Brigadier General: Henry Steel COMMAGER. 


 Brigadier General: Henry Steel COMMAGER.

Born: 1812. Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Married: 1842. Maumee,Lucas, Ohio.

Wife: Hannah Sophia Commager. nee: Hedges. (1814-1849)

Died: 1867. Galveston, Texas.

Father: Gerard Jean Commagere. (1796-17..)

Mother: Abigail Commagere. nee: Steel.(1798-17..)

Enlisted 4/22/1861 as a Private in Company A, 14th Ohio Infantry, promoted to Sergeant Major 7/1/1861, mustered out 8/13/1861 at Toledo, OH. Enlisted 10/8/1861 as Captain of Company A, 67th Ohio Infantry, promoted to Major 7/29/1862, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel 8/28/1862, wounded 7/18/1863 at the assault on Fort Wagner, discharged for promotion 2/22/1865. Re-enlisted 2/22/1865 as Colonel of 184th Ohio Infantry, promoted to Brigadier General 2/27/1865, mustered out 9/20/1865 at Nashville, TN. Born in Lancaster, PA, died 8/14/1867 in Galveston, TX.

Toledo Blade- 3/15/1864, 6/3/1864

The British Surrenderat Yorktown, 1781

In the summer of 1781, after six years of war, the American Army was struggling. The British occupied New York City. A second British army lead by General Lord Cornwallis ravaged the South - capturing Charleston, Richmond, and apparently was heading for the Chesapeake Bay. Mutiny plagued the American army in New York and New Jersey. There was a glimmer of hope, however. The French, allied with the Americans since 1778, had landed six thousand troops in Rhode Island while the French fleet gathered in the Caribbean preparing to do battle with the British. General George Washington and the French commander, Comte de Rochambeau, met in May 1781 to plan their strategy. Washington wanted to attack the British in New York City. Rochambeau, fearful of attacking such a well fortified position and lacking confidence in the Continental Army's abilities, recommended marching south to battle Cornwallis in Virginia. Washington finally acquiesced to the French position and on August 22, the two armies began their march from White Plains, New York to Virginia arriving in early September. As the combined American and French armies marched south, a battle between the French and British fleets in the Chesapeake Bay sealed the fate of General Cornwallis and his British troops at Yorktown. In the period from September 5 - 9, the French surprised the British fleet at the mouth of the Chesapeake forcing the British navy to retreat to New York, leaving General Cornwallis stranded. After a five-day bombardment, the combined American and French forces attacked and overwhelmed Cornwallis's fortified position on the night of October 14. The British commander was left with no choice but to surrender, which he did on October 19. News of the surrender reached England on November 25 sending shock waves through the British government. Although King George III wanted to continue the battle, the surrender forced Prime Minister Lord North to resign in March 1782. His replacement began the peace process that culminated in the signing of the Treaty of Paris in September 1783 granting independence to the American colonies.


"The World Turned Upside Down"

General Cornwallis did not attend the surrender ceremony saying that he was not feeling well. His substitute, General O'Hara, first tried to surrender to the Comte de Rochambeau who directed the British officer to General Washington who in turn directed him to Washington's subordinate General Lincoln. During the ceremony a British band played the song "The World Turned Upside Down." Dr. James Thacher served with the Continental Army and published his account of the surrender some years later: "At about twelve o'clock, the combined army was arranged and drawn up in two lines extending more than a mile in length. The Americans were drawn up in a line on the right side of the road, and the French occupied the left. At the head of the former, the great American commander [George Washington], mounted on his noble courser, took his station, attended by his aides. At the head of the latter was posted the excellent Count Rochambeau and his suite. The French troops, in complete uniform, displayed a martial and noble appearance; their bands of music, of which the timbrel formed a part, is a delightful novelty, and produced while marching to the ground a most enchanting effect. The Americans, though not all in uniform, nor their dress so neat, yet exhibited an erect, soldierly air, and every countenance beamed with satisfaction and joy. The concourse of spectators from the country was prodigious, in point of numbers was probably equal to the military, but universal silence and order prevailed. It was about two o'clock when the captive army advanced through the line formed for their reception. Every eye was prepared to gaze on Lord Cornwallis, the object of peculiar interest and solicitude; but he disappointed our anxious expectations; pretending indisposition, he made General O'Hara his substitute as the leader of his army. This officer was followed by the conquered troops in a slow and solemn step, with shouldered arms, colors cased and drums beating a British march. Having arrived at the head of the line, General O'Hara, elegantly mounted, advanced to his excellency the commander-in-chief, taking off his hat, and apologized for the non-appearance of Earl Cornwallis. With his usual dignity and politeness, his excellency pointed to Major-General Lincoln for directions, by whom the British army was conducted into a spacious field, where it was intended they should ground their arms. The royal troops, while marching through the line formed by the allied army, exhibited a decent and neat appearance, as respects arms and clothing, for their commander opened his store and directed every soldier to be furnished with a new suit complete, prior to the capitulation. But in their line of march we remarked a disorderly and unsoldierly conduct, their step was irregular, and their ranks frequently broken. But it was in the field, when they came to the last act of the drama, that the spirit and pride of the British soldier was put to the severest test: here their mortification could not be concealed. Some of the platoon officers appeared to be exceedingly chagrined when giving the word "ground arms," and I am a witness that they performed this duty in a very unofficer-like manner; and that many of the soldiers manifested a sullen temper, throwing their arms on the pile with violence, as if determined to render them useless. This irregularity, however, was checked by the authority of General Lincoln. After having grounded their arms and divested themselves of their accouterments, the captive troops were conducted back to Yorktown and guarded by our troops till they could be removed to the place of their destination." References: Cook, Don, The Long Fuse: How England Lost the American Colonies, 1760-1785 (1996); Thacher, James, M.D., A Military Journal During the American Revolutionary War, from 1775-1783 (1827) excerpted in Commager, Henry Steele and Richard Morris (ed.), The Spirit of 'Seventy Six v. 2 (1958).

67th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
This regiment had its rise in the consolidation of two partly organized regiments the Forty-Fifth and the Sixty-Seventh. The regiment left Columbus, Ohio, for the field January 19, 1862, going into Western Virginia, under General Lander. With the exception of a march to Bloomrey Gap, the greater portion of the month of February was spent at Paw Paw Tunnel. On the 5th of March the regiment moved to Winchester, General Shields commanding the division, where skirmishing was frequent, on the picket-line, with Ashby's cavalry. On the afternoon of March 22d the regiment reported to General Banks in Winchester, and soon engaged the enemy, driving them till past nightfall, as far south as Kearnstown. The regiment lay on their arms all night, and on the next morning were the first to engage the enemy. After the infantry fighting had been fairly opened the Sixty-Seventh was ordered to re-enforce General Tyler's brigade; to do which it was necessary to pass over an open field for three-fourths of a mile, exposed to the enemy's fire. The regiment executed the movement on the double-quick, and came into action in splendid order. The regiment lost in this action fifteen killed and thirty-two wounded. Until the last of the next June the Sixty-Seventh endured the hardships of marches up and down the valley, over the mountains and back again, from the Potomac to Harrisonburg, from Front Royal to Fredericksburg, from Fredericksburg to Manassas, from Manassas to Port Republic, and from Port Republic to Alexandria. On the 29th of June the regiment embarked on steamer Herald and barge Delaware and started for the James to re-enforce General McClellan. In the night of the 30th, when near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, in a heavy gale, the hawser by which the barge was towed parted, leaving the barge to toss about in the trough of the sea. Men, horses, arms, and camp and garrison equipage, were carried overboard and lost, and it was nearly an hour before the steamer was able to return to the barge. At Harrison s Landing the regiment campaigned with the Army of the Potomac till the evacuation of the Peninsula, when it went to Suffolk, Virginia, with only three hundred men for duty out of the eight hundred and fifty which composed the regiment at the organization. While here the regiment enjoyed its first opportunity for rest and drill; and in the last of December was transferred to North Carolina, and then to Hilton Head, where it arrived February 1, 1863. The regiment shared in the Charleston expedition, landing on Cole's Island on the 2d of April. For seven months the regiment heroically endured all the hardships, privations, and dangers of the siege, taking part in the attack on Fort Wagner, and sustaining a heavy loss. It was at last relieved and allowed a few days rest preparatory to an expedition into Florida. The regiment re-enlisted, and returned to Ohio February, 1864. At the expiration of their furloughs the soldiers of the Sixty-Seventh returned to the field, reaching Bermuda Hundred, Virginia, under General Butler, on the 6th of May, 1864. On the 9th of May the Sixty-Seventh was detached to guard the right flank of the Tenth Corps, that had gone to the railroad at Chester Station to destroy it from there to Petersburg. A section of artillery was sent with the regiment, and they were placed on the turnpike from Richmond to Petersburg, about eleven miles from the former place, with orders to hold the position at all hazards. During the night re-enforcements arrived, and next morning the Rebels made a general attack upon them. The Sixty-Seventh maintained its position from first to last, presenting an unbroken front to four successive charges. A section of our artillery, for a short time, fell into the hands of the enemy, but was recaptured by a portion of company F. The 10th of May, 1864, will always be remembered, as a sad but glorious day, by the Sixty-Seventh. Seventy-six officers and men were killed and wounded in that battle. On the 20th of May, a portion of our lines having fallen into the hands of the Rebels, the Sixty-Seventh, with other regiments, was designated to recapture it, which they did by a charge, in which the regiment lost sixty-nine officers and men killed and wounded. The Rebel General W.H.S. Walker was wounded and captured, his sword passing into the hands of Colonel Voris as a trophy. On the 16th of August four companies of the Sixty-Seventh charged the rifle-pits of the enemy at Deep River, and at the first volley lost a third of their men; but before the Rebels could reload the rifle-pits were in our possession. On the 7th, 13th, 27th, and 28th of October the regiment engaged the enemy, with a loss of over one hundred men. During the spring, summer, and fall of 1864 the Sixty-Seventh confronted the enemy, at all times within range of their guns; and it is said, by officers competent to judge, that during the year it was under fire two hundred times. No movement was without danger; firing was kept up for days, and men wore their accouterments for weeks at a time. Out of over six hundred muskets taken to the front in the spring, three-fifths were laid aside during the year on account of casualties. In the spring of 1865 the Sixty-Seventh participated in the assault on the Rebel works below Petersburg; on the 2d of April was foremost in the charge on Fort Gregg, and at Appomattox C.H. was in at the death, bearing her battle-flag proudly in the last fight our forces made against the Army of Northern Virginia On the 5th of May the regiment reported to General Voris, commanding the District of South Anna, Virginia, and garrisoned that portion of the State till December, 1865. In the meantime the Sixty-Second Ohio was consolidated with the Sixty-Seventh, the latter regiment retaining its organization. The Sixty-Seventh was mustered out of the service on the 12th of December, 1865. From: Ohio in the War By Whitelaw Reid Moore, Wilstach and Baldwin Cincinnati Ohio 1868

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Military Records
Under Construction; 19/07/2012-22/12/2013.


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