Capt. Charles G. Olmstead Biography Page

Charles Goodrich Olmstead
Captain, Co. A

Father: William Olmstead (b. 6/29/1778 - d. 5/1/1865)
Mother: Rachel Laird (b. 5/31/1784 - d. 3/18/1845)
Date and Place of Birth: November 1, 1823. Evansville, Ind.
Spouse: Antoinette Hedden Wood 1 (b. 9/10/1825 - d. 5/20/1852)
Elizabeth Electa Hopkins 2 (b. 12/18/35 - d. 5/18/1905)
Children: First Marriage: Charles Goodrich, Sarah Maria (d. young)
Second Marriage: Hiram Hamilton (b. 9/5/1855 - d. 2/3/1872), George Washington (b. 2/22/1857), Ella (b. 1/6/1859 - d. 1929)
Date and Place of Death:  October 8, 1862.  Perryville, Kentucky
Place of Burial:

Salem Cemetery (also called Campground Cemetery), Vanderburgh County, IN (Center Township).  Stone Reads:

1823 - 1862

OCT. 8, 1862.  AGED 38 YEARS, 11 MO

Military History: Commissioned First Lieutenant, Co. A,  9/12/1861
Promoted Captain, Co. A, 2/10/1862
Killed at the Battle of Perryville, Ky. (See Below)
Comments: Capt. Olmstead's father, William Olmstead, was Judge of the Court of Vanderburgh County, IN.

Capt. Olmstead's Grandfather, Col. David Olmstead, served in the Revolutionary War and was a member of the 16th Regt. of Horse and was a representative in the Connecticut Legislature, 14 times.
Submitter of Information: Charley King

Source: Horrall, S. F., History of the Forty-Second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, p. 118

 Source:  Horrall, S. F., History of the Forty-Second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Published 1892. p 118.

The subject of this brief sketch was born in Vanderburg county, Indiana, November 1, 1823, and entered the U. S. service as 1st lieutenant of Company A, 42d Regiment, with its organization, at the age of  38 years and 9 months. Before entering the army he was engaged in the sawmill and lumber business in Evansville, Indiana.
Captain Olmstead was promoted to this rank soon after the organization of the command, his captain (Atchison) being made chaplain.
    Captain Olmstead was one of the most painstaking officers, realizing from the beginning the importance of efficiency and proficiency in drill, and he at once became one of the closest students in tactics.
    He was killed at the battle of Perryville, Ky., while urging on his men in the fight. No braver or better soldier ever belonged to the regiment.
    His body was removed from the bloody field of Perryville, Ky., to his former home, where it found a last resting-place, on what would have been his 39th birthday here on earth, let us hope and believe he celebrated it in heaven, hard by the throne of God, for he was a Soldier of the Cross, as well as for the Union.
    He left a wife, three sons and one daughter, all living except the second son. By all who knew him Captain Olmstead was loved.

Additional Information About Charles G. Olmstead

Charles, before the War, was Surveyor for Vanderburg County, Ind. and was also in the sawmill and lumber business.  It was said that when Charles received his commission as Lieutenant, he said to his father: "Father, I leave you in your old age, because I feel it to be a religious duty.  I feel that my country needs my service."

There are several different accounts about how Capt. Olmstead met his hero's death.  One account, by Private George Kirkpatrick of Co. A, relates the following: "Captain Olmstead raised his sword and called 'Come on, Boys,' and turned to go down the hill.  He met his death at that moment, for a bullet pierced his brain.  My partner and I were six feet, two and one half inches tall, and were the two first in the regiment.  The bullet which killed Captain Olmstead went between us, and Captain Olmstead's brains blinded us, as he fell directly before us, and we jumped over him, with the determination to avenge his slaughter.”  Another report by then Lt. Horrall, of Co. F, indicated that Captain Olmstead was killed around 3:30 PM while encouraging and cheering his men on and had just said to them “This is as good a place to die as any other,” when he was shot and killed.  Capt. Olmstead's last moments were also described in a letter written by then Major Shanklin: "Capt. Olmstead, after being shot through the head just over the eye, said "oh" before falling dead."



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This Page was Last Edited on June 24, 2005