June 27, 2009

Randolph County History

Randolph County and the War Between the States
Part 4: Some Family Connections

by Jerry Hilgenberg

This is the final installment concerning some of our classmates’ connections to the Civil War, along with some background information related to these connections.

David Triezenberg: A Letter Home

I have a photocopy of a letter written by William S Nesbit to his sister, who was my 3g-grandmother. It is written without punctuation or capitalization and is not very interesting; he mostly complains about sore feet. The letter is dated "Oct the 28th" but no year is given. He mentions having been at "lebnon" and his regiment (101st Indiana Infantry) was at Lebanon TN in April 1863, so the year is likely 1863.

More interesting is the stationery, which was probably provided by the War Department. It is imprinted with a picture of the legions marching behind a mounted officer with a raised sword, and has a patriotic poem (“We are coming, Father Abraham, Six hundred thousand more,...”).

There are Grants in my family tree, and supposedly the General figures in somehow.

My wife's connections are more colorful. Her great-grandfather (yes, 1g), David Crockett Dome, was an Assistant Surgeon for the 17th Indiana Infantry Regiment. We believe that he had no formal medical education. He was captured by the troops of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and held overnight. Had breakfast with Forrest himself. Forrest was famous during the war as "The Wizard of the Saddle", and infamous afterward as a founder of the KKK.

David's brother Elijah (81st Indiana Infantry) was killed at Kennesaw Mountain. The family legend is that his head was taken off by a cannonball, and that his father drove a wagon from southern Indiana to Georgia to recover the body

600,000 More:  We Are Coming, Father Abraham

The poem and song “600,000 More. We are Coming, Father Abraham” was a patriotic composition that surfaced as a result of President Lincoln’s call for additional troops in the summer of 1862.

There were actually two calls for 300,000 new volunteers each.  Each state was assigned a quota, and recruiting, training and equipping the soldiers was the responsibility of the state and local governments.

At this early point of the war, the military “draft” had not be instituted in the north; however, states that fell short of their quotas would have to use a conscription process that was defined by each state’s militia laws.

The cover art shown here attributes words and music to “A Volunteer”, however, there are several conflicting claims to authorship on the Internet.  According to the Library of Congress, the most likely lyricist was Robert Morris and the composer was D. A. Warden.

You’ll also find this song on the internet with an alternate title: “300,000 More” which is how it is performed in the YouTube link below.

You can hear this song performed by the 97th New York Regimental String Band, a group of re-enactors using period instruments at

Here are the lyrics:

We are coming, Father Abraham, 600,000 more,
From Mississippi's winding stream and from New England's shore.
We leave our plows and workshops, our wives and children dear,
With hearts too full for utterance, with but a silent tear.
We dare not look behind us but steadfastly before.
We are coming, Father Abraham, 600,000 more!

We are coming; we are coming our Union to restore,
We are coming, Father Abraham, 600,000 more!

If you look across the hilltops that meet the northern sky,
Long moving lines of rising dust your vision may descry;
And now the wind, an instant, tears the cloudy veil aside,
And floats aloft our spangled flag in glory and in pride;
And bayonets in the sunlight gleam, and bands brave music pour,
We are coming, father Abr'am, six hundred thousand more!


If you look up all our valleys where the growing harvests shine,
You may see our sturdy farmer boys fast forming into line;
And children from their mother's knees are pulling at the weeds,
And learning how to reap and sow against their country's needs;
And a farewell group stands weeping at every cottage door,
We are coming, Father Abr'am, six hundred thousand more!


You have called us, and we're coming by Richmond's bloody tide,
To lay us down for freedom's sake, our brothers' bones beside;
Or from foul treason's savage group, to wrench the murderous blade;
And in the face of foreign foes its fragments to parade.
Six hundred thousand loyal men and true have gone before,
We are coming, Father Abraham, 600,000 more!


Ted Martin: Descendent of Stonewall?

I am related to Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, although it is distant.  My Gr. Gr. Grandmother on my Mother’s side was Lydia Jackson.  Her Father was a Brother to Stonewall's Father.  In other words, they were 1st cousins.  Reaching pretty far, isn't it? …but it is true.  Also, Lydia's daughter was Eva Wright who was a sister to Wilbur and Orville.  Eva is my Great Grandmother.

Stonewall Jackson - Lee’s “Right Arm”

After Robert E. Lee, Thomas J.”Stonewall” Jackson is probably the best known of the Confederate Generals.  A West Point graduate, he served with distinction in the Mexican War, where he met Robert E. Lee.

.  When the Civil War broke out, Jackson had been Instructor of Artillery at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington since 1851.  He understood and taught the importance of discipline, deception, efficiency and mobility in military operations, and as a teacher he was a strict, didactic thinker who was not at all popular with his students.  He was quick to scorn and treated any perceived insubordination harshly.

When the war began, Jackson volunteered as a drill instructor, but quickly received command of a brigade at Harper’s Ferry, at the mouth of the Shenandoah Valley.  By June, Jackson was a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army, with a reputation as a hard disciplinarian who drilled his troops endlessly.  They quickly became as “hard” as he was, and this unquestioning discipline served him and his soldiers well many times over.

  He earned his nickname at the Battle of Bull Run (“First Manassas”).  Jackson’s Brigade reinforced the Confederate lines at a crucial point in the battle, and stood their ground while others around them were failing.  At this point, Brig. General Barnard Bee told his troops, “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall.  Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer!”  Seconds later, Bee himself was killed.  Jackson’s brigade saved the day at First Manassas.  After the battle, Jackson was promoted to Major General and placed in command of the Shenandoah Valley district.

The Valley Campaign
.  In the early spring of 1862, Jackson set his Army of the Shenandoah against Union General Banks in the valley.  Jackson had 17,000 under his command, facing a Federal force of 60,000.  In 48 days, with 650 miles of marching and fighting, Stonewall’s army won five significant battle victories, and in June the Federal army withdrew from the Shenandoah Valley.

By the end of 1862, Jackson and his army had gone on to participate in major battles at Pennisula, Second Manassas, Sharpsburg (Antietam) and Fredericksburg.  Jackson himself was promoted to Lieutenant General, and his army was designated the Second Corps.

Greatest Victory
.  The first major battle of 1863 was the Battle of Chancellorsville, where Stonewall won his greatest victory.  Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was losing badly, when Lee decided to send Jackson’s army on a flanking march to the rear of the Federal lines.  Emerging from the woods behind the Federal 11th Army Corps, Jackson and his soldiers faced only two cannons.  They also found the Union supplies and soldiers camped in the middle of a large field playing cards.

Jackson’s men charged and the rout was on.  Thousands of Union soldiers were caught completely by surprise and captured without resistance.  Jackson’s men pushed on until full dark, and by the end of the day the Union lines contracted and facing retreat back over the Rappahannock River.

Victim of Friendly Fire.  After fighting stopped for the day, Stonewall decided to reconnoiter the Federal lines to prepare for the following days’ fighting.  A secretive man who would not reveal his intentions even to his closest subordinates, Jackson took a small party out on a scouting mission.  On return, the scouting party was mistaken for a Federal cavalry unit and was fired-upon by some boys from North Carolina.

In the confusion, Jackson was shot twice in the left arm, and once on the right hand.  Due to the severity of the wounds, battlefield doctors removed his left arm.  He was taken to a plantation office (photo on right) some 20 miles from the battlefield to recuperate, and a full recovery was expected.

When Lee learned of his injury, Lee said, “General Jackson has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right.” 

Stonewall developed pneumonia, and died on Sunday, May 10, 1863…eight days after his triumph at Chancellorsville.  His loss was a very serious blow to the South’s hopes for military victory, as those who replaced him lacked the audacity and aggressiveness of Jackson.

Jackson was a very pious man, and never lost his faith.  On the day he died, he said, “
It is the Lord's Day; my wish is fulfilled. I have always desired to die on Sunday.”  His last words, “Let us cross over the river, and rest in the shade of the trees”, have been immortalized in poetry and song.

Jill Hinty Keener:  My Great Great Grandfather - Oliver P. Jones

Throughout all wars, military conflicts and police actions, the term "friendly fire" brings an extra measure of sadness.  My great great-grandfather, Oliver P. Jones was not only a victim of friendly fire, but he had only been in the Indiana Legion for 4 days! 

Oliver P. Jones, from Centerville, Indiana, was mustered into the 105th Indiana Minutemen on the 10th of July 1863.  The document that served as his affidavit of service after his death states,   "The 105th was Indiana Legion and was never mustered into U. S. Service".   Many of the local militia were hastily organized and poorly trained in response to Brig. General John Hunt Morgan's raid across the Ohio River into Indiana and Ohio in June of 1863.  

Morgan's Raid was a highly publicized incursion by Confederate cavalry  into the Northern states of Indiana and Ohio during the American Civil War.  The raid took place from June 11 - July 26, 1863, and is named for the commander of the Confederates, Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan.

General Morgan and his 2,460 handpicked Confederate cavalrymen, along with 4 artillery pieces,  departed from Sparta, Tennessee on June 11, 1863 intending to divert the attention of the Union Army of the Ohio from Southern forces in the state.  Gen. Braxton Bragg, the regional Confederate commander, had intended for Morgan's cavalrymen to provide a distraction by entering Kentucky. Morgan, however, confided to some of his officers that he had long desired to invade Indiana and Ohio to bring the terror of war to the North. Bragg had given him carte blanche to ride throughout Tennessee and Kentucky, but under no circumstances was he to cross the Ohio River

His service was short and unremarkable; he was one of thousands that answered the call for volunteers to defend the state from the first Southern incursion into Indiana. During a night drive through a wooded area on July 14, 1863, his flank moved ahead of the opposite one and they were mistaken for the enemy.  The soldiers opened fire and he was hit in the head and died instantly.  The place of death was listed as Lawrenceburg, IN


To show that government red tape is not a recent phenomenon, the story I will tell is of the struggle of my great-great-grandmother, Martha A. Cheesman Jones, to obtain her widow's pension. 

The first date listed on documents we have regarding pension application was on Captain Jonathan Jarrett's affidavit of death - 25th day of January 1864.  Four and a half years later, the Department of the Interior, Adjutant General's office sent a request for her to provide official evidence of the enrollment, muster, service, duty and cause of death of Oliver.  Additional documents provided, also in 1869, were a Widow's Affidavit that she had not abandoned the support of any of her three children, Amelia Alice Jones, my great grandmother, Clara Frances Jones (Beck), and John Oliver Jones, nor had she permitted them to be adopted.  She was also required to submit a Doctor's affidavit of birth for the children and an affidavit that she had "not in any manner been engaged in nor aided or abetted the rebellion in the United States" 

No additional correspondence was found until 13 years later when the United States Congress passed a special act.


AN ACT for the relief of Martha A. Jones

“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United State of America in Congress assembled, that the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby authorized and directed to place on the pension roll, the name of Martha A. Jones, widow of the late Oliver P. Jones, who was killed on the "Morgan's raid" during the late war, and pay her a pension at the rate of eight dollars a month.”   

Approved August 5, 1882

The pension began reasonably soon after, but it was not retroactive.  For the next 33 years, she continued to receive checks, with an increase to $12.00 per month at some time during this period.  Great-Great-Grandmother Martha A Jones passed away on March 24, 1916. 

True to form, it appears that the government kept sending checks because the last correspondence that was found was a note to the Chief, Finance Division with the return of $36.00 on May 11, 1916   She was eventually dropped from the pension roll on May 17, 1916. 

Andersonville Prison

Andersonville Prison was the main Confederate Prison housing captured Federal soldiers during the Civil War.  Officially called Camp Sumpter, the prison camp was opened in 1864 and is located in southwestern Georgia.  Initially hailed as a “model prison camp”, Andersonville was 16 acres surrounded by a 15-foot high stockade fence.  In mid-1864 the size of the camp was nearly doubled, to 26.5 acres.

Over the course of the war, 45,000 Union soldiers were sent to Andersonville.  Nearly 13,000 died there – from dysentery, scurvy, diarrhea, malnutrition, and disease.

The prison water supply came from Stockade Creek, which entered the prison from the north and exited from the south.  Inadequate for the number of men housed in the camp, the creek became polluted as men were forced to wash in the creek, and after a particularly heavy storm in 1864, the creek was further polluted by latrine runoff.

During the summer of 1864, about 1/3 of the Union prisoners housed at Andersonville died from dysentery and were buried in mass graves.  The prisoners continually suffered from inadequate supplies of food and cruelties from the guards.

There was also a group of prisoners, called the “Andersonville Raiders,” who attacked other prisoners to steal their clothing, jewelry and food.  Ultimately, another group of prisoners, known as the “Regulators,” rose up and caught the “Raiders.”  A trial was held and the Raiders were subjected to various punishments at the hands of the other prisoners.  Six were hanged.

Dorence Atwater, a Union prisoner from New York, secretly kept track of the names and numbers of prisoners who died at Andersonville.  After the war, this list was published in the New York Times when the Federal government refused to recognize Atwater’s list.  The publication of this list, stories of returning soldiers, and the revelations of conditions at Andersonville, contributed greatly to the public opinion in the North regarding the South once the war ended.  The soldier shown on the right survived Andersonville.

After the war, the commander of the prison, Henry Wirz, was tried and convicted as a war criminal.  Wirz was found guilty and sentenced to hang.  He was executed in November, 1865 – the only Confederate official to be hanged for war crimes after the war.

Bill Daly: W.A.W. Daly

U.G. Daly was my grandfather; his full name was Ulysses Grant Daly. His nickname was "Liss Daly". He later became chief of police and was elected county sheriff.

His father was Capt. William Alexander Washington (W.A.W.) Daly. W.A.W. named him after Ulysses Grant because W.A.W. fought in the civil war and was a prisoner at Andersonville Prison and greatly admired Ulysses Grant. After the war, W.A.W. became county sheriff."

William A. Daly’s Prison Record (from the National Park Service website)


Civil War Poetry, “Songs of the Union”, http://www.civilwarpoetry.org/union/songs/coming.html(Accessed May 11, 2009)

Johns Hopkins University Special Collections, “600,000 More. We Are Coming Father Abraham! Song and Chorus”, https://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu/handle/1774.2/15398 (Accessed May 11, 2009)

National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, “Andersonville Prison Records”,
http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/prisoners.htm (accessed May 12, 2009)

Wikipedia contributors, “Andersonville National Historic Site,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andersonville_National_Historic_Site (accessed May 12, 2009).

Wikipedia contributors, “Stonewall Jackson,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_Jackson  (accessed May 12, 2009).

YouTube contributors, “I Want Candy,” YouTube – Broadcast Yourself, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5PAcDnBemQ  (accessed May 10, 2009)