Reenactors at Hardscrabble
8th MO Infantry (US)
Company D
8th MO reenactors at Grant's Farm

John B. Coles was born in Bloomington, Ill., September 27, 1836.   His parents' families moved west sometime around 1813, and located in Dearborn County, Indiana, where his mother and his father met and were married.   His parents resided in Wilmington, Indiana, until they moved to Illinois in 1835, where the elder Mr. Coles died in 1845.
John B. Coles was a lad of nine years when his father died.   He soon returned to Indiana with his mother and remained until he again moved to Bloomington, Illinois, in 1857.   In 1860 he began the study of law, with the firm of Sweat & Orm, continuing his reading with this firm about eight months.
He then enlisted in the 8th Missouri Volunteer Infantry (US) as private and served four years, participating in many of the heaviest battles of the war, including those of Fort Henry, Shiloh, and all the important engagements during Sherman's March To The Sea.
Coles received a severe wound in the left calf at the battle of Vicksburg and served his last year in the quartermaster's department.   On February 4, 1863, he was promoted from the ranks to second lieutenant, and on the 24th of the same month was made captain.
He was present at the grand review in Washington, May, 1865, and in the fall of 1866 returned to Ohio County, Indiana, and finally located in Rising Sun, Indiana, in 1868.   He was admitted to the bar, and practiced law.
Capt. Coles was a member of Benjamin North Post, G. A. R., which he assisted in organizing and officiated as its first captain. He ranked among the first of the legal profession in Ohio County, and as a citizen John B. Coles' character was above reproach.
Parents:   Thomas K. COLES (Long Island NY) and Cynthia WILBUR (Duchess County NY).
Married to:   Fanny A. McADAMS in 1876 in Ohio County, Indiana.
Note:   his father-in-law, James D. McADAMS, was an early settler of Ohio County.
Children:   Cynthia COLES, Mary COLES, Robert COLES, Lizzie COLES.

The above information is adapted from "A History Of Dearborn and Ohio Counties, Indiana - 1885"
Excerpts of this book can be viewed at

(Click here for a explanation of why people from other states joined the 8th Missouri)