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Civil War Poems
Written by Don Elias Downing

1861 to 1865
Don Elias

Born: 22 May 1832
Moscow, Clermont Co., Ohio
Died: 3 Jan 1913
Bourbon, Marshall Co., IN
John Timothy DOWNING  b. PA
Mary   b. OH
Sara Jane

Born: 25 Dec 1833
College Corner, Ohio
Died: 25 SEP 1901
Bourbon, Marshall Co., IN
James CASSELL  b. OH
Catherine BENNETT  b. PA

Civil War Poems by:



Don Elias DOWNING was born 22 May 1832 in Moscow, Clermont County, Washington Township, Ohio to John Timothy & Mary DOWNING. He married Sarah Jane CASSELL on 1 July 1852 at Stout's Mill in Brownstown, Jackson County, Indiana. He served with Company A, 22 Indiana Infantry, Sargent - 1st Leut at Discharge.

These poems were passed down through his son Morton Elias DOWNING to his son Oscar Howard DOWNING and on to his daughter Cecelia Agnes DOWNING FALZONE who currently lives in Dallas, Texas.



Written at: Gordon Mills Gap 25 April 1864


Away from home how slow the hours pass wearily along.

I feel alone though many men around me throng.

There’s none that looks on me in love wherever I may roam.

I’m longing for thy gentle smiles, my dearest ones at home.

I look around, strange things I see, much that is fair to view.

Men’s art and nature’s handiworks, and all to me is new.

But oh! I feel my joys were more, if while amid these I roam,

It could be shared with those I love, my dearest ones at "home".

Blow, Blow, ye winds and bear me on my long and weary way.

Move on, slow hours; more swiftly move, and shortly bring the day

When victory is won, and battles o’er no more will I roam,

But I, again, shall be with those I love so well – at home.

-- By Don Elias DOWNING

* Home for Don Elias DOWNING was back in Azalia, Indiana, in the 1860 US Census. Azalia was a very small village 4 miles southwest of Elizabethtown where we find Don Elias DOWNING and his family in the 1870 US Census.


Civil War Poems by:



Dearest sweetest little Emma innocent and gay,

Blythe and merry as a linnet, is the month of May,

Chirping sweetly to thy sisters all the livelong day,

Chatting sweetly to thy mama in the sweetest way,

Oh, I long to see thee Emma, at thy infant sports,

To see they little tiny hands – how busily they work,

Arranging all thy childish toys, upon some little shelf,

And hear thy little tongue, the while chatting to thyself.

I’d love – if it were possible – to be home again,

To take a playful romp with thee, my darling Emma Jane.

I’d love to hear thy infant song, and hear thy childish prattle,

I know t’would cheer the drooping heart of a soldier used to battle.

– By Don Elias DOWNING - 1863

*Emma Jane DOWNING PARISH was Don Elias DOWNING’s 5th born child and my great grandmother who was born December 17, 1861, in Sandcreek Township, Bartholomew County, Indiana. She would have been about 2 years old when her father wrote this poem while away fighting at Mission Ridge and Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.

Note by: -Arthur "Art" Allen MOORE III


Civil War Poems by:



I’ve traveled East, I’ve traveled West, I’ve borne a weary lot

But in my wanderings far and near, you’ve never been forgot.

The love that first burst from this heart, burns still for thee, my wife,

It grows still stronger as it flows, this first love of my life,

And though we love each other well, time came for us to part.

Sweet – time, Sad time, the time for separating, we two – but one heart.

I wonder, Janie, often yet, when sitting in my tent,

If you remember how your smile rekindled love’s full vent.

Cheek touching cheek, our eyes look, the love our hearts did feel,

When in our hearts, two full for words, with unallayed zest,

Each prayed unto our God that others may be blest.

– By Don Elias DOWNING - 1863

*Don Elias DOWNING was writing about his wife Sarah Jane "Janie" CASSELL in this poem. A soldier of any era of time spends hours considering the one they love most back at home. Sarah Jane CASSELL was born on Christmas Day 1833 in College Corner (Oxford Township), Butler County, Ohio.

Note by: Arthur "Art" Allen MOORE III


Civil War Poems by:



His busy hands are folded now

His sweet blue eyes are closed

For death has paled his rosy

And his Death Seal imposed.

His voice is hushed:

It’s gladsome toneIs heard on earth no

And sad are evening walks and lone

So full of light before.

Oh, Dearest Jane, long will we miss

The coming of his feet

The sweetness of his childish kiss

That used our love to greet.

And his dear sisters, midst their flowers,

They oft may pause and say,

Our Heavenly Father, to his bowers,

Has borne our "Bud" away.

But Darling One, his precious

Of four short years below,

Has been with a blessing rife

More than we, here, can know.

For e’en a strangers heart had

And a kiss for thee to spare,

And now, though gone to dwell alone,

Earth’s regions seem less fair.

Since he is taken from our

With his sweet winning ways,

Let’s deem it but an emblem bright

Of heaven’s immortal days.

– By Don Elias DOWNING

*Don Elias DOWNING’s was writing about his 1st born son, John Timothy DOWNING. He was born 26 March 1857 in Madison, Jefferson County, Indiana, about 40 miles southeast of Azalia. John Timothy died on 8 April 1860 and only lived for 3 Years and 13 days. He is buried in the Azalia Methodist Church Cemetery, Azalia, Indiana. It is thought that Don Elias named John Timothy after his father of the same name. We feel Don Elias had a brother of the same name of John Timothy DOWNING too. Note by: Arthur "Art" Allen MOORE III


Civil War Poems by:



When life’s young journey I began,

All glittering prospects charmed my eye

I saw on life’s extended plain,

Joy after joy, successive rise.

But soon I found ‘twas all a dream,

And learned fond pursuit to shun,

When few can reach their purposed aim

And thousands daily are undone.

– By Don Elias DOWNING - 1863


Civil War Poems by:



Of camps there’s a great variety

Of every kind and sort,

And at the many camps I’ve been

There’s many kinds of sports,

But fun that camp affords you

Is rather new and racy.

It must be camp amusements rare

For the ladies young and tasty.

If such a camp could e’er be

By our soldiers in the rank,

I’m sure we’d pass the joke around

Like the gay young soldier Frank.

Strange things and rumors oft we hear

Of camps in which are scamps

But the Union Army’s always clear

Of soft camps like your camp.

Of all the different camps I’ve seen

Since I’ve been a Union Yankee

I’ve never seen a camp so green

As your camp was by Frankie.

– By Don Elias DOWNING - 1863


Don Elias DOWNING - Military Record

Source: National Archives Civil War Compiled Military Service Records -- Pension # 268362

Pension Number 268362

Enrolled: 8 JUL 1861 at Madison / Vernon, Indiana (15 Aug 1861 conflict with another record)

Enlisted Rank: Private

Company A of the 22nd Regiment Indiana Volunteers

Commanded by: Col. Jefferson C. Davis

In action on Mission Ridge, Tennessee on 25 Nov 1863

Wounded in right thigh, gun shot wound / Battle of Lookout Mtn / Battle of Chattanooga, TN 25 Nov 1863

Hospital Treatment: Chattanooga TN / R. Parental Bone Fracture (2 to 4 weeks in hospital)

Promoted to Sergeant Major / Dec 1863

Re-enlisted 2 Jan 1864

In action as Jonesboro, Georgia on 1 Sep 1864

"Severely wounded in head, gun shot wound" at Jonesboro, GA 1 Sep 1864

"Almost total loss of sight of left eye...result of gunshot wound to head"

Hospital Treatment: General Hospital, Medical College, Atlanta GA (2 months in hospital)

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant / May 23, 1865

Honorably Discharged: 24 Jul 1865

Serving at Discharge: 22nd Indiana Infantry, Company G

Place of Discharge: Louisville, KY

Length of Pensionable Service: 4 years, 17 Days

Rank on Discharge: 1 Lieutenant


22nd Regiment Indiana Infantry

Organized at Madison, Ind., and mustered in at Indianapolis, Ind., August 15, 1861. Regiment lost during service 14 Officers and 139 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 190 Enlisted men by disease. Total 343.

Source: A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion by Frederick H. Dyer. Copyright, 1908.


Marion Branch National Home for Disabled Veterans, National Military Home, Indiana states Don Elias DOWNING died at Bourbon, Indiana while absent with leave from Barrack #3 on the 3rd day of January, 1913. Cause of death: congestion of lungs resulting from pneumonia. He is listed as as a widower. Names and addresses of next of kin: Morton E. DOWNING, son, Hooker, Oklahoma. Julia BAUGHER, daughter, Bourbon, Indiana.


From: Plymouth Republican, Thursday, November 8, 1883


BOURBON - DOWNING, Don E. Disability: gunshot wound - head // Monthly payment $6.00





After but a short illness, due to pneumonia, Captain Downing died at the home of his son-in-law, Phillip Baugher, and wife, Friday evening and the remains were laid to rest Tuesday, after a funeral service at the home, conducted by Rev. Rittenhouse, and exercises at the grave by Masons. The following obituary tells of the life of the deceased and was read by the minister:

Don Elias Downing was born May, 22, 1832 in Moscow, Ohio. At the age of eighteen he came with his mother to Jennings County, Indiana.

In 1851 he was united in marriage to Sarah Jane Cassell. To this union was born eleven children. The wife and five children, two sons and three daughters, preceeded him to the spirit world. Those surviving are six children: Mary C. Harris, Azalia, Indiana; Emily J. Parish, Rector, Arkansas; Tamar L. Compton, Keokuk, Iowa; Morton E. Downing, Hooker, Oklahoma; R. Josephine Deardorff, Pullman, Illinois; Julia L. F. Baugher, Bourbon, fifteen grandchildren, seven great-grand-children.

In July 1861 he enlisted in Company G, 22nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry. At the expiration of three years he re-enlisted and served to the close of the war. Was one of the boys who marched with General Sherman to the sea.

In 1865 he was united with the Christian church of Elizabethtown, Indiana.

He joined the Masonic order in early life and remained a faithful member until the day of his death.

He came with his family to northern Indiania in 1880 and located in Bourbon. He remained in Bourbon until 1905 when he entered the National Military Home, of Grant County, Indiana.

Those from a distance who were here to attend the funeral were: Mort Downing, son of the deceased, and his family, of Hooker, Oklahoma; Mrs. Tamer Compton of Keokuk, Iowa, and Mrs. L. T. Deardorff, of Pullman, and Mearl Baugher of Michigan City.

Source: Bourbon News - Mirror / Bourbon, Marshall Co., Indiana / 9 JAN 1913 /  page 4

The DOWNING Children
Mary Catherine

b. 28 JAN 1855
d. after 1930
Emma Jane

b. 17 DEC 1861
d. after 1913
Morton Elias

b. 12 JAN 1868
d. AUG 1939
Rachel Josephine

b. 14 OCT 1869
d. 30 SEP 1926
Julia Lectania Francis

b. 13 JUN 1874
d. 10 MAY 1958
Most of Don Elias & Sarah Jane's children  were born in Elizabethtown, Bartholomew County, Indiana
John Timothy

b. 26 MAR 1857
d. 8 APR 1860
Tamer "Tama" Lydia

b. 2 JUL 1866
d. 20 NOV 1933
Angeline Belle
b. 29 JAN 1853
d. 12 OCT 1854
Joseph Terrell

b. 25 APR 1872
d. 18 JUL 1872
Medora "Dora" Lavenia
b. 28 DEC 1859
d. 28 SEP 1890
Home of Don Elias DOWNING  & Sarah Jane CASSELL DOWNING
Bourbon, Marshall County, Indiana  - About 1899
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