38 HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.
Was raised in Guernsey county by John T. Rainey, and organized January —, 1862. John T. Rainey was appointed Captain, John F. Grimes First Lieutenant, and John Orr Second Lieutenant.
The company was composed of a noble, robust class of men, ready and able for any duty and difficult work. In no company in the regiment was there a greater spirit of contentment, mirth and cheerfulness. Every evening in Company "H" would be heard the merry songs of happy voices, echoing throughout the camp. The company always took a cheerful part in the numerous battles and campaigns of the regiment, and has lost many fine noble men in battle and by disease. It has highly honored patriotic Guernsey, and made a proud record in the history of the war.
Captain Rainey was a lawyer of Cambridge, and a favorite generally with men. His disposition was such as to make him popular with his company, and the regiment generally; having much energy, some military experience – having served in the Mexican war – and being naturally a jovial, free, social man, made him, as supposed by the regiment, eminently fitted for Major of the regiment, to which position he was chosen at Grand Junction, Tenn., and received his commission afterwards at Memphis, prior to its entrance on the Vicksburg campaign. He commanded the regiment with great ability and acceptance through the battles of Port Gibson, Raymond and Jackson, Miss. On the morning of the commencement of the battle of Champion Hills, Lieutenant-Colonel Wiles took command of the regiment, Major Rainey assisting him. At the investment of Vicksburg by General Grant's army, Major Rainey was detailed on General Leggett's staff as Assistant Inspector General, in which position he remained until after the fall of Atlanta, when he resigned his commission and left the service.
Lieutenant Grimes' health so far failed as to compel him to quit the service. He therefore resigned his commission after the battle of Shiloh, went home, and soon died of disease contracted in the service. He was a young man of fine attainments and moral worth, and promised to be a very efficient officer.
Lieutenant Orr was promoted to First Lieutenant and Sergeant Wm. Dodds to Second Lieutenant. The latter resigned at Memphis, in February, 1862. Lieutenant Orr was appointed Captain, and Sergeant Josiah Scott First Lieutenant. Lieutenant Scott was a noble, Christian young man, and beloved not only by his company, but by all the regiment. He was a cheerful, social and pleasant young officer. When the regiment was encamped at Vicksburg he obtained a leave of absence and went home to visit his family, where he was taken ill with the small-pox and died. His death was much regretted and deeply lamented by his company and the regiment.
Sergeant Henry Speer, of "A" company, was promoted to Second Lieutenant, and assigned to "H" company, in November, 1863. He was a young man of good morals, very efficient in all he did. His promotion was one of merit and honor. He served faithfully in his company till at Atlanta, in the battle of the 22d of July, he was severely wounded, making amputation of his arm necessary. He was sent home, where he died shortly after, in consequence of his wounds.
Captain Orr remained in command of the company till January, 1865, when his three years' service expiring, he was honorably mustered out. He was a very jovial, pleasant and good officer. He was cheerful in camp, and brave almost to a fault in battle. On the 22d of July, in the ever memorable battle before Atlanta, he killed a rebel with his sword, who had hold of the colors of the regiment. He
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