On this Veterans Day we honor those who have served in our nation’s military. The Clerk’s Archives would like to thank those within our staff and within our community who took the oath to protect and defend our country.
This day also gives us a chance to reflect on the contributions of veterans of past wars who are no longer with us. The Clerk’s Archives contains the Enrollment registries for the years 1886 and 1890 of persons who served in Armies of the United States.
The registries were iniated by an Act of the Indiana State Legislature:
|An Act to enroll the late soldiers, their widows, and orphans, of the late armies of the Unites States, residing in the State of Indiana was approve don April 13, 1885, by the General Assembly of Indiana. Each Township Assessor was directed to enroll every person employed in the late armies of the United States, of the War of 1812, of the War of the United States with Mexico, of the War of 1861, of all wars of the United States with “Indian Tribes,” and other persons specified, at the time of taking lists of property for taxation.|
These registries are a record of veteran soldiers residing in the county, their widows, and their orphans. They record name, age, race, address, and military rank of soldiers, their type of service, company, letter, regiment number, cause of death if deceased, date and place of death, and names of wives, children, and other dependents.
They also list any wounds received in service, type of injury, and place of injury. Many were wounded during well known battles. Conrad Roth, shown above, was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3rd, 1863.
Most of the soldiers in the 1886 registry served in the armies of the Civil War. Veterans of the Mexican American War such as John Rothingatter, shown above, and veterans of the conflicts with Native American tribes are also accounted for.
The Enrollment forms also record information about African American soldiers who served in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War. Henry Royster and William Rowers are just two of the local men who served. According to the Civil War Trust, “By the end of the war, African-Americans accounted for 10% of the Union Army. 180,000 men — many former slaves — volunteered, a staggering 85% of the eligible population. Nearly 40,000 gave their lives for the cause. The USCT was a watershed in African-American history, and one of the first major strides towards equal civil rights.”