Andrew J. Boram

Many thanks to Barbara Freed-Bollenbacher who contributed the information
and images for her Great-Granfather, Andrew Boram


Andrew Boram was born in Ohio on November 17, 1843, the son of Samuel and Mary Boram. He appears with his parents in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 censuses as the third child and eldest son of seven children, living on a farm in Union Township, Miami Co., Ohio.

On September 19, 1861 Andrew enlisted as a private in his neighbor, Capt. John Ireland's Company E of the 48th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served with the regiment throughout the war and was among those captured at Sabine Crossroads and held in a Confederate prisoner of war camp at Tyler, Texas. He was honorably discharged in Texas on May 9, 1866.

Following the war he was twice married, first to Maria Sponsler on August 11, 1870. To this union were born two sons, Charles E. and Esty O. Boram. On September 28th, 1895 he married Sarah Bolinger who brought two sons to the family from a prior marriage, Charles C. and Edward Bolinger. Andrew worked as a farmer throughout his life.

Boram was active in his local GAR veterans post, first in the Isaac Duncan GAR Post 477, West Milton, OH and later in the Old Guard Post No. 23, in Dayton, Ohio.

He died on December 9, 1912 in West Milton, Miami Co., Ohio.



Andrew Boram


Coming Home
The True Story of How a Civil War Soldier's
Collection Made Its Way Back Home

By Barbara Freed-Bollenbacher
January 15, 2002

I always wondered what happened to my great-grandfather's memorabilia from the Civil War — the papers, medals, whatever he had that must have meant a great deal to him.

One day I read in the local newspaper, the Piqua Daily Call, Piqua, Ohio, that the Miami County Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc. was going to award certificates to "American Civil War Families of Miami County, Ohio" during their annual meeting. I became interested in this, as I knew my great- grandfather, Andrew Boram, and his father, my great-great grandfather, Samuel Boram, had both fought in the Civil War. My great-great grandfather served only six months and was discharged with a medical disability — not related to the Civil War, and my great-grandfather had served six years. During those six years he fought at the Battle of Shiloh and was present at the Siege of Vicksburg.

I contacted Virginia Brown from the Society, and she gave me all the information and the paperwork needed to complete the forms to prove our descent from both my great and great-great grandfathers who were both Civil War Veterans. I went to the courthouse, gathered what information I could from records housed there and then sent to Washington, D.C. for copies of their service records.

It took several months to complete all that was necessary to accomplish what I was trying to do, but I was determined to complete this task. I finished the paperwork, submitted it to the Society, and at the annual meeting in November, I was awarded a certificate that states: "This is to certify that Barbara Freed Bollenbacher has been approved for membership in American Civil War Families of Miami County, Ohio through having proved descent from the following ancestor living in Miami County, Ohio: Andrew Boram, Co. E 48th Reg. O.V.I. and Samuel Boram, Co. A 44th Reg. O.V.I.". It certainly made me proud of them. That was in November of 1999.

I was sitting in my favorite chair one Saturday morning in early October of 2001 when the telephone rang. It was Arlene Rasor, President of the Miami County Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc. She said she had just been contacted by a lady from the A.B. Graham Museum in Lena, Ohio. The lady said that a gentleman from eastern Pennsylvania contacted her and said he was getting ready to sell a lot of 20 items in an upcoming auction.

He thought someone here in Miami County might be interested in the items, as they had belonged to a man from Miami County who was a Civil War veteran. He thought one of the historical museums would be interested in having these items. The lady from A.B. Graham thought the Miami County Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc. might be interested. The items to be sold were that of Andrew Boram! I almost dropped the telephone when I heard the news.

I immediately contacted the auction house, one of the most well known auction houses for military auctions, the Conestoga Auction House in Manheim, Pennsylvania, which is very close to Lancaster. They told me when the auction would take place, and sent me a copy of the sale bill. They assured me I could bid on these items by telephone if I wanted to. I gave them my telephone number, my 800 number, and my cell phone number. I was so afraid something would go wrong and I would miss bidding on these items. I had pondered going to Pennsylvania, but felt after talking in length to the people in charge, I would go with the telephone bid.

I was on pins and needles the day of the auction. Finally, at 3:40 p.m. on November 9, 2001, the phone rang and it was the man at the auction house telling me they were just about ready to auction off the lot I was interested in. The bidding started and we went back and forth until the man on the phone said — "you got it!". I was told after the auction ended that I had been bidding against a Civil War dealer, but I was the successful bidder.

When I received the boxes of items a couple of weeks after the auction, it was wonderful going through each and every thing that had meant so much to Andy, and is a part of my history. Included in the items were both of his original discharge papers, three medals from the GAR, and a large tintype picture of him. I had never seen a picture of him before. Also, in a Civil War case, a small picture of Samuel Boram, with a lock of his wife's hair. I had never seen his picture either. A hardback book entitled Shiloh —a book entitled Roster of Ohio Soldiers 1861-66 wherein both Sam and Andy are mentioned, a large framed lithograph dated 1888 entitled "The Battle of Shiloh", love letters, a picture of Andrew in his Civil War Uniform, a picture of him when he first enlisted, several other pictures of him, his obituary, and miscellaneous pension documents, books and papers as well as a huge framed memorial to Andrew requested by his widow. On the hand-written memorial, it lists every single place Andrew was during his career in the Civil War — every battle he fought in — every camp he was in, and it mentions that he was also a prisoner of war. It is absolutely incredible! So, I guess we never know what will happen when we're involved in genealogy. When you think you're at the end, you may only be at the beginning.

Gary Campbell is the man from eastern Pennsylvania that had the items for sale. His father worked for my great-grandfather's stepson. They became very close friends and when my great-grandfather died, the stepson ended up with the Civil War items. When the stepson died, Gary Campbell's father bought the items and passed them on to him. Now, Mr. Campbell is downsizing and wanted the right people to acquire these very historic items so he made the effort to contact people in Miami County that might be interested in having them in a museum. Luckily for me, I was involved in the Miami County Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc. and that the President, Arlene Rasor, recognized the Civil War Veteran's last name as being my maiden name, or I might never have been able to bring home Andy's hard-earned documents, medals, and memorabilia. They mean a lot to me, and they will now stay in the family where they belong.

I am very proud of my great-great grandfather Samuel, and also proud of my great-grandfather Andrew. I feel so fortunate to be able to hold in my hands some of the things they must have held in their hands. And I feel fortunate to be able to share a part of this heritage with my children, who are fascinated with the Civil War items.

I thank Gary Campbell for taking the initiative to contact people in Miami County about the items he had. He knew of their importance, and was trying to get them back home. I also thank Carol Laughman from the A.B. Graham Museum for contacting Arlene Rasor from the Miami County Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc. And lastly, I thank my dear friend, Arlene Rasor, for calling me that October day with the wonderful news about my great‑grandfather's items. She was as excited about it as I was! Had it not been for all of your help, and all of your efforts, I would not have had the opportunity to see my great-great grandfather's picture, see my great-grandfather's picture, and learn so many facts about a very important part of my heritage. Thank you all — from the bottom of my heart!

So now the journey is completed for these items. They have traveled around to several different places, but they are now home to stay.



Images of Andrew Boram
Courtesy of Barbara Freed-Bollenbacher







Andrew Boram's Medals




Transcript from a handwritten, framed memorial of Andrew Boram created by his wife, Sarah, in 1817.

Andrew Boram died December 9, 1912

This is to Certify
Andrew Boram

Enlisted September 16, 1861 from Camp Dennison, Ohio and was mustered into the U.S. Service at Camp Dennison, Ohio as a Private for a term of 3 years in Co. E, 48th Regiment, Ohio Voluntary Infantry under Captain John J. Ireland and John C. Kelly and Colonels Peter J. Sullivan and John R. Park. The regiment was assigned to Army of the Tennessee to November, 1862 to 13th Corps. To April, 1864. Then to Department of the Gulf. Engaged at the Battle of Shiloh April 6-7, 1862. Siege of Corinth, Mississippi July 1, 1862, Chickasaw, Bayou December 26 through the 28th, 1862, Chickasaw Bluff December 29, 1862, Capture of Ft. Hindman, Arkansas, Jan. 10-11, 1863 at Youngs Point, Louisiana until March 8, 1863. Battle of Ft. Gibson, Mississippi, May 1, 1863, Champions Hill, Mississippi, May 16, 1863, Big Black River, May 17, 1863, Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, May 18-July 4, 1863. Assaults on Vicksburg May 19-22, 1863. Surrender of Vicksburg, July 4, 1863. Jackson, July 10-17, 1863. Ordered to New Orleans August 13, 1863. Duty there and New Iberia until December, 1863. Honorably discharged February 26, 1864, Burwich City, Louisiana. Re-enlisted as a Veteran in the same Company and Regiment February 27, 1864 under Captain James Sowry and K.E. Eberhart and Colonel John R. Park. Red River campaign March 10-April 23, 1864. Engaged at Bayou DePaul April 8, 1864. Regiment was captured here as prisoners of war until October, 1864 when exchanged. Duty at New Orleans until January, 1865. Transferred to Company E, 83rd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry under Captain Mitch McCaffrey and Colonel W. Moore, January 17, 1865. Moved to Kennersville, Louisiana. Thence to New Orleans and to Barrancas, Florida. Campaign against Mobile, Florida and its defenses, March to April. Marched from Pensicola, Florida to Blakely, Alabama, March 20 to April 2, 1865. Siege of Ft. Blakely April 2-9, 1865. Assault on and capture of Ft. Blakely, Alabama, April 9, 1865. Capture of Mobile, Alabama, April 12, 1865. Marched to Montgomery and Selma April 13 to the 25th, 1865. Duty at Selma until May 12, 1865. Moved to Mobile May 12, 1865. Thence to Galveston, Texas June 13, 1865 and duty there until July, 1865. Transferred to Company D, 48th Ohio Battalion, Voluntary Infantry. Duty at Galveston and Houston, Texas until May 9, 1866. Finally.

Honorably discharged May 9, 1866 at Galveston, Texas by order of the War Department. Member of Old Guard GAR (Grand Army of the Republic), Post #23, Department of Ohio at Dayton, Ohio.

Dedicated to memory of Comrade Boram by his widow Sarah, June, 1917.




For those of you who read the article I wrote in a recent "Miami Meanderings" newsletter, this is a follow-up story. I had written about how I came to acquire the memorabilia of my great-grandfather, Andrew Boram, after all these years, and had written that he was in the 48th Ohio Voluntary Infantry and had fought at the Battle of Shiloh.

My husband and I decided we would go to Shiloh, Tennessee and visit the Shiloh National Military Park. I researched the internet and found many valuable articles and bits of information concerning the 48th Ohio Voluntary Infantry and it's connection to the Battle of Shiloh. I knew there was a monument erected where the 48th engaged in a battle, and I also found out from the internet research where the 48th had their encampment.

We arrived at the 4000 acre Shiloh National Military Park early in the morning. The dew was still on the grass and it was so peaceful and quiet all around. It was hard to imagine the fields and forest full of wagons, horses and soldiers ready for battle. Before dawn on April 6, 1862, musket fire broke the stillness of the morning and the Battle of Shiloh began.

"Hornets Nest" was one of the battles fought at Shiloh on the "sunken road". There were so many bullets and artillery shells flying around during the fight that the soldiers later said it reminded them of a hornets nest. Shiloh, Tennessee sits on the Tennessee River and Pitsburgh Landing is the site where Grant's troops went ashore at Shiloh and became engaged in the battle.

Shiloh's awesome toll of 23,746 men killed, wounded, or missing brought a shocking realization to both sides that "civil war" would not be so quickly ended. Later, historians referred to it as "bloody, bloody Shiloh".

Established in 1866, the Shiloh National Cemetery contains 1,227 known and 2,416 unknown Federal dead, recovered from Shiloh, and other wartime graves in the lower Tennessee River Valley. The cemetery also contains 270 burials from more recent military service, including World Wars I and II, Korea and Viet Nam.

Mass burial trenches located across the battlefield contain most of the 1,728 Confederate soldiers killed at Shiloh. Five of these sites are marked today. All were hastily prepared, due to health concerns, by the victorious Union forces, who remained encamped on the battlefield for weeks following the battle.

I am so glad I had the opportunity to pay tribute to my great-grandfather by visiting Shiloh and seeing for myself where he fought and was ready to give his life for his cause. Luckily, he survived Shiloh, Vicksburg, and several other battles. It was an awesome feeling standing on the same ground my great-grandfather stood on in 1862 and seeing where he was engaged in battle and where his unit had its encampment.

This trip to Shiloh was a very important thing for me, and I am so glad I was able to do it.

I think since the 9-11 tragedy, we have become more thankful for the freedoms we enjoy in America and more aware of those that have given their lives for us through war, sacrifice and service to others. Standing on the battlefield at Shiloh certainly made me proud of my great-grandfather —but at the same time, sad for the lives that had to be lost on both sides as a result of that war.

Barbara Bollenbacher


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