The Indiana in the Civil War Message Board

Frederick Fout-15th In. Battery-Light Artillerry

Our main interest is in the Medal of Honor recipient "Frederick Fout" who served in the 7th Indiana Company I and the 15th Indiana Battery - Light Artillery, both units from 1861-1865.

Frederick Fout emigrated to New Palestine, Indiana and then went to school in Franklin, Indiana and at the age of 21 he was a carpenter and a mason. He has a distinguished history of being a soldier, a builder of homes in Indianapolis (one of his homes still is standing in Indianapolis, plus one of his homes that he lived in is where the Starbucks Coffee house opposite the Eli Lilly Civil War Museum stands.

The following was taken from an article from a book "Old and New St. Louis" from 1901. Frederick W. Fout, the successful claim and pension attorney was born October 30,1839, in the little town of Meissen, near Buckeburg, Germany. His mother Sophia (Spannuth) Fout and his father, Frederick Willhelm, was the village blacksmith of the little town on Meissen. His parents were thrifty and economical, and fully comprehending the benefits of a good education confers, kept the boy in steady attendance at the school of his native village, which he left at the age of fifteen to go into the world and seek his fortune. Sailing for America, his journey found an ending at New Palestine, Indiana, where an uncle lived, and with whom he made his home. There he continued his studies until he determined to become altogether independent, and engaged himself to a carpenter to learn the trade. After his apprenticeship was completed he worked at his trade in Indianapolis and in Franklin, Indiana, but aspiring he laid aside his saw and plane to enter Franklin Academy, Indiana. This was in 1859, and he attended school in the winter and returned to his carpenter work in the summer, until spring 1861, which proved a momentous epoch in his life, as did in the lives of thousands of other Americans.

He was filled with an intense patriotism for his adopted country's cause and at the beginning of the war, or in April 1861 enlisted at Indianapolis as a private in Company I, Seventh Indiana Infantry. The regiment participated in the battles of Philiippi, Laurel Hills, and Carrick Fort, all in West Virginia, but as the men had only enlisted for three months, in August they were ordered back to Indianapolis and mustered out. But the young Fout had enlisted in the beginning with determined and patriotic motives, which were not in the least abated by the service he had seen, and he accordingly at once re-enlisted in an artillery regiment. The latter was broken up by internal dissensions but each battery entered the service as and independent organization.

In January 1862, Mr. Fout was made an orderly sergeant of the 15th Indiana Independent Battery, and in August the same year was promoted to 2nd Lt. In, January 1864 he was made 1st Lt. and after that time was in continuously in command of the Battery. He served under Generals McCleland, Miles, Burnside, Schofield, Sherman, and Cox; and was mentioned incidentally by Sherman (in his papers) that it was Lt. Fout's guns that fired the first shell into Atlanta. In June 1865 the 1st Lt. and his battery was mustered out at Indianapolis, its commander served from the first to the last month of the war. Frederick Fout became a United States Citizen in 1865. Once he moved to St. Louis, Missouri he became the number one traveling salesman for the Missouri Glass Company and in 1887 he went to Washington, D.C. to train to become a pension solicitor. He pursued the business in St. Louis and became the top military pension and claim solicitor west of the Mississippi River. He had large rooms in the Fagin Building on Olive Street and was assisted by his son and numerous clerks. He also developed an area in St. Louis called "Fout Place", one of the homes he developed (built) is still standing and waiting for a rehab. to be completed

If anyone has any information on the 15th Light Artillery Unit