Thursday, June 22, 2017

David Schoonover of Lucasville: Civil War Veteran of Storied Ohio 73rd and Local Huckster


Connections to history are often difficult to establish since much so many personal records disappear from generation to generation. This loss reminds me of a John Prine song “Souvenirs” in which the singer declares “I hate graveyards and old pawn shops for they always bring me tears. I can't forgive the way they rob me of my childhood souvenirs.”

Lost recollections are so lamentable even though they are part of the natural process of moving on. Too few are recorded and secured in repositories where descendents and other interested researchers can discover personal folk accounts of days gone by.
Local historians often delight in fleshing out community connections to the past. I would like to establish some such links with a man from Lucasville named David Schoonover (1843-1915). If he were alive today, I wager David could enlighten all of us about some very important times in American history.

What do we know of David Schoonover? He was a Civil War veteran, the proprietor of a livery stable in Lucasville, and the operator of a huckster wagon – a veritable store on wheels (I'll get back to that later). Let's see if some online research can put some “meat” on this life and times.

David Schoonover was a private in Company B, 73rd Regiment Ohio Infantry. This unit was organized in Chillicothe on December 30, 1861, under Colonel Orland Smith. It has a storied history itself.

73rd Ohio Infantry
The 73rd Regiment Ohio Infantry entered the field in January, 1862, operating in West Virginia until May, when it engaged Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley, and participated in the battle of Cross Keys.
In August the Ohio 73rd took a conspicuous part in the second battle of Bull Run, acting with great gallantry and losing about 150 men. It remained near Washington until December, when it joined Burnside at Fredericksburg, and in April, 1863, was at Chancellorsville.
The Regiment moved north in June, and participated in the battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, with a loss of 143 men.

In September it was transferred with Hooker's command to the Western Army, and took part in the battles of Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge. It marched to Knoxville and back to Chattanooga, and in May, 1864, joined Sherman's Atlanta campaign, fighting all the way to the end. It marched to the sea with Sherman and through the Carolinas, and on to Richmond and Washington, making a complete circuit of the Rebel States. It was mustered out July 20, 1865.

The unit is honored by a marker on the Second Bull Run battlefield at Manassas and a monument at Gettysburg.

Reports show the 73rd Ohio Infantry Regiment lost 4 officers and 167 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 1 officer and 149 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. (Yes, the staggering figures of those lost to disease beg further investigation.

A much more extensive account of the 73rd Ohio is available online: William Cline's Diary, Manuscripts of the American Civil War, by Jeremy A. Kiene. Address –

The 73rd at Gettysburg
Through those streets, and over those fertile fields, two ravaging armies have passed, confronting each other not to draw closer the bond of brotherhood, but to renounce it, and hew each other down with murderous weapons…. Thousands of stalwarth men weltering in blood, their bodies mangled, their limbs shattered, and from many almost every vestige of the human form and countenance departed! Humanity shudders at the scene, and pity draws over it a veil.”
--Reverend E.W. Hutter, eye-witness account “Four Days on the Battle Ground of Gettysburg” as printed in the Mt. Vernon Democratic Banner, August 1, 1863
The 73rd Ohio suffered heavy casualties in the defense of Cemetery Hill. One account of a man in the regiment is particularly noteworthy.
Richard Enderlin, born in Germany and raised in Chillicothe, enlisted in the Army in November 1861. At Gettysburg, he thought his unit was not directly engaged, so the bugler voluntarily joined the defense of Cemetery Ridge.

During combat on July 2, 1863, George Nixon III, also a member of the 73rd and the great-grandfather of American President Richard Nixon, was wounded. Other soldiers ignored the wounded Nixon's cries for help due to the intense enemy fire, but Enderlin volunteered to attempt to rescue him and, that evening, crawled to Nixon and pulled him to safety.

For this action, Enderlin was promoted to sergeant the next day and received the Medal of Honor on September 11, 1897. The citation reads: “Voluntarily took a rifle and served as a soldier in the ranks during the first and second days of the battle. Voluntarily and at his own imminent peril went into the enemy's lines at night and, under a sharp fire, rescued a wounded comrade.”


Enderlin was later wounded in his right foot at the Battle of Dallas, and served in the Veteran Reserve Corps. He is buried at Grandview Cemetery at Chillicothe, Ohio.
Full Circle to David Schoonover's Huckster Wagon
It's after the war and David Schoonover is back in Lucasville. He is busy with the livery stable and the huckster wagon. “What the heck is a huckster wagon?” you ask. First consider times when your feet and your horse were the only modes of transportation. Something as simple as a trip to the store could be a major undertaking. Enter those who started a business delivering the goods to those country folk – the huckster.
Storekeepers and enterprising individuals operating huckster wagons stocked them with nearly all the necessities of life and made regular trips to rural homes where housewives would buy the staples that they needed to go with their home-made food. Huckster wagons were actually variety stores on wheels. Most ran on a schedule, and their regular appearance was, indeed, a big event for country folk.

Given Schoonover's affinity for horses and merchandising, I am sure the details of his life we don't know would illuminate our view of bygone days. Perhaps someone knows more stories about David Schoonover, his family and his life and times. Maybe someone can deliver more to this story through a precious memory or a simple family souvenir. May connections continue.

The following is information found online for Lucasville resident David Schoonover:

David Schoonover

Mar. 4, 1843
Pennsylvania, USA
Mar. 11, 1915
Scioto County
Ohio, USA

Ohio Deaths [Copy of Death Certificate]
Name : David Schooner Birth date : 04 Mar 1843 Birth place : Penn. Death date : 11 Mar 1915 Death place : Lucasville, Valley Twp, Scioto, Ohio

Cause of Death: Cirrhosis of liver Age at death : 72 years 7 days Gender : Male Marital status : Married Race or color : Caucasian Occupation : Liveryman

Residence : Lucasville Burial date : 14 Mar 1915 Burial place : Lucasville, Scioto, Ohio
Informant: Chas Schoonover, Lucasville, OH [son]

Father name : James Schooner Father birth place : N.Y. Mother name : Brown Mother birth place : N.Y.
GSU film number : 1983344 Digital GS number : 4021314 Image number : 1231 Reference number : fn 18321

Family links:
  James Isaac Schoonover (1798 - 1871)
  Margaret Brown Schoonover (____ - 1845)

  Nancy Ellen Harwood Schoonover (1841 - 1917)

  Charles William Schoonover (1871 - 1947)*
  Henrietta Schoonover Taylor (1875 - 1946)*

  Mary Ann Schoonover Zimmerman (1835 - 1869)*
  Rebecca Schoonover Day (1838 - 1916)*
  John Schoonover (1839 - 1895)*
  David Schoonover (1843 - 1915)
  Nathan Martin Schoonover (1848 - 1926)**

*Calculated relationship

Lucasville Cemetery
Scioto County
Ohio, USA

Created by: EMDW
Record added: Jul 12, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39353509

Ohio 73rd Monument Gettysburg

Richard Enderlin

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