Samuel Blythe held onto this card his entire life. On the reverse he wrote, "Capt Peter O'Kane, Captain of Co. E, Thirteenth Missouri Volunteers. Killed by the falling of a tree, near Corinth Miss, July 1862."
I find records spelling his name variously as "O'Kane" and "O'Cain". A contemporaneous source lists his death date as June 29th, 1862. This was shortly after the Union armies took the city following a month long siege.
Blythe met with his Civil War comrades at annual GAR encampments. Every year they would honor the fallen. GAR lobbying helped make Memorial Day a national holiday.
Blythe kept records as the ranks of the GAR diminished over the years. The GAR was dissolved in 1956 upon the death of it last member.
I was never all that interested in Civil War history, until HHR came along and I learned about the GAR and Idlewilde Cemetery.
When I began researching old pioneers in my local community, I found out that many of them were Civil War veterans. One of them was a member of the Iowa 16th Infantry Regiment, which also fought at Corinth.
White Salmon resident Anne Ward is working on a book about Klickitat County Civil War Veterans.
L.E. on 29th May 2017 @ 9:35am
His last name was O'Cain. He had been wounded at Shiloh. He was actually killed while in his tent when the tree fell.
His body was sent home to Preble,Ohio where he was buried with other family members.
As to what Samuel Blythe's connection to him was is up to speculation. Apparently, Blythe thought highly of him to have had his photo and kept it all those years. They definitely were not in the same regiment, as O'Cain was in a Missouri one and Blythe served in the 22nd Ohio. There are a number of ways they could have known each other. There is a chance that they were some how related, they had met up prior to the war, becoming good friends and remaining in touch. Plus,there is that chance they did meet up during the war. Probably no way of ever knowing...
I find his hat most interesting. If I had not read that he was with a Missouri unit I would have thought he was of the famous "Iron Brigade."
I have another question....The buttons on his coat. I am inclined to think they are a combination of Missouri buttons and US buttons. Appears as if some are small (those would probably be US.) the others would be Missouri buttons. Buttons were easily lost. The majority of buttons found in camps and on battlfields were and are U.S. To find a state button would be an added treasure to ones find. As state buttons would be lost they would be replaced with U.S.
Charlott on 29th May 2017 @ 10:19am
Definitely an infantry captain. Hat insignia is telling he is an officer in the infantry. His should bars signify a captain...
charlott on 29th May 2017 @ 10:25am
Having seen and studied a number of soldiers Civil War photos I find O'Cain to be very interesting. I see him as a very self confident individual, even an air of being somewhat egotistical or cocky. His demeanor makes me think that he had a good hold over his company and either the respect of his soldiers or the dislike of him. I get the impression here of a no nonsense man for some reason.
charlott on 30th May 2017 @ 7:10am
This is what I was able to find.
Samuel Blythe in his own autobiography to Fred Lockley, says that he was in Ohio working for the Eaton Register when he enlisted. Age 19. He was assigned to the Thirteenth Missouri Infantry, which consisted of six companies from Ohio, one from Illinois and three from Missouri. "In 1862 our regiment was rechristened, becoming known as the Twenty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, though we continued to carry the flag of the Thirteenth Missouri clear through the war......I was a member of Company E."
Wikipedia for the 13th Regiment, Missouri Infantry, lists the companies with the counties of origin.
Company E - Captain Simon S. Evans and Captain Peter O'Cain - Eaton, Preble, Ohio.
Eaton is the county seat of Preble County, Ohio. The Eaton G.A.R. post was called the Mulharen & O'Cain Post #3.
L.E. on 30th May 2017 @ 11:11pm
Thanks.....that explains how they knew each other......
charlott on 31st May 2017 @ 7:08am
A lot of info at the Museum about Blythe
Judy on 31st May 2017 @ 10:42pm