James William Hardenbrook
First Lieutenant 

Company H, 70th Indiana Volunteer Regiment


1st Lt. James William Hardenbrook Photo Courtesy Elaine Swan

1st Lt. James William Hardenbrook
 Photo Courtesy Elaine Swan

Civil War Reunion
Wellington, Kansas
Photo Courtesy Elaine Swan

James William Hardenbrook

Born in Woodford County, Kentucky.12 July 1836, the son of Lewis Hardenbrook & Elizabeth Leach. Married to Sarah Raiser (Rasuer) of Louisville, Ky., 17 March 1857. Parents of four sons and three daughters. Died 12 April 1919. Buried at Hinton, Caddo County, Oklahoma.

Account of his (James William Hardenbrook) life in Hinton, Oklahoma newspaper

 The Perry Daily Chief: March 31,1907

From the Hadron, Oklahoma paper we take the following about a former Dallas county relative. Mr. Hardenbrook is a brother of S. C. Gray of this city and John Hardenbrook of Minburn. Last Sunday a large number of friends and neighbors gathered at the home of Wm. Hardenbrook in Devils Canyon and helped Mr. Hardenbrook and wife celebrate their golden wedding. A royal good time was had by everyone with plenty of good things to eat and finally the guests departed wishing the old people many another happy wedding aniversary. We publish herewith and authentic account of his life:

Wm. Hardenbrook was born in Woodford county Kentucky. July 12,1836. In 1847 his parents moved to Madison. Ind. and at the age of 14 up tp 1860 was steward and head cook on the Ohio and Mississippi. In 1857 he married Sarah Rasuer of Louisville Ky. Four sons and three daughters were born to them. In 1869 they moved to Morgan county Indiana. In 1862 he enlisted in the Union cause in President Harrison's regiment, 70th Indiana Volunteer Infantry and was mustered in as 1rst Lieutenant. He was in all engagements with the regiment and the captain being absent he was in command of the regiment battles at Basceaya. May 15 he was badly wounded but rejoined his command at Atlanta Ga. He was then assigned to staff duty as Chief of Pioneers with Sherman. At the close of the war his rank was captain and provost marshal. He then moved to Dallas county Iowa from whence he removed to Harvey County Kan. and from there to Tonkawa, Kan. and to Oklahoma in 1905 where he lives in Caddo County.

Politcally he has a record of 6 years as delegate to the state convention and assistant census examiner. He has served as marshall, policeman and detective and in 19?5, he was appointed postmaster at Devils Canyon. Mrs Hardenbrook is now in very poor health but withal they are jovial and happy and give every intention of living to enjoy many more wedding anniversaries.

Courtesy Elaine Swan


Letter to Madison Courier, Madison, Indiana

6 Dec.1909
Hinton, Okla.

Dear Courier,

Having long ago taken Horace Greeley's advice, I am away out here in God's country and feel like talking to or about those I knew in your pretty city on Auld Lang Syne. Being alone now in the world nothing to do but read or write, as my rambling mind carries me back to 1847 when I first landed at the old Madison wharf on the old steamboat Blue Wing.

The next year father enlisted and went with Capt. John T. Hughes to Mexico. Also John Tagues father in the same Co. and regiment 4 under General Taylor. leaving their famlies to root hog or die. I being the oldest went to work as a cotton bug in the old Counden factory under Eastman their foreman. Not liking that I went to Daddy Reed in the Old Madison House at 4 dollars a month, blacking boots and using a wheel barrow for a dray going from hotel to boats and depot. Cleared about 15 dollars to 20 dollars a month keeping mother and the younger children in clothes and plenty to eat. Then the big Madison Hotel being built, I got a job there in the dining room at 12 dollars a month then tips added. J. Dunn not Dutch Henry Staul head porter, Jake Smith and wife head cooks. I was then promoted to boot jack and assistant porter. Cripple Frank Sheets and Bill Woods, clerks Bob Browning and John Doble proprietors.I got to be head porter and clerk master and transfer agent in bus line and transferring of all baggage. So mother and children did not need for anything and Billy had plenty and end to friends.

So ever since about 62 years I wonder who I would recognize there? For instance Bill Kirchner, Bill Phibbs, Robert Right Reas and all the Reas with Jim Buchanen, Bill Keuthan, I stripped tobacco for him. and Jake and Andy Fisher, worked for the Dallies and Copeland Wies on the buses.

When my rambling mood came on I went to the steamer Wisconsin as second steward Afterwards I went on to the Golden Gate which I was head steward of for 2 and a half years. Capt. Stapp and Bill Stapp clerk. Followed the Ohio awhile then Louisvile to St.Louis, then to New Orleans and St. Louis also up Red River on the steamers Golden Gate, Pat Whitson Navigator Jesse K. Bell, Eclispe on A.L. Shotwell salary from 60 dollars to 125 a month, yet remembering mother and children at home. My home was where ever my hat was. Finally I became tired of rambling. I married in 1857, quit the river in 1859 and moved to Morgan Co. Ind. going there for my better health.

War broke out, and being a Freemont Republican I could not stand it. Father and brothers and my wifes father and all her brothers gone. I kissed my sweet wife and 2 sweet babes and went as a private July 22,1862. Aug.12,1862 was ministered in as first Lieutenant, Co H 70th Ind. Vol Inf, with noble Ben Harrison with who my wife was intimate. I served until the close of war and came home as Captain and Provost Marshall Third Division 20th Army Corps. Wounded 6 times, 3 severe wounds I suffer with yet, but now at my age I dont mind it, I have not a enemy in the world of which I know.

I visit about with my children go where and when I please. I do not owe a dollar. have plenty to eat and wear. My beloved companion after 4 or 5 years of illness was laid to rest April 12, after a happy union of 52 years. She only awaits my coming God bless her which will be when I anwser the call. The family is now scattered all over the world. mother and sister are in your cemetery there, father, Irvin, wifes mother and four sons at Louisville, also Newton, Kansas. Wellington, Kansas and Hinton cemeteries where I will finally rest.

So in conclusion I can view your little town and Old Michigan Road, Schmidts store building and the Old High school on a high knob where I went when I could and the Catholic Church near the foot of the hill. The fair grounds and old John Broughs engine with cogs in the center of the track to pull up the hill. And what fun I used to have helping the Jenkins pull the seins to catch fish and they would give me all I could carry and let me have their skiffs to go across the river to Ky. and get wild blackberries for which we got 50 cents a bucket. Could I live my days over Rockefeller and Vanderbilt would not be in it. So my advice to a young man is just to stick. That is a big word. and a logical motto. Just study it some of you old fellows of my age and write me. I have a dear sister and neices and nephews living in dear old Madison-The Gibsons.

  William Hardenbrook

Courtesy Elaine Swan


Article about a drummer boy mentioning my great Uncle William Hardenbrook.

Ten years old on 6 August 1862, when he enlisted as drummer with Company D 79th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Gilbert Vanzant left Port William, Ohio, with 20 of his friends and neighbors and was joined in the unit in October by his father.

"War times make folks do funny things, and they stole him from me, really, his father and the rest," Vanzant's mother said.

The boy with the stolen childhood ranks as the youngest soldier in the Union Army to complete a three-year enlistment and is noted for serving with distinction.

Made a mounted orderly when it became clear that he could not endure the hardships of marching, Vanzant repeatedly impressed his commanders with his courage under fire.

Capt. William Hardenbrook of the 70th Indiana dispatched Vanzant to fetch a group of his troops, the Pioneers, in the midst of battle. Keesee quotes the captain's remarks: "This noble, little trusty and brave soldier took the order, and in less than 30 minutes returned with my Pioneers. Reporting to me during the thickest of shot and shell, just as he rode up to me, my horse being wounded by a piece of shell from the rebel guns, he took my wounded horse to the rear."

Courtesy Elaine Swan


From Book: Seventieth Ind Regiment

Col. F. C. Smith, Commanding 1st Brigade, Third Division, Twentieth Army Corps

Turners Ferry, Chattahoochee River, GA 23 Oct 1864

Lieutenant: In compliance with a request of General Slocum I have the honor to transmit the following detailed account of the skirmishing of part of my command with the rebels on the 19th instant.

About 1130 A.M. information reached me that rebel calvary was seen down the river. I ordered out immediately Capt. Carson, with 30 men instructed to proceed cautiously down the river at about two miles distant and parallel the river. Lieut. Hardenbrook with 30 was ordered down between Cpt. Carsons force and the river with instructions to support one another in case of necessity. Capt. Tansey and Lieut. McCracken with 30 men were crossed over the river on the south side, and sent down on that side. After moving out two miles and a half, Capt Carson engaged the advanced guard of the enemy. After considerable skirmishing drove them back one mile and a half near the main force, where they had dismounted and occupied some old works and houses, and kept up a fight for several hours. During this time Lieut. Hardenbrook had come in contact with another party on or near the river at Howells Ferry. Toward night the enemy retreated and fell back onto their main force, which by this time became apparent from the noise, confusion and hallooing, as though they were driving stock. During the time that Capt. Carson was so briskly engaged, I sent one Lieut. Stafford with 15 men to support him, and to prevent the enemy flanking or coming around in his rear. Shortly after this I received orders from brigade headquarters to order my men in and did so. Owing to the fact that my men were deployed and instructed to keep themselves confined to the woods so as not to allow the enemy to ascertain their strength, together with the bold dash and rapid firing led the enemy to suppose they were the skirmish line of a heavy force. Under the false impression they pulled up stakes and marched till 9 o'clock that evening, crossing Sweetwater. Before however they gained shelter under the old breastworks my men unhorsed a number of them and a lady who lives near where the skirmishing took place states that they pressed her wagon to haul off three wounded men two of them badly shot through the body and the other through the shoulder. They also had an ambulance along but these were all the wounded that the lady saw. There were no casualties on our side. From a reconnaissance made on the 21st by Capt. Hardenbrook and forty five men he ascertained that at the time of the skirmishing took place that the enemy lay just below the Howells Ferry Road and extended from the river by Mitchells crossroad a distance of four miles. They had some cattle and forty odd prisoners. Had no artillery that we can learn, were strictly calvary without any baggage train, represented to be three or four brigades by some as being 3000 strong.

Among the names of the officers in command were Gen. Armstrong said to be commanding division, General Jackson and Ferguson and one other as commanders of brigades. Their movement was westward said to be in the direction of Blue Mountains and not to have crossed the Chattahoochee River, Boasted that they got ahead of Gen. Kilpatrick this time etc.

 Z. S. Ragan, Major Commanding Seventieth Ind. Vol. Inf.

Lieut. J. H. Snyder, Acting Assistant Adjutant General

Courtesy Elaine Swan


William's father, Lewis Hardenbrook, wrote to a magazine, "Vedette", about his son. William's brother Lewis Howard Hardenbrook, born in 1840, died at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. William's younger brother, John Huse Hardenbrook, served a 100 day enlistment. Lewis Hardenbrook Sr. served in the Mexican War and the Civil War.

Reasonable Complaint,

Lexington, Scott County, Indiana

30 May 1880

AM Keneday, Editor, Vedette

Dear Sir,

I enclose my subscription to the Vedette for I take a great interest in reading it. It calls to mind my old comrades and the hardships I had to endure and the thoughts of my family at home but I stood the storm until the War was over. I served my country in the Mexican War and the War of the Rebellion. I had 3 sons and 2 son in laws in the Rebellion besides myself. My son Lewis H.Hardenbrook was killed at Missionary Ridge Lookout Mountain. My eldest son was a Lieut in the 70th Reg Ind Vol. He was shot in the leg and was not carried off the field until the end of the Battle. He got about well and went back to the Re Regiment and served until the War was over. My youngest son was in the 100 day campaign. After he came home he enlisted in the Regular Service for 3 years and served until his time was out. We all got our honorable discharges. I think we all have done our duty to the government and I think Uncle Sam ought to help me out in my old age and I hope you will continue to urge Uncle Sam to Ante up and shove the buck. I am your old Friend,

  Lewis Hardenbrook, Mexican War

Courtesy Elaine Swan