J. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) Currey.

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words used by the hero, but they answered the purpose of the composer, and the
song became immensely popular. There was an air of romance and heroism that
surrounded the name and career of Colonel Mulligan, which always appealed to
the popular heart. As was said of him by the Hon. E. D. Cooke in the Legislature,
when the bill for erecting the monument was before that body, he was a man "spot-
less in life, distinguished in ability, a lion in courage, a hero in battle, and his
memory should not die. His was no claptrap devotion, no simulated patriotism
born of sordid motives or personal ambition. It had its promptings and inspiration
in a more solid and generous foundation. It was based upon an earnest and in-
telligent love of his country, a loyal attachment to principle and a love of liberty."

Colonel Mulligan was thirty-four years old at the time of his death, and in the
flower of his manhood. He had always declined promotion, preferring to remain
with his regiment as its colonel; but a commission creating him a Brigadier-General
was signed by President Lincoln a few days before he fell in battle, though he
was not aware of it. No part of the history of the Civil War has greater interest
for the youth of Chicago and Evanston than the career of Colonel Mulligan, and
there is no hero of that War whose memory we can cherish more fittingly on our
annual Memorial Days.

Mrs. Mulligan remained a widow, an honored and beloved resident of Chicago,
until her death on the llth of May, 1908. "Mrs. Mulligan was one of the most
respected and revered women in Chicago," said a writer in the Record-Herald, the
day after her death. "Beautiful and cultured, she lived from her young widow-
hood, which came at the age of twenty-three years, until her final summons yes-
terday, ever sacrificing for her three daughters, who were infants at their father's
death. After forty-four years of widowhood she was laid by her husband's side,
and the noble monument of white marble marks the resting place of the hero and
his devoted wife."


The German element of our population was, in the main, strongly for the Union
cause, though Cook in his volume, referred to above, recalls from his store of war
memories, that there was a district lying between Archer and Blue Island avenues,
having a numerous German population, where the spirit of loyalty to the national
government was either lukewarm or entirely lacking. Be that as it may, there were
two regiments of volunteers sent from Chicago that were almost entirely composed
of Germans.

Among the earliest troops to leave Chicago were two companies of Germans
who accompanied Battery A and the Ellsworth Zouaves to Cairo, Illinois, on the
19th of April, 1861. They continued in service there until June, when they were
joined by eight other companies, six of which were recruited in Chicago, and two
from other parts of the state. They were formed into a regiment under Colonel
Frederick Hecker, and were known as the "Hecker-Jaeger regiment," Jaeger be-
ing the German equivalent of Ranger, and were mustered in as the Twenty-


fourth Illinois volunteers. Colonel Hecker was fifty years old at this time; he had
left Germany in 18-18, where he had been a leader in a movement of a revolu-
tionary character, and, since his arrival in Illinois, had taken a deep interest in
politics, and was earnestly opposed to slavery.

The Twenty-fourth Illinois Regiment was engaged in campaigns in Missouri
and Kentucky, making a brilliant record. Colonel Hecker resigned his command
and returned to Chicago, where he engaged in the formation of another regiment
which was mustered in, October 23d, 1862, as the Eighty-second Illinois Volun-
teers. Hecker was made colonel of this regiment, which became a part of General
Sigel's army in Virginia, and participated in many battles. Colonel Hecker was
wounded near Fredericksburg, but soon after returned to service, and was given
command of a brigade. The "Eighty-second" was with Sherman in his famous
"March to the Sea," and took part in the grand review at Washington after the
war was ended.


Friederich Karl Franz Hecker, as his full name appears in the German form,
was born in Baden, September 28, 1811. He was carefully educated and was
created a Doctor of Laws by the University of Heidelberg. He devoted himself
to the practice of law, but became drawn into politics and was one of the leaders
in the movement for free institutions. In 1842, he was elected a member of the Cham-
ber of Deputies, and so strongly urged a representation of the people of Baden in the
German Diet, "which then was simply a permanent convention of the representatives
of princes," says a writer in Andreas' history, "that he was pronounced revolutionary
and dangerous." He resigned his seat in the Chamber of Deputies and went
abroad. Returning to Baden he was again elected a representative and led the
opposition, but the cause did not prosper. He then raised the standard of revolt
in the Duchy of Baden, proclaiming Germany a republic. He and his following
were attacked by Government troops, his force was obliged to disband, and he
sought refuge in Switzerland, afterwards extending his flight to the United States.

"For years afterwards, he was the idol of the people of Baden; his name, above
all others, was the one to conjure with in all South Germany and wherever liberty was
struggling to gain a foothold," says Charles W. Dahlinger, in his volume "The Ger-
man Revolution of 1849." So popular was Hecker with his fellow countrymen, that,
when a second insurrection broke out in Baden, messengers were sent to New
York to recall him, and he bravely made an attempt to rejoin his friends in the
struggle, but before he reached France on his way the insurrection had been
quelled, and once more he returned to America.

The name of Hecker was an inspiration to the German patriots, and his name
was cheered whenever mentioned in their meetings. The "Hecker Song" was pop-
ular with all classes, sung even by the government troops in spite of their officers ;
students sang it in the streets, and, alternated with the "Marsellaise," the people,
in great numbers, joined in singing the "Song of Hecker." His career in America
was watched with the keenest interest by his friends in the Fatherland, and when
in good time the cause of German liberty triumphed, he returned on a visit to
his native land, in 1873, where he was received with the honors due to his dis-
tinguished services and the sacrifices made in behalf of the great cause.


Lorenz Brentano, the civil leader in the Baden uprisings, was also one of those
who found a refuge in the United States, as Hecker and Carl Schurz likewise did.
Brentano first engaged in farming in Michigan, afterwards became a lawyer in
Chicago, and later was editor of the Staats Zeitung. He also served as a mem-
ber of the state legislature of Illinois, a member of Congress, and United States
consul at Dresden, Germany.


Throughout the War of the Rebellion there was always an element of the popu-
lation in the Northern states who were strongly in sympathy with the Southern
cause. This was often as much for the reason that these sympathizers were op-
posed to the anti-slavery men, who they regarded as abolitionists, as for any
positive sentiment in favor of the slave holders and their rebellion. In the general
exchange of epithets that always takes place in a time of great political excitement,
these Southern sympathizers were called "Copperheads," which became a term
of reproach, and was a fair offset to the epithet "Black Abolitionists" often applied
to the supporters of the Union.

During the first year of the war, Wilbur F. Storey came to Chicago, and assumed
charge of the Chicago Times, a paper which had been published for several years
under a Democratic management. From that time no newspaper in Chicago, or
even the West, passed through a career so spectacular, sensational, and stormy as
did the Chicago Times under Wilbur F. Storey. Storey was a man of great force,
but with little principle. He espoused the cause of the South, probably more be-
cause of his disposition to oppose the rising tide of Unionism throughout the North
than from any sympathies he may have felt. He became the apostle of Copper-
headism in the city. Storey at that time was a man forty-two years old, and had
previously conducted a newspaper in Detroit; on his arrival in Chicago, he at
once took strong grounds against everything and everybody engaged in the struggle
to save the Union. The Times soon earned the designation of "Copperhead sheet,"
and there was an intense hostility aroused against it and its owner. It was a
time of terrible passion, and the conduct of his paper became so outrageous that
the military authorities at Washington took notice of it. General Burnside, in
command of the department of the Northwest, issued an order in June, 1863, "for
the suppression of the Times, and the commander at Camp Douglas was charged
with the execution of the order." The Times establishment was taken possession
of by the military forces, and its future publication was forbidden. This action,
however, was thought to have been too extreme and in contravention of the prin-
ciple of "free speech and a free press." A meeting of prominent Republicans
and business men in Chicago was held who agreed that the action of General Burn-
side was untimely and should be revoked. This meeting was composed of such
men as Wm. B. Ogden, Van H. Higgins, Corydon Beckwith. Judge H. T. Dickey,
Samuel W. Fuller. Wirt Dexter, James F. Joy, Senator Lyman Trumbull, and
Isaac N. Arnold. "A petition to the President to revoke the order was signed by
all present, and Trumbull and Arnold telegraphed personally to the same effect.
Judge David Davis was also active in procuring the revocation. The order was
revoked by the President." On the fifth publication of the paper was resumed. 2
2 Andreas II, 495.


Strange to say these events proved of great financial benefit to the Times. Its
circulation and advertising patronage were larger than ever before, although in
later years Mr. Storey felt that his course during the war had been a mistake, as
is evidenced by the remark he once made ; "After this the Times will support all
wars the country may undertake."

The "Copperhead" Times and its editor, "Old Storey," as he was called, were
greatly hated, and personally he was many times in danger. "His office was
manned by a voluntary fire department, and was equipped with guns, grenades,
and ammunition. It was also supplied with pipes containing steam which might
have been turned into any crowd attacking the doors." Among the newspaper
men of the time there is not one with whom Store}' may be compared. He was
a type in himself, a class by himself, having no sympathies with the gentler side
of humanity. He lived a life of tempestuous triumph in Chicago journalism, and
reached the very pinnacle of unenviable notoriety. Storey accumulated a fortune
by methods that even a low order of commercial standards would not justify. He
failed afterwards "to stamp the impress of nobility and character upon his world,
and his fortune faded as his brilliant intellect tottered and fell." 3 Storey died
in 1 884, after several years of waning mentality, apparently without a friend in
the world.


To oppose the malign activities of the disloyal societies formed from time to
time throughout the Northern states, there was organized, in 1862, the "Union
League of America." Numerous councils were formed in the Northwest, by
means of organizers employed for that purpose. In a small printed manual for
the use of these agents or organizers is stated the object of the League, which was
as follows: "The object of this League shall be to preserve Liberty and the union
of these United States; to maintain the Constitution thereof, and the supremacy
of the laws ; to put down the enemies of the Government and thwart the designs
of traitors and disloyalists; and to protect and strengthen all loyal men, without
regard to sect, condition or party."

In the ritual prepared for the use of the councils the presiding officer ad-
dresses the candidate for membership to some length. This striking sentence is
quoted from the ritual; "It is a strange and sad necessity which impels Amer-
ican citizens to organize themselves in this manner to sustain the Constitution
and the Union; but the Government under which we live is threatened with de-

Mr. Eli R. Lewis, well known in Grand Army circles, possesses copies of the
manual and ritual, and when the Union League of America began its work he was
one of the organizers, Mr. Joseph Medill being the president of the order. Mr.
Lewis says that "no one knew the number of those who were members of the order
except Mr. Medill."

The order exercised no marked influence, however, the principles for which it
was organized becoming merged into the general tide of Union sentiment, which
of course was overwhelmingly predominant.

3 Chicago Newspapers, in Illinois Blue Book for 1907, p. 572.



In a volume recently published, entitled "Bygone Days," written by Mr.
Frederick Francis Cook, the author gives many graphic descriptions of the stir-
ring times of the Civil War in Chicago. Mr. George P. Upton, himself a veteran
journalist and author, in an introductory note to the volume, says of the author:
"It is my pleasure to have known Mr. Cook during the period he recalls in this
volume. It is an advantage, in judging of its merits, that I was a fellow worker
in journalism during the same period, and that we saw and heard and did much
together. Mr. Cook, in those days, half a century ago, was an alert, keen, observ-
ant, well equipped reporter. ... In preparing this transcript of Chicago's
past, therefore, Mr. Cook has been not only well equipped for his task, but he
could truthfully say, in marshalling events, 'Magna pars ful,' As I have already
intimated, half a century ago Mr. Cook and I were reporters together, bent upon
the same assignments or enthusiastically competing for 'scoops.' . . . His book
recalls to me the stirring events of the 'sixties' forcibly, accurately, and interestingly.
It will furnish valuable material for any future history of Chicago, and to this
extent it is a distinctly important public service."

A literary enterprise engaged in by Cook while on the staff of the Chicago Times
shortly after the Great Fire was a series of articles of great historical interest. In
his introduction to the volume previously referred to he says: "It is a gratifying
reflection that, shortly after the fire, I felt moved to go about among the older
settlers to revive and preserve their impressions of the early days ; and these
reminiscences, to something like four score issues, were published in the Times of
Wilbur F. Storey (with which paper the writer was then connected) under the
uniform heading of 'Bygone Days.' The series included the recollections of Gurdon
S. Hubbard, then far and away the oldest inhabitant his advent dating back to
1818 when, outside of the stockade known as Fort Dearborn, the only white
family's habitation was John Kinzie's. These reminiscences were prepared with
care; and as much then recorded was still matter of firsthand knowledge, and
hence subject to contemporary correction, the series may be accepted as embodying
fairly trustworthy data. Later a file of these published memoranda, together with
a rare volume or two about early Chicago, was deposited with the Chicago His-
torical Society, where the historian of the future may find it worth his while to
consult them."













N THE month of September, during the first year of the war, Governor
Yates established a camp in Chicago named for the great senator who
had passed away in the previous July, for whose loss the country was
still mourning. Its location was on Cottage Grove avenue, between
Thirty-first and Thirty-fourth streets, extending west to what is now
Forest avenue. It comprised an area of about sixty acres, and was at that time
just beyond the southern city limits. The camp was used at first for instruction
purposes, for assembling troops, the formation and mustering in of regiments,
and their drill and equipment for the field.

In the following year it was used as a place of confinement for the military
prisoners who began to arrive in great numbers from the South, after the Fort
Donelson campaign. Almost the entire number captured by General Grant in that
campaign were sent to Camp Douglas and suitable quarters built for them. There
were at this time some nine or ten thousand prisoners within the limits of this
camp, guarded by two regiments of three months' men enlisted for that service;
the Sixty-seventh and Sixty-ninth Regiments of Illinois Volunteers. These regi-
ments were composed mostly of young men anxious to get a taste of a soldier's life
and still not abandon their regular employments or studies. They found, how-
ever, that the duties were sufficiently arduous, though not so dangerous, as service
at the front. Many of them, indeed, found the life so attractive that they re-
enlisted in the three year service upon the expiration of their term of enlistment.
The formation of the new regiments went on without regard to these duties, and
the armies operating in the South were rapidly supplied with the regiments fitted
out at this point. The streets of Chicago were often alive with marching troops
on their way to the Illinois Central Railroad depot, where they took the trains to
the South. The cars on the Illinois Central- used for the transportation of soldiers



" '

Original owned by Chicago Histrrical Society



were usually ordinary box cars fitted with seats consisting of planks arranged
transversely. The rolling stock of this and the other north and south lines was
taxed to the utmost, in transporting both men and freight, throughout the whole
period of the war.

Passenger traffic between the central part of the city and Camp Douglas at that
time was maintained by a line of old fashioned horse cars, the line beginning at
Randolph street, going south on State street to Twenty-second street, thence south-
east on Cottage Grove avenue, and reaching its southern terminus at Thirty-first
street; the time occupied in making the journey requiring about one hour.
Later in the war the line was extended to Thirty-ninth street. At this
point there were a few unimportant buildings, but beyond to the south extended a
country road, along which was laid a. single line of rails, and over this track the
"Hyde Park Dummy," propelled by steam, ran occasionally, perhaps once an
hour. On the east side of the road were thick woods with no sign of habitations
beyond, so far as one could see, though of course the village of Hyde Park lay
to the south on the line of the Illinois Central Railroad. Camp Douglas, in those
days, was a very busy place, and the work of supplying the prisoners and troops
with food and other necessaries kept all means of transportation taxed to their
full capacity.


At a later period in the war another camp was established on the north side,
called Camp Fry, at the corner of North Clark and Diversey streets, the locality
then being known as "Wright's Grove." This camp was used only for the as-
sembling and mustering in of recruits, and as fast as the regiments were formed
they took up the line of march south on Clark street to Wells, and thence along
that street to Lake street. Lake street at that time had recently been paved with
the Nicholson wooden block pavement, then very popular, on the level of the newly
established grade, was free from car tracks, and was in fine condition for these
stirring displays. Those who were living in the city at that time distinctly remem-
ber these frequent passages of troops along Lake street, the favorite route to and
from the Illinois Central depot. In fact all through the war there was a con-
tinual coming and going of troops through Chicago, and the streets often rang
with the cheers and applause of the crowds during their transit from one railroad
station to another. Camp Fry, however, never attained the historical distinction
enjoyed by Camp Douglas in the southern part of the city. It had a pleasant
situation in the midst of the original white oak forest, then being rapidly cleared
for the fast advancing improvements, vestiges of which still remain in that vicinity.

At various times during the following years there were frequent exchanges
of military prisoners effected, so that large numbers of the prisoners were sent
to their homes in the South, and corresponding numbers of Union prisoners, then
within the Confederate lines, likewise released. It was a spectacle long to be
remembered to see these multitudes of men in gray and "butternut" garb, ragged
and threadbare, trooping to the long lines of freight cars drawn up on the lake
front, from which point they started on their journey in hilarious spirits. The
departing ones, however, would be soon replaced by fresh arrivals, so that the
population of the camp was maintained at high figures, except at short intervals,
throughout the entire period of the war.


In the later period of the war, it will be remembered, there were no exchanges
of prisoners, and there was great discontent among the prisoners in view of their
long confinement. This discontent became so acute that a number of plots and
conspiracies were hatched among them to secure their liberty, and on several occa-
sions were very nearly successful. It had frequently been the case that a few of
the Confederates had succeeded in running past the guards, and though some had
been recaptured, there were on the whole a great many who escaped, finding
shelter and concealment among sympathizers in the city.


Few persons, except those who have endured them, can properly appreciate the
hardships suffered by prisoners of war. To be deprived of their liberty, without
definite hope of release, suffering from homesickness, without occupation or amuse-
ment, with practically no opportunities for instruction or reading or exercise, quar-
tered in a manner little better than are cattle, their lot was indeed one not to be
envied. In ancient times military captives were sold into slavery if not put to
the sword. In later times the lives of prisoners have been spared, but the dread-
ful suffering that has taken place, even as late as the period of our Civil War,
among such unfortunates as fell into the hands of their adversaries, calls for our
sympathy, no matter what their allegiance may have been.

The usual method of caring for prisoners of war was to provide an enclosure
sufficiently large to shelter them within it. Here at Camp Douglas, the privates
and non-commissioned officers were provided for as comfortably as possible in
barracks. Commissioned officers were usually provided with better quarters in
the same enclosure, although sometimes separately detained in forts in other
parts of the country. Thus the famous "Libby Prison," in Richmond, was used
by the Confederates as a place of confinement for Union officers only, while the
privates and non-commissioned officers taken prisoners were established in large
camps, the most famous one being that at Andersonville, Georgia. Owing to the
limited resources of the Confederates, prisoners of war in the South suffered many

Online LibraryJ. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) CurreyChicago: its history and its builders, a century of marvelous growth (Volume v.2) → online text (page 18 of 55)