Noah Hersey – DAR Patriot

In “The History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, Volume II, Genealogical,” the accounts of families of Hingham are recorded beginning with the settlement in 1635 and ending in September 1889. The Hersey family patriarch William arrived in New England in 1635 on the ship “Diligent” of Ipswich, John Martin, Master; sailing from Norfolk, England. He settled in Hingham in the fall of that year.

Noah is my Patriot and he is the 5th generation Hersey (Hearsey, Hersie, Hersee, and Harsie) born in Hingham October 6, 1746. He married Lydia Waterman of Hingham, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Beal) Waterman on Dec 14, 1769. Lydia was born on Christmas Day 1748 and died 7 Mar 1818 at 69 years. Noah and Lydia had 7 children.

Listed in his estate were more than 32 acres of land worth over $2200 and a pew in the New North meeting house valued at $90 among other notable items. I captured his signature, image above, from his last will and testament.

Before his death in 1826 at the ripe old age of 79, he was elected as Selectman four times from 1797 – 1802. (Selectmen: Day-to-day operations were originally left to individual oversight, but when towns became too large for individuals to handle such workloads, they would elect an executive board of, literally, select(ed) men to run things for them.) He and his family resided on the family property on South Street in West Hingham. This property was deeded to the Hersey family during the settlement and probably during the first round of grants issued in that town.

There’s more to tell about this man. Another post is waiting to be written…


Ancestral Images that may help

For my First Cousins and their children and my children and grandchildren

It’s painfully evident that until the names and dates and places are seen ‘in context’ of where YOU fit in, genealogy isn’t much fun or very interesting.  I’ve said it before, this whole effort has made not only history come alive for me, but has given me a FAMILY HISTORY that I didn’t even know existed.  So, this post is an attempt to help you find your place in the story of us. I hope it helps.

This image was created in and it saved me a LOT of time and effort during the discovery process.  With one click, I was able to see (and understand) exactly what the direct line looks like with any ancestor in my tree. It gave me a warm fuzzy the first time I saw it in print (not just floating around in my head); see if it gives you the same warm fuzzy.

Direct Line Image

The image below is called a “Wordle” and it’s composed using software.  Technically, it’s a word cloud comprised of all the first and last names of the people in our direct line. I think it’s awesome! Helps me capture all of it at once in a big picture. The more times a word (in this case, a name) is used, the larger it is in the depiction. The smaller a word appears, the less often it’s used. While it doesn’t really clear anything up, I thought it was a great graphic.



I’m still working on an easy way to present the family ‘pedigree’ chart.  Right now, it’s in parts and pieces and also printed on a 10′ x 5′ chart!.

With that said, I’ll give you a sample below for the first few generations to see if that’s helpful.  Leave a comment below if you’d like to help me figger this out.


The following are screen capture images from  It’s called a “Pedigree Chart” (sorry if I’m preaching to those who already know that.).


The first one, above, gets us through to Timothy C. Grover. If we follow the Grover line, it looks like this:

Grover Line

I think I’ll stop here for this posting. We have LOTS more to explore.

Finally, did you notice all those little green leaves stuck on those various names?  Their numbers eventually ballooned to over 1800 individual hints in and all were eventually resolved.  It’s those derned hints that keep people coming back!

The DAR Membership Process – a personal perspective

A longtime friend has asked me to share my experience joining and participating in the DAR. This post is a bit premature in that I had planned to finish writing the generational posts for my cousins and then push out a genealogical journal of sorts.  But, this was a quick study and I figured it was prudent to publish while it was still fresh.

So, @christinekohle1 (Twitter),, and, and her blog here’s my take on becoming a card-carrying member of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

  • The NSDAR wants you to be a member! That, dear girl, is my biggest take-away.  Imagine that, a ‘closed’ society looking for individuals.  The local chapter registrars are genealogical ninjas who help you submit accurate packages that are easy to validate.  I’m living proof!
    • Press the blue “JOIN” button at the top of the DAR website to view the Become a Member page.  A great place to begin.
  • I found a wealth of documented data (and photos!) on my ancestors up to and including the 1940s:
    • Census records (National and Federal) that contain all sorts of data
    • War records (Books and books with real names and places and dates. The detail in these histories is breathtaking.)
    • Draft Cards
    • City Directories – the local google back in the day
    • marriage licenses and certificates.  I could continue…
    • a great place to start; not the only game in town
    • yet, most sites point back to or connect in some substantial way
    • tried to venture to other sites after I got started and had to relearn the site and re-find all the data. already started? go with what you know, even if it’s NOT
    • I was unable to find an absolutely ‘free’ genealogical site.
  • The documentation or official records on genealogical websites are what you are looking for.
    • Steer clear of using others’ family trees as a source or proof for your family line.  I used others’s trees (yes, perfect strangers who shared their history) to help me know what might be a lead. These trees are part of the “Hints” hook that seem to work on me – completely! After that, I had to dig for my own proofs.
  • What’s a proof, you might ask. A proof is anything that validates any piece of data on you or an ancestor.
    • Specifically, DAR wants a birth record, marriage record and death record on EVERY ancestor in your line. I had 16 individuals to ‘prove’ so I was expected to submit almost 50 documents. In addition, I had to provide the source data for each.
  • Proof vs evidence.
    • While the DAR calls the documents ‘proofs’, I understood them more as pieces of evidence that would give the reviewers and approvers sufficient data from which to make a decision (member or not).
    • Expect some documentation to give different data. What I found as I was doing the research is that in genealogy, documents can be incorrectly transcribed or recorded (The birth certificate for my maternal grandmother states she was a retired operating engineer. I can assure you that my maternal grandmother (Mary Ellen “Mayme” Grover Holmes) was neither retired nor an engineer.) Mercy! Gravestones can be wrong! So the evidence is compiled and a decision is made.
    • There is a pecking order, so to speak, on these documents.  One document can actually trump another.  The local registrar can help you navigate that passage.
  • Timeline
    • I started my search in September 2015 with a Hint (evil that pointed very directly to a couple big named persons in American History and called a friend who knew way more than I about such things. I mentioned a well-known book (in genealogy circles – I was clueless) as my source and she started the ball rolling for the National Society Daughters of American Colonists (That’s a whole other blog waiting to be written.) and then urged me to contact the DAR.
    • I went to the DAR website, clicked the blue JOIN button and filled out the Membership Interest form.
    • I also searched for a local chapter and used their website to contact them.
    • In October I attended both local chapter meetings, received the paperwork, was voted on as a prospective member (a formality, no doubt).
    • The paperwork was nearly completed in December but a couple missing pieces from 2nd and 3rd generation ancestors delayed my application to January.  Once in the system, I was approved by April 5 and my membership certificate and booklet were received on April 11.

So, what’s it like?  First of all, I’m gobsmacked that I have ancestors that I can point to who were part of the history of this great Nation.I mean, their names and deeds are written about! In early September 2015 I had no people, no family lore, no legends no history.  Now, I have that and so much more, as do my 30+ first cousins!

Second, before I chose to pursue membership in the NSDAR, I did my homework. I wanted to know exactly what they did, what they stood for, what they supported and who they supported. I was not interested in an exclusive girls club. Assuredly, it is not.

Think Hickam AFB Officers Wives Club  circa 1980s (except these women actually do wear white gloves and wear their official positions in the club on banners across their bodies!). It is a friendly and formal society. LOTS of protocol, pomp and circumstance.  I kinda like it (again). Everyone I’ve met has been welcoming, kind, fiercely patriotic (yes, there many sides of the aisle represented!) and focused on historic preservation, education and patriotism. (NO POLITICS.)

Toward those ends, there are many ways to become involved. Dang it girl! find your paperwork, find your chapter and get crackin’.  We can be Daughters together!


Lydia L. Hersey Grover

While I’m working hard at not highlighting individuals there are some in our collective family history that need to be brought out of the shadows. And because of her amazing and heretofore unknown (to us) story, I’m delighted to tell you the story I uncovered about our three-times great-grandmother Lydia.

This is a quote from my great grandmother’s memoire (sic) about Lydia Hersey Grover: “I think I must sidetrack these memories here to tell a tale of Aunt Lydia, the one who married Ira Grover. They were living in Terre Haute then and were people of considerable wealth and importance. Aunt Lydia too was active in the Underground Railway, her home was one of the stations. “One day, an old colored woman came and the pursuers were so hot on her trail that Aunt Lydia did not dare wait until night. She dressed the old slave in some good black clothes and added one of those long heavy crepe veils always worn by widows in those days, covering face and neck. And with the old slave woman by her side in the back seat of her open carriage with her find pair of horses and the Grover coachman driving in broad daylight, Aunt Lydia rode through the streets of Terre Haute, bowing and smiling to her friends, and delivered the slave safely into the care of her next guardian.  [there is] Far more to tell about this woman than simply a gravestone. The forget-me-nots (flowers symbolically added to the website) are flowers that apparently were all over the land in Lydia’s childhood home (known as The Ark) in Hingham, MA, according to my great-grandmother. Aunt Lydia – you were a true heroine and you are not forgotten.

– Your great great niece

 Now, friends, I do not know who this great-great niece is but she left us this enchanting photo of our wonderful, heroic ancestor, Lydia L. Hersey Grover, age 48 (I think I look a lot like her, don’t you?):


This photo has an inscription “Aby’s great grandmother at 48 years of age, Lydia Hersey Grover” Unfortunately, I do not know the source of this gem nor the relationship to us. Ahhhh, Genealogy…the gift that keeps on giving!

Lydia, however had an obit in the Terre Haute Gazette on July 6, 1900:  “Mrs. Ira Grover died July 5th at 12 o’clock noon at the residence of Mrs. T. C. Grover, 1425 First Avenue. Funeral Services to be held at the house Saturday morning, July 7 at 10 o’clock. Interment at Woodlawn Cemetery.” The same issue reported “Lydia L. Grover, a widow living at 1425 First Avenue, died last Thursday in her 88th year from general causes.”

According to the website (, Lydia and Ira migrated to Columbus, Ohio sometime before 1838 and moved to Terre Haute between 1846 and 1848. I have not dug into their home prior to Columbus; perhaps they spent some time in Hingham with her people before they struck out on their own to Columbus.

Here are the personal statistics of our dear ancestors:

Lydia L. Hersey Grover was born April 11, 1812 in Hingham, Plymouth County, Massachusetts to Noah Hersey and Susannah Blanchard. Her birth is recorded in that wonderful hand-written record of Massachusetts! She died July 5, 1900 in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana, and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.   She married Ira Grover on November 1, 1831.

Ira Grover was born January 1, 1800 in Washington (county/city?) New York and died May 28, 1882.

They had 6 children:  Timothy C. (our very own great-grandfather), Ira D., George S., Abby A., Emma I., and Jane.

Sixth Generation – GROVER/HERSEY

It was at this couple’s discovery when our family tree exploded right before my eyes on It is safe to say that none of our generation (the Baby Boomers) know anything about this man and his wife and yet, there is such a rich history here. I’ll start at their marriage this time and work my way back.

I first found Lydia L. Hersey and Ira Grover mentioned in a book titled Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records (1620-1988). Not knowing anything about genealogical records, I was stunned to find this to be the (read this carefully, now) handwritten records of the Pilgrims and those who followed them to America! Take a look for yourself!

Marriage Record Grover Hersey

Let me translate (‘cause I’ve read this probably a hundred times now and it tickles me each time!):

“The persons hereafter named were joined in marriage by the Rev. Waterman Burlingame pastor of the Baptist Church in Hingham”

1837       Ira Grover of Columbus Ohio & Lydia L. Hersey of Hingham

­­­From there, I did a search for Ira Grover in Columbus Ohio in google and in ancestry and several sources of information popped on the screen.  There is an account of Ira Grover, proprietor of ‘an extensive boarding house’ in the thirty-third chapter of the History of Franklin County (Ohio). This was written with the sub-heading “The City in 1834”.  The 1840 U.S. Federal Census would corroborate that as it lists a total of 40 persons in his ‘household’ (free white and free colored) for that year.

By 1948, Ira is the owner of a stove, tin and sheet iron store at 72 High Street.  He and Lydia live on the north side of South Rich Street between High and 3rd Streets according to the Columbus City Directory.

By 1850, Ira and Lydia have moved to Harrison Township, Vigo County, Indiana along with their 5 children, a servant Mary Dilley (15 years old) and Lydia’s sister, Jane Hersey. He’s still a “tinner” and coppersmith. (1850 U.S. Census)

The Terre Haute City Directory and Business Mirror (1860-61) says Ira Grover is a salesman for S. Wolf & Co., and resides at S. Fifth between Oak and Sheets Streets.  Just above his name on page 69 is Edmund Grover (perhaps his brother?), moulder who resides on the west side of Market on the south end; George Grover Jr., (perhaps a grandson?) a tinner working for S. Wolf & Co., who boards on the west side of S. Fifth and George A Grover, a collector who boards at Stewart House.  Joseph Grover (Ira’s brother?) is a proprietor along with Misters Gibson and Fairchild of Eagle Foundry located at the corner of First and Walnut. No doubt there is much ‘team work’ among the boys at the foundry and the sales staff of S. Wolf & Co., a stove company. I’m sorry to be guessing at the relationships of all these Grovers, but sometimes my head hurts thinking about how they could be connected.

In 1868, Ira has switched jobs and now works for W. C. R. Kemp, ambrotype Artist, and “Dealer in Stoves, Castings, etc., and Manufacturer of Tin, Copper, and Sheet Iron Ware. With rooms adjoining the Post office, Ira’s listed with R. L. Ball, G. F. Smith and C. C. Smith at the Terre Haute, Vigo county post office. An ambrotype is a positive photograph on glass; it means “Immortal” “Impression”.  (I know, blah, blah, blah…). All this, again, according to the city directory of Terre Haute.


Let me back up to the 1860 Census. Ira’s a stove dealer and his personal estate is valued at $500; a tidy sum in those days.  Mary Dilley has turned 22 and Jane Hersey (his sister-in-law) apparently owns the house they live in as she’s got a “real estate” sum of $4,000 attached to her name.  You may draw your own conclusions.

Jane Hersey finally gets a job teaching school by the 1870 Census; Ira Junior is married with wife Nellie and son Arthur; and a new “domestic servant” Catherine Kirby appears.  She’s 20 and from Ireland. Daughter Jane (incorrectly listed as “Jennie”) is an unemployed 20 year old.  Ira’s net worth is now valued at $9,000; Ira’s personal assets are valued at $3,000. If you want an interesting diversion, do a little research on the Irish slave trade.  Not implying our Great-great-great grandfather (tree-times great) trafficked in that arena, but the timing is interesting, for sure!

Finally, Ira is an old man by the 1880 Census.  And he’s still the heavy lifter of the family as a retired merchant.  He’s got a dislocated arm written in the “Sick” column.  They live at 402 South Fifth Street. And only Grandson John Irons (son of Abby, I believe) and Jane Hersey live with him and Lydia.  The family made it through the Civil War years and while neither grandparent is listed in any military records my next post will wow you when you get to know great-great-great grandmother Lydia.

I can find no record of Ira’s burial but his death certificate is apparently at the City Health Office of Terre Haute (Book H-32, page 13 within the series produced by the Indiana Works Progress Administration).

According to the website (, Lydia and Ira migrated to Columbus, Ohio sometime before 1838 and moved to Terre Haute between 1846 and 1848. I have not dug into their home prior to Columbus; perhaps they spent some time in Hingham with her people before they struck out on their own to Columbus.

Here are the personal statistics of our dear ancestors:

Lydia L. Hersey Grover was born April 11, 1812 in Hingham, Plymouth County, Massachusetts to Noah Hersey and Susannah Blanchard. Her birth is recorded in that wonderful hand-written record of Massachusetts! She died July 5, 1900 in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana, and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.   She married Ira Grover on November 1, 1831.

Ira Grover was born January 1, 1800 in Washington (county/city?) New York and died May 28, 1882.

They had 6 children:  Timothy C. (our very own great-grandfather), Ira D., George S., Abby A., Emma I., and Jane.


Fifth Generation – Civil War Hero Part II

There is so much I want to share, and I can appreciate that you might get mired down in the great details. So, here are the websites that have given me the most bang for the buck.  Go graze for a while and when you want more family history, I’ll be working on the next generation post.

The National Parks Service database for Civil War soldiers. Just type in the first and last names and the state you think your ancestor served and bingo! you have answers. sent me here first and that is where I found the service records for Timothy C. Grover of Terre Haute, Indiana.  All the details are there.  Awesomeness!

From there, I did a search on the regiments listed for his service and that brought me to The Eleventh Indiana Infantry Re-enactor site. This is where I found the details about the infantry itself (uniform, battle flag (colors), Battle Cry/Motto, etc..  Oh, by the way, the site indicates they still perform re-enactments!

Another search discovered Indiana’s Roll of Honor, Volume I, History of Regiments, Chapter III (Search to Page 103) where the account of the Skirmishes begins.

Here is the C&O Canal Association article: written by Gary M. Petrichick titled The War in Cumberland (

Here is a map of the Cumberland region where the account took place. (thank you Google Maps)

Civil War Map

And one last source is from The Union Army, Volume 6, Cyclopedia of Battles published in 1908:

Skirmishes at Frankfort and on Patterson’s Creek, WV
in the American Civil War
June 26, 1861

Online Books:
Official Records, Union and Confederate Reports (Pages 134-135)
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, by the United States War Department, 1880

Union Battle Summary
Patterson’s Creek, W.Va., June 26, 1861. 11th Indiana Infantry. A mounted picket of 13 men attacked a company of 41 Confederates near Frankfort, routed and pursued them 2 or 3 miles, killing 8 of them and capturing 17 horses. While returning from the skirmish they were in turn attacked by a reinforced body of the enemy, and obliged to retire to Kelly’s island at the mouth of Patterson’s creek, where they made a stand and held the enemy at bay until dark, when they scattered and escaped. Only 1 member of the Union party was killed, and 1 wounded, while the Confederates lost 31 killed.

Source: The Union Army, Volume 6, Cyclopedia of Battles, 1908

And, last but not least, our great Ancestor Timothy C. Grover is probably deserving of this campaign medal. If you wish to know more about this, travel on over to Wikipedia.


Fifth Generation – Civil War Hero Part I

I believe the evidence is clear that Timothy C. Grover not only fought in the Civil War on the Blue coat side (yes, the Yankees do win!) and is credited with an important ‘kill’ during a significant fight at Kelley’s Island in the Maryland/Virginia/West Virginia region. If we were to categorize the role or military position today, I would suggest Tim would be a sniper or other forward-deployed operator.  Read the account below and see what you think. There are several sources for this belief; all reputable.

Before I go further with the discussion, I need to tell you that each of the accounts I bring to our story are taken from reliable sources; all have references. If not, just ask, I’ll add the details!

The C&O Canal Association article written by Mr. Gary M. Petrichick, “The War in Cumberland”,  taken from The War of the Rebellion:  A compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, by the United States War Department, 1880 (an official record) says this about the skirmish:

Title: The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 – Volume 2, Chapter IX, Operations in MD., PA., VA., and W. VA., page 134

Author: United States. War Dept., John Sheldon Moody, Calvin Duvall Cowles, Frederick Caryton Ainsworth, Robert N. Scott, Henry Martyn Lazelle, George Breckenridge Davis, Leslie J. Perry, Joseph William Kirkley


JUNE 26, 1861.—Skirmishes at Frankfort and on
Patterson’s Creek, W. Va.
Reports of Col. Lew. Wallace, Eleventh Indiana Infantry.

GRAFTON, VA., June 28, 1861.

     The following dispatch from Colonel Wallace is so gratifying, that I send it to you entire:

Cumberland, June 27.

 General McCLELLAN: I have been accustomed to sending my mounted pickets (thirteen men in all) to different posts along the several approaches to Cumberland.  Finding it next to impossible to get reliable information of the enemy yesterday, I united the thirteen and directed them, if possible to get to Frankfort, a town midway between this place and Romney, and see if there were rebel troops there.  They went within a quarter of a mile of the place and found it full of cavalry.  Returning, they overtook forty-one horsemen, and at once charged them, routing and driving them back more than a mile, killing either of them and securing seventeen horses.  Corporal Hayes, in command of my men, was desperately wounded with saber cuts and bullets.  Taking him back, they halted about an hour, and were then attacked by the enemy, who were re-enforced to about seventy-five men. The attack was so sudden that they abandoned the horses, and crossed to a small island at the mouth of Patterson’s Creek. The charge of the rebels was bold and confident, yet twenty-three fell under the fire of my picket close about and on the island. My fellows were finally driven off, scattering, each man for himself and they are all in camp now; one, Corporal Hayes, of Company A, wounded, but recovering; one, John C. Hollinbeck, of Company B, dead.  The last was taken prisoner and brutally murdered.

Three companies went to the ground this morning, and recovered everything belonging to my picket except a few of the horses. The enemy were engaged all night long in boxing up their dead. Two of their officers were killed. They laid out twenty-three on the porch of a neighboring farm house. I will buy my poor fellow to-morrow.

I have positive information, gained to-day, that there are four regiments of rebels in and about Romney, under a Colonel McDonald what their particular object is I cannot learn. The two Pennsylvania regiments are in encampment at the State line, about nine miles from here waiting further orders. They have not yet reported to me. They hesitate about invading Maryland.

The report of the skirmish sounds like fiction, but it is not exaggerated. The fight was really one of the most desperate on record, and abounds with instances of wonderful daring and coolness.

Colonel Eleventh Regiment Indiana Voluneteers.

Lieut. Gen. Winfield Scott.

Camp McGinnis, June 27, 1861.

          SIR: Yesterday a mounted picket of mine of thirteen men, on the road to Frankfort, attacked a company of rebels, forty-one in number, chased them a couple of miles, killed eight of them, and captured seventeen horses. Returning from the skirmish, they were in turn attacked by the enemy, re-enforced to seventy-five men, and driven to a kind of island in the neighborhood of the mouth of Patterson’s Creek, where they made a stand and fought till dusk, killing and wounding a large number, when they escaped with the loss of one man, John Hollinbeck, Company B, killed, and Corporal David Hayes, Company A, wounded. The bodies of twenty-three rebels were laid out on the porch of a farm house near the scene of the last engagement. Eight dead bodies (rebels) were left on the railroad track, where the first encounter took place.  Hayes is doing well.  His hurts are a saber cut on the head and two bullet wounds on the body.

I would simply say of this skirmish, that it was one of the boldest, most desperate, and fortunate on record, abounding with instances on the part of my scouts of rarest coolness, skill, and courage.  What makes it most singular is that, for a considerable portion of the time, it was a hand-to-hand fight, carried on with pistol, saber, bayonet, and fist. One man, Louis Farley, killed six rebels; another (Grover) killed three; David Hayes, the wounded corporal, killed two, and received all his wounds while in hot pursuit at the very tails of the rebels’ horses. Among the dead of the enemy are a Capt Blue and two lieutenants.

Hollinbeck, the only man of mine killed, was severely wounded, then taken prison, and then brutally murdered by his captors.

All my men bear marks of the contest; some in bruises and cuts, others in bullet-holes through their clothes and equipments.

Very respectfully,

Colonel Eleventh Regiment Indiana.

     Maj Gen Patterson

“Grafton, VA, June 28

TO COL. LEW. WALLACE: — I congratulate you upon the gallant conduct of your regiment. Thank them for me, and express to the party how highly I honor their heroic courage, worthy of their French namesakes [Zouaves]. I more than ever regret that you are not under my command. I have urged Gen. Scott to send up the Pennsylvania regiments. I begin to doubt whether the Eleventh Indiana needs reinforcements.

GEO. B. McClellan,
Maj. Gen. U.S. Army.”’

Now, friends, that’s just the ‘end’ of the story.  Let me back up and bring you in from the beginning.

The most impressive account I found details (however so briefly) Timothy C.’s action in “Indiana’s Roll of Honor,” Volume I, History of Regiments, Chapter III, author David Stevenson, Librarian of Indiana (1864), starting on page 103 and following (extracted below).


Col. Wallace had been accustomed to send his mounted scouts to different posts along the several approaches to Cumberland [Maryland]. There were only thirteen of these scouts; but they were picked men, who, from much practice, had become accustomed to their peculiar duty. The following are their names and companies:

Company A – D.B. Hay, E.H. Baker.
Company B—Ed. Burkett, J.C. Hollenback.
Company C – Tim Grover, James Hollowell.
Company D – Thos. Brazier.
Company E – Geo. W. Mudbargar.
Company F – Lewis Farley.
Company H – Frank Harrison.
Company I – P.M. Dunlap.
Company K – Robt. Dunlap, E.P. Thomas

On the twenty-seventh of June, the Colonel found it impossible to get reliable information of the enemy. Uniting the scouts in a body, he gave them in charge of Corporal D.B. Hay, with directions to proceed to a little town on the pike from Cumberland to Romney, named Frankfort, and ascertain if rebel troops were there.

Hay was sharp, cunning and bold—the very man for the business. Filling their canteens and haversacks, the brave men strapped their rifles on their backs, and started on their mission. Their horses were of the class now known as condemned. Hay’s was the only good one. He had some reputation as a racer, and went by the name of “Silverheels.” His rider had captured him in a scuffle a few days before, and prized him highly as a trophy…

A rumor passed through the camp that morning, that Hay was going to have a fight before he returned. His procedure was certainly that of a man in search of a fight. He took the turnpike to Romney, and never drew rein, until from a little eminence, he looked down into the straggling village of Farankfort [WV]. The street was full of infantry. The horses picketed about indicated a large body of cavalry. Most men would have been anxious, after that sight, to return to camp quickly as possible, not so Hay and his comrades. Sitting on their horses, they cooly (sic) made up their estimate of the enemy’s number and when they were perfectly agreed on the point, turned about, and rode leisurely away. On the return, they took another road very much broken, and which, threading among the hills, after many devious windings, finally brought up to the track of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The taking of this road was a mere freak of fancy. It was by no means the shortest to camp, nor was its exploration of any probable use; yet it led to a fight; and if the scouts had known that beforehand, it is not likely they would have changed their course.

Three or four miles from Frankfort, while descending a mountain side, after turning a sharp elbow in the road, the men came suddenly upon a party of rebel cavalry. Each instinctively drew his bridle rein, and for an instant halted. Rapidly they commenced counting.

“Forty-one of them, boys!” cried Hay, turning in his saddle. “What do you say? Will you stand by me?”

“Go in, Dave,” was the unanimous vote.

It took but a moment to unsling their rifles.

“Are you ready?” asked Hay.

“All ready,” they replied.

“Come on, then,” shouted the leader. “The best horse gets the first man!”

With the last word they were off.

It happened the rebels themselves were going in the same direction. They were also somewhat below them in the descent of the road. With his usual shrewdness, and quick as thought, Hay grasped his advantage of position. An abrupt declivity on the left of the narrow road, made it impossible for the enemy to form a line. Neither could the rebels turn and charge up hill. The must go on to escape. If they stopped, “Silverheels” would go through like a thunderbolt.

The rebels head the shout, and, in surprise, halted and took a look. The sight, under ordinary circumstances, would have been interesting to them. Not seventy-five yards behind, they saw Hay and his party galloping down the decline at break neck speed; their glace rested briefly on the little jackets, and big grey breeches, on the short, brown rifles shaken menacingly over the scarlet tipped capts, and on the straining horses; their ears recognized the yell of pursuit; and then they began a retreat that soon took the form of a promiscuous fox chase, except that the shouts which momentarily neared them, had little likeness to the joyous halloo of hunters.

Hay led the pursuit; Farley was next; the others followed as best they could; not one hung back. It is to be doubted whether, in his best days, “Silverheels” had made better time.  A short distance from the foot of the hill he overtook the rebels. Just before the collision, Hay rose in his stirrups and fired his rifle into the party. He was so close that to miss would have been an accident. Swinging the weapons round his head, he hurled it at the nearest man; and the next moment, with drawn pistol, plunged furiously amidst them. They closed around him. The pistol shooting became sharp and quick. Hay received one wound, then another, but for each one he killed a man. When his revolver was empty he drew his sabre bayonet. The rebel Captain gave him from behind a heavy cut on the head. Still he sat his horse, and though weakened by the blow, and half blind with blood, he laid out right and left. He fared illy enough, but it would have been worse if Farley had not then came up and pitched loyally into the melee. Close at his heels, but singly or doubly, according to the speed of their horses, rode all the rest. The rebel Captain was shot before he could repeat his sabre blow. Farley was dismounted by the shock of the collision. He clinched a foeman in like situation, a struggle ensued, he was thrown, but his antagonist was knocked down by young Hollowell before he could use his victory. Farley caught another horse. The eager onset relieved Hay, and again started the rebels who, in their flight, took to the railroad. Not a moment was allowed them to turn upon their pursuers. Over the track helter skelter they went. Suddenly they came to a burnt culvert. It was too late to dodge it; over or into it they had to go. Eight men were killed in the attempt to cross it. Hay in close pursuit, saw the lead just as it was unavoidable. “Silverheels” in his turn cleared the culvert, but fell dead a few yards beyond. The chase ended there. When his comrades crossed over, they found Hay sitting by his horse crying like a child, on account of the death of “Silverheels.”

The scouts then proceeded to collect the spoils. When they were all in, the nett proceeds of the victory were seventeen horses, with their equipments, and eleven dead rebels, three on the hill-side, and eight in the culvert. Hay re-mounted himself, and started with the party for Cumberland. It may be imagined with what satisfaction the brave victors pictured to each other their triumphal entry into camp. After going a few miles, Hay became so faint from loss of blood, that he had to be taken out of his saddle. The dilemma in which they now found themselves was settled by sending two of their number to a farm house for a wagon; meantime they laid their leader in the shade, and brought water for him from the river. While they were thus nursing him back to strength, a fire was suddenly opened upon them from a hill on the left. This was a surprise, yet their coolness did not desert them. Hay bade them put him on a horse and leave him to take care of himself. They complied, clinging painfully to the saddle, he forded the Potomac and was safe. The others could probably have saved themselves, but in a foolish effort to save their horses, they lost the opportunity. Farley then became leader.

“Let the horses go, and give the rebels thunder,” was his simple emphatic order.

The fire, thickening on them, was then returned. Years before Farley had lost one of his eyes; the sound one, however, was now admirably used. He saw the rebels were trying to surround the party, and would succeed if better cover was not soon found. Behind them ran Patterson’s creek. The ground on its opposite shore was scarcely higher than that which they occupied, but it was covered with rocks washed naked by the flowing stream. Farley saw that to get there would be a good exchange.

“It’s a pretty slim chance, boys,” he coolly said, “but it wont (sic) do to give in or stay here.  Let’s make a rush for the big rocks yonder, and get the creek between them and us.”
The rush was made; under a sharp fire, they crossed the creek and took shelter behind the bowlders (sic). Ten of them were there, but, to use their own language, they were all “sound as new fifty cent pieces, and not whipped by a long sight.”

Peering over the rocks, they counted over seventy rebels on foot making at full speed for the creek, evidently with the intention of crossing it. Each one felt the trial had come.

“Look out, now, and don’t waste a cartridge. Recollect they are scarce,” said Thomas.

“Yes, and recollect Buena Vista*,” said Hollowell.

The first rebel entered the creek before a gun was fired, so perfectly calm were those ten men. Then crack, crack, in quick succession went the rifles, scarcely a bullet failing its mark. The assailants recoiled, ran back, and finding cover as best they could, began the exciting play of sharpshooters. This practice continued for more than an hour. The sun went down on it. About that time a small party of horsemen galloped down the road, and hitching their horses, joined the enemy. One of the newcomers made himself conspicuous by refusing to take the ground. Walking about, as if in contempt of the minnies which were sent whistling round him, he gave directions which resulted in another sudden dash for the creek. Again the rifles went crack, crack, in quick succession, and with the same fatal consequence; but this time the rebels had a leader; men were seen to fall in the water, but there was no second recoil; the obstructions were cleared in the face of the rifles, and with much cursing and shouting the attacking party closed in upon the Zouaves**.

The fight was hand to hand. No amount of courage could be effective against the great odds at such close quarters; nevertheless, all that was possible was done. Night was rapidly closing upon the scene; over the rocks, and through the tangled thicket, and in the fading twilight, the struggle for revenge and life went on. There was heroism on both sides; that of the Zouaves was matchless, because it was in no small degree the prompting of despair.

Farley found himself again engaged with the leader of the rebels, a man of as much strength as courage; Hollowell saved his life at the cost of his rifle, but snatching the dead man’s pistols, he resumed the fight. The pistols were brought into camp, and next morning presented to the young hero by the Colonel.

Thomas killed two by rifle shots; while loading a third time, he was struck by a pistol ball on the side of the temple, and fell senseless. A man in the act of striking him with a sabre, was shot through by Grover, and died on Thomas. It was dark when Thomas recovered; hearing no sound of fighting, he pushed off the dead body from him, secured his rifle, and hid himself in vines and bushes.

There are some final details, but this is how this fight ended.

By five o’clock the day after the fight the scouts were all in camp. They straggled in one by one. Citizens and soldiers turned out to receive them. Never did returning heroes have more sympathizing and admiring audiences. Thomas showed the kiss of the bullet on his temple baker wore the cap of a rebel—his own had been shot off his head. Dunlap had three bullet holes through his shirt. Hallowell exhibited his captured pistols and broken rifle. Farley yet retained the handle of his sabre-bayonet, shivered in the fray. Several of the men testified to his killing six enemies with his own hand. Not a man but had some proofs of the engagement, such as torn clothes and bruised bodies. But Hay was the hero. Three ghastly wounds entitled him to the honor.

Their final escape had been effected in the same manner. Finding themselves overpowered and separated, each one, at the first opportunity, had abandoned the battle ground, which proved to be Kelly’s Island, at the mouth of Patterson’s creek, and plunging into the river succeeded in crossing it.

Col Wallace officially reported the fight to Gen Patterson, (see above) and the latter wrote the following general order and published it to his army:

Hagerstown, June 30, 1861

          General Orders, No. 29 – The Commanding General has the satisfaction to announce to the troops a second victory over the insurgents by a small party of Indiana Volunteers, under Col. Wallace, on the twenty-sixth instant. Thirteen mounted men attached to the regiment attacked forty-one insurgents, killing eight and chasing the rest two miles. On their return with seventeen captured horses, they were attacked by seventy-five of the enemy, and fell back to a strong position, which they held till dark, when they returned to camp, with the loss of one man killed and one wounded.

         The commanding general desires to bring to the attention of the officers and men of his command the courage and conduct with which this gallant little band of comparatively raw troops met the emergency, bur turning on an enemy so largely superior in numbers, chasing him severely, and gathering in retreat the fruits of victory.

                                                      By order of

Major Gen Patterson.
J.F. Porter, Assistant Adjutant General.

How cool is that???!!!

  • * “Remember Buena Vista” is the Battle Cry or Motto of The Eleventh Indiana Regiment of Zouaves and alludes to the poor treatment Indiana troops had received at the hands of Jefferson Davis during the Mexican War
  • **Zouaves was their type of uniform fashioned after the French Zouaves, infantry regiments first raised in Algeria in 1831.