Presidents, Soldiers, Statesmen
H. H. Hardesty, 1898.
John Wetzel - Born in Monongalia Co, (W)Va., August 24, 1839, is one of a family well known for patriotism, his grandfather, George Wetzel, having served in the War of 1812. Comrade Wetzel was a farmer when the war broke out. He enrolled October 1861 at Wheeling, (W)Va., when 22 years of age as a private in Co. H, 1st W. Va. Volunteer Infantry, and in due time, was made Corporal. In December 1861, while on picket duty, he had two fingers of his right hand shot off. At the Battle of Piedmont he was wounded in his left arm and side. In the spring of 1862 he had been confined in hospital at Alexandria, Va. two months, having been injured by a team running over him. In the winter of 1862-3, he was granted a sick furlough of 30 days; this was extended to 60 days and he returned to duty at Alexandria, Va. In the spring of 1864 he was honorably discharged near New Creek, Va. by reason of re-enlistment as a veteran in old command. He was in the Battles of Winchester, Strausburg, New Market, 2nd Bull Run, 2nd Winchester, Siege of Petersburg, Port Republic, Stanton, Lynchburg, Cedar Creek, Moorefield, Cross Roads, Jerry Flats, Snickers Gap, Snickers Ferry, & several skirmishes. He was honorably discharged June 1865 at Wheeling, WV. His brothers, Eli & George, also served, the former in Co. E, 14th W. Va., the latter in 6th WV; his 1st wife's brothers, William, Jacob & Elias, served in the late war; William fell at the Battle of Richmond, Ky. His maternal grandfather, Jacob Brookover, served in the War of 1812. Our subject has been twice married, 1st to Hannah Mercer, who died June 14, 1887, leaving children: William; Rebecca, dec'd; Martha; Eli J., dec'd; Mary C.; Eliza F.; & John F. On February 2, 1888 he was again married in Marion county, W. Va. to Mary E. Matthews who was born in Monongalia Co, (W)Va. October 17, 1862. She was the daughter of Christian & Anna (Brookover) Matthews, still living. Comrade Wetzel is a member of the Wm. Powell Post, No. 19. He is engaged in the general mercantile business in Bird, W. Va.