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We have suffered everything but death: Travails of a Shiloh P.O.W.

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B y the time John Baker of Battery B, 1 st Michigan Light Artillery was exchanged more than six months after being captured at the Battle of Shiloh, the artilleryman had traveled through seven of the eleven states of the Confederacy, and lost his brother to typhoid fever at Cahaba, Alabama. “We have suffered everything but death and that has started us in the face,” he wrote to the editors of the Hillsdale Standard . “There has been 270 men who have died since our captivity began. We have been without clothing and have been obliged to live upon corn meal and bacon. I have never seen any meat but what was rotten, and no one but God can tell what we have suffered.” John Baker’s travelogue of Confederate captivity was compiled from a pair of letters he wrote to his hometown newspaper the Hillsdale Standard in 1862.

Twilight was Lurid with the Fire of Battle: Sergeant Richey Captures a Confederate Major

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I n the early twilight hours of September 19, 1863, at Chickamauga, Sergeant William Richey of the 15 th Ohio was dispatched between the lines to try and ascertain the location of the Confederates. “Presently I saw an officer on horseback approaching me from the right only a short distance from me,” he later wrote. “We were no sooner side by side than I discovered that we were enemies. As quickly as I could, I said to the man on horseback in a loud, bold tone, “You are my prisoner! Surrender, or I will blow out your brains!” Instantly the officer reached for his pistol but, pointing my weapon at him, I repeated my demand with increased determination and ordered him to dismount. He complied and became my prisoner.” For this act, Sergeant Richey would be awarded the Medal of Honor in 1893. He explains the story of his regiment on the first day of Chickamauga in this harrowing account published in Walter Beyer and Oscar Keydel’s 1901 tome Deeds of Valor: How America’s Heroes Won the

Yankee Preacher, Rebel Lawyer: The Intersecting Lives of Granville and George Moody

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I n a war defined by the theme of brother against brother, the amazing tale of Granville and George Moody and their journey through the Civil War highlights the interconnected nature of family and social life in the 19th century. It's a story that starts in Maine, weaves through the histories of both the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Cumberland, twists in and out of prisoner of war camps, and ultimately involves President Jefferson Davis in the final days of the Civil War and President Andrew Johnson in its immediate aftermath.            Granville Moody was born January 2, 1812, in Portland, Maine to William and Harriet Brooks Moody while his younger brother George Vernon Moody was born there in February 1816. One technically could say that the brothers were born in Portland, Massachusetts, as Maine did not become a state until 1820. Regardless, the Moody family moved to the state of Maryland in 1817 and there in 1830 the paths of the brothers parted. Granville

How Kenesaw Mountain Landis Got His Unusual Name

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T he first commissioner of major league baseball was Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis who was appointed by the team owners in November 1920. His unusual first name was chosen by his parents in remembrance of one of the bloodiest engagements of the Atlanta campaign, the Battle of Kenesaw Mountain which was fought on June 27, 1864. But had his father not been wounded at Kenesaw, its possible he would have named his later famous son Chickamauga Landis after the horrors he experienced at that engagement.  Kenesaw Mountain Landis was born November 20, 1866, in Millville in Butler County, Ohio to Doctor Abraham Hoch Landis and his wife Mary (Kumler) Landis. The future judge was the sixth of seven children; among his notable siblings was an older brother John Howard Landis who followed his father in the practice of medicine and two brothers who became Congressmen: Charles B. Landis (served from 1897-1909) and Frederick D. Landis (served from 1903-1907). Dr. Landis moved his family from Ohio to

Losing our star of hope: The death of Colonel Minor Millikin at Stones River

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F or Second Lieutenant Hugh Siverd of the 1st Ohio Cavalry, the death of his regimental commander Colonel Minor Millikin during the Battle of Stones River proved a singularly depressing event in his military experience.       "W ith Colonel Minor Millikin went my nearest hope," he lamented in a letter to a friend in Ohio. " Colonel Minor Millikin is no more and bitterly do his men bear the cup. For certain it is that he won the unlimited confidence of all, and while he may sleep the long calm sleep of death, there ever will linger around his grave that devotion that men only bear for officers departed that have been brave, cautious, and kind, such was Colonel Minor Millikin."       Lieutenant Siverd witnessed the death of his beloved commander firsthand on December 31, 1862. The situation was that Colonel Millikin, seeing the the ammunition train of the Right Wing was about to overrun by General John Wharton's cavalry brigade, ordered a daring saber charge to sa

A Dark Spot in Memory: The Second Storming of Vicksburg

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M oments into his regiment’s attack on the bastion of Vicksburg on May 22, 1863, Corporal Charles Morris of the 33 rd Illinois found himself pinned down in front of the Confederate works “with the missiles of death raining around, the hot sun pouring down, amidst the wail of the wounded, the fierce yell of the victors, and the incessant roar of musketry. Death stared us in the face if we remained or if we attempted to get down. We knew it was madness to send men there. The Rebel rifle pits to our left could fire upon us and every now and then some poor fellow would go down. The terrors of that day made men grow old.” The Illinoisan called the attack a “dark spot” in his memory, commenting that “scarcely one of the old guard who either does not carry a reminder of it on his person or points to that fatal day as the last on earth of some cherished comrade.” Morris’s vivid description of his brigade’s assault against Vicksburg originally saw publication in Wilbur Hinman’s 1892 compendi

The Delano Morey Medal of Honor Story

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Q uietly sitting in the collections of the Hardin County Historical Museum in Kenton, Ohio is a collection of medals that belonged to local resident Delano Morey . Among them is the Medal of Honor Morey was awarded in 1893 for his courage at the Battle of McDowell when he was just a 16-year-old private in the ranks of Co. B of the 82nd Ohio. Private Morey described the circumstances under which he was later awarded the medal to the editors of Deeds of Valor in the late 1890s.