113th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Information donated by Edson Myers to Denny Morris and transcribed by M.L Stiverson.
THE BATTLEFIELD OF LITTLE KENESAW
The 113th Ohio had bivouacked in a wheat field to the southwest of Little Kenesaw Mountain about ½ mile distant. Scouts were sent out during the night to determine the best approach to the Confederate rifle pits that were know to be on Little Kenesaw. When the scouts returned, Col. Warner called a caucus of the Regimental officers and a plan was adopted for the next days action.
Part of the Regiment were to move around to the east side of the ridge and attempt to cut off the Confederate communication lines to the top. Another part of the Regiment was to attack on the south end of the ridge and to move up the west side. Col. Warner would lead the rest up a wooded ravine on the west side of the ridge and from the head of the ravine to charge to the top where the Confederate units were well entrenched. The Confederates had made an abatis between the head of the ravine and the rifle pits at the top of Little Kenesaw Ridge. From the head of the ravine to the rifle pits was around 150 yds. and the enemy sharp shooters were stationed on the side of the hill with low earth works thrown up facing the ravine.
The action began when the men of the 113th started to tear down the abatis which consisted of trees and brush felled outward, all limbs sharpened to points and more sharpened poles jammed in and made fast with split back ties. Col. Warner took his station behind some trees on the west side of the ravine to (unreadable) to direct the operation. Sgt. Adams was busily directing the soldiers to tear away the abatis. Men were falling all around him. Others would pull them out to safety in the ravine and take their places at the abatis task. Col. Warner from his station could see the enemy's guns fire and then see the bullets hitting the turf between his position and that of Sgt. Adams. He called to the Sgt. and when the Sgt. looked around in his direction he stepped out in the open and brought his right arm down shouting to Sgt. Adams to take cover. The Col. never completed the motion for a Confederate bullet pierced his upper arm near the shoulder and put him out of the action. Lt. Jesse Dungan from London was in the same action and was shot in the right knee. The ridge was eventually taken but was stubbornly resisted by its defenders.
Col. Warner and Lt. Dungan with the rest of the Regiment's wounded were taken to the Army hospital at Nashville. Col. Warner lost his arm at the shoulder and Lt. Dungan's leg was removed. The Col. survived but Lt. Dungan developed complications (probably gangrene) and he died in the Nashville hospital.
Pvt. John W. Adams of Co. A wrote that two were killed in his company, eighteen wounded, fifteen severely. The killed were a Jackson and a Kennedy. Nearly 150 killed and wounded in the 113th Ohio in that action, officers and men. Pvt. Adams wrote that he had a position where bullets flew by like hail yet he escaped unhurt except for a spent ball striking him on the left hip, only bruising. He records that he fired 54 rounds of rifle fire in the action. His letter states that "the country for about fifteen miles around is full of rifle pits and make-shift fortifications. Many taken from the enemy and many built by ourselves as we go along. Fences and even houses are used as well as timber." He mentioned that on that day, June 2, 1864 (date of this letter) was just four days short of two months since the campaign had started.
Sgt. Adams from Richwood, Ohio, who was the Regimental historian, wrote that in the 1880's he went to a veterans' reunion and there met an ex-Confederate with who he had a lengthy conversation. It developed that they had opposed each other by just 30 to 40 yds. when Sgt. Adams was directing the destruction of the abatis at the ravine head and that he remembered well the Sgt. who directed the operation. He had tried to shoot the Sgt. himself. He also remarked that lying beside him in the rifle pit was a boy of 13 years of age who had a double barreled shotgun and loading it with buckshot. He had created more casualties than any of the nearby soldiers firing rifles.
WRITTEN FEBRUARY OF 1987 BY EDSON E. MYERS
Information donated by Edson Myers to Denny Morris. Transcribed by M.L. Stiverson
Joseph Ford and his brother Robert Ford are both interred at Pleasant Cemetery. Both were enlisted in the 113th OVI.
When the recruiters of the 113th arrived at the town square in Mt. Sterling they talked for quite awhile on the reasons why young America should answer the call to put down secession. Finally, Joe Ford turned to brother Bob and said, "Well, Bob, non of these youngsters seem very set on enlisting and we older ones should start off the action." They were the first two in Mt. Sterling to enlist in the 113th OVI.
This story was told to me by Ella Mae Ford, a niece of Joseph and Robert Ford and daughter of their brother Isaac and Caroline Young Ford. I have a large tin-type photo of Joseph Ford as a soldier of the 113th OVI. He survived the war but Uncle Bob, while the Regt. was tramping through the southern swamps, became very sick and no Army medic could help him. He was sent to the Army hospital at Nashville and there is was suspected that he had the "white liver disease." He was discharged and sent home to Mt. Sterling. In a few weeks after returning home he died. An autopsy revealed that he did have "white liver disease" later known as Tuloremia or rabbit fever. Mosquitoes were prime carriers of the disease. Joseph Ford, after the war, often referred to the 113th Regt. as the "snake hunters" from the many days of moving back and forth through swampy woods.
My Great-uncle John Jones was a soldier of the 113th. The Regt. was active in the battle of Little Kenesaw Mt. and lost several men in that battle. Lt. Jesse Dungan died of his wounds in the Nashville hospital. His parents had a stained glass window in the London Methodist Church fitted in his honor. The window faces 4th St. in London.
John W. Adams was a private in the 113th . I have a letter that he wrote from the battle site of Little Kenesaw to his cousins Jonah and Margaret Trowbridge who lived on the Roberts Mill Road west of London. Before the war he taught school on that road at the early location of the later, red brick Allen school. I attended that red brick school for six years but many years but many years after John W. Adams.*******By Edson E. Myers
Genealogical Data collected and assimilated in part by Mary Lou Stiverson.