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Dr Isaac Spencer Collings
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Birth: Oct. 16, 1827
Putnam County
Indiana, USA
Death: Sep. 10, 1865
Victoria County
Texas, USA

Isaac Spencer Collings was born in Floyd Twp., Putnam County, Ind., on Oct. 16, 1827, the son of William C. Collings (1805-1874) and Sarah "Sallie" Monnett Collings (1806-1878). All four of Isaac's grandparents were early Putnam County residents recognized as pioneer ancestors by the Society of Indiana Pioneers.

Isaac married Caroline Lake (1830-1915), daughter of Elisha Warford Lake and Rebecca Hanna Nugent Lake, on May 4, 1848, in Putnam County. Caroline's parents and grandparents were also Indiana pioneers.

In the 1850 federal census, Isaac was listed as a physician, age 22, in Cass Twp., Clay Co., Ind. He was a founding member of the Fidelity Lodge, No. 309, A., F. & A. M., at Boxley, May 26, 1854.

He received a Doctorem in Arte Medica degree from Universitatas Iowaensis in Keokuk, Iowa, on 25 Feb. 1857. The Keokuk Medical College Bulletin for 1907 lists him as an 1857 graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Keokuk. The school subsequently became a part of the State University of Iowa at Iowa City.

The 1860 federal census listed him as a physician in Boxley, Adams Twp., Hamilton Co., Ind., but it has the wrong spelling of his surname ("Collins"), the wrong spelling of the township ("Addams"), the wrong age ("34"), and the wrong spelling of his daughter's name ("Eliner").

Less than four months after the outbreak of the Civil War, Dr. Collings was commissioned, July 22, 1861, as a Captain in the Indiana Legion, the first of several military assignments he filled during the war.

On July 8, 1863, it was believed that a Confederate force had crossed the Ohio River and was moving on Corydon, Ind. Dr Collings was among those who answered the Governor's call to organize a defense. On July 10, he was commissioned as a Captain, Company I, 109th Regiment, Indiana Militia (Minute Men of Boxley, Hamilton Co.). His son Zenas/"Zenith," age 14, was enrolled the same day as Musician in the same regiment. The unit left Indianapolis by rail on July 13 and went to Hamilton, Ohio, and then to Cincinnati. They returned to Indianapolis when the emergency passed and were mustered out July 17.

He resigned as Captain of the Adams Guards, Indiana Legion, on March 18, 1864.

He was sworn in as Assistant Surgeon, 57th Regiment, Indiana Volunteers, on March 12, 1865, at Huntsville, Ala. His regiment went to East Tennessee in April. In a letter to his 13-year-old daughter, Elmira, dated April 10, 1865, he wrote, "I am well as could be expected. I took a bad cold a few days ago but am better And think I will be well in a day or two. I know you would laugh to see how we do. Me and Capt. Hoback bed together. We drove 4 forks in the ground put in 2 short cross pieces and then put rails on lengthwise and spread our blankets on the rails and sleep like fine fellows. O how nice it is to up on to one of these little mountains or large hills and look over the country-farms and farm houses for miles from where I am sitting in my tent I can see the Paint Rock Mountain part of the Blue Ridge away 20 miles to the South east looking generally like a dark blue cloud. ..."

The regiment went on to Nashville, where Dr. Collings apparently began to lose weight. He continued with his unit in June to New Orleans, but apparently showed further signs of ill health. He and many others in the unit suffered from seasickness in crossing the Gulf to Texas in July. He was sent to the 2nd Division Hospital for two weeks in August, and his health continued to fail after he returned to duty. He died at an army hospital at Camp Irwin on Placido Creek, about 12 miles west of Port Lavaca, Tex., Sept. 10, 1865. He was first buried on the north bank of Placido Creek. His was one of 150 bodies subsequently removed from various military graves in Texas and reburied in the National Cemetery, Galveston, Tex, and then subsequently reburied in Alexandria National Cemetery in Pineville, Rapides Twp, Louisiana.

Dr. Collings was survived by his wife, Caroline, and three children: Elisha William Zenas Collings (1849-1919), Elmira Rosalie Collings Six (1851-1926), and Franklin Chandler Collings (1855-1915). Caroline, age 34, filed a Widow's Application for Army Pension on Jan. 20, 1866.


CAMP IRWIN. Camp Irwin, also called Camp Placedo, was a Mexican War encampment established in October 1846 on Placedo Creek near the Port Lavaca-Victoria road, twelve miles west of Port Lavaca in Victoria County. It was named for James R. Irwin, chief quartermaster of Winfield Scott's army during the Mexico City campaign, and served as a rendezvous for troops assigned to Gen. John E. Wool's Center Division and as a temporary military supply depot. Military units that used the camp were Col. John J. Hardin's First Regiment, Illinois Volunteers; Col. Humphrey Marshall's regiment of Kentucky Volunteers; Capt. John S. Williams's independent company, Kentucky Volunteers; and Col. Jonas E. Thomas's regiment of Tennessee Volunteers. Accounts describe the site as low, swampy ground where disease was common and conditions were barely tolerable.

[source: Charles D. Spurlin, "CAMP IRWIN," Handbook of Texas Online, accessed April 14, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.]
Family links: 
  William C. Collings (1805 - 1874)
  Sarah "Sallie" Monnett Collings (1806 - 1878)
  Caroline Lake Collings (1830 - 1915)
  William Zenas Collings (1849 - 1919)*
  Elmira Rosalie Collings Six (1851 - 1926)*
  Franklin Chandler Collings (1855 - 1915)*
  Isaac Spencer Collings (1827 - 1865)
  Marinda Collings Mills (1830 - 1899)*
  Isaminda Collings Ellis (1830 - 1883)*
*Calculated relationship
Alexandria National Cemetery
Rapides Parish
Louisiana, USA
Created by: Jay Wright
Record added: Jan 31, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84264746
Dr Isaac Spencer Collings
Added by: Jay Wright
Dr Isaac Spencer Collings
Added by: Jay Wright
Dr Isaac Spencer Collings
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Jack W Fountain
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Honoring the memory of Dr. Collings. [Detail from Winslow Homer's "Trooper Meditating Beside a Grave," deliberately using muted colors that could represent either side of the conflict.]
- Jay Wright
 Added: Mar. 31, 2015

- Jay Wright
 Added: Nov. 11, 2014

- Jay Wright
 Added: May. 26, 2014
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