Jesse Mason  Co C, 26th OVI

We are the direct descendants  of Jesse Mason, field musician ( a drummer) ,  Co C of the 26th Ohio.  He enlisted at
the age of 18  in June, 1861.  He fought in the major battles of  Western Virginia, Shiloh, Corinth, Perryville, Stones
River, and Chickamauga, as well as the skirmishes at Lawrenceburg and McMinnville, TN.

He was captured at the Battle of Chickamauga on  either 9/19/1863 (most likely during  the fierce engagement at the
east Viniard Fields area ) or on 9/20/63 ( most likely after the rebel breakthrough at the Brotherton cabin).  As part of
his duties, he was also responsible for carrying wounded soldiers off the battle field to a field hospital.  He was most
likely captured performing this duty.  According to Colonel Young's Official Report, Jesse Mason, himself, may also
have been wounded at the time of his capture. ( Col Young writes that four musicians were wounded and captured on

Mason spent the remainder of the war incarcerated in  various rebel prisons including:  Libby (Richmond), Pemberton
(Richmond), Danville # 4 (Danville, Va), Camp Sumter (Andersonville, Ga), Charleston, SC, and finally, Florence, SC.

His repeated transfer from prison to prison was part of the Confederates attempt to move large numbers of Union
prisoners from areas of anticipated Union Army  movements.  The overriding concern for the Confederacy was if the
Union army could free large amounts of Union prisoners, this would be more than the rebels  could withstand at any

He was imprisoned at Andersonville from around April 21,  1864 to September, 1864 during the time of the most
crowded and deplorable conditions.  (During August, 1864, there were over 33,000 prisoners in a prison area with  
livable space of only 26 acres, or 1,270 prisoners per acre.)    He was there during the time of the Raiders' terrorizing
the prisoners, the Raiders' trial and hanging,  the flooding, and the lightning bolt that sprung Providence Spring.  He
was also there when over 100 prisoners were dying daily due to starvation, various diseases ( most commonly scurvy),
the  deplorable health conditions, the extreme weather conditions, and absence of any shelter from the weather.

He was released from the Florence prison in December, 1864  as a part of  the general release of 10,000 sick union
prisoners. He was transported to Camp Parole, Md.  He suffered from scurvy and dropsy.  He  was so emaciated  he was
unrecognizable by those who knew him well.  But he  survived the captivity and returned to Ohio and was honorably
discharged in January, 1865, a full 8 months beyond his 3 year enlistment.  (Source:  National Archives)

He returned to live in Morrow  County Ohio. Following Mary Bennett, his first wife's death, he remarried to Ida
Rhoton, and moved to Blackford County, Indiana, where he resided for a while.   He tried to return to his pre-war
avocation as a tanner, but the debilitating illnesses he acquired during captivity made gainful employment very
difficult.  He applied for the veterans pension authorized for Union veterans in 1870, and after several years of
bureaucratic hassles, he finally was granted the maximum pension allowed, $16 per month.  He died in 1916 from
heart disease.  He is buried in a family plot  with his first wife, Mary Bennett,  at the Ebenezer Cemetery, located on  
Rt 61 in Lincoln Twp, Morrow County, Ohio.

Bob Hill, great grandson
Jeff Hill, great, great grandson
      Jesse Mason, Co C
     Field Musician ( Drummer)
Jesse Mason is in the center in the second row.  Picture was likely taken in the early 1900's.  He is
pictured with his 2nd wife and children:  from left:  Jesse Mason, Jr., Alena Mason Rhoton, Arna
Jesse, Iverson Mason, Ida Mason ( his 2nd wife), and Dorsey Mason.
Jesse Mason  Part 2
Jesse Mason's Affadavit  Page 3
Jesse Mason's Obituary  Page 4
Blackford County, Indiana Civil War Monument