Silent Witnesses to the Civil War, Part 3: Lakeside, Maple Ridge, Coe Ridge, and Chestnut Grove Cemeteries

By Dale Thomas
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2005, All Rights Reserved

Part 3 of a 3-part article on cemeteries in in the western suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio that have connections to the Civil War.

Lakeside Cemetery overlooks Lake Erie in Bay Village, now a bedroom community but in the 1860’s a region of orchards and truck gardens at the northern edge of Dover Township. Driving on Lake Road, one hardly notices the headstones that seem out of place where old homes are being razed to make way for lavish dwellings built on prime real estate. Two veterans of the American Revolution (David Foote and Christopher Saddler) and seven of the Civil War may be the next to be displaced by housing developers in the 21st Century.

John Schultz and Luma Griswold could not be identified with a specific Northern regiment. Michael Wolf fought with the 1st U.S. Cavalry, Regular Army. Washington Elmer was in I Company of the 10th New York Heavy Artillery Regiment. At Sackett’s Harbor, N.Y. on September 12, 1862, Pvt. Elmer mustered into Federal service. The regiment protected Washington until taking part in the battle at Cold Harbor in June of 1864 then the siege and fall of Petersburg at the end of the war. On September 19, 1861 in Findlay, Ohio, Chauncy Stevens mustered into the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, a regiment that would suffer the loss of 392 men. Stevens rose to the rank of sergeant as the 23rd OVI fought in the Western Theater from Stones River and Chickamauga to Chattanooga and Resaca, then the siege of Atlanta and Sherman’s march to the sea. After the Grand Review in Washington, the regiment moved to Kentucky, then came home to Ohio.

Alonson A. Grant joined the 6th Ohio Cavalry in Warren, Ohio on October 7, 1861. He was promoted to sergeant during the course of the war, which saw his regiment fighting in many of the major battles in the East: Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Wilderness, and Cold Harbor. On Palm Sunday in 1865, the troopers were in Appomattox Court House to take part in the surrender of Lee’s army. Alfred M. Wolf was one of the “100 Day Men” in the 150th OVI. On May 2, 1864 at Camp Cleveland, the Ohio National Guard Regiment mustered into service for a hundred days. It went east for garrison duty in the forts around Washington, helping to repulse Jubal Early’s attack in July. The men were back home and discharged on the 23rd of August.

Maple Ridge and Coe Ridge Cemeteries are located a few miles apart in what was originally the southern section of Dover Township. Situated on Columbia Road in Westlake, Maple Ridge contains the burials of eleven veterans of the Civil War, one of which is only a few feet from the shoulder of the encroaching thoroughfare. Henry L. Steele, John W. Hawkins, Chauncey C. and Lester Alexander, Reuben and Ziba S. Hall served in the 150th OVI. A Baptist minister born in England, Steele applied for an invalid’s Civil War pension around the turn of the century while living out of the state.

In late autumn of 1861, John H. Lemmon volunteered for the 65th OVI, which was being organized in Mansfield, Ohio. Beginning as a private in E Company, he became a sergeant as his regiment participated in most of the major campaigns and battles in the West: Shiloh, Corinth, Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Resaca, Franklin, and Nashville. The 65th OVI moved to San Antonio, Texas at the end of the war, remaining there until December. Ashel P. Smith went to Norwalk, Ohio and joined the 55th OVI in January of 1862. Smith’s regiment fought in the eastern and western fronts including battles at Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Chattanooga, Resaca, and Bentonville. It took part in the surrender of General Johnston’s army in April of 1865 and the Grand Review in Washington the following month. Smith was a hospital steward at the time of his discharge.

At Camp Chase on October 30, 1861, John Griffin, an Irish immigrant, enlisted in James A. Garfield’s 42nd OVI. Griffin saw action in the Western Theater of the war including the siege and assault at Vicksburg. Near the end of his three-year enlistment, he suffered a gunshot wound to his right lung and, after treatment, was discharged on November 15, 1864. At Camp Cleveland on New Year’s Day of 1863, Chauncey D. Hall mustered into A Company of the 124th OVI. The regiment fought at Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Resaca, Franklin, Nashville, and other battles in the West. A native of Prussia, John E. Sawyer was a musician in D Company of the 117th New York Volunteer Infantry, organized in Oneida in August of 1862. The New Yorkers were in a number of engagements in the East including Fort Wagner, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and Wilmington.

Five Civil War veterans are buried in Coe Ridge Cemetery, located across the street from a bowling alley at the corner of Walter Road and Lorain Road in North Olmsted. Bertrand C. and Rienzi W. Austin served with John Griffin in E Company of the 42nd OVI. Bertrand C. Austin did not survive the war, dying at the age of twenty-four on April 23, 1863. The regiment was campaigning in Louisiana at the time of his death and the records show he was not buried in the South, but at Coe Ridge.

Serving under two future Presidents, Wilbur Bently was a private in A Company of the 23rd OVI. The eighteen-year-old Bently was the same age and rank as William McKinley of E Company when they were mustered into federal service at Camp Chase on June 11, 1861. During the war, McKinley rose to the rank of brevet major under the regimental commander, Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes. The 23rd OVI first saw action in western Virginia, then moved to Washington in the late summer of 1862. When Lee invaded Maryland, the Ohioans fought at South Mountain and Antietam. Over the next two and a half years, the regiment took part in a number of battles including Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign. The men marched together for the last time on Cleveland’s Public Square in July of 1865.

At Camp Cleveland on August 22, 1862, Saul Demaline took an oath, offering three years of his life to help preserve the Union as a private in B Company of the 107th OVI. He survived the disaster at Fredericksburg, defeat at Chancellorsville, and bloody victory at Gettysburg. On December 4, 1863, however, Demaline was discharged on a surgeon’s certificate of disability. Pvt. John S. Demaline served with the 67th OVI, which had been organized at-large in Ohio from October 1861 to January 1862. The assault on Fort Wagner and the siege of Petersburg were some of the regiment’s major actions. On April 9, 1865, the men of the 67th OVI were at Appomattox Court House, taking part in the surrender of Lee’s army.

Chestnut Grove (Turkey Foot) Cemetery is located on Chestnut Grove Drive above the west branch of the Rocky River in Olmsted Falls. In a place that still retains much of its original rural setting, twelve stones are inscribed with the names of Civil War veterans. Lt. John G. Fitch and Pvt. Herbert O. Fitch served in I Company of the 150th OVI. According to his gravestone, Elisha Cook’s regiment was the 8th OVI, but official records list him in the 3rd OVI. On September 8, 1865, James Wright mustered out as a corporal in the 21st New York Volunteer Artillery Regiment, which had campaigned on the Gulf Coast.

At Camp Dennison in February of 1862, Henry and Thomas Stokes mustered into the 15th Independent Battery, Ohio Light Artillery. Henry Stokes died in Cincinnati on April 17, 1862. Rising to sergeant, Thomas Stokes survived the sieges at Corinth, Vicksburg, and Atlanta, then Sherman’s march to the sea and the capture of Columbia, South Carolina. For years after the war on the Fourth of July, he loaded and fired the G.A.R. post cannon in Olmsted Falls.

John E. Bradford and Edward W. Kidney volunteered for the 19th Independent Battery, Ohio Light Artillery at Camp Cleveland in September of 1862. Also known as Shields’ Battery, it pursued Morgan in May of 1863 from Kentucky into Ohio and afterwards fought in Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina. Kidney made it through the war, but Bradford died on October 22, 1864. Hiram A. Vaughn was in the same company of the 65th OVI as John Lemmon.

Frederick W. Broady served with William McKinley in E Company of the 23rd OVI. Lorenzo B. Adams was a sergeant in Battery B of the 1st Ohio Light Artillery organized at Camp Dennison (Cincinnati) in October of 1861. He fought at Mill Springs, Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga and Chattanooga. Two other veterans buried in the cemetery, George Brown and Edward Damp, could not be identified with any Civil War unit.

The first officers of Olmsted G.A.R. Post 634 in 1887 included Commander Thomas Stokes, Senior Vice Commander John Fitch, and Quartermaster Sergeant Hiram Vaughn. Post members with their wives observed Memorial Day that year by placing flowers on the graves of veterans and casting wreaths into Rocky River for those missing in action during the Civil War.

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Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (National Park Service Website, 2004).

Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War (Boston: Wright and Potter Printing Co., 1907).

Official Roster of the Soldiers of the American Revolution Buried in the State of Ohio (Columbus: F.J. Heer, 1929).

Personal Reminiscences and Experiences (Sheffield Lake, Ohio: One Hundred and Third Ohio Voluntary Infantry, 1900).

Roll of Honor, Names of Soldiers Who Died in Defense of the American Union, Interred in the National Cemeteries (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1869).