3 1833 02618 2664
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Lucas, Daniel R
New history of the 99th
99th Indiana Infantry
Containing Official Reports, Anecdotes,
Incidents, Biographies and
CHAPLAIN D. R. LUCAS,
HORNER PRINTING CO.
COLONEL ALEXANDER FOWLER,
In 1863, at Age of 41.
Allen County Public Library
900 Webster Street
Kyn^e!lN46801-22^THI^ BUT AN OLD SOLDIER.
BY CHAPLAIN D. R. LUCAS.
[NOTE.— An old soldier went limping along the street, when a stalwart young man said to a
companion who asked who and what he was. -'Nothing but an old Soldier!" This is the
old soldier's reply.]
"Nothing but an old soldier:- what is that
That you're a savin" ahout me so pat :-—
Well. I guess you're right, I am gettin' old.
But after all a feller don't like bein' told
That he's nothin' else, ez if he was to blame
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
For bein' old. an' broken-down an" lame.
"If you'd just stop and think a minute, you'd
Not wonder if I was a little skewed,
An' out o'kilter, an' have some creaky ways
About my walkin",— there was some other days
When it was diff'rent, when I stood up straight,
An' walked a middlin" fair an' steady gait.
"I'm not sure, young feller, if 3'ou'd a been
Where I have been an" seen what I have seen,
If you'd a been with me an' felt the pain
O' marchin' daj- an' night in slush an' rain,
If you'd a foUered Grant an' Sherman, too.
If your gait now would be so straight an' true.
"If 3'ou'd a laid all night on frosty ground.
An' carried gun an' knap.sack an' forty round.
If you'd a stood in line an' heard the zip
O' Minnie bullets give your ear a tip.
If you'd a listened to the screechin' shell
I don't think now you'd feel so awful well.
"Just think o' Grant an' Sherman an" the men,
Who led us in the days o' battle: then
Just think that all o' them are dead an' gone.
An" that my earthh^ race is nearly run.
An" j'ou'U not wonder if I'm lame;
Time enough and you'll be so just the same.
"Nothin' but an old .soldiery It may be
I'm too sensitive, as others cannot see
The past as it appears to such as me.
Who followed Billy Sherman to the sea.
An' tramped so much in swamps of ice an' cold
That bunions ever since have had a hold.
"Nothin' but an old .soldier? A dog tent
Ain't the best o'shelter in the event
Of cold an" stormy weather anywhere.
An" yet I was compelled to winter there
For three long winters, an' you may know
Rheumatic legs make walkin' rather slow.
"Nothin' but an old soldier'; old an" gray.
I guess your right young man in what you say;
There aint no title that a man can wear
For honored service than the soldiers bear,
The men who wore the royal union blue.
For if their slept are slow their hearts are true."
LIEUT.-COLONEL JOHN M. BERKEY.
Thirty-five years will have passed away by June 5,
1900, since the survivors of the 99th Indiana Volunteer
Infantry were mustered out of the service of the United
States, after three years of active military life. As the
regiment marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in Wash-
ington, at the grand review of the army on May 24, 1865,
the 942 men that once composed its rank and file were
not all there. One hundred and eighty-eight, or twenty
per cent, of the number, were not in line, for the hands
that once so proudly grasped the sword, or the musket,
were cold and still,
"Under the sod and dew, waiting the judgment day."
One hundred and sixty-four, or seventeen per cent,
had been discharged on account of wounds, or disability
incurred in the service, many of them to go with halting
steps for a few years and then to go in feebleness down
to the grave.
Twenty-seven of them by their longings for home and
the bad advice of friends there, gave up their manhood
and deserted the ranks. Their names will not appear in
this history, for it is enough that they are preserved in
the archives of the nation. They were nearly all the
first winter in West Tennessee and each company had
one or more, five being the greatest number from any
Seventy-one of the number that were mustered out
with the regiment bore the scars of the wounds they
received in battle, and those that survive still have
these mementoes of their valor and devotion.
To write the history of a body of such men and, do it
in any measure commensurate with their patriotic valor
and heroic service, is a task from which one might shrink,
but the feeling that it should be done, and that the
COLONEL JOSIAH FARRAR.
8 New History of the Ninety-Ninth Indiana Infantry.
author has the material in hand to do it, as well perhaps,
as any other can do it, is his apolog-y for attempting it.
Another thing from another point of view is the fact
that he knew nearly every man in the regiment per-
sonally, and knows the survivors, having been for ten
years past the president of the Regimental Association,
makes it a pleasure to write of their deeds in the old
days. Having to depend upon personal letters for many
of the facts and dates, it seems impossible to give a pic-
ture of the army life without in some measure introdu-
cing the personal element, and I know the members of
the old regiment will understand and appreciate this
and allow me to use this seemingly egotistical method,
because it is about the only one possible for me.
The service of the regiment may properly be divided
into four great campaigns; the first, the campaign in
West Tennessee and Mississippi, culminating in the sur-
render of Vicksburg and the opening of the Mississippi
river, cutting the Confederacy in twain: the second, the
campaign culminating in the battle of Mission Ridge,
the relief of Knoxville and the saving of Chattanooga
and the State of Tennessee from the hands of the enemy;
the third, the Atlanta campaign, resulting in the cap-
ture of that city and the driving of Hood to the north-
west, where his expedition was to culminate in defeat at
Nashville; the fourth, the campaign called "The March
to the Sea," and through the Carolinas, resulting in the
surrender of General Johnston to General Sherman and
ending the war. Volumes have been written and vol-
umes more will be written of these campaigns, but it is
only my task to show what one regiment did in these
conflicts. It is hard for the great historian in the dis-
cussion of generals, tlieir plans of camjiaign and feats of
strategy, to get down to as small a force as a regiment,
but the real force that made battles and gained victor-
ies was the regiment, for they were the units of the
great whole. Often the critical position was held by a
single regiment and the fate of the whole army depended
on the courage and devotion of this unit. Often a bri-
CHAPLAIN D. R. LUCAS.
10 New History of the Ninety-Ninth Indiana Infantry.
g-ade, or a division, in the midst of a terrific fig"ht have-
been relieved by the bold attack of a single regiment on
the flank of the enemy. That brigade or division may-
lose heavily while the relieving regiment may come off
almost unscathed, and the historian who counts service
by losses fails to understand the value of the service of
Again circumstances often had much to do with the
duty and responsibility of a regiment. When our regi-
ment was sent to Louisville in the autumn of 1862, there
was no thought on the part of any of us but that we
should join the Army of the Cumberland. But the lack
of suitable guns delayed us for a time at Louisville, and
when we were ready to move we were ordered down the
Ohio and Mississippi rivers to Memj^his and joined the
Army of the Tennessee, with which we were connected
through all our service. We were afterwards associated
in the Mission Ridge and Atlanta campaigns with the
Army of the Cumberland, but it was always the Army of
the Tennessee, at the head of which the gallant James
B. McPherson was killed at Atlanta, on July 22, 1864.
He was succeeded by General John A. Logan on the field,
who being so unfortunate as not to be a graduate of
West Point, was compelled to go back to his corps com-
mand when General O. O. Howard was made commander
of the Army of the Tennessee. They were both g-ood
soldiers, but one was a volunteer and the other a reg-ular,
and the regular won the place, as he usually did.
Another thing in the history of a regiment growing-
out of the unit is the fact that the men of the regiment
become personally acquainted with each other and thus
are more closely linked together. Brigades may change,
and usually do with each campaign, but the companies
of a regiment as a general rule remain together. Hence,
when any member of the regiment does some creditable
act it reflects credit upon all the members of the regi-
ment and all take pride in it. Likewise any act of dis-
honor casts reproach upon all, so men felt that the good
name of the organization was to be maintained as well as.
LIEUT.-COLONEL W. V. POWELL.
the good name of the individuaL When his regiment
has a creditable and honorable record there is nothing
but pride in the way a man will tell of his connection
with it. Such is the record of this regiment, written as
it is on the pages of a nation's history, that no man was
ever connected with it who is not proud to say, "I was a
member of the old 99th Indiana Infantry." To put in a
permanent form the record of their deeds and make a
roll of honor on which to inscribe their names to be read
by the generations to come, is the purpose with which
this history is written.
At the end of the thirty-five years more than three
hundred members of the regiment survive and are filling
12 Neiv History of the Ninety-Ninth Indiana Infantry.
their places in the "world's broad field of battle."' When
I began preparing this work I was in hopes to be enabled
to give the fate of every man, but there are some still
"unknown." When the war was over they scattered
and went east, west, north and south and in new sur-
roundings, formed new ties, married and settled down,
and one day sickened and died, perhaps, and the link
that bound them to the comrades of the old days was
severed never to be reunited again on earth. For twenty
years after the war the regiment had no organization or
reunions, and all that time here and there one was passing
away and no report was made, so that there are some
now of whose fate we are unable to learn. When the
survivors began to hold reunions and notices of it were
published, there was a rousing of old memories and
from all parts of the country came responses from old
comrades, who found awakening in their hearts an ardent
desire to meet them, or to hear once more from the men
^N\t\\ whom they toiled and suffered in the days of old.
There is a common tie that binds all the survivors of the
old Grand Army together, but the strongest tie is that
of regimental comradeship. It then becomes personal,
for it is both the man and the soldier that we know. Be-
cause of this fact the colonel of a regiment comes to em-
body in some measure the spirit of his command and be-
comes a center of unity. A brigade, division, or corps
commander seems so far off" that he does not come into
the scope of vision of the soldiers, like their own colonel.
LIEUTENANT JOHN P. MERRILL, COMPANY A.
Born October 13, 1842, in Lake County, Indiana, where he has
always resided except while in the service. He entered the service
as sergeant in Company A, but was promoted to first lieutenant
October 31, 1864, and as such was mustered out with the regiment.
Since the war he has lived in Lake county and serving for some time
as postmaster at Crown Point, where he died very suddenly in the
year 1897. He leaves a wife and family behind him who, as a token
of their regard for his memory, have sent the above picture. Lieu-
tenant Merrill was one of the men who was never absent from the
reunions of the regiment, and when we met at Crown Point, he and
his daughter. Miss Alta, were on the committee and aided in all
ways to make the comrades have a good time, and now that he is
gone all join in a tribute to his memory. His family still reside at
The 99th Indiana Volunteer Infantry was org^anized
under the call of President Lincoln issued August 4, 1862,
at Camp Rose, the old fair ground at South Bend, In-
diana. It was at the time the residence of the Hon.
Schuyler Colfax, the representative in congress from the
9th Indiana district, and Judge Thomas S. Stanfield had
been appointed by Governor Morton to take charge of
the camp. In that camp were organized seven com-
panies, six with the minimum number, one with not
men enough to muster into the service. At the same
time recruiting was in progress in the 6th district for
the 96th Indiana Volunteers, but only three companies
were recruited so that the two were consolidated and the
seven companies predominating the number 99 was re-
tained, and so there was no regiment from Indiana with
the number 96.
When these men came together to become soldiers
they were ignorant of the duties of a soldier's life, but
they were not ignorant of the dangers and hardships of
the service. For more than a year the struggle had al-
ready prevailed, great battles had been fought, tens of
thousands had already lost their lives, and to enlist in
the army meant years of hard service for all, and death
to many, but still they did not hesitate. They were not
hirelings, for many of them had homes and farms and
were making money at home, and had they been hire-
lings there they would remain, for it was the hireling
that stayed at home. It was with them a question of
patriotism pure and simple. The nation must perish or
they must perish to save it. Ignorant they were of tac-
tics, but not of the issue involved, but they were ready
and willing to take the chances.
CAPTAIN GEORGE HOLMES GWIN, COMPANY F.
Born January 1st, 1819, in Lanesville, Harrison county, Indiana.
At the age of eighteen years learned the trade of a blacksmith,
which he followed for eighteen years in Lanesville, moving to White
county, Indiana, in November, 1854, where he engaged in farming.
He went to Mexico as a soldier in the 2nd Indiana Volunteers, com-
manded by Colonel Bowles. He served twelve months and was ap-
pointed corporal. In 1857 he was appointed first lieutenant in the
Indiana Militia by Governor Joseph A. Wright. He assisted in
organizing Company F in August, 1862, of which he was com-
missioned Captain, in which position he served over two years.
When the time came for the march to the sea he was deemed by the
Colonel as unable to make the march, and so on November 8, 1864,
.he resigned and returned to his home in Brookston, White county,
where he still resides.
Captain Gwin is the oldest survivor of the regiment, having passed
the four score years, and recalls the old days with pleasure when he
was Captain of "G win's Rangers." His portrait shows him as full
of vigor yet. A portrait taken in the army will be found on another
16 New History of the Ninetij-NintJi Indiana Infantry.
In the organization Company A came from Lake
county under the command of Captain Daniel F. Sawyer.
The captain was a tall, well-formed man, 45 years of
age, too old for the hardships of the service for he only
endured them six months, dying February 12, 1863, at
Fort Fowler, near LaGrange, Tennessee. He was suc-
ceeded by Captain Kellogg M. Burnham.
Company B came from Hancock county under com-
mand of Captain James H. Carr. He was a man who was
also unable to endure the hardships of the service and
about the time of Captain Sawyer's death, it was a ne-
cessity for him to leave the service or go across the river.
He came home and still lives to rejoice in the glorious
record made by the 99th Indiana. He was succeeded by
Captain George Tague.
Company C came parth' from Porter and partly from
Benton county and was a consolidation of i)arts of two
companies, and was under the command of Captain
Jacob Brewer. He was a man of rugged frame but
over 45 years of age and in less than a year was com-
pelled to leave the service, and for many years before he
died was a victim of rheumatism to such an extent that
he was unable to walk but went about in a wheeled
chair. He was succeeded by Captain Charles M.
Company D came from Miami county under command
of Captain Josiah Farrar who retained the command until
he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel and succeeded
to the command of the regiment which he held at the
muster out of the regiment, when he received a commis-
sion as colonel.
Company E came from Newton, Jasper and Carroll
counties and was under command of Captain Daniel Ash,
a man about 44 years of age, but he was unable to endure
the exposures of the service and in the spring of 1863 re-
signed and returned to his home at Morocco, Indiana,
where he still lives. He was succeeded by Captain Sam-
New History of the Ninety-Nintli Indiana Infantry.
LIEUTENANT THOMAS J. BARLOW, COMPANY H.
Born in Ireland, August 24, 1844; parents came to United States
when he was a babe. Lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, and then
came to Madison, Indiana; remained there until October, 1856, and
then came to Indianapolis, learned the wood carvinj^ business with
Thomas Ott, furniture manufacturer. When the war broke out he
was eng-aged in the state arsenal under General Sturm until
August, 18b2, when he enlisted in Company H, 90th Indiana. He
served as private, corporal, sergeant, first sergeant and first
lieutenant, and on the march through Carolina he wiis assigned as
first lieutenant and A. D. C. bj' Major General W. B. Hazen,
division commander. He was always with the regiment except
while on the staff of General Hazen. Was on the famous march to the
sea; never had a furlough. Was in the grand review at Washington.
After muster out he returned to Indianapolis and engaged for a
short time in the liquor business; not being pleased with that, he
retired and became connected with the post-office at Indianapolis.
In 1868 he was married to Miss Harriet Carpenter, of Binghampton,
New York, after which he embarked in the liquor business until
1876, when he sold out for the purpose of studying law. In 1879 he
got the Colorado fever and went to Leadville, where he engaged in
different business. His wife died in Denver in 1883, and he
remained at Aspen and other mining camps until 1885, when he came
to Chicago where, in 1893, he married Mary E. Anderson, of Indian-
apolis. He is living in Chicago, very happy with his wife, and
thinks it as good as any city in the Union. He is like all Chicago
men. Lieutenant Barlow was one of the youngest commissioned
officers of the regiment, a live and active man. His address is No. 6
Dearborn street, Chicago.
18 New History of the Ninety -Ninth Indiana Infantry.
Company F came from White county under the
command of Captain George H. Gwin. He was over
forty years of age, but a man of wonderful vitality and
retained the command of his companj^ for over two years,
the last cf the old men of the original captains to leave
the service. He was succeeded by CaiDtain Andrew
Company G came from Hendricks County under the
command of Captain Tilberry Reid. He was an old man,
56 years of age, and the service was soon too hard for
him and he sickened and died at Holly Springs, Miss.,
Jan. 1, 1863. He was succeeded by Captain John
Company H came from Marion and Hendricks counties
under the command of Captain Joseph B. Homan, He
was a young man who had seen service as first lieutenant
in the 13th Iowa. Having been wounded at Shiloh he
was granted leave of absence and came home and
recruited Company H. He was afterward promoted
major and was succeeded by Captain William M.
Company I came from Howard and Miami counties
under command of Captain William V. Powell Captain
Powell was promoted during the service to major and
was succeeded by Captain Ira B. Myers.
Company K was recruited in Cass county, principally
by Captain George W. Julian, and came to South Bend
with 70 men, not enough to muster. Captain W! R. C.
Jenks was appointed captain but did not go with the
company to the field. It was not until December 26, 1862,
that Company K had men enough to muster and the
company spent the winter in Indianapolis, joining the
regiment in the field, May 11, 1863.
The rolls will show the record of every man in these
companies and, as far as possible to learn, the fate of
While in camp at South Bend, Dr. William W. Butter-
worth was appointed assistant surgeon and was
promoted in the January following to surgeon and served
LIEUTENANT GEORGE S. WALKER, COMPANY F.
as such in all the campaij^ns the regiment made and was
mustered out with the regiment at the close of the war.
His assistants were Dr. Law.son D. Robinson from
October, 1862, to August 11, 1863, when he resigned. Dr.
L S. Russell from February 25, 1863, to August 10, 1864,
when he died from an acute attack of dysentery, and
Drs. Isaiah Potfenberger and Abner D, Kimball, who
were appointed assistants not long before the close of
the war and were mustered out with the regiment. Dr.
Butterworth died in 1888.
James L. Cathcart, son of Hon. Charles Cathcart, of
La Porte county, was appointed lieutenant and regimen-
tal quartermaster by the governor at the request of the
Hon. Schuyler Colfax and was the only political appoint-
20 New History of the Ninety-Ninth Indiana Infantry.
ment in the regiment. His father had been a prominent
Democratic politician and was an ardent supporter of
the Union and being too old for service himself his son
was given a commission. He served with the regiment
until the close of the war. He died in 1888.
John M. Berkey, who had seen service as second
lieutenant in the 46th Indiana, was appointed tirst lieu-
tenant and adjutant of the regiment, but was afterward
promoted to major where he served for two years and
was, April 24, 1864, commissioned lieutenant-colonel.
These were all the appointments made at South Bend,
and the seven companies there were transported to
Indianapolis where the consolidation was effected with
the three companies there and we had a regiment, but no
field officers. Captain Sawyer, of Company A, was the
ranking officer and while we remained in "Camp Joe
Reynolds," a camp on the west bank of the canal,
between the canal and the river, was in command of the
regiment. We rode from South Bend to Indianapolis
most of the way in "cattle cars."' There was some
complaint but two years afterward those cattle cars
would have been palaces of luxury if we could only have
enjoyed the privilege of riding in them, instead of the
weary miles of march.
When we reached Camp Joe Reynolds the barracks
were all full and we had to go to work and construct
some for our own use. As we had plenty of mechanics
in the regiment it was soon accomplished. It would be
hard to find a trade for which you could not find a skilled
mechanic in the regiment, they were builders and con-
structors, and while they destroyed a great many fences,
railroads and bridges in their time they helped in the
great work of reconstructing a nation, removing the
debris of slavery and secession, and building it anew upon
the great principles of unity, liberty and equal rights.
In a letter I wrote to my wife I find the following:
"At midnig-ht Sunday night, October 19th, we left camp and
marched to the union depot at Indianapolis, where, after waiting-, at
2:30 a. m., we took the cars for Louisville and arrived at Jefferson-
Til e rf/a nization.
CAPTAIN IRA B. MYERS, COMPANY I.
Born August 10, 1840, at Muncte, Indiana; educated in the
common schools and one year at Battle Ground Institute in Tippe-
canoe county. Enlisted but failed to get into three months service,
but re-enlisted August 10, 1862, and was appointed first lieutenant of
Company I; promoted to captain in May, 1865, mustered out with the
regiment. He participated in all the campaigns and battles of the
regiment, and was detailed on General Hazen's staff during the
march to the sea. His residence since 1852, with the exception of
four years, from 1857 to 1861, has been Peru, Indiana. In January,
1862, he was married to Miss Maggie Robinson, of Peru. Since the
war he has served as deputy auditor of Miami county tor five years,