William Henry A. Bliss & Elizabeth Camelia “Mellie” Bellinger Family
(also William H. A. Bliss and Susan Lucretia Moreland and
Jack Crawford and Mellie Bellinger)
Five daughters link four families: Adeline, Josephine, Camelia, Sarah & Mary Ann Bellinger link Leist, Dose, Bliss and Haver families. There are pages on the site for each of these families (Bellinger & Haver are combined). Below is historical information on the Bliss family followed by a photo album and family documents.
William Henry A. and Elizabeth Camellia Bellinger Bliss, Camellia is sister of Josephine, Mary Ann, and Adeline Bellinger, Cabinet Card.
William Henry A. (1844-1918) and Elizabeth Camellia Bellinger Bliss, Camellia is sister of Josephine and Adeline Bellinger, B&W Cabinet Card.
William Henry Bliss in the above photos appears to be wearing the Grand Army of the Republic Medal. The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army who served in the American Civil War. Founded in 1866 in Decatur, Illinois, it was dissolved in 1956 when its last member died. Linking men through their experience of the war, the GAR became among the first organized advocacy groups in American politics, supporting voting rights for black veterans, lobbying the US Congress to establish veterans' pensions, and supporting Republican political candidates. Its peak of membership at more than 400,000 was in 1890, a high point of Civil War commemorative ceremonies. It was succeeded by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), composed of male descendants of Union veterans.
Civil War Service
William served in the 23rd Regiment Infantry-Indiana. The unit was organized at New Albany, Ind. and he mustered In July 29, 1861. He left Indiana for Paducah, Ky., August 15. Attached to District of Paducah, Ky., to February, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, Army of the Tennessee, to March, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Army of the Tennessee, to July, 1862. Unattached, District of Jackson, Tenn., to November, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Left Wing 13th Army Corps (Old), Dept. of the Tennessee, to December, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 13th Army Corps, December, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 17th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, to January, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 4th Division, 17th Army Corps, to April, 1864. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 17th Army Corps, to July, 1865.
SERVICE.--Duty at Paducah, Ky., until February, 1862. Demonstration from Paducah on Columbus, Ky., November 7-9, 1861. Moved to Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 12-15, 1862. Expedition toward Purdy and operations about Crump's Landing, Tenn., March 9-14. Battle of Shiloh, Tenn., April 6-7. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. March to Purdy, thence to Bolivar, Tenn., and duty there until September. March to Iuka, Miss., September 1-20. Duty in District of Jackson until November.
Grant's Central Mississippi Campaign November 2, 1862, to January 10, 1863. Reconnoissance from LaGrange November 8-9, 1862. Moved to Memphis, Tenn., January 20, 1863; thence to Lake Providence, La., February 21, and to Milliken's Bend, La., April 17. Passage of Vicksburg and Warrenton Batteries April 22 (Detachment). Movement on Bruinsburg and turning Grand Gulf April 25-30. Battle of Port Gibson, Miss., May 1. Bayou Pierrie, May 3. Ingraham's Heights May 3. Bruins-Burg May 6. Battle of Raymond May 12. Jackson May 14. Battle of Champion's Hill May 16.
Siege of Vicksburg May 18-July 4, 1863. Assaults on Vicksburg May 19 and 22. Surrender of Vicksburg July 4, and duty there until February, 1864. Expedition to Monroe, La., August 20-September 2, 1863. Operations about Natchez, Miss., December 1-10.
Meridian Campaign February 3-March 2, 1864. Returning again to Vicksburg, the 23rd Indiana remained until February 3rd, 1864, when it accompanied Sherman on his ever-memorable raid to Meridian, Miss., accomplishing the destruction of the railroad track, its equipment and supplies the entire distance of more than one hundred miles east from Jackson to Meridian, thus depriving the enemy of facilities to reach either Jackson or Vicksburg to harass Grant’s and Sherman’s armies encamping at and near those points. William was released from service August 5, 1865 after serving four years and one month.
William Henry A. Bliss Married Elizabeth Camelia “Mellie” Bellinger, February 3, 1864
Veterans in his unit were on furlough March and April. In the latter part of March the regiment left Vicksburg on the regulation thirty-day veteran furlough and returned in a body, by steamboat up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, from Vicksburg to New Albany, the place of enlistment, at which point arms were stacked and equipment stored, and the members dispersed to their various homes for the enjoyment of a well earned and much needed rest. (During this furlough William likely used the opportunity to take his new bride to his home in Indiana where living conditions would have been better and safer.)
At the expiration of the veteran furlough the men again reported for duty and moved directly from New Albany by steamer to Bird’s Point, Mo., where the regiment remained for a short time, receiving a considerable number of recruits. From that point it proceeded on May 5th, 1864, by steamboat up the Tennessee River to Pittsburg Landing, marching through the old battlefield of Shiloh, via Huntsville, Ala., to join the Army of the Tennessee, then concentrating for the campaign against Atlanta, reaching Ackworth, Ga., June 9th, where it was again attached to the 17th Army Corps under Gen. Frank P. Blair.
Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign June 9 to September 8. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creek July 2-5. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Nickajack Creek July 6-8. Leggett's (or Bald) Hill July 20-21. Battle of Atlanta July 22. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Battle of Jonesboro August 31-September 1. Lovejoy Station September 2-6. Operations against Hood in North Georgia and North Alabama September 20-November 3. Shadow Church and Westbrook, near Fairburn, October 1-3. March to the sea November 15-December 10. Ball's Ferry and Georgia Central Railroad Bridge, Oconee River, November 23-25. Siege of Savannah December 10-21.
Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Pocotaligo, S.C., January 14. Salkehatchie Swamp February 2-5. Rivers Bridge February 3. South Edisto River February 9. Orangeburg February 12-13. Columbia February 16-17. Fayetteville, N. C., March 11. Battle of Bentonville March 19-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D.C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 19. Grand Review May 24. Moved to Louisville June, and duty there until July 23.
Mustered out July 23, 1865.
Regiment lost during service: 4 Officers and 68 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 143 Enlisted men by disease. Total 217.
Acknowledgements: Many of the photos below were kindly provided by Walter Bliss. Ann Marie Campbell Oswal provided valuable informationa about the Standard family,