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Bodyguard to the President

Although most Shelby County, Ohio soldiers saw action during the war, some did not. One was Jonathon Lewis. When he enlisted with the 147th Ohio in May, 1864, Lewis (shown below) was 15 years old (he reported his age as 18 in order to be accepted). After completing his training at Camp Dennison, Pvt. Lewis received orders to report for duty as a bodyguard for President Lincoln. He was assigned to the White House. After the war, Lewis recalled that Lincoln would stop daily for a tin of water at the water pump he guarded on the lawn. On one occasion, as Pvt. Lewis stood at attention, the President told him, "Son, you are too young to be a soldier."  Lewis returned to Plattsville after the war, without firing a shot, but with many vivid memories of President Lincoln.

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Abraham Lincoln
Jonathon Lewis


'Civil War' segment written
in July, 1998 by Rich Wallace

 

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