April 27th marked the 154th anniversary of the devastating explosion of the Sultana on the Mississippi near Memphis which took the lives of over 1,500 people – mostly weak and sickly Union prisoners of war who had made their way to the river from the horrific prisons like Andersonville and Cahaba in the deep south to come home.
There are several really good books out there about the disaster – one being Sultana: Surving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American History by Alan Huffman (2009) and Disaster on the Mississippi: The Sultana Explosion, April 27, 1865 by Gene Eric Salecker.
There were many Ohio soldiers on the Sultana when it exploded. If you are not familiar with this story (which even at the time of the event was overshadowed in the national news to coverage of Lincoln’s funeral and the capture and death of his murderer, John Wilkes Booth, you should read up on it. It’s a horrific event spurred by greed and government inefficiency.
The first new history of the 125th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in over 120 years is about to his the book shelves! Opdycke’s Tiger’s in the Civil War: A History of the 125th Ohio Volunteer Infantry by Thomas Crowl from McFarland Books will be released on May 28th. You can find it on McFarlandbooks.com or Amazon. The 125th was comprised of several companies from Trumbull County and surrounding areas. Emerson Opdycke was born in Hubbard and owned a store in downtown Warren before enlisting in the 41st OVI and eventually being appointed Colonel of the 125th.
Several dozen new names or corrected information has been added to the Soldiers Data. Currently, I am cross-checking the 1883 Census of Pensioners for Trumbull County against the data.
I am often asked where, oh where I have come up with all of this information? I started over 18 years ago! Some of the sources used have been 1890 Veterans Census, 1883 Census of Pensioners, various published county and township histories, Hardesty’s Military History of Ohio, Trumbull County edition, cemetery records, Grand Army of the Republic records – particularly from the state of Kansas, the 1863 Draft Registration records, the Western Reserve Chronicle during the war years, as well as other newspapers, regimental histories, soldier memoirs, unit rosters, pension indexes, and other sources too numerous to list. I am especially glad for the many tips and inquiries from other researchers who have graciously shared information with me. This has been extremely helpful with the many men who were born in Trumbull County but moved prior to the war and served in other states.
I am also asked exactly who qualified for inclusion in this list. I have listed any Civil War Veteran who at some point in their lives have been proven to have resided in Trumbull County. This includes those born in Trumbull, those who resided and enlisted in Trumbull, and those who moved to Trumbull after the war. Many names have been shuffled on and off the list; particularly names mentioned in the newspaper as serving from a township bordering another county when census and land records have determined that the soldier never resided in Trumbull County. Similarly, there are veterans buried in Trumbull County who never lived here. If they in fact resided in a bordering community, they are not listed.
If you have information you would like to share or a correction to suggest, please contact me!