Header Graphic
History of the National Home for Disabled Soldiers
Hon. Lewis B. Gunkel



               In according all due honor to the sympathizing efforts of the Board of Managers, and the exertion made by them on behalf of the disabled soldiers, the zeal and interest manifested in the institution by the local manager, Hon. Lewis B. Gunckel, is not to be overlooked. He was mainly instrumental in securing the selection of Dayton as a site for the Central Home, and from the commencement of the work to the present day has labored patiently and unremittingly to accomplish the remarkable results enumerated in this volume.

Mr. Gunckel is a lawyer, pursuing a large, lucrative practice, and the energetic member of congress from the fourth district of his state. It is therefore all the more creditable to him that out of the fullness of his heart he assumed the parentage of the Soldiers' Home. No one can now deny to him all the pride and gratification a parent can feel in his offspring, nor the honor it reflects. The institution as it stands may with truth be presented to the people as his work; for it is to his enlarged ideas, careful management, and extended views that the work has been carried on from year to year, quietly, unobtrusively, without boasting or pretension; that the Home in all its details now presents such large and striking proportions. Mr. Gunckel has kept constantly in view the comfort" of the veterans, the progress of improvement, the increase in the number of buildings, the architectural beauty, and the imposing character of the structures erected for the very purpose of making the Home at Dayton the most complete, attractive, and beautiful in all the world. It was a noble ambition, and now has its realization and acknowledgment.

               One object for which Mr. Gunckel has been striving is, to secure for the Dayton Home a preeminence which should eventually concentrate within its limits all the disabled veterans now domiciled at the other homes, thus making it the central and only national institution for disabled volunteers.

Mr. Gunckel has in this labor of love, of which the best and greatest might well be proud, won a name and honor that can never be taken from him. All honor to the man who has in all these years labored so faithfully for the disabled defenders of the dear old flag.




               The records of this office form an interesting feature of the Central Home, and the accurate manner in which they are preserved reflect the highest credit upon the ability of Mr. M. J. Campbell, of the thirteenth Connecticut regiment, who has filled the position of post-adjutant for several years. The general historical register consists of fifteen books of five hundred pages each, one page being allotted to each inmate. This page contains his full military record as well as his social standing. In addition to these a record is kept of all inmates by states and organizations. There is made up in the adjutant's office every morning a consolidated report from the reports of the sixteen companies and hospital. From the adjutant's reports for the year ending November 30, 1874, we learn that the highest number present up to that date was two thousand and ninety-four. The whole number of beneficiaries cared for and assisted in any way during the year was three thousand two hundred and fifty-six; whole number present during the year, two thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine; whole number discharged during the year upon statement that they were able to support themselves, one hundred and fifty-two. Thirty-four deserted, two hundred and fifty-five were dropped from temporary absence at post, and eighty-two were transferred to other branches. Died during the year, one hundred and twenty. The number present and absent on the first day of January, 1875, was two thousand six hundred and one.

From the librarian's report for 1874 we learn that during the year thirty-one thousand three hundred and eighty-eight books were read, showing the value of this department as a means of comfort and entertainment for the veterans.




               The treasurer's office is one of great interest. Maj. Jerome B. Thomas, the treasurer, ranks next to the governor, and assumes the duties of commandant in the absence of the governor in addition to his other duties, which are onerous, as the following brief sketch will show:


               He has charge of all moneys belonging to the Home, received from the general treasurer of all the branches; also, the United States pensions which he collects for the inmates, the money proceeds from the Home manufactories, sales of uniform, clothing, and the Home store, etc. Pie receives in sums ranging from a few cents to very large amounts and pays out the same in like sums in accordance with rules laid down, which are carefully followed.

The work of this office has grown from the handling of about one hundred thousand dollars, as in the case of the first year, to nearly half a million, including everything for the year 1874, every cent of which is accounted for by vouchers. The treasurer is responsible for all property belonging to the Home, and purchasing the same, he supervises the issuing of the quartermaster's stores, clothing, bedding, etc. Add to these the payment of pensions, of monthly receipt-rolls of hundreds of veterans employed, an extensive correspondence with beneficiaries and their families, and the reader will have a very imperfect idea of the duties of this office. James M. Bermingham, late adjutant 88th K. Y. Vols., is the efficient quartermaster-sergeant




               As stated elsewhere in this work, all men admitted to the national Home must show some disability unfitting them for earning a living. A very large proportion are disabled by disease, in many cases superinduced by long and cruel confinement in southern prison-pens. The whole number of pensioners cared for during the year 1874 was nine hundred and eighty-seven. Two had lost both arms; three had lost both legs; one had lost a leg and an arm ; one hundred and sixty-four had lost one arm ; one hundred and eighty-four had lost one leg.




               This history would be incomplete and unsatisfactory if it did not contain some notice of the gentlemen selected by the honorable Board of Managers for official positions in the Central Home, seeing they were men who made for themselves honorable records in the great struggle for the retention of our liberties, and eminently fitted for the positions they hold. Men never labored more faithfully than they have done, and that in the face of difficulties likely never before met. Their manly bearing, their kind consideration of the needs of the men, and not least, the beautiful harmony that exists among them is a source of gratification to all friends of the great national Soldiers' Home not easily expressed.




               Colonel Brown entered the service as lieutenant-colonel of the twenty-eighth New York volunteers, in April, 1861, and served until the expiration of his time. He lost his left arm in the battle of Cedar Mountain, near Gulpepper, Virginia, in August, 1862; was taken prisoner, escaped, and again fell into the hands of the enemy and was sent to Libby Prison. He was subsequently paroled and exchanged when he returned and took command of his regiment, its colonel having fallen in the battle named. After the war Colonel Brown was appointed, by General Ord, military mayor of Yicksburg, Mississippi, which office he filled with great honor to himself and credit to the Government. He was commissioned as acting deputy-governor of the Home in November, 1868, and confirmed July, 1869, and was appointed governor September 6, 1873. The estimation in which the services of Colonel Brown are now held at the Home will appear from the following testimonial:

The semi-centennial anniversary of the birth of Colonel E. F. Brown, deputy-governor of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, occurred on Wednesday, April 23d, 1873. The knowledge of it came so suddenly upon the officers and men that there was no time for the arrangement of a general celebration; but some of them assembled at the instance of Commissary

Sergeant Crandall, and, preceded by the band, marched to head-quarters. The colonel, seeing them coming through the arch, remarked that "they were taking a long route for a funeral this muddy weather," and was somewhat astonished when they turned into his office and surrounded him. Captain Fernald, assistant librarian, then stepped forward and said:


               Colonel Brown: In my short and uneventful life there has been no occasion in which I have felt so flattered and honored as on the present in being chosen speaker for my comrades, who have instructed me to use my small endeavors to express to you their feelings and the purpose for which they are now assembled. All of us, sir, have been within the jurisdiction of your command for several years, a sufficient time to have become acquainted with your modes of action, and by inference to have some sense of the motives which prompt you; and there is not one but feels that in the entire performance of the multifarious duties which you are called to discharge you have been actuated by a high sense of honor, a nice sense of justice, and above all, by that beautiful principle of Christianity which Paul says is greater than all. Sir, you have done the state some service, to which your body as well as the archives of the country bear honorable testimony. Not less in your present circumscribed sphere have your actions merited the approval of those whose duty and pleasure it has been to be associated with you in the performance of the details of your present executive position.

               The present occasion being the fiftieth anniversary of your birth seems to be an appropriate time for a suitable manifestation of the feelings with which we are inspired; and, sir, that but a small number of those who look to you as their chief are now present, yet we but feel that each and every one of them, had time and opportunity been favorable, would have heartily joined in the pleasant duty now to be performed, which is to present to you as a small but grateful testimonial of the high sense in which they appreciate the earnest, honest, and faithful discharge of the duties of your office, this gold chain, with the sincere trust that its purity, brightness, strength, and usefulness may be emblematic of the relations which we may hereafter have with each other, and a heart-felt hope that your days may be prolonged to many future years of honorable usefulness; and that each recurring anniversary of the present happy day may be as auspicious as the present is the earnest wish of the non-commissioned officers, office clerks, and shop superintendents of the central branch of the national Home.


               During this address Colonel Brown was much affected. Tears filled his eyes and his stalwart frame trembled with emotion; but at its close he had so far recovered himself as to reply in substance as follows:


               Captain Fernald and Gentlemen: I trust you will pardon my apparent weakness, but this unexpected visit has so surprised and affected me that I am quite unmanned. In the course of my life of fifty years, to the anniversary of which you have so kindly alluded, few occasions have taken me so completely by surprise and so completely embarrassed me. While I have no words to express the gratitude I feel, it is easy for me to say to you that this occasion gives me special pleasure. I see before me those who have known me since I first became connected with this Home, and the expression of your kindly sentiments assures me that my honest efforts to do my duty have been appreciated; and it also shows on your part a disposition to forgive the many shortcomings which you have seen in me.

               The position which I have occupied for almost five years has been somewhat new, novel, and not altogether free from difficulties and embarrassments. It would have been altogether impossible for me, and the officers associated with me, to have conducted the affairs of this Home to the satisfaction of the Government which authorized and the Board of Managers who directed the plan, except we had been aided and sustained in our efforts by you and other good men who knew and appreciated our difficulties and trials.

               These tokens and the kind words of your speaker assure me and strengthen me for further duty, while the day you have selected for your demonstration of good-will reminds me that I have seen half a century pass, and that age creeps on me, it will long be remembered as one of the bright days of my life. While this chain may not possess the intrinsic value which would be likely to cause it to hold a lasting place in my memory, the kindness of your words and the reflection of these sentiments which I see in every eye before me will never be effaced from my memory.

               I need not tell you that my position is an arbitrary one, for you all know that; and if I have ever exercised any power in a manner to make you feel that I have sometimes been injudicious and overbearing, your good sense has led you to attribute it to the annoyances incident to the position, and have therefore forgiven. Your kindness, while it overcomes and embarrasses me, gives me assurance that the charge with which I have been intrusted and the many trials I have met from time to time have not escaped your notice; and in all these, I am pleased to say, you have taken your share of the responsibilities and burdens. No man could have carried on the affairs of this institution except he had been sustained by the precepts and example of those who were intrusted with the subordinate positions. I am proud to say, in this respect you have at all times and on all occasions met my expectations.

               I see before me men who were in the Home when I first came to you; and to them, and to you all, the Government, the managers, and the officers are greatly indebted, and none more so than I.

In this album, which I have not opened, I hope to find the photographs of all the faces I see before me; and if not, I will feel obliged if you will supply them at some future time.

               Gentlemen, I wish I had words to suitably reply to your address and to thank you for your rich gifts; but you all know and appreciate my difficulties in this regard, so you will please take the will for the deed and accept my heart-felt thanks.


               The party then dispersed, with many hand shakings and hearty congratulations. But the colonel's surprises were not over, for in the evening there assembled at his house the officers with their wives and children, and gentlemen and other ladies, for the purpose of adding more to his astonishment. In the center of the room stood a small table surmounted by a magnificent cake ornament with military emblems, and crowned with the eagle. After awhile the colonel was instructed to cut the cake. On removing the ornamental part he discovered a card on which was written, "Please do not cut my head. John Cane." He accordingly seized Mr. Cane by the head and drew him forth, discovering that his body was of polished ebony crowned with gold, on which was a suitable inscription, and the following document:



DAYTON, OHIO, April 23, 1873. Colonel E. F. Brown, Deputy - governor and Commandant:


               DEAR COLONEL: We, your fellow-officers, beg you to accept on this, your fiftieth birth-day, as a slight token of our esteem, this staff, upon which, if it equals in strength our friendship for our commandant, you can lean in safety through the declining years of your life; and that it should be emblematic of that other and sure staff on whom all who would be most useful and happy must learn to lean is our sincere wish.

               J. B. Thomas, treasurer; W. H. Lough, secretary; William Earnshaw, chaplain ; S. K. Towle, surgeon ; C. McDermont, late surgeon ; A. S. Dunlap, assistant surgeon ; William Thompson, steward; A. R. Woodruff, late steward; E. L. Miller, matron; Mary J. Eaton, principal of Home school; L. K. Stroup, farmer; D. F. Giddinger, builder.


               Colonel Brown expressed himself as not being equal to the task of replying, and deputed Chaplain Earnshaw, who did the thankful honors in a very neat and appropriate speech. The remainder of the evening was spent in pleasant, social intercourse, enlivened by choice music from the band, and all departed to their homes with pleasant memories of a pleasant day.




               Major Thomas is one of the first officers of the institution, and it may be said of him that he has grown with its growth and strengthened with its strength. Apart from the arduous duties of his office, he has ever manifested a lively interest in everything appertaining to the property of the Home and the well-being of its inmates; taking an active part in its associations and celebrations, its days of rejoicing, its festivals and amusements, and contributing in the distribution of his time and talents for the promotion of the general good and happiness of all concerned. Major Thomas was born in Pennsylvania; received his education at Knox College, Illinois; subsequently read medicine with Dr. William Chamberlain, at Toulon, Illinois, and graduated at the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, in 1858; afterward located at Wyoming, Illinois, where he was in the practice of his profession. When the war of 1861 broke out, he entered the army as assistant-surgeon of the twenty-fourth regiment Illinois volunteer infantry ; served in the army of Ohio under General Buell, and in the Army of the Cumberland under both Generals Rosencrans and Thomas. After the first year he was detached from his regiment, serving as surgeon in charge of the Government hospitals at Bowling Green, Kentucky, at Gallatin, Tennessee, and also as acting medical director on the staff of General Paine, and later as chief executive officer of the Cumberland United States army general hospital at Nashville. Still later he was appointed surgeon in charge of Government railroad hospitals located at Chattanooga, Tennessee, and at Stevenson and Huntsvrlle, Alabama. He continued so employed up to December, 1865, when he left the Government service and opened an office the year following at Wyandotte, Kansas, where he was living when in the fall of 1867 he received the appointment of treasurer to the central branch of the national Home, which office he now holds, being the first appointed treasurer of the Central Home. Major Thomas has been repeatedly complimented by the honorable Board of Managers for his faithfulness in the line of duty, they earnestly commending him for the accuracy of his accounts. Major Thomas carne to the Home with the expectation of being made surgeon on the retirement of Dr. McDermont, and would have received that appointment but for the fact that the Board of Managers earnestly desired him to continue as treasurer, in which position he has served them so well. Those who know Major Thomas will appreciate his earnest desire to return to his honorable and cherished profession.




               The important and responsible duties of secretary of the Central Home are assigned to Captain R. E. Fleming, who owes his promotion to meritorious services performed in the army. At the breaking out of the war in 1861 he enlisted in the third Indiana battery, light artillery, and was in active service for the term of three years. He received his appointment as secretary of the Home in July, 1873. The position occupied by Captain Fleming is one requiring no inconsiderable amount of executive ability; and it is but a tribute justly due him to say that the various duties connected with his office are discharged with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of the Board of Managers, by whom his duties are thus defined:


               The secretary shall be the recording and auditing officer of the military asylums; shall perform such duties as shall be ordered by the Board; shall countersign all requisitions of the governor upon the treasurer of the military asylum, and all drafts and orders for the payment of money, and keep a record of the same.

               He shall keep an accurate account of all receipts and expenditures of every description, and of all debts due, so as to exhibit at all times the exact financial condition of the military asylum to which he may be appointed; he shall audit all claims upon such asylum, settle and adjust the same, and prepare and pass them for the action of the governor.

He shall lay before the governor complete lists of all the dues, debts, and demands accruing to such asylum, so that the same may be collected and adjusted.

               His books and accounts shall at all times be open to the inspection of the governor and of any manager. He shall keep and preserve in a fire-proof safe all the record-books deeds, papers, vouchers, and accounts of such asylum; he shall keep accurate pay-rolls, showing the compensation of every officer, agent, or employee of such asylum, and prepare the same in duplicate, so that the same may be paid by the treasurer; and to aid him in his duties may employ such clerical assistance as may be recommended by the governor and authorized by the president.

               In addition to the above specified duties the secretary is empowered to act as notary public, and take the acknowledgment of legal documents, etc. He also has charge of the Home store and manages its affairs, which position he is well qualified to fill, he having followed mercantile pursuits for years; but he reluctantly abandoned the business to accept the position he now holds. The annual sales of the store are now estimated at about 20,000, the profits of which are devoted to the support of the library, and to furnishing amusements of various miscellaneous character for the inmates. It may be proper to add here that Captain Fleming was appointed to fill the vacancy occasioned by the transfer of Captain Lough, who is now secretary at the north-western branch at Milwaukee.




               Dr. James M. Weaver, the recently appointed surgeon, though but a short time connected with the institution, is not a stranger to the disabled soldier. His military history is a highly creditable one, beginning with the second year of the war of the rebellion, when he entered the army as assistant surgeon of the ninety-third regiment Ohio volunteers. He was appointed surgeon of the same regiment in 1864, and was for some time in charge of the division hospital, third division fourth army corps. He followed the fortunes of his regiment throughout, and was with them in their hard-fought battles; was a prisoner of war, and suffered with many others in Libby Prison. While a prisoner Dr. Weaver was not indifferent to the sufferings of his companions in distress, but by calling into lively exercise his cheerfulness of heart and superior professional skill contributed largely in alleviating their sufferings. At the close of the war he resumed the practice of his profession at Wooster, Ohio, and was appointed surgeon of the Central Home in November, 1874. The duties of his office are performed with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of the officers of the Home and Board of Managers.




               As stated elsewhere, entered the army at the breaking out of the war and was early commissioned chaplain, and served, until after the battle of Gettysburg, in the Army of the Potomac, after which he was ordered to the Army of the Cumberland, in which he served under General George H. Thomas until September, 1867. Chaplain Earnshaw enjoyed the earnest friendship of

General Thomas. He was present at nineteen battles, including some of the greatest of the war, and at the close was ordered to report to the late

General Thomas, who made him superintendent of cemeteries at Stone River and Nashville. Into these beautiful resting-places he gathered the remains of twenty-two thousand soldiers; and he was subsequently appointed, with two other army officers, to select the sites and purchase the ground for the national cemeteries of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, and Memphis. No one unacquainted with the facts can conceive the difficulties and dangers encountered in this duty from the bitterness and opposition of the people of the South, and that, too, on the very heels of the war. It was only through the constant protection and friendship of General Thomas as military commander of that department that Chaplain Earnshaw was enabled to discharge the duty for which he was appointed; and it was his faithful services together with his honorable record in the army that secured for him the appointment referred to. Chaplain Earnshaw is too well known to require encomiums at the hands of the writer, and the relations he occupies in the institution are fully set forth in other portions of this volume. The following extract from the report of the Board of Managers to congress is an appropriate conclusion to this brief sketch:


               "The religious and moral instruction at this branch, under the direction of Chaplain Earnshaw, has been of the most faithful and satisfactory character."




               Captain William Thompson, the steward of the Central Home, served with credit in the first Kentucky infantry regiment and lost an arm in battle; and to his credit be it said that when General Lee invaded Pennsylvania in 1863 Captain Thompson became the color-bearer of the thirty-first regiment Pennsylvania militia, and with his remaining strong arm and his brave heart carried the dear old flag throughout the campaign. In the Home he fairly won the position he now holds by filling places of responsibility as a subordinate.

               His duties are varied and arduous, requiring him to make all purchases of subsistence, to superintend the preparation and serving of the food, together with all the details of provisioning the Home. In addition to this, he superintends several of the large workshops, as before described in this book. Captain Thompson is a vigorous and intelligent young man, and bids fair to make a successful business man.

               The duties of assistant steward are ably performed by Captain Justin H. Chapman, late captain company B, fifth Connecticut volunteers, who lost a leg in battle, after making a fine record as a true American soldier.

The steward's department would be imperfectly described without saying a word in favor of the polite and gentlemanly commissary sergeant, Wesley Crandall, eminently the right man in the right place.




               The worthy and energetic matron, Mrs. Miller, has long since distinguished herself as the soldiers' friend. Early in the war she, with other noble-hearted mothers, wives, and daughters, established the Cleveland and Cincinnati sanitary associations, and as wounded and sick men began to accumulate on their hands they saw and felt the pressing necessity for some systematic plan of organized effort, and out of this want so deeply felt grew a soldiers' home. It remained under the auspices of these associations until the state took charge of it in March, 1865. It remained under state control only a year, and in 1867 was transferred to the Central Home. Mrs. Miller had herself brought the first 16 inmates from Cleveland in October, 1865. The executive ability of Mrs. Miller is plainly visible in all the various departments of the hospital elsewhere described. Mrs. Miller is in daily, or it may be said hourly, attendance, and as she glides through the various wards with elastic step and cheerful voice, with a kind word for all, she imparts a spirit of cheerfulness and happiness as far as can be to the sick. Too much can not be said in praise of this worthy lady, so well adapted to this great work and so willing to use all her energies in its accomplishment.




               Dr. A. S. Dunlap has been the assistant surgeon four years; and he has discharged the duties devolving upon him in such a manner as to secure for himself the confidence and esteem of every inmate of the Home. He is young, active, and energetic, and is always to be found when wanted.

               Patience and forbearance are indispensably necessary to the success of a physician in an institution where he is compelled to adapt his practice not only to many peculiar forms of disease, but likewise to suit himself to many men of many minds and of varied temperaments. But under all these formidable circumstances Dr. Dunlap has shown himself to be the right man in the right place.


               "We append the names of Drs. J. W. Stewart, of Rock Island, Illinois, George G. Hopkins, of Brooklyn, New York, T. F. Price, of Kentucky, and J. K. Evans, of Ohio, who have served honorably as assistant surgeons at the Central Home.






               Dr. McDermont, late surgeon of the Central Home, has always been distinguished for ability in his profession. He brought to his position a large experience in the army.

               Dr. McDermont entened the army at the outbreak of the war, and served faithfully and uninteruptedly until the close. He had charge of some of the largest general hospitals in the country, those in Tennessee from the battle of Murfreesboro, but throughout having been carried on under his able administration. His last charge was at Camp Dermison, Ohio, out of the chaos of which he brought order and an honest solution of affairs. When General Cox was elected governor of Ohio he appointed Dr. McDermont surgeon-general of the state, an office that ended with the winding up of the war. As a merited recognition of his character and ability Dr. McDermont received his appointment as surgeon of the Home from the Board of Managers because eminently qualified to discharge the duties and carry forward the humane design of the institution founded in the wisdom, justice, and generosity of the Government for the benefit of its patriotic and now suffering defenders. While an officer of the institution Dr. McDermont participated in all its celebrations and festivals, never failing to respond when called upon. 

Dr. McDermout served continuously at the Central Home from its organization until August, 1874, with the exception of fourteen months spent as surgeon of the Southern Home at Hampton, Virginia.




               Although not actively engaged at present in the affairs of the Home, this brief sketch of Captain Woodruff is added as a tribute justly due to one who has won the esteem and admiration of all who have ever been connected with the institution. While an officer in the Home his transactions were characterized by all those manly attributes that have won him that good name, which is rather to be chosen than great riches. So fair, upright, and honorable has been his course that when no longer able to perform the duties of his office by reason of grievous affliction, the Board of Managers, with that magnanimity of soul which has ever characterized its actions, as an appreciation of his valuable services, invited Captain Woodruff and his family to continue their residence in the Home and partake of its hospitality. All who know anything of Captain Woodruff will rejoice in the provision thus made for his comfort.

               aptain Woodruff is a native of Vermont. In the summer of 1862 he responded to his country's call by enlisting as a private in the seventy-fourth regiment of Illinois volunteer infantry. He afterward served as hospital steward in the United States army, but was discharged in 1865 on account of disability. He was one of the early officers of the Central Home, being appointed secretary in 1867. Subsequently he filled the position of steward, the duties appertaining to which he performed until November, 1872, when he was compelled to resign on account of irreparable loss of health.

Since the above was written this excellent man passed from earth, loved and revered by all who knew him. One of his last requests was to be laid to rest in the soldiers' cemetery at the Home, and now he sleeps peacefully with the men for whom he labored so faithfully.




               Formerly surgeon of the North-western Home at Milwaukee, was transferred to the Central Home April, 1872, and served as surgeon until July, 1873, when he resigned.

               Dr. Towle on resigning his position as surgeon made an extended visit to Europe in the interest of his profession, and on his return located in his former field of practice Haverhill, Massachusetts. The doctor can point to a splendid army record, he having served in the first Massachusetts heavy artillery as assistant-surgeon until February, 1862, when he was promoted to surgeon and assigned to the thirtieth regiment Massachusetts infantry, in which he served until the regiment was mustered out of service. During his service the doctor had charge of several large army hospitals in the field.

He made a most favorable impression upon the Board of Managers, the officers, and the veterans of the Home, being considered not only a skillful surgeon but a pleasant and accomplished gentleman. On his retirement the hospital employees and patients made him the recipient of a beautiful gold medal, unique in its design, as an expression of their love and esteem for him.




               Captain Lough was appointed secretary of the Central Home September, 1870, and served until September, 1873, when he was transferred to the North-western Home at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he fills his position with great acceptability.

               Captain Lough entered the army very early in the war, and served gallantly with the second Indiana cavalry regiment and lost an arm in battle.

Notwithstanding this great loss, he entered the one hundred and thirteenth Ohio regiment and was commissioned captain, and performed the duties of United States recruiting officer. He was in every sense a good and true soldier, an earnest patriot, serving his country from conscientious motives. Captain Lough was a resident of Eaton, Preble County, Ohio, when appointed

an officer in the Home.




               Major Tracy was the first deputy-governor of the Central Home, having been appointed March, 1867, and served until June, 1868, when he died of wounds received in action. He enlisted as a private soldier on the first day of the war, and by acts of bravery rose to the rank of captain. He served for some time as brigade inspector and mustering officer on the staff of General Blley, then commanding the first brigade third division twenty-third corps. At the battle of Eesacca he was wounded in the breast while gallantly doing his duty in that memorable fight. He afterward served on the staff of General J. D. Cox, who spoke in the highest terms of his gallantry in battle. His health failed rapidly, making it necessary for him to seek the climate of Minnesota. Finding no relief he returned, able only to reach Cincinnati, where under the kind care of his much-loved commander, General Cox, he died at the early age of twenty-five years. His remains, under the care of Chaplain Earnshaw, were taken to the home of his youth, where amid the expressions of admiration and great sorrow he was buried with military honors.




               General In graham was ordered to report as governor of the Central Home in December, 1867, and continued in service for one year, when he was relieved by Colonel E. F. Brown, the present governor, January 1, 1869.

General Ingraham entered the service as lieutenant-colonel of the eighteenth regiment Massachusetts volunteers, August, 1861, and was promoted to be colonel of the thirty-eighth regiment Massachusetts volunteers, August, 1862; was made assistant provost marshal general at Washington, and served in that capacity until the close of the war. General Ingraham was a most genial gentleman, and is remembered with the kindliest feelings by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance at the Home.




               The men selected to fill responsible positions in the Home are as follows, with the exception of those elsewhere named in this work:


               Captain E. C. Nichols fills the position of chief ward-master at the hospital. Then follows the sergeants of barracks:


Bks. 1. Silas Crowell.

' 2. Rudolph Heintz.

' 3. Daniel Williams,

‘ 4. Richard Dunn.

' 5. Lewis J. Jones.

' 6. Edwin K. Crebbin.

' 7. Andrew Kennedy.

' 8. Jean H. Willener.

' 9. James M. Larkin.


Bks 10. Joseph R. Keene.

11. Emil Wilde.

12. David W. Carr.

13. Lafayette Knapp.

14. Burgess E. Blackmeir

15. Francis J. Amory.

16. Moses Thannhauser.

Band. George M. Hanley.



               These men are intrusted by the governor with much of the details of governing and providing for the men of the Home. They are entitled to great credit for the manner in which they have discharged the varied duties of the offices they fill. Some of them have held commissions in the volunteer army, and nearly all of them were wounded in the line of the duty. To these might be added the large number of men who serve as clerks, and many others who render most valuable service to the institution. Indeed, it would be a heart-felt pleasure to the writer to name every veteran that now enjoys the rest afforded by the Home; but that would be impossible in this volume.

               All honor to the man who dared to face an enemy like ours, and shed his blood or peril his health and worldly prospects in defense of our common country.




               Since this history was begun a new and very interesting feature has been introduced by a number of the enterprising men of the Home, namely, the organization of a military company. The reader will say, How can disabled men play soldier? The answer is, that they are brimming over with military zeal. They know just how to do it; and further, they love it with an ardor that is wonderful to behold. True, they may march with unsteady step, and hold the familiar musket with trembling hand in many instances, but they are every inch soldiers. The old fire kindles in the eye, showing the real pluck, and to-day they would do telling service in battle. Wounds, disease, and exposure in camp and on the march, may do much to break the old veteran down, but vain is any effort to drive the soldier out of him. Even when old age comes upon him he is glad to entertain little children who, with wondering eyes, look upon him "as he shoulders his crutch and fights his battles o'er again."

It would be vain to attempt an estimate of the real pleasure this organization will give to the old vets in the Home. The frequent parades and drills will be prized by them beyond expression, and will take precedence of all other entertainments. This splendid company has been named "The Brown Guard," in honor of Col. E. F. Brown, the excellent governor of the Home.


               The officers, commissioned and non-commissioned, are as follows:


Captain J. H. Chapman.

First Lieutenant -J. H. Willener.

Second Lieutenant Jas. M. Bermingham.

First Sergeant Martin Allen.

Second Sergeant John M. Beck.

Third Sergeant Andrew J. Kennedy.

Fourth Sergeant Martin Schlieff.

Fifth Sergeant George W. Day.


               They are armed and equipped as follows: Full dress, United States artillery uniforms; breach-loading rifles, same as now used by the United States army. The company now numbers about one hundred men.

               Many other interesting features of this national institution might be recorded, but this book has already grown beyond the original plan. The writer will conclude with the wish that its pages may interest all who may peruse them.


 Return to "History of the National Home for Diasbled Soldiers" Home Page