Sheila Cadwalader


Veterans Of Civil War Living In Illinois 12 Feb 1943

The Daily Advocate,
Belleville, St. Clair County, IL
Feb 12, 1943

Only 27 Veterans Of Civil War Living In Illinois; One Of Them Is In Belleville
by Willard Robertson, Chicago, Feb. 12  (AP)

The ranks of the boys in blue, whose aged memories still hold sharp pictures of the most bitter war ever fought on this continent are thinning fast.

Although headquarters of the Grand Army of the Republic would not make the rolls public, a statewide survey showed only 27 Union veterans still alive in Illinois today, the 134th birthday of their beloved commander-in-chief. Not all of the survivors are G. A. R. members.

When the G. A. R. was at its peak in 1891, there were nearly 33,000 members in Illinois. This had dropped below 1,000 to 829  in 1932.  The 27 Illinois survivors of the largest and most powerful army every equipped up to that time range in ages from 93 to 102. They average almost 97. While the new battle-fields of Bataan, the Solomons and Tunisia are on other's lips, their thoughts range back to Gettysburg, Atlanta, Vicksburg, Shiloh and the wilderness.

Fought Against Father
One of them, Dennis McDonald, 98, of Carrier Mills, fought against his own father at the battle of Shiloh, and his father was killed in the battle. Later a prisoner, and exchanged, McDonald recalls that he helped bury about 1,500 skeletons left in the wake of Grant's bloody wilderness campaign.

Three of them, mere striplings when the Civil War broke out, served as drummer boys. Another as a color bearer. Several fought and marched with Sherman to the sea.

Another, George Washington Ling of Franklin Grove had special reason for celebration today because it was his birthday, too, his 97th. Ling, still active, served in the Fifth Pennsylvania Infantry and saw action in several battles in Virginia.

Probably the most active of the group in his recent years has been Hiram Shumate, 93, of Riverton, the state commander, who seldom misses a Grand Army gathering anywhere in the state. He was only 15 when he enlisted in the 133rd Illinois Infantry, served 100 days, then transferred to the 213th Infantry and fought the Indians in the West.

Among other surviving veterans who fought in some of the war's hardest battles were:

Frank Hocking, 98, of Fairfield, 26th Illinois Volunteers, who had two muskets knocked from his hand by rifle bullets in the siege of Atlanta, captured two prisoners, and also fought in the battles of Peach Tree Creek and New Hope Church.

Lewis Reed, 98, of Harrisburg, who enlisted as a color bearer in the 48th Illinois Infantry, was wounded at Shiloh, fought at Vicksburg, Chattanooga and Missionary Ridge, and paraded in review before President Lincoln just after the war ended.

De Volois W. Stevens, 99, of near St. Charles, who believes he is the last survivor of the 122nd New York Infantry. He fought in the battles of Gettysburg, Antietam and Fredericksburg.

Daniel A. Wedge, 101, of Aurora, 17th Illinois Infantry, who fought at Vicksburg, Corinth and Shiloh and whose regiment was so depleted by casualties it merged with another. Bedridden for more than 10 years, Wedge attends G. A. R. parades in an ambulance.

Caleb R. Davis, 99, of Springfield, who carried dispatches during the siege of Atlanta, fought in 10 battles, and was never wounded. Uncles of Davis fought for the South.

Silas Nichols, 94, of Waukegan, G. A. R. state judge advocate, who enlisted in the 136th Ohio Volunteers when he was 16, fought in the second battle of Bull Run, and saw Lincoln twice while on guard duty around Washington.

William H. Glenn Here

William DeLong, 100, of Roodhouse, 3rd Iowa Cavalry, with Sherman at Atlanta and wounded twice in action.

Other downstate survivors are Jabez M. Capps, 97, of Springfield; William Prater, 98 and Benjamin F. Brown, 96, both in the soldier's home and hospital at Quincy; William M. Livingston, 94, of Peoria; W. H. Holmes, 96, of Aledo; Lewis M. Rich, 98, of Naperville; William H. Glenn, 97, of Belleville; Francis L. Mullinix, 93, of Ledford, in Saline county; and L.
R. Talbert, 96, of Michael, in Jersey County.

Eight reside in Cook County, including James H. Lewis, 102-year-old negro, the oldest of the state group. Others are William P. Lockwood, 95, state patriotic instructor, formerly of Kankakee; Thomas Ambrose, 94; James Crughom, 93; John H. Kievlan, 97, of Oak Park; Albert E. Gage, 98; James Harvey, 95, of Robbins and Franklin Fray, 95, of Berwyn.

There also is at least one Confederate veteran still living in Illinois. He is Robert Wilson, 107, a negro now in the Elgin state hospital, who served with his master in the Virginia infantry.

Apr 21, 2011
Copyright ©  Jan 1999 - Present  D. Williams;
All rights reserved.
Last rev.
Tuesday, 24-May-2016 21:11:22 EDT