On 24 Nov 2012, I wrote about Samuel B. Romick, who was Granny Kelley’s father. I was so fascinated by his obituary that I ordered his Military Records from The National Archives. On the page titled “Muster and Descriptive Roll of Veteran Volunteers”, it describes Samuel as a twenty year old clerk born in Harrison, Ohio. He had black eyes, black hair and a dark complexion. He was 5 ft. 6 inches tall. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of him.
Below is a paragraph from his obituary —
“He was born December 21, 1841 in Harrisville, Ohio. At the very beginning of the Civil War he enlisted serving in the army of the Potomac. Being captured at the battle of Stone River, he experienced and endured for several months the terrors, hardships and scanty food of Libby prison. He was in the famous March of the sea under General Sherman, and could fully appreciate the battle song, “Marching Through Georgia.” In his last days he seemed to live over again the scenes, struggles, and victories of that testing period and when he could no longer speak he frequently gave the soldiers countersign.”
The remarks: Prisoner of War. Captured at Stone River, Dec. 31, 1862. The Company Muster Roll states that by May, 1863, he was again present with his Company. The records don’t say how he was released from Libby Prison and he may have been able to escape. But his release was a year before the famous Libby Prison escape of 1864.
The Libby Prison Escape
Richmond, Virginia’s Libby Prison was one of the most infamous jails of the Civil War, but it’s also the site of one of the conflict’s most daring escapes. In 1864, a group of 15 Union soldiers under the direction of Col. Thomas E. Rose and Major A.G Hamilton managed to tunnel through the prison’s basement to a nearby vacant lot. This was no easy task, as Libby’s basement was a dark and vermin-infested cellar known to the men as “Rat Hell,” but after seventeen days of digging, they reached a nearby tobacco shed. From here, 109 soldiers managed to escape into the city of Richmond and make a run for the nearby Union lines. 48 of the men were recaptured, and 2 drowned in a nearby river, but 59 managed to make it to the safety of the Federal army. Their escape remains the most successful prison break of the Civil War.
The National Park Service site on The Civil War has detailed information on all of the regiments. Below is Samuel’s regiment. He definitely saw a lot of action as he enlisted in 1861 and didn’t muster out until July 17, 1865. In May of 1864, he deserted his company but didn’t quit. He spent the rest of the Civil War working as a “nurse” in a General Field Hospital, Dept. of the Cumberland, Huntsville, Alabama.
“UNION OHIO VOLUNTEERS
69th Regiment, Ohio Infantry
Organized at Hamilton, Ohio, and Camp Chase, Ohio, November, 1861, to April, 1862. Moved to Camp Chase, Ohio, February 19, 1862, and duty there till April, 1862. Moved to Nashville, Tenn., April 19-22, thence to Franklin, Tenn., May 1, and duty there till June 8. Attached to District of Nashville and Franklin, Unattached, Army of the Ohio, to September, 1862. 29th Brigade, 8th Division, Army of the Ohio, to November, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, Centre 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to January, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 14th Army Corps, to October, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 14th Army Corps, to September, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 14th Army Corps, to November, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 14th Army Corps, to July, 1865.
Moved to Nashville, Tenn., June 8, 1862, thence to Murfreesboro, Tenn. Expedition to McMinnville and Pikesville June 12-20. Provost duty at Nashville till December. Expedition to Gallatin and action with Morgan August 13. Siege of Nashville September 12-November 7. Near Nashville November 5. Nashville and Franklin Pike December 14. Advance on Murfreesboro December 26-30. Battle of Stone’s River December 30-31, 1862, and January 1-3, 1863. Duty at Munfreesboro till June. Middle Tennessee or Tullahoma Campaign June 23-July 7. Occupation of Middle Tennessee till August 16. Passage of the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River, and Chickamauga (Ga.) Campaign August 16-September 22. Battle of Chickamauga September 19-21 (train guard during battle). Rossville Gap September 21. Siege of Chattanooga, Tenn., September 24-November 23. Orchard Knob November 23-24. Mission Ridge November 25. Graysville November 26. Duty at Rossville, Ga., till March, 1864. Veterans absent on Furlough March 16-May 11, rejoin at Buzzard’s Roost, Ga. Atlanta Campaign May to September. Demonstration on Rocky Faced Ridge May 8-11. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Advance on Dallas May 18-25. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Pickett’s Mills May 27. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Pine Hill June 11-14. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Ruff’s Station, Smyrna Camp Ground, July 4. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Peach Tree Creek June 19-20. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Utoy Creek August 5-7. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Battle of Jonesboro August 31-September 1. Lovejoy Station September 2-6. Operations against Hood in North Georgia and North Alabama September 29-November 3. March to the sea November 15-December 10. Siege of Savannah December 10-21. Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Near Cheraw, S. C., February 28. Taylor’s Hole Creek, Averysboro, N. C., March 16. Battle of Bentonville March 19-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett’s House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D. C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 19. Grand Review May 24. Moved to Louisville, Ky., June, and duty there till July. Mustered out July 17, 1865.
Regiment lost during service 5 Officers and 84 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 98 Enlisted men by disease. Total 187.”