Friday, May 22, 2015

Henry Harmon and the Civil War - Part 1

As Memorial Day approaches this year, I thought it was perfect timing to start sharing a few pieces of family history I have found over the past few years. I have been looking into my family's history for about 5 years now, and have been curious to find more ancestors who served in the major wars of American History. I am so appreciative of my grandpa, great uncles, and cousins for their sacrifice and service to our country in the Marine Corp, Army, and Navy. And their service makes me wonder how many others in my family heeded the call to serve their country in the past. The amount of military records available is immense, and they provide insight into some of the most intense moments of America's past, as well as the families who lived through them.

Up until a month ago, I was not aware of any great grandfathers who served in the Civil War. Many of the families in my tree came over after 1900. But, there were a few that extended their American roots further back into the 1800s, with a majority of them coming from Ohio. The Harmon's were one of those families living in Ohio in the mid-1800s. One ancestor in particular, Henry Harmon played an integral part in the history of Ohio and the Union during the Civil War.

Henry Harmon (1843-1921) - show Henry in the family tree
Henry is my 4th great grandfather on my father's side. According to his death certificate, Henry was born on February 14th, 1843 in Haysville, Ohio. In the 1850 census he was living with his parents, Samuel and Elizabeth, along with 5 siblings. At that time they were still living in Haysville, but sometime between 1850 and 1860 they moved 15 miles west to the larger city of Mansfield. Henry's father, Samuel, was a carpenter, and Henry followed in his father's footsteps and took up carpentry as his occupation. In years following the civil war, none of the population census records explicitly pointed out that Henry served in the war. But, one newspaper, the Sandusky Star Journal, printing his obituary in 1921 shed light on his experience. Henry served as a sergeant in Company F, 82nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Just that one tiny sentence opens the door to finding out more on how Henry answered the call to take up arms and fight for his country. Not only did he fight and survive the war, but he excelled in the ranks all the way up from private to sergeant.

Ohio Death Certificate1
(click to enlarge)
1850 U.S. Federal Census
Haysville, Ashland Co., OH2
(click to enlarge)
March 25, 1921
Sandusky Star Journal3
(click to enlarge)

82nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry

This Regiment was organized at Kenton, Hardin county, Ohio from October to December 1861 to serve three years. On the expiration of its term of service, the original members (except veterans) were mustered out and the organization, composed of veterans and recruits, retained in service until July 24, 1865 when it was mustered out in accordance with orders from the War Department.4Some of the battles in which this unit participated include:

  • Bull Pasture Mountain, VA (McDowell), May 8, 1862
  • Cross Keys, VA, June 8, 1862
  • Cedar Mountain, VA, August 9-11, 1862
  • Freeman's Ford, VA, August 22, 1862
  • Great Run, VA, August 23, 1862
  • Waterloo Bridge, VA, August 24, 1862
  • Bull Run, VA (2nd Battle), August 28-30, 1862
  • Chancellorsville, VA, May 1-6, 1863
  • Gettysburg, PA, July 1-3, 1863
  • Wauhatchie, TN, October 27-28, 1863
  • Missionary Ridge, TN, November 22-26, 1863
  • Knoxville, TN (Relief of), November 27-December 4, 1863
  • Resaca, GA, May 10-16, 1864
  • New Hope Church, GA, May 25, 1864
  • Culp's Farm, GA, June 22, 1864
  • Peach Tree Creek, GA, July 20, 1864
  • Atlanta, GA (Siege), July 23-September 2, 1864
  • March to the Sea, November 15-December 10, 1864
  • Sandersville, GA, November 25, 1864
  • Montieth Swamp, GA, December 9, 1864
  • Savannah, GA (Siege of), December 10-21, 1864
  • Carolina Campaign, January 17-April 26, 1865
  • Averysboro, NC, March 16, 1865
  • Bentonville, NC, March 19-21, 1865

Stay tuned for Part 2.... Find out more details on Henry's service in the Civil war and the years following.

1. "Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 May 2015), Henry Harmon, 25 Mar 1921; citing Sandusky, Erie, Ohio, reference fn 14707; FHL microfilm 1,991,490.
2. "United States Census, 1850," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 4 May 2015), Henry Harmon in household of Samuel Harmon, Haysville, Ashland, Ohio, United States; citing family 73, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
3. Sandusky Star Journal, Sandusky, Ohio, Friday, March 25, 1921, page 15, 'Deaths and Funerals' section, available online , accessed 24 April 2015.
4. Website:

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