William W Davis.

History of Whiteside County, Illinois from its earliest settlement to 1908 : illustrated, with biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county (Volume v.1) online

. (page 29 of 72)
Online LibraryWilliam W DavisHistory of Whiteside County, Illinois from its earliest settlement to 1908 : illustrated, with biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county (Volume v.1) → online text (page 29 of 72)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

All her maidens, watching, said,
She must weep or she will die.

Sergeant Samuel Harvey was detailed to take the body to his desolate
home, and Riverside cemetery holds all that is mortal of a fond husband and

General Hooker in speaking of the fight at Ringgold calls the Thirteenth, '
"that brave regiment", and Osterhaus says they "executed the order in mag-
nificent style".

New Years, 1864, terribly cold, after steady rains, found the regiment at
Woodville, Alabama, preparing to stay for the winter. The boys decided to
be comfortable, and made genuine log cabins with fire places and shingle
roofs. Checkers and chess men were constructed for games, schools held for
the negro children who were eager to learn, pipes whittled out of laurel root,
foraging expeditions undertaken for corn and pork, every device employed to
keep minds and hands in healthful activity.

When can their glory fade?
Oh, the wild charge they made!

The end of three years' faithful service came at last, and on Thursday,
May 26, 1864, the Thirteenth started for the north by way of Decatur, Nash-



ville, down the Cumberland, to Cairo, up the Illinois Central, to Springfield
and Camp Butler, where the boys were mustered out. The Fourteenth, Fif-
teenth, and Eighteenth Illinois were there, also, and the ladies of Springfield
and the state officers invited the regiments to a picnic on the grounds of the
new state house. Governor Yates, Adjutant Gen. Fuller and Major Gen.
Oglesby made addresses of welcome. On Saturday, June 18, the boys received
back pay and bounty in full, and the Thirteenth Regiment of Illlinois Vol-
unteer Infantry became again plain and honored citizens of the United States.

Of the original members of Company B who enlisted at Sterling, only
three are left in Sterling, Andy Haberer, Gordon Pierce, and John Aurr.ent;'
and three in Rock Falls, John Davis, James Arey and Richard Arey.

Tabular view of the Thirteenth:


Total Enrollment 118 106 106 102 107 103 110 109 111 112 1084

Mus't out end of service 44 53 52 51 55 49 43 54 43 37 482

Dis. for Disability 19 14 17 11 13 19 6 19 24 22 164

Trans, to other Reg'ts.. 32 14 4 6 33 7 16 8 17 21 128
Woun., Killed in Battle 13 16 14 21 22 16 27 18 12 16 175

Deserted 1 3 6 6 11 5 13 3 12 6 59

Resigned 2 2 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 15

Andy Haberer has the original pay roll of Company B which the writer
has had the privilege of examining. It is on heavy paper, and in good pres-
ervation. Here it is


D. R. Bushnell, captain, civil enginer, Conn.

N. Cooper Berry, 1st lieut., bookkeeper. Ohio.

W. M. Kilgour, 2nd lieut., lawyer, Penn.

J. M. Patterson, 1st sergt,, merchant, Penn.

G. P. Brown, 2d sergt., civil engineer, N. Y.

J. J. Bupill, 3rd sergt., lawyer, Mass.

M. R. Adams, 4th sergt., farmer, Ohio.

A. J. Stowell, 1st corp., blacksmith, N. Y.

Gideon Bower, 2d coip., clerk, Penn.

S. C. Harvey, 3d corp., clerk, N. Y.

John Buyers, 4th corp., farmer, Penn.

A. W. Adams, private, farmer,- Vermont.

Jas. Simmons, private, farmer, Canada.

Richard Arey, private, farmer, 111.

John Aument, private, wagon maker, Penn.

Warner Banes, private, clerk, Penn.

Howard Burket, private, farmer, Penn.

David B. Brink, private, farmer, 111.

George A. Blinn, private, engraver, Conn.

Harvey Brink, private, farmer, 111.

John Bartholomew, private, farmer, Penn.

Samuel D. Chamberlain, private, farmer, Canada.


John Coba, private, harness, N. Y.

Solon Chamberlain, private, farmer, Canada.

Alfred Carpenter, private, farmer, N. Y.

Edward E. Dunham, private, farmer, N. Y.

John D. DavLs, private, farmer, Mass.

Edward Dickinson, private, farmer, N. Y.

Richard Evans, private, farmer, England.

Augustus Dickinson, private, mechanic, N. Y.

John A. Euston, private, clerk, N. Y.

M. V. B. Farrington, private, farmer, 111.

M. W. Finnarvan, private, confectioner, Canada.

Levi Gilbert, private, farmer, Penn.

William H. Gavitt, private, manufacturer, R. Island.

Roscoe Green, private, clerk, Mass.

Fletcher Galloway, private, farmer, N. Y.

William Hagey, private, clerk, Penn.

J. J. Hollslander, private, carpenter, N. Y.

Rora Herchnon, private, wagon maker, Canada.

R. Heffelfinger, private, clerk, Ohio.

Oliver Harnisher, private, farmer, Ohio.

Andrew Haberer, private, farmer, Germany.

Newton How, private, teacher, N. Y.

Lucius E. Hawley, private, farmer, Conn.

William Irons, private, farmer, ill.

Benjamin Judd, private, farmer, 111.

Edward B. Joslin, private, farmer, Mass.

Prince King, private, mechanic, N. Y. ,

Rudolph Kauffman, private, wheelwright, Penn.

Warren Lukens, private, farmer, Ohio.

John Lewis, private, linguist, England.

Henry J. Madison, private, printer, England.

Amos H. Miller, private, farmer, Penn.

Charles Mann, private, printer, N. Y.

M. H. McMillan, famer, Ohio.

Wm. Morgaridge, private, faTmer, Ohio.

John G. Manahan, private, lawyer, Peiin.

Chas. M. Mack, private, printer, Penn.

Frank McCarty, private, farmer, N. Y.

Simeon Morgaridge, private, farmer, Ohio.

John M. Mabbie, private, agent, Maine.

Henry C. Osgood, private, merchant, Vermont.

David Over, private, cooper, Ohio.

Henry Plant, private, farmer, N. Y.

Marcus Potts, private, clerk, N. Y.

'David Parsons, private, clerk, Mich.

Gordon Pierce, private, carpenter, N. Y.

William Pollingto;i, private, tailor, England.


George Russell, private, farmer, Ohio.
John Rhodes, private, farmer, Ind.
0. D. Reed, private, farmer, N. Y.
Jesse Rood, private, farmer, England.
Cyrenius Stewart, private, farmer, Penn.
Nathaniel Sipes, private, farmer, Ohio.
John H. Sulsh, private, shoemaker, Germany.
James B. Smith, private, farmer, Canada.
Homer Sillanton, private, mason, 111.
Calvin Smith, private, farmer, Mass.
Lake Tuttle, private, farmer, Conn.
William Thomas, private, farmer, Maine.
George F. Tobie, private, R. R. R. Island.
David Ustis, private, farmer, Penn.
Henry Weaver, private, clerk, Penn.
Horatio Wells, private, farmer, Mass.
Francis Willard, private, farmer, Mass.


To arms, to arms, ye brave !
The avenging sword unsheathe?
March on, march on, all hearts resolved
On victory or death. Marseillaise.

On August 15, 1862, Capt. Wm. M. Kilgour received orders from Gov.
Yates to take command of the volunteers who were to assemble at Dixon for
organization and drill. In due time the several companies reported.

Company A was enlisted at Dixon and composed of men principally
frofn Dixon, Palmyra, and Nelson.

v Company B was formed at Lyndon of recruits from Lyndon, Fenton,
Garden Plain, Newton, Round Grove, and Prophetstown.

J Company C at Morrison with members from Morrison, Prophetstown,
Round Grove, Newton, Clyde, and Portland.

Company D was started under the auspices of the Chicago Board of Trade,
x/but returned to Sterling. It was composed of men from Sterling, Coloma,
Genesee, Hume, Hahnaman, Hopkins, Montmorency, Portland, and Prophets-

Company E was raised almost wholly from the towns of Lee Center and
Sublette. Companies F, G and K also from Lee county,
/y Company H was recruited in Sterling, Como, Genesee Grove, and Jordan.
V Company I was enlisted principally in the townships of Sterling, Erie,
Fulton, and Ustick.

Thus it will be seen that the Seventy-fifth was preeminently a Whiteside
regiment, from the strong preponderance of our county boys in its member-
ship. In the other regiments, Whiteside being represented simply by one or
two companies. Kilgour was well qualified for drill master, having already
had a year's service in Missouri with the Thirteenth Illinois.


On Sept. 2, 1862, George Ryan of Co. K was elected colonel, John E.
Bennett of Co. C, lieutenant colonel, and Wm. M. Kilgour, major. The^.
were sworn in for three years or the war by Capt. Barri of the U. S. army.

Camp Dement now became a schoolof instruction. Several other com-
panies were assembled, and there was regular drill in the whole round of mili-
tary tactics, in everything pertaining to camp, garrison, the march, the field.
Like pupils at school, the boys had to practice every motion connected with the
manual of arms, position and step, loading and firing, facing and wheeling, the
order of company, battalion, and brigade. This was well, and as events
speedily proved, the noble boys needed all their discipline. Orders came for a
movement to the seat of war, and on Sept. 27 the regiment left Camp Dement
for the South. The route was by Chicago and Indianapolis, and on Sept. 29
they reached Jeffersonville, Indiana, meeting thousands of other new troops
to repel the threatened capture of Louisville.

At this stage of the war the border states seemed to be the battle ground,
and the rebels prepared to resist the advance of our troops from the north.
Buell was in command of the Army of the Ohio with three army corps. The
Seventy-fifth was assigned to the Thirtieth Brigade, ninth Division, of the
Third, commanded by Gen. Gilbert. Bragg had posted his army on a range
of low, wooded hills in front of Perryville. The battle was opened on the
morning of October 8 by an artillery fire from a rebel battery, but the des-
perate fighting began in the afternoon and raged till dark. The carnage was
awful. Men fought like demons. Rousseau's division, after being engaged for
three hours with dreadful loss, was appealing for help, and a fresh brigade,
Col. Gooding, from Mitchell's division, was rushed to the rescue.

When this brigade formed in line of battle, the Seventy-fifth was in the
center. Soon the tremendous conflict raged fiercer than ever. The roar of
cannon and musketry was deafening. A sheet of fire blazed between the
opposing lines. Now it was a hand to hand grapple, now a charge with fixed
bayonets. But our boys never wavered, although their ranks were thinned.

Hundreds of instances of heroism. James Blean, wounded, refused to be
carried off the field, exclaiming, "I'll take care of myself; fight on; give the
rebels the best you have." Crawling to the rear, he was again wounded, and
expired the next day.

Make way for liberty ! he cried.
Make way for liberty! and died.

Among the wounded were Major Kilgour, and Captains Whallon, Frost,
and Roberts, and Lieutenants Barber, Thompson, Irwin, and Blodgett. Lieut.
Col. Bennett commanding the regiment, had a horse shot, but was himself

Compared with their other home regiments, the Thirteenth and the
Thirty-fourth, the Seventy-fifth had a cruel experience. Those two were in
camp or on the march for six months before a battle. Six months of soldier-
ing had what may be called military acclimation, while the Seventy-fifth was
rushed from the plow or the shop in five weeks to the bayonet thrust and the


cannon's mouth. Even now the survivors speak of the misfortune with a

Forward, the Light Brigade!

Was there a man dismayed?

Not though the soldier knew
Some one had blundered;

Theirs not to make reply,

Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do and die ;

Into the valley of death
Rode the six hundred.

It was certainly a calamity. Forty-three of the boys were left dead on the
field, nine mortally wounded, one hundred and fifty received hospital treat-
ment, twelve taken prisoners. All through the night the injured soldiers were
brought from the field, and the surgeons were kept busy dressing their wounds.
Thus thro' the night rode Paul Revere.

Our regiment's next encounter was with their former antagonist of Perry-
ville, Braxton Bragg, decidedly one of the busiest warriors of the Confederacy.
It was the fierce fight of Murfreesboro, in which the 34th Illinois made a bril-
liant record, and where Kirk received his mortal wound. When the smoke
of battle lifted, the ground was covered with mangled masses of men and
horses, dead and wounded. For eight hours the conflict raged, and no regi-
ment did more valiant service than the Seventy-fifth. Finally on Jan. 3,
1863, Bragg retreated, and our army occupied the town. Here the losses of
the regiment were two killed, 25 wounded, and 21 prisoners, among the latter,
Capt. McMoore of Co. D.

After Chickamauga the regiment had its share in the famous campaign
at Chattanooga. Bragg was on the heights, and controlled the railroads,
while our army was in the town, suffering for supplies. When Gen. Grant
telegraphed Thomas to hold the place, Thomas replied, "I will hold the town
until we starve." Food was scarce. The half-famished soldiers ate moldy
bread, picked coffee and rice from the mud, devoured greedily offal from the
slaughter yards. Provision trains could not reach the beleagured city. But
all this ceased when the stars and stripes on Nov. 25, 1863, floated from Old
Lookout and Missionary Ridge, amid the cheers of the brave men who had
stormed the rebel entrenchments.

Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er.

And the rebel rides on his raids no more.

Winter of 1863-64 was spent at Whiteside, on the Charleston and Mem-
phis railroad. Meantime Grant and Sherman had arranged their chessboard.
Grant was to move towards Richmond, and at the same time, Sherman was
to strike for the heart of the Confederacy. This was the Atlanta campaign,
and the Seventy-fifth was in it. A series of stubborn fights, Buzzard Roost,
Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw, Peach Tree Creek. September 2 saw Hood in re-
treat, and Sherman in possession of Atlanta. This was one of the strategic


movements of the war, perhaps the longest running conflict of modern war-
fare. Napoleon's invasion of- Russia was a failure. Think of an army on
forward move for four months, and one hundred days under fire.

While Sherman started on his spectacular march to the sea, Hood began
a counter movement into Tennessee. The Seventy-fifth was now with Gen.
Schofield, who had a fierce fight with Hood at Franklin. At the battle of
Nashville, Dec. 16, 1864, the regiment was in the command of Gen. Grose,
and after a bloody assault, Hood's army was a wreck, and fled across the Ten-
nessee. Gen. George H. Thomas, the hero of the day, commanding the Army
of the Cumberland, issued an order congratulating the soldiers on the glorious
results of the long campaign.

Give us a song, the soldiers cried,
The outer trenches guarding.

Hail, happy day! White the Fourth Army Corps was lying at Nash-
ville, orders came for the payment and mustering out of the veteran, troops,
and on June 13 the Seventy-fifth was en route for Chicago. July 1 they were
paid and discharged, departing for home to resume the common duties of the
American citizen, after two years and nine months in the Southland.

Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Of the regiment, sixty-four were killed, thirty-one died of wounds, ninety-one
of disease. Besides, 216 were discharged for disability, and 184 wounded. A
grand total of 586, or nearly 57 per cent.

Many of the prominent officers were spared to enjoy the peace of the
land they struggled to save. Col. John E. Bennett, Brevet Brigadier-General,
who afterwards accepted a lieutenancy in the regular army. General William
M. Kilgour died in 1887 in California. Dr. Henry Utley, second assistant
surgeon, practiced his profession in Sterling until his death a few years ago.
William Parker published the Rock Falls Progress until his death in Dec.,
1907. Andy McMoore was a merchant in Sterling, and then removed to the
south. F. A. Caughey is still living in Sterling. There are, of course, others
in the county and elsewhere of whom we have no knowledge.


On Fame's eternal camping ground,

Their silent tents are spread,
And Glory guards with solemn round,

The bivouac of the dead. Theodore O'Hara.

Early in the summer of 1861, Mr. and, Mrs. Kirk gave a party on the
lawn of their elegant home, now the property of Wash Dillon, opposite the
Hennepin dam. As the writer and Mr. Kirk stood on the piazza, he remarked,
"It does not seem right to be quietly at home while men are needed at the
front." He soon was to put his thought into execution.

Authorized by Governor Richard Yates to raise a regiment, Kirk at once


proceeded to make arrangements, muster rolls were opened, and in a short
time the companies had their complement. vEdwin N. Kirk was commissioned
Colonel, Amos Bosworth of the Grand Detour Plow Works, Lieut. Colonel, and
Charles N. Levanway, of Dixon, Major. David Leavitt, of Sterling, Adjutant,
and Francis McNeil of Rochelle, Surgeon. The various companies, except
H, G and K, assembled at Dixon, September 3, 1861, took the Illinois Cen-
tral, and the next day arrived at Camp Butler, near Springfield. The other
companies came later.

While on a trip to Springfield that autumn, the writer visited Camp
Butler, and found the boys in excellent spirits. They spoke in the highest
terms of Mrs. Kirk, who had accompanied the Colonel, and took a motherly
interest in the quality of the coffee and food that were furnished.

After a month of drill, the regiment started, October 3rd, on box, coal
and stock cars, with soft planks laid across for seats, for Cincinnati. Crossing
the Ohio river to Covington, Kentucky, they enjoyed a bountiful supper
provided by the citizens. At Frankfort hot coffee and lunch were served by
the best ladies of the city. They reached Camp Nevin, near the Louisville
and Nashville railroad, Oct. 11, in the midst of a chilly rain.

Gen. W. T. Sherman with headquarters at Louisville, was in command
of the Union army in Kentucky, having relieved Gen. Robert Anderson, of
Fort Sumter fame, who was in poor health. Sherman was soon succeeded by
Buell. At Camp Nevin the boys suffered from various diseases induced by
the rainy season and the change in diet, and twenty per cent of the regiment
were unfit for duty. Even both of the assistant surgeons were sick. Inter-
mittent fever and measles were the prevailing ailments. Camp Nevin was
evacuated Dec. 9 for Mumfordsville to the south on Green river, where the
regiment remained to Feb. 14, 1862, when the advance of Grant's army on
Forts Henry and Donelson made necessary a move in another direction.

Few, few shall part where many meet,
The snow shall be their winding sheet,
And every turf beneath their feet,
Shall be a soldier's sepulchre.

Events henceforth moved rapidly, and two terrific battles were ahead.
Past Mammoth Cave, across the Cumberland at Nashville, Columbia, Savanna,
up the Tennessee river on boats to -Shiloh, where the men landed at sunrise
on the morning of April 7. They had marched 27 miles the day before, and
were very tired, but forming their lines they were soon in the midst of a
deadly conflict which had begun the day previous. Gen. Albert Sidney John-
ston had marched with an army of 50,000 from Corinth and attacked Grant
with 32,000 troops, driving the Union army towards Pittsburgh Landing.
Johnston was killed on the first day, and Beauregard was in command of the
rebels. Gunboats on the river and artillery on land covered our line of
defense, the Confederates fell back, and when Buell came on the morning of
the 7th with 13,000 fresh troops, the battle was renewed, a general assault
made, and the rebels, after a tremendous conflict, driven from the field. It
was one of the fiercest contests of the war, both sides losing in killed and


wounded from 10,000 to 12,000 men. Major Levanway was killed by a can-
ister shot in the neck, and Col. Kirk was severely wounded. The regiment
lost 35 killed and 92 wounded.

Shortly after this a recruiting squad was sent north to secure men for
the ranks which by battle and disease had been lessened twenty per cent in
seven months. Capt. Miller of Company H, Adjutant Leavitt, and a Sergeant
from each company formed the detail. Gen. Bragg was now the foe in front.
After the battle of Perryville, where the 75th Illinois lost so heavily, he had
retreated southward, and taken position along the railroad at Murfreesboro,
his cavalry operating between that point and the outposts of Rosecran's
forces, covering the pikes south of Nashville. Gen. R. W. Johnson 'was in
command of our Second Division of McCook's corps, and Gen. Kirk in com- _
mand of the Second Brigade. No Christmas for the boys, for an hour before
daylight, Dec. 26, 1862, the bugles rang out, and in cold and rain, the forward
movement began from Camp Andy Johnson.

Soon after breakfast on the morning of Dec. 31, the advance of the
enemy in overwhelming force moved on the pickets of the Thirty-fourth Illi-
nois, the batteries on both sides) opened, and in five minutes the contest was
terrific. The rebels charged with a yell and with the dash of a tidal wave.
For the Thirty-fourth it was a hand-to-hand conflict. With twelve men killed,
sixty wounded, five color bearers falling in quick succession, the regiment
still struggled to maintain its line. Kirk had a second horse killed, and
although severely wounded in the thigh, continued cheering his men, until
his strength failed, and he was borne bleeding to the rear. Col. Dodge o
Thirtieth Indiana, then took command. After an operation in the hospital
in July, to gain relief, Gen. Kirk seemed to rally and smoked a cigar, but
he soon sank into the last sleep.

Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,

As his corse to the rampart we hurried,
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot,

O'er the grave where our hero we buried.

y Edwin N. Kirk was born in Ohio, 1828, and was in the prime of life.
Tall and handsome with black hair and beard, an agreeable presence, of im-
petuous bravery, his early loss was sincerely lamented.

Meantime the battle waged everywhere over the field. Bragg was on Stone
river, with Breckinridge holding the right, Polk the center, Hardee the left.
On the first day, Rosecrans lost 28 pieces of artillery, and was forced from his
position, on Jan. 1 there was a lull, but on the second the Confederates were
repulsed with dreadful slaughter. There was no fighting on the third, and
on Jan. 4, Bragg evacuated Murfreesboro. Of 354 men in the regiment at
the beginning of the battle, 36 were killed, 92 wounded, 74 taken prisoners.

Another change of scene. After the battle of Chickamauga, Sept. 19-20,
1863, Rosecrans had retired before Bragg and Longstreet to Chattanooga,
and here in October Gen. Grant was appointed to the command of the Union
forces. The camp of the Thirty-fourth was at Moccasin Point, made by a
bend of the Tennessee. The troops who had been there before, left some log


and pole cabins, whkh after some repair the boys pronounced the best quar-
ters they had during their whole experience. Bragg was on Missionary Ridge,
Grant's army in the town and valley to the north. When the camp-fires of
both armies were lighted at night, gleaming like myriads of stars, from the
Ridge, from Old Lookout mountain, from every hill and outpost, it was a
weird panorama of almost celestial splendor, weird, awful, for beneath all
that splendor of night, lurked the demons of destruction.

While on picket duty at Moccasin Point, the Thirty-fourth saw the last
act of the Chattanooga drama. On the afternoon of Nov. 25, Grant ordered
Thomas to advance, and take the first line of rifle pits at the foot of Mission-
ary Ridge. Sheridan's and Wood's divisions were put in motion, and with
wild enthusiasm they swept up the slope, driving Bragg into disastrous and
rapid retreat, with immense loss of prisoners and munitions of war. It was
no longer a fight but a footrace. For three miles our boys witnessed a battle
picture of gleaming gun barrels and waving colors in the light of dying day.

On Linden when the sun was low.

The regiment had now served the term of three years, and those who re-en-
listed were mustered in as Veterans, Jan. 3, 1864, and 184 new recruits were
received during the return of the veterans on furlough to Illinois.

Then followed the long tramp through Rome, Atlanta to Savannah,
northward up the Atlantic coast, through Columbia, Raleigh, Richmond to
Alexandria, which they reached May 18. The Thirty-fourth led the Division
in platoons through the streets of Richmond. At Washington occurred the
most magnificent military pageant the world ever saw. On the 23d the Army
of the Potomac marched in review, and on the 24th Sherman's Army from
its march to the sea. Cromwell nor Napoleon never headed such troops. The

Online LibraryWilliam W DavisHistory of Whiteside County, Illinois from its earliest settlement to 1908 : illustrated, with biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county (Volume v.1) → online text (page 29 of 72)