Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
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Pioneer 1848-1868 Companies

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1867 (age 25), Kennard, L. H. (Non-Mormon Freighter, Civil War Veteran)

I was born January 29, 1842, on a small farm known as the Bowland Farm about three miles south of Mr. Pleasant, Ohio, a son of James R. and Elizabeth Martin Kennard. They had six children: Harriet A., Samuel H., Leonidas H., Mary Jane, and Emma Minerva. Father was a first class blacksmith in the day when everything in iron was repaired in a blacksmith shop. They moved into Mr. Pleasant, a small town on the line of Vinton and Hocking counties, Ohio, when I was three years old. I first went to school in a log meetinghouse on a hill west of Mr. Pleasant. There were slabs with holes bored in them and wooden pegs for legs. There were no desks. I was not a regular student; I just went occasionally. The first school in which I was enrolled was north of the town in a regular schoolhouse with homemade desks quite modern for those times. John Chilicote was the first teacher I can remember.

My father worked at his trade. He always had a cow and horse and buggy. My job was to drive the cow to the pasture and bring her back, until I was 12 years old. Then my father moved the family to New Plymouth three miles east of Mt. Pleasant again establishing himself as a blacksmith and prominent man in church. He was class leader, exhorter and finally a local preacher in the town and Methodist Church. I worked with him in the shop and became quite familiar with the trade. One summer when I was 14 years old I worked on the railroad that was being built through our town carrying water to the workmen at 37 1/2 cents per day, boarding at home. At 16 years of age I got a position in the Eggleston store; at this time Father sold his property in Plymouth and bought an 80-acre farm on Pundin Ridge. He persuaded me to give up my job and help him on the farm which I did for three years doing the usual things that are done on a farm.

I attended school two winters. This was one mile from home. I succeeded in getting through Ray's third part arithmetic; Pino's grammar; and Mitchell's geography. I learned to write fairly well but was a failure at spelling. I was going to school in the Free District when the war of the rebellion broke out. I was expecting to go to school at the Athens, Ohio, College in the fall. When Ft. Sumter was taken by the rebels, there was a lot of excitement in the town and country.

In the Civil War
In September 1861 my brother John and I in company with Sam Barcroft and Peter Slaughterback went to Camp Wool near Athens, Ohio, where the 18th Ohio was organizing to see some of the town boys who had enlisted in Co. B. On our way back home, I suggested to Peter Slaughterback that we enlist and the next day we went back and enlisted in Co. B. 18th Ohio Volunteers Sept. 1861 for three years or duration of the war. We got a furlough for a few days and then went back to camp near Athens, Ohio, but not to college as I had intended to. Instead of a three years course in college, I received a private soldier's experience. The first night in camp I was very tired and sleepy so I laid down and asked one of the boys to call me for roll call which he promised to do so and I went to sleep. They failed to awaken me and I missed roll call. In the morning Capt. Finton asked me where I was last night. I told him in the bunk asleep. He said "Take this brush broom and sweep quarters for two hours which I did of course. It was a good lesson to me and it taught me to depend on myself. It was the last time I ever asked anyone to awaken me. I have never regretted that two hour's extra duty, another lesson was learned by observation. I learned to control my temper and do as I was told by my commanding officer. The 18th stayed at Camp Wool and the Camp Dennison for about two months when we took boat at Cincinnati on the Ohio River for Louisville, Kentucky, on the Jack Straider steamboat. From Louisville we marched to Nashville, Tenn. in General Buell's command. The confederates were retreating before us. I will not try to relate the many things that transpired on our march till the Battle of Stone River. At Elizabethtown I had the measles; I was two weeks in an old house used as a hospital where each one took care of himself except cooking our food and very little of that was done by one man. We who were sick were told not to drink too much water with the measles but I was too sick to care and being very thirsty I drank my canteen empty and in the morning I was well broken out with measles so the water didn't seem to hurt me. We had no beds only our blankets on the floor. I was well enough to follow the command in two weeks when they went on toward Nashville. On account of not having my gun or knapsack to carry I had quite an easy time for a few days.

During the campaign at Pittsburgh landing, the 18th was in General Mitchell's division. It was his duty to cut off reinforcements from Chattanooga. Our brigade was composed of the 19th Ill.; 24th Ill.; and 37th Ill. and the 18th Ohio Volunteered Infantry. The 18th went from Huntsville Ala., to Athens, Ohio, and camped in the Fairgrounds for several days. Part of the company was sent to guard Railroad bridges to keep transportation open. The rebels attacked us but retreated. It seemed most too easy so Capt. Finton said, "We will go back to camp," which proved to be a wise thing to do as they were preparing to surround us which they did to Co. B., but not many of our boys were taken prisoners as they scattered in all directions; some of them not getting back to camp for several days. What was left of the 18th retreated through Athens. General Mitchell was in Athens at that time and left on the train for Huntsville where our brigade was camped. He sent them to meet us and the next day we drove the rebels out of Athens and across the Tennessee River, taking a number of prisoners. Gen. Turchen gave the 18th one hour to sack the town of Athens which we took advantage of. Some of the families claimed to be loyal and asked to be protected. Serg. Tripp and I were sent as guards to one house. We stayed there one night when I was detailed to guard a house for a week alone to protect the family and slaves from our soldiers who were determined to get even with the citizens for their [p.199] treatment of us on our retreat from the Fairgrounds where we lost all our bedding, knapsacks and other effects. When we came back we took what we could find of them. I relate this as one of the most excitable ones, until the Battle of Stone River, which occurred on the last day of 1862 and the first day of 1863, where I received a flesh wound in the leg. On Wednesday of the battle, and after 5 days left for Murfreesboro. In this battle I received a serious wound in my left ankle. I used my gun as a hop stick and got back into the cedars and stopped at a low place where a number of our wounded men were located.

The retreat of our army passed here and I was taken prisoner and sent back to Murfreesboro, put into an old house and given one-half a slap jack and a spoonful of beans twice a day for five days. Nothing had been done for my wound and it had swollen so bad I had to cut the sore and I wrapped it in a canvas. When our troops came I was paroled and put in a hospital as blood poison had set in and it was only by the skill of our regimental physician that my foot was saved. I was sent to Nashville, Tenn. for three weeks and from there to camp Dennison where I remained for about 7 months on crutches until my wound healed. It was called a fatal wound. I kept the bullet I was wounded with until I left home to come west in 1866. When I returned to my regiment we only had about 6 months more to serve and on account of my lameness, I was excused from my expeditions, and spent my time at camp duty. I worked on some buildings, shoed horses and mules and was allowed 25¢ per hour as extra pay. When our time was up we were sent to Camp Chase, Ohio, and honorably discharged on the 9th day of Nov. 1864, having served 3 years and two months. I spent the next few years teaching and going to school.

To Utah as a Freighter
I taught school in Linden, Atchison Co. for 10 weeks at $40.00 per month and board. I decided to go west and in company with a man named James McAdams started for Montana to work out a mining claim. We went to Omaha, Neb., where we boarded the railroad train and went as far as North Platte where we decided to wait for a Mormon outfit we had heard was coming from Salt Lake City. We waited there for three weeks doing odd jobs that we could find to do to pay our expenses. The outfit from Salt Lake came and we got a job to drive with them. McAdams was to drive an 8-mule team for Wm. H. Streeper of Centerville and I had a six-mule team for Judson L. Stoddard at $30.00 per month and board. We loaded up with merchandise for Kimball and Lawrence of Salt Lake City. Seven Indians came down out of a gulch and drove the whole band of mules off before we could stop them, leaving us afoot. We tried to get our mules back but there were too many Indians for us, so we [p.200] waited for 6 or 8 days at Julesburg, when we were able to get some cattle to bring our wagons on to Salt Lake. I had 4 yoke and 8 oxen in my team; we reached Salt Lake without any more serious trouble in very good time. We reached Farmington Sept. 3, 1867; Stoddard could not pay me so I stayed in Farmington that winter where I became acquainted with John S. Gleason, a very good Mormon and brother-in-law of Stoddard. They had married sisters. I became very well acquainted with him and talked a lot about religion and especially about Mormonism. I undertook to argue with him but found him well posted on the Bible and his religion. Later I became acquainted with his daughter Louisa for whom I formed an attachment, which she returned for me and on the 29th of Jan., 1869, we were married in Judson L. Stoddard's kitchen. Father Gleason performed the ceremony and I don't think one of us ever regretted it in the 33 years we lived together.

In the summer of 1869 we bought some furniture and rented a two-room house of Morgan Hinman on Big Creek in Farmington. We lived there until Sept. when we moved into two rooms of the O. L. Robinson home just across the street from Father and Mother Gleason where we were living when our first child, a son L. H. Jr. (Louis) was born. Father Gleason kept preaching Mormonism to me until I became convinced of its truthfulness and in the winter of 1869 I was baptized by Father Gleason and confirmed a member of the Church by Jacob Miller. I did not receive any very great manifestations, but felt that I had done the right thing and my mind was at ease and has been always since. I taught school in Farmington for a number of years. I also worked at the blacksmith shop with Telemacus Rogers.

Source: Our Pioneer Heritage © Carter, Kate B., ed. 20 vols. Salt Lake City: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Documents and images are exerpted by permission from the LDS Family History Suite CDROM from Ancestry.