I live in Montgomery County, Indiana, the Wabash Valley region of Central Indiana. I have been a student of the Civil war since I was very young. I have four 19th Century grandfathers that served during the war. Zephaniah H. Crain, 10th Indiana Inf.,Co. B (Crawfordsville Guard), he was wounded by a musket-ball on the wrist at Mill Springs, KY. and lost an eye at Perryville, KY.; William David Lee, 52nd Tennessee Inf. (C.S.), Co. B, who was wounded at the battle of Murfreesboro, TN. and later served in Biffle’s 9th (19th) Tenn. Cavalry untill war’s end; Jesse McCracken, 136th Ohio Inf. (100 day regiment),David Vroman, 15th Ohio Inf., Co. D, early 1862 disability discharge. David would loose two sons in the Union Army.
Why the 40th Indiana? I was raised in the town of Waveland, Indiana. 80+ men from that area served in two companies of the 40th Indiana Reg’t. Growing up beside the Waveland Presbyterian Cemetery, I was always fascinated by the graves of the Civil War soldiers there. I would read the inscriptions on the graves of Harrison Taylor Moore and J. W. Richards. Moore died of wounds he recieved at the battle of Resaca, GA., while Richards died of disease at Tullahoma, TN. Joseph Belton also rests there, he died of disease 1/28/1865 after being in the war for a year. Although they were no longer in this world, those men made quite an impression on a young boy.
I have two relatives that served in the regiment from the Waveland area, Henry M. Alward, Co. H, he died of disease, April 1863 at Murfreesboro, TN.; and Jonathan Rice, who served 3 years in Co. C. Also in Wagner’s Brigade were three other family members, two of whom served 3 years in the 15th Indiana Infantry; Samuel Moser, Co. G & Albert Robinson, Co. E (wounded Missionary Ridge). Jacob Ricketts was drafted in September 1864 and placed in Co. D, 57th Indiana Inf., he was engaged in the actions at Franklin and Nashville.
I think it is important to share any information found on the regiment. There was never a regimental history written, although it was talked about according to several 40th Ind. reunion minutes. Their record in battle is second to no other regiment in the Union Army. The men that served in this regiment deserve their stories and deeds to be told. In most of the battle histories where the regiment was present, the “Order of Battle” in the back of a book is about the only time one will see regiment’s name in print. They were much more than just a side note to the conflict.
Scott R. Busenbark