John Lucas, 91st Ohio Volunteers, Co. K

John Lucas

John Lucas

John Lucas enlisted in Company K of the 91st Ohio Volunteers on August 12, 1862 in Jackson, Ohio. He was 31, and like most Civil War volunteers, he signed on to serve 3 years. At their home at Berlin Crossroads in Jackson County, John left behind his wife, Catharine Wolfe Lucas and four children, Mary, Margaret, Caroline, and Thomas.

Berlin Crossroads, OH

Berlin Crossroads, OH

John mustered in as a Corporal at Camp Ironton, Ohio, on September 4 and was soon sent to Point Pleasant where the 91st camped from September 14th to the 26th. John wrote to his wife on September 16th (some spelling and punctuation corrected for readability):

Dear wife,

It is with much I sit myself down to rite you a few lines to let you know that I am well and hearty, hoping these few lines may find you all enjoying the same state of health and to let you know that we have been in no fight yet. We have laid on our army gear two nites thinking we wood be attacked before morning, but we have been disappointed. I have heard no news from the battle ground this morning yet, but at last accounts our men was still holding their own. There is quite a many here now, and I don’t think there is a bit of {illegible}.

Frank Austin1 and Selffidge was here in our camp yesterday, and I’m glad to see them. It will tickle me if they will have to say here. I sent you five dollars more money with Frank. Now, Catharine, I have sent you a about all the money I got. Take good care of it, and try and make it do till we’re paid off again. Perhaps I may need a dollar or two. If I do, I will rite to you, and you can send it to me. I want you to rite to me and let me know what for a trip you had and how you got along and how far you got. Did you git my likeness? If you did, does it look like me? Rite soon. Direct to 91 regiment in care of Captain Stephenson.2

Well, Catharine, I have just had my breakfast, and I have much to rite, but I have not time to rite at present. I will just say I want you to rite soon. No more at present.

John Lucas
to wife

John’s first taste of battle came on the morning of September 27th or 28th when the 91st led a surprise raid on Confederate troops in Buffalo. The enemy troops fled, leaving behind most of their supplies and, for some lucky boys in blue, freshly-prepared breakfast. No Union injuries were reported.

During the next two years, John’s regiment helped recapture Fayetteville, chased General Morgan on his raid through Ohio, and marched countless miles in pursuit of the Confederates.

On July 20th, 1864, General William Averell led the 91st Ohio, the 34th Ohio, and the 9th West Virginia Infantries against the Confederate soldiers of General Stephen Ramseur.

John Lucas Headstone

John Lucas, Winchester National Cemetery, VA

The battle, known generally as the Action of Rutherford’s Farm, succeeded in driving the Confederates farther south toward Winchester. The Union lost only 60 soldiers. One of them was John Lucas, who was laid to rest in Winchester National Cemetery.

In 1876, John’s daughter Margaret married William Riley Copas. Their daughter Emma and her husband Perry Brooks were the parents of William Ray Brooks, my grandfather.

1Frank Austin may have been John’s neighbor in Berlin X Roads. An H.F. Austin is listed as John’s neighbor on the 1880 US Census.
2Levi Stephenson, Captain of Company K of the 91st Ohio, survived the war and died in 1913 at the age of 71.

2 Responses to John Lucas, 91st Ohio Volunteers, Co. K

  1. David Brooks says:

    I believe he is the one that, while fighting in West Virginia, said something to the effect that the Confederates can have these mountains and rocks they are not worth fighting for.

  2. J D Brooks says:

    Perry Brooks! Those who knew Grandpa will never forget him.
    He sat me on his knee and while bumping heads, taught me how
    to sing ” Bald Headed End Of a Broom.”..
    There was a purpose for the head bumping, but that is another story.

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