G.A.R. Post: John Buford Post #89 Everett, WA
11th INDIANA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: 4/21/61 Indianapolis, IN
Mustered In: 4/25/61 Indianapolis, IN
Mustered Out: 8/4/61
47th INDIANA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: 11/1/61 Anderson, IN
Mustered In: 12/13/61
Mustered Out: 10/23/65
REGIMENTAL HISTORY: (11TH)
The 11th, a 3 month regiment was, almost immediately after Federal Muster, transferred to Evansville for blockade duty along the Ohio River. A somewhat dramatic event occurred the day the regiment left for the front. The patriotic women of Indianapolis presented it with a handsome stand of colors. When received by Col. Lewis Wallace (Later on Gen Wallace who, post war, wrote the novel Ben Hur) received it he turned to the men and said in his most impressive tone “Now remember Buena Vista, boys, and on our knees let us swear to defend this flag with the last drop of our blood.” Every man in the regiment, including Wallace himself, dropped to his knees and the Colonel repeated the following oath: “We pledge ourselves before God and these our fellow-countrymen, to defend this flag with our lives, and to die for it if necessary, God being our helper, Amen.” A solemn “Amen” came in on breath from the regiment.
Ordered to Virginia, on 6/11 the unit arrived at Romney and attacked the town, but the main body of the enemy had fled. While encamped at Cumberland, 13 mounted scouts of the 11th attacked 41 of the enemy routing them, and killing 8. The 13 were then attacked by a larger party of rebels, but fell back to a secure position and held until dark. In July the regiment reached Martinsburg, then was sent to Bunker hill and Harper’s Ferry. Final muster came shortly thereafter. A three year incarnation of the 11th was then formed and served until the end of the war.
Residence: Tipton, IN. Age: 24 yrs. (est.)
Enlisted/Enrolled: 4/23/-25/61 Rank: Pvt.
Mustered Out: 8/4/61 Indianapolis, IN
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Residence: Normanda, IN Age: 25 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 1/20-21/62 Camp Wickliffe, KY
Mustered Out: 10/28/-?/62 Rank: Pvt.
Highest Rank: Pvt.
PERSONAL FAMILY HISTORY:
Although available documents do not provide an exact year and date of birth, they do indicate that John W. Smith was born in 1837. The place of his birth is unknown. Also, there is no information at hand pertaining to his birth family, childhood, formative or teenaged years. Finally, there is no notation regarding his occupation at the time the 5’6”, fair complexioned, gray-eyed Smith entered the U.S. Army. Likely, he was a farmer as that was his post war occupation.
Private Smith’s initial period of enlistment appears to have been without trauma as there are no recorded incidents of wounding or serious illness. Such was not the case during his second, much longer period of service. In later years Smith would petition the U.S. Government for a disability pension based on his claiming that while in the service of the U.S. Government, at Champion Hill, MS he contracted the skin disease psoriasis on both ankles, in his crotch and on both hands. The disease, at the time, caused great sores and, in later years, prevented him from performing manual labor “one half the time.” For whatever reason, the request was granted.
Mr. Smith received a small monthly stipend until his death. Skin problems aside, it appears private Smith viewed his time with the 47th as not unduly harsh or burdensome as, following expiration of his initial period of enlistment, he reenlisted as a veteran volunteer and this received a furlough from 2/28 to 3/31/64. On 3/3/64, in Rush County near Rushville, IN John married Anne Jane Wilson (b. ca. 1845).
The Rebellion quelled and military service behind him, John Smith returned to Indiana and his wife. During the next few years the couples’ only child, son Onsen B. Smith was born. Onsen’s date of birth is consistently noted as September 15, but one document lists the year as 1868, while another claims 1869. By the late 1890’s the Smiths had removed from Indiana to Missouri where, in 4/89 they were resident of the Harvell Co. town of West Plains. Exactly when and why the move was made is not documented. Perhaps it was prompted by the lure of new farmland.
Former Civil War infantry Private John W. Smith died 11/6/99 in Everett, WA. Again, when and why the move was made is not known. Maybe their son lived in the area. After John’s death Anne continued to receive $8 per month from the U.S. Government based on her late husband’s Civil War soldiering. The payments ceased on 10/25/01 when Anne remarried. Her fate is not known.
Buried at Evergreen Cemetery
Row: GAR Section
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