Isaac N. Rogers; Prison Guard to Leader in Battle

Isaac Rogers was  born in Missouri or Mississippi in 1842. There are conflicting birth state locations shown on future census records, but I believe Missouri is correct. 

The first known record of Isaac is shown in these photos:


  (photos source is, a.k.a. Johnson’s Island Preservation Society)

So, we know from these that Isaac N. Rogers served during the Civil War with the 128th Ohio Infantry, Co. D. The 128th was organized at Columbus, Johnson’s Island, and Camp Cleveland from Dec. 7, 1861, to Jan. 8, 1864, to serve for three years. Cos. A, B, C and D were originally known as Hoffman’s Battalion and were transferred to this regiment Jan. 5, 1864. The regiment was principally engaged in guarding Confederate prisoners at Johnson’s island, but had frequently furnished detachments for service elsewhere, including a short but active campaign in pursuit of Confederate troops in West Virginia in 1862. 

To clarify or add, Isaac’s Hoffman’s Co. D was specifically mustered in Sept. 16, 1862, at Johnson’s Island, Ohio. Isaac Rogers mustered in as a private, was promoted to Corporal December, 1862 and to 2nd Lt. in Company A in August of 1863. 

On Sept. 17, 1864 Isaac was discharged from the 128th in order for him to accept a promotion to Captain in the 190th O.V.I. However, the 190th failed to completely organize and its members we assigned to other units. Isaac was assigned to another new regiment, the 177th Ohio, Company B as its Captain. The 177th was organized for one years service during the month of October, 1864 and it reported to General Thomas at Nashville and performed garrison duty at Tullahoma until Hood’s invasion in late November. In December it occupied Murfreesboro and upon one occasion charged the works of a portion of Hood’s army, capturing two guns and 200 prisoners. In February, 1865, it was transferred to North Carolina and engaged the enemy in several battles. At Town Creek it captured a Rebel command with a stand of colors and many prisoners. The Regiment soon joined Sherman’s army at Goldsboro, where it remained until June 24th. It was finally discharged July 7, 1865.

Chasing Dreams in Colorado

It appears that shortly after his final discharge Isaac married Hattie Pitkin in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Next we catch up with Isaac in 1880. He and Hattie now live in Leadville, Colorado with their son Charles A. age 13, listed as born in Ohio. That record lists Isaac as born in Missouri and Hattie born in Vermont. 

By 1880 Leadville was one of the world’s largest and richest silver camps, with a population of more that 15,000. There were more that 30 mines and 10 smelting works producing gold, silver, and lead amounting to $15,000,000.00 annually. By the turn of the century Leadville’s fortunes had declined. In 1900 the family lived in Arapahoe County, Colorado. Son Charles lived with his parents and a servant named Della with his daughter Jerrene, age 9. In 1910 Isaac and Hattie live alone in the same county. 

Isaac and Harriet “Hattie” Rogers received two pensions, one in 1901, a invalid pension, and in 1911, she a widow pension. Isaac N. Rogers is buried in the Fairmount Cemetery in Denver. He died in 1910. 


Joseph Gaskill and the 104th O.V.I.

History of the 104th O.V.I. 1862-1865
Told by J.W. Gaskill
Joseph W. Gaskill, Clothing Merchant, Soldier, Author
and son of Ohio Pioneer Family


In my humble opinion history written by the people that lived it is our most cherished and true form of historical information. Regarding the Civil War, or better said in general, War, it is often ego and defensive mechanisms that can fog that written information. If a regiments history is written by it’s commander it can be fogged by that persons needs; maybe to glorify, maybe to defend. Written by the privates, corporals, surgeons and wagon drivers it is quite different and probably truer to the truth. Therefore be introduced J.W. Gaskill’s book Footprints Through Dixie.

book 001 (582x800)



Joseph W. Gaskill joined the 104th Ohio Infantry Regiment at the age of 19. The regiment was organized at Camp Massillon Aug. 1862 to serve three years. They mustered out June 1865 at Greensboro, NC by Capt. A.B. Smith, Capt. 100th O.V.I. and C. M. 23rd Army. While not the only battle service, certainly the most significant was at Franklin, TN. Joseph was appointed Corporal Jan. 1, 1865 immediately after the battles at Franklin, and soon after Nashville that followed in December. Joseph received his military pension in 1907.

I leave the full story of the 104th to J.W. Gaskill’s book Footprints Through Dixie.

I have a slightly used copy of the book that I will gladly mail to a Gaskill ancestor, or to any person with a family interest in the 104th O.V.I., particularly Co. B, but not limited to that. Obviously copies are available online.


Joseph W. Gaskill was born Mar. 22, 1843 in Marlboro, Stark, Ohio. The center of Marlboro Township is about 10 miles west and north of Alliance, Ohio. Joseph died Aug. 31, 1932 in Alliance, Ohio in the Alliance City Hospital. He suffered Gall Stones and a perforated Gall Bladder.

In 1868 Joseph married Lucrecia, or Lucretia, M. Clapsaddle. She was born in 1846 near Columbiana, Ohio and died Oct. 27, 1925 in Alliance. Columbiana is about 35 miles east of Marlboro, but I do note on a historical map Clapsaddle acreage in Marlboro, thus assuming they relocated there. Her parents were George and Lovine Neigh. Her brothers were; Franklin A. (1842), John W. (1852), James W. (1852), Samuel S. (1855), Charles B. (1858), and George Lawrence (1844) who married Elizabeth Caroline Gaskill. Joseph and Lucrecia lived in Ohio for their early years lives, then relocating to Muscatine County, Iowa from about 1868 to 1875. Both are buried in the Marlboro Cemetery, Stark County.




Eulalia (Eula) b. abt. 1869 in Iowa, married (?)Miller
Cora b. abt 1874 in Iowa, married Ralph Husecker
Ralph b. abt 1876 in Ohio, married Cora M. Schrader in 1911 in Cuyahoga County. He was a salesman.
Ellen b. abt 1869 in Iowa


Daniel b. Aug. 12,1803 in New Jersey, d. Sept 27,1854, Buried in Marlboro Cemetery, Stark. Mother: Elizabeth Gruelle (Grunwell) b.1807 in Ohio, d.1889 in Iowa.

Elizabeth Clements Gruwell was the first baby born in Marlborough Twp., Stark County, Ohio. The family were Quakers. Elizabeth married (1) 1824, Daniel GASKILL, the son of Nathan and Hannah (Owens) Gaskill. They were the parents of ten children (Gaskill/Gaskile): Alice, 1825; Mary, 1827; Huldah, 1829; Jane, 1831; Hannah, 1833; Eliza, 1834; Nathan, 1837; Rachel, 1839; Joseph, 1843; and Caroline, 1847. Daniel died in 1854. Elizabeth married (2) at Stark Co., Ohio, 1 June 1857, Edward Hussey. Her grave is listed in Cedar County Cemetery Records for Honey Grove Cemetery

Joseph’s Sisters and Brother

1)Rachel (1839-1885) married Edward Savage
2)Eliza Caroline (1847-1932) married George Clapsaddle. Both lived and are buried in Grundy County, Iowa
3)Nathan (1837-1915) Civil War for 35th Iowa, buried in Cook County.
Chicago Tribune (IL) – September 22, 1915 – Nathan Gaskill, at his residence, 6239 Lariin-st., Sept. 20th, 1915, beloved husband of Mary E. and father of Mrs. Lincoln Ferguson, Harry, Mrs. Clarence Bowersock, Mrs. William Clark, Mrs. T. P. Roberts, and Ernest Gaskill. Funeral Thursday, Sept. 23, 1 p.m., under the auspices of Whittier lodge, No. 666, I. O. O. F., and Mead post No. 444, G. A. R., thence by large funeral limousine to Mount Greenwood.


Nathaniel “Nathan” Gaskill b.1774 in Burlington County, New Jersey, d.1841 Lexington, Stark County, Ohio. Buried in Canal Fulton Cemetery, Stark. In 1817 Nathaniel was the Justice of the Peace in Lexington. Nathan married Hannah Owens, b.1774 d.1845 in 1797. Nathaniel is the son of Daniel and Hulduh Mott, who had ten children; Martha, Joseph, Eliza, Daniel, Israel, Abigail, Abraham, Levi, Mary, and Wesley. From the history of Lexington Village, Lexington Township, Stark County; “The earliest settlement in the township was the village of Lexington, laid out by Quaker settlers Amos Holloway & Nathan Gaskill in 1807. The settlement was on the banks of the Mahoning River, a grand waterway at the time. The remnants of the village are at the corner of Rockhill Ave. NE and Greenbower St. NE across from the Lexington United Methodist Church.


Daniel and Hulduh Mott-Gaskill. Apparently Daniel was not a practicing Quaker, however some of Huldah’s minor children were admitted to membership in the Mount Holly, New Jersey meeting and the dates of their births are recorded as follows: Sarah b. Dec. 13, 1778; Hannah b. June 18, 1781; Huldah b. April 11, 1784; Daniel b. July 21, 1786; Martha b. June 28, 1788; Solomon b. Sept. 7, 1792. The death of Martha on November 4, 1796 at the age of eight is also recorded. Daughter Sarah was married the following year to Gideon Stratton, and the Mount Holly minutes now for the first time mention the father in referring to Sarah as the daughter of Daniel, deceased, and Huldah. Witnesses to the marriage were Huldah, Israel, Zilpha, Huldah and Daniel Gaskill and others. Records also note that they had a little son, Nathan, who married in 1897.

Daniel and his brother John Gaskill were plundered by Hessian Troops during the Revolution. They filed claims for the lost items.


Joseph W. Gaskill Census Records

1920 living in Alliance, Stark County with Lucretia

1910 Living in Liberty, Logan County, Ohio with Lucretia M.

1890 (special veterans census) living in West Liberty, Logan County, Ohio

1900 age 57 living in Bellefontaine, Logan County, Ohio with Lucrsia M (54)., Cora W. Gaskill-Husecker (26 b.Iowa), Ralph D. Husecker (25), Corinne Husecker (6), Eula Gaskill-Miller (31 b.Iowa), and Joe G. Miller (10)

1870 age 27 living in Wapsinonoe Township, Muscatine County, Iowa (post office city is Atalissa) with Lucretia (24) and Ellen (11 months). Occupation Clothing Merchant.

1880 age 37 living in Marlborough, Stark County with Lucretia (34), Eulalia (10 b. Iowa), Cora (6 b. Iowa), Ralph (4 b. Ohio)

183rd O.V.I Company K


Story and Photo Album of the Boys of 183rd Co. K

This post is and will continue to be under construction one name and photo at a time – add yours!

When I think of the many who served my hopes rise to honoring them all in some way. Reality is if I can honor but a few, it can serve to honor them all. Some died; some returned home. Of those who returned home from Tennessee and the Carolinas many moved on with their lives, in other states, or in nearby Ohio cities, that were growing and in need of craftsmen, laborers, and business owners. Our great-grandfathers stayed near the towns that they were born in; became carpenters and served their small communities building houses and churches. With them they carried the burdens of war. For the many others, wherever they went, their bodies also carried the burdens of war.

In the hope of gathering short bios and photos we start with most those easily found from easy reliable sources. These men and boys were of a small group, the 183rd Ohio Infantry, Company K.

Please help, share your grandfather’s Company K and life story.


A Ash, Jacob (494x800) Jacob Ash (1846-1902) 
Jacob Oesch was born in Switzerland in 1846. He came to the U.S. with his family in 1852 where they settled in Tuscarawas County. When he volunteered for the war at 18 the Army recorded his name as Ash. Jacob signed his papers with an X. He was wounded in the leg at Franklin, a wound that would affect his life thereafter, but his immediate service continued, mustering out with his regiment at Salisbury, NC with his unit at war’s end. There are detailed stories elsewhere in this web-site.

A Bedwell CEmetery Photo Samuel Bedwell (1845-1912)

(photo: Soldiers and Sailors Cemetery, Sandusky)
Samuel Bedwell was born May 5, 1845 in Uhrichsville, Ohio to John and Mathilda (Matilda)(Huebener) Bedwell. There is a little confusion in family searches regarding some of his life and siblings, but the most telling are his records from the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home in Sandusky, Erie County, Ohio. It states that he served in the 129th Ohio Co. I from 7/23/1863 to 3/7/1864 and the 183rd Ohio Co. K from 10/1864 until 6/9/1865, mustering out at Camp Dennison. The records say he had a gun shot wound to the face, he was a blacksmith, had no family or effects, but had a brother E.J. of Jacksonville, FL. He was admitted to the home 12/2/1905 and died there 10/20/1912 of pneumonia. The home’s cemetery records also say he is buried there. The 1890 veterans census record says he also served in the 135th Ohio – 100 days from 5/18/64 to 9/18/64 and that he was shot in the cheek and his jaw was shot off. Samuel’s mother Matilda (1813-1897) is buried at the Fair St. Cemetery in New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas County, Ohio.

A George Duke George Duke (1834-1906)
George was the son of William and Hannah Duke, originally from Virginia. They lived in Johnstown, Licking County, Ohio where George was a carpenter. He married Charlotte ? and they had one daughter, Emma. He was born in 1834 and died in 1906, buried in Green Hill Cemetery, Licking County.

Alvin Gear Alvin S. Gear (1842-1917)
Alvin (1842-1917) is a son, one of 12 children, of Jonas (1821-1896) and Sarah Holcomb (1820-1901). In 1860 the family lived in Paint Township, Fayette County, Ohio. Jonas’s grave stone lists the 158th O.V.I. which was a regiment that was never fully organized, likely due to the war’s end. Alvin first volunteered for the 144th Ohio organized in May, 1864 for 100 days service. He then joined with the 183rd. Alvin was born in Vinton County, Ohio in 1842. He married Margaret Wetzel (1851-1907) and it appears they had ten children. He is buried in Coffey (Coffeyburg), Missouri. His father and mother lived and died in Billingham, Washington.

A Glasscock John Peter Glasscock (1833- )
Also spelled Glascock in some records, he was born in 1833. His wife Rachel was born in 1841 and died in 1899. John’s death details are unknown. They lived in Manchester, Adams County ,Ohio. He was a carpenter. He served in three regiments during the Civil war. First the 3rd Ohio Co. A, 3 months service April 1861-August 1861. He joined the 70th Ohio Co. G that October and was relieved of duty in Dec. 1862 due to disability. Later he volunteered with the 183rd Ohio Co. K and mustered out with the regiment in 1865. He received pensions in 1877 and an $8 pension in 1872.

Anson Harding Anson Harding (1843-1921)
Anson Harding was one of six children of Henry (b.1810 in Virginia) and Ann (b.1816 in Ohio) Harding. Anson was born in 1843 in Aberdeen, Brown County, Ohio. He served in three regiments during the Civil War. He first volunteered with the 70th Ohio Co. G in Oct., 1861. He served until August 1862 when he was relieved of duty due to a disability, a hernia. Later he joined the 138th Ohio, 100 days, from May to Sept. 1864. Lastly he volunteered for the 183rd Ohio and served from Oct., 1864 until mustering out with the rest of the regiment in 1865. Anson would become a lawyer and lived in Kansas City. In 1910 he, now a widower, moved to the Disabled Soldiers Home* in Leavenworth, Kansas. Home records list his injuries as “to the left shoulder, leg and spine”, in addition to the old injury “to the left testicle.” Anson died April 24, 1921 of a cerebral hemorrhage. His effects were appraised at $8.45 and sold for $2.55. He is buried at the Leavenworth National Cemetery.

*the home, built in the 1880’s, is now part of the Eisenhower VA Medical Center. Many structures have been saved and are on the Nat’l Historic Register

 Hatry Lt. Col. August Hatry (1840-1898)
August (Augustus) Gottfried Hatry’s enlisted on 11/10/1864 as a Major and on 11/18/1864 he was commissioned into Field & Staff OH 183rd Infantry. Shortly after the battles of Franklin and Nashville he was promoted to Lt. Colonel. He was discharged in Apr. 1865. August first served with the 18th Kentucky from Oct. 1861 to Oct. 1864, mustering out as a 1st Lt. It was not unusual for Kentuckians to travel north to Cincinnati (Camp Dennison) to volunteer with units there. He was born in 1840 in Germany to David and Caroline Hatry and died in 1898 and is buried at the Homewood Cemetery in Pittsburgh, PA. His wife was the former Louise Schleiter.

Festus C. Hays (1837-1895)
Festus was born in Connecticut in 1837. After service with the 183rd he married Adda (Ada) Salterthwait on 7/25/1865 in Ohio. He died 12/4/1895 in Urichsville, Ohio. His death record says he was a machinist. Adda, born about 1845, is buried at the Union Cemetery in Urichsville.

Elijah B. Hill 
The 183rd Roster lists Elijah as 61 years old (born 1803?) a 1st Lt. Co. K. The 1890 Veteran Census for Manchester, Adams County, Ohio lists widow Sarah A. also stating that Elijah was paralyzed and that he died at home, obviously before 1890. Her name listed elsewhere was Sarah Anne Groomen. The 1880 census lists Elijah, age 71 (b.1809) and Sarah, age 24 with five children. Elijah was a Clergyman. The 1870 census in Jefferson Twp., Adams County lists Elijah, age 65 (b.1805) as a Minister of the Gospel living with John, a farm laborer, and Mary Grooms. The next family listed is that of Elias Grooms, a farmer, and they include Sarah A, age 16.

A Thomas Hise Thomas Hise (1823-1882)
Thomas was born in 1823 in Mason County, Kentucky. His father was William Clement, possibly he was adopted. He married Ann Vaughn, daughter of Eli Vaughn in Lewis County, KY in 1842. In 1850 he and Ann and four children live in Lewis. In 1860 Thomas lives in Sprigg Twp., Adams County, Ohio with his wife “Rebecca” and five children. He served as a Waggoner for the 183rd. In 1880, age 58, he is working as a farm laborer in Ross County, Ohio with wife “Hannah” and six children. He died two years later of a stomach ulcer.

A Keiser Franklin Keiser (1840-1922)
Franklin Keiser was born in Ohio in Dec. 1840. He married Mary Selby (1852-1906) and he died May, 1922 in Severing, Michigan He enlisted in the 183rd Ohio in Oct., 1864 and was mustered out in July of 1865. He was shot in the arm at Franklin and was in the hospital in Nashville after. In 1890 he was a resident of Bliss Twp., Emmett County, Michigan along with his brother Jerome who also served in the 183rd in Co. G.

A Madden Dennis Madden (1846-1928) 
Dennis Madden was born in Allegheny County, NY and lived in Erie County, Ohio most of his life. (Source J. Fred Madden) Dennis’s father was Lawrence and his mother Margaret Ryan, both born in Ireland. He married Elizabeth McDonald. In 1920, widowed, he lived with his daughter’s Margaret and Catherine in Margaretta Twp. on or near Sanduky Bay. He is buried at Saint Josephs Cemetery, aka Calvary in Fremont, Ohio

A Marlatt James Marlatt (1839-1885)

James was born in 1839. He died July 23, 1885 in Turtlecreek Township, Warren County, Ohio. His Civil War grave stone record indicates he is to buried in Lebanon Cemetery, Lebanon, Ohio. However, find-a-grave says he is buried at the Flat Run Cemetery some 60 miles to the south and east. The following indicates that James was injured or became sick during the Carolina Campaign. Although the name is mis-spelled there is no doubt it is our James. The unit’s roster implies the same result.

“James Mallatt a Private in Company K, 183 Regiment of Ohio Volunteers, Enrolled on the 11th day of November 1864 to serve one year or during the war is hereby discharged from the Service of the United States, This 9th day of June 1865 at Douglas Hospital, Washington, D. C. Said James Mallatt is 21 years of age. Given this 9th day of June, 1865. Wm. F. Norris A. S. Surgeon U. S. A. Clothing account not settled. D. Taylor PM, USA.”


A Charles Nichols.jpg 2 Captain Charles C. Nichols (1822-1865)
Born in Belmont County Ohio 12/26/1822 he was the son of Eli and Rachel Loyd Nichols. He is buried in the Eli Nichols Family Cemetery in Coshocton County, Ohio. Charles’s father was raised a Quaker, was a lawyer by profession, and an ardent abolitionist. They relocated from Belmont to Coshocton County in 1844 and the 1850 census shows Charles, age 26, as a laborer on the family farm in New Castle Township.

Sometime that decade Charles went to Colorado to live. In the fall of 1864 Charles returned to Ohio to enlist.  His Volunteer Enlistment papers state that Charles Nichols, born in Belmont Co, OH, now forty-one years of age and a gold miner, volunteered on 14 Oct 1864 at Newark Twp., Licking Co, OH, to serve as a soldier for one year in the 182nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, unless sooner discharged. It stated he had blue eyes, sandy hair, light complexion and was 5’8 and 1/2 in. His personal declaration said he was 41 years and 10 months, and his signature was well formed. Additional data on the statement indicated this was his first enlistment and “This man goes in place of George W. Norman, drafted in Keene Twp. of Coshocton Co, OH, September 22, 1864.”

Charles Nichols died January 1, 1865 in a hospital at Clifton, Tennessee of dysentery shortly after the 183rd was heroically active in the battle’s of Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee.

A Samuel Ritz Samuel D. Ritz (1831-1911)
Samuel, son of Elias and Eliza (Carnel) Ritz, was born in Harrisburg, PA. He married Amanda Jane Sharrock (1849-1928) of Iberia, Morrow County, Ohio. It appears they spent their married lives there. In 1861 Samuel joined the 3rd Maryland Infantry Co. A and served three years. The unit fought in many of the significant battles in the Eastern front. In October of 1864 he volunteered for the 183rd Ohio Co. K at 32 years old.

A Schmidt Charles Schmidt, QMS 183rd Ohio (1831-1915)
Charles W. Schmidt mustered in 11/17/1864. He returned to the rank of private in Co. B in Feb. 1865 and was replaced as QMS, most assuredly at his request. Charles also served in the 28th OVI. He died at age 84 at the Veterans Home in Dayton, Ohio. He survived Franklin and the war. (Permission to use photo by Bill Dewey) Contact the descendant at He is buried in the Dayton National Cemetery. Born 1831 in Germany, immigrated in 1856, occupied as a Millwright, he died May 2, 1915 at the National Military Home Montgomery County, OH. He spent at least the last 15 years of his life in the home.

A Spohn Revilow N. Spohn (1848-1931)
Revilow was born in 1848 and married Jennetta or Jennette Ellis in 1868 in Brown County, Ohio. A pension record in 1910 found them living at 2825 Webster Ave., Pittsburgh, PA. Jennette died in 1925 and is buried at Minersville Cemetery, also known as Minersville Lutheran Synod Cemetery, in Herron Hill, Allegheny County, PA. Revilow died 1/2/1931 in Sharpsburg, PA. There is good reason to think he is buried at the same cemetery as Jennette.


A Strawbridge Samuel Strawbridge (abt 1839-1865)

Samuel Strawbridge is the son of Samuel born in Pennsylvania about 1810. Young Samuel married Sarah Hill, age 18, in July of 1863. They had a daughter, Emma, born in November. Sarah was awarded a pension in Sept. 1865. At the time she lived in Edenton, Ohio. Samuel was born in Warren County just to the north. From Cemetery Records: Samuel Strawbridge b. unknown d.11 Mar 1865 Burial Marietta National Cemetery, Cobb County, Georgia, USA. Plot Section K Site 3628. The 183rd Ohio was assigned to the Third Brigade, Second Division, Twenty-third Army Corps, with which it remained during its entire term of service. Wounded Nov.30. 1864, in battle of Franklin, Tenn.; died March 11, 1865, in rebel prison at Cahaba, Ala. Re-interred from Cahaba to L(379)3628. The Cahaba River flooded in early March. The prison flooded, but the commandant would not move the prisoners. After the flood unsanitary conditions prevailed.

A Sullivan Burial Grounds Abraham Sullivan (1833-1917)
Abraham Sullivan was born in 1833 in Kentucky. His father was Rodney and mother Mary Neal. He married Brunette Parker in 1857 there in Lewis County. There is an Ohio record of a son, Arthur, born in Ohio in 1861. Abraham volunteered for the Civil war in 1864 with the 173rd Ohio. He was transferred to the 183rd and mustered out with his unit in 1865. A son was born in 1866 “back home” in Lewis County, Kentucky. In 1890 they lived in Vanceburg, Lewis County. Abraham died in 1917 in Firebrick, KY (on the Ohio near Portsmouth) and is buried at Mars Hill Burial Grounds, Lewis County, with other Sullivan’s.

Adam Wampole (abt.1828- )
The 183rd Roster reads Wampool. Adam Wampole was born about 1828. He served in the 44th Ohio and the 183rd. He married Mary Stoutzenberger on 12/8/1852 in Tippeconoe City, Miami County, Ohio. Both of their parents were born in Pennsylvania. Mary (1834-1913) is buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Piqua, Ohio.

Herman Kabisius Survives Gettysburg – The Ohio River Takes; The Story

Herman Kabisius was born November 15, 1816 in Central Germany, in a state now known as Thuringia. He was the fourth child of August and Wilhelmine (Schnepp). As a teenager he served an apprenticeship in a bookbinder and purse maker workshop. In 1843 he opened his own business and also married Karoline Frenzel. Within a few years they had five children together.

Sometime after 1843 Herman’s bookbinder instructor emigrated to America. This may have played a part in his future as we’ll see.

As his family grew hard times began to fall upon Herman. By 1851 gains in business were no longer able to sustain the family and tensions grew between Herman and Karoline. Herman soon attracted attention by drinking, harassing other clients, and leaving without paying. The picture painted here is not pretty, but on the other hand Herman would have thought at length about his former instructor’s success. Considering himself equally qualified to be successful he eventually could see no option then to emigrate to America and start anew.

In 1852 Herman boarded ship, possibly from Hamburg, for the trip across the Atlantic. Karoline and their now four living children did not accompany him, but he made promises to send money for their passage. Those were promises he never kept.

In America Herman supposedly lived in South Carolina, possibly Charleston, and Baltimore, Maryland. Did he work in his trained occupation? That is unknown. Until 1861 the story of Herman Kabisius’s life, some described here, is mostly a story held and passed on by his family’s descendants. The primary source and also co-author for this writing is a lovely lady, Ute (oo-tay) Gruenewald, who lives in Spain. She is descended from Herman. As far as records in America, Herman’s story begins in August, 1861.

The 68th New York Infantry roster – Kabisius, Herman – Age 35 years. Enlisted, August 8, 1861, at New York City, to serve three years; mustered in a private, Co. E, August 10, 1861; discharged, August 22, 1864 at Nashville, Tenn. Herman was, in truth, forty-five years old when he volunteered.

The 68th, otherwise known as the 2nd German Rifles, was composed of members from New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. During their three years the 68th served in the Virginia campaign, fought at Chancellorsville, and at Gettysburg fought in the defense of Cemetery Hill. After Gettysburg they moved west to Tennessee and among other duties patrolled to protect the Nashville to Chattanooga Railroad.

In November of 1864 the 68th N.Y. was ordered to Savannah, Georgia. By that time Herman’s three years had been served and he was discharged in August. Apparently he decided to join the continuing fight, first with the 174th Ohio. On October 2nd he signed up to serve with them.

The 174th Ohio Infantry – This regiment was organized at Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio from Aug. 18 to Sept. 21, 1864, to serve for one year. It was ordered to Nashville, Tenn., and to report to Gen. W. T. Sherman. It reached Nashville on Sept. 26. and was immediately ordered to proceed to Murfreesboro, where it remained until Oct. 27.

Based on the above information regarding Herman’s discharge and signing up with the 174th he stayed in Nashville after mustering out of the N.Y. 68th. He signed up with the 174th there shortly after they arrived. He may have even proceeded to Murfreesboro with them.

Two events now intersected with Herman’s life. General John Bell Hood’s army was on the march north after the Confederate’s losses at Atlanta. Hood’s grand plan was to recapture Nashville, move on to Cincinnati, and finally east to join General Lee. In Cincinnati, at Camp Dennison, a new regiment was being organized, filled, and trained. It was to be called the 183rd Ohio Infantry. Desperate to complete the regiment’s companies men were transferred from other regiments locally, in Columbus, and obviously elsewhere. Herman Kabisius was transferred from the 174th, first traveling north to Cincinnati by ship, then by rail to the 183rd Ohio at Camp Dennison. He arrived to join them on October 24th.

If Herman were to write home, or to a friend, he might say “I have arrived at Camp Dennison just to the north side of Cincinnati. The days are long and boring with much marching to and fro and learning to use our rifles, which I already know well. The food is good and they treat us well. New recruits come every day, many of them are Germans from Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati. Fact is some just arrived from the old country.” The large German contingent that made up the 183rd may have been comforting to him.

On November 19, 1864, the 183rd Ohio boarded a steamer at Cincinnati which was headed for Louisville. From there the regiment would then travel by rail to Nashville. The 183rd Roster reads; Kabisius, Herman, age 40 “drowned November 19, 1864 in the Ohio River, by falling overboard from steamer Prima Donna.”

Herman had just turned 48 years old when he disappeared into the murky waters of the Ohio.

SteamboatCivil War era Steamer


Lieut. Col. Mervin Clark

My great-grandfather Jacob Ash was a member of the 183rd O.V.I. and his commanding officer at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee was Mervin Clark. Jacob survived his war, Mervin, a true war hero, did not.

Mervin Clark was born November 5, 1843 in Cleveland, Ohio. According to the book Itinerary of the Seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry by L. Wilson Mervin’s “mother died when he was 3 years old. When he was 9 years old his father crossed the river, (assume the Cuyahoga River) and camped on the other side leaving Mervin an Orphan. He was taken into the family of Henry W. and Emily Rowena Stanley-Clark, an uncle. Mervin was educated in the common schools of Cleveland.” Henry was born in Connecticut in 1807.

The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History says the Mervin was the son of Mervin and Caroline Guptil-Clark.

According to family historians a great-grandfather, a few times over, was a pilot and mate on the “Mayflower” that sailed in 1620. He made several crossing of the Atlantic and was held captive in Havana and Madrid in 1611 and 1616. That man was named John Clark and his son. Thomas Clark, born in Middlesex, England, arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in July of 1623 aboard the “Ann.” He was a master of many trades; carpenter, yeoman and merchant. He was taxed in 1632 and in 1633 he took the oath of a Freeman. In 1643 he was listed as one able to bear arms.

It certainly appears, if that is true, Mervin Clark was born of stock that laid the first blocks that built our country, so to preserve it was born in Mervin.

Mervin Clark

At the age of 17 Mervin enlisted in the SpragueZouave Cadets who became Company B of the 7th Ohio Infantry in June, 1861, just weeks after the firing on Fort Sumter. After a three-month enlistment spent, for the most part, in training at Camp Dennison near Cincinnati he reenlisted for three years. The 7th had an honorable record of service at such places as Cedar Mountain, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, and Mission Ridge. It was ordered home to be mustered out, which was done on July 8, 1864, at Cleveland. During its term of service 1,800 men had served with the regiment, and now only 240 able-bodied men remained to bring home their colors. After his training and at the very beginning of his three years’ service Mervin was promoted to 1st Sgt. He was discharged as Captain!

Mervin Clark decided that he was not through serving his country and its cause. Shortly after returning home he volunteered again, as a private in the infantry. However, his previous service did not go unnoticed. The Governor of Ohio appointed him second in command of a new regiment being formed at Camp Dennison, the 183rd O.V.I. Lt. Col. Clark would now lead a new regiment of green, untested recruits, hastily assembled near Cincinnati, into battle in Middle Tennessee about six weeks later.

During the Battle of Franklin the 183rd was positioned to the west of the main line’s center, in reserve. However, one company was moved forward to fill a gap in the works. When the Confederate Army rushed forward to meet their enemy on the afternoon of November 30, 1864 that one company, in fear and confusion, turned and ran. As the enemy began to climb through the hole left Mervin Clark ordered his men on the reserve line forward. As they rushed ahead the color bearer fell to the ground, shot in the arm and leg. Clark gathered the colors from the ground and stood up, flag in one hand, and called out to his men to retake the works. As his men responded to his call a single bullet ripped through his head and killed him instantly. Inspired by Clark’s leadership the 183rd continue to rally and helped withstand the attack and turned the enemy back.

As the fighting subsided Lt. Col. Clark was wrapped in a blanket and buried on the battlefield. Eric Jacobson, in his book Baptism of Fire, writes that his grave was carefully marked in a manner that his body was able to be exhumed by family in the spring of 1866 (now shown to be much earlier) and taken home. Burial records in Cuyahoga County show he was first interred at Erie Street Cemetery in January 1865, and later in June of 1866 he was reinterred at Woodland Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio.

Most of the Union Army troops killed at Franklin were removed from the battlefield and reinterred at Stones River National Cemetery nearby. To this day records at Stones River indicate that Mervin Clark is buried there. A couple years ago, through no real intended action on my part, I was able to connect persons at Stones River and Woodland together to make correct the National Cemetery records. It is possible that he was taken to, even buried at, Stones River and gathered there by family.

IMG_2929 (800x600) Buried near him are Henry and Emily IMG_2928 (800x600)

Near the end of the war numerous forts were built around Louisville, Kentucky to protect it from invasion. In recognition of Mervin Clark’s valor on the battlefield one of them was named for him. It was located at (now) 36th and Magnolia Streets.

As a country we have taken to recognize that in 1620 a group of people landed on our shores with a cause and purpose. Our country grew from that landed place. From those causes men like Clark, (and I do acknowledge millions more) decided that preserving what was built was a worthy thing that demanded resolute fearlessness, fortitude, and endurance.

mervin clark news article by wm stark fag

General Court Martial to Hero

Bad Luck Makes the Man

RAGERSVILLE, OHIO – The year is 1862 and young 19 year old Herman J. Peters, a farmer’s son, enrolls in the Union Army. The detailed story about Herman written some 100 plus years later says that he had “thoughts of the fame to come.” There were many reasons that young boys joined the fight, but if fame was on their minds they would find it very hard to gain. Death would be more likely.

As for the hero, as the title suggests, fast forward to a warm summer day in 1906 when the town of Ragersville unveils a monument designed, and paid for, by Herman, the former Ragersville town physician. This was Herman’s departing gift, for he retired as a physician in 1905. It was proud moment for the preeminent Civil War veteran in the area.

Rgersville War Memorial

Herman’s war service probably began with the 126th O.V.I in September 1862. However, it is fair to note two things; one, as best research tools allow there was only one Herman J. Peters from Ohio to serve. Two, in November, 1861 Herman J. Peters volunteered with the 80th O.V.I Co. C. The regiment’s roster record makes no more mention of Herman other than his name. Seems like he was in and out, leaving no service record. Herman did muster into the 126th Ohio Volunteer Regiment, Company E, in September 1862. The regiment was first sent to what became the state of West Virginia.

In October Cpl. Peters fell ill and did not return to active duty until February, 1863 at Martinsburg, W. VA. The unit saw their first significant action in June, against part of Lee’s second invasion of the north in that part of the Shenandoah Valley. After that action they moved to Harper’s Ferry and from there marched and countermarched through Frederick and Sharpsburg, MD, and Warrenton, VA.

In August the famous draft riots broke out in New York City. The 126th was ordered to there. Corporal Herman Peters missed the boat. He was absent without leave and was ordered to a General Court Martial. The 126th returned to the Shenandoah Valley in October and Herman rejoined them. He was still awaiting his court martial.

The 126th moved to Fredericksburg, VA along the Rapidan River. Herman was part of a force of skirmishers sent out to link up with the rest of the Union line. While out they were engaged by Confederate troops. Herman found himself with an unworkable rifle. He retreated behind a shed, dislodged the ball, straightened his ramrod and reloaded. He then heard “Surrender you damn Yankee.” Herman’s company had made a quick retreat while he worked on his gun. He and two other men went “missing.”
Herman was escorted to the rear where life for the next 458 days began, as a prisoner of war. Richmond, VA; Belle Isle, SC; back to Richmond; then to Camp Sumpter, GA, also known as Andersonville where 13,000 Union prisoners died during its use.

Details of his life as a prisoner is for a book, not a blog so we’ll return to his continuing travels.

In late 1864 Southwestern Georgia was no longer remote from the war. By October most of the men were removed to other camps. Herman was sent to Savannah. As the Union Army advanced on Savannah he was moved to Blackshear, GA, to Charleston, SC, and then Florence, SC. By now Herman’s clothes were underwear and a shirt. Once he escaped, but realizing he would be captured he simply returned to camp. With General Sherman on his way prisoners went to Wilmington, and then Goldsboro, NC.

Now it was March, 1865. Hope, and then cheers, broke out among the prisoners. At last they were going home. However their marching wasn’t over. First, if they could survive another two days and a night they would reach Wilmington where boats took them north.

On May 11, 1865, after a 30 day leave to return to Ragersville, Corporal Herman J. Peters, still awaiting court martial, reported to Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio. He was mustered out of the Army on June 12th.

Herman later said that just after he was first captured back near Fredericksburg he performed his first surgery. A Confederate Lieutenant had been shot in the leg. Herman removed the ball and dressed the wound. Shortly after returning home Herman went to New York City to study medicine, then to the Ohio Medical College in Cincinnati. He became the Ragersville Town Physician and held that sole title until 1895 when Dr. George Weiss joined him. Animosity grew between the two men which eventually led to a fist fight in the general store. It was 1905, Herman had been called to his last case.

Young Herman Peters 001 (745x1024)84853361_1397184013

Cpl. Herman J. Peters (1842-1932)

Family: father Hugo, mother Christina Davis. Wives; Albertine and her sister Susannah Berger, who died in 1894. The family had 11 children, four of which did not live to adulthood. Herman and his wife received two war pensions, June 1883 (invalid) and Sept. 1932 (death). In 1906 he applied for and received a passport for travel overseas. The passport reads that he was 64 years old, 5′ 7″, blue eyes, and had auburn hair.  The passport was applied for in Summit County and mailed to a L. Spannhake in Hoboken, N.J.

In 1900 Herman traveled to Mount Vernon for a Civil War Soldier Reunion at George Washington’s Plantation. A photo of the reunion is located in the Ragersville Historical Society collection.

Notes: Photos contributed by Chaplain C. David Long





Death Follows the Battles

Dedicated to Pvt. James C. Dobie, 183rd O.V.I. Co. A

James C. Dobie was born in Virginia in 1814. He was the son of James Dobie (1785-1856) and Hetta Brannin (1785 – 1847). He married Pricilla Fisher in 1843 in Union County, Ohio. They had seven children; Elisabeth, Emeline, Oliver, James, Sarah, Olive, and Oscar. James died January 22, 1865.


The Battles of Franklin and Nashville in late November and mid-December of 1864 recorded 479 Union Army deaths; official

A personal story first; while not a welcomed event, our immediate family experienced a devastating Florida hurricane in 2004; Hurricane Charley. What that event taught, besides the power of Mother Nature, is that officially means very little. Deaths on “that” day in our family; zero. Deaths in our family that followed the storm, and that we feel were a result of it; two. Were the cause’s stress, worry, the result of losing a home, or other burdens placed upon them by that outside force? Those were not on any medical reports; but we knew, we could see the sadness in their eyes.

Four Hundred Seventy-Nine, plus how many more? Elsewhere on this web-site you’ll note that I have identified ninety-two deaths while in service; in the 183rd Ohio alone. Other than those that died on the fields of battle, how many of the rest can be directly attributed to those battlefields?

Most likely James C. Dobie first began his army service with the 81st battalion of the Ohio National Guard. In May of 1864 over 35,000 Ohio Guardsmen were federalized and organized into regiments for 100 days service. James Dodie was assigned to the 156th Ohio, Company G at Camp Dennison near Cincinnati. On May 20th seven companies proceeded to Cincinnati, where they performed guard duty. Cos. G, I and K remained at Camp Dennison on guard and patrol duty until Morgan appeared in the vicinity of Cynthiana, Ky., when they were sent to Falmouth, Ky. The seven companies remained on duty at Cincinnati until July 18th, when the entire regiment was brought together at Covington and moved to Paris, Ky. It was soon ordered to Cumberland Md., arriving on July 31st, and went into camp near that city. On Aug. 1st it had an engagement with the enemy near Falck’s Mills, with slight loss. It was mustered out on September 1, 1864.

Immediately, James volunteered for the 176th O.V.I. Most likely, before he could travel anywhere with his new regiment, he was transferred to the 183rd O.V.I which was being organized there in Columbus and in Cincinnati. He was now part of the first company formed, Co. A.

To follow James’s journey through Tennessee see the History of the 183rd on this site. From Columbus until the end of the Battle of Nashville he followed the rest of the regiment. It is shortly after Nashville that he becomes a different kind of statistic, one that is just as heroic as the official ones, and one that may have carried more suffering.

After the two battles the 183rd assisted most of the army chasing Hood’s Rebels south into Alabama. The 183rd was held at Columbia, SC and went into camp. They were back where they began their Tennessee journey. They spent Christmas in camp. Within a couple days they began to prepare for new duties in the east. They boarded ships headed for Cincinnati and then on to railcars to Washington D.C. James never boarded the railcars.

James’s family says records show he became sick after Christmas, maybe December 27th. Disease, dysentery, and infections from wounds was a fate suffered by many during the war. They were present before and after battles. He was moved to Camp Dennison’s hospital when they arrived and died of disease January 22, 1865. He was buried at the camp in Waldschmidt Cemetery.


Waldschmidt Cemetery is named after Christian Waldschmidt from Lancaster, PA, a Revolutionary War Soldier, who buried there. It is one of the most historic spots in Little Miami River Valley. The entire site of the village before the Civil War comprised of 160 acres owned by Nimrod Price. It was selected by General Scott as the location of an army hospital and at the outbreak of the Civil War. There were 349 Union soldiers who died in the hospital buried there, On July 4, 1869, they were all moved to Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. James is in Sec. 21, Lot C, Grave #749 (#73 in Lot C).

Permission to use photographs; Donald Cummins