Maj. Plyn A. Willis

photo courtesy of Joe Millazzo


Submitted by Joanne Rose Layshock
Lafayette, CA


Plyn A. Willis was born in Delaware County Ohio, one of ten children of Buckley H. Willis and Susan Bartlett. He married Henrietta Decker and they had one daughter. He died in 1876 of pneumonia at the age of 39.

Plyn Willis enlisted October 15, 1862 as an assistant surgeon at the age of 26. He transferred to Field and Staff of the 83rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on January 17, 1865, then transferred to the 48th battalion on July 24, 1865. He was mustered out on March 10, 1866.

A biography in "A History of Delaware and Ohio" (O.L. Baskin & Co, Chicago, 1880) states, "R. K. DR. P. A. WILLIS, deceased, Delaware; was born in Delaware Co., Ohio, the third of a family of eight brothers, sons of Buckley H. Willis, a well-known citizen of Scioto Township. Young Willis, after acquiring such an education as was afforded by the district schools of his neighborhood, came to Delaware, and entered the Ohio Wesleyan University, where he studied about two years ; having chosen the medical profession, he attended lectures at Starling Medical College, Columbus, where he graduated with the Class of 1861 and 1862 ; he also read for a considerable time in the offce of the distinguished surgeon, Dr. Hamilton, of Columbus; in 1862, Mr. Willis entered the army; first as a contract surgeon, in which capacity he participated in the battle of Corinth, witnessing the desperate onset and the repulse of the rebel army; soon after this, he was commissioned second assistant surgeon of the 48th Ohio vice J. B. Lewis, and joined his regiment at Memphis, Tenn.; late in the fall of that year they went down the Mississippi ; the old surgeons were glad to have a new band, and they gave him plenty of work, which he went at with alacrity. The battles of Chickasaw Bluff and Arkansas Post soon followed, and the fearful ravages of disease during the winter campaign on the Mississippi are well remembered. Through all this Dr. Willis was steadfast, faithful, untiring, and never discouraged. Both his seniors fell sick, resigned and went home, and he was promoted to the rank of surgeon early in the spring of 1863. The close of the war, two years later, found him serving as Medical Director of an army corps on the staff of Gen. Andrews, in the Department of the Gulf. His promotions were not due to any extraneous influence, but solely to his efficiency. On his return from the army, he engaged in farming and the practice of medicine at the same time, achieving success in both branches of business ; for several years, he was a member of the Agricultural Society, holding offcial position in the Board ; his student life, army life, professional and farm life, were all marked with indomitable energy, which was a prominent trait of his character. In 1862, he was married to Miss Henrietta Decker, daughter of Frederick Decker. Dr. Willis died of pneumonia, at his home near Bellepoint, on the 18th of March, 1876, in the 39th year of his age, leaving his wife and only child (a daughter) sorely bereft. He was a member of the M. E. Church. The fatal disease was rapid in its progress, and though his death was unexpected by his friends, yet they have the comforting belief that he was fully prepared for the sudden change. He was buried at Oak Grove Cemetery, with the full ritual of Masonic honors corresponding with his rank, by Hiram Lodge of Delaware, of which he was Master."


Request for forage signed by Maj. Willis
(Click on image to enlarge)



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