Col. Jesse Hildebrand, who commanded the 77th Ohio Volunteer Infantry at the Battle of Shiloh led a colorful life. He was born 2 May 1800 on the Cornplanter Indian Reservation where his father, George, was the saw mill operator for Chief Cornplanter.

He was the 13th child of George and Mary Elizabeth (Kneisley) Hildebrand. After a brief sojourn in the Pittsburgh area the family moved to Fearing Township in Washington County about 1820.

Jesse Hildebrand operated Stage Coaches from 1835 to 1860. One of the routs was between Marietta and Zanesville. He kept a journal of his employees, family, friends, etc., during that time. That journal, Vol. I, and Vol. II, is indexed by name, and the index is posted on this web site for your research. A xerox copy of the journal is on file at the Washington County Historical Society.

Col. Jesse Hildebrand died while in command of the Federal Prison at Alton, Illinois, 18 April 1863. His body was brought back to Marietta for a hero's burial in Mound Cemetery.

A monument was erected there. This was a tall monument with the insignia, a broken sword, left in full relief. The inscription is upon its spiral shaft:

"In honor of Col. Jesse Hildebrand, of the 77th Rgt. O. V. I. Born at Cold Springs, Indian Reservation, on the Allegheny river, May 29, 1800. Died in the service at Alton, Ill., April 18, 1863. A kind Husband and father, a patriot and soldier. His life was given that our nation might live. 'Lord thy will be done', his dying words."

A thorough study of all the history of the life of Jesse Hildebrand is not appropriate for this introduction to the Journal. However, it is hoped that a future historian will compile a complete history of this local hero.




    Contributed by: Bob Cameron

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