Monthly Archives: March 2021
Circle City Confederates: Family and Rebellion in Civil War Indianapolis
On February 16, 1862 the Union Army captured more than 7000 Confederates at Fort Donelson, Tennessee. Many of the Confederates were serving in the First Kentucky Brigade, the largest Confederate unit recruited from Kentucky, and about 3700 of the captured rebels were escorted to Indianapolis to be held in the newly opened Camp Morton prisoner of war camp. There were numerous Hoosiers who had Southern sympathies or had even sided with the rebellion, and some of the captured Confederates actually knew Indianapolis quite well. Greenup B. Orr, for instance, was born in Kentucky in about 1826 and served in the Fifth Indiana Volunteers during the Mexican-American War. Orr enlisted in Madison, Indiana in October 1847, served in Company F in Mexico, and mustered out in July 1848. He returned to Gallatin, Kentucky, where he was living in 1850 and married a year later in March 1851. By 1855 Orr had moved to Indianapolis and was working as a brick mason at the corner of Indiana Avenue and Tennessee Street (now Capitol).
Greenup Orr was still living in Indianapolis on the eve of the war in 1860, but as Orr’s neighbors began to enlist for the Union cause, Orr traveled to Camp Boone Tennessee, where the 35-year-old joined the Confederacy’s 2nd Regiment Kentucky Infantry on July 13, 1861. The 2nd Kentucky Infantry was organized in July 1861 at Camp Boone, so Orr was among its earliest volunteers. Orr was joined by Indianapolis resident Alfred (Alf) McFall, who volunteered the same day as Orr. McFall was born in about 1838 in Ohio, and in 1850 the 12-year old was living in Indianapolis with his mother Ann, older sister Margaret (age 14), and brothers George (10), William (8), and Oscar (5). It is not clear where the McFalls were living in 1850, but Ann was listed in the 1857 Indianapolis City Directory living on Market Street between East and Liberty Streets. Read the rest of this entry