Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Diary of Captain Stanton Sholes

Last December I posted an entry from the diary of Captain Stanton Sholes, an officer of the 2nd US Regiment of Artillery during the War of 1812 (one of two regular artillery companies attached to the Northwest Army—if you discount Samuel Price’s Co, US Light Artillery, who fought as infantry). Sholes (1772-1865) missed most of the action during the war. He raised his company early in 1813 (recruiting took most of the preceding campaign season) and marched to Cleveland. After participating in the September 1813 invasion of western Canada, he was stationed in Detroit for the remainder of the war.
The original diary is probably somewhere in the archives of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, though I have yet to discover it in any catalog. The transcription that I have was typed by Richard C. Knopf in 1956 and published by the Ohio Historical Society—but the OHS itself no longer has a copy. The only extant copy of the transcription seems to be at the Wayne Co. Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. My version is re-transcribed from a copy of this copy(!).
I’m not sure about copyright issues, but I firmly believe that documents like this belong in the public domain, where people can read them and the memory of men like Stanton Sholes can live on.
Captain Sholes later moved to Columbus, Ohio and became a prominent merchant. His house stood on Rich Street not far from where the Columbus Commons lies today.
I’ll try to post excerpts from the journal in order, in whatever length seems to work for the blog. I have corrected capitalization but retained punctuation and spelling.
sholes grave
Sholes’ gravesite in Greenlawn Cemetery, Columbus Ohio.
A journal kept by Capt. Stanton Sholes of the 2d. Regt U States Artillery. Commenced on the 18th July 1812. The day that I compted my appointment. All tho I was not calld. into service till the 15th of Sept. following when I received orders from Col. George Izard of the 2d Regt of Artillery to repare to Philedelphia for instruction. On the 17th I set out in obediance to his orders, and on the 26th arived to the place of distenation. When I reported my self to Col. Izard who soon informed me, that I should shortly be furnished with money for the recruiting service and that I should have my chois to recruit in any of the countys west of the mountain, accordingly I was furnished with money, and on the 6th of October following set out for home in the Pittsburgh stage, and arived there on the fifteenth. After a few day I opened a randzevouse at Beaver Penna. and Georgetown, but on the account of several officers having been at the same place arecruiting for several months before I made but slow progress. Until the middle of February 1813. At that time I opend. another recruiting rendevous at Greensburg and by the first of May I had enlisted fifty four soldiers into the service of the United States. My success was in a grate measure was owing to the aid I received from the citizens of that county as well as the encouragement given by the general government. On the 14th of May I received orders from Col. Hugh Brady commanding the Western District of Penna. to march immediately to Cleaveland Ohio.