History of 90-day Regiment Company Details Index 16th OVI Home Page Company A Roster Company D Roster
16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
90-Day Regimental History
History of Companies A and D
Web Author's Notes:
The following is an excerpt from the History of Coshocton County, Ohio. It provides a glimpse into the patriotic spirit and emotion of loyal Union citizens immediately upon learning that Fort Sumter had been attacked. This excerpt also provides a brief history of the 90-day 16th Ohio as well as the history of Companies A and D, their formation and actions.

Pay special attention to the last entry detailing the resolutions of the young ladies of Coshocton. It seems it would have been quite difficult to be a young, single man, at least in Coshocton, to make a decision other than to enlist in the war effort, that is, if the young man ever desired to someday find a wife and raise a family in the county.

Preparations in Coshocton
Three Months' Men-Muster Rolls
Operations of the Sixteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

THE first gun fired upon Sumter, sent its reverberations around the world. Hardly an inland hamlet in the United States. existed free from its influence a few hours after it occurred. Telegraph wires flashed the news to all railroad towns; expresses were sent on foot and on horseback to all interior towns; neighbor hastened to tell it to neighbor; and thus almost before evening of the same day, the people of the Union were aroused and prepared to act. April 14, 1861, President Lincoln issued his proclamation for 75,000 troops to serve three months. The magnitude of the rebellion was not then comprehended, else the call might have been very much larger, and for a longer term of service. Hunt's history says of that time: "The news of the fall of Sumter caused in Coshocton county, as elsewhere, a thrill that passed and repassed along the nerves of the people. Many of the settlers were from south of Mason and Dixon's line, and had tender recollections of their old homes and the people therein But the war spirit was not wanting among even these, and as promptly as in any county the people were up in arms."

April 16, 1861, a meeting was held at the Law office of Nicholas & Williams, prior to which A. M. Williams had been to Columbus and secured a commission to raise a company ; thus receiving the honor of being the first citizen of Coshocton county to contribute to the support of war measures. The Age, in the issue of April 18, says:

At a meeting held in the law office of Nicholas & Williams this evening, for the purpose of making a call for a war meeting, R. M. Vorhees was called to the chair, and A. L. Harris was appointed secretary. On motion of Mr. S. Harbaugh, a committee consisting of R. M. Vorhees, R. A. Baker, A. M. Williams, Captain James Irvine and A. L. Harris, was appointed to issue a call for a meeting; they to determine the time of meeting, etc.

The meeting then adjourned, when the above named committee decided upon the following which was placarded all over the town the next day:


Deeming it the duty of every patriotic Union loving citizen to gladly and speedily respond to the demands of the country as expressed in the proclamation of the President of the United States, by either personally volunteering for service in the army, or aiding by counsel or encouragement those who do volunteer to fight for the honor of the Union and maintenance of the constitution in the coming struggle with traitors and rebels, we, as a committee, appointed by our fellow-citizens, do call a Union meeting of the citizens of Coshocton county to be held at the court house in Coshocton on Friday at two 'o'clock.

The meeting is called without respect to party, this being the time when every person should show his loyalty to his country. Volunteers will be enrolled at the meeting.


Mr. Nicholas R. Tidball returned on Wednesday, April 17, from Columbus, with a commission in his pocket to raise a company, and all arrangements were being made to enroll volunteers at the meeting to be held Friday afternoon. But the excitement was so intense that the Union loving citizens could not wait until Friday afternoon to enroll their names, volunteering began immediately. The Age, in the same issue in which it published the above notice, says in a paragraph: Enlisting for the war is briskly going on. The proper papers can be found at Baker's shop, opposite the Tidball House.

The meeting was held at the court house, and it was filled to overflowing. Immense delegations came in from every part of the county, and it became dangerous in a very short time to be known as a sympathizer with the rebels. One business establishment was surrounded by the excited and liberty loving Unionists, and because it had given utterance to sentiments of sympathy with secession and seceders, was compelled to hoist the stars and stripes upon pain of being thrown, stock and all, into the river. The Age says of this meeting:

The war meeting at the court house was a boomer, and the patriotic speeches of Messrs. Nicholas, Given and Lanning elicited great enthusiasm. A band of martial music took up its position in the room and enlivened the scene with patriotic airs. John D. Nicholas was first called upon and made a soul-stirring speech, followed by Joseph Given and Richard Lanning, in capital addresses to the patriotism and national feeling of the vast crowd assembled. The volunteer roll was opened and a company formed in a short time. A resolution was adopted that funds be raised to keep the volunteers without expense to themselves while waiting for orders. A. M. Williams headed a paper with $100, for the maintenance of the families of volunteers. $2,000 was raised in a short time. The ladies of the two towns (Coshocton and Roscoe), God bless them! are busy as bees preparing clothing for the volunteers. The Roscoe ladies gave each volunteer from that place a fine woolen blanket worth $5, and every provision is being made for the comfort of the brave volunteers. Six printers volunteered with the company from this town, leaving the office so short for help that we have turned our devil into foreman, and are running the office on primitive principles.

The excitement kept at fever heat; everything was war, war, war! Men met to talk over who was going, and when and what the results would be; martial music sounded everywhere upon the ear. The first company was enlisted and took the train for Columbus on Wednesday morning at 8:30 A. M., April 24, 1861. Of this departure the Age, in its issue of April 25, says: "The Union Guards, first company, left Coshocton for Columbus Wednesday morning. The roll was called on the public square at 8 o'clock, and every man was on hand. They marched to the depot, when John Nicholas, on behalf of the young ladies, presented the company with a splendid silk flag.

It was received by First Lieutenant Marshall, who, in the absence of Captain James Irvine, who was at the death-bed of his father in Wayne county, had command of the company. While the flag presentation was going on, the train that was to bear the volunteers arrived, and, amidst the cheers of the immense crowd, the boys embarked for the big wars. There was a scene for old Coshocton, the details of which are sacred from the reporter's pencil. Tears coursed down manly cheeks, all unused to the melting mood, and among the ladies there was scarcely a dry eye. Although the flower of the youth of our county eagerly go to defend the flag of our country, still when we look upon their departure, almost certainly knowing that we will behold many of their faces no more, we feel a sadness even in sending them to glory."

The following are the volunteers of this first company:

James Irvine, Captain.

David W. Marshall, First Lieutenant.

J. M. McClintock, Second Lieutenant.

N. R. Tidball, First Sergeant.

Charles Donley, Second Sergeant.

L. L. Cantwell, Third Sergeant.

William Torry, Fourth Sergeant.

R. M. Vorhees, First Corporal.

J. Carhart, jr., Second Corporal.

N. P. Emmerson, Third Corporal.

William H. Coe, Fourth Corporal.

Privates - S. B. Madden, W. H. H. Richards, H. Decker, Jonah Gadden, William Doyle; William Darnes, J. L. Longshore, Asa Comstock, Charles Pike. J. H. Hay, Levi McMichael, J. B. Akeroyd, James Esten, James McClure, W. H. Robinson, William llavis, William Hay, J. N. Winn, George Shaffer, William Nicholas, T. J. Carves, James Banford, T. C. Mosler. Charles McMichael, T. C. Hutchinson, Albert Lawbaugh, Samuel Compton, Harmon Morris, D. W. Stallard, P. T. Dougherty, R. B. Beardsly, James Stonehocken, B. A. Stevenson, Adonis McMath, Peter Miller, S. A. llavis James Cooper, Richard Cray, M. E. Cowee, D. W. Catherwood, Thomas Newell, John Porter, George E. Jack, James McMunn, Frederick Cullison, T. J. Edwards, James C. Carnahan, John Whalen, R. S. Richardson, Joseph Cooper, Alexander Richards, George Sykes, Henry Hogleberger, W. Bassett, William Patton, Joseph Tompkins, Arthur Sherrer, John North, G. W. Smailes, H. P. Dimmock, A. L. Barton, R. Hackinson, Ham. Roneg, A. Evans, J. N. Balch, John Mills, J. McPhearson. Isaac Wiggins, George Moffatt, S. A. Ellis, T. J. Roneg, J. N. Smith, George W. Cox, John Patton, S McNabb, George Vanhorn, J. W. Loder, John Simmons, J. D. Ross, C. Humphrey, H. Brelsford.

These names are given as published at the time, some few were not accepted or withdrew, but this list comprises the first company that left Coshocton for Columbus.

While this was making its record as the first company, another had already organized with a full quota, having elected Richard McLain captain, and was waiting for orders from Columbus at the time the first left.

Muster roll of Company D, Sixteenth Regiment, mustered into service April 27, 1861:


Richard W. McClain, Captain.

Willis C. Workman, First Lieutenant.

Albert Shaw, Second Lieutenant. William Moore, First Sergeant.

John Humphry, Second Sergeant.

Sampson McNeal, Third Sergeant.

James R. Johnson, Fourth Sergeant.

Thomas B. Ferren, First Corporal.

William Ringwalt, Second Corporal.

Thomas J Cook, Third Corporal.

Henry Forest, Fourth Corporal.

Benjamin E. Ingraham, Drummer.

Privates - John Bonts, Frederick C. Barth, Wil liam H. Bryan, Robert Brown, Frederick Blasser, Nicholas H. Bassett, Jesse Bassett, Harrison Bible, Henry Bird, Thomas B. Bird, George W. Baird, Edward Campbell, Nathan Carnaham, Joseph A. Cochran, Matthew D. Cochran, Washington L. Cochran, Charles Clark, Louis Crooks, Franklin Caterall, William H. Coy, Richard Cox, John Coppland, James M. Crooks, John Crooks, James M. Cockram, Thomas Dobson, James Davis, John Davis, William Derr, Jacob H. Evans, Abram Ely, Isaac Ely, Leroy Ellis, Simeon H. Ellis, John Foster, Thomas Goff, Francis D. Haines, J. Nelson Henderson, William R. House, George K Johnson, Benjamin Jones, Andrew J. Lamma, Jacob Lahr, John C. Milligan, James McCune, William T. Miller, Henry Matheny, John Myers, John H. Martin, Marcellus Morgan, John Miller, Reuben A. Mack, John McConnell, Joseph S. Miller, Simpson McFadden, Zachariah McElfresh, Franklin Newell, John Ogle, Allen M. Platt, Joseph Phillips; Ezekiel Poland, Levi Porter, John Parish, John W. Plummer, Robert Pierce, Thomas Ropers, Thomas Richardson, Osborn Richardson, Jacob Sternberg, Dennison Stuns, James Sears, Anthony W. Shearer, Jacob Stricker, William Schuck, Basil Steele, Alfred Snyder, James W. Sipes, Samuel Stephens, Morgan Snyder, Michael Snell, Eli W. Thomas, Palestine Thacker, Charles W. Tumblin, John W. Wilson, James B. Wilson, Edward Wiggins, Alexander Williams, James A. Zook, Harvey Zimmerman.

The Coshocton boys went to Camp Jackson, at Columbus, where, in common with all other companies, they were put upon drill of eight hours a day. At this camp the two companies were assigned to the Sixteenth Ohio Infantry, and, with other companies, constituted the primary organization of the regiment. As was customary at that time, the boys proceeded to elect their officers, and Coshocton was favored in having elected to the colonelcy the captain of her first company, James Irvine, who received his commission as colonel of the Sixteenth O. V. I, May 3, 1861. John D. Nicholas was elected captain of Company A, in his place. Richard McClain's company was known as Company D. The regiment remained at Camp Jackson a week or ten days, and then went by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to Bellaire, where it crossed the river to Benwood, in West Virginia, having been ordered to that department. Colonel James Irvine received a telegraphic dispatch from General McClellan to go to Bellaire and camp.

At Bellaire the citizens turned out en masse, headed by Seth Gardiner and wife, and gave the entire regiment a dinner as a compliment to the Coshocton element therein. Colonel James Irvine and some other officers were domiciled at the residence of Mr. Gardiner. The regiment was quartered in a large iron foundry at Bellaire, and remained there several days. General McClellan telegraphed Colonel Irvine to make a topographical survey of Wheeling, Bellaire and vicinity. While arrangements were going on for this purpose, a very amusing yet natural incident occurred. Colonel Irvine had thrown out scouts to keep an eye on all that was going on down the river from Bellaire. A party of the scouts came in early in the morning with the report that there was a large force of men with artillery and boats about to cross the Ohio. All was astir in a few moments. The colonel ordered two steam tugs, with a company on board of each, to steam down the river and reconnoiter. The boats soon returned and reported that Dan Rice's circus, which was coming into town the next day, was watering its elephants and cattle.

Late one night toward the last of May, Colonel Irvine received a telegram to report to Colonel Kelley, at Wheeling, and co-operate with him according to orders. Colonel Kelley had raised a regiment of Virginians for home service. Colonel Irvine immediately departed to Wheeling and found Colonel Kelley going over a Confederate mail that had been forwarded to him, having been captured on a part of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. The developments implicated a number of citizens in Wheeling and thereabouts thoroughly exposing the condition of affairs in that section.

The two regiments of Colonels Kelley and Irvine, having received orders to advance, followed the railroad till they came to the vicinity of Glover's Gap, where they found the rebels had burned the bridges.

Here the regiments were delayed until the bridges were rebuilt. While waiting at this point, the two Coshocton companies of the Sixteenth Ohio were detailed to drive off a rebel outpost that had headquarters at a small town about eleven miles from the Gap. They had a sharp skirmish, and returned with three men wounded. The regiments reached Grafton on the 30th of May, finding on their arrival, the rebel forces had departed to Philippi, where they had made a stand, being 2,000 strong, The stars and stripes were flung out from almost every house in town, and ladies marched the streets dressed in red, white and blue, hurrahing for the Union.

While the Sixteenth Ohio and Colonel Kelley's regiment were on the march to Grafton, Colonel Wallace, commanding an Indiana regiment; had marched from Cumberland and attacked the rebels at Romney, surprising and completely routing them, capturing their camp equipage, provisions and arms, and marching on to Grafton, united his forces with those already under the command of Colonel Kelley. These three regiments marched upon the rebels at Philippi, on a very dark night, in the midst of a raging storm, and took them by surprise, at four A. M. The enemy, alarmed by the fire of their pickets, had just time to form in line of battle, when the Union forces came rushing upon them, firing but one volley, and charging bayonets. The rebels discharged their pieces so wildly that but two of the Union troops were killed and twenty wounded, and breaking, from the bayonet a charge of the Union forces, they fled in confusion to Leedsville, about ten miles further south, losing all their camp equipage and about 800 stand of arms. Colonel Kelley was severely wounded. After the engagement at Philippi, the Coshocton boys lay encamped at Rowelsburg for some days, when they received orders to march to Camp Donley, about four miles distant, and on Friday, 29th of June, were sent upon a scouting expedition. They struck tents, tool: twenty-four hours' rations, and marched twelve miles, to a small stream flowing into the Buffalo river, and remained at that point until an alarm gun sounded, when they were started on a double-quick down a hill to the place where the firing was heard. One of the Coshocton boys, writing of this skirmish, says:

We passed adjutant Marshall on the way, and he, seeing his horse could not keep up and we would be in before him, exclaimed, "Go it, you Ohio thieves!" Let me say here that the ladies of Coshocton made a good choice in the color bearer of our company. Bob bore our colors, and frequently dashed ahead amidst the shouts of the Ohio boys. Seeing Colonel Irvine at the head of a company, we marched in quicker time until we reached them. The enemy were called cavalry, although they were mostly riding broken down mules. The boys had a short skirmish, killing and wounding several of the rebels and securing the balance as prisoners. It appears this body of rebel guerillas had been camping there for some days, and had been hanging and shooting Union men in the vicinity. Corporal Youst, of Captain McClain's Coshocton company, distinguished himself in this skirmish.

The Sixteenth Ohio was finally quartered in and about West Union, in what was termed Camp Kelley, awaiting the consummation of General McClellan's plan of attack against the rebels who were stationed at Beverly. While at this point, Colonel Irvine sent the following letter to the ladies of Springfield, Ohio, who had presented the Sixteenth Ohio with a stand of colors for their gallantry at the Philippi engagement.


CHEAT BRIDGE, July 3, 1861.

At the time of the receipt of the splendid stand of colors which the ladies of Springfield presented our regiment, I was on the sick list. I beg leave to assure the patriotic ladies whose kind regards were so well expressed in what is now the regimental banner of the Sixteenth, that the members of my regiment with one heart, and as with one voice, took an oath that the honor of that flag should never be sullied while a single arm remained to raise in its defense. I beg to assure you that the ladies of Springfield will be gratefully remembered by many brave men while memory lasts, and by none more gratefully than by Your obedient servant, J. IRVINE, Colonel commanding Sixteenth Regiment.

The Romney skirmish, Philippi engagement, and the defeat and capture of Colonel Pegram's forces had the effect of consolidating the rebels under General Garnett, north of Laurel Hill near Philippi. Upon learning of Pegram's defeat and surrender, General Garnett endeavored to escape to Richmond by plunging into the wild roads of the Alleghenies, and was rapidly descending the Cheat river when he was overtaken by the Union forces. Finding escape in vain without a battle, General Garnett looked anxiously for a commanding position. He came to a ford in the river which was approachable over an extended meadow, smooth as a floor, and waving with young corn. On the opposite side of the river, and commanding the ford, there was an almost perpendicular bluff eighty feet high, fringed with laurel, presenting a perfect screen for his batteries and his men to lie in ambush. Here he stationed his army. The Sixteenth Ohio, encamped at West Union, was sitting down to its breakfast when the call to arms came, and the boys were forced to leave without a mouthful and make a hurried march to a point known as Red-house (so called from the position of a red house situated at a defile in the mountain), at which they were placed as a guard in the event the enemy made an attempt to escape by this route. Colonel Steadman, with the Fourteenth Ohio, first charged upon General Garnett's position, followed immediately by the entire body of the Union troops. For some time the battle raged with no decisive results:, until Colonel Dumont, with the Seventh Indiana, crept under the right flank of the foe, when they turned and fled only to meet the outlying Union posts at every defile of the mountains. General Garnett was killed and left unattended by his troops.

On the call to march coming so unexpectedly to the Coshocton boys at West Union, they left so suddenly that a tall Irishman was continued on picket guard alone, with no troops in the vicinity except the corporal in charge of camp equipage. Upon being questioned afterward as to his courage, he remarked, "I felt as safe as if I was in God's vest pocket as long as the corporal was with me." The corporal in charge was a mere boy.

After this engagement the Sixteenth Ohio was ordered back to Oakland and was assigned the duty of guarding the line of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, until the term of its enlistment had expired when it was ordered to Columbus about the middle of August and returned home.

Coshocton was changed from the time "the boys" had enlisted; then they were the only soldiers in the town. while at the time they returned soldiers and war matters absorbed every thought of the people. The Coshocton Age says of that time:

Our quiet town has been in a continual round of excitement on account of the movement of troops. First, last week, came the Sixteenth Indiana Regiment on their way to Washington. Its cry was Ho for Manassas! Two days thereafter came the Twelfth Indiana for the same city. Sunday, Lew Wallace's Indiana Zouaves returning from Harper's Ferry, Monday the First and Second Ohio passed through. Captain Given's company has recently left; other companies are forming, and now the Coshocton companies of the Sixteenth Ohio have arrived at home. There was a big crowd at the depot and the welcome was warm and earnest as the gallant boys sprang from the cars. Bob Richardson gave the company colors to the breeze to let it be known they had come back unsullied by any dishonorable act.

As the war progressed, and its necessities became more apparent, Coshocton county did not fail to respond. A military committee was formed and issued the following circular:


In accordance with the proclamation of the Governor of Ohio, the undersigned military committee of Coshocton county would respectfully but earnestly call upon her citizens to come to the relief of our suffering soldiers. This is no idle call. If you have but one blanket to spare, bring it along. The articles will be received and receipted for at the store of Rand H. Hay, in Coshocton, or Hiram Beall's store, in Keene.


Military Committee for Coshocton County.

The issue of this circular called forth from the liberal citizens of Coshocton such large quantities of all articles needed, that sub-committees were appointed in every township in the county. The ladies all over the county were enthusiastic in their support of war measures The young ladies of the county organized a society for the purpose of inspiring the enlistment of all able-bodied young men, and published the following resolutions in all the papers in the county:

At a meeting of the young ladies of Coshocton county, held for the purpose of promoting war measures, in was unanimously resolved,

That it is the duty of every young unmarried man to go to war;

That all who are physically unable to go are physically unable to support a family;

That we have no further need of home guards;

That young men have but one reason for staying at home - they fear battle more than they love liberty;

That the young man who fails to do his duty in this hour of our utmost need is not worthy the smiles of the ladies of this vicinity;

That we will marry no home guard;

That he who is not true to his country is not true to his God, nor would he be true to his wife.

It is supposed that these patriotic resolutions had the desired effect, as the young men of Coshocton went promptly and rapidly to the front during all those dark years.

History of 90-day Regiment Company Details Index 16th OVI Home Page Company A Roster Company D Roster