“The court house was crowded early. . . . On motion of R[obert] A. Cameron,
M. D., editor of the [Valparaiso weekly] Republic, Dr. E. Jones was
called to the chair, Messrs. E. R. Chapin and Alanson Finney chosen as Vice
Presidents, and J. F. McCarthy, Esq., and J. A. Berry, editor of the
Starke County Press, chosen as Secretaries.
“The meeting was addressed by Messrs. DeMotte, Cameron, Lytle, Jones, Rock,
Pierce, Putnam and others, Democrats and Republicans, who, heretofore
differing widely politically, were a unit on sustaining the Government,
protecting the honor of our flag, and rebuking the thieves, murderers and
traitors of the South.
“At the opening of the meeting, two American flags, emblems of our nation’s
glory, were brought in and suspended over the stand occupied by the
President and Vice Presidents, which were hailed with long, loud and
enthusiastic raptures of delight by the large audience present, to which
additional excitement was added by the presence of the Union Band, that
discoursed a number of national airs, such as ‘ Hail Columbia,’ ‘Marseilles
“At the close of the meeting, an opportunity was given those who desired to
register their names as volunteers, when a number of gentlemen came promptly
forward, enrolled their names, expressing the sentiment that it was not for
glory but to fight.”
On Thursday, April 18, a second meeting was held in the afternoon at the
courthouse “to which the citizens came en mass, without distinction of
“Among the resolutions adopted, was this: ‘That if it is found that there
are Secessionists in our midst, we will not encourage violence and bloodshed
at home, but we will withdraw from them our social relations, and if
business men, we will not favor them with our patronage.’
Election of Company Officers
“After the adjournment of the regular meeting, those who had signified their
willingness to volunteer for the defense of the stars and stripes, whenever
and wherever called, remained to organize and elect officers. The following
were elected officers : R. A. Cameron, Captain ; Lieutenants — First, I[saac]
C. B. Suman ; Second, G[ilbert] A. Pierce ; Third, 0. H. Ray ; Ensign, J. F.
“On Friday, the excitement was still unabated. Numbers enlisted, and the
office of the Republic where the lists were opened, was crowded most of the
day. In the evening another meeting was called at the court house, presided
over by T. G. Lytle. Some 200 blankets were donated by the citizens for the
use of the soldiers, and $40 were raised for the purchase of a flag for the
“On Saturday afternoon, the Union Band presented, through M. L. DeMotte,
their beautiful flag, which had a short time before been presented to them
by the ladies. Speeches were made in behalf of the company, by Cameron,
McCarthy and Rev. S. C. Logan.
“On the Sabbath, a sermon was preached to the company by Rev. A. Gurney, and
on that evening the company took the train for Indianapolis, many of the
citizens accompanying them as far as Wanatah,” . . where the company changed
trains to the Monon line and headed south.
“Arriving at Indianapolis, the company, which numbered 130, was divided and
the [sur]plus, [the ‘Valparaiso Guards,’] joined with the [sur]plus of
another company from Ft. Wayne, [to] form a new company under the command of
In this company, J. F. McCarthy and O. H. Ray were Lieutenants.
On the 29th of May, the Ninth Regiment, Col. Milroy, in which the Valparaiso
boys constituted Company H, left Camp Morton for Virginia.
“The first trial the boys had of actual conflict with the rebels was at
Philippi, on the 3d of June, where all the Indiana regiments were engaged.
The rebels were taken by surprise, and a large amount of arms, horses, etc.,
“The following [issue] of the Republic (April 25) was [printed] with
the name of E. R. Beebe as associate editor, R. A. Cameron having gone to
Indianapolis with his company, and the first editorial correspondence, dated
at that place, appears.
“Henceforth, correspondence from the scene of active operations made up a
large part of each issue. Letters poured in, not only from the editor, but
from Gil Pierce . . .De Witt C. Hodsden, J. F. McCarthy and numerous
After completing its three months service, the 9th Indiana reorganized as a
three year regiment.
The first campaigns of the regiment laid the foundation for the new free
state of West Virginia.
The 9th later saw hard fighting with Buell’s Army of the Ohio, Rosecran’s
Army of the Cumberland and in Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. It was in 23 named
engagements including Shiloh, Stones River, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain
and Missionary Ridge.
Republic Editor Cameron at the expiration of the three months was
promoted to Lieut. Col. of the 19th Indiana then was transferred to the 34th
Indiana, from which he was promoted Brigadier General following the
After the war he went west where he founded Greeley, Colorado.
The Republic newspaper published for two years without him and then
Lieut. Isaac C. B. Suman re-entered the service as company Captain in the
three year 9th Indiana.
He was promoted Lt. Colonel in August,1862, and in 1863 he took command of
the regiment. He finished the war as Colonel.
He was mustered out with the honorary rank of Brigadier General, but
declined to use the title.
After the war he served as Mayor of the newly incorporated City of
Valparaiso eventually settling in Jackson Township in what is now known as
Secession flag flies again over Ft. Sumter:
National Parks service guide Nate Johnson talks to visitors under the First
National Flag of the Confederacy over Fort Sumter National Monument, S.C.
Thursday, April 14, 2011. One hundred and fifty years ago, U.S. Army Maj.
Robert Anderson and his men formally surrendered the fort to Confederate
troops following the first battle of the American Civil War. (AP Photo)