Sunday, September 23, 2007

ON THIS DAY: Sunday, Sept. 22, 1861

The New York Times reports that Col. Lorin Andrews, president of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio until joining the war, has died from typhoid, age 42. Andrews had taken ill in western Virginia, returned to Gambier, and died at home on September 18. Like many other Union soldiers who would die from disease instead of battle injuries, he was a victim of sanitary practices that permitted consumption of polluted water. (About two Civil War soldiers would die of illness for every one wounded in combat.) Born in Ashland County in 1819, Andrews was a leader in reforming public education until chosen for the college presidency. Said to be the first man in Ohio to volunteer after Fort Sumter, he was given a leave of absence from the college, joined as a private, but soon was elected colonel of the 4th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Colonel Andrews’ regiment served in various places in western Virginia and Maryland, but had experienced no combat before he was forced to return home. On word of his death, the college bell tolled 42 times.

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