Monday, March 17, 2014

The Youngest Raider

Union Private Jacob Wilson Parrott, a member of Andrews’ Raiders, was exchanged along with other members of the Raiders on March 17th 1863 for Confederate soldiers at Camp Point, Virginia.

Jacob Wilson Parrott was born July 17th 1843 in Fairfield County, Ohio, the son of George and Anna (Landfair) Parrett Jr.

At the beginning of the Civil War, Parrott joined the 90 day 20th Ohio Infantry.  When the term of service was up he went home to Kenton, Ohio where he enlisted in Company K of the 33rd Ohio Infantry.  His first combat was November 8th 1861 during the Battle of Ivy Mountain.

In April 1862 when James J Andrews was looking for volunteers to take part in his raid, Parrott joined with 21 other men, becoming known as Andrews’ Raiders.  The Raiders slipped 200 miles south behind Confederate lines and hijacked the train “The General”.  Parrott was among the men who were captured during the raid.  While being held as a prisoner he was beaten numerous times in an attempt to get him to talk.  Parrott even escaped once with fourteen others, but was recaptured.  He was part of a prisoner exchanged March 17th 1863.

After the exchange Parrott was taken to Washington, DC where he met with President Abraham Lincoln.  Parrott, the youngest surviving member of Andrews’ Raiders, was the first man to receive the Medal of Honor.  He would serve out the rest of the war ending as a First Lieutenant.

When the war ended Parrott returned to his home in Ohio.  He ran a stone quarry and worked as a cabinet maker.  While walking home on December 22nd 1908, he had a heart attack and died.  Parrott is buried in the Grove Cemetery in Kenton, Ohio.

Parrott’s Medal of Honor citation reads: One of the 19 of 22 men (including 2 civilians) who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell) penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and tracks between Chattanooga and Atlanta.

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