From a copy of a paper at Okemah, Oklahoma, we learn that Mr. And Mrs. Abe Coplin recently celebrated their sixtieth anniversary, and in order to help the good couple to fittingly celebrate the event, the newspaper carried a picture of them and a splendid write-up, of which the following will show you:
The good men are going fast. There are but a few of us left.
Sixty years ago and more we formed a gallant company-a batallion of boys in blue. We were the first company of Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
We peppered the rebels of Imbadens around North Mountain. The guerrillas picked off some of us.
We faced Lee in the memorably bitter struggle at Mount Storm. Some of us went out in puffs of smoke that spouted death from a hazy line along the ridge.
We were alternately carefree and disconsolate, irritable and affable. We rose and fell in body and mind with the fortunes of the great conflict.
We knew what it meant to view a dismal world from the confines of a Confederate prison camp. We knew the ecstatic elation of parole-those of us who survived.
We knew war. Hence we knew the fortunes of war, knew the hate of it and learned to hate it more as it bit into and clipped our ranks from scores to dozens as the end drew nigh.
It is Abraham Coplin talking. Coplin who trice was wounded in the Civil War. Coplin who saw active service in seventeen principal engagements and numerous minor affrays.
Yes, Coplin, who is one of the last, five of survivors of 100 Boys in Blue of 1862.
One of the five living members of the company is a Missourian; three still stick by the state for which their comrades died, but Coplin came to Okemah, Oklahoma.
Through the remarkable celebration of his thirtieth, his fortieth, his fiftieth-and his sixtieth-wedding anniversaries, Coplin has been loyal to the remaining boys of his company. And they in turn have been true by remembering him.
Since that clear April day of 1865 when Lee surrendered at Appomatox, Coplin's life has not been less interesting than his three years of life in the Grand Army of the Republic.
Only 21 when mustered out, Coplin returned in a few years to the girl he left behind, July 30, 1868, Adelia Elizabeth Patton became Mrs. Abraham Coplin.
Followed then years of peacetime struggles in stirring days of strife and work of rehabilitation that were to last until late in the century.
But it was not until twenty years ago that the Coplins turned hopeful eyes on Oklahoma. They settled in Okfuskee County and became a part of new communities.
The Coplins live in Okemah today.
The other day as half a hundred friends and relatives gathered to do honor to the aged couple at the Coplins' sixtieth wedding anniversary, Coplin retold the stories of his Civil War experiences.
There was not the air of hilarity at this gathering that must have prevailed in years past. There was not unnecessary noise, of chattering children romping from room to room. Quiet prevailed for Mr. Coplin had been in poor health for months.
Still the man who was a witness to the slaughter of Cold Harbor and the surrender of Lee could call up stories new and old for recolation to those who gather 'round him.
"After wintering in Martinsbour, Va., they loaded us into cars one day and we went by rail to New Creek Station, W. V." he recited. "Then we proceeded up into the mountains twenty-five miles overland to Greenland Cap.
It was at the Cap on April 28, 1863, that the regiment clashed sharply with Imbadens' guerilla cavalry. But we moved on. We continued the march eight miles to Mount Storm where the troops took position in line of battle and fortified.
"Pushing north to invade Pennsylvania, Lee found the regiment in his path. He sent out the advance division under General Pohed to attack. The fighting was fierce. Many were slain. But it was not until the regiment met the force under Gen. Edward Johnson on June 14, 1863, that I was taken prisoner."
From then until September 20 Coplin was imprisoned at Libby Prison, Richmond and Belle Isle throughout that sweltering summer of shifting fortunes for each side.
"Three times I was hit. At first I was wounded only slightly; that was at the Battle of Wilderness. The second was at Cold Harbor, where General Grant lost 10,000 men in twenty minutes. And the third was at Fisher's Hill."
Through the fierce fighting around Martinsburg at Locust Grove, Pine Run, Petersbury, Flint Hill and in the siege of Petersburg-as well as many others-Coplin came out without serious injury.
Later he thrilled with the thousands at the Grand Review at Washington.
Now the aged man sits with a smile on the side of his bed when friends drop in for a casual chat.
His window frames a cool lawn view of true tranquility. Pictures and trappings of the war ornament the walls and stand table in his room
Children slip into his room and linger nea the veteran. He may affect ignorance of their presence for a bare moment. Then into his shiny eyes creeps a fixed stare while his mind reverts to the days of long ago.
"Let's see," he may say. "Which would you rather hear-the one about when I was captured or the surrender of General Lee?"
Editor's Note-From Mrs. John Coplin we are apprised of some of the heroic deeds done by the Coplin family, those gone before as well as some of the present day. At Brandywine Battle during the Revolutionary War, Christian Coplin, grandfather of Abe, John C. And Theodore, was severely wounded, receiving a wound from a shot which almost tore away one arm. Caleb Coplin, father of Abe was a soldier in the war of 1812.
Abe, Caleb, Isiah and Henderson, brothers, were soldiers in the Civil War, Caleb starving in Andersonville Prison. In the World War Abe furnished two grandsons and a number of nephews, so you see that Abe Coplin is of a family of war heroes.
The Democrat is glad to give space to the foregoing,
inasmuch as the Coplins are amongst the best liked in the communities where
they live and also as Abe was a resident here for so many years, was married
and lived here until a few years ago, and we know our readers will be delighted
to know that Abe and his good help-mate are so well liked and so highly
esteemed in their new country, Oklahoma. (Photo) Abe and Adilice Coplin
with their only son Marion.
This page was last updated on 10/12/11
County Coordinator Linda Simpson