Biography of

Thomas S. Wells, Co A

-----Thomas S. Wells -------------Elizabeth (Lizzie) Drake----

Thomas S. Wells was born in 1834. At the time of his enlistment in the 18th Ohio, he was 28 years old. He entered the Army on August 9, 1861 at Camp Wool, Athens County, Ohio. The highest rank held was as a Private in Company A. From letters, he appears to be assigned to the Quartermaster unit. His two brothers, Owen T. and John F., are also listed as being with him in Company A. During the War, he begins to correspond with Miss Elizabeth (Lizzie) D. Drake of Albany, Athens County, Ohio. From records found so far, it does not appear that he was injured in the service, but more research needs to be done to prove or disprove this point.

He was discharged from the service on November 9, 1864 upon the expiration of his term of service. Returning to Athens Co., Ohio after the war, he marries Lizzie Drake on February 14, 1865, some three months later. They had two children, Miss Hattie Gertrude Wells and Minnie O. Wells.

Thomas was an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He was a member and officer of the Sgt. McKell Post #42 located at Bainbridge, Ohio.

His death date has not been confirmed, but it was after the death of Lizzie in 1879. He is buried in the Bainbridge Cemetery, Chillicothe, OH.




Thomas S. Wells was born at Frankfort, Ohio, July 11, 1833, died September 20, 1906, at Bainbridge, Ohio, aged 73 years, 2 months and 9 days. He was the son of Felix and Rebecca Wells, being one of a patriarchal family of twelve children. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Drake, of Marshfield Ohio, February 14, 1865, she having gone before some 26 years ago. To them were born three children, a son who died in infancy, Mrs. James Whitaker, of Greenfield and Mrs. W.L. Pensyl, of Bainbridge. The last named is better known as "Hattie", who has been her father’s constant comrade, housekeeper and caretaker for thirty-seven years, never having been absent one from the other, an entire week in all that time. What must the separation be now? None can understand it, save those who have passed through the same bitter parting, after years of the same constant comradeship.

The early life of Mr. Wells was spent in and about Frankfort and Athens. He came with his family to this place about the year 1868, and has resided here continuous since that time. When able he was a frequent attendant at church, and took part in the services. At one time he taught a Bible class of twenty young men in the Sabbath school of the old M.P. Church.

He was a great lover of music, and for eighteen years had driven with "Hattie" to and from her music classes in the country. His health has been steadily failing since March and for the past seven weeks he has been slowly and almost imperceptibly going down into the valley of the shadow of death. He was a model of patience, often telling the loved and loving daughter, and the kind grandchildren, that they were all so good to him, that everybody was so good and kind. From the beginning he was impressed with the belief that this was to be his last sickness, but said that he was ready and willing to go. In his dying moments he again signified that he was ready to depart. Not the least important epoch in his life history, is his military record of which he (as are all old soldiers) was justly proud.

His Army Chart says that he entered the service as a private of Company A, 18th O.V.I., August 9, 1861. Was detailed to service in the commissary department March 3, 1862. Mustered out November 9, 1864, which was the expiration of his term of service. The regiment was organized in part at Athens, and it is supposed he enlisted there. The chart contains a list of two columns of engagements in which the regiment figured. They can not all be given here. It is enough to say that he was at Chickamauga (on whose 43d anniversary he died), Missionary Ridge, the battle of Stone River, Lookout Mountain and many other points of interest and importance. His duties in the commissary department included the issuing of rations to the soldiers. Many times some would be absent on duty and would come in later, cold, tired and hungry, to find the supply exhausted and nothing for them. Then, it is told by one who knows, he would slip away to where his own rations were stored, and share with the poor unfortunate who had none, thus showing for that that generous spirit which pervaded the men who were in the great strife of ’61 to ’65. Again, has the muster roll been called, and for the last time Comrade Thomas S. Wells has answered: " Here."

There survive him his daughters and grandchildren, two brothers and three sisters.

Funeral Services were held at the home Sunday afternoon, conducted by Rev.. Swinehart, and while the soldier lay there silent in the majesty of death with his Grand Army Button on his breast; his favorite song, "Bury me with my Grand Army Badge on my Breast" was song by his young friend F. M. Tulleys, of Greenfield. But for the first time it fell on unheeding ears and brought no response from the mute lips. The title of this song was Grant’s last request, and was sung by Hattie many time for her father at his request.

Maude E. Morrow.


When the long roll has sounded my last long alarm,

When my spirit and body shall part.

When my name has been called and "at rest" is returned,

With my hands folded over my heart.

When no more shall the Reveille wake the day,

And call me to labor from rest;

Then bury me as a true soldier; should be.

With my Grand Army Badge on my breast.

Let me sleep my last sleep, with my beautiful star,

With its banner and eagle and all,

Close to my still heart, which has ever been true

To the flag, at my loved country’s call.

In my life ‘twas the emblem of loyalty; truth

And charity, sweetest and best;

Then bury me when my last summons shall come

With my Grand Army Badge on my breast.

And in that grandest master on the bright shore

When we pass our great final review,

It will shine on to show that my loyal heart beat

To my country and flag ever true;

Twill be a prized emblem to show in that land

The beautiful land of the blest;

Then bury me where my last tattoo shall sound,

With my Grand Army Badge on my breast.

The funeral was largely attended by sorrowing and sympathetic friends from both the town and surrounding country.

A wealth of beautiful flowers, sweet emblems of the love and esteem of his many friends, decked and surrounded his casket.

Those who attended the funeral from other places were, Maj.. J.C. Foster, of Higby, R.E. Wells of Columbus, Sadie and Juno Moore, of Jackson, J.G. Whitaker, wife and children, of Greenfield, Frank Parker, of Chillicothe, J.C. Myers and family of Bournville, and S. Allen and wife of Storms.

(Information and Photographs graciously provided by LaRa Memmer.)