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Opinion

August 29, 2013

Traces of Laurel: Civil War, Part 2

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The second unit in which many Laurel County men served in the Civil War was Co. A of the 24th Volunteer Infantry.  According to an article by Ernest Andes, published by Russell Dyche in his Laurel County History, this unit was organized by Hector Scoville at Mershons Cross Roads (or Crossroads) in the fall of 1861 and mustered in at Lexington on December 31 of that year.

Andes says that this company “became noted as the traveling regiment since it crossed the Kentucky-Tennessee line 12 times, participated in most of the battles west of the mountains and traveled more miles than any other regiment.”

Officers at the time of mustering in were:  Hector H. Scoville, Captain; Wiley Jones, first lieutenant; William B. Johnson,  first lieutenant; Daniel O. Morin (Moren),  second lieutenant; and George W. Freeman,  second lieutenant.  Murray Boring (Boreing) was first sergeant.

According to the Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kentucky, Civil War, Union, Vol. II, Scoville was commissioned a major in 1863 but was never mustered in as such.  This same source says that Jones resigned at Nashville, Tenn., May 2, 1862.  Johnson was commissioned a captain on Sept. 1, 1863 but was never mustered in as such.  This report goes on to say that Johnson had been under arrest since January 6, 1865.  I don’t know what this means.

The Report of the Adjutant General is full of interesting information but a lot of what one reads there only brings up more questions.  In this book, Second Lt. Daniel O. Morin is said to have frozen to death at Frankfort, Ky. on January 15, 1863.  George W. Freeman is listed as “under arrest since December 21, 1864.”  “Under arrest” may mean that these men were taken prisoner, but I’m not sure.  First Sgt. Murry Boring was absent without leave from February 2 to March 2, 1863 but was “restored to duty with loss of pay and allowances during absence.”  This was not uncommon.  I have read the same notation on many of the Civil War service records I have had the opportunity to read over the years.

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