G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #89 Snohomish, WA
4th KENTUCKY VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: August, 1961 Camp Dick Robinson, KY
Mustered In: 10/9/61
Mustered Out: 8/17/65 Macon, GA
Discharged: 9/1/65., Louisville, KY
The 4th was a three-year "western theater" mounted infantry regiment. Unlike cavalry regiments that acted as the eyes and ears of Civil War armies, mounted infantry units – a new concept – used their horses only to travel from conflict to conflict, and then dismounted to fight as infantry. As such, mounted infantry units of the Civil War were the beginning of today’s mechanized infantry units. Initial active service was when several companies were ordered to escort a wagon train loaded with muskets to the camp.
The regiment as a whole participated in hostilities at the battle of Mill Springs, KY during which it lost 1 officer and 52 enlisted men killed or wounded, a heavy percentage for a unit which, already depleted by sickness and detachments, could field less than 400 men for duty.
From Mill Springs the 4th marched to Louisville, KY and embarked on boats to Nashville, TN. Arriving there on March 4th it took part in the advancement of Federal troops upon Corinth, MS. After the evacuation of Corinth by Rebel forces it pursued the enemy as far as Booneville, MS before. Then, via circuitous route, it marched back to Louisville.
After the battle of Perryville, KY (aka Chaplin Hills 10/8/1862) during which the 4th did not participate, the regiment moved via Danville to Crab Orchard. From there it marched, to Gallatin, TN, to Castalian Springs, TN and from there to Elizabethtown, TN.
At Rolling Fork it, along with other Union troops, had a fight with Confed. Gen. Morgan's cavalry. The regiment next moved to Nashville, TN and was in action at Hoover's Gap, Concord Church and near Tullahoma.
During the battle of Chickamauga, GA 9/18-20/1863 it lost heavily. Next came fighting on Missionary Ridge outside Chattanooga, TN.
In early January, 1864 the regiment reenlisted and returned to KY on veteran furlough. Returning to the field, it had orders to be mounted, so in mid-May when it returned to the front it sported 25 officers and 550 well mounted men armed, except cos. "A" and "K" who had Spencer repeating carbines, with the Ballard breech loading rifle which proved to be a failure in its first engagement.
The regiment then moved by way of Nashville to Chattanooga, arriving there in June, 1864, after which it participated in the fighting at Lafayette, GA. Railroad guard duty followed.
The 4th next joined Union Gen. W.T. Sherman's forces marching upon Atlanta, GA. Following a slight loss at Mason's Church, it suffered severely near Lovejoy's Station with nearly half the regiment being captured. Those who escaped capture subsequently made it back to camp after which they were involved in a sharp skirmish with Forrest's Confederate cavalry near Pulaski, TN.
When Confed. Gen. John B. Hood's forces moved into Tennessee the 4th engaged them during a sharp fight at Shoal Creek. The regiment then moved with the cavalry in the battle of Nashville, took part in the pursuit of Hood's defeated troops and went into winter quarters at Waterloo, AL.
In the spring of 1865 the regiment captured the ferry over the Coosa River, had a skirmish while approaching Tallapoosa, AL and aided in the capture of the Confederate conscript camp at Blue Mountain - this being one of the last fights of the War.
The regiment next removed to Macon, GA and, after some marching in pursuit ofJefferson Davis, the fugitive president of the Confederacy, remained in camp at that location until final muster.
Residence: Shelbyville, KY Age: ca. 18 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 9/1/61 Grant Co., KY Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 10/9/61 Camp Dick Robinson, Boyle Co., KY
Mustered Out: 8/17/65 Macon, GA.
Discharged: 9/1/65 Louisville, KY
Highest Rank: Sgt.
Although cemetery records from Snohomish, Snohomish County, Washington record his birth year as 1842, Asa J. Hampton was likely born in Fayette County, KY on an undocumented date in the year 1843. Later in life he would note that he never used the middle initial J in his name because he could not make (write) it correctly.
Asa's parents were James W. (b. 1814 NY) and Hulda (no nee bn. 1810 KY) Hampton. The Hamptons were a farm family.
James and Hulda had at least three other known children besides Asa. They were: Mary (b. 1840), Julia (b. 1848) and William (b. 1851). All the Hampton offspring were Kentucky born.
Teenaged Asa joined the U.S. Army in September, 1861. His initial unit, Captain Kelly's Company 2nd Regt. Kentucky Volunteers became company "K" of the 4th Kentucky Infantry once organization was completed and the unit took to the field. As best as can be determined at enlistment his vital statistics were: 5' 10 3/4" tall, fair complexion, hazel eyes and sandy hair. His occupation was listed as "farmer."
Company muster rolls show that almost immediately after being sworn into Federal service, while at Danville, KY, Private Hampton was listed as "absent sick", and, by 10/31/61 was noted as "on sick furlough in Nashville (TN)." From that point on through 1862 his exact health status is not documented as, more often than not, his present/absent notation was "not stated."
1863 apparently proved healthier as all monthly rolls show Asa as present. And, in December of that year in Chattanooga, TN he re-enlisted as a veteran volunteer. For this act he was paid a $400 enlistment bonus or "bounty."
Circa 5/14/64 Corporal Hampton was promoted to sergeant. Later in the year, on 9/28 he was wounded in action at Pulaski, TN. He completed the year as a patient at U.S.A. General Hospital #3 in Nashville and at dismounted camp (Webster). Stoppages on his pay during this period included loss of two canteens and two haversacks.
1865 dawned with Private Hampton being readmitted to hospital #3 from Camp Webster with an abscess of the right ear. His hospital connection continued into February. By the time of the March/April company muster roll, however, he had returned to duty. The roll for May showed him as acting ordinance sergeant for Company "K", a position that was formalized on July 1st. He was to retain that rank until final muster and discharge.
Later, his Civil War military synopsis would note that while in the service some of the battle actions Asa was engaged were Chickamauga (GA) (Sept 18-20, 1863) Missionary Ridge (TN) (Nov. 25, 1863) and Franklin (TN) (11-20-1864). He was also on Col. Edward M. McCook’s (7/27 -4/1/64) Raid, to the rear of Atlanta , GA during which he was apparently captured by the enemy, but escaped, and participated in Union Big. Gen. James H. Wilson’s raid to Pulaski (GA). Also noted was a "slight" wounding one of the battles of Chattanooga, TN
The war behind him, Asa did not remain away from the military for long. On December 8, 1865 in Cincinnati, OH he reenlisted in the U.S. Army. At that time he was assigned to Company "A" of the 19th U.S. Infantry. A year later that organization became Company "A" of the 37th U.S. Infantry. Private Hampton was discharged from that reenlistment on 10/1/68 in Wingate, New Mexico.
Again, Asa could not stay away from the army. On 5/17/69 he reenlisted in Company "A" of the 37th U.S. Infantry. An inter-regimental transfer from company "A" to company "K" came in December of '69 because of regimental consolidation. This resulted in Asa being discharged, not from the 37th, but from the 3rd U.S. Infantry on 1/4/70 at Ft. Larned, KS. During these post-war period enlistments he reportedly served in Littlerock, AR, on the plains of KS, in Colorado and in New Mexico. So ended Asa Hampton's military saga.
Post military Asa remained in the west as evidenced by him later reporting that on 4/13/76 at Pioche Nevada his army discharge papers and other personal items were destroyed when his "camp burned." A little over three years later, in May, 1879, while driving a team in Sand Pile valley near the town of Mount Pleasant, Utah, he sprang from the wagon and landing in a wagon rut, dislocating his right ankle and fracturing the outside leg bone.
The U.S. Census of 1880 placed Asa in Tombstone, Pima County, Arizona employed as a laborer. Six years later, in on November, 1886 he was in Carlisle Grant County, NM. It was then he petitioned the government for replacement of the military discharge papers lost by fire.
While no census information is available for 1890, around March of that year Asa reportedly moved to Skagit County located in western Washington Territory. Exactly when and why the move was made is not known.
On 1/10/91, listing his post office address as McMurray, Skagit County, Washington, former Civil War soldier Asa Hampton applied for a U.S. Government disability pension based on ailments which he traced back to his Civil War (and beyond) years. Those included injury to his ankle, rheumatism, piles (hemorrhoids), catarrh (sinus infection) of the head and general disability.
On September 29, 1892 those application efforts resulted in him being granted a government stipend. Ironically, he apparently never received even one payment. Asa had died in May of that same year. Cause of death is not known. As his burial was on 5/18/92 in Snohomish, Washington's Woodlawn Cemetery, at some undocumented point in time he had moved southward from Whatcom to Snohomish County.
Buried at Woodlawn Cemetary
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