Biographical Sketch of Isaac R. Sherwood
ISAAC R. SHERWOOD was born in Stanford, Dutchess County, New York, August 13, 1835. His ancestors were among the very earliest of the early settlers of New England, Thomas Sherwood, with his wife Alice and four children, having set sail from Ipswich, England, in 1634, but 14 years after the landing at Plymouth Rock. They belonged to that branch of the English family which entered England with William the Conqueror, from Normandy, 1066. Records of Thomas Sherwood are first found at Westerville, later at Fairfield, Connecticut, where he died, in 1655, as shown by his will, probated that year. In their several lines, his descendants were prominent, as shown by the records of the "Standing Order," and the official lists of the Colonial Training Bands. They were a stalwart race, of powerful physique, and great powers of endurance and longevity; of firm, inflexible will and staid and sober habits. Isaac R. is a descendant, in the seventh generation, of Thomas Sherwood, as follows: Captain Matthew Sherwood, born 1643 (Mary Fitch); Captain Samuel Sherwood, born 1680 (Rebecca Burr); Captain John Sherwood, born 1705 (Mary Walker); Captain Samuel Sherwood, born 1730 (Ruth Sherwood); Isaac Sherwood, a private in the Revolution (Drusilla Morehouse); and Aaron Sherwood (Maria You-mans). In the maternal line he is descended from early Colonial families, except, that his mother (daughter of Peter Youmans and Anna Campbell) was of a Scotch family, which came to America near the close of the last century. Captain John Sherwood was a leader in the "Separatist" movement that followed the preaching of Rev. George Whitefield, and became the first Pastor of the old Stratfield Church, first gathered at his dwelling-house, October, 1751. While preaching he continued in command of the Training Band, and made himself famous, on a Training Day, for defeating a greased and naked Indian, in a wrestling match, for which duty he had been formally chosen by his fellow-townsmen. Isaac Sherwood, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, took up land in Dutchess County, New York, under the New Hampshire grants, prior to the Revolution, and defended his rights with the "Green Mountain Boys" under Ethan Allen. lie served through the Revolution with the Cavalry, and was of the body-guard of General Gates at the battle of Stillwater, 1777. He was a local magistrate and a member of the New York Legislature. Aaron Sherwood, the father of Isaac H., was enrolled with the troops of War of 1812-15, and marched to the Hudson River, but being unable for service, his brother took his place in the ranks. He was an inventor and made many improvements in mill and farm machinery. The father dying when Isaac R. was nine years old, his uncle, Daniel Sherwood, became his guardian. He was a man of sterling character, a leading Democrat, and a member of the New York Legislature when Silas Wright was Governor. He exerted a marked influence upon his nephew, and dissuaded him from entering West Point Military Academy. In 1852, Isaac R. entered the Hudson River Institute, Claverack, New York, and in 1854 went to Antioch College, Ohio, which had a National repute under Horace Mann. After two years at Antioch, having read law with Judge Hogeboom, at Hudson, New York, he entered the Ohio Law College, at Poland, Ohio (later removed to Cleveland). Throughout his College days, he was a frequent contributor to the press. In 1857, he located at Bryan, Ohio, and published the Williams County Gazette, an intensely radical newspaper, which he put in full mourning when John Brown was hung at Harper's Ferry. April 16, 1861, the day following President Lincoln's call for Volunteers, he heft the office of Probate Judge and his newspaper business in the hands of others to enlist as a private in the Fourteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Colonel James B. Steedman commanding. He was with the advance guard over the West Virginia mountains and was in the first battles of the war, at Laurel Mountain, Cheat River and Carrick's Ford. He was critically ill the summer after his return, having served four months. He resigned the office of Probate Judge to serve in the One Hundred and Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered in at Toledo with his Regiment, and made Adjutant September, 1862. Upon recommendation of all the officers of his Regiment he was promoted to Major, February 14, 1863. He commanded the Regiment throughout its entire field service, beginning with the John Morgan campaign in Kentucky, 1863, to the muster-out, embracing 31 engagements. In the East Tennessee campaign (Winter of 1863-64), he shared all the hardships with his men. Without tents, short of clothing and rations, and exposed to pitiless storms of sleet and snow, they gave a new emphasis to their patriotism by offering their services far another three years in the Veteran Enlistment, then progressing. During the 17 days' siege of Knoxville and in the battles preceding and following, the One Hundred and Eleventh, under his command, bore a gallant part. They covered the retreat of Burnside's Army from the Holstein River to Strawberry Plains, and were three days and nights without sleep or rations, harassed by Longstreet's Cavalry, as they fell back on Knoxville, fighting their way, step by Step. At Campbell's Station, where the One Hundred and Eleventh, lying prostrate, supported Henshaw's Battery, in that furious storm of shot and shell, Major Sherwood lost the hearing of his right ear from the concussion of a shell. For gallant conduct in this campaign he was complimented in the official reports of Colonel Chapin, Second Brigade, and General White, Second Division, Twenty-Third Corps, and personally by General Burnside, at Campbell's Station, in the presence of the assembled forces. At Knoxville he was ordered by General Burnside to hold the One Hundred and Eleventh in readiness to strengthen any portion of the line attacked, and for seven days and nights they lay on their arms in the Streets, their rations reduced to bran bread, and little of that. In Longstreet's charge on Fort Saunders they went to the relief on the double-quick. Major Sherwood was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel February 2, 1864, and to Colonel, September 8, 1864. In the Atlanta campaign (1864), in which the Regiment was 90 days under fire, Colonel Sherwood was never absent from his Regiment, which bore a conspicuous part in those fierce battles. At Lost Mountain he commanded a Division of Skirmishers. He particularly distinguished himself by riding at the head of the Regiment in the charge down the steep slopes at Resaca, where the Second Brigade lost 679 men out of the 1,300 who went into the first action. The principal engagements of this campaign were those of Rocky Face, Resaca (two days), New Hope Church, Dallas, Peach Tree Creek, Lost Mountain, Pine Mountain, Kenesaw, Nickajack Creek, Chattahoochie, Decatur, Burnt Hickory, Atlanta (July 22 and 27), Utoy Creek, and Lovejov Station. In the Hood Campaign, 1864, fought by General George H. Thomas, after General Sherman had set out on his March to the Sea, Colonel Sherwood, while in command of the One Hundred and Eleventh Ohio and Twenty-Fourth Missouri, covered the retreat of Thomas' Army from the battlefield of Columbia (where his command participated) to Franklin, Tennessee. In the battle of Franklin, November 30th, his position was on the right of the pike, near the Carter house, on the left flank. His men fired 200 rounds of ammunition, and many of their guns were made totally worthless from long-continued firing. The lines on the left of the Regiment broke and their trenches were occupied by Hood's advance, but the command soon recovered, and when their ammunition was cone, they fought with muskets clubbed and bayonets. Their colors, riddled to shreds, in many battles, were captured and recaptured, and are now in the State Capitol at Columbus. General Orders No. 7, of the Regular Army officer in command of the Second Brigade, Colonel O. H. Moore, issued at Nashville, Tennessee, December 2, 1864, contained the following:
" The heroic spirit which inspired the command was forcibly illustrated by the One Hundred and Eleventh Ohio Infantry on the left flank of the Brigade. When the enemy carried the works on their left, they stood firm and crossed bayonets with them, holding their ground."
During the closing hours of the engagement Colonel Sherwood was in command of the Brigade. In recognition of his services the Ohio civilians in Tennessee presented him with an elegant sword, in a silver scabbard, appropriately inscribed. The officers of his Brigade and Division forwarded a recommendation to the Secretary of War, asking his promotion, in pursuance of which President Lincoln made him a Brevet Brigadier-General, for long and faithful service, and conspicuous gallantry at the battle of Franklin. Colonel Sherwood commanded the Regiment in the two days' fighting at Nashville, and followed Hood's retreating army to the Tennessee River, near Iuka, Mississippi. From there they were transferred to Washington, and by Sea to North Carolina, participating at Fort Anderson, Town Creek, Goldsboro, and in the final surrender, near Raleigh. In July, 1865, General Sherwood was ordered by Secretary Stanton to report to Major-General Saxton, for duty in Florida, with the rank and pay of Brigadier-General, but he preferred to retire to private life, and was mustered out with his Regiment at Cleveland, July 15, 1865. In a farewell address, a copy of which was presented to each Veteran of the command, he extolled their virtues in War, amid urged them to be equally true to the issues of peace. Taking up his residence in Toledo, he was for some time a conductor of the Toledo Commercial; and disposing of his interest in that paper, he was for a time on the editorial staff of the Cleveland Leader. In the Fall of 1866 he resumed the publication of the Bryan Press, and in 1868 was elected Secretary of State, and was re-elected in 1870, serving for four years. He organized the Bureau of Statistics and issued four annual reports, widely commented upon for their accurate exhibits. In 1872 he was elected to Congress from the Sixth Congressional District, and served on the Committee on Railroads amid Canals. From 1875 to 1880, he published the Toledo Journal. In 1879 lie was elected Probate Judge of Lucas County, and was re-elected in 1882, serving six years. He is a member of the fraternity of Masons and Odd Fellows, and of Forsyth Post, No. 15, Department of Ohio Grand Army of the Republic. He was one of time first members of the Society of the Army of the Ohio and of the Army of the Cumberland, and contributed a War poem to the first Reunion of the former at Cincinnati, 1866. General Sherwood was married September 1, 1859, with Miss Katharine Margaret Brownlee, daughter of Judge James Brownlee, of Poland, Mahoning County, Ohio, who early became associated with him in journalistic work. She contributed to leading periodicals, and has published a volume of patriotic selections, entitled "Camp Fire and Memorial Poems." Her verses appear in several standard volumes, including the "Union of American Poetry and Art," and "Through the Year with the Poets." In 1883 she served as National President of the Woman's Relief Corps, Auxiliary to time Grand Army of time Republic, and for some years has edited the Woman's Department of time National Tribune, Washington. D. C. General Sherwood has two children-James Brownlee and Lennore Kate Sherwood. James H. Sherwood, of the Northwestern Republican,Wauseon, Ohio, his brother. Their mother still lives, aged 86.
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