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         Gallia County News During the  War

as recorded in articles in the Gallipolis Journal from 1861 - 1865. These articles were researched and transcribed, unless otherwise indicated, by Eva Swain Hughes. The Articles are divided into five pages with a separate page for each year. Click on the year you wish to see.

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                     1861                   1862                  1863                  1864                    1865

The Gallipolis Journal
August 8, 1861

     The gallant 21st Regiment of O. V. M. made their appearance in our town last Thursday, on their return trip home from Kanawha. The men gave token in their sun-burned visages of having seen some service. Reports from Kanawha are highly creditable to this regiment, in regard to their strict sobriety, good order, and manly bearing. The citizens of Charleston were sorry to see them leave, fearing others sent in their place might not prove so careful in preserving the rules of propriety and decorum. It was just what we expected to hear of them, judging from their conduct whilst in Camp Carrington. The boys say they are ready for a three years' term, but only under other officers, and upon the express condition that they are not to be under Gen. Cox. They are unanimous in condemnation of this officer, and indeed if a tithe of their statements be true, he is certainly not the man for the position of Brigadier General. Indeed, from other sources, we have long since been induced to believe that he was a "slow coach."
     In times like the present we have forborne making reflections upon the actions of our military leaders. They are sometimes unjustly blamed by men not acquainted with the facts. But in this case, hundreds of men concur in statements, which, if true, show at least that Gen. Cox has a wholesome dread of doing things in a hurry. The affair at Scarey [sic], according to the testimony of these men, terminated so disastrously, because of his indecision of character. The "Julia Maffit" with 300 seceshers on board, could have been taken easily by Capt. Cotter's artillery, but Gen. Cox forbade any firing until she reached the opposite shore, her rebel troops landed, and she herself set on fire by them, which Capt. Cotter under orders of Gen. Cox, by a timely shot rendered of short duration. [ . . . ] The "circumlocution office" at Columbus has certainly not treated the 21st Regiment according to merit.—While nearly all the others have received at least one month's pay, these men have never yet had one cent. [ . . . ] Why this should be we are at a loss to say, unless it be owing to the fact, that the good citizens of Gallipolis were so highly delighted in having a regiment quartered near them, that they sacrificed their own peace and means to render the soldiers comfortable, and that it was not at all necessary to send any funds for their support, as all requisites would be gladly furnished by our people.
     [ . . . ] The 21st left on Sunday afternoon for Cincinnati, thence for Columbus, to be mustered out of service. We noticed a few on Monday who had been off on furlough, and failed to make the connection. Capt. Cook, we learn, takes home with him every man, a fact which speaks volumes in his favor as an officer. Whilst the other companies have all lost men by accident or disease, he has had the rare good fortune to preserve all. Without any pretension to military skill, or desire for fame in that line, he knows how to take care of his men, which in our opinion is the essential requisite in a good officer.

The Gallipolis Journal
August 8, 1861

At a meeting of Company F, 21st Reg., O. V. M., it was resolved that

Whereas, as individuals and as a Company, we have been the recipients of many kind attentions from the citizens of Gallipolis, for which as citizens and soldiers we are thankful, therefore be it:
Resolved, That we return to all, individually and collectively, to the people of Gallipolis and surroundings, our heartfelt acknowledgements for their many attentions.
Resolved, that as the only return to them in our power to extend, we pledge again to them, as well as our common country, our undivided support.
Resolved, that the foregoing be published in the "Journal" and "Dispatch."
      Geo. F. Walker, Pres't

The Gallipolis Journal
August 8, 1861

From Western Virginia.—The following extract from a letter to one of our merchants from his brother in the Guthrie Gray Regiment, will be read with interest. It is dated, Beverly, Va., July 24

     Our camp is situated five miles from Rich Mountain, where Gen. McClellan had the battle. Over 240 dead rebels have been found since the battle was fought. They tried hard to conceal their dead and wounded from our forces. One mile back of their fort we found thirty bodies they had thrown down a precipice. Our army dug large holes and buried from forty to fifty at a time. The stench is so horrible that you can't go within a quarter of a mile—it is awful.
     A scene happened that was hard.—Before the battle of Rich Mountain there was a fellow around Gen. McClellan's camp peddling tobacco. At last they arrested him as a spy; he protested and said he was Union, and was then made to take the oath of allegiance.—This being done they let him go. After the battle he was found on the field wounded, and had on an officer's suit—a rebel—and our General left him as he found him, to die where he laid [sic]. All the other wounded were taken care of.
     No one can imagine the condition of this country unless they travel through it—field after field filled with weeds higher than the fence—wheat and oats rotting on the ground. In three months there will be a famine here.
     Every place we stop to camp the inhabitants for miles around us come with onions, pies, and bread, but will take no money; they exchange for coffee, sugar, rice, pork and molasses. Communications having been stopped for about five months, they have none of these articles, and are glad of the opportunity to make the exchange.
     Yours truly,
     Tom                                                                                                    Top of Page

[Lieut. Drouillard later became a Captain. He served in the 6th US Army Infantry. N. Elvick.]

The Gallipolis Journal
August 8, 1861

We are permitted to publish the following letter from Lieut. Jas. P. Drouillard, who was in the battle at Manassas:

Camp Turnhill, Va., July 28th, 1861

Dear Father:
     I am again back to our old camp, opposite to Washington, on the Potomac. The grand army, as you have doubtless heard ere this, was beaten by the enemy before Manassas, and completely routed. I cannot describe to you the scenes and events of our march to and from the battle-field. I was with a battalion of Regulars, numbering about 600 fighting men, under command of Maj. Sykes, a Marylander by birth, but a true and loyal soldier. Four of my classmates were with me, and four of the class which graduated just before us—also two captains who were my instructors at West Point for three years. Our little battalion was on the field seven hours, and is the only one that never left the field after entering it, until the final retreat.
We won the victory at first, but while the rebels were falling back we saw in the distance immense volumes of dust raising, and knew they were reinforcements, Johnson's column came upon us just in time to turn the wavering scale. Our volunteers fought well at first, and wherever they met the enemy on equal grounds, they repulsed them. By some means a panic was created among our troops—whole regiments threw down their arms, and ran for their lives. Gen. McDowell said the safety of the army depended on the Regulars, and ordered Maj. Sykes, our commander, to cover the retreat of the volunteers. Our little band was surrounded at one time by their cavalry, artillery and infantry, but we fought our way out, and while interposed between the retreating volunteers and the pursuing enemy, we were subjected to the most terrific fire. Maj. Sykes was all through the Mexican war, and says he never saw anything like it. Two of our officers were taken prisoners; they fell wounded, and our retreat was so rapid we had to leave them. I will not attempt to picture to you the battle-field, your imagination will suggest to you what a horrible sight it is to see over one hundred thousand men, on a single plain, engaged in deadly encounter. I never expected to get off the field. I expected to fall every moment—men were falling all about me—legs and arms, flying in every direction—the groans of the dying, and screams of the wounded are still in my ears.
You can form no conception of the rout of a large army. We marched forty-seven miles that day, without food and without water and rest. We were so sure of success, that all our cooked rations, blankets, &c., were left in the enemy's rear, the point from which our column attacked. Twenty-five or thirty pieces of artillery, a large number of muskets, blankets, knapsacks, &c., fell into the hands of the enemy, besides many army wagons filled with munitions. The rebels are now hovering over Washington, and an attack is hourly expected. They had better not be too emboldened by their success. I think they lost two to one in killed and wounded. Gen. McClellan is here to supersede McDowell. I would like to come home and see you all before we make another advance, because being with the Regulars, who never run, I do not expect to ever return from another campaign. I hope you will get the trunk I sent you. My diploma and other valuables are in it; should I fall, my army trunk, containing many valuables, is stored at _________in Washington. My effects would be taken charge of by the War Department, but in case of difficulty, you will know where to apply. I will do my duty, and if the fortunes of war result adversely to me, I will leave a good record.
     Your affectionate Son,
     J. P. Drouillard, Lieut. U. S. A.                                                                Top of Page

     The female discovered in the ranks of the First Kentucky Regiment, who was arrested as a spy and confined in jail here, was taken in charge by the officers of the 21st Ohio, who left Gallipolis for Camp Chase Sunday last with their command. She enlisted under the name of John Thompson, and if the West Virginia correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial is correct, she is certainly a dangerous character. He says: A female spy has been discovered in the First Kentucky Regiment. She is from Ga., and enlisted at Cincinnati. She was detected by writing information in regard to the movements of our troops to the enemy. She is a member of the Knights of the Golden Circle, says she knows the punishment of a spy is death, and is ready for her fate. She is to be sent to Columbus.

     Lieut. Col. Neibling of the Ohio 21st Regiment, about to disband, has been tendered the Colonelcy of one of the new Virginia Regiments. We presume he will accept.

The Gallipolis Journal
August 15, 1861
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     Congress has imposed a tax of three per cent on all incomes over $800, to take effect 1st January, 1862.—Thus the man whose yearly income is $1500, would be taxed upon $700, which at 3 percent amounts to $21.00. The revenue derived from this source will of course come off those best able to bear it. In Gallia county, we presume not much will be realized, at least during the war. A man's income in this county amounting to $800, will if he be economical and industrious, enable him to live comfortably. The man who has more, can afford to pay a small per centage to support the government. [ . . . ]

     Lieut. John C. Neal has received the appointment of Adjutant of the 18th Regiment, Athens, Ohio. This is a good selection.

     Thos. Vandyne, Company H, 11th Regiment, Captain Drury, died at the hospital in Gallipolis, on Saturday morning about 2 o'clock, from injuries received while scouting near Poca, on the 15th of July. He volunteered at Troy, Miami county, Ohio, and was about 21 years of age.

     Capt. Wm. S. Taylor leaves Chambersburg, Gallia county, to-day (Wednesday) for Marietta with a full company. Capt. T. we understand has seen service in Mexico and is a gallant officer. His men are all young and hardy fellows, and as brave as ever drew steel in a just cause.
     H. C. Cherrington and Thomas S. Campbell of Centreville; T. W. Hampton, of Cheshire; W.H.G. Adney, of Vinton; Junius Gates, of Waterloo; H. N. Ford and E. S. Aleshire, Capt. C. C. Aleshire, A. Logue, and others of Gallipolis; James Montgomery, of Guyan, are raising Infantry companies with a good prospect of success. Two or three of these companies we understand are already full, and doubtless all will be made up. Besides the above, Capt. John R. Blessing, of Green township, is raising a Cavalry company which is nearly completed. Hurrah for old Gallia! 

The Gallipolis Journal
September 5, 1861

    Hospitals for the sick and wounded are being prepared here. Of this class there are perhaps 150 now receiving the attendance of surgeons. Our ladies are still untiring in their attendance upon these men. It is conclusive proof of the healthy location of our town, as well as loyalty of our people, when such important trusts are committed to their charge. Save a few, who are for the Union, but against the Administration, old Gallia has proven herself true and loyal. Five companies of brave volunteers have already left her limits, and more would follow could family matters be arranged so as to admit of their leaving.

[Note: The above was not the same hospital known as Camp Carrington. That one came later.]

The Gallipolis Journal
September 26, 1861

     Mr. Andrew Moler, of Morgan township, has four sons in the service—two of them under Capt. Adney, the third under Capt. J. L. Vance, and the fourth has just enlisted in Rutland, Meigs county. Who can beat this? We cave.

     We have had numerous inquiries of late made in regard to the probability of anything being paid to our farmers, draymen and others who furnished supplies to the 21st Regiment whilst in camp Carrington. Not having any connection with the Quartermaster's department we cannot answer. One thing is certain, our people have been very badly treated in the whole business. The regiment came on, without any properly authorized person to prepare a camp, contract for supplies, &c. The officers without authority contracted with various persons for camp ground, fuel, water, lumber, straw, drayage, &c., to the amount of several thousand dollars, not a dime of which has yet been paid. The regiment has been paid off and disbanded, whilst our people who furnished the necessities of life are not only unpaid, but can receive no satisfactory assurance that they ever will be.
     How "not to do it" seems to be the order of things, which is the more readily effected by a frequent change of officers, each of whom repudiates the contracts of his predecessor. It is the opinion of many, that the fault does not lie so much with the Government as with those who fail to make known to the proper department the existence of such claims.—Such ought not to be the case, and we hope the Government will at once send an agent who can give the claimants some satisfaction, and not put them off with the stereotyped reply, "I don't know." We shall recur to this subject again, as soon as it is ascertained where the fault lies. Let justice be done all parties. Our citizens ask only their just rights, nor do we believe the Government wishes to deprive them of them.

     Our young friends Aleshire and Wood need a few more men to fill up their company in the 18th Regiment. They now have about 60 men in Camp Wool, near Athens. These gentlemen have been untiring in their efforts to raise a company, and if they had not been interfered with, would now be in actual service. We urge our young men who have any idea of going to war to "fall in." Capt. Aleshire has had some experience and stands high with his Colonel, and as to our friend Felix Wood, we all know him to be the prince of good fellows. Both are young, active, vigilant, and will give a good account of themselves.

     HONOR TO THE DEAD. Four soldiers who have died at the Hospital within a few days, have been attended to their last resting place by the men of the 31st Ohio.

     The Commissioned officers of the 2nd Regiment Third Brigade 7th Division of Ohio Reserve Militia, held an election at the court house on Saturday last for regimental officers, which resulted in the selection of the following gentlemen: Colonel, T. W. Hampton; Lieutenant-Colonel, Jacob Kerns; Major, Amos Ripley. We believe they will all make gallant officers.

     Jas. Baxter and James Blain, privates of Capt. Adney's company O.V.U.S.A., having been rejected by the examining Surgeon, were honorably discharged from the service at Marietta, and have returned home. We have seen the discharge signed by M. Clark, Lt. Col. Commanding, and countersigned by Capt. Adney.

     Editor of Journal.—Allow me in this public manner to thank the citizens of your village for their many courtesies received from them during my stay at the Hospital. And also to the kind ladies who have, and are constantly bestowing charities upon the sick there, and especially for the favors shown my son during his sickness, and I assure you the many favors thus bestowed, will always be remembered in thankfulness by the recipients. C. FORCE Gallipolis, September 23, 1861

The Gallipolis Journal                                                                              Top of Page
October 17, 1861

     GALLIPOLIS, Oct. 11.—The steamer Izetta, Capt. Windsor, laden with Government property, including 240 horses, wagons &c., left here this morning, destined for Camp Enyart, Kanawha river. When opposite Winfield, or at Red House shoals, thirty miles above Point Pleasant, she was fired into by one hundred rebel cavalry from the south bank of the river and ordered to land. The Captain declined doing so, and by the engines alone, (the pilot having been compelled to leave his post) succeeded in turning the boat down stream, and escaped, arriving here this afternoon. The balls passed through the pilot house, cabin, engine room, and a steam pipe. No one was injured.

     THE FAMILIES OF VOLUNTEERS. The War Department has issued orders to give effect to the recently enacted law by Congress, by which Volunteers may place a share of their wages monthly at the disposal of their families. The assigned share of wages is named on a separate pay-roll, under the supervision of the immediate commanders at the time of enlistment. The roll is then transmitted to the Paymaster General, who makes the deduction on each corresponding regular pay-roll, and the paymaster of each regiment forthwith transfers the money for distribution to those in whose favor the assignment is executed. This enables each volunteer to secure to his family against want, before leaving it for the service of his country. The arrangement will afford inexpressible relief to thousands of soldiers and their beloved ones at home, and it will remove the objection which has heretofore deterred multitudes from enlisting. State Sentinel

The Gallipolis Journal
October 31, 1861

     The hospital at Gallipolis has undergone great changes in the past three weeks, and the efforts of those in charge, to render the sick and wounded soldiers as comfortable as possible, merit the thanks of the whole community. The ladies of our town with that commendable industry for which they are proverbial, prepared during the past week several hundred beds and bedding. Whilst on this point, allow us to state for the benefit of our people to the State authorities, that contributions of clothing, blankets, &c., ought not to be expected from the ladies of Gallipolis. Since the 16th of May last, when the 21st Regiment arrived at Camp Carrington, they have labored incessantly for the comfort and health of the brave volunteers. Many of our people whose circumstances are limited, and who can spare but little time or means from the support of their own families, have been lavish of both, and are still straining every point to discharge their duty as good and loyal citizens. We do not say this is the universal rule, but we do say the contrary is the exception. Towns and villages remote from the scene of war, may with propriety contribute of their abundance to the comforts of the soldiers; but situated as is Gallipolis, at the confines of Western Virginia, with her public buildings used as hospitals, store houses, &c., for the sick and wounded, whose daily wants draw largely on the bounties of the citizens, not only now but for months past, we may well be asked to be excused from forwarding to Columbus, to be sent elsewhere, that which our volunteers now lying sick among us so much require. Could it be accurately ascertained, we venture the assertion that no town of the same population in the State of Ohio, has contributed so much time and money as Gallipolis, and for the truth of this, we simply appeal to the fact, that all the sick in Northwestern Virginia are extremely anxious to be sent to Gallipolis. We trust our citizens will not cease their kindly offices to these poor men, even if their names do not appear very conspicuous on the Governor's list at Columbus. The thanks of the sick and wounded are your best reward. The conscientious discharge of duty will in the end repay your untiring efforts in the cause of suffering humanity.

     The 18th Regiment O.V.M. is now at Camp Dennison with 150 men more than the minimum number required in a regiment. There is room in some of the companies however for a few more volunteers. Co. I, Capt. C. C. Ross, of Gallia Co., has but 64, recruited at Patriot. The 1st Lieut. is H. Berkstresser; 2nd not yet elected. The adjutant is our townsman, Jno. C. Neal. The ass't surgeon, W. W. Mills, is also from Gallipolis. Thus we find Gallia county well represented in the 18th Reg. Any who wish to join it had better do so at once, as the Regiment will be ordered to Kentucky next week.

    Relief to the Families of Soldiers.—The Commissioners had a meeting on Saturday last, and made provision for the families of volunteers, so there can be no excuse now on the score of family matters, to keep men at home. The money is to be disbursed by the Auditor, upon the certificate of the several township Military Committees. Upon such certificates being filed, the Auditor is authorized to draw upon said fund, payable in money, or either of the firms of Messrs. E. Deletombe, John T. Halliday, and H. W. Langley, payable in Goods, as the necessity of the applicant may seem to require.

     The following is the order passed by the Commissioners: Ordered, that there be allowed to the families of the Ohio Volunteer Militia mustered into the service of the United States, or into actual service of the State of Ohio, who were residents of Gallia county at the time of enlistment, amounts following, to-wit: To the wife of every such volunteer the sum of one dollar per week; and to each child of said volunteer the sum of twenty-five cents per week. Where there is a dependent mother and no wife, the allowance shall be the same.

The Gallipolis Journal
November 14, 1861

[The following is an abstract from a lengthy article about a Civil War battle occurring in the area at the time.]

     Sunday evening about half-past seven o'clock, nine hundred Secession Cavalry under A. G. Jenkins, made a descent upon the town of Guyandotte, garrisoned by one hundred Federal Infantry of the 9th Virginia Regiment, and 30 Cavalry belonging to the 5th Virginia. Most of the troops at the time of the attack were at church, or scattered about town, thus giving the rebels every advantage, but notwithstanding the disparity of numbers, the brave little band rushed to their arms and contested the ground against this formidable force for the space of one hour, when they were compelled to yield to superior numbers. . . .From the best information, only seven of the Federalists were killed, and it is supposed that the rebel loss was equally as great [. . .]. A keel boat loaded with wheat, belonging to Wm. H. Langley was lying at the wharf. It was in charge of Mr. John Lawson, a miller in the employment of Mr. Langley, and three hands from this place [Gallipolis] Thomas Berridge, Andrew Langley and John Blagg. Lawson and Berridge were at church when the attack was made, and the latter were on the boat. Several Union citizens took refuge on this boat and had shoved her in the stream, when a large force of rebels[. . .]opened [. . .] fire on them
[. ..] Langley and Blagg jumped into a skiff attached to the boat [. . .] and rowed for the Ohio side admist a shoer of bullets [. . .] The keel boat was landed and all on board taken prisoners.
     The steamer Liberty, bound for Cincinnati, was hailed above Guyandotte by loyal citizens and turned back.—She brought the news to this place and about 600 of the 4th Virginia Regiment, stationed at Pt. Pleasant under command of Col. Lightburn, together with the Gallipolis Artillery, Capt. McClurg, proceeded immediately by steamboat to the scene of action. When they reached there, a large force from Ceredo
[ . . .]had already assembled, and the rebels [. . .] scampered to the hills with about one hundred and thirty prisoners, among whom are Lt. Col. Bailey of the 9th Virginia Regiment, Dr. Jonathan Morris, formerly of this place, John Lawson and Thomas Berridge [. . .] and all the Union men the scoundrels could lay hands on.
     Col. Zeigler of the 5th Virginia Regiment, ascertaining that a trap had been laid by the Secesh citizens of Guyandotte to ensnare the Federal troops, and that they had actually fired upon the troops from their dwellings, ordered the match to be applied, and every house, except two in a remote part of town, was laid in ashes.

The Gallipolis Journal                                                                                   Top of Page
November 21, 1861

     Our town was enlivened on last Saturday by the arrival of the 41st Reg. O.V., under command of Col. W. B. Hazen, Lieutenant Col. J. J. Wiseman, and Major Geo. S. Wygatt. On account of the large amount of Government property in Gallipolis, this regiment has been sent hither for protection against such marauding expeditions as lately visited Guyandotte. From what we have seen with regard to drilling and soldier-like conduct, we must yield the palm to the gallant 41st. The officers understand their duty, the rank and file likewise. The first are as careful to perform it on their part as to require it of their men. Accompanying the Regiment is a band of music. To say that they play well does not convey our true opinion of their performances. None better has ever been heard in our town "or any other place." It is a rich treat to our citizens, and on their behalf we thank the gentlemen composing the band for past favors, and assure them that all to come, will be fully appreciated.

     John Lawson and Thomas Berridge, two of the Guyandotte prisoners, arrived here Wednesday evening. They were released on the following Tuesday after their capture, about 35 miles from Guyandotte. The whole cavalry force was under command of John Clarkson, and numbered about fourteen hundred, of which only about eight hundred were concerned in the Guyandotte affair. Jenkins' plan was, to quietly surround the town, await the arrival of a steamboat at the landing, then make a rush and possess it, place the full rebel force on board, and make a descent upon Gallipolis. This, Clarkson would not adhere to, and immediately ordered a charge upon the handful of Federal troops that were garrisoning this place. About 100 prisoners were taken. The rebels occupied Guyandotte that night, and next morning the prisoners were tied together in pairs and put upon "double quick" from Guyandotte to Barboursville, a distance of six miles, with orders from the commander to shoot down all who lagged. In the evening of the same day they came up with the remainder of their forces, numbering some six hundred cavalrymen, well armed but poorly fed and clothed. . . . Bob Stribling was Assistant Surgeon and it was mainly through him that Lawson and Berridge were released.

The Gallipolis Journal
December 25, 1861

     For ten days past our wharf has presented a busy and animated appearance. The immense quantities of pork, bacon, flour, hay, grain, and other government stores, received here during that period, can hardly be exceeded outside of a city. The weather has been very favorable for securing them and the officers at this post have used the utmost industry in doing so. Every thing has worked out admirably, and they are now prepared for winter. A rise in the river is desirable, and will undoubtedly be the case shortly.

The Gallipolis Journal
December 26, 1861

     Three sick soldiers arrived at our hospital last week from camp Chase near Columbus. They were brought from Oak Hill in an ambulance, over one of the worst roads to be found. The consequence was, that one of them died in a day or two after entering the hospital, notwithstanding every effort was made by the surgeons in attendance to save his life. Why these men were sent here overland, in their weak and exhausted condition, is a mystery. Perhaps, as is usual, it was a military necessity. If it was, their passage by a steamboat would have been somewhat more merciful than jolting over a rough road at this season of the year, a trip which no hale, hearty man cares to take except upon compulsion.

     The hospital here, we learn, is likely to be removed to Wheeling, but few patients are now in it, and they are nearly all convalescent. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon Dr. Robinson and his assistants, for the care and attention they have bestowed upon the inmates, and we question very much if a better conducted hospital can be found in the Union. Whether the government will gain by change is doubtful—we think not.

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