Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

In the old county atlas of 1879 there is a long list of Kosciusko county soldiers who saw service in the Civil War. At first glance the list doesn't look very interesting--just a bunch of names. Immediately preceding this list of names are the regimental histories which recite the dates of battles and the number of killed, wounded, and missing.

Those past events seem so far away that we usually take them in a matter-of-fact way. We forget that each soldier was an individual who sacrificed much for our country.

Thomas LeHew recently sent us a copy of a letter written by a Kosciusko county soldier to his parents during the Civil War. The letter was written on December 13, 1864 from Nashville, Tennessee and in it the soldier recounts some of the hardships which he endured during the war.

After reading the letter, the name of Frank Nutt, which appears in the old atlas under the roster of the Eleventh Indiana Regiment is more than a name in a musty old book. He is instead a man who suffered much that our nation might be preserved.

In 1863, a short time before the Battle of Gettysburg, Frank Nutt was captured by the Confederates and taken to a prison at Richmond, Virginia. In his own words in the letter he says, "We fared well enough till it began to get cold, and then our sufferings were awful. To make it worse for me I took the small pox and was sent to one of the military prison hospitals where I lay for months, unable to get treatment and more dead than alive. Finally last spring there was an exchange of some of the worse cases and I was among them.

"After staying at Annapolis a while, I began to improve a little and as the small pox had injured my sight and hearing I got my discharge and went to Baltimore for treatment, but not getting any relief, I came to Cincinnati, to a celebrated occultist, but I was so sick that I had to go into the City Hospital, where I remained three months longer, but I was entirely cured.

"I would then have come home, but I was marked so badly with the small pox that I thought I would never again want to see anybody that knew me, and a friend got me a place in the Quartermaster's Department here in Nashville, and I have been here since. But the marks have left my face to a great extent at least the black ones and I again begin to think about coming home."

Mr. Nutt did come home and for many years lived in Warsaw on West Market street. Those who knew him say that he was a respected man with an unusual kind and good nature. He was a brother-in-law of the late Mrs. Jennie East and the original letter was found among her possessions. We are grateful to Mr. LeHew for sending us this letter which has such great human appeal.

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Jan. 20, 1953