Announcement of the History of the 31st Indiana Volunteer Infantry's Regimental History
Transcribed from a copy of the
Wabash Express Newspaper, Terre Haute, Indiana
[parenthesis indicates correction]



Was So Determined at meeting of Commit-
tees From the Companies in This
City Yesterday;




At the State Encampment at Columbus –

Sketch of the History of the


             The representatives of the Thirty-first Indiana Volunteers, the regiment which saw more battles during the civil war and smelled more powder than any other enlisted in the state, met yesterday afternoon at the New Filbeck hotel.  Their old commander, Col. John T. Smith, of Bowling Green, presided at the meeting.  Representatives of five companies were present.  They were: Company A – Captain A. C. Ford, city; Company C – Silas Foulke, Cory; Z. K Brenton, Cory; Israel Leak, Pimento; Samuel Willey, city; Company D – J. P. Stratton, Sullivan; J. N. Clark, city; Geo. F. Briggs, Sullivan; William M Mason, city; W. B. Ridgway, Shelburn; Samuel F. Mason, Sullivan; Company E – Capt. S. C. Scott, city; Company F – Col. John T. Smith, Bowling Green; John W. Brown, Trillia, Ill.; Munce Gosnell, city; Company I – J. B. Conley, Rockville; E. D. Litsy, Marshall; Company K – W. A Nichols, city; Marion McQuilkin, city; G W. Walker, Rosedale; William Kendricks, Ellsworth; Geo. W. Greer, Macksville.

                Commanders of the various companies were also appointed.  Each company of the famous regiment has an organization of its own in addition to the regimental organization.  The captains appointed were , in order: W. Samuels, Waterman; Silas Foulkes, Cory; Gilbert Liston, Coffey; J. B. Con[n]ley, Rockville; S. F. Mason, Sullivan, and Geo. W. Greer Macksville.

            S. F. Mason was made secretary of the meeting.  He read a letter from a former commander of the regiment, Col. J. A. Hallowell, of this city, who has been in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the past year, in search of health.  The colonel writes that he is feeling better than for a long time, and hopes to come back to Indiana yet a healthy man.  It was determined by the assembly to establish headquarters at Columbus during the encampment next May.  To these headquarters will be invited the survivors of the two hundred me[n] who were drafted into the regiment in time to fight in the battles of Franklin and Nashville.  The reunion of the regiment will take place at Bowling Green on the 14th of next September.

            But the most important thing which came up, and the thing for which the meeting was especially called, was in regard to publishing of a history of the regiment’s war life.  It was determined that this should be done.  It was also voted that all the members of the regiment have their pictures placed in the volume, as many who wished to do so.  This, it was considered, would considerable enhance the value of the book to the comrades.

             The history has already been written.  Col. Smith, aided by the diaries of two soldiers, William Stout, who was killed in action, and Gilbert Liston, of Clay county, has prepared a careful chronicle of the war history of the band.  The colonel spent a year on the work and says he feels sure it will please “the boys.”  The volume will be of about three hundred pages, and many illustrations of the members of the regiment, will give it a fine appearance.  It will be placed in the hands of a publishing house soon, the house and terms etc., at the discretion of the colonel.

                Col. Smith is one of the heartiest old men one could meet.  In a long day’s ride.  He does not appear to be bearing the weight of 67 years on his shoulders, but stands as erect as he was wont to sit upon his charger in the sixties.  His comfortable home at Bowling Green is always open to the “boys,” many of whom visit him with regularity.  He enlisted with the regiment as a first lieutenant, but by successive stages, as his worth became manifest, reached to the command of the regiment.

                There were two men at the meeting yesterday who showed the marks of conflict.  To be sure all of the veterans had suffered more or less in the defense of their flag.  But these two bore the marks more plainly than the rest.  One was Wm. Nichols of this city.  “Bill,” as he is called, was shot soon after enlisting, at the battle of Fort Donelson.  The bullet struck him in the nose and came out the back of the neck.  Nichols at the time was on the brow of a hill, charging with the rest for the fortifications.  He fell in the snow, face down, and the snow froze the blood, saving his life, it chanced.  Nichols is proud of the scars, and they are to his honor.  He was in the hospital for a long time, and enlisted again as soon as he recovered.  The other man is J. P. Stratton, of Sullivan, who had a leg shot away.

                The Thirty-first saw a number of the big battles of the war.  It was at Fort Donaldson, Pittsburg Landing, Atlanta, Nashville and Stone River.  Out of 1800 men enrolled altogether, 400 remain today.  The regiment was sent to Texas at the end of the struggle and was disbanded at Galveston.  The movement to that state was a ruse to frighten Maximillian out of Mexico.



I am interested in anything connected with the 31st Indiana Vol. Infantry, or if you have any questions please feel free to contact me. 

 I am also interested in any letters, diaries, or biographical information on 31st Indiana soldiers.

Contact: 31st Indiana


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Created March, 2019