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Excerpts and Highlights from the
Sixth Regimental Reunion
16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Mansfield, Ohio
August 11, 1881
Web Author's Notes:
Below is a transcription of the recorded proceedings of the 16th Ohio's sixth reunion at Mansfield, Ohio. It was taken from the Proceedings of Eleven Reunions Held By the 16th Regiment, O.V.I, compiled by Enos Pierson, Secretary of 16th O.V.I. Reunion Association, in 1887. This document was provided by fellow 16th OVI descendant H. Arlan Heiser of Ohio.

Certain misspellings from the original document, believed to be accidental, were corrected, while others were transcribed as recorded.

Proceedings of Eleven Reunions Held By the 16th Regiment, O.V.I

Sixth Reunion


The Association convened in the High School Hall, at 9 o'clock, a.m. The President, J. H. Morrison, favored the Association with a short address.

The Sixteenth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, held its Sixth Reunion at Mansfield, on Tuesday, August 11th, 1880.

This Regiment for three years' service was organized at Camp Tiffin, near Wooster, on the 2d of October, 1861. Five companies were recruited in Wayne county, commanded by Eli W. Bottsford, Hamilton Richeson, Samuel Smith, George U. Harn and A. S. McClure. The field officers were Colonel John F. DeCourcey; Lieutenant-Colonel George W. Bailey; Major Philip Kershner.

The Regiment moved to Camp Dennison, November 27, 1861. It remained there until December 19, when it was ordered to Lexington, Ky. From Lexington it proceeded to join General Thomas' forces, then operating against Zollicoffer's command in Southern Kentucky. After toilsome marches through mud and rain, the Regiment arrived at Somerset just in time to miss the battle of Mill Springs. The Regiment remained near Somerset until the 31st of January, 1862, when it was directed to Cumberland Ford, reaching there on the 12th of February. Troops were assembling at the Ford, under the command of General George W. Morgan, to dislodge the Confederate forces occupying Cumberland Gap, a few miles distant. In March and April, several reconnaissances were made in the vicinity of the Gap, during which sharp skirmishing took place with the enemy. The 16th lost several men in killed and wounded during the desultory actions. In June, Morgan's forces, composed of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee troops, succeeded in crossing the Cumberland Mountains by Powell's Gap, thus effecting a lodgement in rear of Cumberland Gap, and necessitating its evacuation by the Confederates. The enemy retreated to Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Union forces occupied the abandoned stronghold without further resistance.

On the 6th of August the 16th was ordered to Tazewell, Tennessee, to relieve the 14th Kentucky. After reaching this place and relieving the 14th, the regiment encountered the advance of Kirby Smith's army, in motion to invade Kentucky. A sharp engagement ensued, in which the 16th was overwhelmed by numbers and forced to retreat to the Gap, with a severe loss in killed, wounded and captured. The situation of the Union troops in Cumberland Gap was now extremely perilous. They were surrounded on all sides and their supplies cut off. General Morgan determined to abandon the Gap and retreat to the Ohio river. After a toilsome march of sixteen days through the mountainous region of Kentucky the command reached the Ohio at Greenupsburg, Ky., on the 3d of October, 1862.

After recuperating at Portland, Ohio, the 16th was ordered to Charleston, West Virginia, and from there to Memphis, Tennessee, to join General Sherman's command then organizing for the capture of Vicksburg. In December Sherman's forces moved down the Mississippi on transports arriving at the mouth of the Yazoo on Christmas. The troops proceeded up the Yazoo several miles, where they wee disembarked, and prepared to assault Vicksburg on the Chickasaw Bluffs side. On the 28th of December, the enemy was driven out of his line of rifle-pits in front of the Bluffs, and on the 29th Morgan's division was ordered to assault them. The position of the Confederates was impregnable, and the assault was very disastrous. The 16th lost very heavily in this engagement. Captain G. U. Harn was killed; Captain Van Doorn wounded and captured; Captain Ross wounded; Captain McClure wounded and captured; Lieutenant P. M. Smith, wounded and captured; Lieutenant Heckert wounded and captured; Lieutenant-Colonel Kershner wounded and captured; Lieutenant Voorhes wounded and captured; Captains Mills and Cunningham, and Lieutenant Buchanan captured. The regiment lost in this engagement 311 officers and men, killed, wounded and captured.

The next service of the regiment was at Arkansas Post, in which assault it lost several men. It then returned to Young's Point, on the Mississippi River, and from there it moved to Millikin's Bend, where it encamped until April 6, 1863. The regiment then participated in Grant's campaign against Vicksburg, in the battles of Champion Hills, Thompson's Hill, Black River Bridge, and in the assaults on the entrenchments of Vicksburg, on the 19th and 22d of May, 1863, losing severely in each of these engagements.

After the capture of Vicksburg, on the 4th of July, the regiment joined the forces of General Sherman in his expedition against Jackson, Miss. In the assault on this place, Captain Richeson was wounded and several of the regiment killed. Returning to Vicksburg, the regiment went into camp, but was soon sent to New Orleans to join General Banks' expedition, then fitting out for operations in Western Louisiana. After a short campaign up the valley of the Teche to Opelousas the regiment returned to New Orleans to join General Washburn's expedition to Texas. The regiment disembarked at DeCrow's Point, Matagorda Peninsula, and moved from thence to Indianola, returning to New Orleans, April 12, 1864.

From New Orleans it was ordered to Alexandria, on the Red River, to reinforce Banks' command, which was retreating before the forces of Dick Taylor. On arriving at Alexandria, the 16th was immediately placed at the front and participated in several light engagements. Returning to Alexandria, it was detached to help construct a dam in Red river, to facilitate the escape of the iron-clad fleet. From here Banks retreated to Morganza Bend, on the Mississippi, the 16th forming a part of the rear-guard in this disorderly retreat.

On reaching Morganza Bend the regiment went into camp, from where it was ordered to Columbus, Ohio, for muster out, from which place it was discharged on October 31, 1864.

The 16th was one of the best disciplined regiments in the service. Its Colonel, John F. DeCourcey, was a professional soldier, having served many years in the British army. The regiment was noted throughout for its fine military bearing.


When the Sixteenth Regiment O. V. I. was called to order in Millers Hall, Thursday morning, the hall was comfortably filled by members of the regiment, guests from the 42d and 120th Ohio, and other regiments, together with citizens of Mansfield. On the stage sat Col. B. Burns, Capt. A. S. McClure, Col. Worthington, of the 22d Kentucky, Mrs. Dr. Brashear and daughter and Surgeon Brasher, of the 16th, Dr. Stevenson, Surgeon of the 22d Kentucky, Capt. W. M. Ross of the 16th, and others.

The stage had been carpeted for the occasion and on either side of the proscenium were stacked muskets, flanked by the colors of the regiment.

The Apple Creek Brass Band, under the leadership of Prof. George Winters, of Wooster, furnished excellent music.

President T. T. Dill rapped for order, and after welcoming his comrades in a few fitting remarks, introduced Col. B. Burns, of Mansfield, who delivered the


(full transcription forthcoming)


Was made in a felicitous manner by Hon. A. S. McClure, member of Congress for the Eighteenth Ohio District. We regret that we are unable to reproduce the Captain's happy hits.

Secretary Enos Pierson then read the minutes of the last reunion where were approved, after which comrade S. N. Coe introduced the following resolution, which was adopted with cheers, and on motion of comrade Wolbach, was ordered spread upon the minutes.

Resolved, That the 16th Regiment, O. V. I., in reunion assembled at the city of Mansfield, rejoice to know that President James A. Garfield is steadily regaining his health and strength from the wound received at the hand of the base and dastard assassin, and that the comrades and citizens assembled, of every shade of political sentiment, are with entire unanimity, in deep sympathy with the President, his wife, his mother, and his children and heartily congratulate him and them on the cheering prospect of his speedy and complete recovery.

Comrade Hummer moved that a copy of the resolutions be forwarded to the President, which motion was also carried.

Secretary Pierson then read a batch of telegrams, one from Gen. G. W. Morgan, one from Col. Lindsey of Frankfort, Ky., and others, all of whom expressed regret at their inability to be present.

On motion, officers for the ensuing year were elected as follows:

President--A. S. McClure.

Permanent Secretary--Enos Pierson.

Permanent Treasurer--Harry McClarren.

All of Wooster, Ohio.

Comrades R. W. Tanneyhill, H. G. White and A. S. McClure were appointed a committee to select the time and place of the next meeting.

On motion, the officers of the association were authorized to levy an assessment to defray the expenses of the next reunion.

The morning hour having been consumed the association took a recess for dinner, and repaired to the


Where a fine dinner had been prepared, in Landlord Frantz's excellent manner, by the patriotic citizens of Mansfield.

During the intermission between the dinner and the afternoon hour of assembling the boys visited the various places of interest in Mansfield or passed the time in recounting incidents of their soldier life.


At 2 p.m., the association reassembled. President Dill called upon the committee appointed in the morning hour to select the time and date for the next reunion.

Capt. A. M. Sommers, of Emporia, Kans., from the committee, arose and moved that all members of the Sixteenth O. V. I., who enlisted in both the three months and three years service be admitted as members of the association.

Lieut. Jas. H. Plumer, a member of the three months Sixteenth, was called upon and said that disabilities contracted in the three months service was the reason he did not belong to the regiment during the three years service. If the association felt disposed to adopt Capt. Sommers' motion, he would feel greatly gratified.

C. F. Grice said he, too, had enlisted in the Sixteenth for three months, and had served full time, and had then reenlisted in another regiment. He would feel greatly gratified to become a member.

The motion was then put and carried.

Capt. Tanneyhill, from the committee on next reunion, reported that the first Thursday of each August be adopted as the permanent day for future reunions and that the next reunion be held at Odell's Lake. Carried.

Capt. R. W. Tanneyhill was then elected Vice President of the association.

The report of the committee on assessments was then called for. Captain A. S. McClure of the committee recommended orally that each member of the regiment be assessed fifty cents to defray the expenses of the next reunion, the assessment to be paid at once.

The report of the committee was received and adopted.

Comrade Hummer moved that a member of each company be constituted a committee to collect the assessment. Carried.

While the assessment was being collected the Glee Club sung, Voices of Freedom.


Was the subject of the first after dinner toast, by J. B. Ross, which is as follows:

COMRADES AND FRIENDS: I am sensible of the honor conferred upon me by being called upon to respond to the sentiment "Our Flag", upon this occasion, when we meet to rejoice together, recount the scenes of the past and strengthen anew the bond of brotherhood. Brotherhood is the golden chain that binds Nation to Nation, people to people, and man to man. Comrades, how bright and durable is that chain when purified in the heat of battle, fashioned on the tented field and wedded at the cannon's mouth. It has no end, it extends from friend to friend, from the living soldier to the dead here, from earth to the throne of the great Unseen, around which are united our dead comrades with the father of our country, with his patriot band of seventy-six, they who first unfurled to heaven's breeze that starry banner, that emblem of liberty that synonym of victory, and followed it through the long dark days of the revolution to the bright sunshine of victory and independence. To perpetuate that which was established by that patriot band, their sons, in the second revolution rallied around their fallen banner, following across the dark and bloody grounds, over mountains and rivers, through the tangled woods of the wilderness, o'er the scorching plains of Mississippi, through the deadly swamps of Louisiana, up to the clouds of Lookout, down through the dark valley to the river of death, where great drops of leaden rain soaked to the hearts of half a million of Columbia's noblest sons. Their spirits, amid sulphurous smoke of battle, took their flight across the dark rolling river to the battlements of heaven, and pitched their tents on the plains of the New Jerusalem; and have their names written on the rolls of eternity by the pen of the Prince of Peace, ---

On fame's eternal camping grounds
Their silent tents are spread,
And glory guards with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead.

While we are permitted to remain to protect the flag for which they fell, and perpetuate the principles so dearly purchased with their lives, and guard the tree of liberty planted by our fathers and watered by the blood of our nation's dead, God grant that our deeds and words may be the clasp of steel that shall bind heart to heart, the east to the west, the north to the south, so that should our flag ever again be assailed the sons of those who wore the gray and our sons all, side by side, in its defense if need be, as our fathers and their fathers fell side by side while under the leadership of the great Virginian.

Response by J. W. Fry, of the 42d O. V. I.

(full transcription forthcoming)


Of the 22d Kentucky, then ready a paper, being a reminiscence of his connection with the old Brigade.


Was the title of the next regular toast, by Gen. Geo. W. Morgan. In the morning a telegram from the General, announcing his inability to be present, was received, and consequently the toast was passed.


Response by Captain W. M. Ross, was the next toast. He said:

(full transcription forthcoming)

Marching through Georgia, was then sung by comrade Joe L. Baumgardner, the regiment and audience joining in the chorus.


Comprising the 16th, 42d, 120th O.V.I., and 22d Key., response by Lt. Col. W. J. Worthington, of the 22d Kentucky, was the next toast. This toast was to have been responded to by Col. D. W. Lindsey, of the same regiment, but the Colonel was detained at home by illness in his family.

Col. Worthington spoke at length of the history of the Brigade and referred to the results of the war. He spoke especially feelingly of the atrocities perpetrated in Southern prisons. The Colonel then pronounced a eulogy on the lamented Col. Speigle, of the 120th, killed on the Red River, in Texas. He referred also to a number of the dead of the 16th and 42d.

At this point further business was transacted as follows:

On motion of A. M. Sommers, a committee was appointed consisting of Col. Philip Kershner, for the 16th O. V. I.; Col. L. A. Sheldon, for 42d O. V. I.; Col. D. W. Lindsey, for 22d Ky.; and Col. W. Slocum, for 120th O. V. I., to confer or correspond with Gen. W. T. Sherman concerning the action at Chickasaw Bayou, with a view to the correction of unintentional errors in Gen. Sherman's Memoirs, in regard to the conduct of the troops of Col. John F. DeCourcey's Brigade in said engagement.


It was then

Resolved, That members of each company are earnestly requested to send to Enos Pierson, Secretary of the Association, Wooster, the names of all deceased soldiers of the 16th O. V. I., since the organization of the regiment, giving name, company, date, place and cause of death, as the Secretary desires to keep a record of our fallen comrades.

Resolved, By the members of the 16th O. V. I., in reunion assembled, That our thanks are due the citizens of Mansfield for the warm welcome and generous hospitality they have extended to us, and that we congratulate Landlord Franz on the bounteous and luxurious table of the St. James Hotel.


By Captain W. P. Van Doorn, was the next. The Captain paid a tribute to Col. DeCourcey, as a disciplinarian and an officer. He then said that all or nearly all of the officers of the line of the Sixteenth had graduated from the ranks.

The Captain then referred to a number of incidents which he remembered concerning the officers of the line.


Was the next toast. Response by Surgeon B. B. Brashear, as follows:

(full transcription forthcoming)

...In the engagement of Chickasaw Bayou, during the 28th, 29th, and 30th of December, 1862, our death roll was increased by seventeen killed in battle:

Sutherland Baughman, corporal, Company A.

Thomas J. Babb, private, Company A.

Thomas Graham, corporal, Company B.

George Henderson private, Company B.

John Marks, private, Company C.

James Davidson, private, Company E.

Jacob Rouch, private, Company F.

James Young, private, Company F.

Jacob C. Henderson, sergeant, Company G.

Zachariah T. Stahl, private, Company G.

Peter W. Everett, private, Company G.

Simon Monosmith, private, Company K.

Daniel H. Williams, private, Company K.

Charles R. Glime, private, Company K.

Elias Heckert, private, Company K.

Daniel Gipford, private, Company K.

John Hutchinson, private, Company K.

This does not include the name of the heroic Captain Harn, of Company I, whose precise fate was not ascertained.

Our next period of greatest trial, suffering and death, was at Young's Point. Vicksburg, having been circumvented by a series of brilliant maneuvers that have since challenged the admiration of the civilized world, our second greatest mortality occurred there during the siege in the month of May, when we lost fifteen brave boys, all killed in battle:

William Clancey, private, company B.

Edward Neville, private, company B.

Adam B. Oswald, private, company C.

Daniel Spring, sergeant, company E.

Edward Smith, private, company E.

John Merett, private, company E.

John Jordan, private, company E.

Erasmus Anderson, private, company E.

Jacob Megary, corporal, company G.

John Garrettson, private, company G.

Francis M. Barnhill, private, company G.

Amzi McAfee, private, company H.

Frederick Funk, private, company H.

David McCoy, private, company H.

Daniel Drumheller, private, company H.

Having now thoroughly learned the art of war, and which was much better, the art of taking care of ourselves, our ratio of sickness and of death began steadily to decline. During the unavoidable mutations of the service you had various commanders and you had the ministrations of as many surgeons. To these of your immediate brigade, you would most naturally turn for succor in the moment of extreme peril. And it is most assuring and gratifying to know to-day that Governor Dennison never signed a commission for a more competent and trustworthy surgeon than Joel Pomerene, of the 42d Ohio. And who does not remember the large-hearted, noble, sympathetic, cautions and lovable Benjamin Franklin Stevenson, of the 22d Kentucky? Byron Stanton, of the 120th Ohio, was the proud peer of any surgeon in the service volunteer or regular. Our own gifted assistant, Byron S. Chase--what can I say of his fidelity, his cheerfulness, his promptitude, his skill, his zeal, his every qualification of head and of heart for the duties of a physician and surgeon; his untiring devotion to the necessities of the sick and wounded who had the good fortune to receive his kindly ministrations? Alas! He too is now enrolled in the memorable catalogue of Our Fallen Comrades.

God's Blessing on Our Native Land was then sung by Professor Adams, of Mansfield.

The Thirteenth Army Corps, was the next toast, response by Col. Williard Slocum, of the 120th O. V. I. The hour being late, the Colonel made his remarks brief. He said that the 13th Army Corps was organized by General John A. McClernand at Millikin's Bend, and was compo9sed of 32,000 men, the largest army corps of the Union army. The Colonel then depicted the engagement in which this Corps was engaged in the rear of Vicksburg. He said that General McClernand marched that Corps as no other man could have marched it. He showed himself to be a patriot and an officer who could be trusted at any time or place. And yet General McClernand was retired by Grant. Had Grant's order been published every man in the Corps would have bayonetted the publisher.

The following members of the Association answered to their names at roll call:

(reunion attendance pages to be developed)

An adjournment was then had, and the members of the Sixteenth Regiment departed for their homes.

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