Articles Written by Fred C. Lockwood
For the North Vernon Plain Dealer
See* Notes at the end of the articles
When the War Drums Were Heard in Jennings County
Compiled Especially For The Plain Dealer by Fred C. Lockwood
Part 1, May 18, 1911
Soon we will pay our annual fitting tribute to the valor of Columbia's sons, who through 4 years were engaged in war that finally
resulted in peace and a reunited nation. On memorial day we will garland the graves of the veterans who have passed away, appreciative of their services to
our country. While we remember the soldier dead the soldiers living are not forgotten.
President Lincoln's proclamation for 75,000 volunteers were received with ardor and in Jennings county the people heard drums
beating fifes screaming and witnessed the boys from the farm as they assembled for recruitment. Every town in the county responded to the call and in consequence
we furnished two companies for the service. Of the men from this county who enlisted, they were assigned to the 6th, 22nd, 26th, 27th and 82nd regiments. In
response to the call for volunteers by the president the military list of the county in 1862 was very creditable. There were liable to draft 1665 while the total
volunteered was 1611. The excess to those liable to draft and those in service was 54. Hence it only required 27 more men in the field to have had one half of
the able bodied men in Jennings in the service. The following list is self explanatory:
Conscientiously opposed to bearing arms: Bigger 4, Campbell 13. Total 17. (The largest Quaker population lived
in these townships during the Civil War).
Exempted: Bigger 33, Campbell 32, Columbia 21, Geneva 42, Marion 30, Montgomery 32, Sandcreek 30, Spencer 30, Vernon 75. Total 325.
In the service: Bigger 90, Campbell 141, Columbia 95, Geneva 227, Marion 168, Montgomery 157, Sandcreek 75, Spencer 181, Vernon 471.
Liable to draft: Bigger 100, Campbell 150, Columbia 108, Geneva 241, Marion 205, Montgomery 168, Sandcreek 84, Spencer 211, Vernon 397.
Total including those in service and liable to draft: Bigger 190, Campbell, Columbia 204, Geneva 468, Marion 373, Montgomery 325, Sandcreek
159, Spencer 392, Vernon 868. Total 3270.
That citizens of the county were endowed with patriotism is just putting mildly. Under call of July 18, 1864 Jennings county was asked
to furnish 191 men, while 310 responded. Here is the list by township.
The 9th Legion Jennings county Life Guards were designated thus: Vernon Greys, Freedom Guards, Butlerville,
Bigger, Scipio, Weston, Queensville, Mt. Zion, Paris, Marion, Graham and Morton Guards; Jennings County Rangers, Cana Cadets and Wolf
Creek Scouts. While many of the men who served in the above capacities never smelt the smoke of gun powder on the battle field, yet
some of them actually enlisted and returned home with the scars of battle.
For the purpose of encouraging enlistments and to prevent a draft the county agreed to pay a bounty of #210
to each volunteer who enlisted in the service for 3 years during the civil war between December 10th and 20th, 1863. The county agreed
to pay in equal quarterly installments of #25 each, except the last installment, which was to be $10. Page 572 of the commissioner's
records of 1863 shows that 25 men received the bounty.
[Next week - When the Soldier Boys of Old Jennings Went to the Front.]
When the Soldier Boys of Old Jennings Enlisted For Service
Written Especially for The Plain Dealer by Fred C. Lockwood
Part 2 - May 25, 1911
Fifty years ago last month the conversation in most every home in Jennings County was one dealing with the subject
of war. Our national flag had been fired upon. It had been proclaimed about the county that all able bodied men were wanted to enlist,
hence a recruiting station was opened at Vernon and one at North Vernon. As war had been duly declared, the youth's of the county who
so intensely longed for war now had an ample opportunity to display their courage, by enlistment. In April of 1861 the second company
to go to the front from this county had been secured and on a certain Monday morning in April of that year, the streets of Vernon were
lined with people who had assembled from all parts of the county to witness the ceremonies that were thought necessary to start the boys
in blue off to Camp Morton at Indianapolis. At about 10 o'clock on this particular morning in April 1861, the people, having been requested,
had repaired to the Leavitt grove near town, where it had been announced that the ceremonies would be held. Upon a platform built especially
for the occasion, and ornamented with flags and flowers, sat the participants who were to make speeches to the crowd and more especially to
the soldier boys. In front of the platform were stationed the boys who were prepared for conflict and as someone has put it "the flower of
the county's manhood." Previous to the gathering of this crowd, a flag had been purchased, by popular subscription, by the ladies of Vernon,
at a cost of $60.00 and upon this occasion it was to be presented to the soldiers. Mrs. Jane Vawter had been selected among the ladies of town
to give the speech of presentation and in an appropriate address presented the flag to Captain Draper and he in turn gave it to the hundred men
of his company, after having thanked the donors for the same. Mrs. Vawter in her address pointed out to the boys the necessity of ever being
loyal to the flag. She spoke the sentiments of the assembly when she impressed upon the company to always be endowed with a true heroic and
brave spirit. Her remarks relative to separation of the from their homes brought tears to many eyes in the crowd. Mrs. Vawter's excellent
tap, and timely address follows:
"Soldiers: I have been deputed on behalf of the ladies of Vernon to present to you a banner, as an evidence of our
respect for you, and for the cause in which you are engaged. We present you no new emblem-we tender you no new colors-no, we give to you
the same glorious old flag that first floated upon Lexington Heights and which for eight long years floated over a victorious and defeated
army until at last a glorious victory at Yorktown secured to them and to us the blessings of liberty. It is not my purpose to refer to the
history of those times, the miseries of the poor soldiers - the tears of the widow and the orphans have been amply repaid by the orphans
have been amply repaid by the blessing they secured. This banner, gentleman, consecrated by the best blood, whose honor has never been
tarnished we commit to your care. Take it-remember that it was the flag that Washington, Jackson and Taylor fought for. Take it-bear it
with you to the field of battle and as long as its folds shall wave over one of you, remember that it must never be dishonored. Gentlemen-we
regret the painful necessity which has called you to go forth from us, we regret that any of the stars upon our glorious galaxy should have
become dimmed by internal treason-that any necessity should arise for brother to lift up arms against brother. When you shall return as we
hope you will-we trust that each star shall again with its wonted splendor and that we may again be a united and happy people. When absent,
be assured that you carry with you the sympathies and prayers of the loved ones at home. Go forth to conquer or to die-remember it is sweet
to die for our country. We have every confidence in your valor, and gladly commit the glorious star spangled banner to your keeping, trusting
that by the aid of your prowess it - "May long wave, O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave." Gentlemen, I have done. The last
sad word only remains to be spoken-separate we must, may the God of battles ever defend the right and may each of you live to return to a grateful
people, loaded with honors, after an honorable and successful canvase. Gentlemen, - Goodbye."
At the conclusion of Mrs. Vawter's speech of presentation, Captain Draper arose, and greeting the audience with a
smile characteristic of him, he said: "Respected Lady: Permit me, in behalf of the Vernon Volunteers, to return a soldier's warmest thanks to
the patriotic ladies of Vernon for this beautiful silk flag of our country - noblest memento of those warm and true hearts that we leave behind.
We ask your prayers when we are on the tented field that the God of our country will ever direct us to plant it on the side of right, and then
crown it with victory. If the God of nations has decreed that the sword of justice must be drawn, we pledge our crimson lives, although it might
stain the spotless white that we will die with our feet to the foe ere that flag shall trail in the dust at the feet of traitors. We pledge
ourselves that it shall ever protect the fair sex and guard innocence. When victory has perched on that staff and peace has spread her banner
to the breeze we will return it unsoiled to be placed with archives of our state, to embrace you to our hearts as the soldier's richest reward,
for defending his country's honor. Until then we ask that your prayers may, at morning, noon and night, ascend to our God for our protection
and final safety. Adieu - wives, mothers, sisters and maidens."
So enthusiastic were several of our citizens that they accompanied the Vernon company to Camp Morton and returning
home told of the comfortable conditions that existed there and spoke of the camp as a fine rendezvous, well suited for drilling.
Amid joyous manifestations of ardor people assembled at North Vernon on April 19, 1861, to see the company off that
had previously been recruited there. The city park was the scene of the ceremonies and an elderly "Vet" who was an eye witness told me that very
few events had ever happened there that commanded a larger crowd. With flags and banners streaming from the buildings and the report of fire
crackers on the streets, Captain Tripp's company were proud to show the assembly their appreciation of the demonstrations on the part of the
citizens in their honor. Aside from the discharging of fire crackers and display of banners, there was martial music and parades. Like the
Vernon ladies, the ladies of North Vernon were not wanting in their patriotism. They had secured a flag to be presented to the company and from
among the ladies of North Vernon Miss Minnie Andrews* was secured to deliver a presentation address. She spoke briefly as follows:
"Captain Tripp, Officers and Soldiers of Jennings County Rifle Guards - in behalf of the ladies of North Vernon, we
present you with this banner. It is the flag of our fathers, the flag of the Union, expressing upon its folds, all our national greatness, excellence
and glory. You will not esteem it the less for being presented by your wives, your sisters and your daughters. You will bear it with strong hands
and brave hearts, where your country calls. Let it not trail in the dust nor be trampled underfoot by traitors. We deplore necessities that challenge
you to the field, and tremble at the chances of war - but your country demands your service and you will do your duty. Take the flag - fall rather
than cower in its defense. Our hearts and prayers are with you. The hopes of our country are upon you bear in it triumph."
Miss Andrews' well worded remarks consumed but a short time, after which Captain Tripp received the banner and in words
of appreciation, made a truly patriotic response. Aside from the two speeches just mentioned some of the citizens in the crowd made short talks. When
the train came up from Madison, the company boarded it amid the shout of those present. On this occasion, said my informant fathers and mothers bid
their sons adieu, wives their husbands farewell, maidens their sweethearts au revoir. This company was assigned a place in the Sixth Indiana Regiment
and the company's officers were: Captain Hagerman Tripp, 1st. Lieut., J. H. Andrews; 2nd. Lieut., G. W. Hendrick; 3rd Lieut. S. F. McKeehan.
In addition to the two companies above mentioned, Michael Gooding had organized a company at Vernon and they were at Camp Morton, awaiting orders to be
assigned to some regiment.
[Next week - Historical sketch of McKeehan Post.]
By Fred C. Lockwood
Part 3, June 1, 1911
McKeehan Post, No. 36, named in honor of Captain *
Samuel McKeehan was organized October 19, 1881
in the I.O.O. F. hall in this city with 29 charter members. The following people whose names were taken from the original charter, in the possession
pf Geo. W. Shaffer, are charter members. Only 8 in the list are living today.
Deceased - Charles O. Wood, Daniel Bacon, James Ewan, Lewis H. Hill, Henry Knoll, Wm. H. Bions (Bious), Hagerman Tripp, Alexander Shepherd, T. H. Launsberry,
Samuel Wilder, Henry Davis, Charles Gautier, Geo. Pollerson, Caleb Whitmore, Pleasant McGannon, Walter S. Prather, Siegfried Weber, Richard Day, John Couchman,
Mark Robinson, Harman Foga.
Living - Frederick Verbarg, Benjamin F. Hargrove, Ernest Langneck, John C. Moncrief, Thomas West, G. H. Clutch, Michael Striker, James Marlett.
The names on this record do not match those in records at the Jennings County Library.
*VICTIM OF AUTO INJURY DIES AT ST. VINCENT'S
Mrs. Minerva "Minnie" (Andrews) Hawley, Hurt During Artillery Parade, Sept. 23, Presented First Indiana Flag During Civil War.
As the result of being struck by an automobile Sept. 23, Mrs. Minerva Hawley, wife of the Rev. R. E. Hawley of Cambridge City,
died last night at St. Vincent's hospital.
The accident happened during the time of the parade of the Artillery Reunion association. At Pratt and Illinois streets Mrs.
Hawley was waiting for a street car. It stopped and then started again and she did not get on. As she stepped back toward the curb she was struck by the
automobile of J. Edward Krause, which was being driven by Joseph Moore, a professional chauffeur. Her leg was broken and her head badly injured.
Mrs. Hawley was the woman who presented the first flag to the first regiment which went to the civil war from Indiana. She gave
it to Company B of the Indiana Volunteers. Her brother J. H. Andrews, president of the First National Bank of Seymour, Ind., was the first Indiana soldier
to enlist in the war.
The body will be taken to Seymour for burial.
*Samuel F. McKeehan was the step brother of J. H. Andrews who was also in the 6th Indiana. His mother Betsy Ann
McFarland Lattimore had married Alanson Andrews on June 18, 1850 after the deaths of both of their spouses.
He died June 15, 1864. The following is a report of his death: Page 318 of the History of the Sixth regiment Indiana volunteer
Infantry - by C. C. Briant
Battle of New Hope, Georgia
Captain Samuel McKeehan, who was acting Major, and who was the ranking officer over there, made the discovery that we had no support
on either flank, and told the writer to go down where Colonel Berry was, in the woods, and tell him to charge up and take the rebel line on his front, or we would
be compelled to fall back. I instantly turned to the right and started in a quick run, quartering to the rear, thinking Colonel Berry was about in that direction.
I had gone about 100 feet, which brought me directly in front of the rebels, who still held their line on our right, when one of them fired at me as I run, but I
was going a little too fast. The ball plowed across the small of the back, but not deep enough to cripple; so, after turning a somersault, and going through some
other gymnastic performances, I bounded off down the hill, found the Colonel and delivered my message, and, with all possible speed, made my way back to my post
in the regiment; but the first sight upon my return, was the prostrate form of Major McKeehan lying on his face. I ran to him and lifted his head, when he put up
his hand, caught my coat collar and pulled me down, then as well as he could speak (for the poor fellow was shot in the mouth), told me to never mind him, but look
after the men.
Major McKeehan is buried at the Chattanooga National Cemetery grave #110903.
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