History of Marshall County, Indiana 1836 to 1880 by Daniel McDonald, )printed in Chicago by Kingman Brothers, Lakeside Building 1881)
page no. 112
WILLIAM M. KENDALL was born March 11, 1841, at Warsaw, Wyoming County, N.Y.; his father, ABIATHER KENDALL, removed from the State of Maine to Warsaw, N.Y., where he was engaged in the merchant tailor business, from 1840 to 1847; removing to Grand Rapinds, Michigan, in 1847, and to Plymouth, Indiana, in 1851; he engaged in the same pursuit here, and was thus occupied until his decease, in 1853.
After the death of his father, the subject of this biography found a home with H.B. PERSHING, of Plymouth, with whom he resided until 1857. In that year her was appointed Deputy Clerk of Marshall County, under N.P. PACKARD, and served in this capacity until September, 1860; then he entered Asbury University, at Green Castle, Indiana and returned to Plymouth in the following spring to take charge of the post-office at this place, while Col. O.H.P. BAILEY (then Postmaster) went to the front with the Union army.
In January, 1862, Col. BAILEY resigned his position in the army and returned to Plymouth. Shortly afterward, Mr. KENDALL was commissioned a Second Lieutenant by Gov. MORTON, and raised a company of volunteers, which became Company D, of the Seventy-third Indiana Regiment. They went into camp at South Bend, Indiana, on the 12th of July, 1862, and their Second Lieutenant was unanimously elected Captain of the company.
On the 16th of August, 1862, they left camp for Louisville, Kentucky, and were assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, under Gen. BUELL. They had numerous skirmishes during the progress of their chase after the rebel General, BRAGG, in Kentucky, but their first important engagement was at Chaplin Hill, Kentucky. At the battle of Murfreesboro, Tennesee, Company D lost fully one-half its members, in killed and wounded, many falling into the hands of the enemy as prisoners. After the battle of Stone River, this regiment was detailed, together with the Eighty-eighth and Fifty-first Indiana and Third Ohio Regiments, to act as a raiding party, under command of Col. A.D. STREIGHT, their purpose being to intercept the communications between JOHNSON and BRAGG, at Marietta, Georgia. They were engaged in numerous fights, and Col. HATHAWAY, of the Seventy-third Indiana Regiment, was killed at the battle of Blount's Farm. On the 3d of May, 1863, the command of which Mr. KENDALL'S company formed a part, was forced to surrender to FORREST, near Rome, Georgia, and all became prisoners. From Atlanta, they were taken to Libby Prison, and after remaining there for a year, they were transferred to Macon, Georgia. At the latter place, Gen. STONEMAN endeavored to release them, but after a sharp and gallantly fought battle, he was overpowered and his command placed inside the gloomy walls with those whom he had endeavored to rescue. Subsequently, they were taken to Charleston, South Carolina, and placed between the city and the fire of the Union General, FOSTER, as a protection to the city, the rebels hoping thus to save themselves; but the firing of the Union forces was continued , passing over the heads of the prisoners, and carrying destruction to the city. In September, 1864, they were taken to the celebrated "Camp Sorghum," near Columbia, South Carolina, where they were out in an open field, their only protection form the weather being a few boughs and twigs which they were able to gather. At "Camp Sorghum" it became the custom to send out four or five prisoners on patrol, every morning, to cut wood, and this circumstance was taken advantage of by Capt. KENDALL and three of his fellow prisoners, on the 1st day of November, 1864; on that day they were the party detailed to chop the wood, and started with their axes as if to perform the errand upon which they were sent. When they had put a safe distance between themselves and their guards, they fled toward Atlanta, hoping there to find Gen. SHERMAN; but, learning that he had gone, they changed their course toward Dalton, traveling at night, and hiding during the day. One night they were met by an old colored man who told them that four cavalrymen were in pursuit, and were then asleep in a farmhouse near by. After a little persuasion, the old man directed them to where the Confererates had their horses, which were immediately appropriated and pressed into service. That night the fugitives placed thirty miles between themselves and their pursuers, turning the horses loose at daybreak, to find their own way back to their masters. They traveled for about thirty days, and when within twenty miles of the Union lines, they were ferreted out by blood-hounds, and the rebels who owned them soon followed their dogs, and took the escaped prisoners back to Columbia. Subsequently they were taken to Goldsboro, North Carolina, and exchanged on the 1st of March, 1865. In 1864, while still in the rebel prison, Capt. KENDALL was commissioned Major of his regiment, and, after his release, joined his comrades at Larkensville, Alabama, and was placed in command of that post, remaining there until the order came for his command to be mustered out. Returning to Indianaoplis on the 12th of July, 1865, he was mustered out of the service, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, by brevet. War's grim labors over,he returned to Plymouth and engaged in mercantile pursuits, conducting a prosperous business until 1869. In June of that year, he was appointed Postmaster at Plymouth by President Grant. Subsequent administrations have recognized his ability by retaining his services, and he has discharged the duties of his station in a manner highly satisfactory to the public.
On the 29th of September, 1861, he was united in marriage with Miss HARRIET E., daughter of Dr. LYMAN GRIFFIN, of Plymouth. They have four children, viz.: GRACE A., MARK LEE, RAYMOND AMES and MARY.
Col. KENDALL is a highly respected member of the community in which he resides, where his worth is known. He is identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church of Plymouth, and for sixteen years has been Superintendent of the Sabbath school. His political affiliations have been with the Republican party, and he has proved a valuable member of that branch of the body politic. As a business man, he is prompt and honorable, and those who know him find him a true friend and a good neighbor.