When the War of the Rebellion began with the bombardment of Fort Sumter, most Trumbull County natives were going about their lives as they normally would.
The total population of the county was 30,656 men, woman and children, according to the 1860 Federal Census. Of this population, approximately 9,330 men were of service age.
On April 28, 1861, after a huge rally in downtown Warren, 110 men raised their hands to serve. These men would follow Joel F. Asper to Cleveland, where they would be sworn into the Volunteer Army as Company H, 7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
During the three years of service, the 7th Ohio became one of the most recognized in the entire Army. Eleven men were killed on the battlefield. Fifty-three men were wounded, of which seven died. Six men were taken prisoner of war, of which one died. Five more died from disease and one from accident, while four were missing in action.
The 7th as a whole had the second-highest mortality rate of all Ohio regiments.
The men who represented Trumbull County in the 7th were of high moral character and of many different vocations. We have discussed in other columns some of the more prominent representatives of Trumbull, such as J.D. Cox and Emerson Opdycke, but there were many others who also made their mark.
The following men served in the Union Army under many different circumstance but all as loyal patrons of Trumbull County.
l Joel F. Asper
Joel F. Asper entered the service April 24, 1861, for three months; mustered out and re-enlisted June 3, 1861, for three years. He entered as captain and was promoted to lieutenant colonel May 20, 1862. He was wounded severely in the left thigh about 6 p.m. March 23, 1862, on the final charge of the day.
He was a state Representative from Missouri who was born in Adams County, Pa., on April 20, 1822. He moved to Ohio with his parents, who settled in Trumbull County in 1827, and attended the public schools and the local college in Warren.
He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1844 and commenced practice in Warren. He became justice of the peace in 1846; prosecuting attorney of Geauga County in 1847; delegate to the Buffalo Free-Soil Convention in 1848; editor of the Western Reserve Chronicle in 1849; moved to Iowa in 1850 and published the Chardon Democrat; raised a company for the Civil War in 1861 and served as its captain; was wounded in the Battle of Winchester; was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1862; mustered out of the service in 1863 because of wounds received in action; moved to Chillicothe, Livingston County, Mo., in 1864 and resumed the practice of law.
He founded the Spectator in 1866; was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1868; elected as a Republican to the 41st Congress (March 4, 1869, to March 3, 1871); and was not a candidate for renomination in 1870.
He practiced law until his death Oct. 1, 1872, in Chillicothe, Mo.
This report that Asper wrote March 15, 1863, from Dumfries, Va., after being forced to resign because of his wound appeared in the Western Reserve Chronicle:
"During last week I visited the regiment to say farewell, and cheer the men by such words as I could speak to them. It was very sad for me to do this.
''Some of them stepped forward with me on the week after the assault on Fort Sumter, had volunteered with me for three years service at Camp Dennison, had been brave and true soldiers and companions in arms, had endured with me many hardship and disaster in battle, had when bullets flew thick and fast and when pressed by overwhelming numbers, stood firm at my bidding and retrieved the fortunes of the day at Winchester, when the brigade and a portion of the regiment for a time was in confusion; they are the heroes, every one, of many a hard fought battle; they have under my command, treating me with the highest respect, obeying every order cheerfully and with soldier-like promptness, and when I came to say farewell and be separated from them, and not permitted longer to share their honor and glory, it was indeed a sad and trying hour for me."
Halbert B. Case was born May 31, 1838, in Trumbull County, the son of a farmer.
At age 16, he entered the W.R. Seminary in Farmington to prepare for college. After a year and a half, he went to Oberlin, where he pursued his studies for more than three years, when, his health failing him, he was compelled to leave college.
During the winter of 1859, his health being somewhat improved, he went to Tiffin to study law. He remained here two winters. In the spring of 1860, being in indifferent health, he returned to his home in Mecca, where he pursued his studies privately for some months. Afterward, he went to Warren and studied law with Forriat and Barnett until the breaking out of the rebellion.
On April 19, 1861, deeming it his duty to serve his country, he enlisted in Asper's company. He was soon after made orderly-sergeant. When the three years' organization was made, he was unanimously chosen a lieutenant by a vote of his company.
He served honorably during the campaign in Western Virginia, taking an active part in the affair of Cross Lanes, sharing the fortunes of the detachment under Major Casement.
Among the first promotions that were made in November 1861, he was remembered by the authorities and appointed a first lieutenant. He accompanied the regiment to Eastern Virginia, where he joined the expedition to Romney and Blues Gap.While at Patterson's Creek, he felt it his duty to resign his commission on account of a personal difficulty with Col. Tyler. He therefore left the regiment early in February, with the regrets of the entire command.
He was not long permitted to remain at home, for his former services were acknowledged by giving him a commission as captain in the 84th Regiment, which was being organized for three mouths' service. He proceeded with his regiment to Cumberland, Md. Soon after, he was made provost marshal and commandant of the post.
Among his first orders was one against the use and sale of intoxicating liquors, which he proceeded to enforce in an effectual manner, thus materially aided in maintaining order and quiet at the post.
After nearly five months' service, when the regiment was mustered out, he was appointed colonel. Owing to the number of regiments at that time being organized in northern Ohio, he was but partially successful. The regiment was consolidated with the 124th Ohio, and Case returned to his home.
He soon after entered the law school at Ann Arbor, Mich. After graduation, he returned home, where he married, and commenced the practice of his profession in Youngstown.
Charles T. Garrard enlisted Oct. 5th, 1861, in Warren. His company moved up the Ohio River to Point Pleasant, W.Va., then via the Kanawha River to Charleston, W.Va. The regiment at that time was at Gauley Bridge on a reconnaissance.
He was constantly with the regiment through its various winter campaigns until it reached the vicinity of Winchester, Va. He was at the battle of Winchester on March 23, 1862.
At the battle of Port Republic on June 9, 1862, he assisted Capt. George L. Wood of Company D, who was severely wounded in the thigh, off the field.
Garrard went to Alexandria with the 7th and camped near Fort Ellsworth, where their muskets were changed for Springfield rifles. He was with the regiment at the battle of Cedar Mountain. At this battle the regiment suffered terribly, with more than two out of every three soldiers killed or wounded.
Adjutant Molyneaux came through the smoke to the right of the regiment with an order to fall back, and when Garrard got back a little, he found there were only two in this retreat, Corp. Trimmer and himself. The balance of the regiment had already left the field.
Then followed the various campaigns in and around the second battle of Bull Run and Chantilly, and thence through Maryland to South Mountain. He took part in the battle of Antietam on Sept. 17, 1862, and with the regiment in camp on Loudoun Heights, Va.
On Oct. 23, 1862, under a general order from the War Department, he enlisted for the remainder of his time in the 6th U.S. Cavalry, and eventually was discharged as regimental quartermaster sergeant.
George L. Wood was born in Chardon in 1837, and was educated in common schools. In his early manhood, he studied law in Warren and became the first mayor.
He enlisted under the first call for troops and what was then known as company A of Warren, which entered Camp Taylor on April 26, 1861, and became Company H of the Seventh Regiment. He was commissioned first lieutenant in the company and served there until Nov. 25, 1861, when he was promoted to captain of company.
He was honorably discharged on Nov. 10, 1862, on account of disability from a severe wound received in battle at Port Republic, Va., on June 9, 1862.
He became major of the 125th Ohio Infantry on Sept. 16, 1862, and was discharged on April 20, 1863. He participated in the battles of Winchester and Port Republic, Va.
On Oct. 9, 1862, he married Jane B. Todd of Warren, and one daughter was born. His wound left him in a delicate condition until the date of his death on Sept. 14, 1867, at Warren, where he was buried in Oakwood Cemetery.
Wood wrote what he termed a "Record of the Services of the Seventh Ohio Infantry,'' from which some of the information for this column is culled.
William D. Braden entered the service April 25, 1861, for three months as a private; mustered out and re-enlisted June 20, 1861, for three years. He was promoted to captain of Company G on July 9, 1863. He returned to Cleveland July 4, 1864, to muster out of the service.
This letter is part of his history:
''Green Spring Run, Virginia, Dec. 16, 1861.
''His Excellency the Governor of Ohio.
''The undersigned would respectfully recommend for appointment for Second Lt. in our regiment, the Seventh Ohio Volunteers, William D. Braden, of Company H. He is a young man of good address of marked ability and soldier like bearing. He is one of the men who volunteered with me immediately after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, and he has served faithfully as a private soldier ever sense (sic). Owing to his modesty he is not known as a stranger, at the organization of the company, who the noncommissioned officers were appointed. He understands tactics well and is well qualified for any position in a company. I ask his appointment because I feel that his ability, military knowledge, and faithful service should give him a better position and fully utilize to their promotion. I make this recommendation without consultation with him, and without his knowledge, and I present him here, because it appears there are several vacancies in the company for Second Lt.
''Respectfully, Your obedient servant.
''J. F. Asper Captain, Company H. (Adj. Gen Series 147)''
Henry Z. Eaton entered the service April 22, 1861, for three months; mustered out and re-enlisted June 18, 1861, for three years. He mustered out as a private in Company B on June 18, 1861, and was appointed a second lieutenant of Company B the same day.
He was promoted to first first lieutenant and assigned to Company H on Feb. 20, 1862; detached as acting aide-de-camp on staff of Gen. E. B. Tyler; wounded in the leg during the Battle of Cedar Mountain, Va., on Aug. 9, 1862; and resigned by reason of disability on Nov. 23, 1862.
Eaton was with Company B constantly during the campaign in Western Virginia, and always at his post. He took an important part in the Cross Lanes affair.
According to Wood's history, ''When Colonel Tyler being given a brigade, (Eaton) was assigned to his staff as aid-de-camp. He held this position at the battle of Winchester; and no one in the army did better service. He was constantly in the saddle, riding fearlessly in the heat of the battle, a fair mark for the rebels.
''During the engagement his horse was wounded. He was mentioned in official reports for gallant conduct. He soon after took part in the battle of Port Republic, where he added much to his already well-earned reputation for courage and other soldierly qualities.
''He now followed the regiment to Alexandria, where he returned to his company and to the front of Pope's Army, where he was at the battle of Cedar Mountain, in which he was severely wounded. He soon after returned to his home, and finally resigned, on account of disability from wounds.''
John A. Chafee entered the service on May 30, 1861, for three years at age 36. He was appointed a corporal, promoted to sergeant and mustered out on July 7, 1864.
This was from his obituary, which ran on April 22, 1924, in the Trumbull County Democrat:
''John Chafee, Trumbull County's turnkey, oldest jailer in Ohio - in his 84th year, and the oldest jailer in Ohio.
''John Chafee, turnkey at the county jail here, works 12 or more hours a day as watch at the portals of the prison containing usually 60 or more persons of criminal tendencies, and likes it.
''By trade a carpenter, at which he worked for his father in Mecca Township in and around long before the Civil War, Mr. Chafee has served the county as turnkey for about a dozen years. Before that he ran the elevator for a time at the courthouse and before that was janitor at the courthouse.
''He enlisted April 28, 1861, at the office of John Stull, then located where the Western Reserve Bank now stands. He subsequently served in over 40 battles, among them engagements at Gettysburg, Antietam, Chancellorsville, up-and-down the Shenandoah Valley, and at Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. He was one of the survivors when at Ringgold, Georgia, 72 out of the 96 men including himself, came out of the conflict alive.
''He is justly proud of his military record. He never missed a march or battle when called upon, never struggled away from the camp and never was sick a day. He went into service leaving a wife and three-month-old child at home. He served three years and four months, during which time he never lay upon a bed.
''Mr. Chafee then worked for the county 24 years. He was the second janitor of the present courthouse building, serving as janitor for nine years. He spent one year at the soldier's home at Sandusky and returned to Warren to act as turnkey at request of ex-Sheriff Frank E. Rose.''
Hiram McQuiston was born in Trumbull County in 1837. In 1861 he was 24 years old, 5 feet 7 inches in height, light complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair. He was employed as a carpenter. He enlisted on April 25, 1861, in Joel F. Asper's Company from Warren, later Company H of the 7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
On May 3, President Lincoln called for recruits into the three-year service and McQuiston made the commitment. On Dec. 2, 1861, while in Charleston, Va., he was granted 30 days of furlough and returned to see his family in Warren.
On the March 23, 1862, during the Battle of Kernstown (Winchester), he was wounded. By October, he was still nursing his wounds and was discharged at Harper's Ferry on Oct. 22.
He re-enlisted in Company K, 6th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. He subsequently fought at Gettysburg among other battles.
He was discharged on April 23, 1864 at Brandy Station, Va.
After the war he removed to Philadelphia, where he married on July 28, 1864. He passed away in 1918 in Philadelphia.
There are many other notables who will be include in future articles.
Compiled by members of the CW150 Committee of Warren's Sutliff Museum.