Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our Family Civil War Soldiers

My great-grandfather, George Debolt Newcomer, served in several Ohio Infantry units.

My great-great-grandfather, Charles Bavin served a 3 month enlistment with the 14th Ohio Infantry,Co. E (April - August, 1861). This unit was in the battle at what is now Philippi, West Virginia. This was the first major land battles of the Civil War. The 14th OVI was involved in other battle including Corricks Ford. After the 3 month enlistment was up, the unit was again organized for a 3 year enlistment, but Charles, along with most of his comrades from the old unit, had enough of the war.

Battle of Corricks Ford, July 13, 1861. (Other sources on this battle call it "Carrick's Ford".) The 14th O.V.I. volleys against the elevated position of the 23rd Virginia while the 7th Indiana conducts a flanking movement. Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper (Image courtesy of 14th OVI Re-enactment Group.)

Uncles and Cousins in The Civil War

  • Benson Gray, (Great-Great Uncle on Father's mother's side.)enlisted Dec. 24, 1862 in the 7th Michigan Cavalry; Co. F; (3 year enlistment). This unit was part of the Michigan Brigade that eventually was under the command of George A. Custer. The Michigan 7th Cavalry was involved in the operations around Gettysburg and afterwards. It was at this time, July 1883, that family records say Benson was wounded at the battle of Culpepper, and was discharged Jan. 23, 1864. In October 1864, Benson enlisted in the 18th Michigan V.I. for 1 year, and served until his discharge on June 26, 1865. (See notes below on Benson's brother, Zebulon for information on the 18th MI V.I.) Benson Gray died in Oct. 1920, and his grave is in the Woodland Cemetery in Jackson, Michigan.

  • Zebulon Gray, (Great-Great Uncle on Father's mother's side, and brother to Benson.) enlisted August 1884, in the 18th Michigan V.I. and was in Co. G. The Michigan 18th Reg't was recruited primarily from Hillsdale, Lenawee, and Monroe Counties. Family records indicate Zebulon was with that part of the 18th Reg't captured by the Confederates at Athens, Alabama. According to the family story, part of which has been confirmed from National Archive records, Uncle Zeb was detained at Macon, and then at Andersonville until the end of the war. After their release at the end of the war, some of the 18th Reg't POW's were on the Sultana when it blew up near Memphis, TN on April 27, 1865. Don Harvey has identified 60 men from the MI 18th Reg't that were killed in that explosion. Uncle Zebulon was not on the Sultana. He did come home and raised a family. Zebulon Gray died in May, 1927, and his grave is in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

  • Wesley Lee, (great-great-great uncle on my father's mother's side) Enlisted Aug. 19, 1862 in Co. A of the 102nd Ohio Vol. Infantry. Uncle Wesley was also captured by the Confederates at Athens, Alabama on Sept. 24, 1864. He was held at Andersonville until the end of the war. Wesley was not as fortunate as Uncle Zeb Gray. He was on the Sultana when it blew up on April 27, 1865 just north of Memphis. Uncle Wesley was one of the first surviviors to make it to shore that terible night. His account of that tragic experiance is told in Chester Berry's 1892 book, Loss of the Sultana, and Reminiscenes of Survivors. Wesley Lee finally made it home to Holmes Co., Ohio. He did marry and he and his bride settled in Davisess County, Missouri.

  • Christopher Britton and his brother, William B. Britton were my great-great Uncles on my mother's side. Born in Vermont, they came with their family to Michigan in 1855. At the start of the war, both brothers enlisted in the 1st Michigan Light Artillery, Battery G known as "Lamphere's Battery". William was injured by artillery on May 19, 1863, during the operations around Vicksburg, . Christopher was wounded in the thigh during the fighting at Pt. Gibson. Both returned home to Michigan. William settled on the family farm in Ransom Twp., Hillsdale Co., Michigan. He is buried in the Evergreen (Burt) Cemetery in Ransom Twp.

    Christopher moved up to Newago Co., Michigan. We think his unmarked grave is in the Whipple Cemetery in Home Twp., Newago Co., and that has been confirmed by the copy we have of his death certificate.

  • Christopher & William had a younger brother, Quincy Britton. Quincy, born in 1848, could not have been much more then 13 or 14 when he enlisted in Co. D of the Michigan 11th Cavalry. He apparently lied about his age. After the war, Quincy became a successful businessman in Toledo, Ohio. His grave is in the Maplewood Cemetery in Toledo, Ohio. If you are a descendant of Quincy Britton,we very much would like to hear from you.

Some WWW Civil War Resources

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this info. According to my research, George was my 4th great Grandfather so this was really interesting for me to read. Thanks again!