Wolf, Joseph Pvt. – Co. F, 34th IL Infantry

Joseph Wolf

Joseph Wolf

Joseph Wolf was born on April 27, 1842, in Hellam Township, York County, Pennsylvania. He was the fifth born of seven children of Jacob Wolf and Elizabeth Lehman. Joseph was 5’,10-1/2” with light hair, blue eyes, and a light complexion. His occupation before and after the war was that of a farmer.  At the age of 21, in September 1861, Joseph signed up with Company F of the 34th Illinois Infantry.

The Siege of Corinth, in Mississippi, (April/May 1862) was a month-long siege of the city that resulted in the capture of the town by the Federal forces.

The Battle of Perryville was fought on October 8, 1862, in the Chapel Hills west of Perryville, Kentucky. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War and the largest battle fought in the state of Kentucky.

The Battle of Stones River was fought from Dec 31-January 2, 1863, in middle Tennessee. It had the highest percentage of casualties on both sides. The battle ended in Union victory after the confederate army’s withdrawal.

The Battle of Missionary Ridge was fought on Nov 28, 1863, as part of the Chattanooga Campaign of the Civil War.

The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain was fought on June 27, 1864, during the Atlanta Campaign. It was the most significant frontal assault launched by Union Maj. Gen. Sherman and ended in a tactical defeat for the Union forces, but did not halt Sherman’s advance on Atlanta.

The Battle of Peachtree Creek was fought in Georgia on July 20, 1864, also part of the Atlanta Campaign.

The Battle of Atlanta was fought on July 22, 1864, just southeast of Atlanta, GA, to seize the important rail and supply hub of Atlanta. Sherman’s forces overwhelmed and defeated Confederate forces; however, the city did not fall until Sept 2, 1864. The fall of Atlanta was especially noteworthy for its political ramifications. In the 1864 election, former Union General George B. McClellan, a Democrat, ran against President Lincoln on a peace platform and called for an armistice with the Confederacy.
The capture of Atlanta and Hood’s burning of military facilities as he evacuated were extensively covered by Northern newspapers, significantly boosting Northern morale, and Lincoln was re-elected by a significant margin.

The Battle of Jonesborough (Aug 31-Sept 1, 1864) concluded the Atlanta campaign. Although Hood's army was not destroyed, the fall of Atlanta had far-reaching political as well as military effects on the course of the war.
The Battle of Bentonville (March 19-21, 1865) was fought in Johnston County, North Carolina. It was the last battle between the armies of the Union Maj. Gen. Sherman and Confederate Gen. Johnston. As a result of the overwhelming Union strength and the heavy casualties his army suffered in the battle, Johnston surrendered to Sherman a little more than a month later
at Bennett Place, near Durham Station. Coupled with Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender on April 9, Johnston’s surrender represented the effective end of the war.

After the surrender of Johnston, the Regiment went with Sherman’s Army to Washington D.C. and took part in the grand review on May 24, 1865.

Joseph mustered out of the service on July 12, 1865. He married Clarinda Octavia Wright while still active on Feb 4, 1864, in Ogle County, Illinois. His first-born son arrived on March 27, 1867, and was named Sherman. Joseph and Clarinda went on to have four more sons and then two daughters. Clarinda died in 1895 at the age of 52.

[One interesting point regarding Sherman, my maiden name is Wolfe, with an E and it was Sherman Wolfe who added it. My Dad told me one time that he didn’t want our last name to be spelled the same as the animal. D.Overton]

Joseph came to California in 1883 and settled in Pasadena, CA. In 1902, he married Susan Neighbours.

Joseph lived to the age of 83 and outlived all but one of his seven siblings. He died on November 26, 1925.

The first obituary comes from the Pasadena Evening Post and is titled:
“Taps Sound for Vet of War of ‘61
     Joseph Wolf is summoned by “His Commander”; G.A.R. to Conduct Rites
Death—the—Great Leveler—last night took from the thinning blue ranks of Civil
War veteran another member, when Joseph Wolf, 42 years a resident of
Pasadena died at his home at 764 North Madison Avenue.
     When the great emancipator issued his call in the stirring days of 561, Joseph
Wolf answered. He knew well the whine of grapeshot, the crack of rifles, and the
deeper boom of old cannon. When the gray-clad hordes were turned back at
bloody Gettysburg, Joseph Wolf was fighting.
     Mr. Wolf came to Pasadena from his native state, Pennsylvania, by way of Illinois,
when 41 years old. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Susie Wolf; two daughters.
Mrs. Esther Dorn of this city and Mrs. Nellie M Tomkins of Santa Rosa and three
sons, Sherman, Issac, and Harry Wolf, and eight grandchildren and 14 great-
grandchildren. Funeral services will be conducted tomorrow at the chapel of Turner and Stevens. Chaplain Andrew W. Smith and the John F. Godfrey post of the G.A.R. of which Mr. Wolf was a member, will have charge. Daughters of Veterans and ladies of the G.A.R. are invited. Burial will be in Mountain View Cemetery.”



NARA Pension file

Findagrave.com https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/9007230/joseph-wolf

Obituary – Pasadena Evening Post

Obituary – November 28, 1925 – Los Angeles Times, Page 6


Shanklin, William Ervin – Pvt. Co. H, 71st IL Infantry

William E Shanklin at the 1907 G.A.R. Post 52, Reunion in Santa Barbara, CA

William E Shanklin at the 1907 G.A.R. Post 52, Reunion in Santa Barbara, CA

On 26 July 1862, 23-year-old William Ervin Shanklin enlisted and reported to the Union Army, 71st Regiment Infantry, Company H – from Champaign County, originating at Camp Douglass, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, serving until 29 October 1862. Here he was one of about 1,000 men who were assigned to Companies of about 100 men each.

Camp Douglass was the largest training camp in Illinois. On the east side of the camp was the parade ground and administrative buildings: on the south side was the camp hospitals: on the west side was the prison camp. Captured Confederates were incarcerated at Camp Douglass, which was a gallery of horrors on the fringes of the bustling urban center of Chicago.

William entered as a Private. After some quick organizing and outfitting and the issuance of Henry Repeating Rifles, the men were photographed, then loaded onto the train and carried to their first post at Cairo, Illinois on July 27, 1862.

Beginning in July and carrying on throughout August Illinois experienced continuous downpours of rain, reaching 9 inches in several areas. The heat was in the mid-80’s most days and tornadoes continued to roll through Kentucky and Illinois. As was the custom, the soldiers made camp, erecting their tents and bedrolls as they arrived at their duty stations. The exposure proved to be a debilitating burden for all the men. Almost immediately several began feeling ill. As they were relieved by another Regiment, they moved on to Columbus, Kentucky, where the harsh weather continued to abuse them. From Columbus, Kentucky, the 71 st Regiment broke into Companies, some being assigned to guard the Big Muddy Bridge and the Illinois Central Railroad. Two Companies went on to Mound City, north of Cairo on the Ohio River in Illinois to guard against any Confederates that might make their way into the area.

Three Companies were taken to Moscow, Kentucky to guard a rail line and bridge over the Ohio River. The final three Companies made their way to the Little Obion Bridge in Kentucky, ever watchful for incursions.

As the end of October approached, they returned to Camp Douglass, where they were mustered out on October 29, 1862. Fortunately for the men of the 71 st Regiment, they never faced battle against the Confederate Army. However, the cruel weather and lack of sanitation led to the death of 23 men who had suffered from typhoid, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and measles. William would eventually succumb to tuberculosis at the age of 76.

When he enlisted William was given a bounty of $75, and he was paid $13 per month. He arrived home after three months with about $100, which he added to his savings.

Photograph of William Ervin Shanklin and Nancy Marie Cox Shanklin 1863

William Ervin Shanklin and Nancy Marie Cox Shanklin 1863

By November William was back in Farmer City, DeWitt County, IL.  Within 49 days of being mustered out of the Army, William proposed to and married Nancy Marie Cox of Farmer City.

17 December 1862, William married Nancy, daughter of Marcus D. Lafayette and Melissa Graves Blasdel Cox, at her home in Farmer City, DeWitt County, IL.  He was seven years and three months older than Nancy.  He is 23 and she had just turned 16 in October.  This young couple showed great courage as they mapped out their course and then followed it to a new life in California.

They took a train to New York.  There they boarded a boat belonging to the Panama Railroad and sailed south along the American coastline to Aspinwall, Panama.  This was always dangerous due to the Confederate Navy and Confederate pirates trolling the waters.  The ocean steamer took about ten days to reach what is today the city of Colon.

A letter written home to family read, “The main street in town was crossed by alleys, these covered with planks to aid pedestrian passage. The abundant rain and uninterrupted heat contributed to the oppressive atmosphere. Houses were mostly shanties built on stilts above the soft soil. Most of the houses only have Venetian blinds all around them, the partitions only go to a certain height, so as not to block the circulation of air. Having enjoyed the novelties of the country, where everything for us was a curiosity. We retired to the Aspinwall Hotel. our room was on the upper floor where there was a big bed on which there was a little mattress, about an inch thick, all dirty and disgusting.”

“At 7:00 a.m. the next morning, we proceeded to the station to board the Panama Railroad that crossed the isthmus and joined Aspinwall with Panama City, where we boarded a boat to San Francisco. The 47-mile, 2 1/2-hour journey was pleasant enough.”  They crossed over 170 bridges and culverts, one of the bridges was over 600 feet long.  There were no tunnels, and the summit grade was 258 feet above sea level.  Their personal baggage cost them 5 cents per pound.  This was the most expensive railroad in the world.  In modern terms, the cost was a total of $375 to travel less than 50 miles.  With multiple trains making the trip more than 1,500 passengers were shuttled to the Pacific Ocean in a single day.

The passenger cars were furnished with cane-bottomed seats.  Out the windows, they caught sight of richly feathered tropical birds, huts built of bamboo, lush vegetation, bogs filled with stagnant, muddy water, and mountain peaks.

The train arrived in Panama City around 11:30 a.m. and they, along with the other passengers bound for San Francisco, waited in a depot for a boat to shuttle them to their vessel. Not knowing the steamer’s schedule, they could not explore the city. At 5 p.m., a small ship arrived with the tide and was soon crammed…

“…where the passengers were packed together like sheep in a pen. The crowd was so great in the little steamer that it was necessary to remain standing; the heat was so intense that several people fainted… The children were crying. The men were impatient, yelling and cursing for light.

In the evening, exhausted, hot, and hungry, they left the confines of the shuttle boat and boarded the SS Golden Age, for their journey to San Francisco. The Golden Age, the fastest steamer of the Pacific Mail Fleet, sailed the San Francisco-Panama run from 1854 through 1869. The ship’s typical manifest would identify approximately 100 first- and second-class passengers, more than 400 unidentified souls in steerage, and cargo of U.S. Mail, packages, and gold coin.

“Finally, evening having come, we had to climb the big rope ladder that placed us on the deck of the Golden Age. A luxurious steamer, whose magnificence and comfort was in great contrast with the first ship, which we had taken from New York, and which was most filthy. We were given a small cabin.”

They took some time in San Francisco, sightseeing and having a portrait taken, copies of which were sent home with their letters.

16 June 1880, the US Census Santa Barbara Co, CA, the Shanklin family was living in Ballard.  William was farming, Nancy keeping house and busy with her four children George, Harry, Lowell, and Effie.  That same year the Township of Ballard was established by the government.  Soon, the residents got busy and built the now historic Red School House.

William became a member of the Starr King Post No. 52 of the G.A.R. – Grand Army of the Republic while living in Santa Barbara.

By 1902, William’s health was declining.  He was 63-years old when he checked himself into the newly built Sawtelle Veterans Home in Santa Monica.  A new hospital had just been built as well as a chapel.  It was open to Civil War Veterans, who had no adequate means of support and were incapable of earning a living.  The buildings were shingle-style frame barracks and at the time there were about 1,000 men living on the 700-acre campus.

27 August 1915, William died in Lompoc at the home of his daughter and son-in-law Effie and Walter “Asa” Lewis.  He was 76 years old.  The family used a “Cabinet Card” known as a Remembrance/Mourning/Funeral card, manufactured on a black background with gold lettering as the handout to those attending the funeral.  It was printed by H.F. Wendell of Leipsic, Ohio, a well-known producer of funeral cards.  It read:

In Loving Remembrance of W.E. Shanklin,
Died August 27, 1915, aged 76 years. Gone but not forgotten.

A precious one from us has gone.
A voice we loved is stilled;
A place is vacant in our home
Which never can be filled.
God in His wisdom has recalled,
The boon His love had given,
And though the body slumbers here,
The soul is safe in Heaven.

William’s obituary was printed in the Lompoc Record (weekly publication) in September 1915

He died due to Tuberculosis


Death removed one more of Lompoc’s old Grand Army men last Friday when William E. Shanklin was called to the Great Beyond.

Mr. Shanklin passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. W.A. Lewis (Walter Asa Lewis and Effie Mae Shanklin Lewis), Friday evening, August 27, 1915.  He had been ailing for almost a year and this became serious about two months ago.

The deceased was born in the state of Illinois, June 12, 1839, and at the time of his death, he had reached the ripe age of 76 years, 2 months, and 15 days.  He resided near Vandalia, IL in the southern part of Illinois until he had reached manhood.  At the breaking out of the Civil War, he answered the call to arms and joined the 71st Illinois Infantry.  At the expiration of his enlistment, he moved to Farmer City, where he was married to Miss Nancy Cox, who survives him.  They came to California in 1864 by way of the Isthmus of Panama, making their home for a number of years at Point Arena, where most of their children were born.

They moved to this county in the year 1880 and resided at Ballard for many years.  On account of ill health, Mr. Shanklin moved to Santa Barbara where he has made his home for the past sixteen years.

He is survived by four children, two sons, and two daughters, all of whom reside in Lompoc.  They are Lowell F (Lowell Francis and Ella Jane Muncton Shanklin) and Harry L. (Harry Lafayette and Rose Angelia Beatty Shanklin) and Mrs. W.A. Lewis (Walter Asa and Effie May Shanklin Lewis) and Mrs. L.F. Jennings (Louis Frederick and Linnie Estelle Shanklin Jennings).  His only living brother, Uncle John Shanklin is also a resident of Lompoc.  He was preceded in death by his eldest son, George Samuel in 1899.

William Ervin Shanklin was a member of King Starr Post No. 52, G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic), at Santa Barbara.  The remains were taken to Ballard and interred in the cemetery at that place Sunday.  The pallbearers were Messrs. N.T. Saunders (Nathan T. Saunders), H.E. McCabe (Henry E. McCabe) and George Ingamells of Lompoc, and Mr. Frank H. Smith of Ballard.

William Ervin Shanklin (GAR) b. 13 Jun 1839 White Hall, Greene Co., IL to Samuel Withrow Shanklin and Frances “Fannie” Duncan Shanklin; d. 27 Aug 1915 Lompoc, Santa Barbara Co., CA; m. 17 Dec 1862 Farmer City, DeWitt County, IL Nancy Marie Cox, b. 9 Oct 1846 Dearborn Co., IN; d. 22 Oct 1918 Lompoc, Santa Barbara Co., CA; dau. Marcus D. Lafayette Cox, b. 31 Oct 1824 Lawrenceburg, Dearborn Co., IN; d. 16 Jan 1900 Farmer City, DeWitt Co., IL; m. Melissa Graves Blasdel, b. 24 Apr 1824 Dearborn Co., IN; d. 13 Jan 1899 near Farmer City, DeWitt Co., IL

Effie May Shanklin b. 11 Apr 1872 Point Arena, Mendocino Co., CA; d. 11 Jul 1944 Lompoc, Santa Barbara Co., CA; m. 29 Sep 1895 Ballard, Santa Barbara Co., CA Walter Asa Lewis, b. 25 Jun 1872 Santa Maria, Santa Barbara Co., CA; d. 1 Mar 1949 Peoria, Maricopa Co., AZ; div. 1917 Santa Barbara Co., CA , son of Joseph Marion Lewis (Jul 1925 Center Twp, Greene Co., PA; d. Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Co., CA 11 Apr 1909) and Margaret Anne Tomer (b. 30 May 1846, Louisville, Jefferson Co., KY; d. 5 Jul 1915, Lompoc, Santa Barbara Co., CA)

Walter Ervin Lewis b. 31 Oct 1896 Buell Flats, Santa Barbara County, CA; d. 8 Feb 1974 Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Co., CA; m. 22 May 1918 Glendale, Maricopa Co., AZ Willie Fay Onstott, b. 11 Apr 1899 Sanger, Denton Co., TX; d. 13 Jul 2001 Solvang, Santa Barbara Co., CA (dau. William Henry “Frank” Onstott, b. 15 Oct 1868 Corsicana, Navarro Co., TX; d. 4 May 1966 Santa Ana, Orange County, CA; m. Lula Mae Beck, b. 17 Dec 1879 Weston, Collin Co., TX; d. 10 Nov 1979 Lompoc, Santa Barbara Co., CA)

Sarah Margaret Lewis b.25 Dec 1924 Bell Street, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Co., CA; d.  8 Sep 2019 Lompoc, Santa Barbara Co., CA; m. 19 Dec 1945 at Long Beach Los Angeles Co., CA Roy Elton Courtney, b. 7 May 1923 Berthoud, Larimer Co., CO; d. 7 Dec 2002 Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, CA; son of Novella Mae Weatherford, b. 6 May 1894 Choctaw County, City of Goodland, 2nd Indian Territory, TX; d. 10 Dec 1954 Perris, Riverside Co., CA; m. 11 Nov 1920 Fort Collins, Larimer Co., CO Ira Tipton Courtney, b. 8 Feb 1887 Broken Bow, Custer Co., NE; d. 11 Jun 1930 Bijou, El Dorado Co., CA (near Lake Tahoe)

 Daughters of Roy and Sarah Margaret Lewis Courtney: Susan Lorayne Courtney Warnstrom, Elizabeth Fay Courtney






Brown, Balaam N., Sgt., Co K, 124th IL Infantry

Balaam N. Brown, born at Jerseyville, Jersey County, Illinois, November 30, 1840, was the son of John Griffith Brown, a pioneer of Jersey County, and his wife Catherine Colean, of French descent, whose family were also Jersey County pioneers.

Balaam N. Brown responded to Lincoln’s call in August 1862, and went up to Springfield and enlisted in Company K, 124th Illinois Infantry under Captain Morgan and Colonel S. N. Sanders. At the battle of Champion Hills he was wounded, but he kept right on with his regiment; after the fall of Vicksburg, July 4, 1863, he went south and was in the siege of Spanish Fort and the capture of Mobile; at Montgomery, Alabama, he heard of the surrender of Lee and the death of Lincoln and thence was sent to Memphis and on to Camp Douglas in Chicago, where he received his honorable discharge on August 15, 1865.

In 1867 he married Miss Sarah “Sally” Webber of Springfield, Illinois, a daughter of Phillip Webber. Ten children were born in the Browns’ household losing one daughter in childhood.

The Browns arrived in Sheridan Township, Crawford County, Illinois in 1882 becoming prosperous farmers and stock-raisers. The Brown farm contained 160 acres. They raised general crops and also considerable stock.

Balaam Brown died June 28/ 1906, and his wife Sarah died in 1933. Both are buried in the Cherokee Cemetery in Cherokee, Crawford, Kansas.

Findagrave.com Memorial #1141166
History of Crawford County, Kansas

Puckett, Abraham Allen, Sgt. – Co I, 60th IL Infantry

Abraham Allen Puckett enlisted as a Sgt. in Co. I, 60th Illinois Infantry in Spring Garden, Jefferson County, Illinois on November 15, 1861. He was honorably discharged due to disability (varicose veins, rheumatism, back injury while lifting railroad timbers) on September 5, 1862.

Abraham was born in Hickman County, Tennessee on April 12, 1819, to James Puckett of Virginia (c. 1779 – 1853) and Anna Groves of North Carolina (c. 1791 – c. 1870). He married Juretia A. Conley, also of Hickman County, on Christmas Day 1842 in Jefferson County, Illinois. Juretia’s parents were Archibald Connelly of Virginia (1796 – 1878) and Anna Harper of Eastern Cherokee Territory (1796 – c. 1865). Archibald was a veteran of the War of 1812.

Abraham and Juretia farmed in Jefferson County; Abraham’s brothers Franklin and George and their families were their nearest neighbors. The couple’s twelve children included James, Mary Ann, Franser, Susan, Rhoda, Wiley, Adolphus, Lois, twins Esther and Millie, William, and Minnie. James was born in December 1843; Minnie was born 25 years later in December 1868. Abraham’s parents, James and Ann Puckett, lived with them at the time of the 1850 Census. By the 1860 Census, their Spring Garden Township land was valued at $1,600 with a $300 personal estate.

The couple suffered many personal losses. Listed in the 1850 Census, two-year-old Franser died sometime before the next Census in 1860. Ten-month-old Lois died in early 1860. Twin daughters Esther and Millie were born on New Year’s Day 1861, but Esther died four days later and Millie died at age 5 1/2. Their 18-year-old son Wiley died in 1871 (Archival notes suggest he was shot by Juretia’s brother “Bird” Conley; Whether accidental or not is unknown). Finally, they buried their 43-year-old daughter Susan in 1891.

The Census of 1870 and 1880 caught the couple at different addresses while visiting friends and relatives. In 1870, Abraham was listed as a wagoner and farmer whose real estate was valued at $450 and personal estate at $370. Juretia was away, helping tend newborn granddaughter Mary Ann. In 1880, Juretia alone was listed at the Jefferson County homestead, along with their son William, daughter Minnie and nephew Edgar Vaughn.

Abraham became involved in various veterans affairs later in life. He applied for his Invalid Pension on November 17, 1877, and began receiving $8 a month in June 1878. He joined the Grand Army of the Republic, Coleman Post #42 (later renumbered #508). And in January 1900 the Court appointed him as legal guardian for the minor children of Henry W. Book after Book’s death. His friend had been a member of Co. C, 65th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.

By 1900, Abraham & Juretia had moved into Mt. Vernon and lived in their own home along with 31-year-old daughter Minnie Irvin and two grandchildren. In this Census record, Juretia was marked as literate, but Abraham not.

Abraham died on August 14, 1906. Two days later, the Mt. Vernon Daily Register announced: “Abraham Puckett, aged 88 years, died at the family residence, 804 Lamar Avenue, Tuesday morning, his death being due to old age and a paralytic stroke he suffered about two years ago. He was born in Tennessee, but came to Illinois many years ago and was looked on as one of the early settlers. He was a soldier in the Civil War and did good service for the cause he espoused. Religiously, he went by the teachings of the Golden Rule. He was a member of the M.E. Church. Surviving him are his wife and sons, James, Adolph and William and daughters, Mrs. Mary Dare, Mrs. Rhoda Howard and Mrs. Minnie Irvin. The funeral will be held Thursday, August 16, at Smith Cemetery about ten miles south of this city.”

Juretia applied for her Civil War widow’s pension on October 13, 1906; It was approved on May 1, 1907, at $12 a month. One lifelong friend and neighbor testified that he’d known the couple since they were teenagers and that he had been part of the post-wedding crowd “to chivaree them.”

Juretia drew up her will on April 30, 1908; It was one of the earlier typewritten records in the Jefferson County Courthouse. She died at her home in Mt. Vernon on October 2, 1913. Estate notices were posted at Collin’s Produce Company, Lisenby’s Feed and Livery Stable, Upton’s Blacksmith Shop and Snodgrass’s Shoe Shop, but no obituary has been found.

Abraham and Juretia Puckett’s tombstone is located at Smith Cemetery in Belle Rive, Jefferson County, Illinois. Archibald Connelly’s and Wiley Puckett’s names are engraved on the back of the monument.

May they rest in peace.

Archives, Jefferson County Historical Society, Mt. Vernon, IL
Genealogy Room, Brehm Memorial Public Library, Mt. Vernon, IL
Civil War Invalid Pension and War Widow’s Pension records, National Archives
“Adjutant General’s Report, List of Pensioners” by Brig. General J.N. Reece (Springfield, 1901)
Ancestry.com (census records, land records)

Irvin, Henry H., “Teamster”* Pvt. Co A, 40th IL Infantry

Born in Middlesex County, New Jersey on September 20, 1808, Henry H. Irvin was a farmer in Hamilton County, Illinois when the Civil War broke out. He enlisted at Knight’s Prairie on August 16, 1861 as a Private into Co. A, 40th Illinois Infantry, but was soon promoted to the rank of Teamster. After suffering the aftereffects of typhoid fever, injuries incurred at the battle of Shiloh and “old age” (53), Irvin was honorably discharged on July 11, 1862.

Henry’s family had a long tradition of public service which ran deep into America’s past. His father, Abraham Irvin (1781 – 1865), had been a Private in Bloom’s 1st Regiment, NY Militia, during the War of 1812 and his mother, Esther Runyan Irvin (1782 – 1829), was the daughter of patriots Philip and Elsie Runyon of Middlesex County, New Jersey. Henry’s grandfather, William Irvin (1757 – 1824), had been a Sgt. in the 1st VA and 14th VA Regiments during the Revolution, survived Valley Forge and received a military pension in his old age. His grandmother, Agnes Coriell Irvin (1761 – 1820), had been raised in revolutionary circles; Her father Abraham and grandfather David provided supplies, scouting services and ferrying points across the Delaware River for General George Washington. Other ancestors included no less than two English Quaker ministers (refugees from English persecution), two families of Dutch Reformed immigrants and the first licensed Dutch midwife in New Netherlands (Tryntje Tysse Bosch) and her magistrate-brewer husband (Cornelius Barentsen Slecht).

Henry was a prolific family man. He and his first wife, Milley Shirley from Kentucky, were married in Hamilton County on December 17, 1829. Their children included William, Lydia, Lewis, John, Sarah, Elizabeth, Eliza, Thomas, James and Ellen and their real estate was valued at $1,000 in the 1850 Census.

After Milley’s death c. 1851, Henry married Cynthia Ann Conner (1830 – 1918) on May 9, 1852. It was Cynthia who would later collect a Civil War widow’s pension from the government. Cynthia had been born in Athens County, Ohio on November 6, 1830 to James Conner (c. 1790 – c. 1859) and Margaret O’Donnell (c. 1794 – c. 1860). Cynthia lived in Gallia County, Ohio until she was 18, then traveled to Hamilton County to stay with her brother and sister-in-law for a year. It was there that Henry and Cynthia met.

Just before the War broke out, the 1860 Census valued Henry and Cynthia’s real estate at $3,000 and their personal estate at $800. At home were children Eliza, Thomas, James, Monroe, Mary, Augustus and Cynthia’s 66-year-old mother Margaret. Ten years later, the 1870 Census valued their holdings at $2,000 (real estate) and $3,000 (personal estate) and included children Monroe, Mary, Harriet, Augustus, Fannie, Minnie, Oscar and Charles.

In early 1880, Henry applied for an Invalid Pension from the government. In August, he began receiving $2 per month based on chronic diarrhea (a result of typhoid fever) and abdominal injuries (kicks by mules at Shiloh). And, although the Grand Army of the Republic had active Posts in both Hamilton and Jefferson Counties, it remains unknown as to whether the former Teamster applied for membership.

Henry Irvin died on November 26, 1894 in Mt. Vernon, Jefferson County. His obituary in the Mt. Vernon Daily Register read: “Uncle Henry H. Irvin died at his home in this city today, aged 86 years and one month. Mr. Irvin came from Hamilton County to Jefferson County about twelve years ago and farmed until too old. Before there were railroad facilities, he carried the mail between Shawneetown [SE Illinois on the Ohio River] and Mt. Vernon. Deceased served in the late war on the Union side and drew a pension for disabilities received in the service of his country. Mr. Irvin had been married three times [twice] and his last wife survives him. He was the father of 23 children, 14 of whom still live. Deceased was born in New York state [NJ] and came from New York to Hamilton County nearly 60 years ago. The interment will occur tomorrow at Oak Grove in Hamilton County [Jefferson County].”

Henry Irvin’s work with stubborn mules in extreme weather, unloading heavy supplies and transporting soldiers to safety amidst chaos had not been forgotten. Years later, in his book “Civil War Reminiscences,” John T. Hunt of Macedonia, Illinois recalled the Teamster’s contributions: “I was put in a six-mule wagon back to Pittsburg Landing. That journey was the hardest and most exasperating of any before or since. The road from where we started had been corduroyed and laid with round poles across the road as close as they could be laid, thus enabling the wagons and artillery to keep up out of the mud. Quite a large train of wagons went to the Landing for supplies, one after another. Any delay in the front caused a jam. Can you imagine how it was, already debilitated by disease? I was tossed about in that wagon from one side to the other and from one end to the other until I thought it would kill me. I begged the driver, Uncle Henry Irvin of our Company, not to drive so fast, but he was under orders and had to obey his superiors… In my extremity I cursed the roads, the wagon, the mules and the driver. I cursed the officers and the General. I do not understand how I survived this trip, unless it was that Heaven looked down in mercy and pity… I barely remember arriving at the landing and being assisted out of the wagon by Uncle Henry. I could see pity and sorrow depicted in every line of his countenance. After our return home, he often told me that he never expected to see me alive again. Yet, through the grace of God, I am still alive, while Uncle Henry has long since gone to his reward.”

By the 1900 Census, widower Cynthia Irvin rented a home on Seventh Street in Mt. Vernon with two of her daughters: 24-year-old Minnie, a dressmaker, and 42-year-old Harriet. Harriet, who had developed epilepsy as a child, was wheelchair-bound and had been dependent upon relatives and friends throughout her life. In the 1910 Census, Cynthia, Minnie and Harriet were still together in a rental house on Prairie Street. Minnie was still working as a dressmaker, but Cynthia was now listed as a Civil War pensioner.

Cynthia Irvin died in Mt. Vernon, Illinois on October 25, 1918. A portion of her obituary in the Mt. Vernon Register News illuminates her family’s losses and her personal strength in meeting them: “Cynthia A. Irvin…met her husband and married May 8, 1852. To this union nine children were born, one having died in infancy. The next to die was Mary C. Cooper, killed in 1888 in the cyclone in Mt. Vernon. Next was her husband who died in 1894. Her daughter Fannie B. Puckett, died April 16, 1902. Then Charles F. Irvin, who was killed in a railroad wreck on June 29, 1917. The deceased passed to her reward on the 25th of October 1918. She never united with any church but was always a praying woman, having abundant faith in her Maker. Left to mourn her loss are five children: H.M. Irvin, Oscar M. Irvin, Harriet A. Irvin and Minnie E. Irvin, all residing in Mt. Vernon, and A. E. Irvin of Dahlgren, Illinois, twenty-one grandchildren, and a host of relatives and friends.”

May they rest in peace.

*Note added by the author: The rank of Teamster is the same rank as a private. It’s a specialization. It could last throughout the entire enlistment period (permanent) or be for a brief time (temporary assignment). According to Henry’s pension records, that’s the only designation I’ve found for him. I assumed — wrongly — that he was “promoted” to Teamster. Using either “Private” or “Teamster” is technically correct pay-wise. “Teamster” is the more accurate since it accurately designated his daily duties and responsibilities (like a quartermaster, musician, flag-bearer, etc.).


-Hamilton County Historical Society Archives, McCoy Memorial Public Library, McLeansboro, IL
-Genealogy Room, Brehm Memorial Public Library, Mt. Vernon, IL
-Civil War Invalid Pension and Widow’s Pension Files, National Archives
-“Adjutant General’s Report of the State of Illinois” by Brig. Gen. J.N. Reece (Springfield; 1901)
“Civil War Reminiscences of Dr. John T. Hunt” (Macedonia, IL; 1998)
-Ancestry.com (U.S. Census Records, land office grants)
-Illinois State Archives, Civil War online records

Sherburne, Benjamin F., Cpl. – Battery G, 2nd IL Light Artillery

BFSherburneBenjamin Franklin SHERBURNE was born 4 January, 1836 at Canandaigua, Ontario, New York, son of Hezekiah SHERBURNE, a veteran of the War of 1812, and wife Mary HERRICK, both New York natives.

Benjamin was enrolled as 1st Corporal in Battery G (Capt. Stolbrand) of the 2nd Illinois Light Artillery on 16 September 1861 in Springfield, Illinois and was honorably discharged from the Marine Hospital in Chicago, Illinois on 12 May 1864 due to illness contracted during the war.

During his time in service, his regiment traveled extensively and was involved in many important campaigns in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Battery G was also in the “Horizon” shipping tragedy.

On 1 May 1863 while crossing the Mississippi, a steam transport ship, the Horizon, attached to Battery G, was sunk; but not by the Rebels. Army correspondence on page 215 of Julian K Larke’s “Life, Campaigns and Battles of Gen. Ulysses S Grant” relates: “The steamers, which a few nights before had run the rebel batteries at Vicksburg and Grand Gulf, were then used to carry troops from Bromly’s plantation to Bruinsburg. Among others the Moderator and Horizon were thus used. The Moderator on her return trip, met the Horizon coming down the river, having on board one hundred and fifty thousand rations and a full battery of artillery. Whether it was owing to the fog or the carelessness of the pilot has not been ascertained; but somehow the two vessels collided, and the Horizon, rations and battery, sank in deep water and disappeared from mortal vision. Every horse on board was drowned. Every gun lies fathoms deep in water, rations were ruined, and I regret to add that two or three soldiers found a watery grave. At this juncture the loss is almost irreparable.”

The battery regrouped at Memphis and rejoined the regiment on 30 June for the last 5 days of the Siege of Vicksburg and in time for the surrender of Vicksburg on 4 July. The battery remained on duty at Vicksburg until November of that year.

It is not Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 1.52.08 PMknown if Benjamin Sherburne was at the Horizon military disaster but he was not one of the soldiers lost.

After convalescing following his discharge he moved with his family to Iowa. He married Sophronia BISHOP (born 25 September 1848 at Lexington, Carroll, Indiana) on 29 April 1867 in Clarksville, Butler, Iowa. They had 5 children who lived to adulthood.

Benjamin Franklin Sherburne died on 23 December 1919 at Waterloo, Black Hawk, Iowa.




Harrison, William, Lt. – Co H, 39th IL Infantry aka “Yates’ Phalanx”

William Harrison was born 19 May 1825 in Yorkshire, England. (1),(2)

On 25 June 1850 at age 25, the son of Thomas Harrison, a “labourer,” William married Mary Jackson, the 18-year-old daughter of John Jackson, an Innkeeper, in the parish church of Rotherham, County of York. His occupation was cordwainer (shoemaker). (3)

In 1852, William Harrison, his wife and first-born, John Harrison, immigrated to the United States. Family lore has them landing at New Orleans on 7 Feb 1852, losing all their possessions when their ship was swamped in a flood on the Mississippi Delta. John Harrison, born 8 Jun 1851 in England died 25 Jun 1852 in Missouri. (2)

By June 1860, William and family, now including 3 more children, ages 6, 2, and 6 months, were living in Liberty Township in Marion County, Missouri, in the home of a Scottish carpenter with William working as a farm hand. Since the two older children were born in Illinois, one can surmise the family moved periodically during this period between Missouri and Illinois along the Mississippi River. (4)

William and Mary would have 13 children in all, between 1851 and 1877, 5 boys and 8 girls, of which 5 girls would survive to maturity. (2)

By the time of the Civil War, the family was residing in Kingston Mines, Peoria County, Illinois, where they appear to have finally established permanent roots. (1), (5)

William Harrison at age 36 originally enlisted at Chicago, Illinois, 20 Nov 1861, as a carpenter in a regiment named the Mechanics Fusiliers or Wilson’s Fusiliers. (1)

This regiment was so named because it was sponsored by the Mechanics’ Union   Association. Most of its volunteers were recruited by Col. John W. Wilson. (6)

The unit was made up entirely of carpenters and other skilled tradesmen for the purpose of constructing Camp Douglas (established on land donated by the estate of Stephen A. Douglas), which was designated to be a mobilization and training center for troops raised in the northern district of Illinois. Col. Wilson had promised the men extra pay, more than regular soldiers. The men did excellent work, but soon discovered they had been mustered in as an Illinois infantry regiment rather than a special force under direct federal control, as promised, and were not receiving the promised extra pay. The men went on strike and were arrested. Ringleaders were sent for court martial. Troops returned to Camp Douglas but continued their protest through the courts which eventually ruled against them. By January 1862, the army had enough of the troublesome Mechanics’ Fusiliers and disbanded the unit. (7)

This episode did not seem to affect William Harrison, who after discharge from the Mechanics’ Fusiliers in January 1862, enlisted 1 February 1862 in Company H, 39th Regiment Illinois Infantry Volunteers at Kingston Mines, Illinois, and was mustered in at Camp Butler as a Corporal. He later received back pay of $2.00/mo. for his Mechanics Fusiliers service. Cpl. Harrison left Camp Butler in April 1862 (1) to join Company H in Virginia’s Luray Valley. On 1 May 1862, the 39th was sent to Fredericksburg (150-mile continued march) and after one day’s rest, ordered back to the Valley (180-mile forced march). After a few days rest they joined the close of Harrison’s Landing battle and were kept on front line picket duty after spending 2 days at Chickahominy Swamps. From this point, a number of officers and men were sent away sick. (8),(9)

Coinciding with that event, Cpl. Harrison was appointed Sergeant 12 July 1862 and sent to Illinois on detached recruiting service from August through December 1862. In January 1863, he rejoined Company H. (1)

In 1863, the 39th was involved in the battles and siege of Charleston, assaults on Fort Wagner and Morris Island, South Carolina, and operations against Fort Sumter, and capture of Forts Wagner and Gregg. (8),(9)

On 31 January 1864 Sgt. Harrison was discharged and immediately reenlisted in the same company as a Veteran Volunteer, which entitled him to additional “bounty” pay. (1)

From April 1864 to June 1864, the 39th then engaged in defenses and occupation of Bermuda Hundred, City Point, Chester Station, Weir Bottom Church, Swift Creek, Proctor’s and Palmer’s Creeks, Drury’s Bluff and Bermuda Front. (9)

In July and August 1864, Sgt Harrison was placed on detached service in the Ambulance Corps. (1)

From August 1864 to April 1865, there was no letup for the 39th with siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond and constant fighting at Strawberry Plains, Deep Run, Deep Bottom, Chaffin’s Farm, New Market Heights, Darbytown Road, Battle of Fair Oaks, Hatcher’s Run, and Appomattox. The regiment lost 273 men: 12 officers and 129 enlisted men killed/mortally wounded; 2 officers and 130 enlisted men by disease. (9)

William Harrison Civil War PromotionOn 1 April 1865, Sgt. Harrison received a field promotion to First Lieutenant at Appomattox, Virginia; and in May and June was again placed on detached Ambulance Corps service. From August to October 1865, he commanded Company D (1) and was discharged at Norfolk, Virginia, on 6 December 1865. (10)

William Harrison Civil War DischargeHe later became a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Col. John Bryner Post 67 in Peoria, Illinois. (12)

William Harrison became a naturalized U. S. citizen on 1 October 1868. (13) He died 29 February 1904 in Peoria, Illinois, at the age of 78 years, 9 months and is buried in Springdale Cemetery, Peoria, Illinois, next to his wife, Mary. William & Mary Harrison(14)


(1)  Civil War Pension Files, NARA

(2)  Family Bible

(3)  Parish Register Copy, Civil War Pension Files, NARA

(4)  1860 U. S. Census, Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.com

(5)  1870 U.S. Census, Ancestry.com

(6)  Google Books, “Quest for a Star: The Civil War Letters and Diaries of Colonel Francis T. Sherman of the 88th Illinois,” edited with commentary by Knight Aldrich

(7) Rally ‘Round the Flag, Chicago and the Civil War, Theodore J. Karamanski, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2006

(8) Adjutant General’s Report, Wikipedia,         en.wikipedia.org/wiki/39th_illinois_volunteer_infantry_regiment

(9) The Civil War Archive, Union Regimental Histories, Illinois, 39th Regiment  Infantry “Yates Phalanx”, www.civilwararchive.com/unionil.htm

(10) Original copy of promotion and discharge papers

(11) 1880 U.S. Census, Ancestry.com

(12) “Grand Army of the Republic Records, 1866-1939,” Chronicling Illinois,   accessed May 26, 2013, http://alplm-cdi.com/chroniclingillinois/items/show/256

(13) NARA, Soundex Index to Naturalization Petitions for the U. S. District Court &  Circuit Courts, Northern District of Illinois and Immigration and Naturalization Service District 9, 1840-1950 (M1285); Microfilm Serial: M1285; Microfilm 256w/Roll: 85; & Ancestry.com

(14) State of Illinois Certificate of Death

Submitted by great-great-granddaughter, Maryann Schaack


Lower, Robert A., Pvt., – Co. K, 55th IL Infantry

RA Lower 1844-1918

RA Lower 1844-1918

 Robert A. Lower was born 11 April 1844 in Mattoon, Coles County, Illinois. His father was Jacob Lower, born in Ohio and his mother was Mary Cavens Lower, also born in Ohio. When he was 17 ½ years old, Lower traveled from his home in Knox County Ill., to Elmwood, Peoria, Illinois where he enrolled as a three year volunteer in Company K, 55th Illinois Infantry Volunteers. His rank was a Private. A total of 81 men from Knox County also enlisted in Company K, 55th Illinois Infantry. During Robert’s enlistment he fought in many battles including the occupation of Pittsburg Landing, Battle of Shiloh, Siege of Corinth, Sherman’s Tallahatchie march, capture of Fort Hindman, Battle of Champion’s Hill and the Siege of Vicksburg, to mention a few.

During the Siege of Vicksburg, on May 22, 1863 Pvt. Lower was part of an all volunteer storming party. It is noted in the official records that this was a mission of “Forlorn Hope.” Lower survived this mission and subsequently received the Medal of Honor for “…conspicuous gallantry in the charge of the volunteer storming party.” The Medal of Honor Certificate that Lower received along with his Medal states that his name was entered and recorded on the Army and Navy Medal of Honor Roll. The Medal of Honor Roll listing every individual who has received the Medal of Honor is inscribed on a plaque that is located in the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

During the encampment at Vicksburg, Pvt. Lower became ill with “malarial fever.” Although he was very ill, he continued with his military obligations. This “malarial fever” was to plague him with ill health for the remainder of his life. He was discharged from Service on October 30, 1864 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He made his way back home to Illinois where he remained the rest of his life.

Upon his return from the war, Lower worked with his father Jacob doing farming. On March 10, 1869, Robert A. Lower married Rachel A. Smith in Elmwood, Peoria, Illinois. While living in Crescent City, Illinois, they had five children: Alfred B. Lower born June, 1870; Albert E. Lower born March 1873; Mary E. Lower born November 1877, Ruth A. Lower born April 1879; Harriet E. Lower born April 1882. From Albert E. Lower descends the line to Kathleen Roberta Lower Morgan, the member of Laura Belle Stoddard Tent 22, Daughters of Union Veterans, 1861-1865.

In 1882, Lower moved his wife and children to Yates City, Salem Township, Knox County, Illinois. He operated a very successful mercantile business in Yates City. He and his family lived here until his death in 1918.

Robert A. and his wife, Rachel, were both well known in the community for their involvement in PvtRobertALowerCongMedalHonorthe business and civic affairs. Robert A. Lower was elected Mayor of Yates City, Illinois in 1888, 1893 and again in 1897. Lower was also elected Supervisor of Salem Township, Knox County, Illinois in 1895 and 1896. During this time he was involved in the building of a new Almshouse for the poor and insane. Robert A. was also an active member of the GAR. He was an original member of the Morgan L. Smith GAR Post 666 in Yates City, Ill.

Although Robert A. was cited for gallantry in battle in 1863, it wasn’t until September of 1893, a full 30 years later, that the War Department conferred the Medal of Honor on the surviving members of the 55th Illinois Infantry Volunteers. He treasured this medal for the rest of his life.

PvtRobertALowergravestoneRobert A. Lower died on January 31, 1918 at the age of 73 years, 9 months. His obituary, published on the front page of the Yates City Banner on February 7, 1918, notes: “Salem’s Oldest Settler Passed Over River…Sudden Death of R. A. Lower Shock to Community. War Veteran of High Honors. Funeral Large and Impressive…The cold hand of death has…visited our city and taken from our midst one of the oldest and most respected citizens of the community, Robert A. Lower…the township loses a man who has spent his life in the community’s welfare, the city loses an able merchant and citizen and his family is deprived of an honorable father and husband.” Robert A. was laid to rest on February 4, 1918 at the Yates City Cemetery. His grave is marked with a military marker indicating he is a Medal of Honor Recipient, Pvt. Co. K, 55th Illinois Infantry.

Submitted 06/05/2015 by: Kathleen Roberta Lower Morgan, great-granddaughter.










Yates City Banner, Illinois. Thursday, February 7, 1918. Pg.1, C.1:2



DUV application sources]

Hardy, Isaac Baldwin, Cpl., Co. A, 64th IL Infantry

G.A.R. – Starr King Post #52, Santa Barbara, CA

Isaac Baldwin HardyIsaac Baldwin Hardy was born in Maine on 10 Jun 1843, a year that is confirmed by the 1850 census where he is listed as age 7 in Augusta, Kennebec, ME, with Albert and Nancy B HARDY and little sister Clara, age 3 months. Albert Hardy of Strong ME and Miss Nancy R. Baldwin had been married where Nancy resided: in New Sharon ME on 21 Jun 1842.

By 1859 the family had migrated to the town of Freedom, LaSalle Co, Illinois, with a new, born in Illinois, sibling in 1860 for 17 yr old Isaac : George, age 1. Sadly a 10 yr old Clara is not listed with the family in the June 1860 census. It is unknown to this researcher if she died or is living elsewhere.

Two years later, on 16 Aug 1862, Isaac joined the Union Army for a term of 3 years. Residing in Freedom, LaSalle County at that time, he enlisted as a private in a local unit: Company A of the 64th Illinois Infantry, then aka the 1st Battalion of Yates’ Sharpshooters. Isaac, 20 at enlistment, was recorded as a farmer, single, 5’7″ tall, with light hair, blue eyes, a light complexion, and born in Strong, Maine.

During his time with the Regiment, Isaac likely participated in many engagements, including these better-known battles and skirmishes: the Battle of Corinth, MS (3-4 Oct ’62); Atlanta (GA) Campaign (1 May – 8 Sep ’64) involving many encounters; and the surrender in NC of Johnston and his army on 26 Apr 1865. The regiment then moved via Richmond, to Washington DC and participated in the Grand Review there on 24 May, after which Corporal Isaac Baldwin Hardy was mustered out on 31 May 1865.

On 20 Mar 1870 in Livingston Co, Illinois, Isaac married Zoreida [sic] BOLT (b. 1848, Colon Twp, MI). The year is confirmed by the 1870 census, which states they were married in March of that year; the newlyweds were living in the town of Esmen, IL. By the 1880 census they had migrated to Aldine Twp, Norton County, Kansas; and had their first known child and daughter Clara, probably named for Isaac’s sister.

By 1886, the family was in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Co, CA where Isaac is found as Senior Vice-Commander of the local Starr King Post 52 of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) The June 1900 census lists Isaac and Zoraida [sic], and three children: Ethel -19, Albert C – 16 and Blanche -13. It is from son Albert C. Hardy that this line has descended to the member of Laura Belle Stoddard Tent 22, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865.

Though listed as a farmer in 1870 and 1880, in 1900 Isaac worked as a carpenter and in 1910: as a 67 year old contractor building houses. By 1910 he owned his home on East Victoria, free of mortgage. Zoraida is shown in 1900 having borne 5 children with 4 living; the 1910 census lists 6 children, again with 4 living. Evidently a child was born and died in Santa Barbara – between the two censuses.

Isaac Baldwin Hardy died in Santa Barbara on 15 Apr 1919 and is buried in the Santa Barbara Cemetery: Island plot; Lot 44, Grave #1. Zoraida survived him for 13 1/2 years, and died on 30 Sep 1932. She is buried beside Isaac, in Grave #2 in the same Plot and Lot in Santa Barbara Cemetery.
[Sources: all accessed in Apr 2015:

                                                                  ancestry.com databases and message
boards, esp. Census: 1850 through 1920.

familysearch.org databases and records, esp State/County Marriages, CA Great Register,







<http://sbgen.org/cemeteryRecords.php?page=1112&lv=R&s                                                           <http://sbgen.org/cpage.php?pt=189>












<http://files.usgwarchives.net/ca/santabarbara/military/civilwar/rosters/starrkin271gmt.txt> ]




Ragan, George Z., Cpl., Co. C, 129th IL Infantry

George Z Ragan was born in Beaver County, Pennsylvania about 1828. The 1830 federal census for Beaver County shows only one R?G?N: an Alexander REGAN in Big Beaver Twp, whose family consisted of six persons: 2 of them were males under the age of 5. One of those boys may have been George. It appears this same Alexander is enumerated as a RAGAN in East Huntington Twp, Westmoreland Co. PA in the 1840 census. This may be George’s birth family.

In Mercer County, Ohio on 20 Dec 1848, ~20 yr old George Z Ragan was married by Justice of the Peace A. Stansbery, to ~15 yr old Charity STOUT, daughter of David Stout, By 4 Oct 1850, George and Charity were living in Jefferson Twp, Logan Co, OH with their first child, James, born either Jan or Jun 1850. Prior to the Civil War, the family had grown to at least 4 children, the 4th was George David, b. Illinois 31 Oct 1860, from whom the line descends to the member of Laura Belle Stoddard Tent 22, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865.

On 12 Aug 1862, George joined Co. C of the newly organized 129th Illinois Infantry Reg’t for a period of 3 years. He is described at that time as a resident of Livingston County, IL, 32 yrs of age, 5′ 9 1/2″ tall, light hair, blue eyes, dark complexion, married, farmer, with nativity: Beaver Co. PA. He was mustered into the company at Pontiac IL, as a Private, on 8 Sep 1862.

The Regiment first moved to Louisville KY, and on 3 Oct marched in pursuit of Bragg (on his attempt to invade Kentucky.) It was then attached to the 38th Brigade, 12th Div, Army of the Ohio, and marched to Bowling Green, KY and on, in November to Mitchellville for garrison duty until December. Early in 1863, George was discharged. According to the National Park Service Civil War Soldiers Database, George was discharged as a Corporal; an 1863 draft registration states he had been discharged on 19th Feb 1863; on page 539 of the 1900 Revised Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois, Volume 6 is the statement that George Rugan [sic: Ragan] was “Disch. Jan. 19, ’63, as Serg’t”.

The first Census following the war shows the George and Charity family in 1870 residing in Ward 2, Quincy, Adams County, Illinois, with George -45, working as a “Stone Mason” and six children from James 19, Aramintha -18, and Rinaldo -14 born OH; George -10 and Sarah -7 born IL; and Charles W 5 born in Iowa.

The 1900 Census shows widowed Charity living in Mason Twp, Marion Co, Missouri with son Joseph, born Jun 1876 in Missouri. The migration pattern seems to be OH 1848 through 1856; Illinois from 1860 through 1863 (but probably through the Civil War); Iowa at least in 1865; and finally MO by 1876. I’m unable to find the family in Missouri in the 1880 census.

On Oct 23 1888 a civil war “Invalid” [medical] application for pension was filed from MO, and awarded to George Ragan: Application #676 993, Certificate #532 583; on Mar 2 1897, a Widow’s pension was filed from MO following George’s death: Application 650 994, Certificate 493 723.

George Ragan, Civil War Veteran, died in Hannibal, Marion County, MO. The contract for a Headstone to be provided by the government, was found on ancestry.com: “10 Jun 1903 – Lee Marble Works – George RAGAN, Corpl Co C 129 Ill Inf – died Feby 22 – 1897 – Cemetery: Antioch – at: Hannibal Mo”. George’s widow Charity Ragan survived him for slightly more than eight years; she died in Hannibal on Oct 9, 1908.

Sources: all sources were accessed in March and April 2015.

Application for Membership in DUV

Ancestry.com: esp: Census: 1830 through 1900; Headstones for CW Soldiers; CW Pension Cards.

Familysearch.org – OH County Marriages 1789-2013.



<http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1666 CW Draft Registrations


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