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JOHN W. MESSICK
Musician, Co. A 
1852-1892

Father: Jacob Messick (b. 6/5/1830 - d. 11/5/1915).
Mother: Sarah Messick.
Date and Place of Birth: 7/1/1852.  New Albany, Indiana.
Spouse: Josie Schoenlaub.
Children: 2 children, names unknown.
Date and Place of Death:  7/4/1892.  Evansville, Indiana.
Place of Burial: Oak Hill Cemetery, Evansville, Indiana (Vanderburgh County) Section 40, Lot 38, Grave 4.

Military History: See Below.
Comments Was a member of Co. A with his father, Jacob Messick.  John was the youngest member of the 42nd Indiana, and one of the youngest soldiers of the entire Union Army, upon enlistment.  See Details Below.
Submitter of Information: Special Thanks to Cora Nuffer and Mike Beck for their assistance in gathering information about John Messick..

John Messick, Drummer, Co. A
John Messick, Drummer, Co. A
Source:  Indiana State Library

About John Messick:  

"Little Johnny", as the boys in the 42nd used to call him, was 9 years, 2 months, and 2 days old when he enlisted for service with his father, Jacob, on September 3, 1861.  John was not, however, the youngest Union soldier as the obituary states below.  Drummer Edward Black is credited as being the youngest Union soldier to serve in the Civil War.  He was 8 1/2 years old at enlistment and was from Marion County Indiana.  He is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery (Indianapolis, IN).  Other information suggest that Avery Brown was the youngest Union soldier.  His age upon mustering into the 31st Ohio, Co. C on August 8, 1861 was 8 years, 11 months, and 13 days (see: http://www.usd.edu/smm/AveryBrown.html). There were probably others who were as young and maybe younger but because many young volunteers lied about their age in order to be accepted into service, it will probably never be known for sure who was the youngest soldier to serve.  There were a total of 25 Union soldiers who were age 10 and under, according to the Adjutant General's Report.

Military History: 
Source:  NARA Military Records


Obits of John Messick

From: Evansville Journal
Tuesday Morning, July 5, 1892, page 1

DEATH
CLAIMED HIM
The Youngest Volunteer [of]
the War at Rest
_______

John W. Messick, the Drummer Boy
of the Forty-second Indiana Regi-
ment, Gone to His Judgment.
________

A conspicuous figure in the war of the rebellion passed away yesterday morning.  John W. Messick died at his home at 1021 West Delaware Street, after an illness of only two weeks duration. His death was unexpected, and will not only be a great sorrow but a surprise to his friends.  "Johnny" Messick, as he was called familiarly by his friends, was born in New Albany, Ind., July 1, 1852. In September, 1861, when only slightly over 9 years of age, he enlisted, in company with his father, in Company A, Forty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and served three years continually, receiving an honorable discharge in October, 1864, at Rome, Ga. "Johnny" was probably the youngest soldier in the United States army.  After returning home and graduating at the public schools he took a course at the Commercial College and then entered the jewelry business which he followed successfully for several years.  For the past year he has been employed in the store of his brother-in-law, R. A. Brennan.  Mr. Messick leaves a wfie---formerly Miss Josie Schoenlaub---and two children: also his parents, Jacob W. and 
Sarah A. Messick, his brother A. R. Messick, and sister, Mrs. R. A. Brennan.  Mr. Messick will be buried at Oak Hill this afternoon. Funeral services at the residence at 2 p.m.  A number of his old comrades reside in this city, among them John Albecker, Wm. McFarland and Capt. A. J. McCutchan.  The G. A. R. will likely have charge of the funeral, as he was a member of that organization.

*******

From: Evansville Journal
Wednesday Morning, July 6, 1892

YOUNGEST SOLDIER
___________

ANSWERED THE LAST BUGLE CALL
AND NOW RESTS 
___________

The remains of the late John W. Messick, the youngest soldier of the late war, was laid to final rest yesterday afternoon, the funeral occurring from the family residence, 1021 West Delaware Street. There was a large gathering of friends present to pay their last respects to the deceased. The services were of a most impressive character.  The casket containing the remains
was almost hidden from view by the many floral offerings sent by sympathizing friends.  The pall-bearers were all comrades of Mr. Messick---men who had marched and served entirely through the last unpleasantness with him and who were fond of him as the drummer boy of the old Forty-second---Capt. A. J. McCutchan, George W. Goodge, Wm. Shaw, John Albecker, Leslie Lawrence and Wm. A. McFarland.

*******

From: Princeton Clarion, Vol. 45, No. 48, 
July 14, 1892, page 4

DEATH OF A DRUMMER BOY

John W. Messick died at his home in Evansville on Tuesday last week. He was the drummer boy of the 42nd Ind regiment, and the youngest volunteer of the late war. The Evansville Journal of the 5th inst. says: "Johnny" Messick, as he was called familiarly by his friends, was born in New Albany, Ind. July 1, 1852. In September, 1861, when only slightly over 9 years of age, he enlisted, in Co. A, Forty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and served three years continually, receiving an honorable discharge in October, 1864, at Rome, Ga.  "Johnny", was probably the youngest soldier in the United States Army.
After returning home and graduating at at [sic] the public schools he took a course in the Commercial College and then entered the jewelry business, which he followed successfully for several years.  For the past year he has been employed 
in the store of his brother-in-law, R. A. Brennan. 


Other John and Jacob Messick Sources on the 42nd Indiana Web Site:

    Reception of the 42nd Indiana in Indianapolis Newspaper Article

    Experiences of a Private Soldier of the Civil War, Part One, by George Morgan Kirkpatrick

    Pvt. George W. Goodge, Co. A, Letters, 1863-1865

    The History of the 42nd Indiana, By Capt. S. F. Horrall

 

 

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This Page was Last Edited on March 23, 2004