Chillicothe, Ohio, Civil War graves

I am in Chillicothe, Ohio, on business as I write this. I work for a paper company with a large paper mill here in town. This morning before work I had a chance to drive around for a while in the old veterans section in Grandview Cemetery. Among the hundreds of vets’ graves is Civil War general Joshua Sill, a Federal commander in the western armies. There are dozens of Gettysburg veterans buried here, predominantly men who served in the 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

The 73rd OVI was primarily raised in Ross County and the rural region surrounding Chillicothe. Among its ranks at Gettysburg was George Nixon III, a heavily bearded middle-aged farmer who left behind a wife and a large brood of kids to enlist in the army. Nixon, a native of Pennsylvania, was severely wounded at Gettysburg on July 2 in skirmishing west of Emmitsburg Road. After dark, a young German-born musician named Richard Enderlin scampered out into no man’s land and dragged Nixon back to Union lines, an act that would win the 20-year-old Sergeant Enderlin the Medal of Honor years later. However, Chillicothe farmer George Nixon would never see his kids again, perishing a few days later from his wounds.

George Nixon of the 73rd OVI is buried in the Ohio section of the Gettysburg National Cemetery. In the late 1950s, his great-grandson Dick paid a visit to the gravesite. Vice-President Nixon laid a wreath at his ancestor’s marker.

Chillicothe’s cemeteries have quite a few Nixons among the tombstones – some of which I presume from the birthdates were George’s children or other relatives. He lies on a far-off Pennsylvania hilltop, far from his loved ones. Rest in Peace, George Nixon and all of my fellow Buckeyes who served their country.

Richard Enderlin, by the way, was honored with his image on the memorial Civil War statue that currently stands on the median strip on North Paint Street, a prominent location near the city park. He died February 11, 1930, at the age of 87 and is buried in Grandview Cemetery, the only MOH winner from Chillicothe during the Civil War.


Categories: Civil War sites, Gettysburg | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Chillicothe, Ohio, Civil War graves

  1. Jeff Larson

    George Nixon III is my Great-great-great-great-great grandfather. He was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, and moved to Ohio with his first five children in the early 1850s. The family maintained strong ties to Pennsylvania, as my Great-great-great-great grandmother Sarah Elizabeth (nee Nixon) Shields moved back to Washington County, PA in the early 1870s to marry and raise a family there. Sarah Shields was Richard Nixon’s great-aunt, and there was correspondance between the branches of the family as far down as the second cousins.

    When George was killed (mortally wounded on the battlefield, he died on July 10, 1863), he left many children. Samuel Nixon, the future President’s grandfather, was 16, and Sarah Nixon was only 12.

    Richard Nixon’s genealogy is included in his personal effects and stored at his presidential library. It’s been scanned, and is available online from any search engine. With those names, you can probably find the graves of other George Nixon descendents near Chillicothe, at least those who didn’t move to California or back to Pennsylvania.

  2. David Hill

    Dear Mr Larson, the old “6 degrees of separation” are at work here. You give nearly the same description of your relationship to George Nixon iii as I understand my family to have. My paternal grandmother was Dortha Shields and an old family tree I no longer have access too showed the lineage back to Sarah Elizabeth Shields and George Nixon. Some of those same Shields still live in Vermilion and Loraine Ohio. My father in fact met my mother at his cousins Shields’s residence in Loraine. My mother was best friends at the time with a different Sarah Shields. My father tells me that Sarah’s real name however is Saran which I hope to verify as she is still living.
    When I was in high school in the late 70’s my father and I made a trip to Gettysburg. At the request of my grandmother, Dortha, we made a deliberate attempt to locate and photograph the grave of George Nixon. Thanks to a knowledgeable tour guide we had hired, we were taken directly to the spot.

  3. Scott

    I’m another relative of George Nixon III. From Samuel Brady Nixon. My great grandmother was Franks brother. Sam and Sarahs daughter. I have yet to visit the grave but my parents have been many times. They were there just last month to pay their respects.

  4. One of George Nixon III sons’s is buried in our Church Cemetery along with his wife and most of his children. His name was Andrew Elihu Nixon.

  5. Richard Morgan

    I am a direct descendant of George Nixon II. Many of the Nixon family is buried in neighboring vinton county.

  6. Richard Morgan

    One more thing. Many of the Nixon graves are in Mt Pleasant cemetery on the vinton hocking county line and Mt Zion in Vinton county.

    Many may be listed as being born in Ross or Hocking because Vinton was formed from surrounding counties in 1850.

    There were at least two separate Nixon families living in the area at that time.

    The 2nd WVa Calvary was made up of a large number of Vinton country men.
    I met the President’s brother Ed in the vinton county
    library’s a few years ago.

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