Morgan, Otho H.
The National Park Service’s Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System database lists Otho H. Morgan in the 7th Battery, Indiana Light Artillery. He mustered in as a 2nd lieutenant in 1861 and mustered out after a three-year enlistment as a captain. The battery was organized at Indianapolis, Ind., and mustered in December 2, 1861. It was attached to Artillery, 4th Division, Army of the Ohio, to June, 1862. Artillery, 1st Division, Army of the Ohio, to September, 1862. Artillery, 5th Division, 2nd Corps, Army of the Ohio, to November, 1862. Artillery, 3rd Division, Left Wing 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to January, 1863. Artillery, 3rd Division, 21st Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to October, 1863. Artillery, 3rd Division, 14th Army Corps, to July, 1864, and Artillery Brigade, 14th Army Corps, to October, 1864.
During his years of service, the battery took part in many of the major battles in the west, including the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Perryville, Stone’s River, Chickamauga, and the Atlanta campaign. In a letter to his father, Captain Morgan describes the battle of Lookout Mountain and the assault on Missionary Ridge that took place in November 1863.
An article in the Memorial Day Number of the North Shore News-Letter (May 30, 1908) provides the following details of Captain Morgan’s military service.
“Among the men of the North Shore who distinguished themselves in the conflict of the early ‘60s is Captain O.H. Morgan, whose portrait we are privileged to present.
Mr. Morgan entered the service in Dec. 1861, as Second Lieutenant of the Seventh Indiana Light Battery, and in 1863 [ Portrait and Biographical Album of Lake County, Illinois (Chicago, 1891) gives this date as March 1864. – ed.] he was promoted to the office of Captain. He gave three years of active service, during which time his battery constituted a part of the army of the Cumberland, participating in the march from Louisville, through Kentucky and Tennessee to northern Mississippi. Marching back over much the same territory they were in pursuit of Bragg’s army to Louisville. Thence south again through Tennessee and Georgia where, after the capture of Atlanta, the battery was ordered to Indianapolis for muster out in December 1864.
This made three years of active service for Mr. Morgan. He was engaged with his battery in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Lookout Mountain and the memorable Atlanta campaign, culminating in the battle of Jonesboro and the fall of Atlanta.”
Captain Morgan’s obituary (Highland Park Press, October 18, 1923) gives the following life history.
Captain Otho H. Morgan was born on August 11, 1838, at Lawrenceberg, Indiana. He served three years in the Civil War, entering the army as a second lieutenant in1861, and later becoming a captain in the Seventh Indiana Battery which he recruited at Terre Haute. He was at Chickamauga, Shiloh, and on the march to Atlanta. The Civil War experience left a deep impression upon his life and those who were privileged to know him in later years realized that he reflected the very best traditions of that great struggle. He was a faithful member of the Loyal Legion.
In 1864 Captain Morgan was married to Julia Potwin, of Terre Haute. In 1866 Captain Morgan, in partnership with his father-in-law, Anson C. Potwin, founded the Chicago Varnish Company. Subsequently he became its president and remained in that position for over thirty-five years. He retired from active work in business in 1920.
In 1873 Captain Morgan became a resident of Highland Park. He was mayor in 1879-1880, and alderman in 1877 and again from 1883 to 1886.
Captain Morgan died on October 16, 1923 of pneumonia. His wife had died in February 1923. He was survived by his two sons, Anson C. and Elisha, his three daughters, Mrs. Robert C. Day, Mrs. Tom W. Bellhouse, and Mrs. Frank S. North, and grandchildren.
The Portrait and Biographical Album of Lake County, Illinois provides the following details. On his return from the war, Mr. Morgan engaged in the varnish business in Chicago with Mr. A.C. Potwin. The business was incorporated in 1885 as the Chicago Varnish Company. Mr. Morgan was made Vice-President of the company on its organization, and in 1889 succeeded to the position of President. In the great fire of Chicago on the 9th and 10th of October 1871, he lost his business plant and stock and his residence. In the spring of 1872 he erected a fine residence in Highland Park on Port Clinton Ave. [later known as Sheridan Road – ed.]. It was destroyed by fire, and Mr. Morgan built a new home on the same site in 1891.
On the 19th of January 1864, Capt. Morgan was united in marriage in Terre Haute, Ind., with Miss Julia, daughter of Anson C. and Helen (Van Deren) Potwin. They had six children; William P., Anson C., Elisha, Catherine Coit, Helen Van Deren, and Julia.
Capt. Morgan holds membership with John A. Logan Post, G.A.R., of Evanston, and of the Illinois Commandery, Military order Loyal Legion.