Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Life and Times of George Washington Ward, 14th KY Infantry

George Washington Ward was born on May 31, 1846, near Inez, Johnson, now Martin Co. KY. He was the son of Willis / Wells Ward and Lucinda Preston, a grand-daughter of Moses Preston.

When the Civil War began, George Washington Ward, despite his tender age of 15, bid his family good-bye, and went to Ohio, to work in a furnace near Hanging Rock, Lawrence Co. Ohio. Ward stated, "Being a Union boy in sentiment I could not live at home and went to Ohio and remained there until I was old enough to enlist. In the summer of 1863 I returned home and entered the US service."
He enrolled as private in Co. G, 14th KY on August 5, 1863 under the name Washington Ward and was mustered into the service on August 30, 1863 at Louisa, KY. He was 5' 9 1/2" tall, had red hair and blue eyes.

On July 1, 1864, near Atlanta, Ward contracted diarrhea, due to excessive hardships and exposures, and was subsquently treated in hospitals at Marietta, Georgia, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky.

He was later transferred to the 14th KY Battalion, Co. D with the other 14th KY recruits and re-enlisted veterans. George Washington Ward was finally discharged from the service on September 15, 1865 at Louisville, KY. He returned home from the war in broken down physical condition, due to the chronic diarrhea he had contracted during the Atlanta Campaign in 1864. He remained at home for about six months, during which time he was cared for by Adam Crum, a childhood friend.

In spring of 1866, George Washington Ward moved to Burlington, Ohio, where he remained until 1867.
After a short visit at home, with additional chronic diarrhea attacks and attended once again by Adam Crum, he moved to Seymour, Indiana in 1868 where he lived until the spring of 1869, and then removed to Paoli, Kansas. Here he had contact with his former Captain of Company G, John C. Collins, who also resided in Paoli. After a year George Washington Ward moved to Wichita, Kansas but the "call of the West" was too strong for him. In 1873, he entered the town of Trinidad, Colorado, where he began working as a cook in one of the local hotels. During the same year, he met a German by the name of Charles Tamme who was to become Ward's life-long close friend.

Tamme was born in Braunschweig, or Brunswick, Germany, in 1844. As he was growing up he became interested in the American West. In 1865, he immigrated to the United States and after a brief stay in Pennsylvania as a store clerk, Tamme headed West where he pursued an adventurous life, which included three life-threatening attacks, once by a bear and twice by Indians, earning a living as a freighter and a farmer.

According to Tamme, Ward was thin and lank and looked very much like he had a consumption when they met in Trinidad in 1873. For the next ten years, between 1873 and 1883, both men usually roomed and boarded at the same places and both being single men and "Chums", as Tamme described it, he usually waited on his friend and took care of him whenever he had a severe attack of bowel trouble. According to New Mexico Governor Miguel A. Otero Jr., who made Tamme's acquaintance later in life, wrote of him that, "he was as gentle and kind as a woman and honest as the day is long."

Ward's chronic diarrhea did not seem to improve much and he continued to suffer from attacks every six to ten weeks. He was treated first by a Dr. Allen and later by Dr. Charles C. Gordon.

1878 saw the advent of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. Both Ward and Tamme decided to follow the railroad from Trinidad to the Territory of New Mexico. They settled in East Las Vegas [later Las Vegas] in 1879 and lived at 334 Railroad Avenue by 1883. Soon the two men went into business together and opened the later popular "Monarch Billiard Hall".

The climate in New Mexico seemed to agree with Ward and his diarrhea attacks lessened to a degree. In 1881, Ward's former doctor, Charles C. Gordon, had moved from Trinidad to Las Vegas, ran into Ward and treated him once again for diarrhea, stating that it was "not as severe" as it had been in Colorado.
By 1885, Gordon was Surgeon-in-Chief of the Hospital near Las Vegas.

A second doctor who treated George Washington Ward was Myron W. Robbins, former surgeon of the 4th Iowa Infantry, who met Ward in 1880 and began treating him in 1882 for intestinal catarrh. According to Robbins, Ward suffered from two to four attacks per year, lasting from four to ten days. He stated that" Ward has to be at all times careful of his diet and exposure to cold to enjoy moderate degree of health."

Meanwhile, Ward and Tamme began pursuing another business venture. In 1882, the editor of the "Daily Optic", a local Las Vegas newspaper, published a challenge to the community, for someone to establish an opera house. Ward and Tamme felt up to the job and with the help of Tamme's friend James M. Hamilton, a shoe merchant of St. Louis, they constructed the "Ward & Tamme Opera House" which was later sold in 1893 after Tamme had constructed a larger Opera House on Douglas Avenue in 1886.

In 1883, Charles Tamme married. Ward and his friend remained close, nevertheless. It may have been the event of Tamme's marriage that triggered thoughts of his family back in Eastern Kentucky in George Washington Ward's mind. According to Asa Williamson, another childhood friend from Martin County, KY, Ward had payed visits to his parents on at least two different occasions by 1886.

On June 8, 1885, Ward applied for a pension, based on his chronic diarrhea which he had contracted in the service during the Civil War. His pension was approved at a rate of $2 per month.

Meanwhile, George W. Ward appeared several times in the local newspapers. He took an interest in baseball and traveled to Albuquerque in 1887 to enjoy a few baseball games. In July 1888, Ward drew a winning ticket in the Louisiana State Lottery. In January 1889, Ward partook in a possum dinner as the result of a bet. The oppossums were secured from Kansas City and the local paper noted that "this southern dish will be served in due time with all the necessary adjuncts."

In 1890, George Washington Ward served as town marshall of Las Vegas. Dr. Geo. M. Kellog, who examined him on June 30, 1891, described Ward as a man "of very large habit. Chest measurements above nipples 43 inches, full inspiration 45 inches." He also noted that Ward "has nervous tremors in hands, is strictly temperate and well-known in town."
Based on Dr. Kellog's examination, George Washington Ward received an increase in his pension to $12 per month, to date from June 21, 1891, for chronic diarrhea, dyspepsia and disease of heart.

In 1893, the New Mexico Insane Asylum was established in Las Vegas, a facility that housed 250 patients. George Washington Ward was appointed superintendent, a position he held until his death in 1913. According to local records, Ward "believed in the usefulness of these needy people and envisioned a garden for them to work in. Nineteen acres of a barren grounds were developed by the patients into wonderfully terraced flower and vegetable gardens, which saved the Territory $3,378.69 in 1898."
In 1896, the "New Mexican" hailed Ward as "the right man in the right place, and his services have been invaluable."

During the same year, in autumn of 1893, Special Examiner E. S. D. Patron from the United States Pension Board arrived in Las Vegas and established his headquarters in town. In a deposition he stated, "When I first took up headquarters here last Autumn many of the best citizens here came to me and complained of what they termed the "fraud" the pensioner [G. W. Ward] was perpetrating on the Government in drawing a pension, and since that time I have observed pensioner closely whenever circumstances permitted. He is a very examplary man, the picture of health and one of the finest specimens of physical manhood I have ever seen. He is a bachelor, a large property holder, and besides is the Steward of the New Mex. Insane Asylum, having been well fixed financially for several years, besides holding lucrative positions to which no manual labor was attached; there has been no necessity for his doing any hard works; although during the time I have known him he has been able to attend to business every day, and from his general appearance and the action manner in which he gets around, it is my opinion that he is fully able to perform any kind of manual labor if necessity requires him to do so."

Patron insisted on a thorough medical examination of Ward by Dr. W. Morgan of the Board of Office Surgeons which took place on August 10, 1894.
Morgan stated that George Washington Ward, "is a fine specimen of physical manhood. Nurtition excellent. His face is ruddy with the glow of health - no congestion of the ports. Complexion florid - Hair & Eyebrows light in color. He is a perfect picture of good health which does not only shows itself in excellent nutrition & healthy complexion but in the bright happy expression of countenance.
Skin healthy, teeth well preserved. Ward said that he has had no trouble with his bowels since last summer. He has had better health this summer + last Winter than for several years prior. He is not a hypochondriac. Looks like he enjoyed good health + that he is glad to be alive. He is Hospital Steward at the State Insane Asylum and seems to be "a right jolly good fellow"."

After this glowing medical review, Patron wrote that, "from Dr. Morgan's examination and my general lay knowledge of the state of pensoner's health for the past year, I am convinced that he has not the slightest right to a pension, and I respectfully recommend that his name be dropped from the rolls".
Accordingly, Ward's pension was discontinued.

On February 4, 1895, George Washington Ward once again began receiving a pension, at a rate of $2 per month which was increased on March 2, 1895, to $ $6.

In June 1899, George W. Ward was once again in the public eye when Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders arrved in Las Vegas on their way home. A "Rough Riders and Citizens" parade was held in which one of the divisions was led by George W. Ward, "accompanied by the Chihuahua band."

On October 16, 1899, Ward asked for an increase of his pension. After almost four years, on June 24, 1903, the Pension Board ruled that Ward was not entitled to restoration to former rate from date of dropping in 1899, but was approved for renewal, at the old rate of $6 per month. His claim, however, was not approved on his claim of chronic diarrhea but, ironically, for obesity.

George Washington's weight had been steadily increasing over the years, due mainly to the lessening of his chronic diarrhea attacks and resulting increased health. A contributing factor may have been that Ward, as superintendent of the Insane Asylum, enjoyed meals that were prepared for him by the staff of the institution and served on a regular basis.

July 17, 1885: 231 pounds
February 16, 1887: 228 pounds
June 30, 1891: 224 pounds
August 10, 1894: 263 pounds
Nov. 15, 1899: 287 pounds
March 18, 1902: 254 pounds

On June 25, 1908, George Washington Ward's pension was increased to $12 per month, and once again, on June 4, 1912, to $17 per month.

In 1913, George Washington Ward died "an old bachelor", as he termed himself in 1898, and is buried in Las Vegas, New Mexico, in the Masonic Cemetery, Section K, Row 1.
The inscription on his stone reads:
"George W. WARD"

Researched and written by Marlitta H. Perkins, 2010

Link of Interest:
Photograph of Ward & Tamme Opera House/Rosenthal Hall

Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day 2010 - May We Never Forget

On May 31, 2010, America is observing Memorial Day. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it was first enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War. After World War I it was expanded to include the men and women of all wars who died while in the military service.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed to be celebrated nationwide on May 5, 1868 by General John A. Logan, commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic [G.A.R.], a Union veterans organization chartered by Congress, in his 11th General Order, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

General Order No. 11:
"The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit."

Observing General Logan's order, G.A.R posts were instrumental in the implementation of Memorial Day across the nation.

A number of G.A.R. posts were located in Eastern Kentucky.

Croxton Post # 9, McKenzie, Lewis County
McPherson Post # 14, Ashland, Boyd County
Hamrick Post # 22, Burtonville, Lewis County
H. Eifert Post # 26, Greenup, Greenup County
E. V. Mavity Post # 28, Petersville, Lewis County
R. Armstead Post # 29, Catlettsburg, Boyd County
Nelson T. Boggs Post # 50, Webbville, Lawrence County
Scoville Post # 52, London, Laurel County
George W. Gallup Post # 57, Rush/Geigersville, Boyd County
U. S. Grant Post # 58, Olive Hill, Carter County
Chilton Osborn Post # 67, Blaine, Lawrence County
Francis M. Burgess Post # 69, Peach Orchard, Lawrence County
David V. Auxier Post # 73, Paintsville, Johnson County
J. W. Finnell Post # 110, Grayson, Carter County
Wiley C. Patrick Post # 120, Salyersville, Magoffin County
Hutcheson Post # 150, Bolts' Fork/Buchanan, Boyd County
Capt. J. Gooden Post # 199, Messers, Knott County
L. D. Yost Post # 14, Pikeville, Pike County

Even though Memorial Day observances were held by the various G.A.R posts,they received only limited publicity by the newspapers in Eastern Kentucky. In 1889, the Big Sandy News reported that the Odd Fellow and the Francis M. Burgess G.A.R. Post No. 69 celebrated Memorial Day at Peach Orchard, in Lawrence County, Kentucky. The Eden band was present for the occasion and furnished music for the occasion.

On May 31, 1890, a great many people and different orders congregated at the Kavanaugh graveyard in Boyd County, to decorate the graves of union soldiers and relatives. Various speakers addressed the crowd, including Rev. R. T. Johnson of Round Bottom, West Virginia who, according to the papers, made "a decidedly interesting and impressive speech."
Major Drew J. Burchett, 14th KY Infantry, accompanied by his 18 year old daughter Emma, "made a very interesting and appropriate speech in his usual fervent and earnest way, which made all feel it was well that they were there and that they were Americans."

Major Drew J. Burchett, 14th KY Infantry [US]

Major Drew J. Burchett also attended Memorial Day activities at the Lexington Cemetery in Fayette County in 1905. The Mt. Sterling Advocate wrote:

"Decoration Day was fittingly observed by the members of E. L. Dudley Post No. 54, G. A. R., and in accordance with the custom the graves of fifteen hundred Union soldiers in the cemetery were decorated with flags and flowers. Following the decorating of the graves several hundred men and women, many of them relatives and friends of the dead soldiers, gathered in that part of the cemetery nearby the graves of the Union soldiers to listen to an address by Major D. J. Burchett of Mt. Sterling.

"Commander, Comrades, Ladies and Gentlemen: - I want to thank you for the splendid pleasure which you have afforded me of being present today and witnessing this beautiful ceremony of decorating the graves of our distinguished dead in this delightful spot.

"Lexington has enjoyed the distinction for nearly one hundred years of producing our most distinguished fellow Kentuckians. In peace or in war their great ability and distinguished services were the delight of the heart of the people of Lexington. With your splendid system of education, your university, colleges, male and female and other institutions of learning, from which comes out each year young men and women equipped for all the avenues of life and other glorious records in history have evinced the truth of their qualifications and it has resulted in the universal admiration of all Kentuckians.

"We meet today after forty years for the purpose of paying tribute to our distinguished dead and to lay upon their resting places the choicest flowers of spring time, indicating our faithful love and fidelity to them for their patriotism and loyalty to the flag of their country and the perpetuation of the very principle for which they fought. I believe we would be derelict in the performances of all of our duties if we were to fail to be advocates of a just distribution of all the rights, privileges and immunities under the laws of the country in which we live. The rich and the poor alike under the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence itself are justly entitled to the equal protection of the law and the just distribution of all the benefits under our Republican form government and as long as the eternal law of love and gratitude lasts it is our bounded duty to see that each and every one is the just recipient of this protection.

"The war between the States with the unfaltering courage evinced by each of these splendid armies has done more possibly to settle questions of difference than anything that has occurred before. The very fact that the South found in the North a brave courageous and patriotic people who would fight to the death for principles, at the same time the North found the same unquestionable evidence of courage in their adversaries of the South and that knowledge caused greater regard from one section to the other than all of the events that had over occurred and with these settlements of all the issues that had existed previously to the prosperity of our country, the greatest Republic from the 'rising to the setting of the sun' challenges greater allegiance upon the part of every citizen and subject for the reason that I believe from the landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth when these devoted Pilgrims kneeled around Plymouth Rock and thanked God Almighty for their deliverance, I believe that God Almighty in heaven promised as a reward of their appeal that this country should be the land from which the gospel of Christ should be disseminated and from which the missionary should visit the lands that were in darkness.

"I want to thank you for your attention and that I shall remember the occasion with great pleasure and in the autumn of our existence as our numbers diminish may it be the duty of the very last one to see that these flowers are distributed each year that we may keep alive for future generations the heroic deeds and splendid service of our distinguished comrades in arms."

In neighboring Ohio, Memorial Day was observed on a much larger scale than in Eastern Kentucky. Ironton, Ohio is home to the nation's oldest continuously running Memorial Day parade which has 12 separate divisions. The parade has been a tradition since 1868 when Memorial Day was officially recognized as a national holiday in the United States. Members of the local GAR Dick Lambert Post No. 165, including 14th KY's William H. H. Adkins and Louis Dixon, were instrumental in organizing the parade and decorating the graves of their fallen comrades. The event draws tens of thousands visitors every year.

Veterans Memorial Hall, Ironton, Ohio.
Built in 1892 by the Grand Army of The Republic (G.A.R.)
Dick Lambert Post No. 165, G.A.R.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans today have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored and neglected.

The National Holiday Act, passed by Congress in 1971, changed the date of Memorial Day in order to create a three-day weekend. In 2002, the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."

I'd like to appeal to everyone to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day this year and take the time to decorate the graves of our veterans so that none will be forgotten.
14th KY Infantry [US] Graves Database

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War National Graves Registration Database

Help save the Ironton Veterans Memorial Hall, home of the Dick Lambert Post No. 165, G.A.R. until 1919.
Preservation effort by the Ironton Legion Post # 433.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Sultana Tragedy

During the early morning hours of April 27, 1865, the "Sultana", a Mississippi River steamboat paddlewheeler, which, for two years, ran a regular route between St. Louis and New Orleans, exploded about 7 miles north of Memphis.

An estimated 2,400 to 2,500 people were crowded on board, 1,961 of whom were exchanged Union prisoners of war who had been released from Andersonville and Cahaba prisons. Many were emaciated or in otherwise weakened physical condition. 15 women and children and a crew of 85 men were also among the passengers.

Among the Union prisoners of war were 185 Kentuckians, including two men from the 14th KY Infantry - Privates Elisha Curnutte, Co. G/D and Henry H. Gambill, Co. B.

Elisha and Henry had much in common. Both were born and raised in Lawrence County, Kentucky, 20 years old, unmarried, and still living at home with their parents. Both Elisha and Henry mustered into the 14th KY Infantry at Louisa, KY, on June 10, 1863 and were captured during the Atlanta Campaign within days of each other in August 1864 and sent to Andersonville. After 8 months in captivity, Elisha and Henry were exchanged toward the end of April 1865 at Vicksburg where they awaited transports to take them North and to freedom.

On April 25, 1865, Elisha Curnutte and Henry H. Gambill boarded the already crowded steamboat "Sultana", along with the other Kentuckians who were moved to the second deck and placed around the gangway between the outside wall of the cabin and the paddlewheel boxes.

Soon the "Sultana" left the wharf at Vicksburg and was on the way with its precious load. The following morning the boat was approaching Helena, Arkansas where a photographer took the last known picture of the Sultana, just hours before the explosion.

The voyage continued and after a pleasant ride the "Sultana" reached Memphis. A number of men jumped off the boat and roamed the city until 10 0'clock when it was time to leave again. Soon the "Sultana" pushed off and disappeared into the darkness of the night. The men bedded down and made themselves as comfortable as possible under the crowded circumstances. Henry Gambill and Elisha Curnutte found room at the head of the stairway, in front of the cabin and quickly fell asleep.

Around two o'clock in the morning, the "Sultana" was rocked by a massive explosion which instantly killed Elisha Curnutte. Henry H. Gambill received a severe wound in his left leg but was able to help to cut down and throw overboard a stage plank and got upon it, with twenty-five other comrades. It overturned several times and eventually most of the men drowned, with the exception of Gambill and 4 others. After several hours, the exhausted men were able to reach the roof of an old stable near the Arkansas shore where they remained until sunrise when rescued by a boat. Gambill was taken to the Adams Hospital in Memphis, badly chilled but otherwise in good condition, aside from his leg wound. Three days later he penned a letter to his family in Kentucky, stating, "Dear Mother, it was a scarry looking sight when it was a half mile to [the] other shore and seeing hundreds of men drowning around us."

Henry H. Gambill would never forget what he experienced during that night. He returned home to Eastern Kentucky and in 1867 married Mary Swetnam. The couple settled in the Blaine area where Henry H. Gambill engaged in farming and merchanising. In 1892, Sultana survivor Chester D. Berry published his book, "Loss of the Sultana and Reminiscences of Survivors", which also includes Henry H. Gambill's account of the Sultana tragedy.

Unfortunately, the Sultana disaster was overshadowed by Lincoln's assassination on April 14, and the subsequent capture and death of John Wilkes Booth on April 26, 1865. News of the disaster was not well covered in the newspapers or magazines and with a few exceptions, relegated to the newspaper's back pages and soon forgotten.

Philadelphia Inquirer, April 29, 1865

The exact death toll of the Sultana explosion is unknown. An estimated 1,300 to 1,900 passengers were killed when three of the ship's four boilers exploded, making it the worst maritime disaster in U. S. history, including the sinking of the Titanic. The official count by the United States Customs Service was 1,547. Modern historians tend to concur on a figure of "up to 1,800".
Memphis National Cemetery is the burial place for many of the victims of the Sultana disaster. Bodies of the victims continued to be found for months downriver, some as far as Vicksburg. Many bodies were never recovered, including Elisha Curnutte's.

Final estimates of survivors were between 700-800 but up to 300 of them died later from the effects of burns or exposure.

An East Tennessee Sultana survivors' group met annually on April 27 until 1928, when four survivors were left.

Monuments and historical markers to the Sultana and its victims have been erected at Memphis, Tennessee; Muncie, Indiana; Marion, Arkansas; Vicksburg, Mississippi; Cincinnati, Ohio; Knoxville, Tennessee; Hillsdale, Michigan; and Mansfield, Ohio. Sadly, Kentucky never saw fit to honor the Sultana victims.

In 1982, a local archaeological expedition uncovered what was believed to be the wreckage of the Sultana. Blackened wooden deck planks and timbers were found about 32 feet under a soybean field on the Arkansas side, about four miles from Memphis. The Mississippi River has changed course several times since the disaster. The main channel now flows about two miles east of its 1865 position.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Capt. Wiley C. Patrick's Death near Foster's House, GA

Wiley C. Patrick, son of Meredith and Rebecca Williams Patrick, was born on December 9, 1835 in Magoffin County, KY. In 1861, when the Civil War broke out, Wiley decided to cast his lot with the Union. He left his wife Polly Huff Patrick and three small children and made his way to Louisa in Lawrence Co.,KY, were the 14th KY Infantry Regiment was forming at Camp Wallace. He filled an original vaccancy as 1st Lieutenant in Co. I, 14th KY Infantry [US] and joined the regiment for duty on November 10 and was mustered in at Camp Wallace on December 10, 1861. On May 5th, 1863 he was promoted to Captain of Company I. His brother Elijah later served in the same company, as did a great number of other Magoffin County boys.

In April 1864, the 14th KY received orders to join Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. On May 23, the regiment arrived at Cass Station, GA and within days proceeded to join the 23. Army Corps, also known as Army of the Ohio, at the front near Burnt Hickory. Continuous fighting and skirmishing became the order of the day while Sherman's Army slowly wound its way through Georgia. Hastily dug trenches and thrown up breastworks barely protected the men from Confederate sharpshooters who made it quite dangerous for the men to move about freely even if it was only to get a drink of water from a nearby creek.

On June 2, 1864, the 14th KY participated in an engagement that would result in the regiment's first heavy casualties during this campaign. Among them would be Captain Wiley C. Patrick. The following is an account of events that ultimately, on this fateful day, led to his untimely death at the age of 28.

During the previous night, General Schofield, commander of the 23. Army Corps, received orders from General Sherman to turn the Confederate right, "so as to get on the waters of Alatoona Creek", about 2 miles northeast of Pickett's Mill. Rain began falling early in the morning and after all the necessary preparations were completed, Schofield's troops began moving at 8 a.m. in rear of left on the Alatoona road to the extreme left of Sherman's Army until they reached the Burnt Hickory and Marietta road, near Cross Roads Church (also known as Burnt Church), and then turned east.

The 14th KY formed the extreme left of the front line of Strickland's Third Brigade (Hascall's Division), two lines deep. This was a very dangerous position as it left the regiment exposed on the flank. Progress was slow and frequent halts were necessary because of the almost impenetrable loblolly pine forest which was so dense that the men were unable "to see two rods" or see those on their right or left. Only with great difficulty did the skirmish line move in accord with the line of battle, which was directed by compass. The brush was so thick and interlaced that neither man or horse could force a way through it. The soldiers had to march around the brush, re-connect and rectify the direction and resume their advance once more.

Once the troops left Alatoona road, their advance was sharply contested by dismounted Confederate cavalry all through the woods. Around 10 a.m., after passing over the divide separating Pumpkin Vine Creek and its branches from Alatoona Creek, the 14th KY reached open ground near the creek's west side - a little swampy valley - and went into position. The Confederate batteries, situated at an entrenched line on the east side of Alatoona Creek, obtained good range of the Union troops and began throwing a galling fire in every direction, sweeping the valley at intervals and making it unpleasantly hot for the massing lines who were finally ordered to lie down. Stretcher bearers were continuously filing by with their ghastly loads.

At 11 a.m., the 14th KY was ordered to be ready to charge the Confederate line which was anxiously received by the men of the regiment. Almost simultaneously, heavy clouds had gathered and "Heaven's Artillery opened in grand style". The rain increased in intensity and was pouring from the dark and gloomy sky above, making it difficult for the men to load their guns. The lightning flashed and cut in zigzag streaks, and for a time the roar of the thunder and the enemy's cannon mingled so that it was hard to tell one from the other. While lying on the muddy ground, the men were soaked to their skin in a short time. Finally, after what appeared to be an eternity, the actual order came down the line to move forward and charge the enemy's works and the men started "hooping and holowing and shooten". The 14th KY attacked with vigor and with a sharp fight turned the enemy's flank, driving them back about two miles across Alatoona Creek, which was muddy and swollen by the rain to the depth of three feet. Hascall's division pressed on and began to develop the line of the enemy's works at James Foster's house, near the junction of Burnt Hickory and Marietta roads with the Dallas and Acworth road. The 14th KY's left rested within 150 yards of the enemy's fortifications, from which the Confederates fired grape, canister, solid shot and shell. Company A, under command of Captain James C. Whitten, formed the skirmish line in the immediate front and advanced to within 50 yards of the masked enemy's battery.

In the charge upon the enemy's works, Captain Wiley C. Patrick was killed while leading Company I. Finding the enemy's works too strong, the men layed down under a shower of grape shot. Six or eight shells burst among members of Captain Patrick's company, wounding several. A shell also seriously injured Captain Whitten in his right hip, disabling him for the duration of his service. The bullets, as one member of the 14th KY described it," was a flying as putner as fast as I ever saw it hale.." Eventually, a lodgment was made by the 14th KY at Foster's house, despite stubborn resistance by the Confederates.

Around 4 p.m., the storm finally had passed and as night began to fall, the sun "unexpectedly shone out for a few moments as it retired behind the hills in a blood-red sheen of glory, leaving a few moments later a darkened earth behind, made doubly gloomy by the brightness of the disappearing luminary". A further advance was found to be impracticable and after a hard day the men of the 14th KY hastily began to entrench their line and barricaded for the night.

For Captain Wiley C. Patrick, the fighting was over. In their subsequent reports, Colonel G. W. Gallup, commander of the 14th KY, called Patrick "noble and gallant", while Colonel Silas Strickland, commanding brigade officer, found him to be "a most brave and gallant officer." His body was buried by his comrades near the battlesite where it remained until 1866, when his brother Elijah Patrick made the trip back to Georgia to recover the remains. Arriving at Atlanta, Elijah Patrick hired an oxen team and with several men, proceeded to Captain Patrick's burial site and removed the body. It was placed into a pine box, which was taken back by train to Catlettsburg, KY and then transported to Magoffin County by wagon.

Wiley C. Patrick's body was re-intered in the Meredith Patrick Cemetery. A white stone monument marks the grave. One of the inscription reads: Capt. Wiley C. Patrick of Co. I, 14 Reg. Kentucky Vol. Infantry, Born Dec. 9, 1835, Fell in Action June 2, 1864. During Captain Patrick's burial, a Georgia pine seed that had accidentially clung to the body, was lowered into the grave as well. Over the years, it grew into a tall strong tree until it finally had to be cut down. A tree stump is all that remains today - a silent reminder of the tragic death of one of Magoffin County's finest.

On Memorial Day weekend 2001, Captain Wiley C. Patrick was honored with a special ceremony by the 14th KY Heritage Society, the Magoffin County Historical Society and the KY Department SUVCW.

A new Georgia pine seedling, specially obtained by a 14th KY descendant from near the battlefield where Captain Patrick fell, was planted at his gravesite. Several family members were in attendance for the ceremony.

Photo of Captain Wiley C. Patrick courtesy Bob Kinner.
Photos of Memorial Service courtesy of Connie Wireman.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Unsung Heroes - Women During the Civil War

March is Women's History Month. This blog is dedicated to all women and their accomplishments during the Civil War.

During the tumultuous years of the Civil War, women who did not have a right to vote, own property and had few civic liberties of their own, unified in support of the war efforts and assumed an active part. The determination, grit and devotion with which these women served their country was astounding, yet often overlooked.

Women may not have had a voice in the political process or a part in the military actions of the day, but the Union ladies of Greenup, Greenup Co. KY did not hesitate to show their patriotism and voice their opinions to Hon. William C. Ireland, a local Kentucky state representative:
On behalf of Union loving women of Greenupsburg we beg of you to accept the accompaying banner as a slight token of their regard for you as a man and a pariot. Whilst the women of our Country are not permitted to engage in political or military strife, they can approve the acts of the true Statesman and applaud the deeds of the gallant general; excercising this right let us assure you that your course in the Legislative Halls of our noble State meets with our most cordial approbation, and we confidently trust that in the future, as in the past, your efforts may be directed against any measure which may tend to bring the horrors of civil war into Kentucky.
In conclusion let us hope that the present unhappy condition of our beloved country may soon end, and that "not one stripe may be erased nor one star obliterated from our glorious flag.
Believe us
Your friends

Women's patriotism was felt and much appreciated, even in Washington, DC. In January 1862, Congressman John Wadsworth from Mason Co. KY urged Mrs. Ireland and Kate Ross, both from Greenup Co. KY, to travel to the nation's capital, "to give our Presidential Court a little brilliancy." He further stated, "it is a Christian duty urges them them to come here Certainly if they are Union women."

Both Kate Ross, the wife of L. D. Ross, prominent lawyer and furnace owner, of Greenupsburg and Mrs. Parmelia D. Robb Ireland, wife of Hon. William C. Ireland, a state representative and later Provost Marshall from Greenup Co. KY, supported the Union cause with fervor throughout the war.

In September 1862, General George W. Morgan and his 10,000 men strong 7th Division marched from Cumberland Gap to the Ohio River in 16 days and arrived at Greenup on October 3, 1862, starved and half-naked. The soldiers soon found that, "the ladies were baking bread - not ordinary loaves, but nice fine cakes, such as KY ladies delight to spread before chosen guests. One lady, Mrs Ross, baked more than 200 pounds of fine flour, and then, as though regretted that it was not better, spread it out before the Twenty-sixth Brigade, anxious to do still more. The readers can not imagine how well that bread tasted."

Mrs. Ross and Mrs. Ireland also formed the Greenup Aid Society with the other Greenup Union ladies. In 1863, the following women were members:
Mrs. Kate Ross
Mrs. Parmelia D. Robb Ireland
Mrs. Rice
Mrs. Elizabeth Vandyke, wife of Augustus C., Iron manufacturer
Mrs. M. W. Moss
Mrs. Winters
Mrs. Seaton
Mrs. Davidson
Mrs. S. A. Ellis, wife of Dr. Samuel Ellis
Mrs. Myers
Mrs. Pratt
Mrs. Hellen A. DeBard, wife of Dr. A. D Debard
Mrs. Carolina Smutz [Schmitz], wife of John Smutz, a saloon keeper in Greenupsburg. Both were natives of Baden, Germany
Mrs. Culbertson
Mrs. L. H. C. Robb, wife of J. M. Robb, clerk
Mrs. M. A. Rye, wife of merchant H. M. Rye
Miss Hockiday

During the organization of the 14th KY Infantry in the fall of 1861, women found ways to support the soldiers. Charlotte C. Culver, a well-to-do widow in Catlettsburg, made her house and property available to the regiment, perhaps as headquarters or as a hospital.

In October 1861, Elizabeth Pennington, wife of the local miller H. Pennington, was baking for the regiment for two weeks since the soldiers had "no means of baking bread."

Soon, the women were also involved in caring for the sick. An act passed by Congress on Aug. 3, 1861 made their participation, although limited, possible.

AN ACT providing for the better organization of the military establishment...
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That in general or permanent hospitals female nurses may be substituted for soldiers when, in the opinion of the Surgeon-General or medical officer in charge, it is expedient to do so, the number of female nurses to be indicated by the Surgeon. General or surgeon in charge of the hospital; the nurses so employed to receive forty cents a day and one ration in kind, or by commutation, in lieu of all emoluments except transportation in kind.

Among the women who cared for the sick in the 14th KY in 1861 were Mrs. Elizabeth Steele Frasher, wife of Captain Oliver M. Frasher, Co. C, 14th KY Infantry, as well as Mrs. Hughs, wife of a recruit from Morgan Co. KY, who, in the end, did not make it into the ranks of the regiment.

Many women also organized Soldiers Aid Societies, as in Greenup County. These organizations were instrumental in gathering and distributing items to the hospitals and battlefield.
Not only would the women knit socks and mittens, make uniforms, and distribute blankets and reading material but also took it upon themselves to raise money to support their organizations. Hospitals were supplied with necessities such as crutches, bandages and linens, as well as clothing, pillows, bedticks, even furniture. They also also provided fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, condensed chicken and milk, pickles to aid the recovery of the sick.

During Garfield's Eastern KY Campaign, the Soldiers' Aid Society of Northern Ohio, founded by women in Cleveland, Ohio, as a first of such organization in the nation on April 20, 1861, sent much needed supplies to the 18th Brigade Hospital in Ashland, KY in early 1862, as well as to the regimental hospitals of the 42nd OVI in Paintsville and Louisa, KY.

In February 1862, the patriotic Ladies of Ironton and vicinity contributed two large boxes of goods to the relief of the destitute soldiers of the 14th Kentucky Regiment who were stationed at Paintsville. The boxes contained 27 comfortables, 17 quilts, 8 coverlids, 140 pairs of socks, and some nice mittens, soft flannel shirts, drawers, etc.- One soldier in the regiment remarked that, "the contributions from our Ohio sisters were received with great satisfaction."

The Ironton Soldiers Aid Society also cared for the sick soldiers at the 18th Brigade Hospital in Ashland.
In April 1862, Post Surgeon B. F. Elder acknowledged the receipt of supplies from the following ladies:
To Miss Trumbo, Miss Margaret Trumbo, Mrs. W. H. Kelley, Mrs. A. J. Trumbo, Mrs. J. Trumbo, Ms. C. Austin, Mrs. L. Austin, Mrs. W. Collins, Mrs. W. Kelley, Mrs. Joshua Kelley, Mrs. G. Dovel, Mrs. M. A. Adams -
Ladies: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of boxes and jars containing fruits, chickens, butter, etc. etc. for the use of the sick in this hospital, for all of which we are exceedingly grateful. Please accept our thanks, and those of the sick soldiers under our charge, for the delicacies received.

The ladies provided chickens, cold beef, veal, ham, and chipped beef. Other goods included eggs, butter, milk and rusk [a hard bread] as well as cornbread and mush.

The Brigade Hospital had been set up in the Aldine Hotel in Ashland, an imposing five story structure, built by the Kentucky Iron, Coal & Manufacturing Co. in 1857. Women were hired to do the washing and the sewing society bought 190 yards of muslin to make bedsheets and shirts, and volunteers stitched two afternoons a week.

The ladies of Ashland, Kentucky also took an active part in caring for the sick soldiers.
Mrs. Hannah Weis, wife of Dr. Weis
Mrs. Mahala Warner wife of Larkin Warner, farmer
Mrs. Harrietta Means, wife of John Means, industrialist
Mrs. Narcissa R. Martin, wife of E. W. Martin, cashier at Ashland Bank
Mrs. Mary A. Gore, wife of Thomas Gore, book keeper
Mrs. Mary I. Martin, wife of A. C. Martin, clerk

In 1864, Rebecca Moore Gallup, wife of Colonel George W. Gallup, 14th KY Infantry, commander of the Eastern KY Military District, visited the soldiers in the hospitals.
On April 15, 1864, she wrote, "Mrs Philips has been quite sick. Dr. Philips took me to see those woundid [sic] soldiers. poore [sic] unfortunate men I am sorry for them. I was introduced to him as Mrs Col. G. and he held his hand out and said he was glad to have us come to see him - it cheered him up."

Numerous other aid societies were active during the Civil War throughout the state of Kentucky. In April of 1862, when the 14th KY Infantry arrived in Lexington, the ladies from the city's Soldiers Aid Society, as one soldier noted, "came to our rescue and filled as near as strangers could, the places of mothers and sisters." They supplied food in abundance as well as cared for the sick in the hospital.

Mrs. Ella Dewees Cochran, wife of Col. John C. Cochran, commander of the 14th KY Infantry, who resided with her family near the hospital, "was among the foremost in kind attention to the sick soldiers of the 14th regiment," noted one soldier of the 14th KY.
Mrs. Cochran was a very patriotic woman and took a great interest in the events that were taking place. "She is a Heroic Woman", praised one of the officers in the 14th Ky Infantry, "and Says She does not want the Col to Resign as long as there is a Vestige of the Old Flag Remains."

Some of the women chose to share their husband's fate and accompanied them during their service in the field, even if it was sometimes just for short periods of time. Mrs. Rebecca Moore Gallup and Mrs. Anna Frederick Mims, wife of Captain David Mims, 14th KY Infantry, visited their husbands at Cumberland Gap during the summer of 1862. Clarissa Keeton, wife of James Keeton as well as John Kitchen's wife Mary were in camp visiting their husbands in the 14th KY Infantry while the regiment was stationed at Danville, KY during the winter months of 1862/1863. Mary Kitchen also accompanied the men on their march to Louisville, caring for James Poe, a wounded soldier.

At times, these women would become unwilling participants of important military events as was the case with Anna Meachum, wife of 14th KY Assistant Surgeon Dr. Franklin Meachum. When Morgan's Division evacuated Cumberland Gap in September 1862, attempting to march to the Ohio River, Dr. Meachum voluntarily remained behind, caring for the sick in the hospital. His wife, who was eight months pregnant and not able, for obvious reasons, to make the march with the soldiers, remained with her husband and was accordingly captured by the Confederates. She remained at Cumberland Gap where she gave birth to a healthy son on October 28, 1862.

Ten other women, however, accompanied Morgan's Division on their
march from Cumberland Gap and endured the same hardships as the men. One of them was Sarah Taylor.

In general, women were not allowed to serve in the army but Sarah Taylor, 18 year old step-daughter of Captain Dowden of the 1st Tennessee Infantry, was one of the few exceptions. When the Civil War began she was determined to follow her step-father into the service and served as daughter of the 1st Tennessee Infantry, sharing with the men all the dangers and hardships. According to a contemporary writer, Sarah Taylor became "quite the idol of the Tennessee boys". Mounted on a horse, she carried a highly finished regulation sword and two silver-mounted pistols in her belt, being a master of both type of weapons. Their uniforms were often very similar to the uniforms of the field music of the regiment. As the “daughter of the regiment”, these women commanded the respect of soldiers in ways that other types of camp followers could not.
Though non-essential to fighting regiments, they performed some important duties and gave a wounded or sick soldier immediate attention. In some known instances they carried the colors into battle for their regiment.

Also accompanying Morgan's Division were a group of women refugees who had fled their homes in Barboursville to escape the invading Confederate forces under Kirby Smith. Amelia Cain White Adams was the wife of Captain George Madison Adams and mother of Major Hugh W. Adams, both members of the 7th KY Infantry who served under Gen. George W. Morgan. She was accompanied by her daughters Kate White Adams, Jennie Ballinger, Sallie Letcher and Sue Joplin, with a year-old baby, George Joplin, as well as a nurse and the family’s faithful servant Hiram. After an all night ride, the group was finally able to join Morgan's column near Manchester, KY.
The identity of the remaining three women is at this point unknown which continued research may uncover.

Circumstances during the Civil War forced women to abandon their more traditional roles as wives and mothers, tending to their families. Now Women worked to manufacture arms, ammunition, uniforms, and other supplies for the soldiers. On the home front, they took the place of their husbands and tended to their farms, ploughing, planting crops and harvesting and took care of their live stock. Often left on their own without the protection of their husbands and sons, they were subjects to raids by contending armies as well as guerrilla bands.

America Marshall, wife of William "Doby Bill" Marshall's of Co. D, 14th KY lived with her family on Brushy Fork of Gun Creek in Magoffin Co. KY. The house had been searched a number of times for food, clothing and money. She finally augured a hole in the wall of their log house and put her money in it. Then she drove a peg into the wall and hung her washtub over the spot to keep the soldiers from finding the money.

Frances Elam, mother of Lt. Richard M. Elam of Co. I, 14th KY Infantry, lived on the family farm at Gordon Ford in Horse Shoe Bend of the Licking River in Morgan Co. KY. Due to the family's Union sympathies the farm was raided and Richard’s mother driven off. "they have taken all of our stock and has run Mother away from home and now she is at Portsmouth Ohio and is doing well ther[sic]," noted her son in December 1862.

The Civil War effected all the women in this country on some level and even more so in Kentucky. Regardless of what roles women assumed, their contributions made an enormous impact and proved invaluable to the war effort. Their patriotism, and sacrifices as well as their triumphs should never be forgotten.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Captain Reuben Patrick and the Williams Gun

Captain Reuben Patrick and the Williams Gun

The story of Captain Reuben Patrick's capture of the famous Williams Gun in Eastern Kentucky during the Civil War never fails to stir up interest and curiosity. His exploits were widely publicized and his display of courage and daring became legendary.

Patrick, a native of Magoffin Co. KY, commanded a small company of home guards and scouts who scoured the mountains for rebels and kept a vigilant eye on his foes. His family were strong Union supporters from the beginning of the war. An older brother, Elijah, served as scout and guide for General "Bull" Nelson during his Eastern
Kentucky Campaign in the fall of 1861. His younger brother Wiley C. Patrick was a lieutenant and later captain of Co. I, 14th KY Infantry. Reuben often worked with detachments of the 14th KY Infantry and was able to provide vital information to the commander of the Eastern KY Military District, on the Big Sandy River at Louisa, KY.

In March of 1863, General Humphrey Marshall entered Eastern Kentucky with a mounted force and, after a march of several days, arrived at Ivyton, Magoffin Co. on March 20, 1863, and bivouacked. During the night, Captain Reuben Patrick, whose residence was only a few miles away, crept up to Marshall's camp and waited until the sentinel fell asleep. Roaming through the sleeping camp, Patrick discovered the Williams Rapid Fire Gun. It was on loan to Humphrey Marshall by a private individual, who was having it tried, with the view of selling it to the Confederate government.
Captain Patrick immediately decided to relieve the general of this rare piece of artillery. Being afraid that rolling it out of camp would awaken the enemy, Patrick quietly unscrewed the cannon from its frame, lifted it from its carriage and carried it into the nearby woods and laid it alongside of an old log, carefully camouflaging it with leaves.

The following morning the Confederates were astounded when they found the carriage but not a trace of the cannon barrel. A thorough search was conducted but nothing was found and thus Marshall grudgingly had to move on empty-handed. The incident was a source of embarrassment to Humphrey Marshall and the loss of the gun rankled deep in Marshall's breast for years.

After the Confederates had left the area, Captain Patrick returned and took charge of the carriage that had been left behind by the Confederates. He reassembled the cannon and rolled it to his home on Burning Fork where Patrick kept it hidden for nearly a month.

On April 17th, 1863, McLaughlin's Squadron were ordered out to reinforce a detachment of the 14th KY Infantry who had captured a number of prisoners in Magoffin Co. Kentucky. When the troopers arrived, Captain Reuben Patrick retrieved the Williams gun from its hiding place and soon the group was headed for Louisa, with Patrick astride the cannon. When they arrived in town, Patrick received quite a reception. "Muskets barked,[and]cannon roared their appreciation of their brave deed."

When the 14th KY Infantry left Eastern Kentucky in May of 1864 to join Sherman in the Atlanta Campaign, Colonel George W. Gallup, 14th KY Infantry, had no intentions of leaving the gun behind at Louisa. He ordered Lt. Jacob M. Poage, Co. E, 14th KY Infantry, to take it to the arsenal in Frankfort, which was done immediately.

On display at the Kentucky Military History Museum, 2008

The Williams Gun was the first machine-gun type weapon ever used in combat. It was built for the Confederate War Dept. in Sept. 1861 by Confederate Captain R.S. Williams from Covington, KY. The rapid fire gun was first used at the Battle of Seven Pines in May 1862, and it worked so well that the War Dept. ordered 42 more of them.

This gun was crank operated, and was a very light artillery piece, and fired a one pound 1.57 cal projectile. It had a range of 2,000 yards. The gun was operated by a lever, that was attached to a revolving cam shaft, which rotated a cylinder. Each time the cylinder turned, a cartridge was dropped into the breech and a sliding hammer hit the cartridge's percussion cap. It took three men to fire this gun at a rate of 60-65 rounds per minute. One man aimed and fired the gun, the second one put a paper cartridge into the breech, and the third man put on the percussion cap. The biggest problem with this gun was overheating, which made the breech jam because of heat expansion. It was the only one of the rapid-fire arms to utilize the gases from the fired round to help operate the mechanism. It was a curious piece and weighed about one hundred and fifty pounds.

After the war, the Williams Gun was on display at the Old Arsenal in Frankfort, KY until 1890 when Captain Patrick decided to take it home to Salyersville for a Patrick reunion. The gun remained in Magoffin County and was displayed on the lawn of the Patrick home until 1950, when John Arnett, Patrick's great-grandson, moved it to Cleveland Heights in Ohio. In 1977, Arnett presented the gun to Nicky Hughes, curator of the Kentucky Military History Museum and Gen. William R. Buster, executive director of the Kentucky Historical Society.

John Arnett, great-grandson of Captain Reuben Patrick (left) and
Humphrey Marshall, great-grandson of General Humphrey Marshall.

It has been on display at the Kentucky Military History Museum and is presently part of the Kentucky Historical Society's exhibition, Kentucky's Military Treasures.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Steamboats on the Big Sandy River during the Civil War

The first steamboats appeared on the Big Sandy River in 1837. They soon became a familiar sight and carried merchandise and passengers to various points of destination up and down the valley. On an average, the stream, with its Levisa and Tug Forks, was navigable by steamboats of small size for four months a year for a distance of 87 miles and six months for 50 miles. During low-water season goods had to be transported by push boat.
When the Civil War broke out in 1861, the lack of good roads made steamboats a natural choice to transport troops and supplies up the river. The following boats were in use during the Civil War. This list is a work in progress and more boats may be added as additional information becomes available.

May have been previously named "Victor"
Owner: Judge Joseph Patton
Pilot: Captain Cummings
Delivered goods to Joseph Francis Hatten Landing at the mouth of Bear Creek on Jan. 29, 1863.
Burned by CS raiders.

Type: Steamboat, built 1864.
Transported government freight up the Big Sandy. Captured on Nov. 5, 1864 at Buffalo Shoals in Johnson Co. KY, by the 34th Battalion Virginia Cavalry under command of Lt. Col. Vincent A. Witcher. Burned.

Ben Franklin
Type: Steamboat
Transported troops up the Big Sandy to Piketon in spring of 1862.

In service under General Nelson's Eastern KY Campaign, Nov. 1861.
In service under Garfield's Eastern KY Campaign, 1861/1862.
The boat made several trips up the Big Sandy to Piketon during the February flood of 1862 and transported troops from Piketon to Catlettsburg in March 1862.

Built in 1860
Moved up Big Sandy during the February flood 1862. Anchored on mainstreet in Piketon on Feb. 24, 1862. Transported troops up the Big Sandy in March 1862.

Champion No. 4
Type: Towboat, built in 1860
Utilized during Gen. Nelson's Eastern Kentucky Campaign in November 1861. Carried troops from Louisa on the Big Sandy River and the Ohio.

Charlie Potevin
Transported troop from Catlettsburg up the Big Sandy River in February/March 1862.

Operated in 1865.

Type: Steamboat, built in 1855.
Owner/operator: Hiram Tyler
Transported Government freight up the Big Sandy, Dec. 23 - Dec. 26, 1861

Type: Steamboat
Transported government freight up the Big Sandy. Captured on Nov. 5, 1864 at Buffalo Shoals in Johnson Co. KY, by the 34th Battalion Virginia Cavalry under command of Lt. Col. Vincent A. Witcher. Burned.

Henry M. Chiles/Childs
Transported Garfield to Piketon in 1862.
H. M. Childs was wharfmaster in Catlettsburg 1864/1865.

Carried Colonel Garfield in January 1862 up the Big Sandy from Catlettsburg with supplies for his brigade.

Little Eva
Type: A large flat-boat with a steam engine and a shrill whistle.
Carried supplies for Garfield's troops up the Big Sandy to Piketon until April 1862 [possibly later]

Operated in 1865.

Morning Star
Type: Sidewheel steamboat, built 1856.

Mountain Ranger
Type: Steamboat
Owner/operator: W. D. Cummings
Transported Government freight up the Big Sandy, Dec. 18 - Dec. 29, 1861.

Oil Hunter

Owned by Milton Kennedy.
Contracted to transport troops and Government freight up the Big Sandy between Catlettsburg and Piketon from January to May 1862.

Red Brick
Type: A scow with a locomotive on board

Red Buck
Type: Side wheeler
It operated during the Civil War. Captured by CS troops in early 1862 near the mouth of Johns Creek while transporting weapons to Garfield at Piketon. The Confederates were discovered wading the river at Wireman Shoals, some distance above where the boat was tied up. Crew and passengers quickly opened the crates and took guns from
them, firing at the approaching soldiers as they attacked but the boat was soon taken over. Captain James Welch was in command of the boat. It was tied up because the crew was visiting nearby family.

Utilized during Gen. Nelson's Eastern Kentucky Campaign in November 1861.

Sandy Valley
Type: "Batwing" boat [side wheeler]
Built by Captain Archibald Borders of Louisa ca. 1860.
Considered one of the finest boat on the Big Sandy.
Chief pilot: Hiram Davis 1. Engineer: John W. Dillon
Commandeered by Garfield in early 1862 to carry Goverment stores up the Big Sandy to Paintsville.

Type: Steamboat
Owner/operator: John C. Moore.
Transported government freight up the Big Sandy, Dec. 15-20, 1861

Type: Steamboat
Transported government freight up the Big Sandy.
Piloted by Jordan Otey, 14th KY Infantry, in the spring of 1863.
Captured by Rebel Bill Smith, July 1864.

Burned by CS raiders


Operated in 1865.

Wild Goose
Type: River packet
Pilot: Doliver Elkins
The boat was captured and scuttled in the Big Sandy river by the Sandy Rangers under the leadership of "Rebel Bill" Smith. The packet, when captured, was carrying supplies to the Fourteenth Kentucky Union forces at Louisa, Ky.