Saturday, December 27, 2014

Francis M. McRee.

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Francis M. McRee. 

Birth: Aug. 29, 1844, Boonshill, Lincoln County, Tennessee.
Death: Jan. 5, 1928, Union City, Obion County, Tennessee.

Wife: Minnie Crockett McRee (1847 - 1917).

Children: Florena McRee Marshall (1870 - 1948), John Culbert McRee (1876 - 1958).

Burial: East View Cemetery, Union City, Obion County, Tennessee.

Second Tennessee Cavalry, Regimental History.

F M. McRee. son of John H. and Francis M. McRee, was born on the 29th of August, 1844, in Lincoln County, Tennessee. His father removed to Obion County, West Tennessee, in November, 1849. where the subject of this sketch labored on the farm and attended the ordinary country schools until in his seventeenth year. On the l0th of April, 1861, he enlisted in the Confederate service in Captain J- W Buford's company of infantry, which, on the 22nd of May, became Company H of the Ninth Tennessee Regiment, commanded by Colonel H. L. Douglass.

After serving as private in said regiment about fourteen months he was discharged at Tupelo, Mississippi, on account of his being under conscript age. He then returned to his father's in Obion County, Tennessee, where, in the summer of 1863, he aided in raising a company of cavalry, which, after doing some service in that section of country, went south with General Forrest in December, 1863, and upon organization O. B. Farris was made captain and F M. McRee second lieutenant of this company, which, in March, 1864, became Company K of the Second Tennessee Cavalry On the 1 St of June following McRee was promoted to first lieutenant, which rank he held to the close of the war.

 On the 13th of July he was so shocked by the concussion of a shell that he was taken from the field to the hospital, but on learning the next day that Captain Farris was wounded. Lieutenant McRee rejoined his company, contrary to the advice of his surgeon, and was in command of it during the last day's fighting around Harrisburg, Mississippi, on the 15th. He was in command of Company K when it was detached from the Second Tennessee and took part in front during the action at Brice's Cross Roads. When the Federals began to retreat he very gallantly led his company against their rear, capturing a whole company of negroes.

Lieutenant McRee was in command of Company K during For- rest's Middle Tennessee expedition; in fact, he was in command of his company a good portion of the time, because Captain Farris was so frequently on detached service. During the Hood Campaign in December, 1864, the lieutenant commanded the advance guard from Shoal Creek, Alabama, to Franklin, Tennessee, and on the 17th of December, after a gallant defense, a hand-to-hand struggle, he was captured at Hollow Tree Gap, five miles north of Franklin, on the Hood retreat, and was severely wounded in the right shoulder by a drunken coward after he had surrendered. After remaining at a private house for thirteen days, where he was kindly treated by the family, Lieutenant McRee was taken to Nashville, and from there to Fort Delaware. Here and at Nashville the Federal surgeons made an attempt to extract the ball, but were not successful. The ball is in his shoulder yet.

Having been exchanged, he arrived at Richmond, Virginia, about February 14th, 1865, where he obtained a furlough for sixty days. Setting out from that place March 4th he found his command at West Point, Mississippi, about the last of the month. He had the promise of a position on General Bell's staff as soon as his furlough was out. After remaining in Mississippi awhile he went home, reaching there in April. As the war was now winding to a close, Lieutenant McRee did not do any more service, but went to work on the farm. In 1872 he began the study of medicine under Doctor C. P Glover. For two years he did farm labor during the day and read at night; but the next three years he put in his time (in reading) more closely. In 1877 he entered the medical department of Vanderbilt University, at Nashville, Tennessee, where he graduated in the spring of 1879 year is now (1887) a practicing physician in Obion County, Tennessee.

He married Miss Minnie Crockett on the 13th of November, 1867. They have one son (John C.) living, and one (Hurtle M.) dead, and four daughters (Florenia B., Emma T., Hattie D., and Maggie Lee) all living. Like the most of the Confederates, Dr. McRee came out of the army penniless, though his taxes in 1886 were eighty dollars and fifty- four cents.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Herbert D. Heavitt.

Rhode Island Fourteenth Heavy Artillery, Regimental History. 

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Page 193., Herbert D. Leavitt. Enrolled as private in Co. E, Fifth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, Nov. 1, 1861 ; mustered Dec. 16, 1861 ; promoted sergeant and transferred to Co. H, Jan. 10, 1863; first sergeant Feb. 11, 1863; borne on detached service at draft rendezvous. New Haven, Conn., from Aug. 14, 1S63, until Dec, 1863; commissioned second lieutenant Fourteenth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery Dec. 14, 1863; assigned to Co. K; mustered in Dec. 22, 1863; transferred to Co. E, Jan. 19, 1864; detached as acting aid-de-camp on staff of Maj.- Gen. Stephen A. Hurlburt, Oct. 22, 1864, and so borne until Jan., 1865: on board of survey Feb. 10, 1865 ; mustered out Oct. 2, 1865. 

Page 323., Second Lieutenant Herbert D. Leavitt was born In Mass., April 5, 1845. At the breaking out of the Rebellion : he was living with his  parents in Providence, R, I. lie enlisted as a private in Company E., Fifth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, Nov. 1, 1861.  He was subsequently promoted to sergeant, and afterwards to first Sergeant:transferred to Company II, Jan. 10, 1863. He participated with his regiment in the battles of Roanoke Island, New Berne, siege of Fort Macon, Rahl's Mill, Kinston, Whitehall, Goldsborn, siege of Little Washington and first rebel attack on New Berne.

He was borne on detached service in Rhode Island and Connecticut, from Aug. 14,1863 until December, 1863.  His service consisted in guarding substitutes and draft, men at Fair Haven, Conn., and he was thus 1863, when, having passed a satisfactory examination before the Board of examiners  at Washington, D. C, he was honorably discharged from the Fifth to accept a commission as second lieutenant in the Four Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, and was assigned to Company E. He was mustered in Dec. 22, 1863.

He served with his regiment in the Department of the Gulf. From Oct. 22, 1864, until January, 1865, he was borne on detached service as aid-de-camp on the staff of Maj.-Gen.,Stephen A. Hurlburt. He was mustered out with his regiment Oct. 2, 1865. Soon after his return to Rhode Island he was appointed upon the police force of the city of Providence, but remained in that position but a short time.

He was for several years in the employ of the Union Railroad Company, and was subsequently engaged in business in Franklin. He then removed to Medway, Mass., and engaged in the market business. He afterwards became connected with the same line of business In Boston  in Faneuil Hall Square, where he continued until failing health compelled him to relinquish an active part in business affairs. He was a member of  U. S. Grant Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and  Wyoming Lodge, A. F. and A. M. He died Jan. 2-, 1893.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Joseph S. Milne.

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Lieut Joseph S Milne. 

Birth: Apr. 27, 1842.
Death: Jul. 7, 1863, Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania.

Parents: Andrew L Milne (1808 - 1866), and Anna Dunlap.

Sibling: William O Milne (1842 - 1912), Joseph S Milne (1842 - 1863).

Burial: Oak Grove Cemetery, Fall River, Bristol County, Massachusetts.

Rhode  Island First Light Artillery, Co. E., Regimental History. 

Page 490., Joseph S. Milne. Tiverton. Mustered as sergeant Sept. 30, 1861 ; second lieutenant, Battery B, Nov. 11, 1862; detached to Battery A, Fourth U. S. [Cushing's], during the Gettysburg campaign ; mortally wounded at Gettysburg July 3, 1863 ; died July 8, at Gettysburg, Pa.

Page 120-2, Joseph S. Milne received his commission as second lieutenant, dated November 11th, and was assigned to Battery B, of Rhode Island. Sergeant Milne was a young man of fine ability and had a promising future. His departure from us was regretted by all, especially by the fifth detachment, whose sergeant he had been from the beginning, being then only twenty years old. He belonged in Tiverton, R. I., but was born in Bolton, N. Y. By trade he was a printer. He served faithfully at Fredericksburg, where he had a horse shot under him. At Gettysburg he likewise served with increased credit, but before the battle ended he received his mortal wound, of which more will be said at a later date.

Author.  In the following information some of the letters of the word are missing or the word is missing all together.

Page 224-5.,One of the lieutenants of Battery B, Joseph S. Milne, who was mortally wounded during this battle, will be remembered by the older members of Battery E as being one of its first sergeants. Just previous to the beginning of the Gettysburg campaign, he was detached to serve in Batter)' A, Fourth United States Artillery, better known as Cushing's battery. During Pickett's charge, Lieutenant Milne was shot through the left lung, and died five days after, on July 8th, at Gettysburg. His body was taken to Fall River, where his parents then lived, under the charge of Lieutenant Lamb, of Battery A, Rhode Island.

An extract from the Fall River New's of July 17, 1863, says : " The funeral services over the remains of this gallant young officer took place this afternoon at the Baptist Temple. A large congregation assembled, and the exercises, conducted by the Rev. Charles A. Snow, pastor of the church, were very impressive. The choir sang the pathetic dirge, 'Put me down gently, boys,* founded on the words uttered by a captain of the Sixteenth Ohio, as his shattered body was taken to the rear, and he was laid in the shade of a tree to die. The body was dressed in the uniform of his rank, and upon the casket encasing it rested his sword and the flag wreathed with flowers.  A few of his comrades-in-arms, among whom was Captain Randolph, were present at the funeral.

 At an early age he entered the office of the Glens Falls (N. Y.) Messenger a religious paper, published at that time by his father, the Rev. A. D. Milne. Subsequently, he removed to Fall River, and became a compositor in the Daily News office, where he was employed for about two years. Leaving here, he took a situation on the Providence Daily Post, which he held up to the breaking out of the war, when he joined Battery E, and was appointed sergeant.The Providence papers referred to him in terms of high es- and respect.

The obituary in the Fall River Daily News long, and paid to his memory the highest praise. Gen. G. Hazard was then captain of his battery and chief of battery in the Second corps, and in his report he tenderly re- to Milne in these words  "Lieutenant Joseph S. Milne, : Rhode Island Light Artillery, was mortally wounded the afternoon of July 3rd by a musket shot through the s. He survived his wound one week and breathed his at Gettysburg on July l0th.," In his regiment he was  noted for his bravery and willingness to encounter death by guise, while his modesty and manliness gained for him eady esteem of his many comrades. His death is a loss and we cannot but mourn that so bright a life should suddenly be veiled in death."

His mother, in writing e author, says that she hastened to Gettysburg immediately after the news of his being wounded was received, but was too late, as his death occurred before her arrival. His only regret was that he could not live until his mother arrived. On being told that he could live but a few hours, he told the lady who was attending him: " Comfort my mother when she comes, and tell her that I died doing my duty".  At the time of his death he was only twenty years He was the only Rhode Island officer that was killed in the battle of Gettysburg.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

William H. Melcher.

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William H .Melcher.

Birth: 1840.
Death: 1905.

Wife:Susie M. Melcher.

Children: Non recorded.

Burial: Mount Peace Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

Second Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, Co. D.

Q. M.,William H. Melcher; Enlisted November 25, 1861.  Promoted from Private, Co. D., to Q. M. Sergeant February 8, 1862, to Q. M. October 21, 1862.  Discharged on Surgeon's Certificate, September 27, 1864.

Second Pennsylvania Veteran Heavy Artillery ( 112th., Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers ),Regimental History.

Page 21., William H. Melcher who was a very competent man for the office of Quartermaster, and who, in reality, had filled the position very satisfactorily as such while his superior got the credit and compensation for doing- nothing.

A letter by Wm. H. Melcher, p. 75.

My Dear Comrade Ward:

You remember I was the Quartermaster of the Second Pennsylvania Veteran Heavy Artillery, therefore my duties kept me in the rear, and, consequently, can only give you the experience of one who knew what was going on there. I was ordered to remain in Washington when the regiment started for the front, to transfer a lot of army stores I had in my possession, which required three days to accomplish. Surgeon Griswold and I went to White House Landing on the steamer "Daniel Webster," and from there to Cold Harbor, arriving there five days before the regiment did.

We were like lost sheep, with nothing to eat, our stock of terrapin, chicken, etc., having been eaten on the way down. Soon as the regiment arrived at Cold Harbor we reported to Colonel Gibson. I found our wagon train was rather close to the "front," and suggested taking them farther to the rear, out of harm's way. The Colonel, with a wave of his hand, said : "Oh, take them around there!" indicating about 30 yards away. I did so and asked Adjutant Grugan for a double guard, which he granted. I then instructed the teamsters to unhitch the teams, but not to lake off the harness. The Adjutant wanted to know the necessity for a double guard. I explained that our position was too close to the enemy, and they would soon shell us : and without a substantial guard the teamsters might create a stampede.

I had hardly said so when the shells commenced to drop around us, and at once we hitched up and "fell back in good order," with the loss of but one old canteen, the property of the writer. That was my first experience in the "shell game." But many times after that we enjoyed (?) a repetition, as occasion required our presence near the front. In fact, I became, at times, reckless, in order to know what was going on at the front, but am now glad it is all over, and that I belonged to a regiment whose services and achievements compare favorably with the best volunteers — the nation's hope in the War of the Rebellion.

 Yours in F., C. & L.,

 WM. H. MELCHER. 1909 W. Venango St., Philadelphia.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Richard"Dick" B. Fulks.

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RICHARD B. FULKS is a retired merchant, living at his pleasant home at Beardstown. He was born at Rushville, Schuyler county, New York, February 6, 1840. This boy grew up under the name of Dick, and has borne that title ever since, being scarcely known by any other title. He is a man who has made his own fortune and carved his own history. His early life was a struggle to acquire book knowledge. During his boyhood days he studied hard and served as clerk as early as fourteen. He was with the firm of Shaw & Merriman of Beardstown for some time, and in 1857 he became a clerk for Charse, Rich & Parker, of this city, and was thus engaged until the breaking out of the war.

He enlisted August 21, 1861, as a private in Company K, Thirty- third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Captain Lippincott and Colonel Charles Hovey, of Normal, Illinois, in command. In 1862, while encamped at Ironton, Missouri, Mr. Fulks issued for three months a cainp journal called the Camp Cricket. This knowledge of newspaper work he had acquired when but yet a boy; and later, in 1860, by working at night and at odd times in the office of Thompson & Irwin as assistant in publishing The Central Illinoian of Benrdstown. After a service of two and a half years as a private Mr. Fulks was commissioned as Quartermaster Sergeant and in that capacity served till the close of the war on the staff of General Lippincott.

After serving as a brave soldier he was mustered out and discharged properly and honorably at Springfield, in December, 1865. During the war he was in many engagements, including the burning of the big bridge on the Iron mountain railroad in 1861, later at Frederickstown, Missouri, and afterward did guard work on the Mississippi river, and he saw much active service, but escaped without a scratch. He went through the battles of Vicksburg, Jackson, Mobile and Spanish Point and at Placeo, Texas. While at Meridian, Mississippi, he received a severe sunstroke, from which he has never recovered.

The Government re- members him with a pension. When the war closed he laid aside the soldier's habiliments and resumed citizen's dress and returned to Beardstown. He then resumed bis mercantile pursuits. The qualities for which Mr. Fulks is noted are grit and push, and as he put them in his business he has made a success of it. He has added to the general welfare of the city, which gives him credit for making it the thriving place it has become. No misfortune ever shocked or worried Dick. He has had three disastrous fires, which in each case represented heavy losses to his stock and his business, but he has pulled through and managed to have a surplus at the bankers, to supply all demands. Hard work and years finally told upon him. he lost his health, and had to retire from active labors in 1887.  He has owned and dealt, sometimes quite extensively, in city property.

He was married first, in this city, to Lydia M. McClure, who was born and reared in Cass county and died at Denver, Colorado, April 10, 1878. Her body was brought to this city and interred in Oakwood cemetery. She was then in the prime of life, being horn about 1843, and was a well educated woman, having been second principal of the school in this city. She Was a member of the Congregational Church, and left one daughter, now a well educated young lady, named Inas.

He was a second time married, in this city, to Miss Mattie, of Louisville, Kentucky, a bright young woman, who died two years after, and was buried at her old home. Ho was married a third and last time to Miss Etta Brown, who was born and reared here, but died at the birth of her first child, in 1885. The child is a bright little girl of seven years, named Anna D. He has been a member of I. O. O. F. for some twenty-five years, a member of the Knights of Honor, and one of the promoters and charter members of the G. A. R. order. He has served the city as an Alder- man for some time, and has been a member of the Hoard of Education. He has always been a str
ong Republican.

Monday, December 22, 2014

William L. Hoy.

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William Lafayette Hoy, 

Birth: Jan. 1, 1840, Ohio.
Death: Dec. 23, 1924, Fairfield County, Ohio.

Parents: Adam Hoy (1802 - 1889).

Wife: Eleanor Hannah Taylor Hoy (1841 - 1925).

Children: Maitland L. Hoy (____ - 1873), Hattie Jane Hoy Fenstermaker (1867 - 1931)*, Franklin Pearce Hoy (1869 - 1943), Ida Belle Hoy Schultz (1881 - 1971).

 Burial: Violet Township Cemetery, Pickerington, Fairfield County, Ohio.

Ohio First Cavalry, Co. F.

William L. Hoy,Private; Age 21; Enlisted September 10,1861, for 3 tears.  Mustered out October 6, 1864, at Columbia,Tennessee.

Willis Vidito.

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Willis Vidito,

Birth: 1844,
Death: Aug. 23, 1923,

Wife: Alice Amos Vidito (1849 - 1919).

Children: Virgil Albert Vidito (1867 - 1944), Clarence Melvin Vidito (1873 - 1925), Thomas Vivian Vidito (1874 - 1961), Veda May Vidito (1891 - 1928).

Burial: Alsea Cemetery, Alsea, Benton County, Oregon.

Civil War Veteran.

Willis Vidito, Private; 37th., Indiana Infantry; Co. F.; Residence Dearborn Co.; Enlisted October 20, 1861.  Mustered out October 27, 1864.

Indiana Thirty-Seventh Infantry,  Regimental History
Company F.

The Thirty- seventh, after eating breakfast, was marched south some distance and placed on picket on Missionary ridge. The pickets were placed in little groups of three or four men some two or three rods apart. The rebels were anxious to know what we were doing and how strong we were, and about 3 o'clock p. m. sent out a scouting party to gain the desired information. They came a little too close, and Willis Vidito,of Co. F.,killed one of them   their curiosity was satisfied. We remained on that ridge all night a long, cold, cheerless night, and at early dawn the 22nd of September, we quietly came down the hill and marched into Chattanooga, the rebels following us so closely that their advance was in sight of us as we went into town, and the Chickamauga campaign was over, and Chattanooga, the objective point, was ours. Ours was the last Regiment to go into Chattanooga. The rebel Cavalry followed us pretty closely, but showed no desire to attack us. Our army had the city theirs the dead and wounded. Yet no campaign or battle of the war did greater honor to the fighting quality of the Northern soldiers, or accomplished more for the crushing of the rebellion than the battle of Chickamauga. When we arrived near Chattanooga the morning of the 22nd, we faced to the front, went into camp, ate breakfast and prepared for the siege of Chattanooga.