Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
Samuel A. Linton
Scope and Content
The Civil War diary of Samuel A. Linton of Pemberville, Ohio was microfilmed by the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in 1980. The original material, in the possession of John Arthur Linton of Bellevue, Ohio, includes the diary, a listing of the Relations of the Linton Family and the Last Known Addresses and Captain Silas S. Canfield's History of the 21st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the War of the Rebellion (Toledo, Ohio 1893). Linton, who served in the 21st OVI, recopied his war diary (1861 to 1863), on two tablets forty years after the event. The additional material was provided by his descendants. The Linton microfilm is shelved in the Center's reading room. In 1998, a typed transcript of Linton's Civil War diary, prepared by the family, was scanned by the Rutherford B. Hayes Center. The transcript included not only Linton's war diary but also a record of Linton's experiences during his move from Ohio to Kansas in 1900 and from Kansas to Alabama, a journal kept by Linton in 1905 and 1906 while living in Athens, Alabama, a transcript of Linton's pension papers, and a short essay about Stevenson, Alabama's role in the Civil War. The 1905-1906 journal is currently (1998) owned by Georgia Pylant of Athens, Alabama. The Linton transcripts are filed in the Center's Local History Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection as an addenda to the 1980 microfilm.
Samuel Linton, born June 18, 1840, enrolled in the 21st OVI's Company I, which was made up of Pemberville and Woodville residents recruited at Elmore, on August 29, 1861. Linton kept a diary of his experiences from his enlistment to August 24, 1863, when he was discharged from the army because of his ongoing pain from the injuries sustained in November 1861 and May 1862. He sustained a bruise on his right side when crowded over a ledge on Ivy Mountain in Kentucky on November 8, 1861. The injury was exacerbated in a train accident between Athens and Huntsville, Alabama, on May 11, 1862. Though he mentioned the incidents in passing in his diary, the description of his treatments fill much of his Civil War diary. Military surgeons attempts to persuade Linton to seek a disability discharge proved futile. Although weakened by infection, Linton remained with the regiment, participating in the Battle of Stone's River. He avoided capture by Rebel forces, assisted a wounded comrade on December 31st , and captured a Confederate soldier on January 2nd. He reported a pain in his head and neck on May 20 and by June 18 was hospitalized. The swollen sore was lanced by regimental surgeons five times. Ultimately, Linton was forced to resign, returning home to Pemberville, Ohio in late August 1863. His brother, Josiah, was a member of Company F of the 8th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and died in Cleveland, Ohio, on January 28, 1864, of a fever. Josiah's daughter, Anna, was Linton's last living relative. On April 30, 1865, Samuel Linton married Cynthia Cordelia Tryon. They were the parents of seven children. After her death in 1899 and the death of two of their children around the same time, Linton decided to move to Kansas with his son John. In 1902, Linton moved to Athens, Alabama with his son Charles. He married Eliza G. Wiles in Athens, Alabama, on July 28, 1908, and died in Athens in 1913.
Scope and Content
Of special interest among the transcripts is the Civil War diary of Samuel Linton, spanning the period from August 1861 to August 1863. With simple eloquence, Linton related his thoughts and emotions regarding his war experiences. Despite ever-increasing disillusionment with combat, officers, and camp conditions, Linton remained devoted to his comrades and his god. Linton's diary provides a firsthand account of conditions and medical care of Union soldiers in military hospitals during the Civil War. The pension transcripts, explanatory prefaces, and the sketch of Stevenson, Alabama offer background information on the Linton family and the Civil War. Linton kept a diary of their travels, which began in October 1900 and involved the use of horses and wagons. Among their experiences along the trip were camping, fishing and attempts at buffalo hunting. They arrived in Smith County, Kansas, on November 22, 1900. During Linton's move to Athens, Alabama in 1902, he described the towns along the route and his meeting with a member of the Confederate Mosby's Rangers. Linton noted he and his former enemy didn't talk about the war -- he was more interested in learning about the country in which he was planning to settle. Around the time of the move, Linton reviewed and added an epilogue to his Civil War journal. From 1905 to 1906, Linton kept a journal of daily weather conditions, Sunday School turnouts, chores and visitors to his Alabama home.
1. Samuel Linton's Civil War diary, (1861-1863)
2. Pension Papers of Samuel Linton
3. Sketch of Stevenson, Alabama
4. Samuel Linton's Kansas diary, pp. 1 - 15, (1900)
5. Samuel Linton's Athens, Alabama diary, pp. 15 - 33 (1902)
6. Samuel Linton's Athens, Alabama ledger, pp. 1 - 45 (1905-1906)