1863 63rd Ohio Infantry Discharge Document Signed By Brig Gen John W. Sprague
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1863 63rd Ohio Infantry Discharge Document Signed By Brig Gen John W. Sprague:
1863 63rd Ohio Infantry Company E. Discharge Document for Joseph Lindemuth. Signed by John Wilson Sprague as Colonel. Document is in poor condition with much tape on the upper section. Document was signed December 31, 1863 at Prospect Tennessee. Some brief history of the unit and of Sprague is as follows
The 63rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry (or 63rd OVI) was an infantry regiment which served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It was a part of the Union forces in the Western Theater of operations. The original 63rd OVI was organized on December 1, 1861, at Camp Worthington in Columbus and at Camp Marietta in Marietta, but only enough men were available to fill four companies. Hence, the 63rd was not officially designated as a regiment.The 63rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry was organized January 23, 1862, in Marietta, Ohio, by consolidation of a battalion of the 22nd Ohio and the four companies of the old 63rd Regiment. Governor David Tod appointed John W. Sprague as the regiment's colonel. Its ten individual companies had been raised in southern Ohio. The 63rd immediately took the field and joined Major General John Pope in Missouri. At New Madrid, the 63rd was brigaded with other Ohio regiments in what became known as the Ohio Brigade. It took part in all the operations resulting in the surrender of Island No. 10. In April 1862, the 63rd OVI joined Maj. Gen. Henry Halleck's forces near Corinth, Mississippi. After the evacuation, it operated in Northern Alabama, and participated in the battles of Iuka and Corinth in the army of William S. Rosecrans. Colonel Sprague was promoted to brigadier general, and Oscar L. Jackson assumed command of the regiment. During 1863, the 63rd operated mostly in Northern Alabama and Tennessee. In January 1864, most of the men re-enlisted for three years, and the regiment went to Ohio on veteran furlough. In May it joined Sherman's Atlanta Campaign and shared in all the battles to the end of the campaign. In the autumn, the 63rd took part in Sherman's March to the Sea. In early 1865, the 63rd participated in the Carolinas Campaign. It took part in the Grand Review of the Armies in Washington, D.C. in May and then went by train to Louisville, Kentucky, where the men mustered out on July 8, 1865. The regiment lost during its term of service 2 officers and 91 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded; and 5 officers and 259 enlisted men by disease, for a total of 357 fatalities.
John Wilson Sprague (April 4, 1817–December 27, 1894) was an American soldier and railroad executive. He served as a general in the Union Army in the Western Theater of operations during the American Civil War. He received the Medal of Honor for gallantry at the Battle of Decatur during the Atlanta Campaign. After the war, he was a railroad executive and later co-founded the city of Tacoma, Washington, serving as its first mayor. John W. Sprague was born in White Creek, New York, on April 4, 1817, the son of Otis and Polly (Peck) Sprague. He was educated in the district school of his neighborhood and at the age of thirteen entered the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, New York. He left school before graduation to engage in the grocery business, and in 1845 removed to Milan, Ohio, where he continued the business of a merchant in the shipping and commission sales businesses. He afterward settled in Sandusky and was for one term (1851–52) the treasurer of Erie County, Ohio. He was married to Lucy Wright, daughter of a judge of Huron County, Ohio. However, she died in Troy, New York, in May 1844, not long after giving birth to a daughter. He was remarried to Julia Frances Choate of Milan; the couple had five children of their own. In the late 1850s he organized and equipped a line of sailboats and steamers for traffic on Lake Erie and was engaged in that business when war erupted. With the outbreak of the Civil War and President Abraham Lincoln's call for 100,000 volunteers to put down the rebellion, Sprague raised a company of infantry and was sent to Camp Dennison near Cincinnati. Upon being mustered into Federal service, he became the captain of Company E of the 7th Ohio Infantry. While returning home on furlough in August 1861, he and a small party of fellow Buckeyes were captured in West Virginia and held as prisoners of war. Sprague was exchanged in January 1862 and returned to his regiment. Later that month, Sprague was appointed as the colonel of the newly designated 63rd Ohio Infantry, The regiment was organized on January 23 by consolidating partially filled battalions from the 22nd Ohio Infantry and the 63rd Ohio regiments. After brief training and drilling, Sprague and his men took the field, traveled via train to the South, and joined Major General John Pope in Missouri. Sprague led the regiment at the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi, and then was in charge of the Ohio Brigade during the Battle of Iuka in 1862. For the next several months, Sprague took part in the army's general operations in northern Alabama and Mississippi, extending sometimes into Tennessee. He participated in the Vicksburg Campaign in early and mid-1863. In the fall of 1863, as part of the forces under Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, he moved with his regiment eastward toward Chattanooga, Tennessee. He regiment was part of the force under command of General Grenville M. Dodge that was detached to secure the railroad to Decatur, Alabama. During the 1864 Atlanta Campaign, Sprague was in command of the 2nd Brigade, 4th Division of the Sixteenth Army Corps. During the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864, at a subaction near Decatur, Georgia, he masterfully conducted a delaying action under heavy enemy fire and received praise from his superiors. With only a small command, he defeated an overwhelming Confederate force and saved the entire ordnance and supply trains of the XV, XVI, XVII, and XX corps. Sprague was promoted to the rank of brigadier general on July 30, 1864. He moved with Sherman on the March to the Sea and then northward during the Carolinas Campaign. He commanded the brigade on its march from Raleigh, North Carolina, through Richmond to Washington, D.C., and participated in the Grand Review of the Armies in May. At the end of the war, he received the brevet rank of major general. From April 1865 until September 1866, Sprague was the assistant commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau for the district of Arkansas, serving under Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard. He was in charge of operations in Missouri, Kansas, and subsequently the Indian Territory. In September 1865, he declined a lieutenant-colonelcy in the Regular Army and mustered out of the service. He was succeeded by Edward O. C. Ord. He was appointed as the manager of the Winona & St. Paul Railway in Minnesota. In 1870 he became the general manager of the Western Division of the Northern Pacific Railway and co-established the city of Tacoma, Washington, on Puget Sound. He was instrumental in selecting the route for the railroad's Pacific Division, from what later became Kalama, Washington, to Tacoma. In 1883 he had the honor of driving the golden spike on the completion of his division. However, he suffered from poor health and was forced to resign a few months later. He was active in building up the new city of Tacoma and was president of the board of trade and of various banks and corporations. He served as the town's first mayor, became prominent in its financial circles, and was president of the National Bank, Tacoma Chamber of Commerce, and the Tacoma Steam Navigation Company. His second wife Julia died in 1886. He later married Abigail Choate. The town of Sprague, Washington, founded in 1880, was named for General Sprague. Lincoln County, Washington, was originally named for Sprague, until opposition from political enemy (and former Union colonel) Joseph H. Houghton, a Washington Territory legislator.