Local History Collections

Collection ID: LH-MSS
Location: LH-MSS

(Description ID: 595425)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museum

Isaac P. Rule

LH–Misc. Mss.

Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

This collection was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums by the Rule Brundage family in 1995.

Biographical Sketch
Isaac P. Rule (1837-1863) was one of 10 children born to Daniel and Jane (Grosscost) Rule.  Daniel and Jane originated from Pennsylvania, but moved to Seneca County, Ohio, in 1832.  Daniel was actively involved in the community, especially as a strong supporter of Heidelberg College when it opened in 1850; in recognition of his financial support to the institution, he was given a certificate that allowed him and all of his descendants to attend the college tuition free. While it is not noted if any of the family took advantage of this offer, one could surmise from the spelling and grammar of the letters in this collection that Isaac Rule had received some formal education.

Isaac and his brother Byron were farmers before the Civil War, while his brother Daniel was a schoolteacher.  On August 12, 1862, Isaac enlisted in the 101st Ohio Volunteer Infantry (O.V.I.) at Tiffin, Ohio, as 1st Sergeant of Co. I.  At this time, Daniel left his teaching position and took over Isaac’s share of the farming.  Isaac eventually was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant of Co. I on January 1, 1863.

Isaac was wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga on the afternoon of Sept. 19, 1863.  He was taken to the division hospital at Crawfish Springs and died around 6:00 the following evening.  He was originally buried on the grounds of the Lee-Gordon Mansion, his grave marked by a wooden plank carved by Corporal Joseph M. Crawford of the 101st O.V.I.  His body was returned to Seneca County, Ohio, the following February and was buried at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery.  G.A.R. Post 413 in Tiffin, Ohio, was named in honor of Lieutenant Isaac P. Rule.

The 101st Ohio Volunteer Infantry was recruited from Erie, Huron, Seneca, Crawford, and Wyandot counties and was mustered into service at Monroeville, Ohio, on August 30, 1862.  Following a brief training, it was sent by rail to Cincinnati and then into Kentucky, joining the Union army led by Don Carlos Buell to assist in repelling a raid by Kirby Smith’s Confederates, and eventually fighting at Perryville October 8.

Through the fall of 1862, the 101st moved through Kentucky and then to Nashville, Tennessee, under the command of Jefferson C. Davis as part of Rosecrans’s Army of the Cumberland.  On December 26, 1862, the regiment took part in the battle at Knobb’s Hill (Nolansville) where they charged up a hill and helped capture two Confederate cannons.

On the first day of the Battle of Stones River, the 101st was placed in the right portion of the Union forces and held its ground until ordered to retreat as a result of being outflanked by the Confederates.  Col. Leander Stem and Lt. Col. Moses Wooster were both killed during this day’s fighting.  The regiment was moved to the left side of the army to repulse the attack of January 2, 1863.  Losses for the two days were 7 officers and 212 enlisted men.

The rest of the winter was spent patrolling around Murfreesboro, followed by a period in camp in the city where the regiment was sent to rest and recover in preparation for the approaching summer maneuvers.  Near the end of June 1863, the 101st took part in the Tullahoma campaign, moving toward Liberty Gap, Tennessee, and ending up at Winchester, Tennessee.

The 101st O.V.I. participated in the Chattanooga campaign in August of 1863, crossing the Tennessee River and marching across Sand and Lookout Mountains, reversing over Lookout Mountain and up Wills Valley.  The 101st also took part in the battle at Chickamauga, Georgia, on September 19 and 20, retaking a battery on the 20th.  It was during this skirmish that Isaac P. Rule received his fatal wounds.  After the defeat at Chickamauga they retired to Chattanooga, reorganized, and on October 28 marched to Bridgeport, Alabama, where they stayed until the beginning of 1864, when the regiment moved back into Tennessee.           

The 101st O.V.I. took part in the 1864 Atlanta campaign, actively fighting and pursuing the Confederate army to Atlanta, especially at the Pass of Rocky Face Ridge (Buzzard’s Roost), Jonesboro, Lovejoy, and Atlanta. When Hood broke away from Atlanta and headed north, the 101st pursued the southerners to Pulaski, Franklin, and Nashville.  After helping to defeat Hood at Nashville, Tennessee, on December 15 and 16, 1864, the regiment followed his army to Lexington, Alabama, and then on to Huntsville, where it went into camp until it was mustered out June 12, 1865.  The 101st O.V.I. ultimately was sent back to Camp Taylor near Cleveland, Ohio, and discharged.

Scope and Content
This collection consists of photocopies of 56 letters from Isaac P. Rule of the 101st O.V.I., Company I, to his brother Daniel, who was residing at home near Tiffin, Ohio.  The correspondence dates from September 1862—when the regiment was encamped in Kentucky shortly after mustering—until September 1863, prior to the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia.  The letters relate the regiment’s movements, battles in which they participated, and information about soldiers of the 101st O.V.I.  The communication also provides information regarding the condition of Rule’s friends in the regiment (such as their reactions to army life and encounters with illness), Rule’s opinions regarding the lack of support for the war effort by some individuals, and his efforts to maintain a connection to life at home.  Also included are a print of a photograph taken of Isaac Rule and several records relating to the ancestry of Isaac’s father, Daniel.  In regards to military service, the collection also contains a list of the battles in which the 101st O.V.I. participated, a copy of the October 30, 1863 letter in the Tiffin Weekly Tribune relating to Isaac’s death, and information regarding the disinterment and transportation of Isaac Rule’s body.  The original letters are owned by descendants of Isaac P. Rule; the family has given permission for these copies to be made available for research purposes.

Ac. 5328
60 items



Print of photograph of Isaac P. Rule

9/16/1862, Camp Stem near Covington, KY

-arrival at camp and reception in Cincinnati
-moving to camp near Covington
-also mentions Norman, Irvin, Ellis

9/12/1862, 2 miles beyond Camp Stem

-skirmish with Confederates and description of Confederates’ camp
-also mentions Norman, Ellis, Carle

9/13/1862 (cont. 9/14 and 9/15), Fort Mitchell, KY

-tells of picket duty, issuing new clothes to company
-Rule’s impression of two lieutenants
-also mentions Harvey, Norman, Nelson


-movement towards Louisville, pursuing Bragg
-also mentions Gretschine and Frank ?, who accidentally shot off two fingers

9/28/1862, near Louisville

-travels to Louisville
-daily routine
-urges Daniel not to enlist
-mentions Dudley G., Norman

10/8/1862, near Perryville, KY

-march to Perryville, fighting in area
-scarcity of water
-sight of slaves

10/8/1862, Perryville, KY

-distant sounds of fighting, camp life and duties
-also mentions Jesse Hall

10/16/1862, near Crab Orchard, KY

-actions during Battle of Perryville

10/24/1862, Lebanon, KY

-movement from Crab Orchard to Lebanon
-complaints & rumors of commander, Army of Ohio
-desire for news & newspapers rather than camp rumors
-reaction to election results

11/16/1862, 9 miles from Nashville, TN

-results of election
-mentions Jeff. C. Davis as new commander of division
-asks for money
-also mentions Knott Crockett

12/7/1862, Camp Andrew Johnson

-picket duty
-thanks for money
-ill from a cold
-also mentions that Robert Park has measles


-marching toward Murfreesboro
-exchange of Austrian rifled muskets for Harpers Ferry and Springfield guns 
 dating 1821 to recent date
-also mentions Norman, Roberts Park now well, 2 Shriver boys in hospital, 
 Dudley G. and J. Watson in hospital

12/24/1862, camp 6 miles from Nashville

-measles & sickness widespread in 101st
-concern about defeat of eastern army at Fredericksburg
-political events in Washington
-also mentions that Park is still in hospital and not well, Norman has measles,
 Scott Lutz, Wm. Birdsall, Richard Bonnell, Ezra Shriver expected to die of typhoid fever

12/28/1862, midway between Nashville & Murfreesboro

-Army of the Cumberland moving
-fighting at Nolansville Dec. 26
-also mentions John Hoover, Set Kline (Co. K)

1/5/1863, camp near Murfreesboro

-Battle of Stones River
-also mentions George Gettinger mortally wounded, Alonzo Jordan and 13 others
  unaccounted for

2/11/1863, on board steamer Gen. Buell (portion missing)

-received commission as 2nd Lieutenant

2/18/1863, camp near Murfreesboro

-foraging mission

2/23/1863, camp near Murfreesboro

-concern for brother Daniel’s health
-general orders for Washington’s birthday

2/25/1863, camp near Murfreesboro (portion missing)

to Maggie Evans

            -general camp life
            -also mentions J. M. Reynolds, Knott

3/2/1863, camp near Murfreesboro

-concerning farming at home
-also mentions Norman, Alonzo Jordan, John Petticord

3/15/1863, camp near Murfreesboro

-scouting & foraging trip
-also mentions Daniel Petticord, John Bonnell

3/28/1863, camp near Murfreesboro

-review of division by Gen. Rosecrans

4/4/1863, Murfreesboro

-comments regarding if conscription was strictly enforced in Adams Twp.
-hopeful of war ending soon
-also mentions John Shafer being quite sick

4/12/1863, camp near Murfreesboro

-mother has dropsy
-comments about ‘unpatriotic’ townsmen
-southern capture of train
-also mentions John Shafer’s condition improving

4/28/1863, camp near Murfreesboro

-preparations for spring campaign
-also mentions Charles Kelsey, John Petticord

5/25/1863, camp near Murfreesboro

-picket duty, anticipation of army moving
-reaction of Grant’s army’s advancement at Vicksburg
-cavalry raid of southern post at Middleton
-reports of southern prison camps

5/29/1863, on Picket

-comments about C. L. Vallandingham passed through southern lines
-needs dress uniform sent
-also mentions ___ Holtz not well

6/7/1863, camp near Murfreesboro

-account of outpost and skirmish on Shelbyville Pike
-report of receiving box from home – some spoiled, some intact


-comments about farming at home
-request for clothing, including silk sash with price
-comments about C. L. Vallandingham and copperheads

6/15/1863, camp near Murfreesboro

-speculation about troop movement after Vicksburg
-more comments about Vallandingham and copperheads

6/20/1863, camp near Murfreesboro

-comments about siege at Vicksburg and military events in the east
-thoughts of farming at home, prices for wheat and wool
-organization of township militia

6/23/1863, camp near Murfreesboro

-expecting troop movement, preparations for marching
-ring making as camp activity
-also mentions Jess Hall, Philip Jordan, Charles _____

7/5/1863, Winchester, Tenn.

-report of Bragg’s army retreating, many Tennesseans deserting
-comments about Bragg
-description of area
-prices of food and clothing

7/20/1863, Winchester, Tenn.

-comments about officers and people back home willing to accept Southerners back into Union
-farm prices back home
-loss of company’s mess chest

7/25/1863, Winchester, Tenn.

-need for new clothes and boots
-also mentions Norman, Capt. Shriver, Knott Crockett, Joe

7/29/1863, Winchester, Tenn.

-sending checks to families at home for many of the company’s men

8/1/1863, Winchester, Tenn.

-more comments about Southern sympathizers
-deserters from Johnston’s army
-desire to crush rebellion

8/7/1863, Winchester, Tenn.

-how troops spent previous day that was “set apart by the President for the return of
 thanks and prayers for the signal victories…”
-comments regarding political figures back home
-expects army to move
-also mentions James Harris

8/13/1863, Winchester, Tenn.

-review by Gen. Rosecrans – very warm temperatures
-some company men at home on leave

8/16/1863, Winchester, Tenn.

-political climate at home

8/17/1863, Winchester, Tenn.

-orders to march – as far as Stevenson, Alabama

8/20/1863, camp at Stevenson, AL

-march from Winchester to Stevenson, including up and down mountain road

8/25/1863, near Stevenson

-death of Mary’s youngest child
-description of area
-also mentions Joseph Raymond

8/31/1863, Caperton’s Ferry, Jackson, AL

-march to new camp, crossing Tennessee River
-expects to make another move soon, army in good condition
-further march over mountains – wagon teams need assistance
-conscription at home

9/3/1863, Wills Valley, AL

-advancing in the area of Chattanooga
-rumors about Southern army
-comments regarding eastern Union army
-reaction to comments about Rule’s views of Southern sympathizers

9/6/1863, Winston’s Farm, Wills Valley, AL

-maneuvering near Lookout Mountain
-comments about copperheads
-comments about regimental officers

9/15/1863, Wills Valley, DeRabb Co., AL

-maneuvering, responding to assist Gen. Thomas (9/13)
-comments about area and residents
-comments about destruction of local property
-rumors about Burnside at Knoxville
-concern and comments that northern copperheads will provoke an insurrection in Ohio

cont. 9/17/1863 Stevens Pass, Lookout Mountain, Ga.

-maneuvers in area
-concern over political situation at home

Fragments no date/no first page

-encouraging Daniel to write to Sgt. Joe Lentz
-currently assigned to Co. H

no date/no location

-comments about Gen. Lew Wallace, Gen. Jordan (replacement for Wallace), and Gen. A. J. Smith
-camp life, no regrets about joining the army

10/18/1863, Chattanooga

-letter from J.M.R. to Daniel Rule telling him of the wounding and death of Isaac
 (published in Tiffin Weekly Tribune 10/30/1863)


-government undertaker receipt for metal case and shipping of body

2/11/1864, Lancaster

-telegram telling that the body is en route to Tiffin, Ohio           

3/14/1864, Nashville

-letter regarding disinterment (incomplete)

6/13/1863, camp near Murfreesboro

-report of Isaac Rule to Miss Elizabeth Stem regarding care of Col. Leander
 Stem after being mortally wounded at Battle of Stones River
-also mentions William Herald

5/13/1863, Certificate of Transportation for Capt. D. C. Rule from Cleveland to Clyde

Ancestor chart for Jane Brundage Wickham, with entries for Daniel and Byron Rule

List of battles in which the 101st Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, participated

Copy of biographical sketch of Daniel Rule from the History of Seneca County, pg 484-485 (2 copies)