Union vet’s POW ordeal uncovered PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 08 November 2013 10:21
John and Margaret Apple (Photo provided)
NORTH BALTIMORE - Veterans serve both near and far, and the efforts of those who serve during the Civil War is a strong reminder of truly how close to home war can come.
One example of this was John Apple, of North Baltimore. Over 150 years ago this month, Apple was captured by Confederate forces while serving in Tennessee and sent to Andersonville Prison.
Apple's great-great-granddaughter, Donna Cacavio, formerly of North Baltimore and now of Georgia, has researched her Civil War relative's life and service.
"I've been doing genealogy for probably more than 40 years," said Cacavio, who herself retired from the Air Force at the rank of Master Sergeant. "I was like 18 when I got interested in it. I've just been doing it all my life."
According to materials supplied by Cacavio, including "Hardesty's Historical & Geographical Encyclopedia," published in 1885, Apple enlisted in the Union army in Perry Township in the summer of 1862 as a private in the 111th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI). 
Serving under the noted northern general Don Carlos Buell, Apple took the field in engagements in Kentucky under Buell's command while the army pursued Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg, and took part in the chase after the famed Morgan's Raiders, which marauded into Indiana. A number of Morgan's men were captured, and Apple was among those who accompanied the Confederate prisoners to Johnson's Island.
In November of the next year, while on picket duty at Lenoir Station in eastern Tennessee, Apple and his whole company were captured. He was taken to the infamous Andersonville Prison in Georgia, where he was held for 12 months and 12 days.
According to Hardesty's, Apple "endured all the hardships and privations of various southern prisoners. He was poisoned by vaccination, which almost caused the loss of his arm and he was so crippled with rheumatism as to be quite helpless... He owes his life to the kindness of his comrade, Lewis McCrory, who administered to his wants in the prison at Andersonville."
Apple was paroled from Andersonville in November of 1864, and rejoined his regiment, stationed in North Carolina, a month later. Despite being unfit for duty, he stayed with the 111th OVI until they were mustered out in the summer of 1865.
He then returned to his farm in North Baltimore, and to his wife, Margaret. The pair had nine children, six of whom survived Apple, according to his obituary, which appeared in the Sentinel-Tribune in 1923.
His obituary noted Apple's imprisonment in Andersonville, "which surely tried the souls and bodies of men."
"Mr. Apple," it continued, "was truly a gracious father and husband and a neighbor worth while, and had made great sacrifices to his country."
For Cacavio, Apple's time as a prisoner of war has a connection that goes beyond family ties.
"I live down near Andersonville Prison," she said, "and when I go there... it was a very somber experience to go there and to think that nearly 50,000 people were congregated in this little area. And there was a lot of horrors and all the deprivation they went through. It's unimaginable."
"There are a lot of Civil War veterans in Wood County, and I think that most people don't realize they have a connection to these people," she said.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 November 2013 10:58

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