Augustin Boice of 91st OVI

Boice Family
Submitted by Martha J. Kounse

Source: Greater Indianapolis by Jacob Piatt Dunn, 1910, pages 1028-1032.

Augustin Boice

Augustin BOICE has been engaged in the practice of law in Indianapolis for more than thirty years and has long held precedence as one of the leading members of the bar of the capital city and such is his professional standing and such the high regard in which he is held as a loyal and upright citizen that there is a special propriety in according him recognition in this history of “Greater Indianapolis” and its people. He is an honored veteran of the Civil War, in which he rendered gallant and prolonged service in the cause of the Union and in the “piping times of peace, he has won victories of equal worthiness.

Like many others who ha achieved distinction in a learned profession, Augustin BOICE was born and reared on a farm. He was a native of Cheshire Township, GALLIA COUNTY, OHIO where he was ushered into the world on the 1st of December 1842. He is a son of Jacob and Mary Stevens (BRADBURYBOICE, and is a scion of one of the sterling pioneer families of the fine old Buckeye commonwealth. Jacob BOICE was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania on the 14th of November 1811, and was a son of Joseph and Keziah (BOWMANBOICE, both of whom were natives of New Jersey. In 1820, the family left the old Keystone state and removed to Ohio, establishing a home in the wilds of Cheshire Township, GALLIA COUNTY, where the father reclaimed a farm from the virgin forest. The mother of the subject of this sketch was the eldest daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (STEVENS)BRADBURY and was a native of the State of Maine, where she was born on the 28th of January 1894. She accompanied her parents on their removal to Ohio in the early pioneer epoch in the history of that state. She was the seventh generation of direct descent from Thomas BRADBURY, the immigrant who settled in New England at least as early as 1634. The latter’s wife, Mary (PERKINSBRADBURY was a daughter of John PERKINS of Ipswich, Massachusetts. Mary (PERKINSBRADBURY arrived with her father’s family in Boston from Bristol, England on the ship “Lyon” February 5, 1631 and Roger Williams, a noted and historical character was a fellow passenger. Interesting but somber is the following record concerning Mary (PERKINSBRADBURY:……..

Mr. BOICE also a direct descendant from Major PIKE through his daughter Sarah, who became the wife of Rev. John Storkman. He also descended from Rev. John WHEELWRIGHT, of Boston.

Thomas BRADBURY was born in Esex County, England in 1610 and early in 1634 he appeared in Agamenticus, now Yorke, Maine as the agent of Sir Fernando Gorges, the proprietor of the Province of Maine. He was one of the founders of Salisbury, Massachusetts…

At the time when the BOICE family settled in GALLIA COUNTY OHIO, that section was practically unreclaimed from the forest and thus the conditions encountered were those that fall to the lot of the average pioneer of the locality and period. Those were the days of the log cabin and spinning wheel. Money was very scare and even calico was commanding fifty cents a yard. On this score the pioneers found it necessary to raise flax, out of which they made the greater portion of their clothing…. When the father of Augustin BOICE was comparatively a young man, he served practical apprenticeship at the carpenter trade and during his early manhood, he was a contractor and builder, having erected many of the houses, barns, and bridges in the section in which the family home was maintained. He was a man of sterling integrity and vigorous mentality and he was called upon to serve in various posts of public trust and responsibility, including those of township trustee and clerk. In the climacteric period leading up to the Civil War he was a stanch abolitionist and in 1852 he supported the “free soil” ticket. At the time of the war he was known as a radical and uncompromising supporter of the cause of the Republican party. The representative of the BRADBURY family in Ohio were equally strenuous in their opposition to the slavery question and all of its male members were stanch Republicans. The village of Kyger, which was the voting place of Cheshire Township, GALLIA COUNTY, was an effectively managed substation on the line of the historical Underground Railroad. Among the scenes witnessed by Mr. BOICE in his schoolboy days was the searching of the village with bloodhounds for runaway slaves. The parents of Mr. BOICE continued to maintain their home in GALLIA COUNTY, OHIO until their deaths, and the old homestead farm is still in the possession of the family.

On the 7th of August, 1862, Mr. BOICE enlisted as a private in Company B, of the 91st OVI, which was recruited in Gallia, Lawrence, Scioto, Adams, Pike and Jackson counties and which was mobilized at Portsmouth, Ohio where it remained about two weeks-a period devoted to hard drilling and the securing of proper equipment. On the 26th of August, the regiment received its guns and ammunition and on that same day, five companies, including that of which Mr. BOICE was a member, were sent to the mouth of Big Sandy River to repel a threatened raid. This raid failed to materialize and they were thence sent to Guyandotte, West Virginia and then to Ironton, Ohio where the remainder of the regiment joined them a few days later. On the 7th of September 1862, the regiment was regularly mustered into United States service and Mr. BOICE was appointed one of the corporals of his company. At that time, the Confederate forces were making strong efforts to drive the Union forces back to the Ohio in the states of Kentucky and Virginia. Colonel Lighburn had been defeated at Fayetteville, West Virginia and the 91st Ohio was sent to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, to assist in checking the enemy. It arrived there on the 14th of September and remained until the 26th when it started on its first raid up the Kanawha. The object of this movement was to surprise, and if possible, to capture the Confederate force at Buffalo. The regiment marched all night and struck the enemy just at daylight. Completely surprising them with the result that the whole Confederate force fled, leaving the camp in the hands of the Northern troops. The doughty Southerners had been preparing their breakfast and left their alluring supply of chickens and turkeys but the captors did not have time to indulge their appetites. A considerable amount of dry goods, boots, shores, etc., which the Confederate soldiers had secured in raids were left behind in the camp and various articles in this store of goods were appropriated by the “Boys in Blue.” The 91st heard first heard the shriek of hostile s? but as the enemy had aimed high, the members of this Ohio regiment were not injured, though it must be confessed that a good portion of them found their hair exercising peculiar propensities. The Cavalry, which was to cooperate in the attack, failed to reach its designated points on times, so most of the enemy escaped. In October, the regiment with about 20,000 other troops advanced up the Kanawha, drove the enemy out, and reestablished the outpost at Fayetteville. Here, winter quarters were built, and during that winter and the following spring, Mr. BOICE’s regiment did much severe guard duty and drilling. In addition to which it assisted in building a strong fort, which later became of much value. In May 1863, the Confederate forces made a two days’ attack upon Fayetteville, but were repulsed. The fight consisted largely of an artillery duel and as the Union forces were protected by forts, their losses were small. In July, the 91st Regiment started forth in pursuit of Morgan, who was at the time making his memorable raid through Ohio and while they succeeded in capturing thirty of his men, they failed to encounter his main forces. After the capture of Morgan had been effected, the regiment returned to Fayetteville. In the fall of 1863, it participated in two expeditions to Lewisburg. The first of these expeditions occurred in November and involved much hard marching owing to the rapid retreat of the enemy, and the only satisfactory result was the burning of the excellent winter quarters which had been established by the Confederates. In December was made the second expedition and again the enemy failed to stand for an engagement, through the Union troops again had the privilege of destroying the winter quarters, which had been rebuilt. In the great campaign initiated in 1864, the 91st Ohio endured to the full the vicissitudes, dangers and privations marking the progress of the same and it was denied its full share of honors. The regiment marched more than twelve hundred miles and was actively engaged in twelve battles within that year, including the Sheridan Battle in the Shenandoah Valley. It is a matter of record that this regiment never failed to respond to any call made upon it and that it always acquitted itself with battles and marches, up to the time he was wounded except in May and June 1864, when he endured the agony of being incapacitated and the result of an attack of measles and the complications resulting there from. His regiment was a member of the Second Brigade, Second Division of the Army of West Virginia, commanded by General Cook and it was prominently concerned in Sheridan’s operations in the Shenadoah Valley. Concerning the history of this regiment, further data are given in the following statements which are worthy of perpetuation in this connection: …..

On the 24th of August 1864, at the battle of Halltown, an engagement incidental to Sheridan’s campaign, Mr. BOICEreceived a severe rifle shot wound in his right arm, resulting in the resection of the middle third of the humerus. This wound nearly entailed fatal results and it was considered by the attending surgeons phenomenal that he recovered, although it was more than a year before the wound finally healed. He was permanently disabled for further field service and on account of this disability he received his honorable discharge on the 29th of May 1865.

After the close of the war, Mr. BOICE resumed his educational work. In the autumn of 1865, he was matriculated in the Ohio University at Athens in which institution he competed the academic course and was graduated as a member of the class of 1869, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts. While an undergraduate he was a prominent member of the Philomathean Literary Society and was considered on of the strongest and most versatile debaters in the college. He represented his society in its literary exhibition at commencement in 1868. While a student in the university, he took up the study of law and later continued his reading of the same under the preceptorship of his uncle, Honorable Joseph BRADBURY, of GALLIA COUNTY, OHIO and in September 1870, he proved himself eligible for and was admitted to the bar of his native state at Athens. In the following month he came to Indianapolis and entered in processional partnership with his college classmate, John L. McMaster, who is now serving on the bench of the Superior Court of Marion County. This effective and mostly pleasing alliance continued for more than a score of years within which the interested principals in the same gained high prestige and marked success in their profession. Mr. BOICE as already intimated, showed dialectic powers while still student in college and his predilections in this line have of course became accentuated and rendered symmetrical through his long and able services as a trail lawyer. Few members of the Indiana bar area more thoroughly grounded in the minutiae of the science of jurisprudence and few have to their credit a larger number of distinctive victories in connection with important litigated causes. He is at present general attorney for a number of representative insurance companies and is counsel for various important corporate interests.

Ever aligned under the banner of the Republican party, Mr. BOICE has been a stalwart worker in behalf of its cause and his first vote was cast while he was in the hospital at Baltimore, Maryland in October 1864 where he availed himself of the privilege given to soldiers to exercise the right of franchise no matter where located, each being accredited to his respective home. He recovered sufficiently to travel and was given a furlough to go home. He arrived at his home in Gallia County on the day of the presidential election and was thus enabled to cast his vote in support of President Lincoln for a second term. From that time to the present, he has never failed to vote at every presidential, state, county, township and city election. The honors and emoluments of public office have never had allurement for Mr. BOICE and the only civil office of which he was ever incumbent was that of Treasurer of his native township. Mr. BOICE is affiliated with Delta Tau Delta College fraternity and is one of the appreciative and valued members of George H. Thomas Post No. 17 Grand Army of the Republic, and also of the Union Veteran Legion, and has for many years being actively identified with the Indian State Bar Association and the Indianapolis Bar Association. In his profession he is eligible for practice in all of the courts of his native state and in the Supreme Court of the United States. As a citizen, Mr. BOICE has ever stood exemplar of loyal and genuine public spirit, and he is fully in sympathy with the high civil ideals of the Indianapolis Commercial Club, in which he holds membership, as does he also in the University of Indian and the Marion Club. He was one of the organizers of the Central Life Insurance Company of Indianapolis of which he was general counsels as well as a director. He has long been a zealous member of the First Presbyterian Church at Indianapolis, in which his wife also was a devoted worked and valued member.

On the 8th of August 1872, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. BOICE and Miss Adela Vernee JOHNSON, who was born and reared in Athens County, Ohio and who was a daughter of the late Dr. William P. JOHNSON a distinguished physician and surgeon, who served as surgeon on the 8th OVI during the Civil War and was a prominent and influential citizen of Ohio, where he represented Athens County in the legislature and took up his residence in Indianapolis in 1869, here he passed the remainder of his life, holding a position of distinction in his profession and being a citizen to whom was accorded the highest measure of popular confidence and esteem. Mrs. BOICE was summoned to the life eternal on the 28th of June 1906. The only child of Mr. and Mrs. BOICE, Parker Johnson BOICE was born in Indianapolis on the 10th of May 1873, and was a graduated in Princeton University as a member of the class of 1897 and was a young man of fine character and great promise. His death occurred on the 7th of February, 1904.