HENRY H. ADNEY had nearly four years of experience as a
Union soldier during his early life. His career has been a long and eventful
one, and has figured in the history of Hamilton County since very early
times. Hamilton County was not organized until 1886, but Mr. Adney had
thrown his lot in with that frontier community as early as 1880. He is
still one of the leading stock men and ranchers of Kendall township,
his ranch being four miles west of the old town of Kendall. In that locality
his home has been since he came to the county more than thirty-five years
Mr. Adney is a native of Ohio, born in Gallia County, January 11, 1841. He
is descended from old English stock. His great-grandfather, Thomas Adney,
was an Englishman who settled in Virginia in colonial times. One branch of
the family since prominently identified with the state of Arkansas, had soldier
representatives in the Revolutionary war. The grandfather, John Adney, married
Barbara Lazena, a Frenchwoman, and they became the parents of eighteen children.
Those who grew up were: Jonathan, Mrs. Rhoda Slaughter, Mrs. Anna Adney, Mrs.
Polly Butler, Mrs. Sarah Hawkins, Mrs. Lovica Steele, William, who married
a Miss Higley; Mrs. Rebecca Stevens, Mrs. Barbara Martin, and John L., who
married a Miss Steele.
Jonathan Adney, father of Henry H., was a "Tuckahoe" of Eastern Virginia,
where he was born, but prior to the War of 1812 went with his father to
Ohio, then a new and wild country. He grew up there, helped his father
in clearing the farm, and always the rifles were close at hand for protection
against the Indians. Miami County was their first home in Ohio, and later
they moved to Gallia County, along the Ohio River, where Jonathan spent
his active life as a farmer. He died in September, 1866. His wife, Electa
Glenn, died in the winter of 1882. Her father, William Glenn, was a native
of Virginia and of Scotch-Irish ancestry. Jonathan Adney was a man without
training in school, having had only twelve days of school attendance while
a boy in Virginia. Though little learned in books he became able to do
all his own figuring, and as a practical farmer made a modest fortune.
He served as captain of militia in early days, and in politics was a stanch
whig and afterwards a republican. He was not a professing Christian, and
laid stress upon his honesty and his word as the means of grace. His wife
was a Presbyterian. Their family of children were: Jenette, who married
Milton Kent and died in Ohio; Col. Glenn Adney, who died in North Carolina;
Mrs. Maria Hamilton, who died in Ohio; Henry H.; Robert, an old soldier
now connected with the government mint at San Francisco; Mrs. Ella Delay,
of Emporia, Kansas; Calvin, who died in California; and Gerald, who died
at Athens, Ohio, while in college.
Henry H. Adney grew up in the county of his birth, had a common school
education, and was just twenty years of age when the war broke out. In
1861 he entered Company B of the Thirty-Sixth Ohio Infantry. He enlisted
at Vinton and went into camp at Marietta, where his company was mustered.
His first captain was his brother, Glenn Adney, who later became a lieutenant
colonel. The colonel of the gallant Thirty-Sixth Ohio was George Crook,
later famous as General Crook, one of the greatest Indian fighters of the
west. The regiment by order from the Governor of Ohio was sent into Western
Virginia, and began rounding up bushwhackers. They were part of Cox's Kanawha
Division and fought at Greenbrier, Louisburg, New River Bridge, and also
in the second battle of Bull Run. Mr. Adney was in the fight at South Mountain,
at Antietam, then back into West Virginia, and later with his comand was
transferred by boat down the Ohio and up the Cumberland River in time to
participate in the second battle of Fort Donelson. The Crook Brigade next
marched across to the Stone River battleground and came into hostile conflict
with Bragg's army at Hoover Gap and also in the little engagement at Tullahoma,
Tennessee. While lying in the mud of that region they heard of the fall
of Vicksburg, and such a yelling followed the announcement as threatened
the peace and quiet of the very heavens. Crossing the river below Chattanooga
and over Lookout Mountain, the command engaged in skirmishing until the
battle of Chickamauga. Mr. Adney had a full two days of experience in that
critical and decisive battle. He went through the stress and danger of
the two days successfully, but his brother, then Major Adney, was wounded
there. Mr. Adney is one of the few survivors who are competent to speak
from personal recollection of the critical situation in which General Rosecrans'
army stood at Chickamauga. The Confederates had it completely surrounded
and only waited the moment to bag the game. The war council called by the
commander-in-chief to consider the predicament was about to decide to capitulate.
One of the officers in the council was the Russian General Turchin, commander
of the brigade in which Mr. Adney was serving. When surrender was suggested,
General Turchin replied: "I never
surrenders, I cut my vay out." This speech was very pleasing to General
Thomas, who up to that time had also been convinced that the case was hopeless.
Thomas asked General Turchin if he would lead the charge, and the ready
and gallant response of the foreign commander was one of those things upon
which turned the destinies of a war. With his brigade leading; two Federal
lines dashed against three lines of Confederates, steel against steel,
and the Turchin Brigade, locking bayonets, went through, captured prisoners,
and broke down the iron wall before it, reaching Rossville with Turchin
the hero of the day. It is not idle to speculate upon what the consequences
might have been but for this deed of the foreign general. One of the best
armies Mr. Lincoln had would have fallen prisoners, the event would have
encouraged the Confederates and intoxicated the entire South with its success
of arms, and an even far reaching consequence might have been the acknowledgment
by England of the independence of the Confederacy. It was a critical time
in the fortunes of the Union arms, and the loss of that battle might have
meant a divided instead of a united country, with all the northern states
annexed to Canada by the British government.
After Chickamauga Turchin's and another brigade were sent to capture Brown's
Ferry below Chattanooga and did the work completely. Then came the storming
of Missionary Ridge, in which Mr. Adney and his brother Robert took part
and went on with the army, following the rebels to Ringgold. The Thirty-Sixth
Ohio Regiment, upon the request of General Crook, who wished his old regiment
with him, was then ordered into the Shenandoah Valley and took up the work
against General Early's troops. There General Crook met too strong opposition
to make progress, and was driven across the Potomac River, where he awaited
General Sheridan with reinforcements. The battle of Winchester, noted in
American literature by the pen of one of our poets, was fought, but Mr. Adney
had been wounded before that and was in a hospital. He was shot through the
mouth, the ball coming out just under the jaw bone. The army surgeon pronounced
it a fatal wound. However, he recovered, was placed in the invalid corps,
but the humiliation of being slighted as an invalid told on his nerves and
he asked to be sent to his regiment. His request was granted and he continued
service in the valley until the end of the war.
Another incident of his service in Virginia was his participation in a raid
on Lynchburg, then occupied by a small Confederate force. The raiding detachment
was commanded by General Hunter, and the plan was that he should capture
the city and then march out through the Shenandoah Valley to safety. After
the journey across the mountains brought the little army up to Lynchburg,
Hunter feared the place was too strong, though as a matter of fact it was
weakly garrisoned, and he delayed from day to day his attack until the rebels
had brought up reinforcements and were not only prepared to defend but for
an offensive against Hunter. The general then ordered his men to fall back,
and over the same mountain region which they had recently traversed retired
toward Kanawha through a hostile country and without provisions other than
those foraged from an almost destitute people. On this retreat Mr. Adney
was without food for three days except one piece of pork little larger than
an oyster, and the black coffee which was always the bosom companion of the
Federal soldier. This experience disgusted the entire command with General
Hunter as a leader, and their dislike grew into almost hostility before they
reached safety and food and were relieved of his presence.
Mr. Adney was promoted from sergeant to first lieutenant while in the Shenandoah
Valley, and was at Winchester when the war ended. He was mustered out at
Columbus, Ohio, August 12, 1865, having served over four years. After coming
to Kansas he joined the Grand Army Post at Kendall, and is now a member of
the Syracuse Post.
About two years after stepping out of the army into the ranks of a civilian
Mr. Adney married in Gallia County, in September, 1867, Miss Elizabeth Blazer.
She was a daughter of Henry and Rebecca (Jackson) Blazer, her father a native
of Ohio, of Pennsylvania Dutch stock, and a farmer by occupation. Mrs. Adney
was educated in an academy at Ewington and early took up educational work
and followed it until her marriage.
Soon after his marriage Mr. Adney moved west to Holt County, Missouri, and
was actively engaged in farming there until his advent to Western Kansas.
In 1880 he made a trip across Kansas into Colorado and on the way took observations
as to those portions of Western Kansas which were open and best fitted to
the stock business. At La Junta, Colorado, he bought a bunch of sheep from
the Jones Brothers, ranchmen, and drove them back into Hamilton County. He
continued in the sheep industry for sixteen years, abandoning it when a low
tariff or free trade congress so legislated as to make the wool industry
unprofitable. Giving up sheep he entered the cattle business.
As a homesteader Mr. Adney filed on the southeast quarter of section 20,
township 24, range 29. His first shelter was a half dug-out and adobe, containing
two rooms with a dirt roof. This cave was plastered, and he moved into it
his wife and five children. While his children were growing up he built a
home in Garden City, where he educated them. After a time other and better
buildings came on the ranch and displaced all evidence of the pioneer surroundings.
His children are now married and settled in homes of their own, and his good
and faithful companion of nearly half a century, the wife of his youth and
of his old age, was taken from him by death on February 26, 1914. Their oldest
child was Ada, who first married Perry Brown. At his death Mr. Brown left
the following children: Lucile, wife of Harrison Meade; Bessie, wife of Harry
Dolan; and Margaret and Marie Brown. Mrs. Ada Brown married for her present
husband John Sturgis, of Syracuse, and they have one child, Alta. The second
child of Mr. Adney is Clarence, a rancher and breeder of White Face cattle
at Corinne, Utah. He is a graduate of Kansas University. By his marriage
to Frances Canine, a son Glenn was born but is now deceased. The third child,
Miss Clemma, is a bookkeeper for Beekman's Lumber Company of Kansas City.
Robert Adney died at Colorado Springs. The youngest, Bert, died in a hospital
at Parsons, Kansas,
Besides his homestead Mr. Adney also took a preemption, and both the claims
now belong to the Adney estate of 300 acres. He early became identified with
local affairs. He was one of the early members enlisted in this country in
the Anti-Horse Thief Association, an organization that served a splendid
purpose in protecting the livestock of the pioneers here as in other states
of the West. For many years Mr. Adney was a Methodist, but is now connected
with the Apostolic denomination. Politically a republican, he cast his maiden
vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864 and went home from the army hospital in
order to cast this ballot.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled
by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society,
Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii,
2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.