Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Soldier of Indiana- The Teeple Boys

Indiana sent over 200,000 soldiers to war between 1861 and 1865. They served in all arms, including the Indiana Legion and the United States Navy. Many of these men would have there photographs taken to send to the folks back home. Striking warlike poses, these images are frozen in time and quite often in eternal youth. Some would be the last, perhaps the only visual reference to the individual. Such may be the case with the following soldier.

Elias Teeple Company C, 11th Indiana Cavalry, likely 1864

Elias Teeple, Company “C”, Eleventh (126 Regiment) Indiana Volunteer Cavalry was perhaps 18 years old at the time of this photograph. He was enrolled as a recruit in April of 1864.

The Eleventh began mustering in September 1863 but would not be filled until March 1, 1864 at which time the regiment was mustered into Federal service. Their first movement outside of the state began May 1, when they were transferred by rail to Nashville, Tennessee, with the majority of the regiment without mounts. They would remain at Nashville, in camp of instruction until June 1, when they marched to North Alabama for duty along the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. In mid October the 11th marched back to Nashville and finally received their mounts. They were to be employed as scouts, couriers, and chasing guerillas. On November 21 they were officially attached to the Fifth Cavalry Division, (Brigadier general Edward Hatch). At some point in the ensuing weeks, young Teeple was wounded, and he would succumb January 5, 1865. It is unknown where he received his wounds as official records are largely silent on the actions of the regiment during its time of service, and no regimental history is available. The Adjutant General of Indiana states that the regiment was involved during the Nashville- Franklin campaign(the time frame Teeple was wounded) and participated in the pursuit of Hood's retreating army. The Eleventh would again be dismounted and placed on duty near Gravely Springs, Alabama, in January 1865 and remain there until February 7. At that time it removed to Eastport, Mississippi and remained there(presumably still afoot) until mid May. At that time they transferred to the Trans- Mississippi, and were remounted for duty in Missouri and Kansas. The men were mustered out of Federal service at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, on September 19, 1865. Their final muster out, receipt of payment due, and discharge was at Indianapolis on September 28, 1865. The boys were home again but they left behind them 174 comrades, 13 killed or died of wounds. The remainder, including Henry B. Teeple, who died at Indianapolis, April 2, 1864, (before the Eleventh left Indiana) and Samuel Teeple, who died March 6, 1865 at New Albany, Indiana died of disease or other causes. They may have been near cousins to Elias. The 1850 census lists them in different households and they are quite a few years older than Elias who was 5 years old in 1850. A fourth man, James B. Teeple, almost assuredly the brother of Henry and Samuel, survived the war. All four soldiers were offered up by the town of Pleasant Mills, Adams county. They are listed by the 1850 census as being either farmers or laborers ranging in age at that time from 5 (Elias) to 24 years (Samuel).

James B. Teeple (left) and Samuel Teeple Company C, 11th Indiana Cavalry

This is the beginning of a side project to be known as The Soldier of Indiana (catchy, huh?)which will be accompanied by two others. They will be The Soldier of Illinois and the Soldier of Kentucky, CSA/USA. There are several goals for the projects. First is to bring the individuals to light as a way to honor them and the regiment they served with. The Eleventh had not been around long enough to garner everlasting fame outside of their own communities. They are being lost to history. That is the case with many regiments from all states North and South.

Another goal is to gather as many of the photos to one place as possible, so as to save time chasing around different sites. In that way I hope to aid genealogists in finding photos of their relatives. I also hope to help other researchers in finding photos of the men from these states.
Finally I hope to make some of these regiments more interesting than Fred Dyer offered in his Compendium. The photos are the basis for this. Of course information is limited in many instances. I hope to find something to enhance the history of the “lost” regiments however.
They are lofty goals, but hopefully in time they will be achieved. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Any repository with digital collections will be a great asset to the project, so pass along any links. If you have a photo in your collection you can scan, that would be great too!
And I am always looking for diaries and letters!

The Picket

Elias photo from The Library of Congress, Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs,
James and Samuel photo from Find A Grave
Regiment sources include:
Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana, Volumes 3 and 7 at Google books
Dyers Compendium (1908) from Hathi Trust
Census information from the USGenWeb Free Census Project/ Indiana Adams County at

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