97th INDIANA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: Summer, 1862 Terre Haute, IN
Mustered In: 9/20/62
Mustered Out: 6/9/65 Washington, D.C.
A three year "western theater" regiment, the 97th departed Indiana shortly following Federal muster and moved to Memphis, TN. In 1863 it joined Union Gen. U.S. Grant's overland movement towards Vicksburg, MS and returned to Moscow after the Holly Springs debacle. Later, it joined Union Gen. W.T. Sherman's army in the rear of Vicksburg.
With the fall of that city in mid-1863 the 97th took part in the siege of Jackson, MS and in October of the same year moved into Alabama. From there it returned to Tennessee it was engaged at the battle of Chattanooga then accompanied the forces sent to the relief of Union Gen. Ambrose Burnside in eastern Tennessee. It then went into winter quarters in Alabama.
In May, 1864 the regiment joined Gen. Sherman's Atlanta, GA campaign during which it was engaged at Resaca, Dallas, New Hope Church, Big Shanty, Kennesaw Mountain and the battle before Atlanta itself. Later battles included Jonesboro, Lovejoy's Station and Little River during the pursuit of forces under Confed. Gen. J.B. Hood. It then marched to the sea with Sherman.
Early 1865 found the 97th moving northward from Georgia through the Carolinas. Engagements during this campaign included Columbia, S.C. and Bentonville, N.C. From there it moved to Goldsboro, N.C., thence to Richmond, VA and, finally, Washington, D.C. where it was mustered out of service.
Residence: Pleasant Ridge or Scotland, Green Co., IN Age: 19.7 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 8/20/62 Solsberry, IN Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 9/20/62
Mustered Out: 6/9/65 Washington D.C.
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Note: Throughout available documents John’s surname appears in several spelling configurations. Although, at birth, the family name may have been Pownell, documents signed by the veteran reflect Pownall. As such, that spelling is used herein.
John Henry Pownall was born on January 14, 1843 in St. Claire, Columbiana County, Ohio to Samuel G. (b. 1818 or '20 VA), a farmer, and Nancy (nee Shurtz b. 1812/'13 VA) Pownall. As far as known in available documentation he was the second of seven children. His oldest sibling was a sister Margaret (b. ca. Sept. 1841). His younger brothers and sisters were: Martha E. (b. 1844 OH), Catherine (b. 1846 PA), Benjamin (b. ca. 1849), Samuel (b. 1851 OH) and Mary (b. 1854 IN). As noted by the children’s' birthplaces, the Powell’s moved around during John's growth years.
On 8/20/62 teenaged John enlisted in the U.S. Army for three years. The initial enlistment was in Captain Axtell's Company of the 97th Indiana Infantry. Once assimilated into the 97th the unit became company "A" of that regiment. For enlisting young John received a $100 financial bonus or "bounty" of which he was initially paid around $27. At enlistment Private Pownall's vital statistics were: Age - 19; Height - 5'7" or 9"; Complexion - light; Eyes - gray; Hair - Auburn; Occupation - farmer. While in the service his surname would appear as Pownell, Pownel, Pownall and Punnels.
Military service records show Private Pownall as always being present until October 11, 1863 when he was "left sick" at Memphis, TN. Shortly thereafter, on 11/8, he received a 30 day (likely medical) furlough to go home to Scotland, Green County, Indiana. This furlough proved significant in that on December 7th or 8th the private was reported absent without leave from his regiment.
On 2/27 Private Pownall's name appeared on a "muster and descriptive list of detachment deserters, stragglers and other soldiers to whom transportation had been provided to specified points by the military commander stationed at Indianapolis." A few days later, on 3/3/64 muster rolls noted that Private Pownall had voluntarily returned to his company and regiment then stationed at Shell Mound, TN and that his captain requested he be returned to duty with such punishment as (the) general commanding may direct." As a result of this request, in March/April, 1864 there was a levied a penalty of $4.74 for transportation provided by U.S. Government and there was a stoppage from Private Pownall's pay for two months and 24 days (over furlough) having been (awol.) (Otherwise) he was returned to duty with pay. Private Pownall was thereafter present until final muster.
Military life behind him, John Pownall returned to Indiana where, in Martin County on 1/21 or 29/69, he wed Mary Jane Moore (b. 3/14/52 OH). The union would produce eight children: Samuel J. Jr., (b. 10/20/69 IN), Jesse (b. 8/22/71 MN), Salathiel "Sal" (b. 2/23/74 OH), Elizabeth E. (b.2/13 or 7/17/78 or '79 IN), Harvey "Harry" (b. 2/9/85 MN), Lily/Lillie M. (b. 6/16/86 MN), Earl V. (b. 10/15/93 MN),and Sedgwick/Sedwick Ervin (b 7/15/95).
As had been the case with his own birth family, the locations of where John's children were born points to the Pownall family apparently moving their household a number of times during their child bearing/rearing years. Censuswise, however, the 1870 tally found the Pownalls residing in or near the community of Taylor in Greene County, Indiana. John's occupation at the time was listed as "farmer." A decade later farmer Pownall was still in Indiana, but residing then in or near the Davies County community of Madison. At some point - likely in mid to late 1880 or early '81 - the family departed Indiana for Minnesota.
Most of the 1890 census information was destroyed by fire, so exactly where the Pownall family was residing at the time is not documented. Circumstantially, however, it appears likely they were in Minnesota. Definitively they were there in 1900 residing in or near Clear Lake in Sherburne County. Again, John was listed as a farmer.
1902/1903. Sometime during this period the Pownalls quitted Minnesota to move westward to Washington State. Why the move was made is not documented. Their initial community of settlement appears to have been Monroe, Snohomish County in the Puget Sound region of that state. The 1910 census located him in Milton precinct east of Monroe employed as a teamster. In that tally Mary noted she had born eight children, six of whom were still living. Interestingly, five of those six surviving children - Sal, Harvey, Lillie, Earl and Sedwick - were residing with their parents.
While no documentation is currently available regarding her passing, John's wife, Mary, died March 22, 1911. She was buried in the Monroe I.O.O.F. Cemetery.
Retired farmer and former Civil War soldier John Henry Pownall died 6/12/16 at the Blakely Street home of his son Sal in Monroe, Washington. At passing he was 73.4 years of age. In 1907 the "old soldier" had been receiving a $10 per month disability pension stipend based on ills and ailments which traced back to his soldiering days. The amount of that stipend at death is not known.
The official cause of John Henry Pownall's death was listed definitely as Malfactia disease of the heart, but, liver problems may have also contributed to the old soldier’s passing. To add to this/these problems, according to his newspaper obituary printed in the Monroe Monitor, the previous July while on a visit to Minnesota, John had been injured by a street car; injuries (including a fractured leg femur) from which he never recovered. Internment was beside Mary in the Monroe I.O.O.F. Cemetery.
Buried at IOOF Cemetery Monroe
Row: Old Section
Karyn Zielasko Weingarden
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