Reminiscences of the Rebellion

By "One Who was There
[Written expressly for the Northern Indianian] by Reub Williams

[ Please note: This article was in the first column of the May 3, 1866 issue of the Northern Indianian in a bound volume that went through the courthouse fire that occurred in the 1980's. A portion of the left side of the column was burned away. I have included the text that is readable and in some cases have included, in parantheses, some probable words and hope that you can gather the meaning through context, even though seveeral of the words are missing.]

Organizing the First Company
... April 19th, 1861, is a
(day that will) forever be memorable
(in the history) of Kosciusko county.
(That was the) day the first volunteers
(of our) county were called
...... excitement prevailed,
.....members of patriotic
(organizations) assembled pursuant to
(the news) a few days previous
(for the) purpose of organizing
(the volunteers) into a company, which
(if needed) should tender its
(service to the) general government
(as) provided in the call of
(President) Lincoln. At one o'clock
(the church) bell was sounded
..... the time and place of
..... also that the hour
..... which we were to
(meet) the first time to aid
(our country) in its hour of need.
..... same enthusiasm
..... to pervade all pres-
..... made my way to
..... meeting. I found the
(room) densely packed with
(men of all) ages and pursuits, anxious
..... that our boys would
..... their duty to their country
..... meeting was called to
(order and) its object stated by the
..... which several of
..... present made short
(speeches) favorable to the organization
of a company from Kosciusko
county. A roll was prepared
and an announcement made that
..... to volunteer could
..... within a very few minutes
..... names were placed upon
..... The meeting then adjourned
(until) Monday, April, 21st,
1861. ..... as expected to fill the

..... same. The Empire
..... kindly tendered by Hon.
..... Williams, in which the meeting
..... held. The committee on
(recruiting) reported that the number
..... of volunteers prescribed by
..... the company, had been filled.
Nothing remained but
..... (naming) the organization and
..... company to the State
..... An election of officers
(was held), resulting as follows:
(Henry) Hubler, Captain, A. P.
(Gallagher) 1st Lieutenant, Reub.
Williams, 2nd Lieutenant; Andy
(Milice) Brevet 2nd Lieutenant;
(James) McGuire, 1st Sergt; M. E.
(Thorn), C. M. Davis, Nelson
(Boydston, T. C. Lessig), Sergeants.
..... supposed at first that the
..... would also be elected by
..... as nearly every member
..... but little concerning
..... they each flattered
..... that none were better
..... the office than themselves
..... Consequently tickets
..... _ted, of all styles to suit
..... _us ideas of the company,
..... _ing candidates without
..... One young fellow I noticed
..... particularly, who, though
..... and held a position some-
..... (above) his comrades in the
..... _ale. Determined upon
..... his election. He left on
..... _turned. He patronized
..... -er quite liberally, having
..... -aring the names of the
..... of the various "cliques"
..... accompanied with his
..... there was scarcely a man
..... had been "felt of" con-
..... his vote, and just as he
[end of burnt first column]
was congratulating himself upon his sure prospects for the chevron, he, with the other aspirants, were struck with astonishment at the announcement by Capt. Hubler, in his usual emphatic style, "men should be made to fill these postions, not boys." I fancied the young man felt like some "dorgs", [sic] I have seen, as they slunk away with their tails between their legs. At any rate, our young friend "vamoosed" the room, nor did he return until after the appointment of the corporals by Captain Hubler, as follows:
B. W. Mankin, 1st Corporal;
R. S. Richhart, 2nd (Corporal)
Henry Clayton, 3rd (Corporal)
Geo. W. Scott, 4th (Corporal)

Prior to adjournment each officer mounted the rostrum and made a short address to the company. A committee appointed to suggest a suitable name for the organization reported in favor of adopting that of "Kosciusko Guards," which was given by consent."

Capt. Hubler at once sent a telegram to Gov. O. P. Morton, informing him that the "guard" was in readiness for the field. An answer was received directing him to hold his command in readiness for transportation at a moment's notice, and in the interim to perfect his company in the drill and discipline so necessary to make it effective for the field. From the 21st of April until the 5th of May the boys drilled quite steadily, and were so complete in it that when the company arrived at Indianapolis, it was at once considered the best drilled in the State. In the Guards there were representatives from nearly every portion of the county; Pierceton, Oswego, Milford, Leesburg, Galveston, Etna Green, and Palestine each furnishing their quota. The citizens of Warsaw, with their usual liberality invited the volunteers to their houses and kept them until they were called upon to go to the field. The ladies were also busy, they solicited donations and by contributing themselves they procured the material and made for the Guards large quantities of clothing; furnishing each member with shirts, drawers, socks, &c., together with a fine large and valuable pair of blankets. The young ladies at the same time raised quite a sum of money and sent Col. Dodge to Chicago to purchase the material for a banner to be carried by the Guards. The presentation of this banner to the Guards was an impressive scene, and was witnessed by many of our best citizens. A few days before the departure of the company a dispatch was received from the Adjutant General, stating that but seventy-seven rank and file could be accepted with the company. This caused many to be left behind who were quite anxious to go, as the organization at that time numbered upwards of a hundred men.

At last on the morning of May 5th 1861 the company was ordered to be in readiness to leave that evening. The Guards occupied the day in making their farewell calls and furnishing themselves with such notions as they might need during their absence. A large number of families arrived from the country during the day to bid farewell to relatives who were to depart with the company. Night came; the Guards would leave on the 10 o'clock p.m. train for Indianapolis. The hour arrived - the company was formed in two ranks preparatory to getting aboard the cars, and as the train thundered into the station and the boys clambered on board, there was scarcely a dry eye among the large concourse of spectators. Amid the sound of many adeux, the bell sounded and the train moved on.

More than a year after their departure the members who survived returned, their terms of service having expired. During this long absence the Guards were quartered at Indianapolis and Evansville for a period of two months, drilling for service at the front, during which time they were assigned to the 12th Indiana Regiment, as Company E. At this time, their work of preparation was brought to a sudden stop by the news of the battle of Bull Run-the effects of which were so disastrous as to make it necessary that every man should at once be hurried to the front. The Twelfth was one of those regiments which were hurried to the Potomac to hurl back the columns of invasion, it being sent direct to Harper's Ferry, Va., where it was placed under the command of Gen. Banks, with whom it remained until the winter of 1861-2, accompanying him in all his movements along the line of the Potomac. A vacancy having occurred among the field officers of the regiment, consequent upon the resignation of Col. J. M. Wallace, Captain Hubler was unanimously elected to the position of Major, Lieut. Reub. Williams succeeding him as Captain of the company, and Andy S. Milice, who, in consequence of not receiving his commission as Brevet 2d Lieutenant, on account of the reduction of the number of men allowed each company, was now elected to succeed Lieut. Williams. During the following winter the regiment went into quarters on the Potomac, near Sharpsburg, Md., upon the very same ground where the battle of Sharpsburg was afterwards fought when Gen. Lee was retreating from the bloody field of Gettysburg. Remaining here until the 1st of March, 1862, they joined and afterwards formed a part of the fine army of Maj. Gen. Banks, which soon afterward invaded the valley of the Shenandoah. During the campaign in the valley, the Twelfth was the first regiment to occupy the city of Manchester, from which Stonewall Jackson was driven by them. In this affair the Guards were conspicuous. The Guards formed a part of the command during the whole campaign, until the army went into camp on the Bull Run battlefield, when their term of service having expired they, with their regiment, proceeded to Washington City for muster out of service, at which city the officers and men received their discharges on the 21st of May, 1862. Prior to its muster out the Regiment paid President Lincoln a complementary visit at the White House. The President, in a few remarks made to it, observed the fine appearance of the command, and in behalf of the country thanked them for their conduct.

During the winter of 1861-2, during an engagement between the Guards and the enemy, Capt. Williams and six of the company were captured and sent to Richmond, where they lay in the far-famed Libbey Prison until Spring when they were released, and rejoined the Guards just before the close of the campaign. Among the many incidents of an effecting character which transpired during their term of service, was the sickness and subsequent death of Sergeant Charles M. Davis, group, after withstanding all the hardships of a soldier's life up to the arrival of the company in Washington City, was taken ill and died on the same day he should have received his discharge. Charlie was a model soldier, and his death casted gloom over the Guards that even the joy of being mustered out and again seeing home and friends could not dissipate. His remains were brought home to this place and consigned to the grave with the honors of war, by his comrades, the Guards. Shortly after the Guards reorganized but under a different name, and with only a few of the original boys; the majority of them reentered the service in various regiments, and nearly all rose to the rank of commission officers. Many of them have now returned; but many, very many of them have their bones lie bleaching throughout the South, with no monument to perpetuate the history of their struggles.

Northern Indianian Thursday May 3, 1866

[no other installments of this series are found at this time]

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