Lewis Stoddard, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Lewis Stoddard


In the history of the Civil War, the name of our subject will be found as not having borne an unimportant part in that eventful struggle. On the 4th of August, 1862, he enlisted at Valparaiso as a private in Company I, Seventy-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and the regiment proceeded to Louisville, thence to Lexington, and then back to Louisville, having had some severe skirmishes with the rebels. In August they marched to Nashville with Gen. Buell, and took part in the battles of Perryville and Stone River. In the spring of 1863 the regiment was detailed to go with Gen. Streight on raid, and left their command at Tuscumbia. At Louisville the regiment bad been issued old Harper Ferry muskets, and at Tuscumbia pack-saddles were furnished and orders received to forage for their mount. Capt. Stoddard drew a mule which had been picked up by the soldiers, and he rode it two days, when it gave out. Later, in passing through a town, he found a good rebel cavalry horse, which he rode throughout the raid. His first fight was at Day's Gap; afterwards there was a severe engagement at Crooked Creek, where a night attack was made by the Confederates. They retreated during the night and several severe skirmishes took place during that time. At Rome, Georgia, where a detail of 100 Union men were to take possession of that place and where there was hard fighting with Gen. Forrest, Col. Hathaway, who was on a white horse, approached the enemy where the bullets were flying in every direction. Capt. Stoddard, seeing a sharpshooter to pick off the Colonel, sang out to him to watch out or the sharpshooters would get him. The Colonel replied: "Pick him off for me, Stoddard,Ē and at the same time fell back about two rods, and again turned to face the enemy. A rebel concealed in some brush fired and killed the Colonel, and then ran for the enemy's line, but had only proceeded a short distance when he was struck by at least fifteen bullets. Three miles from Rome, Georgia, Gen. Streight surrendered the command, and Mr. Stoddard with the regiment was taken prisoner to Rome. From there they were sent on to Belle Island and thence to City Point, where they were paroled. Our subject received a furlough home, and while there his house took fire and burned to the ground. He obeyed orders though, and proceeded to Indianapolis; but on a petition signed by the citizens of Porter County to the Governor of Indiana he came home on a furlough to build his wife a house. Twenty days later he returned to his command, and the same was detailed to guard Gen. Morganís men at Camp Morton. In October, 1863, Capt. Stoddard received recruiting commission from the Governor and formed Company M, Twelfth Cavalry, in Porter County, and was commissioned Captain of the same January 9, 1864. He proceeded with his company to Indianapolis, and from there went to Nashville to take charge of a block house. After a month they were removed to Cold Springs, and from there to Point Bock. On the 12th of July he paid a visit to his old company at Limestone, Alabama, to receive from his old captain final papers for discharge, and when returning, and riding with some soldiers on the top, of a freight car, was fired upon by about thirty bushwhackers. Four soldiers were killed. Four balls went through Capt. Stoddard's clothing without injuring him, but another broke his left arm. He received leave of absence for thirty days, and was then ordered to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was in the hospital one month. Returning home he voted the Republican ticket in the State election, and later paid his way home to vote for Abraham Lincoln for president. He received an honorable discharge at Cincinnati, Ohio, and since the war has been engaged in farming, although he has little use of his left arm, the elbow being shattered.

Capt. Stoddard was born September 12, 1830, in Canada, and was a son of Sheldon and Olive (Chipman) Stoddard, natives respectively of Connecticut and Vermont. Sheldon Stoddard went to Canada with his father, Icabod Stoddard, when about eighteen years of age, and settled about sixty miles from Toronto. In that country he married Miss Chipman, who came of good old New England stock, and twelve children were the fruits of this union: Icabod, Trueman, Polly, Sarah, William, an infant died unnamed, Charlotte, Fannie, Martha, Olive, Lewis, and Lyman. In 1837 Mr. Stoddard moved to Porter County, Indiana, and settled four miles southwest of Valparaiso, where he raised one crop. The land was then entered by another man and our subject lost his improvements. The following year he bought half of the farm which now belongs to his son William, and on this he passed the remainder of his days, dying in 1852, when sixty-six years of age. He was an Old Line Whig in politics, and for many years was justice of the peace. An upright, industrious citizen, he was universally liked. In his old age he built a steam mill at and contracted five miles on the plank road, but died before he completed his contract. The toll-gate at Westville was established by him.

Our subject was not five years of age when he came with his father from Canada to Toledo, Ohio, so that when he came to Porter County in 1837 he was about seven years of age. He received a limited education in the common schools and worked on his father's farm, where he became familiar with every duty. In February, 1854, he was united in marriage to Miss Nancy Trinkle, daughter of William Trinkle. Mrs. Stoddard died in 1867, and in 1876 Mr. Stoddard married Mrs. Harriet Little, widow of Richard Little, an old soldier, and daughter of Palmer Sumner, who was one of the old settlers of Porter County, where he was for many years constable. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Stoddard: Laura, Ira, Ray, and Ord. In politics he is a Republican, and socially a member of Walter Post, G. A. R., Hebron, Indiana. In 1850, previous to his first marriage, Mr. Stoddard walked from Omaha, Nebraska, where a company was started for California, and made the long journey of 2,000 miles on foot, arriving at Hangtown, California, September 5, 1850. This was before his twenty-first birthday. The entire route was dotted, as far as the eye could reach, with white covers of emigrant's wagons. Mr. Stoddard mined at Hangtown and Georgetown and wintered at Indian Flats. Not finding much gold he came home in 1851, via Panama and New York, after spending ten days on the Island of Jamaica. He inherited 120 acres of land in Pleasant Township, this county, and after marriage settled down to farming.

Source: Goodspeed Brothers. 1894. Pictorial and Biographical Record of La Porte, Porter, Lake and Starke Counties, Indiana. Chicago, Illinois: Goodspeed Brothers. 569 p.
Page(s) in Source: 158-161

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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