By Jan Sparkman
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.
This book goes on to list three other Laurel County men who served as sergeants (John Little, Solomon H. Kuhn, and James Dees) as well as six who obtained the rank of corporal: William Metcalf, Jasper Pearl, William Burnes, George W. Johnson, Felix Casteel, and Samuel Black.
Of course all those who served as privates are listed, too, but that list is too long for this column. You can read the whole report at the Laurel County Historical Society. Other information contained in the Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kentucky, Civil War, Union, Vol. II on Co. A, 24th Kentucky Infantry includes lists of those who were discharged or transferred, who deserted, or who died in service.
I’m not through with the history of the Civil War in Laurel County but more will have to wait until next week. I also want to do further research into the work of Ernest Andes, Laurel County historian of an earlier era.
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The Laurel County Historical Society is located at 310 W. 3rd St., London, (formerly the Laurel County Health Department). The library is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 12 noon. For further information, contact 606-864-0607 during library hours, or 606-224-3767 at other times. Visit the historical society’s website: http://www.laurelcountykyhistoricalsociety.org. Email the society at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jan Sparkman at email@example.com.