Washington Odell

Company I, 98th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Submitted by Barb Arnold Moksnes

Washington Odell was born in Rockingham County, N.C. on July 23, 1820 to Joseph and Anna Price Odell. On August 2, 1862, he enlisted in the Army at Newton, IL, and was a Teamster in Co. I, 98th Illinois Volunteers Infantry, under the command of Captain William H. Wade, and was to serve for 3 years in the "War of the Rebellion". He is described as being 42 years of age, 6 feet, 1 3/4" tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and light hair. On the night of Septemeber 8, 1862, Wash was a guard on the Mississippi/Ohio Railroad, conveying the 98th Regiment from Camp Centralia, IL to Louisville, KY. At Bridgeport, IL, the train left the tracks and crashed down an embankment severly injuring Washington Odell. He suffered 3 broken ribs, his right ear was severed, he had a deep gash from his temple to his right eye, which was damaged, a concussion, and while his neck was deemed not broken, he had difficulty turning his head and was in great pain. Wahington was taken to Camp Dennison, in Ohio, and was seen by the camp physician. After determing that he was unfit for the "Invalid Corps", and was "2/3rds disabled" Wash was discharged from the Army on August 12, 1863 by certificate of Disability, and in September of that year was sent home to Japser County, IL. For nearly 2 years his wife Rachel took care of her ailing husband. On June 19, 1865, Washington complained of chest pain and a local Dr. was called. He told him there was nothing they could do for him except to avoid exposure. The Dr. saw Washington again on June 21, and saw that Gangrene had set in, and was scheduled to see him the following day, but then heard that Washington Odell had died on June 22, 1865, as the result of the wounds he received on the night of Septemeber 8, 1862.

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