Ohio History Journal

86 Ohio Arch

86       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


one officer and myself went to New York on recruiting service. That

was in 1814. I remained in New York about two years. When we left

New York we marched with recruits to fill up the companies stationed

on the northern frontier. I had re-enlisted on the 23d of November,

1816, for five years. We marched to Sackett's Harbor, and I was there

assigned to Company D, Second Infantry. The other recruits were dis-

tributed at the different stations. I was stationed at Sackett's Harbor

something like seventeen years. We remained quietly at barracks all

this time, until the Black Hawk War broke out beyond Chicago. We

started in the month of July, 1832, and got back October 6, of the same

year. We had no battles in that campaign. There was nothing but hard

marching, etc. I was appointed an ordinance sergeant of the U. S. army

October 18, 1833, and was ordered to Boston, but finally exchanged with

the ordnance sergeant at Madison barracks. Colonel Kirby, paymaster,

and others arranged the matter for me. During the Florida War I was

in Sackett's Harbor in charge of all the property at that post. I was

there too during the Mexican War and got an order from General

Augur to enlist all the men that I could and send them to Syracuse. I

got from four to six every day, and sent them to Syracuse for Mexico.

I was a recruiting officer for General Augur. During the war of the Re-

bellion I was left alone in charge of the quartermaster's stores, medical

and other property at Madison Barracks, New York. I was discharged

December 31, 1866, by Secretary Stanton and came to this home. I have

had charge of a great many improvements in the home and was lodge

keeper at the Whitney Avenue gate for a number of years."

Sergeant Gaines was at the time of this interview an active

old man about five feet seven inches in height, of dark complex-

ion. He had bright grey eyes, white hair and strongly marked

features. He stood perfectly erect, and had a very soldierly bear-

ing. His mind was clear and his memory quite remarkable. He

described with great detail the incident of his early service. He

was the last survivor of the gallant defenders of Fort Stephenson.

He enlisted when in his thirtieth year and probably no man served

longer in the United States Army than he.




In 1880 there still lived in Petersburg, Va., a survivor of the

War of 1812, one of the Petersburg Volunteers, one member of

which, Brown, fought at Fort Stephenson. A letter from this

aged man, Mr. Reuben Clements, reads:

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                    87


"PETERSBURG, VA., 4th March, 1880.


According to promise I will now attempt to tell you what little I

know about Croghan and Sandusky. The opening of the spring cam-

paign in 1813 found the garrison of Fort Meigs exceedingly weak.

General Harrison having gone in the states to hasten forward rein-

forcements, leaving General Clay in command. The British and In-

dians in considerable numbers, knowing perhaps of the absence of the

General-in-Chief, and our weakness, as also our expecting succor from

Kentucky, surrounded the fort and engaged in a sham battle, hoping

by this ruse to draw us out. Failing in this they left us, taking the

Military Road in the direction of Fort Stephenson, which was said to

have been forty miles in length, and fell upon Major Croghan and

his little band at Sandusky. The fort at this place was quite small,

covering I should say not more than one English acre of ground. In

form it was quadrilateral, without traverses, but having in front of

curtain on its four sides a broad and deep fosse. At the north-east

angle of the fort was a blockhouse, and just here was mounted the

only cannon (a six pounder) which made such havoc with the red coats

occupying the ditch. My impression is that my old comrade Brown

was the only member of my company present on that occasion; and

that he did not (as has been asserted) command the piece but only

assisted in working it. The captain of the gun was a sergeant either

of the Pittsburg Blues, or Greensburg Blues. However Brown was ter-

ribly burned about the face which disfigured him for life. I forgot to

state that the Fort was short of ammunition of all sorts, having only three

rounds in all for the cannon. You ask if I knew Major Croghan. I an-

swer, Yes, I have seen him oftentimes before and after the glorious fight

at Sandusky. He was a beardless stripling; I should say rather below

the medium size, and did not look more than eighteen years of age.

This is about all I know of Croghan and Sandusky. I might add, though

not exactly pertinent, that our Company was quite largely represented

on the decks of Commodore Perry's ships, when he so gloriously fought

and overcame the British Fleet on Lake Erie.

With great respect,

Your obedient servant,





The first permanent white settlers in Ohio were James

Whitaker and Elizabeth Foulks, who were captured in western

Pennsylvania in 1774 and 1776 respectively, by the Wyandot

Indians, by whom they were adopted and taken to Lower San-