Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Young Soldier, Luman Walker Lemasters, Jr. (1842-1931), 52 Ancestors # 13

Luman Walker Lemasters, Jr. (1842-1931)

The 13th ancestor in my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project is my paternal great-great grandfather, Luman Walker Lemasters, Jr. (1842-1931).  Luman is number 16 on my Ahnentafel list, and previously I've written about the details of his life in an Exploratory Analysis post.

I am descended through:
* his son # 8 Luman Cooper LeMasters (1867-1933), married # 9 Barbara Isabel Wehrly (1869-1930) in 1886.
* their son # 4 Ord Wehrly LeMaster (1906-1971), married # 5 Ruth Pauline Haley (1911-1990) in 1932 - my grandparents.
Luman was born October 19, 1842 in Shelby County, Ohio1,2.  The Lemasters family lived in Salem Township near Port Jefferson until 1854 when the family moved to Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana near Salamonia3.

In the 1860 census of Madison Township, he was listed as Walker Lemaster, aged 17, born in Ohio, and had attended school within the year4.

On April 14, 1861, President Lincoln issued a call for troops to aid in putting down the Rebellion, and Luman was one of many from Jay County to answer the call.  The county history gives the details of the formation of Company C, 39th Regiment Indiana Infantry, in which Luman enlisted on July 21, 18612,5.

Luman's unit participated in some hard fought battles in the Western Theatre of the war, including Shiloh and Stone's River.

In May of 1863, the 39th Regiment was mounted and armed with Spencer rifles and renamed as the 8th Indiana Cavalry.  On July 3, 1863 at Decker's Forge, near Winchester, Tennessee, Luman was severely wounded when he was shot through the left breast6.

I have often thought about how fortunate that Luman survived this injury.  If he hadn't, I might not be here today.  The bullet passed through the first and second ribs (left side) and lodged within the thorax.

After recuperating in the field hospitals, Luman was discharged on May 4, 1864 at Tyner's Station, Tennessee.

Discharge of Luman Walker Lemasters, 1864

Within a few months of his discharge, Luman was married on October 2, 1864 at Versailles, Darke County, Ohio to Mary Keziah Chew6,7.  Mary's father was a physician, Dr. Ezekiel Cooper Chew, and I've often wondered if Luman met her during his rehabilitation period.

I have records of Luman's military service during the war and his pension records afterwards.  I intend to share these records in future posts.  One thing that I found interesting was the physical description given for my great-great grandfather. 

At the time of his enlistment, Luman was described as standing 5 feet 3 inches tall with black hair and blue eyes with a dark complexion.  He enlisted at Portland, Indiana for a term of 3 years.  Certainly not a tall man, but a brave one.

Company Descriptive Book
Luman W. LeMaster
8th Indiana Cavalry


1. Young, L.I.C. Biography of the Young Family 1759-1904, Fremont, Ohio: Fremont Printing Co., 1904, p. 51.
2. Milton T. Jay, History of Jay County, Indiana: including its World War Record and Incorporating the Montgomery History (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA: Historical Publishing Company, 1922), p. 195.
3. Jay County Indiana Deed Records, Book I page 116, Jay County Recorders Office, Portland, Indiana.
4. Luman W. Lemaster household, 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana, Salamonia P.O., page 2, dwelling 10, family 10; National Archives micropublication M563, roll 269.
5. L.W. Lemaster obituary, Commercial-Review, Portland, Indiana, November 18, 1931, p. 1.
6. Milton T. Jay, History of Jay County, Indiana : including its World War Record and Incorporating the Montgomery History (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA: Historical Publishing Company, 1922), p. 196.
7. Lemaster, Howard M, & Margaret Herberger, Lemasters, U.S.A., 1639-1965, Carlinville, Illinois, 1965, p. 196.

The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge was created by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small blog.  The premise is to write once a week about a specific ancestor - whether it be a story, a biography, a photograph or a research problem.

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