Civil War re-enactors render honors at Middletown veteran’s grave

A group of Middletown area Civil War re-enactors of the 12 Ohio Volunteer Infantry render honors at a memorial service of a veteran at the Middletown Pioneer Cemetery. ED RICHTER/STAFF

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A group of Middletown area Civil War re-enactors of the 12 Ohio Volunteer Infantry render honors at a memorial service of a veteran at the Middletown Pioneer Cemetery. ED RICHTER/STAFF

A group of Civil War re-enactors provided honors at a memorial service held at the grave of a veteran at the Middletown Pioneer Cemetery.

Dressed in Union Army uniforms of that period, several of the re-enactors from the 12th Ohio Volunteer Infantry were at the historic cemetery Saturday where many of the city’s founding fathers and early industrialists are buried.

According to organizer Justin Mays, there are seven veterans of the unit that are buried at the cemetery where veterans from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam War are buried.

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Mays, who is a Civil War historian, said that Company G of the 12th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was from Middletown and were involved in battles at Antietam and South Mountain as well as in Maryland, West Virginia and elsewhere in Virginia. Mays said the reason the Middletown re-enactors was to educate the community and to remember these veterans for their sacrifices.

He said that the group performs these memorial services on Memorial Day and other times during the year in remembrance of those long ago veterans so they are not forgotten

“This town, like so many other little towns, gave men to the service during the Civil War,” Mays said at a small ceremony.

Two of the Middletown soldiers that were remembered were David L. Frisch and Joseph Hilt. Mays said that Frisch was 22 when he enlisted from Middletown, while Hilt was 40. Both enlisted in April 4, 1861.

After forming in Lebanon both men went to Columbus for training before being sent to Cincinnati before entering the war after signing a three-year enlistment. Mays said there are other Civil War veterans buried at the cemetery who fought with other regiments. He said both soldiers were discharged in 1864 and returned to their families in the Middletown area to resume their lives.

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Frisch’s great grandson, Frank L. Frisch of Middletown was presented flowers to place on the grave before a 21-gun salute and a bugler sounding “Taps” completed the ceremony.

Frank Frisch, 78, said he was born about 100 years after his great-grandfather’s birth in 1839. He said his great-grandfather started the Frisch Brick Company that provided brick for many buildings and churches that are still standing in Middletown. His great-grandfather died in 1918 during a flu epidemic.

“It’s good to know that the Middletown Historical Society remembered the family because this is a real honor,’ Frisch said. “It’s good to know that your family had a part in the history of Middletown.”

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