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Michael Gosser, His service in The Civil War & Obituary

Michael Gosser
Age on entering service: 19
Date of entering service: Nov. 15, 1861
Enlistement Term: 3 years
Other: Appointed Corporal Feb. 1, 1865; Sergeant July 1, 1865; mustered out with company Aug. 13, 1865; veteran.

The following was taken, with editing and rearrangement, from SOME GOSSER ANCESTORS AND DESCENDANTS, the memories of their son, E. H. Gosser, written in 1945.

On November 15, 1861, Michael Gosser was only 18 years old, but he enlisted for a term of three years in Co. G, 80th. Regt. of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Two of his younger brothers enlisted later when they became old enough, but neither was involved in any fighting. Michael spent the first winter at Camp Dover, Ohio. Later he was at Camp Chase, Columbus.

In April, 1862, he was assigned to the Army of the Tennessee, 3rd. Division, 15th. Army Corps. They were taken immediately to the State of Tennessee and were within twenty minutes of the enemy before they received their equipment of guns. In May, 1862, they took part in the siege of Corinth, Mississippi, then at Iuka, Mississippi, on Sept. 19, 1862, and again at Corinth, Miss., October 3 and 4, 1862.

He had considerable camping in that section up to May 14, 1863, when they took a very active part in the Battle of Jackson, Miss. Their command got in contact with a strong point in the enemy's line which they could not dislodge. It was a large brick house equipped with several pieces of artillery. They received orders to charge the place early the next morning, so before day they were very quietly ordered out and got in position a short distance from this stronghold. His company was in the front line. They were then ordered to fix bayonets and lie down on their arms. While lying there, word was passed along the line for them to say their prayers as some of them would never get back. Just as the dawn began to appear, they were ordered to "Arise, Charge." Then with a shout they ran for the goal.

The house had a high picket fence before it. Michael and his Captain got hold of a section of the fence and gave it a powerful pull. It broke loose and fell over on top of them. In a very short time they had the place surrounded and captured about 200 prisoners. Michael's company had four killed and about a dozen wounded. The line back of them had heavier losses.

The siege of Vicksburg started in May, 1863. Vicksburg, situated on the Mississippi River, was a naturally fortified place. The Union Army entrenched and gradually dug itself up so close to the enemy that they could throw small shells across by hand. They kept a constant firing over the works from the beginning of the siege. On the first day Michael was given 200 rounds and when he finished his shoulder was swollen and as sore as a boil. They would go to the front every third day and would shoot constantly.

After forty days the Confederates were starved out and surrendered on July 4, 1863. Michael saw the commanders meet in front of their line just a short distance. General Pemberton and his staff and General Sherman and his staff of officers met. Shortly after this the Confederates marched out in front of the fort and stacked their arms. There were about 35,000 prisoners. They were placed on four large steam boats and taken to the Northern prisons. Michael's Company was detailed to help guard the prisoners. It took then four days to make the trip. At night they would anchor the boats in the middle of the river and put all lights out. Occasionally they would hear a splash in the river. It was just another prisoner that had slipped out to get his freedom.

When they arrived back from their trip they were so polluted with lice and cooties that came from the prisoners that they had to get a complete new set of clothing. Michael contracted a bad case of typhoid fever and was confined in the hospital for about nine weeks. Years later he told his grandchildren that when he was in the army with typhoid fever, and so thin, he wanted milk to drink so badly. They thought he would die for sure if he had it, but they finally gave him some and he got better.

Michael did not got back with his Regiment until November 26, 1863, the morning after the battle of Missionary Ridge. His regiment took an active part in that battle and lost a number of their men. He went out to look over the battlefield and saw them taking the dead and laying them in rows to be buried in the trenches they had dug about seven feet wide. They would lay them crossed alternately and mark their heads if possible. Later on they were buried in separate graves. He also saw where the dead had rolled down some of the steep bluffs and were lying two and three deep.

Michael was on the famous "Sherman's March to the Sea" and had to live off the country as they went through.

They were near Washington [in North Carolina ??] on April 14, 1865, when President Lincoln was assassinated. They took part in the Grand Review of the Army at Washington on May 24, 1865.

After the war was over their division (composed of the 80th. Ohio, 56th. Illinois, and 17th. Iowa regiments) was placed under a new commander, a rich man's son, and sent to Little Rock, Arkansas, for guard duty. Their Commander ordered them to come out on dress parade each evening, but after a time or two most of them refused to go. They said the war was over and they wanted to go home. They had done enough parading in their time. One evening when the commander was in his quarters, a volley of bullets went through the top of his tent. This stopped his orders and in a few days they were notified they would be discharged on August 13, 1865.

Enfield Rifle

Michael Gosser died on January 25, 1928. His obituary follows:

Paralysis caused the death of Michael Gosser at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Harvey A. Bell, at 7:15 o'clock last Wednesday morning. He was in his usual health until Tuesday afternoon when the affliction which ended his life came upon him.

Michael Gosser was born in Coshocton county near Wills creek May 29, 1843, and was aged 84 years, 7 months and 26 days. He was a soldier of the Civil war, having served nearly four years in company G of the 80th regiment, taking part in a number of engagements including the siege of Vicksburgh which lasted forty days and Sherman's famous march to the sea. He was the last surviving member of his company of over a hundred men. Three other brothers also served in the same war.

In 1867 Mr. Gosser was married to Margaret Hennel whose death occurred about 10 years ago, at their home in Coshocton county. Since that time he has made his home with his two children, Edward H. Gosser of near this village (Adamsville, Ohio), and his daughter near Otsego where his death occurred.

Mr. Gosser was a member of the St. Paul Lutheran church and for many years was one of the leading citizens of the Wills Creek vicinity. He was also a progressive farmer and his active work made him an exemplary man for the betterment of rural conditions in the community in which he lived.

Besides the two children named, the deceased is survived by five grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Funeral services were conducted Friday at the St. Paul Lutheran church by the pastor, Rev. M. W. Wappner, and the remains were interred in the cemetery of that place.

Michael and Margaret Gosser are buried in St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery in Franklin Twp., Coshocton Co., Ohio.

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Created June 12, 2002