We can be proud of the role Fairfield County served in the War of the
Rebellion, also known as the Civil War (1861-1865). There were more than
3000 Fairfield County men in service during the Civil War. Almost all of
them were volunteers. There were one or two drafts but they were quite
Fairfield County had its share of high-ranking officers: one
Lieutenant-General, 2 Major-Generals and several Brigadier- Generals.
The Lieutenant General was of course William Tecumseh Sherman.
Thomas H. Ewing, son of Hon. Thomas Ewing, was promoted from Colonel to
Brigadier and then brevetted to Major-General. Hugh Ewing, brother of
Thomas, was promoted from Colonel to Major General. Jacob A. Stafford
and Newton Schleich were both promoted from Colonels to Brigadier
Fairfield County had the honor of sending the first company of men to
the state capital after Lincoln's call for 75,000 men just after the fall
of Fort Sumter. The call for men was made on Monday, April 15 (1861) and
on April 16 Lancaster was in arms. The Lancaster Guards, whose ranks had
grown to more than 100 privates, marched to the train depot on Wednesday,
April 17 and at 5 o'clock in the afternoon departed for Columbus.
The First Ohio Volunteer Infantry was organized on the morning of
April 18 at Columbus and its Colonel was A. M. McCook. Before dawn of the
next day, along with the Second Regiment, it was on its way to Washington.
The Lancaster Guards became Company A of the First Ohio Volunteer
Infantry. Company A was commanded by Captain J. A. Stafford, First
Lieutenant Thomas A. Hunter and Second Lieutenant Ezra Rickets. This
company mustered out on August 15, 1864 with 27 men, approximately
one-quarter of its original number.
A number of other regiments and companies contained significant numbers
of Fairfield County men:
Seventeenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry: Colonel John M. Connel. This
regiment contained a larger number of Fairfield County men than any other
in the field. One half of the companies belonged to Fairfield County.
Company A: Captain A. H. Geisy (later Benj. B. Butterfield)
First Lieutenant Abraham Ogden(later Benjamin Showers)
Second Lieutenant Leo Noles (later Henry Arney)
Company B: Captain James W. Stinchcomb
First Lieutenant Aaron P. Ashbrook
Second Lieutenant Owen W. Brown
Company F: Captain Ezra Rickets
First Lieutenant Irvin Linn
Second Lieutenant Daniel Sullivan
Company I: Captain J. W. Stinchcomb (later Abraham Ogden)
First Lieutenant John Wiseman (later Leo Noles)
Second Lieutenant J. C. Watson (later Theodore Michaels)
Company K: Captain Daniel M. Rea
First Lieutenant Wm. Cook
Second Lieutenant Seth Collins
Captain Rickets was killed at Chickamauga, Tennessee and Major
Butterfield at Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Sixty-First Ohio Volunteer Infantry: Colonel Newton Schleich. Company
B was the only Fairfield County Company. Captain Daniel J. Schleich,
George J.Wygum and Edward Hay were the lieutenants.
Forty-Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry: Colonel J. L. Kirby Smith. It
contained one company enlisted in Fairfield County, Company I. Peter
Brown was the original captain followed by Peter Hewiston, who had been
a lieutenant, and Henry S. Beck. O. W. Rigby and S. J. Morrell were also
lieutenants. Colonel Smith was mortally wounded at Corinth, Mississippi
October 4, 1862 where over one-fourth of the regiment was killed or
Forty-Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry: Colonels were Thomas Worthington,
C. C Walcutt and E. N. Upton. Two companies were recruited in Fairfield
County, Companies C and F. Company C: Captain John Wiseman; Lieutenants
Frank Linnville and John Lutz. Company F: Captain Henry Geisy; Lieutenants
John J. Carron and C. H. Rice. Captain Geisy was promoted to Major and
was killed at Dallas, Georgia May 28, 1864.
Fifty-Eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry: Company I: Recruited in Pickaway
and Fairfield Counties. Captain Samuel M. Morrison; Lieutenants William
Roby and Stephen Defenbaugh.
Eighty-Eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry: Regiment commanded by Colonel
George W. Neff. Company A: Full company recruited from Fairfield County.
Captain James C. Henley. Lieutenants George Orman and Henry C. Sites.
(Soon became Company K of the Eighty-Fifth O.V.I.). Company K: Recruited
from near Pleasantville and Royalton principally. Captain James C. Henley.
First Lieutenant Henry E. Hoew. Second Lieutenant Harlow Park.
Ninetieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry: Contained two companies from
Fairfield County. Colonels were Isaac N. Ross, Charles H. Rippey and
Samuel N. Yeoman. Company D: Captain Alvah Perry. First Lieutenant
John M. Sutphen. Second Lieutenant George W. Welsh. Company I: Captain
Lewis R. Carpenter. First Lieutenant Augustus A. Keller. Second Lieutenant
One Hundred and Fortieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry: Company K: Recruited
from Fairfield land Pickaway Counties. Captain George W. Hurst of
Williamsport. Lieutenants Isaac Butterfield and Joseph Bury.
One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry: Commanded by
Colonel Benj. F. Smith. The Lieutenant-Colonel of this regiment was
Aaron E. Ebright of Fairfield County and he was killed at Winchester,
Virginia, September 19, 1864. Company I: Recruited principally from
Fairfield County from Pleasant, Richland, Walnut and Rush Creek Townships.
Captain Henry C. Yontz of New Salem. Lieutenants were Jacob Lamb and
Joseph C. Watson.
One Hundred and Seventy-Eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry: Commanded by
Colonel J. A. Stafford. Company C: Recruited from Ross and Fairfield
Counties. Captain Charles Cavinor of Ross County. Lieutenants P. H.
McGrew and J. A. Sears. The two color bearers of Company C, Irvin Linn
and George Crumley, were shot to death at Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
First Ohio Volunteer Cavalry: Colonel Milligan in command. Company F:
Recruited from Fairfield County by Captain Valentine Cupp who was promoted
to Major and Lieutenant-Colonel and fell at Chickamauga, Tennessee.
Lieutenants were Lafayette Pickering, J. H. Pierce, Allen T. Overly,
Wm. J. Lowder, George V. Ward, Henry G. Ward, Wm. T. Brison and
Geo.. W. Keys.
Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry: Company C: Largely recruited from
Fairfield County. Captain Thomas L. Mackey of Chillicothe. First
Lieutenant John Van Pearce of Lancaster. Second Lieutenant Thomas P. Clark
of Springfield. John P. Reeves of Lancaster later became a lieutenant.
Sixth-Second Ohio Volunteer Cavalry: Clement F. Steele of Lancaster
was Major and promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. Contained a few Fairfield
One Hundred and Twenty-Third Ohio Volunteer Cavalry: Henry B. Hunter
of Lancaster was Lieutenant-Colonel.
Fourth and Tenth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry: Each included a quota from
Twelfth U. S. Regulars, Company A: Recruited in Fairfield County.
Seventy-Third, One Hundred and Seventy-Sixth, Eighteenth, Sixtieth and
many others were also represented.
Information for this article was taken from History of Fairfield and Perry Counties, Ohio,
compiled by A. A. Graham (pages 115 - 132). See these pages for more information including
the formation and re-formation of the various companies and descriptions of military
actions. See also the Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of
the Rebellion, 1861 - 1866. This multi-volumed set gives a short history of each regiment
as well as rosters of the field and staff and those who served in each company, along with
rank, age, date of entering service, period of service, and remarks. These volumes, along
with an index on microfilm, are available in the Historical Room of the Fairfield County