Bio: DeMouth, Jacob (1835 - 1905)

Contact: Dianne (Zimmerman) Stevens


The following is a letter from Dianne Z. Stevens to her Grandchildren concerning Jacob DeMouth of Clark Co., Wisconsin.

Dear Sarah and Hannah and Timmy,

I want to tell you a story about one of your great-great-great grandfathers. Do you know how many great-great-great grandfathers you have? That would be a good math problem for you to figure out. This one fought in the Civil War just like Christian Wintermantle. They even fought in a lot of the same battles, but they probably didn't know each other. His name was:

Jacob DeMouth and he lived from October 3, 1835 until September 7, 1905.

Jacob DeMouth was born in Pequat township, Morris County, New Jersey, just a few miles from New York City. His parents were John DeMouth and Maria Levi. His DeMouth forefathers had been in this country for many generations. They had originally come from Alsace Lorraine by way of Holland. Alsace Lorraine is an area that Germany and France fought over for many centuries. Now it is in France and DeMouth is a name that certainly sounds French. His mother was descended from William Levi, a German Jew, who had been brought over as a Hessian soldier to fight in the American Revolution but deserted to the Americans. (The story is he put his shoes on backwards and walked through the snow to the American camp.)

Jacob had five brothers and sisters. They were Samuel, Chalon, James, Frances, and Semantha. Jacob was between James and Frances. When Jacob was 13 his family moved from New Jersey to Calumet County near Chilton, Wisconsin. That was in 1848. In 1861 his father John DeMouth was killed when a tree he had been chopping down fell on him. On August 26, 1861 Jacob married Cordelia Martindale at Gravesville, Wisconsin.

Jacob became a soldier on February 26, 1864. He enlisted into Company E, 21st Wisconsin Infantry from New Holstein, Wisconsin. In May of 1864 Jacob's Company joined General Sherman and fought in the many very bloody battles in Georgia, including Buzzard Roost Gap, Kenesaw Mountain, MARIETTA, the Seige of Atlanta, the "March to the Sea" , and the Siege of Savannah. Savannah surrendered on December 21, 1864, and then Jacob's unit fought several battles in North Carolina. They continued north to Washington D.C. and were in the Grand Review at the end of the war.

Jacob wrote letters home to his wife, Cordelia. During the summer of 1983 Heather and I visited my mother's cousin in Butternut who let us copy the three letters that she owned. They show a lot of affection for his wife and family back in Wisconsin. He talks a lot about the country he is in and especially the fruit trees. I will give you copies of my copies someday.

There were some interesting stories told about Jacob. His granddaughter, Erma, believed he had psychic powers of some sort. He reportedly had the ability to fortell the future and interpret dreams. During the war other soldiers would ask him what their dreams meant. One told of a dream about a grapevine laden with fruit. Jacob said that great good news was in store for him. The next mail brought news that his wife had given birth to a baby boy. Another soldier dreamt of a black cart filled with black apples and drawn by black horses. As the cart bounced along, the apples bounced out but the quantity within the cart was not diminished. Jacob said the dream fortold a very evil event that was to come and would effect not only the dreamer but all people. Within a week they received news that Lincoln had been shot.

After the war Jacob returned to his career as a Wisconsin farmer. Sometime around 1870 he moved his family to Christie, Wisconsin near Loyal in Clark County. Jacob and Cordelia had 11 children but only 5 lived to grow up. They were Eva, John, Samuel, Lottie, and Don. Jacob died in 1905 and is buried at Christie with a number of other DeMouths. Samuel grew up and married Elzora Pierce and they had three children. The middle one was my mother, Thelma De Mouth. She grew up and married my father, Forrest Zimmerman, and they had my brother and me. I grew up and married Paul Stevens and had your mother, Dawne Stevens, and three other children. Dawne grew up and married Jason Pamplin and they had Sarah, Hannah, Tim and Becky. So this story is part of the story of where you guys came from and how you are connected to the Civil War. Just think, your great-great-great grandfather fought in a battle where you now live, in Marietta, Georgia. Ask your Mommy to take you on a field trip to where the battle was fought. Maybe you can find out more about it.


Lots of Love From,  Granny


Jacob DeMouth is also featured in the book, "Civil War Soldiers in the heart of Clark Co., Wisconsin."



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