Johnson’s Island Confederate Prison

JOHNSON'S BY jOYCE by Joyce at find a grave

Situated in Ottawa County on little Johnson’s Island, Sandusky Bay, Marblehead, Ohio, this cemetery occupies land donated to the United States in 1931 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. In 1862 through 1865, the 1.2 acre tract was used as a prison burial ground for Confederate commissioned officers. The prison was primarily for the confinement of Confederate officers although a few enlisted men were also interred in the cemetery. There are 153 known and 52 unknown graves, but the cemetery register shows 246 names, of which 20 were citizens and 22 were later removed. Other records state that there are 206 Confederates buried in the cemetery. A statue was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1910.

The cemetery is located in Danbury Township, Ottawa County, Ohio.

Source: Find A Grave. com

Johnson's by Aphillcsaby Aphillcsa on find a grave (a.k.a. A P. Hill CSA General)

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Confederate Prisoners from the Battles of Franklin & Nashville

Battle of Franklin & Nashville Confederate Prisoners

at Johnson’s Island, Ohio

The post will continue to be changed and constructed though the spring and summer of 2016.

The Battle of Franklin and the final blow at Nashville two weeks later to Hood’s Army in Tennessee are well documented here on this site and elsewhere, including two masterful books by Eric Jacobson. Eric documents how the devastation reached far into the ranks of Hood’s officer corps; including 14 Generals and 55 regimental commanders. One-Hundred and Twenty-Seven captured officers were transported and housed on Johnson’s Island. In addition to those 127 on this list, two of the CSA Generals captured at Franklin and were sent here; Gen’s Thomas Benton Smith and Edward “Alleghany” Johnson.

The captured represent Seventy-One CSA units from nine states. The consolidated 1st and 3rd Missouri Cavalry lost nine officers and the consolidated 2nd and 6th Missouri Infantry six officers; the most from any one unit. The 2nd, from Cockrell’s Brigade, ran into the 65th Indiana and the 6th Ohio Artillery at a well constructed Abatis near the center of the battle at Franklin. Roughly two-thirds of Cockrell’s Missouri Brigade became casualties that day. In general though, the losses are pretty well spread out evenly over states and units.

Opened in April 1862 Johnson’s Island Prisoner of War Depot held within its walls over 10,000 (Wikipedia states 15,000) Confederate prisoners during the war. Almost all of them were officers. It was closed at the end of the war in 1865.

The prison contained 13 block houses, 12 of them housing, one a hospital. The houses were two stories high and approximately 130 by 24 feet. There were more than 40 buildings outside the stockade used by the 128th Ohio Volunteer Infantry to guard the prison. Two major fortifications, Forts Johnson and Hill, protecting Johnson’s Island were constructed over the winter of 1864.

The 128th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was led by William S. Pierson, a former mayor of Sandusky, Ohio. Because of his cruelty to prisoners and inability to handle problems he was replaced in January 1864 by Brigadier General Harry D. Terry.  A few months later, in May 1864, Colonel Charles W. Hill took command at Johnson’s Island, remaining until the end of the war.

Prisoners could receive packages and mail. The mail and parcels were inspected and often damaged before the prisoner received them. The prisoners on Johnson’s Island, along with most of the soldiers that fought in the Civil War endured harsh winters, food and fuel shortages, disease, along with the mental anguish of uncertainty about their families and their own futures. Close to 300 prisoners died on Johnson’s Island during the war.

In 1990, Johnson’s Island was designated as a National Historic Landmark. The Confederate Cemetery, located on Johnson’s Island is currently the only publicly available part of the prison.

Source: http://

johnsonsisland.heidelberg.edu/index.html

Please visit their website for more information and comprehensive prisoner lists. Their work continues and to say the least it is impressive. Here is some of the background story.

In 2013, the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center acquired a very important document about the POWs at the Johnson’s Island Civil War Military Prison.  The document lists, by Housing Block and Company the prisoners incarcerated there in the Fall of 1864.  The Friends and Descendants of Johnson’s Island, with the assistance of Heidelberg University students, will be incorporating the information from these lists into their overall POW database.  Below, we will be sharing much of what we know about each prisoner listed on this document.  We will be updating this page as we progress, first arranging the listings by the blocks represented.  Place your mouse over the appropriate block and once we have the listing complete, a link to that database will appear.  Once all records are entered, we will also have an alphabetic arrangement of the files.  The database is google drive generated and you can search the database by using Ctrl-F or by selecting the header of each column and choosing the information you desire. Send comments to dbush@heidelberg.edu regarding anything related to the web site.  The site is maintained by Dr. David Bush, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Historic and Military Archaeology of Heidelberg University.

Here is our list of prisoners from the Battles of Franklin and Nashville, November and December 1864. If you do a http://www.findagrave.com cemetery search there are many prisoners documented. The cemetery is 61% photographed and to date none of these men are listed. It is very likely that most all survived given the conditions at the prison in 1865. Following that is a list sorted by “Block” number. In Heidelberg’s web-site is a drawing showing the locations of each block house. This summer we’ll try to document that with photos.

Alphabetical

Contents in order; Last Name, First Name and Middle or Initial, Rank, Regiment, Home Town

Aldridge William C. Captain 1st & 3rd MO Cavalry California MO
Allen William E 2nd Lt. & Adjutant 16th LA Infantry Sparta, LA
Allen John K. Major 30th MS Infantry McNutt MS
Anderson Charles H. 2nd Lieutenant 1st GA Confederate Infantry Powders Spring, GA
Anderson James A. 2nd Lieutenant 4th AR Infantry Goodness AR
Anderson Harry;Henry Y. 2nd Lieutenant 1st & 3rd MO Cavalry St. Louis MO
Anthony Jesse 3rd Lieutenant 30th GA Infantry Jonesburo, GA
Archer Benjamin Lafayette Captain 19th AL Infantry D Gadsden, Leu Islands, AL
Avery Alfred B. 1st Lieutenant 45th AL Infantry H Burzelia GA
Aydbott Arther F. Captain 48th TN Infantry H Columbia, TN
Bailey William O. 1st Lieutenant 20th AL Infantry K Tusculoosa, AL
Ballard Thomas W. 1st Lieutenant 29th GA Infantry I Thomasville GA
Barnes William 1st Lieutenant 49th TN Infantry C Springfield TN
Bean John Captain 16th AL Infantry H Mt Hope AL
Bell West 2nd Lieutenant 3rd MS Infantry A Harrisville MS
Bowen Caleb P. Captain 30th GA Infantry C Cambleton GA
Brewer George E. 1st Lieutenant 25th GA Infantry I Walthomville, GA
Brown Henry M. 1st Lieutenant 42nd TN Infantry E Bluff Springs TN
Burdim William M. 2nd Lieutenant 3rd MS Infantry B Richmond MS
Burns Alexander F. Captain 1st & 3rd MO Inf & Cav. H & N Graham, MO
Carbry James T. 1st Lieutenant 3rd MO Infantry G
Cargill Thomas H. Captain 42nd TN Infantry C Collierville, TN
Carney LeGrand V. 2nd Lieutenant 11th TN Cavalry
Cawthorn Benjamin J. F. 2nd Lieutenant 2nd Battalion GA Sharp Shooters B Thomaston GA
Coker Darling 2nd Lieutenant 8th MS Infantry H
Collier Thomas E. 1st Lieutenant 45th AL Infantry F Decatur, GA
Cooper Charles R. 2nd Lieutenant 49th TN Infantry A Clarksville, TN
Cornelius Cader R. Captain 4th LA Infantry G Clinton LA
Cowan George E. Captain 18th AL Infantry A Stevenson, Al
Cowlong Doul C. Captain 19th AR Infantry G Columbus, AR
Crittenden Robert F. Colonel 33rd AL Infantry Haw Ridge AL
Crosby William H. 2nd Lieutenant 5th Confederate Infantry G Memphis, TN
Dale John J. 1st Lieutenant 3rd MS Infantry H
Davis Christian S. 1st Lieutenant 2nd MS B
Day James B. 1st Lieutenant General Sharp’s Staff Louisville KY
Devall David Captain 4th LA Infantry B Homitage, LA
Dickson Mumford H. Captain 3rd Confederate Infantry E
Dodd William W. 2nd Lieutenant 29th TN Infantry H
Duncan James L. 1st Lieutenant 2nd MO Infantry B Louisville MO
Dunklin James H. Lieutenant Colonel 33rd AL Infantry E
Enyart Logan Captain 1st MO Cavalry B Pattensburg, MO
Evans Robert L. Captain 53rd TN Infantry Lynnville TN
Fulton Joseph E. Captain 25th GA Infantry Savannah GA
Garret(t) Geo. Wahington B. Major 23rd MS Infantry Jonesborough MS
Ger Tho. W. 1st Lieutenant 1st, 3rd MS Cavalry B Pattensburg, MS
Glenn Adolphus B. 1st Lieutenant 32nd MS, 22nd MS Infantry I Greenville, MS
Gordon George Washington Brig. Gen. Vaughn’s Brigade Waverly, TN
Graham Samuel J. 2nd Lieutenant 22nd MS Infantry H Greenville, MS
Graham Thomas H. 2nd Lieutenant 14th MS Infantry B Enterprise, MS
Henry Hugh William Captain 22nd AL Infantry K Montgomery, AL
Howard Daniel,David Capt. 42nd TN. Infantry I Memphis TN
Inglis John Livingston Capt. 3rd FL Infantry D Madison FL
Johnson Jerry Martin 2nd Lieut. 10 TX Infantry C Loudon City TX
Johnson Robert T. Capt. 29th GA Infantry L Jefferson GA
Kennedy James M. 2nd Lieut. 8th MS Infantry G Tristwood MS
King Richard C. 1st Lieut. 1st Batt GA SS D Waresboro GA
Kinow, Kinnow Charles E. Capt. 14th LA Infantry J Tangipaha, LA
Knight Levi J. 2nd Lieut. 29th GA Infantry G Milltown GA
Kointy/Koonte Doctor F. Capt. 2nd MO&6th MO Infantry K New Franklin MO
Leonardey Philip 2nd Lieut. 3rd FL Infantry B Savannah GA
Maybee Milton J. Capt. 1st GA Infantry Powder Springs GA
McAdve; McAdoo Hugh M. Capt. 4th TN Infantry B Waverly TN
McBeth John C. 1st Lieut. 5th MS Infantry K High Hill MS
McCarthy Charles E. 1st Lieut. 30th LA. Infantry A New Orleans LA
McCleskey Louis A. 2nd Lieut. 5th AR Infantry E Chalk Bluff AR
McDavid Robert J. 1st Lieut. 7th TX Infantry I Bellvue TX
McDonald Elbert M. 2nd Lieut. 20th AL Infantry C Elyton AL
McGavehy/McGevney Michael Colonel 154th TN Infantry Memphis, TN
McKinnon John L. 2nd Lieut. 1st FL Infantry D Uchllanna, FL
McKinnon Neil J. 1st Lieut. 1st FL Infantry D Knoxhill, FL
McMillan Angus Capt 6th FL K Orange Hill, FL
Melton Daniel William 1st Lieut. 7th AR Infantry B Grand Glaize, AR
Middlebrooks Thomas J. 2nd Lieut. 37th GA Infantry C Cornicopia, GA
Miles William 2nd Lieut. 12th LA Infantry Winryfield, LA
Mitchell William D. Colonel 29th GA Infantry Thomasville GA
Murphey Virgil Col. 17th AL. Infantry Montgomery AL
Parson John D. Capt. 2th Mo. Infantry C Savannah GA
Patterson Thomas Capt. 25th Texas InfantryE Madisonville TX
Pennington William F. Lt. Col. 4th LA Infantry Lake Providence, LA
Perry Edward C. 1st Lieut. 17th Texas Cavalry K Jonesville, TX
Picelot Arthur Major 30th LA Infantry New Orleans, LA
Porter Thomas M.J. 2nd Lieut. 17th AL Infantry B Georgiana, AL
Powell James T. L. 2nd Lieut. 25th GA Infantry C Morgan GA
Pullen Edward J. Major 4th LA Infantry Clinton LA
Robinson James Henry 1st Lieut. 15th TN Infantry K Yorksville, TN
Sanders William H. 2nd Lieut. 12th LA Infantry M Woodville, LA
Schlatter Charles H. 2nd Lieut. 1 Bat GA S.S. Wausburo GA
Sharp John T. 1st Lieut. 5th MS Infantry F Noxapater, MS
Sherrod Frederic O. Capt. 16th AL Infantry B Florence AL
Simms, Simmons James E. Capt. 33rd MS Infantry A High Hill MS
Singleterry Thomas H. 2nd Lieut. 7th TX Infantry E Alto TX
Smith William M. 2nd Lieut. 1st & 3rd MO Infantry E Savanah MO
Smith Benjamin S.G. 1st Lt. and Engr. 6th FL Infantry C Quincy FL
Stamper Martin W. 2nd Lieut. 8th MS Infantry D Union MS
Stephens Joseph F. 2nd Lieut. 18th AL Infantry H Troy, AL
Stephens William Anderson Lieut. 46th AL 40th AL Infantry K Louina, AL
Stoker Richard J. 2nd Lieut. 30 MS Infantry C Lodi MS
Stuart/Stewart Thaddius/Thomas 1st Lieut. 2nd MO Infantry Sturgeon, MO
Talley Charles E. Capt. 7th TX D Marshall TX
Taylor William A. Major 24th TX Cavalry Waco TX
Thompson George W. 1st Lieut. 52nd TN. or 2nd TN Infantry Calladonin, TN
Thompson John B. 1st Lieut. 42nd TN Infantry C Morning Sun TN
Thompson, Thomason William W. Captain 24th MO A McLeads, MS
Truchart David Major Matthatts(?) Div C Artillery Richmond VA
Turner Benjamin M. Capt. 4th GA S.S. C Barnesville, GA
Usher John 1st Lieut. 22nd MO Infantry G Black Hawk MS
Voohies William M. Col. 48 TN Cav Cavalry Columbia TN
Waldrop William C. 1st Lieut. 41st MS Infantry New Albany, MS
Walker Francis M. 1st Lieut, Capt 16th AL D Evergreen AL
Watts Samuel B. Capt. 10th MS Infantry H Brandon MS
Weathers Benjamin F. 1st Lieut. 17th AL Infantry E Roanole, AL
Wells John S. Capt. 2nd MO Infantry B Louisville MO
Wier Dabney S. 2nd Lieut. 14th MS Infantry B
Wiggins Thomas P. Capt. 46th MS Infantry F Alamatsha, MS
Wilkerson Harris Capt. 3rd;1st MO Infantry F Columbia MO
William A. 1st Lieut. 18th AL Infantry F Garland AL
Wright Thomas P. 2nd Lieut. 7th AR Infantry H
Yaretzky Julius 2nd Lieut. 33rd AL. Infantry A Ella, AL
Yeatman William E. Capt. 2 TN Infantry C Nashville TN

By Blockhouse (name, unit, house#)

Murphey Virgil 17th AL. 2
Pennington William F. 4th LA 3
Enyart Logan 1st MO 3
Johnson Jerry Martin 10 TX 3
Picelot Arthur 30th LA 4
Burns Alexander F. 1st & 3rd MO 4
Garret(t) George Wahington B. 23rd MS 4
Waldrop William C. 41st MS 4
McGavehy; McGevney Michael 154th TN 4
Thompson George W. 52nd TN. or 2nd TN 4
Truchart David Matthatts(?) Div C 4
Stephens Joseph F. 18th AL 5
William A. 18th AL 5
Archer Benjamin Lafayette 19th AL 5
Bailey William O. 20th AL 5
Anderson James A. 4th AR 5
Anderson Charles H. 1st GA Confederate 5
Maybee Milton J. 1st GA 5
Brewer George E. 25th GA 5
Fulton Joseph E. 25th GA 5
Anthony Jesse 30th GA 5
Turner Benjamin M. 4th GA S.S. 5
Allen William E 16th LA 5
Yeatman William E. 2 TN 5
Howard Daniel,David 42nd TN. 5
Aydbott Arther F. 48th TN 5
Evans Robert L. 53rd TN 5
Porter Thomas M.J. 17th AL 8
Ger Tho. W. 1st, 3rd MS 8
Glenn Adolphus B. 32nd MS, 22nd MS 8
Graham Samuel J. 22nd MS 8
Gordon George Washington Vaughn’s Brigade 8
Powell James T. L. 25th GA 9
Ballard Thomas W. 29th GA 9
Johnson Robert T. 29th GA 9
Knight Levi J. 29th GA 9
Henry Hugh William 22nd AL 10
Cowlong Doul C. 19th AR 10
Cawthorn Benjamin J. F. 2nd Battalion GA 10
Bowen Caleb P. 30th GA 10
Graham Thomas H. 14th MS 10
Wier Dabney S. 14th MS 10
Wiggins Thomas P. 46th MS 10
Bean John 16th AL 11
Weathers Benjamin F. 17th AL 11
Cowan George E. 18th AL 11
Crittenden Robert F. 33rd AL 11
Avery Alfred B. 45th AL 11
Collier Thomas E. 45th AL 11
Crosby William H. 5th Confederate 11
Inglis John Livingston 3rd FL 11
Leonardey Philip 3rd FL 11
King Richard C. 1st Batt GA SS 11
Schlatter Charles H. 1 Bat GA S.S. 11
Kinow, Kinnow Charles E. 14th LA 11
McCarthy Charles E. 30th LA. 11
Cornelius Cader R. 4th LA 11
Devall David 4th LA 11
Pullen Edward J. 4th LA 11
Enyart Logan 1st MO 11
Aldridge William C. 1st & 3rd MO 11
Anderson Harry;Henry Y. 1st & 3rd MO 11
Smith William M. 1st & 3rd MO 11
Burns Alexander F. 1st & 3rd MO 11
Parson John D. 2nd MO. 11
Thompson, Thomason William W. 24th MO 11
Watts Samuel B. 10th MS 11
Allen John K. 30th MS 11
Bell West 3rd MS 11
Burdim William M. 3rd MS 11
Stoker Richard J. 30 MS 11
Simms, Simmons James E. 33rd MS 11
Sharp John T. 5th MS 11
Stamper Martin W. 8th MS 11
Robinson James Henry 15th TN 11
Brown Henry M. 42nd TN 11
Cargill Thomas H. 42nd TN 11
Thompson John B. 42nd TN 11
Barnes William 49th TN 11
Cooper Charles R. 49th TN 11
Perry Edward C. 17th Texas 11
Taylor William A. 24th TX 11
Patterson Thomas 25th Texas 11
Singleterry Thomas H. 7th TX 11
Talley Charles E. 7th TX 11
Day James B. General Sharp’s 12
Sherrod Frederic O. 16th AL 12
Walker Francis M. 16th AL 12
McDonald Elbert M. 20th AL 12
Dunklin James H. 33rd AL 12
Yaretzky Julius 33rd AL. 12
Stephens William Anderson 46th AL 40th AL 12
McCleskey Louis A. 5th AR 12
Wright Thomas P. 7th AR 12
Dickson Mumford H. 3rd Confederate 12
McMillan Angus 6th FL 12
Smith Benjamin S.G. 6th FL 12
Mitchell William D. 29th GA 12
Middlebrooks Thomas J. 37th GA 12
Wilkerson Harris 1st & 3rd MO 12
Duncan James L. 2nd MO 12
Stuart/Stewart Thaddius/Thomas W. 2nd MO 12
Wells John S. 2nd MO 12
Usher John 22nd MO 12
Carbry James T. 3rd MO 12
Davis Christian S. 2nd MS; Valentine’s Regt. 12
Dale John J. 3rd MS 12
Coker Darling 8th MS 12
Carney LeGrand V. 11th TN Cavalry 12
Dodd William W. 29th TN 12
McAdve; McAdoo Hugh M. 4th TN 12
Voohies William M. 48 TN Cav 12
Cooper Charles R. 49th TN 12
Melton Daniel William 7th AR 13
McKinnon John L. 1st FL 13
McKinnon Neil J. 1st FL 13
King Richard C. 1st Batt GA SS 13
Schlatter Charles L. 1 Bat GA S.S. 13
Miles William 12th LA 13
Sanders William H. 12th LA 13
Wells John S. 2nd MO 13
Kointy/Koonte Doctor F. 2nd MO&6th MO 13
McBeth John C. 5th MS 13
Kennedy James M. 8th MS 13
McDavid Robert J. 7th TX 13

One Man’s Loss is Another Man’s Gain

Subtitled; Nothing is sacred, even a man’s underwear.

Sixteen year old Adam Furniss volunteered, along with 974 other Ohioan’s, and joined together to make up the 103rd O.V.I. The regiment was organized in Cleveland, Ohio in Aug. 1862. The unit served the year in Kentucky, then in 1863 moved to Tennessee and served there with the Army of the Cumberland. In May of 1864 they joined in the movement against Atlanta under Sherman’s command. The regiment lost heavily during this campaign. After Atlanta had fallen the unit’s effective force numbered 195 men. One of the missing was Adam Furniss who had been captured on Aug. 28, 1864 at Atlanta.

Private Furniss was soon exchanged and was returned to his unit in time to participate against Hood’s Army during his Tennessee Campaign in November. The badly depleted unit was serving as General Schofield’s headquarters guard. As the 103rd moved into Spring Hill it was briefly engaged against the enemy. The Union Army was moving north with urgency, trying to reach Nashville to join with the army there. The army’s train had halted at Spring Hill and rather than attempt to run it north through the confederate cavalry (Nathen Forrest’s) along the tracks it was decided to set it afire. The attempt was not a total success and some of it eventually fell into enemy hands. However, Adam Furniss was at the depot when the trains were fired. What is the saying; one man’s loss is another’s gain? Personal baggage from two newly arrived regiments, the 183rd Ohio and the 44th Missouri, were aboard the trains. Adam Furniss later recalled picking through some of the officers effects searching for undergarments because he was in need of some. Furniss said he filled a substantial satchel with underwear and was soon on his way. (1)

After Hood had been routed at Franklin and Nashville the tiny 103rd was sent first by ship to Cincinnati, then by rail to Washington, D.C., and then again by ship to Wilmington, North Carolina to join Sherman’s Carolina Campaign. Records suggest that 185 men mustered out at Cleveland, Ohio on June 22, 1865.

FURNISS

Adam Furniss was born 1846 and with his father William and Brother William (1839-1889) resided in North Royalton, Cuyahoga County, Ohio at the time of the Civil War. Corporal William Furniss also served in the war with the 7th O.V.I., Co. E, in fact he and his brother served near one another in the Tennessee Campaigns of ’63. William was transferred to the Invalid Corp in Jan. ’64. Adam and his brother both married “Granger” girls in North Royalton. Adam married Mary A. Granger (b. 12/11/1847 in North Royalton) in July of 1874. Their children were: William Arron b. May 16, 1875, d.1958, James Bird b. Nov. 13, 1879, d. 1918, Jessie Eliza b. July 12, 1877. William married Martha Granger (b.1842) in 1865 and they had three daughters; Josephine, Hortence, and Maud. Adam died in North Royalton in 1902. His brother had died earlier in Pennsylvania in 1889.

  1. Source Baptism of Fire by Eric Jacobson and Richard Rupp

 

 

What Were You Doing at Fifteen?

Where were you and what were you doing at age fifteen? Personally? Let’s see; I was in the 9th grade, Rock & Roll was in its infancy, even in its place of birth, Cleveland Ohio. Baseball was my game and my music tastes, which would soon change, was Glenn Miller music. Parental influences were pushing against the teen in me. They weighed heavy and kept me safe despite myself.

William Wesley Gist, born in 1849, volunteered for service with the Union Army in 1864. Fifteen. What were you doing at fifteen?

William was born on February 28th in Starr, Hocking County, Ohio. Bears, and other like wildlife, probably outnumbered humans in this county southeast of Columbus, Ohio. In 1864 his older brothers Nathan and Cornelius were serving in the army and it can be assumed William wanted to join them; be part of the excitement. In March of that year he lied. Said he was eighteen and joined the 26th Ohio Volunteer Regiment. He was assigned to Company D and served until the regiment mustered out in August, 1865.

What were you doing at fifteen?

Young William was quickly introduced to battle, serving with Sherman’s Army from May to September during the Atlanta Campaign. Brother Cornelius was in Louisiana with the 114th O.V.I., but I wonder if William was, at the time, aware that brother Nathan was also in Georgia and Atlanta with the 31st O.V.I.? Both regiments participated in numerous major battles before Hood’s Confederate Army left Atlanta behind and Sherman began his march east.

The 26th had been formed during the early summer months of 1861. During the summer of 1864, while in Georgia, the three-year enlistments of the original volunteers ended. They were mustered out and headed back to their Ohio homes. What remained after Atlanta, about 120 men, (have also read about 200) was assigned to Lane’s Brigade, Wagner’s 4th Corps Division. The Corps was part of an army charged with defending Nashville from Hood’s Army. Hood, indeed, had plans.

Soon, this now small regiment would be tested again at Franklin, Tennessee.

During the preparations that preceded the Battle of Franklin, General Wagner made a huge error and with it put two divisions in harm’s way, isolated in open fields against Hood’s 20,000 man army. When the Confederate Army advanced on Franklin, the men of the 4th Corps out in those fields ran for their lives. The finish line in their run was the Union Army’s main works and the only path to those works was Columbia Pike. As William and the 26th Ohio crossed the finish line and passed beyond the works the rebels were only 50 yards behind. Within seconds they breached the main works at the pike and were in battle with an advancing Union Regiment, the 44th Missouri. One of the heroic regiments on that November afternoon, the 44th found new company. A fifteen year old and his brothers of the 26th had melted into their company and were also in combat with the enemy. In that situation it was only the color blue that mattered. David Bragg and John Worley were captured, and Joseph Kern went missing in the melee. William would later write:

“I jumped over the works just east of the locust grove near … the Carter house. Finding the works practically empty, we stopped, and as soon as our men seemed to be in we began to fire as rapidly as possible. The batteries on both sides began to fire with great rapidity into the advancing ranks. Soon a cloud of smoke hung over us and nothing was distinct in front. …

 “Some of the Confederates were on the opposite side of the works from us. When a lull would occur, some of these would offer to surrender. We would cry out, ‘Drop your guns and climb over.’ This they did, and this was repeated a number of times. Some of them crossed the works so close to me that I could have touched them with my hand.

“In the part of the line where I stood were men of many commands…….

Well, that is the short story of a longer one about a fifteen year old Ohioan in Tennessee in the year 1864. Later William Gist would contribute many newspaper accounts, magazine articles, and a book about the actions of the 26th Ohio at Franklin. Visit http://www.ohiocivilwar.com  and in the reference list of the written word about the regiment there are many listed. I found that if I google the title portion of those articles many of them are available online. Also visit http://26thohioinfantry.com  a website dedicated to the regiment.

Gist William Wesley Gist (photo from Chris Burson and find-a-grave)

In 1876 William Wesley Gist married Lillian Jeanette Hurlburt of Ashtabula, Ohio. He was a teacher and school superintendent in Willoughby, Ohio; a professor of English literature at Coe College , Cedar Rapids, Iowa; a pastor of the Congregational church of Marion, Iowa and then of the Congregational church of Osage, Iowa; a member of the faculty of Iowa State Teachers College at Cedar Falls, teaching English literature, rhetoric, and Bible. He was elected Commander of the Department State of Iowa, G.A.R. at Fort Dodge on June 6, 1923, dying two days later at his home in Cedar Falls.

William and Lillian had eleven children and they and four of their children are buried at Oak Shade Cemetery, Marion, Iowa. For more details, particularly about Lillian, see www.findagrave.com

Teachable Moment – Civil War “Impressed” Blacks

“Impressed Laborers” – by definition this is simply taking men into service by force,

with or without their consent. Spend time, read the names, listen to their stories.

During the Civil War the Union Army’s supplies were delivered by rail and water. Not unlike our highways fueling our economy today, the Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers’ were highways fueling Grant, Sherman, Thomas and other Union Generals in our country’s mid-section. A recent post was about the Union Supply Depot at Johnsonville, Tennessee (see; Josiah Meigs and the 2nd U.S. Colored Light Artillery, Battery “A”). The Nashville-Northwestern Railroad was the connecting road from that depot on the Tennessee River to Nashville and railroads to Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Decatur (AL).

When the war started 24 miles of rail had been completed from Nashville to Kingston Springs to the west. It would be the Union Army that would complete the line to the Tennessee River.

Federal troops camped at Johnsonville oversaw the construction. Much of the labor came from free blacks and escaped slaves joined by Irish immigrants. Many of the black laborers became members of the United States Colored Troops and some stayed behind after the construction to guard the railroad.

The paragraphs above is the story, quite compressed, taken from articles written to document the building of the railroad and the place it and Johnsonville had during the Civil War. Much more compelling to the actual events and people are original documents from the period. I must confess that despite the passion to learn, I am quite short on the technical ability to (literally) inset a document here and must lead you to complete the task of looking at, and appreciating its historical value, a treasure found online.

http://tnmap.tn.gov/civilwar/

  • Go to “Zoom To Engagement”
  • Down arrow and go to Johnsonville (11/4/1864)
  • On the detail panel to the right open the document “N&NWLabor_1863.pdf”

Fifty-seven (57) “impressed blacks” names written onto this Roll of Negros Impressed for Service on the North-Western Railroad, the majority from Montgomery County and Clarksville, TN.

Spend time, read the names, listen to their stories.

Finding Their Footprints – Nashville and Decatur Railroad

Ed. Note – This post is as much about the maps as it is about the detail behind them. Eric and Richard don’t need me to retell stories.

Where did your ancestor walk?

One of my later life thrills has been being able to walk where my Civil War ancestor walked 150 years ago. Think of where you stand at this very moment. Who stood there before you; a president, a Native American, your great-grandfather? Our (my wife’s and my) great-grandfathers’ were in Columbia, Tennessee in 1864 and one of them, with the 175th OVI Co. K, may well have been assigned to help protect an important Union Army supply railroad in middle Tennessee. We find that if he was so assigned he was able to come out from that duty assignment to continue on with his regiment and their future assignments. What of your great-grandfather?

No official records exist regarding the Blockhouses, camps, and, or stockades that were built and manned to protect the Nashville to Decatur Railroad before and after Hood’s Tennessee operations. General Grenville Dodge had been put in charge of building these defenses prior to 1864. Records that he kept with locations and a series of corresponding numbers do not match up with what we now know. The latter is, in large part, attributed to Eric Jacobson and Richard Rupp and their exhaustive research for their book Baptism of Fire. Thanks to them we are able to better follow our ancestor-soldier’s foot-steps through Tennessee’s landscape.

Apparently there were as many as thirty-six of these posts manned between Nashville and Decatur, twenty-five in the state of Tennessee. For the purpose of this article we concentrate on those between southern-most Pulaski and Spring Hill to its north. Again, thanks to Eric and Richard for doing what they do so well; telling history.

When the 175th Ohio Volunteer Regiment arrived in Tennessee in October, 1864 they were immediately tasked with helping protect Columbia and some of those rail-line posts nearby. The following is what we know, or don’t – the names listed are known to have been at these locations. Obviously they are but a small few of those that were actually there. History, in most cases their deaths’ or capture, has written their names into its pages.

#5, Carter’s Station; On Oct. 1, 1864, in a raid by Nathen Bedford Forrest’s Cavalry the blockhouses at #5, 4, and 3 were burned to the ground.* Soon after Forrest withdrew and men from the 175th Co. C were assigned to #5, replacing Pennsylvania’s 7th Cavalry there. Google Map address 2998 Carters Creek Station Rd., Columbia Tennessee. The old blockhouse, saw mill and water tank were at this intersection, likely near the creek. Cross the railroad tracks and Carters Creek is at the small bridge…..Pvt. Garner Hinshaw.

*report A. Kramer 68th NY Regt. Or. Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, pp 507-508

#6 Carter’s Trestle; Thirteen men from the 175th Co. G were posted at #6 in April, 1865. Located north of Columbia where Carter’s Creek crosses the rail-line – there are about four such locations so the exact place cannot be determined. Google Map address 282 Carters Creek Pike, Tennessee and you are at one of the intersections – the southern-most and most likely….Lt. Samuel Jolly (it seems that Lt. Jolly was in charge of at least #6 and #8).

#7. Unable to determine and not mentioned. Again there are about four track crossings that could be the location.

#8. Unable to determine, but somewhere near #6, and before the Rutherford Creek posts #9 through #12 that follow. Again, there are a few possible locations. Thirteen men from the 175th Co. E, along with men from Co. G, were posted at #8 in April, 1865….Lt. Samuel Jolly, in charge, Pvt. Silas Wardlow (Co. G).

#9. Men from the 175th Ohio were posted at #9, #10, #11, and #12. In some cases the companies are not known. Google Map address 723 Theta Pike, Columbia, TN and you will be in the midst of these Blockhouses which were located north to south on the four twists of Rutherford Creek where they cross the rail tracks…..Capt. William P. Wolf, age 35, of Co. G was put in charge of these four posts. William mustered in as a Private with Co. A and was promoted to Captain in September.

#10. Men from the 175th Ohio were posted at #10. Google Map address 723 Theta Pike, Columbia, TN and you will be in the midst of the four Blockhouses, #9, #10, #11, #12 which were located north to south on the four twists of the creek (Rutherford Creek) where they cross the rail tracks.

#11. Men from the 175th Ohio were posted here before and during Hood’s operations in Tennessee. Also, Capt. William Wolf’s headquarters was here at #11. Then on Dec. 28, 1864 “what remained of” the 175th Co. G was sent here for duty. Also at some time after the main battles in the area were over men from Co. H were also posted at #11. Google Map address 723 Theta Pike, Columbia, TN and you will be in the midst of the four Blockhouses, #9, #10, #11, #12 which were located north to south on the four twists of the creek (Rutherford Creek) where they cross the rail tracks.

#12. Men from the 175th Ohio were posted here before and during Hood’s operations in TN. Also after, on Dec. 27, 1864 Capt. Jon Hill took thirty-eight men from the 175th Co. H and occupied #12. Google Map address 723 Theta Pike, Columbia, TN and you will be in the midst of the four Blockhouses, #9, #10, #11, #12 which were located north to south on the four twists of the Rutherford Creek where they cross the rail tracks. It was also here that the 44th Missouri and 183rd Ohio Regiment unloaded upon arriving near Columbia on Nov. 28, 1864.

Duck River Station, Google Map 915 Tennessee 7, Columbia, Tennessee. Looking west toward the industrial complex we are as close as we can get to the spot where the old station was, assuming it was even on the river.

Lynnville Station; Lt. George W. Henderson and thirty-nine of his men from the 175th Co. F were posted at a stockade built to protect the rail station there. Google Maps address Church Street / Tennessee 129, Lynnville, Tennessee.

  • Here, a paragraph of “exasperation” is in order. As mentioned earlier, there exists confusion over the locations of some of the posts we are writing about. The author admits some confusion here despite Eric and Richard’s hard work. There is mention of four “blockhouses” south of Columbia, the first through the fourth of many more to the south. The names were Harris, Culleoka, Graces, and Robertson. If I am to take these names in order north to south and also apply some other research I am unable to locate Harris. Twenty-one men from the 175th Co. A were assigned to Harris. There is mention of a post “just south of Lynnville Station” and it is possible that is Harris. There is also mention that this post was at Robertson Trestle – barely one-quarter mile south of Lynnville is a crossing of the rail and Robertson Fork Creek. Possibly the list should read south to north, which would make #15 Harris. I will continue to look and hope that I can find Company A someday.
  • It has been established that the four above mentioned locations were not blockhouses, but in fact all were camps of other sorts.

#13. Also identified as Culleoka, twenty-two men of the 175th Co. E were posted here on Oct 25, 1864. Google Map address Columbia Highway / Milky Way Rd., Pulaski, TN. Just to the east #13 is located where the creek and rail track cross. Just to the south of that is #14, where again the cross…..Pvt. Lee Carl Donley, Zeno Donley, Jacob Lafery (wounded and possibly later died). The men here were barely able to escape capture.

Fifty-four men from the 175th Co. I were also assigned to #13.

#14. Also identified as Graces, twenty-two men from the 175th Co. G were posted here on Oct. 25, 1864. Google Map address Columbia Highway / Milky Way Rd., Pulaski, TN. Just to the east #13 is located where the creek and rail track cross. Just to the south of that is #14, where again they cross. On Nov. 25, 1864 these 22 men plus a wagoner named Cusick were all captured……..Lt. William Barrere, Sgt. Matthew Van Eman, Cpl. Perry Hoss, Cpl. Joseph E. Winters and Private’s Benton B. Badgeley, Alva Laymen, Courtland C. Cusick, James H. Shank, Pvt. George W. Eakins, John W. Eakins, Norman Bercaw, George W. Boyd, James H. Burroughs, James Casto, Edward Crossen, Carey Easter, Morris Greeley, James Hudson, Benjamin Monce, Stacy Morris, William H. Oliver. Israel Sidles, Trimble Strain .

Twenty-seven men from the 175th Co. K were also assigned to #14.

#15. Twenty-one men from the 175th Co. B were assigned to #15. On Nov. 24 thirteen of the men were captured and taken prisoner. Also men from the 175th Co. E were assigned there and six of them were taken prisoner. Google Map address 5662 Columbia Highway, TN. Just to the west #15 is located where the rail-line crosses Richland Creek……..Co. B; Lt. Thomas J. McKeehan, Sgt. Joseph Tener, Pvt. Lewis Fry, Pvt. Sommers Conover, Pvt. George W. Conover, Cpl. William Beekman, Cpl. Luther McClelland, Pvt. Henry Butler, Pvt. William Earhart, Pvt. George E. Mattox, Pvt. Charles Moberly, Pvt. Jacob R. Slagle.

From Co. E; Private’s John Barnes, Thomas J. Gray, John Marconette, Thomas Easton Hemings*, John Moore, and George H. Washburn were captured. Pvt. Lee Donley was able to escape.

*Thomas Hemings grandmother has been identified as Sally Hemings who lived at Jefferson’s Monticello. A story for another time. (E, Jacobson – Baptism of Fire)

#16. Twenty-one men from the 175th Co. D were assigned to #16. We are unable to determine exactly where, but the post is “a few miles south of Pulaski at Richland Creek Trestle.” The railroad seems to now run parallel with the creek here. Google Map address 1195 U.S. 64, Pulaski, TN and follow the rail-line and Richland Creek as they run south. Commended by Lt. Francis M. Harover, the post was very isolated. At least twenty of the men were captured and taken prisoner on Nov. 24, 1864……Harover, Cpl. Jerimiah Paul, Pvt. James Reed, Pvt. John Hetherman, Pvt. Lawrence Schlitz, Pvt. James D. Howard, 1st Sgt. David Flagher, Sgt. James Graham, Cpl. Timothy Pancoast, Privates’ James Bayne, Benjamin Botts, William Carroll, Samuel Holmes, William Little, Timothy Mahaney, John Rains, William J. Richmond, William Shelton, Joseph C. Sroufe, Othello Timmons.