Not every man between the ages of 20 and 45 made a
good soldier. Some for religious reasons or for family reasons
opted out of the draft by paying men $300 to fight for them.
Unfortunately many of the subs were in the business of collecting the
money and went AWOL only to reappear under another names with another
man's $300. In 1863 the government passed the Enrollment Act also
known as the Civil War Military Draft Act provided for those men between
the ages of 20 and 45 who did not want to fight to continue to pay
someone to fight for them OR to pay $300 and be relieved of duty.
This new law would help raise funds for the army as well as stop those
men from taking the money but not following through. In September
1863 a revised law was passed to refund the $300 if the person should
not have paid. Here is a
transcription of the law from the New York Times.
Genoa Township, Delaware County, Ohio resident,
John Wherry was drafted from the Eighth Congressional District of the
State of Ohio into the service of the United States during in the Civil
War. Under Section 13
of the Act for Enrolling and Calling out the National Forces, Wherry
paid $300 to I. Ranny in Delaware, Ohio on June 23rd, 1864 to obtain a
discharge from further liability under the draft.
For some reason, John enlisted for one year August 13, 1864. He may not have known his wife was pregnant with their third child.
John was mustered in at Camp Chase on August 18 by W.P. Richardson.. He was a private in Company H of the 174th Ohio Infantry under Capt. John R. Basinger. He is listed as 20 years old. They were under the command of Delaware's Colonel John Sills Jones,
174th left Ohio for Nashville, Tenn., September 23, arriving there
September 26. Moved to Murfreesboro, Tenn., and duty in the defenses of
that city until October 27. Moved from Murfreesboro to Decatur, Ala.,
October 27. Defense of Decatur October 27-29. Moved to Elk River October
29 (four companies detached at Athens, Alabama). Returned to Decatur
November 1 and duty there until November 25. Moved to Murfreesboro
November 25. Action at Overall's Creek December 4. Siege of Murfreesboro
December 5-12. Wilkinson's Pike, near Murfreesboro, December 7. Ordered
to Clifton, Tenn., and duty there until January 17, 1865. Movement to
Washington, D.C., January 17-29, and duty there until February 21. Moved
to Fort Fisher, N.C., February 21-23, to Morehead City February 24, and
to New Berne February 25. Advance on Kingston and Goldsboro March 6-21.
Battle of Wise's Forks March 8-10. Occupation of Kinston March 14, and
of Goldsboro March 21. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of
Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and
his army. Duty at Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C., until June.
In August, John Wherry filed before Delaware County
Probate Judge T. W. Powell an Application for return of his $300
Commutation Money. In his application he claims he was drafted on
June 14th 1864, paid the $300 Commutation money to I. Ranney in
Mansfield, Ohio. Then in August 1864, he enlisted in Company H.
His application is witnessed by William S. Steel and George W. Wills.
|The following certificate of this service is signed by Capt. John R. Basinger.|
|Reverse of the above document is below.|
|The application and accompanying documents were received
Sep. 18, 1867 in the Adjt. General's Office in Washington, D.C. The
reply was sent to T. E. Powell, Esq. of Delaware in Delaware County,
The within named man has no claim for return of commutation money, as he was properly drafted when he commuted and his subsequent enlistment was a voluntary action, and not in accordance with the requirement of a draft.
Thomas M Vincent
Assistant Adjutant General
E/R, Vol. 7 No. 1856 P. 373
John Wherry was born in Beaver County, Pennsylvania May 6, 1837. According to the Delaware County Cemetery Records, his father was Samuel Wherry. In 1850 there was a blacksmith in Ohioville, Beaver County, PA. named Samuel Wherry born 1809. His wife Sarah was born about 1809. There children were Samuel D., John born about 1836, Mary, Joseph and Elizabeth. Perhaps these were his parents.
John married Margaret Steel on March 21, 1861 before G. W. Wells, J.P. in Delaware County, Ohio.
In the 1870 Federal Census, farmer John(32) and his wife Margaret Ann Steel Wherry (30) were living in Genoa Township with her father William S. (65) and Sarah (64) Steel and their daughter Eliza Steel (18). John and Margaret had three children Eva (8), George Grant (born 9-1863) age 6 and William Sherman (born March 1865) age 5.
In the 1880 Federal Census for Genoa Township,
William Steel is listed as head of the household and a farmer. His wife
Sarah died in 1878 but his daughter Eliza Steel lives with him.
.His son-in-law John Wherry is the Assistant Farmer. John and
Margaret added son Nathaniel (born 1877) to the family. Also in
the census is Sarah Wherry (73) who is probably John's mother.
John and Margaret's son George G. (17) has a wounded foot.
Nearby John's son William Sherman Wherry had his own
farm, He married Ella M. Shaw. Their son Clarence was born
in 1895 and died in 1906. Their daughter Ora L. was born about
1898. William died in 1941 and Ella in 1944. Both are buried in
the Africa (East Orange) Cemetery. Clarence is also buried there.
John and Margaret Wherry are buried in the Africa (East Orange)
Cemetery on Old State Road.
Thanks to Jerry and Matt Bale for sharing this documents
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