Journal of the Kosciusko Guards •  Company E • 12th Regiment

 Written by William S. Hemphill • Transcribed by Marjorie Priser

 Chapter 1


The year of 1860 was drawing to a close, when after a campaign of unceasing labor on the part of the great political parties of the country, Abraham Lincoln of Illinois was declared to be the choice of the people of the United States to fill the executive chair for the ensuing four years. This choice gave rise to great dissatisfaction throughout the Cotton growing States which ill feeling toward the North was fed by the political demagogues of those states who finding that the management of National affairs was about to pass from their hands where it had rested and been abused for a series of years, labored to instill into the minds of the people of the States that this was a stroke at the cherished institution of the South, "Slavery."

With such men as Jefferson Davis and Tombs, Secretary Floyd and others equally influential it was an easy matter to set the southern minds in a blaze of excitement which was destined to ripen in rebellion against the government which they had abused.

South Carolina, the balky horse of the Union without waiting to see what policy would be pursued by the new administration, immediately passed an "ordinance of Secession" and began to arm against the government. This step was followed up by Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas assuming the name of "The Confederate States of America." North Carolina looking in vain to the Federal government, which in the hands of President Buchanan was paralyzed, was also forced into the new Confederacy in order to protect her own interests.

Delegates were appointed, who met and proceeded to draft a Constitution, exact laws, levy taxes, and establish upon a solid basis the so called Southern Confederacy selecting the most infamous scoundrel in their minds to fill the executive chair. This man was none else than Jefferson Davis and a man better fitted for the position could not have been found if the infernal regions had been searched. As it has always proved that those who have been most favored make the bitterest enemies.

One of the first acts of the Confederate Congress after affecting an organization was to appoint Commissioners to visit upon the President of the United States and to visit the European Powers, asking to be recognized as a free and independent nation; at the same time they proceeded to raise an army and arm it with the avowed purpose of gaining a place among nations by force, if otherwise denied, threatening to visit Washington City, take possession of the Public Archives and dictate to the north their own terms. President Buchanan refusing to recognize the Confederate Commissioners, still took no measures to put down the rebellion, appearing to be either completely paralyzed or at best indifferent, while the whole north looked on in astonishment which gradually changed to a feeling of Contempt for the man who was so lost to all honor, so corrupted by Southern influences or so blinded by traitorous advisers and paralyzed by fear, that he could remain thus inactive, while the nations strongholds, arsenals and munitions of war, were being seized by the traitors; and the very existence of the government threatened with an nihilation.

The rebels now tried another tack, by threatening to Sack the City of Washington, in the event of Mr. Lincoln's inauguration. And it is likely this threat would have been executed, had not the old, veteran Genl Scott taken measures to put the city in a condition to meet the enemy on that occasion.

On the 4th day of March 1861 Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as President of the United States, and in his address used language of a conciliatory character, pledging to the whole north and the whole south the full protection guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

This address was only used by the Southern Politicians to influence the minds of the masses against the government and was so misconstrued as to become an argument in their favor, whilst they proceeded to seize all the Government arms and other property in the seceding States, with the exception of Fort Sumpter at the entrance to Charleston Harbor, Ft. Pickens, the key to the Mississippi and a few unimportant ports on the Southern Coast.

The Confederacy Army occupied Charleston and Maj. Anderson, who with about One Hundred Soldiers and Mechanics occupied Ft. Sumpter had been summoned to surrender. This he refused to do, looking anxiously for the supplies and reinforcements he so much, at that time needed. But they came not. The eyes of the nation were turned on him. Will he surrender without a fight? Will this Strong-hold be given up without an effort?

Questions such as these were heard at every corner throughout the north, and were answered in thunderous tones by that brave band, when Gen. Beauregard sent in his last summons to surrender or he would bombard the fort. Having been informed he would have to take it, on the 13th of April the first gun was fired by the rebels and was nobly responded to by that little band of brave men, who held out, still looking for the supplies and reinforcements which they were assured were on the way. And until the wood work of the Fort was almost entirely destroyed by fire, until they were entirely cut off from the Magazine by the flames, with nothing but salt meat to eat for thirty-six hours, they sustained a casement fire against greatly superior numbers and then evacuated the fort on their own terms, taking with them all the Company property and saluting the Flag under which they had fought so bravely. With his command, Maj. Anderson started for the north. Sumpter had fallen. The war had commenced. The responsibility rested with the South.

Scarcely had these startling events transpired, when with lightning speed they were placed in the hands of the people, who received the news with a burst of indignation which told plainly the feelings of those who had heretofore wished to consider the Southern men as brethren. Curses loud and deep were uttered against those who so wantonly attempted to rend this glorious union, and shed the blood of those who were willing to lay down their lives in defence of Southern firesides.

The time for conciliation was now past. The time for action had come. The nation's Flag had been trailed in the dust by those whom it had protected. The nation's existence was threatened by those it had nursed. The very Capitol was threatened by ruthless traitors. The north slow to anger as it is, was fully aroused. And when the president asked for Seventy-five thousand volunteers, to put down the rebellion, the call was responded to by half a Million of men, true to the Constitution and the union, who asked to be led forth to meet the enemy and avenge the insult offered to the Flag of our Country.

The scene was one long to be remembered. The Merchant left his desk, the farmer his plow, the mechanic his Shop, the Lawyer his office, the Printer his case, all crowded forward saying "here am I, take me." And the tones were not of wild enthusiasm, but of calm determination, to lay their lives upon their Country's alter, and leave the result in the hands of him who rules and holds the destiny of Nations in his hands.

No sooner had the news flashed along the wires of the fall of Sumpter then a call was made for a meeting of the Citizens of Kosciusko County, in connection with the Lake City Artilerists to take the preliminary steps, to organize for service. This meeting was to be held at the Court House in Warsaw, Kosciusko County, In. on Friday evening April 19th 1861 at 7 o'clock p.m. The call being signed by Henry Hubler Capt. of the Artilerists.

The 19th of April came and with it at an early hour in the day came a large concourse of the patriotic citizens of Kosciusko County; and it was deemed admirable to hold a meeting at 1 o'clock p.m. for the accommodation of those who came from a distance. At 2 p.m. the meeting was organized and the chairman stated the object to be to fill up the ranks of the Lake City Artilerists with such persons that were willing to tender their services to the government to assist in suppressing the rebellion in the South which had gained such gigantic proportion, and found so many sympathizers in the north.

Several able speeches were made, and an opportunity given for any who might wish to enroll themselves as volunteers to do so. This call was responded to, by a goodly number and the meeting adjourned to meet at 7 o'clock p.m.

Pursuant to adjournment the Court House was filled to its utmost capacity, and the assemblage proceeded to business. Speeches were made by J. F. Caples Esq. and others, after which the opportunity was again given for those who were willing to serve their County to volunteer.

Some persons having objected to joining the "Artilerists" on account of some personal prejudices against some of the Officers of that Company, Capt. Hubler urged upon the people the propriety of completing an organization independent of the old company in whatever manner and under whatever name they chose to adopt; elect officers to suit themselves; and if they wanted him as an officer he was ready or if they preferred some one else to lead them, he was willing to be led. This appeared to have the desired effect and the following persons enrolled themselves for the purpose of effecting the organization.

Capt. Henry Hubler
Lieut. Reub. Williams
Lieut. A. P. Gallagher
Abr. L. Shaver
Moore E. Thorne
Thos. C. Lessig
George W. Scott
Henry S. Westcott
Jas. M. Nicely
Tommy Hubler
R. N. Poulson
Harmon Beeson
Joseph Riley
P. G. Frarey
Wade W. Whittaker
Jas. F. McGuire
Robert S. Richhart
E. Middleton
Beannah T. Birt
Marsh. H. Parks
George E. Birt
Jas. S. Wheeler
Selah J. Griffin
Peter Snyder

Messrs. J. B. Dodge and Ned Murphy were appointed to take the names of any persons wishing to enroll themselves during the ensuing day, and the meeting adjourned to meet again on the evening of the 20th at Empire Hall.

Pursuant to adjournment the citizens met at Empire Hall on the evening of the 20th and organized by calling P. L. Runyan to the chair and appointing J. B. Dodge Esqr. Secretary. Able patriotic addresses were delivered by Gov. Williams, Hon. G. W. Frasier and others and the meeting proceeded to the transaction of such business as was necessary for the furtherance of the object of the organization. The committee appointed at the last meeting reported the enrollment of the following persons:

Andy S. Milice
Benj. F. James
Ed. H. Webster
A. W. Scott
Thompson Holt
A. M. Wagner
Noah W. Holt
Ed Wertenberger
A. W. Hubbard
Saml Boughter
Thomas Imel
Geo. W. Dentzer
S. C. Robbins
Danl W. Hamlin
S. C. Swank
Saml R. Hamlin
Saml A. Winter
Lemuel Hazzard
Chas. M. Davis
Oscar Metz
John Deardorff
Henry J. Shorb
George Deardorff
Seth J. Wells
David Hubler
Nelson Boydston
Oliver Hubler

The meeting now adjourned to meet again on Monday evening April 22nd to close up the roll and tender the services of the company to the Governor.

On the 21st a large number of those who had enrolled their names attended service at the M.E. Church when the Rev. S. N. Campbell preached a sermon on the present crisis setting forth our duty as citizens to sustain the Government at all hazards. At the close of the Sermon Rev. Donohoe, who was present was requested to close with prayer which he did, coming out strongly in favor of the rebels and using such language that numbers left the house while those who remained were so indignant that the old man's grey hair was all that saved him from mob violence.

On the 22nd of April after drilling in the forenoon, the company met at Empire Hall at 2 o'clock p.m. and held an election which resulted in the election of Henry Hubler as Captain, Andrew P. Gallagher 1st Lieutenant, Reuben Williams 2nd Lieutenant, Andrew S. Milice 3rd Lieutenant, James F. McGuire 1st Sergeant, Moore E. Thorn 2nd Sergeant, Charles M. Davis 3rd Sergeant, Nelson Boydston 4th Sergeant, Thos. C. Lessig 5th Sergeant and Robert S. Richhart Ensign and it was announced that there was one hundred and fifteen names on the muster roll.

At the appointed time in the evening Empire Hall was filled to overflowing with whose who had enlisted and those who with their means and influence were willing to aid in the good work. Among the latter class were to be found the Ladies of Warsaw who though denied the privilege of going forth to meet the foe, claimed their share of the work in arranging for the comfort of those who could go and in cheering up their hearts with bright smiles and tokens of good will which had never been found lacking in our city.

The meeting was very enthusiastic. Able speakers were present and improved the time to the best advantage. A committee of Ladies and Gentlemen was appointed to procure material and make shirts and drawers to supply the Company. The recruiting committee through Mr. Dodge reported the enrollment of the following persons as members of the company since the last report.

Wm. S. Hemphill
Wm. H. Sparrow
Anderson Andrews
Joel Strieby
Martin J. Crum
Wm. H. Marcum
Peter Messner
Mart. L. Stewart
Saml McClary
Wm. E. Rousseau
Elias Sutherly
Wilson H. Walton
Oliver Sloane
Isaac M. Cowic
John Burton
Francis M. Conklin
Robt. Phillpot
Benj. W. Mankin
Sylvester Birt
Thomas Rockwell
Benj. Cable
John A. Sanderson
Ed. L. Barlow
James H. Weaver
Henry Clayton
Charles C. Reynolds
Wm. L. Mathews
David Leichenwalter
Jno Metternich
James O. Harvey
Jas. O. Rea

Benj. Cable and a large number of others, whose names have been omitted on account of their having only joined to make a show of patriotism they did not feel, or others who did not for other reasons leave town with us. The Report of the committee was received and the Muster roll placed in the hands of Hon. Geo. W. Frasier to be presented to Gov. Morton at Indianapolis. The thanks of the Company was tendered to Messrs. Dodge and Murphy for their untiring efforts in organizing the company and filling up the ranks. It was also announced that a voluntary subscription on the part of the Citizens had resulted in the pledge of $1,300 for the maintenance of any who were leaving families behind or rather for the support of their families during their absence. The meeting then adjourned; the volunteers to meet daily for drill; and the Citizens to meet from time to time as it might be deemed necessary for the advancement of the preparations.

The Company numbering now 135 men, met for drill on the 23rd and after drilling in the a.m. adjourned to meet at 1½ p.m. but a tremendous Storm coming up preempted the meeting. Provisions were made for the quartering of the men at the Hotels during their Stay in town; the expenses being paid by citizens. On the 24th we met for drill, when a Telegram was received with the intelligence that our service would be accepted. This news was greeted with three cheers, and we adjourned to meet at 2 o'clock p.m. At the appointed hour we met for drill, when the name of Daniel H. Burkett was added to the roll.

On the 25th we drilled from 9 a.m. to 12 m. Jacob Brumbaugh's name was recorded as a member of the Company. On the 26th we drilled from 9 to 12 a.m. and from 2 to 5 p.m. The news from the South was of such a character as to show a disposition to back down from their position which is probably only for the purpose of gaining time. Much as we dislike the idea of going to war with those who have been hitherto looked upon and treated as brethren, we still continue our preparations.

On the 27th while out on drill one of our members steped out of the ranks and refused to drill anymore until he would have some assurance of getting paid for his time. Not wishing to have any two-penny men in the Company, a motion was made to allow him to remain with his Mother a while longer and by a unanimous vote his name was stricken from the roll, whereupon George W. Hissong's name was enrolled thus making good the deficiency. On the 29th we drilled all day, and enrolled the names of Abraham S. Black, Austin C. Funk, Orlando Rankin and Wm. J. Rauch as members of the company. In the evening a meeting was held in Empire Hall for the completion of arrangements.

April 30th We received orders from Indianapolis to reduce the number in the company to "Seventy seven" rank and file; who must be good sized able bodied men. Whereupon Drs. Sapp and Davenport were selected and the company mustered for an inspection; the minimum height being fixed at "five feet, six inches." The result of the inspection gave us 84 men above the Standard height who were pronounced able bodied men. While about 60 men were cut off and left to mourn over their diminutive size or Constitutional infirmities. These are the men whose names do not appear in this Journal; though a majority of them were willing and even anxious to go to defend their county and have since enlisted in other regiments and did good service of which neither they nor their friends have any reason to be ashamed.

The organization having been made with a view of a three months Service; a despatch was now read informing us, that the requisition for three months men was now filled and that a Bill known as the "Six Regiment Bill" was before the Legislature in which it would be proposed to organize Six regiments of volunteers to be quartered and paid by the State, and held subject to any additional call for troops by the President, for a period of not less than one year, or more than three years.

An opportunity was now given to any one who was not willing to enter the Service for one year, or for the shortest time for which they could be mustered, whether it be one or three years, to manifest their unwillingness by steping to the front. Ten men left the ranks and their places were immediately filled by others who had, by lot, been cut off after inspection.

The Company as it was thus organized proceeded to the Court House where the oath was administered by Thomas Woods Clerk of Kosciusko County, after which R. S. Richhart in behalf of the Author proposed the adoption of the following verses as the Song of the Company. The verses were read and adopted and a vote of thanks was tendered the author in three cheers and the company adjourned to meet from day to day for drill.

Kosciusko Guard's Farewell
By a Volunteer

Adieu to Peace and all her charm
Our Country calls, To arms! To arms!
Arouse! To arms! Ye patriots true
And meet the Southern traitor Crew.

Our country's Standards high unfurled
The pride, the wonder of the world!
That honored Standard bids us go
To meet the Southern traitorous foe.

Will Kosciusko's Sons allow
The Stars and Stripes to trail below
While the "Rattle Snake" shall wave on high
And give to Liberty the lie?

No! When our banner's raised on high
And proudly floating in the Sky
What Freeman thinks his home so dear,
As not to be a Volunteer!

We'll bid adieu to friends so dear,
And leave our wives and daughters here
Protection they will find at home,
While we to fight our foes are gone.

And should the ball by foemen sped
The Soldier number with the dead.
That glorious flag shall proudly wave
O'er every patriot Soldier's grave.

Now while we say to all good-bye!
We'll hoist the Stars and Stripes on high.
And pledge ourselves while life shall last,
That Flag shall ne'er be trailed in dust!

Then hoist that Banner higher still
Our lives shall guard it, with a will
Our country shall be henceforth free
Then for that Flag, Here's Three times Three!

On the 1st day of May 1861 the Company was mustered in the Public Square and the Ladies of Warsaw through Miss Josephine Hubler presented a beautiful Silk Flag, bearing in Golden letters the name of the Company, "Kosciusko Guard" in the center. Miss Hubler in behalf of the ladies spoke as follows:

"Forever float that Standard Sheet.
Where lives the foe, but falls before us,
With freedom's soil beneath our feet.
And freedom's banner waving o'er us."

Upon receiving the flag, the members of the Company individually and collectively solemnly pledged themselves to Keep it, and defend it and if one member returned home to return with it unstained by dishonor or surrender.
Orrin Watts was enrolled as a member of the company.

On the 4th day of May the company drilled till 11 o'clock a.m. when it was dismissed to meet at 9 o'clock a.m. on the 6th for drill. The men whose homes were in the country started for home and all became quiet in town, save the talk about the following little incident.

Some few days prior some of the "boys" wishing to have some sport visited the Coop of a certain dealer on Buffalo Street and carried off a few Chickens which were found in the Public Square in the morning, inocent of feathers, very leisurely walking around, no doubt feeling somewhat ashamed at finding themselves exposed to the gaze of the public without any feathers to hide their nakedness.

This gave rise to some remarks on the part of the Citizens and also to a certain article in the "Experiment" more generally known as the "Smut Machine" which was rather personal. As Mr. Mugg, the Editor was known to harbour no very kind feelings toward the Officers and some of the Members of the Company this article was taken as an open insult by the whole company and they, on the morning of the 4th waited upon that gentleman to give him either an opportunity to explain or a sound thrashing. And it is not improbable the latter would have been administered if Capt. Hubler and some of the Citizens had not used their influence with the boys and got them away, leaving the Hon. Editor of the Smut Machine to indulge in the belief that he was a martyr indeed.

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