Pulaski County Fact Book II
Chapter 3 Military History

Very soon after being created, Pulaski County was granted a separate military organization with its headquarters in Somerset. This was in keeping with the belief that it had been "found in all free states that a well trained and organized militia is and ought to be the first and great resort, in times of public danger, arising from the operation of internal or external insurrection or invasion." (Littell, Statue Laws of Kentucky, III, p. 418).

Governor Garrard "laid off a new regiment being the 44th comprehending the County of Pulaski" on December 20, 1799. Jesse Richardson was appointed lieutenant colonel of the regiment on the same date, with Charles Debrel and William Fox, majors of the first and second battalions, respectively. Upon the resignation of William Fox, May 16, 1800, Robert Modrel was appointed to take his place. The regiment then became a part of the 8th Brigade with Lincoln and Mercer counties. Then on February 18, 1808, the Pulaski regiment became a part of the newly created 16th Brigade with Jesse Richardson as brigadier-general, while John Griffin became lieutenant colonel in his stead.

The regiment was divided into seven companies with Captain David K. Edgeman transferred from the 6th regiment to the 44th; Henry Francis, Thomas Willis, and John Griffin were the newly appointed captains. As the county grew in population the companies increased in number until by 1810 there were twelve. In 1815, it became necessary to create a new regiment in the county. The 95th regiment was formed in February, 1815, with Tunstal Quarles as lieutenant colonel, Samuel Tate as major of the first battalion and Thomas Dollarhide of the second battalion.

This military organization was to be composed of all freeman between 18 and 50 years (Negroes, mulattoes, and Indians excepted). However, those who were conscientiously opposed to bearing arms were not compelled to do so but had to pay an equivalent for personal services. An equivalent was one dollar each for every muster. These conscientious objectors were to find a substitute in case of war.

Musters were held once a year for each regiment and four times a year for each company for the purpose of drilling the men of the militia. Regimental muster was usually held in October at such a place as the commanding officer might select. These musters had to be attended by every field, staff, and regimental commissioned and non-commissioned officer, every private and every musician. The battalion muster was held in the month of May. The company musters were held four times between the last day of May and last day of September. The time and place for these musters were determined by the company captain.

When the United States became engaged in war several of these captains led their companies into the fray. In some instances new companies were organized and trained for service. Somerset and the county apparently always been a patriotic citizenry responding willingly and freely to the call for men to defend their lives and their property. The fact that many of these early settlers in the town and country were Revolutionary soldiers suggests that a military tradition might have been passed from one generation to another.

Pulaski County records reveal that several citizens were veterans of the war for independence. The first military claim was to Thomas Hansford on April 22, 1800, and the second to Henry Waddle and Michael Stoner. More ensued those Samuel Duncan, David McElmer, Thomas Banks, H. Moore, Aaron Lawson, Edward Cooper, Isaac Ingram and Drury Lee. Following is a list of Revolutionary Soldiers who settled in the Somerset area and whose descendants are, in many instances, residents in the city or county in the twentieth century. Among those whose records have been established were:

Robert Adams William Barren Icabod Blackledge

Francis Aldridge John Barren Robert Buchanan

Robert Anderson John Barker Michael Burton

Thomas Arman Michael Beakman Elijah Denny

John Dick Nicholas Jasper Michael Reagon

Lovall Dogan Thomas Kelly David Roper

Josiah Earp James Kennedy Rober Sayers

John Edwards James Lee Thomas Seaton

John Evans Joseph McAllister Dorson Sewell

Job Gastineau, Sr. Moses Martin Richard Swearing

James Gilmore John Mayfield William Sweeny

Richard Goggin Barnabas Murry Peter Tarter

William Hansford John Newby Nathaniel Tomlinson

James Hamilton Samuel Newell William Trimble

James Harrell William Owens Martin Turpin

William Hays John Perry John Wilson

William Heath James Rainey Michael Young

John Hopper Jesse Richardson

Many men from Somerset and Pulaski County served their country in the War of 1812. The Roster of Volunteers, Officers, and Soldiers from Kentucky in the War of 1812 is an accurate list of all men serving in this war. It would be difficult to determine how many of these were from Somerset or the county. A number of names are familiar from the fact that they were mentioned in one way or another in the early records of the town and county. Some of these were captains of three such companies are recognizable as being from the county regiment. These three companies were those of Captain Thomas Dollarhide, Captain Samuel Tate, and Captain Tunstal Quarles, Jr. The latter armed and equipped at his own expense, and commanded a company in the War of 1812. While directing the building of fortifications, Quarles was injured by a falling tree; for this injury he was long afterwards allowed a pension. The company of Samuel Tate fought in the battle of the Thames as a part of the 7th regiment under the command of Michael Taul of Wayne County. Not only did these men serve their country in a military organization but many of them became important community leaders and held offices of respect.

Report of the Adjutant-General of the State of Kentucky, Soldiers of the War of 1812, pp. 62-63, 70 also Bennett H. Young, The Battle of the Thames, p. 236. The names in italics were residents of Somerset or held offices which compelled them to spend a great deal of time in the town. The following are lists of the three companies from the Pulaski regiment:

Roll of Captain Tunstal Quarles, Jr’s Company, Second Regiment, Kentucky Militia. Enlisted September 1, 1812. Tunstal Quarles, Jr., Captain; Lewellin Rickman, Lieutenant; Robert J. Foster, Ensign; William Irvin, Jr., 1st Sergeant; Bird Smith, 2nd Sergeant; Jesse Shell, 3rd Sergeant; William McCan, 4th Sergeant; Joseph Porter, 1st Corporal; John Nortrip, 4th Corporal; Privates: John Anderson; William Banker; John Boyd; James Boyd; William Cundiff; Christopher Cundiff; Robert Campbell; Archibald Campbell; Daniel Clair; George Carter; George Dungans; John Eastham; Henry Francis Jr.; William Fitzpatrick; Elisha Goff; Parish Garner; Francis Garret; David Humphreys; William Hansford; William Ingram; John S. January; Samuel January; James Jasper; Edward McDowell; Gamliel Newby; Andrew Russell; James Sutherland; William Tuggle; Elisha White; Elias Woods; Matthew Wilson; Vincent Warren.

Roll of Captain Thomas Dollarhide’s Company; Kentucky Battalion Mounted Volunteers. Enlisted September 18, 1812. Thomas Dollarhide, Captain; John Cowan, Lieutenant; Jesse Evans, Ensign; Sergeants Samuel Hays, Hand Beastard, George W. Gaham, and Joel Roberts. Privates: John Beaty; John Custard; Seburn Crutchfield; Robert Cowen; James Cowen; John Clark; James Clark; George Cooper; James Cooper; Henry Dogan; James S. David; Martin Gibson; John Griffin; Cornelious Garner; Thomas Huston; William Humphries; John Hardgrove; Andrew Jasper; William Jones; Read Jones; John Kelly; John Layners; Archibald Lockett; Hugh Logan; James Long; Christian Link; Charles Marshall; Jacob Meece; Abraham Macy; John Nolly; Thomas Medry; Samuel Novel; Samuel Owens; Aaron Rainey; William Regan; Moses Runey; Charles Richardson; Robert Smith; William Stogstill; William Sally; Jonathan Whitehouse; Robert Nancy.

Roll of Captain Samuel Tate’s Company, Kentucky Mounted Volunteer Militia – Commanded by Colonel Michael Taul. Enlisted August 23, 1813. Samuel Tate, Captain; Robert Gilmoree, Lieutenant; Jonathan Smith, Ensign; Samuel Newell, 1st Sergeant; William Hays, 2nd Sergeant; Thomas Gibson, 3rd Sergeant; Robert Cowan, 4th Sergeant. Privates: Adam Barnes; James Barrier; Abraham Beard; James Beaty; James Bell; Edmund Gregis; William Buster; Elisha Clark; Adey Cooper; Issac Cowan; Allen Cox; Gregory Cundiff; Fields Davis; Henry Davidson; John Dishman; Alexander Dunham; Samuel Evins; Parish Garner; Archilles Jasper; Martin Gibson; John Gilmore; Willia Gilmore; David Humphries; Thomas Hunter; Joseph Kelly; Garrard Langford; John Lewis; John Martin; William Matthews; Reubin Mayfield; Andrew McDonald; James McKinney; William Mintin; Bennet Murphy; Issac Neal; Issac Nealy; John Owens; William Owens; William Preston; Joel Richardson; Stephen Richardson; Robertson Ridge; John Roberts; Allen Scott; Thomas Short; James Smith; William Stogsdill; Noah St. John; James Sutherford; Standford Turley; Sullivan Vanhook; John White; Henry Willis; Thomas Wentland; John Yearns.

When the war with Mexico began, a company of men was organized in Somerset in September, 1847. This company marched to Louisville arriving there October 3, 1847, a distance of about 130 miles. This company was known as Company "H" Fourth Regiment Kentucky Foot Volunteers. Company "H" was mustered out July 25, 1848.

Captain John G. Lair was one of the prominent citizens of the town and county. He served as a representative from Pulaski County in the state legislature in 1844, and later. Several years before his death he served as cashier in the Farmers Bank in Somerset. He died January 7, 1862, and was buried in the old Sinking Creek Church graveyard, more popularly known as the "old Baptist burying ground." The inscription on his tombstone says: "He served with distinction in the War with Mexico and as representative in the legislature of Kentucky."

The following list of names are the men who were in Company "H" Fourth Regiment Kentucky Foot Volunteers as recorded by the Adjutant-General: John G. Lair, Captain; Milford Elliott, 1st Lieutenant; Cyrenius W. Gilmore, 2nd Lieutenant; Samuel D. Cowan, 2nd Lieutenant; James M. Cowan, 1st Sergeant; Sergeants Isaac Smith, Charles Hayes, Andrew H. Campbell, Adison Beaty, Tunstal Q. Jasper, William W. Arnett, Lewis C. Grubb; Corporals Wiliam S. Turpin, Robert Gunnell; Musicians Benjamin Adkins, Thomas Alexander, William H. Armstrong; Privates Jackson Burger, Woodruff Blacklidge, William Brown, Calvin Black, James T. Barnett, John A. Baker, Noah Blankenship, James M. Carrigan, Martin V. Cundiff, John L. Crain, John Carrigan, John C. Christian, Cyrenius W. Collyer, Samuel Denham, Patrick H. Estes, James Evans, Jesse T. Elder, Erasmus D. Fisher, Tunstall Q. Faris, Green C. Freeman, Stephen L. Freeman, Thomas C. Faris, David Goggin, Thomas Gains, James Gilmore, James Hendricks, William Harman, Gideon Hoskins, Isaac Hays, Thomas Hargis, Joel Hinds, Cornelius Higgins, John L. Harris, James Lamb, William Morgan, James C. McGinnis, Samuel F. Mills, William McKinney, Harvey J. Meed, Greenup R. Mounce, Hosea McClure, Jesse Nance, William B. Nunelly, David Owens, Harrison Peters, Chrisman H. Parker, Henry S. Porch, John Quinton, Montgomery Roberts, James A. Rosseau, Lawrence H. Rosseau, Edward Sadler, John Stogsdill, Senaca Snodgrass, Charles Stringer, Cyrenius W. Stringer, George B. Stewart, Galen C. Surber, Caleb Tarter, Alvadas Tarter, James Thacker, Jarvis Taylor, Stephen Vaught, John M. Wells, George B. Williams, John Woodal, Daniel Weddle, Benjamin Wilson, Alexander Warren (died), Richard Bratton, James Bowyers, Bennet B. Buckner, William Durham, Martin H. Fugate, Silas Hunt, Merrill Jasper, John Jasper, Jesse May, William Pence, Noah Price, Wesley Silvers, Elisha Tayman, The above list is taken from the Adjutant-General’s Report.

During the War between the States two battles were fought near Somerset. The most important of these and one of the most important fought in Kentucky in that war, was the battle of Mill Springs or Fishing Creek on Logan’s Crossroads. According to Perrin, Battle, and Kniffin, it was the first gleam of sunshine into the war department at Washington, and created corresponding gloom in the Confederate camp." This battle occurred on January 19, 1862, and ended after three hours with the Southern troops in discouraging retreat. The losses suffered by both sides were not particularly heavy. The Union forces were under the command of Brigadier-General George H. Thomas, who reported one officer and thirty-eight men killed, thirteen officers and 194 men wounded in his command. His report of the Confederate losses listed Brigadier-General Zollicoffer, Lieutenant Baillie Peyton, and 190 officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates. Eighty-nine were taken prisoners and sixty-eight wounded, making the total Confederate loss 349.

The Confederate commander, General George B. Crittenden, reported his losses were 125 killed, 309 wounded and 95 missing. According to his report the Union forces lost about 700 killed and wounded. After this battle the Confederate troops of the Army of the Cumberland was forced to retreat and were pursued by Brigadier-General Alvin Shoef’s brigade which had moved up from its headquarters at Somerset. The pursuit was continued as far as Monticello in Wayne County, but because of the mud the Union troops were never able to overtake the fleeing Confederates.

About seven or eight miles west of Somerset, on the spot where General Zollicoffer and his soldiers fell, a monument has been erected which pays profound tribute to these men who "died for right as they saw it." Two miles farther west is another monument, the Nancy National Cemetery, which is the final resting place of the Union soldiers killed in this battle.

The other battle was fought about one and one-half miles north of Somerset on March 30, 1863. This battle is locally referred to as the battle of Dutton’s Hill. The battle was fought between 1,250 Federal troops (400 of Col. Wolford’s First Kentucky Cavalry) under Bridadier-General O.A. Gilmore, and 2,600 Confederate cavalrymen under General Pegram. The battle lasted for five hours with the Confederate forces withdrawing across the Cumberland river, having suffered a loss of 250 men, most of them taken prisoners. The Federal loss was sixty men, either killed, wounded or missing. The Union dead were taken to the Nancy cemetery or sent to their homes, while those of the Confederate forces were buried where they fell. A white shaft marks their single grave with an inscription of tribute to their "valor, sacrifice of self through displayed in fruitless enterprise."

A few months after the battle of Logan’s Crossroads General John H. Morgan and his cavalry passed through Somerset July 20, 1862. Here he destroyed 130 government wagons and many other army supplies. He also had his telegraph operator send some very annoying messages to General Boyle in Louisville, and to other Union officers.

Many men from Somerset and Pulaski County indicated their sentiments in the War between the States by enlisting in either the Confederate army or that of the Union. In Company "H" of the Sixth Regiment of the Volunteer Confederate Cavalry there were two men who enlisted at Somerset as privates on August 15, 1862. These men were Martin T. Colyer and James Conley. Of the ninety-two men in Company "C" of the Sixth Regiment of the Confederate Cavalry there were two men who enlisted at Somerset as privates. This company fought in the battle of Perryville, Kentucky, September 20, 1862, and in the battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, December 31, 1862. The roll of this company found in the Adjutant-General’s Report was dated February 28, 1863. This company organized at Somerset early in 1862.

The roll of Captain W. N. Owen’s Company "L":

1. M.B. Perkins Captain 9-12-1862 Somerset, KY

2. J. Wesley Collier 1st Lieutenant

3. Virgil P. Moore 2nd Lieutenant

4. John S. May 2nd Lieutenant

5. Alfred L. Alcorn 2nd Lieutenant

6. S. J. Brown 2nd Lieutenant

7. Alfred L. Alcorn 1st Sergeant

8. Stephen J. Brown 2nd Sergeant

9. Joseph Lane 3rd Sergeant

10. Samuel Gover 4th Sergeant

11. Lafayette Moore 1st Corporal

12. Milford Lee 2nd Corporal

13. Robert Phelps 3rd Corporal

14. Daniel Colyer 4th Corporal

15. Hardin Alexander Private

16. John Brown "

17. Jonas Brown "

18. Benjamin Brown "

19. James Birch "

20. William H. Ballew "

21. William Ballew "

22. Iradell Bray "

23. Milford Bralton "

24. William Burton "

25. Willis Colyer "

26. Charles Colyer "

27. James G. Colyer "

28. Richard Colyer "

29. George Callahan "

30. William C. Curd "

31. William Colyer "

32. Logan Colyer "

33. James P Colyer "

34. C. J. Colyer "

35. Lewis P. Cowan "

36. Martin T. Colyer "

37. Samuel B. Colyer "

38. Thomas Dans "

39. Elijah Denny "

40. Doctor Denny "

41. Elijah Dikes "

42. S. Wesley Earp "

43. W. Madison Earp "

44. John Eastham "

45. James Eastham "

46. Perry Eliott "

47. E. T. Elliott "

48. Walter J. Fields "

49. Chrisley Gastinew Sr. "

50. Chrisley Gastinew Jr. "

51. Martin Gregg "

52. James Gilmore "

53. Washington Herrin "

54. Edward Herrin "

55. Levi Hubbel "

56. Joseph A. Hardwick "

57. Thomas Hargis "

58. Thomas Jasper "

59. Martin Kenney "

60. James Luytrell Sr. "

61. James Luytrell Jr. "

62. Wesley Long "

63. Archibald Marshall "

64. James Moonyham "

65. Jacob Miller "

66. Moses Murphy "

67. William Murphy "

68. Simeon E. Owens "

69. George Pence "

70. T. K. Phelps "

71. Henry Powell "

72. Jesse L. Reynolds "

73. Moses Reynolds "

74. Robert W. Reynolds "

75. Alexander Randall "

76. Josiah Smith "

77. James C. Smith "

78. Willis J. Stogsdill "

79. Quarles Simpson "

80. John J. Smiley "

81. Cornelius Simpson "

82. William Thompson Sr. "

83. William Thompson Jr. "

84. James R. Turner "

85. Andrew Vanhook "

86. Andrew Vanhook "

87. George Wheeldon "

88. Robert Warrant "

89. William Woodstock "

90. G. A. Warren "

91. John W. Williams "

92. David Warren "

Roll dated Beech Grove, Tennessee, February 28, 1863 – This company was organized in Pulaski County, Kentucky; was engaged in constant picketing and scouting in Pulaski and Rockcastle Counties; went into camp at Leauford, near Danville, Kentucky; September 20, 1862; was engaged in battle of Perryville, Kentucky. Company participated in action at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, December 21, 1862.

Captain Milton Brent Perkins, born at Somerset, Kentucky, 1837, the son of Milton Bowman and Ann Stigall Perkins, served as Captain of Company "C" Sixth Regiment Kentucky Cavalry, General John Hunt Morgan’s Division Confederate States of America. Captain Perkins participated in several of the exploits of General Morgan’s command. After having fought in the battles of Perryville, Kentucky and Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1862, General Morgan began, in 1863, one of the most daring and spectacular movements of the entire War between the States, a maneuver that was similar to the ill-fated drive of General Lee into Pennsylvania and the battlefield of Gettysburg.

After a foray into western Kentucky, Morgan retreated into Tennessee and there made preparations to advance into Ohio. Crossing the Cumberland River at Burksville, he moved through Lebanon and Bardstown and crossed the Ohio at Brandedburg. Advancing eastward through Ohio, he destroyed railroads and cut off communications. Continuing along the Ohio, he was opposed by a large force of Federal troops and sought to retreat across the river at Cincinnati, but was unable to carry out this plan. Giving up any plan of capturing Cincinnati, Morgan continued eastward toward Wheeling seeking a safe crossing of the Ohio. Finally, after a serious skirmish in which he lost heavily, his command was surrounded by Federal soldiers commanded by General Shackelford, and he with many of his officers escaped, November 1863, but Captain Perkins was too ill to participate in the escape remained a prison for the duration of hostilities. Morgan later reorganized his cavalry and a last invasion of Kentucky in 1864.

In the spring of 1864, Captain Perkins was removed for the penitent to Fort Delaware, Ohio. After the war ended Captain Perkins, who had contracted tuberculosis, returned to Somerset to live with his sister Barthenia Jane Perkins, wife of William Harvey. Captain Perkins lived a few months longer and died at the age of 28, in 1865.

The following are letters from Captain Perkins to his sister and brother-in-law, and reveal, although censored, much of the feelings of a prisoner of his own country. Apparently great care was taken to avoid expressions of bitterness or criticism.

October 12, 1863 – Penitentiary, Columbus, Ohio

… Of my treatment I have before spoken – and I can still say today that as a prisoner I am humanely and respectfully treated.

October 27, 1863 – Penitentiary, Columbus, Ohio

… Some plausible excuse may be made out of the fact that I have had a little sickly spell, but which fortunately soon passed away, on a few days fasting. I am glad to inform you that the pleasure of receiving a day or two since your gift of a Bible … what tender thoughts must it move. When opening its scared pages I contemplate the revered mother and devoted sister, as if I saw each performing the same acts as aforetime.

November 18, 1836 – Penitentiary, Columbus, Ohio

Well, as for myself – still in, status-quo – and am becoming very sensibly persuaded that it is longer than I ever was exactly sick before in my life – and what is worse, it is likely to continue so. God only knows how long – all negotiations broken off, the commissioners returned unsuccessful to their respective governments and baffled hope ceased fixed upon any probable termination for our imprisonment – unless it be that the views with glimmering perspective, a more halcyons (sic) period setting in under the auspices of an incoming year when it is customary some prejudices and errors of the past be cast away. Some generosities and liberalities to retake – in other words to turn a new leaf – I took the liberty recently to send an order to Will Haley without having first your approval, for some French works.

February 19, 1864 – Penitentiary, Columbus, Ohio

I have just received shirts, socks, and handkerchiefs. They are very nice and suit me very well… I have also received along with your gift some tobacco and cigars from Mr. Harvey .. My health is still good.

October 7, 1864 – Fort Delaware, Division 27

… Several lots of sick and wounded have left here recently for exchange – 118 officers and a number of privates left yesterday evening – we know not – whether this is just in accordance with the general practice, which has prevailed all along of exchanging the sick and wounded or whether it is our proportion of the ten thousand agreed to be exchanged. We feel much anxiety about it. A letter from Will Curd at Camp Douglas dated 1st inst. Said that Sgt. S. Gover, Mark Gragg, Mart Colyer, Uncle Jim Eastham, Bob Phelps, Jimmy Burch, others of my boys were making their calculations and would likely be exchanged on the sick list…

January 28, 1865 – Fort Delaware, Division 27

… A sore finger has prevented my usual promptness – my health is better – in fact I can now scarcely complain – the exchange rumor which grows better almost daily has buoyed me up – yet I have not such perfect confidence as to give up all thoughts of the special exchange proposed in one of my recent notes.

February 10, 1865 – Fort Delaware, Division 27

I was greatly relived to learn that there was even a small improvement in sister’s health; her illness has caused me much uneasiness, but I hope she will ere long be fully recovered, be able to write me at least one more letter before my exchange; today’s paper states it as coming from Col. Mulford Federal exchange agent, that the great event is now to complete it; indeed a lot of prisoners, several thousand privates and 60 or 70 officers have just been paroled at this place and are to start South in a few days…

April 16, 1865 – (The day after Lincoln died) – Fort Delaware, Division 27

My Beloved Sister; I wrote you some days since, and having nothing else to do have concluded to employ a few moments in pleasant duty of writing you again. Tell Anna I have been anxiously looking for that next letter of hers, but as yet it has not arrived. Tell Mr. Harvey to write me frequently as the prospect is I may have to stay here some time yet. The astounding events of the past week have thrown affairs into a gloomy and confused condition but we can still hope for the best, and wish a pleasant and happy calm to succeed to the most violent storm; and this is as far I think as any one can safely venture into the future in these strange and unhappy times. Ask Mr. Harvey what he thinks of procuring a parole for me for 30 or 60 days. It would afford me an opportunity of being with you all again or not; for to be candid it now appears almost a foregone conclusion that our lives and future habitations will soon be at the decision of the federal government; the present moment may not be propitious to refer such a request to the authorities but as soon as it is I would be glad if Mr. Harvey would see what he can do in that way.

April 23, 1865 – Fort Delaware, Division 27

… This war may have a speedy termination and it may last several years yet. Do you think you can procure a parole for me for 30 or 60 days. If you doubt the favorable disposition of certain friends or think you cannot succeed do not undertake it. I have endured much and long and can weather it out till the last…

Sunday, October 5th:

I did not see Mr. Birdsong last night but shall see him this morning. It is a bright Sabbath morning with some frost and we are on the road and have been since 4 o’clock but not to some church in some pleasant grove here people worship God in peace far away from the horrible discord of grim visaged war. I have just come up with Mr. Birdsong and he promises to take my latter but will not leave the army as long as it moves eastward. We are now moving to Harrodsburg in Mercer County. We hear this morning that there was some fighting in Bardstown yesterday after we left – none was cavalry engaged – no particulars. A find bracing breeze comes over these hills this morning and I feel fairly—a hundred per cent better than I did yesterday. Jim Jackson is with us now. He will have some fun at any risk. He was just telling me how he had some of his men scared last night by telling them that the Yankees were coming and they would have to go back about five miles to guard the train. He says some of them said they would not go back there for a hundred dollars. His company is very much reduced. He now has only twenty privates.

I miss the papers very much having not seen a paper form the South since I left Chattanooga. I get to see the Northern papers very seldom. If you could I would be glad to have you keep a file of the most interesting papers for me. At least you must continue to clip for…

October 6th Nine o’clock at night:

We are now resting in the open field around our camp fire as is our custom and the full orbit moon is shining with all its splendor. A splendid band from the "Crescent City" is playing "The Flag of a Single Star" about two hundred yards from us and it sounds most sweetly. The news tonight is that there was considerable fighting today about eight miles from us. The Federals are advancing on us in three columns of thirty thousand each and now we have made a junction with Kirby Smith. We have about sixty thousand to meet them with. The general impression is that we will have a great battle soon and indeed things look very much like it now. When the fight does come it will be a stubborn affair if the Yankees will stand up to it like men. (A typical page of one of many letters written by Edward Norphlet Brown who came to Kentucky as a Captain in the Quartermaster’s Corps. With the Union Army. Letters in possession of family of his grandson Judge Thomas H. Reid. The crisscross writing was obviously to utilize all the paper since only one page was often allowed due to scarcity of paper and also bulk.)

There were many citizens of Somerset who favored the Union in the struggle between the North and South in the 1860s as well as those who volunteered their services in the Confederate cause. Only two of the sixty-four men in Company "G" of the Forty-ninth Volunteer Infantry were not from Somerset. These two men were from Point Isabel (Burnside) just eight miles south of Somerset. The company Captain, Lee Leforce, was a resident of Somerset.

About eight companies in all were enrolled on the outlying spurs of the Cumberland mountains. One of these companies was Company "L" of the First Cavalry Regiment. This company was organized at Somerset, September 11, 1861; was mustered into service October 28, 1861; and was mustered out December 31, 1864. This company eventually became part of Colonel Frank Wolford’s First Kentucky Cavalry and participated in the battle of Logan’s Crossroads in which the Confederate General Felix K. Zollicoffer’s brigade was defeated.

The roll of Captain W. N. Owen’s Company "L":

Captain W. N. Owens Enlisted September 11, 1861

Promoted Major July 31, 1862

Captain Joe. D. Beaty Enlisted September 11, 1861

Captain John B. Fishback

First Lieutenant Matthew H. Blackford

First Lieutenant Robert M. Griffin

Second Lieutenant William A. Lockett

Second Lieutenant Benjamin H. Milton

Second Lieutenant George K. Speed

Second Lieutenant Granvile J. Vaught

First Sergeant Hampton H. Brinkley

First Sergeant John Rourk

Sergeant Andrew J. Catron

Sergeant Daniel Elliott

Sergeant William B. Gragg

Corporal Archibald B. Campbell

Corporal William H. Cox

Corporal James F. Humphries

Corporal Rufus M. Patterson

Corporal Admice T. Saunders

Corporal Joseph N. Taylor

James B. Harper, Bugler

  • Privates
  • David Baker Richard Falkner William Osborne

    Mitchell Bates William Farmer Samuel Raney

    John H. Bowling Andrew Fulcher Samuel Reynolds

    James P. Bratten Luther C. Green Joseph Sewell

    Orville Brewes Marquis D. Green Jesse M. Silvers

    William Burton Ebenezer T. Haynes John P. Silvers

    John F. Cullis Hohn Loveless Wesley H. Silvers

    James D. Doolien Thomas McDowell Thomas H. Smith

    James Eassepp John C. Messick Emanuel Sowder

    Andrew F. Edwards Joseph Mills William Sowder

    Jesse Edwards Robert H. Moore John Taylor

    Henry Elliott Robert A. Nunnelly John W. Thacker

  • Discharged for Disability
  • Sergeant G. McLue John B. Gilmore James Reynolds

    Henry C. Ashurst Ira R. Mound William Tinsley

    Henry D. Burnett John Osburn


  • Killed and Died
  • Corporal James H. Adams Killis J. Evans

    Corporal George W. Baber Wilford Gilmore

    Corporal Charles P. Cox Robert McQueary

    Corporal John Meece John M. Parker

    William Branch Robert Raborne

    John C. Comstock John Warn

    James M. West


  • Recruits Transferred
  • Sergeant Christopher C. Kenner Corporal Peter R. Dobbs

  • Privates
  • James M. Ashley Constantine C. Davis Elias Hail

    John Ashley Alexander Denton Miles Hank

    John J. Ashley John Dungan John Hartgrove

    Alexander Barclay William Edwards John Henson

    Aaron Boyd John Frost Andrew P. Hunt

    George Bumganliner George G. Gregory David A. Jones

    Robert T. Burton John W. Grider James A. Jones

    William Clarke William Grider Walter Large

    John B. Love William Smith John Perkins

    William H. Love William Summers Francis M. Rash

    Henry Mowbray William Swearinger David Richardson

    James M. Nunnelly David Willis Ephraim Sath

    James Pence William Woodall John Sears

    One of the most active and much traveled companies of the Union Army during the War between the States was Captain William Patterson’s Company of Mechanics and Engineers. This contingent was organized at Somerset, Kentucky and mustered into the Army by Charles S. Medary, Lieutenant, United States mustering officer. The men as enlisted were employed in the construction of defenses for Camp Hoskins, Kentucky, then under the command of Colonel William A. Hoskins up to December 3, 1861, when Brigadier-General Alvin Shoef assumed command and continued the work of defense in the vicinity of Somerset, Kentucky, until the battle of Logan’s Crossroads, January 19, 1862. On January 16, 1862, this company, together with seven other companies in the command (apparently the Twelfth Regiment Kentucky Infantry), were employed in the repair of the road from Somerset to Stanford, Kentucky. February 8, 1862, the seven companies were relieved, and the work continued by this company under orders of General Thomas. On April 13, 1862, it was ordered to report to headquarters Seventh Division, Army of Ohio, Cumberland Ford, Kentucky, by General George W. Morgan, where the company arrived April 20, 1862. From April 25 to May 1, it was engaged, with a large detailed force added, to repair the road for supplies. Beginning May 1, this company constructed roads and bridges forty miles for a flank movement upon Cumberland Gap, through the Cumberland Mountains, which was accomplished June 18, 1862. From this date a new detail was added of 230 men, and engaged in the construction of roads and bridges up to September 18 when all was destroyed, by order of General Morgan, together with nine siege guns. The company then marched with the advance of Morgan’s division to the Ohio River, and accompanied the division to Memphis. In December, 1862, it embarked with the division for an attack upon Vicksburg, Mississippi. From December 26 to January 1, 1863, this company was constantly engaged, night and day, in preparing earthworks; and on January 28, it was greatly exposed in an effort to throw a pontoon bridge across the Chichasau Bayou under a destructive fire from the enemy. Sergeant Welsn, in charge of the detail, relinquished the effort only when the boars were so damaged as to be useless. On January 1, 1863, it embarked on transports for Arkansas Post, arriving January 10. After the battle and surrender the demolition of the fort and siege guns was assigned to this company, with a large detail from the command. From this date until its return to Kentucky, November 23, 1864, the company was constantly on duty, adding to the courage and discipline of true soldiers the skill and intelligence of competent engineers and mechanics.

    When the nation became involved in the "splendid little war" with Spain, in 1898, Somerset citizens once again answered the call to serve their country against an enemy. Company "I" was organized and formed at Somerset by Captain Vola G. Trimble and traveled the 70 miles to Lexington by rail on May 13, 1898, and was mustered into service by a Captain Ballance June 4, 1898. From Lexington the soldiers went by rail to Camp George H. Thomas, Chickamauga Park, Georgia on June 10, 1898, arriving at Camp Thomas June 11, 1898. On July 26, 1898, a march of five miles was made to Rossville, Georgia; from here the company went by rail to Newport News, Virginia, arriving in the afternoon of July 28, 1898. On August 3, 1898, Company "I" boarded the United States Transport "Hudson," bound for Puerto Rico arriving at Ponce, Puerto Rico, August 10, 1898. On August 12, the men were at Mayaguez, having arrived there by water. Disembarkment was accomplished and the men billeted. By order of General Schwan, they marched to the city of Marreau (sic), a distance of 24 miles, on August 17, 1898, for the purpose of raising the American flag, and returned passing through the towns of San Germain and Sabana Grande to Yauco and from that point, by rail to Ponce, a distance of 65 miles, arriving there August 29, and going into camp at Camp James H. Wilson about two miles from Ponce.

    The company broke camp October 7, 1898 and went into barracks in Ponce. The company boarded the transport Berlin, December 4, bound for the United States, arriving at Newport News, December 9. Traveling by rail to Louisville and arriving December 12, the company was furloughed for 60 days from December 16, 1898, to February 16, 1899. Company "I" was mustered out at Louisville, February 24, 1899.

    Company "I" First Regiment of Kentucky Infantry United States Volunteers commanded by Colonel John B. Castleman or Morris B. Belknap and composed of the following officers and men:

    Captain Vola Trimble; 1st Lt. Charles H. Morrow; 2nd Lt. Green V. Logan; 1st Sgt. Barnie L. McDonald; 2nd Sgt. Thomas L. Mullaney; 3rd Sgt. Perry N. Colyer; 4th Sgt. Thomas S. Kennedy; Owen W. Thomas, Quartermaster.

    Corporals: Joseph M. Newport, Charles P. Gragg, Edwin B. Cundiff, William O. Owens, Williarm R. Jackson, Oliver O. Holmes, Harry L. Fowle, Marion F. Farmer, Henry C. Waddle, James H. Shadoan, Josh Jones, Joseph G. May.

    Musician: Robert M. Barron.

    Wagoner: William Jackson.

    Artificer: Lindsay M. Watson.

    Privates: Walter C. Abbott, Eliah H. Baker, Everett Baugh, Andrew J. Bigley, Miles F. Brinkley, Hayes Brummett, Elishu Burton, George K. Burton, Montgomery S. Burton, Charles H. Busch, William F. Campbell, Odie Carter, Newell F. Clark, William H. Collins, Benjamin Cundiff, Clifford H. Day, King Durham, Charles Emmick, John F. Farmer, Loren E. Floyd, Elihu Ford, Dock E. Foster, Anderson Freeman, Herbert C. Gann, George C. Garrett, Paul Goodpaster, Otis Gragg, Frank H. Gray, Matthew A. Hale, James A. Hall, William F. Hall, George M. Ham, Daniel P. Hamilton, William T. Hansche, Andrew Hardgrove, George T. Hargis, John M. Hartgrove, Albert T. Haynes, John H. Haynes, Jeseph Hines, William C. Hopper, Rutherford H. Howell, Reuben O. Jones, George W. Karns, Snode Keith, Gustave Kissel, William L. Lester, Zeno G. Logan, Willis G. Loveless, Thomas L. Marcum, James Massengale, Roland McGahan, Walter O. Mercer, Elswick W. Newport, Charles Patterson, Qualo Phelps, James E. Reedy, William J. Reid, John Roberts, Samuel R. Sandifer, Andrew Schneider, John Shadoan, Dennie P. Shadoin, George Solomon, Joseph E. Staples, James F. Stewart, Granville E. Stringer, Marion Tarter, John R. Tate, John P. Tompson, William R. Trusty, Joseph D. Turpen, John N. Underwood, John M. Vanhook, George Webb, William Welburn, Charles F. Zachary`

    1st Lt. Wm. A. Campbell

    Corporal George B. Davis (died 12-1-98)

    Henry Raffet (killed by blow on the head when struck by guard at Newport News, Virginia 12-10-98.)

    The men of Company "I" were, in the main, ill from typhoid most of their stay in Puerto Rico, for almost without exception each man was recorded as being confined to quarters with illness or spent some time in a hospital or on the hospital ship "Relief."

    Captain Trimble was commissioned by the authority of Governor William O. Bradley of Kentucky on June 5, 1898,

    On December 7, 1941, the Japanese naval forces using carrier based aircraft bombed the United States military and naval establishments in the area of Honolulu, Hawaii, and for the second time in less than a quarter of a century the people of Somerset were called upon to face the demands of the maelstrom of war. On December 9, 1941, at the impassioned request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Congress stated that a condition of war between the United States and the imperial forces of Japan already existed. As in earlier wars this one too reached into the homes of the Queen City of the Cumberland foothills and called for the cream of its youth. The patriotic zeal of the Somerset youth was characteristic of their immediate predecessors of the first world conflagration. Local response was by sterling quality. George Ed Kiser, splendid "Eagle" pilot, exemplified the valiant spirit that had been portrayed by historic effort in former struggles of combat. City and county casualties in this world conflict amounted to some 186. The first of these were Jack Gardner, lost in the South Pacific, and Fred Bruce Hill, lost in the American invasion of Northern Africa at Casablanca. Memorials honoring the local citizens who lost their lives in defense of their country in these world wars remind the living that they have received that heritage preserved by these who gave full measure for a greater monument – American freedom. Posterity must see that they did not deeds of valor in vain.

    The city’s citizens have loyally and patriotically answered the call to take up arms in every military conflict in which this country has been engaged. World War I was in its third year when the platitudes of neutrality were ended when President Woodrow Wilson made an eloquent recommendation to the Congress of the United States to issue a formal declaration of a war against the imperial forces of the Kaiser’s Germany. Once again the peace loving American nation must resort to arms – the most terrible expression of political disagreement – and once again Somerset citizens went highhearted to bleed and do and die in a war that purported to end all wars and make the entire world safe for the democratic way of life. So they went – lawyers, doctors, teachers, clerks, and from every vocation either as volunteers or subjects of the newly adopted Selective Service Act. Their names are legend and their valor is memorialized in the continuation of the American democratic ideals and mute pledge that all men are entitled to be free of tyranny in any form. Some of these Somerset citizens were:

    Patriots in World War One

    Next: Part Two of Chapter Three- Military History
    Somerset Patriots in World War I



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