Brevet Brigadier General Charles Sherman Parrish

Charles Sherman Parrish is possibly the only Civil War general buried in Oklahoma, according to the information published by Robert Grierson entitled, Here They Lie - Burial Sites of Famous People in Oklahoma, (n.d.).

He is buried in a simple grave in Lot 14, Section 4 of Block 59 at the Woodland Cemetery in Cleveland, Oklahoma. There are apparently no other family members buried at this site.

He Grew Up in Ohio

General Parrish was born on May 25, 1830 in Columbus, Ohio. He attended Ohio Wesleyan University, located at Delaware, Ohio, and Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. On leaving college in 1847, he entered the law office of Judge Searle and the Honorable S. S. Cox at Zanesville, Ohio. He was admitted to the bar in June of 1851.

In 1856 he was elected prosecuting attorney for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, embracing seven counties. Declining a renomination in 1858, he entered into a partnership with James D. Conner. The firm enjoyed a large and lucrative practice until 1861.

He was married to Annie Cox of Wabash, Indiana, on July 27, 1859 at Zanesville. She was the daughter of Rev. Samuel J. Cox, a Methodist clergyman. They had a daughter named Annie who later became a school teacher. In 1860, they moved to Wabash.

He was a Military Man at Heart

Parrish had early manifested a love for military exercises, and in 1857 he organized the Wabash Guards. This unit later furnished eighteen officers for the Civil War.

On the morning after the firing upon Fort Sumter began, he announced his determination to enlist men for the defense of the Union. He immediately opened a recruiting office in his law office and soon had enough men for two complete companies of soldiers.

Parrish joined the 8th Indiana Infantry and went to the front lines of battle as a Captain.

After three months in the field he returned to Wabash and recruited two more companies of men for the war effort. At this time he was commissioned a Major. He took part in the battle of Springfield, Missouri and Pea Ridge, Arkansas, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in May of 1863.

Parrish distinguished himself in several other battles and was recommended for promotion to full Colonel of the 130th Indiana Infantry. In March of 1865 he was breveted Brigadier General and placed in command of seven counties in the western district of North Carolina. He was discharged from the army on December 2, 1865.

After the War He Practiced Law

General Parrish returned to Wabash and continue to practice law. In 1867, the people of Wabash and Kosciusko Counties elected him to the state Senate. He served in that body during the session of 1867 and 1868. He was chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs.

In 1868 he resigned the Senate and accepted the appointment as Register in Bankruptcy. The following year he assumed the duties of Inspector of Customs in New Orleans, Louisana until he returned to Wabash in 1873. He was elected Mayor of that city in 1878.

His Life Took a Downward Turn

General Parrish went west in 1891 to get away from his old associates and rebuild a legal business. It was stated in newspaper stories that his old habits so controlled him that he never sufficiently established himself to warrant sending back east for his family. He spent eight to ten years at Perry and Orlando, Oklahoma. He was also in Cloud County, Kansas in 1888 and Republic County, Kansas in 1889.

On November 11, 1903, he was admitted to the Mountain Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers at Jonesboro, Tennessee for three years.

He died in Cleveland, Oklahoma on September 16, 1907. Much more information and a photograph is available on General Parrish. His newspaper obituary is printed on the next page.

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