ELWELL, JOHN JOHNSON (22 June 1820-16 Mar. 1900), physician, attorney, and Union Army officer, was born in Warren, Ohio to Samuel and Anna (Reeves) Elwell). He practiced medicine after graduating from Cleveland Medical College in 1846. Following 9 years in Orwell, Ohio, he served in the Ohio legislature (1853-55), was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1855, and practiced law in Cleveland, publishing the Western Law Monthly, teaching at Ohio & Union Law College and Cleveland Medical College, and authoring a text on medical jurisprudence.
After the outbreak of the CIVIL WAR, Elwell was appointed quartermaster, equipping the 2D OHIO VOLUNTEER CAVALRY of Cleveland, the 3d Ohio Volunteer Cavalry of Huron County, and the Sherman Brigade. Elwell was volunteer aide-de-camp to Gen. Henry W. Benham at the Battle of Secessionville, S.C., on 16 June 1862; and at the assault of Ft. Wagner, 18 July 1862, rallied troops in battle. Elwell was promoted to lieutenant colonel, serving as chief quartermaster of the Dept. of the South until 1 Feb. 1864. Because of yellow fever, Elwell was removed to Elmira, N.Y. where he purchased horses for the cavalry and supplied Elmira Prison and the rendezvous at Elmira for drafted men. Elwell was breveted 4 times for gallantry in battle and received the Gillmore Medal for meritorious conduct. His brevet generalship dated from Mar. 1865. After the war, he returned to Cleveland, resuming his careers and becoming editor of John Bouvier's Law Directory. Elwell married Nancy Chittenden in 1846; they had four children, Emma, Ellen, Mary, and George, all of whom died at an early age. He is buried in WOODLAND CEMETERY.