Clark County, Ohio

History and Genealogy



The Mexican War


From The History of Clark County, Ohio
Chicago: W.H. Beers & Co., 1881 - Page 293


During the years 1846-47, a call was made upon the people to furnish men for the army of regulars and volunteers, which was to invade Mexico for the acquisition of Texas, and the extension of the Southwest frontier.

It is not known how many men were in the Mexican war from this county. The State furnished four regiments of infantry, of ten companies each, besides a number of organizations of the cavalry and artillery arms.

There were probably sixty or seventy companies in all, yet there is but one of these muster rolls on file at the military headquarters of the State.

It is related by some of the older people that twelve or fifteen men volunteered for this service, at a general muster of the militia, held at or near "Boston;" but there is no record or accout of it now known to exist.

From the statement made by those who served in those campaigns, it is thought that not more than eight or ten men went out from Clark County to the Mexican war, and they went out one at a time, and into different companies.

It must be remembered that the county was Whig in politics, and as such the people were not in sympathy with the war, farther than to maintain the honor of our national arms. The following names are of those who represented this county in that war. The list is short and unsatisfactery [sic], and is no doubt incomplete:

Andrew F. Boggs — see note with United States Naval list.

Biddle Boggs was one of the leading spirits here, who raised a company for the service in Mexico, but failed to get it accepted. Entered the service as Wagonmaster; had charge of the ammunition train at the battle of Buena Vista; received the thanks of Gens. Taylor and Wool for services in that engagement.

Edward Boggs was enlisted from Kentucky, but was a resident of this county.

Other names are Goerge Cox, Isaiah Cheney, Daniel Harsh, James Botten, Adam Evans, — Hoover.

Capt. Simon H. Drum, U.S.A., was brought here for final interment, after his fall, during the assault on the city of Mexico. See United States Regular List.

Vincent Nowotny, of Springfield, was one of the party of half a dozen soldiers who bore Capt. Drum off the field.

In 1857, the militia interests were again revived, and the laws tinkered with upon the general plan of the old system, but without any of the margins for fun which preserved that system so long. The State was divided into divisions and brigades, and a general officer elected or appointed in each; in many of these subdivisions not a soldier existed except the Brigadier himself. Under this arrangement, J.F. Whiteman was chosen Brigadier General, and died in office during the year 1857 or 1858. there were three companies of uniformed militiamen in the county then, viz., the Springfield Light Artilery, Springfield Zouave Cadets, and one company at Tremont. On the 27th of November, 1858, John M. Deardorff, commanding the artillery company, was chosen Brigadier General to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Gen. Whiteman. James C. Bonondor succeeded to the command of the Artillery. For the names of those who served as staff officers to both Gens. Whiteman and Deardorff the reader is directed to another paragraph. From the poll-book of this election it is learned that Deardorff had 123 votes, and that one Samuel Bowlus had ninety votes; the Judges were Scott Martin, J.B. McKinley and John C. Miller, with W.R. Munroe Clerk. This poll-book is an interesting paper, as it contains the names of 213 citizens of this county, who were connected in some way with the militia interests of the period that witnessed the outbreak of the great rebellion. Some of those who voted then are now resting in soldiers' graves with their names and deeds recorded upon tablets more enduring than the flimsy scroll which reveals the martial spirit of their youth. Young gentlemen who then called each other "Howard," or "Phil," or "Ed," or "Dave," or "Joe," are now wearing the well earned and honorable titles of the higher grades of actual war, which distinctions have been sealed by the iron stamp of conflict. these men were unconsiously learning the alphabet of a language which three years later was destined to echo back the jarring Sumter's walls with an eloquence that forced the admiring attention of the civilized world.

During the period from this election to the spring of 1861, the organizations are said to have performed the yearly rounds of camp duty. The Brigadier and his full staff were on hand, and "reviewed the three companies. One well-known citizen relates that it cost him about $100 for his outfit, and something more for pocket money, for one half day's experience in camp. A year later, he was furnished with all the experience he desired, and was paid $13 a month and "board" besides, war having changed the market value of nearly everything.

Gen. Whiteman's Staff — Brigade Adjutant; Samuel Shellabarger, Brigade Inspector; Rodney Mason, Judge Advocate; J.J. Snyder, Brigade Engineer; William G. Boggs, Chaplain; Jerry Kleinfelter, Quartermaster; A. Denny Rogers, Aid.

Gen. John M. Deardorff's Staff — J. Warren Keifer, Brigade Adjutant; George Spence, Judge Advocate; John H. Littler, Brigade Inspector; J.V. Ballantine, Brigade Engineer; William G. Boggs, Chaplain; William Reed, Quartermaster, John C. Miller, Aid.

The city history contains an account of the shock experienced here, as elsewhere, at the attempted disruption of the nation in 1861. It only remains to trace the workings of that great wrong, upon the hearts of the people of this county, to some of the results which were incidental, and yet of a nature so general and broad as to fairly include them in the list of subjects pertaining to the county proper.

To enter into all the details of labor, in a hundred forms, which was engaged in, by the citizens of this county, on account of the war, would of itself form a history of great extent. Aid societies — the Sanitary and Christian Commissions — collections of food and clothing, maintaining a proper "rest" for sick and weary soldiers, extra hours of hard labor on account of being short of help, etc., to a distant end, were all attended to by our people in a manner that is pleasant to think of after a lapse of fifteen years, because those duties were well done.

Other portions of the work will contain more or less of the details pertinent to different parts of the county.