Col. John Cochran first set foot on the soil of Ohio in 1807, when he shipped as a hand on a keel-boat at Pittsburgh, bound for Chillicothe, Ohio. Both the Ohio and Scioto rivers were high, and the boat lay at Portsmouth five days before the main channel of the Scioto river could be found. There were five boats in company, and each became fast on the shoals in ascending the river. They arrived at Chillicothe, in the month of May, 1807. He soon returned to his home, in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, where he remained until in the month of May, 1812, when he received from the Hon. William Eustis, then secretary of war, notice of his appointment as ensign in the Nineteenth regiment of infantry. He was ordered to report for duty to Brig. Gen. Joseph Bloomfield, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In the early part of July he left home, and reported to Major McClung, of Pittsburgh, by order of the general commanding. Here he remained a short time, until he became familiar with his duties, when the command was ordered to Carlisle, and thence to the frontier. There five supernumerary officers, of whom John Cochran was one, who were ordered to report to Col. John Miller at Chillicothe. Three of them came through, Cochran working his fare, as nearly all were without money, or means of transportation. Sixteen days were consumed in traveling from Pittsburgh to Portsmouth. They walked fro Portsmouth to Chillicothe, and after resting a few days, Ensign Cochran was ordered to Dayton, to which place he walked alone. Here he remained a short time, when he was ordered to Franklinton, on recruiting service. He was very successful as a recruiting officer, and was kept at this duty for some time. In July, 1814, the regiment broke camp at Chillicothe and started fro Malden, Canada, guarding a detachment of British prisoners. Before reaching Malden, Ensign Cochran was ordered on detached service, and did not rejoin his regiment until fall, when they erected winter quarters at the head of the Niagara river. In the latter part of november they were ordered to Erie, pennsylvania. In 1815 he received his commission promoting him to a lieutenantcy. The captain of his company was ordered on detached service, and Lieutenant Cochran became its commanding officer. His company had an enviable reputation in the regiment for its efficiency in camp and on the field. The declaration of peace, in 1815, withdrew many of the inducements for following the life of a soldier, as there would now be no opportunity for winning distinction on the field, and receiving deserved promotion.
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