Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   
 

Dropdown menu for the 120th project
Click on the little triangle to open the menu,
then click on the page you want.
There is a search function for the site on the "Opening Cover Page".

     

Abraham Lincoln, 19 July 1858, Chicago, IL
"I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms
until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal."

[PDF Map of place names]

History of the 120th
Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Last update: 7 Aug 2014
This site is a work in progress.
Collection by Susie Holderfield

Dedicated to the men who died,
who were wounded, who lived to return home and
whose lives were changed forever because they
fought to preserve the union.
 

I was asked to research Captain James B. Taylor who had started the Smithville Academy, Smithville OH,  just before he joined the War.   I became interested in the students who followed him to join in the fight to preserve the Union.  According to Captain Taylor of the Smithville Academy in a speech he gave in 1920 at one of the Smithville Academy reunions, he "applied to the Military Commission of Wayne County for authority to enlist a company, and on Aug. 13 authority was given and.......on the morning of August 15 at the opening exercises [at the school] announced to the assembled students that the call of patriotic duty under the appeal of the President had become irresistible and that [he] had enlisted in the 120th Ohio Vol. Inft....."   He became part of Company H.  Taylor said that "quite a number of the boys of the school followed me in their enlistment" and he recalled these names.....Bair, Baker, Bricker, Bushong, Keiffer, Miller, Myers, Mylar, Norris, Orr, Starn, Stauffer, Stutzman, Yoder, Martin, Foltz, and Wilson.  He made special mention of Isaiah N. Kieffer, of Company A, who had become a Lutheran minister and reentered the service for the Spanish American War.  According to Taylor, five companies got on the train at Wooster on 29 August 1862 to go to Mansfield, OH for encampment.  As time went along, I wanted to know about the others, first in Company H and then in the remaining companies. 

 

 

Reunions of the 120th OVI listed as I find them.  

1869 - first reunion of the 120th OVI was held at Wooster, Wayne Co OH.

1870 - Wooster Republican, Thursday, 8 Sept 1870, page 3 [Available at Genealogy Bank]  31 Aug 1870, Ashland Co OH.  

1870 - Grand Reunion Of The Soldiers! Of The 23d, 42d, 102d and 120th Regts. O. V. I.
Reunion on Wed, 31 Aug 1870 at Ashland, Ashland Co OH
"On motion, it was resolved that Capt's Franufelter [Fraunfelter], Jones and Lieut. Rouch, be appointed to prepare for publication a complete history of the regiment.  In addition to the narrative of the events of a regimental history, they are instructed to ascertain the place, residence and occupation of every member of the regiment, this history to be read at the next reunion."

1871 - 3rd Reunion, Friday, 13 Oct 1871, at Mansfield, Richland Co OH,  they continued the resolution and added Col. John F. McKinley to the list of historians.

1874 - The 6th reunion was held at Orrville, Wayne Co OH on 2 June 1874.

1875 - The seventh reunion was held 1 June 1875 at Wooster, Wayne Co OH.  

1876 - Reunion held 6 June 1876 at Ashland, Ashland Co OH.

1877 - Reunion held at Belleville, Richland Co OH on 12 Sep 1877.  This was a reunion with the 32nd, 102nd, 65th, 48th, 163rd, 120th, and 16th OH regiments.  

1878 - Reunion held at Lakeville, Holmes Co OH, 5 June 1878.

1879 - 11th reunion, Tuesday, 3 June 1879, at Wooster, Wayne Co OH.
    Cincinnati Gazette, 4 June 1879, pg 2:  "Capt. Taylor, in responding, said of the reunion that it was not to perpetuate a sectional strife, but to exchange mutual congratulations, and, without aggressiveness, to cling to the truth they fought for - Viz.: 'This nation a Union, not a Confederacy."

1880 - Big reunion in Canton, Stark Co OH with many regiments.

1881 - 13th annual reunion of the 120th OVI at West Salem, Wayne Co OH, 7? June 1881.

1883 - 15th Reunion, Thursday, 5 June 1883, at Wooster, Wayne Co OH

1885 - Reunion at New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas Co OH, 27 August.  

1889 - 21st Reunion, Akron, Summit Co OH, Tues, 4 June 1889
continued talking about a regimental history. A short history was included in the article.

1890 - 22nd reunion at Wooster, Wayne Co OH, 10 June 1890

1891 - reunion at Smithville, Wayne Co OH, 9 June 1891.
"Comrades, time is passing by and each year some of our number fall out of the march.  It will not be long until we will respond no more to the roll-call here on earth.  So turn out and meet once more as we did long years ago.  Let us sing the old songs over again and once more rekindle the patriotic fires which animated our hearts in the days of 'Auld Lang Syne.' "  I.N, Kieffer, President; J. P. VanNest, Secretary.
Canton Repository, pg4, 7 May 1891.  

1892 - 24th Reunion, Doylestown, Wayne Co OH.  14 June 1892.

1894 - 26th Reunion, Hayesville, Ashland Co OH, 12 June 1894.

1895 - Reunion at Marshallville, Wayne Co OH, 4 June 1895.

1897 - 29th Reunion, Fredricksburg, Wayne Co OH, 1897.

1899 - 31st Reunion, held 6 June 1899 at Perrysville, Ashland Co  OH.

1901 - 33rd Reunion, Odell's Lake, Holmes Co OH, 4 June 1901

1902 - 34th reunion, Ashland OH  3 June 1902

1904 - 36th Reunion held 6/7 June 1904 at Shreve, Wayne Co OH.  

1905 - 37th reunion held 5 June 1905 at Mansfield, Richland Co OH.

1908 - 40th reunion held 2 June 1908 at Orrville

1908 - This must have been a special reunion.
22 Aug 1908 at Mansfield OH
Plain Dealer, 23 Aug 1908, pg 10
"Mansfield, O., Aug. 22 -- The annual reunion of the 120th O. V. I. here today was attended by about 200 members of the regiment.  The unveiling of the monument to the regiment which has been erected in the Sherman-Heineman park was preceded by a large parade of civic and military organizations."

1911 - 43rd reunion held 6 June 1911 at West Salem OH

1912 - 44th reunion held 3 and 4 June 1912, 44th reunion, held at Mansfield, OH.  

1917 - 49th reunion held 5 June 1917 at Wooster, OH.  

1918 - 50th reunion held 5 June 1918 at Mansfield, OH.  

1919 - 51st reunion held 3 June 1919 at Wooster, OH.  

1924 - 56th reunion held 3 June 1924 at Hayesville, Ashland Co, OH.  

1929 - Reunion held at Wooster, Wayne Co OH, 4 June 1929.

1938 - 70th reunion was held in Wooster OH, 7? June 1938.   The only surviving members of the 120th were William Rittenhouse, age 95,  of Ashland and William Jemison, age 94, of Moorhead, KY.   Rittenhouse and Jemison were in attendance along with 50 other people who represented 19 families of the 120th.  Jemison had four generations of his family at the reunion.  


 


Mustered in 14 Oct 1862 at Camp Mansfield, Ohio, by Alexander E. Drake, Captain 2nd Infantry, USA.
Consolidated with the 114th OVI on 27 Nov 1864.
The 120th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry
honorably took part in these battles:
[Union forces failed to take Vicksburg December 1862]
Chickasaw Bayou, Miss.  28-29 December  1862
Arkansas Post , Ark.  11 Jan. 1863
Thompson's Hill, Miss. (Port Gibson)  1 May 1863
Seige of Vicksburg, Miss.  18May to 4 July 1863
Big Black River, Miss  17 May, 1863
Jackson, Miss.  9-16 July 1863
Transport "City Belle" 3 May 1864
[See also Dyer's Compendium information at this site:
 
http://www.ohiocivilwar.com/cw120.html
where it tells us that 2 officers and 17 enlisted were killed or mortally wounded
and 6 officers and 275 enlisted men died by disease.
This was out of a total of 1, 641 men.  [See
Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System]

Ohio in the War: her statement, generals, and soldiers, Volume 2, by Whitelaw Reid, The Robert Clarke Co, 1895. Section on 120th Ohio Volunteer Infantry pp. 614
   The One Hundred and Twentieth Ohio was organized at Camp Mansfield, near Mansfield, Ohio (under the call of the President for the second three hundred thousand men), in the month of August, 1862.
Five companies, raised in the counties of Wayne and Ashland, formed the nucleus of the regiment, and assembled at the camp of rendezvous on the 29th of August, 1862. The remaining companies came from Richland, Ashland, and Holmes Counties. On the 17th of October it was armed, equipped, and mustered into the United States service with an aggregate of nine hundred and forty-nine men. On the 25th of October the One Hundred and Twentieth left Camp Mansfield with orders to report to General Wright at Cincinnati. On its arrival it was ordered to report to General Ammen, commanding at Covington, Kentucky, and on the same day it crossed the Ohio and went into camp, where it remained nearly one month. On the 24th of November it embarked on transports at Covington, and reached Memphis on the 7th of December.
 

Died in 1862

120th OVI

Died of disease unless otherwise noted

 Stauffer, Jacob  

Co B

died 29 Dec 1862 at Memphis, Tennessee

Harpster, Henry

Co C

died 31 Oct 1862 in Ashland County, OH

Giffin, David  

Co C

died 6 Dec 1862 near Hayesville, OH

Eberly, Daniel R.   

Co D

died 11 Nov 1862 at Mansfield, OH

Johnson, Thomas    

Co D

died 26 Dec 1862 at East Union, OH

Bushong, Andrew C.    

 Co H

died 27 Dec 1862 at Memphis TN

 

Hardesty's Wayne = Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia (Wayne County version)  1885
Hardesty's Richland = Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia (Richland County version) 1885 "Four companies, and a large part of a fifth company, in the 120th Regiment were raised in Wayne county....  The five Wayne county companies were recruited in August, 1862, and rendezvoused at Camp Mansfield on the 29th of August...."  From the History of Wayne County, Ohio by Ben Douglas, c. 1878
Wooster Republican 21 Aug 1862
Five new Companies in Wayne county
"Five more new military companies have been organized in Wayne county under authority from the Governor, and are now fast filling up, some of them having very nearly the minimum number."

"All these companies ought to be immediately filled up; and will be by draft if not by volunteers.  The officers are all good men for the positions and every able bodied young man in the county should at once place his name on one or another of these companies, until they are full."

Hardesty's Richland: (George Stake biography page 486) "The regiment was assigned to the 3d brigade, 4th division, General Long's corps.  They were ordered from Mansfield, Ohio, to Covington, Kentucky, and at the end of a month went by steamers to Memphis Tennessee."

Letter to Wooster Republican newspaper, published Thursday, 13 Nov 1862, page 4:
"From Company G, 120th Ohio, Covington Barracks, KY, Nov. 7, 1862"
The regiment is located one-fourth of a mile south-east of Covington, and about the same distance from Newport, twenty rods west of the Licking River.  It is certainly a pleasant country here amidst the Covington heights.--We have very good quarters here, better than we had in Camp Mansfield.  Our regiment furnishes three hundred men each day for guard duty, one hundred to guard the fords, bridges, and magazine in Covington, one hundred to guard the batteries near here, and one hundred to guard the Camp.  The 96th Illinois regiment was quartered here when we came, they left for Lexington a few days afterwards.
   "The monotony of camp life was broken the other day by the appearance of about four hundred East Tennessee Refugees.  They are about to join the Union army, under General Morgan, of Cumberland Gap.  To look upon their emaciated forms, their tattered garments, to listen to their tales of persecutions, cause a man possessed with patriotic blood, to convulsively grasp his weapon and mutter revenge.  
  "The health of the regiment is remarkably good, there being only five or six men sick in the hospital.  We are fortunate in having a Medical Staff composed of gentlemen who take an interest in the sanitary condition of the camp, and health of the men; our regimental Surgeon is not one who considers it beneath the dignity of his position to listen to the complaints of a sick soldier.  Under the discipline and military experience of Col. D. French the regiment is rapidly gaining a preficiency[sic] in drill equal to any regiment in the service.  Our Lieutenant Colonel has not been with us since our arrival here.  He left us in Cincinnati, on leave of absence or Chicago.  We regret his absence very much, for we have great confidence in his abilities.  Our Major, although he does not make any pretensions in regard to military knowledge, yet he had shown that the is possessed of every qualification necessary to make a good officer.
   "Mr. E. Langley, who has many friends in your town, is still in the regiment.  He was drill-master, while in Camp Mansfield, and when the regiment left he enlisted in Company G, as a private, and is now Sergeant.  Company G. was raised almost exclusively in Chippewa [township, Wayne Co].  Our gentlemanly Adjutant Slocum is always ready to perform the arduous duties devolving upon him.  He always meets us with a smile, and greets us with pleasure.
   "It is uncertain how long we will remain here.  We are well supplied in every respect to take the tented field, and nothing would please the boys better than the word 'forward,' and we believe that it will be spoken soon.
Yours respectfully, Loyd N. Meech."
_________________________________________________________________________

Letter from James B. Taylor, 2nd Lieut. Published in Wooster Republican, 27 Nov 1862
From the 120th Ohio
(To) E. Foreman - Dear Sir:-
To fulfill a promise made you on our departure from Wooster, as well as to afford the kind friends of the 120th the pleasure of hearing from us, I have seated myself amidst the noise and tumult occasioned by the preparations which are being made for a move, to write you "a wee small letter."
Under such circumstances my epistle must necessarily be disconnected.
"Perhaps it may turn out a song,
Perhaps turn out a sermon."
You have doubtless heard that we left Camp Mansfield--that we came to Covington and have been guarding the city and fortifications against an approaching enemy, who is yet far distant--that we are comfortably quartered in good barracks &c.  None of this would be news to your readers.  The health of the regiment is tolerably good, no cases of serious illness, yet many are afflicted with "mumps." --
The prospects of a move soon clears the hospital.  One week ago we received marching orders for Memphis, expected to leave the next day.  The order was subsequently countermanded, but to-day was again issued. We leave to-morrow morning.  The boys are exceedingly tired of Covington, and as anxious to leave.  Being well acquainted with the history of the 16th Ohio, the boys greatly feared that we would be sent in the direction of Bowling Green.  By the way we had the extreme pleasure of meeting the 16th on lst Saturday.  DeCourcey's whole Brigade lay here from Friday evening until Sabbath.  They left here for Louisville.  They received their pay on their way down from the Kanawha Valley. ---
The boys were in fine spirits, and, as ever ready for fight.  The 120th knows but little about war, nothing more than to lie on pine boards in warm barracks, live on good rations, stand guard and drill three or four hours per day.  We will soon experience the reality, and in my next I may perhaps have a different picture to paint.  We entered the army "for better or for worse," we have had the better, hence we will wait patiently for the "worse."
In one of your last papers I see that Capt. Downing has furnished you with a list of the names of his company.  I herewith send you the names of company H, which you may publish if you deem expedient.  Our 1st Lieutenant Bryan Grant, has not been with the regiment since we left Camp Mansfield, nor have we heard from him, suppose he is unable to join the regiment. [The Roster of Ohio Soldiers shows nothing listed for Grant under "remarks".]
I will write again when we will have marched to Memphis.
Truly yours,
Lieut. J. B. Taylor [Company H was then listed.  Of note, Isaac S. Mylar was listed as Teamster and Charles E. Miller, as Drummer.]

Published Thursday, 25 Dec 1862 Wooster Republican newspaper, pg 1 available at GenealogyBank: Parts of the article are included here.
 From Capt. Downing's Company [Joseph Downing, Co A], Dated 9 Dec. 1862 from Memphis, TN.  The 120th went aboard the 'Silver Wave' and 'Fort Wayne' to go down the Ohio river from Covington to Memphis.  
"Owing to the low stage of the water, it was deemed unsafe to proceed at night, so at 20 miles below Cincinnati the boats were run ashore, where we lay during the night.  At 6½ o'clock, A. M. the next morning, we were gliding smoothly down stream.  The stars and stripes, handkerchiefs, hats and bonnets, waived in honor to the brave soldiers, as they passed along this day.  At 11 A.M. our progress was interrupted by the 'Fort Wayne' running upon a sand bar.  She stuck so fast that it was impossible to get her off until the next morning (Nov. 26) At 8 A.M. both boats were again under full headway."
That morning the 'Fort Wayne' again ran aground but was on way again at 4 o'clock. Thanksgiving was spent aboard the steamers.  The 'Fort Wayne' grounded once again above Louisville.  After Louisville came a canal and 45 miles later they spent the night on a Kentucky shore.  
"Dec 2. - Started early this A. M. and arrived at Paducah, Ky., at 2 P.M.  At 6 P.M. the 'Silver Wave' ran upon a large rock in the river, and stuck fast. - The shock spring a leak in the old bat and she began to settle down toward the bottom of the river.  "Then there was hurrying to and fro' in the cabin.  Chairs, tables, etc., were kicked over in the rush to see what was the matter.  Two men ran down and attempted to push a plank into the river in order to get ashore, but the guard, with fixed bayonets, foiled them in the attempt.  The 'Fort Wayne' was at this time 3miles ahead of us.  The signal of distress was sounded, and in an hour the Fort Wayne hauled up to our wreck.  She had already landed the left wing of the regiment on the Illinois shore about a mile below.  She now took on board four hundred of the right wing and landed them in the same place.  One hundred of the right wing remained during the night on the wreck.  
   "Dec. 3. - The 'Silver Wave' was still above water.  The pumps had been worked all night.  The Quartermaster's stores, etc., had all been taken from the hold during the night.  Early in the morning the Fort Wayne ran up to us and took on board all that remained on the wreck, hitched to the Silver Wave and pulled away at her until 2 o'clock P.M. when she succeeded in getting her off. - The right wing was left on the Illinois shore until the next morning.  We pitched our tents in a beautiful grove of Sycamores, Elms, Pecan and Persimmons.  This grove contained three acres, and was surrounded on three sides by a high hill. - The right wing remained there during the night.  The left wing got aboard the Fort Wayne and moved down to Cairo."
   "Dec. 5. - At 9 A.M. both boats left Cairo, and moved down to Columbus, Ky.  This point is well fortified.  Before we left Columbus, every man on the boats was ordered to his quarters.   Captain Brayton's company [Rufus Brayton, Co B], of the left wing, and ours [Co A] of the right, were placed on the hurricane deck, to guard the boats from the attack of any guerrilla band, that might be strolling along the river.  Hickman, a small village below Columbus, is another strong point, also well fortified.  Here the flag of the Union was floating in the breeze, and elicited three hearty cheers from the boys.  We arrived at Island No. 10, at 8 o'clock in the evening.  Two miles below we ran ashore and lay till morning."
  "Dec. 7. - At 6 A.M. we hauled out and started.  We arrived at Memphis at 11 A. M.  This city is beautifully situated on a high bluff.  With the exceptions of Louisville, this is the only place of importance in any of the slave holding States along the river.
  "After landing, we were busily engaged all day, in unshipping, &c.  At 6 P.M. the regiment was marched to Camp Oliver, two miles northeast of where we landed, pitched our tents, cooked our supper, and after partaking, retired to rest.  We are at present attached to the Fourth Brigade, Morgan's Division.  This Division is commanded by Col. de Coursey. - We are encamped fifty rods from the 16th Ohio."
"The boys are enjoying good health, and are in excellent spirits."
J. H. Downing.

  
A letter,Dec. 6, 1862, that started a big controversy in the 120th OVI.  [Myers became a part of the 120th on 5 Sept 1862.]
This letter was written by Captain Wm G. Myers on board the steamer Fort Wayne, 6 Dec, 1862.  It was written to Benjamin Harshey in Chippewa Twp, Wayne Co OH and was supposed to be confidential.  But Mrs. Harshey was reading the letter when another person was present and that person reproduced it from memory and sent it others.  It ended up being sent to the Wayne County Democrat newspaper and being published.  It was also sent to Col. French at Vicksburg.  He is accusing some of the officers of being soft on the South as many of the Democrats were in Ohio at the time.  This article also addressed the fact that Wm Myers had taken over Company G when the original person to raise the company, John McSweeny, "abandoned and deserted" the company.  Myers had been advised by his physician that he should not take the company because of a previous physical problem.  Myers did take the company in spite of this advice and later had to resign because of the problem.  
"On Board the Steamer Fort Wayne, Dec. 6, 1862
. . . . . . . .
After giving you a general history of the boys, I now want to give you a special history.  So I will direct this epistle to you and Elias Galehouse, and of course it is confidential.  First, then, our Colonel, Lieut.-Colonel and Major, and Quartermaster, are all wool-dyed Locofocos', and out of the ten Captains we have four of the same stripe, and six Republicans.  So you see our Regiment is controlled by Democrats, so far as Regimental officers are concerned, but fortunately our Captains are all intelligent men, and each as competent to make a Colonel, if need be, and nearly all are better scholars than the Colonel.  So you see it will be a hard matter to impose on us or boys.  E. V. Dean, is the controlling Democratic Spirit of this Regiment.  He is Quartermaster.  He will sometimes take a Democratic paper and get at the head of the table and read aloud some denunciation of the President, and then comment on these articles before the boys for their edification.  We listened to this till we become tired of it.  Then I told him that I thought he was endangering his position in the Regiment by every such declaration, that I thought the President who was Commander-in-Chief of the army, would not encourage him or any man in speaking disrespectful of his superiors in the army.  He is liable to be turned out of office any day.  I have determined to permit no man to abuse the President, and at the same time be an officer under him.  to-day the left wing of this Regiment, that is the officers agreed to each give his plan of settlement of our difficulties, provided we were delegates in a National convention to settle on terms of conciliation.  I agreed that if the rebels would ask and armistice, and I was sent as a delegate in convention, I would agree to let them do with their slaves in the States as they pleased, but I demanded the unconditional restriction of slavery in all our territories.  If we asked more, the slaveholders would not consent to it at this time, whatever they may do in the future prosecution of the war.  Our Republicans generally agreed with me, and the Democrats generally took up the ground of Popular Sovereignty.  They all think the President is wild on this Proclamation, and his last inaugural.  I think when the President issued his Proclamation, he had confidence, that if there was a day set, offering liberty to the slave, that he would profit by it, and take a part in this rebellion.  If the President should be disappointed in this, his Proclamation would only aggravate the South without doing any good.  I hope he won't be disappointed, but that the slaves will rise in a body and make a strike.  I look for a proposition for a compromise through some one like Ben Wood of New York; and what I fear most of all is, that if Congress calls a Convention and the South and Democracy [peace Democrats] of the North united will have a majority, and more than all, I fear that many of the Republicans will be drawn into a premature settlement, because they are getting tired of the war and would like to see their friends at home again.  If all you Republicans at home do your duty, we can at least restrict slavery in all territories and secure free homes for all our children.  This is the wrong time for Republicans to be frightened.  You were deceived last fall by the Democrats.  They seemed to be doing nothing, but now they boast of their victory and say, see how the people have changed on this war question.  This should not have been allowed.  Mark this, if this question is settled on any other terms than slavery restriction in the territories, then good-bye to the Republican party and the future peace of the country.  Better sacrifice the lives of some of the best men than give it up now.  It would disgrace us among our own children.  
Yours respectfully,  W. G. Myers."
Published in Wooster Republican newspaper, Thurs 2 Apr 1863, pg 2, Available at GenealogyBank 

    A response from John McSweeney was published Thursday, 16 April 1863, Wooster Republican newspaper, pg2:
    "Capt. John McSweeny!
    The last Wayne County Democrat contains a communication from the late Captain John McSweeny, in answer to some incidental remarks made by us, two weeks ago, exposing a scurrilus attack upon Capt. Myers.  There are only one or two ponts in the late Captain's diswater article worthy of attention.
      "First, in answer to our statement, that he had abonadoned the Chippewa Company just when it was ready to go towards the enemy, the late Captian tacitly admits the charge, bue says:

       'My connection ith the Chippewa company was never anything but honorable on my part, and though I never troubled the public with a history of my grievances and the baseness of certain parties who were guilty of mean and infamous conduct towards myself whilst I was engaged, day and night, for weeks, spending time and money freely to procure men under the call of the President, yet, every person whose interest it was to know the facts, ncluding members of the military committee, advised me that no man treated as I had been, was under any obligation to receive or accept a commission; and I say a man who would have accepted it, under the circumstances, would have been wanting in self-respect.'

         [Note:  This article explains more about the reason why McSweeney dropped out as Captain of Company G.]
     Published in the Wooster Republican, Thursday 16 April 1863, pg2
    The Editor was E. Foreman.  
    "We give the Captain the benefit of his statement in full, as it is his plea and only excuse for deserting the sons, brothers, and fathers, who left their homes and families, relying on his oft repeated pledges - 'I will never say go boys, but it shall be COME AND FOLLOW YOUR LEADER' - I will never forsake you.  'I will GIVE YOU MY FIRST THREE MONTHS' WAGES TO BE DIVIDED AMONGST YOU.'  'A history of my grievances' - 'mean and infamous conduct towards myself' - 'no man treated as I had been was under any obligation to accept a commission,' &c., &c.  And what does all this mean?  Why, simply and only, that after McSweeny was appointed Captain, and a Company was raised, he took into his head that he ought to be Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel, or perhaps Brigadier-General, and that Ezra V. Dean, and some more of his Democratic friends took it into their heads to defeat him, claiming that he was unfit for, and incompetent to fill any higher place than the one he had asked for and obtained.  We have no doubt the Captain's Democratic friends were treacherous, base, and false to him, and shamefully abused and slandered him, but will common sense and common honesty plead their infamous conduct in justification of his course towards the brave and patriotic men who enlisted under his banner, and desired him to lead them to fields of glory?  Certainly not,
    'Act well your part,
    'tis there true honor lies.'
      "Again, in answer to our statement that the Captain had 'liberally subscribed a Hundred Dollars,' and never paid it, he declares that he never 'refused to pay it.'  We did not say you 'refused' to pay, but simply that you did not pay, and for our authority we had the Treasurer of the Military Committee, who still assures us that you never did pay a cent directly to the Treasurer, and that it was only after repeated demands made on you, and in answer to one of them that you presented the ten dollar bounty receipt.  Now, as the Captain is something of a lawyer as well as a military man, let him state how many demands it is necessary to make before a 'refusal to pay' may be implied, even though the debtor may constantly promise to pay.  But we do not desire to press this unpleasant affair upon the Captain's attention, and will leave it between him and the soldiers families, merely remarking that we suppose he subscribed his hundred dollars, very much in the same spirit that somebody put down fifty dollars for the Catholic Church.
       "In regard to the Captain's raising volunteers 'under pressure of a draft,' we say that as he seems to be very sensitive on the point, we will not press it, further than to say that the canvass of Wooster Tp. was made and the fact of her quota being full, first ascertained, while the Captain was in Chippewa raising volunteers.  Until the canvass was made it was not known that Wooster would be exempt. - "Mark how plain,' &c.
       "The statement that we attacked the Captain simply because he 'castigated us for charging Bliss and others with abusing the soldiers,' is so silly that no reply is needed, and the additional falsehood that 'twenty Republicans', have since stated to him that 'Forman's lies are injuring us as a party and we will sustain you in every exposition of his falsehoods when made so fairly and clearly as you did,' is so unblushingly false that Democrats even are ashamed to have it named in their presence. - The idea of Republicans pledging themselves to sustain the most notorious blackguard in Northern Ohio, and the most infamous villifier and slanderer of the Republican party, in Wayne County, is truly rich indeed!  As well might the Ministers of the Gospel pledge them selves to 'sustain' this moral and pious Captain in his brave defense of their holy calling!  True, he commenced his vile slanders upon the Clergy as long ago as 1854, denouncing them as 'Whited sepulchers,' 'Judases,' 'vile hypocrites,' and 'satellites of the Devil,' and has continued his vulgar and scandalous attacks upon them every campaign, in which he took part, since; and even in his last defense of Vallandigham, and his traitorous crew, he slured and libeled the Churches and Ministers in Wooster; still, according to his logic, he is the chosen defender of the pulpit, and we doubt not in his next communication, will proclaim that 'twenty clergymen have pledged themselves to sustain him in his bold and manly defense of their calling!'  But we propose to put this brave Captain to the test, and we challenge him to give the name of a single Republican, who said to him,
     'Foreman's lies are injuring us as a party, and we will sustain you in every exposition of his falsehoods when made so fairly and clearly as you did.'
       "Come sir, give us a name, a single name, (not twenty,) or stand convicted of a deliberate and bare-face falsehood.  No dodging behind the moral courage of a sneak, or the pretext that you do not wish to expose Republicans!
       
    "In a future article we will make plain the manner in which bliss and other Vallandigham speakers, including yourself, did abuse the soldiers.  We will then also explain, even to your satisfaction, why we exposed your treachery to the Chippewa Company."

     

    Could this be a clue as to why McSweeney abandoned his company in the 120th and did not go to Mansfield and to the war with them?
    Thursday, July 9, 1863   Paper:Wooster Republican (Wooster, OH)  available at Genealogy Bank:
    John McSweeney was a supporter of Vallandigham.
    "While that very Convention was in session, and Geo. E. Pugh and John McSweeney and others were making their speeches lauding Vallandigham and vilifying the President and his supporters, thousands of the best and noblest sons of Ohio were in the trenches around Vicksburg, charging up to the very walls meeting death in every form."

 


Chickasaw Bayou, Miss.  28-29 December  1862

Ohio in the War: her statement, generals, and soldiers, Volume 2, by Whitelaw Reid,  The Robert Clarke Co, 1895 Section on 120th Ohio Volunteer Infantry pp. 614
Upon the organization of the army for the expedition against Vicksburg the regiment was assigned to Colonel Sheldon's brigade, of General Morgan's division. This, called the right wing of the Army of Tennessee, commanded by Major-General W. T. Sherman, embarked at Memphis on the 20th of December, and moved down the Mississippi to the mouth of the Yazoo River; thence up the Yazoo to Johnson's Landing, and there debarked preparatory to an attack on the line of fortifications defending Vicksburg.
The attack was opened by the National forces late on the afternoon of the 26
th of November, and on the following day the One Hundred and Twentieth was for the first time under fire, having been ordered to the support of the First Michigan Battery near the left of the attacking column. In the afternoon of the same day Sheldon's brigade, consisting of the Sixty-Ninth Indiana, One Hundred and Eighteenth Illinois, and the One Hundred and Twentieth Ohio, charged upon the enemy's forces on the extreme right, and succeeded in driving them into their fortifications. A charge by the Ninth Division (General Morgan's) was now contemplated, but night coming on our troops were withdrawn to a place of safety. This charge, though unsuccessful, was made on [page 615] the following day. The One Hundred and Twentieth had been ordered to cover a working party engaged in laying a pontoon across Chickasaw Bayou, and hence took no part in this assault, but was exposed to the enemy's fire during the entire day. A terrible rain-storm, peculiar to that climate, raged during the whole of the ensuing night, which owing to the inexperience of the officers and men of the regiment, proved very disastrous, prostrating a large number with fevers and other virulent diseases common the the South. The fruitlessness of the attack on Vicksburg from the Yazoo being recognized, the National forces were withdrawn and taken on transports to Milliken's Bend, on the Mississippi River, where Major-General McClernand assumed command. The unavoidable use of the miserable water of the Yazoo River, the exposure in the recent storm, close confinement on crowded steamboats, and poorly-prepared food, here made its mark to such extent that more than one-half the number reported “present” were unfit for active service.
NewNew full page with map on the 120th at Chickasaw Bayou, Mississippi at this Link.

 


Ohio in the War: her statement, generals, and soldiers, Volume 2, by Whitelaw Reid,  The Robert Clarke Co, 1895 Section on 120th Ohio Volunteer Infantry pp. 614-615.
The movement against Arkansas Post was now begun. On the 5th of January the fleet moved from Milliken's Bend, and on the 9th ascended the White River, and thence by a connecting canal passed into the Arkansas, and proceeded up that river to a point three miles from Fort Hindman, at Arkansas Post. On the 10th the whole force disembarked, and on the following night completely invested the entire fortifications, behind which the enemy had about five thousand troops. The attack commenced on the morning of the 11th of January, and was stubbornly resisted. The One Hundred and Twentieth was in position on the extreme left of the line, along the river bank below Fort Hindman. At four o'clock P.M. A charge was ordered on the left. The brigades of Burbridge and Landrum charged upon the outer fortifications, while the One Hundred and Twentieth charged directly upon the fort. The enemy, finding that further resistance would be futile, displayed the white flag.
    The One Hundred and Twentieth, it is claimed, was the first regiment of the National forces to enter Fort Hindman, Sergeant Wallace, of company C, the color-bearer of the regiment, having gallantly scaled the parapet of the fort and placed the colors of his regiment, and act which shortly afterward brought him a Lieutenant's commission.
The fortifications were destroyed by the victorious troops, after which they proceeded by river to Young's Point, Louisiana, six miles above Vicksburg.....

Myers, Henry, Co I, captured 9 Jan 1863; returned to company 26 Nov 1863.


 NewNew full page on the 120th at the Battle of Arkansas Post, 11 Jan 1863, at this Link.

 

Letter written to Mrs. Henry Jennings, sister of James Patrick, Co D, 120th OVI.  The letter was written by Capt. G. P. Emrich.

"Arkansas Post, on the Arkansas River, 50 miles above its mouth, on board the steamer Jess. K. Bell, Jan. 12, 1863.
Dear Madam - It is under a deep sense of feeling that the present circumstances are such as compel me to record upon this sheet which was enclosed with yours dated the 27th ult., and this day received; also containing a postage stamp and envelope to carry back and be the winding sheet of the intelligence of the lamented death of your dear brother, James Patrick.  He died this day at half-past 6 o'clock P. M., about two hours after the receipt of your letter.  His disease was pronounced by his physician Typhoid fever and measles.  I had him furnished with the best medical treatment that circumstances would admit, and also well attended by nurses.  I had furnished him with a good bed in a state room, in the cabin of the boat.  He having become insensible before the receipt of your letter, consequently it could not be recognized by him.  I therefore took upon myself to open and read your kind favor.  And I feel sorry to record in answer the sad intelligence of the death of a dear brother.  but his is the course of nature, and the Lord's will be done.  I sympathize with you in this affliction, hoping you may bear it with a Christian spirit, and that your prayers may ascend to heaven in behalf of the balance of the company and officers, of which your brother was a worthy member, two of which have already gone before him.  
   "We expect to proceed to-morrow and place his remains beneath the sod, on the right bank of the Arkansas River, called the Arkansas Post, along side of three of the brave boys of the 120th regiment, already buried there, having fallen in the battle here yesterday, of which you have no account yet.  We had a very successful battle with the enemy at this place yesterday.  We took their fortifications, and a large amount of commissary stores, several hundred head of horses and mules, and between 5000 and 6000 prisoners, with all their arms, ammunition, &c.  If it were possible, I would be glad to send the remains of your brother to your parents, but it cannot be done now, but we will mark his grave in a conspicuous manner, so that it may be found hereafter.  The particulars of our battle yesterday, I cannot give at this time, as I am very busy, and surrounded with confusion.  We had three killed in the 120th.  Serene Wells, of Wooster, is among the killed.  But one, of our company was wounded, slightly in the ankle.  Our loss in killed, is small, perhaps will not exceed 25, while that of the enemy is over one hundred.  You will hear the particulars more fully hereafter.  Accompanied herewith, I send a package to you, containing the scrap-book, likenesses, pocket-book purse with one dime of money in it, a number of letters, pan knife, &c, belonging to James, hoping all will reach you in safety.  I hope to hear from you as soon as you receive this.  Direct to Memphis, Tenn., to follow regiment. - You will please immediately hand this note to the parents of James Patrick.
Your humble servant, G. P. Emrich, Captain, 120th Regiment O.V.I."

Published in the Wooster Republican newspaper, Thursday, 5 Feb 1863, pg 3.  

 

Letter written to the Editor of the Wooster Republican newspaper by George W. Garder, Co E, 120th OVI

"On Board the Jessee K Bell, Napoleon, Arkansas, Jan. 18, 1863
 "....We have fought two battles with alternate failure and success.  You have doubtless heard the particulars of our advance upon Vicksburg, and I need not enter into detail.  We are forced to acknowledge that we were repulsed with considerable loss, and failed to accomplish the object in view.  The loss of our regiment was comparatively light, only 10 or 12 killed and wounded.  We were one week in the woods, near the heights of Vicksburg, and without tents, three days of this time the unpleasant music of the shells and bullets fell discordantly upon our ears.  Part of the time it rained and was very disagreeable and the 'weiredge' was entirely worn off the boys.  When it became evident that our force could not drive the enemy from his stronghold, preparations were made to retreat, and on the night of the 1st, inst., we again took the boats on the Yazoo and fell down to the mouth of that stream, then up the Mississippi to the mouth of the White River, lay there a day, then proceeded up the White River ten miles.  We then entered the Arkansas by a 'cut off' - a kind of a bayou, and ran up this river about thirty miles and landed the evening of the 9th a few miles below Arkansas Post, at which place there was a Fort, garrisoned by about seven thousand rebels.  The next morning (Saturday) we landed our forces and commenced surrounding the Fort.  A continued line of soldiers was made from a point on the river below to a point above the Fort.  Our Company, (Capt. Eason's) was detailed to support a section of Foster's Battery, which was ordered to cross to the South side of the river, the opposite side to the Fort, to guard against reinforcements coming from this direction.  Lindly's Brigade also lay here, [Note: see map] the only troops on this side of the river.  In the evening the gunboats threw a few shells into the Fort, then all became quiet till Sunday at 1 o'clock P. M, when the battle began in earnest.  The rebels had three heavy guns, (one 94-pounder and two 84-pounders) mounted, besides a number of smaller pieces.  Those terrible engines of destruction, the gunboats battered down the walls of their Fort, and crashed their guns to pieces.  At 3 o'clock the guns that we supported was ordered to advance immediately on the opposide [sic] bank from the Fort.  They opened a raking fire upon the enemy's rifle pits and in half an hour they raised a white flag and surrendered the Fort unconditionally.  The 120th was the first to plant the stars and stripes upon the fortifications.  We captured a large number of small arms, a considerable quantity of corn, &c.  The Federal loss was small.  Our Company lost none.  We then went into Camp two days, and destroyed the Fort and buildings surrounding, when we were ordered to pull up stakes and return to the detested boats.  We fell down to this place, and the impression is that we are preparing to make another advance upon Vicksburg.  The weather for the last few days has been remarkably cold for this part of the country, snow four inches deep and froze quite hard.  On Sunday evening after the fight, Jeremiah Chacey, a member of our Company, died with fever and his remains were interred on the banks of the Arkansas River.  He was much beloved by his companions, and his loss is deeply mourned.  He was sick with the mumps at Memphis, after which he took the fever.  He suffered a great deal, but is now freed from pain.  He was under eighteen years of age, but feeling the fires of patriotism burning in his bosom he lay his life on the altar of his country and sacrificed it to freedom.  He leaves a mother and father and a large connection of friends in Congress Township, to mourn his untimely end.  It may be said of him
'Soldier rest, thy warfares o'er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking
Dream of battle-fields no more,
Days of toil or nights of waking.'
  "The health of the troops is very bad, no more than one-half of our Regiment is fit for duty, and deaths are frequent.  
   "We form a part of the army denominated the army of the Mississippi, commanded by Gen. McClernand.   We are the 1st Brigade in the 3d Division of this army.  Col. Sheldon is our Brigadier, and General Osterhaus our Division commander.  Major-General Sherman commands the right, and Brig. General Morgan the left wing of this army.  The facilities for writing on a steamboat crowded with five hundred soldiers, are not very good.
Yours truly, Geo. W. Gardner."

Published in Wooster Republican newspaper, Thursday 12 Feb 1863, pg 3.  

Taggart, Martin V., Co I,  captured 19 Jan 1863 near Gaines' Landing, MS [returned to regiment date unknown]
Dewitt, David, Co K, captured 21 Jan 1863 at Skipper's Landing MS, died 17 Mar 1863 [other possible dates in pension record] while prisoner;  captured near Napoleon, Arkansas according to the Adjutant General's Office
 

Died in Jan 1863

120th OVI

Died of disease unless otherwise noted

Wells, Cyreneus

Co A

 Killed 11 Jan 1863 in the battle of Arkansas Post, Arkansas.

Smith, James

Co A

died 20 Jan 1863

Weaver, Daniel

Co A

died 21 Jan 1863 at Young's Point, Louisiana.

Schaaf, Michael

Co A

died 25 Jan 1863

Hay, David  

Co B

 died 11 Jan 1863 at Arkansas Post, Arkansas.

McKee, Calvin   

Co B

died 20 Jan 1863 on the steamer Crescent City, near Milliken's Bend, Louisiana.

Hunt, Samuel  

Co B

 died 21 Jan 1863 at Young's Point, Louisiana

Shenabarger, Wilson S.  

Co B

 died 25 Jan 1863 at Young's Point, Louisiana

Stewart, William W.

Co B

 died 25 Jan 1863 at Young's Point, Louisiana

Lutz, Jacob M.   

Co B

died 30 Jan 1863 on the steamer Omaha at Young's Point, Louisiana.

Black, Jonathan  

Co C

 died on 8 Jan 1863 near Memphis, TN

David, Stephen   

Co C

killed 11 Jan 1863 in the battle of Arkansas Post, Arkansas

Hunter, William J.   

Co C

died on 13 Jan 1863 near Arkansas Post, Ark. AR  

Rhodes, Henry    

Co C

died on 22 Jan 1863 on board hospital boat Jesse K. Bell.

Stevens, Thomas C.

Co C

died 22 Jan 1863 on a hospital boat

Hayes, Lester L.  

Co C

died 27 Jan 1863 at Jefferson Barracks, MO  

Buckley, John E.   

Co C

died 28 Jan 1863 at St. Louis, Missouri

 Patrick, James

Co D

  died on 12 Jan 1863 at Arkansas Post, Ark

Spencer, William  

Co D

 died on 16 Jan 1863 in Overton Hospital, Memphis, TN

Beck, Jacob    

Co D

died 27 Jan 1863 at Island No. 82 in the Mississippi River.

Heller, John    

Co D

died on 30 Jan 1863 at St. Louis, MO

Chacey, Jeremiah    

Co E

 died 11 Jan 1863 at Arkansas Post, Arkansas

Stougt [Stough], William H.    

Co E

died on 20 Jan 1863 on a hospital boat

 Brown, William   

Co F

 killed 11 Jan 1863, Arkansas Post, Arkansas Co, AR

Lair, Daniel    

Co F

died 13 Jan 1863 at Keokuk, IA

Foreman [Fuhrman], Samuel   

Co F

died 14 Jan 1863 at Arkansas Post, AR

Martin, William

Co F

died 21 Jan 1863 in a hospital at St. Louis, MO

Stamets, William    

Co F

died 26 Jan 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Dow, William     

Co F

died 28 Jan 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Dorland, Charles H.    

Co F

died 29 Jan.1863 at St. Louis, MO

 Stauffer, Martin   

Co G

 died 26 Jan 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Wilson, Simon P.  

Co G

 died 29 Jan 1863 at Memphis, TN

Welch, John   

Co G

died 30 Jan 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Hamman, Daniel   

Co G

died 30 Jan 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Stutzman, Ezra    

Co H

died 6 Jan 1863 at Memphis TN

Burnett, Ira

Co H

died 19 Jan 1863 on a hospital steamer

Vieny, Jacob

Co H

died 24 Jan 1863 at Jefferson Barracks, MO

Vieny, Ferdinand

Co H

died 27 Jan 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Yoder, Joseph R. [Milton Twp

Co H

died 27 Jan 1863 on hospital steamer

 Wilson, William

 Co I

died 12 Jan 1863 of wounds received on 11 Jan 1863 in the battle of Arkansas Post, AR

 Winemiller, Joseph  

 Co I

died 14 Jan 1863

 Anderson, William  

 Co I

died 25 Jan 1863 at St. Louis, MO

 Stiver, Abraham  

 Co I

died 31 Jan 1863 at St. Louis, MO

 Kinsley, Henry  

 Co K

missing in action 1 Jan 1863 at Chickasaw Bayou, MS

 Kizer, John    

 Co K

died 17 Jan 1863 on a hospital boat.

 

 


 Wooster Republican 29 Jan 1863
A list of wounded and sick of the 16th and 120th Ohio Regiments who were in hospitals at Memphis and Paducah was published.  Included in this list were DL Hough, co H, 120th [this is probably David L. Hoff] in Overton Hospital at Memphis TN; Joseph Myers, co. H 120th, in No. 3 Hospital, Adam's Block, Memphis; discharged from Foundry Hospital at Memphis was Jos. Myers, 120th.

Ohio in the War: her statement, generals, and soldiers, Volume 2, by Whitelaw Reid,  The Robert Clarke Co, 1895 Section on 120th Ohio Volunteer Infantry pp. 615.

.....they proceeded by river to Young's Point, Louisiana, six miles above Vicksburg. This place proved to be another unhealthy locality, and the One Hundred and Twentieth suffered so severely from measles and typhus malarial fever that, during the month of February, half the aggregate number present were reported on the sick-list. A large number of the officers became discouraged, and, unwilling to await the issue of their illness, tendered their resignations. Among them was Colonel Daniel French, the acceptance of whose resignation bears date February 18, 1863. The Colonel was constrained to take this step because of the re-appearance of a disease which he had contracted in the Mexican war. His retirement from the service was deeply regretted. Among the great number who died at Young's Point were three of the best officers of the regiment, viz.: Captain Phelan, of company H; First-Lieutenant Armstrong, of company C, and Captain Conyer.
In the month of February the army at Young's Point was reorganized, and General Grant assumed personal command. The One Hundred and Twentieth was assigned to the Third Brigade (Garrard's), Ninth Division (Osterhaus's), and Thirteenth Army Corps (McClernand's). About the middle of March General McClernand's corps moved up to Milliken's Bend, .....

February 5, 1863 letter written by Pvt. William W. Wallace, Company A
"From the 120th Ohio
The following letter from a soldier in 120th Ohio, to his father in Plain Tp., though delayed on the way, will be found of such general interest, that our readers will be glad to see it in our columns.  The writer and Mahlon Rouch [Co A] were detailed to go as guards with our sick and the rebel wounded to St. Louis, after the battle at Arkansas Post, and they had just returned when the letter was written.  The inside view of a soldier's life, as given by the writer, will be read with much interest:
  "Camp Near Vicksburgh, February 5th, 1863
Dear Father: - The boys have just sat down to spend a few moments in singing.  They began with 'My Native land,' and while they are thus engaged, I think I can profit by writing a letter to 'my native land.'  The song is beautiful, and also cheering.
   "Mahlon Rouch and I returned to our Regiment, after an absence of three weeks, and found them encamped in mud and water, for it was raining and the ground very low.  This morning we moved a short distance, as the water was rising and almost to our quarters.  We are in Louisiana, on the bank of the Mississippi river, opposite the mouth of the Yazoo River, which is bank full, and a number of men are detailed each day to work on the levee to prevent the water from overflowing our camping ground.  
   "It is true all things considered, putting the best face on it you can, our camping place is a bad one  Some are a little discouraged but I am in for sticking to Old Abe.  And if he plays out, I think it will be for the want of the right kind of support.  It is true he has a large army, and the best of fighting material in the army, but if the army was rid of rebel newspapers and some Southern Sympathizers, others would be better satisfied.  
   " The news here is that New Jersy [sic] had called home her troops, and that several of the Northern States are following her example, but who can believe it.  I suppose those who read the Cincinnati Inquirer &c., I wish you could send me some papers or write and tell me the state of feeling in the North.  We like to hear how you feel on the subject there, as well as you at home to hear from us.  I wrote Benjamin while I was in St. Louis, and some  one asked me why I did not stay when I had the opportunity, or in other words, desert.  When I go home I will go honorably, and I know that my fiends would rather hear of me rotting in a dismal swampt [sic], and being buried in a strange land, than hear of me betraying the trust committed to my keeping.  If we believed the half we hear, we would have been home and back again half a dozen times in a month, in believing reports which you hear about.  
   "But to return, I think I have never gone into anything yet, but what I come out of honorably, and I trust so far as ability will permit I never shall.  I consider I have sworn to support my country, and before I would disgrace myself, country and friends, I would willingly receive the sad tidings that my grave was dug, and the Southern winds should sing my requiem and Southeren [sic] stars keep vigil o're my grave.  When I returne [sic] home to gladden the hearts that have so generously confided in me, I trust it may be said at least of one  of the 120th (the fears of the Cincinnati Inquirer, to the contrary nevertheless) that he will make just as good a citizen as he did before the war began.  And I think the good people of Ohio would not blush to-day if they had the honor of welcoming the whole 120th home again, and adopting them as citizens.  
   "Tell mother not to grieve on my account, as long as I am well, I can get along.  And should it be my lot to suffer and die from disease or the missfortunes [sic] of battle, I hope to meet you all in a world free from sorrow and suffering, and this life at best is but the transit of a few short years.  Nothing great has ever been accomplished only through great suffering, and it is though suffering that we learn to appreciate properly the benefits bestowed upon us by a beneficient [sic] creator.  I believe if it was my lot now to be restored to home and friends, the lessons I have learned would be worth all it has cost me, even though my services had been of no use to the Government.  I think the scenes of the battle field are calculated to teach a mind not lost to all feelings of humanity a lesson of humanity, and not to degrade.  And I believe too, that men will go home from the army more confirmed in christian principles, that when they came here.  Although it must be admitted more will be degraded than elevated by the influence of camp.  And I think the man who will seek honor on the blood stained battle field, or ascribe honor to the hero of a thousand battles, is more degraded and deeper steeped in crime than the highway robber, the midnight assassin (I mean when he seeks honor for honor's sake, or ascribes honor because it was won in bloody deeds).  I would agree with Wolf, as he once said while marching to the field of battle, that he would rather be the author of the following verse than the conqueror on a thousand battle fields:
'The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
'And all that beauty, all the wealth are gave,
'Await alike the inevitable hour.
'The paths of glory lead but to the grave.'
   "But although this may be true, no sacrifice can possibly be greater than that of the soldier in a just cause, prompted by propper[sic] motives.
   "As to the feeling of the soldier on the field I will only speak for myself.  I never was lost to a sense of danger, never coveted danger for its own sake, nor for anything else.  I never felt like running into danger because I wanted to be noticed when it was unnesesary [sic], and the oftener I see it the worse I hate it, and the more I see killed, the less inclination I have for witnessing bloody deeds.  Neither did I ever turn my back to the enemy, or leave my comrades because I thought I was in danger, unless ordered to do so by my commanding officers.  It is true that after balls fly around you pretty thickly for a while, you do not pay much attention to them, but still I would think once in a while one might hit me after all.  But I have already written more than I designed doing when I took my seat.  Write often. - Frequent admonitions from beloved friends are very useful to keep us in the path of duty. - They have more effect than sermons.
From your affectionate son, W. W. Wallace    Private in Co., A, 120th Regt.  
 Published Thursday 19 Mar 1863, Wooster Republican, pg3

 

Died in Feb 1863

120th OVI

Died of disease unless otherwise noted

Fetzer, Abraham

Co A

died in February, 1863 on a hospital boat 

Wilson, James A.

Co A

died 1 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Ray, Samuel

Co A

died 21 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Kohlman, Jacob

Co A

died 24 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Robison, Samuel

Co A

died 24 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Stone, Hiram

Co A

died 25 Feb 1863 at Columbus, OH

 Prichard, Joseph B.  

Co B

died 1 Feb 1863 on steamer Omaha, at Young's Point, LA

 Hill, Richard A.   

Co B

died 1 Feb 1863 on steamer Omaha, at Young's Point, LA

 Zediker, Thomas B.  

Co B

died 3 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

 Culler, John J.

Co B

died 3 Feb 1863 at Jefferson Barracks, MO

 Behler, Harrison  

Co B

died 14 Feb 1863, at St. Louis, MO

 Dean, Minor H.

Co B

died 17 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

 Kenton/Kinton, William   

Co B

died 18 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

 Rittenhouse, William R.   

Co B

died 23 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

  Latimer, James     

Co C

died 4 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

 Harlan, Samuel  

Co C

died 5 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA  

Ginther, George   

Co C

died 8 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Wilson, James

Co C

died 11 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Morgan, Benjamin    

Co C

died on 20 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Shambaugh, Henry  

Co C

died 24 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA  

Shambaugh, William S.     

Co C

died 24 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Masters, Benjamin F.   

Co D

 died 2 Feb 1863 at St. Louis, MO

Straher, John H.

Co D

died 4 Feb 1863 at St. Louis, Missouri of wounds received on 11 Jan 1863 in the battle of Arkansas Post, Arkansas.

Cook, Lemuel   

Co D

died on 20 Feb. 1863 at Young's Point, LA

McCracken, William   

Co D

died 22 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

 Brown, Isaiah   

Co E

died 20 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Coup, Jonas S.    

Co E

died 21 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Wilson, Shannon     

Co E

died 22 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

 Gardner, Martin S.   

Co F

 died 4 Feb 1863 at St. Louis, MO

Sloan, Thomas H.  

Co F

died 6 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Lutz, Emanuel    

Co F

died 17 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Hettinger, William H.   

Co F

died 24 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

 Mills, Benjamin   

Co G

died 13 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Strong, Addison   

Co G

died 13 Feb 1863 at St. Louis, MO

Clouse, George W.   

Co G

died 19 Feb 1863 at Young's Point LA

Bisel, Eli C.

Co H

died 13 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Phelan, Patrick, Capt.

Co H

died 15 Feb 1853 at Young's Point LA

Schindler, William    

Co H

died 23 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA.

Eckie, Christian  

Co H

died 26 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

 Munnell, Obadiah  

Co I

died 3 Feb 1863

 Myers, David    

Co I

died 22 Feb 1863 at Youngs Point, La

 Pool, John   

Co I

died 25 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

 Dewitt, Johnson M.

Co K

died 2 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

 Risser, Isaac   

 Co K

died 11 Feb 1863 at St. Louis, MO

 Hall, William  

 Co K

 died 11 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

 Palmer, John T.  

 Co K

died 13 Feb 1863 at Memphis, TN

 Kent, Thomas  

 Co K

 died 14 Feb 1863 at St. Louis, MO

 Leeper, Parker   

 Co K

died 18 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Becker, Joseph H.   

Co K

died 21 Feb 1863 at Young's Point, LA

 

Colonel Spiegle's address to the 120th Regiment delivered on Dress Parade, Monday, 22 Feb 1863

I have to-day been informed that some soldiers of this Regiment, have, at different times, expressed sentiments disloyal and unbecoming a soldier of the Union Army, when about the Sutler* shop of the 96th Indiana; saying that if this Regiment should ever have to go into another engagement, not half of the men would fire a gun for this d---d abolition war, etc.  When I heard it I thought it almost impossible, that any soldier of the gallant 120th Regiment, which so nobly stood up at the battles of Vicksburg and Post Arkansas, to defend the good old flag, where every heart swelled with pride; when they saw the stars and stripes first planted by the 120th, wave so proudly, succeeding the traitorous rag on the stubborn ramparts of Post Arkansas, could make use of language disgraceful to the Regiment, disloyal to the country, and productive of evil only to the good cause, for which we are enlisted.  If there is one man in the Regiment who would refuse to shoot at a rebel, in an engagement, let him step three paces to the front in order that he can be marked as a coward and receive the reward of a traitor.  Such  talk will only strengthen the rebels, disgrace the Regiment, and further defer that, for which we are all longing, an honorable Peace.  If any of us differ with the acts and doings of parties at home, and policy of the administration, let us hope that those at home, who have nothing to do, will see to that.  Whatever is wrong will in time, by the American people, be righted. Ours is the proud position of maintaining the world-wide and noble reputation of the American Volunteer Soldier, who stands classed with the most intelligent and brave in the known world -- our's [sic] is the patriotic position of restoring the grand and sublime American Union -- tranquility, peace and happiness to our bleeding country -- knowing and appreciating our position none but the most loyal and high-minded thoughts and expressions can emanate from our hearts and lips.--Men! for God's, your country's, your friends [sic] at home, your own and my sake, do not, either by thoughts, expressions, or willful actions, disgrace yourselves.  Stand by the Government right or wrong.  You may now do an unsoldier-like act, which, by excited men at home may be approved, but rest assured it will ere long come sweeping like an avalanche, your own good name and leave you in shame and disgust over your own acts of violating your soldier's oath.  While you are in the service, be soldiers' [sic] in every sense of the word, so that when in private life, you can ever be respected and honorable citizens.  [*Note: A Sutler is a person who follows an army and sells to the troops provisions, liquors, etc.]
From the Wooster Republican  7 May 1863 

In an Affidavit by Captain Christopher Au for Private W. F. Richey in reference to a pension, he referred to the terrible winter and spring at Youngs Point.  He was referring to the weather but it wasn't just the weather that was terrible.  

"From Arkansas Post the regiment returned to Young's Point, and went into camp.  Here it was decimated by disease, measles, typhus and malarial fever working sad havoc in its ranks.  At one time over half the regiment was reported on sick list.  The officers became discouraged and resigned in large numbers, which contributed to the despondency of the men."  From the History of Wayne County, Ohio by Ben Douglas, c. 1878

Wooster Republican, E. Foreman, Editor, Thursday, 19 Feb 1863
"Latest from the 16th and 120th Regiments
 The latest reliable letters, from the 16th and 120th Regiments at Vicksburg, represents the officers and army, generally, in high spirits with prospects of opening the Mississippi and taking Vicksburg.  It is true that the soldiers who made the attack on Vicksburg, some weeks ago, and were repulsed, were for a time some discouraged, but more recent accounts say that they are in better spirits.  The health of the old Regiments is considered good, for the season, but the new Regiments, like the 120th, suffer more from sickness.  We have no doubt, however, that much of the sickness in the Regiment is caused by the neglect and incompetently of the regimental officers, who are, from all that we can learn, devoting themselves much more assiduously to the demoralization and discouragement of the men under their care, than to the preservation of their health.  The truth is, there are some new political Regiments who are a draw back to the others. - 'Some of them,' in the language of a soldier, 'are officered by broken down politicians, who would do much better in saloons and bar-rooms than in the field, but the thing will work its own course, for these will soon resign and go home, thank God!"  So long as regimental and other officers devote themselves to talking of compromise and are unsparing in their denunciations of the President and his mode of conducting the war, so long will their Regiments be demoralized and discouraged, and sickness and death will be common.
   "No doubt the soldiers have the most severe trials, and no doubt sickness and death are present with them; and, on that very account, they need the sympathy and encouragement of every officer, as well as the loyal people at home.  We hope soon to hear that the 120th has been relieved of the incubus of political demagogues and rebel sympathizers in disguise, and then the sad stories sent home in letters will cease, the men will take courage, and like the older regiments, go gloriously on conquering and to conquer.  But until these political charlatans, who now brood over them are removed, we have but little hope."

 

On March 6, 1863 the 120th wrote a Resolution which was sent to the Wooster Republican to "defend" themselves against some critics.  

Resolutions of the 120th, Young's Point, La., near Vicksburg, March 6, 1863.
"At a meeting of the Company Officers of the 120th Regiment O.V.I., Capt. Au being appointed President, Capt. McKinley Vice President, and Capt. G. P. Emrich Secretary, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:
  "Whereas, an article published in the "Wooster Republican of the 19th of February, entitled 'latest from the 16th and 120th Regiments,' wherein the good name and reputation of the officers of the 120th is villainously assailed, by base and malignant flings, as well as a direct charge upon the officers of this Regiment, as being political demagogues and rebel sympathizers in disguise, and designated as political charlatans, who brood over the Regiment, preventing them from going on gloriously conquering and to conquer; proclaiming this Regiment demoralized and discouraged by the acts of the officers, in discussing politics, and thereby bringing sickness and death upon the soldiers.
   "Therefore, be it resolved that we denounce as an infamous falsehood, the base charge made in said article against us, the officers of the 120th Regiment, and brand the coiner of them as a vile slanderer, a base and malignant falsifier, and a traitor to his country and her soldiery.
   "Resolved, That without boasting or egotism, we point with pride to the history of the 120th at 'Chickasaw Bluffs' and, 'Arkansas Post,' as given by our commanding Generals, as a complete refutation of the infamous falsehoods perpetrated by said Editor in the article referred.  
  "Resolved,
That while we lament over the deaths of our brave comrades, and deeply sympathize with the sick, we feel assured that all has been done by our Regimental and medical officers that could be, under the circumstances, for their relief; our Regiment never having seen service, having been organized a little over three months when they were called upon to endure the exposures, fatigue and hardships of older Regiments, both at Chickasaw Bluffs and Arkansas Post, and with pride and satisfaction, we can point to what is now history, of the acts and deeds of the 120th O.V.I."
  "Resolved, That the charge that we are rebel sympathizers is base, malignant, and false, and that we call upon our neighbors and friends to vindicate our characters when thus assailed, while we are in front of the enemy's works at Vicksburg, exposed to all the privations and hardships of camp life, far from home and unable to meet the base slanderers who thus malign our fair fame, e'er it was made among those who knew us not, a reputation unworthy of a soldier fighting in our country's glorious cause, the preservation of the Union our father's gave us.
   "Resolved, That in Daniel French, late Colonel of the 120th Regiment, we shall ever recognize the true soldier and patriot, and while with us ever, ready and willing to discharge his whole duty, kind and attentive to the sick, was ever watchful of the wants of his men, brave and heroic in battle, he will, as he does now, ever merit our highest esteem.
   "Resolved, That we recognize in our Commander Col. Spiegel, and the other Regimental Officers, patriots, loyal and true to their country, and men worthy of the positions they now hold, and have full confidence that they will, as they have ever done, fully discharge the duties of their various positions with zeal and fidelity, and as an act of justice to them, pronounce as false and slanderous the imputations and charges contained in the artice [article] referred to, wherein it in any manner implicates them.  
   
"And now we say to the people of Ashland, Richland, Wayne and Holmes counties, from whence our Regiment has been formed that, although afflicted by disease and death, ours is in no worse fate than any other new Regiment; your sons and neighbors, through patriotism and zeal for their beloved land, volunteered to defend it from the assault of traitors.  There are many other Regiments who have been much longer in the service, that have not been exposed to the hardships and privations that our men have been.  After leaving Covington, KY., with the exception of one week, we were closely confined on board of the River Transports, without the means of cooking our rations regularly or otherwise attending to our own sanitary condition, five weeks, were landed on the Yazoo, exposed to the rain for two nights and a day, compelled to drink the Bayou water, and owing to the position we occupied, unable to build fires to warm and dry ourselves or cook our rations; after the evacuation were again placed on transports, landed at Arkansas Post, bivouacked for the night on the field, and after the taking of the Post, exposed to an incumbent snow storm, embarked again, and after several days confinement, landed on these low swamp lands, where pestilence and disease thickly fill the humid air; after all this, is it to be wondered at that our men sickened and died?  and is it generous then to attribute this disease and death to the incompetency of the officers, while they too have sickened and died, and to day our Regiment is as cheerful and ready to do duty as any other in this army."
   "Resolved, That these proceedings be published in the Wayne, Holmes, Ashland and Richland County papers.
  "The foregoing proceedings and resolutions were read on dress parade, and unanimously adopted by the whole Regiment and signed by all the line officers present.
Capt. Au, President.
Capt. M'Kinley, Vice Pres.
Capt. G. P.Emrich, Secretary.
Benj. Eason, Capt. Co. E.
G. W. Conyer, Capt. Co. K.
Samuel English, Capt. Co. K.
Loyd N. Meech, 1st Lieut. Co. G.
H. E. Totten, 2d Lieut. Co. E.
John Sloan, 2d Lieut. Co. F.
H.H. Eberhart, 1st Lieut. Co. A.
J. P. Rummel, 2d Lieut. Co. B.
Wm. Harvey, 2d Lieut. Co. C.
 John Smith, 1st Lieut. Co. K.

Published in the Wooster Republican, Thursday 2 Apr 1863, page 2.

 

Note of interest on Company H: Captain Patrick Phelan of Company H had died on 15 Feb 1863 at Young's Point LA.  James B. Taylor was promoted to First Lieutenant 18 Feb 1863 and to Captain on 23 March 1863.
 

Letter written 11 Mar 1863
Wooster Republican newspaper, published Thurs 26 Mar 1863, pg2:
"From Co. 'A,' 120th Regiment         Capt. Eberhart warns Rebel Sympathizers not to Write to his Company, Encouraging Desertions - He will Report them to the Authorities.
Sir: - Through your paper I wish to say to the friends of my Company (A,), 120th Reg't O.V.I. that, when corresponding with your sons and brothers who are members of said Company, I desire that you should not write discouraging letters, as some of you have of late been doing.  It does you no goo; and is doing them harm.  But when you write (and by the way we wish you to write often) write something of a cheering nature, something that will tend to enliven them, that everything around them is 'Gay and happy,' and that they too must be the same.  This will be to your interest, to theirs, and to the interest of the country.  I have a good Company, a kind and an intelligent Company, a Company that will never disgrace itself or Regiment, provided its members are not spoiled by influential friends at home.
   "Let me take charge of the Company whilst in command, and let me say whether or not it is best for them to desert, or in other words get home as best they can, and I will impart such instructions I think, as will be of more honor to them.  So, if hereafter I should see a disposition on the part of any parent, or friend of any soldier of this Company, to discourage a soldier of said Company, by encouraging, persuading, or asking him to refuse to do duty, or to stack arms, to desert or otherwise illegally to quit and desert the army, I shall, on being convinced of the mal-act, report such person to the proper authorities.  
Yours, with respect, Lieut. H. H. Eberhart, Comd'g Co. A, 120th Reg't O.V.I. Millikin's Bend, La., March 11th, 1863."


"Headquarters 120th Reg. O.V.I.  Millikens Bend, March 16, '63
At a meeting of the officers of the 120th Regiment, held on the evening of the 16th.  On motion, Lieut. Eberhart was appointed to the Chair, and Captain Stouffer, Assistant Surgeon, was appointed a committee to draft resolutions expressive of Capts. Emrich and Eason, Major Beekman, Capt. McKinley and Lieutenant English.
  "The following preamble and resolutions were submitted and unanimously adopted:
Whereas, Providence has inflicted upon these gentlemen disease, which has compelled them to resign their positions in this Regiment, therefore be it,
   "Resolved, That in the resignation of Capts. Emrich and Eason, the Regiment has sustained an irreparable loss, and while we deplore the cause of their being forced to leave us, we deeply sympathize with them in their affliction, and hope that a change of climate and return to the comforts of home may restore them to health.
   "Resolved, That their conduct and bearing on the fields of 'Chickasaw Bayou' and 'Arkansas Post,' merits the approbation and emulation of every officer and private in the Regiment, and that the county of Wayne has great cause to feel proud of these brave men, who by their valor and soldiery conduct, incited their men to deeds of daring.
Resolved, That we congratulate the friends and families of these gentlemen upon their restoration to hem again, feeling that our loss is their gain.  We trust that they may live long to enjoy the society of friends and home.
   "Resolved, That these resolutions be published in the Wayne county papers.
Lieut. H. H. Eberhart, Char'n
Surgeon C. C. Stouffer, Sec."  
 



From the 120th Ohio:

Camp near Milliken's Bend, La.[see map],
March 30th, 1863
E. Foreman----Dear Sir:
It has been some time since I have written to you, partly because of illness and partly of negligence.-- Shortly after the battle of Arkansas Post I was attacked with fever and lay in a Field Hospital till the first of this month.  On my return to the Regiment, I found that much sickness prevailed.  Is this surprising when we reflect that a new Regiment unaccustomed to exposure, had been aboard transports with their usual amount of filth and vermin most of the time since our departure from Covington?  And afterward we were not encamped on the beautiful highlands of Ohio, subjected to her genial climate, but upon a spot which is now covered with water----a swamp----in a climate to which we were wholly unused.
     March 11th McClernand's Corps was ordered to this point.  Here we have a beautiful camping ground, and the move has greatly improved the health of the Regiment.  True, while we were at Young's Point many of our number died.  Of these a large proportion was of those who had contracted disease during the six days fight on the Yazoo.
     The health of our Regiment at this time will compare very favorably with that of other Regiments of the Corps.  Yesterday we were on Brigade drill under command of our Division General, Austerhaus.  Our battalion was the largest on the field.
     But few deaths have occured[sic] since we moved to this camp, and there are but few dangerous cases under treatment.  The "well" are in good spirits.  Our "for duty" list is fast increasing, and if called into battle we could muster over an average Regiment, which, under the command of the gallant Col. Spigel, will send back a report to the good people of Old Wayne, which will be received by its friends as tangible evidence of its loyalty, discipline, and fighting character.
     The papers with which you have favored me were promptly and thankfully received.  In one of them, I find the "Address of Ohio Soldiers to the people of the State."  Of course "them's my sentiments," and I believe would be endorsed by a large majority of the Army of the Mississippi.  The rebellion must be crushed and we have the power to do it.  I am glad Congress passed the Conscript Bill.
     Since we started on this expedition our Company [Company H] has lost four by desertion, and by death its Captain and eleven men, eight of whom were from Wayne County, viz:  Orderly A. C. Bushong and Ezra Stutsman, of Green township; Jacob Veiny, Ferdinand Veiny and Jos. R. Yoder of Milton; Ira Burnet, Eli C. Bisel and Joel Bair, of East Union.
     I cannot see that there are any special indications of a speedy move on Vicksburg, yet we subalterns know but little about how near red tape has brought us to the fortifications of the enemy.  I believe that when we do move Vicksburg will be ours; if so, it will be glory enough for one expedition.  I have nothing more of interest to communicate, but remain,
Respectfully yours,
J.B.T
[From the newspaper, Wooster Republican, Thursday 16 April 1863, page 2, a letter signed J.B.T.,  which probably was James B. Taylor]

 

 

Died in March, 1863

120th OVI

Unless otherwise noted, these men died of disease

Cramer, Benjamin

Co A

died 10 Mar 1863 on floating hospital "Nashville"

Schaaf, Albert

Co A

 died 15 Mar 1863 on the hospital boat "Nashville".

Kidd, John   

Co A

died 15 Mar 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Kean, John L.

Co A

died 16 Mar 1863 on the hospital boat "Nashville". 

McCoy, Neil

Co A

died 16 Mar 1863 on the hospital boat "Nashville".

Holtzberg, Amos

Co A

died 17 Mar 1863 at Memphis, TN

Funk, David S.

Co A

died 23 Mar 1863 at Camp McClernand, LA

Caskey, James

Co A

died 25 Mar 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Geiselman, Samuel

Co A

died 26 Mar 1863 at Lawson Hospital, MO

 Stauffer, Matthias  .  

Co B

 discharged 6 Mar 1863 at Jefferson Barracks, MO and died the same day before leaving the hospital

Shambaugh, George   

Co B

died 7 March 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Lickliter, Geroge W.   

Co B

died 16 Mar 1863 on a hospital boat near Milliken's Bend, LA

Thompson, Peter   

Co B

died 17 Mar 1863 on the hospital boat Nashville

Day, Leonidas    

Co B

died 17 Mar 1863 on a hospital boat near Milliken's Bend, LA

Fleming, George  

Co B

died 21 Mar 1863 on a hospital boat near Milliken's Bend, LA

Baughman, George F.

Co B

 died 24 Mar 1863 at St. Louis, MO

Norick/Norrick, David    

Co B

died 27 Mar 1863 on a hospital boat near Milliken's Bend, LA

Dunham, James W.    

Co B

died 30 Mar 1863 at St. Louis, MO

Coulter, Martin V. B.   

Co B

died 30 March 1863 on the hospital boat "Nashville" near Milliken's Bend, LA

Cole, John W.   .                    

Co C

died 3 Mar 1863 at Young's Point, Louisiana

Jones, William R.  

Co C

died on 3 Mar 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Armstrong, Thomas J    

Co C

died on 5 Mar 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Bitner, Michael J. W.

Co C

died on 5 Mar 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Budd, Samuel   

Co C

died 15 Mar 1863 at Paducah, KY

McMaster, Franklin  

Co C

died on 7 Mar 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Weirick, Samuel  

Co C

died 18 Mar 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Miller, Lewis W.  

Co C

died on 23 Mar 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Rodenheber, John J.  

Co C

died 25 Mar 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Budd, William  .

Co C

died 28 Mar 1863 at Memphis, Tennessee

 Phillips, Isaiah    

Co D

died 2 Mar 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Thompson, John E.   

Co D

died on 3 Mar 1863 at Young's Point, LA

McCance, Hiram H  

Co D

died on 16 Mar 1863 at St. Louis, MO

Fink, Johnson    

Co D

died 25 Mar 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Kramer, Charles  

Co D

died 27 Mar 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

 Cowell, Christopher    

Co E

died 15 March 1863 at Milliken's Bend, Louisiana.

Wilson, Jacob    

Co E

died 16 Mar 1863 on the hospital boat "Nashville"

Brown, Lewis    

Co E

died 17 Mar 1863 at Memphis, Tennessee

Porter, John A.

Co E

died on 18 Mar 1863 at Memphis, TN

Wells, George    

Co E

died on 20 Mar 1863 on the hospital boat "Nashville"

Patterson, Samuel   

Co E

died  30 Mar 1863

Vanoman, Marion   

Co F

 died 5 Mar 1863 in hospital at Young's point, LA

McCaleb, James R.   

Co F

died 16 Mar 1863 on a hospital boat

Reese, Morgan    

Co F

died 16 Mar 1863 on a hospital boat

Gable, John    

Co F

died 22 Mar 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Smalley, John W.    

Co F

died 29 Mar 1863 in hospital at St. Louis, MO

 Bowman, Jacob    

Co G

 died 7 Mar 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Hill, August   

Co G

died 9 Mar 1863 at Young's Point, LA

McCrane, Cornelius   

Co G

died 9 Mar 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Johns, Jacob   

Co G

died 17 Mar 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Baughman, Abraham   

Co G

died 21 Mar 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Spitzer, John   

Co G

died 31 Mar 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Vanasdal, Emanuel M.

Co H

died 1 Mar 1863 at Young's Point LA

Myers, J. Wesley 

Co H

died 10 March 1863 at Memphis TN

Mowry, Christian  

Co H

died 12 March 1863 at Memphis TN

Bair, Joel [East Union Twp]

Co H

died 23 March 1863 at Milliken's Bend

 Rowinsky, John M.   

 Co I

died 5 Mar 1863

 Strong, Isaac  

 Co I

died 15 Mar 1863

 Dial, Ephraim   

 Co K

died 6 Mar 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Crozier, James   

 Co K

died 16 Mar 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Dewitt, David captured 21 Jan 1863 at Skipper's Landing MS,

 Co K

died 17 Mar 1863 [other possible dates in pension record] while prisoner;  captured near Napoleon, Arkansas according to the Adjutant General's Office

Fry, David   

Co K

died 24 Mar 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Roberts, Thomas H.  

 Co K

died 29 Mar 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Rizor, Charles  

 Co K

died 31 Mar 1863 at Keokuk, IA

 

Apr 2, 1863  Gardner letter. George W. Gardner, Co E, 120th OVI
"From the 120th Ohio
The following extract is from a letter written by a soldier in what was Capt. Eason's Company, and shows the great change which has taken place in the minds of many of the 120th.  Various causes have produced this very commendable change; better health, better spirits, brighter prospects, and better influences.  The writer, as our readers have heretofore been informed, was one of those who wrote 'peace letters' to the Wayne County Democrat, but who has bravely 'recovered' and now stands as firmly and speaks as patriotically as he ever did.  After giving the news generally, and describing the great change in the Regiment for the better, the writer continues under date of April 2d:
  "When you read the above you will think there is something of a change in sentiment and feeling in our Regiment.  True, there is a change, and I am heartily glad of it.
   "When we first encamped on Louisiana soil we wallowed in the med, and became awful blue - perhaps you will say it was rather a Butternut color.  Well, just as you please, It is true a strange spell bound us.  The greater part of our Regiment being unfit for duty, those who were well were obliged to be on duty almost day and night through the inclement weather, exposed to all the hardships and privations of camp life, often confined to scanty and poorly prepared rations, and laboring under what we were led to believe, that our sufferings, our labors and losses were all for nought [sic]; else, I for one could have endured them all cheerfully for the sake of the cause in which I enlisted.  Under these circumstances we became dissatisfied, lost all confidence in our power, and got to writing 'peace letters.'  Perhaps you will remember reading some of which I was the author, and here I confess to you that all I have written in that direction was done inadvertantly [sic] and through misrepresentations. - True, peace is very desirable.  We are not a warlike people.  We prefer peace and quiet to war.  But then, we want an honorable and durable peace.  
    "The misguided rebels of the South have been the cause of all the distress of our nation and should expiate their crimes.  I believed when I entered the service, and I see no reason now for disbelieving, that unity of sentiment in the North, and a cordial support of the war, would bring about a speedy restoration of the Union.  But I fear that the lack of this support has done much to discourage the troops and prolong the conflict.  
   " What we want is a hearty concurrence with the war policy so far as its measures have a tendency to weaken Southern power and suppress rebellion, and then, ere long, we shall be permitted to hail the advent of an honorable and permanent peace, and the glorious 'Stars and Stripes['] be unfurled to the breeze throughout this our beloved country.  If we may credit the stories of deserters from the rebels, the masses of the Southern people are tired of the war, and are only kept down by the iron heel of despotism.  I am sorry that our regiment has the reputation of being the worst regiment in the field, but may be it deserves it.  I think it is as good a fighting regiment as can be found.  As we grow older we grow wiser.  We have learned to take advantage of anything that will embarrass the enemy.  
   "We see by the papers that there is a Conscript law passed.  We say bring them on, and let's have done with this rebellion.
   "Some express fears that the draft will be resisted; but I do hope that men are not so lost to their true interests as to thus wildly err, and bring the war to their own doors.  Every one wants the assistance of those who are yet idle at home, and if it be necessary we are ready to assist in bringing them out.  I want to know how the people at home feel, and what the general opinion is.
   "How I long for the peace and prosperity that once made us happy, that once made us admired of the whole world.  But all is in the hands of a just God, and He will in his own good time work out his wise purposes  Surely we have the best Government in the world, and He will favor it.
   "Yesterday we received a mail.  I got a letter from home and the Wooster Republican.  They were gladly recived [sic].  Letters and papers from home cheer the hearts of soldiers, and make the flagging hours pass more pleasantly.  You will excuse this desultory and immethodical letter, as my mind is in poor frame for writing.  I have fatigued myself.  Perhaps I have written too much.  I will close.  Write often.
Yours truly, George W. Gardner."  
Published Thursday, 30 Apr 1863, Wooster Republican, pg 3

Numbers of officers in the 120th resigned.  One of them was Captain William G. Myers, of Co G, who supposedly resigned because of disability.   In April, 1863, he wrote a letter to Sgt. Abraham Harshey, of Company G. The E. V. Dean spoken of in the letter was Regimental Quarter Master.  Dean resigned 27 Oct 1863.  
Published at the request of Col. Marcus Spiegel, Wooster Republican newspaper, pg 2, Thurs. 7 May 1863.  
" Chippewa, April 6th, 1863
Mr. Abraham Harshy - Dear Sir:- I saw your father a few days since, and he learned that E. V. Dean had taken a particular interest in your welfare, by calling you up to his quartars[sic] and flattering you.  We were all very sorry to hear that any Republicans took any part in passing those resolutions denouncing Mr. Foreman, and the Democrats are jubilant over it, as they claim that it will destroy the influence of our paper in he future, and he penned that article with no other motive than to expose such men as Dean, and Col. Spiegle and Capt. Eason, supposing that you would all understand it in that light.
  "E.V. Dean and Col. Spiegle know that I know more about their treachery and disloyal motives than any other man, and they know I will expose them at the proper time.  So they will make an effort to have the officers and men pass some kind of resolutions prejudicing the public against me, and if possible have my own company participate in them, after giving one of the best certificates before I left them.  Therefore, you and the rest of the Republican officers and men will be on the look out, for everything they do in this light will be aimed at the party over my shoulders.  Such young men as you, Meech, H. Galehouse, Wesley Galehouse, Thos. Harris, Jas Boak, Wm. Q. Lawrence, Geo. Jackson, Jacob Numan, and many others that I could mention, will be looked after to fill the places of other active men after you return, and if you prove brave on the field of battle, and true to Republican principles and your best friends at home, you may rest assured that you will be loved, respected, and honored by all loyal men on your return home.  You can see that this enmity against me all grows out of the letter I wrote your father and was read by Purcell, and a false copy sent to Capt. Eason.  I was respected by all up to this time.  In this week's Republican you will see the letter, and I am glad the Democrats published it, ad they could have told a great many big stories if it had not been made public.  
   "You and all the boys will find that I take the ground of slavery restriction for that time, but I believe the traitors will fight till our army will have to make short work of it and destroy slavery root and branch. - Were it not for the loss of life of so many of our best men, I would hope things would take this turn.  But if the South would offer to lay down arms and agree that all the Territories should be free, and if we did not accept this and let slavery alone in the States, that they would fight it out.  There the simple question would rise, whether I would sooner continue our friends and neighbors in the field and sacrifice their lives by the 100,000 more and clean up the job at once, or have slavery surrounded by free territory and be sure and die in time and save those brave men of the North and have them enjoy their families' society   I would say stop the war and save life, as we will accomplish all we ask in time.- Your messmate, Samuel Garber, may say that this would be too slow.  If he does, tell him for me, that I would rather have slavery continue one hundred years, cease then, than lose 100,000 such men as he and you, and if I were in your places, I would like to enjoy the fruits of my labor, but I fear that the rebels will contend till we lose these 100,000 men, and then have slavery totally destroyed.  If this prove true your friends will enjoy the fruits of our labors, and all coming generations will honor and bless you.  Answer as soon as you can and give me a history of everything in the Regiment and Company,of interest.  Tell all my boys that they can well trust their reputation in my keeping till they return as I will take care of them against all their enemies.
G. W. Myers."

About the above letter, Col. Spiegel said, 7 May 1863:
"As long as that man Myers contented himself by showing his personal hatred to me, in slandering me in the most villifying [sic], malignant and unscrupulous manner through the public press, I felt it beneath my dignity to notice him.
  "When, however, he undertakes to weaken the confidence of my brave men in me, in  a cowardly and sneaking way, attempting to destroy the utility of one of Ohio's bravest Regiments, by creating dissatisfaction and secretly trying to alienate the faith of my boys in their commander, and that at a time when daily advancing, expecting to meet the enemy, it becomes my duty to notice it."

Also published Published that day, Wooster Republican newspaper, pg 2, Thurs. 7 May 1863.:
"All the late letters from the gallant and brave 120th Ohio, speak in the most decided terms of the improved health, spirts, and general welfare of the Regiment.  New officers have taken the place of those who resigned, renewed health has returned to the soldiers generally, so that there is scarcely a new Regiment in Grant's Army which answers so fully at roll call as the 120th.
 "Colonel Spiegle has infused renewed energy and determination throughout the ranks of his Regiment, and from all that we can learn, he has the fullest conficence of his men, and when the hour of battle arrives, (if it has not already come,) the ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTIETH OHIO will meet the foe as gallantly and bravely, as any, even of th oldest Regiments.
  "The resignation of Colonel French, and the promotion of Colonel Spiegle to the command of the Regiment, seem to have been fortunate circumstances; for whatever may be said of Col. Frnch as a man, as an officer he lacked the energy, industry, pluck and ambition now so freely accorded to Col Spiegle.  Besides, Col. Frnch was an easy, plastic individual in the hands of such characters as E. V. Dean, and whose Democracy allowed Dean to circulate Valandigham;s infamous speech in the Regiment, and to read the Cincinnati Equirer, the Chicago Times, Medary's Crisis, and other treasonable publications to the unseuspecting soldiers, at a time when general gloom pervaded their ranks, and sickness and death were everywhere present.  And we here desire to say that whatever remarks we have at any time made, reflecting on Col. Spiegle, were caused by the belief that, by his presence and silence and without reproof, he allowed Deanand his assistants to circulate these treasonable documents which were denouced and prohibited by other loyal Commanders.  We are now most glad to know that a different policy was adopted by Col. Spiegle, as soon as he was in Chief Command of the Regiment, and that among his first acts, as acting Colonel, was th issuing of the following address to the Regiment: [See Colonel Spiegle's address to the 120th Regiment delivered on Dress Parade, Monday, 22 Feb 1863 above in this history.]  
  "
This patriotic address of Col. Spiegle has been followed by others in a like character, and the 120th Ohio now have the commendations of their Division Commander, Gen. Austerhouse, as one of the best disciplined and most soldier-like Regiments in his Division.- For intelligence and bravery, the soldiers of the 120th have ever stood as high as any Regiment in the army, and we have always had the most unbounded confidence in their patriotism, integrity, gallantry and heroism.  Sad and dark days have they seen, but we believe a bright and brilliant future is before them."

 

 

 

 


 

Map
Part of a fold out map found at page 179 in History of the Civil war in America by The Comte de Paris, Volume III, 1888 showing Millikens Bend and Youngs Point in Louisiana.  

Grant's Canal Was a Failure
Grant visited the army afloat at Napoleon, and, as Gen. Sherman narrates: "On the 18th day of January ordered McClernand with his own and my corps, to return to Vicksburg to disembark on the west bank, and to resume work on a canal across a peninsula, which had been begun by Gen. Thomas Williams the summer before, the object being to turn the Mississippi River at that point." Cincinnati Daily Gazette, Saturday 23 July 1881, page 4

  "Mr. Stake and his comrades were next employed in digging the canal near Vicksburg, Mississippi.  They worked for six days, and then the project was abandoned."  Hardesty's Richland: (George Stake biography page 486)

 

 

Grant's Canal
Sketch from Battles and Commanders of the Civil War, by General Marcus F. Wright of the War Department, 1907, page 201.

Grant's Canal
 

    "....[Mathias Harter of Company B] assisted in digging the canal in front of Vicksburg, to allow our gunboats to pass below the city and thus escape the obstructions in the river and also avoid the fire from the rebel batteries.  He was then employed in patrol duty up and down the Mississippi river, for several weeks.  At the siege of Vicksburg the 120th were under fire five days and nights in succession."  The original Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia. [Richland County OH version] 1885...original available at the Ohio Historical Society.

Grant's Earlier Campaigns.  Interesting Recollections of a Missouri Officer [Col. C. G. Fisher]
11 Aug 1885  Boston Journal, Vol. LII Issue 17190  Page 3
"About the latter [canal], there has been some question, but it was done under his direction and he [Gen. Grant] could be frequently seen with Sherman and McPherson on the upper line of the canal, alternately watching the progress of the men, and then through his glasses scanning the coveted citadel [Vicksburg], whose tiers of batteries, protected by that great river in front, challenged his nearest approach.  The canal, which was dug during a low stage of the river, was expected to receive, when it rose to a high stage, a direct swift running current from the head of a distant bend, but the dynamics had been misunderstood, as the rising river showed no eddy at the upper mouth of the canal which failed to give forcible current enough to scour it out to a navigable depth."

Note:  Grant needed to get boats down past Vicksburg so that he would have transports to take troops across the Mississippi below Vicksburg.  He had tried the canal and failed.  But he wasn't giving up.

 


 

April 1863

Died in April 1863

120th OVI

Died of disease unless otherwise noted

Scruby, Charles  

Co A

 died 3 Apr 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Kurtz, Benjamin  

Co A

died on 16 Apr 1863 at Camp McClernand, LA 

Jackson, Charles E.    

Co B

died 6 April 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Stoner, George W.  

Co B

died 8 Apr 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Freed, Joseph B.  

Co B

died 15 Ap 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Wolfe, John

Co B

died 17 Apr 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Barr, David  

Co B

died April 27 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Robinson, William  

Co C

died on 2 Apr 1863 in a floating hospital

 Arnold, William   

Co D

 wounded 28 Dec 1862 in battle of Chickasaw Bayou, MS; he died 7 Apr 1863 at St. Louis, MO

 Diehl, Aaron   

Co E

 died ??4 Apr 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Rapp, John  [ROPP]  

Co E

died 21 Apr 1863 on the hospital boat "Nashville"

Angus, Samuel  

Co E

 died 28 Apr 1863 near Grand Gulf, Miss.

 Crumrine, David    

Co F

 died 9 Apr 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Crull, Israel    

Co F

died 11 April 1863 on a hospital boat

Flickinger, Benjamin

Co G

died 15 Ap 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Mutters, Michael   

Co G

died 18 Ap1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

 Grubaugh, John H.   

Co H

 died 20 Ap 1863 at Smith's Landing, LA

 Church, Alonzo B.  

Co I

died 1 Apr 1863 

Nazor, Augustus E.  

Co I

died 3 Apr 1863

Ells, Herbert   

Co I

died 27 Apr 1863

 Purdey, Joseph C.  

Co K

 died 5 April 1863 , Cairo, IL;  discharged on 24 Mar 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Parcell, David H.   

Co K

died 10 Apr 1863 at St. Louis, MO

Conyer, George W.  

Co K

died 11 April 1863 at St. Louis, MO

Drake, James M.   

Co K

died 11 Apr 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Etzwiler, John J.  

Co K

died 11 Apr 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA


Grant had to find a way to get boats past Vicksburg.
 
Grant's Earlier Campaigns.  
Porter passing Vicksburg Sketch from Battles and Commanders of the Civil War, by General Marcus F. Wright of the War Department, 1907, page 198
Admiral Porter's flotilla trying a run past Vicksburg, 16 Apr 1863.

Published in Interesting Recollections of a Missouri Officer [Col. C. G. Fisher]
11 Aug 1885  Boston Journal, Vol. LII Issue 17190  Page 3
"Foiled in this attempt to obtain safe passage for his army past Vicksburg on boats, or to even get boats through the canal with which to cross his army below, and as Porter with his fleet of iron-clads showed no disposition to attempt the passage of the Vicksburg batteries, the service of the youthful Colonel Charles R. Ellet was accepted to test that possibility.  He, with an old Tennessee River steamboat, the 'Queen of the West,' which had been stripped of her guards and her bow protected by iron plates to give her the title of a ram, with no protection for his men or boilers except a few cotton bales, pushed out his frail craft at early dawn of an April morning to run the rebel batteries of sixty guns.  The anxiety of that hour of waiting and watching by a group of officers who had gone down to a point opposite the lower batteries, to watch her passage, was intense beyond expression, especially to the General who, indifferent to the shrieking shells which, hurled at Ellet's boat, passed over her, and burst around him, paced to and fro before us.  
   The cool bravery of that gallant Colonel, while under point blank fire of a score of guns to round in, ram and sink the only boat at Vicksburg Landing and succeed in bringing his frail boat safely past miles of heavy batteries, won, as it deserved, the congratulations of the entire army, and demonstrated the possibility of getting transports past the city.  With this example before him, Commodore Porter could not consistently hold back his iron-clads longer, hence he started the Indianolia down, but she was so much injured in the passage that her crew abandoned her and she was sunk by the rebels below the city.  This, with the subsequent sinking of the iron-clad 'Cincinnati' ere she passed the first battery did not encourage any more immediate attempts on the part of the navy, but as Gen. Grant was nowise disheartened, he ordered Col John A. Ellett to try again with wooden boats.  With the wooden rams Lancaster and Switzerland Ellet moved down in an early morning fog to soon find one boat sinking under him and he necessitated to pull with his crew in a yawl under a shower of shot and shell to his other boat as she passed down shattered but serviceable.  Grant immediately ordered a flotilla of six wooden transports to be protected in part by cotton bales, and manning them with officers and men from his army they were started down that fearful gauntlet in the dim haze of an early dawn.  .....    The intense anxiety with which Grant, from a point opposite the lower batteries, again listened, watched and waited the result of this last attempt, which was to make or mar his plans of capturing Vicksburg, can only be compared to his feelings of relief and gratification to see each boat round to at the bank below shattered but serviceable.  
   "Moving his forces from Young's Point across the country to a point in Louisiana opposite Bruinsburg, thirty miles below Vicksburg, and using these transports to ferry them across the Mississippi River, and finding the Confederate General Bowen awaiting him on the Grand Gulf hills, he commenced what has since been called the battles around Vicksburg, i. e., Grand Gulf, Port Gibson, Champion Hills, Jackson and Black River, which later closed by investment of the city.  .... The army took with them abundant ammunition, but only four days' rations and no camp equipage, and as there was little in the country to subsist on the boys had to tighten up their belts often ere supplies could be brought forward."

 


The Rebellion Record:  A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, etc.  Volume 7 by Frank Moore, Putnam, 1864 [Available at Google Books]
 Major-Gen. McClernand's Report starts on page 54.  March from Milliken's Bend to Vicksburg
He was in charge of a portion of the Thirteenth army corps which included the Ninth Division under Brigadier-General P. J. Osterhaus.  
His command included the First Brigade under Brigadier-General Theophilus T. Garrard.  
This First Brigade consisted of the 49th IN, 69th IN, 120th OH, 118th IL, and 7th KY. [
United States. War Dept, Robert Nicholson Scott, Henry Martyn Lazelle, George Breckenridge Davis, Leslie J. Perry, Joseph William Kirkley, Frederick Crayton Ainsworth, John Sheldon Moodey, United States. War Records Office, United States. Record and Pension Office, United States. Congress. House, Government Printing Office, 1889]
Page 56:  "I ventured earnestly to urge the pressing and transcendent importance of forwarding steam transports and gunboats from their moorings above Vicksburgh below to Carthage......Happily, on the seventeenth [April], my recommendation was responded to by the appearance of five transports and seven gunboats, and on the twenty-second [April] by three more transports, all of which had run the blockade. ....A number of barges having started in tow of the transports and been cut loose on the way, were caught and brought to by parties from Gen. Osterhaus's division, who went out in skiffs for that purpose.....The increased facilities afforded by the transports and barges alluded to, hastened the removal of the Ninth division from Smith's to Carthage."
Page 57 "Having concentrated my whole corps at Perkins's, on the twenty-eighth [April], without wagons, baggage. tents, or officers' horses, which were left behind for want of transportation, the whole of it except the detachment at Hard Times and two regiments ordered to remain at Perkins's as a garrison, embarked on steamers and barges including the gunboat General Price, for Grand Gulf.  Arriving at Hard Times that evening, they rested there during the night on boats and on shore."
"On the morning of the twenty-ninth [April] the gunboats steamed three miles down the river to Grand Gulf, and closely approaching, the enemy's batteries opened fire upon them.  The Ninth, Tenth, and Twelfth divisions of my corps followed on transports, casting anchor in full view of the Gulf, and holding themselves in readiness to push forward and disembark the moment the enemy's water-batteries should be silenced and footing for them thus secured.  General Car's division remained at Hard Times, waiting for the return of transports to bring them on too."
But this attempt at Grand Gulf failed and they had to go back to Hard Times.  They tried another route.
"Only halting long enough to draw and distribute three days' rations, at four o'clock all my corps, except the cavalry on the opposite side of the river, took up the line of march agreeably to Major-General Grant's instructions, for the bluffs some three miles back.  Reaching the bluffs some time before sunset, and deeming it important to surprise the enemy if he should be found in the neighborhood of Port Gibson, and if possible to prevent him destroying the bridges over Bayou Pierre, on the roads leading to Grand Gulf and to Jackson, I determined to put on, by a forced march, that night as far as practicable."

 

Died in May 1863

120th OVI

Died of disease unless otherwise noted

 

Co A

 

Andrews, David  

Co B

died 3 May 1863 near Vicksburg, Misissippi

Huston, George G.

Co B

died 28 May 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Christine, Samuel

Co C

died 2 May 1863 at Milliken's Bend, .LA

Harker, Jacob

Co C

died 8 May 1863 at Smith's plantation, LA

Gould, William   

Co D

 died 15 May 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Johnson, Silas    

Co D

died 19 May 1863 at Young's Point, LA

Urban, Hiram   

Co D

died 25 May 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Shoup, William

Co E

Killed 1 May 1863, at Thompson's Hill, LA

Wagnor, Isaac

Co E

wounded in battle of Thompson's Hill, MS on 1 May 1863 and died 2 May 1863

Brant, John    

Co E

died 14 May 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

 Brindle, John

 Co F

Killed 1 May 1863 at Thompson's Hill, MS

Wertman, George, W.   

Co F

died 9 May 1863 in a hospital at Milliken's Bend, LA

Mansfield, Abraham   

 Co G

 died 2 May 1863 at St. Louis, MO

Beard, William    

Co G

died 20 May 1863 at St. Louis, MO

 Bricker, Leslie G.,

 Co H

Discharged 20 April 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA.  He died 21 May 1863.

 Kling, Michael    

 Co I

died 27 May 1863 at Van Buren Hospital, Milliken's Bend LA

 none

 Co K

 

Down the Mississippi to Battle of Thompson's Hill, Miss. (Port Gibson)  1 May 1863

Ohio in the War: her statement, generals, and soldiers, Volume 2, by Whitelaw Reid,  The Robert Clarke Co, 1895 Section on 120th Ohio Volunteer Infantry pp. 615-616
.....................on the 1st of April [McClernand's corps] marched from that point [Milliken's Bend], Garrard's brigade in advance, to occupy New Carthage. Having reached that place, the Thirteenth Corps proceeded by a circuitous route to Parker's plantation [The muster rolls seem to call this Perkin's Plantation] , on the west side of the Mississippi, twenty-five miles below Vicksburg. In the meantime, a fleet of iron-clads and several transports had run the gauntlet of the Vicksburg batteries, and on the 29th of April the Thirteenth Corps dropped down the Hard Times Landing, about three miles from Grand Gulf, where the enemy was strongly fortified. The troops were retained on board the transports in readiness to land and take part in the reduction of that place, relying on the navy to silence the enemy's batteries. The navy failed, and the corps debarked and marched to a point three miles below Grand Gulf, and there awaited the arrival of the fleet, which succeeded in running the enemy's batteries that night. Bruinsburg was the next point of debarkation, and the troops having landed, they at once marched in pursuit of the Rebel forces under General [page 616] Greene. At midnight of April 20th the National forces caught up with the Rebels, who occupied a strong position on Thompson's Hill, near Port Gibson, Mississippi. The attack began early on the following morning. General Osterhous's division was engaged on the extreme left, at which point the One Hundred and Twentieth was stationed. The position was well and steadily held, and late in the afternoon a charge was made, which resulted in the complete discomfiture and rout of the enemy. Instant pursuit was made, but night put an end to the combat, the National troops bivouacking on the field of battle. The loss of the One Hundred and Twentieth in this action was one for every eight of the number engaged. The Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps having come up, the whole force was pushed forward, capturing Jackson, Raymond, and other places of military importance, within the fortnight after the battle of Thompson's Hill.
 


A newspaper article in the Wooster Republican on 28 May 1863 states that the action [at Port Gibson] is represented as resulting in a brilliant victory for the Union Troops.  A casualty list was brought back by a H. J. Kauffman who had been to the Mississippi Army "in charge of hospital stores and clothing for the 16th and 120th Regiments at Port Gibson."  On this casualty list in Company H was Isaac Mylar, wounded slightly in the foot; Bigelow Buzzard, wounded seriously in the side[1 May 1863]; and Eli Kelly, severely wounded in the left hand [1 May 1863].  In Company G, Frank Kissinger had his suspenders shot in two but was not wounded.


[More about Thompson's Hill written by Colonel Spiegel to Brig. Gen. Girrard, Com.1st Brig. 1st Div., 13th A.C.-- Army of the Tennessee, written May 2, 1863]

  I have the honor to transmit herewith the following report of the part taken by the 120th O.V.I., in the action of Thompson's Hill on the 1st inst. [May 1, 1863], and with a list of the casualties.[List not included in this newspaper report.] 
  About 5 o'clock A.M. we were ordered to advance and take a position on the right of Lampheres Battery, which we accordingly did, under a severe fire of the enemy's shell, in which position we remained about half an hour when we advanced to the edge of a ravine, and from there we were ordered to advance and form in line of battle in connection with the 18th Ill. vol.  We advanced briskly to a position behind a fence fronting the enemy, in support of the 49th Ind., who were deployed as skirmishers on the edge of the woods.  Soon after, Colonel Kegwin, of the 49th Ind, informed me that he was ordered to the right on a line with his position, and at the same time I received orders to cover his old position with skirmishers.  I then advanced companies A, F, and K, as skirmishers, and D, I, and B, in support.  At 7 o'clock A.M. I was ordered to recall all but one of my companies.  I moved as ordered, somewhat to the right of the line in advance, to relieve the 42d Ohio, close to the ravine running parallel with the enemy's strongest position.  I then engaged the enemy for about twenty minutes without being able to do them much harm, they being completely under cover on the opposite bank of the ravine.
  I then advanced as skirmishers some of the best shots from all the companies down into the same
[ravine], with orders to advance closely, supporting them with the remainder of the Regiment and keeping up a continual fire toward the top of the opposite bank.  When nearly down the ravine I discovered the exact position of the enemy's advance towards my left on the opposite bank.  I then charged upon them with the Regiment and quickly drove them from the bank to a knoll beyond where they rallied and made a stand which only increased the determination of my brave boys.  Pushing up the bank we drove them from behind the knoll, taking eight prisoners.  When I had obtained possession of the knoll, I did not deem it prudent to follow them any further, being already at least three hundred yards in advance of any of our troops, and in danger of meeting the enemy's entire right wing massed behind a number of old buildings directly in front of me.  I deployed my Regiment on the knoll in order to punish the retiring force and hold the position against a more formidable attack---- As soon as the retiring enemy had joined the main force, the attack was renewed with redoubled fierceness, but meeting with such continual and well directed vollies from us, they fell under cover of the buildings again.  I then continued fighting the enemy concealed behind the logs, fences, and houses, and some perched themselves in tree tops until my ammunition was beginning to give out and a great many of the guns became unfit for use, when I was relieved by Col. Bennet, of the 69th Indiana, and ordered to retire.---- I  then fell back to the 2d ravine in the rear of me replenishing the empty cartridge boxes with ammunition from the boxes of the killed and wounded comrades.  I remained in that position until late in the afternoon.  I saw the charge made on the left, when I quickly formed my Regiment, marching in toward the charging column in order to support it if necessary.  When, however, the enemy fled in confusion, and a glorious victory won, the 120th had nothing more to do but exult and cheer and be merry, which I assure you was done.  
  I cannot close this report without saying that the men of the 120th have not only justified their former reputation, but they have even excelled it.  They displayed gallantry and bravery that will never be forgotten by their country.  To the line officers, all of whom stood bravely up to the work, I am indebted much for their aid and courage in carrying out  every order given.
  Lieut. Col. Beekman has shown himself worthy of the position he now holds.  While promptly assisting in manoeuvering the Regiment, his encouraging and cheering words were always heard along the line.  
  Major Slocum, while with me in the morning, displayed that coolness and courage for which he is well known in the army, and while detailed to take charge of the skirmishers on the left of the Division did his full duty, to the entire satisfaction of the General commanding the Division.  
  Adjutant Sherman, although young in years, has truly shown himself a veteran of the field.  He possesses all the elements necessary to qualify him for the position he holds.  Brave and cool he becomes courageous and dashing when the occasion requires it.  Both officers and men have my sincere thanks for their cheerful co-operation on the field of Thompson's Hill.  
  I have the honor, General, to be your obedient servant,
Marcus M. Speigle
Col. Com. 120th Reg. O.V.I.  
Wooster Weekly Republican [Published 2 July 1863]
 

United States. War Dept, Robert Nicholson Scott, Henry Martyn Lazelle, George Breckenridge Davis, Leslie J. Perry, Joseph William Kirkley, Frederick Crayton Ainsworth, John Sheldon Moodey, United States. War Records Office, United States. Record and Pension Office, United States. Congress. House: Government Printing office, 1889:  120th Ohio:  2 enlisted men killed; 18 enlisted men wounded; 2 enlisted men captured or missing.  

Gathered from the Roster and other sources [includes Wooster Republican, 28 May 1863], Killed and Wounded at Thompson's Hill:

Company A:  Samuel Smedley, wounded slightly in left elbow
Company B: John O. Byers, wounded left thigh
                   Henry H. Mowers, wounded left arm and right hand; discharged 15 July 1863
                    John Stewart, wounded below knee in left let.
Company C:  William Ciphers, wounded, severly bruised
                    John Eberhart, wounded, left breast
                    Wilson McCreary, wounded, face
Company D:  James W. Johnson, wounded, left shoulder
                      James Christy, slightly wounded in right thigh
                      Henry S. Shaner, wounded 1 May 1863, right breast, died 16 July 1863
Company E:  Elijah Boor, wounded, left shoulder
                     William Shoup, Killed
                     
Isaac Wagnor, Killed
Company F:  John Brindle, Killed
Company G:  Samuel Hoover, severely wounded in left arm 1 May 1863
Company H:  Bigelow Buzzard, wounded and subsequently discharged
                    David Hoff, wounded
                    Eli Kelley, wounded, left hand and sebsequently discharged
                    
Isaac Mylar, wounded slightly in the foot
Company I:  None killed.
                     Alfred Wilson, wounded in right arm and leg.
                     Chrisian Buishlen, flesh wound in thigh

Field and Staff:  Christopher C. Stouffer, knocked senseless by canon fire, recovered within two hours

In Company A, Peter Sparr had two horses killed.
In Company G, Frank Kissinger had his suspenders shot in two but was not wounded.  


A newspaper article in the Wooster Republican on 28 May 1863 states that the action [at Port Gibson] is represented as resulting in a brilliant victory for the Union Troops.  A casualty list was brought back by a H. J. Kauffman who had been to the Mississippi Army "in charge of hospital stores and clothing for the 16th and 120th Regiments at Port Gibson."  On this casualty list in Company H was Isaac Mylar, wounded slightly in the foot; Bigelow Buzzard, wounded seriously in the side[1 May 1863]; and Eli Kelly, severely wounded in the left hand [1 May 1863]. 

Not mentioned in the Roster, but included in Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Richland Co OH page 482:  "While prisoner at Raymond Mississippi, May 15, 1863, he [Robert W. Bell, Co H] was sick and in the hospital.  The enemy compelled all the sick and wounded who were able to walk to march with them and left twenty who were too feeble to go, among them Mr. Bell, alone without food.  For two days they had nothing.  On the third day the citizens brought them something but they ate little, as they feared poison.  In a few days Mr. Bell and his comrades rejoined the regiment at Black River, and were sent to Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio, and at the end of three months Mr. Bell rejoined his regiment, stationed at New Iberia, Louisiana."

Miller, Wesley D, Company E, captured 10 May 1863 near Vicksburg, Mississippi; returned to company on 27 Nov 1863

 After Port Gibson, they moved to these other Mississippi locations:
Little Sand and Big Sand Creeks
Five-Mile Creek
Fourteen Mile Creek
Raymond

Left Behind at Raymond until 18 May 1863
United States Congressional serial set, Issue 2762. page 12
Brigadier Gen. Peter J. Osterhaus, commanding the 9th Division
"I had to remain at the post of Raymond only until 4 a.m., May 15, when the general commanding the army corps ordered my division, except two regiments __ the Fifty-fourth Indiana and the One hundred and twentieth Ohio Infantry, which were to be left as garrison -- to march toward Bolton Station, on the Jackson and Vicksburg Railroad."

Eberhart, Henry H., Co B,  captured 24 May 1863, while in hospital at Raymond, Miss
Wallace, Robert P., Co E,  captured 24 May 1863 while in hospital at Raymond, Miss.  Escaped from Libby Prison in Richmond VA on 9 Feb 1864.  
Myers, Tobias B, Co H, was captured 28 May 1863 in action at Raymond, Miss. and was exchanged in Oct 186
3.  
Ferguson, James, captured 24 May 1863 in action at Jackson, MS, or at the hospital at Raymond; returned to company 26 Nov 1863.  From Pension papers:  
captured at Raymond Miss. May 24, '63.  Confined at Richmond VA June 3, '63.  Paroled at City Point VA June 6, '63.  Reported at Camp Parole Md? June 2? '63 and sent to Camp Chase O. June 23, '63 where he arrived Aug 22, '63 and sent to Regt between Oct 20/31 '63. :   taken prisoner on or about 10 May 1863 by Confederate forces and carried to Libby Prison in Richmond Virginia. On the way to Libby Prison he was treated by a Confederate physician for 3 days while detained at Mobile, Alabama.   He was detained about 7 or 8 days at Libby and then was ??traded/exchanged?? and sent to Camp Chase, OH.  

This is where the others went with Osterhaus:
Edward's Station
Champion's Hill  16 May 1863

The Rebellion Record:  A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, etc.  Volume 7 by Frank Moore, Putnam, 1864 [Available at Google Books]
 Major-Gen. McClernand's Report starts on page 54.  March from Milliken's Bend to Vicksburg
Page 59:  "Remaining at Port Gibson, on the second of May, my corps assisted in constructing a bridge across the south branch of Bayou Pierre, under the direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson, Engineer and Aid-de-camp on Major-General Grant's staff; reconnoitered the country east and north of that stream, and skirmished with a detachment left by the enemy on the north side of it, to watch our movements."
Page 60 Osterhaus moved on to Little Sand and Big Sand creeks.  Moved on to Five-Mile Creek [April 1863] and Fourteen-Mile Creek.  By the 14th of May Ostehaus's division was in Raymond. Page 60  "...by nine and a half o'clock on the fifteenth, General Osterhaus's division had seized Bolton Station, capturing several prisoners, and driving the balance of the enemy's picket away."   Page 61  The next move for McClernand was on to Edwards's Station.    Page 62 "Instantly, upon the receipt of Major-General Grant's order to attack, I hastened to do so --ordering Generals Smith and Osterhaus to 'attack the enemy vigorously and press for victory' --General Blair to support the former and General Carr the latter, holding Lawler's brigade in reserve."  "A mile in front stood a hill some sixty or seventy feet high, covered with thick wood.  In this wood the enemy was drawn up in strong force, doubtless augmented by his tendency to his right above noticed.  This hill is indifferently called Midway or Champion Hill, from the fact of its being half-way between Jackson and Vicksburgh, and the reputed property of a citizen by the name of Champion.  The space between the hill and my right was composed of undulating fields, exposed to the enemy's fire, while the ground to its left and front was scarred by deep ravines and choked with underbrush, thus making a further advance extremely difficult."  "....General Osterhaus's division early advanced to feel the enemy--General Garrard's brigade on the right and General Lindsy's on the left.  The sharp skirmish that followed upon the receipt of my orders to attack was pressed until the centres of the opposing lines became hotly engaged.  The battle was raging all along my center and right."  "In front of my centre, as well as my right, the enemy appeared in great numbers.  Garrard's brigade was hard pressed, and General Osterhaus requested that it should be supported."  During the night General Osterhaus's division reached Edward's Station.

 In the 28 May 1863 issue of the Wooster Republican it was reported that John Stewart [Co B] was wounded below the knee in the left leg.


 


Van Buren, Hospital, Milliken's Bend, La., May 14, 1863
 [Letter to the editor, author unknown]
It may be interesting to some who have not been permitted to take an inside view of a general Hospital, to hear something relative to its conduct.  Having been an inmate of such a hospital for over five weeks we have been able to learn many things that could not be learned otherwise.  The hospital is situated immediately on the bank of the river, and contains about fifteen hundred sick and convalescent soldiers.  A Mr. Marshal owns the plantation and resides at Natchez-----Our tents are situated beneath o'er shadowing branches of the China trees, which are set out in a perfect alignment; the air is made melodious by the singing of birds, and the odoriferous effluvia exhaled from the flowers and shrubs, wafts in a delightful cloud of fragrance on the breeze.  The exquisite natural and artificial beauty of the place reminds us of pictures of Paradise.  The strictest discipline and order are enforced, and the Surgeon in charge, Dr. Whiting, merits the praise of keeping his camp as clean, neat and tidy, as any housewife ever kept her door-yard.  After viewing these beautiful scenes that almost enrapture the mind, we come to notice that which seems more directly connected with the interests of the soldier -- we refer to the table -- and a view of these things brings us down from our transports of pleasure in contemplating other beauties.  Long lines of tables are spread, at the ringing of the first bell the men are paraded, at the second, marched in order to their places at the tables.  The breakfast consists of a piece of soft bread, a piece of smoked ham and a cup of muddy coffee, and if the unsatisfied appetite of the soldier prompts him to a complaint, he receives a  blessing from the waiter, and a threat of being reported to headquarters.  This subsides the complaint for a ride astride the fence, banishment to some secluded spot for a day, fed on hard bread and water, or some other corporal punishment looms up frightly for him, and he swallows his indignation and goes quietly to his tent.  For noon a dish of barley soup is served up.  A light supper, --bread, stewed apples and coffee.  Somtimes we have an extra dish, perhaps codfish, potatoes or eggs, which, to make them military -- if we may judge from their flavor -- have been a very long time in reaching the table.
  For the sicker portion, who cannot go to their meals, light diet is prescribed, --ligher not in quality, but in quantity.  The people of the North are unceasing in their patriotic labors, boxing and shipping sanitary stores to the army for benefit of the sick soldiers, but it is a lamentable fact that but very little of these stores ever come to be used by the sick, there is such a host of clerks, rascally ward masters, nurses, cooks and waiters, that but little passes safely through their hands. --  The Doctors are faithful in the discharge of their duties, rendering all the aid to the sick that is in medical skill, but proper care and diet conduce more to health than drugs and medicine.  But little occours [sic] here to break the dull monotony of camp life.  A few days since a party of rebels who were known to be lurking in the woods on the opposite side of the river, with the design as it was supposed, of firing upon our transports, made their appearance on the bank, but a few well directed shell from a couple of 30-pound guns, which the precaution had been taken to plant for our protection, soon dispersed them. -- Scarcely a day passes but the boom of cannon at Vicksburg and viciity can be heard, telling us that the work of death steadily goes on.
  Our regiment (the 120th,) was engaged in the battle of Grand Gulf, after the capture the army moved up the Black River some distance.  The boys are represented in good health and fine spirits.
   A severe battle is expected at the Railroad bridge across the black River.  We receive the Cincinnati, Chicago, St. Louis and Memphis papers almost daily, and keep informed of the war news, the advance of Hooker, the repulse of the rebels in Missoui are known.  The troops are becoming enthusiastic, that enthusiasm which has been so proverbial in the great army of the Union, is again manifested here.  Hope again brightens the future, the ominous clouds that hung so darksomely around us are lifting and light is breaking in, and the prospect of peace and a restored Union is more cheering.  We hope soon to see the tri-colord banner waving triumphantly over every foot of American soil, and men who now learn war return to the peaceful vocations of life.  
  I am yours, &c., CONVALESCENT.
P.S. The days are very warm, but the nights are remarkably cool.  Peaches are half grown, figs will soon be ripe.  No cotton or corn has been planted in this vicinity this Spring.  The river is falling rapidly.
Published 28 May 1863 in the Wooster Republican, Wayne county OH From the 120th Ohio

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


 Seige of Vicksburg, Miss.  18 May to 4 July 1863 [120th OVI ordered to the front on 18 May]
The 120th in the Vicksburg Campaign  See more at Wikipedia
XIII Corps  Major General John A. McClernand and Major General Edward Ord
9th Division Brigadier General Peter J. Osterhaus
1st Brigade Brigadier General Albert L. Lee [wounded] and Col. James Keigwin
     118th IL Col John G. Fonda
     49th IN  Maj Arthur Hawhe and Lieut Col. Joseph H. Thornto
     69th IN Col Thomas W. Bennett and Lieut Col. Oran Perry
     7th KY  Lieut Col John Lucas and Col Reuben May
     120th OH  Col. Marcus M. Spiegel

Died in June 1863

120th OVI

Died of disease unless otherwise noted

Greenfield, Wilson S.

Co A

died 7 June 1863 at Milliken's Bend, Louisiana

Bechtel, Reuben

Co A

died 11 June 1863, Big Black River, MS

Toms, Abraham

Co A

died 28 June 1863 at Van Buren Hospital, Milliken's Bend, Louisiana

Freedley, Benjamin

Co A

died in July 1863 at his home in Ohio.

Soliday, Jacob R

Co A

died 2 July 1863 at Young's Point, Louisiana

 Bechtel, Reuben

 Co B

died 11 June 1863 at Big Black River, Mississippi.

 Force, James   

 Co B

died 9 or 15 Jun 1863 at Milliken's Bend, Louisiana.

 Scott, John C.   

 Co C

died 28 June 1863 at Jefferson Barracks, MO

Piper, William    

Co D

died 18/28 June 1863 at Columbus, OH

Cary, William    

Co D

died 26 June 1863 at Big Black River, MS

Eberhart, Samuel   

Co E

died on 28 June 1863 at St. Louis, MO

Gardner, George W.  

Co E

died on 28 June 1863 at Jefferson Barracks, MO

 none

Co F

 

Lucas, Henry   

Co G

died 1 June 1863 near Vicksburg, MS

Hunter, Lemuel   

Co H

died 8 July 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

Myers, Hiram   

Co I

died 10 June 1863

Pool, Charles   

Co I

died 10 June 1863 at Convalescent Camp at Milliken's Bend, LA or Young's Point, LA

Kelso, Washington   

Co I

died 13 June 1863

Maxwell, James J.  

Co I

died 18 June 1863

Webster, Lyman   

Co K

died 6 June 1863 [or other date] at Milliken's Bend, LA

Cross, Joseph  

Co K

died 14 June 1863 on a hospital boat


Moore, Charles, Co A,   drowned 5 July 1863.

Ohio in the War: her statement, generals, and soldiers, Volume 2, by Whitelaw Reid,  The Robert Clarke Co, 1895 Section on 120th Ohio Volunteer Infantry pp.616
The One Hundred and Twentieth remained at Raymond until the 18th of May, when it was ordered to the front, and joined the main army on the morning of the 19th, after a forced march of twenty-two hours. Captain Eberhart, Lieutenant Wallace, and others of the regiment were left sick in hospital at Raymond, and were captured by the enemy. On the day of the arrival of the regiment within the National lines, in the rear of Vicksburg, a determined assault was made on the enemy's fortifications, in which the One Hundred and Twentieth participated. It also took part in a still more determined effort on the 22d of May. The division (Osterhaus's) remained at Vicksburg, as part of the besieging force, until the 24th of May, when it was ordered to Black River Bridge to guard against an approach of Rebel forces under General Joe Johnston, and remained there until after the fall of Vicksburg.
 

Waters, John, W., Co D,  wounded 22 May 1863 in the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi

Harris, Robert J., Co F,   captured 25 May 1863 in action near Raymond, Mississippi.

Myers, Benjamin, Co F, captured 25 May 1863 in action near Raymond, Mississippi; rejoined company on 10 Nov 1863

Hoover, Lewis, Co H, captured 25 May 1863, in action at Raymond, MS; exchanged Oct 1863

Myers, Tobias B., Co H, captured 28 May 1863 in action at Raymond, Miss. and was exchanged in Oct 1863

Erwin, Thomas R. "Of  his action in one of the assaults on Vicksburg he wrote home to his mother, 'I fired so rapidly my gun got so hot I had to lay it down and take another.' "

 Letter from Marcus Spiegel at Headquarters 120th OVI in the field at Black River Bridge, Mississippi, 27 May 1863, written to Col. James Kegwin, Commanding 1st Brigade 9th Div. 13th Army Corps
  I have the honor to submit here with the following report of the part taken by the 120th Reg't O.V.I., in the engagements on the 19th, 20th, 21st, 22d and 23d inst.
[May 1863].  On Monday morning, 18th of May, I received orders from Maj. Gen. Grant, Commanding Dep't, to move forward with my command from Raymond with all possible dispatch, and join my Division in the field near Vicksburg.  I accordingly started from Raymond at daylight on the morning of the 18th, having in charge about 200 prisoners of war, which I was ordered to turn over at Edwards' Station.  On my arrival at Edwards' Station I turned over the prisoners and pushed on rapidly until about 11 P.M., when I rested my command until 3 A.M. roused my men and pushed forward, joined the Division just on the eve of engaging the enemy on the fortifications in the rear of Vicksburg at about 9 A.M., 19th inst.  On my arrival I reported to Brig. Gen. Lee, then commanding the 1st Brigade, and was by him assigned to take up position in line on the left of the 118th Illinois and right of 7th Ky.  About 10 o'clock I received orders to advance, when after moving forward about a half mile crossing a series of very difficult ravines or gullies, we received the fire of the enemy.  Seeing our exposed condition on the crest of a ridge, Gen. Lee ordered me to deploy my regiment in a ravine a short distance in front, the regiments on my right and left receiving the same orders.  In this position we remained until ordered to charge on the enemy's works.  Early in the afternoon when this order was received, although my men were nearly worn out by the forced march of a day and night before from Raymond, they nevertheless formed quickly and seemingly their extreme weariness was forgotten, and when the command charge was given they moved off as though all of them were well rested, charging over hills and ravines for over one mile, all this time exposed to the fire of the enemy's well placed batteries, under scorching rays of the hot sun, all striving to excel each other, truly showed the bravery and gallantry of the boys.---- On arriving on the hill opposite those of the fortifications we were ordered to halt and rest.  Just then Gen. Lee was severely wounded, and by evening we were by you ordered to fall back to the ravine from which we started on the charge.  About 10 o'clock A.M. on the 20th I received orders to move forward and occupy a ravine running in front of the enemy's works.  I threw out two companies as skirmishers to cover my front, keeping up a brisk fire continually, drawing the attention of the enemy while our folks were planting a battery on the hill to my right and rear, after we retired as per your orders to the old position leaving one company as pickets.  At the break of day the 21st [May], again moved forward to the position held the 20th, taking three companies to cover the left flank and one the front.  Skirmishing was unceasing during the whole day, changing the companies when out of ammunition and their guns too hot to handle, at night was ordered to withdraw to position occupied night before.  The 22d at day break assumed position as day before.  At 9 o'clock A.M. I was ordered to form my regiment in double column closed in mass, and support the 7th Ky., and 118th Ill., in a charge; at the same time being informed that a simultaneous charge by the whole army along the whole line would be made.  About 10 o'clock the order to advance was given and the column, 7th Kentucky in advance, moved on.  When we arrived at the crest of the hill above the ravine a terrible and withering fire from the enemy met us, from which the advance suffered greatly.  Finding that crossing the hill under such a fire would be destructive, while even after crossing the hill an impassable ravine and abattis had to be confronted, and our forces would be at the mercy of the enemy, the column was halted and the charge along abandoned.  I here received orders to advance three companies of my command through a ravine to the left and occupy a position close by one of the enemy's forts, which I did, and the boys by vigorous shooting kept the enemy from using his cannon.  I remained all night in the ravine.  The 23d [May] I was ordered to fall back to our first position, being relieved by Gen. Hovey's forces, leaving two companies as skirmishers, who were relieved by Gen. Hovey on the eve of the same day.  The same evening I received orders to prepare for a march by daylight to Black River Bridge.  
  I cannot close this report, Colonel, without expressing my gratification and just pride at the gallantry and the good behavior shown by the officers and men during the five days of peril, hardships and privations.
  They have my heartfelt thanks and richly deserve the thanks of their country for the cheerful and prompt manner with which they performed every duty assigned them, while all have done so well it is useless to particularize any one.
  Respectfully, Your obedient servant, M. M. Spiegel, Col. 120th O.V.I.  

Published Wooster Republican, Thursday 1 July 1863, pg1   

 


Jackson, Miss.  6-16 July 1863
13th Army Corps:  Maj. Gen. Edward O. C. Ord
Ninth Division: Brig. Gen. Peter J. Osterhaus
First Brigade: Col. James Keigwin
  49th IN
  69th IN
  7th KY
  120th OH
Back to Black River Bridge 20 July, and back to Vicksburg 21 July - 8 Aug, 1863


Ohio in the War: her statement, generals, and soldiers, Volume 2, by Whitelaw Reid,  The Robert Clarke Co, 1895 Section on 120th Ohio Volunteer Infantry pp.616
On the 6th of July the regiment led the advance of the Thirteenth Corp in the expedition against Jackson, Mississippi, moving along the line of railroad between that city and Black River. The intrenchments [sic] in front of Jackson were reached on the 10th of July. The Thirteenth Corps formed the right wing of the attacking column. The One Hundred and Twentieth was actively engaged in this attack from the day the investment began until the 17th of July, the day on which the enemy evacuated the place and retreated across the Pearl River. During the investment the regiment was under an almost constant fire of artillery and infantry. Its casualties of officers were Colonel Spiegel and Lieutenant Spear severely, and Lieutenant Totten mortally, wounded.  
  The regiment returned with the army to Black River Bridge, arriving there on the 20th of July, and on the 21st was en route for Vicksburg, where it went into camp.

United States Congressional serial set, Issue 2762. 1891, page 585
Report of the First Brigade in the Jackson Expedition under command of Major-General Sherman,  by Col. James Keigwin, Forty-ninth Indiana Infantry, commanding First Brigade.
The brigade consisted of 49th IN volunteers; 69th IN Inf.; 120th OH Spiegel commanding; 7th KY; 118th IL Infantry mounted.  
The brigade started out 6 July but before reaching Amsterdam, they bivouacked for the night.
July 7 resumed march and bivouacked in woods:  right along the Bolton and Raymond Railroad and left along Jackson road.
Bivouacked 4 miles from Clinton on 8 July.
Page 586:  "July 9....passed through Clinton about 9 o'clock.  When about 2 miles from Clinton, our cavalry had quite a skirmish with the enemy.  I was ordered forward, and deployed the brigade by battalions in mass on the right of the road, throwing skirishers well forward.  Captina Mamphere's battery followed and took position on my left.  We had not advanced far until we discovered quite a number of the enemy's cavalry on a hill in front of us and in a large corn-field on our right.  We advanced, and while so doing the battery threw a few shells amongst them, when they beat a hasty retreat.  We remained at this point the remainder of the day, and bovouacked for the night about 5 miles from Jackson, with orders to be ready to leave at 3 o'clock of the following morning."
"July 10, did not leave our bivouac until 6 o'clock, and marched in advance.  We left the Clinton road, and marched through the woods about 1 mile to the Raymond road."
"The one hundred and eighteenth Illinois was ordered to move through the woods on our left as flankers; one company of the Forty-ninth Indiana for the same purpose.  We did not go very far on the Raymond road until our advance found the enemy, who sutbbornly resisted our advance.  I was ordered forward with the brigade, and corssed the creek, when I was ordered to deploy the brigade into line of battle and advance.  I deployed the Forth-ninth on the right of the road, the Sixty-ninth Indiana, One hundred and twentieth Ohio, and Seventh Kentucky on the left.  Throwing my skirmishers well forward, we advanced and passed the vacalry, and when within about 1,000 yards of the enemy's works, I found quite a force of Infantry, who were posted on a ridge in front of their works, who seemed to intend to stop our advance.  My skirmishers went boldly forward, and were soon hotly [page 587] engaged.  I then ordered the line forward, and they charged up the hill and into the houses in front of us, driving the rebels toward their works." 
Skirmishing continued through July 15.  On July 16 the brigade moved to the rear.  On the morning of July 17 Col. Keigwin learned that the Confederates had evacuated Jackson.  
"The regiments in the brigade suffered a great deal on the expedition from sickness, cause by the heat and exposure, quite a number of cases of sunstroke having occurred, a few only proving fatal.  A large number of men were taken with chills and fever...."
[Page 588] "Colonel Spiegel and Lieutenant Totten, of the One Hundred and twentieth Ohio, were severely wounded by a defective shell from one of Captain Lanphere's guns."

 Page 545:  United States Congressional serial set, Issue 2762. 1891
In the Jackson campaign, the 120th had 4 officers and 9 enlisted men wounded.  

First, Jacob H., Co D, wounded 10 July 1863 in battle of Jackson, Mississippi
Spear, Wesley W., Co D, wounded 11 July 1863 in the battle of Jackson, Mississippi
Swackhmer, James, Co D,  wounded 16 July 1863 in the battle of Jackson, Mississippi 

Heckert, Peter, Co F, wounded on 10 July 1863 in the battle of Jackson, Mississippi
Reichard, Michael, Co F, wounded on 12 July 1863 in the battle of Jackson, Mississippi
Rickel, William, Co F, wounded 10 July 1863 in the battle of Jackson, Mississippi; died on 5 Sept 1863 at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri of those wounds

From  roster and pension records:
Beveridge, John, Co H,   Wounded 12 July 1863 Jackson Miss.
Long, Davidson, Co H, ,  Wounded at Jackson Miss.

 

This letter was signed M R and was sent to Plain Township.  That fits with the letter being from Mahlon Rouch of Co A.
Camp Clear Creek, Miss. June 23, 1863:
Dear Father: This afternoon I embrace the opportunity of again informing you that my health is still as good as ususal, which I could not wish any better.  We have moved back about two miles from Black River and are now encmaped in a beautiful grove upon the side of a hill.  The aire we breathe is as pure as that of my own native hills, and the gentle zephyrs sporting around our weather beaten tents, and the feathery tribe warbling among the branches and thick foliage of the surrounding woods chanting their sweet hymns of praise to their great Creator, make us almost forgetful that we are in hostile lands.  Apples and peaches are fast ripening though diappearing just as fast.  There are blackberries of the finest quality in numbers without end that we have access to, and in connection with these the Government furniches us with good rations.  Likewise heaven grants us weather most beautiful though verywarm.  We have had warmer weather here than ever I experienced in mid-summer in the North, bu our duty at present is light, so that we do not mind it as much as if called out to hard labor.
   We have not as yet been disturbed much by the enemy here.  They have made a number of feints or raids on our cavalry pickets, which amounted tonothing more than causing the troops to be aroused at night to exchange a few hours of sweet repose for as many of tiresome waiting and search for an enemy that was nowhere to be found.  

 

 

 

Mahlon Rouch, Co A, wrote home to his father about Clement Vallandigham of Ohio who sided with the South.  Vallandigham was a part of the Copperhead group within the Democrat party.  Vallandigham lost the election for Ohio governor for which he was running in absentia from Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  .
Published Thursday, 10 Aug 1863, page 3, Wooster Republican newspaper:
"Headq'rs 120th Reg't O.V.I., Vicksburg, Miss., July 31st, 1863.
 Dear Father: - This evening I again seat myself to write you a few lines.  Capt. Moffit rejoined our regiment yesterday, and I received the boots you sent to me by him, and also the letter, both of which were very acceptable. - The boots are excellent, just what I wanted, only a mite too large, but will do very well for a soldier.  I believe I have nothing particular to answer in your letter this time except the question about Vallandigham.  I do not wish to enter into politics, because I consider that this is no time to discuss that question.  About the contents of that letter which a young man from this regiment is reported to have written home, I know nothing, neither do I particularly care.  This much I can assure you, that Vallandigham is not going to carry the vote of the army, neither do I believe he will get five votes out of a hundred.  I have been in the army too long and think I know the sentiments of our soldiers too well to believe such trash.  And when I say this I not only speak my own belief but the opinion of many.  Any man must be troubled with softness in the brain who thinks that soldiers will give their voice for a candidate for such an honorable and responsible position, who has always been doing everything within his power against the cause for which they have so long been and still are battling. - Does any one think that they would suffer as they have from exposure, hard marches and hard fought battles, and then after having erected an unblemished monument of honor and glory by their untiring zeal and endurance, that they would turn their faces toward that monument and with their own hands raze that mighty fabric to the earth by committing such a notorious deed of shameless disgrace as supporting that hell-doomed traitor?  Ah, no!  there yet courses too much pure patriotic blood through the veins of Columbia's noble sons. - They know too well that the protection of their Government and country is the protection of their all.  Give us an opportunity of speaking through the ballot-box, and Val. need not wait to hear the result, but may as well at once seek his dominions of retirement and disgrace.  His supporters may hold their meetings in secret, or they may rave throughout the country like bulls of Bashan, they cannot effect the hearts and minds of true Union loving soldiers.  I speak this plainly, because I know whereof I speak.  But I have already written more than I intended to write, and will say no more. - Some of our boys will start home on furlough to-morrow.  My health is good.  James Wallace was here yesterday and to-day; he started for Milliken's Bend this evening to see after his brother William, who is still here sick.-
Adieu.  Yours, as ever, Mahlon Rouch."

 

 

Died in July - Aug 7 1863

120th OVI

died of disease unless otherwise noted


Ray, John

Co A

died 10 July 1863 at Columbus, OH

Watson, William W.  

Co A

died 26 July 1863 at Vicksburg, MS

Mower, Levi  

Co A

died 3 Aug 1863 at Vicksburg, MS

Harter, Jacob  

Co B

died 25 July 1863 at Black River, MS

Henry, Martin L.  

Co B

died 26 July 1863 at Milliken's Bend, LA

 None

Co C

 

 Wisner, Hiram B.   

Co D

died 4 July 1863 at St. Louis, MO

Reinhard, Wendel   

Co D

died 5 July 1863 at St. Louis, MO

Weddle, Jesse  

Co D

died 16 July 1863 at Columbus, OH

Shaner, Henry S.   

Co D

wounded 1 May 1863 in the battle of Thompson's Hill, Mississippi; he died 16 July 1863 at Milliken's Bend, Madison Parish, LA

McDowell, John    

Co D

died 19 July 1863 at Columbus, OH

Funk, Isaac   

Co D

died 7 Aug 1863 at Cairo, IL

Nisewender, Benjamin J.   

Co E

died on 4 July 1863 at Memphis, TN

Yergan, Amos   

Co E

died on 28 July 1863 at Vicksburg, Miss.

 Menter, George H.    

Co F

died 4 July 1863 at Jefferson Barracks, MO

 Link, Joseph   

Co G

 died 12 July 1863 at Black River, MS

Springer, Norman

Co G

died 1 Aug 1863 at Vicksburg, MS

Dague, Cyrus C.  

Co G

died 5 Aug 1863 at Vicksburg, MS

Robinson, James A.    

Co H

died 8 July 1863 on a hospital steamer.

Troyer, Elias   

Co H

died 22 July 1863 on the road from Jackson Miss. to Vicksburg, MS

Crowner, Thomas   

Co H

died 22 July 1863 on the road from Jackson Miss. to Vicksburg, MS

Witmer, Henry   

Co H

discharged on 24 July 1863; died  25 July 1863

 Coleman, Arthur  

Co I

died 7 July 1863

 Palmer, Eli F.  

Co I

died 21 July 1863 at Vicksburg, MS

 Blanc, Augustus    

 Co K

died 26 July 1863 at Vicksburg, MS

 


Time Further South in Louisiana 8 Aug 1863 - 23 Mar 1864

Ohio in the War: her statement, generals, and soldiers, Volume 2, by Whitelaw Reid,  The Robert Clarke Co, 1895 Section on 120th Ohio Volunteer Infantry pp.616
On the 8th of August the Thirteenth Army Corps (now commanded by Major-General Ord, a division of which was commanded by General Washburne, the successor to Osterhaus) left Vicksburg for New Orleans, and, after a week's detention at Port Hudson, arrived at its destination. The One Hundred and Twentieth went into camp at Carrollton, a suburb of New Orleans, where it remained until the 5th of September, when it accompanied the corps to Berwich City, and thence to Opelousas, returning to Berwich City on the 9th of September. Soon after the regiment, in company with the Forty-Second Ohio and Twenty-Second Kentucky, under the command of Colonel Sheldon, was sent to Plaquemine, a small town on the Mississippi River, one hundred and ten miles above New Orleans, where it lay in camp until the 23d of March, 1864, when it moved up to Baton Rouge.

In the fall of '63, that rascal Vallandigham was defeated for Governor of Ohio.  On 13 Sep 1863, Stephen Reider wrote a very racist letter to Willson Hutchison, a Wayne county soldier in Company E of the 120th.  Reider was supporting Vallandigham and wanted Hutchison to vote for him rather than to vote for the "War Democrat" candidate, John Brough.  Brough won the election.  It is unknown to me how Hutchison voted, but he remained in the war until he was mustered out 14 Oct 1865.  Stephen Rider would have been about 17 in 1863.  He was living in Wooster Twp, Wayne Co OH in 1860.  

 

Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Richland Co OH[Richland County OH version] 1885...original available at the Ohio Historical Society.  There is also a version of the soldier's biographies extracted from the above Hardesty's that has been published by the Richland County Genealogical  Society, 1998 called Richland County, Ohio Civil War Veterans.  In this book from the biography of Captain Christopher Au:  [after the expedition against Jackson, Miss.] About the 1st of January, 1864, Captain Au was detached with his company [Co. I] and Company A, and sent to New River Landing, Louisiana, to enforce the building of a levee.  He remained here four months with both companies under his command."

It [ the regiment] participated in the campaign in the valley of the Teche, and was then sent to Plaquemine [near Baton Rouge], a small town on the Mississippi river, where it remained until March, 1864, being then ordered to Baton Rouge.
[Bayou Teche Campaign  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayou_Teche_Campaign.  The 120th OVI was one of the regiments that took part in the Bayou Teche Campaing in Western Louisiana, Oct 3 - Nov 30 1863. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Vol 1, page 749]

 

Barnhart, David, Co D, captured 24 Oct 1863 at battle of Opelousas, LA; returned to company 14 Jan 1864

Reckard, George, Co D, captured 24 Oct 1863 in action at Opelousas, LA

 

Died 8 Aug 1863 through April 1864

120th OVI

Died of disease unless otherwise noted

Buchwalter, Enos  

Co A

died 16 Aug 1863 at Port Hudson, LA

Martin, Abraham  

Co A

drowned 23 Aug 1863 at Carrollton, LA

Dunham, Henry

Co A

died 25 Sept 1863 at Marine Hospital, IN

Stitt, Robert T.  

Co A

died 24 Oct 1863 at Cairo, IL

Smith, Henry   

Co A

died 18 Dec 1863. 

Bretz, Martin  

Co B

died 14 Aug 1863 at Mound City, Illinois

Ferguson, Charles

Co B

died 15 Sept 1863 at New Orleans, LA

Risser, Joseph

Co C

died 11 Aug 1863 at Port Hudson, LA

Gettle, Anthony L.  .

Co C

died 8 Sept 1863 at Keokuk, IA

Rhodes, David McK.   

Co C

died on 23 Sept 1863 at New Orleans, LA

Grindle, Henry B.

Co C

died 14 Nov 1863 at New Orleans, LA

Casey, John  

Co C

died 21 Dec 1863 at New Orleans, LA

Vinter, Charles  

Co C

drowned 28 Jan 1864 in the Plaquemine River, LA

Montgomery, Harrison L.  

Co D

died 20 Aug 1863 at Camp Dennison, OH

Peppard, James   

Co D

died 9 Oct 1863 at Keokuk, IA

Chacey, Daniel    

Co E

died 21 Aug 1863 at Memphis, TN

Cowell, William H.    

Co E

died 6 Sept 1863 at St. Louis, MO

Hartman, Alexander A.

Co E

died on 9 Sept 1863 at Bridgeport, OH

France, Isaac  

Co E

died 11 Sept 1863 at Carrollton, LA

Totten, Hiram E.   

Co E

wounded 12 July 1863 in the battle of Jackson, Miss.; he died 6 Oct 1863 of wounds received in action.

McClure, Upton   

Co E

died 7 Nov [Oct] 1863 near Cairo, IL

Hoegner, John W.   

Co E

died on 21 Nov 1863 in New Albany, IN

Sullinger, Jacob

Co E

died on 17 Dec 1863 at Cairo, IL after discharge on 7 Nov

 Reckard  [Rickerd], Francis B.    

Co F

 died 17 Aug 1863 at Port Hudson, LA

Rickel, William   

Co F

died on 5 Sept 1863 at Jefferson Barracks, MO of wounds received on 10 July 1863 in the battle of Jackson, Miss.

Switzer, John    

Co F

died 22 Sept 1863 at La Fayette, OH

Yearick, Abraham     

Co F

died 12 Nov 1863 in the 13th Army Corps Hospital, New Orleans, LA

 Boak, James T.    

 

Co G

died 3 Sep 1863 in hospital at New Orleans, LA

Ryal, Martin S.   

 

Co G

listed as  deserted 11 Oct 1863.  He was sent out on a foraging expedition at or near Plaquemine Louisiana and was never heard from again.   [This man may very well have died at that time; may have been killed by the enemy.]

Miller, Charles E.

Co H

died 7 Sept 1863 at Carrollton, LA

Kindig, Daniel

Co H

died 21 Sept 1863 at New Orleans, LA.

Gaddis, Johnson R.    

Co H

died 7 Oct 1863 at Carrollton LA

 Roddy, William   

Co I

died on 30 Aug 1863 at Marine Hospital, New Orleans, LA

 O'Keefe, Daniel, Jr.   

Co I

died 8 Oct 1863

Harris, David W.   

Co K

died 17 Aug 1863 at Port Hudson, LA

Bebell, Edward   

Co K

died 2 Oct 1863 at Marine Hospital , New Orleans, LA

 Wallace, Robert P., Co E, escaped from Libby Prinson in Richmond, VA, on 9 Feb 1864.  


3 May 1864:  Disaster at Snaggy Point

Ohio in the War: her statement, generals, and soldiers, Volume 2, by Whitelaw Reid, The Robert Clarke Co, 1895 Section on 120th Ohio Volunteer Infantry pp.616 - 617
The “Banks Expedition,” as it was afterward named, began to assume proportion. Toward the latter part of April the Thirteenth Army Corps was ordered to re-enforce General Banks, then at Alexandria, and about to move on Shreveport, Louisiana. On the 1st of May the One Hundred and Twentieth embarked on the City Belle, with orders to report to Genearl McClernand, who had recently assumed command of the Thirteenth Corps, at Alexandria. At four P. M., while the transport bearing the One Hundred and Twentieth was turning a bend on Red River, a short distance above Snaggy Point, a body of the enemy, at least five thousand in number, suddenly rose from a concealed position behind the levee, on the south bank of the river, and poured a murderous volley into the boat. The enemy's batteries also opened on the ill-fated boat, and it was almost instantly rendered unmanageable by a shell. Colonel Spiegel, in command, determined to hold the boat until the arrival of the gunboat Monarch, which had convoyed the City Belle form the mouth of Red River to Snaggy Point. But the odds were too great, and, after a [page 617] gallant resistance for half an hour, the white flag was displayed. Two or three companies on the lower deck, not seeing the emblem of surrender, kept on firing, which so incensed the enemy that he also renewed the fire from both artillery and infantry. The boat, now totally unmanageable, floated to the opposite shore from the enemy, and a large portion of the regiment jumped ashore and escaped over the levee. Others remained on the boat, prevented from ascending the bank by the rapid firing of the enemy, covering the only spot at which the bank could be scaled. To prevent further effusion of blood, the with flag was again displayed and a formal surrender effected.
Colonel Spiegel, Surgeon Stanton, Assistant-Surgeon Gill, Captains J. R. Rummel, Miller, Fraunfelder, and Jones, Lieutenants Applegate, Baer, and Rouch, and two hundred men fell into the hands of the Rebels, besides the bodies of the killed. The gallant Colonel Marcus M. Spiegel was mortally wounded, and died on the following morning. The prisoners were at once marched off to Camp Ford, near Tyler, Texas.
After a terrible march, enduring the intense heat, the pangs of hunger, and heartless treatment, the wretched captives reached Camp Ford on the 21
st of May. In this miserable prison, they remained over a year, and until the final cessation of hostilities in 1865.

 Snaggy Point MapOn the 1st of May [1864], the 120th was ordered to join Banks, then operating in the direction of Shreveport.  The regiment embarked on the transport City Belle, for Alexandria, Louisiana, and when passing up Red River it was ambuscaded at Snaggy Point, by 5,000 of the Confederates concealed behind the levee.  A murderous artillery and infantry fire was opened on the crowded boat, and the deck was soon slippery with blood.  After a short but ineffectual struggle against overwhelming odds, the 120th was compelled to display the white flag.  During the conflict the City Belle drifted to the opposite side of the river, where quite a number of the 120th escaped.  Colonel Spiegel, Surgeon Stanton, Assistant-Surgeon Gill, Captains J.R. Rummel, Miller, Fraunfelder and Jones, Lieutenants Applegate, Baer and Rouch, and two hundred men, fell into the hands of the Confederates, besides the bodies of the killed.  Colonel Spiegel was mortally wounded, and died next day.  He was one of the noblest of men, and "bravest of the brave."  The prisoners were at once marched off to Camp Ford, near Tyler, Texas, where they were confined until the close of the war."  From the History of Wayne County, Ohio by Ben Douglas, c. 1878

 
History of the Civil war in America by The Comte de Paris, Volume IV, 1888, page 563
"On the 30th of April [the Confederate troops] had taken position on the right bank of Red River a little above Fort de Russy and within reach of Marksville.......On the next day the steamboat City Belle, with three hundred Ohio soldiers who were on their way to join Banks, arrived in front of the point where [Confederate troops were]  posted with the battery.  No one on board had a suspicion of the enemy's presence, who had not yet been observed.  Accordingly, the boat, which was without either escort or armament, was disabled at the very first fire, and obliged to surrender with all on board."

NewBenjamin Payne's pension papers, National Archives:  James Manley [Company I], of Springfield, Clark Co OH gave description of the attack on the steamer at Snaggy Point, LA. in the pension papers of his comrade Benjamin PAYNE [Company I]:  "... 2nd day of May 1864.  On that day our Regt was on the Ohio Belle going up the Red River on the Banks Expedition.  There were 25 of us up on the Hurricane Deck as pickets.  We did not think there was anything there but guerillas in the woods, but the first thing we knew they opened on us with cannon and then the Infantry fired into us.  Claimant [PAYNE] jumped off of the boat into the water and as he fell struck the side of the boat.  I ran down the stairway and there were a couple of Kentucky soldiers swam with a line and pulled the boat to the shore and 154 of us got away.  The rebs were on the other side of the river and they captured the balance of the Regt and burned the boat.  Our party took to the woods and marched 20 miles and we went into a cotton field and stayed all night.  The next day we went to the River and went to Alexandria.  It was about 4 weeks after that before Payne joined us.  He and one or two more men lay in a swamp awhile.  ???? first gun boat that came along they got on it.  When he came to us he was all stiffened up and kind of limped when he walked and he was that way when I left the Regt in Oct or Nov 1864.  I just saw him as he was on the way to be mustered out and I never saw him again until about 4 years ago.  He was near? lame then he was in the army and he complained of rheumatism.... in ?? places.  He might have struck the lower deck when he jumped but he ?arrived to jump in the river."  
 

NewHardesty's Wayne = Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia. [Wayne County version] published in 1885 page 508, Canaan township section:  "Mr. Bott was one of the men who shoved out the plank for the men to go ashore on.  At this time he lost everything except courage."

Contributed by Robin Biddle

HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, OHIO, 1881 - pg 597  Lloyd Biddle was born in this township in 1844, and was married in 1867 to Sarah Mitchell, born in Monroe county in 1844. To them were born six children—Eva, Abbie, and Jessie now living. He enlisted in 1861 in company C, Seventy-seventh regiment, Ohio volunteer infantry, and was mustered out in 1866—after having served during the entire war. He was in the battles of  [page 597] Pittsburgh Landing, Little Rock, and Mark's Mills, where he was captured with about fifteen thousand others, and was confined in the rebel prisons at Tyler, Texas, for ten months. [Note: Mark's Mills was 25 Ap 1864 at Cleveland Co AR]When captured they were stripped of their clothing, except shirt and drawers, confined in an open stockade without shelter except what they themselves provided by digging caves in the earth, and were compelled to subsist on one pint of meal and three-fourths of a pound of beef, per day, and that issued irregularly. Many died from the severe treatment, and naturally every means was sought to escape from the prison. At one time a New York prisoner was detailed to haul dirt from the prison with a dump-cart and mule, and as many as three hundred of the prisoners escaped, one by one concealing themselves in the load of dirt and were dumped into the garbage holes outside the prison, but just before Mr. Biddle's time came the guards discovered the trick, and, as a precautionary measure, would prod the loads of dirt with their bayonets as they passed out. One very extensive tunnel was worked entirely beyond the guards, requiring from June to October to complete it, but the anxiety of the prisoners to escape overcame their precaution, and the tunnel was opened at the wrong time and discovered by the guards in time to prevent any escapes. Punishment for such offences was ten days' standing on a stump.

Friday, 20 May, 1864    New York Herald-Tribune  Vol. 24  Issue 7215  page 8   Available at Genealogy Bank
"Latest from Red River."
"A Rebel Blockade Established -- Three Transports and Two Gunboats Sunk  From Our Special Correspondent   Port Hudson, La., May 6, 1864"
"We have had news from the Red River.  A battery of six guns has been established at a bend in the river about twenty-five miles above Fort De Russy, and in attempting to pass the blockaded point, we have lost in four days three transports and two gunboats (of the tin-clads.)"
"The transport Emma, coming down with detachments of sick and furloughed soldiers, was fired into and destroyed on the 3d inst.  Loss unknown."
"On the next day the transport City Belle, with the 120th Regiment Ohio on board, about 720 strong, was on its way up the river to join the Army at Alexandria.  In attempting to pass the battery the transport was set on fire, and about one-third of the Ohio troops escaped to the banks.  It is said that these troops escaped, and have joined Gen. Banks."
"Col. Spiegel of the 120th Ohio, Col. Mudd, 2d Missouri Cavalry, and Col. Basset of the 1st Native Guards (colored) were known to be killed.  The latter officer was killed while gallantly urging the men to keep up the fight."
"The John Warner, accompanied by two gunboats as convoy, attempted to pass the batteries on the 5th at daylight.  The Rebels opened with six guns, four above and two below the fleet, and, after a few hours' fight, the three vessels were abandoned.  The transport was disabled by the first fire, and was run into shore on the left bank, opposite the batteries.  The 56th Ohio Regiment, about 250 strong, reenlisted, and on their way home, on furlough, were on board the Warner, and kept up a hot fire of musketry with some effect on the batteries and the Rebel infantry supports.  The regiment lost 34 killed and wounded.  The wounded were left on shore, near the boat, in charge of two men and the surgeon.  Col. Raynor of the 56th was wounded in the leg.  Lieut. Roberts, Lieut. Shunk, and Lieut. Vanderburgh were also slightly wounded.  The remainder of the force, about 200, marched ten miles down the river, and then, hailing a transport, were taken on board and brought to this port.  The two gunboats are said by a number of escaped sailors from their crews, to have been destroyed.  One was blown up and the other was burned."
"The Rebel blockading force is said to number 10,000."
"Unless routed, the river will be completely closed."

Saturday, 28 May 1864, Daily Ohio Statesman (Columbus, OH) Vol XXXI, Issue 287, pg2
Letter from Horace Hill, Co D, 120th OVI, who apparently had to stay behind in Louisiana when the 120th went down the Red River.
"Baton Rouge, La., May 6
Dear Mother - Sad! sad! is the tale I have to tell you this time.  I hope I may never have such a horrid thing to relate again while in the army.  Last Sunday our boys received orders to move on board transports for Red River.  The steamer was a very large one and took on board the whole regiment and some of the 22d Ky.  They left here Sunday afternoon at 4 o'clock in high glee.  Everything went right until Monday about 2 P.M.  They were then about twenty miles from Alexandria.  But, alas! for them then.  The cursed rebels lay in ambush [Note: at Snaggy Point] with six pieces of artillery, and as they rounded a bend they raked the boat from stem to stern, nearly every shell bursting in the cabin where all our gallant officers were.  The boiler was struck by a shell and scalding water flew in every direction.  The boat was disabled by one of the first shots, and was unable to run either backward or forward.  So there they lay floating in the river and exposed to the fire of six guns, the fiends and devils on shore crying out all the time 'no quarter,' while our poor men were being slaughtered by the dozen, the boat all the time flying the white flag.  Lucky for the few who escaped, the boat drifted to the opposite shore from the rebels.  Now comes the saddest part of my story.  Nine of the boys came down this evening, they have succeeded in getting through to the Mississippi by swimming Red river, lying in swamps by day and marching at night.  The report they bring is horrid.  Our brave and gallant Colonel is killed.  He stood on the hurricane deck, cheering the men until the fatal ball struck him. Col. Slocum and Major McKinley succeeded in making their escape, and have gone to Alexandria.  Our regiment numbered over four hundred, and all the boys say that only seventy-five men escaped.  The rest jumped into the river and were shot or drowned or taken prisoners.  Capt. Ben. Miller and Capt. Rummell are said to be killed.  One of the boys tells me he saw Al. Smyzer shot.
  "Our wounded were carried ashore and some of the boys left with them.  The John Warner soon came along, under the escort of two tinclads or musquito boats, and took them on board.  This boat had not proceeded far, before the ambushed curses, devils or demons, opened on them the second time, setting the John Warner on fire.  The wounded were moved on board the tinclads, but they were also disabled and destroyed.  So that all our poor fellows who were wounded are gone.
   "The 59th Ohio veterans were also on the John Warner, on their way home on furlough.  They, poor fellows, suffered like our regiment, all being killed, or wounded or prisoners.  Twenty-nine of their men were killed and wounded by one shell.  I can hear nothing from Billy Bixler, or any of the rest of the boys from Wooster, but the supposition is they are either killed or prisoners.  Oh!  I forgot, poor old Captain Moffit was on board going up Red river to finish up his business before returning home.  What became of him I cannot say as many poor fellows lie in the bottom of Red river that will never be heard from again, while others are prisoners.  
  "Two other colonels who were on the boat were killed.  The rest of the men that escaped to Alexandria, will be down as soon as the river is cleared.  Everything belonging to the regiment was on board and is a total loss.  
  "Lieutenant Spear also remained here, on Colonel Sheldon's Staff, so he is safe.  Several are here in the Convalescent Camp sick, but only a few, so our regiment, once so happy, is now a mere nothing.  I cannot describe these things this evening, I feel too bad.  I will write more as soon as I can gain the full particulars, although you may see them all in the daily papers, long before this reaches you.  The rebels got a big mail of ours, also on the boat, which I think contained some letters for me, as I have not had any lately.  I can assure you, that Col. Speigle is killed.  He is the only one we can gain any correct information about at present.  One thing though is certain, over two-thirds of our gallant regiment is either killed, wounded or prisoners.
From Your Affectionate Son, H. D. Hill"

[Note:  Captain Valentine Moffitt, Co D, had resigned 19 Jan 1864, and he did make it home.  Albert Smyser, Co D, was captured taken prisoner at Snaggy Point.  ]

Thursday, 30 June 1864 Plain Dealer [Cleveland OH] Page 3
Dr. John Gill Not Dead ---Letter from Him---The Bloody Attack and Capture
"It will gratify the many friends of Dr. John Gill, who was reported killed on the Red River, to read a letter from him to Dr. Capener, of this city, which we publish entire, as it is too interesting to omit in any part:
Morganzia, La., June 21st, 1864
Dear Friend: --
As I am once again in God's country, I will devote a few moments in writing a few lines to some of my friends.  I must say that I feel like a new being to get inside our lines once more, although my captivity was not in any way confining, as I was paroled, and given the liberty to go about at pleasure within the limits of the village, (Cheneyville, [Louisiana]).  I was treated very kindly by the Confederate officers that captured us; they were Texans.  You have no doubt read of the capture of the boat and our regiment; but a few remarks may not be uninteresting.  At some future time I will give particulars more fully.  Our regiment, the 129th, received orders on the morning of May 1st, to strike tents and embark at once on the transport 'City Belle,' for Alexandria.  Everything went on smoothly till about two o'clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, May 3d, when without a moment's warning we were surprised by the report of cannon from the enemy.  They were concealed behind the levee.  The Red River being low at the time, they had every advantage, as we were in full view, and were unable to see them.
  They allowed us to pass one battery and to approach to about 100 yards of another one that was planted nearly half a mile above, when it opened on us with shell, and at the same time, volley after volley of musketry was poured upon us like hail.  The first shell was directed at the wheel house.  It carried away a portion of the roof.  The second shot was at the boiler.  This shot was effectual, having struck the boiler and allowing the steam to escape, killing many horses, mules, and I have no doubt, several men, as many jumped into the river at that time.  Now both batteries opened on us, and a constant fire of musketry.  The scene on the boat was terrible, the balls passing through the boat as if it were paper.  The wheel was shattered to pieces while the pilot was at it.  He, poor man, was shot three times, once with shell and twice with minnie balls, which caused mortal wounds.  I was standing by my state-room door when we were first fired into; a shell came through the cabin and passed through my state-room about a foot over my head, completely covering me with feathers and bedding; the only injury it did me was a slight scare.  Just at this time Col Spiegel, of our regiment, came through the cabin, ordering all the men who had concealed themselves to go in the hurricane deck and return the fire.  When he (the Colonel), came to where I was standing, he received a mortal would, in the bowels.  He fell, exclaiming, 'My God!  I'm done for this time, my military career is ended!'  I went to him and examined his wound, and found nearly two hands full of intestines protruding through the wound.  These I immediately returned, and remained with him during the whole engagement.
   Col. Mudd, of the 2d Illinois cavalry, was shot about the same time our Colonel was.  He was killed instantly, being shot through the head.  Both colonels lay within three feet of each other.  The engagement lasted forty minutes.  Our men returned their fire, but could do but little execution, as the enemy were completely hidden from view behind the levee.  Many made their escape on the opposite bank of the river, but as the bank was very steep several were wounded in scaling it.  Col. Bassett, of the Corps d'Afrique, was mortally wounded while rallying the men on the opposite bank.  Lieut. Co. Slocum and Major McKinley, of our regiment, succeeded in making their escape with 164 men.  There are some 190 men yet to be accounted for.  All that fell into our hands, belonging to our regiment, were eleven wounded and three killed.  The rest were taken prisoners or missing, a great many, no doubt, were killed and fell into the river, as we were told that several bodies were seen floating down the river several days after the disaster.  
   There were many wounded belonging to other regiments, besides citizens.  After our boat surrendered the rebels rushed on board the boat and made for the bar the first thing, then after drinking all the liquor, they came tearing through the cabin like devils, rifling the pockets of the dead and wounded, and carrying off all the baggage and everything moveable.  We saved nothing but what was on our backs.  All our medicines and instruments were taken; even a pocket case that I had by my side while dressing one of our wounded men was taken from me.  Before the wounded were dressed a gunboat was reported to be coming up the river.  Orders were given by Gen. Major, commanding the brigade of the enemy to leave the boat and fire it immediately.  I then went to see Colonel Hardeman, commanding one of the regiments, and begged him to have the fire extinguished, and allow us to remove our dead and wounded on shore.  He kindly consented and ordered his men to assist us.  We managed to get all the wounded off, but I fear that some of the dead were burned, as the boat was fired in several places ere we got the last wounded man on shore.  The officers had no control over the men as they were maddened with whisky and acted more like devils than human beings.  The wounded were taken to a log house close by.  --  We were allowed to retain three men as nurses.  Dr. Stanton and myself were allowed to remain with the wounded.  We were kept in this house till Thursday following, and such a scene may I never again witness.  The wounded were stretched out of the bare floor, many without covering of any kind, their clothes and blankets being taken from them, and we had not a grain of medicine of any kind to give the wounded, and it was heartrending to hear the moaning and see the suffering without being able to relieve them.  Toward evening of the second day a Surgeon of one of the regiments of the enemy, came to see us.  From him we received a small quantity of morphine, for which we were indebted to the efforts of an officer in Col. Bailey's regiment, who did his utmost to make things comfortable for us.  Thursday morning, May 5th, we were informed that two gun-boats and a transport were coming down the river from Alexandria.  About 9 o'clock A. M., the boats made their appearance at a bend of the river, nearly a mile distant from where our boat was captured.  When the boats came within range of the enemy's batteries they opened upon them.  The transport was pretty well protected with bales of cotton, (Gen. Banks' veterans, one bale of cotton is equivalent to two veteran soldiers,) but the cotton was but little protection from the shell from the batteries.  The 56th Ohio Volunteers, Col. Raynor commanding, was on board on their way home, having re-enlisted.  The transport was so disabled and the gun boats did but little execution. They were also disabled in a short time; one of the gun boats, the 'Covington,' our men destroyed by fire before leaving her, but the other, the gun boat 'Signal,' fell into the enemy's hands, they taking off her guns and then sunk her in the channel of the river. -- Col. Raynor was wounded, but is recovering from his wounds rapidly.  He was taken prisoner.  Thursday afternoon we were all removed to Cheneyville, a small village some nine miles back from the river.  The wounded were furnished transportation; the others, nurses, surgeons and slightly wounded, allowed to go on foot.  The day was very warm and the dust some three inches deep.  I will not soon forget that little tramp.  We were nearly starved. -- When on the road, some 5 miles from the river, we passed a rebel camp, and they, no doubt, knowing our rations were cut down some, kindly threw out in the road quite a large supply of corn bread and boiled corn beef for our benefit.  You can't imagine how rapidly the 'fodder' was 'gobbled up' by us.  Our pockets and hands were well filled, and we ate with a relish that was quite amusing to the rebs.  We reached Cheneyville at dark and were quartered in negro shanties.  Here we remained a week, then were taken to a large building used as a school house and Masonic Hall.  We could not wish a better place for the wounded.  The citizens treated us kindly, especially the ladies, who called nearly every day, bringing many delicacies for the sick and wounded.  We remained at Cheneyville till a week ago last Saturday, when we were taken to Alexandria,there to be placed on transports and paroled, and sent down the river to our lines.  There were some 340 [840] wounded brought down, some from Mansfield, Pleasant Hill and Cheneyville.
   We arrived at the mouth of Red river last Friday morning, when we were put on board the steamer Iberville, the wounded taken to hospitals at New Orleans and the Surgeons sent to their different regiments.  I will write again and give some more particulars.  I write this in great haste, as a friend is waiting to take it to Cincinnati.
Ever Your Friend,
John Gill"

The Colors were not lost!
Reunion article from Summit County Beacon, Vol 51, Issue 2654, Section 2, pg 6, Wednesday 12 Jun 1889.  Available at Genealogy Bank.
"The steamer was soon disabled and the regiment was at the mercy of the enemy.  About 140 were captured while 160 made good their escape, the remainder being killed, including Col Spiegel and two other colonels who were on the way to join their commands.  The fact that every man save one, 160 in number, carried [?] his gun and ammunition off the steamer with him, although some were barebacked[?, some bare-footed and all had lost haversacks, knapsacks and canteens, is sufficient evidence that at least 160 were not whipped.  During this terrible onslaught William[?] A. Jones, now one of Akron's contractors and builders, distinguished himself by climbing up the guards to the cabin dock and getting possession of the colors and bringing them triumphantly to the shore while the Rebels opened anew a terrific fire upon seeing the colors carried off the ill-fated steamer."  [Note:  This must have been William H. Jones of Company E, 120th OVI.  He did live in Summit County and was a contractor.]

Wednesday, 1 June 1864 Daily National Intelligencer [Washington DC]  Vol 52 Issue 16156  Page 2
 "About the 4th instant, the steamer John Warner, from New Orleans to Alexandria, with her convoys, the gunboats Nos. 8 and 25, were attacked by guerrillas about twenty-five miles from the above place.  The John Warner was taken and burned; No. 25 exploded, and No. 8 surrendered.  The rebels then sunk the three boats across the channel in order to obstruct the passage, but it did not prevent the transports and monitors from passing by."
"The steamers Laurel Hill and Rob Roy and convoy No. 27 were likewise attacked at the same place on their way up the river on the 21 instant; but the well-directed fire from the first named boat, from her two howitzers, a field piece, and some musketry, caused the rebels to take the woods without doing but little damage to the boat.  There was one man killed and one wounded on the Rob Roy."

Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Richland Co OH[Richland County OH version]...original available at the Ohio Historical Society.  There is also a version of the soldier's biographies extracted from the above Hardesty's that has been published by the Richland County Genealogical  Society, 1998 called Richland County, Ohio Civil War Veterans. Account given in this book in the bio of Erastus B. Wilson of Company B:  "The enemy fired into their transport, completely demolishing the boiler and the pilot house, which so disabled the boat that she drifted to the bank of the river, and several hundred men were taken by the rebels.  Mr. Wilson climbed the steep bank of the river under fire from the artillery and infantry, and, with one hundred and fifty others, succeeded in making his escape to the woods.  Here they hired a negro to pilot them across the river above the enemy, and they reached Alexandria, Louisiana, safely..  The distance they had traveled was short, but it had taken them from noon until four o'clock the following afternoon to reach their lines..........."


Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Richland Co OH[Richland County OH version] 1885...original available at the Ohio Historical Society.  There is also a version of the soldier's biographies extracted from the above Hardesty's that has been published by the Richland County Genealogical  Society, 1998 called Richland County, Ohio Civil War Veterans.  Account given in this book in the bio of Alexander J. Swanger  of Company K:  "He was on the gunboat 'Star City Belle,' on its way up the Red river to carry re-enforcements to General Banks, when a masked battery and about nine thousand rebel soldiers opened fire upon them.  The third shot struck the boiler, causing it to explode.  The boat now drifted to the opposite side of the river.  Here the brave boys made a breastwork of knapsacks and tried in vain to protect themselves, but the heavy artillery made short work of such frail defences, and they were compelled to raise the flag of surrender..........Mr. Swanger, seeing that the boat had struck land, determined to make his escape if possible, jumped into the water and succeeded in gaining the top of the bank, which was twenty feet high and almost perpendicular.  The space between the boat and the bank was filled full of comrades less fortunate than himself, who had been shot while trying to climb the bank and had fallen back into the water.  The enemy now began throwing shell, grape and canister into the woods upon the bank.  In order to escape these he was obliged to lie flat upon the ground until captured by some horsemen who crossed the river.  As soon as captured, the Union soldiers were placed again upon the boat, which was drawn across the river by ropes.  When near the shore the boys were commanded to jump into the water and wade to the shore.  Mr. Swanger saw many of his comrades shot while in the water trying to get to the shore.  Fifteen colored men were killed at once; one of them grasped the muzzle of the revolver thrust in his face and tried to use it against his foe, but missed fire and fell dead before he could fire again.  The survivors were ordered immediately to begin their march, which was kept up continuously for twenty-two days, only stopping long enough to cook a little corn meal."

Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Richland Co OH [Richland County OH version]...original available at the Ohio Historical Society.  There is also a version of the soldier's biographies extracted from the above Hardesty's that has been published by the Richland County Genealogical  Society, 1998 called Richland County, Ohio Civil War Veterans.  Account given in the book in the bio of Levi Ritter of Company I:  "After a march of twelve hours Mr. Ritter, like the rest of his unfortunate comrades, was given a biscuit, which was divided into two rations.  For a number of days he marched, watching always for a chance to escape, but was so heavily guarded that no opportunity came.  Any whose strength failed, so that they could not keep up, were immediately shot.  The rebels took the shoes from our men, so that many with bleeding feet were tramping over the iron ore.  At last they reached Tyler, Texas.  The prison was an open space of ten acres; the rations given the men were one pint of corn meal and one-half pound of beef - poor beef - when they had it, and sometimes not receiving any for three days; almost starved, often shot and wounded as a pastime to the guards, without any hope of escape, it seemed more than could be endured, and many died.  Some attempted escape, but with such barriers as a brutal soldiery, bloodhounds, and six hundred miles in an enemy's country without food, it is not strange that but one person succeeded in getting away."

Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Richland Co OHd: (Robert W. Bell biography page 482) "Mr. Bell with a few others made their escape and marched all that night, and the next day reached Alexandria, where they were employed in building dams for the passing of our gunboats."

Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Richland Co OH: (Moses Andrews biography p. 482) "On the Red River expedition the enemy fired into their transport, the men made a barricade of their knapsacks and returned the fire, but the boat soon became disabled.  Lieutenant John Beer and a comrade swam ashore with a rope and succeeded in pulling the boat to the bank of the river where Mr. Andrews among many others, under a heavy fire from the rebels, made his escape into the woods and returned to Alexandria.  Colonel Speigle of his regiment was killed."

Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Wayne Co OH:  (bio of Francis Kidd of Company D, p. 510) Red River expedition:  "Those of the regiment who were not captured were aided in making their way to Alexandria by a negro, who showed them a 'back road'."

Recommended readingRecommended reading:  There is an account of this in the book about Colonel Spiegel entitled Your True Marcus, the Civil War Letters of a Jewish Colonel, edited by Frank L. Byrne and Jean Powers Soman, c. 1985, Kent State University Press.

 Payne, Benjamin, Co I:  Injury to left hip May 1864 at Snaggy Point La

Deaths from 1 May 1864 to consolidation
with the 114th OVI
27th of November 1864. 

120th
OVI

Death from disease unless otherwise noted

Mackey, John D.   

 Field &
Staff/Co A/B

died 21 Sept, 1864

none

Co A

 

none

Co B

 

 Gillis, James

Co C

killed 3 May 1864 at Snaggy Point, LA

 Seibert, Joseph D.

Co C

killed 3 May 1864 near Snaggy Point, on the Red River, LA

 Gray, William L.  

Co C

died 4 Sept 1864 on the steamer Diana

 Harlan, James

Co C

died 2 Dec 1864, in the hospital at Mound City IL

 Erwin, Thomas R.

Co D

died 3 May 1864 at Alexandria, Louisiana of wounds received the same day near Snaggy Point on the Red River, Louisiana.

 Starn, John E.   

 Co D

died 4 May 1864 at home in Plain Township, Wayne Co OH

 McClain, James  

 Co D

died 23 May 1864 near Alexandria, Louisiana of wounds received on 3 May 1864 in action near Snaggy Point, on the Red River, LA

 Martz, Franklin W.   

 Co D

died 29 July 1864 in Rebel Prison at Tyler, TX

Myers, William    

Co E

died 1 May 1864 [Buried at Baton Rouge, LA]

Campbell, John P.  

Co E

killed 3 May 1864 near Snaggy Point, on the Red River, LA

Burns, Tomas S.   

Co E

died 22 June 1864 at Baton Rouge, LA

Miller, Jacob   

Co E

died 27 July 1864 at Morganzia Bend, LA

Van Dorsta, Cornelius   

Co E

died 10 Aug 1864 in hospital at Morganzia, LA

Clinger, Andrew   

Co F

killed or drowned 3 May 1864 in action near Snaggy Point on the Red River, Louisiana.

Wallet [Hollet], Daniel  

Co F

shot and killed 3 May 1864 near Snaggy Point on the Red River, LA

Kepner, Amos B    

Co F

captured 3 May 1864 near Snaggy Point on the Red River, LA; he died 30 Sept 1864 in Rebel Prison at Tyler, TX

Lautermilch [Londerwitch]  

Co F

died 15 Aug 1864 at Morganzia, LA

none

Co G

 

Reed, Jacob S.

Co H

captured 3 May 1864 near Snaggy Point; died 24 Aug 1864 at Camp Ford prison

Miller, Philip   

Co K

captured 3 May 1864 near Snaggy Point, on the Red River, LA; he died 16 July 1864 at St. Louis, MO

Mondorff, Henry  

Co K

died 30 July 1864

The Captives and the Prison at Camp Ford [Camp Tyler]

Captured at Snaggy Point, most taken to Camp Ford near Tyler TX; some wounded may have been held at Cheneyville LA rather than in TX:

Batdorf, John

 Co A

Baughman, John W.

Co B

Craig, Gibson

Co C

 Fortney, John S.
alias Anderson, Alexander

Co D

Boydston, Solon

 Co A

Channel, James

Co B

Eby, Amos M.

Co C

 Baker, John

Co D

Cowell, Christopher

 Co A

Culler, Henry H.

Co B

Fisher, Harrison

Co C

 Bender, Corneliius

Co D

Finley, Luther

 Co A

Hoopes, Lewis L.

Co B

Fronce, John

Co C

 Christy, James W.

Co D

Hawkins, Nicholas S.

 Co A

Miller, Anthony W.

Co B

Gray, John

Co C

 Clark, John T.

Co D

Huntsberger, Isaac D
wounded so was in
prison at Cheneyville, LA

 Co A

Moffitt, Frederick S.

Co B

Hannan, William
wounded & captured
May have been at Cheneyville, LA

Co C

 Crow, Robert C.

Co D

Lehman, Jacob

 Co A

Mowers, John H.

Co B

Hawkins, John S.

Co C

 Elson, Hiram G.

Co D

McKinney, John R.

 Co A

Mowry, Matthias

Co B

Henney, John A.

Co C

 Hanna, James R.

Co D

McQuigg, John

 Co A

Parker, William
died 27 Sept 1864 in Rebel Prison at Tyler, Texas.

Co B

Hurst, David

Co C

 Hartman, Henry

Co. D

Metzler, George W.

 Co A

Pressler, Benjamin

Co B

Jarvis, James

Co C

 Keister, Adam A.

Co D

Montgomery, William E.

 Co A

Joseph P.
Rummel

Co B

McCreary, William J

Co C

 Keister, Elijah G.

Co D

Rummel, Joseph P.

 Co A

 12 Stichler, Andrew J.

 Co B

Marshall, Archibald

Co C

 Martz, Franklin W.
died 29 July 1864

Co D

Shreve, Emanuel

 Co A

 

 

Otto, Edward

Co C

 Miller, Benjamin F.
escaped

Co D

Shreve, William A.

 Co A

 

 

Shambaugh, Alonzo

Co C

 Plum, John W.

Co D

Smedley, Samuel

 Co A

 

 

15 Strine, Samuel E.

Co C

 Reaser, Dallas

Co D

Sponsler, William H. H.

 Co A

 

 

 

 

 Shively, Joseph A.

Co D

17 Taggart, William R.  

 Co A

 

 

 

 

 Smyser, Albert

Co D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Stophlet, Marcus L.

Co D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Swinehart, John

Co D

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thompson, Amos

Co D

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willower, John A.
wounded and captured, so may have been at Cheneyville, LA

 Co D

 

 

 .

 

 

 

Woolf, Joseph

Co D

 

 

 

 

 

 

23 Peter Eckard
Paroled 17 Jun 1864 at Red River Landing, LA 

Co D

 

Bonewitz, Esli S.

Co E

 Biggs, Richard

 Co F

 Berridge, James

 Co G

Baer, John

Co H

Bonewitz, John J.

Co E

 Brown, William W.

 Co F

 Burkhimer, Benton

 Co G

Baker, John A.

Co H

Grunder, Henry

Co E

 Emery, Franklin

 Co F

 Burn, David

Co G

Beveridge, John

Co H

Holmes, Franklin

Co E

 Fraunfelter, Elias

Co F

 Cooper, Henry A.

Co. G

Brubaker, Henry

Co H

Hushouer, Augustus

Co E

 Holmes, Jonathan

 Co F

 
Cooper, Henry F.

Co G

Farmer, Jacob

Co H

McConnell, Cyrus

Co E

 Kepner, Amos B.
died 30 Sept 1864 in Rebel Prison at Tyler, Texas. 

 Co F

 Dague, Gabriel C.

Co G

Farmer, Joseph

Co H

McCrery, John W.

Co E

 McClain, James S.

Co F

 Detrick, George

Co G

Fetzer, George

Co H

Marrietta, John M.

Co E

 Millington, John W.

Co F

 Eaton, James

Co G

Foss, John J. A.

Co H

Palmer, George D.

Co E

 Mish, Adam

Co F

 Eaton, William

Co G

Hoover, Lewis

Co H

Pershin, Harmon B.

Co E

 Saltzman, George W.

Co F

 Etling, Jefferson

Co G

Keiffer, Isaac N.

Co H

Spencer, William G.

Co E

 Shriner, George

Co F

 Gochenhour, John

Co G

Krauter, Jacob

Co H

Weltmer, John H.

Co E

 Smily, Richard

 Co F

 Golden, Thomas

Co G

Lightfoot, George W.

Co H

 13 Whonsettler, Samuel, L.

Co E

 13 Yearick, Isaac

Co F

 Harney, John

Co G

 Long, Davidson

Co H

 

 

 

 

 Harvey, Peter M.

Co G

Myers, Joseph

Co H

 

 

 

 

 Jameson, William A.

Co G

Myers, Menno

Co H

 

 

 

 

 Jones, Benjamin T.

Co G

Myers, Tobias B.

Co H

 

 

 

 

 Kissinger, Franklin

Co G

Norris, Benjamin N.

Co H

 

 

 

 

 Ludwick, Samuel

Co G

Null, John
gun shot wound rt hand
paroled 16 June 1864

Co H

 

 

 

 

 Medsker, Enoch

 Co G

Sexton, John

Co H

 

 

 

 

 Noonan, Martin

 Co G

Shellman, Francis F.

Co H

 

 

 

 

Rigdon, John

Co G

Smith, Samuel A.

Co H

 

 

 

 

 Seig, Elias

Co G

Stake, Andrew J.

Co H

 

 

 

 

 Smith, John

Co G

Stauffer, Henry

Co H

 

 

 

 

 24 Wilford, Enoch H.

Co G

Weaver, John R.

Co H

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 Willford, Cyrus

Co H

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buck, William

Co I

 Applegate, Harvey

Co K

Bussing, James

Co I

 Carmichael, William

 Co K

Church, Alfred S.

Co I

 Cockburn, William

 Co K

Coleman, James

Co I

 Craig, Thomas V.

 Co K

Cook, Samuel

Co I

 Craig, William F.

 Co K

Creigh, Alfred J.

Co I

 Eschbaugh, Christian

 Co K

Etzwiler, Samuel

Co I

 Fast, Salathiel

 Co K

Eyeler, Abraham D.

Co I

 Gurwell, Cyrus

 Co K

Ferguson, James

Co I

 Hyman, John H.

 Co K

Higgins, William

Co I

 Johnson, Milford

 Co K

Hill, Thomas S.

Co I

 Leylander, John

 Co K

Hyer, Peter

Co I

 Longey/Longe, August

 Co K

Kuhn, Philip

Co I

 Louthan, Henry

 Co K

Lindly, Israel

Co I

 Lurwell, C.

 Co K

McIlvain, John C.

Co I

 Metzger, William

 Co K

Martin, Josiah R.

Co I

 Miller, Philip

 Co K

Matson, John S. B.

Co I

 Morfoot, Jacob

 Co K

Milliken, William B.

Co I

 Snyder, Joseph

 Co K

Morrow, Matthew A.

Co I

 Swanger, Alexander J.

 Co K

Morrow, William R.

Co I

 Tanner, Frederick

 Co K

Morton, John H.
wounded

Co I

 

 

Oyster, Daniel

Co I

 

 

Parks, Milton

Co I

 

 

Reed, Jacob S.
died 24 Aug 1864 in Rebel Prison at Tyler, Texas.  [Camp Ford] 

Co I

 

 

Richie, Joseph H.

Co I

 

 

Ritter, Levi

Co I

 

 

Taggart, Martin V.

Co I

 

 

Wallace, Charles

Co I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Exchange of Prisoners of War, Headquarters Department of the Gulf, New Orleans, August 4?, 1864, "General Orders No. 107. The following named Officers, Non-commissioned Officers, and privates, being of the number of prisoners of war delivered on parole at Red River Landing, La., June 17, 1864, and being an equivalent for one hundred and ten (110) privates, are hereby declared duly exchanged, in accordance with an agreement entered into July 22d, 1864, between Colonel Charles C. Dwight, United States Commissioner of Exchange for the Military Division of the West Mississippi, and Major Jg. S*ymanski, Confederate States Commissioner of Exchange for the Trans-Mississippi Department :"  included Peter ECKARD, Pvt, Co D 120th OH Volunteers; Jacob S. FISHER, Pvt, Co F 120th OH Volunteers; David PAINTER, Pvt, Co E 120th OH Volunteers    "Officers and enlisted men above enumerated will join their respective commands without delay.  By Command of Major Gen. BANKS.    George B. Drake, A. A. General."

Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Richland Co OH [Richland County OH version]...original available at the Ohio Historical Society.  There is also a version of the soldier's biographies extracted from the above Hardesty's that has been published by the Richland County Genealogical  Society, 1998 called Richland County, Ohio Civil War Veterans.  From the account of Alexander J. Swanger of Company K:  "the prison....they were without shelter of any kind the first six months of their stay.  In the fall these prisoners were taken out under guard and allowed to cut the logs, from which they constructed rude pens, which were their only shelter during the winter.  Some few made their escape by lying in the bottom of the dust wagon and having the filth thrown on them; the wagon was driven by a negro man; this was soon discovered, and negro and wagon alike disappeared.  A tunnel was dug and had every prospect of success, when a notice was posted upon the gate that anyone who would disclose plans for escape among the prisoners should be released.  One was a traitor and revealed their plan.  Poor unhappy fellow, after wandering about a week or two, he came back one night to visit his friends.  The next morning there was a new-made grave within the stockades of the prison, the traitor was gone."

Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Richland Co OH:  From the account of William Higgins of Company I, relating the account of the march from the City Belle capture to the prison at Tyler, TX:  "They were nearly rescued on the following day by General Smith's cavalry corps."

From Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Wayne Co OH page 470:
Camp Ford, or Camp Tyler

"This stockade was situated a few miles from Tyler, the countyseat of Tyler county, Texas, and was at first an enclosure two hundred feet across the end by five hundred on the side, with no shelter from the weather.  It was later enlarged so as to enclose about five acres, and five thousand prisoners were confined here at one time."

"They were subjected to the tyranny of a vicious, cowardly lieutenant, McEcheu, whose favorite recreation was "tying up by the thumbs: those who incurred his special displeasure.  There were several commandants in the two years the stockade was used, 1863 and 1864, among them Colonels Allen, Stewart and Borden, but McEcheu, who was given full powers, was most like Winder and Wirz in discipline. [Winder and Wirz were the officers in charge of Andersonville.]  The dead-line was established fifteen feet from the stockade, and a furrow was run to mark it.  This was soon obliterated by the rain, after which the guards used their own discretion as to when a man had crossed the imaginary line, and prisoners were frequently shot when fifty feet from the stockade.  Officers and men of the rank and file were confined together here, and were subjected to the same treatment.  There was a supply of good water, the prisoners digging wells for themselves with old case-knives, half canteens, etc.  No shelter was provided, but the  prisoners were permitted to construct cabins, sheds and caves for themselves with logs, brush and dirt.  There was much suffering for food, and a favorite punishment was the stopping of rations for the whole camp on account of an offense given by one or a few.  Frequently the prisoners were without food two days, sometimes three. Rations were withheld for an alleged mistake in the count, and as they were as poor accountants here as the men occupying similar positions all through the South, this was often the case.  A pint of meal, with a small quantity of fresh beef, constituted a day's ration.  No conveniences were furnished for cooking, and the prisoners had to exercise their ingenuity in preparing their food, which was after all eaten in a half cooked state, and bowel diseases resulted.  Scurvy also raged, for want of vegetables, which were plentiful., and could be bought by those whose money had not all been stolen.  Dessicated [sic] vegetables from our government were sent to this prison, and distributed to the prisoners, relieving the scurvy a good deal."

"Bucking and gagging, and standing on stumps in the hot sun, were common punishments.  Prisoners were frequently tied up by the thumbs with their toes just touching the ground, with sharp pegs driven in the ground, just touching their heels.  On becoming unconscious they would be taken down, and when recovered strung up again.  They were ironed and clubbed for slight offenses, the dogs were used to hunt them down if they attempted to escape, and many were torn by them, some so severely that death ensued.  If the dogs did not finish a recaptured man, tying up by the thumbs was his punishment.  One Captain Reid, of the third Missouri Cavalry, was stood on a barrel in the sun from July 3d for ten days.  His hat was taken away, and his only clothing was a shirt and pair of drawers.  He was refused water hours at a time.  Standing on stumps in the sun was a common punishment."

"When colonel Allen was relieved of command he made the prisoners a short speech, in which he said he hoped every Yankee _____ _____ would stay in the stockade till he entered a Southern grave.  Three or four times, when it was feared our raiding forces would reach the stockade, the prisoners were paroled and marched away ostensibly for the purpose of exchange, and after a few days hard marching brought back to the same place.   The most of them marched barefoot, whether on hot sand or snow, and if any could not keep up from weakness they were murdered.  One old man, on a forced march back to prison in April, 1864, gave out, and was tied to the saddle of an officer and dragged until he died.  The weak and sick were commonly prodded with bayonets to increase their speed, and those who fell by the way were shot.  As the stockade became crowded, the sanitary condition grew worse.  The food was poorer, filth increased, vermin swarmed, and great numbers of the prisoners sickened and died. There was no hospital accommodation adequate to the need, and men would just drop anywhere and die where they fell; they had no medical attendance. Attempts to escape multiplied under such circumstances, and on July 1, 1864, the following order was issued: Hereafter any Federal prisoner being detected in trying to make his escape from this prison, either in the act or after his escape, will be shot by the one capturing him.
By order of Lieutenant-Colonel J.P. Borden, commanding.
B.W. McEachau, Lieutenant and Acting Adjutant."

"The condition of the prisoners then was such that this order did not deter many from trying to get away, and it is estimated that in 1864 out of one hundred and fifty who escaped from the stockade one hundred reached our lines.  When those whom death had not sent to the grave Colonel Allen wished for them, were finally paroled for exchange, not one man was fit for any place but a hospital."
_____________________

      Letter written by George Saltzman, Co F
      Dear Sir
      I think every prisoner ought to have a pension. We suffered every thing. Death would of been exceptiable. They starved us for too or three days at a time and then they would give us some fat meat and beans. We could skim the worms of[f] them and half enough. They took our shoes. Our feet was bleading. I was so sick with the chronic dir [diarrhea]and had the rheumatism so bad I would give up and lye down. This was when they took us prisoners and marched us on duble quick for too days and never gave us one bite to eat. If we would give out they would come at us with the baynot [bayonet] and swair and curs at us. We had to get or be ????. While we was in prison we ware most naked with out shelter. The sun so hot it curled our hair. They would call us up very often and tell us that they would shot every yankey, shoot one or too and send us back to our quarters. I never called? a doctor or went to the hospital. I thought I would die sure if I went there. If there is a man ever diserved of pension it is me. I wish you would look up my case. I am a year . I hope you will try to get me a pension. I was not at home when your papers came. This is just a ???camesnsoon??? of what I could tell you of my suffering in prison.

      Yours respectfully
      George W. Saltzman  [Co F]
      Maryville Nodaway Co, MO

      __________________________

The Photographic History of the Civil War in The Volumes:  Vol. Seven - Prisons and Hospitals
by Robert Sampson Lanier, 1912  The Review of Reviews Co. , NY
Editor Holland Thompson, Ph. D.
Page 51 "Conditions in this prison were not hard until 1864, when the concurrent increase in numbers and exhaustion of supplies and wood in the neighborhood brought much suffering.  It is reported that when the guards learned of the capture of Richmond, they went to their homes, leaving the prisoners almost without supervision to make their way to New Orleans."  
Page 49  "Up to the spring of 1864, conditions here were better than in many other prisons.  The stockade included a number of noble trees, several springs, and a stream of some size.  Abundant opportunities for bathing were afforded.  Drinking water was excellent.  wood was plentiful and an abundant supply of fresh meat was furnished.  Prisoners at first built themselves log huts.  Later any simple shelter was a luxury.  Many of the captives were forced to burrow into the sides of the hill.  The supply of wood became scanty.  Meat grew scarcer until at last corn-meal was the staple article of diet.  Clothes wore out and were not replaced."  In this book are photos of groups of men from the 19th Iowa after their release.  

Camp Ford, Texas, a Second Andersonville
Daily Ohio Statesman (Columbus, OH) Vol 12, Issue 1, page 4
Published Thursday, 24 Aug 1865
[Available at GenealogyBank]
"New York, August 18 -- The Tribune's Tyler, Texas, correspondent describes Camp Ford, near that place, as a prison pen second only to Andersonville, in the barbarism and atrocities inflicted upon Union prisoners for two years.  The correspondent says that, scourged, beaten and frozen, these prisoners were too far off and too closely guarded for their groans to be heard by those in the outside world.  Their sad story only became known from their own lips after they had been exchanged.  It is a stockaded inclosure [sic] of, I judge, eight or ten acres.  This estimate includes all adjuncts of the prison.  It is situated on the side of a sandy slope, at the lower edge of which and just within the stockade, is a spring that supplied water to the prisoners.  The inclosure [sic], which seems to have been enlarged at different times to meet the requirements of rebel captures, is filled with huts and shanties of almost every imaginable shape, and constructed of every available material.  Two barrels, one on top of the other, form the chimney of a hut made of bushes, the limbs of which have been pressed together and plastered with mud.  Near the point at which we entered there is a number of grave-like mounds scattered in a place of about one acre.  I at once thought they were graves, but on examining I found that they were excavations in the ground, which had been covered first with buses and then with dirt.  They had been made by those of our men who had been captured last and for whom there was no room in the huts above ground.  Everywhere war blackened spots which show where fires had formerly been, by which those who had shelter at all cooked their daily mite of meat.  Fragments of kettles and stoves, old cast-off pans and flat rocks, the cooking utensils which they had used, are strewn about, as I noticed in one of the huts piled up with care to await further use.  Toward the upper side of the inclosure [sic], where there seems to have been a prison for the confinement of offenders, are several stumps, on the tops of which those who violated any of the prison rules were made to stand and mark time for perhaps a whole ay, while the guard had imperative orders to shoot any one that stopped or fell off from exhaustion.  The whole scene, with its associations, is a horrid illustration of the inhumanity that originated and carried on the rebellion until its overthrow.
Perhaps I am raking a hurtful coal from dead ashes.  I will stop."

Captivity in the South, Narrative of a Union Prisoner in Texas
14 Mar 1864 Philadelphia Inquirer, page 2
[Available at Genealogy Bank]
29 Feb 1864 communication from Dr. D. F. Nestell, surgeon on US steamer Clifton, captured at Sabine Pass, TX, 8 Sep 1863.
"Colonel Allen, commanding post at Camp Ford behaved towards us with much humanity, assuring us that our food was 'just as he gave his own soldiers,' which was indeed the fact, and which was both scanty and poor.  This state of things, however, was much alleviated by our ability to purchase, at exorbitant prices, many little things without the cruel stockade which enclosed us."

Prison Life in Texas - Narrative of an Escaped Prisoner
Friday 11 Nov 1864, Milwaukee Sentinel, Vol. 21, Issue 294, page 2
[Available at Genealogy Bank]
John Price of the steamer Emma escaped Camp Ford.  The Emma as captured on Red River on May 1st during Banks' Red River Expedition.  So he would have been at Camp Ford at the same time as the men from the City Belle.
"A man named Col Allen had charge of the prisoners.  He was a gentleman entirely, and treated every one will in every respect......He did not stay long though, and we were very sorry for his departure.  A Colonel Boder, under Colonel Anderson came next.  He was one of the biggest scoundrels in the world.  He might be a good fellow round a whisky shop, but he was no gentleman anywhere else.  But after all, he wasn't the biggest scoundrel, for his Adjutant, McCann, was worse again than him.  He would come in every morning flourishing his pistol round among the prisoners, saying if they didn't keep away he would shoot the sons of b---s,  To the guard on duty about the gate he would say, 'if they don't stay away, shoot them down!'  "
"At last prisoners were running away fast.  When recaptured the punishment for their misdeed was this:  in the forenoon to stand three hours in the sun on a stump, bareheaded, in the afternoon, tied to a beam at the guard house by the thumbs for three hours, standing on tiptoe."
"During the summer I saw five men shot.  One of them was a Pottawattomie Indian, a member of the 6th Kansas regiment."
"A private of the 130th Illinois, as religious and good a poor man as I ever saw, was quietly reading when he was shot dead.  The rebel guard that shot him said? as an excuse, that the prisoner was making fun of him; yet he was away from him a distance of a hundred yards.  There was great indignation at that time among the prisoners, and came near being a break out that night."
"Another prisoner was cruelly slaughtered without provocation.  His hat blew over the stockade, and he asked a fellow to get him his hat, when the latter blazed away and killed him."
"Border had a written order to his guards hanging up, which could be read by all.  In this order they were instructed that when they caught any of us trying to escape they were to leave us where they found us."
Border was removed and replaced by Col. Sweet who stopped the punishments and stopped the bloodhounds chasing escapees.  A refuse cart became a means of escape.
"It carted away to freedom 300 prisoners, during two weeks, out of the 4,300 who were there in June."  But someone told and the cart escapes stopped.
 The Tunnel
 "There was a number of brush shanties we bought for comfort.  The tunnel was started in one of these.  We had candles to work by at night.  Soon a great many of us knew about it, but nobody told.  We had spades and buckets.  We scattered the dirt into holes, and used it for daubing cabins, etc.  It took about four weeks to dig the tunnel.  It went six feet deep from the surface, was about three feet in diameter, and we ran it outside the stockade forty feet.....The first night thirty-seven got away, but one fellow, a soldier of the 6th Kansas, as soon as he was outside, hollered, 'Ho? Jim, where are you?'  ...he was no traitor.  He just forgot himself in the excitement of escape."  That was the end of the tunnel escapes.
"The morning after the discovery, I shaved closely, put on my 'Sunday clothes,' and walked out by the gateway.  No one said anything to me.  I looked like a reb, with ribbed shirt on, but my hair was too short.  Twelve miles from my late prison overtook six hundred of our men who had been paroled to be exchanged.  That night most of those who had gone through the tunnel joined the six hundred, as I had done.  Those who escaped were mostly sailors, and of the 6th Kansas men."

Newspaper at Camp Ford
[Note:  This newspaper was only published in February and March of 1864, with 3 issues. So the 120th was not there for this particular newspaper.  You can see this newspaper at:
http://archive.org/details/oldflagserial00newy  The paper was published by Captain William H. May, 23rd Connecticut Inf.  Capt. May smuggled the copies out when he was paroled in July 1864.]  [See also: http://handwrittennews.com/2011/07/16/the-old-flag-tx-1864/  ]
 " 'The Old Flag.' It was a War Newspaper Printed with a Pen."
Sunday 15 Mar 1896 St. Louis Republic, Vol 88 Issue 261 Section Part Four Page 34
"Cheering News and Bright Gossip Compiled in Prison."
"It tells of the Doings of the Men at Camp Ford, Texas"
"Written for the Republic."
"If a collection was made of unique prison relics, there is at least one war=time newspaper that ought to be given first place among them.  A copy of this odd paper called 'The Old Flag,' which was printed with pen and ink in a Confederate prison, is in the possession of Mr. J. L. Day of Chicago, who was one of the prisoners who issued the paper." ......
"It was one of the most remarkable war prisons of the war period.  In spite of deprivation, disease and hunger there sprang up between the captured and their guard a feeling of fellowship which ripened into that sort of thing that makes men kin."
"There had to be some diversion in such a place, and one of them was the 'publication' by the prisoners of the Old Flag.  It was written with a pen, and ony one number of an issue was gotten out.  This was read to squads and passed about.  It had advertisements and 'telegraph news' and poetry and gossip about events in the prison.  Whe the prisoners at Camp Ford went out, after the surrender, the editor of the paper, Captain William H. May, of the Twenty-third Indiana Cavalry, took the copies with him and had them photographed.  A copy of each issue was sent to every man who was a prisoner in that camp.  It is curious and interesting, and throws a white light on one of the darkest clouds that ever shadowed any land."
"A faxcimile of the Old Flag, lately published by a Chicago newspaper, shows it to have been a work of real ingenuity and patience, as well as much originality and humor.  an ante George Washington's birthday celebration announcement reads as follows, showint that the writers and printeres of the Old Flag still had courage enough left in their hearts to be patriots:
" 'With the violin lately purchased from one of the guards for $100, Confederate money (equal to $10 in greenbacks here), and the banjo Messrs. Mars and Co. are making, and Captian Thompson's excellent flute we are in hopes to have quite a band by the 22d of February.  Now,   with the addition of a singing club we certainly do not lack music for a celebration on the birhtday of Washington.  We have excellent public speakers and therefore hope such a celebration will come off.' "
"There is always something pathetic in the reviewing the little crumbs of comfort such as this paper must have been to the prisoners who wrote it, but these reminders of war-time days seem only to bind those closer who shared in the making of them."

George Metzler of Co A:   "He was one of the party who set up a lathe, turned themselves arrows, and headed them with old hoop iron, in a desperate determination to escape, which was discovered and stopped before reaching a head."

      The official main exchange day for the prisoners at Camp Ford was 22 May 1865.

The 120th prisoners go to Shreveport.
Monday, 29 May 1865 New Orleans Times, Vol 4, Issue 609, Page 1
Arrival of the Last of the Union Prisoners from Texas
Their Journey and their Treatment - Affairs at Shreveport [Louisiana]
 "We are furnished by an officer of the 77th Illinois Infantry with the following facts:
 The last lot of prisoners in the so called Confederacy, about 1700, have just arrived here from Camp Ford, Texas.  They consist of large detachments from the 77th and 130th Illinois, 120th Ohio, 173d New York, 16th Indiana, 2d  and 6th Kansas, and smaller detachments from the 28th, 32d and 14th Iowa, 87th Illinois, 50th Indiana, 162d and 165th New York, Chicago Mercantile Battery, and a number of miscellaneous squads from almost every State, together with the crews of the steamers Emma, City Belle, and John Warner; also, a few of the navy formerly of the Clinton and Morning Light.  The latter are the old set prisoners of the war, having been prisoners twenty-eight months."
" The trip from Tyler to the Mississippi was rather interesting.  The collapse of the rebellion left us almost to our own resources.  The guard at the stockade deserted us, and left us several days without a guard.  We were then started for Marshall with an escort of about fifty men of the 15th Texas Cavalry, more than half of whom left us before reaching that point.  No rations were issued to us until the third evening after starting, except beef which was driven with us, and then it was at our suggestion that rations met us from Marshall, between Marshall and Shreveport.  The transportation for our sick left us between two days to avoid being taken by the troops who are appropriating to themselves every thing they can get in the shape of Government property." 
"At Shreveport, we found matters all in a turmoil, no proper authority, and no security to persons or property, except such as is afforded by some Missouri troops who wish to surrender properly, and are endeavoring to keep the Government property together as well as they can, and with the citizens are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our troops.  In fact, a fleet of our forces would be the most welcome thing that could be sent up Red River."



After Snaggy Point   4 May 1864 - 27 Nov 1864

Ohio in the War: her statement, generals, and soldiers, Volume 2
, by Whitelaw Reid,  The Robert Clarke Co, 1895 Section on 120th Ohio Volunteer Infantry pp.617
Those who were fortunate enough to escape formed themselves into a battalion of three companies, under Lieutenant-Colonel Slocum, coming together for that purpose about one mile from the scene of disaster. Recognizing at once the folly of attempting to rescue their comrades from captivity, the battalion resolved to husband the remaining ammunition and use it to defend themselves against the guerilla bands infesting the country between them and Alexandria. A fatiguing march of twenty-three hours brought them to Alexandria, where they reported to General Banks, were kindly card for by that General hand his staff, and furnished with rations, clothing, camp equipage, and comfortable quarters. This remnant of the One Hundred and Twentieth was assigned to duty on the 12th of May in the division commanded by General Lawler.
    On the 13
th of May General Banks began his memorable retreat. The One Hundred and Twentieth, having shared it hardships and privations, reached the Mississippi river on the 21st of May
and went into camp at Morganza, Louisiana, where it remained until the 23d of August. On that day it started with its division on an expedition into Eastern Louisiana, and after dispersing a Rebel force near Clinton, Louisiana, returned to Morganza.

Letter from James Harlan, Co C,  to sister, Freelove Harlan. [Contributed by Dana Pennell.]

Morganzia Bend La
July the 8th /64
Well Freelove I thought I would embrace the present opportunity to address you with a few lines but not in answer to any that I have received from you  
I have recd some letters from Lydia and one from Sally
I recd two letters a few days ago one from Father and one from Ann  
I have answered all the letters that I have recd  
I will now inform you that I am well at present hoping these few lines may find you all well  
the boys are all well but Wm Wilson and he is getting his discharge
I am going to send some things home with him
I have a ring for you and Lydia
I sent Sarah and Ann a ring in a letter some time ago
Joseph Byerly is well
I havent heard any thing more from our prisoners since I wrote last
John Mowers and Henry Culler and Alonzo Shambaugh is prisners
we have had no word yet from John Hawks.
we are camped at Morganzia Bend about two Hundered and fifty miles above New Orleans
it is a very nice place
I don't know how long we will stay here
there is some talk that we will be sent up north to recruit up but we cant tell any thing about it so I must close
I must go on fatigue duty in about an hour
it is very warm here
Write soon without fail
so good Bye for this time
Yours truly
James Harlan                   Freelove Harlan

[Note: The prisoners mentioned, Mowers, Culler, Shambaugh and Hawks, were captured at Snaggy Point and being held prisoner at Camp Ford, near Tyler,TX.]


    On the 13
th of September the One Hundred and Twentieth left Morganza again and proceeded up the Mississippi to the mouth of White River, thence up that river to St. Charles, Arkansas. On the 21st of October General Slack's brigade, of General McGinnis's division, to which the One Hundred and Twentieth now belonged, moved up to Duvall's Bluff, Arkansas, and on the 27th returned to the mouth of White River. A second expedition was made to Duvall's Bluff, returning to the mouth of White River on the 24th of November.
    On the 25
th of November an order was issued from the head-quarters of Nineteenth Army Corps for a permanent consolidation of the One Hundred and Twentieth with the One Hundred and Fourteenth Ohio, and carried into effect the next day, the One Hundred and Twentieth forming five companies of the new organization. Lieutenant-Colonel Kelly, of the One Hundred and Fourteenth Ohio, was made Colonel, and Major McKinley, of the One Hundred and Twentieth, Lieutenant-Colonel of the consolidated regiment. The following named officers of the One Hundred and Twentieth, rendered supernumerary by the consolidation, were honorably discharged: Lieutenant-Colonel Slocum, Captains Au, Harvey, Taylor, and Jones, and Lieutenants Van Osteren [sic] and Hughes. This ended the career of the One Hundred and Twentieth as a regimental organization. It entered the service in 1862 with nine hundred and forty-nine officers and men. About one hundred and fifty recruits joined it in 1864, and when merged into the One Hundred and Fourteenth Ohio, on the 27th day of November, 1864, but four hundred and forty of the whole number remained.   Up to this time the aggregate number of killed in action, died of wounds and disease, and discharged because of disability, was six hundred.

Daily True Delta (New Orleans, LA), Tues. 9 Aug 1864, Vol XXIX Issue 221 pg2
Paroled 17 Jun 1864 at Red River Landing, LA:  
Pvt. Peter Eckard, Co D, 120th OH Vol.; [Note: had been captured at Snaggy Point, LA, 3 May 1864.  
Pvt. Jacob S. Fisher, Co F, 120th OH Vol. [Where captured?]
Pvt. David Painter, Co E, 120th OH Vol. [Where captured?]

MYERS, Henry, Co I, died 3 July 1864 at Natchez, MS

DEARTH, Jacob, Co I, captured 24 Aug 1864; sent to Andersonville, GA; exchanged 1 April 1865

REED, Jacob S., Co I,   
died 24 Aug 1864 in Rebel Prison at Tyler, Texas.  [Camp Ford]

MACKEY, John D., Co B,  died 21 Sept 1864

PARKER, William, Co B, died 27 Sept 1864 in Rebel Prison at Tyler, Texas.

HOCK, Benjamin F., Co I, died 3 Nov 1865 at Cahaba, A; captured 24 Aug 1864 near Clinton, LA.   

 

"After this disaster the remnant of the regiment retreated with Banks' forces to Morganza, La., where it was consolidated with the 114th Ohio Infantry.  On consolidation the following officers of the 120th were honorably discharged:  Lieutenant-Colonel Slocum, Captains Au, Harvey, Taylor and Jones, and Lieutenants Van Ostern and Hughes. From the History of Wayne County, Ohio by Ben Douglas, c. 1878

This ended the career ot the 120th as a regimental organization.  It was a good regiment, but was overwhelmed with a series of disasters."   From the History of Wayne County, Ohio by Ben Douglas, c. 1878

Consolidation with the 114h OVI took place 26 Nov 1864.
 
Daily Ohio State Journal, Columbus, OH, Vol XXVII, Issue 148, pg2, published Friday, 6 Jan 1865
"The 120th O.V.I.    In our yesterdays issue we briefly referred to the fact that the tattered and war worn colors of the noble 120th, were presented to the State by Lieut Co Slocum.  The history of this gallant regiment is a peculiar one, and contains material for volumes of future history.  In December, 1862 it took an important part under the command of Col French, in the battle of Chickasaw Bayou near Vicksburg, drawing the first fire of the enemy and nobly sustaining the reputation of the sons of Ohio in coolness and bravery under a galling fire. For two days, the 120th was detailed to support the 9th Michigan and 1st Wisconsin Batteries, during which time it lost heavily.  On the 11th of January, 1863, it was the first to charge the rebel fortifications at Arkansas Post, and was the first regiment to plant its colors on that stronghold.  
 "Having the advance in Grants campaign trough Mississippi, it took part in every battle, and on each occasion covered itself with glory.  Lieut Co Spiegel succeeded Col French in command, after the battle of Arkansas Post, and remained in that position with marked ability until severely wounded by a shell at Jackson Miss, on the 12th of July, 1863, when Lieut Co Slocum assumed command.  In ascending Red River in May, 1864, the boat on which the 129th embarked was fired into by the enemy, and suffered terribly in[?] killed and wounded, - 23 men and officers being the loss on that occasion.  Here Co Spiegel was killed, after which Lieut Col Slocum assumed command, and by getting the boat worked over to the opposite shore, succeeded in saving 155[?] men with their guns.  By dint of terrible marching through an enemy's country, this b**ly of brave men finally reached the federal lines and were safely quartered among friends.  After its terrible experience by land and water the glorious 120th found itself reduced to less than 100 men, when it was consolidated with the 114th O V I.  Our word for it, that wherever the brave boys of the old 120th may be found, there will be a record for bravery which would cause the veins of an Alexander to thrill with envy!"
 


 Morfoot, Jacob    murdered 8 Dec 1866.

But this was not the end of the war for many of the Company H soldiers.  There was still action to be seen for them with the 114th OVI. (Later some ended up in the 48th Ohio Veterans Volunteer Infantry.)

The transfer to the 114th OVI took place the 27th of November 1864.  After that date the 114th participated in the Siege of Mobile, Alabama 26 March to 9 April 1865 and the battle of Fort Blakeley, Alabama, 2-9 April 1865.

Barr, Richard [Co F 120th] .... Transferred to Co. E 114th OVI on 27 Nov 1864.  Wounded 9 Apr 1865, battle of Ft. Blakeley, AL.  

Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Richland Co OH...original available at the Ohio Historical Society.  There is also a version of the soldier's biographies extracted from the above Hardesty's that has been published by the Richland County Genealogical  Society, 1998 called Richland County, Ohio Civil War Veterans.
In the biography of Alfred Wilson: "...At the last named place [Blakely] they came upon the enemy April 1st, and conducted a siege during nine days, a large part of which time their rations consisted of one cracker a day.  To such straits were they reduced that on one occasion Mr. Wilson gladly scraped up kernels of corn left by a horse and ate them."

Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Richland Co OH: (Moses Andrews biography page 482) [At Alexandria] "Here they remained performing picket duty for a week, and then went to Carrollton, on the Mississippi river above New Orleans, thence by rail to Lake Ponchartrain.  They took transports across the lake and marched via Pensacola, Florida, to Fort Blakely, Alabama.  They were obliged to build a corduroy road for the passage of their wagons on this march.  After a siege lasting a week they charged on Fort Blakely and captured the fort with many prisoners.  This was the last engagement of the war.  They were then transported to Galveston, Texas, and thence to Houston, Texas, where they were finally discharged October 14, 1865."

Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Richland Co OH (Robert W. Bell biography page 482) "They then went to Blakely and opened the siege on the fort, which they captured at the end of one week, with the loss of but one man."

Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia, New York, H. H. Hardesty & Co, 1885, for Richland Co OH (George A. Flaharty biography page 483) "...marched across the country to Blakely Alabama.  They began a siege of the fort of that name, and at the end of seven days charged upon the fort and captured it with two thousand seven hundred prisoners.  This engagement occurred on the 25th of April, 1865, after Lee had surrendered, and may be said to be the last battle of the war.  They went from Fort Blakely up the Alabama river to Shelby, thence to Mobile, Alabama, and camped for six weeks.  On the 16th of June, 1865, they were transported to Galveston, Texas, and after four weeks moved to Houston, Texas, where they were mustered out of service October 14, 1865...."


Other links of interest:
Arkansas Post National Memorial
http://www.nps.gov/arpo/index.htm

http://www.ohiocivilwar.com/cw120.html

http://www.48ovvi.org/oh48cf.html Great descriptions.
http://www.civilwaralbum.com/misc/campford1.htm  Pictures of the current site and work being done.

Link for Richland County OH memorial to the 120th OVI
http://www.rootsweb.com/~ohrichla/Memorial.htm

Recommended book:
BooikGrandpa's Gone: The Adventures of Daniel Buchwalter in the Western Army 1862-1865 by Jerry Frey.

RETURN TO COVER PAGE

 

©2001 through 2014 Susie Holderfield], OH, USA
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~holder/companyh/companyh120ovi.html
Graphics and Text
All Rights Reserved

                                                                                                            
Information on this page can be used for your family history,
but can not be taken for commercial purposes.