JOHN H. STEARNS
The La Cygne Weekly Record, Thursday,
Jan. 19, 1911, Pg 1
John H. Stearns was born May 2,
1834, on the old farm at West Paulet, Vermont, where the family had lived for
more than a century, and died at Mound City January 3, 1911.
His paternal grandmother’s
maiden name was Cleveland; descending from same ancestors as did the late
ex-president of that name. When the first call for volunteers was being
met, no one of John Stearns acquaintances believed him physically qualified for
the army. More than a year wore away, the war had developed in appalling
magnitude, a hundred battle fields. The cry went out from Washington for
more volunteers. Then on August 15, 1862, he enlisted in Co. D, 5th Kansas
cavalry then serving in the very heart of the rebellion.
His first service was helping to
enlist and organize the First Kansas Colored Volunteers, this work lasting until
January 13, 1863, during this time, October 23, he was with a detachment 225
strong under Captain Seaman that encountered a force of 500 men near Butler,
Mo., under Col. Cockrell, driving the enemy from the field with a heavy loss.
This was the first battle of the war in which the colored troops were engaged.
In February 1863, John Stearns joined his regiment at Helena, Arkansas, and
served with it in all its various and active campaigning until his discharge at
Du Valls Bluff, Arkansas, June 15, 1865.
Immediately following discharge he returned to his home in Vermont where he remained until the following May when he married May Hitt and started at once with his wife to make their home in Kansas, and Mound City has known them as good citizens, helpful neighbors and trusted friends through all the changes of the years that have followed—Linn County Republic, Jan. 13.