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INDIANA TRAILS, BOONE COUNTY


BIOGRAPHIES OF CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS


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Francis Whiteley, Civil War Soldier
Courtesy of Jane and Verlin McClaine

One of Boone County’s Civil War soldiers was Francis Whiteley.

Whiteley enrolled in the 54th Regiment of the Indiana Volunteers on October 22, 1862. He was discharged from the service of the United States on the eighth day of December, 1863, at New Orleans by reason of term of service expired.”


Military records show that Whiteley was born in Boone County and in 1863 was 25 years old. He was 5 feet - 10 inches tall, of fair complexion, with blue eyes and light hair. By occupation, when enrolled, he was a farmer.


Whiteley lived in the Advance community.


Relatives of Whiteley now possess a program of the15th and 16th annual reunions of the 54th Indiana Volunteers held in Indianapolis in September of 1903 and 1904.


The program for the 1903 reunion opens as follows:

“At 10:30 a. m., after general hand -shaking and greeting among the comrades, the 54th Indiana regiment was called to order in Superior court room No. 1, Indianapolis, Ind.., with a few remarks by Comrade J. H. Van Valkenburg, president of the Fifteenth Annual Reunion.

Roll-call then proceeded and revealed the presence of thirty -six comrades, just three and a half per cent of our original number. There were about 10 who sent letters of regret and giving reasons for non -attendance, and we estimate about 125 other survivors, who are absent, which will make a total of about 170 still living.


Attending from Boone County were H. C. Hardy, Zionsvile, Company D.; and Jas. P. Logan, Thorntown, and Frances Whiteley, Advance, Company F.


The program continued in the afternoon, “Comrade Mitchell spoke of making a visit to Col. Mansfield in St. Louis. Said he met a royal welcome and was well entertained; that the colonel took great pleasure in talking over the old days of the 54th, and would gladly receive a visit from any of the boys of the old 54th. In conclusion, the speaker caused the tears to glisten in the eyes of many of the comrades as he referred with a sad voice to the marked inroads which disease and age were making on the matchless physique of Col. Mansfield. Instead of the erect form, the elastic step and the shining locks as of yore, his hair is grizzled, his form is bent. and he walks with halting step.”


In 1904 men from Boone County attending the convention included John W. Forbes, of Advance, company F., and H. C. Hardy, of Zanesville, company D.

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JAMES H. GOLDSBOROUGH 154TH IND. CO. B.

In Jefferson Co., Ind., July 20, 1836, James, son of John and Rebecca Bryan-Goldsborough, was born. He grew to manhood among the sturdy sons of the country, and early in 1861, was commissioned 2d Lieut., of Jefferson Guards, State militia. He enlisted, March I, 1865, at Thorntown, Ind., in Co. B, 154th Ind., Regt. Army of West Virginia, for seven months, as a private, but was soon promoted to Sgt. He was engaged in heavy guard and garrison duty in the Shenandoah Valley, and W. Va., picketing, patrolling, scouting, guarding the R.R. & R.R. bridges, Government supplies, Q.M. & commissary stores & c.; during this arduous work he contracted chronic diarrhea, piles, rheumatism, and disease of the back, he avoided going to the hospital by being cared for in camp or quarters. He was given his honorable discharge Aug. 4, 1865, at Stevenson's Station, W. Va.

He was married March 19, 1861 in Boone Co., Indiana, to Kesiah Darrough, daughter of William and Mary Colwell-Darrough. She was born in Boone County, July 18, 1839. Four children hallowed this union; Commodore Perry deceased, Verlinia, William, and Rebecca.

Father John F. Goldsborough served in Co. H. 2nd Ind. Cav., also three brothers served in this war; John J. in Co. B, 154th Ind., Harrison J. was 1st Lieut. in Co. B. 154th, Norman in Co. B, 11th Ind. V.I. Great grandfather, John Goldsborough, was in the Revolutionary war, grandfather, John Goldsborough, was in war of 1812. Mrs. Goldsborough's brother, James A. Darrough, served for three years in Co. I, 86th Ind. An uncle Andrew, served in Co. G, 11th Ind., another uncle, Lewis Bryan, served in the Mexican war. Commodore Goldsborough of Naval Fame was a cousin to this family of Goldsboroughs. Comrade Goldsborough is an honored member of Rich Mt. Post, 42, and is living a retired life at Lebanon, Indiana.

Contributed by Ralph W. Stark July 1982 • Boone Magazine. Page 17

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)


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JAMES E. BURNS

Was born June 12, 1844, in Fleming Co., Ky., he was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Moore-Burris; he was a boy of 18 years when he left home to fight in the Union army. He was enrolled July 28, 1862, at Tipton, Ind. in Co. B, 75th I. V. I., 2d Brig., 3d Div., 14th A. c., Dept. of the Cumberland as a private.

This regiment was soon to the front and participated in the following battles; Hoovers Gap, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Tunnell Hill, Dalton, Pickets Mills, Resacca, Big Shanty, Kenesaw Mt., New Hope Church, Culp's Farm, Chattahooche River, Peach Tree Creek siege of Atlanta, Nashville, under Thomas, pursuit of Hood, to Courtland, Ala. and Smithfield, N. C. and many others.

On Aug. 7, 1864, he was wounded at Atlanta, by shell concussion near his head, affecting head and nervous system; he was hurled into a ditch and picked up for dead; he was taken to the field hospital, then to Vining Station, for a few days, thence to Atlanta, for several weeks, he was then given a 25 days furlough in October.

When he returned from his furlough to Chattanooga, his regiment being with Sherman he was assigned to duty at Chattanooga, Knoxville, Whitesides, and along the R. R., until the spring of 1865, when he went via Nashville, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Wilmington, N. c., to Goldsboro, N. c., and rejoined his regiment.

He was finally discharged at Indianapolis, Ind., June, 1865. On Nov. 19, 1869, in Boone Co., Ind., he was married to Mrs. Sarah Sutton- Ware, daughter of William and Mary Shally-Sutton, she was born November 7,1842. They have two daughters, Myrtle and Etta.

Father Robert McBurris was a militiaman in Ky., and was called to suppress an Irish riot and preserve order in that state. One brother, Thomas Burris served in Co. B, 75th Ind. and was slightly wounded at Mission Ridge. Mrs. Burris' first husband Geo. W. Ware was 1st Lieut. of Co. H, 11th Ind.' Cav., commanding his Co., and from exhaustion at the battle of Franklin, Tenn., died Dec. 7, 1864 at Nashville, Tenn., leaving one son, Charles E., no~ of Sioux City, Iowa.

Comrade Burris and wife have been honored members of the Pres. church since their early boy and girlhood days, being very active in all church work. He is a member of the Masonic order, Lodge 9, and Rich Mt. Post, 42, at Lebanon, Ind. He is living a retired life at Lebanon, Indiana.

December 1980 - Boone Magazine. Page 15

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)

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CHARLEY T. BUCHANAN

Was born Oct. 23, 1843, in Decatur Co., Ind., son of William and Elizabeth Sefton-Buchanan; he settled in this county in 1871. Sept. 12, 1871, he married Mrs. Fidelia Sefton (Hamilton), daughter of James and Jane McCoy-Hamilton; she was born Sept. 3, 1837, in Decatur Co., Ind. Two children were born to them, Oso May and Eva L. dec.

By a former marriage Mrs. Buchanan had three children, Robert dec'd, Frank, and Burton. When the war of the Rebellion began our comrade was peacefully engaged in farming; he left his home to be enrolled as a private in Co. E, 134th Ind. Regt., May 1864; at Milford, Decatur Co., Ind., for 100 days; he in Ky., Tenn., and Ala.

He served on constant guard and garrison duty, picketing, patrolling, scouting, & c., guarding R. R. & R. R. bridges Sherman's and Thomas' lines of communication from Louisville to Chattanooga to the front with their great stores of Q. M. and Commissary supplies, & c.; he contracted chronic diarrhea and disease of eyes which resulted in total blindness of left eye; he was given his honorable discharge Sept. 1864, at Indianapolis, Ind., by expiration of time of service.

Comrade Buchanan had three brothers who served in the war: Archibald in Co. E, 134th Ind., John served from Mo. for two or three years and James in Co. E, 134th Ind. Regt, Comrade Buchanan and wife have long been devoted members of the M. E. church which he serves as steward and was trustee for many years; he is also a member of Lebanon Lodge, 45, K. of P. and his wife is an active member of the Rathbone Sisters, 20, at that place. Our comrade is at present engaged in real estate and Insurance business in Lebanon, Ind.

November 1980 • Boone Magazine. Page 31

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)

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Capt. Charles Henry Bruce, 111th Ind., Co. G

Was a farmer and teacher at the time the President issued the first call for volunteers; he responded to the call and enrolled April, 1861, at Ladoga, Ind., for three months in Co. G. 11th Reg., I.V.I., under Gen. Lew Wallace. After that service he resumed teaching but left his books and returned to military life as 1st Lieut. of Co. K, 58th Regt., Ind. Vol., and in due time became its captain, and also served on the staff of Maj. Gen. Wood, and was especially commended for gallantry and efficiency.

He participated in all the battles in which his regiment participated from Perryville to Stone River, then from Tullahoma Campaign and Hoover's Gap to Chickamauga where he fell, Sept. 20, 1863. His mother, Mrs. Nancy P. Bruce, was born Jan. 28, 1814, in Shelby Co., Ky., coming to Montgomery Co., Ind., in 1830, and settled in this county with her son Thomas in 1885, with whom she resided until her death, her husband having departed this life Sept. 19, 1850. She was married to Charles Polk Bruce, June 7, 1833, in Montgomery Co.; her maiden name was Nancy Parris Harrison, daughter of Capt. Joshua and Sarah Parris-Harrison.

She was the mother of eight children, Joshua Hester, Robert, Mary, Charles, James, John and Thomas. Her father was long prominent in the old Kentucky militia and a relative of William Henry Harrison. Mrs. Bruce has been one of the pioneer members of the M.E. church in Indiana, then going into Baptist church with her husband after their marriage in 1833. She gave two sons in defense of the Union, Capt. Charles Bruce and John W. Bruce, whose records here appear. She is a sister of Col. Tom Harrison of the 8th Ind. Cav., with whom her son, John W. served.

Page 28 • Boone Magazine • October 1980

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)


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CAPT. AARON FRAZEE 86th Ind., Co. A

March 2. 1830, in Rush Co., Ind., the hearts of Moses and Rebecca Rigdon Frazee were gladdened by the birth of a son, Aaron. When small he settled in Boone county. To share the joys and sorrows of this life he chose Amanda Doyle, daughter of John and Matilda Howard Doyal; she was born Nov. 14, 1833, in Ky. The marriage vows were taken July I, 1853, in Boone Co. Five children were born to this union; Dora, Emma, John, James and Charles.

When the dark war cloud was hanging over our nation our comrade was a brick mason but he left his trade and went forth to fight for his country. He enlisted Aug. 3, 1862, at Indianapolis, Ind., for three years as Capt. in Co. A, 86th I.V.I., 3d Brig., 3d Div., 4th A.C., Dept. of the Cumberland. He took active part in the following battles: Stone River, Tullahoma campaign, Hoover's Gap, Chickamauga for a two days siege at Chattanooga, Mission Ridge, Lookout Mt., Atlanta campaign, Buzzard Roost, Dalton, Resaca, Cassville, Calhoun, Kenesaw Mt., Peachtree Creek and the siege of Atlanta where he was taken sick from exposure and was compelled to retire. He was cared for in one of the field hospitals in the south while suffering from lung and other troubles.

In the fall of 1864. Frazee was given his discharge in the field in Georgia because of his sickness; he reenlisted Feb. 20, 1865, at Indianapolis as Capt. in Co. F, 148th I.V.I., Dept. of the Cumberland; he was engaged in constant guard and garrison duty in Tenn., Ala., and Ga., caring for the enormous government Q.M. and Commissary stores, protecting Sherman's long lines of communication between the Ohio River and Georgia. His old disease began to return from constant duty and exposure but he avoided hospitals by good care and determination. He was honorably discharged Sept. 5, 1865, at Nashville, Tenn.

Frazee's relatives and ancestors loyallyserved their country whenever necessary. Mrs. Frazee had one brother, John Doyal in 7th Ind., killed in the battle of the Wilderness, in May, 1864. Another brother, Sam Doyal, served in Co. D, 8th Ky., and in Co. A, 76th Ind. He was later judge of a court at Frankfort, this state. Her grandfather, John Doyal served in the War of 1812-14 under Generals Clark and Anthony Wayne.

Capt. Frazee and wife were honored members of the M.E. church in Indianapolis. Our comrade departed this life in 1869. After his death, Mrs. Frazee movedto her present cozy home in Boone Co., where she, with her little family, worship at the Baptist church at White Lick, Ind.

Capt. Aaron Frazee died thirty years before his biography was published in the book afore mentioned.

Page 30 . Boone Magazine. February 1980

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)

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GEORGE W. BROWN 11th Ind., Co. H.

Was born Jan. I, 1836 in Hendricks Co., Ind. He was the son of Stephen and Annie McGuire Brown. He was married Feb. 21, 1857, in Putnam Co., Ind., to Elizabeth Rice: she departed this life Jan. 22, 1871. They had two children, Marietta and Della, the latter deceased.

Our comrade was peacefully engaged as a farmer when the summons came for the brave boys to don the blue: he left his quiet home and enlisted Feb. 29, 186, at Indianapolis, Ind., as a private of Co. H. 11th Regt., I.V.I. (Lew Wallace's), and served mostly at Baltimore, Md., doing guard and garrison duty at Ft. McHenry and provost duty at Baltimore; he was also guarding the thousands of prisoners of war and the great U.S. prisons in and near Baltimore. He contracted erysipilis, chronic diarrhea rheumatism, impaired eye-sight and heart trouble.

While in service he was confined in the hospital at Baltimore. Md., in the spring of 1865, for several weeks from above diseases. He was given his final discharge July 26, 1865. at Ft. McHenry, Baltimore. On March 5, 1872 in Hendricks Co., Ind., he was united in Marriage to Sarah White, daughter of William and Sarah White. She was born in E. Tenn., June 25, 1852. They had four children, Edgar dec., Louie, Clara and Glen.

Comrade Brown had three brothers in the Civil War: Tillman, Elkana and Newell, all with Gen. Streight, 51st Ind. Tillman and Elkana both died in service. Mrs. Brown's father, William White, served in the Mexican war from Tennessee.

Mr. and Mrs. Brown have long been honored members of the Presbyterian church, but when they moved to their present beautiful home and rich farm several miles from a Presbyterian church, they joined the M. E. church near their home, where the tall maples spread their cooling shade over church and cemetery where peacefully sleep many brave defenders of their country. Comrade Brown is an honored member of Leighton Post 237, at Coatsville, Ind., being Past P. C. He resides four miles north of Lebanon, Ind.

Page 28 Boone MagazIne. September 1980

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)


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John M. Bragg 10th Ind., Co. I

Jan. 6, 1827, in Fayette Co., Ind., the hearts of William and Fannie Peyton-Bragg were gladdened by the birth of a son, John. To share the joys and sorrows of his life with him he chose Sofrona Konoddle, who was born in Boone County, Ind.; she departed this life in 1854. He was engaged as a brick-mason at the time the war between the states broke forth; he enlisted at the first call in April, 1861, at Lebanon, Ind., for three months as a private in Co. I, 10th I.V.L, under Gen. Rosecrans in W. Va.

He was in the battles of Rich Mountain, Jacksonville and others, besides doing much guard and garrison duty, drilling, picketing, scouting, after guerillas, bushwhackers, &c., and important RR and their comm unications. He was given his discharge August, 1861, at Indianapolis, Ind., his time enlistment having expired. During his short service he contracted weak eyes, rheumatism, kidney and heart trouble: he was cared for when sick in cam p or field by their surgeon and comrades.

In 1862 our comrade was married to Mahala Jane Gifford, daughter of Wardell and Malinda Gifford: She was born in Fayette Co., Ind., in 1834. They have four children, James, Charley, Emma and Laura. One brother, Capt. James Bragg, served in Co. F, 40th LV.I., for three or four years: he is now dec.

Great-grandfather York served in the Revolutionary war in the old Continental army and died at the age of 105 years. Mrs. Bragg's grandfather Cook served in the old Continental army of 1776. Mrs. Bragg and most of her children are active members of the M.E. ch, Zionsville, Ind., and earnest in all church work. Comrade Bragg is an honored member of Boone Post, 202, and now living a retired life after following his trade of brickmason at Zionsville, Ind., for about two score years

Page 28  Boone Magazine  July 1980

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)


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THOMAS F. BURRIS 75th Ind., Co. B

Son of Robert and Elizabeth Moore Burris, was born in Fleming Co., Ky., Nov. 7,1840, and settled in this county about 1854; he was engaged in farming when the war of the Rebellion began, and was enrolled as a private in the spring of 1862, at Tipton, Indiana, for three years in Co. B, 75th I.V.L, 2d Brig., 3d Div., 14th A.C., Army of the Cumberland. 75th Ind., Co. B This gallant command fought at Hartsville, Son of Robert and Elizabeth Moore Burris, was Milton, Tullahoma campaign, Hoovers Gap, Chick. born in Fleming Co., Ky., Nov. 7, 1840, and settled in amauga, Siege of Chattanooga, Mission Ridge, this county about 1854; he was engaged in farming Greyville, Ringgold, Tunnell Hill, Rocky Face Ridge, when the war of the Rebellion began, and was Dalton, Resacca, Adairsville, Cassville, Ackworth, enrolled as a private in the spring of 1862, at Tipton, Pickettes Mills, New Hope Church, Big Shanty, Indiana, for three years in Co. B, 75th I.V.I., 2d " Culps Farm, Lost Mt., Pine Mt., Kenesaw Mt., Marietta, Smyrnia, Chattahooche River, Peach Tree Creek, Siege of Atlanta, Ezra Church, Jonesburg, March to the Sea, Savannah, Sisters Ferry, Barnwell, C.H., S.C., Fayetteville, Averysboro, Bentonville, Goldsboro, Raleigh, Jo Johnson's surrender, N.C., Grand Review at Washington, D.C.

In all his many battles he was only twice wounded, first, at Chickamauga, and second at Mission Ridge. He contracted disease of respiratory organs, injury to his left hip, left shoulder and back, since developing partial paralysis and almost total disability for all manual labor; he was discharged in June, 1865, at Indianapolis, Ind. He was happily married in Tipton Co., Ind., Jan. 17, 1867, to Martha Smith, daughter of Alexander and Catherine Whistler Smith; she was born Dec. I, 1884, in Tipton Co. They are the parents of eleven children: Minnie, Orsie, Bertie, Jesse, Bruce, Garfield, Blaine, Alice, Ethel, and two that have passed to their reward. Comrade Burris had one brother, James Burris, whose history is herein given.

Father Robert Mc. Burris served for many years in the old Ky. State militia. Mrs. Burris had two brothers, William and Hiram Smith, members of the 101st I.V.I., who were detached and served for two years in the 19th Ind. Bat., and after the fall of Atlanta, returned to the 101st. Comrade Burris and wife have been honored members of the Christian church for about half a century, and since they have resided on their present rich productive and well cultivated farm, they have attended church at Advance, Ind. Our comrade is also an honored member of Advance Post 24, holding the office of Q.M., and having held past offices. He resides two miles N.W. of Advance, Ind.

Thomas F. Burris died at the age of 63 years at his home in Jackson Township on November 15, 1903.

Page 10 . Boone Magazine . Aprll 1980

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)

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WILLIAM F. DINSMORE 86th Ind., Co. A

William Dinsmore, son of Jacob and Elizabeth Fear Dinsmore, was born in Hendricks Co., Ind., Feb. 20, 1838, and came to this county when two years old. April 2, 1857, he was united in marriage to Rachael Holmes, in Boone Co., Ind.; she was born in Decatur Co., Ind., in 1839, and was the daughter of Jonas and Charity Salie Holmes. Twelve children were born to them, Jacob, Elizabeth, John, Mary, Eliza, Clarinda, Clara, Dora, Frances, Della, Lucena and Arta.

He was peacefully engaged in farming at the time of his enlistment as a private, August, 1862, at Milledgeville, Ind., in Co. A, 86th I.V.I., 14th A.C., Dept. of the Cumberland. He was severely wounded at Stone River in December, 1862, by a shell in the left leg below the knee. He was confined in field hospital for a while, at Nashville !-intil Ap~il, 186~, Louisville for one month, and agam at Indlanapohs from where he was given a thirty days' furlough; he had it extended four or five times. He then remained at Camp Carrington, Indianapolis, until his discharge in December, 1863, being disabled. While in the service he contracted chronic diarrhea, rheumatism and the resulting liver troubles.

He had two brothers in the Civil War, Pleasant and Francis Dinsmore, who served in Co. F, 40th I.V.I. Francis was killed at Peach Tree Creek in July, 1864. Grandfathers Dinsmore and Fear both served in the War of 1812-14. Mrs. Dinsmore had two brothers in the Civil War, William Holmes in Co. F, 40th I.V.I., who served for four years, and Joel Holmes who served 100 days in 1864.

Comrade Dinsmore has been one of the honored members of the Baptist church since 1858, now nearly half a century, is one of the official members (moderator), and a local minister, both for more than twenty years. He is living on a pleasant farm six miles northeast of Jamestown, on R.R. No. 2.

William F. Dinsmore died at his home in Harrison township on May 16, 1915, and was buried in the Old Union cemetery.

Page 30 Boone Magazine  January 1980

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)


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ALLEN F. COOMBS 10th Ind., Co. I

Was the son of William and Mary Dubois Coombs, and was born Oct. 5, 1831, in Union Co., Ind. On May 22, 1857, he was happily married at Lebanon, Ind., to Eliza J. Miller, daughter of Thomas and Margaret B. Cope Miller. Bidding his young wife good.bye, he entered the ranks of the great Union army in April, 1861, at the first call for volunteers, at Lebanon, Ind., for three months, in Co. I, 10th I.V.I., serving in W. Va., under Gen. Rosecrans, as sergeant. His time having expired, he was discharged Aug. 6, 1861, at Indianapolis, Ind.

He reenlisted April 5, 1865, as a private at Lebanon, Ind., in Co. B, 154th Ind. During this enlistment he was engaged in doing guard and garrison duty at Harper's Ferry and up the Shenandoah Valley, picketing, scouting, guarding R.R., and Gov. property, &c., &c. He was given his final discharge at the close of the war, Aug. 4, 1865, at Indianapolis, Ind. He contracted during his service chronic diarrhea, rheumatism, and the resulting heart and nervous troubles, and was cared for when sick by his surgeon and comrades.

Comrade Coombs had one brother who served from Ohio, nearly two years, and was killed at Chattanooga, in the fall of 1863, by shell; he had also served four months in the first call for troops in the spring of 1861. Mrs. Coombs had three brothers, William in 40th Ind. for one year, Silvenas in Co. F, 86th Ind., (both dead), and Mark D. in Co. F, 86th Ind. Comrade Coombs and wife have long been honored members of the Christian church at Zionsville, Ind., where he is living a retired life.

Allen F. Coombs died at the age of 74 years at his home in Zionsville, on April 16, 1906.

Page 32  Boone Magazine. May 1980

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)

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WILLIAM E. WHITTINGHAM 4th Ind., Co. B

A son of Robertson and Lucretia Salle Whittinghill, was born Aug. 9, 1847, in Mercer Co., Ky. He was a farmer when he enlisted Mar. 18, 1862, at Lexington, Ky., in Co. B, 4th Ky. Mtd. Ift., 4th Brig., 4th Div., 14th A. c., Dept. of the Cumberland, as a private and was promoted to corporal. He was an active participant in the following battles: Perryville, Stones River, Tullahoma Campaign, Hoovers Gap, Chickamauga, Siege of Chattanooga, Mission Ridge, Knoxville Campaign, Ringgold, Atlanta Campaign, Buzzard Roost, Snake Creek Gap, Resacca, Kenesaw Mt., Stoneman Raid, Spring Hill, Columbia, Franklin, Nashville for two or three days in pursuit of Hood, and the Wilson Raid in Ala., and Ga.

In April, 1864, he was captured in the Stoneman-McCook Raid south of Atlanta, by Forrest. Sent a prisoner of war to Andersonville where he was prostrated by starvation and sickness until Sept. 18, when he was sent almost as a dead man to our lines at Atlanta, Ga., and exchanged; he was then cared for by the sanitary commission and surgeon until able to rejoin his regiment in the field in November as they were fighting Hood on his northward march into Tennessee. During his service, he contracted chronic diarrhea, dyspepsia, and disease of the colon. In his sickness, he was always cared for in camp of field by their surgeon and by comrades. He was given his well-earned discharge Aug. 17, 1865, at Louisville. Ky.

Two brothers were in the war. John served in Co. B, 9th Ky. Cav., and Thos, in Co. B, 4th Ky. mounted Inft. He also had ancestors and relatives in the war of 1812-14, and some in the Revolutionary war. Grandfather Robertson helped to build the first fort at Harrodsburg, Ky. Mrs. Whittinghill had many ancestors in the early wars for Liberty in America, also in the Mexican war, while very many relatives served throughout the Civil war. Our comrade and his wife have been honored members of the Christian church since about 1873 and very active in all its works. He is also a member of Whitestown Lodge, 525, F. & A M., also of Ben Adam Lodge, 472, I. O. O. F., at Lebanon. Our comrade has recently moved from his fine farm in this county to their beautiful home at 604 N. East St., Lebanon, Ind.

Note: (William E. Whittinghill died at his home in Lebanon on January 2, 1949, and was buried in Lebanon's Oak Hill Cemetery.)

Page 24  Boone Magazine. December 1979

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)

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David Belles 72nd Ind. Co. D.

Was the son of Isaac and Abagail May Belles; his father, still living,was born in 1815. David was born in Hamilton Co., Ohio, Nov. 10, 1834, and settled in this county in 1855;he was a farmer when the call for volunteers came, so he left the farm and was enrolled as Corp. of Co. D, 72nd Ind. Mtd. Inft., Wilder's Brig., Dept. of the Cumberland, at Thorntown, Ind., in Aug., 1862.

Belles shared the glories of this historic regiment at Hoover's Gap, advance on Chattanooga, Chickamauga, Farmington; Jan. I, the cold New Year's day, 150 or 200 of them started on the Miss. Raid, fixed for three days but lasted about three months, having their fight at Okolona, Miss., with Forest; Atlanta Campaign, Siege of Atlanta, return to Louisvilleto remount, Wilson's raid through Tenn., Miss., Ala., and Georgia, fighting at Selma, Montgomery, Columbus, Georgia, and on to Macon where the war closed, receiving the surrender of Macon and other towns; he was given his honorable discharge at Indianapolis, Ind., July 6, 1865. During his service he contracted chronic diarrhea, disease of the colon and stomach trouble; he refused to go to the hospital and was cared for in the regiment by surgeon and comrades. One brother, Clark Belles, served in the Civil War, enlisting at Thorntown, in Co. B., 154th I. V. I.; he' is now living on a farm adjoinng David Belles.

Comrade David Belles has long been one of the honored members of Oceola Lodge, 173, I.O.O.F., at Thorntown, Ind. While living a bachelor's life, he is one of the progressive farmers of the county. His stately home, broad acres of well-tilled land, and herds of improved stock all show the interest and well directed care given to his business. He is also a charter member of Lookout Valley Post 184, being past O. G. His farm is located four miles east of Thorntown.

Note: ( David Bellesdied at the age of 71 years at his home northwest of Lebanon on October 10, 1906. He was buried in Precinct Cemetery, now called Bethel Hill.)

Page 14 . Boone Magazine. October 1979

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)

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Thos. A. Bounell, M.D. 13Sth Ind., Co. F

Sept. 24, 1847, Thos. A., son of Dr. Matthew and Mary E. Kilgore Bounell of Clinton county, Ind., was born. He was a student when the war cloud rolled up from the south and enlisted as corporal of Co. F, 13Sth Regt., I. V. I., Dept. of the Cumberland, at Lebanon, Ind., in the spring of 1864. He was soon promoted to medical or drug dispenser. He was engaged in heavy guard and garrison duties at Nashville, Tenn., Stevenson and Bridgeport, Ala., guarding the immense Gov. Q. M. & Com. supplies stored at these points, protecting Sherman's and Thomas' lines of communication between Chattan- , ooga and the Ohio river.

He had previously been in the service with his father who was the Maj. Surg. of the 116th Regt., I. V. I., and experienced field service in the south especially when Longstreet moved south to assist Bragg, in September, 1863. While in the service he contracted rheumatism, chronic diarrhea and the resulting heart trouble and other ailments; he was always cared for in quarters. He was given his discharge in September, 1864, at Indianapolis, his time having expired.

He was married to Emma Chapman, March 9, 1869, at Lebanon, Ind.; she was born in Kentucky in 1850. Three children crowned this union, Cora, Carl and John. Feb. 20,1900, he was married to Mrs. Lee Smith, Nee Scott, daughter of George and Sarah Lowry Scott; she was born in Boone county, Ind., March 29, 1871. Grandfather Bounell served from Ohio in the War of 1812.14 as Lieut. of his company. Mrs. Bounell had many relatives in the Civil War; one uncle, Henry Lowry, died of wounds received in battle.

Comrade Dr. Bounell has served this county four years as coroner, elected in 1886-88, leading the ticket and led Gen. Ben Harrison three votes in Harrison township, Boone county, Ind. Our comrade was also P. M. at New Brunswick from 1881 to 1884. He has served on the board of pension surgeons in this county since 1897. He is an honored member of Rich Mt. Post 42, and is a prominent physician and surgeon of Jamestown, Ind., and member of Boone Lodge NO.9, F. & A. M. at Lebanon, Ind.; made a Mason the day he was 21 years old.

Note: ( Thomas A. Bounell, M.D., died at his home in Jamestown, July 6, 1919, at the age of 71 years, and was buried in the 1.0.0.F. Cemetery at Jamestown.)

Page 14 - Boone Magazine. September 1979

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)

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THOMAS M. ANDERSON

Sept. 16, 1829, in Decatur Co., Ind., Thomas, son of Samuel and Mary Meek Anderson, was born; his parents long ago passed to the better land. In 1850, at Bluffton, Ind., he was married to Lucilla Throp, she was born in 1829, in Decatur Co., Ind., and died in 1858; he was again married to Elizabeth Wainwright, daughter of Wm. and Ann Lennon Wainwright, she was born in New Jersey. When the President issued his call for volunteers, he showed the true patriotic spirit and enlisted for three years, as a private of Wilder's Battery, Dept. of the Cumberland. In the winter of 1863-64, he was sick at Knoxville, Tenn., and was cared for in their quarters. He was given a furlough of eleven days at Knoxville, and rejoined his command at that place. Comrade Anderson's record is that of Wilder's Battery, ever being with it and sharing all its hardships and all its glories from the time of his enlistment to his discharge, July 19, 1865, at Indianapolis, Ind.

He was engaged in the following battles and campaigns which closed the war: Atlanta to the Sea, Savannah, up through the Carolinas, Bentonville, Goldsboro, and at Johnson's surrender, after which they. returned to Knoxville, Tenn. During his long service, he contracted lung trouble, chronic diarrhea, rheumatism, the resulting heart trouble. One great uncle, Thos. Gibson, served through the Revolutionary war and was one of the 40 who was left by Washington to i<eep up the fires and camp appearances between the Delaware and San Pink rivers, while Washington and his army moved across the river from the British forces.

An uncle, Adam Meek, served in the War of 1812, and his four sons served in the Civil War. One brother, Samuel Anderson, served four years in the CivilWar, and was a member of Wilder's Bat. Mrs. Anderson's father had three brothers who served in the defense of their country, one, Nathaniel, died in service. Grandfather Lewis Lemons served in the War of 1812.

Mr. Anderson and wife have been earnest members of the Presbyterian Church ever since their young days and were always willing to do their share of benevolent work. Our comrade is living a retired life at Lebanon, Ind., at which place he is an honored member of Rich Mtn. Post, 42, of the G. A. R

Note:  (Thomas Meek Anderson died at his home in Lebanon on February 19, 1914, and was buried in Lebanon's Oak Hill Cemetery.)

July 1979 Boone Magazine Page 17

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)


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George F. L. Essex
10th IND., CO.F

Our subject was born in Hamilton county, Ind . Sept. 2. 1836; he was the son of Jesse and Celia Lowe Essex he was married Dec. 2, 1856, in Boone county. Ind., to Julia Margasoo. daughter of Joseph and Lucretia Tatum Margason, she was horn Jan. 3. 1837, in Bartholomew county, Ind. They have eight children: Alfretta. Charles, Luella. Mary Alice, John, May, Ada and Frank.

Our comrade was a laborer living in Marion Co., Ind ., when the war cloud burst over our countryj he was among the first to enlist. enlisting July 29, 1861, at Zionsville, Ind., for three years. He was enrolled as a private in Co. F, 10th Ind. Regr., 3rd Brig., 3rd Div. 14th A. C., Depr. of the Cumberland. as a private. Jan. 19, 1862, at the battle of Mill Springs. he had the misfortune to lose his left arm near the elbow; he was confined in the field hospital then at Somerset, Ky., about one month. then at Lebanon, Ky., until March I, suffering with his arm and also typhoid fever for four weeks.

Essex was given a thirty days furlough from hospital in March, 1862, and was discharged April 4, 1862, at Pirrsburg Landing, on surgeon's certificate of disability because of loss of arm; he reenlisted in Aug . 1862, at Indianapolis. Ind., as Corp. in an independent Co for 30 days to take prisoners to Vicksburg for exchange. and was discharged at Indianapolis. Ind .in Sept., by expiration of time.

Then in June, 1863, he rejoined his old command south of Nashville; sometimes carrying a gun with one arm in the Tullahoma campaign, but generally looking after the sick and making coffee for the boys. He was in the Tullahoma campaign, Hoover's Gap, and many other skirmishes. Returning home from Dechard Station, Ala •• he again enlisted March 30, 1864, at Indianapolis on special permit granted to Col. Conrad Baker, as company clerk, and was larer assigned ro 94rh Co., 2d Bar., V. R. C. He was detached from this company, and remained as clerk in the office of Provost Marshal General of Indiana. He was given his final discharge, Dec. 17, 1864, at Indianapolis.

Grandfather Jesse Essex served in the War of 1812-14 grandfather Samuel Tatum, an early settler in Ky., was romahawked by an Indian, and in falling he shot and killed the Indian. Mrs. Essex's three brothers, serving their country, Joseph and Wm. Margason, in rhe 52nd Ind. Regt., Payton in Co. F, 10th Ind., he was wounded at Chickamauga, and lay on rhe field five days and died at Chattanooga. A younger brother served five years in the Regular Army since the Civil War.

Comrade Essex served as postmaster at Zionsville, Boone Counry, Ind. from 1875 to 1880, when he resigned in 1880 upon being elected Boone COtulty treasurer, in which office he served two years. He is an honored member of Rich Mountain Post No. 42, G. A. R., and is a resident of Lebanon Indiana.

Note: George Francis Lafollette Essex died at his home at 318 N. West street, in Lebanon. on September 5, 1909, and was buried in Lebanon's Oak Hill Cemetery. George F.L. Essex

Page 8  Boone Magazine. March 1979

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of "Biographies of a Civil War Soldiers," one of several accounts of the services of a number of Boone County men in the War Between the States, as given in the second book of a two-volume work published in 1899, by the H.H. Hardesty Company of New York, under the title of "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen." The biographies are being published in Boone Magazine as they appeared in the original work with the exception that sketches are broken into paragraphs.)

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STEPHEN J. JETT 48TH VA., CO. E.

Is the son of John and Irene Wolfshy; Jett and was born in Scott County, Va., May 22, 1844; he was living with his parents on their farm in Scott Co. at the time of his enlistment, June 13, 1861 and he was enrolled in Co. E, 48th Va. V.1., this Co. being organized on his father's farm and served in the 2nd Brig., Stonewall Div., Army of Northern Va. as a private; he was with this regiment in the fight at Bulk pasture, Va., Kernstown, Port Republic, Winchester; seven days fighting in front of Richmond, Va., in Aug. 1862, Manassas, Cedar Run, Sharpsburg and Antietam; he was discharged from the Antietam battle field in Sept., 1862, by furnishing a substitute.

Early in the spring of 1864, he re-enlisted near Owensville, Kentucky. in Col. Clay's Battalion of Gen. John Morgan s command. Later in the spring of 1864 at the 2nd fight at Cynthia, Kentucky., he had the misfortune to lose his left arm near the shoulder. It was amputated in the country and then he was taken to a hospital at Cynthia for about six weeks, then at Lexington, Ky. a few days when he was sent as a prisoner of war to Camp Chase, Ohio, where he remained for six months, when he was released upon taking the oath of Allegiance to the U.S., when he soon returned to friends in Ky.

Oct. 3, 1873, in Scott Co., Va., he was happily married to Margaret Snapp, daughter of Samuel and Rosie Webb Snapp, who was born in Tennessee in 1849. Four sons have crowned this union, John Samuel, Robert. dec., Ja. Nathan and Carson. One brother, John Jell, who was but a mere boy, served with Comrade Jett under Gen. John Morgan. Mrs. Jett s father, Samuel Snapp, Esq., served for a short time in Va. A half brother, Samuel Snapp, also served from Va. Comrade JeWs home with its modern improvements, his large farm of very rich land and through cultivation, his fine improved stock, all points to the enterprise and intelligent care bestowed on all; his home is located five miles south of Lebanon, Indiana.

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William Gibson by Roberta J. Wills

One of the loyal American patriots who fought for liberty in the American Revolution lies buried in the small Gipson Family Cemetery situated northeast of Thorntown, just off U.S. 52 in Washington Township, Boone County. Indiana. William Gipson was not one of the great heroes that we read about in school books, nor was he born to wealth or posi" tion. He was. however, among the legions of unsung heroes who helped to build a new nation.

He was born at Moncks Corner, South Carolina. on Christmas Day of 1753. The family travelled north and settled in Rowan County, North Carolina. Their home was within the boundary of Guilford County when it was newly formed in 1771.

Like other young men of his time, he volunteered for six months of service in 1777. When this service ended, he headed for home, but home no longer existed. During his absence, his widowed mother had been tortured by the Tories and the house and all of her property destroyed. He again volunteered and fought with a vengeance until Cornwallis surrendered to Washington at Yorktown, Virginia. on October 19. 1781.

On the 19th day of October. 1832. he appeared before the judge of 800ne Circuit Court and made his declaration in order to receive the pension of $90. 00 per year provided by the Act of Congress passed on June 7. 1832. A photostat of this handwritten application for pension, written down as it was recited, was secured from the National Archives.

Records show that on his first campaign of service he was a sergeant. The application states that he volunteered and entered the company of Capt. James Armstrong which belonged to Colonel William Armstrong's regiment. According to the application, uThis company volunteered to go down into the lower counties of North Carolina in order to drive out and disperse the Tories collected under one Eli Branson.

"His company rendezvoused at Salsbury Court House, otherwise Rowan Court House. two days when they marched two other companies went with them. But General Amos Lock and the first Colonel William Armstrong went it company with them. This applicant with the company marched from Rowan Court House to Randolph Court House, thence to Hillsboro, thence to Chatham county, thence up to Deep River to the sand hills. At the latter place, the company took several Scots Tories and there hanged one of them .

"Thence proceeded up Deep River into Moore county, where they met with Colonel Philip Alston's regiment and marched with his regiment about 15 miles to Colonel Alston's plantation. He recollects there was one Captain John Carroll and one Major Irvin belonging to Alston's regiment. At Alston's plantation they left the regiment and applicant's company proceeded low down on the Bill' Peedee river about the swamps on that river where his company dispersed a collection of Tories.

"He then with his company marched up the river to the Grassy Island where the company halted and his captain took out about thirty men, among such number the applicant was one. and went to the lower end of Randolph County to take or disperse one Hugh McPherson and his associates, Tories, who were there collected and forming into a band to commit depredation. This force of thirty men ranged through the lower part of Randolph and Rockingham counties and went to a Quaker meeting house in the latter county, where they took one Campbell, a lieutenant in McPherson's company_ and from thence immediately started to meet the balance of his company, left in com~and of Colonel Armstrong (General Lock having returned home when the company was at Randolph county of the march out) and they proceeded on their journey about four days, when at night. some disaffected persons in the detachment, as it was supposed, turned Campbell loose and he made his escape.

He had now served his six months, the term for which he volunteered. He did not reveal in his recital to the court the anguish felt when he learned of the torture and destruction from the hands of the enemy. The Tories had attempted to get information from his mother concerning her sons, but she had not heard from them since they had volunteered.

William then set forth on his second tour of duty and the application states, HIn the month of March or April, but the precise month not now recollected. in the year 1778, General Lock ordered Colonel Armstrong with the same company or detachment, to march to the upper part of South Carolina on the waters of the Peedee River. to disperse certain Tories then in that neighborhood collected. This applicant with his company, under the same colonel and captain and other company officers (except he declined serving as sergeant) in pursurance of the generars orders, in the year and one of the months above stated.

May 1979 - Boone Magazine - Page 5 

(Editor's note: Miss Roberta J. Wills, a Boone County native and a daughter of the late Hal and Nora Wills, taught nine years in high school and ten years in college in the Midwest before taking the position of Chairman of the Library Education Department at Mansfield State College, at Mansfield. Pennsylvania. She retired from this activity in May of 1975. but continues to reside in Mansfield. R. W.S.)


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Charles Harmon -An Autobiography

This is an original manuscript written by Charles Harmon, Brownsburg, Indiana, in 1906. He was a Civil War Veteran who taught school several years. Submitted by Walter H. Harmon.


Installment I

I have thought for several years that for the benefit of my children and for any whom it may interest, I would at some time, write a brief biography of myself. Not that my life has been much above the ordinary, for it has not, but that my posterity might have a better knowledge of my life and the life and times of their ancestors than I am permitted to enjoy concerning mine.

My father and mother died when I was little past two years old. I have no information direct from them concerning their early life, or of their parents and other ancestors.

All I know of my ancestry, even of my father and mother, is what I can recall as told to me by my older brothers and sisters in my boyhood days, at a time when I attached but little instance to such knowledge. So my mind was so lightly impressed with what I have been told concerning these matters, that memory is able to recall but little.

What I shall write concerning my ancestors is what I can recall of what was told me by my brother, James Dickerson Harmon, forty or fifty years ago.

During the Revolutionary War, a family of Harmons came over from England. Near the coast of Virginia, the ship in which they were sailing was wrecked. Of the family, all perished except two boys. They were rescued and landed in Virginia.

One of these boys was my grandfather, John. These two brothers were very soon separated, never to see each other again. The brother Richard, it is known, went northwest into Pennsylvania. Grandfather drifted to the Southwest into the Carolinas then up into Tennessee and on into the South central portions of Kentucky, locating near where the battle of Mills Springs was fought.

My grandmother's maiden name I do not remember. Indeed, I am pretty certain I never knew. It is my understanding that my father was born near the place where during the War of Rebellion the battle of Mills Springs occurred (Pulaski County: Ky.).

According to the record as found in our family Bible, he was born February 4th, 1797, which is 109 years ago, this being 1906.

I think it can be stated with a full degree of certainty that grandfather, John L. Harmon was of pure .English stock, and it may be stated with equal certainty that Grandmother was of Irish descent in part at least. She lived to be 99 years old and died at the home of her daughter, Jane Ray, in Illinois.

Father had several brothers and sisters, some of whom I have never seen that I remember. Uncles Hiram and Richard went West; how far I do not know. They were noted as great hunters and Indian fighters in the early days. I have a vague remembrance of it being told that one of them probably Uncle Hiram, was killed by Indians. Of their descendants, I know nothing.

Uncle.John Harmon lived and raised a family upon a farm m Eagle Township, Boone County, Indiana near the M.E. Church of Salem, known of late years as the Pavey Farm, and situated about 3 1/2 miles due west of Zionsville. His children were Abel Findly, Hiram, & Blackford, boys; and of the girls were Rebecca, who married Squire Wilson and Emeline who married Wm. Henry.

These children all married and raised families and never scattered very much nor far from the old family homestead.

Uncle Charles, after whom I was named married and settled in Howard County, Indiana, not' far from Kokomo south, a nearby town called Fairfield. He died about 30 years ago and was the last of that family.

Uncle Charles brought up a family of children. I think there were four boys: John, James, William, and Shep. Of the girls, I do not remember. I saw James and William just at the close of the War of Rebellion, more than forty years ago' since which time I have never seen any of them n~r heard from them.

Aunt Jane married Chesley Ray. They lived in Illinois since an early day. There was one son, Mark Ray. I have lost track of him or any of his descendants if he had any.

Grandfather, with his family, moved to Indiana while it was a territory and wilderness. Several years ago,before it was a state, and when there was not a single white man's house is where the city of Indianapolis now stands. I think they were inside the present boundary of Marion County before Indianapolis had its start.

It appears that they first settled in Shelby County. Afterward, they moved up into the northern part of town of Zionsville, close to Eagle Creek. Near this farm is a graveyard where my grandfather, my father and mother, a brother Granville, and sister Drusilla are buried.

My Mother's maiden name was Philadelphia Dickerson. She was born in Kentucky, south of Covington on the Licking River, Aug. 19, 1797. She was near the age of Father, being only 6 months and 15 days younger. I have, of course, in my childhood days, heard some things concerning her ancestry, but I am unable to recall anything clearly enough to make a single statement.

Grandfather Dickerson moved to Indiana at a very early day; probably before Grandfather Harmon came. He may have first settled in Shelby County and then moved over into Hancock County.

Mother had, as far as I can recall, two brothers, Uncle William and Uncle Alexander. Many of their descendants. are now living in Hancock County  some not far from Greenfield.

There was one sister, Aunt Polly Ann, who married John Sargent. They lived until their death in Boone County 112 mile southwest of Zionsville. They brought up a considerable family. I remember only the boys. They were John, Sam, Alex, and Oliver. Some of their descendants I think are living near Broad Ripple, in Marion Co., and possible some in Hancock County.

I know nothing of the childhood days of Father and mother. The earliest incident connected with his life of which I have any knowledge was told me about 30 years ago by Uncle Alex Dickerson at his house near Greenfield, Hancock County. The incident relates to the first meeting of Father and Mother when they were about 20 years old. I write this incident not for any importance attached to the circumstances, but because it is the earliest incident I remember of hearing father, and the further fact of its having been told by Uncle Alex, my Mothers brother, who was then 75 years old. It was at a Methodist Camp Meeting in Shelby County, Ind. Father had just met for the first time Philadelphia Dickerson and was greatly struck by her beauty and graceful charms. At least she appeared beautiful and graceful to him. Father, wishing to make a display of his strength and activity in mother's presence, ran and attempted to jump over a rail fence, his feet caught on the top rail and he fell sprawling on the other side. But what seemed to be the funniest part of the story for Uncle Alex was that Father was dressed in a new white linen suit. In his fall over the fence, he lit upon a spot where a cow had recently been standing. The stained spots on that white linen suit was fearful and comical to behold.

But this incident did not seem to dampen the mutual affections of the two young people, for in a year or two, they were married. They were married sometime in the year of 1816..in the early part of the year. In the early part of their married life, they bought from the government 160 acres of land in the north part of Marion Co. Ind. In fact, it bordered onto Boone County and lay west of Eagle Creek.

A year or two ago, I was passing along that way and noticed that a Condolius Shaw had built a new house on the North East corner of this land. You will pass it in going the hilly creek road from Traders Point to Zionsville.

This land, when father purchased it, was densely wooded. Near the center of the tract, he discovered a good spring of water. I think it more than probable he had found this spring before he bought the land, and this influenced him to a very great extent in locating there. In those days, it seems, that it never occurred to settlers that they could dig a well.

It is a noticeable fact, that upon every tract of land entered from the government in that early day, there is somewhere a spring of water. In some cases now, perhaps, those springs have been allowed to fill up and disappear as a reservoir of water. But, the location is discernible. In this, I refer to the country in the vicinity of this farm of father's just mentioned, but I think the reference will hold good over the central and southern portions of Indiana.

Near the spring mentioned, and upon a knoll, a spot of ground was cleared away and a log house built. For shade and ornaments, a few locust trees were planted around the house. These locust trees were a common designation of the early settled farms as the spring.

Many a cluster of old snarled locust trees are yet to be seen. It is strange that they should have chosen the homely locust in preference to the more beautiful maple which was more abundant in the woods. Possibly the maple was rejected because it was too common.

Installment 2

Father cleared off a portion of this land and lived there for a number of years. Several of the older children were born on this farm. I have often visited the spot where the old house stood, and thought of the happy childhood days of my older brothers and sisters. All of them who played on that old sacred ground have passed to the eternal shores.

In those days, neighbors lived miles apart. Their nearest market for grain and other farm products was Cincinnati or Lawrenceburg on the Ohio River. Father would take a load of wheat to the market and be gone from one to two weeks. He would bring back salt and other goods necessary for self and neighbors.

The country all around was covered with dense forest-trees and generally a thick undergrowth of bushes of various kinds. There were no roads as there are now. Cows were turned out to range the woods and browse upon the undergrowth. It was necessary to fasten a bell to the neck of one cow, called the "bell cow," so that at milking time, it might be found by listening for the tinkle of the bell; otherwise, you might search in vain in the dense forest, for some places you could not see a dozen yards from you. Hogs were fattened in the woods upon the mast, that is, the nuts from the trees such as acorn, beechnuts, and hickory nuts. When butchering time came around, there was a hog hunt and a roundup. Each neighbor had a particular mark for his hogs. This was done by marking the ear. For instance, one would crop the right ear, another would crop the left ear, and one would crop one ear and cut a notch in the other. So when a bunch of hogs was found, each one took the hogs bearing his peculiar mark. Hogs were quite different from what they are now. They were called "razor backs" and "elm peelers". They could not be fattened till they were two or three years old. As to size, it is said: perhaps, in a joking way, however, that some would fasten a hog to the end of a long pole and hold it up while it ate the nuts from the trees (poleing the hog).

Then, there were no roads running on division lines as now. Pass-ways were cut out through the woods regardless to lines. When one traveled at any distance from home through the woods, it was necessary to blaze the route as he went along in order to find his way back. That was done by hewing off a chip from the side of trees along the route. If it was desired to make use of the route in the future, both sides of the tree was blazed so that the route might be found going and coming.

Father and Mother, at the time of which I am writing, in common with their contemporary settlers, raised the material for their clothing, and worked it through every process by hand until the finished garments were ready to be worn. They cut the wool from the sheep, carded and spun it, and weaved it into cloth. It, however, was considered a luxury to possess a suit of wool clothes, or suit of jeans as it was commonly called. The most common material out of which clothing and other necessary fabrics were made was flax. My older brothers have told me the most common fabric for boys was a long-tailed linen shirt. They wore only the single garment. The allowance for footwear was one pair of shoes per year. of this, one pair failed to last through the winter, It sometimes worked considerable discomfort upon some barefooted boy or girl.

Deer were plentiful and venison meat on the table was not uncommon. There were wild cats or "painters" as he called them, a few bears and wolves and other small animals.

There were, I think, seven of the older children born on this old homestead.

Of all their childish tricks and amusements that happened here, about which I have heard them talk there is but one that comes distinctly to memory:

The house as stated before was built upon a rise of ground. The barn stood about ten rods away down at the foot of the incline. Brother William, when a small lad, though brave enough in the daytime, lost much of his courage when darkness set in. One night, just as it had gotten dark enough for the shadows to appear like wild animals or other scary things, to a timid boy, William was sent down to the barn on some kind of errand. He ventured to the barn and scampered in turn in a hustle, and was returning up the well-beaten path to the house. Near the house, secluded in a cluster of vines, was sister Ruth Ann. As William appeared, Ruth Ann started a.round feed basket rolling down the path meeting him. It appeared to him to be some ferocious animal with a wicked design upon him. He already felt himself being torn to pieces and devoured by whatever terrible thing it was. He was determined however, to make a desperate effort to escape. He turned and ran with all the speed his strength would permit, back towards the barn and the basket in close pursuit. He came up with a crash against the barn lot gate. Just as he climbed to the top of the gate.with-frantic effort, the basket bumped against it at his feet and came to a stand still. He shut his eyes and waited for the brutality. But everything was still except his wildly beating heart. Presently, he mustered enough courage to open his eyes and look down. About the time he was discovering the character of the thing, he heard a familiar laugh coming from the path toward the house. The real situation then dawned upon him and his fright was at an end.

I remember also an experience happening to brother James or "Jay" as he was almost always called, which occurred while the family lived on this farm. Jay related the circumstances to me more than once. When a small lad, as he was at the time of the incident, was afflicted with somnambulism. He would get up in his sleep. Sometimes when he awoke he found himself doing things he had been accustomed to do in the daytime while awake. At that time, the squirrels were so plentiful that they wrought great damage to the growing corn by climbing the stalks and ridding the ears. Jay was too small to engage in the regular farm labor so he was set to the task of taking, the dogs and spending a portion of his time chasing the squirrels from the cornfields. One night about the middle of the night -he awoke and found himself with only his night clothes on gong along the cornfield fence quite a distance .from the house and accompanied by all the dogs. It is needless to say that he lost no time getting back to shelter.

In about the year of 1830,father sold his farm to a Mr. Pitzer. After years, the members of the family who had lived there spoke of the farm as the "Pitzer farm." The farm was afterward bought by Mrs. Elija Cross of Zionsville. Richard Carter bought it from her and I believe is still held by Carter's heirs.


Father then moved with his family to Illinois. I do not know definitely how long he remained in Illinois. But, I do know that it was only a short time, not more than two years as near as I can now determine. I think Granville was born in Illinois. The family Bible record shows that brother Granville was born June 4, 1831.

Father, not being well pleased with the prospects in Illinois, returned to Indiana with the family. He then bought from the government another 160 acres of land about 3 miles northeast from his former home. The northeast corner of this land extends into what is now the town of Zionsville. Zionsville, however, was not started for about 20 years after father's entry of this land. The farm or a portion of it is now owned and resided by Dr. Starkey.

Well toward the northwest corner of the land, a good spring of water was found. So here again, a tract of land was cleared and a house erected. At first, I think it was only a clog house. My first recollection of it is of its being part log and part frame. I have not been on the premises at least where the first house stood, for more than 40 years, and I cannot say whether or not any part of _the original house is standing. It was when I last visited the spot. -I intend to investigate the matter before I am done writing this history, and will probably say more about it further on. This farm contains considerable bottom lands along Eagle Creek. The farm is or was, at the time of father's ownership, on both sides of Eagle Creek, the -greater portion lying on the west side. Some very rich land on the west extended to the bluffs which were some distance away. On the east, the ground begins rising very close to the creek. On the east or more properly southeast, and on the bluffs and uplands of the west were the groves of sugar trees. In the early spring when conditions began to be favorable for the flow of sap, there was great stir in the "sugar camps." Many troughs were to be made. This was attended by first selecting a tree of suitable size and kind. White walnut was a very desirable kind of timber for this purpose. They usually selected a tree of such size that when cut into desirable lengths and split each side would be suitable size for the trough. The flat side of each half would be cut and hewed out till it would be acceptable for about a bucket full of sugar water. These troughs were then placed on at the foot of each maple, a hole was bored m the tree above it, then an alder spiel was hollowed and shaped, and was inserted in the hole. Then the tree and trough was ready for business.

A spot was selected mostly because of its convenience, where preparations were made for boiling down the sap till it was reduced to a syrup. In those days the vessels used for this purpose were large iron kettles. Often a little house or shed was built at the boiling place. A regular camp was established where some of the family stayed day and night and kept up an incessant boiling in the kettles. Often the young people made these nights spent in the sugar camp occasions for fun and amusement. Sometimes they sallied out on mischief bent. Perchance to visit somebody's hen roost. If, in a way, they were successful in the venture, there would be a "chicken roast" in the camp that night. Once at least, during a season's run, the neighbors were invited to the camp, usually after night and they would have what they called a "stir off'. The syrup was continued to boil beyond its molasses condition until it was thick enough that when poured into cold water, it would form into wax. Each one with a tin cup full of water, and a spoon prepared his own feast.

The manner of, and opportunities for social enjoyment then were widely different from what they are today. I am writing now of conditions 70 years ago. When the country was for the most part in a wild state, there was great stretches for many miles of unbroken forests, when there were no railroads, no telegraph, and no telephones. The only means of conveyances were the saddle horse and the farm wagon. The older brothers and sisters only knew of the luxury of a travel buggy or a car of any description when they were grown. When Buggies began to be used in this country none but the very wealthiest could afford one. Just as the automobile of today is beyond the reach of persons of moderate means, so was the buggy in the early days. It must not be concluded that the young people had no amusements nor social enjoyments. Manners, customs, and environments were quite different from what they are now, yet from what I have been told by my older brothers and sisters and others, they had quite as enjoyable social affairs as the people of today. I have already indicated a line of amusements when speaking of nights in the sugar camp. Probably, with the men and boys, there was no more common sport or pastime than that with gun and dog. Shooting matches were common. They were conducted usually on the lottery or scheme of raffle. For example, some one would kill a beef, which he desired to sell, or a part of it at least. In order to afford amusement and a trial of marksmanship he would put it up at a shooting match. We will say, he puts up a hindquarter of beef. Each one who wants to shoot for the beef pays, say $1 to enter the contest. If ten men enter, the owner has $10 for his hindquarter of beef. Then the contest begins to decide who gets the whole hindquarter. The one who made the best shots at a mark under prescribed rules, got the whole hindquarter, or whole beef, or whatever is being sold, and it has cost him only the one dollar. This part is very much like the nature of gambling or of a game of chance, and would, at present day, be a violation of law. Under conditions then it was not thought harmful if conducted in an orderly way.

A common mode of travel then was on horse back. Women were as expert at riding horses as men. I have heard my older sisters speak of racing along the road with their beaus. Mother often rode a horse carrying one child in her lap and another child on behind her. A woman's saddle was a side saddle, that it, it was arranged so that she could ride comfortably and snugly seated with both feet on the same side of the horse. One foot was in the stirrup while the other limb was hooked over the horn of the saddle and the foot hanging free.

The farming implements used by father and older brothers were very few and crude compared with the farmer's tools of this day.

The kinds of crops raised then were similar to those which are raised now. In addition, they raised flax and also raised barley to a greater extent than is raised at the present day. The greater difference appears in the preparation of the ground, planting, and cultivating. .

Their breaking plow was a crude affair. The mouldboard or that part of the plow that turns over the soil was made of wood. Sometimes one now thinks he has trouble with a steel mouldboard in getting his plow to scour, (or allowing the earth to slip over it), but if they were to try the old-fashioned wooden-mould-board, they would conclude they are having a picnic instead of trouble.

Often new ground was not plowed at all before planting. The planters went along with a hoe and a supply of corn, and would dig with the hoe a place to plant the hill, drop the corn and cover it. Sometimes all the cultivation the corn had was with the hoe. I think father never used this method of planting and cultivating. Persons who did were considered to be somewhat afflicted with laziness.

Father broke the ground with his wooden mouldboard, smoothed and mellowed the ground by harrowing and dragging, then checked off both ways with a single shovel plow. Then the droppers went along dropping the corn in crosses. They were followed by others with hoes covering the corn. Each one who covered was cautioned to leave no clods on the hill.

Cultivation was done with the hoe and singleshovel plow. There was no plow for use in cultivation except the single-shovel. It was necessary sometimes to get (go) three times in one row, at a single plowing. The general rule in plowing corn was to get very close to the corn. The one who came out to the end with the most corn roots hanging to his plow would be considered to be doing the best plowing. Reason and experience have taught that this was an erroneous! and harmful practice. Of course they raised good corn, but not by reason of this method of cultivation, but in spite of it. The ground was fresh and rich with the deposit of ages, and what corn roots were left had no trouble in finding the very best material to feed upon.

Their manner of sowing and reaping wheat, rye, and oats was crude and more laborious still. The seed was scattered by hand. If sown in corn it was plowed in or covered by going through three or four times in a row with a single shovel plow. But in the manner of harvesting, the greatest difference appears. Wheat and similar grain was cut with the reap hook. The thin hook was edged like a sickle but was in the form of a hook. It was held in one hand by the handle as of a corn knife, while the other hand a bunch of wheat was gathered and lightly grouped. The reap hook was hooked about the bunch thus grasped, and with a pulling stroke it was cut off. In this manner large fields were harvested. The work was not so slow as one would imagine, especially when done by an experienced hand.

It was the custom in those days to "swap work" among neighbors. A neighborhood would "bunch" together. The company would begin with him who had the ripest wheat; finish up that job and go to the next, and so on till the neighborhood's harvesting was all done. To complete the reference to the old time harvest field, it will be necessary to mention the fact that it was thought to be necessary and helpful to have a supply of whiskey in the field. It was though that the whiskey enabled the harvester to endure heat with less torture. I think the assurance of such a claim is shown in the fact that they also claimed that the use of whiskey enabled them to endure the cold by its warming influence. I must say in justice to father, that he objected to this custom, and was himself a strict temperance man. But, there were many good harvest hands who could not be induced to go into the harvest field without the assurance of a supply of whiskey. Then there was no license required for the manufacture and sale, of alcoholic drinks. It was made and sold like any other common merchandise.. Perhaps it was not so deleterious to health then, for it was all pure distilled and not made of such poisonous ingredients as enter into the composition of much of the 'stuff that is sold and drank in the present day.

I cannot refrain from recording here my sentiment upon the question of alcoholic drinks (l am fully convinced that the world would be infinitely better if not a drop of alcohol was manufactured). I believe also that drunkenness is the cause of more than half the crimes committed in our own country, and the cause of more misery to humanity than any other one influence.

But I return to the subject of farming during my father's time. The manner of threshing wheat was, for the most part, with the flail.

The flail, giving Webster's definition, "an instrument for threshing or beating grain from the ear by hand consisting of wooden staff or handle, at the end of which a stouter and shorter pole or club is so hung to swing freely."

Anyone using a flail for the first time would be about as likely to hit himself on the head with the swinging part, as to hit the object he was striking. The wheat was placed in a pile, generally on a tight floor, and was pounded with the flail till grains were loosed from the heads. The straw was then carefully picked up and shaken. When the straw was all removed, there remained the wheat and chaff. The wheat and chaff were separated by the fanning mill which was run by hand.

Source
February 1980 • Boone Magazine - March 1980 - Boone Magazine.  - April 1980 • Boone Magazine.


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