Local History and Genealogy

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Civil War Veterans From The County

This picture shows one of the reunions of Angola Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and Women's Relief Corp (WRC).  In 1860, Steuben County kept close notice of the events in South Carolina, which seceded from the Union.  Steuben County soldiers served from the first to the last.  Dr George W. McConnell, one of the first county settlers, and a prominent man in the state, kept in touch with events in Indianapolis.  He promised the governor any aid he might ask from Steuben County.  After Fort Sumter was fired upon Dr. McConnell called the first meeting and A.W. Hendry presided.  All agreed, "The Union must and shall be preserved.  Party lines must be no more until the end of the struggle."  The result was the erection of two party poles on the public square.  These were then down and mingles as a union.  B.J. Crosswait, Dr W.C.Weicht, T.D. Jones and others acquainted with military tactics, drilled the local men.  Steuben county gave more soldiers per capita,  to the Civil War than any other county in the state - 1280 out of a population of 10,374 and 250 of these lost their lives.  The youngest volunteer in the army was from Steuben county - Silas L. Crandall, a lad 4'8" tall who was 13 years, four months, and 17 days old.  The county had eight men die in prisons during the war - including six at Andersonville - D.B. Allen, E.A.Parker, W. H. Woodard, and Valentine Somerlott all of Company A, 29th Infantry, Francis Boyer and J.S. Hendricks of Co. H, 129th Infantry.  William President of Co. A, 29th listed as dying in a "rebel prison and Moses Lower of Co. M., 5th Cavalry id listed as dying in a "rebel prison." After the war the soldiers decided they wanted to meet for friendship so the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was formed.  Eight posts were formed in the county and named for a soldier - H. Judson Kilpatrick at Fremont, S.C. Aldrich at Hudson, B.J. Crosswaite at Angola, Middleton Perfect at Pleasant Lake, Moletus McGown at Orland, McLain at Salem center, Leaman Griffith at Hamilton and Hiram L. Townsend at Metz.  The , daughters, and mothers formed the Women's Relief Corps (WRC). This picture shows one of their reunions, held about 1915.