Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day: Stoneman's toll

Lt. Thomas Kenyon was among five
Michigan soldiers killed April 8, 1865,
in a skirmish near Martinsville, Va.

     The Stoneman Gazette marks Memorial Day with the following list of Union soldiers who died during Stoneman's Raid.
     We published the corresponding list of Southern fatalities on Confederate Memorial Day, this past May 10. 
     I've identified 37 Union soldiers (plus several unknown) who died during the 54-day raid. Ten of them were killed in the Battle of Salisbury and five near Martinsville, Va. Another five died of disease in Watauga County, N.C. If you have any further information on these men or others who should be included, please leave a comment. I will update this post as additional information becomes available.
     Winners write history, and the victorious Union raiders did a much better job than the vanquished Confederates in terms of preserving names of their dead. Much of this information comes from histories written by five of the eight Union regiments who participated in Stoneman's Raid.
      I've arranged the names in order of the counties and cities that were raided.
BOONE & WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C., March 28-April 22
     There may have been one or two Union soldiers killed in the raid on Boone March 28. Stoneman reported that the 12th Kentucky Cavalry under Maj. George Barnes lost a few men wounded. Folks in Boone maintain that a teenager named Steel Frazier killed one or two Yankees. It's possible that one of them may have been Isaac Smith of the 8th Tennessee (see footnote below).
     Five more "Home Yankees" died of disease during the occupation of Boone by Kirk's Raiders in the days following Stoneman's Raid. All of them were enlisted in the 2nd N.C. Mounted Infantry, which was composed of men who remained loyal to the Union even after their home states seceded. Four of the five Union soldiers who died in Watauga County were from western North Carolina.
  • Pvt. William Bradley died April 10 of typhoid. He enlisted at age 16 in 1863 and was from Buncombe County, N.C.
  • Pvt. James Paine died April 11 of typhoid. He and Bradley enlisted on the same day in Greeneville, Tenn. He was 33 and was from Buncombe County, N.C.
  • Pvt. John E. Maricle (also spelled Miracle) died April 15 of measles. He was from Harlan, Ky., enlisted at age 28, and had served barely six months when he died. He left a widow and four children.
  • Pvt. Henry Evans died April 16 of typhoid. He was from Buncombe County and enlisted in 1863 at age 30.
  • Pvt. Robert Foster died April 22 of disease. He was just 16 years old when he enlisted in 1864. He was also from Buncombe.
     Several Union soldiers drowned March 30 trying to cross the flooded Yadkin River. "Some never reached the other side. One out of our regiment, and I do not know how many others, drowned. It was a fearful sight," according to Howard Buzby of the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry.


     An unknown Union soldier was shot April 2 while trying to steal the horse of Confederate Col. William Luffman of the 11th Georgia Infantry, according to an 1897 newspaper story by Milton Cundiff, a noted Surry County educator who may have been an eyewitness to the event.


      Gen. Gillem's report said 35 Union men were killed, wounded, or captured in the April 5 raid on Wytheville. I researched the rosters of the two regiments involved in this raid, the Eighth and Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry and have not been able to identify them, with the exception of:
  • Pvt. John C. Connor of the 8th Tennessee drowned April 7 while crossing the New River during the retreat from Wytheville.
  • Pvt. David Wilson, 20 years old, of the 13th Tennessee was reported missing in action after this raid. Some relatives believe he was killed at Wytheville, but this has not been verified. Wytheville was not far from his home, and it is possible that he deserted.
      There were seven members of the 13th Tennessee and at least four members of the 8th Tennessee who died in Knoxville and elsewhere in the three weeks following the Wytheville raid. (See the footnote below.) Some of them may have been mortally wounded at Wytheville, but it is also possible that they were wounded or sick prior to the raid and were left behind in Knoxville when their regiments marched.

  • Pvt. John Houston of the 1st Tennessee Artillery was killed April 8 at Floyd's Church. Stoneman's artillery was passing through Floyd County at that time.
  • Pvt. Jacob King of the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry was shot by friendly fire near Lynchburg. He was the only Union fatality during Wagner's Raid, which was dispatched by Stoneman and praised by Gen. Ulysses Grant for cutting off Robert E. Lee's last line of escape.
      Five soldiers from the 10th Michigan Cavalry were killed April 8 in a skirmish near Martinsville, Va. This was the deadliest engagement of the war for the 10th Michigan, which previously had only eight of its 1,886 men killed in action.
      Just three days earlier, these troops had learned that Robert E. Lee had abandoned the Confederate capital at Richmond, telling them the war was all but over. They were on their way to liberate the prison at Salisbury and weren't looking for a fight when they crossed paths with Capt. James Wheeler's rebels at a creek in Henry County. In the ensuing fight, the Confederates had as many as 27 killed.
      The Union victims were buried at the Episcopal church in Martinsville, and the bodies were later relocated to the National Cemetery in Danville.

  • Lt. Thomas C. Kenyon was described as "a gallant young officer" in Volume 40 of Michigan in the Civil War. He enlisted with the 10th Michigan at age 25 in 1863 and was promoted to second lieutenant in 1864. He previously served with another regiment and spent six months as a prisoner of war following the 1862 Battle of Shiloh. 
  • Sgt. John Benton was from Wayne County, Michigan. He enlisted in 1863 at age 27. 
  • Pvt. George Wood was from Antrim County. He enlisted at age 31 in 1864 and had served only five months before he was killed. 
  • Pvt. Joseph Cune (also spelled Kune or Kunne) was from Grand Traverse County. He enlisted at age 36 in 1864 and served less than six months before he was killed. 
  • Pvt. Ira E. Harvey enlisted in Grand Rapids at age 22 in 1864 and served eight months before he was killed.
STOKES COUNTY, N.C., April 10-11
  • Robert Watson of the 10th Michigan was killed April 10 in Germantown, N.C.
  • Pvt. Joseph Hale of the 8th Tennessee died April 11 in Danbury, N.C.
  • Pvt. Dennis Shea of the 12th Ohio died April 22 in Salem. It seems likely that Shea was the unidentified soldier shot by Confederate Sgt. Greenbury Harding in Huntsville, 20 miles west of Salem. Harding was a Yadkin County native who had been wounded four times in battles and was discharged from the 28th North Carolina Regiment in 1864. According to a Civil War trails marker in Huntsville, Harding killed one of the two Yankees who were trying to loot his house. If Shea was mortally wounded, it would have made sense for the Union to leave him in the care of the pro-Union Moravians in Salem. A 1917 history of Champaign County, Ohio, says Shea was left sick at Salem.
    • Capt. John Edwards of the 11th Michigan Cavalry was shot leading the charge into Salisbury April 12 and died four days later in Way Hospital No. 3. He was leading Company D in an attack on the Confederate Battery F when he was shot by a rebel from Maryland named Lt. Stokes. According to historian Cornelia Phillips Spencer, Edwards was pursuing Stokes, who had already shot one of Edwards' men. As Edwards closed in, brandishing his saber, Stokes suddenly wheeled around and shot Edwards as he passed by. Edwards was hit in the leg and right lung. A native of Ireland and a resident of Hudson, Mich., he was buried with Masonic rites at the Lutheran church in Salisbury and was later reburied in the National CemeteryHe was a member of Gen. Stoneman's personal staff.
         Capt. Edwards was profiled in a 1996 book, "Last Full Measure of Devotion," by his great-great nephew, Joe Edwards, writing under the name J. Doby. This book lists five other men from Hudson, Michigan, who gave their lives in Salisbury. Three of them actually died in Chattanooga, where presumably they were being treated for wounds. One of them was probably the first victim of Lt. Stokes.
    • Cpl. Orlando Richardson died May 1, 1865, in Chattanooga, just two months after he enlisted.
    • Norman F. Henry died May 1, 1865, in Chattanooga. His tombstone in the Chattanooga National Cemetery says he served in the 11th Michigan Mounted Infantry, which disbanded in 1864. Several of those soldiers enlisted in the 11th Cavalry.
    • James Berch [or Bercham]
    • John S. Worden
    • Oliver Stebbins [or Stibbens] died April 27, 1865, in Chattanooga. Letters to his family indicate he died of measles and do not mention wounds.
         Salisbury editor J.J. Bruner, who was known to exaggerate, wrote in 1890 that 16 Union soldiers were killed or mortally wounded in the unsuccessful siege of the Yadkin River bridge, six miles northeast of Salisbury. However, the Tennessee brigade that attacked the bridge reported only four deaths at Salisbury:
    • Saddler Leander Russell, 23, of the 13th Tennessee was killed April 12 in Salisbury. 
    • Pvt. Godfrey Jenkins, 21, of the 13th Tennessee Cavalry was killed April 12 in Salisbury.
    • Pvt. John Renshaw of the 8th Tennessee Cavalry was killed April 12 in Salisbury. Renshaw, just 18 years old, had enlisted March 21--the same day Stoneman's Raid left Knoxville. 
    • Pvt. James Ledso, 20, of the 13th Tennessee, died April 18 at Salisbury from wounds suffered April 12 or 13.
    • Pvt. Orlow J. Brackett of the 10th Michigan was killed by bushwhackers April 16 in Statesville. He was from Bay County.
    • Pvt. George Hysinger of the 8th Tennessee was executed April 15 "under a pretense of insubordination" by Capt. Landon Carter of the 13th Tennessee.
          At the 1895 reunion of the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry, a letter was read from Confederate Capt. J.R. Johnston, who served with Echols' cavalry in Virginia and the Carolinas. "Near Statesville, we came in contact with your General Palmer's command, and killed the Lieutenant who killed Morgan in Tennessee," he claimed. He was referring to the notorious Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan, who was hunted down by the 13th Tennessee in Greeneville, Tenn., in 1864. However, the soldier credited with killing Morgan, Andrew Campbell, lived in Indiana for decades after the war. Johnston's unit may have killed a different Union soldier, possibly Brackett.

    • Corp. George J. French of the 15th Pennsylvania was ambushed and shot April 18 near Lincolnton and is buried there at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. For his story, click here.
    • Pvt. John W. Knowles of the 12th Ohio died April 30 in Dallas. His unit was based April 17-23 in nearby Lincolnton, and it is not clear if he died of sickness or a wound. He was from Salem, Ohio.
    MORGANTON & BURKE COUNTY, N.C., April 17-18
          North Carolina historian Cornelia Phillips Spencer said the Union had 25 killed and wounded in a gunfight at Rocky Ford and even reported eight Union bodies floating in the Catawba River. However, the military reports say there were no Union fatalities in this incident, which is known as the last artillery exchange of the Civil War.

    • Walter A. Sigler of the 11th Michigan died of disease at Asheville April 23. An 1865 report by the Michigan adjutant general says that Sigler was the only fatality from the 11th Michigan during Stoneman's Raid.
    Four members of the 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery (part of Stoneman's rear guard under Gen. Davis Tillson) were executed by firing squad May 6 after being accused of rape. (Click the image to enlarge.)
    • Pvt. Alfred Catlett from Virginia
    • Pvt. Alexander Cowell
    • Pvt. Charles Turner
    • Pvt. Jackson Washington

    • Alanson Wesley Chapman of Hillsdale, Michigan, accidentally shot himself while looting the Boscobel plantation south of Pendleton. According to Rev. John Bailey Adger's memoirs, "Chapman had stolen a fine young mare, and in mounting her, his short carbine swung around. The hammer hit the pommel of his saddle as the muzzle jabbed him under the chin and he fell dead in the yard. Most of the jewelry, including the handsome old-fashioned watch we now wear was recovered." Chapman and his brother Adelbert (who visited Rev. Adger a few days later) were enlisted in the 11th Michigan Cavalry, which was in Georgia by May 5, so it seems likely they were deserters. That would also explain why Chapman's death was unknown or ignored by the Michigan adjutant general mentioned above.
    • David H. "Harry" Morrison of Michigan was killed May 9 between Greenville and Easley in retaliation for the May 1 murder of civilian Matthew Ellison. Morrison, 18, was buried on Turner Hill near what is now the intersection of U.S. 123 and S.C. 153 His father reclaimed the body six months later.

    Other possible Union casualties on Stoneman's Raid

         The 8th and 13th Tennessee regiments as well as the 12th Ohio list a number of deaths during the days of Stoneman's Raid but do not say if they were killed in action. The Tennesseeans were involved in the raid on Wytheville, and it is possible that some of them may have fallen there. On the other hand, it's likely that some of these men died of disease or wounds suffered prior to Stoneman's Raid, or were on duty elsewhere. Similarly, there were also four members of the 12th Ohio who died of unspecified circumstances back at headquarters during the weeks of the raid. Their names:

    13th TENNESSEE
    • Pvt. Marion Wilson, age 19, died April 9 in Knoxville.
    • Pvt. William Roten, age 18, died April 11 in Knoxville.
    • Pvt. William H. Payne, died April 12 in Knoxville.
    • Pvt. James N. Duggar, age 18, died April 14 in Knoxville.
    • Pvt. William Mallory, age 44, died in April in Knoxville.
    • Pvt. David Price, age 44, died April 28 in Knoxville.
    • Pvt. Michael Sanders, age 42, died April 29 in Knoxville.
    • Pvt. David Cole, age 26, died June 10 in Danville rebel hospital
    • Pvt. William Cox died March 26.
    • Pvt. Rodolphus Harris, age 21, died March 26.
    • Pvt. Isaac Smith died March 28. The location is not specified, but the date suggests that he might have been Steel Frazier's victim in Boone. Another possibility is that he was previously sick and was not part of the raid. 
    • Pvt. John P. Frake, age 22, died March 31.
    • Pvt. Benjamin Owens died April 3.
    • Pvt. Robert Peek, age 25, died April 9.
    • Pvt. Louis Lain, age 33, died April 10.
    • Pvt. Elijah Keys was killed April 19 at Elizabethton.
    • Pvt. Faro Collier, age 25, died April 26.
    12th OHIO
    • Pvt. Levi Ebert from Lancaster, Ohio, died April 9 in Knoxville.
    • Pvt. Lorenzo F. Hiddleston from Alliance, Ohio, died April 21 in a Nashville hospital.
    • Pvt. Leonard H. Springer from New Lisbon, Ohio, died April 23 in a Knoxville hospital.
    • Pvt. Benjamin McCullough from Columbus, Ohio, died April 30 in Knoxville.

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