Archive for Indiana

Segeant Scott Elliott, Comapny A

Posted in Atlanta Campaign, Soldier Profile, Wagners Brigade with tags , , , , , , on April 28, 2015 by 40thindiana
Sergeant Scott Elliott, Company A

Sergeant Scott Elliott, Company A

The community of Dayton located in Sheffield Township, Tippecanoe County, was no different than other communities across the state of Indiana. When the call for volunteers came in 1861, friends and family from these close knit communities would form companies for military service. For many, it was comforting to know that the men you were serving with were those you had known for a lifetime. I am sure Scott felt this way. Scott was the son of Robert and June Wallace Elliott, born in Sheffield Twp., 1839. Scott enlisted with his cousin Charles T. Elliott. Census records show Scott was engaged working on the family farm.

During December, 1861, Scott and Charles went to Stockwell, Indiana and officially mustered in. After gathering enough recruits to form a company, the men set off for Camp Tippecanoe, located outside of Lafayette, Indiana. On December 30, 1861, this company was officially placed into Company A, 40th Indiana Infantry Regiment. Elections were held for company officers, Scott’s cousin Charles T. Elliott was elected as 1st Lieutenant of Company A. The regiment would travel by rail to encamp at Camp Morton in Indianapolis, it then proceeded South to Bardstown, Kentucky were they would finish their military training.

During 1862, Scott and Charles would help take the City of Nashville without a fight. The 40th would see light action on April 7, 1862 at Shiloh. They would take an active part in the siege of Corinth, Mississippi, and would also be lightly engaged at the battle of Perryville, Kentucky.

On December 31, 1862 the 40th Indiana was engaged in the battle of Stones River. Wagner’s Brigade was positioned in the Cedars. The 40th Indiana was squeezed out of the brigade line of battle early on and was placed in a support position between the Nashville Pike and railroad. Being  posted on a slight rise the 40th was exposed to heavy artillery and small arms fire, several casualties occurred here. Around 3:00 p.m. the regiment was ordered to relieve the 58th Indiana on the front line. Minutes after arriving in their new position the 40th Indiana started taking Confederate artillery fire, as a Confederate brigade started approaching. The 4th Florida and part of the 60th North Carolina broke off and headed straight for the 40th Indiana Regiment. Major Leaming, commanding the 40th Indiana, let the Rebel regiments come within easy musket range and ordered the regiment to fire. After several musket volleys , the Confederates were in full retreat. At Stones River the 40th Indiana lost 4 men killed, 65 wounded and 12 missing. One of the wounded was Scott Elliott, records state that he was slightly wounded in the shoulder.

During the summer of 1863, Wagner’s Brigade was marching and skirmishing with Confederates that were slowly being pressed back towards Chattanooga. They marched along with Wilder’s Mounted Infantry Brigade and Eli Lilly’s Battery to the outskirts of Chattanooga. Scott would witness Lilly’s Battery throwing some shells into the city one Sunday morning. The Confederates soon evacuated Chattanooga and Wagner’s Brigade was left to garrison  the city. This is the reason why Wagner’s Brigade was not present during the battle of Chickamauga.

After the Union Army was defeated at Chickamauga, they would retreat into the fortress city of Chattanooga. On November 25, 1863 Scott and Charles would take an active part assaulting the dominating Confederate position on top of Missionary Ridge where the 40th Indiana lost 158 killed and wounded. It is a wonder that Scott and Charles survived the battle.

During spring, 1864, the 40th Indiana would take an active role in General Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. The 40th Indiana was engaged at the battle of Resaca, GA. The men of the 40th Indiana would spend most of their days under continuous musket and artillery fire from the Confederate Army. By this time Scott was a sergeant and cousin Charles was Captain of company A.

By late June the Union Army was in front of Kennesaw Mountain, near Marietta, GA. General Sherman  had been flanking the Confederates out of every defensive position they  would make in North Georgia. This time Sherman had a different plan, a direct assault on a well entrenched Confederate Army.

June 27, 1864, Kennesaw Mountain. General Newton’s 4th Corps brigades were placed in close-packed columns of reqimental divisions, each presenting a two-company front and a depth of 30 lines.The 57th Indiana were sent forward as division skirmishers and the 40th Indiana occupied the front of the assaulting column. At 9 A.M. the signal was given to advance, the Hoosiers crossed the works, and drove the rebel skirmishers into their fortifications. The enemy reserved their artillery fire until the  40th Indiana had advanced to within a short distance of their works, they raised a yell, and were moving forward on the double-quick, when the Confederates opened a withering fire of grape and canister.  The 40th Indiana having caught up with the 57th Indiana skirmishers, began tugging and slashing at the abatis in order to clear a pathway. They were 40 yards from the Confederate works, the men began to panic, pushing and crowding each other. The 57th & 40th Indiana were targets in a shooting gallery. It was a horrific scene. Sometime during this assault Sergeant Scott Elliott was killed, along with his cousin Captain Charles T. Elliott. The 40th Indiana went into the fight with 300 men, it’s loss was 106 men killed and wounded.

Major Henry Leaming wrote a letter to the Lafayette Newspaper which said in part: “Captain  C. Elliott, there was no more gallant spirit, no more noble and generous gentleman, a more efficient officer in the whole Army of The Cumberland; his loss is most acutely felt.”   (Lafayette Courier, July 11, 1864)


The bodies of Scott and Charles were recovered from the battlefield and shipped home for burial. They were “impressive funeral ceremonies” for the cousins. They are laid to rest side by side in the Dayton Cemetery, Dayton, Indiana.

Another family member of Scott Elliott participated in and survived the hellish assault. Pvt. J. Newton Fullenwider, Company H, was Scott’s brother-in-law. His wife was Mary A. Elliott. She was living near the town of Waveland, Indiana taking care of her children and a farm while Newt was serving in the 40th Indiana. When news of the battle and it’s losses reached her, one can only imagine her emotions. Happy her husband had survived, but utterly torn that she had lost a brother and a cousin. Sometimes we forget about the impact of the war on the home front.



James Prevo Diary Entry

Posted in Franklin, Soldier Profile with tags , , , on March 9, 2014 by 40thindiana

hospitalCivil War nurse aiding wounded soldiers, 1863.

Saturday, December 24, 1864

“The second death in the ward. It was that of a young, noble-looking man – Prevo, of the 40th Indiana. He died of a gunshot wound, the ball entering the lungs. He was battling with the grim monster all day yesterday, and thought himself at one time on a forced march through the country of the enemy, and at another in the heat of battle, when he would cheer on the soldiers. A lock of hair and a few words of condolence will go to one more mourning family in place of the dear, noble boy.” – Nurse Elvira J. Powers, Jefferson Hospital, Jeffersonville, Indiana

James Y. Prevo enlisted as a member of Company I, on December 18, 1861 at Covington, Indiana. He marched and fought with the 40th Indiana for three years of war. On November 30, 1864, during the confusion and intense combat at Franklin, Prevo was wounded in the chest by a musket-ball. After being seen in a field hospital, James was transferred to Jefferson Hospital where he died on December 26, 1864. Twenty-three year old James Prevo is buried in the New Albany National Cemetery, New Albany, Indiana

Montgomery County Indiana at Missionary Ridge

Posted in Missionary Ridge, Wagners Brigade with tags , , , , , on October 27, 2013 by 40thindiana

Sharing an article I did about Missionary Ridge for a local newspaper in Montgomery County, Indiana.

(above) Sgt. Wm. Galey of Waveland, IN. KIA 11/25/64

Our Darkest Day; the Battle of Missionary Ridge

Montgomery County is very rich in the annuals of the Civil War. We can boast of five general officers and well over 2000 men that enlisted to fight during four years of Civil War. Many men from MontgomeryCounty fought valiantly in every theatre of the war. Articles could be written for weeks about the battles and hardships endured by MontgomeryCounty men. The purpose of this article is to focus on the actions of Montgomery County solders at the battle of Missionary Ridge. The often overlooked battle took place 150 years ago, on a lofty steep ridge overlooking Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The battle of Missionary Ridge was fought on November 25, 1863.  It was the end result of a long 1863 summer/fall campaign through Middle and East Tennessee. The fight for Chattanooga took place a month after the battle of Chickamauga, Georgia. MontgomeryCounty men that fought and died on Missionary Ridge were proud members of Gen. George H. Thomas’ Army of the Cumberland. The Army of the Cumberland had been soundly defeated at Chickamauga on September 20th and had retreated to the City of Chattanooga. The Confederate Army followed and laid siege to the city.   Grant and Sherman arrived from Mississippi with the Army of Tennessee and broke through the Confederate siege lines bringing aid to Thomas’ army. Members of the Army of the Tennessee, including many of their commanders quietly considered Thomas’ men inferior to their army. After all, the Army of the Tennessee had just arrived in Chattanooga after their great victory at Vicksburg. Tensions would remain high between the two Union armies sitting in Chattanooga.

As overall commander of both armies in Chattanooga, General Ulysses S. Grant was making his battle plans to drive the rebel army off of their strong position on Missionary Ridge. His plan was for Gen. Sherman to assault the Confederate right flank on the northern end of Missionary Ridge and drive the rebels off of the heights. The Army of the Cumberland was to play a secondary role in the action. It was to advance forward, take the Confederate rifle-pits at the bottom of Missionary Ridge and then stop. They were to be a diversion; it was thought they had no fighting spirit after the Chickamauga loss. But, the main attack on the northern end of the ridge didn’t go according to plan. Meeting a strong Confederate resistance, Sherman’s attack stalled. As the Army of the Cumberland stepped off toward the Confederate rifle-pits, the rank and file soldiers felt that they had something to prove. They were going to show Gen. Grant that they had plenty of fight left in them.

Major Henry Leaming, of the 40th Indiana Inf. stated that the Army of the Cumberland would cover “more than a mile, without cover of any sort, over dead level, commanded at all points by the enemy’s batteries, and the last quarter mile under fire of the infantry.” Montgomery County had men present in the following regiments on Missionary Ridge. The 10th, 15th, 38th, 40th, 79th & 86th Indiana Infantry. At 2:00 o’clock the men stepped off to take the rebel rifle-pits, there were no orders to scale the heights. Once the Confederate rifle-pits had been taken, an order was received to advance the quarter-mile to the ridge.  In after-action reports from Gen. George Wagner’s Brigade, which contained the 15th & 40th Indiana Regiments, commanders state that they were taking heavy rifle fire but were making forward progress. The brigade had reached a spot at the bottom of the ridge where they were somewhat shielded from the bullets of the enemy.

Lt. Col Elias Neff, of the 40th Indiana Infantry sums up what happened next. “Scarcely had this movement upon the ridge commenced when the order to fall back to the rifle-pits was received from General Wagner, through an aide, and given to the men. It was with the greatest reluctance, almost amounting to a refusal at first, that this order was obeyed, but the sense of duty prevailed, and they fell back, suffering very severely in the movement; but the shelter thus obtained was not long made use of. Again, under the proper order, the line advanced to its former position, again loosing heavily in the movement. Now commenced the struggle; man by man, as each would gather breath, firing as they went, the brave fellows rushed up, always onward, never backward for one moment. The fire here, on the part of the enemy, rapid and well sustained, both by the infantry and the batteries upon the ridge, which at this time poured a constant shower of grape down the slope; but the advance was not even checked………”

The 15th Indiana Infantry were members of Gen. George Wagner’s Brigade. On November 25 Wagner’s Brigade was one of the hardest hit brigades in the Army of the Cumberland. Company E of the 15th was composed of men from Montgomery County. The ranks of the 15th had been thinned during a bayonet charge performed by the regiment at the battle of Stones River on Dec. 31, 1862. Six men from company E had been killed; numerous others had been wounded and disabled. The company reported 28 men present for duty at Chattanooga. Captain Benjamin Hegler, commanding the 15th Indiana explains the regiment’s assault on Missionary Ridge. “…. The ascent was very steep and our progress so obstinately contested that it was necessarily slow, but in forty-five minutes after leaving the base of the ridge our colors were planted by 2nd Lt. Thomas Graham and the enemy fleeing in disorder.”  Officers and men fought and clawed their way up the slope, paying a price in blood for every step taken. Several color-bearers from the 15th were shot down during the assault, but the men kept pushing. Color-bearer George Banks, who was wounded twice, said the ridge “was a perfect hail of bullets.” The 15thIndiana had the honor of being the first regiment to plant a flag on the heights of Missionary Ridge. On December 10, 1863 a list of causalities from company E appeared in the “Crawfordsville Daily Journal.” The article reported that company E “went into the fight with only 28 men, rank and file; and came out with a loss of just one half – 5 killed and 9 wounded. These numbers would change as several men succumbed to their wounds.  Causalities for the regiment as a whole were 202 men killed and wounded – 60 percent of the regiment.

Also in Wagner’s Brigade was the 40th Indiana Infantry. Companies C, G, &H, contained men from Montgomery County. Every step the regiment took was heavily contested by the Confederate defenders.  Major Henry Leaming of the 40th described his view of the attack; “ I could see our brave boys dropping all around me as we moved forward, some killed, others desperately wounded, but the advance was not even checked. It moved as if each man felt himself invulnerable.” As the regiment neared the ridge top, regimental flags became targets for the Confederate defenders. At one point, 2nd Lt. James Hanna of Waveland was carrying one of the regiment’s flags; he was severely shot in the hip by a musket-ball. Close by James was his brother, Corp. Robert Hanna. Seeing his brother go down, he grabbed the flag from his brother’s grasp and started for the top. 20 year old Robert had only taken a few steps when he was killed, “pierced through the head by a musket-ball.” At another point, James H. Seaman of Brown Township, picked up a flag and advanced with it. Seaman also went down; a musket wound to one of his legs. After the war Lt. Col. Neff cited Seaman for “gallant and distinguished conduct as color bearer of the 40th Indiana Regiment at Missionary Ridge.” Brown Twp. resident, Hezekiah Harrell, was able to grab the regimental colors after it had “fallen five times.” Harrell made it to the summit and planted his flag. The commander of the 40th; Lt. Col. Elias Neff,  picked up the national flag after it had fallen numerous times. Once at the top, Neff planted the flag right in front of Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg’s headquarters. Major Leaming reported; “ The Fortieth took two hundred prisoners, and eight pieces of artillery.” Losses in the 40thIndiana were 158 killed and wounded – 45 percent of the regiment.

To the left of Wagner’s Brigade was the 79th and 86th Indiana Regiments in Gen Samuel Beatty’s Brigade. Company K of the 86th had been raised in Montgomery County. Reverend Henry Newton Ornbaun of Crawfordsville had left his ministry and was serving as a sergeant in company K, 79th Indiana Infantry. The 86th and 79th regiments had been consolidated at Chattanooga because of losses sustained in each regiment at Chickamauga. Beatty’s Brigade experienced a rough time climbing the ridge, especially from Confederate artillery fire. W. H. Laymon of the 86th Indiana sent a letter that appeared in the December 10, 1863 addition of the “Crawfordsville Daily Journal.” Laymon’s description of the assault; “ ….we advanced in fine order, on the double-quick, charged and took that line of the enemy’s defenses, and still charged on and on until the foot of Missionary Ridge was gained, and on up the ridge still we charged against eight pieces of heavy artillery directly in our front, thirty more pieces of artillery constantly  pouring their fire upon us both from the right and the left and Gen. Hardee’s Corps of three entire Divisions in our front, right and left, from behind breast-works pouring their galling fire into us. On up the mountain still charged the noble 86th and 79th.”

Lymon also mentions MontgomeryCounty’s company K of the 86thIndiana. “Capt. Southard was shot in the breast and instantly expired, at the head of his men, when about half way up the mountain. His conduct is well spoken of by all who witnessed him on the battlefield, and his death is severely felt, not only by his own command, but by all the officers and men of the regiment. Poor Billy! His is another good life given for our country”. The other causalities sustained by his company are Serg’t B.F. Snyder, severely wounded in the left hip; Corp. Tillman A. Howard, slightly wounded in the left breast; privates Morris Welch, severely through the right arm; James Harrington, slightly in the left side; Wm. Saunders, slightly in the left knee; Jas. Williams, slightly on left elbow. Lieutenant John Yount was pretty severely bruised by a fall, but it did not prevent him from bravely leading on the noble boys of company K. ”Long may he wave, and enjoy the honors so nobly won.”

Sergeant Henry N. Ornbaun, of Crawfordsville is also mentioned in the Laymon letter. “Serg’t Newton Ornbaun of the 79th, I saw fall, severely wounded in the thigh, whilst bravely charging the rebel breastworks. I hope he may soon be able for duty again, for he is one of the bravest and best soldiers.” Ornbaun’s return was not to be, he would die from his wounds on December 1, 1863. Ornbaun’s body was returned to Crawfordsville, where he was interred in the Crawfordsville Masonic Cemetery on Grant Ave. The following article appeared in the “Crawfordsville Daily Journal,” on Thursday, January 21, 1864.

Funeral of Serg’t Ornbaun

“The remains of Serg’t H.N. Ornbaun, of Company K,79th Indiana Regiment, who fell mortally wounded at the battle of Missionary Ridge, on the 25th of November last, and who died on the 1st day of December, arrived at home on Saturday morning last for interment. On Tuesday of this week, under military escort, the remains were conveyed from the family residence to the Methodist E. Church;(where appropriate funeral exercises were had);and thence to the town Cemetery, where they were consigned to the tomb-the final resting place of all that is mortal of man.”

Once the summit had been gained, the fighting continued down the reverse slope of Missionary Ridge. The Confederates were in a mad retreat, muskets, cannon and wagons were left behind. The Army of the Cumberland was in pursuit, and gathering many prisoners along the way. They had proven that they could still fight and felt as if their honor had been restored. By the morning of November 26, 1863 the great railroad hub of Chattanooga lay in union hands. The Confederate army had been beaten and was in full retreat. The little remembered battles for Chattanooga had opened the door for Union forces to take Atlanta in 1864 and ultimately it helped win the war. MontgomeryCounty had played a significant part in the battle; “our boys” would continue fighting on many other fields of battle. But, never again would we pay such a high price in a single day of battle. Eighteen county men had been lost during the assault and capture of Missionary Ridge. Other local men would be lost in the war, but never on the same scale as November 25, 1863. It was MontgomeryCounty’s darkest day of the Civil War.

As in the case of Sergeant H.N. Ornbaun, several other causalities of the battle rest in MontgomeryCounty. John C. Monfort of the 40th Indiana is also buried in the Crawfordsville Masonic Cemetery. Four members of the 40th Indiana are interred in  Freedom Cemetery, Brown Township.  They were friends and neighbors in life and comrades in company C. They are Sergeant William B. Gayley, Lt James Hanna, Corp. Robert Hanna and James Elrod. They are all in the same general area of the cemetery. A visit to this spot brings the thought of the devastation this battle produced to families in a tight knit community. The valor and deeds of all Montgomery County soldiers that fought on Missionary Ridge should be remembered on this 150th anniversary of the battle.

Our Heroes lost on Missionary Ridge

Sgt. Robert B. Gilbert – 15thInd.

Sgt. Frederick Waltz – 15thInd.

Sgt. Solomon Bowers – 15thInd.

Pvt. William R. Emmerson – 15thInd.

Pvt. Silas Cooley – 15thInd.

Pvt. John C. Tyson – 15thInd.

Pvt. William R. Creek – 15thInd.

Sgt. Alvin Egnew – 40thInd.

Lt. James M. Hanna – 40thInd.

Cpl. Robert C.H. Hanna – 40thInd.

Sgt. Wm. B. Galey – 40thInd.

Pvt. James Elrod – 40thInd.

Pvt. John C. Monfort – 40thInd.

Pvt. James R. Shelton – 40thInd.

Pvt. George Krauss – 40thInd.

Pvt. Taylor McIntosh – 40thInd.

Sgt. William Newton Ornbaun – 79thInd.

Capt. William M. Southard – 86thInd.

Pvt. Marcus A. Brockway

Posted in Atlanta Campaign, Soldier Profile, Stones River with tags , , on July 30, 2013 by 40thindiana

brockway 40th

Marcus A. Brockway was born in Center Twp., Boone County, Indiana on February 13, 1844. During the month of October 1861, Marcus enlisted as a private in company F, 40th Indiana Infantry. Company F was composed of men mainly from Boone County. Pvt. Brockway was present during all of the 40th Indiana’s hard fought engagements. After the battle of Stones River, he appears on the regimental list of wounded, with the notation “slightly wounded in arm.” His service record states that he was wounded a second time during a skirmish in front of Atlanta, August 3, 1864. Marcus was honorably discharged out of the regiment on December 6, 1864 and returned home to Boone County where he would record a post-war record book of the 40th’s movements, battles, and memories. (link to book Pvt. Marcus Brockway died on August 29, 1882, he was laid to rest in the Brockway Family Cemetery, Boone County, Indiana.

Jesse Neff, Company F

Posted in Soldier Profile with tags , , , , , , on January 25, 2011 by 40thindiana

Boone County, Indiana, Portrait and Biographical Record. Published 1895, by A.W. Bowen & Co., Chicago

Jesse Neff – When the Great Civil War swept over the country, and Abraham Lincoln made the first call for troops to defend the Union, the American people were pursuing the arts of peace, and the farmer’s son was holding the plow and assisting in the support of his father’s family.

Jesse Neff, the subject of this sketch, was one of these farmer boys. He is a native of Indiana and descends from hardy Swiss stock – from those people who founded the first permanent republic in the history of the world. Two brothers of the name were the founders of the family in America, in old colonial times. One settled in North Carolina and one came west. Colonel C. C. Nave was a veteran of the Mexican War, was from east Tennessee, and descended from the brother who went to North Carolina. The Colonel was well informed as to the family history, and stated that the name was originally spelled Nave, and that they were of Swiss ancestry. Colonel Nave practiced law for many years in Hendricks County, Indiana, and at the time of his death was the oldest practitioner at the bar in the State of Indiana.

From the brother who came west, or his descendants, came its name Neff. John Neff, the grandfather of the subject, was born near Baltimore, Maryland. He was a farmer and settled in Boyle County, Kentucky, near Danville, and reared a family consisting of the following children: Jacob, Abraham, Margaret, Martha and Sarah. John Neff came to Hendricks County, Indiana, in 1835, and settled in Eel River Township, where he entered 160 acres of land, became a prominent and substantial farmer, and lived to the great age of eighty-eight years. Jacob Neff, father of Jesse, was born in Boyle County, Kentucky, February 22, 1804, received the common education of his day and became a farmer. He married in Boyle County, Kentucky, Gabriella Skinner, who bore him twelve children: John, William, Elizabeth, James B., Elias, Pantha J., Martha E., Jesse, Lucebra, Emily, Sarah F. and Albert; the first four were born in Boyle County, Kentucky, the remainder in Hendricks County, Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Neff were members of the Christian Church, in which he was deacon for some years. In 1863 Mr. Neff moved to Boone County, Indiana, and settled near Lebanon on a farm. He died at the age of seventy-four years, an honored citizen. He was a stanch Republican in politics, was strongly in favor of the Union, and had three sons in the Civil War.

Jesse Neff was born in Eel River Township, Hendricks County, Indiana, March 17, 1843. He received the common school education of his native county and early learned to work on the farm. At the age of eighteen years he enlisted in Company F, Fortieth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, at Lebanon, Indiana, for three years, as a private under Colonel W. C. Wilson, and Captain Elias Neff, on October 7, 1861. He served until honorably discharged December 7, 1864, at Nashville, Tennessee. He was in the battles of Shiloh, Tennessee, fought April 6 and 7, 1862, when Grant, with 45,000 troops, was attacked by 40,000 Confederates under Generals Johnston and Beauregard; the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, October 8, 1862 – between 15,00 Federals and under Colonel Daniel McCook of Buell’s army and four divisions of the Confederate Army under Lewis, Bragg, Polk and Hardee; Stone River, Tennessee, December 31, 1862, and January 1, 2 and 3, 1863, between 43,400 Unionists, under General Rosecrans and 62,490 Confederates under Hardee, Polk and Kirby Smith; Missionary Ridge, Tennessee, November 24, 25, and 26, 1863, between 80,000 Unionists under General Grant and 50,000 Confederates under General Bragg, and in Sherman’s expedition from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Atlanta, Georgia. He took part in the battles of Resaca, Georgia, May 14, 1864, between General Sherman and Johnston’s Confederate Army, Rocky Faced Ridge, Pine Mountain, Georgia, Battle of Calhorn, Battle of Burnt Hickory; Battle of Kenesaw Mountain, June 27, 1864; Battle of Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, July 20, 1864, between General Sherman’s army and the Confederates under General Johnston; Jonesboro, Georgia, August 31, 1864, under General Sherman’s army and a heavy force of Confederates, who soon withdrew; then at Lovejoy Station, Georgia.

Mr. Neff took part in all the battles as above given of this memorable expedition, and after the Atlanta campaign, the Fortieth Regiment returned with “Pap” Thomas to Chattanooga, and then went to Athens, Alabama, and Columbus, Tennessee. They fell back with Thomas to Spring Hill, where a hard battle was fought, considering the number of troops engaged. He took part in the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, on November 30, 1864, between General Schofield’s Union force, consisting of two army corps, commanded by Generals Stanley and Cox, and two corps of Hood’s Confederate Army under Generals Lee and Cheatham. This was Sergeant Neff’s last battle, and the terrible scenes of that day are vividly impressed upon his mind. He witnessed, as a combatant, the final charge of General Hood’s Confederates, which is considered one of the most brilliant infantry charges during the war, attacking General Schofield’s entire army. It was one of the most desperate scenes ever witnessed on the field of battles. Sergeant Neff was wounded in the storming of Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863. He charged up the ridge with his company and was shot through the right thigh by an ounce ball. He was taken to the field hospital, where he remained for six weeks under a tent, and was then home on a furlough for six weeks – the only furlough he received during the war. He then rejoined his regiment. He was the second time wounded in the charge up Kenesaw Mountain, June 28, 1864. This was a slight wound on the right shoulder, which did not trouble him. The veteran soldier, Captain Bragg, of Lebanon, who was in command of his company, was taken sick just before the Battle of Kenesaw Mountain, and Lieutenant J. C. Sharp, temporarily in command of Company F, was killed in this charge, and Sergeant Neff commanded the company, from this time until just before the fall of Atlanta, in many hard skirmishes and in the advance on skirmish line and picket fighting.

After the Battle of Chattanooga he was tendered a captaincy of an Alabama white regiment on account of his gallant conduct and meritorious duty as a soldier, but he preferred to remain with his own regiment, the Fortieth Indiana, most of whose men were from his own and neighboring counties. During his services as a soldier he was on many hard and tedious marches, which greatly taxed his powers of endurance. He well remembers a hard two-days march from Louisville Kentucky, to Bardstown, Kentucky, to Bowling Green, in March, marching sixty-eight miles in two days. He was then a new soldier and carried a heavy baggage; also a force march from Nashville, Tennessee, to the Battle of Shiloh, day and night for six days, with but little sleep, marching all of Sunday night before going into battle. Sergeant Neff was a strong, active and efficient soldier, and at a time of life when his health and spirits were at their best, and he entered with alacrity and cheerfulness upon his duties, and served his country faithfully and well. After the war, Mr. Neff returned to Lebanon and engaged in the mercantile business with his father and brother John. At the expiration of one year he engaged in the mercantile business at Jamestown with an old comrade, John J. Carriger, who married his youngest sister, and remained in this business seven years. In the fall of 1872 he was elected Clerk of Boone County on the Republican ticket and served four years. He was not a candidate for reelection, but remained with his successor as Deputy Clerk for three years. He then engaged with others in the manufacture of implement handles, and while engaged in this business he was Chief Deputy Clerk of Decatur County for three years. He finally sold out his business, and was Deputy County Clerk for Dr. Reagan for four years. He then assisted the present County Clerk, Charles W. Scott, in opening his office, for six months. Afterwards he became connected with J. H. Perkins & Co., as one of the managers of their clothing department and in charge of their books, which position he still occupies. Politically he is popular, and was elected Councilman from the First Ward five terms. He was married in February 1865, to Miss Mary M., daughter of William and Elizabeth (Piersol) Galvin. Mr. Galvin is a farmer of Center Township, formerly of Hendricks County, where he owned a farm adjoining Jacob Neff’s, so that our subject and his wife were reared together. Mr. Galvin is from an old American family and a member of the Christian Church. Mr. Galvin and wife are the parents of nine children: Mary M., John P., Carrie, William, Albert, Olive, Emily, George A. and Christopher C. Politically Mr. Galvin was formerly a stanch Republican, but is now a Democrat. Jesse Neff is a charter member of Rich Mountain Post, No. 42, Grand Army of the Republic, at Lebanon, and has held the office of Commander three different terms in succession, of one year each, and was again elected Commander for 1892. He was a delegate to the last National Encampment at Indianapolis, representing the Ninth Congressional District. Mr. and Mrs. Neff are members of the Christian Church, in which he is an elder.

Albert Neff, youngest son of Jacob, enlisted in the regular United States service in 1886, Company A, Sixteenth Regiment, United States Infantry, and served five years on frontier duty in Texas and Utah, and reenlisted in Company F, Eighteenth United States Infantry, and was instantly killed in the City of Laredo, Texas, being accidentally thrown from a wagon.


Jacob T. Palmer

Posted in Soldier Profile with tags , , on August 18, 2009 by 40thindiana


PALMER, Jacob T., stock dealer and farmer, Bellmore, was born November 20, 1846 in Clinton Co IN and is the son of Prentice T. and Ella (DAZEY) Palmer. His father was born in NY and mother in PA. He was educated in Ladoga, IN where he attended high school. He was raised on a farm and has been familiar with stock from his childhood. When 3 he removed with his parents to Montgomery Co IN and in 1867 to Parke Co; in 1875 moved to Edgar County, ILL and in 1878 back to Parke County, where he has since been engaged in the stock business, in connection with William P. SWAIM, owning one-half interest in the stables and stock of Swaim and Palmer. He also farms quite largely. On February 4, 1863, he enlisted in Co. H, 40th Ind. Vols. and was mustered in at Indianapolis. He participated in most of the battles of the regiment, taking part in 9 engagements. He was under fire on the Atlanta campaign 77 days continually. When Sherman left Atlanta, Mr. Palmer marched with his regiment under Thomas again Hood, and participated in the battles of Columbia, Franklin and Nashville. He was discharged July 1865 at New Orleans, La. He was twice wounded, once by a shell and once by a minnie-ball, but never reported for hospital. He is republican in principles. He was married October2, 1867 to Melinda J. WARE, daughter of James P. and Mary A (DOWNEY) Ware. They have 6 children: Cora A; Minnie J; Thera O; Ora J; Mollie C. and Ethie J. – Unknown Source