Henry County's First Civil War VolunteersApril 1861
Within days of the attack of Fort Sumter at 4:00 am on Friday, April 12, 1861, and later surrender of Fort Sumter to General Beauregard by Major Anderson, Major Anderson, with his men, arrived at New York and was received by an immense crowd of people. His official dispatch to the Secretary of War, announcing the surrender of Sumter, is in the most concise and laconic style possible. It follows:
"Sir…having defended Fort Sumter thirty-four hours until quarters were entirely burned; main gates destroyed by fire; the gorge wall seriously injured; magazines surrounded by flames, and its door closed from the effects of heat; four barrels of powder only being available, and no provisions but pork remaining, I accepted the terms of evacuation offered by Gen. Beauregard…being the same offered by him on the 11th, prior to the commencement of hostilities….and marched out of the fort Sunday P. M., the 14th, with colors flying, drums beating, bringing away company and private property, and saluting my flag with fifty guns." Robert Anderson, Major 1st Artillery.
Here in Henry county word had reached the populace within hours of the attack and many male citizens began volunteering to help suppress the rebellion. In an article that was published in the New Castle Courier at that time the following story appeared.
New Castle never before witnessed, and we sincerely hope she may never again witness, such a scene as was enacted at the railroad depot on last Monday, when our little band of noble volunteers bade farewell to home and friends, and started for the military rendezvous at Indianapolis.
More than hour before the arrival of the train an immense crowd thronged through the station house. Business houses and dwellings were closed, and the entire population in our little village, old and young, male and female, concentrated around the depot. In addition to these, hundreds were in from the country. Colonel Edmund Johnson spoke briefly to the assembled crowd, and was followed by Reverend F. A. Harden. We noticed, however, their words of eloquent and patriotic exhortations were little heeded by the young volunteers. They were scattered around in groups, exchanging the last farewells with weeping relatives and friends.
It is no disparagement to our boys to say that almost all wept like children. We envy not the heart of the man who could gaze unmoved on such a scene as this. Great God! not all the triumph, fame and glory which ambitious men have ever achieved could compensate for one such hour. And yet in every city, town and hamlet throughout the broad North such scenes are now enacting. The north is pitting her valiant sons against the ruffian hoard who follow the behest of the Southern oligarchy. They go forth bearing aloft the flag of their country, to defend this glorious fabric of a government, against which traitors have raised their impious hands; and God defend this right.
This company, which goes out under the command of Captain Fred Tykle, is composed of almost exclusively of young men, raised in New Castle, Middletown, Cadiz and Sulphur Springs, with a few sturdy young farmers from the country. It numbers 108 rank and file. But three officers had been elected before leaving this place. Their names follow:
Captain: Fredrick Tykle
1st Lt. Henry Ray
2nd Lt. J. W. Connell
The Captain and first Lieutenant served through the Mexican war. The remainder of this company, as far as we know are inexperienced in any military service.
The following is a list of the first Civil war volunteers of Henry County, IN. Many others left a few days later for Indianapolis to join their fellow citizens in the same company.
$1,000 was raised by subscription, to be applied as may be necessary for the physical comfort of the volunteers. In addition to this, ample assurance to those that left loved ones behind, that they will be provided for.