Saturday, December 3, 2011

Louis Mullich, conclusion

My apologies for the delay in posting this final part of the Louis Mullich story

Louis' trip home took him through West Virginia, then he “crossed Ohio River” on June 14, the same day he also arrived back at Camp Dennison. His final entry, on June 19, 1865, noted “Camp Dennison. Discharged and paid $255.10.”

On the last page of his diary, Louis listed “Army Clothing from Aug. 1 64 to 65” showing when he purchased them and how much they cost, including a hat for $1.80 on September 8, 1864, a pair of pants for $3.10 on November 6 (compared to the $4.75 this item cost him in April 1865), a shirt for $2.35 on January 14, 1865 and a blanket – the most expensive item he purchased – for $4.80 on January 27.

Overall, he spent $23.75 on clothing items in these nine months, quite an expense on a private’s salary of $13.00 per month.

The 108th Ohio Volunteer Infantry suffered losses of 3 officers and 64 enlisted men killed in battle or by disease. This, of course, is only for its service after the entire regiment was captured by John Hunt Morgan, late in 1862.

In late 1865, Louis married New York City native Henrietta Duckweiller, with whom he had one son and one daughter. They lived in the town of Dayton, Kentucky, where Louis made a living as a tailor.

He lived long after the war’s end. In 1898, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) held its reunion in Cincinnati, with Louis’ hometown of Dayton serving as co-host. Over 200,000 veterans and their family members made the trip to this reunion. Dayton produced a souvenir book for the occasion (one of many souvenirs such as medals, ribbons and badges produced for the GAR) and it includes a picture of the Joe Hooker Chapter of the GAR, which was based in Dayton. Unfortunately, it does not list the names of those pictured, but it likely includes Louis’ image.

Louis’ involvement with the GAR did not start nor end there. According to the Kentucky Post, he was named to various positions in the Joe Hooker Post in various years through at least 1916. These included Junior Vice-Commander, Senior Vice-Commander, delegate to the department encampment and trustee.

On December 28, 1915, the front page of the Kentucky Post featured a picture of Louis and Henrietta, who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Their marriage lasted over sixty years, until Henrietta died in 1927.

On April 21, 1928, Louis Henry Mullich passed away in his house on 5th Street in Dayton, at the age of 93. The next day’s Kentucky Post reported that he “dropped dead Saturday night of a heart attack while seated in a chair at his home” and said he was a “retired merchant tailor.” His death certificate listed “acute indigestion” as the cause of death, with his old age being a contributory factor, but loneliness from missing his bride of over six decades must have played a part as well.

Sixty-two years previously, Private Louis Mullich had been stationed at Battery Shaler in what became the town of Southgate, Kentucky. That piece of land, with part of the battery-works preserved, is now known as Evergreen Cemetery, and on April 24, 1928, private-citizen Mullich returned to this land, buried next to his wife, on a hill near the site of the battery, forever able to stand guard from this “hilly country.” His headstone includes a simple “GAR” on its front.

Louis Mullich lived a long life, through a fascinating century of change for the United States. I had previously borrowed some words from the book Last in their Class by James Robbins and feel it is appropriate to include them here again. Mullich “ “had lived through an age in which the United States and the world had seen dramatic changes...The era of the musket and the cavalry saber had given way to the machine gun, the tank, the aircraft carrier and the strategic bomber.” This does not even mention the automobile, manned flight, radio or countless other innovations that this soldier had experienced.


  1. That's so lovely that he was married to his wife for over 60 years. I'm glad he was laid to rest in a place that was important to him. Sometimes simple headstones say a lot more than elaborate ones do.

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