Sunday, April 12, 2015

Civil War -- Part 4

Lt. Climpton Moore's grave at Sims-Brier
For a frame of reference, the 1880 census for Fairfield Township was 818 people. We can assume it was close to that in prior decades, though the population took a steep drop in the 1890 census.

For our purposes, that's not relevant at the moment.

What is important is that at least 16 graves in Sims-Brier and Old Franklin cemeteries contain the remains of men who served in the Civil War in some capacity.

Without doing extensive cemetery research on any of them, it's probably safe to assume that these soldiers were buried in the graveyards where they lived.

It's also likely that some Fairfield soldiers from the war are buried in other cemeteries, far far away from Indiana.

A few are buried in other graveyards in Franklin, Union or Fayette counties, some probably in Ohio, and elsewhere in Indiana.

No surprise, that.

The Civil War took a very heavy toll on Indiana. Fairfield was no exception. Most Franklin County men were attached to the Indiana 68th Infantry Regiment, which was organized in Indianapolis in 1862.

The regiment consisted of many from Ripley, Rush and Dearborn counties as well. They served mostly in the Kentucky-Tennessee theater. Most men served for three years, or until the war ended in 1865.

What appears to have happened is that the regiment was captured during fighting in September 1862, and sent back to a "parole camp" in Indianapolis, probably in a prisoner exchange. They reorganized and went back to war.

Franklin County records from the period list the names of the men who served in the war, and in most cases what happened to them. More than a few died in action.

A Civil War archive says this about the 68th:

"The regiment lost during service 4 officers and 35 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 111 enlisted men by disease." (It is not explained what is meant by 'disease.')

Some entries in the log:
  • Mullin, Joel, Fairfield,  died at Nashville, TN, March 23, 1863.
  • McCormick, Theodore, Fairfield, reported missing, Oct. 31, 1862.
  • Vanlandingham, Lewis, Fairfield, discharged Nov. 7, 1863, disability.
  • Miller, Henry H., Fairfield, discharged Dec. 24, 1862, disability.

It is also possible that some Franklin County soldiers mustered in with the 69th Regiment based in Richmond-Connersville, also in 1862.

A war narrative in an old Fayette County history describes the fate of the 69th:

"On the 5th day of July, 1865, the battalion was mustered out of service ... at Mobile, and on the 7th left for home, having 16 officers and 284 men. This regiment has left its dead in 11 states, and participated in the battles of Richmond, Ky., Chickasaw Bluffs, Arkansas Post, Thompson's Hill, Champion Hill, Black River Bridge, the sieges of Vicksburg and Jackson, and the capture of Blakely, Ala., which caused the surrender of Mobile."

The war was local in many ways, distant in many others.


According to the Fayette County Atlas:

Throughout the war, the mothers, wives and sisters at home were ever earnest in their ministrations to the soldiers, supplying those delicacies and comforts needed in the field. The soldiers' families, too, were cared for, as may be judged from the great relief fund expended. The Ladies' Aid Society of Connersville was organized at the court house January 13, 1862. 

At various periods during the war the farmers throughout the county donated liberally in the way of wood. By reference to the files of the press it is noticed that up to October 22, 1863, 250 cords had been donated.


The Fayette Atlas describes the events surrounding the news that the war had ended. This report comes from an April 13, 1865 newspaper article, The Times:

Such scenes never have and probably never will occur again in Connersville as were witnessed last Monday. The fall of Richmond was celebrated here in a measure, but then the cup of joy was not yet full, and the surrender of Lee and his army remained to assure our people of the final triumph of the glorious old Army of the Potomac, and to make assurance doubly sure that the Rebellion had received its death-blow. 

Early on Monday morning the glad news of that great event was borne us on the telegraph wires, and our pen cannot portray the joy with which our citizens received the news that the army which for four years had given the Rebellion all its vitality, was among the things of the past. 

Demoralized, battered and broken it had been, but our fondest hopes were consummated when the bleeding remnant of the Army of northern Virginia laid down its arms at the feet of that glorious hero, U.S. Grant. Upon the receipt of the news the first notes of rejoicing rang forth from the church bells, and small, in the town, and the clamor had reached its climax when guns and anvils joined in the chorus. 

Then who can describe the scene that followed and continued until far into the night? Not a countenance but bore a smile. Shouts upon shouts rent the air amid the shaking of hands and frantic embraces. The people were wild with joy.





  1. See 13th Indiana Infantry - company C, they are all from Brookville/Franklin County. They reorganized, I think in 1864, my great, great uncle, Peter Franzman, was then a corporal in Company A. See little towns listed as homes - Cedar Grove, Mt. Carmel, Laurel, Metamora - no Fairfield.

  2. Obviously I am no expert on the Civil War so I wonder what protocol went into deciding how a company was to be reorganized. I'd assume that as battles were fought and won, enlistments expired, mortality, new officers assigned, etc etc ... I did read where some regiments were simply folded into others toward the end of the war. It appears that the army generally became more efficient and was able to consolidate command over a larger area. That may be in part due to Grant's influence. I know there were some who initially signed up for one year and were re-drafted after their enlistments expired.