He enlisted on April 22 1861 at the age of 19 in Pomeroy Ohio. He was a private in Company F of the 18th Ohio Infantry he mustered out on 22 August 1861 due to an injury.
On June 30 1863 in Marietta he enlisted and was a private in Company A of the 129th Ohio Infantry and mustered out March 8 1864 due to injuries and medial problems.
In Cincinnati on September 2 1864 he enlisted in the United States Navy and was given the rank of Landsmen, the lowest rank given to a Naval recruit indicating no sea or boating experience. He mustered out August 2 1865.
In his navy career...
He served aboard the USS Moose, a wooden stern-wheel steam gunboat. She was built in 1863 in Cincinnati Ohio and was purchased by the Union Navy. Her duty was to patrol Confederate Waterways and she prowled the Ohio River, Tennessee River, Cumberland Rivers.
He also served on the USS Grampus, a side wheeled steamer. She was purchased in 1863 by the navy and named for grampus griseus, a member of the dolphin family known as Risso's Dolphin. She was stationed in Cincinnati Ohio and was used to help refit and convert other ships into gunships. Her only weapons were 10 cutlasses and revolvers and she contained no furnishings.
He served on the USS Great Western a side wheel steamer built in 1857. She was purchased by the U.S. Navy in 1862. She was an ordnance boat supplying Navy ships on the White River and the Arkansas River with ammunition and arms.
He served on the USS Benton
an iron clad river gunboat. She was a former center-wheel catamaran snagboat first called submarine No.7. and had been built by the US Navy to raise sunken Steamboats under the Mississippi River.
On April 29 1863 the Benton led a fleet of 7 ironclads down the Mississippi River
Mississippi River at Grand Gulf Mississippi
to Grand Gulf where she was involved in the Battle of Grand Gulf.
She was pierced by a round during the fight and 25 crewman were killed. At one point in the battle the current of the Mississippi increased overwhelming her engines and the Benton was swept down stream.
Ansel married 2 years later and had 8 children. His trade was a cooper. I had a small barrel he had made but as I was cleaning it several months ago one of the rings slipped and it fell into a heap. I could not locate a cooper to put it back together.
He spent the last few years of his life in the National Military Home for Veterans in Indiana.