Americus Vespuccius Rice

Perrysville's Americus Vespuccius Rice was a high-ranking Civil War officer who eventually became a Brigadier General.

PERRYSVILLE -- The Mohican area has raised a number of politicians and military officers, but perhaps the highest ranking was a Perrysville native born on Nov. 18, 1835.

His name was Americus Vespuccius Rice, the son of Clark Hammond Rice and Catherine Mowers Rice. After being raised in Perrysville he went on to study the classics at Antioch and then law at Union College.

When the Civil War broke out, he was commissioned as Captain in the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry on April 27, 1861. When his enlistment with the 21st expired he remustered as a Colonel in the 57th OVI.

Rice had a distinguished record as an officer, and was wounded six times, first at Shiloh, then Vicksburg and other engagements. At Shiloh, Rice led his illness-depleted troops to the defense of the Little Meetinghouse, sustaining 187 casualties.

He was commended for gallantry at Arkansas Post, and lost his leg as a result of wounds sustained at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, June 27, 1864.

As soon as he was able to be on crutches, he returned to the field, serving as commander of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division of the XV Corps.

By the end of the war he had attained the rank of Brigadier General.

Following the war he went into banking, before being elected to to the United States House of Representatives in 1874 and serving until 1897.

Following his stint as a politician he returned to banking, forming the A.V. Rice & Company banking enterprise in Ottawa, Ohio.

Eventually, he moved to Washington D.C. and became an agent with the United States Census Bureau until his death on April 4, 1904. His pallbearers included two Generals, a U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator, two Colonels, and a Judge. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

More information on the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum can be found at this link.

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