JOSIAH E. HAYES

Fort Scott Union Monitor, Thursday, June 9, 1864, Pg. 1

Vol. I, No. 44

 

LIEUT. COL. J. E. HAYES.

  It is with feelings of deepest sorrow the family and numerous friends of this gallant officer, will learn of his having been mortally wounded at the battle of Saline River.  He was at the head of his regiment, the 12th Kansas Infantry, Col. Adams, being in command of the Brigade, when a Minnie ball struck his left thigh a little above the knee, and he being on horseback with short stirrups, it went upward crushing the bone.  The nature of the wound hardly admits a reasonable hope of his being yet alive.  Nothing definite however has been heard from him yet.

  Lieut. Col. Hayes had but to be known to be respected and loved by all good men.  His regiment adored him.  Kind and affable, unpretending and at the same time a strict disciplinarian, of great moral as well as physical courage, the country lost in him an ardent patriot, the army a noble officer, his regiment a father, and his family their protector.  Col. Hayes was a citizen of Olathe, Johnson County, Kansas, where his family is residing.

 

Hayes, Josiah E., Bio.

William G. Cutlerís History of the State of Kansas

 

COL. JOSIAH E. HAYES (deceased). The subject of this brief sketch was born in New Hampshire, in July, 1817. He was educated principally at the common schools. In 1834 he went to Putnam County, Ill., and in 1851 to Bureau County. In 1857 he moved to Olathe, Johnson County, Kan., which town he made his home the remainder of his life. The home of his adoption is largely indebted to his energy and business ability for her prosperity. He erected numerous buildings in the town, among them the stone building belonging to the Kansas Institute for the Deaf and Dumb, the American Hotel, and the Jail, and was himself interested at different times in various kinds of business. In 1861, at the breaking out of the war, in common with many other patriotic men of the county, he entered the army, and became Captain of Company A, Fourth Kansas Infantry, In 1862 he was promoted to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the Twelfth Kansas Infantry, which position he held until the close of the war. In the fall of 1863, his regiment was ordered to Arkansas. It formed a part of Gen. Steele's command, which was attempting to form a junction with Gen. N. P. Banks at Shreveport, La., when on the 30th of April, 1864, an engagement occurred between Gen. Steele's command and a large force of rebels at Jenken's Ferry, Ark., ending in the defeat of the Union forces. Early in the engagement, Col. Hayes was struck just below the knee by a minie ball. The ball was split by striking against the bone, one part passing out of the leg, the other part passing around and above the knee joint, and up back of the thigh bone, nearly to the hip joint. The Union forces upon their retreat left the wounded upon the field, and all, Col. Hayes among them, became prisoners in the enemy's hands. His leg was amputated on the field, by Dr. Redfield of Fort Scott. He was at first taken to Camden, where he remained four months, suffering great pain and inconvenience from his wound. He was then removed to Shreveport, La., where he remained until exchanged in February, 1864, when he proceeded homeward, reaching Olathe March 11, 1864. Sometime subsequently an operation was found necessary, in order to remove the portion of the ball that had passed up the thigh. This was successful, and led to the rumor that a second amputation had been performed, which was not true. Mrs. Hayes, upon learning that her husband was wounded and a prisoner, immediately determined upon going to him. Neither could she be turned aside from her purpose by the earnest entreaties, persuasions and tears of her friends. After a hasty preparation, she started at once for Little Rock, and proceeding thence under flag of truce to the rebel lines, she was permitted to go to Camden, where the Colonel lay, traveling the whole distance, forty miles, through the enemy's country with a rebel soldier for a driver. She remained with her husband until he was exchanged, and in all human probability, through her constant watchfulness and care, saved his life, and brought him home with her to their children and friends. In the fall of 1865 he was elected County Treasurer. In 1869 he commenced the business of banking in Olathe, as detailed under the head of the Johnson County Bank. In 1870 he was elected State Treasurer, and in 1872 re-elected by a majority of 30,000. April 30, 1874, he resigned his office, and was succeeded by John Francis, of Iola, Allen County, who was appointed the next day. On account of the danger of traveling at that time with money on the person, County treasurers very generally refused to settle with the State Treasurer in anything but drafts on New York. These drafts were collected through two Topeka banks. When the financial crisis of 1873 came upon the country, the New York bank having in charge these collections for the Topeka banks suspended. This led to the suspension of the Topeka banks, and this to the embarrassment of the State Treasurer, who had at that time about $75,000 in the process of collection. The State was reimbursed over the counter of the Hayes bank in Olathe, Col. Hayes being made good in part by the receipt of other property, some of it western land. While Col. Hayes was guilty of a technical violation of the State law, which required State taxes to be paid in lawful money, and while his political enemies eagerly seized upon this technical violation of the law as a convenient weapon with which to defeat his aspirations toward further political promotion, yet the State lost not one dollar through the dereliction, and not a shadow of suspicion rested or rests upon the integrity or character of Col. Hayes. Preceding State Treasurers had received County taxes in the same way. It was Col. Hayes' misfortune to be in office when the crisis came, and he who had heard his country's call, who had gone to the fore front of the battle and left a limb, almost his life upon her altar, was here destined to suffer injustice through a wide spread combination of circumstances for which he was no more to blame than is the man who is caught and destroyed by the fierce cyclone. On account of his failing health occasioned by the constant trouble with his wound, he started February 23, 1881, to Eureka Springs, Ark., reaching there on the 26th of the month. Nothing could avail. He died on March 8th, and was brought home to be buried. He had twice been married--the first time to Louisa Fanning, of Illinois, in 1838, and the second time to Miss Nancy A. Potter, on March 28, 1850. Mrs. Hayes is a woman of extraordinary intelligence, firmness and devotion, a bright example of that fortitude which crowned so many American women during the years of trial while the Rebellion lasted. Besides Mrs. Hayes, four children survive--Charles L., Emma J., Arthur L., and Holly E. Hayes.