconnoitering expedition. It was known that the rebels were entrenched at some point not far above the Union camp and it was necessary to discover where they were. The Federal boys advanced, but slowly, owing to their being unacquainted with the country and a care of not running unawares upon the rebels. Suddenly they came upon the rebel fortifications. They had taken advantage of a natural position and with little work had made an almost impregnable place. But the Union men were hot and anxious for a fight and although there were totally unprepared in the way of ammunition for such and undertaking, the charge was ordered.

The position of the two forces is almost impossible to describe correctly so as to give a clear idea. But the 12th boys were at a great disadvantage. They were raw troops and in forming in line of battle they had managed to get a little mixed as to companies. The charge was made, however, and well made. The Union men gained some advantage but could not capture the enemies’ position. They took advantage of what they had gained and lay behind stumps, fallen logs and barrels. Company F had been armed with nothing but old Prussian muskets changed from flint lock to percussion, while some of the other companies had Enfield rifles. One of these men was wounded and Turner, who was lying behind a barrel, managed to obtain possession of his saying as he did so, that he could stop some of the rebel sharp shooting. And he was as good as his word. Four or five men who were causing our force great annoyance were speedily stopped. Finally, he loaded his gun and raised his head above the barrel to look for a shot. Just as he did so, a rebel bullet struck him just in the center of the forehead and, throwing up his arms and rolling over on his back, Jabez Turner, the first man Warren County lost, without a groan or even a sound, gave his life for the preservation of the country.

The Union men held their position as long as their ammunition lasted, but then were compelled to fall back. The rebels were in such a state that they were unable to follow, and the company returned in safety. A squad was sent back under a flag of truce and the dead, for an artilleryman and a member of one of the other companies had been killed, were buried with all the honors of war. Such was the death of Jabez Turner.

by
Arne H Trelvik
28 January 2012
     


FOOTNOTES: [email any additional information or comments that you might want to submit to Arne H Trelvik]
   

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