Stephen P. Aigin
Co. F, 18th U.S.I. & Co. C, 4th O.V.I.
by John Quist
Stephen P. Aigin was born in about 1833 (1) in Exeter, Rockingham County, NH. (2)
His father, James Aigin, was born in Baltimore, MD in 1801. He went to Buffalo, NY at the age 16 to learn the tailor’s trade, in which he worked in different parts of the country. He was in Boston, MA when the cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument was laid in 1827, and was married in 1828 in New York to Martha E. Angier of Andover, MA. They had two sons, George H. (born on December 1, 1829 in Monroe County, NY) (3) and Stephen P. (1833). In 1837, the family moved to Delaware City. (4) The censuses tracked James’ employment in Delaware: tailor (1850), merchant (1860), and news dealer (1870 & 1880). “He keeps a news stand, which business he has been in for the last twenty-one years [i.e,, about 1859]; Mr. Aigin was one of the committee that organized the Ohio Wesleyan University.” (5) James and Martha (Angier) Aigin died in Delaware, he in March 1884 (6) and she on January 8, 1888, (7) and were buried there in the Oak Grove Cemetery.
In an 1880 biographical sketch, George H. Aigin, made this comment about his brother Stephen: “Mr. Aigin … had one son in the late civil war, Stephen P., enlisted in Co. C, 4th O.V.I., who was lost about 1863, supposed to have been drowned.” (8) There is much more to Stephen’s Civil War story. On September 11, 1861 in Columbus, OH, 28 year old Stephen enlisted as a Private for three years in the Regular Army in Co. F, 18th Regiment of the United States Infantry (18th U.S.I.). He was described as 5 feet 5 inches tall, having black eyes, black hair, and dark complexion. He was a printer by trade. (9)
Created by direction of President Abraham Lincoln on May 4, 1861, and confirmed by Act of Congress on July 29, the regiment was organized at Camp Thomas, four miles north of Columbus, Franklin County during the summer of 1861. (10) On December 2, they were ordered to Louisville, KY, to operate in Southeast Kentucky. They moved to Camp Hamilton, KY (January 1-17, 1862), to Louisville, KY and Nashville, TN (February 10-March 2), Savannah, TN (March 20-April 6), and were at the Battle of Shiloh, TN (April 6-7). (11) They had their first engagement with the enemy on April 24th. Being sent on reconnaissance, they drove back the enemy’s outposts and captured some prisoners. (12) They moved to and besieged Corinth, MS. (April 29-May 30). (13) During this time, on May 6th, Private Aigin was discharged for disability at Louisville, KY. (14)
Stephen returned to his parents in Delaware City, where, on October 6, 1862, he enlisted as a Private in Delaware County’s Company C, 4th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment (4th O.V.I.). (15)
The three year regiment had been organized on June 4, 1861 at Camp Dennison, about 12 miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati, OH. After only a few days of training and drilling, they were moved to Grafton, (W)VA (June 20-23) and saw active service in western Virginia throughout 1861. They then participated in the Battle of Winchester, VA (March 23, 1862) and Battle of Port Republic, VA (June 9). They moved to Front Royal, VA (June 16) and by rail to Alexandria, VA (June 29). Their brigade (4th O.V.I., 8th O.V.I., 7th WV Infantry, and 14th IN Infantry) attacked Confederate positions at the Sunken
Road at Antietam, MD (September 17) and suffered serious losses in a prolonged firefight, earning the nickname “Gibraltar Brigade” because of their firmness in battle. They then marched to Harper’s Ferry, (W)VA, staying there until October 30, where Private Stephen P. Aigin joined up with the Company C. They marched toward Falmouth, VA, fought in the disastrous Battle of Fredericksburg, VA (December 11-15), the bloody Union defeat in the Chancellorsville Campaign (April 30-May 6, 1863), and then the bloody Battle of Gettysburg, PA (July 2-3). They briefly pursued General Robert E. Lee into Virginia before being ordered to board ships for transport to New York City to help put down the New York Draft Riots (August 15-September 16). Returning to Virginia, they were in the Bristoe Campaign (October 13-November 7) and Mine Run Campaign (November 27-December 2), but saw little combat. (16)
On January 5, 1864, Private Aigen was transferred to [Company G, 22nd Regiment (17),] Veteran Reserve Corps (V.R.C.), (18) which “was created to make use, in a military or semi-military capacity, of soldiers who had been rendered unfit for active field service on account of wounds or disease contracted in the line of duty, but who were still fit for garrison or other light duty, and were, in the opinion of their commanding officers, meritorious and deserving. … The Second Battalion was made up of men who disabilities were more serious, who perhaps lost limbs or suffered some other grave injury. These [latter] were commonly employed as cooks, orderlies, nurses, or guards in public buildings.” (19) The unit’s designation was later changed to 82nd Company, 2nd Battalion. (20)
No information was found regarding the reason for him being transferred to the V.R.C. How long was he in the V.R.C.? Did he ever return to the 4th O.V.I. William Kepler, in his history of the 4th O.V.I., stated that Stephen was captured at Reams Station in Dinwiddie County, VA. (21) That took place on August 25, 1864. (24) No information was found regarding what happened to him. Was he imprisoned? Was he paroled and exchanged? Did he die, as his brother mentioned? Was he discharged? Both he and the information totally disappeared.
Compiled by John W. Quist
August 8, 2013
“Stephen P. Aigin.” 1850 U.S. federal census, Delaware City,
“Stephen P. Aigin.” U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914,
“George H. Aigin.” History of Delaware County and Ohio, O.L.
Baskin & Co.,
6 “James Aigin.” Find A Grave Memorial, findagrave.com (online)
7 “Martha E. Angier Aigin.” Find A Grave Memorial
8 Footnote 3
“18th U.S. Infantry.” Ohio in the Civil War,
Dyer, Frederick H. “18th Regiment Infantry,” A
Compendium of the War of the
“The Eighteenth Regiment of Infantry,” The Army of the United
14 Footnote 2
“Aigen, Stephen P.” Company C, 4th O.V.I.,
Official Roster of the Soldiers of
16 “4th O.V.I.” en.wikipedia.org (online)
17 “Stephen P. Aigin.” U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865, search.ancestry.com
18 Footnote 15
19 “Veteran Reserve Corps.” en.wikipedia.org
“82nd Company, 2nd Battalion.” Union – U.S.
Veterans Reserve Corps (Part 2)
William. “Aigen, Stephen P.,” History of the Three Months’
22 Footnote 16
John Quist's Civil War
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