Archive for May, 2015

Pvt. William H. Earhart

Posted in Franklin with tags , , , , on May 28, 2015 by 40thindiana

william h_ earhart

William H. Earhart enlisted into the 40th Indiana Regiment on October 25, 1864 at Wabash, Tippecanoe County, Indiana The new member of Company C was born on August 31, 1845, Venango, County, Pennsylvania. There were many recruits and draftees being gathered during this time period as veteran regiments were trying to fill their depleted ranks after suffering heavy losses of killed and wounded during the Atlanta Campaign. In the “History of the 57th Indiana Vols.,”  it  is recorded that there were large amounts of new recruits arriving in November, 1864. The new men, including Pvt. Earhart, were not going to have much ‘break in time.’ William would be thrown into his first action around Spring Hill, Tennessee, as the  army was racing to Nashville ahead of a perusing  Army of Tennessee.

After escaping Spring Hill, the Federal Army stopped at Franklin, Tennessee and started building breastworks in order to slow the Confederate pursuit. General Wagner’s men were place forward of the main works acting as skirmishers, there was little cover in this location. On November 30, 1864, massive lines of Confederate infantry unfolded before the eyes of Wagner’s men. To this day it is not fully understood why Wagner, a man with a solid battlefield reputation, did not bring his men into the main works. This would be the downfall of Wagner. Never the less, one can only wonder what was going through the mind of William Earhart and the rest of the recruits. As the Confederates approached, Wager’s men tried to make a stand and were soon overwhelmed by a Confederate attack larger than Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. The veteran troops as well as the new recruits soon broke and ran for the main line of their works, with Confederates in close pursuit. There were many men killed and captured during the flight, the stragglers also had to avoid friendly fire as regiments in the works started firing, trying to stem the gray tide that was coming. William did make it into the works, and would be fighting in the works well into the night. After the fighting ended, there was no time for rest , the army was immediately on the march seeking security in Nashville.

After making it safely to Nashville, William would have some time to reflect on the nightmare he had just lived through. On December 15-16, 1864, the Federal Army under General George H. Thomas, would leave their works and attack the remnants of the Confederate Army encircled  around Nashville. The battle of Nashville would be William’s third major combat during his first two months of service. After defeating General John B. Hood’s Confederate at Nashville, the Union Army pursued the routed Confederates into Alabama. The major fighting was over in this theater of the war, but not William’s service. He would go into Texas with the regiment, because there was still work to be done. William Earhart  Mustered out of the 40th Indiana on October 24, 1865. He had seen a lot during one year of service and probably felt lucky to be alive. He returned to his life in Indiana after the war.  Private William H. Earhart died on October 6, 1937, Markle, Huntington, County, Indiana.

Scott Busenbark

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Walter Morris, Company A

Posted in Atlanta Campaign, Missionary Ridge with tags , on May 28, 2015 by 40thindiana

MORRIS

Walter Morris Grave, Spring Valley Cemetery, Tippecanoe County, IN

OBITUARY: Sudden Death of Walter Morris: Walter Morris, a carpenter residing on Twenty-sixth street, died very suddenly on the street near his house about 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon, and death is believed to have resulted from disease of the heart. Mr. Morris was well advanced in years, and came to this city about two years ago. He was employed in the construction of a number of residences in the Belt addition or Hulls mill area, and was an industrious and prudent gentleman. He was a church member and a sincere Christian. His life was a useful one and he was highly esteemed by all who knew him. The suddenness of his death was a severe shock to the family and its members have the sympathy of all in their sorrow. Funeral took place at 9th St. Church with odd fellows being in charge. Buried at Springvale Cemetery/ lot 36-section 29. — Walter fought in the War of the Rebellion. Enrolled at Stockwell, IN on Sept. 7, 1861. Muster in Oct 31, 1861 with his brother William at the Culvers Station-Stockwell, IN. Age 24, eyes grey, Hair Brown, Height 5′ 6′, Complexion Light, Occupation, carpenter. A Pvt. in the 40th Infantry with Captain Kirpatrick. He was wounded in battle at Missionary Ridge, (and) in his right arm June 27, 1864 (Kennesaw Mt.) by mini balls, but survived his wounds and is discharged Dec. 4, 1864. — Walter came to Tippecanoe County with this family around 1860. Settling in Sheffield Township. His parents were John Morris and Caroline Horscroft-Morris of England. Children of John Morris and Caroline Horsecraft are: i. Elizabeth Morris, m. Thomas Avery, April 01, 1858, Tippecanoe Co. Indiana.