Reverend Loren Webb

Full name : Loren Webb
Alternate spellings, aliases : Lorin; Captain L. Webb; Reverend L. Webb

Parents :
Father : Oliver Webb
Mother : Louisa Ellis

Date of Birth : 9 August 1838
Place of Birth : Ridgefield Township, Huron County, Ohio

Vital stats : 
Height : 5' 9 1/2"       Complexion : Fair
Hair : Brown & Gray       Eyes : Blue
Notes : from Pension application, 24 April 1879

Spouse : 
Name : Francis Hannah Holmes
Date of Marriage : 12 December 1866
Place of Marriage : Danbury, Connecticut
Died : 21 October 1877, Drayton Island, Florida
notes : Francis born 1842.  Wedding service by Rev. J. L. Peck. Also known as Hannah F. Webb.  She died one week after giving birth to a son who lived less than a day; Francis is buried in Jacksonville, Florida but Loren’s headstone bears her name (gravestone image).

Date of Death : 20 February 1880 
Place of Death, and or Burial : Nashville, Tennessee
Place of Burial :
Woodlawn Cemetery, Norwalk, Huron County, Ohio  Section 9  Row 3 (gravestone image)
Cause of Death : chronic bronchitis as a result of injuries and illness suffered in the war; certified by Dr. Thomas O. Summers, MD, Professor of Anatomy, Vanderbilt University.

Notes : Obituaries appeared in the Methodist Conference paper and in the Redwing Republican.


Religion : Loren was a devout Christian, professing and preaching the protestant Methodist faith all of his adult life. He was trained as a Methodist Clergyman at McKendree College, Hamline University and by practiced preaching.  He regularly attended church wherever and whenever he could, even when not employed as a Clergyman.  As a soldier, even when ill, he continued to preach and when on kept from pew or pulpit on Sundays due to duty he thought of church and home, always striving and often succeeding in attaining a higher state of spiritual depth and awareness,

“It did not seem much like the Sabbath to me.  I tried to keep my mind on heavenly things.  I thought of home, the family circle and its associations.  Surely, said I, there is no Sabbath in war.  At night we [Company F, 9th Reg’t] sang several good old hymns, then retired to rest.”

“November, Sunday 17th 1861
…This morning I felt as though I would like to attend church but had no opportunity to do so.  Have not heard but three sermons since the 1st of Sept.”

On Sunday, 9 June 1861 Loren preached at Pulaski, Illinois to the congregation of Brother William Nelson and did not have the opportunity do so again until 1 December 1861.  It is quite impressive that at less that 25 years old, he displayed a level of maturity and responsibility, earnestness and forthright behavior seldom displayed by those much older,

I preached for the first time since I have been in the army.  I had my uniform on.  My text was the 16 – 15 of St. Luke.  After church we sang several songs [and] hymns.”

“December, Sunday, 1st 1861
…This morning we had dress parade, then co. inspection.  I then received a note from Prof. Hibben, Chapln. Of the Prespyterian church.  I went, found the house crowded, and for the first time since the 9th day of June last, I preached.”

Education : Seminary training in at McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois then Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Literate in English, competent at arithmetic and accomplished in preaching.  He was a school teacher prior to attending college, so he must have been well educated as a young man.  He never finished any of his studies due to his poor health and the intervening wartime service.

Loren traveled to Illinois in attend McKendree College again after the war.  His interesting travel by steamboat  is best described in his own words, from his journal : 

"September, Monday, 8th 1862
Pleasant.  This morning I issued power of attorney to father to rent my farm and to take care of it.  I then bought a ticket for St. Louis for which I paid $12.00 at at 6 P.M. I went aboard and started down the river [Mississippi River] on Steamer War Eagle, Capt. N. F. Webb.

Tuesday, 9th
...I had an Interview with the Capt. of the boat.  He is a distant relative of mine and gave me much interesting information about my folks several generations past."

The War Eagle was a 225' long side-wheeler wooden hull packet steamboat built in 1854 in Cincinnati and launched for the Minnesota Packet Company, but belonged to the La Cross line when Loren sailed on her.  N. F. Webb was Captain of the War Eagle in 1862. 
Source1 : Riverboats website.


Loren also thought his family viewed him as ignorant and living a less than desireable life in the wilderness, which he answered in this manner :


“…I have trailed the wild Indian and the deer, have stood on the wilderness slopes of the Majestic Mississippi, carved my own fortune from the Granite Hills of Adversity, and sought knowledge, of the fur-clad woodsman, and learned my lessons by the light of the moon, because poverty furnished no candle, and dined on hope because the present furnished no food.  Yes I have done all this and yet, I say I wish to teach you when I come, that we are not barbarians, that we still have honor, that we practice virtue, that we love liberty and knowledge…”

Military Service : Civil War, Union
Unit1 : Company F, 9th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry
Rank : Ordnance Sergeant; 1st Lieutenant (25 April 1861); Captain
Term of Service : 20 April 1861 - 11 July 1862 (3 mos and 3 yrs)
Unit2 : Minnesota Volunteer forces during Sioux Uprising of 1862
Rank : Adjutant-General to General Sibley
Term of Service : 19 August 1862 - 1 September 1862
Unit3 : Company D, 11th Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry 
Rank : 2nd Lieutenant & Recruiting Officer; Captain
Term of Service : 1 September 1864 - 11 July 1865
Engagements, wounds received : Participated in  the siege and capture of Fort Donelson, 12 – 13 February 1862.  Exposure to sleet, snow and extreme cold without benefit of overcoat, blanket or fire on the night preceding the assault left Loren infected with ‘slow fever’, culminating in chronic bronchitis.  Participated in the Battle of Shiloh or Pittsburg Landing, 6 April 1862.  Heavy Confederate fire withered the 9th Regiment’s men at Shiloh and Loren received a gunshot wound to the ankle while leading his men into hails of musketry fire.
Pension data : Loren applied for an Invalid's Pension on 15 May 1879 (Appl # 286543, Cert # 856585) and was rejected for failure to complete the application process.  His daughters successfully applied for Minor's Pensions, 3 February 1888 (Appl # 367065, Cert # 367284), filed in Connecticut and Ohio after his death.  Loren's affidavit from the pension file is the single document which expresses most clearly Loren’s early life and tragic experiences in the war (available as PDF). 
Images from Service : I have obtained an image of Captain Loren Webb in uniform during his service with the 11th Regiment Minnesota infantry, from the US Army Military History Institute (37k jpg).
Notes : In Loren's service record obtained from the NARA, it does not show a muster roll record for the 3 month enlistment, but does show the 3 year muster-in roll. I obtained a copy of the 3 month muster roll from the Illinois State Archives and it shows the original Captain of Company F to be Collins van Cleve. Originally Loren was Ordnance Sergeant of Captain Hawes company, but it filled up and he joined a group of others who finally became the Company F organization with Van Cleve as Captain and Loren as 1st Lieutenant.  For three year service,  Company F mustered in at Cairo, Illinois on 28 July 1861 after Van Cleve has been replaced as Captain by Loren.  Loren fought at Battle of Shiloh and was wounded in the foot at Pittsburg Landing and shortly afterwards he resigned to go home and care for his crippled father as indicated in a letter included in the file (available as PDF).  It also shows that he fought during the capture of Fort Donelson and was indeed wounded 6 April 1862 at Pittsburg Landing (Shiloh) and was granted 20 days sick leave commencing 11 April 1862. He resigned 8 July 1862, and his resignation was accepted by Major-General Bozeman 11 July 1862 by issuance of Special Field Order 151.  After he arranged for the care of his father,  and prior to joining the 11th Minnesota he was appointed Adjutant General by the Governor of Minnesota on 19 August 1862 during an insurrection and rampage by Indians and accompanied four companies of soldiers to quell the uprising and murders. He traveled to Fort Ridgley on 17 August 1862 where he helped arm and provision troops for the fight against the Sioux. He saw little action and returned home soon thereafter.   After the expedition against the Sioux Indians and serving some time as a Pastor in Faribault, Minnesota he obtained a commission as 2nd Lieutenant from the Governor of Minnesota to form a new company for the 11th Minnesota, to which he recruited his brother Harvey.  Service in the 11th Minnesota was limited to guarding Railway lines. An interesting item in his service record was a letter written 31 May 1865 wherein he requests a five day leave of absence to travel to New Albany, Indiana on "important private business that demands my immediate attention".  I think he probably went to attend to his sister in law or his brother Francis. 

Source1 : Illinois Adjutant Generals report on 9th Infantry
Source2 : Dyer's Compendium for 9th Illinois Infantry.
Source3 : 9th Infantry information at Rootsweb.
Source4 : Capture of Fort Donelson
Source5 : casualties at Pittsburg Landing
Source6 : Pittsburg Landing info

Civilian Occupation(s) :  Loren was in his 41 years a : Farmer, Pump Salesman, School Teacher, Captain of the Volunteer Infantry, an Assistant Adjutant-General of the Minnesota Sioux Campaigns and Methodist Clergyman.  He pursued the life of the reverent gentleman of the mid-19th century.  In Loren's own words : 

"From April to August 1858, I resided at Roscoe, Goodhue Co., Minnesota, occupation farming.  In August of that year I moved to Illinois, Madison Co. near Edwardsville engaged in farming until Jan 1st 1859.  From that date to April 1st I taught school near Troy, same co.  From April 1st to Jan 1st, 1860 my residence was at Brighton, Magoupin Co., Ill. Occupation farming and selling pumps.  Jan 1st 1860  I entered McKendree College at Lebanon, St. Clair Co. Ill continued two (2) terms.  From Sept to April 1861 taught school near Mascoutah, Ill. When I enlisted at said place."

Property : Loren owned a farm in Minnesota, and asked his father to rent the farm to someone while he was in the service.  What became of the property later is unknown.

Family : after the death of their mother and father, Loren's daughters went to live with Loren's first cousin, Charles Herrick, in Bronson Township, Huron County, Ohio.  Charles was the son of Ephrahim Herrick and Loren's aunt Electa Webb, who married in Huron County in 1825.  Electa is sister to Loren's father, Oliver.

Daughter : Mabelle Lorena
Date of Birth : 27 November 1867
Place of Birth : Canton, Hartford County, Connecticut
Married : Finlay Hester 22 November 1892
Died : 26 December 1940
Notes : Finlay Hester  (1 July 1857 - 15 July 1936); 2 sons - Webb Hester (15 October 1893 - 5 October 1963), Loren Hester (9 July 1896 - 18 Dec 1978)

Daughter : Clara Laurilla
Date of Birth : 17 November 1868
Place of Birth : Essex, Middlesex County, Connecticut
Married : Charles Toby
Died : 
Notes : Clara filed for a Minor's pension on her father's service 3 February 1888 in Connecticut.

Son : unnamed
Date of Birth : 16 October 1877
Place of Birth : 
Married : 
Died : lived only a few hours
Notes : His mother died one week after giving birth.


Comments, sources, various additional :

Harvey Hayes Webb family bible transcript, typed transcript, drafted in the 1950's; courtesy Hazel Skelly Webb

War of the Rebellion, a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1880. Courtesy of Cornell University Digital Library Project, located online

Dyer, Frederick H. Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, compiled and arranged from official records of the Federal and Confederate armies, Dyer Publishing Company, Des Moines, Iowa 1905. Courtesy of the U.S. Military History Institute, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, located online

Diary of Captain Loren Webb, 1861 - 1863, Firelands Historical Society, 1995. Transcribed by Matthew L. Burr. 

Written communication with Vinton Phillips and David L. Hester, New London, Huron County, Ohio, January 2001- ongoing.  Images of Webb gravestones courtesy of Elizabeth and Vinton Philips.

Service record of Captain Loren Webb, Company F, 9th Reg't Illinois Infantry, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC. Compiled 1891, viewed December 2000

Service record of Captain Loren Webb, Company D, 11th Reg't Minnesota Infantry, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC. Compiled 1891-94, viewed December 2000.

Pension File of Loren Webb, Mabel Webb, Clara Webb, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.

Morrison, Marion. History of the Ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Southern Illinois University Press, 1864, reprint.

Muster and Descriptive Roll of Company F, Ninth Infantry Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. Illinois State Archives, Springfield, Illinois. 2001.

Muster Out Roll of Captain Collins Van Cleve of Company F... 25 April 1861 - 24 July 1861. Illinois State Archives, Springfield, Illinois. 2001.

Places to look for Loren : Laporte, Indiana; Mascoutah, Illinois; Faribault, Rice County, Minnesota; Belleville, Illinois; Nashville, Tennessee; Danbury, Connecticut; Drayton Island, Florida.

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