William Breckenridge of Jackson Township was 16 years old when he answered President Abraham Lincoln’s call for 75,000 Union troops to quell the secession in the Southern states.
Young Breckenridge didn’t survive long. He was captured and became a prisoner of war. He died June 10 the same year at one of 23 prisoner of war prison sites in the Richmond, Virginia area. The actual prison is unknown. His death was caused by an outbreak of measles.
His mother had died and his father, John Breckenridge, planned to re-marry. This angered the youth who then ventured from home and joined Company A, 60th Regiment Ohio Volunteers Infantry on Feb. 27, 1864.
William was mustered into the United States military on March 14 after training at Camp Chase, in Columbus. He had told the enlisting officer, 1st Lt. Rufus King, Jr., that he was 18 years old.
Knowing his true age, William’s father came after him twice and brought him home but after the third time the youth left home to return to his unit, John allowed him to remain in the military.
This information shared by Elaine (Moeckel) Sherer, daughter of Martha (Breckenridge) Moeckel, who was a great niece of William Breckenridge. Martha’s siblings were Carrie Schock, Nell Bowman, Francis Mack, Florence Steppert. He was also a great uncle to Judge Don Breckenridge.