CAPT. CHARLES H. MYERHOFF was born
at Cincinnati, Ohio, March 10, 1842. His
mother dying when he was but six years
old he was sent to live with an uncle
residing on a farm in Jackson County, Ind.,
with whom, and with John J. Cummins, a
lawyer of the same county, he remained
until 1856, when he returned to live with
his father who had again married. His
father's death occurring two years later, he
hired to a gardener near Newport, Ky., but
soon thereafter moved to Grandview, Ind.,
where he was occupied as a laborer.
He made a trip to Vicksburg, Miss., on a flatboat,
and in 1859 started out in a sail-boat
with three others to seek adventure and
employment. A storm drove them to
shore near Hickman, Ky., where they took
possession of a cabin, and for so doing were
set upon by a planter and his hounds.
They were thought to be hard characters
and were roundly abused by the irate
planter, but when he learned the truth he
was profuse in his apologies and offered
the men employment. The next morning
all went to work in the woods, and while
absent the cabin burned to the ground, by
which mishap all their clothes were lost.
Young Myerhoff was sent to interview the
planter, who furnished what money they
needed, declining to take a note for the
amount, considering the young man's verbal
promise to pay sufficient.
hard work in the woods and in the employ
of a store boatman, the young man retracing
his steps reached Evansville, at the time
carrying all his possessions in a bandanna.
His brother, John H. Myerhoff, was foreman
in the Armstrong Furniture Factory,
and here he obtained employment, remaining
until the tocsin of war was sounded in 1861.
He attended the meeting in the old Crescent
City hall, when the two first home
guard companies were organized. His
name was entered on Gen. Blythe's company
roll, but when Blythe Hynes moved
down the aisle rapidly, vaulted upon the
platform and announced that Dr. Noah S.
Thompson had received a commission as
captain and orders to organize a volunteer
company to start for Washington, D.C., at
once, to defend the capital, young Myerhoff
arose from his seat and asked that his name
be taken from the roll of the home guard,
In a few minutes he presented himself to
Capt. Thompson, offering to enlist, but was
refused because he was too young and too
frail. He persisted, however, and after an
examination, in which he showed a familiarity
with military tactics, was accepted, being
the first accepted man in the first company
that left Evansville for the war.
While company drill was being conducted it
Klausman's hall he was armed with
broomstick and detailed as guard at the
front door of the building. His general
bearing and sternness made such at
impression on the boys that when he
returned to the city as a first lieutenant in
1863, on recruiting service, they remembered
him as the man who kept them from
seeing the first soldiers in company drill.
He was in all the battles participated in by
the Fourteenth Indiana Infantry, except
those fought while he was on recruiting
service or in prison. He was appointed
Corporal; was promoted on Cheat
Mountain to sergeant; to Orderly Sergeant
October 1, 1862; to First Lieutenant
May 7, 1863; was in command of
the company in the famous charge of Carroll's
brigade on east Cemetery Hill at
Gettysburg; had command of Co. H in the
battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania,
North Anna and Cold Harbor. Of the
twenty-three that he started with on the
4th of May, 1864, only two were left to
leave the works when the regiment's term
of service expired on the 7th of June, 1864.
Capt. Myerhoff was seriously wounded
while in front of his men at Cold Harbor -
the bail being still in his body - and was
sent to hospital, where he effected some
heroic reforms, for which he received the
thanks of every patient. His regiment was
mustered out long before he was able to
leave the hospital.
When at length he was
discharged, he came to Evansville, and soon
became interested in a sawmill at Grandview.
But this work was too heavy for him
because of his wounds, and he entered the
employ of Philip Decker, who was then
sutler of the Tenth Tennessee Infantry,
stationed at Nashville. While attempting to
go to Nashville he was arrested four times
on grave charges, but he was not long delayed.
He remained with Mr. Decker as a
clerk until the war was over.
to Evansville, he entered the Commercial
College of Jeremiah Behme and studied
bookkeeping. In 1866 he entered the employment
of Keller & White as bookkeeper,
and in the next year went with Boetticher,
Kellogg & Co. in the same capacity. Here
he remained for nearly twenty-one years,
and is now a member of the firm of Harrison,
Ooodwin & Co., proprietors of the
Evansville Stove Works. He is also secretary
and treasurer of the Evansville Union
Stock Yards Company.
His civic prominence
consists principally in his connection
with drill organizations. He was elected
three times successively as captain of the
Evansville Light Guard, a prosperous organization
during his captaincy; was elected
captain of Orion Drill Corps, K. of P., and
was so thorough as an officer that the corps
took three prizes, and he himself was
awarded a magnificent gold medal as first
prize for excellency as a commander at St.
Louis, Mo., August 25, 1880.
companies, Red Shirts and Zouaves, in
political processions, have attracted much
favorable notice. As chief marshal of several
large processions he has acquitted himself
with credit. He was on the staffs of
National Commanders Kountz and Fairchild,
of the G.A.R.; district delegate to
the National Encampment of the G.A.R.
at St. Louis, in 1887; was strongly urged
for department commander of the G.A.R.,
in 1888; was the second commander of Farragut
Post, and is now serving as officer of
Capt. Myerhoff was married December 1, 1867,
to Miss Jennie, daughter of
Alexander Sham, of Evansville. Two children
have been born of this union, as follows:
Carl S., born September 22, 1868,
and Zulma Lois, born October 17, 1888.
Misses Emma Wollner and Fannie Sharro
have made their home with them for years.