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Daniel Wallick - 20th Ohio Infantry, Co. G

Rank: Private

Drafted in Van Wert County, Ohio - October 8, 1862

Mustered into Federal service: November 13, 1862 

Service Time: 9 months, 7days

Born: October, 1823 - Tuscarawas County, Ohio

Age when drafted: 39 

Height: 5'6"  black hair, blue eyes

Civilian occupation: Farmer

Family Lineage

Daniel, son of Jacob, son of "Bedford County" Michael, son of Hans Michael and Esther Wallick


One of the many seismic changes brought about by the American Civil War was that the United States government, in order to prosecute that war, began  to exert more power and  influence into the lives of its citizenry than ever before.  At some point during the conflict both sides suspended the writ of habeas corpus (persons were jailed without being charged with a crime), the first ever United States income tax was levied (3% to 10% of all income over $800) and both Union and Confederate governments use forced conscription, or the draft, to fill their military ranks. 

Daniel Wallick was a thirty-nine year old farmer living in Van Wert County, Ohio, when he was drafted by the State of
Ohio and required to serve nine months of military service.  He was born and raised in Tuscarawas County and in 1852, shortly after he married his wife, Sarah, moved with his father, Jacob, and three of his brothers to Van Wert County in western Ohio.  There, as a middle-aged man, he was drafted and reported for duty at the Van Wert Enlistment Office on October 8, 1862.  He was then assigned to the 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and joined that regiment on January 11, 1863, in LaFayette, Tennessee.

Ohio was one of the first states during the war to institute a draft in order to fill its quota of soldiers for Union Army.  The state drafted over 12,200 men in the fall of 1862 and this pre-dates by six months the first ever draft held by the Federal Government (Congress passed its first conscription act in March, 1863).  The draft was used as leverage and a threat to entice men to volunteer their services.  Those who joined voluntarily received a cash bounty from the state, federal and in some instances local governments.  In total it could be quite a sum of money for a young man.  But for a middle-aged man like Daniel, it probably was less of an inducement.  Those who did not volunteer and waited to be drafted received nothing - no signing bonus.  Unfortunately for Daniel, he was part of this later group of recruits who were impressed into service for nine months in late 1862.  Daniel is the only Wallick to be drafted into the armed forces during the American Civil War.

                                  Draft poster from Camden, New Jersey, 1862.
                             New Jersey held their draft one month before Ohio.
                           Draft Notice from Camden, New Jersey

In an effort to avoid drafting men and still fill their quotas, some states used creative marketing techniques to induce their citizens to volunteer for the armed forces.  Below is a poster from Michigan that highlights the positive aspects to joining the Union Army.     

The draft, as one can imagine, was not popular and produced some of the worst anti-government riots in American history.  The anti-war riots of the Vietnam era cannot begin to compare with the anti-draft riots in the north during the Civil War and in particular, New York City.  Martial law was eventually declared and the United States Army had to send several regiments of soldiers (some having just fought at Gettysburg) in order to quell the disturbances.   Michael Wallick of the 27th Indiana  and Elias Wallick of the 126th Ohio were both posted in New York City during that summer in response to the rioting.  It is estimated that 120 civilians were killed and over 2,000 injured as the city spiralled into chaos.  It is still considered the largest single civil insurrection in our nation's history. 

The streets of New York turned to anarchy when the city draft was conducted in July of 1863.  Political and racial passions boiled over and martial law had to be declared. 

                     Federal troops used artillery and bayonets to quell the rioting.
Federal troops restore order in New York City

When Daniel joined the 20th Ohio Infantry in January, 1863, he became part of a regiment of soldiers who had been together since the early fall of 1861.   These were well-seasoned veterans and one can imagine the challenge it must have been to "fit-in" with his new comrades.  The 20th Ohio was in some of the biggest battles and victories in the western theatre of the war.  They were at the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson, the Battle of Shiloh, the siege of Corinth, and other minor engagements. 

Daniel was attached to the 20th Ohio just as it became part of General Grant's Vicksburg Campaign.  This movement against the Confederate bulwark on the Mississippi River  produced a spectacular victory for the Union Army in the summer of 1863. (For more background information concerning Grant's Vicksburg Campaign see Charley Wallick, who was deployed with the 16th Ohio during this campaign).  The 20th Ohio Regiment was very active in Grant's movements towards Vicksburg and took heavy casualties at the Battles of Raymond and Champion's Hill.  Daniel saw the final capitulation of Vicksburg and two weeks later was discharged from service, having fulfilled his nine month military obligation.  

                  Daniel Wallick with the 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry      
Oct 5
holds its first state-wide draft lottery.

Oct 8   Daniel Wallick reports for duty in Van Wert, OH..

Nov 13   Daniel is mustered into Federal service at
Camp Mansfield, OH, and is then assigned to the 20th Ohio Infantry.  This regiment has already been deployed in southern Tennessee and they are  part of General Grant's Central Mississippi Campaign at this time.  


Jan 11
   Daniel joins the 20th Ohio Infantry Regiment at
Lafayette, TN.

Jan 26  The 20th Regiment  moves to
Memphis, TN to become part of the Vicksburg Campaign.

FEB 22   Daniel and the 20th Ohio moves down the the Mississippi River by steamboat to Lake Providence, LA, and spends the next two months aiding Admiral Porter's river fleet which is pursuing the Rebels in the Louisiana bayou.  When Daniel joined the 20th Ohio in January he became part of an outfit that was attached to General Ulysses S. Grant's Army of the Tennessee.  Charley Wallick, of the 16th Ohio, will be involved in some of the same engagements as Daniel, although, it is unlikely they ever met and if they had, probably would not have known they were related. 

April 19   Daniel's activities in the bayous of Louisiana does not agree with his constitution for he becomes sick and confined to an army hospital at Millikin's Bend (on the Louisiana side of the Mississippi  River).  Meanwhile, the rest of his regiment is marched down to Hard Times, LA, and then ferried across the river to Bruinsburg, MS.  This movement is part of General Grant's  masterful  Vicksburg strategy to circle back around the city and attack it from the rear.  Exactly when Daniel becomes ill and when he returns to duty is unclear.  According to his compiled service record from the National Archives he is reported present for duty as of April 10th, but is "left in hospital at Millikin's Bend April, 19, 1863."  Daniel is then listed "present" for the months of May & June. 

Daniel's major contribution to the war effort is during the Vicksburg Campaign of 1863.  He misses the initial phase of the march because he is sick in a hospital at Millikin's Bend.  He rejoins his regiment for the Battle of Port Gibson on May 1st. 

                                                   National Park Service Map

 May 1  Battle of Port Gibson   The 20th
is held in reserve during this battle.  Daniel has recovered from his illness and is counted present for duty.  It is at this battle (also called The Battle of Thompson's Hill) that distant cousin Charley Wallick is wounded in the ankle. 

 May 12   Battle of Raymond   The 20th
Ohio bore the brunt of the fighting at Fourteen Mile Creek, 2 miles southwest of Raymond, MS.  Here is a description of the battle from Ohio in the War, by Whitelaw Reid:


"On the 12th of May the Twentieth deployed in advance of the Seventeenth Corps as it approached Raymond, Mississippi, and while resting with arms stacked, was fired upon from a dense thicket beyond a small stream (Fourteen Mile Creek).  The regiment immediately formed and advanced across the creek, using the bank on the opposite side as a breastwork.  For an hour the struggle was severe, and especially so to the Twentieth, as regiments on the right withdrew their lines a little distance to the rear, and the flank of the Twentieth was exposed to a raking cross-fire.  Every man stood firm until the line again advanced, and the Rebels gave way.  The regiment lost in this engagement twelve killed and fifty-two wounded."

Below is Fourteen Mile Creek, site of fierce fighting by the 20th Ohio Infantry on its drive toward Vicksburg.  The Union forces advanced from left to right and used the creek bank as a breastwork.  The 20th Ohio sustained heavy casualties at this spot.

Fourteen Mile Creek

Here is an account told by Private Osborn Oldroyd and what he witnessed when he reported the battle losses of his company to Colonel Force, commanding officer of the 20th Ohio:

"I took the roll-book from the pocket of our dead sergeant, and found that while we had gone in with thirty-two men, we came out with but sixteen - one-half of the brave little band, but a few hours before so full of hope and patriotism, either killed or wounded. Nearly all the survivors could show bullet marks in clothing or flesh, but no man left the field on account of wounds. When I told Colonel Force of our loss, I saw tears course down his cheeks, and so intent were his thoughts upon his fallen men that he failed to note the bursting of a shell above him, scattering the powder over his person, as he sat at the foot of a tree."

                   The 20th Ohio advanced from right to left and crossed this field on its
                way to battle at Fourteen Mile Creek.  The creek runs along the treeline.
Advance of the 20th Ohio toward Fourteen Mile Creek

May 14   The Battle of Jackson, MS   Daniel's regiment remains in the rear guarding the wagon trains.

 May 16   The
Battle of Champion's Hill   This battle is the most critical engagement of the entire Vicksburg Campaign.  Daniel's brigade sees some of the heaviest fighting of the battle on the Union right.  Again, we turn to Whitelaw Reid for a brief  description of the 20th Ohio's contribution:

"The regiment moved on through Clinton (Mississippi), Bottom Depot, to Champion's Hill, when the regiment was early pushed forward to a strong position in a ravine, under such a fire that it was dangerous for a staff officer to approach with orders.  Though the adjoining regiments on each flank were pushed back as the enemy moved up in mass, the Twentieth held its ground without wavering till its ammunition was exhausted; it then fixed bayonets and prepared to maintain its position, but the Sixty-Fifth Ohio came to its assistance from the reserve and the enemy was driven back."

With this Union victory the Confederate Army is eventually driven back into Vicksburg and the city must now withstand a seige.

Daniel and his regiment are deployed here on Champion's Hill.  The site is not a preserved battlefield and has limited access.  Today it is still private property.

 May 19   First Assault at Vicksburg   The 20th Ohio's brigade is held in reserve during a disastrous frontal assault which is ordered by General Grant.

May 22   Second Assault at Vicksburg   Daniel's brigade is, again, held in reserve but eventually called on to advance down Jacksonburg Rd. in support of the Union attack.  The Federals take tremendous casualties in this frontal assault of the Confederate earthworks surrounding Vicksburg.  Cousin Charley Wallick is attacking at the same time in the southern sector of the Union line.

                               Monument to the 20th Ohio Infantry at Vicksburg. 
                                         It is located just east of Shirley House.
Monument to the 20th Ohio Infantry at Vicksburg

The assault marker below shows the farthest advance the 20th Ohio made in its attack on Vicksburg, May 22, 1863.  It is located west of the Illinois State Memorial.
May 26 - June 4   Blair's Mechanicsburg Expedition   Daniel and his brigade are temporarily attached to General Blair's command and ordered by Grant to "lay waste" the country between the Yazoo and Big Black Rivers.  The Confederate Army, which is bottled-up in Vicksburg, will receive no support or supplies from outside the city.

Jun 22 Sherman's Exterior Line at Vicksburg   The 20th Ohio is now attached to General John McArthur's Provisional Division and is ordered to guard Messinger's Ferry on Bear Creek, a tributary of the Big Black River.  Daniel is posted here to help guard the Union Army at Vicksburg from a rear attack by the Confederates.  This is the last posting Daniel will serve with the 20th Ohio Infantry.

Jul 4   Surrender of Vicksburg   With the collapse of the Confederate citadel on the Mississippi River the Union will soon be able to navigate freely from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.  Daniel and Charley Wallick have both served in this campaign, however, it appears their regiments never crossed paths since they were in two different army corps.

JUL 14   Daniel is mustered out of Federal service at Vicksburg, ten days after the city's surrender to General Grant.                

Daniel returns to Van Wert, Ohio, in the summer of 1863.  The United States census of 1870 shows that Daniel is a single, divorced laborer living with his 84-year-old father, Jacob, in the home of Samuel Dibert.  Jacob dies in 1874, and by 1880 Daniel has moved in with his niece Elizabeth and her husband, Peter Prophet from Germany.  At some point in the 1880s he moves west to Oregon and is a sheepherder in beautiful Wallowa County, which is located in the northeast corner of Oregon, bordering Washington and Idaho.  

Daniel moves late in life to Wallowa County, Oregon, where he is a sheepherder. The scenery here is in stark contrast to the flat topography of his old home, Van Wert County, in northwest Ohio.  This is Hurricane Creek Pasture near Joseph, Oregon.
Hurricane Creek Pasture, Wallowa County, Oregon

Below are the last two pages of a four-page letter that Daniel penned at the turn of the twentieth century while living in Joseph, Oregon.  The letter is undated and addressed to his son, Edwin, who was living at the time in Monroeville, Ohio.  The incomplete missive and following transcript have been graciously provided by Jennifer Rice, the great-great-granddaughter of Daniel Wallick. 

Page 3 of a letter from Daniel Wallick

Letter from Daniel Wallick to his son Edwin (transcribed below with original spelling, with some punctuation added by Jennifer Rice for clarity)    

Page 3 (page 1 and 2 missing):


Well now, we will commence something elce.  On thanksgivings day one of my neighbours sent his girl to me to come and eat dinner with them, but I could not go. I was not very well at that time. Well then came Christmas Eve. You spoke about your nice tree. Had you been here then you would of seen a tree. They had 2 trees in a large church building. They was from 12 to 15 feet high and they was just hung full of presents from botam to top and could not get all on the trees. They had to leave a good many down in boxes, and the house was just crouted full. They could not all get seets.  So on next morning Christmas day there was a rap at my door and I opend. There was 2 women, they say, Come over to dinne today.


Page 4 

Well I went and I tell you it was a dinner. You could not call for anything that was eatable but what it was there and we all eat hearty. There was 10 or 12 of us.


Well then next morning after Christmas I got my fall and I will correct you in your mistake. It was not my colerbone, it was my shoulder blade that was broke.


Now something elce, you asked me what I thought of your building a shop. [Jennifer's note: likely a blacksmith shop]. Edwin, you are a doing for yourseve. Do as you see that you can get out on it. I have no advice to give on it.


Well, I must close. You can tell by my writing that I am woried. Edwin, I can't write so often. Anseer when you can.

[Signed] Daniel Wallick to Edwin Wallick

In the late winter of 1906, Daniel had a heart attack while preparing a bath and fell against a hot stove that created horrible burns to his arms and face.  He was living with his nephew, Urias Silas Wallick, at the time of his accident.  Urias moved out to Oregon to live with his uncle sometime after 1900.  Daniel died of his injuries on March 13, 1906, and was buried in Prairie Creek Cemetery, southeast of Joseph, Oregon.  

            Below is Lake Wallowa, which is about a mile from Prairie Creek Cemetery.
Lake Wallowa

                  Prairie Creek Cemetery in the winter, Wallowa County, Oregon
Prairie Creek Cemetery, Joseph, Oregon



David    162th Ohio National Guard

David H    102nd Ohio
Henry M    67th Ohio
Elijah       102nd Ohio
Michael    27th Indiana

Song- Marching Through Georgia

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