Beginning on Saturday,
October 31, 1885, the Lebanon Gazette, a bi-weekly newspaper published
in Lebanon, Ohio, published this 12 part series
|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.|
WARREN COUNTY IN THE WAR.
First Paper From An Old Soldier – More to Follow – Military Companies In Lebanon Prior To The War – The Old Warren Guards – Very Interesting Local History.
I am pleased to see the interest that is taken, by the old soldiers of the different companies and regiments in which Warren County was represented in the civil war, in the war papers that are appearing in the Gazette. We trust these interesting contributions will be continued. We have in mind a number of men of Warren County, who were familiar with the work of raising troops, and others who served three years and over in the army, who could give your readers some very valuable information on the subject if they would. We sincerely hope they will yield to the general desire, and let us hear from them.
I had the honor to serve, in my humble way, three years and nearly seven months in the war, and by way of example to others shall submit to you the history of the formation of one of the Warren County volunteer companies that served a full term of three years in the war of the rebellion.
For a purpose that will be hereafter seen, and before relating any of the circumstances pertaining to the formation of that company, I desire, with your permission, to go back of the exciting times of 1861, so far as my knowledge extends, and for my first contribution give a little history of the military companies of Lebanon that existed before the war.
A great many of the citizens of Lebanon will remember the military encampment, up on the Waynesville pike, of the “Guthrie Grays,” a crack company of Cincinnati and the “Troy Blues,” of Troy, Ohio. This was in the summer of 1856. Mr. Jacob Egbert, then living on the hill south of town, gave a dinner to a party of gentlemen, at which there were a number from each of the military companies. During the conversation Mr. Egbert expressed himself in favor of forming a company at Lebanon. The matter was taken in hand, and resulted in the formation of a company called the “Warren Guards.” The company was organized under the existing State laws. Its officers were commissioned by Salmon P. Chase, Governor of the State, on the 2d day of November, 1856, and the company was assigned to the Second Brigade, nineteenth Division, Ohio Volunteer Militia.
The “material” of this company was very fine. It was composed of leading citizens of Lebanon and vicinity, having in its ranks bankers, merchants, farmers and county officials – men of dignity and influence – many of them past the middle age of life.
The Warren Guards were drilled in the old Scott Manual, or heavy infantry
tactics. It is not known whether any of the records of the company are
in existence. The only thing like a record is an old copy of the constitution
and bylaws of the company, containing only a list of the officers of the
company, as follows:
The following were members of the Company, but their names are given from memory only: Reuben Bradley, Elias Bone, James Carter, Elias Carter, L. F. Daugherty, Joseph Jameson, Adam Koogle, Kibby Pauly, Daniel Pauly, Alfred E. Stokes, Thomas Starry, Charley E. Sausser, Thomas Scott, James F. Totten, James Ross, Rigdon Williams.
The Warren Guards during its existence, had the usual experience of military companies of that time in the way of stated parades, excursions and like affairs. One notable event was the muster of the entire division to which it belonged in Dayton, and if we are not mistaken in our recollection Clement L. Vallandigham was our Brigadier General. Another event was the reception and entertainment, at Lebanon, of the Franklin Grays, a very fine company from Franklin commanded by Captain Kell.
Another was our excursion to Mason, and very notably we had an excursion to Hamilton, Ohio, made by a squad of the company, consisting of the younger members. If there are any of that squad alive to-day, and if they will acknowledge going to Hamilton on that occasion, these few lines may remind them of some of the incidents connected therewith. It was the last excursion.
It was a time of profound peace, and the existence of such organizations was not regarded very favorably by some of the more sedate citizens of Lebanon. Our musters and excursions were looked upon as decidedly tending to dissipation and demoralization. The feeling in some directions was such that on minister in Lebanon deeded it his duty to preach a sermon on the vice and sin of soldiering in time of peace.
The company, however, maintained a vigorous existence up to the beginning of 1860. At that time the older element of the company withdrew.
THE EARLY WAR DAYS AT SOUTH LEBANON – FIRST MEEING IN THE OLD SCHOOL-HOUSE AND A SPEECH BY LAWRENCE SMITH, OF LEBANON.
South Lebanon being on the railroad and telegraph line, of course received the intelligence of the firing on Sumpter as soon as the Lebanon people, and was not at all behind them in an outburst of popular feeling against the traitors. A few days ago a Gazette reporter went to the old town to inquire of the early times there. The same bugbear, “I really can’t remember,” was present, the result of the trip only adding additional proof that the war history of Warren County has already been put off to too late a day, and that some precious facts have been forever lost. Again we appeal to the soldiers and their friends to help to put these bright pages of the story of our grand old county into an enduring form.
The reporter was greatly pressed for time on the day of his visit. What he did learn is here told, but this is hardly a fraction of South Lebanon’s history in early war days. As at Waynesville, so in Union Township, will another visit be necessary. The old soldiers must have time to think over the days of 1861, and the Gazette will be only too glad to grant them this, if in the end “Warren County In The War” may be well told.
At South Lebanon the news of the bombardment came on Saturday morning. It had the same effect that it did in Lebanon. Business was practically stopped, and the people gathered, some at the railroad station, which then, as now was the telegraph office, and others at different places about town. All day long a feeling moved the whole town. It was partly a deep sadness and gloom over the calamity to the whole country, and partly a hot, righteous wrath at men who had conspired against their country. More than one man was ready to start to the front armed with a shot gun.
The Sabbath following was anything but a day of rest. A restless, unquiet feeling pervaded the whole town. In the afternoon the news of the meeting of the previous night at Lebanon came. Among the men it was determined to hold a meeting on the following (Monday) evening. It was on Monday that Milton Graham – not Rigdon Williams – carried the paper around Lebanon for signatures for volunteers for three months’ service. Some of the leading spirits here, knowing of the intense feeling of patriotism that existed in the village just south of them, determined to go there on Monday evening and solicit volunteers.
This exactly coincided with the wishes of loyal old Union’s men. Several Lebanon gentlemen, whose names, with one exception, cannot be learned, headed by Hon. Lawrence Smith, arrived at South Lebanon a little after supper. They brought with them a drummer and fifer, and what between this military band and the enthusiasm of the people, the old school house, the building which had just been vacated by Wilson’s Central Metal Package Works, was filled to more than overflowing. The meeting was organized and what this organization was is another point which was impossible to be ascertained positively. Several gentlemen spoke, the principal speaker being Lawrence Smith. The enthusiasm was simply indescribable. Cheer upon cheer arose from the loyal crowd, and when the paper for signatures was produced a dozen names with down in half as many minutes. Aid it did not stop then. More signatures were obtained on the following day, and the roll call of Company F of the 12th Ohio is quite besprinkled with names of men who claimed as their home old Union Township.
This was the beginning of those long sad days in South Lebanon. The little township which during the war earned reputation of being one of the most patriotic communities in the county did not stop here. Men and money were freely contributed, and South Lebanon did more than her share to the making of Warren County’s bright record in the great rebellion.
Arne H Trelvik
2 August 2011
This page created 2 August 2011 and last updated
26 February, 2012
© 2011 Arne H Trelvik All rights reserved