Thomas And The Staff.
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GEORGE E. FLYNT, Assistant Adjutant General, was born in Delaware county, New York. He received a mercantile education, and was engaged in trade until the year 1853. In the following year he emigrated to Texas. During his residence in that State he was more or less, socially and in his business relations, connected with the United States Army there on duty. At the commencement of the rebellion he was present at Camp Cooper, on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, when it was surrendered to the Texas rebels. Having no sympathy with the revolutionists, he left Texas at the earliest moment, and arrived in Western New York in June, 1861. At the request of Brigadier-General George H. Thomas, he was commissioned assistant adjutant-general, with the rank of captain, August 31, 1861, and was assigned to duty on the staff of General Thomas, joining him at Camp Dick Robinson. Captain Flynt was with General Thomas in his Kentucky campaign, being present in the decisive battle of Logan’s Crossroads (known as the battle of Mill Spring), and for his gallantry on that occasion was honorably mentioned in the official report. At Shiloh, Major-General Thomas was placed in command of the right wing of the Army of Tennessee, and selected Captain Flynt as his chief of staff, he having been promoted major, by commission bearing date June 11, 1862, after the taking of Corinth. Major Flynt accompanied General Thomas when that officer was transferred to the Army of the Cumberland, and with him participated in the battle of Perryville. Major-General Rosecrans having been assigned to the command of the Army of the Cumberland, and Major-General Thomas being appointed to the command of the centre, the subject of this sketch, as his assistant adjutant-general, was present with him at the battle of Stone River. After the battle, General Thomas was placed at the head of the 14th Army Corps, and Major Flynt, for his prompt, efficient, and gallant conduct, was called to the staff of this corps, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, which position he now fills.
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL ALEXANDER VON SCHRODER, Assistant Inspector-General, was born at Blankenburg, in the Hartz Mountains, in 1821. His father, an old soldier, who had fought his way up from the ranks to
a lieutenant-generalship, and for his bravery had been made a nobleman, thought no profession so fitting for his son as the one by which he himself had won honor and position; and accordingly, in 1835, at the early age of fourteen, the latter entered the Prussian army as a cadet. Here he remained for two and a half years, when he entered the service of the Duke of Brunswick, and served three years as cadet and ensign. During this time he was either on active duty with his regiment or hard at study. In 1841 he was commissioned as second lieutenant in the body-guard of the Duke of Brunswick. This regiment was called ” the schwarzen Jaeger,” and their dress was black, with a skull and cross-bones as a distinctive badge. The organization was maintained in remembrance of Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick, who had ten thousand such troops, to raise and equip which he had sold all his possessions. In 1852, Lieutenant Von Schroder left Germany for England, where he remained some months, and then came to America. The following ten years were spent in various pursuits. At the beginning of the present war he was residing in Cincinnati. Having always been loyal to good government, he was ready to render his best service. He accordingly acted for a time as drill-master to the 18th Ohio Regiment at Camp Dennison, and afterwards to the 73d Ohio Regiment at Chillicothe. Subsequently he was appointed major in the latter regiment, and on the 10th of December, 1861, was commissioned lieutenant-colonel in the 74th Ohio, and was mustered into the service from that date. The regiment was detailed to guard prisoners at Camp Chase for several months, and, Colonel Moody being post commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Von Schroder was in command of it during this time. Thence he proceeded, still commanding officer of the regiment, to Nashville, where he remained for about two months, until Colonel Moody, being relieved as post commander at Camp Chase, rejoined his regiment, which was shortly after attached to the command of Brigadier-General Negley, by whom Lieutenant-Colonel Von Schroder was placed in charge of the troops guarding the railroad between Franklin and Columbia. In this position his soldierly abilities attracted the attention of his commanding general, who made application for his appointment on his own staff as division inspector. Upon General Negley’s assuming command at Nashville, LieutenantColonel Von Schroder became inspector of the division and post, and so remained during the investment. He participated in the fight in front of the city, November 5, 1862, and, together with three other of General Negley’s staff officers, led the cavalry charge upon the rebels, within four miles of Franklin.
As inspector, Lieutenant-Colonel Von Schroder discharged his important duty with unusual skill and fidelity; for which he was specially complimented in the following order from headquarters:
“SPECIAL ORDER No. 2.
“HEAD-QUARTERS 14TH ARMY CORPS, DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND. “NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, Nov. 19, 1862.
” XII. The general commanding has read with great pleasure the favorable report of Lieutenant-Colonel Ducat, Assistant Inspector-General, upon the condition of the grand guards and pickets of the garrison of Nashville, on the recent inspection ordered from these head-quarters, without any notice to the troops.
” The general compliments Lieutenant-Colonel Von Schroder, the officer in charge of grand guards, the officers and men of the 21st Ohio and 27th Illinois Infantry, on duty the day of inspection.
“By command of Major-General Rosecrans.
“W. H. SIDELL,
“Major 15th U.S. Infantry, and A. A. A. G.”
On the 16th of December, 1862, he was assigned to General Thomas as acting assistant inspector-general of the 14th Army Corps, and was with him during the battle of Stone River, remaining by his side during that terrible conflict, exhibiting coolness and courage under most trying circumstances. After the battle, at the request of General Thomas, Lieutenant-Colonel Von Schroder, by a special order from the War Department, was assigned to the staff of General Thomas as assistant inspector general, which position he now fills. To this office he brings the experience of many years, and the same ability and faithfulness which characterized his labors at Nashville. Only recently he was again complimented by General Rosecrans, in the following note to General Thomas:
Head-Quarters, DEPARTMENT OF THE Cumberland, April 19, 1863.
“MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Commanding 14th Army Corps.
” GENERAL:- Your picket-line, inspected under orders from these head-quarters, has recently been reported as in the best possible condition.
” The major-general commanding desires to express to you his satisfaction, and to compliment Lieutenant-Colonel Von Schroder, A.I.G. of your corps, upon the zeal and energy which he has displayed in the discharge of this duty.
“Your obedient servant,
” Major and A. A. G.”
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. J. MACKAY, Chief Quartermaster, is a native of Livingston county, New York, of Scotch descent, and about thirty-three years of age. At the age of sixteen he emigrated to Texas while it was yet an independent republic, and remained there until the breaking out of the rebellion. In June, 1861, he returned to New York. October 7, 1861, he was appointed assistant quartermaster, with the rank of captain, and assigned to duty with General Thomas, then in command of Camp Dick Robinson. He has since remained upon the staff, and has risen, gradually and by merit, to his present rank. Possessing rare business qualifications, he discharges the responsible duties of his office with general satisfaction.
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL JAMES R. PAUL, Chief Commissary, was born and raised in Franklin county, Ohio, and now resides in the city of Columbus. Until twenty-eight years of age he was a farmer, and then engaged in the grain and produce business. On the 31st of October, 1861, he was appointed by the President a commissary of subsistence, with the rank of captain, and assigned to duty on the staff of General O. M. Mitchel. In this position he remained until General Mitchel was ordered East, when, on the 4th of July, 1862, he was transferred to the staff of General Rousseau, and remained with him up to the time of the Stone River battle. Just before the fight began, he was assigned to General Thomas as chief commissary, and acted as such during the engagement. During his long service he has had many remarkable experiences and some narrow escapes. At the battle of Stone River he saved a large wagon-train by his presence of mind. He also rode back to Lavergne to find the trains and get flour for the men, and discovered a small drove of cattle and a large amount of corn belonging to the rebels, which was immediately distributed among the soldiers. In this and other ways he rendered efficient and invaluable service. January 28, 1863, Colonel Paul was promoted to his present rank. He is one of the most competent and faithful commissaries in the army. He has a family whom he has not seen since entering the service, having been constantly at his post without asking for a furlough.
MAJOR OSCAR A. MACK, Senior Aide-de-Camp, entered the United States Military Academy at West Point as a cadet from New Hampshire in 1846. He graduated eighth in his class in 1850, was attached as brevet second lieutenant to the 3d Regiment of Artillery, and in 1851 was promoted as full second lieutenant in the 4th Regiment of Artillery. In this regiment he served on the Northern lakes, the Atlantic seaboard, in Florida during the last campaign against ” Billy Bowlegs,” and on the Western frontier.
On the breaking out of the rebellion he was a first lieutenant, commanding a company of his regiment at Fort Randall, Nebraska Territory. In April 1861, he was ordered into the States, and reached Cincinnati with his company in May. In June he accompanied Major General McClellan to Western Virginia, and commanded his bodyguard until after the battle of Rich Mountain. About that time he accepted the appointment of senior captain in the 13th Regular Infantry.
Captain Mack was then given a mountain-howitzer battery, manned by his old artillery company, and remained in Western Virginia under General Rosecrans, accompanied him through his campaign on the Gauley, and was present at the battle of Carnifex Ferry and the affairs on New River.
In December 1861, Captain Mack was ordered to Kentucky to report to General Buell. On arriving in Louisville he was placed in command of the artillery camp of instruction for volunteer batteries. While there, he fitted out his own battery with light field guns and a section of ten-pounder Parrotts. About the middle of January, 1862, he left Louisville with his new battery and joined General George H. Thomas at Somerset, Kentucky, but too late to be in the fight at Mill Springs. He remained with General Thomas’s division, accompanying it to Nashville and Pittsburg Landing, until May, when he relinquished the command of his battery and accepted the position of inspector of artillery on the staff of General Thomas, then assigned to the command of the right wing of the Army of the Mississippi He served in this capacity with General Thomas through the operations about Corinth, in Northern Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. After the battle of Perryville, he was obliged to go home on sick leave. He rejoined General Thomas at Nashville, and at the battle of Stone River, December 31, 1862, was severely wounded. From the effects of this wound he has not yet sufficiently recovered to take the field.
On the 11th of March, 1863, he was confirmed by the Senate as aide-de-camp, with the rank of major.
CAPTAIN JOHN D. BARBER, Aide-de-Camp, and commander of the escort, was born in Marietta, Ohio, February 16, 1832. He was raised a farmer-boy, but at the time the rebellion began was engaged in mercantile pursuits. He entered the service, September 16, 1861, as lieutenant of a company partly enlisted by himself, and belonging to the 1st Ohio Cavalry. For a time he was actively engaged in scouting in Kentucky, and was afterwards at the battle of Shiloh and the siege of Corinth on ordinary cavalry duty. In March 1862, he was assigned to General Thomas as aide-de-camp and commander of his escort, and has thus remained with him to this time. He participated in the battles of Perryville and Stone River, and soon after the latter was promoted to a captaincy.
Captain Barker is especially commended by his associates as a faithful officer and a brave soldier.
Ref: John Fitch: Annals of the Army of the Cumberland: 1861-1863. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co, 1864, p.66-72.
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