Monday, Oct 15, 2018
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Monday Memories


Toledo's last Civil War vet


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Jacob Rinebolt, Toledo’s last surviving veteran of the Civil War, died 75 years ago at the age of 92.

While not born in Toledo, he spent the final 25 years of his life here, often flying under the radar when it came to his time in the Union Army. Indeed, until late in life, Mr. Rinebolt rarely talked publicly or privately about his service.

Born on a family farm near Millersville, Ohio, he ran away from home at 14 to join the army. He hopped a train to Sandusky, where he lied about his age and enlisted in the 19th Ohio Regiment Company A.

Mr. Rinebolt claimed to have fled from his family to join the army. When his parents got wind of his disappearance, they followed him to Sandusky, where the “fugitive” said he spent several hours hiding under a blanket to avoid detection by them.

He saw plenty of action during his time in the service, including fighting at Gettysburg. When veterans of the Confederate and Union armies gathered on July 28, 1938, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Jacob Rinebolt was the youngest among them.

Pictured in this 1940 Blade archive photo with one of his beloved Fox terriers, Mr. Rinebolt’s claim to fame — beyond his longevity — was having been the youngest person to see actual fighting during the Civil War. His family claimed to have papers from the U.S. government attesting to that fact.

At the close of the war he went West with the army to fight on the Mexican border. After his discharge he settled in Kendallville, Ind. Later in life he moved to Toledo to live with his son, Orrie C. Rinebolt, the proprietor of Rinebolt’s Sandwich Shop on Summit Street.

He died at his son’s home on March 15, 1943.

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