Port William is the birthplace of Gilbert Van Zandt, quite possibly the youngest enlistee in the Union Army during the Civil War. Born on December 20, 1851, "Little Gib" joined the ranks of Company D, 79th Ohio Volunteer Infantry at the age of ten years, seven months, and sixteen days. Barely four feet tall, Van Zandt served initially as the company's drummer boy, and later as a courier for the regiment. Distinguished for his bravery under fire, young Gilbert saw action in the battles for Atlanta, Sherman's March to the Sea, and the Carolina Campaign. He was discharged from service on June 9, 1865, already a seasoned veteran at thirteen. Van Zandt died in Kansas City, Missouri on October 4, 1944 at the age of ninety-two.