My cousin’s daughter sent me this cool old family portrait taken in the decade or so after the Civil War. This is the Barnhill clan, and the seated woman is my great-great-grandmother, Eliza Jane (Keegan) Barnhill. My great-grandmother Susan Barnhill Brown is in the second row. I had never seen this photograph before, and I am thrilled to see this connection with my family’s rich Civil War heritage.
My great-great uncle Aaron Barnhill is on the right wearing a GAR medal. He was a “hundred days” man, serving in Company C of the 141st Ohio in the summer of 1864 when President Lincoln called for volunteers for three months to guard bridges, railroad lines, supply depots, etc. to free up the veteran troops for the all out push that summer (Grant in the Overland Campaign / Siege of Petersburg and Sherman in the Atlanta Campaign).
I had many ancestors in the Civil War on both side of my family. Among Dad’s ancestors were Aaron Barnhill shown above, as well as Dad’s great uncles the Chambers boys from the 7th West Virginia who fought at Antietam and Gettysburg. My mother’s grandfather John D. Sisson used to tell my late mother stories of the war, and would occasionally slip into dreams when he fell asleep in his rocking chair, and shouted out orders to long-lost comrades.
If you have photos of your Civil War ancestors (particularly if they are in uniform or wearing GAR medals or similar post-war shots), please send me an electronic copy and I will include them in future blog posts in this new “Our Civil War Heritage” series.
The 141st Ohio was organized as a Ohio National Guard unit at Gallipolis, on May 11, 1864, with 866 men. The recruits primarily came from Athens, Gallia, and Scioto counties in southern Ohio and were commanded by Colonel Anderson D. Jaynes. They were formally mustered into service on May 14. The new soldiers reported at Charleston, West Virginia, on May 21st and were assigned to guard the railroad from Guyandotte to Charleston. The regiment was attached to the Reserve Division, Dept. of West Virginia, until August 25.
During the term of enlistment, two men were killed by Confederate bushwhackers and four others perished from disease, the #1 cause of death in the Civil War. One man, Charles McMillan was disabled on July 6 by an accidental gunshot wound in the left side of his neck inflicted by a revolver in the hands of a comrade.
After the hundreds days expired, the remaining 860 men mustered out at Gallipolis on September 3, 1864. Colonel Jaynes stayed in the army after the war and served as post commander in Sedalia, Missouri, in the 1870s and 1880s.
Sources: Dyer’s Compendium and The Military History of Ohio by H. H. Hardesty
Companies by County:
Companies A, B, C Athens County
Companies D, E, F Gallia County
Company G Athens, Gallia & Scioto Counties
Companies H and K Athens County
Company I Adams & Athens Counties
Official roster of the soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, Volume 9 (Cincinnati: The Ohio Valley Press, 1899).