Pvt. Cephas John Melendy
Cephas John Melendy was born 1843 in Eagle, Wisconsin, the oldest son of Daniel Fiske Melendy and Eunice Smith Rockwood, both descended from early English colonists of Charlestown, Massachusetts. Cephas' great grandfather Samuel Melendy bought the first tract of land in Guilford, Vermont in 1757, at the age of 16. Samuel served as First Corporal in the Guilford, VT First Company on 29 June 1775. He also served as a Corporal in Captain Shepardson's Company Col. Williams' New York Regiment.
Cephas' father Daniel Melendy left Vermont to homestead land in Waukesha County that became part of the town of Eagle. His tract, in the northwest corner, is known as "Melendy's Prairie."
Cephas Melendy enlisted in the 28th Wisconsin on 18 August 1862. He was mustered into Company F as a private. The following year, the 28th Wisconsin and Co. F took part in the Yazoo Pass Expedition as part of an attempt to reach Vicksburg, Mississippi. Traveling on board the steamer "St. Louis", Cephas became ill with pneumonia followed by consumption and died 24 March 1863. He was buried by the Tallahatchie River.
Cephas had a number of relatives who fought in the Civil War. His uncle, Dr. Horace Wardner, was a surgeon for the 12th Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, and promoted in April 1862 to Brigade Surgeon. Another uncle, Aaron Leland Rockwood, was Captain of E Company, 4th Illinois Cavalry, and was injured 8 April 1862 near Farmington, Tennessee, in a fight with General Forest's retreating command after the battle of Shiloh. A brother-in-law, William Workman, was a musician with the 1st Minnesota Infantry, and died shortly after the war of illness contracted during his service.
Information contributed by Deborah Melendy Norman