Union County, Ohio
Genealogy and History

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Union County in the
War of 1812

War of 1812

The first military company organized in the county was recruited during the year, 1813, by Capt. James A. Curry. He was appointed enrolling officer of the district, including all the settlements along Darby Creek and Sugar Run, and organized a company of which he was elected Captain, and Samuel Mitchell First Lieutenant, and Adam Shrover Second Lieutenant.

Strange as it may seem, but very little can be learned of the members of this company, although they were recruited from the old families of Robinsons, Mitchells, Ewings, Kents, Sagers and others.

After diligent search among the records and inquiring among the oldest of the descendant now living, the followiug-named citizens are known positively to have been members of this company :

James A. Curry, Captain; Samuel Mitchell, First Lieuteuant; Adam Shover, Second Lieutenant; James Buck, Calvin Carey, Ewing Donaldson, David Mitchell, Andrew Noteman, Clark Provins, Christian Sager. George Soger, Abe Soger and William Taylor.

They were attached to a regiment the number of which cannot be ascertained. They first rendezvoused at Delaware where orders were received to join Gen. Harrison's Army in the Northwest They marched by way of Upper Sandusky and the falls of St. Mary's to Fort Meigs, then returned by Wapakonetta and Piqua. The majority of them were called out the second time to build and garrison block-houses on the frontier. The names of several citizens of this county appear on the rolls of Capt. McClellan's company, among which are those of four brothers, James, William, Samuel and Robert Snodgrass.
Capt. James A. Curry first enlisted in June, 1812, at Urbana , in a company of light horse from Highland County , and was attached to Col. Carr's regiment, composed mainly of Kentucky troops, and served in this campaign under Gen. Tapper on the Maumee and River Raisin. He was detailed as a scout during that summer, and being an experienced woodsman was kept constant in service. I have heard him say he never performed a day's camp duty during this campaign. He was a fine horseman, was splendidly mounted, and he and the scouts serving under him were constantly on the move examining the streams for Indian signs, and watching the movements of the enemy.

A company was organized at Plain City , during the summer of 1812 or 1813, of which Jonathan Alder was elected Captain and Frederick Loyd First Lieuteuant. They were directed to march north toward the lakes about twenty miles beyond the settlememts of Darby, and erect a block-house for the protection of the settlements. They marched to the banks of Mill Creek, and after working three or four days a block-house was completed. Mr. Alder says: ;i There were seventy in all, and one, Daniel Watkins was made Colonel and Commander in Chief.

Mr. Alder, who had been a captive among the Indians for fifteen years and well knew their mode of warfare, condemned this as a very unwise move in the Governor to order so many men from the settlements, for he claimed the tactics of the Indians would be to attack the women and children in the settlements and avoid the fort. They only remained at the block-house a few weeks. There being a false
alarm, it was not possible to keep the men from returning to the settlements. This block-house was situated on the west bank of Mill Creek, about three miles northwest from Marysville on the farm now owned by Edward Powers. Some of the stones used either for the foundation or to strengthen the walls of the block-house may 3ret be seen directly east from Mr. Powers' house, a few rods from the banks of the creek.

Thomas Killgore, who died at the residence of his son, Simeon Killgore, in Mill Creek Township, a few years ago, was a member of the company that erected this fort, and was the last one left of the company; a short time before his death, he gave a detailed account of this campaign and the building of the block-house, which was transmitted by Judge Cole to the Pioneer Association of Union County. So far as can be learned, this is the only fort ever erected within the borders of this county, and this is probably known to but few of our citizens. Of the company that erected this block-house, it lias not been possible to learn the names of any except those already mentioned.

A number of the young men in the settlements enlisted in companies outside of the county, and saw hard service during the war. Simon Shover. who lived on Darby, near the old Sager Mill, in Jerome Township , enlisted in and was Orderly Sergeant of Capt. Langham's company, of Chillicothe , Ohio . He was a brave and gallant soldier, and had many hair-breadth escapes. At one time, he was taken prisoner by the Indians, and saved his life by imitating a rooster crowing, by jumping up on logs or stumps, and flapping his anus and hands. This seemed to please the Indians very much, as they laughed immoderately at his antics. Simon always claimed that this saved his life. He was taken prisoner at Winchester's defeat, and often expressed his indignation at the treatment of Gen. Winchester, who was abused and insulted by the Indians, without any check from the British. Simon Shover was one of fifty picked men, who made a sortie from
Fort Erie, and spiked the guns of the British during the night: and was. perhaps, the most distinguished soldier that went from the county. He was of a good family, and honorable and brave to a fault. He learned many of the traits of the Indians, and was accustomed to entertain large crowds of citizens at all kinds of gatherings, such as "log rollings," "husking bees/' house and barn raisings," and " musters/' with many interesting incidents of his adventures, both thrilling and ludicrous. In later years, he became dissipated, squandered his property, and
led a wandering life, trusting to the charity of the old friends of his better days. Wherever " crowds were wont to assemble/' Simon could always be counted as one of the number, and furnished much amusement by giving the " Indian war whoop " for a sixpence to buy a dram.

His voice was as clear and shrill as a trumpet, and he could give a genuine war whoop that would have caused old Tecumseh to have marshaled his warriors for the^field. Many anecdotes might be related of his efforts to amuse the crowd during court term, and on "training day." One of his feats was to ride "Old Peach Blossom," his favorite mare, up the stairway and into the court-room of the old court house that now stands on the square at Marysville. He was anxious to live a hundred years, and on meeting or parting with old friends he was
wont to exclaim—"Hurrah for a hundred years !" A few years before his death, he was cast upon the charity of the county. He died on the 11th day of August, 18fi4, aged seventy-nine years, and was buried on the Infirmary farm. He lies in an humble grave, "unhonored and unsung." 3*et he is remembered by his old friends as brave, honest and upright Simon Shover. " Peace to his ashes."

Another quite noted character that resided for many years prior to his death in Darby Township , was Thomas Anderson. He was in the naval service, and was on the flag-ship Lawrence at "Perry's Victory" on Lake Erie , September 10, 1813. And when the Lawrence was disabled by the guns of the enemy, Anderson was one of the crew that rowed Commodore Perry in an open boat safely through that storm of shot and shell to the Niagara , although the boat was completely riddled with balls in the passage. In the great historic painting now hanging in the rotunda of the State House at Columbus , Anderson is represented in the open boat with Perry, a handkerchief bound about his head, pulling for life to reach the Niagara . Anderson was in many hard engagements, and many of the citizens of the southern part of the county remember the thrilling incidents of his adventures, as related by "Tommy," as he was familiarly called. He died at the Union County Infirmary, December 30, 1863, aged ninety years, and was buried in the county burial grounds on the Infirmary farm. Benson Wilmoth. for many years a citizen of the county, did good service during the war of 1812. At the time of the siege of Fort Eric , in August, 1814, he was in the fort under command of Gen. Gaines, and while in the line of duty, manning a gun, a shot from the guns of the British dismantled one of the guns
of the fort, throwing it against Wilmoth and breaking his leg. On this injury he drew a pension during the later years of his life. He died about the year 1860, and was buried in the old Cemetery at Marysville.

The territory now comprising the county of Union was but thinly populated in 1812, yet many of her citizens left their homes in response to the call to arms with the full knowledge that their women and children were at the mercy of the Indians prowling along the northwestern border, and not a few of them rendered good service to the Government in her hour of need. Ever may our citizens hold in grateful remembrance the services of the patriotic veterans of Union County in the war of 1812.

" The brave old soldier ne'er despise,
Nor count him as a stranger;
For he's his country's stay and pride
In day and hour of danger."

On the 4th day of October, 1S59, the old soldiers of the war of 1812, of Union and surrounding counties, met in convention at Marysville for the purpose of memorializing Congress upon the subject of the pension bill and other business appertaining to their rights. At this meeting the following officers were appointed :

Gen. E. W. Benson, President; Dr. R. P. Mann. Everett McDowell, Ferrel Baker and Daniel Breese, Vice Presidents; A. T. Turner. Secretary, and S. Mc-Bratney. Assistant Secretary.

The committee on resolutions—Dr. R. P. Maun, Col. J. W. B. Haynes and Hon. William Richey—reported the following, which were unanimously adopted :

"Resolved, That the first duty of a Republic is justice, as well as gratitude toward her gallant defenders in the hour of danger.

"Resolved. That the land we have already obtained came too late to be of service to us, as we were too old to improve it and use it for our maintenance.
Had we obtained it as promptly as it was donated to the soldiers of the Mexican war, we might now be enjoying comfortable homes in our old age and decrepitude, and not be dependent, as many of us are, upon the cold charities of the world or the kindness of friends for our lease of life.

" Resolved, That it is the duty of Congress to amend the Pension Laws, so that those who served in the war of 1812 and their widows or minor children shall be entitled to a pension, the same as those who served in the Revolutionary war, and that where any of our comrades have been killed in action, or died without receiving land, the nation owes to their heirs, without regard to age, if there be no widow, 160 acres of land.

" Resolved, That we tender our thanks to the citizens of Marysville for the kind manner in which they have received us; to the musicians, who have volunteered to bring back to us reminiscences of times that tried our souls ; and particularly to the ladies, who have honored us with their presence.

" Resolved, That the proceedings of this convention be published in the Marysville Tribune and Union Press, and that the press throughout the West friendly to the cause, copy the same ; and that we thank cordially the two newspapers of this county for the call of this meeting.

" Resolved, That it is the duty of Congress to amend the Pension Laws, so that those who served in the war of 1812 and their widows or minor children shall be entitled to a pension, the same as those who served in the Revolutionary war, and that where any of our comrades have been killed in action, or died without receiving land, the nation owes to their heirs, without regard to age, if there be no widow, 160 acres of land.

" Resolved, That we tender our thanks to the citizens of Marysville for the kind manner in which they have received us ; to the musicians, who have volunteered to bring back to us reminiscences of times that tried our souls ; and particularly to the ladies, who have honored us with their presence.

" Resolved, That the proceedings of this convention be published iu the Marysville Tribune and Union Press, and that the press throughout the West friendly to the cause, copy the same ; and that we thank cordially the two newspapers of this county for the call of this meeting.

" Resolved, That the Member of Congress from this, the Eighth Congressional District of Ohio, Hon. B. Stanton, in advocating and voting for the bill to grant pensions to the soldiers of the war of 1812, has the thanks of all the members of this meeting, and we say unto him, continue to do right and it shall be well with you."

At this meeting, over seventy old soldiers answered to the roll-call, fifty-five of whom were residents of Union County .

On the l5th of August, l860, a second convention was held at Marysville by the old soldiers of the war of 1S12, and Indian wars, for the purpose of again consulting together upon the best method of securing a pension for those who laid the foundation for the State and nation.

Col. J. B. W. Haynes presided at this meeting, at which resolutions similar to those offered at the former meeting, with the following additions, were adopted:

Resolved, That we will vote for no man for President, Vice President, Cougress or the Legislature who is opposed to justice to the old soldiers of 1812 and Indian wars, their widows and orphans.

Resolved, That the defense of all free institutions rests mainly on the volunteers and militia. Therefore, it is the duty of the people to rescue the Government from the hands of those who are opening the despotisms of Europe by an annual expenditure of $30,000,000 in times of peace and a useless standing army, which have been in all countries the instruments of tyranny and oppression.

Resolved, That this Government was established as a beacon light to the friends of liberty in every land. It is the duty of the people to elect servants to all offices who are earnestly and thoroughly imbued with the principles of justice to the volunteers and militia and who will discourage standing armies."

There were seventy of the old soldiers from this county present at this convention.

The following list contains the names of the soldiers of 1812, who were residents of Union County :

Thomas Anderson, Henry Amnrine, John Amrine, Isaac Allen, Amos Arrohood, James Bell, Abram Baughman, James Buck, Emanuel Baker, Lewis Bonnett, Jeremiah Burrows, Benjamin Bowman, Daniel Bruse, William Brooks, Thomas Burt, William Bowie, C. Brown, Samuel Beck, Hezekiah Burdock, Nathan Bigley, Henry Bennet, H. Burnham, James A. Curry, Alexander Cowgill, Titus Clevenger, Thomas Caul, Ephraim Cary, Calvin Cary, Simon Coder, Daniel Cone, Matthew Columber, ____ Conklin, Thomas Chapman, David Chapman, Benjamin Carter, Chase Chapman, Jason Chapman, John Cratty, Ebenezer Cheney, Richard Cook, William Danforth, Daniel Danforth, Amos Dial, Titus Dort, James E. Donelson, Michael Davis, William Dawson, John Dean, Scott Ewing, William Ennis, Donelson Ewing, William B. Evans, John Foreman, Philip Fry, Enoch Fisher, Henry Farnum, William L. Feror, William Gladhill, John German, Joseph Gibson, Edward Gray, James Herd, William Hopper, James Hamilton, William Hamilton, William Hall, F. Hemenway, R. Huffman, John Heath, William Huff, Elijah Hoyt. William Hoskins, Alexander Hunt, Francis Harper, William Harper, Willard Hill, J. C. Hull, J. B. W. Haynes, Samuel Harrett, James Irwin, Robert Johnson, Jesse Johnson, Elias Johnson, David Jones, Josiah Kelsey, Daniel Kent, William Kirk, James Kent, John Keenes, Timothy Knox, William Kent, Samuel Leeper, William Leeper, John LeMay, Thomas Lee, Isaac D. Linder, Ralph Longwell, Abraham Leonard, Hugh Moore, Joseph McClung, Thomas McFadden, McKendree, Robert McIntire, John Middleton, James Mathers, ___ Marshall, David Mitchell, Samuel Mitchell, Dr. Reuben Mann, Andrew Noteman, Samuel Orrohood, John Porter, Samuel Poland, Samuel Poling, J. Powers, Levi Phelps, John Paver, Clark Provins, Samuel Rittenhonse, James Robinson, William Redding, Samuel Robinson, John Roads, Simon Rickard, R. M. Richardson, Tobias Robertson, John Robb, J. N. Ross, William Richey, R. L. Richardson, John Solmond, Adam Shirk, Solomon Smith, Abraham Smith, James R. Smith, Paten B. Smith, Robert Stout, Orson Smith, Simon Shover, George Sager, Abe Sager, Christian Sager, Adam Shover, Jacob Snider, Samuel Snodgrass, James Snodgrass, William Snodgrass, Nathaniel Stewart, Robert Snodgrass, William Spain, Justus Stephens, Jacob Sreaves (sic), J. Stillings, John Thompson, Thomas Turner, William Thompson, William Taylor, Aaron Tossey, Robert Turner, Thomas Tunks, Richard Vance, William Westlake, George Westlake, Samuel Westlake, Benjamin Westlake, James Willard, Benson Wilmoth, Ezra Winget, Levi Whaley, Daniel Williams, Thomas Wells, Jacob Yates.

Below are given the names of the soldiers of 1812 buried in the county, as far as can be learned, and among this number may be found representatives from almost every battle of any importance of that war:


"A dirge for the brave old pioneers,
The muffled drums resound !
Our warriors are slumbering here,
Near to their battle ground ;
For not alone with beasts of prey
The bloody strife they waged,"
But foremost in the deadly fray.
Where savage combat raged."

Paris Township — Thomas Anderson, Infirmary Farm ; William Hall. Amrine Cemetery, James Mathers, Marysville Cemetery; Robert Stout, Amrine Cemetery ; Simon Shover, Infirmary farm ; P. B. Smith and Benson Wilmoth, Marysville Cemetery; Samuel Westlake, Benjamin Westlake, James Westlake, George Westlake and William Westlake, Amrine Cemetery.

Union Township — Harvey Burnharn, Michael Davis, Joseph Gibson. Reuben Mann, John Porter, James Snodgrass and James Willard, Milford Cemetery .

Liberty Township — David Danforth, Daniel Danforth, William Dawson, John Dean, Samuel Griffin, James Herd and Nathaniel Stewart.

Taylor Township — James Hamilton, James Irwin and Adam Shirk. Union Church Cemetery.

Jerome Township — Christian Adams, Frankfort Cemetery ; James Buck, Curry Cemetery ; Captain James A. Curry, New California Cemetery ; Titus Dort, Frankfort Cemetery; James E.Donaldson and Scott Ewing, Ewing Cemetery; Elijah Hoyt, Joseph McCIung and William Taylor, California Cemetery.

Darby Township — William Harper, Samuel Mitchell, David Mitchell, James Robinson, Samuel Robinson, Simon Rickard and Christian Sager, Mitchell Cemetery.

Jackson Township — Henry Bennet, Nathan Bigley, Benjamin Carter, Jason Chapman, Thomas Chapman, Ebenezer Cheney, Francis Harper, David Jones.

Claibourne Township— Richard Cook, William B. Evans, J. B. W. Haynes, Samuel Harrett, Isaac Linder, Robert McIntire, Jacob Snider, Thomas Wells, Claibourne Cemetery

Mill Creek Township — Benjamin Bowman, Hezekiah Burdock, Robert Johnson, John Keenes, John LeMay, John Rhoads, Aaron Tossey, John Thompson, William Thompson, Ezra Winget, Watkins Cemetery .

Leesburg Township — William Brooks, Maskill Cemetery ; Ephraim Caiy, Maskill Cemetery; Titus Clevenger, William Hoskins, Alexander Hunt, Hopewell Cemetery ; Thomas Tunks, Brannan Cemetery.

Dover Township — Lewis Bonnett, Mount Hermon Cemetery ; Samuel Beck, William Bowie, Hezekiah Burdic, Matthew Columber, R. Huffman, Robert Joanson, Samuel Rittenhouse, W'illliam Redding, John Williams.

Allen Township —Isaac Allen, William Huff, Abraham Leonard, Samael Poling, John Paver, William Spain, Jacob S reaves, Buck Run Cemetery .

York Township —William Ennis, Elias Johnson, Timothy Knox. William Kirk. McKendrie Cemetery : Thomas McFadden, York Cemetery ; R. M. Richardson, James R. Smith, McKendrie Cemetery; Levi Whaley, Jacob Yates, York Cemetery.

[Source: "War History of Union County, Ohio" by W. L. Curry, 1883 - tr. by L. Dietz]


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