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Jersey County Civil War, Newspaper Articles

Jersey County in the Civil War, Jerseyville Prairie-State, April 20, 1861.

THE EFFECT IN JERSEYVILLE — The news of the commencement of hostilities, and of the prompt and energetic action of the government to repel them, created intense feelings among all classes of our fellow citizens. The indignation of Republicans and many others was aroused to the highest pitch against the dastardly and cowardly attack of 8000 or 10,000 rebel traitors who had wantonly attacked the little band of brave men in Fort Sumter; and they heartily endorse the course of the Administration in preparing to repel future attacks. At first many of our Democratic friends were disposed to censure the President for not having abandoned the Fort to prevent the shedding of blood, and also for calling out troops. But subsequent information and reflection aided by the patriotic speeches of Judge Palmer and Woodson, have convinced most of them that the President did nothing more than his duty, and are now ready to stand by him in the hour of trial. The Union sentiment is rapidly gaining ground and we confidently believe that in a very few days our community will be a unit in support of the government in its efforts to uphold the Constitution, enforce the laws and vindicate the honor of the Stars and Stripes.
HOME GUARD — The military spirit is thoroughly aroused in Jerseyville, and indeed throughout the county. A meeting was held on Saturday evening last to form a Home Guard. Between 60 and 70 names were enrolled. After appointing a committee to prepare Constitution and By-Laws for the regulation of the company, and instructing the committee on enrollment of names to continue their efforts, the meeting adjourned to meet again this evening (May 11, 1861).

In addition to this company we understand Capt U. D. Howell is enrolling a Rifle or Zouave Company. Capt. Howell is a splendid drill officer, and will no doubt get up a company that will be an honor to the place.

We are also informed that a cavalry company is being formed and another of artillery. There are men enough in the community to fill all these companies; and, in-as-much as, under the new militia law all able bodied men are obliged to be enrolled in the militia, and to perform a certain amount of military duty, it is better to form independent companies. Such companies can draw arms, are exempt from road tax, and are entitled to other privileges. Fall in boys, and fill up the ranks.

We also hear of the formation of companies at Otter Creek, Grafton, Jersey Landing, West Woods and other places.
JERSEY UNION GUARDS — This is the name adopted by Capt Littlefield’s Company of Volunteers. The boys have been drilling actively during the week and are now ready to march, and eager to depart. Capt. Littlefield returned from Springfield on Thursday, with instructions to march on Monday. The Company will be attached to a new regiment to be composed of volunteers from some of the central counties. It is expected Hon. John M. Palmer will be elected Colonel, and Henry Case Lieut. Colonel.

The following is a list of the office[ers]:

M. S. Littlefield, Captain
Wm. A Scott, 1st Lieutenant
Thomas Simmons, 2nd Lieutenant
J. D. Moore, 3rd Lieutenant
A W. Mendenhall, Orderly Sergeant
J. McFain, 2nd Sergeant
W. H. Patten, 3rd Sergeant
J. A Davies, 4th Sergeant
J. B. Drue, 1st Corporal
John Smith, 2nd Corporal
Samuel Erwin, 3rd Corporal
R. R. Aulabaugh, 4th Corporal
Jerome Estes, Ensign
S. Palmer, Chief Musician
Geo. Adams, Asst. Musician
Theodore Shorb, Asst. Musician
D. P. Smutz, Secretary

Jerseyville Prairie-State,, May 11,1861

DEPARTURE OF THE VOLUNTEERS — Capt. Littlefield’s Company of Volunteers for the war departed for their regimental head-quarters at Jacksonville, on Wednesday morning last. Nearly the entire population of our village turned out to see them off and bid them God-Speed. As they were drawn up in line on the Public Square, we heard many an expression of admiration of their many bearing. They are a noble looking set of men, many of them hard-fisted, stalwart farmers, mechanics and laborers — men of iron nerve and undaunted bravery, capable of any amount of physical endurance. They numbered 103, including officers, and we venture the assertion that a better or braver company will not be found in the army. Jersey County has good reason to be proud of her gallant volunteers, and fully expects to hear a good account of them.

They departed amid the hearty cheers of our citizens. They were all in good spirits, and anxious for a speedy opportunity to show their devotion to the Stars and Stripes in a manner worthy of brave men.

They were taken in wagons to Manchester, from whence they proceeded by Railroad. They met a cordial reception at all points on the road. The citizens of Carrollton gave them a hearty welcome, and provided them a sumptuous dinner at the hotels. At Whitehall they were hospitably entertained by the patriotic citizens, and kept over night without charge. We shall expect frequent letters from different members of the company, and will keep our readers posted in regard to all their movements.

A complete list of their names follows: MUSTER ROLL OF THE JERSEY UNION GUARDS

M. S. Littlefield, Captain
Wm. A Scott, 1st Lieut.
Thomas A Simmons, 2nd Lieut.
J. D. Moore, 3rd Lieut.
A W. Mendenhall, Orderly Sergt.
J. McFain, 2nd Sergt.
W. H. Patton, 3rd Sergt.
J. A Davies, 4th Sergt.
J. N. Drew, 1st Corporal
J. W. Smith, 2nd Corporal –
R R. Aulabaugh, 3rd Corporal
Samuel P. Erwin, 4th Corporal
A J. Estes, Ensign
S. Palmer, Drum Major
Geo. Adams, Drummer
Theodore S. Shore, Fifer


Geo. Arkebauer
G. W. Bridges
J. L. Brokus
Wm. Bartley
Jos. D. Beck
Luving Ballard
Geo. R Buckmaster
J. W. Bartlett
John Janniser
Alonzo James
John Keyo
John Kiobe
Samuel Leonard
T. H. Leonard
Jos. Leig
John R. Long
Eugene Lane
John Munk
T. S. Milligan
D. S. Minard
Chas. F. Miner
Mahlon Bright
J. B. Boyd
G. W. Coale
Lionel Craig
M. Canwell
Wm. Catts
D. H. Chandler
Chas. Court
Newton Miller
Wm. J. Miller
Aaron McGill
M. L. McMananin
Turner Miller
Wm. Moore
G. R. Pinckard
J. V. Parker
Wm. E. Pitt
T. A. Price
Sph. Prio
F. C. Pollock
Z. Roberts
Jackson Davis
Julius Dunker
W. J. Elliott
John A. Eberman
Jos. G. Freeman
Jos. Fitzpatrick
Oliver S. Green
Geo. W. Graham
Alex Rowland
Isaac Rowden
Chas. Rudolph
William A. Rue
John H. Richards
Jas. Rowden
Daniel P. Smutz
Henry L. Slaten
Joseph Seago
Daniel Seago
Thos. R. Smith
Asa Scoggins
Joseph Spaulding
W. A. Hoag
Milton J. Hull
Jas. H. Humphreys
Wilbur Hesser
John Higgins
William Harris
Franklin Haag
Matias Huberty
O. P. Stafford
David Storer
Wm. W. Slaten
G. C. Smith
Brook Stafford
Thos. H. Strode
S. C. Smith
Wm. R. Wood
Samuel White
Wm. D. Wilson
Nathaniel Ware

Total Privates 87; Total Officers 16; Grand Total 103

Prairie State, May 18, 1861

We are informed that Capt. John Reddish, has a fine company of men enrolled in the West Woods, and is drilling them almost daily. They are anxious to be admitted into the service of the state. Capt. Reddish is a regular old Black Hawk warrior, and has a company of bold, hardy, sharp shooters under his command, who would do the terrible execution in the enemy ranks, should an opportunity offer. We fear, however, they will be disappointed, as the regiments are all full, and thousands more have offered than can be accepted.

Prairie State, July 6, 1861

Visit from the Troops

Our citizens were taken much by surprise on Tues. last, by a sudden visit from some 60 0r 70 of Capt. Littlefields Co. of Volunteers from Camp Wood, at Quincy. They came down the river Monday night and landed at Grafton Tuesday morning; where after breakfast, they procured teams and came on to Jerseyville, with the intention of marching in upon us without notifying us of the intended invasion. It became rumored about the streets, however an hour of two before their arrival that they were coming, when Capt. Mulholland, of the Artillery Home Guards and Capt. Bertman of the German Rifles, hastily assembled a part of their companies and marched out to the Western edge to meet and escort them in. The soldiers were accompanied by the Grafton Brass Band, and marched in in fine style, each fully armed and equipped. They presented a fine appearance, looked well and hearty and exhibited great proficiency in drill. They are a fine, Soldiery set of men, and capable and will no doubt give a good account of themselves if they ever have a chance to meet the enemy. We understand they start back to Quincy today.

Prairie State, February 23, 1862

Yesterday afternoon a special train arrived on the Terre Haute Railroad, having on board some one hundred prisoners, lately captured at Fort Henry, Tenn. As they filed out of the cars, several of our citizens recognized a couple of men formerly residents of Alton, one of whom was no less a person than John A. Miller, an architect and civil engineer. Miller is reported as having formed the fortifications at Fort Henry for the rebels, and was captured among the rest in the fort.

The other man is Mr. J. Nellis, a saddler, who formerly worked for Turner & Sidway, and was at one time boss of a gang of convicts in the penitentiary, before the new penitentiary was built. So huge is back in his old quarters again, although in rather less honorable position.

Another individual among the prisoners, is Mr. M. Boland, a carpenter, formerly of this city. We are sorry to Mr. Boland in such bad company but if men will be traitors, they must take the consequences.

Gen. Lloyd Tilghaman was also among the number with several of his staff. Gen. Tilghman is a large, fine looking gentleman, and seems to take his capture unconcernedly.

The majority of these new prisoners are good looking, intelligent men, appearing in strange contrast to the ragamuffins from Missouri. The prisoners were brought under guard of a detachment of the Eight Wisconsin regiment and were confined in the military prison.

Alton Democrat

Jersey County Democrat, May 12, 1865.

We know not of a more impressive sight than to witness the return of our soldiers from the war–hardy, sunburnt, honest, brave men. who have nobly performed their duty and quietly come back to homes more dear for the sacrifices they have made in their defense, and to enjoy those rights and that national unity their fathers entrusted to their care, and which they can now bequeath to their children. Almost silently they pass through our streets, claiming no immunity, asking no applause, seeming unconscious of the great service they have rendered. They departed amid shouts, with new banners, and music and benedictions. They have realized their country’s hopes — they have honored her by their fidelity, they have saved her by their gallantry; and although they may not be received with noisy demonstrations the gratitude of their fellow citizens will be a crown of glory to them as lasting as their lives. The vast consequences of their action are not yet realized, but time will develop the great results. and brighter and brighter will their deeds appear as long as the season shall endure.

VETERAN COMPANY, ARMORY HALL, Jerseyville, Ill., May 30,1879. From the Examiner, June 4, 1879.

In response to a call on the veteran soldiers of the late Civil War, quite a goodly number assembled at the Armory Hall for the purpose of organizing themselves into a society, to be called the “Jersey County Veteran Association.” J. S. Daniels was, on motion, elected chairman, and A. H. Barrett secretary of the meeting.

Dr. E. L. H. Barry was called to the floor. He stated that the object of the meeting and organization was to revive and perpetuate that reverence for the old flag and that spirit of patriotism which animated our brave boys in blue on the battle fields of Anteitem, Gettysburg, and many other hard fought fields and long, weary marches; to revive that feeling of fellowship that causes the true soldier to divide his scanty rations with equal generosity with his victorious friend or his vanquished foe; to revive old associations, and for the mutual benefit of all belonging to the organization.

B. C. Bartlett made a few appropriate remarks, followed by N. C. Beaty, Geo. C. Cockrell and others.

The meeting then proceeded to organize permanently, electing J. S. Daniels president, and A. H. Barrett secretary and treasurer for the ensuing year.

The president, on motion, appointed Geo. C. Cockrell, R. C. Gledhill, A. W. Lowe, N. C. Beaty and Capt. James Burke as a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws to govern the organization.

A motion that a committee of five be appointed in Jerseyville township, and two in each of the other townships in the county to solicit membership, was duly carried, and the following gentlemen were suggested by members and appointed by the president: Jerseyville, E. L. H. Barry, Capt. J. L. Richards, Joseph Fitzgerald, Henry Nevius and B. C. Bartlett. Fieldon, Wm. Goshorn and Wm. Briggs. Rosedale, Freeman Sweet and Lewis Andrews. English, G. F. Scribner and J. A. Campbell. Otterville, H. C. Bull and Henry Terry. Grafton, Major Hiram Baxter and Alfred Brinton. Jersey Landing, Alvin Spangle and B. F. Slaten. Mississippi, John H. McDow and Jesse Cockrell. Delhi, Alvin Hart and W. H. Bartlett. Fidelity, W. H. Cook and Aaron Borden. Ruyle, Dennis Palmer and John Snyder.

A motion of Geo. C. Cockrell that a copy of the proceedings be furnished to each of the county papers, and that each member of committees not present be notified of their appointment by the secretary was duly carried.

Motion of E. L. H. Barry that veterans present wishing to join the association be invited to come forward and sign their names was duly carried, and twenty-seven responded to the invitation.

On motion the meeting adjourned to meet at Armory Hall on July 4th, at 2 o’clock P.M. to receive reports of committees and transact such other business as may present itself. All members are requested and the public are invited to meet at the court house yard on Sunday, June 1st, at 2 o’clock P.M. for the purpose of observing the ceremonies usual on Decoration Day.

A. H. Barrett, Secretary

Republican Examiner, Friday, June 8, 1881

From Otterville. There is buried in the Otterville cemetery one man who served as a soldier in the Revolutionary war – Joseph Chandler; also two men who served in the war of 1812 – James Robinson and Timothy Gates. At the old Wesley church graveyard is buried Nathan Gowins, who served in the war of 1812. Wm. Hurd, who is buried at the Otterville cemetery, served in the Black Hawk war. Of the men who went into the late war from this neighborhood, the following were buried in the South: Geo. Utt, John Cope, John Martin, Charles Parton, James Porter, Thornton Hughes, Nelson Hegans, Nelson Phillips, Chester Brigham, Justus Noble, John Barratt, Henry Van, John W. Bell, Robt. Allen, James Dougharty and John Rowden. The following are the names of men who have died since 1861, and who had served as soldiers in the late war, and whose bodies are buried in the graveyards about here: At the Otterville cemetery, M. T. Sappington, Ransom Bingham; near the C. P. Church, Wm. Banfield; at Mrs. Lotton’s grave yard, Michael Grether, David McQuiddy; at Mr. J. G. Dougharty’s, Ernest Young; at the Union grave yard, John W. Lucas, John Y. Fisher; at the West Newbern grave yard, Watson Brown; at the graveyard near Salem Church, John P. Slaten, Edward C. Crabtree, Owen Porter, Robert Warren, Wm. Balcom, Wm. D. Bell; and there are others whose names were hot ascertained. In Mr. Jacob Lurton’s cemetery is buried his son, Perry Lurton. In the Edsall graveyard, Leonidas Newberry, F. A. Newberry. Near George Martin’s, his son, Leonard Martin, killed at Shiloh, Henry D. Chandler died at Quincy, Ill., and was buried there. These places were all visited on Decoration day except Mr. Martin’s and the graves decorated. At 4 o’clock p.m. the cornet band came out, under the command of Lieut. Mason, of the Peoria N. G. with colors, color bearer and color guard. Behind the band fell into procession a number of citizen soldiers, citizens, youths, and a long line of carriages, buggies, &c., and proceeded to the Otterville cemetery, and decorated the graves of comrades buried there. The attendance of the band, and the music played, added very much to the pleasure of the occasion.

Jerseyville Republican, December 28, 1894.

(The following brief obituary, furnished the REPUBLICAN by Judge L. Stillwell, of Erie, Kansas, will be read with mournful interest by survivors of the 61st Illinois Infantry residing in Jersey County.)

DANIEL GRASS, late Colonel of the 61st Illinois Infrantry, died at Coffeyville, Kansas, on the 20th inst. His death was caused by injuries that he received by being struck on Tuesday evening previous, by a locomotive engine at one of the street crossings of Coffeyville. He was in the act of crossing the railroad track and his attention was absorbed in watching an engine switching near him when another engine on another track him unobserved and struck him, breaking his left arm and three ribs directly over the heart. He lingered until the night of the 20th, when death ensued. He was a little over seventy years of age at the time of his death.

Col. Grass served as Captain in the 8th Illinois Infrantry (the three months organization), and on expiration of his term of service in that regiment enlisted, in the fall of 1861, in the 61st Illinois. He was mustered in as First Leiutenant of Co. H. and by regular gradation was promoted Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel, and Colonel, and was mustered out in May 1865. He moved to Independence, Kansas, in 1870 and was engaged in the practice of law. In 1876 he was elected a Senator of the Kansas Legislature and filled the position with honor and ability. He was a brave soldier, a useful citizen, an upright, honorable man.

June 2, 1904, no source. ROSEDALE – Henry Phipps and J. E. Dabbs, two veterans of the Civil War, went to St. Louis last Monday to celebrate Soldiers Day at the World’s Fair.

Jersey County Democrat, August 11, 1904

J. H. Duffield – upon call of Pres. Lincoln for volunteers in the war of rebellion, he enlisted in May, 1861 in Co. F, 2nd Iowa Infantry. Wounded at Battle of Fort Donaldson, Feb. 14, 1862. Came to Jerseyville in 1883. Married Miss Malissa Stonard April 14, 1864.

Jerseyville Republican, Vol. LIII, No. 41, p. 2. (Probably May 1917)


Deceased veterans of the Civil war were honored in Jerseyville Thursday when fitting Memorial services were held. The principal speaker of the day was Hon. Bruce Campbell of East St. Louis, who gave a timely address on the subject of America’s participation in the world war.

Churches observed President Wilson’s proclamation calling on the people of the nation to pray and fast and services were held in each of the churches during the morning hour. Church bells tolled five minutes at noon in accordance with the request of the G. A. R. in memory of the soldier dead.

Lead by the city band, which gave its service free and headed by Uncle Sam’s soldiers, there being 11 in line, a patriotic parade, in which the shoe factory and school children took a prominent part, wended its way from the C. P. & St. L. depot up State street to the court yard where the afternoon program was held.

J. M. Page presided at the meeting. J. W. Becker read the general orders of the G. A. R.., followed by a number by the double quartet, invocation by Rev. Mr. Jenkins, reading of the Gettysburg address by W. J. Chapman, and an explanation of the formation of Capt. Littlefield’s company in Jersey county during the Civil War. George Akerbaur of Jerseyville, one of the members of the company was present and was introduced to the audience. The G. A. R. and W. R. C. members occupied the platform which was given during the exercises a drill featuring the admission of Illinois into the union, as presented during the pageant. The G. A. R. ritual was given at the Soldiers’ monument at the cemetery after which the graves were decorated.

Jerseyville Republican, Thursday, January 3, 1918.

From – Seattle Oregonian, Washington – Dear Editor: We were in camp at Holly Springs, Miss., the county seat, in August 27, 1864. I went to town and met a fine-looking old man on the street – who stopped me and asked me what state I was from. I told him I belonged to the 122nd Illinois Infantry. He said, “You will have to go home to fight soon, as we had 85,000 men armed and drilled inIllinois,” meaning the copperheads. I told him some of them were my neighbors and that they were cowards and would not fight anyone.

When I went back to camp, I told the boys about it and they wanted to go back and do some killing. The official records of the war published by the Government give the membership of the copperhead organization in Illinois at 140,000, 85,000 of whom were armed and drilled. The Holly Springs man was correct and knew what he was talking about.

General Rosecrans’ headquarters was at St. Louis at that time, and his Provost Marshal (Sanderson) had spies who joined the copperheads and knew all their plans. There was a proclamation issued by their head officer calling on them to join Prices’s army at or near St. Louis.

Price made a raid into Missouri in September 1864, with 15,00 men with the intention of capturing St. Louis and the 16th Army Corps (known as A. J. Smith’s Guerillas) came up from Memphis, Tenn., on transports and reached St. Louis before he did, so he failed to capture the city as he expected. Of course the copperheads did not join Price as ordered.

General Price was the head of the organization in the South and Vallandingham in the North. One of Sanderson’spies went to Vallandingham’shouse, but Vallandingham was very reticent, so he learned nothing from him. There was a ploy to release the rebel prisoners at Chicago when the Democratic convention was in session there. Arms were secreted in a house to arm the prisoners, but the Government knew about it and seized the arms and arrested the leaders. There were Confederate officers there to take command, one of them being a brother of the rebel General Marmaduke, who was Governor of Missouri. The copperheads intended to establish a Northwestern Confederacy and Vallandingham was to be president.

M. C. Thompson, First Serg., Co. C, 122nd Ill. Infantry

Jerseyville Republican, April 25, 1918.

Interesting Relic of War

In the Library headquarters is on old drum of which is printed the following interesting piece of history: “This drum was donated to the G. A. R. of Jerseyville by Mrs. Emily Gill. Oscar Beck Graham enlisted as a drummer boy in 1861 at the age of 14 years and was mustered out in 1865 and was presented this drum for faithful service.”

Jerseyville Republican, May 28, 1925.

Lone Soldier Attends Memorial Services

A dwindling in the ranks of Civil War Soldiers was noticeable at Brighton, when memorial services were conducted Sunday in the M. E. Church. The lone old soldier present was John W. Darlington. Mr. D. a former resident of Brighton, is now living in another city. He returned to Brighton to attend the memorial exercises and saved the day from the standpoint of soldier attendance at the services. Memorial service held annually by churches of Brighton.

Jerseyville Republican, June 25, 1925.

All Veterans Graves Have Been Marked

Patrick Lynch, Commander of Lowe Post, G. A. R., who recently made a personal canvas to secure funds for the purchase of bronze markers to be placed at the graves of Civil War Veterans in local cemeteries, said yesterday morning that all of such graves in Oak Grove and St. Francis burial grounds are now marked. A total of $167.50 was collected by Mr. Lynch providing for the suitable marking of 138 mounds. Eight of the bronze markers are held in reserve for future use.

Jersey County News, March 3, 1927.

Wm. Oliver Butler Benson, Civil War vet of Jerseyville, almost had a birthday Monday. But having made his event into this vale in the mountain region of Casey Co., Ken. On Feb. 29, 1844, birthdays are limited to leap years. The quadrennial natal day celebration is deferred until 1928. Technically, “Uncle Oliver” was 83 years old Monday. A regular attendant of the ME Sunday School the young-old pupil deposited his birthday offering at the session last Sunday. Mr. Benson, who is married, has made home in Jerseyville for last 17 years.

Jersey County News, Jerseyville, Illinois, Thursday, December 22, 1927.

CIVIL WAR VETERAN OBSERVED ANNIVERSARY. W. W. Edwards celebrated the eighty-ninth anniversary of his birth at his residence on West Carpenter Street in this city last Wednesday, December 14th.

Mr. Edwards is one of the few surviving veterans of the Civil War. He was born in Alton the 14th day of December 1838. He grew to manhood in that locality.

With the advent of the Civil War, he enlisted and saw more than three years of active service with the Eighty Second Illinois Infrantry.

At the close of the Civil War, he returned to Madison county and there resumed his occupation of a farmer. He moved to Jersey County in 1890 and located on a farm southeast of Jerseyville. There he continued his occupation of a farmer until he retired in 1899 and moved to this present residence on West Carpenter street.

In spite of the number of his years, Mr. Edwards continues to be quite active. During the past summer, he planted and tended a large garden. He sustained a fall late in the summer when he tripped across a chain on a sidewalk and fell. A cow had been tethered at the roadside, and her chain had been fastened to the fence. The injury confined him for a number of weeks to this house, but he has recovered and is again able to resume his physical activities.

Alton Telegraph, 1936.


JERSEYVILLE — A lot of Civil War history and romance center around the remnants of an old flour mill in the Fieldon vicinity. Only the stone burrs remain of what was at one time a thriving and important industry.

In conjunction with the story of the mill and its ultimate destruction by fire is recorded a bit of the history of activities of the Knights of the Golden Circle of Jersey county, an organization in sympathy with the cause of the Confederacy. Formed among members of the county’s best families, this organization was a potent factor in providing aid to Confederate armies.

According to tradition, the mill near Fieldon was capable of producing several hundred barrels of first class flour per day, and had a government contract to supply flour for the Union armies. Its product was transported by wagon train to the Otter Creek landing, where it was picked up by steamboats and taken to St. Louis for conversion into hardtack for the Yankees.

Hideouts Still Remain.
At that time, the Confederate sympathizers had headquarters in Quarry and Otter Creek townships. The meeting place and hieout of the Knights of the Golden Circle was in the vicinity of what is now known as Hussey Lake. Two of the log houses utilized by the members of the organization are still intact, standing on land owned by the late Frank Hussey.

One of the cabins was moved from its original site by Hussey to within a short distance of another on the same tract.

During the Civil War, horses were as essential to the success of the armies as motor equipment is to modern fighting units. One of the primary objects of the Golden Circle in this vicinity was to furnish horses to the Confederate armies.

The animals in a majority of instances were stolen from farms in western Illinois and smuggled south by night from one group of Knights to another until delivered into Confederate territory.

In the Hussey locality, scores of stolen horses were hidden at times and then smuggled to the next stop south of there.

They Find the Woman.
In an effort to destroy the “cracker line” of the Union army under General Thomas a widespread campaign of arson and sabotage was engaged in by Confederate sympathizers in this part of the north, and the mill near Fieldon was finally included in the general destruction of property by fire.

Believing the mill would be an objective for such an act, guards were kept on duty night and day. The Knights of the Golden Circle planned to burn the structure, but found it carefully guarded. Then fortune favored them.

One evening as several of the clan were spying on the mill, they saw a young girl approach the place in the moonlight. As they watched her, one of the guards stepped from a doorway he had been guarding and walked a number of yards from the mill to meet the girl. The couple remained in conversation for some time, and then the guard returned to his post, the girl disappearing in the darkness.

Escapes in Confusion.
The Knights formed a plan to enter the mill and set it on fire. They decided to watch the place each evening, and when the girl came again to meet the guard, one of their number would slip through the entry way, climb to the roof where it would be easier to ignite the structure, and set the place on fire.

The plan worked perfectly. . . .

From Marty Crull.

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