Luther Baker Mesnard


Luther Mesnard of the 55th

9/13/1861 - 1/31/1864

Luther Mesnard of the 25th

3/16/1864 - 6/18/1866

Born December 31, 1837 and died of Bright's disease in February 25, 1904. He was a deeply pious man who didn't drink, gambol, play cards, swear and may not have even danced. He was non-violent by nature but a fierce abolitionist. He believed the Confederates were an abomination to God and country and needed killing. He truly believed he was part of God's 'swift sword' restoring justice on earth. The Confederates were equally passionate that stupid Yankees had the nerve to tell them how they should live. Today we do not understand the passion that drove the troops to tear one another apart so ferociously. Both sides fought for freedom and believed God was on their side and would protect them in battle. Too many were eager to put God to the test.   As a result, the war produced huge numbers of casualties in short periods of time. 

A farmer, school teacher and surveyor from Norwalk Ohio, he was 23 years old when he enlisted as a Private in Company D, 55th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on the 13th of September 1861 and was appointed as 3rd Sergeant before he saw any action. He mentions "If, at the first rumors of war, I had studied military matters, tactics, etc., it would have been much to my advantage, but I knew nothing of such things." He was a 1st Sergeant by the battle of Gettysburg. On July 2, 1863 the 55th may have had their finest hour. They were instrumental in stopping a rebel front from over running Cemetery Hill. Charles Stacey earned the Medal of Honor for his excellent Sharp shooting.

Luther was given the rank of Captain of Company B, 25th Ohio Volunteer Infantry as an incentive to reenlist. On the 3rd of May, 1866, while on occupation duty in the south, he was promoted to Major of the 25th Ohio Veterans. He was discharged on the 18th of June, 1866 and returned to Ohio. In 1901, at the urging of his son Howard, Luther wrote a memoir of his wartime experiences. The original memoir was later typed by Howard and distributed carbon copies to his siblings. The original hand written and original typed copy is still held in the Mesnard family. One of the copies is currently in the keeping of the U.S. Army Military History Institute in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. That version is the product of a second transcription/edit. The version used here is from the first transcription. It keeps the original page numbering and as much lines, dashes and other obsolete punctuation as seen in the hand written version. These were widly used in 19th century letters I have seen. His son Howard was born shortly after the Civil War and used these lines in his letters and documents. Several more copies have been received by other libraries. According to Howard Mesnard Jr, Bruce Catton a Civil War historian, told him his grandfather's memoir is one of the best firsthand accounts of the Civil War he had seen.


Snippetts of Luther's social commentary


Luthers commentary


Company D, 55th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

The Second Battle of Bull Run August 28–30, 1862

The Battle of Chancellorsville 4/30 to 5/6/1863

The Battle of Gettysburg July 1–3, 1863

The John Paul Jones

Battle of Lookout Mountain 11/24/1863

Luther Mesnards Canteen

Wikipedia - OH 55th Infantry

Company B, 25th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

I am providing a link to an excellent site that provides great information and does include Luther's memior as well as many other first hand accounts. Eventually I will duplicate the Mesnard web pages only for a hope of greater permency. I will start by adding information not found in the other web site.

The Battle of Honey Hill 11/30/ 1864

Luther Mesnard of the 25th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

25th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Wikipedia - OH 25th Infantry

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Luther's Genealogical work

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By Ron Mesnard