Over my many years attending this service, I was often struck by the number of individuals from the East Liberty area who have served this Nation. So I asked the Wood-Rosebrook Post of the American Legion for this opportunity to present the following few words on one such individual. My goal in doing so was to convey, not only the historical significance of the individual, but also a bit about their personality. I hope you find this interesting.
Each of the graves marked here today are represent ordinary people who sacrificed extraordinary amounts. One such person was a one John D. Inskeep, the son of David and Martha Inskeep. Mr. Inskeep enlisted in the Union Army on September 2, 1861 and rose to the rank of Captain. He served in Company C of the 17th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Captain Inskeep was an East liberty boy, born and raised on the family farm just outside of town on County Road 142. He is buried right over here, where the large flag has been placed.
Captain Inskeep’s great granddaughter is Norma Kay “Inskeep” Kipker, is with us today. Norma Kay graciously allowed us access to her Great Grandfathers diary, in which he kept a record of his Civil War experiences.
From that diary I would like to read the following entries:
The diary starts January, Tuesday, 1st, 1861
On February, Tuesday, 12, 1861
Columbus to see Lincoln
‘Twas Hart & Web and Uncle John
And Frank & West L. James
And A.W. Sharp, myself a John
Completes the list of names.
In Woodstock town did we appear
In county of Champaign
We bid farewell to every fear
And jumped upon the train
Arrived in town a chum exclaims
An oyster stew we claim
And after that said West L. James
A bottle of champaign.
This morn we called on Hamilton
Who represents us here
He showed us through the capital
And gave us goodly cheer.
At two o’clock old Abe arrived
At this great central mart,
The man of rails and cabinets
Of true and honest heart.
September, Sunday, 1, 1861
Went to Bellefontaine to see Captain Haines Company.
Concluded to go with them.
Having joined up, Inskeep would travel all over the South, by foot, by horse, by riverboat and by train. He suffered health issues, many of his comrades died from Typhoid fever, pneumonia and dysentery. He saw death on the battlefield and the very worst of mankind.
I would like to leave you with the following entries from his diary.
Camp at Somerset, Kentucky, December 31, 1861
Dear friends at home,
The old year has drawn to a close and it is fitting we should glance over the vista of the past and review our conduct and actions and the motives which prompted them; measure them with the rules of right and justice, our duty to ourselves, our fellows, our country and our God. Look at the unhappy condition of our country and think how much grief and suffering would have been avoided if all of those high in power and influence had squared their conduct by these simple rules – yet they are of universal application – to high, low, rich, and poor and equally obligatory on all. Remember “Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn”.
April, Wednesday, 12, 1865
The following is General Sherman’s official announcement to his army of Lee’s surrender.
Head Quarters Mil. Div. of Miss.
In the Field Smithfield, N.C., April 12, 1865
Special Field Orders No. 54
The General commanding announces to the army that he has official notice from General Grant that Gen. Lee surrendered to him his entire army on the 9th at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.
Glory to God and to our country, and all honor to our comrades towards whom we are marching.
A little more labor, a little more toil on our part and the great race is won, and our Government stands regenerated after four long years of bloody war.
W. T. Sherman
Inskeep remarked on General Sherman’s announcement that:
“Our feelings on receiving the above cannot be imagined or described….it must be felt to be realized”.
Today, we yearn to catch a glimpse of those feelings of joy as we memorialize those who have made it possible for all of us. So, to Captain Inskeep, we here today would like to thank you for your service, at a time when our nation needed men like you….”our hometown hero”.
Speech by Tyler Hall