3,357 Lawrence Countians served in the Civil War

The Civil War 

Stories submitted by Peggy A. Wells and Martha J. Kounse

Ironton Tribune, 4 July 1976, Sunday, Page A

When news of Fort Sumpter’s fall in April 1861 reached the county, Union meetings were called through which men enlisted for three months or three years.  Leaders were John Campbell, Ralph Leete, Col. E. Nigh, Dr. B. F. Cory, W. W. Johnson, C. G. Hawley, Thomas McCarty, C. W. McCoy and C. Hall. Ironton City Council issued a proclamation wanting no hostilities with its neighboring towns in Kentucky and Virginia, and had it delivered to each town.  The county commissioners appropriated $5,000 as a fund to help support, as needed, families of volunteers from the county.

By July 18, 1861 there were 535 Lawrence Countians away on active duty, many of them serving in western Virginia (now the state of West Virginia).  Home Guard units sprung up in Ironton (German Co. of volunteers) and in every village with 174 regimented in Proctorville.  Just across the river from Proctorville at Guyandotte, Va., what was termed as “the meanest Secessionist Hole” along the Ohio River, existed.  By October, 1,210 countians were away in service, representing over one-third of the county’s voting population.

In November, a battle raged for possession of Guyandotte between Union troops who had occupied the town and a Rebel Guerrilla Cavalry which resulted in the burning of the town.  Lawrence County men fought in many of the major battles of the war and the many fallen were to be later honored at Ironton’s first Memorial Day ceremonies in 1868, three years after the war ended.

In all, 3,357 Lawrence Countians served in the Civil War including 224 from Aid Township, 106 from Decatur, 233 from Elizabeth, 205 from Fayette, 105 from Hamilton, 180 from Lawrence, 258 from Mason, 274 from Perry, 251 from Rome, 153 from Symmes, 233 from Union, 268 from Windsor, 152 from Washington, 206 from Upper and 507 from Ironton.

The Spanish-American War in 1898 was to find more Lawrence Countians in uniform, serving in Cuba and the Philippines, resulting in extending American holdings into the Western Pacific and the Caribbean.

  • Carl Murdock has created a photo collection of Civil War Monuments as he finds them….you can see them HERE.