Monday, May 30, 2011

Military Monday/Memorial Day: Lyle Family in the Civil War

My great great grandfather, Isaac Lyle (1830-1911) served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He and his younger brothers, Oliver and Boyd, were all in Company I, 53rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Another brother, Samuel, did 100-day National Guard service in Company D, 140th OVI from May 1864. Their brothers James and Biddle paid $4 to the Meigs County, Ohio, treasury rather than enlist in the military in accordance with an act requiring all white male citizens, residents of Ohio, between the ages of 18 and 45 years, be enrolled in the militia. Their father, Samuel Lyle, was well over 45 and not required to register. I’ve written about the experiences of this family, particularly the resulting ill health of Isaac and Boyd, in an article that appeared in the Ohio Civil War Genealogy Journal.

The Lyle family cousins and spouses of cousins also served in the Civil War. All were privates in Union service. Like the Ohio Lyle family, all were quite tall though otherwise of varying descriptions. All appear in my Lyle family website (see sidebar.)

David Lyle, one of the three sons of their uncle James Lyle of Jefferson County, Indiana, served in Company I, 145th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The regiment mustered in at Indianapolis on 16 February 1865, each company recruited from a different county. They were shipped to Georgia where their primary tasks were guarding rail lines and bridges, also escorting wagons of provisions. Fortunately David was not one of the seventy enlisted men this regiment lost to disease. He was mustered out a little short of his year’s enlistment on 21 January 1866 at Cuthbert, Georgia.

Two sons of their uncle Charles Lyle of Wapello County, Iowa, enlisted in the Union Army. Joseph R. Lyle first served in Company F, 7th Iowa Volunteer Infantry and enlisted a second time 26 November 1862 in Company B, 14th Iowa. In January 1864 they were sent to Vicksburg and in February took part in the Meridian raid under Gen. Sherman. Upon their return to Vicksburg, the 14th Iowa was ordered to assist in the Red River expedition under Gen. Banks. That campaign led to the disastrous Battle of Pleasant Hill in Louisiana in which Joseph lost his life at age 21 or 22 on 9 April 1864. His younger brother, Benjamin F. Lyle, had previously enlisted in Company I, 14th Iowa and was mustered in on 5 November 1861. The regiment took ship to St. Louis to train at Benton Barracks. Benjamin was one of the many stricken in December with measles. He was later said to be suffering from “long continuous bronchorrhoea and tuberculosis,” also referred to as consumption, in the Fourth Street U.S.A. General Hospital in St. Louis in January 1862. He received a disability discharge, his company commander, Capt. Warren C. Jones, writing that Benjamin was in failing health. W. T. Sherman signed the order on 8 February 1862. Benjamin’s gravestone does not give a date of death, but he apparently died very soon after discharge, an unofficial victim of his service. Perhaps his death spurred Joseph to enlist in the same company. The husband of their sister Hannah, Samuel Milton Wright, has markers at his gravestone indicating service, but no records have yet come to light.

Uncle William Lyle of Schuyler County, Illinois, and Sullivan County, Missouri, had sons and sons-in-law in service. Wilmer Magarvy Lyle saw Union service enlisting in the 11th Regiment, Missouri State Militia Cavalry, mustered in on 27 March 1862. They were reorganized into the 2nd Missouri State Militia Cavalry. Wilmer was in Company G using his own horse and equipment from 30 April to 31 August 1863. From that time the army provided his horse and gear. His unit remained in Missouri, a divided state. He was shot 4 July 1864 while on guard duty at Cape Girardeau and died two days later. Though buried there, in 1869 he was reinterred at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis. His marker bears the name W. L. Lyle with the same incorrect middle initial as some of his service records. Less than three months later brother Jugurtha Lamar Lyle (his name recorded as Gugurtha) enlisted in Company E, 42nd Missouri Volunteer Infantry. He was ill and hospitalized in December 1864 at Fort Donelson, Tennessee. He mustered out on 28 June 1864 at Nashville. Jasper P. Farrar, husband of their sister Hannah, served in Company H, 115th Illinois from 22 July 1862 to 11 June 1865. Isaac Warden Carden, the husband of sister Martha Ann, enlisted in Company I, 16th Illinois on 24 May 1861. He received a disability discharge on 17 October 1862 and died 30 September 1864. Martha then married ailing veteran John N. Wheeler on 7 December 1870. John entered Company E, 16th Illinois at the same time as Carden in another company. John also became ill and was given a disability discharge 6 April 1862. Martha married a third and final time to veteran Daniel Seem on 5 March 1874. Daniel served in Company K, 119th Illinois from 14 April 1862 to 25 August 1865 when mustered out in Mobile, Alabama.

Aunt Elizabeth (Lyle) Hall of Jefferson County, Indiana, apparently had no sons or sons-in-law with records of service though most were of an appropriate age. Uncle Francis Wayne Lyle apparently died before 1850 and what appears to be his family remained in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Son Thomas McCune Lyle/Lysle may have been too young to serve but Robert S. Figley, later husband of Martha Lyle, was one of many who answered the call to all able-bodied men to serve as militia to repel Lee's invasion of Maryland. He was recorded as one of the thousands reporting in a company of 82 from Monongahela City, Washington County, Pennsylvania, who left "by boat on the morning of September 16th, arrived in Harrisburg on the morning of the 17th, were armed, equipped, assigned to the 18th Regiment [Militia Infantry], commanded by Colonel L. McClay, marched to the front" where they overlooked the battle of Antietam at Sharpsburg, Maryland. Though they did not participate in the battle, they were considered a moral support. The men of Company G turned in their arms and equipment and returned after twelve days. This was much like the “Squirrel Hunters” of Ohio who went to support the city of Cincinnati when it was feared there would be a Confederate invasion.

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