Death Notice of 1st Lt Levi W. Hart

The following is a transcription of Levi W. Harts Death Notice which appeared in the Oconto County Reporter January 6th 1877.


Jan. 6, 1877


The terrible Rail Road accident and the loss of life at Ashtabula, Ohio, on the evening of Friday the 29th ult, thrilled with inexpressible horror every heart in the land, and the result has filled a thousand homes with the gloom of grief. The electric spark that conveyed the message of horror over the land, left hear and there a word loaded with a sorrow that was well high crushing. To more than a hundred homes this silent messenger came and left a shadow that no future sunshine can remove. 

This dire calamity has brought sorrow and grief to a large circle of relatives and friends in this vicinity. Captain LEVI W. HART of Akron Ohio, formerly of this city, brother of the Editor of this paper, and second son of Edwin Hart Esq. Of this city, was a passenger on the fatal train and was taken from the wreck a corpse.

Capt. Hart's career, though not a long one, was somewhat checkered and full of incidents. Born at Green Bay Brown County Wis., on the 22nd of December 1835, he spent the first 19 years of his life in Brown and Oconto Counties. He, in 1847 removed to Chicago, where he was for sometime engaged in a Lumber Yard, which business he finally exchanged for the mercantile, which he continued  until the fierce storm of civil war broke, in all it's fury, over our country when he, animated by a patriotism which his subsequent record as a soldier, marked with a proud emphasis, enrolled himself with "Taylor's Chicago Battery," of which he was elected 2d Lieutenant.   He, with his Battery, was assigned to service with the forces which shortly after fought the battle of Belmont," on which engagement Lieut. Hart entered with one gun and came out with three, receiving for his gallantly in this his battle, a handsome compliment from his commander. He was  with his battery at the sieges of Fort Henry and Donaldson, on the Tennessee River, and at the latter place was in command of the Battery, and at which place he was conspicuous for his gallantry. The enemy charge on the Taylor Battery and succeed in capturing one of the guns, Lieut. Hart called on his men to charge for the recapture of the gun, which at large loss, and with fearful hazard, was handsomely done; with a rope fastened to the "tail" of the gun they actually dragged it away from the enemy. His gallantry on this occasion  was rewarded by Gen. Sherman prompting him, on the field, to a First Lieutenancy. He commanded his Battery at "Bloody Shiloh" where it had the honor of opening the first fire on the enemy, and where it did credible and gallant service throughout the entire engagement. He, with his Battery was engaged in various engagements, skirmishes, marches and counter marches, which finally resulted in the investment, siege and capture, of the stronghold, Vicksburg by Gen. Grant. At Vicksburg he was detached from Taylor's Battery and put in command of a siege battery, which he commanded until the capitulation, after which he participated in the Battle of Black River, and in the capture of Jackson, Miss. By this time the hurrying  and fatiguing duties of campaigning  together with sever injury received in battle, so undermined his health, that rest was a necessity and he was furloughed. Under the influence of a healthful climate and the ministration of kind friends his health soon sufficiently restored to enable him to return to duty, which he did, and was assigned to the command of the "Silver spear Battery", with which he remained until his final Muster out; with it he was at Arkansas Post, and in numerous other engagements of minor importance, and before leaving it he was appointed to a captaincy.

After leaving the army Capt. Hart engaged in the furniture business under the firm name of Wm. Hart & Co. at Cleveland, Ohio. After following this business for a time he sold his interest and embarked extensively in the oil refining business in the same city. Here misfortune overtook him, and he was obliged to succumb to the pressure of depressed markets. After this he was engaged in the drug business for several years, at the same place, which business he disposed of in 1872 and came to Oconto, where he engaged in the manufacture of shingles and the mercantile business. But misfortune seemed to have set its seal on all his enterprises; financial embarrassment came upon the country, and he and ten thousand others was involved in the ruin that came with it.

Though beaten he was not discouraged.- He bravely took up the gauntlet thrown down by misfortune, and again waged battle for the mastery.  Receiving an offer for his services from the mercantile house in Green bay he at once accepted it and remained with the house until he received an offer from a house in Akron Ohio, at an increased salary, which he accepted. He remained with the last named house for one year, when he received, and accepted a lucrative offer from a wholesale firm in Toledo Ohio, in whose interest he was traveling at the time his life went out in the fearful crash at Ashtabula.

Capt. Hart leaves a wife and two children; to them he was a kind husband and indulgent father, to his parents he was a kind dutiful son, to his brothers and sisters he was all that the word brother implies. - To those with whom he was brought in business, or social contact he was proverbially kind, coitus and considerate. His gentile qualities endearing him to a large circle of friends in every locality in which he resided.

He had gone. For more than three years he passed unscathed through the turmoil, the uncertainties; the deadly strife and dangers of a terrible war, in which all the most approved engineer's of destruction which has been devised by the ingenuity man was employed; a war in which all the elements of human passion, of human hatred, of human vindictiveness were united with the hurling shot, the bruising shells, the shock of the charge and the multitude of unseen dangers that are incident to war for the extermination of the soldier. Through all this crash of destroying elements he passed only to at last go down in death in one of nature’s most terrifying storms, and amid the terrific crash of one of the works of man's ingenuity, reared in the interest of peace, and for the advancement of civilizing and humanizing influences. "In the midst of life we are in death."