Open Door

Open Door
Indianapolis, Indiana

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Civil War Soldier

Imagine my surprise when I found a record at that Abram Horner, the original owner of the Horner House, was a Civil War Soldier! I immediately had visions of Abram being a hero during a battle. After all, a house that was as grand as the Horner House once was surely had to be built by someone of great importance.

He had enlisted in Company C, 108th Infantry Regiment of the Union Army on July 11, 1863 and mustered out on July 17, 1863. Now, imagine my amazement as I realized that he had only been in the army for 6 days. Really? Only 6 days? Surely this had to be a mistake. How do you become a hero in just 6 days?

After much searching, I found the answer on

Word being received at Indianapolis on the evening of July 8, 1863, that a force of 6,000 cavalry under Morgan had crossed the Ohio River near Mauckport and was moving on Corydon, a call was issued for citizens to organize for defense.

Within 48 hours 65,000 men had tendered their services. From this number regiments 102 to 114 inclusive, and one battalion were organized, the battalion being assigned to the 107th.

One Hundred and Eighth Infantry. -- Col., William C. Wilson, Lieut.Col., John H. Gould; Maj., Henry A. Brause.

This regiment was organized July 12, 1863, with ten companies of minute men, of which Tippecanoe County furnished five, Howard County two, and Carroll, Montgomery and Wayne Counties one each. The regiment contained an aggregate of 710 men rank and file.

It left Indianapolis on the night of the 13th for Hamilton, Ohio, and proceeded thence to Cincinnati. It returned to Indianapolis and was mustered out July 18, 1863."

Source: Union Army, vol. 3, p. 175

Battles Fought - None

OK. So he wasn't a hero. He still built a stunning house.

Here's a picture from Wikipedia where Morgan's Raiders enter Washington, OH.

Ironically, Conner Prairie featured Morgan's Raiders and Indiana's response this summer. You can still participate in some of their special programs. Check out their calendar - 

NOTE: The Brouse of the Downey & Brouse addition is not the same Brouse as the Major in Horner's regiment. Downey was Julian's son-in-law and Charles Brouse was his nephew. Captain Charles Brouse was one of the first Medal of Honor winners and a hero of the Civil War. Major Henry Brouse, Company C, 108th Infantry Regiment, was a well known resident of Kokomo, IN. At this point, I have not been able to document any relationship between the two Brouse's.

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  1. Having gone through the new Conner Prairie exhibit this spring, this was really interesting to read how the raid touched locals here in Indy. 65,000 people in 48hrs - WOW! While Horner may not have had the opportunity to distinguish himself in battle, I think anyone who rises to the defense of his family, home, community, and country is worthy of being thought a "hero". :) Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Tim,

    When I first found the record that he had mustered out so quickly, it was somewhat puzzling. It's quite a coincidence that Conner Prairie was advertising their exhibit at the same time we found Horners service record.

    We're trying to find a balance between the condition of the house, what we're accomplishing at the houses & how and the history of the house & it's owners. Thanks for the feedback.