Oddenino Family History

With multiple ancestors serving in both the United States and Confederate Armies, the history of the United States Civil War enjoys an added sense of vibrancy when your family members were so directly affected by the conflict.

History Reading Recommendations

There is much written on the Civil War and this link provides a nice overview of the history of the Civil War with some valuable links. This too is a useful link to a Civil War history site. While there are too many to list all of my favorite books on the Civil War, I can recommend Shelby Foote's three volume series as an excellent comprehensive study. Also, I found Stephen W. Sears To The Gates of Richmond to be a superb account of the Peninsula campaign which launched Robert E. Lee's command of the Army of Northern Virginia and spelled McClellan's downfall. If you prefer to listen to a history of the Civil War, I highly recommend the Civil War lectures by Gary W. Gallagher of the University of Virginia.


Before we look at the family participants in the Civil War, let's view some photographs taken during the Civil War of areas relevant to the Oddenino Family History. First a couple of views of the Culpeper Court House in Culpeper, Virginia during the Civil War. This is the same Court House that Joseph Oddenino's art work can be found in today:

Below is the Germanna Ford, in Virginia with Union artillery crossing pontoon bridges. Photograph from Grant's Wilderness Campaign, May-June 1864. Author Gordon Rhea penned a superb history of the Wilderness Campaign. Germanna plays a significant role in the Oddenino Family History with many ancestors being a part of the Germanna history.

Photos courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division
For a fascinating array of Civil War photographs please click on this link to the Library of Congress Civil War photograph collection.

With roots so deep in the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is not surprising to find many Civil War veterans in the family tree. We know of six Civil War veterans in the Oddenino Family History with one Union veteran and five Confederate veterans. Some of them participated in many of the significant battles of the war and some were present at Appomattox when Lee surrendered to Grant.

On the Union side we have Joseph Oddenino and on the Confederate side we have the following veterans, Michael Bazzle, John Madison Cook, John J. Seal, John Richards, and Joseph B. Cash. While there are similarities in their Civil War records there are also interesting differences which can be explored by looking at the pension and other records on their individual pages.


Joseph Oddenino was in the 5th Regiment, New York Heavy Artillery serving primarily as a musician in the Civil War with Company "B"

   Thanks to research done by Joseph's great-grandson Charles Oddenino, we are able to share a complete listing of Joseph's Civil War assignments.

The following is a listing of dates and places where the unit was stationed during the Civil War from March 1862 to June 1865. Taken from records at the National Archives, Washington, DC.

Served as a musician in the Civil War with Company "B", 5th Regiment of the New York Heavy Artillery, Union Army.

Dates   Station of Company
March-April 1862 Stewarts Woods, Baltimore, MD
May-June 1862 Fort Marshall, Baltimore, MD
July-August 1862 Fort Marshall, Baltimore, MD
Sept-Oct 1862 Fort Marshall, Baltimore, MD
Nov-Dec 1862 Fort Marshall, Baltimore, MD
Jan-Feb 1863   Fort Marshall, Baltimore, MD
March-April 1863 Maryland Heights, MD

NOTE: Changed station from Fort McHenry, MD to Maryland Heights on the 30th day of April 1863.
May-June 1863 Stewarts Woods, MD

NOTE: Changed station from Harpers Ferry, MD to Fort McHenry, MD, May 21,

Changed station to Havre De Grace, MD, May 28, 1863.
Changed station to Fort Marshall, MD, June 21, 1863.
Changed station to Stewarts Woods, June 27, 1863.

July-August 1863 Stewarts Woods, Baltimore, MD
Sept-Oct 1863 Stewarts Woods, Baltimore, MD
Nov-Dec 1863 Fort Goons, Baltimore, MD
Company marched to Gettysburg, PA November 16,1863, returned to this Post on November 21, 1863.
Jan-Feb 1864 Fort No. 1 (?), Baltimore, MD
Mar-Apr 1864 Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, MD
May-June 1864 Kanawa Falls, West Virginia, Gauley Bridge
Jul-Aug 1864 Harpers Ferry, Virginia

Left Gauley Bridge, VA and proceeded by River to Parkersburge, Va. then by Road to Cherry Run, VA. Encamped for 3 days. Left Cherry Run, VA and marched by way of Martinsburg, VA to Smokins (?) Smokers Gap; was engaged in action at that place on 18 July 1864.

Marched from there to Winchester, VA where encamped for 3 days. Left Winchester July 25, 1864 arriving at Harpers Ferry July 28, 1864 where Company had since been stationed Sep-Oct 1864 Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry doing Garrison Duty. Guards at Sandy Point, MD and furnishing escorts of personnel to Baltimore, Point Look-Out and to Washington, DC. Nov-Dec 1864 - Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, MD. Guard Duty and escorts, as above.

Jan-Feb 1865  Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, MD
Mar-Apr 1865 Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, VA
May-Jun 1865  Camp 11, Harpers Ferry, VA
NOTES by researcher, Charles Oddenino (great-grandson of Joseph Oddenino):

Gauley Bridge, VA is now Gauley Bridge, West VA and is located just North of Lewisburg, West VA. It is a very long bridge crossing the New River.
Smokins Gap at Smokers Gap which is not clear on copy of records is some place between Martinsburg, now West VA and Winchester, VA and is the only place where the Company is reported to have engaged in action or battle.

Michael Bazzle served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War and his granddaughter Alia Bazzle Oddenino told me that she remembered how much she used to love sitting on her grandfather's porch listening to him tell her about his Civil War experiences. Michael Bazzle was in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and was at Appomattox Court House when Lee surrendered to Grant. He was a wagon driver in Letcher's Virginia Light Artillery.

John Madison Cook was a member of Company C of the 4th Virginia Cavalry.

On May 4, 1977 I had the pleasure of discussing the family history of John Madison Cook with one of his great-granddaughters, Eppa Roberts (Eppa's mother was Ada Cook Roberts, daughter of John Madison Cook and Martha Frances Ford). She shared with me the following story that had been told to her by her mother: While John M. Cook was away at "that war" (actual quote) some Yankees came to their house and stole chickens, turkeys and even stuffed feathers in their molasses to starve them because Martha's husband was a reb.

The Yankees stole all the food in the house even the butter. Martha asked the Yankees to leave some butter because she had a sick child who would only eat bread and butter. One of the Yankees told the others to give her a little butter back and they did. Eppa Roberts also informed me that John M. Cook was known for blackening his moustache as he got older and that he was a good farmer. She said she thought John M. Cook had a sister named Ann Cook who married Howard Huffman and they had six children named Robert, Rosa, Myrtle, Lena, Hamp, and Holland.She said that there is a family burial ground near Leola Frye's place by Ford's shop and the graveyard is between Ford's place and Leola Frye's place.

Eppa Roberts said that Martha Ford Cook had health problems after the Civil War and she was an invalid before she died leaving seven children, Anna (who married Lee Jackson Brown), Edie, Lizzie, Ada, Liza, Hugh and Calvin. John M. Cook married his second wife, Virginia Aylor, on February 18, 1897 by whom he had children named, Dewey, Silas, Stuart, Lucian and Lucy.

John Jackson Seal, was also a member of Company C of the 4th Virginia Cavalry.
For insights into the 4th Virginia Cavalry we find this history illuminating:

The National Park Service provides a valuable web site on Civil War veterans and here is what they say about the 4th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry unit:

4th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry

4th Cavalry Regiment completed its organization at Sangster's Cross Roads, Prince William County, Virginia, in September, 1861. Its members were recruited in the counties of Prince William, Chesterfield, Madison, Culpeper, Powhatan, Gouchland, Hanover, Fauquier, Buckingham, and the city of Richmond. The unit was assigned to General J.E.B. Stuart's, F.Lee's, Wickham's, and Munford's Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. It participated in the Battle of Williamsburg, the Seven Days' Battles, and the Second Manassas and Maryland campaigns. Later the unit was involved in the conflicts at Fredericksburg, Kelly's Ford, Chancellorsville, Brandy Station, Upperville, Gettysburg, Bristoe, Mine Run, The Wilderness, Todd's Tavern, Spotsylvania, Haw's Shop, and Bethesda Church. The 4th went on to fight in the Shenandoah Valley with Early and around Appomattox. It totalled 450 effectives in April, 1862, and lost about three percent of the 544 engaged at Gettysburg. After cutting through the Federal lines at Appomattox, it was broken up. Only 2 members were present at the surrender. The field officers were Colonels Stephen D. Lee, William H. Payne, Beverly H. Robertson, William C. Wickham, and W.B. Wooldridge; Lieutenant Colonels Charles Old and Robert Randolph; and Majors Alexander M. Hobson and Robert E. Utterback.

Click here to search for soldiers in this unit.

From the Virginia Regimental Histories Series we look to Kenneth Stiles work on the 4th Virginia Cavalry for a view of this unit:

On The Frontier — 1861
The 4th Regiment Virginia Cavalry has been described as one of the most distinguished cavalry commands in the Confederate service. The unit participated in every major battle and campaign which involved the Army of Northern Virginia and produced three brigadier generals. A fourth would have risen from the ranks had the war not ended abruptly in April of 1865. The regiment rode and fought for Virginia and the Confederacy from before First Manassas to the last charge from Appomattox Court House up the Lynchburg road where the unit disbanded, never handing over its colors, nor stacking its arms in submission. Ten companies composed the 4th. Chesterfield County's company was organized in 1851. Four companies from Goochland, Hanover, Warrenton and Richmond came into being in the latter part of 1859 during the John Brown excitement. That raid in October of 1859 was the driving factor behind the organization of the cavalry units from Prince William, Madison and Powhatan counties as well. The last company to join the 4th was from Buckingham and was formed in March of 1862 for three years of Confederate service. The companies were:

Company A Prince William Cavalry
Company B Chesterfield Light Dragoons
Company C Madison Invincibles
Company D Little Fork Rangers (Culpeper)
Company E Powhatan Troop
Company F Goochland Light Dragoons
Company G Hanover Light Dragoons
Company H Black Horse Troop (Warrenton)
Company I Governor's Mounted Guard (Richmond)
Company J Philip McKinney's Company (Buckingham)

Additional commentary from this text by Kenneth Stiles provides some insight into the hardships they experienced during the war:

At the bottom of the report, the recording officer commented on what he thought was the reason forthe bad conditions of the 4th Regiment:

First, we have been actively engaged since the 4th of May, 1864, have been marching and countermarching, and much exposed to stormy and rough weather, and an inadequate amount of forage for the horses has depleted the animals. That until now, no opportunity has been offered to reorganize, and the heavy loss of officers killed and wounded in Battle, and by sickness from exposure is the prime cause.
Second, We have been compelled to send the sick and wounded "back to [the] rear" and the Surgeon has scattered the men to the four winds.

This account of the 4th Virginia's condition told the story better than anything else could. And it mirrored the rest of the division rather well too.Though beaten into weariness by both battle and Mother Nature, the soldiers still held on.
By March 2, Fitz Lee's division was ordered to regroup. The following week, the cavalry moved farther up the James River because a "want offorage and provisions" paralyzed the force while it remained near Richmond.
The lack of food for the cavalry persisted as Fitz Lee crossed the James River and moved to High Bridge near Farmville on March 8. With aterrible rain darkening the skies that Wednesday night, some in the brigade joked about having to learn "Yankee Doodle" and the "Star Spangled Banner" again.

John Richards was in the 39th Battalion Virginia Cavalry was at Gettysburg (see this reference to the 39th VA Cavalry).
Joseph B. Cash joined the Confederacy on August 1, 1861 with Captain Watkins of the 52d VA Regiment.