BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF WILLIAM R. FLEMING.
Private, Company E, 8th Infantry Regiment. Indiana Volunteers (three Years), And Farmer.
This native born citizen of Henry County, Indiana, had his nativity on the site of his present home in Fall Creek Township, June 23, 1838, and is of Virginia extraction and ante-Revolutionary descent. His parents, William and Sarah ( Miller) Fleming, were natives of the Old Dominion, having been born long before the new State of West Virginia was partitioned off from the old, and William Fleming was the first child to see the light of day in the fort at Fairmont in Marion County, West Virginia, his birth having taken place in 1787.
Bose [Boaz] Fleming, the father of William, was a soldier in the patriot army during the war for American independence. William, the father of William R. Fleming, the subject of this sketch, was first married in Virginia and came to Indiana with four children, about 1830. He first located in Delaware County, four miles north of Middletown, Henry County, where his wife died two years later. A year or so after this event Mr. Fleming was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Miller, daughter of William Miller. This lady was a native of the Shenandoah valley, Virginia, and was a child of three years when taken to Clermont County, Ohio, but was a woman grown when she accompanied her parents to where Tabor, Delaware County, Indiana, now stands. Mr. Fleming thence came to Henry County and purchased the tract of land to which he brought his newly made bride, which tract was improved with what was then considered to be a large frame house, but which would now be looked upon as a small affair, and in this house William R. Fleming was born. The original farm was increased to about four hundred acres before the death of the elder Mr. Fleming, to which he added still more, of which he gave his eldest son a fair share and cleared up two hundred acres for his own use, being still the owner of four hundred at the time of his death, November 24, 1862.
To the first marriage of William Fleming were born the following named children, who reached mature years : George, who was a farmer in Delaware County and died about 1862 at the age of seventy years; Mary, who was married to William Jones and died when past sixty ; David H., who had lived on a part of the old farm as a bachelor and died at seventy ; Norville, a veteran of the Mexican War, who resides at Sulphur Springs.
To the second marriage, two sons were born, William R., born June 23. 1838, and Beniah, born March 24, 1843. In the Autumn of 1861, both enlisted in the Union cause as private soldiers in what became Company E. 8th Indiana Infantry (3 years) and were mustered into the service of the United States at Indianapolis, September 5, 1861. Beniah died at Middlebrook, Missouri, from disease caused by hardship and exposure, March 9, 1863. His remains were brought home from the army by his brother and interred in White Union Cemetery, Fall Creek Township. William R. Fleming served a full enlistment of three years in the famous regiment to which he belonged, and its history is the history of Mr. Fleming during those three eventful years.
[His history during that 3 Years Service? The 8th Indiana was a decorated unit that saw extensive action. Battles in bold. Here’s a recap:
Fremont’s advance on Springfield, Mo., September 22-October 15. Camp at Otterville till
January 25, 1862. Expedition to Milford December 15-19, 1861. Action at Milford, Blackwater or Shawnee
Mound December 18. Curtis’ advance on Springfield January 25-February 14, 1862. Pursuit of Price to
Cassville, Ark. Battle of Pea Ridge March 6-8. At Sulphur Rock till May. March to Batesville, Ark.; thence to
Helena, Ark., May 25-July 14. Action at Hill’s Plantation, Cache River, July 7. Expedition to Coldwater, Miss.,
July 22-25. (Cos. “B,” “E”). White Oak Bayou July 24 (Cos., “B,” “E”). Austin, Tunica County, August 2. At
Helena till October. Ordered to Pilot Knob, Mo., and operations in Southeast Missouri till March 5, 1863.
Moved to Helena, Ark., thence to Milliken’s Bend, La. Movement on Bruinsburg and turning Grand Gulf April
25-30. Battle of Port Gibson May 1. Battle of Champion’s Hill May 16. Battle of Big Black River May 17. Siege of
Vicksburg, Miss., May 18-July 4. Assaults on Vicksburg May 19 and 22. Advance on Jackson, Miss., July
4-10. Siege of Jackson, Miss., July 10-17. Duty at Vicksburg till August 20. Ordered to New Orleans, till
October. Western Louisiana “Teche” Campaign October 3-November 8, thence to Texas November 12.
Capture of Mustang Island November 17. Fort Esperanza November 27-30. Duty at Matagorda Bay till
February, 1864. Duty at Indianola and Lavacca, Tex., till April. Veterans on furlough April and May. Duty in
District of LaFourche, La., till July. Ordered to Washington, D. C. Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign
August 7 to November 28. Berryville, Va., September 3. Battle of Opequan, Winchester, September 19.
Fisher’s Hill September 22. Battle of Cedar Creek October 19. Duty in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, till
January, 1865. Moved to Baltimore, Md., January 6-7., 1865; thence to Savannah, Ga., January 14-20. Duty
there and at various points in Georgia and South Carolina till August. Mustered out August 28, 1865.
Regiment lost during service 7 Officers and 84 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 5 Officers
and 166 Enlisted men by disease. Total 258.
Source: A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion by Frederick H. Dyer. Copyright, 1908.]
He was never absent a day from the service, except on the occasion of his sad mission home with his brother’s remains. He was honorably discharged from the service September 4, 1864.
When Mr. Fleming returned to his home he bought out the interest of the heirs to the old homestead of two hundred and forty acres, but it required about twenty years for him to clear up his indebtedness. On this farm he has made all the improvements, building the dwelling in 1870. He now owns two hundred and eighty acres, on which he grows grain chiefly and fattens hogs, depending on the latter for his profits.
June 22, 1865, Mr. Fleming married Miss Nancy J. Harvey, a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Ball) Harvey, who at that time resided near Sulphur Springs. Mrs. Fleming was born April 28, 1840, in Delaware County, Indiana, and when a child was brought to Henry County by her parents, who originally came from Monroe County, West Virginia.
Mrs. Fleming was never of a robust constitution, and for two years preceding her death, she was a confirmed invalid. She passed away March 31, 1887, the mother of five children, namely:
Harvey B., a farmer living near the parental homestead :
Henry Everett, who died in infancy ;
Ludoska, who died at the age of fifteen years;
Maude, wife of Rutherford B. Harter, who lives on the Fleming homestead, and
Nellie, who passed through the common school course, was well educated in music and is now the housekeeper for her father.
When he was twenty one years of age (1859), Mr. Fleming went to Pike’s Peak, Colorado, where he passed nine months prospecting for gold but the results were not satisfactory and he returned to his home in Fall Creek Township.
In politics Mr. Fleming is a Democrat and stands on the Chicago and Kansas City platforms of the party. Fraternally he has been a Mason since June, 1865, and is a member of Lodge No. 271, at Middletown, but attends meetings only when it is necessary to take part in the work on the “trestle board.” He is also a member of the George W. Rader Post, No. 119, Grand Army of the Republic, Middletown.
Mr. Fleming is in fact the “architect of his own fortune,” his success in life being the result of his individual efforts, and no residents of Henry County stand higher in the esteem of their fellow citizens than Mr. Fleming and his family, of Fall Creek Township.
There were four Flemings in Company E, 8th Indiana Infantry (three years), all relatives, viz : William R., Beniah, Andrew J., and Charles A. The two first named were brothers, as already stated. Andrew J. Fleming was a first cousin to the two first named and Charles A. Fleming was a second cousin of the other three. The death of Beniah has been noted. Charles A. was discharged from the service for disability, October 25, 1861. William R., and Andrew J., each served a full enlistment of three years and were mustered out September 4, 1864.
Hazzard’s History of Henry County, Indiana 1822-1906, Military Edition, Volume 1 by George Hazzard, New Castle, Ind., 1906; pg.274
Flemings of Henry County, Indiana in Civil War (from Hazzards page 789)
Fleming. Andrew J.. Private. Company E. 8th Indiana Infantry (three years).
Fleming. Beniah. Private. Company E, 8th Indiana Infantry (three years).
Fleming. Charles A., Private, Company E, 8th Indiana Infantry (three years); Private. Company K. 105th Indiana Infantry (Morgan Raid); Private. Corporal, Company E. 9th Indiana Cavalry.
Fleming, Henry H.. Sergeant. Company A. 110th Indiana Infantry (Morgan Raid).
Fleming, Preston. Private, Company I, 69th Indiana Infantry.
Fleming. Stephen. Corporal. Company D. 2nd Indiana Cavalry.
Fleming. William R., Private. Company E. 8th Indiana Infantry (three years).
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