19                                  HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.


           This company was raised in Zanesville and vicinity, and organized at Camp Gilbert, December 16th, 1862. Samuel W. Spencer was commissioned Captain; William Godfrey, First Lieutenant; Thomas P. Ross, Second Lieutenant.

           After the battle of Fort Donelson, Tenn., while the regiment was encamped at Dover, Captain Spencer, on account of ill health, went home, and not regaining his health sufficiently to return, resigned with less than a brilliant military career. Lieutenant Godfrey resigned after the battle of Shiloh. Lieutenant Ross, on account of ill health, resigned his commission at Crump's Landing, Tenn., March 16th, 1862.

           Lieutenant G. F. Wiles was appointed Captain and assigned to Company "C" April 16th, 1862. Asa C. Cassidy was appointed First Lieutenant, and Alex. Scales Second Lieutenant.

           Captain Wiles, with his company, was detached from the regiment and assigned to duty as Pioneers for the Third Division. The labor they performed in reconstructing roads for the trains, building bridges, and engineering and making new roads, was immense. Captain Wiles has the happy attainment of getting more work out of men than any other man we have ever known in the army. Men who work nowhere, would work well and faithfully under his superintendence. He therefore became well known throughout the Corps as an officer of more than ordinary efficiency.

           After his promotion to the command of the regiment, Lieutenant Cassidy soon resigned, being dissatisfied with his assignment to "K" company. Lieutenant Alex. Scales was then promoted to Captain of the company – which still remained on duty with the Pioneer Corps until nearly the time the regiment veteranized, when it returned to the regiment for duty, and entered the veteran organization. Captain Scales resigned, and Lieutenant J. T. Story, of "F" company, temporarily commanded the company for eight months. During his administration the company was several times highly complimented by prominent officers for presenting such a neat and soldierly appearance on review and dress-parade; and at a Sunday morning inspection Colonel Wiles presented one member of the company with a five-dollar "greenback," for having the prettiest gun and accoutrements in the army.

           Lieutenant John B. Mills was promoted to Captain while home on veteran furlough, and assigned to Company "C," and at Cairo, Ill., May 10th, 1864, relieved Lieutenant Story of the command of the company.

           Albert G. Gault was commissioned a Lieutenant and assigned to Company "C," having recruited for the regiment a sufficient number of men, in the fall of 1862, to entitle him to the position. Lieutenant Gault, on account of ill health, was compelled to resign after the fall of Atlanta. He then went home, soon recruited his health, and took to himself a wife, which all wise and patriotic young men should do.

           Captain J. B. Mills acted Major of the regiment on the campaign through the Carolinas, and was commissioned as such, but it not being his place by regular promotion by rank, he refused to muster, and returned to the command of his company, which was an exhibition of generosity not very common in military life.

           Charles C. Wiles was commissioned First Lieutenant and assigned to Company "C," and James H. Echelberry to Second Lieutenant: both young men of integrity and promise.

Intro Previous Next ToC Index