John R. Parmelee, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of John R. Parmelee


At the time Capt. Parmelee entered the service in the Seventh Indiana Cavalry, he was a practicing attorney at Valparaiso, Porter county, in the State of Indiana.

On the 24th day of August, 1863, he was mustered as First Lieutenant of Company A, of the Seventh Indiana Cavalry.

On the promotion of Captain John C. Febles to Major of the regiment, Parmelee was promoted to the vacancy caused thereby, and mustered as Captain November 1st, 1863.

As already stated in chapter 3d, he was severely wounded in the sabre charge, at Ivy Farm, on the 22d of February, 1864, and taken prisoner of war. In the charge, he gallantly led his company, A, which suffered severely in killed, wounded and prisoners. From the field at Ivy Farm, he was taken to Okolona, and from there by railroad to West Point, thence to Starksville, Mississippi, and from there to Columbus, Miss., arriving at the latter place on the 25th of February, 1864. He remained at Columbus until the 3d of March following, when he, with many other prisoners, was compelled to march on foot to Demopolis, Alabama, a distance of ninety-five miles, arriving there on the 6th of March. The next day, March 7th, he was taken by railroad to Selma, and from there, by steamboat on the Alabama river, to Cahawba, Alabama, arriving there on the evening of the same day. He remained at Cahawba till the 28th of April, when he was taken on the steamboat "Southern Republic" up the Alabama river to Montgomery, the capital of the State of Alabama. From Montgomery, he was taken to Andersonville, Georgia, via Columbus and Fort Valley, Ga., by railroad, arriving at Andersonville on the 2d day of May. On the next day he was taken to Macon, Ga., where he remained until July, 29th. On the 17th of May, the number of prisoners at Macon, were increased, by the arrival of fifteen hundred Federal officers from Libby prison, at Richmond, Va.

On the 20th of July, the Captain, together with six hundred other officers, was taken, by way of Savannah, Ga., to Charleston, South Carolina, arriving there on the morning of July 30th. There he remained till October 6th, when he was removed to Columbia, South Caroliana, where he remained until the 4th of November, 1864. On that day, determined to make an effort to regain his freedom, the Captain, in company with Captians George E. King, of the 113th Regiment of Illinois, Volunteer Infantry, and Marcus L. Stansberry, of the 95th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, escaped through the guard lines, and traveling across the country, reached Orangeburg, S. C., on the Edisto river, on the 9th of November. At that place, the fugitives procured a skiff, and proceeded in it, down the Edisto to its mouth, reaching that point on the 17th of November. In the evening of that day, by the aid of some negroes, who owned and navigated a small sail-boat, they succeeded in getting aboard of the gunboat Stetten, of the United States blockading squadron, lying in St. Helena sound, off Otter Island, on the coast of South Carolina. They remained on board the gunboat two days, during which time, they were treated with the greatest kindness and politeness by the officers and men of the vessel.

After the expiration of two days, they were taken in a small boat to Port Royal harbor, and delivered to Admiral Dahlgreen on board his flag-ship.

After a couple of hours conversation with the Admiral, they were taken in a steam tug to Hilton Head, where they were placed in the hands of General Foster, Commander of the Department. The General and his wife, and all the members of his staff, treated them with the utmost kindness.

Gen. Foster gave them a leave of absence for two months. They proceeded on board the Orago to New York City, arriving there on the 25th of November, 1864. From there, they proceeded to their homes.

Soon after reaching home, Captain Parmelee was attacked with inflammatory rheumatism, and was unable to rejoin his regiment, until the 26th of January, 1865, which he did on that day, at Memphis, Tennessee.

He was soon after detailed as Judge-Advocate of a military commission, at Memphis, Tenn., and served as such until the regiment started for Texas. On the consolidation of the regiment, he was mustered out of the service. Since the close of the war he has made Indianapolis his home, where he is engaged in the practice of the law.

Source: Cogley, Thomas S. 1876. History of the Seventh Indiana Cavalry Volunteers. LaPorte, Indiana: Herald Company. 267 p.
Page(s) in Source: 215-217

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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