Born Wednesday, Aug. 26, to Mr. and Mrs. Marion Hay, a boy. (The Astoria Argus, Thursday, September 3, 1891, submitted by Janine Crandell)
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Born Saturday eve, Sept 5th, to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Harmon, of Sheldons' Grove, a son. (The Astoria Argus, Thursday, September 10, 1891, submitted by Janine Crandell)
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Saturday, Aug. 29, to Mr. and Mrs. Lee Moore, a girl. (The Astoria Argus, Thursday, September 3, 1891, submitted by Janine Crandell)
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On Saturday August 4, to Mr. and Mrs. Walter Decker, of Breeds, a son. (The Cuba Journal, Thursday, August 16, 1900, submitted by Janine Crandell)
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Born -- Nov. 29, to Edward Harris and wife of Peoria, a son, William Frank. (The Fulton Democrat, Wednesday, December 2, 1914, submitted by Janine Crandell)
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An eleven-pound boy was born to Mr. and Mrs. Will Chapman yesterday. (Canton Register, Thursday, January 12, 1888, submitted by Janine Crandell)
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MAPLE'S MILL: Born to Mr. and Mrs. Lyman Lillie, Sunday, a girl. (Canton Register, Thursday, June 6, 1889, submitted by Janine Crandell)
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Born March 11 to Mr. and Mrs. Willam H. Laws, a Harrison boy. (Canton Register, Thursday, March 20, 1890, submitted by Janine Crandell)
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FIATT - Born to Mr. and Mrs. S. T. Abbott, a daughter. (Canton Register, Thursday, March 20, 1890, submitted by Janine Crandell)
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MAJOR J. R. HERRING
Celebration on Thursday Evening of Eighty-fourth Anniversary of His Birthday.
SURPRISED BY COMRADES
Gallant Old Veteran of Civil War—Something of His Record—Biographical Sketch.
On Thursday, Major J. R. Herring rounded out his eighty-fourth year of life—a life whose story is of noble service for his country in her hour of need—a life useful and honorable always, in war and in peace.
The comrades of the Grand Army of the Republic could not let the day go by uncelebrated. They accordingly formed line and marched, with military tread and under military command, to the home of the major, on South Main street. He went to the door and was called on to surrender. Although this night attack was a complete surprise, as always he was equal to the emergency, and permitted them to enter his home and take possession on their mission of peace and good cheer.
A pleasant social time followed, and then his daughter, Mrs. Resor, assisted by friends, served refreshments—for she had been apprised of the coming. He rations were of a more dainty kind than they had in the service in the sixties, for they consisted of ice cream and cake. But they had “Old Glory” before them, for the lunch cloths bore the emblem of the stars and stripes.
When the tables were being spread the waiters were told to be short of spoons and not to give the major one, and they proceeded to present him with a handsome silver spoon engraved appropriately with his name and the date.
There was also a wonderful birthday cake cut. It had the letters “G. A. R.” and the major’s initials and age inscribed on it.
After refreshments, H. H. Orendorff, on behalf of the comrades, presented the major with a pocketbook. Then “Marching Through Georgia” and other songs were sung with a will—the Rev. A. R. Morgan leading, and Mrs. Resor at the piano.
It was, all in all, a most happy event, the old soldiers
taking real, delight in honoring their veteran comrade.
With each recurring thirtieth of May, Major Joseph R. Herring rides at the head of the procession, a she has done since Memorial day was instituted. As he rides, erect and firm—his horse prancing and curveting, so proud is he to bear so brave a hero—every man, woman and child in the town knows and admires the gallant major.
Yet so modest is he that few have heard his brave deeds recounted. Few know that he had part in the famous “Grierson’s raid,” and for distinguished service in this raid was detailed by General Grierson to lead the advance on Port Hudson, La., with an army of 80,000 men.
But we are getting ahead of our story. The REGISTER’S
portfolio of biographies would be incomplete without a detailed sketch of the
life of this grand old veteran.
Joseph R. Herring was born in Baltimore, Md., Aug. 18, 1820. His grandfather and grandmother were natives of Scotland and at the time of the revolution, in 1794, they had to leave because of their political opinions, so came to America and settled in Maryland on a spot known to this day as “Herring’s run.”
The major’s father, Thomas Herring, was born after they came to America, and he became a sailor. He was one of the six young men whom the attempt to press into the British service precipitated the war of 1812. They had just sailed out beyond the capes at Baltimore when their vessel was overhauled by a Britisher. The six young men were captured and taken on board the British ship. They acknowledged that their parents were Scotch or Irish, but they were born in this country, and they swore to one another that they would never raise hands in the English service. They were punished in every way, and finally sent to Halifax as prisoners. While there they saw an opportunity to escape. It was very risky, but they made the attempt. They captured the guard and bound him, and after gathering provisions and a keg of water they put to sea in an open boat. They were out five days and five nights, when they were picked up by a Portuguese merchant vessel going to Boston, and they were landed in Boston about the time of the declaration of war with England, and all six young men enlisted under Commodore Decatur and went on board the old Constitution. Thomas Herring became boatsman’s mate, or sailing master, and for meritorious service under Decatur was presented with his own portrait, painted in his naval uniform. It was painted on ivory and framed in a handsome frame surmounted by an eagle.
Such was the major’s father, and it is small wonder that the major is every inch a soldier and he preserves sacredly the portrait of his father in his military uniform, although it is now defaced. His parents never heard of Thomas Herring from the time he shipped from Baltimore until the war of 1812 was over, when he returned home. He married Hannah Burnett, of Richmond, Va., and he went to Baltimore to live, and it was here that the major was born. Thomas Herring was killed on a whaling cruise while rounding Cape Horn.
Young Joseph thought to follow the sea as his father had before him, but he had an aunt who advised him very earnestly against it, telling him it was nothing but a dog’s life, and she advised him to come west with his stepfather—for his mother had married for her second husband Richard L. Moran, sr., father of Richard L. Moran, jr., and grandfather of H. C. Moran, of this city. He took this advice, and came west with Richard Moran in 1835, when he was a boy of 15.
They went first to Springfield, and thought of settling in Sangamon county, but in about a month came to Fulton county. He lived with and served Mr. Moran until he reached his majority, when he set out for himself, and finally came to own the very tract of land on which Mr. Moran settled when he came to Fulton county.
He was also united in marriage with Mr. Moran’s daughter. She had been married and widowed, and was Mrs. Margaret Moran McKenzie. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Herring, all of whom are living: Mrs. Hannah Stockbarger, of Moulton Iowa; H. N. Herring, who lives on the homestead near Civer; Mrs. Josephine H. Resor, of Canton, and Mrs. C. H. Barnhard, living southwest of town.
The major has nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. The great-grandchildren are Marguerite and Gwendolen Herring, daughters of Horace Herring; Earl and Blanche Stansbury, of Moulton, Iowa, and the little daughter of Josephine Herring Snively, of Cuba.
In 1887, the major was called to mourn the death of his wife.
She was a woman of fine, strong character, and a genuine helpmeet.
As was stated in the outset, few have heard the story of the major’s army life, and few know what a gallant hero he was. In 1861 he enlisted in the Seventh Illinois cavalry, and assisted Captain H. C. Nelson, who lived southeast of town, in raising the company. He went out as lieutenant, under Captain Nelson. When Captain Nelson was raised to the rank of major, the lieutenant was made captain, and when Major Nelson resigned, Captain Herring was raised to the rank of major.
Lieutenant Herring started out with General Grant from Cairo. He received his first introduction to war at New Madrid, Mo. He became further acquainted with the grim monster at Island Number Ten, and at Pittsburg Landing. He was destined to experience to the full all its horrors, for in May, 1862, while advancing on Corinth, he received a wound through his left arm and across his breast. On July 4, of the same year, he received a bullet wound in his leg and he carries the bullet to this day. In November, 1862, he was wounded a third time, near Somerville, Tenn., and this time he was sent home, as he was thought to be wounded worse than it proved; but he was back in the service again at the end of four weeks. Five scars and three bullets the major bears as reminders of the struggle in the dark days of the sixties.
The major was under General Thomas in the battle of Nashville,
but it is in Grierson’s raid that he most distinguished himself.
They started April 17, 1863, from LaGrange, Tenn.—two regiments of cavalry, the Sixth and the Seventh—under Colonel Grierson. They swept southward through the interior of Mississippi, breaking the enemy’s communication, destroying railroad bridges and rolling stock and military supplies, thus aiding Grant’s operations at Vicksburg. They reached Baton Rouge May 2, having traversed 600 miles of hostile territory in little more than two weeks. They started without a change of clothing and with 10 days rations of coffee and salt and three days’ rations of hard tack. They were never in a house nor a tent for 16 days and nights, and depended for change of clothing, and for supplies when they ran out, on what they captured. They were a motley company when they reached Baton Rouge, with the prisoners they had taken about 3,000 negroes which hade joined themselves to them during the expedition. They were greatly lionized in Baton Rouge, being paraded and made much of.
They remained at Baton Rouge until General Banks surrounded Port Hudson. He crossed the river from the north of port Hudson and Grierson’s army went from the south to meet him. General Grierson asked Major Herring if he would lead the advance on Port Hudson, and the major replied that he would consider it a great honor. He accordingly led the army of 30,000 men. Eight of the 14 miles of the road to Port Hudson was through cane brakes—but let the major tell it in his own words.
“It was the prettiest piece of road I ever put my eyes on. It was made with sand, and 100 feet wide. We had to go very slow, as the flankers could not get along well, on account of the thickness and length of the cane stalks, which would trip them up, and they had to cut their way through with their sabers. When we got nearly through I thought I saw an obstruction and I discovered an ambush and several pieces of artillery. I sent word back to General Grierson. He ordered us to move slowly until we got to the high grounds. The artillery opened fire, and our men just parted and let the balls go through; then the flankers on our side opened up a fire and the rebels jerked up their pieces of artillery, and away they went back to Port Hudson.
“We proceeded until we met General Banks, and you never heard such a shout in your life when the armies met.
“We lay there through the month of June and besieged Port Hudson, which was closed from north and south, and our gunboats lay down the river.
“Vicksburg surrendered to Grant July 4, 1863, and July 8, Port Hudson surrendered, after a battle. It was in this battle that CF. T. Coleman lost his arm, though we were not then acquainted—he being in the eastern army and I in the western.
During our stay we discovered two Confederate steamers in Sand
creek. General Banks promised us that if we ever went up the Mississippi, we
should go in those boats, and he was as good as his word. Our men slipped in and
captured them and they did go up the river in the boats to Vicksburg, for after
its fall the river was open—to use Lincoln’s words: ‘The Father of Waters goes
unvexed to the sea.’”
In speaking of his early recollections, the major said that he saw the Marquis de LaFayette. He remembers that his mother held him up on her shoulder that he might see the great man pass. It was on the fourth of July—80 years ago.
He also saw the first stone of the first regularly organized railroad laid—that of the Baltimore and Ohio. It was laid at Baltimore by Charles Carroll, of Carrollton—one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
The major is a member of no organization but that of the Grand Army of the Republic. At the meeting of Joe Hooker post his presence is prized, and he is a valued member.
His martial figure seems well nigh as essential a portion of
the Memorial day procession as the band itself. The very children know and honor
him. A child said to him one day: “I had you in my Sunday school lesson, last
Sunday.” Questioning brought out the fact that the teacher, in giving an
illustration, had taken the major as an example of a soldier. Soon after
Memorial day the small boys look the horse all over in silent admiration as he
stands hitched to the phaeton—the horse who rises to the occasion on decoration
days and prances and dances, but when he is retired once more to private life is
the staid, solemn animal who never turns a hairbreadth from his appointed way.
Twenty-two years ago the major retired from the farm and bought the home on South Main street where he now lives, and here he is receiving congratulations that he has attained his eighty-fourth birthday anniversary. He is loved and honored by a people who appreciate his service for their country, and who admire the soldier and the man—bold as a lion on the battlefield but genial and kindly in times of peace, and of sturdy integrity. A whole community joins in the wish that ‘lightly down may fall time’s snowflakes’ upon the head of the fine old warrior.
(CANTON WEEKLY REGISTER, Aug. 25, 1904, submitted by J. Crandell, transcribed by Danni Hopkins)
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