From the 1885 History of Steuben County, Indiana

pages 672-673


Captain W. H. Cole was born in Mahoning County, Ohio, Sept. 30, 1841, a son of Jacob V. and Sarah (Geer) Cole, his father a native of New Jersey and his mother of Connecticut.  Of a family of fourteen children, twelve are living.  Five were soldiers in the war of the Rebellion-- four beside our subject.  Samuel was a member of the Seventy-fourth Indiana Infantry, and was killed at Lovejoy Station.  Nelson also enlisted in the Seventy-fourth Indiana.  John enlisted as a private in the One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana Infantry, and was promoted to Captain.  Charles was a member of Company K, One Hundred and Fifty-second Indiana Infantry.  Jacob V. Cole was by trade a stonemason, but after coming to Steuben County, in September, 1856, bought a large tract of land in Scott and Pleasant Townships, and has since followed farming, being still a resident of Scott Township.  W. H. Cole received a good education in his native county, and after coming to Indiana assisted his father on the farm.  He enlisted Aug. 16, 1861, in Company A, Twenty-ninth Indiana Infantry.  They were sent in pursuit of Morgan, and at Muldraugh Hill participated in their first engagement.  Then camped at Warsaw till the following spring.  Subsequently engaged in the battles of Munfordville, Bowling Green, Nashville, and Shiloh, where he was wounded in the foot.  He was taken from the battle-field to a rebel hospital, and for forty-eight hours had nothing to eat.  He was taken sick with typhoid fever, in addition to his wound, and the surgeons all agreed that in order to save his life his foot would have to be amputated.  This he would not consent to.  He was afterward given a furlough and sent home, being fourteen days in making the journey, and in that time did not have his foot dressed.  In February, 1863, he was discharged, but after his recovery, the following August, raised a company which was assigned to the One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Regiment as Company A, and was commissioned its Captain by Governor Morton.  In the fall of 1863 his regiment left Louisville and marched to Chattanooga, where they joined General Sherman's command, and participated in the battles of Buzzard Roost, Burnt Hickory, Kenesaw Mountain, Chattahoochie River, Peach Tree Creek, Lovejoy Station, and all the engagements till the fall of Atlanta, and then at Huntsville, Rome, the raid up the Chattahoochie, Franklin, and Nashville.  They followed Hood's army to the Tennessee River, and were at the battles of Ft. Fisher and Kingston, N. C., where they had their last engagement.  They were mustered out at Charlotte, N. C., Aug. 29, 1865.  Captain Cole was married in November, 1867, to Nettie Gifford, daughter of Amaniah and Jane (Beard) Gifford, early settlers of Steuben County.  They have had two children-- a daughter, Carrie D., and a son who died in infancy.  Captain Cole was one of the organizers of the Grand Army post in Angola, and has been one of its most enthusiastic supporters.  He is a member of Angola Lodge, No. 236, F. & A. M.  In politics he is a Democrat.


Submitted by Kim Davoli