The 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
|Stationed at Summerville, the 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was a constant threat of violence on our mountain homesteads. Indian fighter Col. George Crook would later be promoted to general.
(George Crook describes bushwhackers)
|36th OVI, Captain Warren Hollister, Co. C January 7, 1862
.according to positive instructions I was to lay waste and destroy the county [Webster]. This was an unpleasant but necessary part of the warfare. Consequently, for a distance of 16 miles there was not left a __ of forage or habitable building, and as we ascended the mountain, I could trace our path for miles by the cloud of black smoke that showed itself in the distance.
|From Captain William Dunham, 36th OVI, Co. D, Fragment of a letter written sometime in January, 1862, probably to his wife Henrietta
one instance that was particularly hard, they burned Chapman House, saw no one but a little girl, who said her father was away and had been for some time, had three little brothers who had run and hid when they heard the yankees coming the girl had a small child in her arms but our fellows fired the house and everything on the place that would burn. I said to (after he returned) Captain Hollister (who was in command) that this was too bad, he said we must obey orders, I replied by saying with a good deal of warmth that I would disobey orders and be court-martialed first I told him I would risk all the odium that would attach to a court-martial under these circumstances --. The Captain is a lawyer from Woodsfield Ohio, is a very good man, but takes extreme views but there is still a more aggravated case, which God forbid that I shall ever have to record against the 36th again. They took a young man prisoner, sometime before the fight, say back 5 or 6 miles from the store. They came upon him at a house, running bullets, evidence incontestable that he was a bushwhacker, (especially in this country of game where nearly all men are hunters) they took him along he stated there was about 100 men at Chapmans store, and he thought they were the same that had burned Sutton, a day or two before, but protested that he had not been with them, and I believe his statements were correct for had he been one of them, he would not have been there, for they were undoubtedly aware of the approach of our men, for the position they had selected. Well they kept him till they got within a few miles of home, and then in cold blood, barbarously shot him. They put the dirty work on Co. D as its commanding officer was not there. Lieut. Moore lowered himself in my estimation vastly, by allowing himself there to be made a fool of. The manner of doing the act indeed was after this fashion. The prisoner was in charge (was captured by Co.E) of Co.D which was in the rear the two Prices Andy and John were selected as executioners under the charge of a corporal of Co.G. The corporal, executioners, with prisoners were instructed to fall back in the rear some distance. They did so, when the corporal told the fellow now was the time to escape and to run for his life, he did so, not seeming to know the object when a few paces off the Prices fired upon him and brought him to the ground. A. Price then run up and shot him again with the pistol he took from the man he killed in the fighting and thus put and end to his life the boys described his screams after he was shot first as heart rending they left him unburied. My God has it come to this? I forbear comment. Suffice it to say I pitched in pretty strong when I heard of it. There was some tall swearing done. You know I scorn a cowardly mean act. Was not this one? You may rely upon it I shall do as little dirty work as possible and quit the army as soon as advisable.
Note from George Hall, transcriber Dunham left the Army later that year, his company Captaincy taken by Lt. James Stanley of Company G.
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