Veterans Roll Call

Sherburne, Benjamin F., Cpl. – Battery G, 2nd IL Light Artillery

BFSherburneBenjamin Franklin SHERBURNE was born 4 January, 1836 at Canandaigua, Ontario, New York, son of Hezekiah SHERBURNE, a veteran of the War of 1812, and wife Mary HERRICK, both New York natives.

Benjamin was enrolled as 1st Corporal in Battery G (Capt. Stolbrand) of the 2nd Illinois Light Artillery on 16 September 1861 in Springfield, Illinois and was honorably discharged from the Marine Hospital in Chicago, Illinois on 12 May 1864 due to illness contracted during the war.

During his time in service, his regiment traveled extensively and was involved in many important campaigns in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Battery G was also in the “Horizon” shipping tragedy.

On 1 May 1863 while crossing the Mississippi, a steam transport ship, the Horizon, attached to Battery G, was sunk; but not by the Rebels. Army correspondence on page 215 of Julian K Larke’s “Life, Campaigns and Battles of Gen. Ulysses S Grant” relates: “The steamers, which a few nights before had run the rebel batteries at Vicksburg and Grand Gulf, were then used to carry troops from Bromly’s plantation to Bruinsburg. Among others the Moderator and Horizon were thus used. The Moderator on her return trip, met the Horizon coming down the river, having on board one hundred and fifty thousand rations and a full battery of artillery. Whether it was owing to the fog or the carelessness of the pilot has not been ascertained; but somehow the two vessels collided, and the Horizon, rations and battery, sank in deep water and disappeared from mortal vision. Every horse on board was drowned. Every gun lies fathoms deep in water, rations were ruined, and I regret to add that two or three soldiers found a watery grave. At this juncture the loss is almost irreparable.”

The battery regrouped at Memphis and rejoined the regiment on 30 June for the last 5 days of the Siege of Vicksburg and in time for the surrender of Vicksburg on 4 July. The battery remained on duty at Vicksburg until November of that year.

It is not Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 1.52.08 PMknown if Benjamin Sherburne was at the Horizon military disaster but he was not one of the soldiers lost.

After convalescing following his discharge he moved with his family to Iowa. He married Sophronia BISHOP (born 25 September 1848 at Lexington, Carroll, Indiana) on 29 April 1867 in Clarksville, Butler, Iowa. They had 5 children who lived to adulthood.

Benjamin Franklin Sherburne died on 23 December 1919 at Waterloo, Black Hawk, Iowa.

Moore, Henry, Pvt. – Co. A, Co. M, 5th IA Cavalry, Charter Member of John W. Rollins Post 7, G.A.R.

EPSON scanner image

Private Henry Moore

Henry Moore was b. 5 Jan 1841 in Gasconade [later Osage] County, Missouri, the 6th of 7 sons of 12 known children of Thomas MOORE (b. 20 May 1800, Lancaster Co, PA; d. 25 Aug 1851, Osage Co, MO) and wife Mary Catherine BEST (b. 1801, Washington Co, PA). Thomas and Mary had married on 1 Jun 1821 in Tuscarawas [later Holmes] Co, Ohio, where both MOORE and BEST families had arrived prior to 1820.

Thomas Moore sold his property in Holmes County Ohio in 1839, to move to Gasconade County, MO.

Of the 12 children of Thomas and Mary: six: Patrick 1824, Elizabeth 1825, Nancy 1826, John 1830, Elias 1831, Mary 1832, and Hezekiah 1833 — were born in Ohio; Catherine 1837, Thomas 1839, Henry 1841, Margaret 1842, and Noah 1843 — were born in MO.

When war came, four from the Thomas Moore family fought for freedom with the Union army: Hezekiah, Henry, Thomas, and their brother-in-law, Catherine Augusta Moore’s husband George Sluthour; all four were from Fredericksburg, MO. On 28 Aug 1862, Henry (21), Hezekiah (28) enlisted in the 5th Iowa Cavalry; both were mustered in on the 13th day of Sept. The Regiment was consolidated in Aug 1864 and the brothers were transferred from Company A, 5th Iowa Cavalry to Company M of the 5th Iowa Veterans Cavalry Consolidated (but still called the 5th Iowa Cavalry. ) Henry and Hezekiah were mustered out with the Regiment on 11 Aug 1865 after almost exactly 3 years of service.

Company M of the 5th IA Cavalry was cited in official reports on at least one occasion. Here, in part:

“On the 10th of April 1863, Company H. had been upon a scout and, coming across a considerable force of the enemy near Waverly, was returning towards Fort Donelson, closely pursued by the party of rebels. Upon nearing the fort the rebels abandoned the pursuit, and were returning towards Waverly, when they were met and attacked by Company M, of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, which had also been on a scout. In the ensuing fight, the rebels were quickly defeated, with a loss of three killed and twenty-one captured, including their commander, Major Blanton, and Surgeon Smith, while the loss of Company M was one man wounded.”

Sometimes, official reports don’t tell the whole story: from a year and nine months later:

“On the 15th of December 1864 General Thomas assumed the offensive in the battle of Nashville . . . The regiment joined in the pursuit of the defeated enemy, and during the pursuit had several skirmishes, the most notable of which occurred on December 25th, at the town of Pulaski and at the bridge over Richland Creek. In these 16 encounters the regiment lost twenty men killed and wounded.”

One of those wounded was Henry Moore, for he was noted as “Accidentally wounded Dec. 15, 1864.”

During those three years, the 5th IA Cavalry/Consolidated Regiment was attached to 12 different units and the Moore brothers traveled with the regiment in or through at least five states: IA, TN, KY, GA and SC, as the regiment was involved in picket and scouting duties, skirmishes and battles at Fort Donelson, Fort Heiman, Murfreesboro, Huntsville, Nashville, Decatur, Louisville, Columbia, Pulaski, Macon, and Atlanta, among other locales. The total enrollment of the 5th IA Cavalry is given as 1,625; during service the regiment lost: 7 officers 58 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 2 officers and 179 enlisted men died of disease. Total lost: 246.

Henry Moore was at the Battle of Atlanta and was with General Sherman’s army. In his application for a pension, he wrote, “In the Autumn of 1864 at the battle of Atlanta, Georgia, I received injuries by the explosion of shells and overheated by the fires and heat which caused partial deafness and other problems. This was the day before the enemy evacuated Atlanta. I was then sent with the regiment to Nashville, Tn, and remained in camp, not being fit for duty, until the battle of Nashville. Then was mounted and went into battle and was wounded again and was treated for spinal disc problems.” His wound was “his fourth toe of his right foot was shot off accidentally by himself or comrades, while mounting or dismounting when he was in battle.” Hezekiah Moore’s obituary also states that he was with Gen Sherman through Atlanta & the march To The Sea. These two brothers enlisted together, fought together and were discharged together.

In October 1861, brother Thomas Moore and brother-in-law George Sluthour had enrolled in Missouri independent cavalry units (the “Curtis Horse” and “Osage County Mounted Rifles, commanded by Captain Kidd”, respectively), both precursors to the Iowa 5th. Thomas was Honorably Discharged (for disability) on 3 May 1862, after the consolidation of these independent units into the Iowa 5th Cavalry. He settled in Howell Co, MO, where he married Mary Jane Garrett and produced a family of 9 known children. Thomas died 28 Feb 1896.

Brother-in-law George Sluthour was in good health until Feb 1862. when he ruptured an artery in his lungs. Unfit for any duty, he was sent to hospital in St. Louis, MO. “He came to hospital expectorating blood, says he has chest attack within 2 weeks before coming to hospital. He lost much blood.” George was discharged 11 Apr 1862 with Certificate of Disability. However, on 28 Feb 1864 he re-joined, this time with the ‘family company’ in the 5th Iowa Cavalry. After the war he came home to wife Augusta. Six of their seven children were born by the 1870 census; and the family was living in Cedar Co, MO.

Henry had come home between battles and met Sarah Ann BURTON. Sarah Ann’s family had migrated to southern Missouri in 1856 and founded a community called “Mt. Zion” about 15 miles SE of Henry’s “West Plains”. When the war came the Burtons were “forced to Refuge” and had evacuated to Gasconade/Osage County. After the war, on 24 Mar 1867, her Methodist minister father married Sarah Ann (born 1 Mar 1847 in Maury Co, TN) and Henry.

By 1870 they lived in West Plains, Howell Twp, Howell Co, MO. Sarah Ann had borne the first 2 of their 7 children: Mary C: 1868 and Sidney Victoria 1869. Both Henry and Sarah Ann were Methodist: Henry of Methodist-Episcopal North, and Sarah of Methodist-Episcopal South. They are credited with organizing the first Sunday School in West Plains, meeting at first in a blacksmith shop!

By the 1880 census Henry is a widower, with 5 living children: Usebius “Sebe” 1875; Thomas D 1877, and Carrie 1880; (William D 1871 and Sarah Flora 1873 died as infants.) Sarah Ann Burton Moore had died 18 Mar 1880. She was buried at Mount Zion Cemetery, South Fork, Howell Co, MO. From their 5th child, Thomas D., descends the member of Laura Belle Stoddard Tent 22, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865.

Henry married again on 2 Sep 1880, to Sarah Catherine GARRETT, whose sister was Mary Jane, wife of Henry’s brother Thomas. Henry and Sarah Catherine had 7 children between 1882 and 1891: Jacob Levi, John Henry, Martha Edith, Roscoe Conklin, Arthur More, Catherine Best, and Thomas. Both Catherine B and Thomas died as infants. Henry was a charter member of the G.A.R. and his wife an ardent member of the Women’s Relief Corps.

Henry purchased 200 acres, homesteaded an adjoining 40 acres, and grew some of the finest wheat crop ever grown in South Missouri. Much of that land is now part of West Plains. The western end of West Plains is still called “the Moore Addition.” Henry established the Moore Milling Company, which became the Pease-Moore Milling Co when Clint Pease, who had owned a flour mill prior to moving to West Plains, married Henry’s daughter Sidney.

From obituaries in local newspapers at time of Henry’s death:

  • “In a feature story printed in the Journal [West Plains] a year ago this month, it was stated that Mr. Moore was the only surviving veteran of the civil war in Howell county, and that he could also qualify as a ‘Three-Quarter-of-a-Century farmer [here] “
  • “He was a youth of 19 when the Civil War broke out in 1861, and in 1862 he enlisted with Company M of the 5th Iowa Cavalry serving until the end of the war. He received his honorable discharge in April 1865.”
  • “One year ago Mr. Moore was the only local G.A.R. member left to attend the annual Decoration Day program, but this year he was too frail to take part.”
  • “Among the survivors, besides the widow, the two daughters and four sons, are 30 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.”

Henry Moore died in Howell County, Missouri on Sunday 30 Jun 1940 in his 99 year of age, leaving widow Sarah Catherine G. Moore, 90. The couple would have celebrated sixty years on 2 September. Sarah Catherine lived another five years, dying on 27 Aug 1945. Both Henry and Sarah C G Moore are buried at Oak Lawn Cemetery, West Plains, Howell Co, Missouri.

Personal Memories

            I was ten years old in 1940 when my grandfather died at age 99. My mother and I were the only ones left in my family; we were still on the farm. I remember going to Grandpa Moore’s home. He was totally deaf, but could still read the paper without glasses. He was able to walk on his own. I remember he had the front bedroom. His Union army uniform was on a chair and a large American flag on a long pole was in the corner of his room. He had a beard and it was a bit messy when he ate his oatmeal!

[All military sources accessed in Feb 2015:

Family stories and records, including newspaper articles.

<> Civil War military databases.





<> ]

EPSON scanner image

Left to Right:

Standing: Uncle Sebe (Usebius) Moore; Uncle Jake Moore; Uncle John Moore; Thomas Donald Moore; Uncle Roscoe Moore;.

Seated: Sarah Catherine Garrett Moore; Henry Moore; Uncle Arthur Moore.

At Home, 415 Pennsylvania Avenue, West Plains, Howell County, Missouri. Circa 1910?



Thevenin, Robert John, Cpl. – Co. G, 18th OH Infantry, 18th Independent Battery, OH Light Artillery

RobertTheveninANDchild (1)Robert John Thevenin was born January 1, 1834 in Gallia County, Ohio near the village of Thivener, Ohio. The village was named in honor of Robert’s grandfather Nicholas Thevenin who was one of the original French settlers of the nearby Ohio River town of Gallipolis, Ohio. The village was named Thivener, which is the English pronunciation of Thevenin. From Robert descends the line to the member of the Laura Belle Stoddard Tent 22, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865.

Robert’s parents, Francis Collin and Mary Anne (White) Thevenin had eleven children and lived near the village of Thivener. Four of their sons, Robert, John, Nicholas II and Francis (known as FC), served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

When the Civil War broke out, President Lincoln called for volunteers to enlist for 3 months. Most thought it would be a short war. Robert, John and FC enlisted in Company “G” of the 18th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (18th OVI) for three months. The 18th OVI was sent to different points on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad to guard the railroad and trains between Parkersburg and Clarksburg, West Virginia. The three brothers were mustered out at Columbus, Ohio on August 28, 1861.

As the war continued to grind on Lincoln called for more volunteers to serve for 3 years. This time four Thevenin brothers answered the call. John and FC joined Company “F” of the 33rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry (33rd OVI). Nicholas II joined Company “L” of the 7th Ohio Cavalry.

Robert was enlisted in the 18th Independent Battery, Ohio Light Artillery on July 19, 1862 at Gallipolis by Capt. Aleshire for a term of 3 years. He mustered in at Camp Portsmouth, Ohio on September 13, 1862. His Battery Descriptive Book shows that he was a 32 year-old farmer, 5 foot 4½ inches tall, light complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He was mustered in as a Corporal possibly because of his age and/or because he was an experienced soldier, having previously served for 3 months.

Robert served with the 18th Battery in the western theatre of the Civil War for three years. They fought the rebels at the battles of:

  • Thompson’s Station, Tennessee (March 4-5, 1863)
  • Franklin, Tennessee (April 10, 1863)
  • Tullahoma Campaign, Tennessee (June 23 to July 7, 1863)
  • Chickamauga, Georgia (September 19-20, 1863)
  • Lookout Mountain, Tennessee (November 23-24, 1863)
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee (November 23-25, 1863)
  • Nashville, Tennessee (December 15-16, 1864)

The largest and bloodiest battle that Robert fought in was the Battle of Chickamauga. It took place on September 19th and 20th in 1863 along Chickamauga Creek just over the Georgia state line south of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The battle lines ran north and south with the Union troops under General William Rosecrans on the west bank facing east and the confederates under General Braxton Bragg on the east side facing west. Two of Robert’s brothers, John and FC of the 33rd OVI also fought in this battle.

On the first day of the battle, Robert and the 18th Ohio Battery were stationed with the reserve corps under General Gordon Granger about 3 miles north of the main battle line. Robert’s brothers John and FC, both of the 33rd OVI, were part of the northern end of the Union line under the command of General George Thomas. That day, while the 33rd OVI was fighting in close quarters with the enemy near the Winfrey Farm, John became separated from his company and was captured. He was to die while in rebel captivity about 18 months later.

The second and last day of the battle was a near disaster for the Union army. During a redeployment of the Union line, a gap was accidentally opened and the rebels charged through it thus cutting the Union line in two. The southern section of the Union army, along with its commander General Rosecrans, left the field of battle and retreated back inside the Union fortifications at Chattanooga, Tennessee leaving behind the now vastly outnumbered north section of the Union army battle line.

General Thomas hurriedly formed his remaining troops into a horseshoe shaped defensive line on the slopes of the Snodgrass farm. Here they planned to hold until darkness might allow an organized retreat. The rebels saw this as a chance for a major victory and mounted charge after charge until it was looking bleak for the Union boys in blue.

General Granger, the commander of the Union reserve force 3 miles to the north, sensed something was badly wrong. He took the initiative, on his own and with no orders, to reinforce General Thomas as quickly as possible. Thus Corporal Robert Thevenin and the 18th Ohio Battery, along with Granger’s infantry, became part of one of the greatest last minute rescue operations in American military history. At the same time, Robert also helped to save his younger brother FC, who was fighting to hold the northern section of the U shaped battle-line with his regiment, the 33rd OVI.

Granger’s reserves reached General Thomas in the nick of time. They were ordered into battle on the run. Robert and the 18th battery immediately unlimbered their six 3 inch ordnance rifle cannons and began firing into the charging rebels. A monument honoring the 18th Ohio Battery marks that location today. Thus the remaining Union forces held Snodgrass Hill until nightfall concealed their withdrawal to Chattanooga. There the Union forces regrouped. They began driving General Bragg’s rebel forces south toward Atlanta two months later.

Thevenin_18thLghtAtlyMonument_ChickamaugaChickamauga was the largest and costliest Civil War battle in the western theatre. In the entire Civil War it was second only to the battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania three months earlier. For his leadership in the second day’s fighting, General George Thomas was given the nickname “The Rock of Chickamauga.” He was considered a “soldier’s soldier” by his men who looked up to him as a father figure and affectionately called him “Old Pap.”

During the time between the battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga, Robert and the 18th Ohio Battery emplaced their trusty battery of six 3 inch ordnance rifle cannons on Moccasin Point under the shadow of rebel occupied Lookout Mountain just west of Chattanooga. According to family oral history, Robert bragged that while there, he “shot the rebel flags off of Lookout Mountain.” History tells us that the armies at that time used signal flags to relay messages. The records also show that while on Moccasin Point, the 18th Ohio Battery was temporarily reinforced with a few of the more powerful, longer range, 20 pounder Parrott Rifle cannons whose range could reach the rebels and their flags atop Lookout Mountain. In Union Army light artillery batteries, the corporals were usually the “gunners”, as they called the ones in the gun crew who actually aimed the cannons. So it is highly likely that he did shoot the rebel flags off of Lookout Mountain.

While driving the rebels south toward Atlanta, Robert fought in the Battle of Chattanooga (November 23 to 25, 1863) under General U. S. Grant. He was also in several smaller battles of the Atlanta Campaign under the overall command of General William Tecumseh Sherman.

After the fall of Atlanta and during Sherman’s famous march from “Atlanta to the Sea”, Robert and the 18th Ohio Battery were sent to Nashville, Tennessee, while Brother FC and his 33rd OVI went with Sherman’s forces. In Nashville, Robert was once again under the command of “Old Pap” General George Thomas.

In late 1864, the last full year of the Civil War, confederate General John Bell Hood marched his army north and set up siege lines outside Nashville. On December 15th and 16th, 1864, Old Pap and his boys in blue came storming out of Nashville in a massive right wheel maneuver and slammed into Hood’s forces. During this two-day winter battle and the following pursuit, Hood’s confederate army was dealt such a crushing defeat by the Union forces that they disintegrated and ceased to exist as an organized force. This was the only time in the Civil War that an army on either side suffered such a fate.

Robert was mustered out with the battery at Camp Dennison, Ohio near Cincinnati on 29 June 1865. After the war, Robert made his home mostly in nearby Putnam County, West Virginia where he was a farmer. He and his wife, the former Joanna Williams, eventually had 12 children, four of whom were born before the Civil War. Near the end of his life, Robert was granted a Civil War pension of $30 per month, which was later raised to $40 per month.

Robert died in Gallia County, Ohio and is buried in St. Nicholas cemetery on Friendly Ridge Road south of the town of Thivener in Clay Township, Gallia County, Ohio. His Civil War headstone is next to those of Collin and Mary, his mother and father. Nearby are now the “In Memory of” headstones of his two brothers John and Nicholas II.


Two Brothers Come Home in Memory

On October 2, 2004, at St. Nicholas Cemetery, the Cadot-Blessing Camp No. 126 of the Sons of Thevenin SUVCW CeremonyPhotoUnion Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) held a full military honors ceremony for the brothers John and Nicholas Thevenin II, two Gallia County Civil War veterans who did not make it home. John was captured the first day of the Battle of Chickamauga. Nicholas II was captured in an early morning cavalry battle near Rogersville, Tennessee on November 6, 1863. Both died of starvation and exposure while in the hands of the rebels.

Though their remains still lie in unmarked graves in the old south, in or near the site of the former rebel POW camp at Florence, South Carolina, they were brought home in memory that sunny fall day.

About 70 Thevenin friends and family attended the ceremony, which was organized by the member of Laura Belle Stoddard Tent 22 of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War (DUVCW) and her husband, who also obtained the memorial headstones from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Later that day the attendees visited the grave of the fourth brother, F. C. Thevenin, at Mina Chapel Cemetery in nearby Green Township, Gallia County, Ohio.




Gibson, William Aikin, Ass’t. Surgeon – 48th MO Infantry

William A. Gibson Photo01William Aikin Gibson was born 2 September 1831 in Lincoln County, Tennessee. He was the son of John H. Gibson (b. 1 January 1805 in Rockingham Co., North Carolina) and Isabella Buchanan (b. 2 October 1804 in Davidson Co., Tennessee).

On 24 July 1855, William Aikin Gibson married Lucinda Chenoweth (b. 9 October 1837 in Springfield, Missouri; d. 15 September 1906). Three children were born to the couple including Erastus C. Gibson (b. 23 Dec 1856; d. 21 Sept. 1951) from whom the member of Laura Belle Stoddard, Tent 22, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865, descends.Lucinda Chenoweth Photo01

When the Civil War broke out, Lucinda’s father, Dr. John W. Chenoweth, and her brother, Thomas, enlisted in the Missouri State Guards, a Confederate unit. William A. Gibson, also a doctor, did not enlist at this point, nor would he until nearly the end of the war. On 20 August 1864, William received a commission from Governor W.P. Hall as Assistant Surgeon with the 48th Missouri Infantry, a Union regiment. Dr. Gibson served with this unit until he was honorably discharged on 29 June 1865. He however returned home to a divided household.

Lucinda was caught in the middle with her loyalties to father and to husband. The strain within the family must have been difficult. About 1873, Lucinda’s father arrived in Missouri and moved Lucinda and two of her children, Erastus and Emma, to Grayson County, Texas where Lucinda’s father and mother now lived.

William, still living in Missouri, wrote love poems to his wife in Texas, and although William and Lucinda never divorced, they also never re-united. William A. Gibson died on 13 January 1879 in Greene County, Missouri. He is buried in rural Danforth Cemetery near Springfield, Missouri. Lucinda survived another 27 years, dying in 1906. She was buried in Whitewright Cemetery, Grayson County, Texas. Since William and Lucinda were never divorced, Lucinda received a widow’s pension from 1899 to 1906, based on her husband’s service.


Wiley, John Anderson, 1st Lt. – Co. K, 14th VA Infantry, aka 14th WV Infantry

John Anderson Wiley was born June 14, 1824 in Monongalia County, West Virginia to John Wesley Wiley (1789 -1867) and Rachel Margaret Anderson Wiley (1790-1865). He lived with his parents until he married. John Anderson Wiley was a carpenter.

He married Mary J. Moore (1826-1855) about 1845 in Greene County, Pennsylvania. They had three boys and one girl.

John married his second wife, our ancestor, Phoebe Mary Wise, February 10, 1856. Phoebe Mary was the daughter of Levi Wise (1805-1895) and Eunice Goddard Wise (1810-1867).

In 1862, John joined the 14th Virginia Vols Regiment, Company K [which became the 14th West Virginia Infantry on 15 Aug 1862] serving as a first lieutenant. John was honorably discharged in 1863 and subsequently moved with his family to Scotland County, Missouri in 1864.

“His death, on January 19, 1905, was caused from a cancer on his right hand.” John Anderson Wiley was buried in Union Cemetery, Scotland County, Missouri.

Vance, Isaac Keller, Sgt. – Co. C, 142nd OH Volunteer Infantry

Isaac Keller Vance was born 26 March 1835 in Knox County, Ohio. He was the son of Jacob VANCE, (b. 19 Oct 1799 Rockingham VA; d. 18 Oct 1878 Licking, Newton Twp, OH) and wife Salome KELLER, (b. 13 Sep 1808 PA; d. 27 Jul 1884 OH); Jacob and Salome, Isaac’s parents, were married in Licking Co, OH on 28 Dec 1826.

Isaac enlisted on 2 May 1864 at Mt. Vernon, OH. At the time of his enlistment, he was recorded as an able-bodied 29-year-old school teacher with dark eyes, dark hair, and a dark complexion. He received a clothing advance of $2.50 on enlistment. The 142nd had been organized for a “One Hundred Days Service” and was partially composed of the 22nd Battalion, Ohio National Guard, from Knox County OH. It is likely Isaac was with the regiment when it was sent, on the 9th of June, to guard a supply train through the Wilderness to General Grant’s front, near Cold Harbor. The regiment participated in the early siege of Petersburg through August 19, when it was ordered back to Washington, D.C., thence to Camp Chase, where it was mustered out on 2 Sep 1864, including Isaac Keller Vance, who was mustered out with his honorable discharge. The 142nd lost during its service 1 officer and 42 enlisted men; total lost: 43, all from disease.

On 12 Aug 1870 in Fort Wayne, Allen Co, Indiana, Isaac Keller Vance married Flora Fleta MAHAN, (b. 8 Mar 1847 Brandon, OH; d. 9 Dec 1935 Pomona CA). Isaac and Flora had four living children: Daisy (1871), Thomas (1873), Grace (1876-1956) and Katherine Vance McCune (b. 12 Oct 1881 Kansas; d. 27 Jun 1910 Pomona, CA). From this last child descends the line to the members of Laura Belle Stoddard Tent 22 of Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865.

On 23 Aug 1889, when he filed Application #724175 for an Invalid (medical) Pension, Isaac wrote that he had marched in the night in the drenching rain from Columbus to Camp Chase and there he slept without sufficient tent or cover. In 1889 he was recorded as 5’9″ tall, 140 lbs and 52 years old, with a pulse of 90, respiration 32, having incurred Catarrh of the Head and Disease of Lungs due to exposure at Camp Chase and transit to Harper’s Ferry. He was granted the pension: Certificate #486845, on the two disabilities for which he was entitled. On 5 Jan 1891, he received a pension increase to $12.00 per month; at that time he was listed as 53 years old and unable to do any work.

Isaac Keller Vance died of Tuberculosis just 3 years later on 27 Feb 1894, in McCune, Crawford County, Kansas; he was buried at the McCune Cemetery. His wife Flora received a widow’s pension #409399 certificate #592733, having applied on 24 Mar 1894, after his death. Flora survived Isaac for more than 35 years; she was also buried in the McCune Cemetery.Vance_McCuneCem-KS_SahmVance-Epitaph_McCuneCemKS_Sahm1]

Harrison, William, Lt. – Co H, 39th IL Infantry aka “Yates’ Phalanx”

William Harrison was born 19 May 1825 in Yorkshire, England. (1),(2)

On 25 June 1850 at age 25, the son of Thomas Harrison, a “labourer,” William married Mary Jackson, the 18-year-old daughter of John Jackson, an Innkeeper, in the parish church of Rotherham, County of York. His occupation was cordwainer (shoemaker). (3)

In 1852, William Harrison, his wife and first-born, John Harrison, immigrated to the United States. Family lore has them landing at New Orleans on 7 Feb 1852, losing all their possessions when their ship was swamped in a flood on the Mississippi Delta. John Harrison, born 8 Jun 1851 in England died 25 Jun 1852 in Missouri. (2)

By June 1860, William and family, now including 3 more children, ages 6, 2, and 6 months, were living in Liberty Township in Marion County, Missouri, in the home of a Scottish carpenter with William working as a farm hand. Since the two older children were born in Illinois, one can surmise the family moved periodically during this period between Missouri and Illinois along the Mississippi River. (4)

William and Mary would have 13 children in all, between 1851 and 1877, 5 boys and 8 girls, of which 5 girls would survive to maturity. (2)

By the time of the Civil War, the family was residing in Kingston Mines, Peoria County, Illinois, where they appear to have finally established permanent roots. (1), (5)

William Harrison at age 36 originally enlisted at Chicago, Illinois, 20 Nov 1861, as a carpenter in a regiment named the Mechanics Fusiliers or Wilson’s Fusiliers. (1)

This regiment was so named because it was sponsored by the Mechanics’ Union   Association. Most of its volunteers were recruited by Col. John W. Wilson. (6)

The unit was made up entirely of carpenters and other skilled tradesmen for the purpose of constructing Camp Douglas (established on land donated by the estate of Stephen A. Douglas), which was designated to be a mobilization and training center for troops raised in the northern district of Illinois. Col. Wilson had promised the men extra pay, more than regular soldiers. The men did excellent work, but soon discovered they had been mustered in as an Illinois infantry regiment rather than a special force under direct federal control, as promised, and were not receiving the promised extra pay. The men went on strike and were arrested. Ringleaders were sent for court martial. Troops returned to Camp Douglas but continued their protest through the courts which eventually ruled against them. By January 1862, the army had enough of the troublesome Mechanics’ Fusiliers and disbanded the unit. (7)

This episode did not seem to affect William Harrison, who after discharge from the Mechanics’ Fusiliers in January 1862, enlisted 1 February 1862 in Company H, 39th Regiment Illinois Infantry Volunteers at Kingston Mines, Illinois, and was mustered in at Camp Butler as a Corporal. He later received back pay of $2.00/mo. for his Mechanics Fusiliers service. Cpl. Harrison left Camp Butler in April 1862 (1) to join Company H in Virginia’s Luray Valley. On 1 May 1862, the 39th was sent to Fredericksburg (150-mile continued march) and after one day’s rest, ordered back to the Valley (180-mile forced march). After a few days rest they joined the close of Harrison’s Landing battle and were kept on front line picket duty after spending 2 days at Chickahominy Swamps. From this point, a number of officers and men were sent away sick. (8),(9)

Coinciding with that event, Cpl. Harrison was appointed Sergeant 12 July 1862 and sent to Illinois on detached recruiting service from August through December 1862. In January 1863, he rejoined Company H. (1)

In 1863, the 39th was involved in the battles and siege of Charleston, assaults on Fort Wagner and Morris Island, South Carolina, and operations against Fort Sumter, and capture of Forts Wagner and Gregg. (8),(9)

On 31 January 1864 Sgt. Harrison was discharged and immediately reenlisted in the same company as a Veteran Volunteer, which entitled him to additional “bounty” pay. (1)

From April 1864 to June 1864, the 39th then engaged in defenses and occupation of Bermuda Hundred, City Point, Chester Station, Weir Bottom Church, Swift Creek, Proctor’s and Palmer’s Creeks, Drury’s Bluff and Bermuda Front. (9)

In July and August 1864, Sgt Harrison was placed on detached service in the Ambulance Corps. (1)

From August 1864 to April 1865, there was no letup for the 39th with siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond and constant fighting at Strawberry Plains, Deep Run, Deep Bottom, Chaffin’s Farm, New Market Heights, Darbytown Road, Battle of Fair Oaks, Hatcher’s Run, and Appomattox. The regiment lost 273 men: 12 officers and 129 enlisted men killed/mortally wounded; 2 officers and 130 enlisted men by disease. (9)

William Harrison Civil War PromotionOn 1 April 1865, Sgt. Harrison received a field promotion to First Lieutenant at Appomattox, Virginia; and in May and June was again placed on detached Ambulance Corps service. From August to October 1865, he commanded Company D (1) and was discharged at Norfolk, Virginia, on 6 December 1865. (10)

William Harrison Civil War DischargeHe later became a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Col. John Bryner Post 67 in Peoria, Illinois. (12)

William Harrison became a naturalized U. S. citizen on 1 October 1868. (13) He died 29 February 1904 in Peoria, Illinois, at the age of 78 years, 9 months and is buried in Springdale Cemetery, Peoria, Illinois, next to his wife, Mary. William & Mary Harrison(14)


(1)  Civil War Pension Files, NARA

(2)  Family Bible

(3)  Parish Register Copy, Civil War Pension Files, NARA

(4)  1860 U. S. Census, and

(5)  1870 U.S. Census,

(6)  Google Books, “Quest for a Star: The Civil War Letters and Diaries of Colonel Francis T. Sherman of the 88th Illinois,” edited with commentary by Knight Aldrich

(7) Rally ‘Round the Flag, Chicago and the Civil War, Theodore J. Karamanski, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2006

(8) Adjutant General’s Report, Wikipedia,

(9) The Civil War Archive, Union Regimental Histories, Illinois, 39th Regiment  Infantry “Yates Phalanx”,

(10) Original copy of promotion and discharge papers

(11) 1880 U.S. Census,

(12) “Grand Army of the Republic Records, 1866-1939,” Chronicling Illinois,   accessed May 26, 2013,

(13) NARA, Soundex Index to Naturalization Petitions for the U. S. District Court &  Circuit Courts, Northern District of Illinois and Immigration and Naturalization Service District 9, 1840-1950 (M1285); Microfilm Serial: M1285; Microfilm 256w/Roll: 85; &

(14) State of Illinois Certificate of Death

Submitted by great-great-granddaughter, Maryann Schaack


Deck, William C., Pvt. – Co C, 2nd CO Infantry, Co L, 1st CO Cavalry

William Cummins Deck was born in Illinois on 18 Feb 1838. William, 23, joined the Union army on 9 October 1861. At Denver, CO on 1 Dec 1861, he was mustered in – probably – to Co C, 2nd Colorado Infantry Regiment. To reinforce that probability, the esteemed Soldiers & Sailors Database of the National Park Service shows William C Deck as strictly a member of Company C of the 2nd Regiment Colorado Infantry. The Colorado Archives clarify the situation: “Colorado’s first cavalry regiment was formed in November 1862 from the 1st Regiment of Colorado Volunteers (infantry) and Companies C and D of the 2nd Colorado Infantry.

From Dec 1861 to Nov 1862, as part of Co C of the 2nd CO Inf, William may have participated in actions at Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Apache Canon, La Glorieta Pass, Pigeon Ranch, and Peralta. Once merged into the 1st CO Cavalry, the reg’t assignment was to guard the so-called Colorado Territory [at that time: parts of KS, NM, UT; & NE Territories] and its gold mines from possible Confederate invasion and to protect the white settlements from Indian raids.

William completed his 3-year service in the Colorado territory. However, from his own affidavit: William received a gun shot wound from the enemy on 25 Sep 1864, in an engagement with Indians on the Pawnee Fork of the Arkansas River in what is now Kansas. This shot shattered his right shoulder blade resulting in partial use of the arm for the rest of his life. William’s personal account is reinforced by a 25 Sep 1864 “Report of Major General James G. Blunt” commander of the “District of Upper Arkansas” with Maj.-Gen. Blunt’s graphic description.

He related that on 25 September at 3 a.m. his force of about 400 troopers continued their march north along the Arkansas river and reached Pawnee Fork at daybreak. Scouts had encountered Indian sign up the creek; and Maj. Gen Blunt sent companies L and M ahead to investigate under the command of a Major Anthony. By the time the main force arrived they discovered “the small force under Major Anthony surrounded on all sides by the Indians, and gallantly fighting their way back.” Seeing their arrival, the Indians “ceased fighting and commenced to retreat.” Included in his report, Blunt noted, “My loss is 1 killed, 1 missing (supposed to be killed) and 7 wounded.” William C Deck was discharged at Fort Leavenworth, KS on 9 Dec 1864.

On 30 Jan 1865, William married Amanda F STAFFORD (b. 8 Sep 1842 VA; d.24 Jan 1927 Fairmont, MO) and the first two children of nine – known to be born to William and Amanda – had arrived: sons Ellworth 3 and Kenzi 1. The family lived in Grant Township, Clark Co, Missouri; and William worked as a Blacksmith, with a personal wealth of #100. By 1880, they were living in Sweet Home Township, also in Clark County; four more children had joined Elsworth 12 and George/Kenzie 11: son Charlie and daughter Ahmo [sic] both 7 yrs old, daughter Lottie 5, and son Ottis [sic] 2. Son Otis is the child from whom this line descends to the member of Laura Belle Stoddard Tent 22 of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861 – 1865.

In 1883, a bitter dispute over the placement of a property line arose between William and their nearby neighbors, the Cullor family. On the 19th of Sept, the neighbor’s son Luther Cullor, armed with a loaded pistol, met William at the fence and shot him. Three days later, on the 22nd of September 1883, William died from the gunshot wound, twenty years almost to the day after William had been wounded by the other gunshot at the Pawnee Fork!

Amanda survived husband William for 40-some years. In the 1900 census the last two children William and Amanda appear in the household: daughter Rachel and son John. Amanda, who died 24 Jan 1927, and at least six of their children are buried in the Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery in Fairmont, MO.

In 1941, a veteran’s tombstone was ordered by George R Deck, from – and shipped by – the US government to the American Legion, H. E. Edwards, Service Officer; and placed at William’s grave in Lemonville Cemetery [aka Lemons Cemetery], Putnam County, Missouri.WilliamCDeck-LemonvilleCem_LSmith1997 WilliamCDeckGrave-plus2_LSmith1997 WilliamCDeckHeadstone_LSmith1997

Sources: all accessed in May 2015.

Family information and records, including Pension. databases, esp. Census 1850-1900; Civil War; Gov’t Headstone; Missour Marriages, and family trees. databases, esp Illinois, Colorado, Missouri.

National Park Service – Soldiers & Sailors database.









ls-ct/May 2015

Cowell, Solon Benson, Cpt. – Co. A [Vernon Greys], 9th IN Home Guard

Company A [Vernon Greys], Indiana Legion, 9th Regiment [aka] Indiana ‘Home Guard’

Lt-CaptSolonBCowell-CWPortraitSolon Benson Cowell was born on 2 Aug 1830, in Vernon, Jennings County, Indiana. He was a son of Joseph Cowell (b. 17 Apr 1793 NY; d. 25 Jun 1873, buried Vernon IN) and wife Susan (b. ca 1794 NY; d. 29 May 1856, buried Vernon, IN). Solon was the oldest child of four in the 1850 household; but his 1913 obituary states he was the “last” [surviving] of twelve children.

According to his obituary [of which, parts will be included in italics in this mini-biography]: “. . . He grew up [in Vernon] and learned the harness and saddlery trade and established a business there. In 18[57] he, with a party of seventeen persons from Indiana, started for Kansas, and at St. Louis, Mo., met our old citizen, J. B. Hobson. They came up the river by boat and landed at Leavenworth. Coming to Miami-co., the company purchased 320 acres of land and located the town site of Stanton. There were seven or eight houses on the town site.”

“Owing to the turbulent times on the eastern Kansas border, the town did not advance, and Mr. Cowell returned to Indiana. He was married at New Marlborough, Berkshire-co., Massachusetts, in 185[9] to Miss Mary Sisson. They went to housekeeping at Vernon and he continued in the harness business there until 1869, when disposing of his business he returned with his family to this county, living on a farm in Stanton-twp. In 1880 he purchased a harness business in Paola and afterwards with his son purchased the J. A. DeBerry harness establishment and continuously engaged in that business until three years ago.”

” During the civil war he was captain and drill master of a company of home guards at Vernon, Indiana, but was never mustered into the regular service.

Between 17 and 25 July 1862, the 9th Regiment of the Indiana Legion was organized in Indianapolis IN; this unit included Captain Solon B. Cowell. The Legion is an interesting part of Indiana’s Civil War participation. Here is a partial description, taken from “The Union army; a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 — records of the regiments in the Union army — cyclopedia of battles — memoirs of commanders and soldiers ” by Federal Publishing Company, 1908Volume 3, Page 207:
    The Indiana Legion.

“—Under the special act of May 11, 1861, an organization to be known as the “Indiana Legion” was authorized. The purposes of this organization were to protect the state from invasion and to aid in recruiting and enforcing the laws … Companies were raised in almost every county in the state, and these were organized into regiments and brigades, though the organization was never fully perfected according to the original intentions of the act, which divided the state into brigade districts—the 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th and 9th [9th from Jennings Co] brigades to constitute the 1st division [of 2]…Twelve regiments or legions were formed bearing the numbers from 1—12, chiefly in the southern part of the state where the danger from invasion was greatest, though partial regimental formations were effected in nearly every Congressional district. The companies forming this organization were generally known as ‘Home Guards.’ Their chief service was during the Morgan raid in the summer of 1863, and in guarding prisoners of war at Indianapolis and … other points in the state.”     <>CW-Swords-etc_SolonBCowell

In a History of the 9th REGIMENT (JENNINGS), 3rd BRIGADE – 1st DIVISION INDIANA LEGION [aka:] THE HOME GUARD of JENNINGS COUNTY” 1861-1865 <> , one finds this tidbit of history specific to the Vernon Greys and its leader: Captain Solon B Cowell:
“From July 17 through August 26, 1862, our Regiment guarded Confederate Prisoners of War at Camp Morton. According to the Adjutant General Report Volume No. 8, 650 men promptly responded. The Regiment consisted of ten companies at this time: [including] Captain Solon B. Cowell’s Vernon Greys (Vernon) . . .”
This History of the 9th also has a Roster of Company A “Vernon Greys” in July 1862, headed by:
“Captain — Solon B Cowell”
Interesting, too, is that the 2nd ranking officer/1st Lieutenant on this Roster is another “Solon B” from Vernon: Solon B Campbell. One might think they were the same man, with a misspelled surname; but not so. Solon Campbell was 10 years younger than the Captain in the 1850 census, when each is found with his respective – and different – [probable] parents!

Continuing from the obituary, “Mr. Cowell was a man of high character. He was reliable and truthful and everyone had the utmost confidence in him. Last week, on talking with his daughter, he remarked that he was fast nearing the end, but was always prepared to go, that he never told a lie or took the name of God in vain. For — years he was continually a member of the Baptist church, and since his residence here he was a deacon of the church and one of the most active members. He was a member of the Odd Fellows for sixty-one and a half years, and with the exception of J. G. Yester was the oldest member in the Paola lodge.”

S. B. Cowell, known to all the old settlers of Miami-co. for a generation and to those who have come here in recent years, died Thursday afternoon, March 6, 1913, at the home of his son, Joseph B Cowell, 303 south Pearl street. His health had gradually declined for five years, and three years ago he gave up work entirely, but frequently was able to be at the harness shop with his son until the first of [this] year. His death was the result of a general decline and uraemic poisoning.”

He is survived by three daughters and one son, Mrs. Lottie Neilson, wife of Charles Neilson, and Mrs. Susan Jaerger [sic] of Los Angeles, California, Miss Flora Cowell of Chicago, and Joseph B. Cowell of Paola, also a grand-daughter and three grand-sons.” Joseph is the child from whom the line descends to the member of Laura Belle Stoddard Tent 22, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865.

Solon “was the last of his generation of twelve children.  . . . In the absence of Rev. R. J. Church, pastor of the Baptist church, the funeral services were conducted by Rev. Charles T. Wheeler, and were held from the residence Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock. The services were in charge of the Odd Fellows and were very largely attended. The remains were buried in the Paola cemetery.

[Sources: all accessed in May 2015

  • Family information.
    • databases, esp Census: 1830-1910; Find-a-Grave Index; and Civil War databases.
  • databases, exp Indiana, Kansas, and Massachusetts







<,_1862)> <>
< >

Overocker, George W., Pvt. – Co. I, 61st NY Infantry

George W. Overocker was born on July 4, 1844 in New York, the youngest of four sons of Martin and Melanthe (Sears) Overocker. George was enrolled as a Private in Company I, 61st New York Infantry in June 1864 in Albany, NY. He was honorably discharged at Philadelphia, PA on June 13, 1865, on a Surgeon’s Certificate of Disability.

The 61st was involved in the Siege of Petersburg from June of 1864 through March of ’65 with a variety of skirmishes and demonstrations during that time. And while George may not have been with his unit after March, the Regiment was also present at Appomattox Court House for the surrender of Lee and his army.

On July 4, 1874 in Muskegon, MI, George was married to Alice Feehan (b. IRE ca 1859). Together they had had eight children. Four were born near Muskegon, MI between 1875-1884. The family then relocated to McHenry, IL where four more children were born.

George and Alice’s eldest daughter Mary Ann, was born in 1877 and from this line descends a member of Laura Belle Stoddard Tent 22, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865.

From Aug 1909 to Nov 1909, 63 yr-old George was a patient at the Danville, IL Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. His records indicate he was 5’2″ tall, had blue eyes, gray hair and a dark complexion. George had been a hostler and was receiving a pension of $12 a month.

George died on January 27, 1912 at the age of 68 and is buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Cook County, IL. His wife Alice lived another 10 years. She died on November 16, 1921 and was buried beside George.