Archive for Kennesaw Mountain

Sergeant John W. Jennings, Company H.

Posted in Atlanta Campaign, Soldier Profile with tags , , , on June 6, 2015 by 40thindiana

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Grave of Sgt. John W. Jennings, Liberty Chapel, Cairo, Tippecanoe County.

John W. Jennings one of the representative citizens of Tippecanoe County, is a native of this county, born in Tippecanoe Township, January 7, 1845, his father, Abel B. Jennings, being on of the old pioneers of the county.  Abel B. Jennings was a native of Ohio, his wife, Minerva (Graves) Jennings, also being a native of the Buckeye State.  They reared a family of nine children: F.M., living in Sioux City, Iowa; Sarah, living at Brookston, Indiana; MARTHA, at LaFayette; L.B. of Polk City, Iowa; L.N., P.L. and John W. are residents of Tippecanoe Township, and two, named Jacob and Mary E., deceased.  Able Jennings lived in Tippecanoe Township until his death, which occurred March 1884.  The mother of our subject is still living, aged sixty-six yeras.  The father being a farmer by occupation, John W., our subject, was reared to the same avocation.  He was a soldier in the war of the Rebellion, enlisting December 1, 1861, in Company H, Fortieth Indiana Infantry, and served in the Army of the Cumberland.  He participated in the hard fought battles of Shiloh, Mission Ridge, Buzzard’s Roost, Resaca, New Hope Church and Kenesaw Mountain.  June 27, 1864, at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain he received a severe gunshot wound in the left side of his face, which carried away his upper jaw and a part of his tongue.  He was then confined in different hospitals until November 20, 1864, when he was honorably discharged on account of disability resulting from his wound from the effects of which he has never recovered.  He then returned to Tippecanoe County, and was united in marriage April 6, 1866, to Miss Hester A. Shigley, a daughter of Adam P. and Rachel (O’Shal) Shigley, of Tippecanoe Township.  They are the parents of eight children named as follows: Alice, Lizzie, Belle, George, James, Asa, Dora and Arthur.  For three years after his marriage Mr. Jennings resided at LaFayette.  He settled on the farm where he now resides on section 9, Tippecanoe Township, in 1887, where he has fifty acres of well-improved land, a comfortable and commodious residence and good farm buildings.  In politics Mr. Jennings affiliates with the Republican party. He is a comrade of the John A. Logan Post, G.A.R., of LaFayette, and also belongs to the Odd Fellows lodge at Brookston, Indiana, No. 164.  He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe County Indiana. pp 381-382

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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)

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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.

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Company H Weekend at Kennesaw Mt.

Posted in 40th Haversack, Atlanta Campaign with tags , , on June 30, 2014 by 40thindiana

40th

June 27, 2014 marked the 150th anniversary of the bloody assault on Kennesaw Mt. by Wagner’s Brigade. If you happened to visit Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park this past weekend, you were in for a real treat. A group of authentic reenactors chose to recreate Company H, 40th Indiana as their guiding impression to mark the 150th anniversary of the battle. Men traveled form several states to participate as members of the company. If a reader has ever wondered what the Western Federal soldier of the 40th Indiana Reg’t. looked like during the Atlanta Campaign, this image of Company H recreated is spot on.

Standing in this photograph (2nd from the right) is Matthew Rector. Matthew’s great grandfather was Pvt. Jerome Dooley of the original Company H. Jerome enlisted as a recruit in Waveland, IN., December, 1863. Pvt. Dooley served through the Atlanta Campaign and was wounded at the Battle of Franklin, TN.

Unfortunately, My son and I were to attend as members until an unforeseen problem arose. I am truly heartbroken that we could not attend, but I know that Company H was very well represented during the 150th anniversary event.

Thank you to the “Hairy Nation Boys” and other attendees for representing the 40th Indiana Reg’t. as your 150th Kennesaw Mt. impression. Bully for you!”

Wagner’s Brigade, Kennesaw Mountain

Posted in Atlanta Campaign, Wagners Brigade with tags , , , on February 27, 2014 by 40thindiana

“ Kennesaw Mountain, June 1864, Bitter Standoff at the Gibralter of Georgia”
By Richard A. Baumgartner and Larry M. Strayer, Blue Acorn Press, 1998; pp 125-128

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“Delegated for the effort from the 4th Corps was Newton’s entire division of three brigades, commanded left to right by Generals Nathan Kimball, George Wagner and Charles G. Harker. Newton and corps commander O.O. Howard had examined with field glasses the terrain to be traversed, and decided to organize the brigades in close-packed columns of reqimental divisions, each presenting a two-company front and a depth of 30 lines. “That formation,” wrote Howard years afterward, “seemed best for the situation; first to keep the men concealed as well as possible beforehand and during the first third of the distance, the ground being favorable for this; second, to make as narrow a front as he could with many men, so as to make a sudden rush with numbers over their works.” In other words, they were to become a human battering ram.”

“…At 9 A.M., one hour behind schedule, the advance began. In front of Wagner, Lt. Col. Willis Blanch’s 57th Ind. Deployed as skirmishers, each man 5 paces apart. Following close behind were the brigade’s five other regiments, headed by the 40th Indiana. The Hoosiers no sooner had crossed the Union breastworks when the left of Cleburne’s line exploded in a blaze of musketry. “Unmindful of the terific havoc in their ranks,” Wagner reflected, “the column moved forward.”

Before the Rebel pickets’ rifle pits could be overrun, their occupants loosed a volley and ran up the slope to saftey. The opposing lines here were separated by only 500 yards, so little time was consumed by Wagner’s leading elements in reaching the Confederate obstructions, 40 yards from the trenches. The 40th Indiana having caught up with the 57th Indiana skirmishers, began tugging and slashing at the abatis in order to clear a pathway. Captain Kirkpatrick, commanding the 40th’s Company G, drew abreast of Wagner and asked him, “Where shall I strike the enemy’s lines?” The general pointed and Kirkpatrick passed on. Suddenly, wrote Sergeant Walter Wilson of the 57th,” the hillside was transformed into the hottest place I ever was in.”

At that moment, two Napoleon 12-pounders loaded with canister fired into the Hoosiers’ faces. The guns belonged to a section of Capt. William B. Turner’s Mississippi Battery, and were commanded by 2nd Lt. W.W. Henry. The young officer’s cannoneers swabbed the barrels, reloaded and fired again into the tightly packed blueclad mass. Among those instantly killed were Kirkpatrick, Capt. Charles Elliott of Co. A, and 1st Lt. John C. Sharp commanding Co. F. An eyewitness recalled: “The enemy reserved their artillery fire till the 40th advanced to within a short distance of their works, had raised the yell, and were moving forward on the double-quick, when they opened a withering fire of grape and canister … The assaulting party was checked, and the men laid down.”

“Behind them the rest of the brigade pushed on, as did Kimball’s seven regiments supporting Wagner’s left……..”

“….It was a nightmare on Wagner’s front. The 57th and 40th Indiana were stymied at the abatis, unable to punch through of find shelter rearward as the 28th KY, 100TH Ill., 26th and 97th Ohio bunched inextricably together behind them. To Capt. Robert D. Smith, a Tennessean serving on Cleburne’s staff, “the slaughter was terrific as our troops literally mowed them down.” Cleburne’s adjutant, Capt. Irving A. Buck, stated that Polk’s Arkansans and Tennesseans “cooly and rapidly poured a murderous fire into the massed Federals, causing losses to them entirely out of proportion to those inflicted upon the Confederates……”

Wagners men twice surged uphill, but all efforts to bypass the inhibiting obstructions failed. In the column’s hindmost regiment, the 97th Ohio, 1st Sergeant John W. Marshall saw his company had no chance to proceed further. “As advance was impossible, the line falters, breaks, and comes rushing back on the next line, which in turn breaks, causing the wildest confusion.” Another non-commissioned officer, Ashbury Kerwood of the 57th Indiana, wrote: “The order was given to fall back by companies from the rear, but in the confusion and excitement it was misunderstood, and a general retreat commenced. The slaughter among our troops at this moment was even greater than when they advanced, for the enemy now rose from behind their works, fearless of danger from the retreating force, and fired with greater precision than when the column advanced.”

“The assault cost Kimball 194 dead, wounded and missing. Wagner’s losses totalled 215. Not all these casualties, however, resulted from bullets or cannon shot.”

While the battered Federals headed rearward, orange flames began flickering along the ground where the fighting had raged fiercest. Soon a sizeable brushfire, ignited by embers from hundreds of discharged weapons falling amidst dry leaves, twigs and pine needles, cracked in front of Polk’s Brigade. The Confederates watched in horror as the flames crept toward the bodies of dead and severely wounded Yankees still lying on the battlefield. Screams rent the air. Lt. Col. William H. Martin of the 1st/15th Arkansas realized that if something was not done instantly, dozens of helpless men would be burned alive.”

“At this stage”, recounted William T. Barnes, an Arkansas private in Co. G, “our colonel sang out, ‘Boys, this is butchery,’ and mounting our head logs with a white hankerchief, he sang out to the Yanks as well as to our own mwn: ‘Cease firing and help get out those men,’ It is needless to add that the Feds never once refused to comply with this request. Our men scaling the head logs as though for a counter charge, were soon mixed with Yankees, carrying out dead and wounded Feds with those who, a few minutes previous were trying to ‘down our shanties.’ Together, the Rebs and Yanks soon had the fire beat out and the dead and wounded removed to the Federal side of the fence.”

Pvt. Milton H. Porter Letter

Posted in Atlanta Campaign, Missionary Ridge, Soldier Profile with tags , , , on August 1, 2013 by 40thindiana

Milton H. PORTER

Grave of Milton H. Porter, Marietta National Cemetery

A very interesting letter sent home from Chattanooga, during October 1863, by Pvt. Milton H. Porter. The letter is to his brother, George Marion Porter, who resides in Montgomery County, Indiana. There are a range of topics covered by Milton. He starts by writing about his situation in Chattanooga. A soldier always wants letters, Milton inquires as to why brother George is not writing. Milton was married to Sarah Rice on May 6, 1860 in Montgomery County, Indiana. It appears at the time of the letter that the relationship was on a very rocky road, and Milton wants to know Sarah’s status. The relationship will end in divorce according to pension and Montgomery County records. He also wants to know what brother George and other people think about the 1863 Ohio election for state governor. The election was big news in the Army of the Cumberland, Ohio soldiers in the field got to vote in the heated election. Ohio soldiers are said to have turned the outcome of the election. Milton ends with a couple of more Army tidbits.

Milton H. Porter was born in 1833, Montgomery County, Indiana. He enlisted as a recruit in company H on October 4, 1862. He had severed in several actions at Stones River, Missionary Ridge and Resaca, Georgia. On June 27th, 1864 the 40th, as part of Wagner’s Brigade, assaulted the Confederate works on Kennesaw Mt., Georgia. Pvt. Porter was wounded during the charge, he was sent to the 2nd Brig., 2nd Div., 4th Army Corps Hospital at an unknown date. A surgeon recorded Milton’s diagnosis, “Gun-shot wound, both Thighs and Abdomen – Flesh wound of Thigh penetrating Abdomen.” On June 30th, 1864, Pvt. Milton H. Porter died of his wounds in the 4th Corps Hospital. He is buried in the Marietta National Cemetery, Marietta, Georgia.

Letter

Camp in Chattanooga Tennessee
October the 29, 1863

Mr. George A. Porter, dear sir I send you a few lines to let you know I ain’t well, but I hope this will find you and family well and all Gods blessings rest on you. There is a prospect for a big fight soon.

George, I don’t see what is the reason you don’t write to me for I don’t think I ever done or wrote anything that you need not write. I want to now. What it is I want you to tell me if you write. What you know about my wife, if she has got a divorce and if she is married or not. I want you to tell me all the particulars and tell me how you like the election of Ohio and how the people likes it in the town of Crawfordsville.

We have General Grant for our commander now and I think we will gain the day soon. We learn that Meade has whipped Lee once more.

Well I must close, for I shall have to by dawn.

Write soon.
M.H. Porter
to George R. Porter

Direct your letter
Chattanooga Tennessee
40th reg’t Ind. Vols.
Co. H Care of Capt. Cole

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Assault on Kennesaw, 57th Indiana Inf.

Posted in Atlanta Campaign, Wagners Brigade with tags , , , on March 26, 2012 by 40thindiana

Source: “Annals of the Fifty-Seventh Regiment Indiana Volunteers. Marches, Battles, and Incidents of Army Life.” Asbury Kerwood,1868; pp 262-264

“We remained behind the works until the morning of the 27th, when an attempt was made to pierce the line of the enemy by a simultaneous assault at several points. In a series of the most brilliant movements yet executed by the western army, Gen. Sherman had succeeded in dislodging Johnston’s army from every position, whether on mountain-top, on the hills, or in the valleys; so after six days’ operation in front of Kenesaw, he resolved to make a bold strike, and, if successful, drive the enemy in confusion across the Chattahoochie River. Newton’s division was the one assigned, by Gen. Howard, to make the assault in front of the 4th Corps, and the point designated was in front of Stanley’s division. At 7 o’clock A.M. our brigade formed , and marched over to the rear of the line where the attack was to be made. Gen. Wagner gave Col. Blanch his choice of position, either to join in the column or deploy his regiment as skirmishers, and move up in front of the column. Col. Blanch chose the latter, and at once deployed the regiment five paces apart, preparatory to an advance. The 40th Indiana occupied the front of the assaulting column. At 8 o’clock A.M. the signal was given to advance, when our regiment crossed the works, and drove the rebel skirmishers into their fortifications. The enemy reserved their artillery fire till the 40th advanced to within a short distance of their works, had raised the yell, and were moving forward on the double-quick, when they opened a withering fire of grape and canister, which carried death and destruction in it’s pathway. The assualting party was checked, and the men laid down. Other regiments were now thrown forward, and the assault was several times renewed, but all in vain. The order was given to fall back by companies from the rear, but in the confusion and excitement it was misunderstood, and a general retreat commenced. The slaughter among our troops at this moment was even greater than when they advanced, for the enemy now rose from behind their works, fearless of danger from the retreating force, and fired with greater presision than when the column advanced. In one hour the engagement was over, and our brigade again returned to their former position, behind the line of works. The 57th lost twenty-two in this bloody and almost fruitless engagement. The assault, although it secured no immediate victory, was evidence to the enemy that we could assault as well as flank, and thus prevent them from weakening their lines to extend their flanks.”

Note: The 40th Indiana lost 106 men killed and wounded during the June 27th assault.

1st Sergeant John A. Baer, Company A

Posted in Atlanta Campaign, Soldier Profile with tags , on March 20, 2012 by 40thindiana

John A. Baer one of the well and favorably known citizens of Sheffeld Township, is a native of Missouri, born in Ray County, October 8, 1841, a son of Jacob Baer, who died in Missouri, in February 1852. The mother of our subject died in 1848. Being left an orphan when in his eleventh year he has always had to fight the battles of life alone. He came to Tippecanoe County when a lad, and here he grew to manhood, spending his youth in working on farms. At the breaking out of the Rebellion, he enlisted, April 17, 1861, in Company A of the 10th Indiana Infantry for three months, and in September following he re-enlisted in Co. A., 40th Indiana Infantry and during his term of service was promoted to 1st. Sergeant. He was taken prisoner at Kennesaw Mountain and was confined in Andersonville prison. He received an honorable discharge from the army and returned to this county, where he resumed the more peaceful pursuit of farming. Mr. Baer is a member of the Stockwell Lodge No. 439 I.O.O.F., and is also a Comrade of Carrol post G.A.R, at Stockwell. He is a member of the Christian Church and one of the respected men of the township. Politically he casts his sufferage with the Republican party.
Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, p. 763-764
Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago,IL.; 1888