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

 Written by William S. Hemphill • Transcribed by Marjorie Priser



The original copy of this Journal is safely preserved in the Warsaw Community Library. Several years ago, the Allen County Public Library made two xerox copies of the original document. They kept one copy for their genealogy collection and gave the other copy along with the original back to the library for safekeeping.

The original journal is relatively easy to read, despite being handwritten. The ACPL xerox copy is difficult to read, as some of the pages did not copy very well, and as a result many words are difficult, if not impossible to decipher. Since the original Journal is much too fragile to be placed on the shelves, it seemed like a good idea to transcribe and make available a typeset copy. I believe there are many people who will read and enjoy this historic document now that it can be read with ease.

It should be noted that authorship of this Journal has been erroneously attributed to Col. Joseph B. Dodge or to General Reub Williams. It will be apparent to the reader, as it was to me that neither Williams nor Dodge could have written it. Col. Dodge did, in fact, serve as secretary during the formation of Company E, but was not a member of the unit. General Williams was an officer of the company, but he was only responsible for carrying notes and papers belonging to Hemphill, the author, back to Warsaw after the muster-out ceremony in Washington D.C. in May of 1862. According to the Journal, Mrs. Williams inadvertently destroyed the original notes and papers, causing the author to write this document sometime after the war, using personal diaries and company memorandums as the basic source material. I was not able to find a date when this Journal was actually written. Based on information in the individual records chapter, it seems that he added information periodically until about 1903.

William S. Hemphill was born about 1832 in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. He married Sarah A. Stoner on the 16th of August 1855 (Kos. Co. Marriage Records Book A Page 449). She was born
in 1830, the daughter of Christian Stoner and Elizabeth Morton Stoner and died April 8, 1917. According to the 1860 Kosciusko County Indiana federal census, William and Sarah lived in Wayne Township and had one child, Luella, aged about 2 years old. William is shown as 28 years old and Sarah as 30 years old.

I have not found when William Hemphill died. It was probably between 1903 and 1917 as Sarah's obituary indicates she was a widow and her nearest surviving relative was a brother Christopher Stoner. The Hemphills moved to Denver Colorado hoping to improve their health. A folded letterhead laid in the back of the original document indicates an address of 2305 Lincoln. It's quite likely that William died in Denver and Sarah moved back to Warsaw to be near her brother's family. Sarah is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Warsaw Indiana, however William is not shown as buried beside her.

This is an exact transcription of the Journal. You will find very few misspelled words. Having worked for a newspaper, Hemphill had a good command of the language and his spelling was very good. There is some inconsistency in the spelling of names. You will find many words capitalized within the sentences. There didn't seem to be a particular pattern, so they are capitalized as shown in the original. The writer used quotation marks for emphasis and those have been copied as shown. Italics have been used to show words that the author underlined. In a few places I inserted words to provide consistency or clarity. These have been placed in square brackets.

In the original document, paragraphs were often many pages long and there were no chapter breaks. For reading ease, I have taken the liberty of breaking long paragraphs into shorter ones and added the chapter headings. Incomplete sentences were left as written. An index is added at the back of the book.

As a final note, I would like to especially thank Ann Zydek, Director of the Warsaw Community Library for her cooperation and support of this project and for allowing me to make a working copy and proofread the transcription against the original document.

Marjorie Priser

NOTE: This introduction was completed in 1993 when the transcription was completed. I have since found that WILLIAM S. HEMPHILL, author of this journal died in Denver Colorado on August 27, 1907 and is buried in the Riverside Cemetery as reported in the Denver Republican.

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