Private Zenas Frost, Company A, 129th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
I wish to thank Charlotte Benz ([contact link]) for sending me this picture for this site. She is the editor of a wonderful new Frost newsletter, which she sends out twice annually, via an attachment in an email. The latest issue of this newsletter is Volume 2, #2 contains this picture of Zenas Frost.
My notes about Zenas in the military consist of the following quotations from various sources: "At age fifteen, Zenas ran away from home to join the Union Army. Men from that area left by train from New England, which was about ten miles from their home. I expect they walked that distance to catch the train. The first time Zenas left for the army, his father brought him back home. The second time he ran away, his father didn't go get him. Zenas said he remembered sitting on a log in the rain in a swamp and wishing his father would come for him again. He enlisted in Co. A, 129th
Regiment O.V.I. [Ohio Volunteer Infantry] on 24 June 1863 for six months duty. He was discharged 8 March 1864 at Camp Cleveland. His second enlistment was for only 100 days and he reenlisted for a third time. He reenlisted in Co. E, 174th Regiment
O.V.I. for one year and was discharged 28 June 1865 at Charlotte, North Carolina.
One winter was spent on guard duty at Cumberland Gap. They nearly starved while there. Rations were so low at the end of winter they received only one tablespoon of coffee and one pint of corn meal every four days. Anything else had to be foraged
off the land. One soldier shot a goat and they ate good as long as it lasted. In one letter written while at Cumberland Gap, he said someone shot a hoot owl and the soldier said he didn't care how 'owled' it was, he was going to have it cooked. When
they were finally relieved, they found out the top brass had forgotten they were there.
"At one point during the war, Zenas was shot and the bullet grazed the back of his neck and knocked him unconscious. The rest of his group thought he was dead and went on without him. Later, he regained consciousness and caught up with the other
"While in the service, he spent some time in the hospital in or near Washington, D.C. President Lincoln visited the wounded and shook hands with all the men. Zenas thought it was wonderful that he had had the opportunity to shake hands with the
"For a short time, he was stationed in the Chesapeake Bay area and he said for once in his life he had all the oysters he could eat. I remember as a child how fond he was of oysters. He used to go to Athens or Parkersburg on the train and bring home
a gallon bucket of oysters and we all had a feast real often.
"In another letter written from Gainsboro, North Carolina, dated 18 April 1865, he related that they had bad news; the President (Lincoln) had died and he thought the war would soon be over.
"His older brother, Elisha, served in the same company and regiment with him. They were in Cleveland to be discharged and, the night before returning home, Elisha died suddenly. Zenas was saddened to bring his brother's body home in this way.
"Among the souveniers brought home was a small piece of the Rebel flag from the battle of Murphresboro, fought on 2 January 1863. Also, he brought a piece of fabric showing the colors of Co. E, 174th Regiment flag. He said they had cut the flags in
small pieces and disributed them among the soldiers to take home. These have been mounted and preserved in a glass bottle on cotton by his daughter-in-law, the late Evie Frost.
"Clarence Frost, a grandson, furnished the information for this article and it is all from the memory of hearing his grandfather relate his army experiences. He has the souveniers at his home near Frost."
I also have elsewhere on this [external link] site a picture of Zenas, his wife, Mary L. Patton, his son Press, and his daughter, Dora. For more information on Zenas and his family, please visit my site (bcarl110)on [external link].
- Album: BettyJane's photos