William McGlothlin

William McGlothlin living with James A Ward family 1860

William McGlothlin living with James A Ward family 1860

William is the fourth child born to Jemima Corel and David McGlothlin, according to census records he was born about 1842 in Tazewell County, Virginia.  William is first found in the 1850 census with his family in Kaw Township, Jackson County, Missouri1.  For quite a while, it was uncertain what happened to young William after the death of his mother in 1851, but it appears that he did return to Kentucky with his father and siblings.  By 1860 William has left his father’s house, but is found living in the same county, Johnson County, Kentucky, with James Apperson Ward and family2.  James A. Ward is a cousin of James Whitehead Ward, Mary McGlothlin’s father-in-law.

William joined his brother, Shadrack, in enlisting with Company F of the 45th Kentucky Volunteer Mounted Infantry on August 25, 18633. Both boys mustered in with the Company on November 2, 1863 in Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky.  Although both McGlothlin boys entered the 45th Infantry as Privates, William was promoted to First Sergeant during his short service.  At this time William was also known as William “McGlothlan4.

Company F of the 45th Kentucky Infantry mustered into service on November 2, 18635.   On November 30 the 45th Infantry saw their first action when they answered distress call from the 14th Infantry near Salyersville, Magoffin County, Kentucky6.  Although this incident was brought on by an attack of 800 Confederate Calvary, Salyersville is considered a skirmish.

The start of 1864 has the 45th Infantry based at Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky patrolling between Cumberland Gap, on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, and Louisa, on the Kentucky-West Virginia border.  On January  10, 1864 Colonel John Mason Brown sent 12 men to survey the area.  The patrol learned of an encampment  of 35 guerrillas at Ragland Mills, Bath County, Kentucky.  On January 13 the Union squad attacked the guerrillas at dawn, killing 13 Rebels at the loss of only one horse7. The 45th was relieved in March and moved north to Flemingsburg, Fleming County, Kentucky near the Kentucky-Ohio border.  The Regiment was then transferred to Irvine,  Estill County, Kentucky and then marched southeast to Pound Gap, Letcher County, Kentucky.8.  April 19, 1864 marks a battle fought by the 45th Kentucky Volunteers at Pound Gap, after assistance was requested by Colonel George W. Gallup9,10.  Captain Adams of the 45th Kentucky Infantry with four companies from the 45th attacked a rebel force near the mouth of the Troubesome Creek in Breathitt County, Kentucky on April 27, 1864.  They succeeded in killing four and capturing 16 Rebels and chased down and killed Weed Gay and captured 35 more prisoners11.

In May 1864 the 45th Infantry became the Fourth Brigade under the command of Brigadier General Stephen Burbridge.  Colonel John Mason Brown and his 45th Kentucky Regiment returned to the area of Pound Gap to observe the movements of the Confederate Army.  On Saturday, June 4, 1864, Col. Brown and the 45th Regiment arrived at the camp of Brig. Gen. Burbridge to report that the enemy was approaching with such a force that it was prudent to retreat after skirmishing.  Col. Brown reported that a small scouting party had been left at Pound Gap to continue observing the movements of the enemy12.

On the morning of June 5, Col. Brown was ordered to move his brigade, the 45th Kentucky Mounted Infantry and a detachment of the 39th Kentucky Mounted Infantry, back to Pound Gap, to prevent the Confederate forces under General Morgan from entering Kentucky.  Upon the return of a scout who indicated that Gen. Morgan had moved his forces into Kentucky, Brig. Gen. Burbridge revised the orders for the Fourth Brigade to move westwardly to observe the Confederates, and slow them down, if possible.  Brig. Gen. Burbridge was bringing the other brigades to come up behind Gen. Morgan.  The Fourth Brigade passed through Salyersville on June 7 and met with a courier from Brig. Gen. Burbridge with information that the Division was closing in fast and that the Fourth Brigade was now classified as the advance of the Division.  Col. Brown cautiously moved his units on, capturing Confederate stragglers, but not firing a shot to keep from being found out by the enemy.  Col. Brown and his Brigade were about 12 miles from Mt. Sterling when Col. Brown happened upon a personal acquaintance who gave information about the Confederate troops and their location.  Col. Brown rode back to confer with Brig. Gen. Burbridge about the intelligence received13.

Brig. Gen. Burbridge temporarily attached the 11th Michigan Calvary to the Fourth Brigade and sent Col. Brown to Mt. Sterling to engage the enemy.  The 45th Kentucky Infantry led the Brigade into the Confederate Camp in Mt. Sterling at 4:00 AM on June 9, 1864.  The enemy was completely caught off guard and the Confederate Infantry was defeated.  As the Fourth Brigade then moved to the Confederate Calvary, a howitzer attached to a Brigade behind the Fourth Brigade advanced too rapidly and cut the Fourth Brigade in half.  This caused enough of a delay to allow the Confederate Calvary to escape the impeding battle.  The Confederates rounded up reinforcements and moved to take back Mt. Sterling from the Union soldiers.  They fought tenaciously for several hours, but the Confederates suffered severely and were unable to overtake the forces under Col. Brown’s authority.

The following day, Brig. Gen. Burbridge moved the entire Division to Lexington, Kentucky.  Col. Brown and the 45th Infantry brought up the rear with the prisoners they had captured.  Once in Lexington the Division moved out for Cynthiana, again with the weary soldiers of the 45th Regiment bringing up the rear.  By the time the 45th Kentucky Infantry arrived at Cynthiana on June 12, the battle was fought and won.  Col. Brown and the Fourth Brigade were then ordered to move the prisoners to Lexington14.

September 1864 has the 45th Kentucky Mounted Infantry, now under Colonel Clark, once again under the command of Brevet Major General Stephen Burbridge15.  Bvt. Maj. Gen. Burbridge marched his troops toward Saltville, Smyth County, Virginia to destroy the main source of salt for the Confederacy16.  Knowing that the Union was approaching, Confederate Brigadier General Alfred E. Jackson ordered small detachments to do whatever necessary to delay the Federal Troops.  Burbridge’s forces were first faced with Confederate Troops as they approached Clinch Mountain in Tazewell County, Virginia.  The Confederates had cut trees across the narrow road over Clinch Mountain and were stationed at the summit of the mountain to fire upon Burbridge and his soldiers17.  The 30th, 40th, and 45th Kentucky Infantries were sent up the mountain to drive the rebels from their position18. As Bvt. Maj. Gen. Burbridge’s men were able to scale the mountain to repel the Rebels, the Confederate Soldiers retreated to Laurel Gap, at the far end of the valley that the Union Division was about to travel through.  The Confederates were positioned among the cliffs overlooking the Laurel Gap which allowed them to be successful in detaining Burbridge another day.  This delay allowed Confederate Brig. Gen. Jackson enough time to gather 3,000 men at the salt works in Saltville to take on the 5,000 Union soldiers under Burbridge’s command19.  On the morning of October 2, 1864 Burbridge and his men confronted the Confederate soldiers 3.5 miles from Saltville.  The Union soldiers forced the Confederates back to the salt works where the battle continued until evening when the Union ran out of ammunition.  Under the cover of darkness, Bvt. Maj. Gen. Burbridge ordered those under his command to retreat from the battlefield.  The following morning Burbridge received orders from General Sherman to return to Kentucky20.

When the Union forces retreated, the dead, wounded, and any surgeons attending the wounded were left on the battlefield.  On the morning of the 3rd of October, any survivors found on the battlefield were taken as prisoners by the Confederate Army.  What occurred next is tragic and many have argued the number of people who were involved, but it has gone down in history as the “Saltville Massacre.”  Surgeon William H. Gardner of the 30th Kentucky Infantry reported that a group of armed men, believed to be Confederate soldiers, entered the field hospital and took 5 wounded colored Union Privates and shot them.  Surgeon Gardner further states that once they were removed to Emory and Henry College Hospital in Washington County, Virginia, men in Confederate uniforms entered the hospital and shot two colored soldiers in their bed on October 7.  About 4:00 PM on October 8 a group of men entered the hospital, overpowered the guard that had been installed to stop such activity, and shot Lieutenant E. C. Smith of the 13th Kentucky Calvary in his bed.  These men then began looking for other officers but the Confederate Surgeons and other hospital staff were able to get the gunmen to leave the premises.  After this incident, the hospital staff moved the officers and Surgeon Gardner to a place of safety21.

The final skirmish of the 45th Mounted Infantry of Kentucky occurred during General Stoneman’s raid on Saltville, Virginia in December 1864.  In supporting this final successful raid on the salt works of the Confederacy, the 45th was engaged in a skirmish at Clinch River, Virginia6.

At the end of their one year term, both William and Shadrack mustered out of military service on December 24, 1864 in Catlettsburg, Boyd County, Kentucky.  At this time I am uncertain of what happened to William after the war.

  1. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls. Year: 1850; Census Place: Kaw, Jackson, Missouri; Roll: M432_402; Page: 237; Image: 22. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=3817931&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed March 27, 2007)
  2. Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860. M653, 1,438 rolls. Year: 1860; Census Place:  , Johnson, Kentucky; Roll: M653_378; Page: 0; Image: 230. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1860usfedcenancestry&h=39672854&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed May 12, 2009)
  3. Ancestry.com. Historical Data Systems, comp.. American Civil War Soldiers (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999. Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA. Copyright 1997-2009, Historical Data Systems, Inc., PO Box 35, Duxbury, MA 02331. Side served: Union; State served: Kentucky; Enlistment date: 25 Aug 1863. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=hdssoldiers&h=5351823&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed May 12, 2009)
  4. Ancestry.com. National Park Service. U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865 (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data: National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, online <http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/>, acquired 2007. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=nps_civilwarsoldiers&h=4125474&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed May 12, 2009)
  5. Ancestry.com. Original data: Report of the adjutant general of the state of Kentucky. Frankfort, Ky.: Printed at the Kentucky Yeoman Office, J.H. Harney, public printer, 1866-1867. Volume II, Schedule A, Page 451. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=genealogy-glh43635757&h=1442&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed May 12, 2009)
  6. Ancestry.com. Historical Data Systems, comp. American Civil War Regiments (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999. Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA. Copyright 1997-2009, Historical Data Systems, Inc., PO Box 35, Duxbury, MA 02331. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=hdsregiment&h=3519&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed May 12, 2009)
  7. Anderson, William P. “January 13, 1864 – Skirmish at Ragland Mills, Bath County, Kentucky.” The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Additions and Corrections to Series I Volume XXXII. Published under the direction of Elihu Root, Secretary of War. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1902.  Page 71. <http://books.google.com/books?id=aNsUAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage#PRA1-PA71,M1> Google Books. (accessed May 22, 2009)
  8. Ancestry.com. Speed, Thomas. “Forty-Fifth Kentucky Mounted Infantry.” The Union Regiments of Kentucky. Louisville, Ky.: Courier-Journal Job Print. Co., 1897. Page 624. <http://content.ancestry.com/Browse/BookView.aspx?dbid=28669&pageno=2_624> (accessed May 20, 2009)
  9. Phisterer, Frederick. “Chronological Record of Battles.” Campaigns of the Civil War Supplementary Volume Statistical Record of the Armies of the United States. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1883.  Page 170. Internet Archive. <http://www.archive.org/details/campaignsofcivil13newy> (accessed May 20, 2009)
  10. Gallup, George W. “March 28-April 16, 1864 – Operations in Eastern Kentucky.” The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Additions and Corrections to Series I Volume XXXII. Published under the direction of Elihu Root, Secretary of War. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1902.  Page 646. <http://books.google.com/books?id=aNsUAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage#PRA1-PA646,M1> Google Books. (accessed May 22, 2009)
  11. Brown, John Mason. “April 27, 1864 – Skirmish on Troublesome Creek.” The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Additions and Corrections to Series I Volume XXXII. Published under the direction of Elihu Root, Secretary of War. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1902.  Page 687. <http://books.google.com/books?id=aNsUAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage&client=firefox-a#PRA1-PA687,M1> Google Books. (accessed May 22, 2009)
  12. Burbridge, Stephan G. “Chapter LI: Operations in Kentucky, Southwest Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and North Georgia (The Atlanta Campaign Excepted).” The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Misc. Document 233, Part 1. United States Congressional Serial Set 52nd Congress, 1st Session. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1892.  Page 22. <http://books.google.com/books?id=gwEpAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA22,M1> Google Books. (accessed May 21, 2009)
  13. Brown, Jonathan Mason. “Chapter LI: Operations in Kentucky, Southwest Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and North Georgia (The Atlanta Campaign Excepted).” The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Misc. Document 233, Part 1. United States Congressional Serial Set 52nd Congress, 1st Session. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1892.  Page 44. <http://books.google.com/books?id=gwEpAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA44,M1> Google Books. (accessed May 21, 2009)
  14. Brown, Jonathan Mason. “Chapter LI: Operations in Kentucky, Southwest Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and North Georgia (The Atlanta Campaign Excepted).” The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Misc. Document 233, Part 1. United States Congressional Serial Set 52nd Congress, 1st Session. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1892.  Page 45. <http://books.google.com/books?id=gwEpAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA45,M1> Google Books. (accessed May 21, 2009)
  15. Johnson, E. Polk. “Chapter LII: Enrollment of Colored Troops – Rebel and Union Guerrillas – Burbridge, Kentucky’s Dishonored Son – Federal Interference and Official Outrages – Last of Burbridge and His Rule – The End of the War.” A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians.  Chicago-New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1912.  Page 373. <http://books.google.com/books?id=BEoVAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA373,M1> Google Books. (accessed May 21, 2009)
  16. United States Department of the Interior – Geological Survey. “Salt and Gypsum Industries.” Bulletin No. 530 – United States Geological Survey.  Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1913. Page 241. <http://books.google.com/books?id=DFMMAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage#PPA241,M1> Google Books. (accessed May 21, 2009)
  17. Neal, William. “Freestone Valley.” Tazewell County Virginia. Compiled by Louise Leslie. The Overmountain Press, 1995. Page 228. <http://books.google.com/books?id=OzMqly1hYhUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA228,M1> (accessed May 22, 2009)
  18. Edited by Frank Moore. “Document 53: The Saltville Expedition.” The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events. New York: D. Van Nostrand, 192 Broadway, 1868. Eleventh Volume, Page 424. <http://books.google.com/books?id=fdd2AAAAMAAJ&printsec=titlepage#PPA424,M1> Google Books. (accessed May 22, 2009)
  19. Neal, William. “Freestone Valley.” Tazewell County Virginia. Compiled by Louise Leslie. The Overmountain Press, 1995. Page 229. <http://books.google.com/books?id=OzMqly1hYhUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA229,M1> (accessed May 22, 2009)
  20. Burbridge, Stephan G. “September 20 – October 17, 1864 – Raids from Kentucky and East Tennessee into Southwestern Virginia.” The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Published under the direction of Stephan B. Elkins, Secretary of War. Series I, Volume XXXIX, Part I – Reports. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1892.  Pages 552-3. <http://books.google.com/books?id=ytEUAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA552,M1> (accessed May 21, 2009)
  21. Gardner, William H. “September 20 – October 17, 1864 – Raids from Kentucky and East Tennessee into Southwestern Virginia.” The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Published under the direction of Stephan B. Elkins, Secretary of War. Series I, Volume XXXIX, Part I – Reports. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1892.  Page 554. <http://books.google.com/books?id=ytEUAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA554,M1> (accessed May 21, 2009)
  22. Ancestry.com. Historical Data Systems, comp. American Civil War Regiments (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999. Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA. Copyright 1997-2009, Historical Data Systems, Inc., PO Box 35, Duxbury, MA 02331. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=hdsregiment&h=3519&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed May 12, 2009)

Comments are closed.