23rd MISSOURI VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: July/August, 1861 Within State At Large
Mustered In: September, 1861 Benton Barracks St. Louis, MO
Mustered Out: 7/18/1865 Louisville, KY
Although organization of the 23rdMissouri, a three year infantry regiment commenced in July, 1861, official authority to create the unit was not granted by Union Gen. John C. Fremont until August. By 9/1/1861 the seven companies then formed were ordered to Benton Barracks near St. Louis, MO for Federal muster. During its tenure the regiment would serve in the western theater of the American Civil War (ACW).
The 23rd remained in St. Louis until around the middle of October, 1861. It was then ordered to Chillicothe, MO via Macon, GA. It would remain in Chillicothe hunting and breaking up Rebel guerilla gangs for the remainder of 1861.
In April, 1862 the 23rd fought at the battle of Shiloh/Pittsburg Landing, TN (4/6 - 4/7). It next saw action at Stone's River (12/31 - 1/2/1863).
1864 found the 23rd fighting various engagements during the Union campaign to capture Atlanta, GA. After the fall of that city (7/22) it "marched to the sea" with the forces under the command of Union Gen. William T. Sherman.
The early months of 1865 saw the 23rd march northward through the Carolinas. It was mustered out 7/18/1865 in Kentucky.
Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 2; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 4; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 57; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.:173 .
Residence: Inf. Not Avail. Age: 16.8 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 8/24/1861 Eagleville Harrison County, MO Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 9/1/61
Mustered Out: 10/6/1864 retro-active to 9/21/1864
Discharged: Inf. Not Avail.
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Discharge: Pvt.
Richard O. W. Osburn* was born 12/25/1845. His place of birth was McLean County, IL.
Parenting Richard were Wallingford** Warren Osborn (b. 5/20/1816 Harmony Cark Count, OH - d. 1878 Bloomington McLean County, IL) and Nancy Ann (nee Brown b. 1824 - d. 1906 Bloomington, McLean County, IL) Osborn. Wallingford was apparently a farm laborer.
Wallingford and Nancy produced at least ten children. Of the ten, Richard appears to have been the eldest. His younger siblings were: Mary Jane Osborn (b. 1846), Lucy Ann Osborn (b. 1849), Julia A. Osborn (b. 1849?), James William Osborn (b. 1852), Charles W. Osborn (b. 1852), Sarah Elizabeth Osborn (b. 1854), Martha Elizabeth (b.1854), Albert A. Osborn (b. 1860) and Rhoda Ann Osborn (b. 1863).
As best as can be determined prior to Albert, all of the Osborn children were born in Illinois. By the time Albert was three months old his parents had moved the family from Illinois to Missouri where, at the time of the 1860 U.S. Census, they were residing in or near the community of Marion located in Harrison County. Based on this information, Richard was residing in Missouri when on 8/24/1861 he enlisted in the U.S. Army.
Richard's unit at the time of his enlistment was known as Co. "D" Missouri Volunteer Infantry. This organization subsequently became Co. "D" of the 23rd Missouri Infantry.
At the time of his enlistment we gain a glimpse of Richard Osborn the physical man. At the age of 16.8 years - he either lied about his age or had his parents' permission to enlist - he was described as being five feet seven and one half inches in height, had a dark complexion, black hair and black eyes.
Private Osborn's three years of service had at least three incidents of significance. Firstly, beginning on 4/1/1862 Richard was furloughed in the hospital at Harrison County, MO because of an undescribed illness. The exact length of the hospital stay is not known, but it appears that by sometime the following month he was present with his unit and on duty.
Secondly, beginning on 6/27/1863 Private Osborn was absent due to having been placed on "detached service." The nature of that service is not defined.
Finally, on 8/7/1864 our private was wounded and sent to Union Hospital #19 in Nashville, TN. Although the nature of the wounded is not known, and was apparently not life threatening, it resulted in Richard not returning to his regiment or the field. Instead, with his enlistment ending, he settled his army clothing account, collected his one hundred dollar enlistment bonus/bounty and exited the U.S. Army from his hospital bed.
With military life behind him, it appears Richard returned to his parents' farm. It is, however, unclear if that farm was still in Missouri or if, by late 1864 the Osborns were back in Illinois. Clearly known, though, is that at least by the time of the 1870 U.S. the Osborn clan had quitted Missouri and resumed farming in or near the McLean County, IL community of Bloomington.
Of particular interest in the census of 1870 is that Richard was not following in his father's farming footsteps. Instead, he had become a "student at law." According to one source, in that same 1870 year he had become sheriff of McLean County and, while sheriffing, earned a law degree.
Richard served as country sheriff from 1870 to sometime in 1871. Perhaps he stopped sheriffing when, on 8/30/1871 in McLean County he married.
Richard's bride was Kate Paffle. Kate had been born in England sometime during 1848. When she had immigrated to America and how she and Richard met are unknowns. After marrying the couple settled in Bloomington McLean County, IL. There, Richard took up the practice of law.
As best as can be determined, during their time together Richard and Kate produced four children. They were Lotta "Lottie" Osborn (b. 1872 IL), Walter Scott Osborn (b. 6/23/1874 IL), Frank Milton Osborn (b. 3/25/1878 IL) and George P. Osborn (b. 1882 WT).
Noting where the Osborn children were born, sometime between 1828 and 1882 the family quitted Illinois in favor of Washington Territory. Interestingly, the U.S. Census for 1900 found Richard lodging in Seattle King County, Washington, not with his wife and children, but with one James Pettey and wife, Hannah. As both had been born in England, perhaps Hannah was Kate's sister. Even though Richard noted that he was married, why he was living with this couple and the whereabouts of Kate and the children remain "mysteries".
On 4/2/1905 our old soldier succumbed to "bowel problems". Burial was/is in Seattle's Lake View Cemetery located near the north end of that city's Capitol Hill.
As early as 3/25/1865 Richard had applied for and been granted a U.S. Government disability pension based on his days of Civil War soldiering. Without accessing his military medical records the basis for that pension granting remains an unknown as does the amount of his monthly stipend over the ensuing years.
Not long after Richard's passing, on 5/10/1905 Kate, as his widow, applied for and was granted at least a portion of his pension stipend. Again, without accessing her pension file the nature of her financial remuneration remains unknown.
Kate Paffle Osborn died on 8/31/1910 in Seattle King County, WA. Her final resting place is not known.
*It is surmised the W. likely Wallingford Warren or Washington.
** First name also appears as Washington in a U.S. Census tally.
Buried at Lake View Cemetery Seattle
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