(NOTE: Caleb A. Chenoweth probably never had his portrait taken prior to the Civil War. However, during the 10 month period that the 86th Illinois was in the Nashville, Tennessee area in 1862-63, Caleb, like most of the Union soldiers in the Nashville area, probably took the time to sit for a portrait to send home to the loved ones that he left behind. These portraits were printed in the form of what was called a "tin type" or, more often, in the form of what was called a CDV. This was a paper picture glued to a heavier card stock about the size of a modern day baseball card, and the soldiers didn't just have one or two copies made. Most of the time, they had a dozen or more made, so they could swap pictures with their tentmates and messmates and also to send to their friends and loved ones back home.
Unfortunately, Caleb did not survive the war, but if he did sit for pictures, copies may still exist in the hands of great great grandchildren of his brothers and sisters or of the tentmates and messmates that he undoubtedly would have swapped pictures with. If anyone seeing this has one of those surviving pictures, I would be thrilled to see it added to his Find A Grave Memorial. Thanks! Baxter)
Corporal CALEB ASHBURY CHENOWETH, Co. A, 86th Illinois
Caleb Ashbury Chenoweth was born on March 29, 1843 in Poolsville, Warren County, Indiana, the son of Richard Foster Chenoweth and Lucy (Vredenburg) Chenoweth. Richard was born December 27, 1818 in __________, Ohio, while Lucy was born August 30, 1823 in __________, __________. They were married on July 3, 1842 in Fountain County, Indiana. Caleb Ashbury Chenoweth was the oldest of the four or five children known to have been born to them. These are believed to include;
1. Caleb Asbury Chenoweth, born March 29, 1843 in Warren County, Indiana. See his biography below.
2. Sarah Chenoweth, born c. October 11, 1844 in Illinois. Sarah died as an infant in 1844.
3. Wilbur Fisk Chenoweth, born 12 Oct 1846 in Monroe, Green County, Wisconsin. Wilbur died on 8 Dec 1898 in Johnson County, Nebraska and his mortal remains were laid in the Tecumseh Cemetery in Tecumseh, Johnson County, Nebraska. See his Find A Grave Memorial #57048584.
4. Mary Alice Chenoweth, born c. 1852 in Indiana. At the time of the 1860 census, seen below, Alice is found residing with her brother, Caleb, with some of their Vredenburgh relatives, probably grandparents. Mary Alice is believed to have died at the age of 12 in 1864 in Vermilion County, Illinois, just three weeks or so before her oldest brother, Caleb, would be killed during the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia. Mary Alice's mortal remains may have been laid in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois, where the Vredenburg relatives, who raised her, were buried in 1869 and 1870. See her Find A Grave Memorial #218018665.
5. Rossiter Rowley “Ross” Chenoweth, born 16 Nov 1853 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Ross died on 4 Jul 1921 in Montague, Chouteau County, Montana and his mortal remains were laid in the Ohiowa Cemetery in Ohiowa, Fillmore County, Nebraska. See his Find A Grave Memorial #72504097.
Richard and Lucy moved briefly to Illinois about 1844 after Caleb was born. Then they moved briefly to Monroe, Wisconsin in Green County, before returning to Indiana, where they resided in Tippecanoe County. Lucy is believed to have died in Warren County, Indiana on March 9, 1857. Lucy Jane (Vrendenburg) Chenoweth's earthly remains were laid to rest in the Armstrong Chapel Cemetery in Green Hill, Warren County, Indiana. Richard died just over three weeks later on April 2, 1857 in Tippecanoe County. Richard's earthly remains may also rest in the Armstrong Chapel Cemetery in Green Hill.
Now to continue with the biography of Caleb A. Chenoweth;
At the time of the 1860 census, Caleb A. Chenoweth is residing in Danville, Illinois in Vermilion County with H________ and Sarah Veedenburgh (Vrenenburg), either his grandparents or an aunt and uncle;
77 Vredenburgh H. 70 M Clergyman 800 100 New York
77 Vredenburgh Sarah 68 F New York
77 Vredenburgh Caleb V. 40 M 6,000 4,000 New York
77 Chenowith Alice 8 F Indiana
77 Chenowith Caleb A. 17 M Printer Indiana
(NOTE: Rev. Hachaliah Vredenburgh was born on 10 May 1790 in Westchester County, New York and died on 23 Jan 1869 in Vermilion County, Indiana, while Sarah (Kniffin) Vredenburgh was born in July of 1792 in Westchester County, New York and died on 16 Sep 1870 in Vermilion County, Illinois. Their mortal remains were laid in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois. See their Find A Grave Memorials #37502707 and #37502743.)
By the summer of 1862, Caleb was residing in or near El Paso, Illinois in Woodford County, Illinois.
On August 7, 1862 Caleb A. Chenoweth volunteered to serve in a company which was being raised in the Eureka/El Paso area of Woodford County by William S. Magarity, who was the first man elected Sheriff of Woodford County in the early 1840's.
ILLINOIS CIVIL WAR DETAIL REPORT
Name CHENOWETH, CALEB A
Rank CPL Company A Unit 86 IL US INF
Residence EL PASO, WOODFORD CO, IL Age 19 Height 5' 8 Hair LIGHT
Eyes BLUE Complexion LIGHT Marital Status SINGLE Occupation STUDENT
Nativity POOLSVILLE, WARREN CO, IN
Joined When AUG 7, 1862 Joined Where PEORIA, IL
Joined By Whom CPT MAGARITY Period 3 YRS
Muster In AUG 27, 1862 Muster In Where PEORIA, IL
Muster In By Whom N/A Muster Out N/A
Muster Out Where N/A Muster Out By Whom N/A
Remarks KILLED IN ACTION JUN 27, 1864 AT KENESAW MOUNTAIN GA
When Magarity had about 100 volunteers, he took his company across the Illinois River to Peoria, Illinois where they went into camp at Camp Lyon, near present day Glen Oak Park. On August 27, 1862, 96 members of Magarity's company were mustered into service as Co. A of the 86th Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Magarity was elected Captain, Chenoweth was elected 8th Corporal.
For the next two years, Corporal Caleb A. Chenoweth served faithfully in Co. A of the 86th. During this time, Chenoweth was a witness to and a participant in some of the bloodiest fighting of the Western Theatre. He had most likely participated in the Battles of Perryville, Kentucky; Chickamauga, Georgia; Resaca, Georgia and Rome, Georgia, to name a few, and numerous skirmishes. Early in June of 1864, Caleb's only sister is believed to have died back up north. It is believed that Caleb would have learned of this before the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia. Near the end of June of 1864, the Union Army under the command of William Tecumseh Sherman was nearing the important railroad hub of Atlanta, Georgia.
As the men of Co. A lay in the trenches on the morning of June 27, 1864 across from Cheatham Hill on Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, little did they that when the sun set on that day, Co. A would look drastically different. As the men made preparations for the assault on the Confederate fortifications on Cheatham Hill that morning, Co. A fielded 39 officers and men fit for duty. Thirty minutes after the assault began the men of McCook's Brigade fell back unable to breach the Confederate fortifications. During those 30 minutes, McCook's Brigade suffered over 30% casualties, over 500 men. The 86th Illinois suffered just over 100 casualties, but it was Co. A, the Eureka/El Paso, Illinois company which suffered the most. Co. A lost 11 men killed, 9 men wounded and 6 men were captured, some of whom were also severely wounded. Co. A had suffered 66% casualties. Three of those wounded or captured would die before the war was over. Among the killed was Corporal Caleb A. Chenoweth.
When the Union forces fell back, they were forced to leave almost all of their dead between the lines. For two days the bodies of the dead lay in the sun and the heat. The stench from the bodies became so bad that a truce was finally called so that the Federal dead could be buried. Corporal Caleb A. Chenoweth's body was among those buried initially right there on the battlefield. Several years later, Corporal Chenoweth's body and the rest of the Kennesaw dead were exhumed and reburied at Marietta National Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia. The identification of his body had probably already been lost by the time it was exhumed.
Today, the earthly remains of Corporal Caleb A. Chenoweth today most likely lie buried in Section I, somewhere between Grave #9214 and Grave #9261 in the Marietta National Cemetery under a stone marked simply as "UNKNOWN U.S. SOLDIER".
by Baxter B. Fite III
(Baxter would enjoy hearing from anyone, especially descendants, who might be able to add to the biographical material on Corporal Caleb Ashbury Chenoweth. Baxter would also love to get a copy of any picture which may have survived to this day of Corporal Chenoweth for his Find A Grave site and for the local Historical Societies. Baxter believes that like most of the men in the 86th, sometime during their long stay in Nashville, Corporal Chennoweth almost certainly took at least one opportunity have a portrait made to send home to mom and dad and to his lady friends.)
Check out this site for more information about Caleb: