|Company K " The Cowling Videttes " History|
| Civil War Monument
surrounded by Civil War soldiers' markers,
Oak Hill Cemetery, London, Ohio
Company K was comprised primarily of soldiers from Madison County, Ohio. Most of the soldiers were from the London area. A primarily rural area with sparse population ( even today ), most of the soldiers who enlisted were farmers or related trades. The recruited company was organized by W. H. Squires and the recruitees went to Camp Chase on July 22, 1861; and the following day, the company was given the designation Company K of the 26th OVI. In a few short weeks, along with their fellow regiment brothers, the Company K was enroute to Western Virginia.
Company K was known as the " Cowling Videttes". Richard Cowling, who was self described as an english patriot, was a leading citizen of London and was greatly involved in the formation of Company K.
[ a vidette is a leading sentinel in front of pickets ]
Surprisingly, many of the Company K died early on in the war during the Western Virginia campaign.
Many of the Company K are buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, near London in a circular formation around a beautiful 20 ft monument with a statute of a soldier which reads, " Erected to the Memory of the Fallen Soldiers by R. Cowling The English Patriot, 1871." ( see photo above) Richard Cowling is buried adjacent to the circular formation for the company K soldiers, along with his family and their family burial site is marked with a 20 ft high obelisk.
A summary in the History of Madison County, Ohio conveys the atmosphere surrounding the inception of Company K. Source: The History of Madison County, Ohio P. 490-491
"Two days after the fall of Fort Sumter, and immediately after the receipt of the proclamation of President Lincoln for 75,000 volunteers, a meeting of the citizens of London was held in the town hall, which was organized by calling R. W. Smith to the chair and appointing A. Downing Secretary. On taking the chair, Mr. Smith addressed the meeting in a few appropriate remarks. He was followed by Dr. A. Toland, Col. P. W. Taylor, William Jones, George Lincoln. W. H. Squires [ who served as the captain of the company], John McGaffey and several other citizens, in patriotic speaches. Richard Cowling. Dr. Toland and William Jones were appointed a committee to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting. Col. Taylor read his. orders from the Adjutant General to proceed in enrolling a company of volunteers, and also the general orders from the same officer. A call was made for volunteers. but none answered at the time. A. Downing was authorized to enroll all volunteers who should subsequently make application. The committee reported the following resolutions:
WHEREAS, The flag of our country having been dishonored By traitors we deem it our duty to defend that flag at the risk of our lives : therefore,
Resolved, That the citizens of Madison County, as much as they deplore the strife and disunion in our land, they will still cling to the union of these States. and by every honorable means in their power endeavor to maintain their integrity.
Resolved, That they will try to sustain the General Government ; it maintaining its authority in enforcing the laws and upholding the flag of the Union.
The resolutions after reading were unanimously adopted, and the meeting adjourned after three hearty cheers for the flag of the country.
The stars and stripes were raised above the court house on Monday, April 16. On Wednesday, a beautiful flag, made by the ladies of London, was raised above the academy building, on the occasion of which patriotic speeches were made by J. S. Burnham, J. D. Stine, Emery Smith and others. Another flag floated from the Toland warehouse, one from Peter Weber's, one from Van Wagner & Athey's grocery, one from the Cowling House and many smaller ones from several other business houses. Up to the 18th. about twenty young men had taken the required oath. and several other names had been received....
" The care of those whom the defenders of their country's honor left behind was gladly assumed by the citizens. A letter on this point from Richard Cowling to the County Treasurer, dated London, April 23, 1861. reads as follows:
"I have this day left with W. H. Chandler, County Treasurer, $1,000, to be applied to the comfort of the two volunteer companies that go from this place-one-half ($500) to be equally divided between the two companies, subject to the order of their Captains in trust for their respective companies. The other half ($500) to be applied to the care of the soldiers' families, under the direction of the following committee: W. H. Chandler, H. W. Smith. B. F. Clark. A. A. Hume. O. P. Crabb and W. H. Squires. The Government shall be sustained as long as I have a dollar." "
The original soldiers recruited were:
Captain, William H. Squires.
First Lieutenant, James R. Hume.
Second Lieutenant, James R. Warner.
Sergeant. Muses H. Wood Sergeant, John F. Martin.
Sergeant, Thomas S. Pennington.
Sergeant, Alexander Deam.
Sergeant, William L. Fickey.
Corporal. Erastus Guy.
Corporal, H. W. Rowland.
Corporal, Lucian Dungan.
Corporal, C. R. Warner.
Corporal, B. C. Putnam.
Corporal, George O'Brien.
Corporal, Benjamin F. Tyler.
Corporal. James Withrow.
Anderson, Marion. Busa, Conrad.
Anchaur, Charles. Burt, John F.
Bradley, John. Corcoran, Patrick.
Byers, John W. Carey, Mortimer.
Bryan, Brooke. Campbell, Curtis.
Bupp, George. Cisna, Samuel.
Benjamin. Herrick. Campbell, John.
Bidwell, Albert. Clingan, Alonzo P.
Bidwell, Elisha. Cordray, Noble A.
Bendervolt, Jacob Clingan, Andrew J.
Brooks, David D. Campbell, James.
Bussard, Peter. Chrisman, David R.
Dehaven, Joseph O. McDonald. lam.
Darst. Sylvanus. Nagley, William A.
Dennison. James. Powell. Robert E
Desalt, John. Peters, John.
Dennison, Philip. Phillips, Charles
Deihl, William. Porter, William
Durflinger, Virgil M. Powell, Samuel.
Ellison, Cladius C. Peppers, George W. R.
Eberly, John. Phillips. John.
Edwards, Jacob J. Rafferty, Joseph.
Flack. William H. Ray, Isaac W.
Flack, Peter. Robbins, Z. S.
Graham, Patrick. Rowland. Samuel.
Guy, Charles. Ray, Alfred.
Goodwin, John. Roper, James It.
Howsman, Charles. Sanford, Daniel B.
Holswager, Lewis. Swingle, S. G.
Holden, John. Saunders. C. W
Helms. John. Suver, William,
Hunter. James. Swigert, William.
Hutchison, Amos J. Sanford, Benjamin.
Howsman. James. Simpkins, Wayne.
Hand. Philip. Smith, George.
Holeycross. Andrew M. Selsor, Robert.
Jones, Albert S. Sellenbarger, Henry.
Johnson, Thomas. Steele, William.
Kern, Joseph. Showalter, David.
Landis, Emanuel. Sanford, James T.
Lynch, Travis. Tremor, James.
Lyda, William Treahern, James A.
Ladley, James, Timmons, William.
Lockwood, T. K. Wemes, George.
Mains, Isaac Wolf, James.
McLain, John. Wolford, Nathaniel.
Moore, John F. Wright. James M.
Mock. Able. Williams, George W
Moler, Jacob. Williams, Joseph.
More, James. Warren, Jonathan.
More, William D. Weaver, Ira.
Morris, Joseph P. Warner, Willis C.
Morse, Albert E. Williams. Francis M.
Teamster, Jerry Flynn.