George Trostel

Image from the collection of Sue Boggs

by Woodrow (Woody) W. Trostel
Great-Grandson of Pvt. George W. Trostel

George Trostel was born on August 12, 1843 in Stark Co. OH near Canton. His father William had migrated from Brecknock Twp., Berks Co., PA. The Trostel family settled on a farm in Delaware Twp., Defiance Co., OH.

George enlisted in the Army at Brunersburg, OH (NW of Defiance), on February 15, 1862, as a private in the 48th OVI Regiment. Apparently the group of recruits went straight to Camp Dennison (near Cincinnatti) and boarded the steamer "Argonaut" for the trip to Paducah, KY. On February 20, he arrived at Paducah and became a part of the Army of the Tennessee (General Grant). George was a member of the Fifth Division (General Sherman), Fourth Brigade (Colonel Buckland), Company F (Captain Moats). Virgil Moats was also from Defiance Co. OH.

On March 5, George received his firearm, an Austrian rifle. From March 6-11, the 48th OVI was transported to Savannah, TN. After a short expedition upriver to Yellow Creek (Eastport, MS), the 48th OVI occupied Pittsburg Landing, TN on March 18. They camped about ½ mile from the river and by March 21 the 48th OVI was in their camp 100 rods to the right of Shiloh Church. On April 6, the 48th OVI bore the brunt of the initial attack by the Confederates and had to retreat twice on the first day of the battle. On April 7th, the 48th OVI regained their original positions and the Confederates retreated to Corinth, MS. George Trostel, at the age of 18, had survived his first battle!

George participated in the seige and occupation of Corinth, MS from April 29-May 30.

From December 21, 1863 to January 2, 1863, George took part in General Sherman's Yazoo River expedition, including the Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs.

On January 10-11, George was engaged with the 48th OVI in the assualt and capture of Fort Hindman at Arkansas Post. On the night of January 10, George and other members of Co. F had to sleep on swampy ground in wet, cold, miserable conditions.

On the way to Young's Point, LA on January 18, three men were reported missing during the night. It appears that George could have been one of these men as records show his absence at roll calls. Whether he was captured and paroled or left on his own, the reason for his absence is not known. However, as a result, he missed the movements of the 48th OVI from January 18, 1863 to September 14, 1863, including the battles of Champion's Hill, Big Black River Bridge, Vicksburg, and the seige of Jackson, MS.

In April 1863, George reported for duty at Camp Chase (Columbus, OH). He rejoined the 48th OVI at New Orleans in September 1863.

From October 3 - November 30, George participated with Co. F in the Western Louisana "Teche" campaign and then returned to camp at Algiers, opposite New Orleans. On December 10, George embarked with Co. F on the steamer "Continental", bound for Matagorda Bay, TX. He spent two months with Co. F at De Crow's Point, on the headland of the peninsula between Matagorda Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Camp conditions were not good, as there was little protection from the wind and blowing sand. George returned to New Orleans with Co. F about the end of February 1864.

In early March, the 48th OVI took part in General Banks' Red River campaign. Co F was assigned to guard the wagon train. Near the end of March, George had arrived in Alexandria with Co. F and started toward Shreveport. On April 8, General Taylor's Confederates turned and attacked. (Battle of Sabine Crossroads) Co. F was rushed to the front to help repulse the attack and they held their ground for two hours until they ran out of ammunition. The 48th OVI, along with the 19th Kentucky, were captured and taken to Camp Ford prison near Tyler, TX. After several months, on October 23, 1864, George and Co. F were paroled at Red River Landing and returned to New Orleans.

In March-April, 1865, George was with the 48th OVI in the Mobile campaign, the assault and capture of Fort Blakely and the capture of Mobile, AL. At Cahaba, AL on April 27, George apparently left the steamboat transport "Colonel Cowels" without official permission. A document was found with his records at the National Archives, charging him with unauthorized absence! From June 1865, until May 1866, George was on duty with the 48th OH at Galveston and Houston, TX. He was honorably discharged on May 9, 1866. On May 21, 1866, George arrived at Columbus, OH on his way home to Defiance Co. to resume life as a farmer.

George Trostel continued farming in Defiance Co. OH, Steuben and Dekalb Co., IN until his death in 1924. He is buried at Alton cemetery in Concord Twp., Dekalb Co., IN.

(Information about George Trostel is from family records, genealogical research materials, records from the National Archives and The History of the Forty-Eighth Ohio Vet. Vol. Inf. - Bering and Montgomery)

Author's Note: Several years ago, I visited the Shiloh battlefield and spent two days absorbing the aura of the place and retracing the movements of the 48th OVI. As I stood in the quiet woods before the 48th OVI battlefield monument, I could easily imagine the Confederates on the attack and the 48th OVI fighting valiantly to hold their position. You could almost hear the rifles blazing and the cannon balls crashing through the trees!

George Trostel's Service Record:


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