The Civil War of
Wayne Family History
The Civil War was the most devastating single event in the history of the United States. Though the fighting, intense and destuctive as it was, took place almost entirely in the southeastern part of the nation, many who lived far from area had their lives changed by the war.
Lewis and Nancy had five sons, and four of these, with their father, joined the Wisconsin Volunteers. Though they all served in Company K, 12th Regiment Wisconsin Infantry, they had not signed up together. Lewis and son Nathaniel enlisted on September 7, 1861, with Lewis given the rank of sergeant. Frank joined on September 28, and William G. and Samuel P. on October 1. All the sons were Privates.
Lewis Wayne was not present when Company K was mustered out. He had been officially discarged on March 17, 1863, on account of disability. His Certificate of Disability for Discharge speaks vividly. The officer in charge stated that "during the last two months said soldier has been unfit for duty 40 days. In further certify that he is suffering from gradually increasing debility arising from old age and sleeping on the ground. Also a lameness of the left leg caused by slipping on ice while on a march from Quincy, IL to Hannibal MO on the 13th day of January 1862."
In the Certificate the surgeon in charge testified that "I have carefully examined the said Sergeant Lewis Wayne of Captain D.R. Sylvesters Company, and find him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of old age & its effects, loss of physical vigor, muscular debility, impaired eye sight with chronic Rheumatism whenever exposed to vicissitudes of weather incident to military service rendeing him incapable of marching."
And so Lewis went home to Marietta, but he apparently never fully revovered his health. Twenty years later, when government provided pensions for its war venterans, Nancy Waynes's application for a widow's pension tells how the war experience had affected Lewis. In her application of January 17, 1883, friend S. S. Ferrel made the following affidavit in support of Nancy's claim:
That previous to enlistment of Lewis Wayne he was a strong healthy man. That on or about Sept. 20 A.D. 1861 affiant enlisted at the same time as did the deceased. That while on the march from Quincy, IL to Douglasville, on or about Jan. 14th A.D. 1862 deceased slipped and fell on the ice thereby injuring his hip and knees, also from exposure while in the service he becam generally debilitated. That affiant was present at his death about March 1st A.D. 1868. Dr. Cannon family physician told me that deceased could not live and that the exposure during his service in the army had caused the complicated disease of his lungs and nerves which killed him.
A year later, on Sept. 3, 1884, Mr. Ferrel made another statement in support of Nancy's still pending claim, with an even more graphic description of his friend's affliction and death.
The state of medicine was not sufficiently advanced then to identify the causes of infirmities such as those for which Lewis was dischared from military service. So we cannot be sure that the war was responsible for his ailments and eventual death. But it is clear that Lewis him self and those who knew him had no doubt in this matter.
At least two of Lewis' sons also filed claims of disability with the government. In the cause of William G., who was 27 when the war ended in 1865, he himself never received any compensation by the time of his death in 1872 at age 34. The year before he died he had rquested a pension for war-related injuries.
We must rember that such pension were made in an attempt to obtain income from the goverment, and that no doubt the strongest case possible would be presented. But William's service records do corroborate his claim to the extent that he as listed as sick at least three times: at LaGrange, Tennessee, at St. Louis, Missouri, and at Marietta, Georgia. In any event, he died before receiving any payment, and his widow was left to request support for herself and her six minor children.
William had been married to Mary Ann Chamberlain at Boscobel on December 26, 1858, by William S. Bailey, Justice of the Peace. Their first son, Charles Lewis, was born before the war, on October 22, 1859. The sceond son, William N., was born less than six months after his father's enlistment on Febuary 17, 1862, Frank on Aug. 6, 1870, and Ira on Nov. 14, 1872. Note that this last son was born five months after his father's death on June 9.
At the time of William's death, Mary Ann Was 33 years old and had six young children to support. Her father-in- law had died earlier, and we have no evidence that there were any Chamberlain relatives nearby who could help her. A month after the birth of the last child, she petitioned the goverment for aid for herself and her children.
I will carry the story of Mary Ann to its conclusion here, through this takes us somewhat ahead of our chronology. The government did provide her with support for herself and the six boys. When she remarried in 1874, William Hubanks, her own pension ceased, but she continued to recive aid for her minor children.
Her second husband died on May 10, 1907, leaving no property, and having had no insurance. Left in difficult straits again, and now 69 years old, she petitoned the goverment to restate her pension from William G. Wayne.
Her pension reinstatment was granted, and when she died on June 23, 1912 she was receiving $12 a month from the government. Her grandson Lee Hubanks recalls that she was known as "a great mother and friend to all her neighbors ."
To return to the Civil War veterans themselves , Nathaniel L. Wayne was also awarded a pension for a disability, but I do not have the government records which give the details.
At least one other Wayne served in the Civil War, Milton H. Wayne, son of William and grandson of Nathaniel. He served in Company A of the 20th Infantry of Wisconsin Volunteers. I have no additional information about him.
This concludes the story of the family's signigicant involvement in the Civil War. As a kind of lifetime recollection from that time, we have a most interesting memoir by Nancy Redmon Wayne, written about 1883, when she was 73 year old, as quoted in the Crawford County history.
Mitchel Wayne, 11/3/99
Information from a Wayne family history book
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