John Zimmerman

Submitted by: HENRY S. DILLON

John Zimmerman was my grandmother’s adopted father. After my grandmother’s mother died shortly after childbirth, her father, William C. Dillon, couldn’t manage a large family by himself. So my grandmother went to live with her half-sister, Mary Ellen Lewis, who had married John Zimmerman. Thus, John Zimmerman become her adoptive father. I have a number of photos of him, some in his Civil War uniform, one with my father sitting on his knee. One story was that he walked with a distinct limp. The attached letter which I received from Sharon Martincic of Newark, OH, certainly explains why he limped. Neat story! Sharon traces her lineage to John’s brother.

John ZIMMERMAN was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Fifth Infantry Regiment of West Virginia Volunteers, October 5, 1864. The original commission resides with Henry S. DILLON, grandson of Nettie Alberta DILLON, stepdaughter of John ZIMMERMAN. I also have a pocket watch that I was told many times “Your Grandpa ZIMMERMAN carried this watch in the Civil War.” I also have some of his medals and ribbons.  (Henry S. DILLON)

Married April 5, 1864, by Nathanial Burcham, Esq., witnesses, William ZIMMERMAN and Jans. T. BURCHAM.

(12/95)Aunt Nell said she thought Grandpa ZIMMERMAN was always a little crippled as a result of his experiences in the Civil War.

From the “Ironton Register, Thursday, March 10, 1898”

“Editor Register–On Oct 19, 1864, at Cedar Creek, just at day-break or a little before, the Rebel army under Gen. Early, came swooping down upon us with the intention of driving everything before them, the Fifth Va. General Enoch’s old regiment lay on the extreme left of the line of course, there was cavalry further out. We were driven back, and I among a great many other, was wounded. As I went down I said “For God’s sake, boys, don’t leave me here,” and they did not. They picked me up and carried me till they came to an ambulance in which I was placed and taken back to Winchester to the field hospital. That evening about sundown my leg was operated on. I had been wounded in the right leg. A minnie ball, entering just above the ankle and mashed one bone all to pieces and lodging on the opposite side just a little under the skin. The doctor removed it and gave it to me. The wound healed all right and appeared all right until two years ago, when it broke out in a running sore and had become very painful. I supposed the bone had be- come diseased and called upon Dr. Reynolds of Proctorville, who operated up on it, and instead of finding a piece of bone detached, found another leaden ball embedded in the bone above where it had been sawed off.

Now, the questions is, did the gun with which I was wounded fire two balls or did two Rebs hit me at the same time in the same place?

I am getting along as well as could be expected under the skillful treatment of Dr. Reynolds.

John Zimmerman”

Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 10:45:29 -0800
From   Henry S. Dillon