Born about 1832 in Ohio, Nelson Grogg grew up in Defiance County. In 1850, he and his parents, John and Eve, lived in Delaware Township, along with Nelson's siblings: Margaret, Soloman, and Nathaniel, all born in Ohio. With them were Rachel, Sarah, and Elverta Maconeca - no relationship was recorded.
Nelson married Sarah Cornelia Pearce on July 2,1859, in Indiana. He and Sarah settled in Richland Township, Dekalb County, Indiana, where the 1860 census enumerator found them. Nelson, 23, was farming and had a personal estate of just $20 and no real estate.
Perhaps that is one reason why Nelson decided to enlist at the age of 24, on December 6, 1861. He joined the 48th Ohio Infantry, Company F for a three year enlistment. The 48th lost about one-third of its members at Shiloh, Tennessee. Later, at Sabine in Louisiana in April 1864, the membership was again hit hard, as almost all the remaining 48th were captured.
From the History of the 48th O.V.V.I., Chapter XV:
"From the battlefield, we were taken to Mansfield and put in the courthouse yard. After taking our names, they marched us about two miles out of town and guarded us in a field. The night was cold, and as we had no blankets, we set fire to some old logs and crowded around as closely as possible in order to keep warm. About eleven o'clock that night, we received a few crackers and some bacon.
The next day, April 9, the prisoners numbering 182 officers and 1000 men, in the charge of a battalion of Louisiana cavalry, started for Camp Ford, Texas. After marching 15 or 20 miles, we were corraled for the night. Here we received our first regular rations form the Confederacy which consisted of a pint of musty corn meal, coarsely ground, and a slice of salt beef. As we had no cooking utensils, some procured boards, upon which they baked their bread, while others baked it on the ashes...
The following day we proceeded on our way to Texas. In places we found the road lined with slaves, in charge of their masters, who were hurrying them to Texas to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Yankess. The contracted brow of the masters indicated their hatred, while the happy countenances of the slaves showed that they considered us best friends...
They walked seven days to reach Camp Ford, an old prison camp with some brush huts here and there. The officers built log cabins and the rest of the men built shanties or hovels by burrowing in the ground. Soon the camp was very overcrowded. Eventually, the men were released and the 48th reorganized, so that Nelson was transferred into Company D in January, 1865, and at some point the 83rd. He was mustered out at Galveston, Texas on May 6, 1866. On the 1890 veterans' census, Nelson, the POW, reported that he suffered from rheumatism and chronic diarrhea from his time in service.
When Nelson returned home from the war, he continued his life with Sarah in Dekalb County, Indiana. In 1870, they lived in Jackson Township, Dekalb County. Nelson, 32, and Sarah, 28, had children Sylvester, 9, (born in Ohio,1861) and Ida, 3, (born in Indiana). Nelson farmed, but still held no real estate, and his personal worth had grown to $430.
The family continued to grow, adding John in 1871, Orville in 1874, and Addie in 1878. John was born in Indiana, but the other two children were born in Ohio. In the 1880 census, the family lived in Noble Township, Defiance County, where Nelson farmed. Here they remained until Nelson's death on February 21, 1911.
|Crescent News, March 8, 1911|
Sarah Pearce Grogg lived on until the spring of 1927, an invalid after a fall a few years before. Her obituary appeared in the Defiance Crescent News on March 31, 1927.
Sarah was buried beside her husband in Brunersburg Cemetery.
(This is part of a series on Civil War veterans of Defiance County who were part of the G.A.R., Bishop Post, that headquartered in the city. Formed in 1879, the post was named after a local man, Captain William Bishop, Company D, 100th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army who died as a result of wounds received in battle. The veterans' photos are part of a composite photo of members that has survived. If you have other information or corrections to add to the soldiers' stories, please add to the comments!)