On Sunday, May 23rd, 1999 the Greater Toledo Civil War Roundtable held its third Cemetery Walk. Over thirty membets and guests were on hand to hear the stories of soldier from Lucas County. There were three segments to the Walk, with visits to Swan Creek Cemetery and the Allen Family Cemetery, both in Monclova Township, and Farnsworth Cemetery in Waterville.
At Swan Creek Cemetery, we were told the story of six brothers--the Ruckel brothers--who like many of their neighbors went off to war in answer to their country's call. During the summer of 1864, four of the six were either killed in action or mortally wounded. When the war was over and the veterans returned home, those from Monclova Township formed a Grand Army of the Republic Post, No. 335, and named it "Ruckel Post" in memory of the four brothers who never came home alive. A few years later, the members erected a monument to these four men and all the other men from the township who died while in the service. (Click here to read more about the Monclova Soldiers Monument on our Preservation Page)
Roundtable President Michael Doblinger (pictured top left) then took up to the grave of his great-great grandfather, Samuel Lingo, who was a member of the 3d Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. With pictures and other familymemorabilia, Mike told us Sam's story, keeping alive his family's history.
For many of us, the most moving part of the afternoon was the visit to the old Allen Family Cemetery. The cemetery has not been used for many, many years. It stands not far from where the Allen farm once stood, off Lose Road. Standing at the roadside, members John Calgie (pictured right, kneeling)and Edward Keen spoke to us about the two brothers, Edward and Joseph Allen. Sergeant Edward Allen, Battery H, 1st Ohio Light Artillery, was killed in action at the Battle of Port Republic, Virginia on June 9, 1862. His older brother Joesph enlisted in the 111th Ohio Volunteer Infantry soon thereafter. Joseph died in 1864 from illness contracted while in the army. Both brothers were buried in the old family plot in Monclova Township.
After hearing their stories, the heartier of us took the short hike around the soybean field to an overgrown spot along Swan Creek. There, broken and toppled gravestones mark the final resting places of Edward, Joseph, their parents and other family members. The grounds are now overgrown with brush and myrtle; the sun filtering through the growth cast a greenish glow to the setting. (The image of Edward Allen, left, was scanned from A Memorial Record of the Soldier Spirit of Waterville, published in 1888.)
Our final stop was Farnsworth Cemetery in Waterville. Withing the grounds of this cemetery are buried many Civil War veterans, including Surgeon Waldo Daniels and Sergeant-Major Jesse Trapp, both members of the 14th OVI; Orson G. Ballou, 100th OVI, who was captured at Limestone Station, Tennessee and later died in Libby Prison; and Amos C. Cooper, Battery H, 1st Ohio Light Artillery, who died of disease at Charlottesville, Virginia.
Pictures along the left are, from to to bottom: