|Birth: ||Nov. 18, 1837|
|Death: ||Aug. 31, 1918|
Deeds of valor and of heroism have been the theme of song and story since the earliest ages, yet no more inspiring stories are told than of the American heroes, who in every war in which the country has been engaged have shown their loyalty and bravery to be equal to that of any race that the world has known. Mr. Babcock was one of the faithful boys in blue who went forth to the defense of the Union in the Civil war and of his army record he had every reason to be proud. He was alike true to his country in days of peace, and now was numbered among the valued residents of York county, Nebraska.
A native of Ohio, he was born in Newburg, November 18, 1837, a son of John M. and Catharine (Miller) Babcock, and a grandson of George and Margaret (Baker) Babcock, farming people and all natives of America. The Miller family was of Irish origin, but little is known concerning the early history of the Babcocks. William Babcock lost his father when he was only eleven years of age. The family removed to Wisconsin in 1845, locating on a farm fourteen miles northwest of Madison. That was in the territorial days of the Badger state, and the father was elected to the first constitutional convention, where he acceptably served, being regarded as one of the leading orators of that assemblage. He died in 1848 and his wife Catherine died about eleven years later, of consumption.
William M. Babcock having received deeds from the entire family for the land comprising the old homestead, sold the property in 1860, and the following year, when twenty-three years of age, joined the Union army as a member of Company G, First Regiment of United States Volunteer Sharpshooters as a Corpoal on 9 Oct. 1861. The following winter they were stationed in Washington, D. C., and in March, 1862, went to Fortress Monroe, participating in the battle of Yorktown, April 5, 1862. This was followed by the siege of Yorktown, his regiment being one of the first to enter the city after its surrender. With his command Mr. Babcock then took part in the pursuit of McGreider toward Richmond, and on the 27th of May, with the Fifth Army Corps, was sent to that city to destroy the railroad communications, which was accomplished after the battle known as Hanover Courthouse. Mr. Babcock was also in the battle of Mechanicsville, and the Fifth Army Corps, under Fitz John Porter, held the field until almost dark when the forces were withdrawn to Gaines Mill, where another stand was made June 27, 1862. In this battle Companies C and G, of the First, rested on rising ground near the bridge and in the afternoon took a position one-half mile in front, crossing the bridge at night and camping on the other side of Bottam's bridge. On the 30th of June the sharpshooters were in the battle of Glendale, where they were twice exposed to a hot cross-fire of the enemy, and lost sixteen of their number, which was a heavy loss owing to the already depleted ranks. Next came the battle of Malvern Hill where Mr. Babcock's company was held in reserve, followed by the second battle of Bull Run, where he was struck on the leg by a broken shell but did not go the hospital. At the battle of Antietam his regiment was held in reserve but was brought to the front when Lee's army crossed the Potomac. Then came Chancellorsville, where he was struck on the hip by a spent ball, laming him for about two weeks, but he did not go to the hospital. Then came the battles of Fredericksburg and Gettysburg, the sharpshooters arriving on the second day of the battle, and on the 23d of July, 1863, the engagement at Wapping Heights, where Mr. Babcock had his left eye knocked out, the ball sinking in the bones of the face. Unable to rise, he was carried from the field on a blanket, taken to the hospital at Washington and when he had sufficiently recovered was transferred to Company One Hundred and Thirteen, of the Second Battalion, Veteran Reserve Corps, with which he continued until the expiration of his term of enlistment brought him an honorable discharge, at Elmira, New York, November 3, 1864. He left the service as a Sergeant.
Mr. Babcock then returned to his Wisconsin home, and on the 18th of January, 1865, married Agnes Clark. They began their domestic life on a farm there, making it their home until the autumn of 1870, when they started by wagon for York county, Nebraska, arriving at their destination October 13, 1870. Here he secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres on section 26, Henderson township, York county, and devoted his time and energies to farming.
Mr. and Mrs. Babcock had eight children: Mary May, who was married October 14, 1883, to George, son of O. P. and Catharine Stoninger; Myrtle C.; Maud Ida, who was married April 27, 1888, to E. L. Wagner, son of S. J. and Mollie Wagner; Mable A., who is the wife of Garret Thomas, son of W. A. and Margaret Thomas; William A., Norma A., Clark O. and Eva I
Mr. Babcock was formerly a Democrat, and was a member of C. W. Hays Post, No. 336, G. A. R.
This bio is from: Memorial and Biographical Record and Illustrated Compendium of Biography Containing a Compendium of Local Biography, Including Biographical Sketches of Hundreds of Prominent Old Settlers and Representative Citizens of Butler, Polk, Seward, York, and Fillmore Counties, Nebraska, etc.
Published in 1899 By Geo. A. Ogle and Co., Chicago, IL.
Agnes M. Clark Babcock (1844 - ____)*
May M Babcock Sloniger (1866 - 1935)*
Myrtle C Babcock (1867 - 1954)*
Maintained by: Richard L. Smallwood-Ro...
Originally Created by: Don
Record added: Aug 04, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40256618
Added: Apr. 25, 2013