Lt. William Jasper Srofe

From the collection of Joe Millazzo

 

William Jasper Srofe was born in January, 1842 (or 1841) in New Hope, Brown Co. in southwestern Ohio. His parentage is a bit ambiguous since his mother's first husband, David Sroufe, died in 1836, long before William was born. One family historian conjectures that he could have been an infant adopted from another Srofe family in the area. However, it seems unlikely that a widow without a man to support her would do this, since Sarah did not remarry until 1851. And, it is clear from the letters that William had an older brother, John V. Srofe, who also served during the Civil War, with whom he corresponded (John was born during the time Sarah was married to David Sroufe.)

At the age of 19, Srofe joined Capt. Peterson's Co. "K" as a Sergeant as it became a part of the 48th Ohio Volunteer Infantry regiment at Camp Dennison where Srofe had been training. Over the course of his five years of service, he rose to 1st Sergeant in December, 1862, to 2nd Lieutenant in March, 1863 and finally to 1st Lieutenant when he was transferred to Company H. From June, 1863 until at least the end of the year, Srofe was in temporary command of Company H, although this post would normally have been brought with it a promotion to Captain. He was captured during the Battle of Sabine Crossroads (a.k.a "Moss Lane") on April 8, 1864 and taken to the Confederate prison pen, Camp Ford, in Tyler, Texas. He and Maj. John A. Bering, attempted to escape in August, but were recaptured, and, as a consequence, were not exchanged with the rest of their regiment in October, 1864. Both languished on as prisoners at Camp Ford until May of 1865 - for a total of fourteen months in captivity. While many of the 48th OVVI's officers resigned upon their release from prison, Srofe remained in the service serving as Regimental Quartermaster while on garrison duty in Texas, and was mustered out with the rest of his regiment in April/May of 1866.

He married Sarah Melisa Espey on 9 May 1867 and they settled first in Scotts Township in Brown County, Ohio and later in Lynchburg, Ohio where they raised a family of three boys and a girl: John A. Bering Srofe (the Berings were not only close friends but also related to W. J.'s wife's family); William E. Srofe; Charles E. Srofe; and Luie Anna Srofe. W. J. graduated from the Medical College of Ohio in 1868 and set up practice as a physician. All three of his sons became doctors as well. He died 21 November 1912.

 

 

 


PHOTO COURTESY OF CAROLYN SROFE

Lt. W. J. Srofe
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

 


PHOTO COURTESY OF CAROLYN SROFE

W. J. Srofe in later life, holding grandson, J. Garner Srofe

 


PHOTO COURTESY OF CAROLYN SROFE

Allie Holloway & Sarah M. Srofe. Allie was Sarah's natural mother. Sarah was adopted and raised by Wm. & Lorinda Espy.


PHOTO COURTESY OF CAROLYN SROFE

W. J. Srofe's three sons

 

 

 


PHOTO COURTESY OF CAROLYN SROFE

W. J. Srofe with his white horse & buggy and his cocker spaniel on the seat beside him

 


PHOTO COURTESY OF CAROLYN SROFE

Srofe's home in Lynchburg, Ohio

 


COURTESY OF CAROLYN SROFE

 

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1/9/2008