|Sgt. Josephus F Doty (JF) Co. C|
Sgt. Josephus F Doty, Co C kept a diary during a major part of his enlistment period. His diary provides daily recollections of his experiences. Based on part of his diary, writer David Jardine has written two excellent historical fiction novels that bring to life the possible experiences of the common soldier in co. C of the 26th Ohio. His books are entitled, The Emancipation of Jonah Hommen ( 2000, Unlimited Publishing), and Jonah's War ( in manuscript only - 6/07).
Sgt. J F Doty enlisted on 6/15/61 and he was mustered out on 7/25/64 at the expiration of his 3 year service.
Sgt. Doty's diary began Monday, Feb. 17th, 1862:
" I left Ashley Delaware Co Ohio for the 26th Ohio Regt.- arrived at Columbus at 1 oclock P.M. remaind there the rest of the day." For the following year, he recorded his observations on nearly a daily basis.
The last recording of his diary is Monday Feb. 16th 1863 ( exactly one year later ). The entry reads simply: " We went a foreging, started at 7 1/2 P.M. went to the river and could not corss and had to go to another ford. We had a hard march and got back to camp at 8 p.m."
For a reason not yet known, his diary did not begin with his enlistment and ends in Feb. 1863, a year and 5 months before the expiration of his enlistment. At this point , there has not been found a diary to detail the remaining time of his enlistment. Zccording to Mr. Jardine, the original diary was written in a booklet, so there is the possibility that other booklets still exist chroniloging JF Doty's remaining enlistement involvement.
Sgt Doty was wounded on September 19, 1863 at the Viniard Fields battle of the Battle of Chickamauga. Though there does not exist, as far as we know, diary entries that recount this event, his pension records provide evidence of what occurred that fateful day. David Jardine recounts in vivid detail what transpired in his book, Jonah's War . In brief, he was shot in the left thigh and calf. He saved himself from bleeding to death by covering his wounds with paste he fashioned from saddle soap he retrieved from the saddle bag of a Confederate soldier whose horse was killed right above him.
At the end of the day's fighting, he was retrieved from the Viniard Field and taken to a field hospital located to the northwest in an area known as Dyer Field. The next day, he was transported to a tent hospital in Chattanooga where he began a long period of recovery. Surprisingly, the surgeon decided not to amputate his left leg. His pension affadavit was sworn to by his fellow company C soldiers, Elias Cole and John Shoemaker, as witnesses.
After the war, JF Doty became involved in the 26th OVI's veteran association, known as the 26th Ohio Association. In 1880, he served on the executive committee, and in 1884 was elected president of the Association. In 1885, he moved to Kansas and he declined reelection.
He is buried under a military marker at the Ashley Union Cemetery, Ashley, Ohio.