Warren Ott (1843-1916) of Rockport, Maine


          Sometimes in the course of genealogical research you come upon an individual that captures the imagination, and cries out for more attention than just collecting the usual vital statistics.  Perhaps it is because of the significant historical events that our ancestors lived through.  Such has been my experience with Warren Ott. 


          My relation to the Ott family of Camden, Maine, is through my paternal great-great grandmother Mary E. Ott, who married Henry Richardson of Mount Desert.  All of the Otts in mid-coastal Maine are descended from Peter Ott, who came to Boston about 1750 from Germany, and eventually settled at Camden and kept an inn there for many years.  Peter and his descendants were prolific, so that by the mid-19th century there were many Ott families in the Camden area.


          George Warren Ott was born on 18 April, 1843 in the southern section of Camden that was to become Rockport later in the century.  He was the son of Samuel and Ruth Ann (Ames) Ott, and a great-grandson of Peter Ott. At some point he stopped using the name George, and appears in all subsequent documentation simply as Warren.


Little is known about him before the start of the Civil War.  He volunteered with the 2nd Battery, 1st Maine Light Artillery in December, 1861 when he was 18 years old.  His enlistment papers give ‘sailor’ as his occupation.  He remained with this unit throughout the course of the Civil War, and was discharged in June, 1865, having achieved the rank of Sergeant.


          Warren’s presence at many of the famous battles of that conflict can be established from his military record and the history of the 2nd.  These battles include Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Petersburg.  Although details or anecdotal notes are lacking in Warren’s record, there can be little doubt that he was witness to events that changed the course of our history, and that irrevocably changed the life of this young man from Maine. 


          The 2nd Battery was among the Maine units that went into the field early in the conflict, engaged in the campaign against the Army of Northern Virginia.  Under the leadership of Captain James A. Hall of Damariscotta, the 2nd Battery gained a reputation for courage, promptness, and discipline, which it sustained during the whole war.  Of particular note was the role the 2nd Maine Battery played in the first day of fighting at Gettysburg.  Hall’s battery arrived with the vanguard of General Reynolds forces, and he personnaly placed the men and guns astride the Chambersburg Pike to hold the advance of Confederate forces.  Just as Reynolds turned to continue placing his troops, he was shot from his saddle by a sharpshooter and died instantly.  The 2nd was later overrun for a time and several of its guns and men captured, but were recovered during a counterattack.  The 2nd is credited with playing a key role in preventing the Southern forces from taking the high ground and possibly changing the outcome of the battle.


          Back in Maine after the War, Warren returned to the sea for his living, and soon married Alethia A. Cross, settled in South Thomaston and started a family.  They had 6 children that lived to adulthood.  The eldest was a son, Edwin W. Ott, born 22 Oct 1867.  Edwin became a sea captain and died of dengue on 31 Oct 1905 at 38 years of age in Brunswick, Georgia .  He was master of the schooner Frank W. Huckins.  He may have been returning from a trade run to the Carribean, became ill at sea, and was brought ashore at Brunswick for medical treatment.


          Alethia died 30 May 1888, leaving Warren with young children at home.  He did remarry, but not until 13 Dec 1905 to Mary A. Ames, a widow.  Warren died at Rockport on 24 Jun 1916.