Born in 1832, Otho French Strahl grew up in Malta Township, Morgan County, Ohio. After attending Ohio Wesleyan University and teaching in a schoolhouse that stood on this site, he moved to Tennessee, becoming a successful attorney and landowner. Following the attack on Fort Sumter and President Abraham Lincoln's call to arms, Strahl chose to stay and fight with his adopted state. Despite his northern roots, he was elected Captain of the Dryers Guards, his local volunteer unit in Tennessee. Two years later, he attained the rank of brigadier general in the Confederate army and served with distinction in some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. At the age of 32, Strahl was one of six Confederate generals killed or mortally wounded at the Battle of Franklin. He is buried in Old City Cemetery in Dryersburg, Tennessee.
General Strahl had a premonition of his own death when Confederate General John Bell Hood ordered an attack on the Federal defenses at Franklin, Tennessee. Prior to the engagement, he gave his prized mare "Lady Polk" to his friend Chaplain Charles Quintard. Strahl was killed in the assault, as was Lieutenant John Marsh, a former student of Strahl who requested to serve under his command. Quitard personally saw to the burial of Marsh and rode Lady Polk for the remainder of the war. He later sold the
steed, using the proceeds to commission a beautiful stained glass window, memorializing General Strahl and Lieutenant Marsh, in St. James Episcopal Church in Bolivar, Tennessee.