Ashland County, Ohio
Genealogy and History
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"History of Ashland County, Ohio"
by George William Hill, 1876

[Transcribed by K. T.]

Chapter 35
The First Regiment of the First Brigade - First Officers - Reorganization - Regimental Musters - Free Fights - The Rifle Regiment - Roster of Ashland Soldiers in the War of 1812

THE military history of Ashland county is quite meagre. Prior to its separation from Richland county, in 1846, it had a regiment of militia and a regiment of rifles. The militia regiment was formed about the year 1824, and consisted of ten full companies. The rolls of the companies have been destroyed, and we are compelled to accept a traditionary history. The organization was known as the "First regiment, of the First brigade, of the Eleventh division, of the Ohio militia."

The regimental officers were:
Colonel John Oldshue.
Lieutenant Colonel William Scott.
Major William Roller.
Adjutant Sage Kellogg.
Surgeon Joel Luther.

Captain Burr Kellogg, Montgomery.
Captain Absalom Newell, Montgomery.
Captain James Doty, Mifflin.
Captain Hugh Burns, Milton.
Captain John Woodburn, Milton.
Captain Thomas Ford, Clearcreek.
Captain John McWilliams, Clearcreek.
Captain Joseph Bishop, Orange.
Captain William Patterson, Orange.
Captain Joseph Strickland, Vermillion.

During the existence of the first organization, many changes took place in the regimental and company officers. John Latta, Zachariah Newell, Christian Bush, Burr Kellogg, and Jacob Heckard acted part of the time as captains.

In 1834 the regiment was reorganized, but retained its original place in the Ohio militia. Colonel John Oldshue resigned, and was succeeded by Alexander Miller; Major William Roller resigned, and was succeeded by Richard P. Fulkerson. The regimental officers then were:

Colonel Alexander Miller.
Lieutenant Colonel William Scott.
Major Richard P. Fulkerson.
Adjutant Ephraim R. Eckley.
Surgeon Joel Luther.

Captain Richard P. Fulkerson, Montgomery.
Captain Alanson Walker, Montgomery.
Captain Zachariah Newell, Montgomery.
Captain James Doty, Mifflin.
Captain John Woodburn, Milton.
Captain Hugh Burns, Milton.
Captain Christian Bush, Orange.
Captain Joseph Bishop, Orange.
Captain Thomas Ford, Clearcreek.
Captain Joseph Strickland, Vermillion.

In a short time, Samuel W. Russell succeeded William Scott as Lieutenant Colonel; and Colonel Alexander Miller having resigned, Lieutenant Colonel Russel became Colonel, and John Madden Lieutenant Colonel.

In the meantime, Adjutant Ephraim R. Eckley resigned, and Paschel Whiting was appointed to fill the vacancy.
When Captain Richard P. Fulkerson became major, William Sheets was elected to fill the vacancy.
There were other changes not now remembered.
This regiment maintained its organization until about the year 1844, when the militia system of Ohio practically expired.

Colonels Oldshue and Russell, and Major Madden removed west, Colonel Alexander Miller died in 1860. Adjutants: Kellogg and Whiting, Dr. Luther and Colonel Scott, and a majority of the captains, have responded to the last roll-call, and gone to a grand encampment across the great river.
Captain Alanson Walker served honorably in the war of 1861-5; and Major Richard P. Fulkerson accompanied the "Squirrel Hunters" to Cincinnati, during the apprehended invasion of General Kirby Smith, of Kentucky.

The regimental musters, for many years, took place on a small prairie below the village of Mifflin, on the banks of the Black fork. This field gave ample room for maneuvering and regimental display. The privates were destitute of fire-arms on train day, and the performance was a mere pastime, and regarded as a dry affair. For many years the companies were conditionally kept in existence. The privates, under the law, could either train or work two days on the public highway. Many preferred to repair the roads, and this sapped the vitality of the organization.
Train days, however, were not wholly destitute of excitement. Such assemblages gave an opportunity for the "roughs" to concentrate their forces to settle old griefs and grudges. In the earlier years of the militia system, there seems to have been a bitter feud between the pugilistic chiefs of the Clear fork and the Whetstone. The Clearcreek chiefs consisted of the Slaters and Brawdys, and their backers, while those of the Whetstone were led by the Montgomerys, Burgetts, Bradens and others. There were also many game men on the military, quarters in Montgomery and Orange townships, known as members of the "sixteen nations," who were ready, on all occasions, to see a fight well regulated, and generally took a hand in such contests. When the great chiefs of the Whetstone and the Clear fork met, their friends accompanied them. They were, generally, men of large size and famous for their muscle and courage.

At the dismissal of the companies in the evening, the respective chiefs, fired by bad whiskey, and eager for the fray, assembled their hosts. In a few moments the champions opened the contest; when large numbers of sympathizers would be drawn into the struggle to see fair play. A hand to hand contest followed. Parties were knocked right and left, and the victims of the "manly art of self-defence" were found in every quarter, with bruised faces, and gouged eyes and bitten fingers, stained with blood. It was no'child's play. The heavy blows made fearful havoc. The war ended. The braves and their friends marched to a brook, washed their faces, and then proceeding to a neighboring still-house, drank friends and buried the hatchet. These sturdy warriors are all gone. Their places are now filled by men of peace. Reason, instead of blows, sways public gatherings, and intelligence, instead of brute force, rules along those beautiful streams.

About the year 1852 an effort was made to revive the militia organization of the county, and create a brigade. To this end Captain John S. Fulton and Colonel George W. Urie visited the officers of the old regiment, who voted for Captain Fulton as their choice for brigadier general. He was accordingly commissioned by the governor as brigadier general, and appointed his staff officers. The brigade officers were:
Brigadier General John S. Fulton,
Brigade Inspector George W. Urie,
Quartermaster Jacob Crall.
The other members of the staff were from Huron county. The attempt thereafter to revive the militia system was abandoned.

About the year 1826, a rifle regiment was formed within the territory now composing Ashland, Morrow, and Richland counties. It was known as the First regiment, of the First brigade, of the Eleventh division of Ohio militia. The regimental and company officers were:

Colonel Samuel G. Wolf.
Lieutenant Colonel John Murray.
Major George W. Urie.
Adjutant William Stevens.
Surgeon William Bushnell.

Captain George Murray, Orange.
Captain Joseph Gladden, Green.
Captain Hugh Martin, Springfield.
Captain Jacob Lynn, Franklin.
Captain Ezekiel Chew, Bloominggrove.
Captain N. S. Henry, Lucas.
Captain Robert W. Mitchell, Bloomfield.
Captain John Baughman, Bellville.

It will be seen that the regiment was composed of eight companies, which were elegantly uniformed and armed, and the glitter of their burnished rifles, and their gay dresses, made a fine display in the field. The regimental and company officers attracted much attention in consequence of their size and soldier-like bearing. The regimental officers were superbly mounted, and their regalia was quite expensive.
The first company was composed of volunteers from Clearcreek, Orange and Montgomery. The first captain was John Murray. He was succeeded by John Sprott, and he by George W. Urie. The company then disbanded, Captain Urie having been promoted to major. A new company was then formed. Jacob Oldshue was elected captain, and sometime afterward resigned. George McConnell succeeded him, and upon his resignation George Murray was elected captain, and remained in command until the regiment disbanded.
Upon the resignation of Colonel Samuel G. Wolf, Lieutenant Colonel John Murray became colonel, and upon the resignation of Colonel Murray in 1840, Major Urie was elected colonel of the regiment. Colonel Urie appointed John Sherman, now Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, adjutant. He is said to have possessed a good deal of military spirit. He rode a spirited horse, and, being elegantly uniformed, excited a good deal of admiration by his promptness, neatness, and officer-like bearing.
Colonel Samuel G. Wolf, at a recent period, was a citizen of Richland county, and, if alive, is well advanced in years. He is said to have been a very fine officer. His personal appearance and excellent voice enabled him to acquit himself with marked efficiency.
Colonel John Murray possessed a good deal of military spirit, and made an industrious and influential officer. He served as county treasurer for Richland from 1837 to 1.841. He removed to Missouri and died about 1858. He is well remembered by all the old citizens, for his fine personal appearance, genial manners and industrious habits.
Colonel George W. Urie resides in Ashland, and although well advanced in years, the shrill tones of a fife, the sound of a drum or a military parade excites the martial fires that once blazed in his organization. During the war of 1861-65, it was difficult for him to refrain from taking a hand in the "scrimmage." Advancing years and failing health alone kept him from the fray.
Very few company officers survive. Captain Gladden, Captain Lynn, Captain George McConnell and Captain John Sprott are believed to be all of the old organization that remain.
Many pleasant memories cluster about the old train days. To keep those reminiscences ever green is the principal object of this sketch. Of course, it is not pretended that this history is complete. The unfortunate destruction of the old company rolls and other records, make it impossible to travel out of tradition.
About the year 1841 a company of lancers was formed in Ashland, composed of boys from fifteen to eighteen years of age, of which the late Bolivar W. Kellogg was captain. The members of the company possessed all the enthusiasm of regular soldiers, were handsomely uniformed and made a fine display. It survived some three or four years.
About the same time a light infantry company was formed, and the late William Johnston, of Mansfield, was elected captain. This company survived until about 1846, when it was merged into a new organization, sometimes called the Ashland guards. Captain Scott, Richard Emerson, John S. Fulton and Anthony. Jacobs successively became its captains. It expired in 1852.

During the pioneer period of Ashland county many soldiers of the war of 1812 located amid the forests of this region. Very few of these brave old men survive. At this time (1880) the only ones able to answer roll-call are:

Abraham Armentrout, of Hayesville, James Kilgore, of Orange, E. Halstead of Indiana, Nathaniel Clark and J. S. Parker, of Troy, Jacob Helbert, of Mohicanville, R. D. Emerson, Missouri, and Jacob Shopbell, of Orange.
The rest have passed over the great river to a grand, encampment in a better land. The following is believed to be a complete roll of the worthy braves who settled within the present limits of Ashland county:

Solomon Urie, Samuel Burns, David Burns, John Clay, Samuel White, Joshua Glenn, Henry Gamble, William Reed, Patrick Murray, James Murray, John Tilton, Jacob Hiffner, jr., George Hilkey, James Pollock, Abraham Doty, Andrew Stevison, Thomas Donley, John Proudfit, Francis Graham, Peter Whitright, Jacob Zigler, James Dickason, George Remley, Allen Lockhart, Thomas Miller, James Short, James A. Dinsmore, William Hunter, Abraham Armentrout, John Galloway, Enoch Taylor, John Taylor, Michael Riddle, Robert Nelson, Richard Winbigler, George Martin, Thomas Henry, Thomas Urie, Samuel Urie, Andrew Byerly, Isaac Smalley, James Andrews, Adam Link, Thomas McConnell, Samuel Fulton, R. Richey, W. Richey, Calvin Hibbard, Sage Kellogg, John McConnell, Jacob Jackson, James Kilgore, Thomas Willey, James Campbell, Jacob Mykrantz, Charles Hoy, George McFadden, Daniel Porter, William Craig, George Cornell, E. Halstead, Nathaniel Clark, J. S. Parker, John Hazlett, Thomas Smith, John Woodburn, Joseph Workman, John Smith, Hugh Adams, Case Macumber, Charles Tannehill, Elijah Hart, Sterling G. Bushnell, Abraham Johnson, David Stephens, Joseph Strickland, Samuel Taylor, William Burwell, John Burwell, Matthew Palmer, Mordecai Lincoln, Nicholas Shaffer, George Winbigler, James Cameron, George Richart, Jacob Shopbell, John Chambers, Abraham Huffman, Jacob Ridenour, Jacob Crouse, Rudolph Brandeberry, Philip Brandeberry, William Shaw, John Wertman, John Davoult, John Lambright, Henry Neal, Harvey Sackett, Salmon Weston; Brahmon Johnson, Samuel Monroe, Daniel Beach, Samuel Camp, Jacob Roorback, Abraham Ferris, John Hall, Joseph Gates, Elias Slocum, Rev. Richard D. Emerson, Philip Markley, Jacob Switzer, Robert Ralston, sr., Jacob Helbert, Levi Mercer, sr., Wesley Richard, Thomas Pittinger, James Allison, Charles Hoy, Christopher Rice, John Smith, James Dickson, Samuel Cordell, Peter Burns.

There were two in Perry: John Shriner, from Maryland, who died in 1855, and John Scott, from Pennsylvania, who died about 1853 or 1854.



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